Student Handbook

Residential Life Room and Board Agreement
(Subject to Change)

General | Maintenance | Residence Hall and Apartment Policies | Additional Apartment Policies | Fire Safety Policy

General

I, the undersigned, hereby apply and contract for residence hall space for myself at Skidmore College while I am a registered student. Students who wish to move off campus must receive written permission from the Office of Residential Life. Please note: The College rarely permits students to live off campus before his/her junior or senior year.

  1. The Room and Board Agreement is for all continuing full-time students and students returning from leave of absences. All students are required to reside in College housing unless permission is granted by the Office of Residential Life.
  2. Room and Board charges are payable in advance according to the payment schedule published by the College Bursar. If the student's financial commitments to the College are unpaid, it may jeopardize the student's housing assignment.
  3. All students residing in the residence halls must participate in a board plan (see section, Dining Services Policy).
  4. All students agree to act responsibly in the use and care of the room, common facilities, and College property, and to respect the rights of others within the residence hall and apartments.
  5. All students are responsible for their guest's behaviors and actions. A guest is defined as a person not actively registered as a student at Skidmore, a student who is not a resident of the residence hall or apartment system, or a student not assigned as an occupant of the specific building, room or apartment. Guests are limited to a stay of three nights per month.
  6. The residence hall contract may not be transferred or assigned to another person. Space may not be sold, loaned, or sublet. The student does not have the right to use his/her room for any commercial purpose or profit whatsoever. Sales and solicitations in the residence halls or on campus are strictly prohibited unless authorization has been granted by the Associate Dean of Student Affairs/Director of Residential Life.
  7. Responsibility for damage to an individual room/apartment is assumed by the resident(s) of that room/apartment. Each student agrees to pay a proportionate share of the total cost to repair the damage. Repair of damage to common areas throughout the residence hall system is shared equally by the residents of the respective residential area (i.e. Suite, Floor, Building/Area), unless the person(s) responsible can be identified and charged accordingly.
  8. All students contract only for space in the residence halls, not a specific room. Consequently, the College reserves the right to use unoccupied spaces in a room and/or to relocate and move students should the need arise. The College reserves the right to determine the number of occupants in a room. If a vacancy occurs in a room, the remaining student(s) in that room agree(s) to accept a new occupant to fill the existing vacancy.
  9. In the case of a leave of absence or withdrawal during the academic year, students are required to vacate their rooms within twenty-four (24) hours after their leave has been approved. Students are required to remove all of their belongings prior to leaving campus.
  10. Since staff commitments must be made in advance and the costs of plant operation are relatively fixed, the College must observe the following limited refund policy regarding room and board charges in the event of withdrawal, leave of absence, or other changes in residence status.
    1. Withdrawal from the College prior to the second day of classes in any semester shall entitle the student to a full refund of both room and board for that semester and any prepayments made for the current semester or successive semesters.
    2. Withdrawal from the College after the second day of classes in any semester could entitle the student to a refund of room and board fees. The amount of the refund is determined according to the College Refund Liability Schedule and is based upon the student's official withdrawal date. The schedule is detailed in the College Catalog.

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Maintenance   

1.    Skidmore College will not be liable for losses to persons or property caused by other persons, theft, burglary, assault, vandalism, or other crimes, fire, flood, water, or any other acts of God, or by the interruptions of utilities, unless due to the gross negligence of the College. Personal property left in rooms/apartments over vacation periods is done so at the owner's own risk. Storage of personal property over the summer or prolonged absence is prohibited.

2.    Students are advised to maintain their own insurance to cover any such losses. The student agrees to indemnify and hold the College harmless from any claims or damages payable as a result of negligence or acts or omissions to act by the student or any other persons in violation of this Agreement or College policy.

3.    The College agrees to provide janitorial and housekeeping services for all lounges, corridors, stairways, and bathrooms in the residence halls. The student is responsible for the cleanliness of his/her own room and agrees to clean and maintain his/her room and/or apartment. 

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Residence Hall and Apartment Policies   

1.    Residents are under a continuous obligation to be considerate of other students. Quiet hours throughout the residence hall system are from 9 p.m. to 9 a.m. Sunday night through Friday morning, and 1 a.m. to 10 a.m. Friday night through Sunday morning. Inconsiderate behavior, excessive noise (electric instruments and drums are prohibited), or other residence hall violations, are subject to disciplinary action.

2.    Conduct which endangers the safety of property or health and safety of others, including the propping of residence hall outside entrances, is not permitted and will not be tolerated.  

3.    The student signing this contract automatically accepts membership in the student organization of the residence hall, including all the rights and responsibilities of such membership. The student further agrees to cooperate with residence hall staff members, and to participate actively in fire drills and other emergency procedures.

4.    The possession or use of firecrackers or weapons (including, but not limited to: firearms, slingshots, throwing stars, illegal knives, straight bladed knives over 2 1/2" excluding kitchen knives, swords, B.B. guns, etc.) is not permitted on campus.

5.    All residence hall rooms and apartments are equipped with essential furniture and in apartment kitchens, essential appliances. The installation or addition of any non-Skidmore furnishings must be approved by the Office of Residential Life in consultation with Facilities Services. All furniture provided by the college must remain within the room unless otherwise moved by the College.  

6.    Ceiling fans and window air conditioner units are prohibited.

7.    Illegal or dangerous drugs as defined in the penal laws of the State of New York may not be used or possessed on Skidmore College properties. The consumption of alcoholic beverages is prohibited in all areas of the residence halls with the exception of the apartments, provided that the use is in accord with the laws of New York State and ordinances of the City of Saratoga Springs (i.e. open containers), Student Code of Conduct, policies, and rules and regulations of Skidmore College. Possession or use of paraphernalia associated with the misuse of alcohol and drugs (including, but not limited to: kegs, funnels, bongs, hookahs, glass pipes, etc.) are also prohibited and will be confiscated.

8.    Motorized vehicles, other than wheelchairs, are not permitted in the residence halls. Bicycles must be kept in spaces designated for that purpose or in the student's room. Bicycles and skateboards may not be kept in hallways, entryways, stairwells, or other common areas of the residence halls.

9.    Pets, except for fish (maximum tank size, 10 gallons), are not allowed in the residence hall system. Students found in violation of this policy will be charged a cleaning fee and the pet must be removed from the residence hall or apartment immediately.

10.    Students may not attach any items to the ceiling (stickers, nails, hooks, bottle caps, tapestries, etc.)

11.    Painting walls or ceilings is prohibited. The mounting of televisions and other electronics is prohibited. In addition any other decor or devices that require wall mounting are also not permitted.  

12.    Waterbeds are only allowed by special written permission by the College in designated areas.

13.    The College affirms the right of the student to privacy, but the College has a legal right and obligation to ensure the health, safety and welfare of its residents and their property and to prevent the use of College buildings for illegal purposes. Therefore, the College reserves the right to enter student rooms without notice and unaccompanied by the student.

14.    Rooms will be available for occupancy one day prior to the opening of fall and spring semesters, or the orientation period for new students. Students are required to vacate their rooms within twenty-four (24) hours after the student's last examination and twenty-four (24) hours after commencement for graduating seniors. Students who arrive to campus prior to their expected date of arrival or stay past their expected date of departure without prior permission from the Office of Residential Life will be fined at a rate of $250 per day.

15.    The residence halls will be closed during vacation periods (Thanksgiving, Winter and Spring). Students living in the apartments, Kimball Hall, McClellan Hall or Jonsson Tower may remain on campus during vacations. Residents who remain on campus during a vacation must be here on college business and make prior arrangements to stay in the apartments, Kimball Hall, McClellan Hall or Jonsson Tower. All specific arrangements for housing must be made by the students involved.  

16.    The student's room will be inspected for damage before the student moves in, before the student moves out, and periodically throughout the year. The student will be billed for any damage incurred while the student was in residence. Rooms and apartments are equipped with essential furniture.  

17.    The student in most cases will have their ID card encoded for their room/apartment, or, if residing in Wiecking Hall or Scribner Village, be assigned (one or two) keys upon occupying a room/apartment. If a student moves out of an ID card access residence during the year, they must have their ID card re-encoded or they will be charged for reprogramming the lock. Similarly, failure to return the key(s) for a key access residence upon departure from the room/apartment will result in a charge billed to the student to change the key and lock cylinder.

18.    The student, when/where control is possible, has the responsibility to assist the College in the recycling of trash and the conservation of energy; to turn off lights when they are not in use, to keep windows closed while heat or air conditioning units are operating, to lower thermostat setting prior to leaving their apartment, etc.

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Additional Apartment Policies  

Students residing in apartments are responsible for all the items already stated, including those found below:

1.    A student contracts only for a space within an apartment. Students will be assigned to an apartment and a specific room within. Apartment residents may change rooms within the apartment through contacting the Office of Residential Life. Students are not permitted to change rooms without prior approval.  

2.    Should vacancies arise in an apartment, a "grace" period is granted (during the academic year only) for apartment members to fill said vacancies, after which the College reserves the right to fill the vacant bedroom space in an apartment

3.    Food preparation should be confined to the apartment kitchen. Apartment residents may purchase a meal plan through Dining Services (see Dining Services website for meal plan options).

4.    Students opting for housing in the residence halls, but who are assigned to apartments because of housing limitations, will be charged the residence hall room and board rate only if they participate in the Unlimited Meal Plan.

5.    Students are responsible for maintaining the apartment's cleanliness and condition of College furniture and ensuring that the refrigerator, stove, and similar equipment are kept in a clean and safe condition. If an apartment is found to be unsafe and/or unsanitary, the College will charge students for the cost of repair and/or replacement.

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Fire Safety Policy  

All residents are responsible for adhering to the Skidmore College Fire Safety Policy and New York State law. Students are expected to follow the policy, not be in possession of prohibited items, and be aware of the possible sanctions for violations. In addition to sanctions imposed by the College, violators may also be responsible for fines assigned by the State of New York's Department of State, Office of Fire Prevention and Control, or the City of Saratoga Springs. Residents are responsible for attending and participating in fire safety workshops during the academic year. All residence halls and apartments are subject to periodic fire and safety inspections, and students are expected to cooperate in removing any found violations when requested by administration. The College may require personal furniture or furnishings to be removed from any residence when the College determines the situation to be a fire, safety, or health hazard. Under no circumstance should furniture restrict free and easy movement within the room, suite, hallway, or apartment areas, or block egress in any way.

Policy Items   

1.    Building evacuation is required when a fire alarm sounds, unless previous notice was provided by a College official indicating that the alarm will be tested and evacuation is not necessary.

2.    Damage, misuse, or theft of fire alarm systems and firefighting equipment is prohibited and in violation of the law.

3.    Students are prohibited from covering or attaching anything to fire safety equipment in their residence, including sprinklers, smoke detectors, heat detectors, etc.

4.    The City of Saratoga Springs may assign fines for false (negligent) fire alarms, per City ordinance. Students may be responsible for the cost of the fine if it resulted from negligent fire safety.

5.    In compliance with New York State law, smoking inside of all buildings and residences on campus is prohibited.

6.    Food preparation is permitted in residence hall kitchenettes and apartment kitchens only. The cooking of food and the use of electrical appliances (toaster ovens, microwave ovens, heating coils, George Foreman grills, etc.) are prohibited in student rooms.

7.    Wall decor in all residence hall or apartment spaces must not cover more than 10% of each individual wall. Tapestries are only permitted if flame retardant and meet the preceding size requirements. Decor cannot attach to ceilings or connect one wall to another. Only two strings of lighting can be connected together as one. Tapestries may not cover doorway or entryways.  

8.    All door and windows to college residences must remain unblocked to provide clear egress in case of emergency. Clear egress must be present in all rooms. Student may not partition rooms.  

Additional Prohibited Items  

1.    Firecrackers, gasoline, propane tanks, or other highly combustible items

2.    Halogen lamps and tri-color octopus lamps

3.    Candles, incense, and ashtrays

4.    Bed risers, cinderblocks, and lofted furniture of any kind

5.    Room partitions or dividers of any kind

6.    Extension cords (surge protectors are acceptable with a maximum of six outlets and an independent on/off circuit breaker)

Sanctions

1st offense: Warning from a College Administrator, removal of violation by the student or College Official* (if applicable)

2nd offense: Meeting with a College Administrator, $50 fine, removal of violation by the student or College Official (if applicable)

3rd offense: Referral to Integrity Board or for Administrative Discipline

Other sanctions may also be levied as a response to more serious violations.

*College Officials include student and professional Residence Life staff members, Campus Safety, Facilities, etc.

 

Actions and Sanctions for Violations of Skidmore College's

Fire Safety Policy

Range of Actions and Sanctions

(subject to change)

Level I Violations

1st Offense

2nd Offense

3rd Offense

      
  • Removal of        violation by the student or College Official (if applicable)*
  • Meeting with   College Administrator
  • $50 fine
  • Removal of   violation by student or College Official (if applicable)*
  • Referral to Student Conduct process e.g. Integrity   Board, Administrative Hearing Board, etc. Sanctions may include removal   from campus residence, suspension, or dismissal from college.
 

Level II Violations

1st Offense

2nd Offense

3rd Offense

      
  • Warning        from a College Administrator
  •   
  • $50 fine
  •   
  • Removal of        violation by student or College Official (if applicable)*
      
  • Meeting        with College Administrator
  • $100 fine
  • Removal of   violation by student or College Official (if applicable)*
  • Referral to Student Conduct process e.g. Integrity   Board, Administrative Hearing Board, etc. Sanctions may include removal   from campus residence, suspension, or dismissal from college.
 

Level III Violations

1st Offense

2nd Offense

3rd Offense

      
  • Meeting        with College Administrator
  •   
  • $100 fine
  •   
  • Removal of        violation by student or College Official (if applicable)*
      
  • Meeting        with College Administrator
  • $150 fine
  • Removal of   violation by student or College Official (if applicable)*
  • Referral to Student Conduct process e.g. Integrity   Board, Administrative Hearing Board, etc. Sanctions may include removal   from campus residence, suspension, or dismissal from college.
 

Level IV Violations

1st Offense

2nd Offense

      
  • Meeting        with College Administrator
  •   
  • $150 fine
  •   
  • Removal of        violation by student or College Official (if applicable)*
  • Referral to Student Conduct process e.g. Integrity   Board, Administrative Hearing Board, etc. Sanctions may include removal   from campus residence, suspension, or dismissal from college.

Level V Violations

1st Offense

      
  • Referral        to Student Conduct process e.g. Integrity Board, Administrative Hearing        Board, etc. Sanctions        may include removal from campus residence, suspension, or dismissal from        college.
  •   
  • The City of        Saratoga Springs may assign fines for false (negligent) fire alarms, per        City ordinance. Students may be responsible for the cost of the fine if        it resulted from negligent fire safety.

Other sanctions may also be levied as a response to more serious violations.  Violations that rise to the level of criminal behavior (i.e. pulling a false alarm is a felony) are subject to be reported to the police. 

*College Officials include student and professional Residence Life staff members, Campus Safety, Facilities, etc.

Legal Rights if Arrested

No person has any legal right to commit any act in violation of any constitutionally valid state or federal law, regardless of the wisdom or morality of that law. Thus, any violation is subject to punishment regardless of motive or ethical or religious beliefs.

A person has the right to:

1.     The assistance of an attorney at all stages of the criminal proceedings against him/her

2.     Reasonable bail

3.     Refuse self-incrimination

4.     Be advised of the charges against oneself and to have a trial by jury

5.     Oppose and attempt to change a law, as long as the opposition is not in the form of violation of the law

Upon arrest, a police officer must inform students of their rights prior to questioning as follows:

1.     You have the right to remain silent.

2.     Anything you say can and will be held against you.

3.     You have the right to talk to a lawyer and have him/her present when you are being questioned.

4.     If you cannot afford to hire a lawyer, one will be appointed to represent you before questioning.

The law defines the specific acts, which when committed, may permit the state to impose punishment on the person performing them. It defines the procedures that the state must follow to determine if the violation was committed and, if so what the punishment will be.

 

SKIDMORE COLLEGE TAKES NO RESPONSIBILITY FOR STUDENTS WHO ARE ARRESTED. WHEN A STUDENT HAS BEEN ARRESTED AND/OR CONVICTED, THE COLLEGE RESERVES THE RIGHT TO REVIEW THE STUDENT'S STATUS WITHIN THE COLLEGE COMMUNITY. THE STUDENT GOVERNMENT ASSOCIATION RETAINS A LAWYER FROM WHOM STUDENTS MAY SEEK LEGAL COUNSEL ON A ONE-CONSULTATION, NO-FEE BASIS. CALL THE LEADERSHIP ACTIVITIES OFFICE TO OBTAIN THIS INFORMATION.

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