Residence Life Policies
In order to ensure your safety and practice good stewardship of college buildings and facilities, Westmont has developed the following policies to address specific issues that have caused problems in past semesters. These policies have helped us maintain an excellent safety record and work together to create an understanding of community responsibility.
Access to Rooms
Westmont reserves the right to have authorized personnel enter any unit or room for the purpose of inspection, repairs or other official business. Authorized personnel may also enter rooms when they have reasonable grounds to believe that the well-being or safety of the occupants of the building are in jeopardy or a college policy is being violated. During vacation periods, public safety personnel may make safety inspections.
Antennas and Cable TV
For safety and aesthetic considerations, the residence hall lounges and Kerr Student Center, dining commons and the Ocean View Apartments are the only locations where cable television, antenna and satellite services are provided and permitted. Students are not permitted to connect to existing cable lines or add their own.
Students are not permitted to use air conditioner units (neither window units nor portable units) in their residence hall rooms. Students may bring fans to help cool their rooms.
Appliances and Cooking
You may use hot air corn poppers which do not use oil and hot pots that do not have exposed heating coils in your room. Residence halls have kitchens for occasional, recreational cooking. The students in each residence hall are responsible to keep their kitchens clean, as Westmont does not provide regular cleaning service for them. Fire and safety regulations prohibit the use of appliances with exposed heating coils, microwave ovens and toaster ovens in student rooms.
Since earthquakes occur in the Santa Barbara area, you should exercise care in the arrangement of furniture in your room. Although Westmont allows creative furniture arrangements, the college discourages anything that could be a safety hazard for room occupants. Please contact your resident director for approval of any unusual furniture arrangements. Your resident director may be able to furnish some additional college-owned bed frames, depending upon availability.
Bicycles brought to campus must be registered with residence life during residence hall check-in. If a bicycle is brought to campus after check-in it must be registered with your resident director.
Bicycles should be in individual rooms or locked in the bicycle racks near the residence halls, and not in hallways, lounges, entry ways, storage rooms, or planters. To prevent damage and theft, you should store your bicycle in your room during extended breaks.
Westmont offers no bicycle storage for the summer months. Therefore, all bicycles must be removed from campus at the end of the academic year. Any owners who leave their bicycle after the closure of the residence halls will be notified to claim and retrieve their bicycle within 90 days of notice. Bicycles not retrieved within 90 days will be disposed of. Unregistered bicycles left after the closure of the residence halls will be tagged for removal. Any tagged bicycles remaining past 90 days will be disposed of (Mopeds left on campus will be towed and stored as per county guidelines at the expense of the owner/operator).
Bicyclists are expected to abide by all California bicyclist laws and are encouraged to use campus roads when riding through campus. If bicyclists choose to ride on pathways, they are expected to use common bicycle etiquette (e.g., riding cautiously and giving the right-of-way to pedestrians).
If you live in a campus residence hall, you must participate in the board plan (exceptions include residents of the Ocean View Apartments and Clark-B cottage). If you do not live on campus, you may enroll in the board plan through the Housing Office. You may also purchase discounted Munch Money on your ID card from the Dining Services office for food in the dining commons.
Bunk Beds/Trading Beds
In order to keep your sleeping surface below the wall-mounted smoke detector and prevent injury or damage from striking the ceiling, your mattress must be at least 36 inches from the ceiling. Your resident director has bunk bed connectors and he/she must approve any trading of beds between rooms.
Candles, Fires, and Oil Lamps
Safety codes prohibit your burning open flames or incense in any college building except Ocean View at any time. Violations are subject to a $100 fine per incident.
If you wish to make a housing change or roommate request, begin by discussing your request with your resident assistant or resident director, who will then direct you through the proper procedures with the Housing Office.
You should address requests for room changes to your resident director. Changes may be made beginning the third week of each semester after you have secured final approval from the Housing Office. To change rooms between the fall and spring semester, you must check with the resident director and fill out the proper paperwork (available in the Housing Office and from your resident director). Approvals will be communicated in early December. Official check-out and check-in procedures apply to old fall room assignments and new spring assignments. The deadline for completing both check-out and check-in is noon on Saturday, Dec. 17, 2011. Note that a room change may eliminate a triple room refund.
In order to protect you from unwarranted damage charges, you must complete the room condition inventory (RCI) form and sign the check-in agreement prior to moving into your room. Be sure to observe the proper check-in procedure with your resident director in order to avoid a possible $50 fine.
In order to ensure that your room is left in proper condition and is vacated on time, you must make an appointment and check out in person with your resident director before leaving. There are no exceptions to this policy.
You should leave your room in the same condition as you found it. Westmont will assess charges for all damage, odd furniture arrangements and excess mess not recorded on your Room Condition Inventory (RCI) form. In order to avoid a possible $50 fine and/or $200 moving and cleaning fee, be sure to follow the proper check-out procedures.
The fall semester check-out deadline is noon on Saturday, Dec. 17, 2011; the spring semester check-out deadline is noon on Friday, May 4, 2012. The spring deadline applies to all students not officially involved in graduation ceremonies or authorized to stay by the Housing Office (e.g., for reasons such as Mayterm, athletics, summer residency at Ocean View or Westmont summer employment). If you are authorized to stay in Westmont housing beyond Friday, May 4, you have until noon on Sunday, May 6, to check out.
If you wish to withdraw from school during a semester, you must obtain a withdrawal form from the Registrar’s office in Kerrwood Hall and go through the residence hall check-out procedure.
Computer Network Access from Residence Hall Rooms
I.T. provides a number of computer-related services and assistance. Details can be found on their Web page. If you have a computer, you may obtain access to resources on the World Wide Web and to the high-speed campus network. Connection to the network requires a 10Mb or 100Mb Ethernet card and Ethernet cable or Wi-Fi card. The Computer and Network Use policy governs the use of the campus computing facilities and network. This policy can be found here. You must agree to abide by the policy in order to obtain access to these resources.
Damage to or Loss of Personal Property
Westmont recommends that your parents include your belongings away from home in their homeowner’s policy and that you obtain insurance protection against loss, damage or theft of personal property. (The college assumes no responsibility for and does not provide insurance or any other financial protection for your personal property or that of your guests.) Westmont recommends locking your room to prevent theft.
If you wish to hang personal window coverings, you should contact the housing director in order to avoid charges for wrinkles or damage caused by improper handling. You may hang only drapes from existing drapery rods. The Housing office will supply missing drapery wands. Since laundering or dry cleaning can shred drapery fabric, the college does not clean our draperies.
You may use UL-rated power strips with built-in circuit breakers as extension cords in your room. However, regular extension cords may fail at the outlet during a power surge and cause an electrical spark, representing a safety hazard. Therefore, these are prohibited.
The college asks and expects your cooperation in maintaining safety for the entire community in the event of an emergency. Please review and become acquainted with the Immediate Actions specified on the site you'll find by clicking Emergency Info at the bottom of any Westmont Web page or at the Emergency Information site.
Due to our concern for the safety of students and the preservation of facilities, the practice of extreme sports (parkour, free-running and other activities involving elevated risk of personal injury or property damage) is discouraged on the Westmont campus.
County fire regulations make it illegal to tamper with fire equipment. Tampering with fire extinguishers, hoses or alarms will result in a minimum $100 fine, and damaged equipment or emptied fire extinguishers will result in additional charges.
Firearms and Fireworks
The possession of fireworks and firearms is illegal and unsafe, and you may not possess weapons, firearms or fireworks on campus at any time. This includes Airsoft guns and pellet guns. Violators of this policy are subject to suspension.
All furniture and furnishings, cabinet doors, handles, drawer pulls and other such fixtures in residence hall rooms, lounges and Ocean View apartments must remain in place. Unauthorized removal of furniture from these locations may result in a minimum $50 fine.
Although Westmont does not remove triple furniture when vacancies exist, you may disassemble unused beds and store them in your room. However, you must return them to their original condition at check-out or when needed by an additional resident. For safety reasons, custom lofts and beds are not permitted (also see Lofts).
Campus residents should register their overnight guests online at the housing or residence life websites (see guest registration). Guests are welcome to stay for a maximum of five nights each semester and must stay in the same room all five nights. No extensions will be granted. Current Westmont students who do not pay for on-campus housing do not qualify as guests.
Please maintain respect for the concerns of your roommates when guests visit. As a host, you are responsible to explain college regulations (such as vehicle use) and community behavioral standards (such as open hours and alcohol use) to your guest(s). You may also be held responsible for any damage to college property caused by your guest(s).
To ensure your safety, Westmont prohibits potentially injurious or damaging activities inside the residence halls, including playing with balls, throwing Frisbees, using skateboards and riding bicycles.
In-Line Skates, Skateboards and Scooters
Westmont’s hilly campus and narrow walks and roadways make skateboarding, in-line skating, and scooters unsafe. This also applies to our neighboring roads. For this reason, Westmont is in compliance with the college insurance provider’s request to prohibit all use of these items on campus and neighboring roads. Use of these items on campus could result in a $50 fine.
If you lose your room key, report the loss immediately to your resident director, who will issue a spare key and ask security to re-key the lock. The re-keying charge is $30. In order to prevent non-occupants from gaining unauthorized access to your room, do not attach your room key to any kind of identification card.
For your convenience, card-operated laundry facilities are available in your residence hall. Card recharging machines are located in the post office, upper Kerr Student Center, Armington C and the Ocean View laundry room. WEB Laundry Service (not physical plant) maintains the washers and dryers in the residence halls; please call them about machine malfunctions at (800) 424-8771 or reach them online here. (You should report building-related emergencies, e.g., electrical-power outages, flooding or overflowing water, immediately to Public Safety and your resident director.)
Westmont provides ceiling-mounted fluorescent fixtures in each room. The college recommends that you bring your own desk lamp. Westmont allows the use of new fluorescent torchieres bearing the EnergyStar label. These cost more to purchase but provide a safer, more efficient torchiere.
Halogen floor lamps (torchieres) are prohibited. Though inexpensive to purchase, they present serious safety concerns because the bulbs burn at extremely high temperatures (1,000°F). They can easily ignite flammable and combustible materials. Halogens also require a large amount of electricity to operate. You should place personal light fixtures away from flammable materials such as draperies, mattresses, carpet, bed linens and clothing.
For reasons of safety, the college does not allow the installation of custom-built lofts, beds or platforms. For information about borrowing additional, college-owned bed frames or beds from other residents contact your resident director.
Residence hall mattresses are extra-long twins (80 inches long by 36 inches wide). If you prefer a different mattress, contact the Housing office, x6037, to arrange for an exchange from the college’s supply of older ones.
Movie Watching in Lounges
It’s illegal to view movies rented or purchased for private use in a public area. Therefore, students are not allowed to watch movies in residence hall lounges. While we do understand that this policy can seem restrictive if a group of friends want to watch a movie together, we are committed to living with integrity as an institution in regard to copyright laws. You can do your part by viewing movies in your room.
Occupancy Obligation, Moving Off Campus or Withdrawing from College
Everyone who reserves campus housing is obligated to pay the room charge for the entire semester. If you move off campus or withdraw, the schedule for refunds is in the college catalog.
Westmont has established the following open-hours policy that designates times during which you may visit the individual living areas of members of the opposite sex. The rationale for establishing such a policy is twofold. First, while the college recognizes the need for privacy among students, it seeks to avoid situations of absolute privacy because of the potential for abuse (see section on Sexual Activity Outside Marriage). Second, the policy allows for the personal space needed to respect the differing sleep, study and living patterns of roommates.
All-campus open hours occur noon-midnight, Sunday through Thursday and noon-1 a.m. on Friday and Saturday. If there are no campus classes scheduled for the following day, open hours end at 1 a.m. At the Ocean View apartments, no opposite gender may be in the bedrooms at any time.
Room doors of hosts must remain at least halfway open and allow unrestricted visual access to the room. At no time may you engage in intimate activities (e.g., lying under covers in bed together) which could make others feel uncomfortable and put yourselves in a compromising situation. Violations may result in the loss of your open-hour privileges, community service hours, removal from the residence hall and/or suspension. You are responsible to know the boundaries and times of open hours in all living areas. Please direct any questions or comments about this policy to your resident director or the deans in the Student Life office.
Due to Westmont being located in a high fire region, students may not use personal bbqs in the vicinity of the college (including the hills behind the campus). Students may arrange to use the residence hall bbq with the resident director. Students may keep personal bbqs in their rooms (for use off campus–beach, etc.) but may not keep any fuel in their
Personal Items in Bathrooms and Lounges
In consideration of other residents, you should not leave personal items (such as shampoo bottles, curling irons, surfboards, and bicycles) in common areas in the residence halls. The custodial staff regularly checks common areas and moves personal items left there to a collection bin. Items not retrieved in a reasonable amount of time may be donated to a charitable organization.
Pets and Assistance Animals on Campus
Students may keep fish in your student room or apartment. However, electricity is turned off in the residence halls during Christmas vacation, so students should remove fish from their rooms during this holiday. Keeping or caring for pets other than fish on campus will result in removal of the pet and a $50 fine.
Students with disabilities requiring the assistance of a service animal on campus should contact the Office of Disability Service (ODS) at x6159. ODS will work with you to determine appropriate accommodations.
Pranks and Practical Jokes
Westmont strongly discourages pranks and practical jokes because they are often unwelcome and even demeaning to victims, and they can result in escalated retaliation. Participants who violate this policy are subject to disciplinary action and will be held responsible for any negative consequences through such penalties as paying for damages, serving work hours for open-hours violations and cleaning up any resulting mess.
Official quiet hours are from 11 p.m. to 7 a.m. Throughout the rest of the day, please extend courtesy and sensitivity to others’ needs for quiet due to illness, study requirements, etc. Using headphones when listening to loud music helps accomplish this goal.
Each residence hall room has a blue recycling can. Please make every effort to recycle as much as possible; please visit the recycling website for more information. It is your responsibility to bring out your own recycling cans and dump the contents into the recycling dumpsters located outside your dorm near the normal trash dumpsters.
You may keep a small refrigerator (under five cubic feet) in your residence hall room for an additional charge of $30 per year to defray energy expenses.
Repairs and Maintenance Problems
Physical plant will repair your electrical and plumbing problems, broken windows, screens, locks, etc. Your resident director or resident assistant will arrange for maintenance needs upon your request. If a room or building emergency occurs, contact security immediately at x6222 and report the problem to the residence hall staff as well. You should address furniture concerns (including those involving mattresses and draperies) to the housing director.
Since climbing to or walking on roofs represent safety hazards and may cause undetectable and costly damage, please do not climb on the roof of any Westmont building at any time. A $100 fine per violation may apply.
The Housing office seeks to accommodate requests for housing but reserves the right to determine and change room and roommate assignments. Returning students select rooms and roommates for the following fall during housing sign-ups for next year. It is the sole right of the Housing office to assign occupants to specific rooms and apartments.
If you plan to study away or abroad for the fall semester you should make arrangements for your future housing (in the spring semester) as soon as possible. Contact the Housing office and see the information for away/abroad students on the housing website.
Westmont wants to offer you a room that is in the best possible condition. In order to keep rooms looking their best, the college assumes sole responsibility for painting rooms in full or in part.
You may use tack and some adhesives and tapes in decorating your room (see your resident director for suggestions). Duct and double-stick tapes are not recommended. Since damage occurs when bolts and nails are used on walls, ceilings, building surfaces and furnishings, their use is prohibited and may result in possible damage fees. This applies equally to window, door and hallway decorations. Please make every effort to return your room to its original condition after you leave.
Window screens are considered permanent fixtures and may be easily damaged; removing them for any reason other than an emergency will result in a $25 fine. Additional charges may be assessed if damage or loss occurs.
Sleeping Outdoors or in Lounges
Approved visitor groups (but not students or their guests) may receive permission from the Housing office to sleep in lounges. For security reasons, neither college residents nor guests may sleep outdoors on campus.
Each residence hall room is supplied with a working smoke detector. Please do not remove or tamper with the smoke detectors. If you are experiencing any problems with your smoke detector, contact a residence life staff member immediately. Campus safety personnel check smoke detectors in rooms during Christmas break to insure they are in working condition. Any smoke detectors that have been removed or damaged will be replaced, and the residents of the room will be charged.
Spring Sing Painting and Building Sets
The Spring Sing committee will meet with the director of physical plant and/or the housing director to determine appropriate locations for painting and building sets. Student participants will be held responsible for any resulting damage or excess mess in the residence halls.
There are many public storage facilities in the Santa Barbara area for items that do not fit in your residence hall room. During the year, all of your belongings, except for motorized vehicles, must be kept in your assigned room or apartment. This applies to vehicle accessories, such as jeep tops and roof racks.
During the spring semester, you may apply for summer housing at the housing Web site. If you wish to occupy campus housing after Commencement, you must qualify to do so. Also, you should submit an application as soon as it becomes available during the spring semester. Short-term summer residents, such as intercollegiate athletes and those attending Mayterm or summer travel programs, are housed in Clark Halls. The transition from spring to summer housing occurs during the morning and afternoon of the day after Commencement.
Any current student may apply for summer housing at the Ocean View apartments, and Westmont student employees receive initial priority for housing in Ocean View. There is no Mayterm housing at Ocean View, although current Ocean View residents’ Mayterm requests will be evaluated on a first-come, first-served basis (depending upon available space).
Summer housing space at Ocean View is limited. There is a 10-week minimum rental commitment, and applications are considered on the basis of the space available and the duration of the rental commitment. Summer housing check-in at Ocean View occurs at 5 p.m. the day after Commencement.
Telecommunications no longer provides phones in dorm rooms; students must provide their own analog phone. Phone service (extension number and dial tone), and a voice mailbox are available free of charge to students who subscribe. To activate phone and/or voice-mailbox service, log in to your Student Profile, and under Telephone Services, click enable. A long-distance code is required for all out-of-area-code calls, and you may also enable this through your Student Profile. All charges are billed to your student account. Visit the Telecommunications website for more information. For problems, please submit a Mayday.
Dumpsters and trash bins are located outside each residence hall. To ensure a sanitary environment for all students, please do not leave trash in hallways, foyers, lounges, stairwells or any other area in the residence halls. Each section is responsible to monitor its common areas and cover excessive cleaning charges.
Triple Room Refunds
All triple rooms contain furniture to accommodate three residents. All furniture is to remain in each triple room, even if not fully occupied. For occupants of triple rooms, a refund is credited at the end of each semester to residents who have lived in a fully occupied triple room for the entire semester. However, since the Housing office cannot guarantee that designated triple rooms will be fully occupied, you should not count on receiving a refund. If one or more of the roommates vacate a triple room during the semester, none of those occupants will receive a refund for that semester.
Vacation Residence Hall Closing
The residence halls will close for Christmas vacation at noon on Saturday, Dec. 17, 2011. They will re-open at noon on Saturday, Jan. 7, 2012. During this break, security personnel may inspect your residence hall room or apartment for safety hazards.
Since heat and electricity may be turned off in the campus residence halls, you should empty your personal refrigerator and make provisions for pet fish. Although you may keep a flame-treated Christmas tree in your room, you must remove it before the break, or public safety officers will discard them, complete with decorations.
Students living in the Ocean View apartments may stay there during Christmas vacation, but on-campus residents may not stay.
During the Christmas holiday, you are welcome to visit the campus to pick up mail, use the library, attend basketball games, show the campus to parents and friends and make use of the public areas (note that business days/hours are reduced during this break). However, you must obtain authorization prior to accessing the residence halls. A $50 fine may apply for each violation.
You may remain on campus for all or part of spring recess, but you must sign up in advance on the online form at the housing website. No dining or custodial services will be provided, access to the residence hall kitchens may be limited, residence hall staff will be available only on a very limited basis, and shuttle service will be suspended during spring recess. Guests may not stay in the residence halls during this break. Behavioral expectations and housing policies apply as usual.