Frequently Asked Questions About Campus Housing
Answers to Common Housing Questions
Are all students guaranteed housing?
Answer: If all of the students at SUNY Plattsburgh wanted to live on campus, we would not be able to accommodate them, so technically, the answer is no. However, since only about half of our undergraduate students typically request to live in residence halls, we are usually able to accommodate everyone. Room assignments are made on a first-come, first-served basis and we would resort to tripling double rooms in order to give students a room when demand exceeds our capacity.
What is provided in the room?
Answer: Each room is provided with a desk, chair, bed and mattress (extra-long twin) for each resident. A built-in closet and dresser or an armoire for each resident, wastebasket, and two computer data ports. Furniture in rooms is movable. Triples will have additional furniture in place to accommodate an additional resident.
What should I bring to campus?Answer: Items to bring include a pillow, blanket, bedspread, mattress pad, sheets (extra-long twin), towels, laundry bag or basket, bath bucket (to carry personal items to the shower), hangers, sewing kit, first-aid kit, alarm clock, hair dryer, non-halogen study lamp, throw rugs, items to decorate the room and your personal computer/laptop.
Can a housing contract be cancelled?
Answer: The housing contract is a legal document and is binding for both the fall and spring semesters once it has been signed. Students are responsible for both the fall and spring semesters unless they participate in a college-sponsored program away from SUNY Plattsburgh or withdraw from the college. There is a $500 cancellation charge for December cancellations if a student is approved to move off campus.
When do I arrive and leave campus?
Answer: For the fall semester, you will need to arrive on the Friday prior to the start of classes beginning at 8 a.m. Exceptions to this are new international students and participants in fall sports. These groups are to arrive according to instructions from their respective directors or coaches. Note that food service does not begin at the time of these early arrivals.
Halls open for spring semester check-in at 11 a.m. on the Saturday or Sunday prior to start of classes. Only those students who are new for spring semester must check-in at the housing office.
At the end of a semester, you must check out and leave within 24 hours of your last final exam or before the official closing date/time, whichever is sooner.
What happens if I don’t get along with my roommate?
Answer: The quality of the relationship between roommates is a major determining factor in one’s satisfaction with college life. Some of the primary components of a positive roommate relationship are the assertive expression of one’s needs, the recognition and respect for the unique needs and lifestyles of others, and the positive management of conflict.
You are expected to take primary responsibility for ensuring the development and maintenance of a positive roommate relationship. You’re also strongly encouraged to invest yourself fully in working together with roommates to resolve any differences by speaking directly to roommates in sharing concerns, expressing feelings in an honest manner, and jointly negotiating a resolution to conflict.
On occasion, a student will attempt to resolve problems by talking to a roommate who is unresponsive. In other cases, a student may be having a difficult time approaching the roommate. In either of these situations, seek the help of your community advocate or community director. Community living staff members can assist you in communicating with your roommate or assist in negotiating a living agreement.
Why do I have to purchase a meal plan if I live in the residence halls?Answer: First-year freshmen are required to purchase either meal plan A or B. These plans provide access to our dining halls for your primary meals. All other resident students are required to purchase one of five on-campus meal plans. This ensures access to high-quality, nutritious meals. Many students attending college for the first time are not experienced with time management. Having a meal plan relieves the student of the responsibility of shopping, cooking, and cleaning up after meals, allowing more time for academic pursuits. Furthermore, residence halls are not equipped for students to prepare their own meals. Of concern are the potential for fire, activation of smoke alarms, clogged drains, improper disposal of waste and garbage, electrical overload, insects and rodents.
What if it’s noisy on the floor?
Answer: Residents are responsible for maintaining reasonable conditions for study and sleep in the residence halls. SUNY Plattsburgh is committed to the concept that its residence halls complement and foster the academic and intellectual development of its students. There is an expectation that all residence halls must be conducive to studying, especially in the evenings. To that end, the ability to occupy and enjoy one’s room for the purposes of studying in peace and quiet takes precedence over any other activity.
Quiet hours are in effect in all residence hall areas on class nights from 10 p.m. to 10 a.m.
On Friday and Saturday evenings, common courtesy must prevail. Loud noise and disorderly behavior is not acceptable at any time. A 24-hour quiet period goes into effect prior to and during final exams.
You are expected to confront other individuals who are infringing upon your right to study or sleep. Community advocates (CAs) are available to help maintain a reasonable level of quiet on the floor. However, community advocates should not be expected to be the sole policy enforcer on the floor. No staff member can be available 24 hours a day to handle every possible situation that may arise. At the same time, students are encouraged to practice the skills they will need to be self-sufficient adults. When asked to settle a noise situation, CAs are likely to ask the resident if she/he has made any attempt to resolve the situation. If the resident has made an attempt and did not receive an adequate response, the CA will assist in an intervention. If the resident has not made an attempt, the CA will encourage discussion with the student in question.
Students who continually show disrespect for the rights of others and/or refuse to cooperate with requests to keep the noise level down are referred for disciplinary action. Repeated violations could lead to a student’s loss of eligibility for campus housing.
How do I change rooms?
Answer: When warranted, you may request a change in your living situation. Students should be aware that before a change can occur, roommates must be considered and taken into account. All changes must be approved prior to the physical move. Students must move within 24 hours of the approval date.
Residents can apply to be reassigned for the spring semester. Procedures for end-of-semester changes will be forwarded to you at the appropriate time. Once a change has been approved, residents agree to move before leaving at the end of the fall semester. If this is not done, your change may need to be cancelled.
Can I arrange beds in bunk or loft style?Answer: Yes. Beds can be made into bunks in all residence halls. Simply ask your community advocate or your building cleaner/janitor to have this done.
Are the rooms carpeted?Answer: No. Students usually bring throw rugs or room size rugs that coordinate with their color scheme. Room size rugs may be purchased at the College Store.
What types of safety and security measures are provided on campus?
Answer: University Police can be reached 24 hours a day at 518-564-2022. In addition, the Housing & Residence Life Office provides on-call coverage from 7:30 p.m. to 7 a.m. each day. The CA-on-Duty is reachable by phone during this time. (Phone numbers are posted in each hall.)
Community living staff members are trained to deal effectively with emergency situations. Community advocates make additional rounds through and outside of buildings during the late evening and early morning hours. Each building is locked 24 hours a day. All residents are issued cards to gain access to their assigned building as well as codes to their room and/or suite doors.
State-of-the-art fire alarm systems with smoke and heat detectors have been installed in all residential buildings to help ensure the safety of residents. Renovated buildings are fully sprinklered and non-renovated buildings are sprinklered to the NYS Fire Code.
What kinds of appliances are allowed in the room?
Answer: Radios, stereo equipment, personal computers, hair dryers, razors and clocks are permitted, providing they are plugged in within the room and do not exceed the amperage limits of the circuits within the room. Use of irons is permitted only in designated areas. Octopus-type electric plugs, and general use extension cords are not permitted. Surge suppression outlet strips are the way to go, and they protect computers and other electrically sensitive equipment. An outlet strip must have a built-in 15-ampere fuse or circuit breaker protection.
Cooking is prohibited in any area within the residence halls except kitchenettes, which are specifically designed for such use. Hot pots, popcorn poppers, and coffee pots are to be used in the kitchenette only. Self-contained heater coffee pots (Keurig or similar) are permitted. Microwave ovens, toaster ovens, and hot plates are NOT permitted in individual student rooms.
Students may bring their own refrigerator, provided it meets the following guidelines. We allow up to 2 refrigerators per room do long as they meet the following criteria. Each may be no more than 6 cubic feet in internal size. Also, each must have a 3-prong plug and be U. L. approved and must be plugged directly into an electric outlet.
Can I live on campus all four years?Answer: Yes! And in fact, many do. Living on-campus is hassle free and, based on current research, very comparable in price to living off-campus.
What are the different living options available?
- Coeducational Floor
- All-Female or All-Male Floor
- Substance-Free Hall or Area
- Older Student Living Situation
- First-Year Residence Halls
- Gender Inclusive Area
Is there housing for first-year students?Answer: Yes. SUNY Plattsburgh is committed to the quality of life of every first-year student. Our first-year residence halls provide additional support to help with your transition to SUNY Plattsburgh and college life. We provide lots of fun and educational programs, encourage students’ success and will help first-year students to stand out from the start.
Can I have guests?
Answer: The college permits guests, regardless of gender. However, based on respect for others, each resident is expected to abide by the following guidelines:
- The rights to sleep, study and have privacy supersede all other rights, including visitation.
- Any overnight guests need advance explicit consent of the roommate. Overnight guests are limited to one per resident and may not remain for more than three consecutive days.
- All guests entering the building must be escorted by their host/hostess at all times when they are in the building. Residents are directly responsible for the actions of their guests and are responsible for informing them of rules and facilities. Residents may face disciplinary action and be held financially responsible for any behavior of a guest that results in property damage. The college reserves the rights to deny access to any guest if it has been determined that the guest has disturbed, endangered, or disrupted residents or college activities.
Are firearms and other such weapons allowed in rooms?Answer: No! Neither firearms nor weapons are permitted anywhere on campus.
Is there a laundry or linen service?Answer: SUNY Plattsburgh does not have a laundry or a linen service. Washers and dryers are available in common areas of each residence hall that are not coin operated. Instead, unlimited use of the facilities is included in the room rent.
How are residence halls supervised?
Answer: Each residence hall is managed by a graduate assistant community director trained specifically in working with college students in a residential setting. First-year residence halls are managed by a full-time professional community director.
Residence hall floors are staffed by undergraduate community advocates (CAs). Low-rise halls have two CAs per floor; high rises have one per floor. CAs are responsible for working with students to create and maintain a floor community conducive to academic, social, and personal needs. CAs are expected to confront violations of college policy, act as role models, encourage residents to take responsibility for their own actions/choices, and encourage respect and appreciation for each other. First-year residence halls have 2 community advocates on each floor.
Each residence hall office is staffed during the evening by the CA-on-Duty, checking out recreational equipment, answering questions, and attending to administrative tasks within the building.
What kinds of programming activities take place in the residence halls?
Answer: A variety of social and educational activities are planned for each residence hall. Educational programs are offered in the areas of health, safety and security, and intellectual wellness. Examples of topics that have been the focus of programs include drunk driving, sexuality, alcohol abuse, acquaintance rape, religion, race issues and cultural diversity.
Social and community development programs have included athletic events and intramurals, tie dyeing, ice cream socials, holiday celebrations, crafts, scavenger hunts, and community service projects.
Residence Hall Community Governments also plan programs for students. Residents are encouraged to become involved in creating and presenting programs of their own.
Can I paint my room?Answer: No, Residence Halls rooms cannot be painted.
Can I have a vehicle on campus?Answer: Yes, even freshmen! There are on-campus areas designated for student parking. Students are required to pay a registration and a parking fee in order to park on campus. This may be paid on your semester invoice. A hang-tag is issued at the University Police Office upon presentation of your vehicle registration.
Do I need Renters Insurance?Answer: Yes, you do. The college does not take responsibility for losses suffered on campus because of fire, theft, water damage or other cause. It is therefore, advisable that all students who reside on campus check the extent of their current home insurance or seek coverage through a special policy. The risk of having personal property in a college residence hall is borne entirely by the student and not the college or university.
Can I store items on-campus?
Answer: Storage rooms are located in eight residence halls. Students may store up to 3 items, and must tag any item stored with date, name and home address. Items unclaimed after one year will be discarded at the discretion of the college. The college will also designate a room for the storage of clean refrigerators over the summer. Once the area is full, students will need to find another place for their refrigerators.
Bicycles must be stored in student rooms. Bicycle racks are available outside many residence halls and academic buildings.
Residents are free to leave belongings in their rooms over break periods but are encouraged to take valuables with them.
What happens when a rule or policy is violated?Answer: Students who violate policies can expect to experience the consequences of those decisions. Generally, a student will be referred to the Student Conduct Office. If a violation is determined, the office will decide on sanctions or consequences appropriate to the case. Sanctions may include a reprimand, a reprimand with conditions, probation, a judicial registration record hold, suspension or dismissal.
Is alcohol allowed on campus?
Answer: Yes, legal personal consumption of alcohol is permitted in the college residence halls. Alcohol events or parties are not permitted. In general, students who are 21 years of age may consume alcohol within their rooms.
Personal consumption is limited to reasonable quantities of alcohol. Mass quantities of alcohol are not permitted in and around the residence halls nor are the playing of games that elicit the rapid and mass consumption of alcohol. Students under 21 years of age may not possess or be present where there is an open container of alcohol.
Further detail on this policy will be available prior to the beginning of the semester.
Can I stay in my room during vacations or breaks?Answer: You may prearrange for vacation occupancy by contacting the campus housing office during the week prior to scheduled closing. There is no additional charge for this housing but the office will need to know your plans in order to activate your ID card for break usage.