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Residence Life Policies and Procedures

Live-On Policy | Check-In Checklist | You & Your Roommate | You & Your Neighbors | Gender Inclusive Housing | Other Residential Policies|Your Responsibilities | Check-Out Checklist
Residential Policies
Animal Policy | Housing Agreement

We believe that living on campus is an important part of your total educational experience at Simpson College.  We strive to create communities in which students have opportunities to learn, grow, and develop.  You will have the opportunity to make lifelong friendships in your residence hall, apartment, theme house or Greek house and be able to participate in programs and activities that will complement your academic experience.

This section of the Simpson College Handbook is designed to acquaint you with the policies, guidelines, and regulations of your residence.  We expect that you will take the time to read and familiarize yourself with its contents.

Our residence life staff is committed to making your life in campus housing as positive and enjoyable as possible while affording you opportunities to grow.  Take advantage of the many opportunities offered to you as a resident student and make the most of your time living on campus.  We’re glad you’re here!

Housing – On Campus, Off Campus Policy

All full-time undergraduate students are required to live in college-owned residential facilities. The college also allows Delta Delta Delta and Pi Beta Phi residents to live in non-college-owned housing without reduction in financial assistance and with no petition process.

Exceptions to the live-on requirement are made for students living at home with parents within a commutable distance, students over the age of 23, veterans, married students, and students with dependent children living with them. Permission to live off-campus for these or other reasons must be obtained prior to moving off-campus via the petition process on SC Connect. Modifications to these expectations may also be made for transfer students by the Transfer Admissions Counselor during the enrollment process.  Please be aware that financial aid will be adjusted for off-campus students. All decisions about granting petitions or changes to these expectations rest with the Dean of Students.

Community Statement

The Simpson College residential community is dedicated to the integrity and personal growth of each individual.  Joining the community obligates each resident to make positive contributions to the community and to abide by a code of behavior.  As a member of this community you agree to the following:

  • I will respect the dignity of all persons.  I will not demean individuals or groups by teasing, ridiculing, insulting, intimidating, harassing, or discriminating.  I will strive to learn from differences in people, ideas, and opinions.
  • I will strive for personal integrity and academic achievement.  In all areas of my life I will eliminate the practice of deceit, plagiarism, lying, or disloyalty.
  • I will demonstrate concern for others, their feelings, and their need for conditions that support their work and development.
  • I will respect the rights and property of others.
  • I will do all in my power to see that my room, apartment or house is kept clean and attractive, knowing that such an environment is essential to both physical and mental health.
  • I will challenge all the members of the community to abide by these fundamental expectations and will confront those who violate them in an appropriate manner.
  • I have read and agree to abide by housing regulations and standards of conduct as stated in the Simpson College Student Handbook.

Check-In Checklist

  • Check your Room Inventory Form to see that the description of the room is accurate. Feel free to make any additions and corrections to the form and inform your Residence Life staff member.  You are responsible for the accuracy of the inventory form upon move-in.
  • Prepare for the arrival of your new roommate(s). Suggestions on how to get the year off to a good start are in this handbook.
  • Meet the other residents on your floor and in your building.
  • Explore your building and area of campus. Look for the laundry areas, vending areas, study lounges, computer room, etc.
  • Familiarize yourself with the emergency evacuation and fire safety information posted on the back of your room door. Read this handbook for more information and additional tips for keeping yourself and your possessions safe.
  • Get to know your Residence Life staff. 
  • Read and understand all College and housing rules and regulations. This guidebook contains a list of policies, procedures, and your responsibilities as a residential student.
  • If you bring a car, make sure you register your vehicle with Security so they can give you the appropriate parking sticker for a student parking lot in your area of campus.
  • Relax! Let us know how we can help you feel more at home.
     

You & Your Roommate

Learning to live in close quarters with a person you do not know very well presents a challenge for you. You will want to create an atmosphere that permits studying to get done, relaxation and sleeping to occur, privacy needs to be met, and perhaps allow a deep friendship to develop.  All of the above are more likely to happen if the two of you communicate openly and listen willingly.  Start by becoming acquainted with each other’s background, attitudes, habits, and moods so you know what to expect of each other.  The questions below will help facilitate sharing.  Keep in mind that your roommate is not going to be a carbon copy of you.  There will be differences.  You both need to adjust, accommodate, and compromise.  Give it a try!

Questions to ask each other (and yourself!)

  • Begin by getting to know your roommate as a person: Hometown?  Career goals?  Talents?  Hobbies?  Likes?  Dislikes?
  • What about guests dropping by? How often?  How late?  Weekend visitors?
  • What time do you go to sleep? What time do you get up?  Are you a heavy or a light sleeper?  Do you snore?
  • How much do you study? When do you study?  How quiet does the room have to be for you to be able to study?
  • At what temperature do you like to keep the room?
  • What kind of music do you prefer? How loud?  Can you use headphones?
  • How clean and neat do you want the room? How do we decide who cleans what and when in the room?
  • Which items of your property are okay to borrow? Which are off-limits?
  • How will we set up the room? What about food in the room?  Do we share?

Keep the lines of communication open.  Discuss potential areas of conflict.  Be open to compromises.  If necessary, make a list of ground rules concerning such issues as music and visits by others.  This will lessen the chance of arguments over simple misunderstandings.

Roommate Expectations and Responsibilities

All roommates have the right:

  • To privacy
  • To respect
  • To open communication
  • To mutually clean living quarters
  • To personal safety and freedom from physical harm and harassment
  • To security of possessions
  • To comfortable sleep and study conditions
  • To be asked before possessions are used
  • To stay true to their own values
  • To agree and disagree
  • To ask residence life staff for assistance when needed
  • To be treated civilly
  • To comfortable living space
  • To free access to one’s room
  • To a room free of policy violations

All roommates have the responsibility:

  • To respect one another’s privacy
  • To respect themselves and others
  • To communicate openly with their roommate and discuss potential conflicts before they get out of hand
  • To keep their living space neat and clean
  • To assure security of the room
  • To maintain a comfortable environment for sleep and study purposes
  • To treat one another’s possessions with care and ask before borrowing personal items
  • To respect differences
  • To compromise
  • To enlist the help of the residence life staff when a difficult roommate situation arises
  • To be kind and civil with no intent to harm
  • To check with one another before having guests
  • To pass on messages to their roommate in a timely manner
  • To abide by all residence hall rules and regulations
  • To take ownership and responsibility for actions of guests
  • To comply with reasonable requests from residence life staff

Steps to Resolving a Roommate Conflict

We feel that students can learn a great deal about themselves and others during their time on campus, and some of the most valuable lessons can occur when conflicts arise between roommates.  We hope this doesn’t occur, but working through conflict and attempting to work toward a resolution can be a valuable educational opportunity.

If problems arise, we recommend that roommates try the following steps to improve communication and resolve the issues before you consider requesting a room change:

Talk to your roommate. It can be hard to confront someone you’re living with, but your roommate can’t read your mind! If you don’t tell them what’s bothering you, the issue can’t be resolved. Here are some tips to get that conversation started:

Have a plan. Be ready to state the specific behaviors that are bothering you, come with questions, have a potential resolution in mind.

Be self-aware. Recognize that you may also have behaviors and habits that bother your roommate. Be prepared to talk about these – once you bring up your concerns, it’s likely your roommate will want to talk about theirs. It’s a two-way street!

Practice active listening. Steps to active listening include:

State your issue but allow your roommate to respond without interruptions

Check for understanding

Try to think from your roommate’s perspective

Be aware of body language

Avoid accusatory language. Try using “I” statements instead of “you” statements (“I feel uncomfortable when you have six friends over on a weeknight” instead of “You always have your friends here and it bothers me.”). “I” statements allow you to explain why you feel the way you do, whereas “you” statements often lead to defensiveness and arguments.

Be prepared to compromise. Try to end the conversation with a plan that works for both of you. You may not get exactly what you want, but resolving the problem in a way that makes all of you comfortable should be your main priority.

Talk to your CA and write a roommate contract. If talking to your roommate didn’t resolve the problem, ask your CA for help. Your CA can mediate a conversation between everyone involved.

Ask your CA for help. Your CA may want to meet with everyone involved individually to gain a better understanding of what’s going on.

Schedule a mediation meeting. Your CA will mediate a conversation between everyone involved and try to help you come to a resolution.

Write roommate contract (if you haven’t already) or revisit your existing roommate contract (if you already have one).

Follow your roommate contract for at least two weeks. It may not work in the long run, but give it a fair shot. Two weeks gives you enough time to get used to the arrangement and work out the kinks. Make sure you continue to communicate openly with your roommate.

Repeat as necessary. On-going communication is essential. Your plan isn’t going to be perfect and you may need to try it several times before you figure out what works best for all of you.
If you need clarification or assistance with any of these steps, your CA or Assistant Director can help.

A room change request will not be considered unless you have followed the steps above. Following these steps does not necessarily mean your request will be approved, but it will show that you’ve done your best to resolve the issue and make it more likely that your request will be considered. Your satisfaction with your living arrangement is a priority, but you can also learn important life skills from living and communicating with people who are different than you.

If you feel unsafe in your living situation, please tell a Res Life staff member immediately. Your safety is the number one concern. A room change can happen without following the steps above in extenuating circumstances. 

Tips for Success

  • Discuss “Questions to Ask Each Other” as soon as possible.
  • Be realistic. Don’t expect your roommate to be your best friend and constant companion.  Continuous close contact can strain even the best of friendships.
  • Keep the lines of communication open.
  • Discuss potential areas of conflict. Be open to compromises.
  • If your roommate is doing something you don’t like, don’t repress your feelings. It’s usually better to air gripes immediately rather than to store up a lot of petty grievances until you have a major blow-up.
  • Be considerate of your roommate’s privacy.
  • Never assume your roommate is just like you. You are both individuals.
  • Always ask permission. Don’t just use the iron or eat the cookies, even if you think it might be okay, unless you’ve asked.
  • Appreciate your roommate. Praise, respect and courtesy are the foundations for any positive relationship.  Never take your roommate for granted.
  • Avoid being judgmental. You are not your roommate’s keeper.
  • Be honest, assertive and stand up for yourself.
  • Ask your Community Advisor (CA) or Assistant Director (AD) for advice. They are trained to help mediate conflicts.

You & Your Neighbors

Each residence hall, apartment, theme house, and Greek house community is unique.  Living so close to one’s neighbors can allow for the development of long-lasting friendships and good times. When disagreements inevitably pop up, it is important to remember to “treat others as you would have them treat you” and “to be courteous to your community.”

Being Courteous to your community leads to a cleaner, quieter, safer, and more comfortable living environment for everyone.

Tips for a Cleaner Hall Environment:

  • Don’t leave food particles in the sink or attempt to rinse large pieces of food down the drain.
  • Clean your room, vacuum the floor and empty your garbage and recycling bins on a regular basis. This will help keep bugs out of your room, apartment or house.
  • Take all of your trash to the dumpsters located in your area.

Tips for a Quieter Community Environment 

  • Always observe Quiet Hours. This is one of the most common complaints from residents about other residents!
  • Stairwells and hallways can be echo chambers. Keep your voice down when in these areas out of respect for those living close by them.
  • Keep in mind that rooms and apartments are in close quarters – walls, floors and ceilings can be very thin.
  • Theme Houses are located alongside Indianola community members. Please remember this and be courteous.
  • Wait until you get outside before beginning any sports activity.
  • Adjust the volume on your alarm so that it wakes only you, not your entire room, suite, or apartment. When leaving for the weekend, make sure you turn your alarm off.

Tips for a Safer Community Environment  

  • Read and follow all guidelines in this handbook.
  • Never give strangers access to the building by letting them in or propping doors.
  • Do not let anyone borrow your proximity card (Student ID).
  • Never escort a stranger.
  • Do not give out your room combination.
  • Don’t block hallways with furniture, decorations or other materials.
  • Don’t chain your bike to trees or stairwell railings. Like materials stacked in the hallway, your bike could be blocking emergency access or exit.
  • Don’t leave laundry unattended in washers or dryers. Report any vandalism or machine malfunction directly to the Director of Residence Life (961-1562) or reslife@simpson.edu.
  • When a fire alarm sounds, do not attempt to silence the alarm yourself. Simply exit the building and call Security so that they can respond.

Tips for a More Comfortable Living Environment 

  • Get to know your neighbors. Knowing them on a friendly basis now will help you discuss that loud stereo later.
  • Always observe smoking regulations.
  • Work with your roommate(s) and/or suitemates to come to an agreement on an appropriate room temperature.
  • Get to know and work with your CA and AD. Give them any suggestions you might have on how the living environment can be improved.
 

Gender-Inclusive Housing

Simpson College, the Division of Student Development, and the Department of Residence Life are committed to providing comfortable, welcoming, and safe housing options for all students.  Gender-Inclusive housing (GIH) is a policy that allows two or more students to share a multiple-occupancy room, suite, or apartment regardless of the students’ sex or gender.  GIH furthers the College’s non-discrimination policy and provides housing options for students who may identify as transgender, are more comfortable living with another sex or gender, or do not wish to prescribe to gender classifications.  Although the College respects the privacy of individuals and will not require students to reveal their reasons for opting into GIH, this option is not permitted for couples in romantic relationships.  Further guidelines to the policy are outlined below.

GIH is available to all students.  Returning students may submit a valid housing application during the room selection process that occurs each spring semester.  When submitting, a separate agreement must be completed by all students in the room, apartment, or suite and attached to the housing application.  Gender-inclusive housing is also available to first-year and transfer students. Incoming first-year and transfer students will have the option of selecting gender-inclusive housing via the student housing application. First-year and transfer students who indicate they are interested in GIH will be contacted by a Residence Life professional staff member so that the College can provide housing that best meets the needs of the student.

Gender-Inclusive Housing Policy – Download full policy here.

Interested in living in a gender-inclusive space? Just fill out this agreement with your roommates.

The following policy and conditions are applicable to students who elect to live in a gender-inclusive space:

  • Students may choose to request a roommate(s) of any sex or gender.
  • The Department of Residence Life will only honor those requests made by all parties living within the same living space (i.e., room, apartment, suite).
  • Returning students must apply with their prospective roommate(s) following the same processes and deadlines of all students entering the housing selection process.
  • Students will not be required to reveal their reasons for opting to live in gender-inclusive housing, although romantic relationships within the same living space are not permitted according to Simpson’s cohabitation policy.
  • Students will not be assigned to gender-inclusive housing unless they have elected to do so.  Although we feel that students are able to make decisions about their housing situation, we encourage students to maintain an open dialogue with their families about their decision to live in a gender-inclusive situation.
  • As with any roommate situation, conflict between individuals may arise.  We strongly encourage proactive conversation between roommates regarding room preferences, possibly utilizing a roommate agreement.  These can be obtained through any Residence Life professional staff member.  Room change requests due to conflict will follow the same procedure as any other conflict, using the student staff and/or professional staff members to aid the situation.
  • When there is a vacancy in a gender-inclusive space, the student(s) remaining in the room may elect to pull in any new roommate whose age is appropriate for the style of housing (i.e., a first-year student would not be well-suited for the apartments), following other standard procedures within Residence Life.  In the event of an additional resident moving into the space, all parties must be agreeable to the change.
  • Any space in Buxton Hall, Picken Hall, theme houses, or apartments can be gender-inclusive.  This avoids segregation and offers students gender-inclusive housing within multiple housing styles.  The default designation for a room, apartment, or suite will be single-gender unless the students selecting into the space opt to create a gender-inclusive pair/group.  Once a room, apartment, suite is gender-inclusive, that space will continue to be gender-inclusive as long as the residents can continue to occupy the living space. Gender-inclusive spaces can also exist in Barker and Kresge.
  • Depending on the number of first-year students who are interested in GIH, a gender-inclusive community may be created within a wing of one of the first-year buildings.  In the event that the number of interested students is lower than the number of occupancies on a wing, the Department of Residence Life will work individually with students to find options that meet their needs.
  • Gender-inclusive bathrooms exist in all residential buildings where gender-inclusive housing options exist.  Buxton has in-suite bathrooms, and Picken, theme houses, and the apartments have single-user bathrooms.  Barker and Kresge each have a single-user bathroom with full shower capabilities.

Other Residential Policies

Welcome to your new home! We want you to feel comfortable in your new room, apartment or house.  We also want to make sure your living environment is safe and secure.  Before you do anything in your room, look over the guidelines, tips, and ideas for turning your room into your new home. As you settle in, please refer to this section for policies regarding student conduct, permissible items, and resources.

Can I decorate my room, apartment or house?

Yes!  Students are encouraged to personalize their rooms to make them more like home.  There are various things that can be done to accomplish this. Here are some basic guidelines about what to bring and what not to bring.

Area Rugs:  Although all of our halls, apartments, and houses at Simpson are fully carpeted, rugs are a great way to personalize your room.  Do not use adhesive tape to hold down rugs.  Our experience is that it does not come off the carpet after removing the carpet/rug.

Furniture:  Furniture that is not affixed to the floor may be moved and arranged as you like as long as the door is not blocked.  You may add items such as a chair or TV; however, furniture may not be removed from your room.   At the end of the year, you will be responsible for seeing that all furniture is in the room, assembled, and in the same condition as when you moved in.

Posters, Pictures, Flags, Etc.:  Other ways to personalize your room include putting up posters, pictures, flags, and other items on your walls (not the ceiling). Blue painter’s tape is the best way to put up wall hangings without the risk of damage. Do not use duct tape to hang materials in your room.

Doors: Although the exterior of a room door is facing a public space, it is commonly decorated by students. This is generally encouraged, although blue tape and/or 3M Command strips should be utilized.  Due to the public visibility of these doors, the materials may be asked to be removed if deemed offensive or problematic.  Concerns about materials may be directed to an Area Coordinator or your CA.

Windows: Similar to doors, exterior-facing windows are often publicly visible and should be treated appropriately.  Signage may be posted within these spaces, although it should be appropriate for public view from exterior locations.

Christmas Decorations:  To avoid fire hazards, live Christmas trees are not permitted in residential facilities. Low-heat bulbs and flame-retardant materials may be used to decorate. However, all decorations should remain interior to your room.

Flammable Items: Candles, incense, anything with open coils, and halogen lamps are prohibited in the residential facilities. They present serious fire hazards and may produce an odor that may be disturbing to other residents. Flammable items such as fishnets or flags should not be hung from the ceiling. Do not hang anything on or over ceiling lights, sprinklers, or smoke alarms. Choose and place your decorations carefully in your room.

*IT IS A FEDERAL OFFENSE TO TAMPER WITH FIRE EQUIPMENT. SIMPSON COLLEGE POLICY REQUIRES THAT EVERYONE EVACUATE THE BUILDING WHEN AN ALARM SOUNDS.  IMPROPER USE OF FIRE EXTINGUISHERS OR CREATING FALSE ALARMS ARE SERIOUS OFFENSES AGAINST SIMPSON COLLEGE POLICY. DISCIPLINARY ACTION, FINES, AND/OR REMOVAL FROM HOUSING CAN OCCUR FOR ANYONE RESPONSIBLE FOR INFRACTIONS REGARDING FIRE REGULATIONS.

Your Responsibilities

As a resident of Simpson College, there are certain responsibilities that you assume when you move into campus housing.  Some fundamental responsibilities deserve emphasis and those are outlined below.

Responsibility for the Rules
The rules and regulations of the College and Residence Life are spelled out in this Simpson College Student Handbook.  You are responsible for knowing these rules and for adhering to them at all times.

Responsibility for Attending Floor/House/Building Meetings
Floor/House/Building meetings are held at the beginning of each year and periodically as needed.  Floor meetings are for your benefit and you are responsible for any and all information discussed there.  If you are unable to attend a floor meeting, you should contact your CA or AD for clarification of anything missed.

Responsibility for Your Living Area
Along with your roommate(s), you are fully responsible for activities that occur in your room, apartment, or house.  Even if you are not actively involved in a policy violation, you will be held responsible if you are present during such a violation, or if you give others access to your room.  Therefore, you should always lock your room when you leave, even if for only a few moments.  This will prevent others from committing violations in your room that can get you in trouble.  Do not condone a violation by your presence.  It is your responsibility to put an end to any violation that occurs in your room, and to call a CA, AD, or Security if you need assistance.

Responsibility for Your Guests
You are responsible for the conduct of your guests when they are present in your room, apartment, or building.  Each year, cases of vandalism and policy violations occur as a result of visitors who lack respect for our housing.  If you intend to have visitors or guests in the hall, be aware that YOU may be subject to disciplinary action because of THEIR behavior.  Additionally, staff members reserve the right to ask any individual who is not a resident to leave the building at any time.

Responsibility to Staff
All members of the Simpson College community share the responsibility for governing their own conduct.  Staff members, who, in the course of their duties, are confronted with violations of College policy, are obligated to report them.  Employees are not expected to tolerate abuse in the performance of their duties, therefore the harassment or retaliation toward any Residence Life staff, Security personnel, custodian, or any other employee will result in disciplinary action. Students are expected to comply with all reasonable staff requests; failure to do so can result in disciplinary action.

Residential Policies, Services, and Information

At Simpson College, several authorities including the Simpson College Board of Trustees; the Department of Residence Life; state, federal, and local authorities; and area councils establish conduct regulations.  Additionally, State of Iowa statutes apply to all Simpson College students.  The College reserves the right to make changes in the rules and regulations for campus facilities at any time and will attempt to give prior notice in case of proposed changes.

Abandoned Property
Any personal items left more than 24 hours in public hallways, bathrooms, or kitchens can be considered abandoned and is subject to being discarded by custodial staff.  Any items left in residential facilities after check-out will be discarded, including furniture.  Items left in Colonial storage (for international students) and in rented garages (for some apartment residents) beyond contract deadlines is also considered abandoned and subject to being discarded.

Alcohol/Drugs

The residence halls, theme houses, and Station Square apartments are substance-free living areas. Substance-free means that, regardless of age or occasion, alcohol use or possession is not allowed within the building.  This includes empty containers and items that lead to an “assumption of consumption.”

In other residential facilities only students who have attained the legal drinking age of 21 years may possess or consume alcoholic beverages in the privacy of their own rooms with the door closed. Student rooms are not designed to accommodate large groups of people. A group consisting of no more than two guests per resident of the room and never totaling more than 12 people in a room is permitted. Any group of more than 12 where alcohol is present constitutes an unregistered party and is therefore subject to disciplinary action. At no time should a resident or guest who is under the age of 21 consume alcohol.

Alcohol is not allowed in any public area such as lounges, stairwells, hallways, computer rooms, laundry rooms, and any exterior location (lawn, steps, patio, balcony, deck, etc.). A building’s substance policy may be changed if continued policy violations or vandalism are present.

Federal and state laws forbid the sale and use of drugs that are not prescribed by a physician or available on the legal open market.

The College prohibits possession, use or distribution of marijuana or any other illegal substance, use of prescribed medications used by someone else, or used in a manner not consistent with the prescription. Any student known to be possessing, using or distributing drugs is subject to College disciplinary action and arrest, imprisonment or fine according to state law. Anyone possessing prescription drugs must have the original container for the prescription.  Storing in an unmarked bag or container is not appropriate, without the original packaging.

The complete Simpson College Alcohol and Drug policies can be found elsewhere in the Simpson College Student Handbook.

Appliances
Study lamps, radios, televisions, stereos, portable hair dryers, computers, closed coil appliances, sealed unit coffee makers that are 1500 watts or less, and crock pots may be kept in student rooms.  Microwaves must be 1500 watts or less and refrigerators must be 4.6 cubic feet or less.  Microwaves and refrigerators are limited to two per room.  Space heaters, window air conditioner units, halogen lamps, and open coil electrical appliances (including toasters, toaster ovens, some pizza ovens, and hot plates) are prohibited.  Appliances that are permitted by Residence Life must be safety (UL) approved.  Overloading the electrical systems can present a fire and safety hazard.  Students should use a power strip with surge protection for everything not plugged directly into a wall outlet. Extension cords are prohibited. All electrical appliances should be unplugged during winter and spring breaks.

Bicycles

Bicycles cannot be parked in stairwells, hallways or doorways, and they may not block or prohibit the use of fire exits or hall entrances. You may keep your bicycles in your room; however, any additional maintenance cost which results through such storage in your room will be assessed to you. The College is not responsible for damage or theft of bicycles while on campus. Bikes should be locked to bike racks.

Cable TV
Cable access and services are available for purchase through Mediacom in student rooms; call (515) 246-1555 to order. Cable services are provided in residence hall lounges. Be sure to give your physical street address (example: 703 North E Street instead of ATO Fraternity). More information about the channel line-up, packages you can buy can be found at Mediacom’s website, and a listing of your physical street address can be found on the Residence Life site.

Calendar/Important Dates
Always consult the Residence Life calendar online here for dates of all breaks, hall closings, Room Selection, Staff Selection, etc. 

Check-in
Consult the Residence Life page for move-in details.  The Room Inventory records all damages and imperfections in the room/apartment.  The form should be completed, checked, and signed by residents at check-in. The Room Inventory Form forms the standard by which the room will be judged at the end of the year. It is the responsibility of a resident to make their staff aware of any problems or imperfections not noted on Room Inventory when they notice it.  Repairs for any additional damage, other than normal wear and tear, found by the staff member upon checkout will be charged to the resident(s) of that room/apartment/building.

Check-out
A resident moving out of their room/apartment for any reason must officially check out of the room by:

  • Completing and signing the Room Inventory Form.
  • Setting up a time to check-out with their CA 48 hours in advance of their needed check-out.
  • Having the room checked for cleanliness and damages against the initial Room Inventory. For students who transition to summer housing in May, this will be completed by summer CAs.
  • A charge will be assessed to cover the cost of improper checkout procedures (up to $50), services required to remove personal belongings or abandoned items ($25-$50), and damages or cleaning that has resulted from a resident’s actions or inactions. The College will not be held responsible for loss of or damage to items left in a room or apartment. Abandoned items cannot be retrieved. Any charge a student incurs must be paid before the student re-enters the College or receives official records.
  • Students checking out at the end of an academic term must do so within 24 hours after their last final exam or by the closing deadline, whichever comes first. Any exceptions to this rule must be cleared through the Department of Residence Life.

Cohabitation

Cohabitation (living together) between couples who are romantically involved is not permitted in Simpson College housing, regardless of sexual orientation and gender identity. If Simpson students are found to be cohabitating, the Department of Residence Life may mandate a room change or modify visitation access. If a non-Simpson student is living on campus (i.e. their primary place to stay is on our campus), they will be asked to vacate Simpson’s housing, and the guest’s visitation privileges may be suspended.

Cooking
All apartments and theme houses are equipped with a full kitchen. When cooking, food should not be left unattended. It is the responsibility of each student to leave the appliances and kitchen area clean and left in the same condition as when they moved in.

Most halls are equipped with sinks, surface units, microwaves and ovens for your occasional cooking convenience. Cooking in rooms should be limited to minor cooking such as popping popcorn, making coffee and heating soup.  When cooking, food should not be left unattended. It is the responsibility of each student to leave the appliances and cooking area clean and all the hall-owned utensils in their proper places.

Custodial Service/Custodians
The custodians in your living area do a great deal to make your building a comfortable and pleasant place in which to live.  Custodians are not expected to clean unnecessary or excessive messes made by residents; when they do, residents from a floor/building may have a charge applied to their student account.  When using a common area, students are expected to pick up all trash and leave the area in good condition.  Your cooperation in caring for the facilities will make their job easier and will create a pleasant atmosphere and help keep room and board costs low.

When you clean your living space, all trash should be taken to the appropriate receptacles or dumpsters behind your building.  Unwanted large items, such as boxes and carpeting, must be taken directly to the dumpster.  Do not leave garbage outside your door.  Do not sweep dirt into the hallways or stairwells.  All residential facilities have vacuum cleaners and basic cleaning supplies available for your use.

Damage and Vandalism
You are responsible for the condition of your room, apartment, or house. The Room Inventory Form should be filled out carefully when you move in because this form is used to determine damages that occur during the year.  If damage other than normal wear and tear occurs, you will be charged for repairs. Furniture must be in the same place and condition in the room that it was upon check-in.

The condition of public areas is the responsibility of all students.  Please help maintain them by treating them with care.  Although those persons doing the damage should pay for damages that occur in public areas, unassigned damages will result in community or general hall damage charges, which will be divided among students in the appropriate house/floor/wing.  You can help keep your costs down by encouraging others to respect public areas and to assume responsibility for their actions.

Equipment Checkout
Residents may check out equipment such as vacuums, pool cues, and games in the four traditional residence halls with their student ID.

  • Only the residents of that particular building may check out equipment.
  • Equipment may not be taken off campus or to other buildings on campus.
  • Each Area Council or staff can set time limits for equipment use.

Extermination
Residential facilities are professionally exterminated regularly.  Residents should contact an Assistant Director if there is a continuing insect problem.

Fines/Disciplinary Sanctions
Fines can be assessed or discipline taken for any violation of policies listed herein or any action that jeopardizes the health, safety, or security of residents.

When an incident or violation of policy occurs, an Incident Report is generally written. Assistant Directors will usually meet with involved students to obtain more information. Failure to meet with the Assistant Director or other conduct officer may lead to a decision being made without your input.  Assistant Directors serve as conduct officers for most violations by students who live in their area. Subsequent or larger infractions of campus policy can be acted on by other college officials or the Student Conduct Board. For more information about campus conduct proceedings, please refer to relevant sections in the Simpson College Student Handbook.

Firearms/Weapons
No firearms are permitted on the Simpson campus except those that are being stored in the firearms safe room located in Campus Services (See Campus Security for Weapons Storage Protocol). Possession of any weapon such as, but not limited to, knives, rifles, shotguns, handguns, air guns, bb guns, and ammunition including explosives (e.g. – firecrackers), is prohibited while on College-owned or controlled property. Possession of a firearm will result in College disciplinary action and/or arrest, imprisonment or fine according to state law.

Furniture
Simpson provides a bed, desk, desk chair, and dresser for each resident. Most rooms or apartments are also provided with a bookcase. Each apartment and theme house is furnished with a couch, armchair, coffee table, and dining table with chairs.  Residence hall and Greek house lounges are furnished with couches, chairs, and other lounge items.  All furniture assigned to a specific room/apartment MUST remain there for the entire year.  Missing room furniture at checkout will be billed to the residents of the room.  No built-in furniture may be detached from the walls or floors, and no furniture (TVs, shelves) may be affixed to the existing walls. No waterbeds are allowed.  College-owned lounge furniture found in student rooms will result in a minimum $25 charge per item to the student(s) responsible.

Holiday/Break/Vacation Housing
Residence halls and certain Greek houses are closed between fall and spring semesters. Theme Houses and apartments do not close during holiday or break periods. Residence Life staff will enter all rooms and apartments during each break period for reasons of safety, security, and energy efficiency. Residence Life staff will be on all-campus duty to provide for basic services, security, and care during these periods. Information about break housing will be sent to all residents approximately two or three weeks prior to each break period. Any student needing the ability to remain on campus must be approved by Residence Life. Students remaining in buildings that close for reasons other than Simpson-related purposes will have charges billed directly to their student account. Students with any questions about holiday/break housing should contact the Department of Residence Life. Consult the Residence Life calendar online here for dates of breaks and hall closings. 

Insurance
Residents are strongly encouraged to have Personal Property Insurance if not covered by your parent’s home policy. The College is not responsible for damage to or loss of personal property in the residential facilities due to fire, theft, interruption of water, heat or other utilities or other causes. Thefts, damage to property, etc., should be reported to the CA, AD, or Director of Residence Life and a report should be filed with Simpson College Security.

Laundry Facilities
Each residence hall, apartment building, theme house, and Greek house has laundry machines for your use. Any malfunction of a College washer or dryer should be reported to the Director of Residence Life and your Residence Life staff member. Please contact the Director of Residence Life with the malfunction, machine number, and location by calling 961-1592 or sending an email to reslife@simpson.edu. Dyes of any kind are not permitted in washing machines.  For the convenience of other students and the safety of your property, clothes should not be left unattended.

Lofts
All of the beds in the residence halls are bunkable or loftable.  Use of homemade or store-bought lofts is not permitted.

Loitering
Loitering in the residential facilities by persons who are not residents of that area is prohibited.  Guests must be accompanied by a resident host.  Guests in residential facilities must be there for the specific purpose of visiting an identifiable resident.

Musical Equipment/Pianos
Most of the halls have pianos that are available for your use. You are requested to respect the rights of others when using any musical instruments.  Pianos or other musical instruments cannot be used after Quiet Hours.

Outside Hall Activities
If your campus organization or group is planning an outdoor activity, consult with the AC of that building(s) to make sure there are no scheduling conflicts and notice, if necessary, is given to the residents. It is important that any outdoor activity not cause unacceptable noise levels or safety problems. Any use of amplified sound must be approved by the Director of Residence Life and/or Director of Student Activities.


Pets

Pets are not allowed in any of the residential facilities, even to visit, because of health, sanitation, and noise concerns.  The only exceptions are fish (in a tank less than 10 gallons) and registered guide dogs accompanying sight-impaired persons.  Assistance animals are also permitted, and you may contact the Center for Academic Resource for more information. Any other exceptions to this policy must be approved by the Director of Residence Life.  Violation of this policy can result in a minimum fine is $50. In addition, a special cleaning charge (depending on the size of the space) can be assessed to any residents who bring an animal to eliminate any allergens, deep clean, and/or to remove any smells.

Posting Policy
In order to keep the halls neat and orderly, the posting policy within residence life mirrors the Simpson College posting policy.  Please visit here for more information.

In general, all material must be cleared through the Department of Residence Life. A maximum of 45 copies may be left at the Department of Residence Life to be distributed through student staff to all residential facilities.

If hanging materials, painter’s tape is the only acceptable adhesive to hang materials on walls. Materials cannot be posted on glass surfaces. Any approved and posted materials much be removed within 48 hours after the event.  Any advertisement that is not posted according to the guidelines will be removed.

Prohibited Possessions

The following items are prohibited in or next to student housing for health and safety reasons:

  • Candles, incense, oil lamps, lawn torches, halogen torchiere lamps and open flames
  • Illegal drug paraphernalia
  • Flammable substances such as gasoline, cleaning fluids, lighter fluid and mineral spirits
  • Personal charcoal or gas grills
  • Motorized vehicles such as motor cycles and mopeds
  • Live Christmas trees, other live holiday greenery, large decorative bulbs
  • Fireworks and other explosives
  • Pools
  • Firearms, ammunition, bows and arrows, slingshots, large knives, switchblades, dangerous martial arts equipment, and other potentially hazardous items.  These items should be checked in and stored at the Indianola Police Department.  If a firearm is needed for our Shooting Sports, please contact Campus Security for storage policies before bringing it onto campus.
  • Electrical appliances; toasters, toaster ovens, space heaters, and any appliances with an open hotplate or heat coils
  • Extension cords, multi-plug outlets, overloaded circuits

Proximity (Student ID) Cards & Room Combination Locks
Proximity locks are located on all the primary exterior doors of all residential facilities (except theme houses, which use keys). Your proximity (Student ID) card gives you access to those doors.  Giving your proximity card to another individual for the purpose of accessing the housing unit constitutes a serious security risk for you and your fellow residents.  There will be a $100 maintenance/disciplinary charge and subsequent disciplinary action for the student who loans their proximity card to anyone. You are expected to carry your Student ID with you at all times.  Residential students may access all traditional residence halls via their proximity ID cards from 8 a.m. – 10 p.m. all days when campus housing is open. Proximity Card access for Apartments and College-owned Greek Houses are restricted to their own residents.

Room doors have combination locks.  You will be given the combination to your room door when you check-in to your room.  It is very important that a student not divulge their room door combination to others.  Room door combinations are changed anytime there is a resident who moves out of the room.  If a student requests to change their room door combination for other reasons or are responsible for the combination being shared inappropriately, they will be charged a fee of $15.  If a student is irresponsible in their use of their combo lock or giving out information regarding their combo lock, they may be subject to disciplinary action.

Part of the obligation of living in a community is to help safeguard the living environment. Do not prop open exterior doors. You are advised to be security-minded at all times and contact your Residence Life staff or the Office of Security whenever you have concerns or issues regarding your security. The Office of Security is staffed by a combination of full-time professionals and student security staff who monitor the outside of buildings as well as provide an escort for students around campus, in the event of unsafe or unique medical conditions. The Security Department is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week throughout the year. Their phone number is 961-1711.

Public Areas
The custodial staff cleans public areas regularly in all residential facilities except Theme Houses.  However, residents are expected to help keep public areas neat and orderly.  Personal items should not be left in public areas at any time including patios and decks.  Laundry should be removed promptly from laundry rooms and balcony/patio areas.  At all times, hallways and stairwells must be kept free of furniture, trash and other objects. Only approved wall hangings will be permitted in hallways.  Items found in the hallways and stairwells will be removed.

Hallways and stairwells are common areas designed as passageways and are not for recreational activities or excessive noise. Sports, horseplay, running, screaming, or other games or activities in hallways may be disruptive to residents or harmful to the condition of the building. These activities are prohibited and violate 24-hour “Courtesy Hours.”

Common areas of residential facilities may be used for programming activities.  Anyone sponsoring activities in common areas must have the approval of the CA, AD, or Director of Residence Life.

Quiet Hours/Courtesy Hours 

Residents should observe Courtesy Hours 24 hours a day and maintain reasonable noise levels at all times. This includes keeping noise to a minimum while moving throughout the buildings and hallways, stairwells, and elevators so as not to disturb others. In order to ensure that students have the opportunity to exercise their primary rights to sleep and study in their rooms, Quiet Hours have been established for all on-campus housing. Quiet hours are from 10:00 pm to 10:00 am daily Sunday through Thursday and 12:00 am (midnight) to 10:00 am Friday and Saturday. At any time, a floor or building can decide to extend Quiet Hours with appropriate approval. Extended Quiet Hours will be posted in each area as appropriate. During Quiet Hours, noise should be limited to a level which could not possibly disturb the nearest neighbor’s attempts to sleep or study. It is suggested that you keep your room door closed during Quiet Hours. Televisions, stereos, and radios must be played at a low volume that cannot be heard outside of your room. This standard is upheld whether or not neighbors are present. Music and noise may not be projected from any residential facility to the outside at any time. (For example, speakers may not be placed in windows.) Station Square Apartments is a 24-hour Quiet Hours facilities.

24-hour Quiet Hours are observed during final exams beginning midnight the Friday night prior to finals until the end of the semester.

Tips for Handling Loud Neighbors:

If a resident feels that the primary right to sleep or study is being violated, the resident should follow these guidelines:

Step #1: Speak to the person causing the interference and politely request that the behavior be modified.

Step #2: If the request does not produce satisfactory results, contact a student staff member (CA) on duty for assistance.

Step #3: In more extreme situations when Steps 1 and 2 have not produced satisfactory results, contact Security.

Steps #1-3 should be repeated for each occasion or incident. Remember to treat others as you would like to be treated and that most often people are not trying to disturb you or your neighbors and may need occasional reminders.

Repairs & Maintenance 

All repair and maintenance needs should be reported to your CA, and they will submit the issue to Campus Services. To place an emergency work order, please call 961-1622 or report them to a CA member for further action.  Repairs will be completed based on a campus-wide priority including urgency, type of repair and date received.   Unless it’s an emergency, five (5) working days should be allowed for repairs. If repairs have not been made within this time, check with your student staff member, Assistant Director, or directly with Campus Services by calling 961-1622.

Students will be charged for any damage or corrective actions taken due to failure to adhere to the room personalization specifications. A student may be required to pay any charges assessed in order to return a room to good condition if the conditions of that room resulted from a student’s actions.

Room and Roommate Changes
You should contact your Assistant Director (AD) to assist you in facilitating a room change.  A Room Change Request form (available from your AD or Student Development) must be completed, and all moves must be approved before the change occurs.  Students must follow regular check-in/check-out procedures.  Failure to follow any of the above procedures will result in the $50 improper check-in/check-out fine.  Multiple room changes within a given year are discouraged. Every time someone moves out of a room or apartment, Campus Services will change the room combination lock at no charge. Room/roommate changes are unlikely to be granted until the roommates have taken several steps toward resolving the issue(s) on their own and with the help of their CA first.

Roommate Consolidation
Residents in multiple occupancy units who find themselves without roommates have the following options:

  • Another student may move into the room if they are also without roommates.
  • The remaining student may move into a different occupied room that has a vacancy.
  • The remaining student will accept other students as assigned.
  • The remaining student(s) may be reassigned.  This is especially likely if the occupancy of a room drops to 50% or less of its full occupancy.
  • In rare circumstances, the remaining student may be charged the private room fee and continue in the same room below normal occupancy (on approval by the Director of Residence Life).

Triple and quadruple occupancy rooms are not typically allowed to be occupied by only one person.  Any exceptions to this need to be approved by the Assistant Director.

The College reserves the right to consolidate all vacant spaces.  Additionally, the College reserves the right to change housing assignments in special circumstances.  In these cases, decisions will be made by the Department of Residence Life and will be communicated clearly to the students affected.

Room Inspection and Search Policy
The College reserves the right to have authorized personnel enter student rooms for the purpose of determining general cleanliness of rooms, to determine the amount of damage and general misuse of College property, to remove electrical equipment or other items not in compliance with the housing contract or hall regulations, to make repairs, to maintain the general order and security of the hall, to address suspected violations of College regulations and/or city, state, or federal laws, to respond to emergency situations and to conduct other official business. Discretion will be used at all times. Whenever possible, the room will be entered when the student is present. In the event of a search, when suspected policy violations are present, items in the room, including personal property, may be searched.

Room Selection
Simpson College has a room selection process for current first-years, sophomores, and juniors, during which they pick rooms for the following academic year. Lottery numbers and Room Selection applications are available mid-February, and actual Room Selection takes place after Spring Break. In general, members of Greek chapters are expected to live in their chapter residence. Details about room selection and all residential facilities are available online here.

Single Rooms
Students requiring a private room for medical or disability-related reasons must submit necessary documentation to the Director of Student Accessibility Services located in Dunn Library.  Singles granted one year does not guarantee a single the following year. Single applications must be accompanied by substantiating written documentation from an appropriate medical or mental health professional and meet the criteria of the Director of Student Accessibility Services. Depending on the location of these spaces, additional charges may apply.

Private rooms for non-medical need are generally not available unless created as part of the room selection process during the spring semester. The College reserves the right to consolidate private rooms should crowded conditions exist.

Smoking
In accordance to the Iowa Smoke Free Air Act, Simpson College is a smoke free campus.  This act prohibits smoking inside all buildings, outside all buildings, and on all college property. Simpson College also prohibits the use of electronic nicotine delivery systems (i.e. electronic cigarettes, vaping devices, etc) in the same locations.

Solicitation
The College does not allow door-to-door solicitation of products or services in the halls.  Printed material may not be distributed under a student’s door without the approval of the Department of Residence Life.  The Department of Residence Life must approve fundraising activities sponsored by campus organizations if the location is in a residential facility. Furthermore, student rooms are not to be used for commercial solicitation or enterprises.  This policy applies to all campus organizations as well as off-campus groups or individuals.

Storage
Due to limited space, storage facilities are generally not available for any students except international students. Residents usually need to keep all their furnishings in their rooms and only bring personal items that their room can accommodate.

Summer Housing
Summer housing is available each year for Simpson students in one of our apartment buildings. Applications are available in March and housing assignments are made in May. The summer rate is determined each year in March. Students must move into their summer apartment the weekend after May term and move out or to their fall location in early August (to accommodate early arrivals). Charges for summer housing end the last Sunday before classes being in the fall, or when students would otherwise arrive on campus had they not been in summer housing.  

Telephones & Voice Mail
Telephone lines are provided in your room/apartment/house as a service but are not automatically activated.  Residential students can request to activate the telephone line in their room by contacting the Director of Residence Life.

Visitation
A student’s right to study, sleep, and exercise control over their personal space takes precedence over the right of others to host guests. No resident shall be obligated to give up access to or use of their room in order to acquiesce to the visitation desires of the student’s roommate(s). It is the responsibility of every resident to respect the right of privacy of their roommate. If there are complaints from roommates or others, the resident with visitors is expected to cooperate and compromise in resolving the difficulty. The CA and/or AD will handle violations of visitation privileges and unresolved conflicts in accordance with established housing and judicial procedures. The Department of Residence Life may actively intervene if conflicts arise and cannot be resolved between roommates with respect to visitation policy. Final authority for determination and resolution of violations in this area will rest with the Director of Residence Life.

Windows, Ledges, Decks, Porches, Roofs, or Balconies 

Window screens may not be unfastened or removed or else you will be fined $50. In addition, residents will be charged for screen repair and/or replacement. Windows are not to be used as an entrance or exit; only in the case of an emergency should the window be used in this manner.  Climbing out of / into a window or hanging from a window is not permitted.

In some apartments or Greek houses, you may have a deck, balcony, or a porch. The following guidelines apply to these areas:

  • Alcohol (even if you are 21) is not allowed in these areas.
  • At no time are any objects to be thrown from these areas.
  • Trash should be taken to dumpsters and not left on the balcony
  • Gas and/or charcoal grills are not allowed due to fire hazards – there are grills located near most residential facilities.  Any exceptions to this must be approved by the Director of Residence Life.
  • Quiet/courtesy hours still apply in these areas. Please be aware that noise travels far outside.
  • Combustible materials, including, but not limited to, gasoline, torches, or propane, are not allowed on porches, balconies, or decks.
  • Entering and exiting the building by scaling up the balcony or lowering oneself from a balcony is not permitted, unless in case of emergency when no other option is available.
  • Music should not be projected from the building in these areas.

College liability insurance does not cover accidents occurring from the use of windows, ledges, roofs, balconies or decks. Individuals and/or groups wishing to hang banners off these areas must obtain permission from and make arrangements through the AD or Director of Residence Life. Entrance onto roofs of buildings is not permitted.

Check-Out Checklist: Planning ahead for the end of the year

When looking ahead to the end of the year, you may be wondering how you’ll ever be able to accomplish all the tasks necessary at the end of the semester or May Term. The key is careful planning.  Before you are immersed in sessions of intense studying for finals, begin listing all the tasks that need to be done and a timetable for completing them. Use the checklist below to help you get started.

Things To Do Before Finals Week:

  • Make travel arrangements now. Visit the Residence Life website here for specific dates and times regarding check-out deadlines.
  • Begin packing now.  Ship home things you won’t need (clothing, books, etc.) or plan to take a load home on a weekend prior to finals week.  Boxes may be hard to find later — start collecting them now.
  • Study!  You’ll be busy during finals week dealing with last minute details.  Don’t put off all of your studying until then!
  • Watch for signs announcing the time and place of an informational meeting discussing check-out procedures.  A lot of important information that can make your check-out faster and easier will be given out at this time.
  • Sign up with your CA for a checkout time on the Friday before finals (fall or spring semester) or the Friday before the last week of May Term with your desired checkout time.
  • Carefully read the check-out instructions and checklist distributed to you from your CA or HA and posted on your floor or building.  If you have questions, ask your staff member.

Things To Do During Finals Week:

  • Observe special 24-hour Quiet Hours designated for finals week.  Tell family and friends who may be helping you move about these hours and request their cooperation in keeping the halls quiet for those who are still studying.
  • Take your textbooks to the Bookstore “Buy Back” program.  Watch your bulletin boards for more information.
  • Take a study break and watch for special programs sponsored by the Department of Residence Life.
  • Be ready to checkout at the time you agreed to with your CA, or HA.
  • Make certain all of your belongings are out of the room.
  • Make sure the room is clean (even if you are the first one to check out)!
  • Have a safe trip home!