Student Guide - Residential Life Policies

 

Residential Policy

Bethany Lutheran College believes that living on campus benefits students in many ways, including developing personal and social relationships, having convenient access to campus services, and assisting in full engagement with all that the college experience has to offer.  In support of this premise, Bethany requires all full-time students to live on campus for the first two academic years (four semesters) and participate in a board (meal) plan unless:

  1. The student is living at home in the immediate area with their parents or legal guardian.
  2. The student has reached the age of 21.
  3. The student is married.
  4. The student has dependent children.

Special requests for exceptions to this residency requirement must be made in writing to the Dean of Students. Students entering Bethany as transfers should consult with the Dean of Students about meeting the intent of the two-year residency requirement.

Bethany reserves the right to deny housing to any student in its sole discretion. 

NOTES: Failure to comply with the residential policy may result in cancellation of course registration. Bethany typically places first-year or new student roommates according to the housing application form and attempts to honor mutual roommate requests. Bethany does not house PSEO students under the age of 18. Bethany reserves the right to place roommates as the needs of the College require.

Residence Halls

Opportunities to live on campus include the following residence halls:

Resident Staff

The residence halls are staffed with Resident Hall Coordinators and Resident Assistants (RAs). The Hall Coordinators are live-in staff members who provide leadership, oversight, and direction for our residence halls.  They are a resource to all the residents in the building offering help, guidance, and assistance as needed. RAs are student residents who assist other residents and develop community. Both the Hall Coordinators and the RAs function to promote a Christian atmosphere in the halls and on the campus. They help students attain their highest potential academically, socially and spiritually. Students are encouraged to seek out their help at any point. The resident staff is also responsible for enforcing college policies and regulations. The cooperation of all residents and guests is expected when resident staff members are carrying out this responsibility.

Housing Arrangements

Housing Deposit
A $100 housing deposit is collected from all residential students when they apply for housing. It covers the cost of damages to college property, cleaning fees, unreturned library books, and other costs that are the student's responsibility. Under normal conditions, this deposit is not credited or refunded until the semester after the student has left BLC.

Check-in/Check-out
All students must review and sign the check-in form when moving into their residence. Conversely, all students must review and sign their check-out form when moving out of their residence. Students are financially responsible for any damage or change they caused to the condition of their residence, wing or residence hall. Failure to follow this procedure may result in the loss of the student's housing deposit.

Requests for Room Changes

Policy

Bethany Lutheran College does not discriminate on the basis of sex, color, religion, age, national origin, marital status, familial status, pregnancy, citizenship, creed genetic information, disability, veteran status, status with regard to public assistance, membership in a local human rights commission, or other categories protected by law, in the administration of its educational policies, admissions policies, financial aid programs, and other school-administered programs. The College adheres to the requirements of Title IX of the 1972 Education Amendments, Sec. 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, and the ADA policy of 1990. The College is authorized under federal law to enroll non-immigrant international students. Concerns regarding Title IX should be directed to the College’s Title IX Officer. Paulette Tonn Booker, 213 Old Main; 1-507-344-7840; ptbooker@blc.edu.

Under normal conditions, students must wait until the third week of each academic semester to request room changes. Students are generally allowed one free room change per academic year. Any additional or unauthorized moves may cost $100 per move.

In situations involving roommate conflict, students are encouraged to work through the issues with their roommate(s). Students may also ask Residential Life staff to provide mediation assistance.

Students must follow the process outlined below to request a room change.

If the request to change rooms is granted, the student must review and sign the appropriate check-in/check-out forms with her/his Res-Life Staff.

Process

Submission of Request: All requests for room changes must be made in writing to the appropriate Resident Manager/Hall Coordinator using the Request for Room Change form available from the Resident Managers.

The Resident Manager will respond to the request within ten days of the Resident Manager's receipt of the Request for Room Change form.

Appeal of Decision: Students whose request for a room change is denied have the right to appeal the decision by filing a formal grievance with the College as outlined by the College's grievance policy and process available from the College's Equal Opportunity Coordinator: Paulette Tonn Booker, 213 Old Main; 344-7840.

Private Rooms

Private rooms may be available for medical reasons and are subject to approval by the Dean of Students. Medical reasons and the need for a private room must be substantiated with documentation from a licensed and practicing physician.

All residential students generally reside with a roommate(s) during their residency on campus.  Private rooms may be available in certain locations by student status (ie. upper division) and as space is available. Contact the Office of Residential Life for more information. The need for a private room for medical reasons must be substantiated with documentation from a licensed and practicing physician. Contact the Dean of Students or the Office of Residential Life for a Housing Accommodation Form to initiate the request process.

Married Housing

Bethany does not generally provide housing for married students.

Care of Residence Halls/Public Spaces

Out of respect for other residents and the campus community, students are expected to help keep the campus and residential halls as neat and clean as possible. Students can help by picking up trash and by cleaning up after themselves in the bathrooms, lounges, laundry rooms, and other spaces. Students should report any repair needs to the Resident Manager of the building.

NOTE: Damage to public areas is the financial responsibility of all students of the pertinent residence hall. If it cannot be determined who is responsible for such damage, sanctions, such as fines, may be assessed to all occupants of the floor or hall.

Room Care and Decorations

Bethany wants all residential students to feel comfortable and at home in the res-halls, and students may decorate their space to make it their own. For the sake of safety, maintenance, cleanliness, and upholding Bethany's moral standards, the following policies have been established to guide students in decorating their space. Failure to adhere to these policies may result in sanctions by the College. Students many direct any questions regarding room care, decorations, or any of the following policies to Res-Life Staff.

  1. All residential students complete a Check-In Form at the time of taking occupancy of their room.  This form is referenced at the time of Check-out to assess for any damages to the room.  Rooms must be restored to their original condition at the end of the year.
  2. For health and safety reasons, students are responsible for the cleanliness of their rooms. Garbage must be routinely removed and dispensed of in the dumpsters outside of each res-hall.
  3. Lounge or study room furniture has been provided for public spaces and may not be used as personal room furniture.  Likewise, college-owned room furniture should remain in individual residential spaces.
  4. Bethany does provide manufactured lofting kits for loftable beds on campus.  Other lofts, platforms, partitions, room dividers, or other structures are not permitted.
  5. Decorations should be affixed with materials that can be easily removed from the wall without causing damage or leaving residue.  Small nails, tacks, and removable tape are allowed. '3-M Command Strips' are prohibited on plaster walls as they tend to peel the paint and plaster.
  6. One (1) refrigerator per resident is permitted (rated no more than 2.5 amps) with a maximum of two (2) per room.
  7. Electrical appliances which generate excessive heat or contain heating elements are not permitted in rooms for fire safety.  Examples include: hot plates, microwaves, space heaters, halogen lamps, popcorn poppers, toaster ovens, and air conditioners.
  8. Electrical appliances that are permitted in Edgewood Place or Gullixson apartments include: microwaves, toasters, electric grills including the George Foreman type, and bread makers.
  9. Bike storage is allowed in rooms and winter bike storage is available in the Gullixson Hall basement storage area.
  10. Drawing and painting are not permitted on the walls, ceilings, desks, etc., including the use of washable markers.
  11. Alcoholic beverage containers or the cartons they come in are prohibited in the residence halls. Similarly, signs, lights, and other materials advertising alcohol are not permitted as decorations in the rooms or in windows.  More information can be found in the Drug and Alcohol Policies of the Student Guidebook.
  12. Public street and road signs are prohibited as decorations.
  13. Flammable materials such as tapestries and parachutes, may not be hung from the ceiling. Any open flame, such as the burning of candles, incense, etc. is prohibited.
  14. Posters which display nudity, are sexually suggestive or explicit, or contain words or material which are contrary to Christian moral standards are prohibited.
  15. Carpeting or rugs are permitted in the rooms, but they may not be attached to the floor in any way.  Rubber or foam backed carpeting is prohibited by City of Mankato fire code.
  16. Natural Christmas trees and trimmings are prohibited; only fire-proof Christmas decorations and U.L. listed fire-retardant Christmas tree lights may be used.
  17. Outlet strips must be U.L. listed and be equipped with a circuit breaker.
  18. Pets, other than fish, are not permitted (10 gallon tank max).  For information related to service animals on campus, please contact the Academic Resource Center or the Dean of Students.
  19. The riding of bikes, scooters, skateboards, roller blades or roller skates inside of campus buildings is prohibited.

Tobacco-Free Buildings and Residences

The use of tobacco in all its forms (including e-cigarettes) is only permitted in designated outdoor tobacco use areas. Use is not permitted inside of any college building. This includes all residential spaces and personal rooms on campus. Please see the complete "Tobacco-Free Buildings" statement found in the Student Services section of the Student Guide for additional information.

Safety Inspections, Entry, and Search

Entry and Safety Inspections
Bethany respects the privacy of students and, as a general rule, will not enter student rooms without invitation. To insure that the rooms are in accord with local health and fire regulations, to enforce the policies of the college, or to protect college property, there are times when periodic inspections of student rooms may take place. The college will notify students when scheduled safety inspections will occur, however, there may be times when inspections are unannounced.

The college reserves the right to enter a room without the consent of students under the following circumstances:

  • When there is a need for improvements or maintenance.
  • When there is concern for the safety, health, or welfare of the students.
  • When a staff member has probable cause to believe that a violation of federal or state laws, or college policies or regulations is occurring or has occurred in the room.
  • When a room inspection or search has been authorized.

Room Search
Room searches will occur when probable cause is believed to exist. Rooms will not be searched unless authorization has been given by the Dean of Students and/or Director of Security Services or Residential Life Staff (or their designees). The search of all rooms on a floor, in a hall or house will be authorized and conducted only when continual or flagrant violations of a college rule or federal, state or other law occur or are suspected. Hall and room searches by local authorities (such as a canine unit) may be conducted by request of the college if there is evidence to suggest the sale, possession, and/or use of illegal drugs.

Residential Hall Security

Residential halls are locked 24 hours a day for resident safety. Students are required to carry their assigned access fob with them to enter the building at any hour.

All visitors or delivery personnel are to be met at the lobby entrance and granted access by the person they are visiting (See Visitation Hours and Visitors and Overnight Guests registration policy). Residential students need to inform guests on how to reach them. Campus security is enhanced when all members of the campus community work together in providing a safe environment.  When passing through a security door, such as the main entrance to a residential hall, do not allow strangers to enter along (such as by ‘tailgating’). Direct guests to contact the resident whom they wish to visit for access to the residence hall. If anyone harasses you for denying them access, contact the Resident Manager or Security immediately. If they have an emergency, again, direct them to call the Residential Hall Manager, Security, or police for assistance.

Tampering with Safety/Security Measures on Campus

Tampering with the various safety and security measures Bethany has provided is prohibited. To enhance security, do not prop open doors, tamper with controlled access points, alarms, security cameras, emergency phones, fire extinguishers, locks, window latches, or remove screens. Tampering may result in conduct sanctions, fines, and/or criminal prosecution. Please "think safety" and immediately notify Campus Security or Residential Life Staff regarding problems, safety concerns, necessary repairs or inappropriate/suspicious behavior. Working together enhances safety for all at Bethany.

Resident Hall Visitation Hours

Visitors and guests are invited to visit their friends on campus. Men are allowed in the women's residence halls and women are allowed in the men's residence halls only during the times known as visitation hours:

  • Monday – Thursday: 5 p.m. – 11 p.m.
  • Friday: 5 p.m. – 12 a.m.
  • Saturday: 12 p.m. – 12 a.m.
  • Sunday: 12 p.m. – 11 p.m.

Policies

  • All guests must sign in/out of the Visitor Log at the RA desk, providing complete information requested.
  • The clock located in the res-hall lobby is used as the official time regarding visitation hours.
  • All off-campus visitors are to adhere to the policies of Bethany Lutheran College and guest privileges may be revoked for uncooperative conduct
  • Students are responsible for the conduct of their guests, including compliance with college policies, property damage, or injury to other students.
  • The College does not permit members of the opposite sex to stay overnight in a residence hall.
  • Visitation hours are subject to modification for special events.

Violating visitation hours and/or failure to properly sign in/out on the Visitor Log may result in sanctions (e.g. possible restrictions, fines, or suspension of privileges) pursuant to the Student Guidebook. Standard sanctions for visitation hour violations have been developed and are as notes on the following chart "Standard Sanctions for Visitation Hour Violations." Visitation Hour sanctions may be modified based on mitigating or other circumstances as appropriate.

Quiet and Courtesy Hours

Quiet Hours: 11 p.m. – 8 a.m.

Bethany is committed to maintaining a residential environment that is comfortable and supports students during their academic pursuits.  Quiet and courtesy hours assist in maintaining that environment.

Courtesy Hours: 24 Hours a Day

Regardless of quiet hours, students are expected to be courteous of other residents at all times. Please respect other students' rights to sleep, study, or not be disturbed. Noise levels must be lowered at the request of a resident staff member or any other student residing in the area. Out of consideration for Bethany's neighbors in the community, stereos may not be directed out of windows.

Bike, and Summer Storage

Bike Storage
Bike storage is allowed in rooms. However, students are encouraged to use the outside bike racks during the warmer seasons. Over the winter months between November and March, students are able to store bikes in the lower level of Gullixson Hall. Contact Gullixson Hall's Resident Manager at 344-7600. Bikes must be clearly tagged. Permission must be received to store bikes over summer.

Summer Storage
Bethany has limited space for the storage of personal belongings. Specific inquiries about renting a storage locker may be directed toward the Business Office. Anything found in the residence halls after the resident completes the check-out form, or is no longer living in residential housing, will be considered college property and may be disposed of in a manner in which the college sees fit without financial liability.  Students are encouraged to protect their belongings with appropriate insurance coverage as Bethany is not responsible for lost, stolen, or damaged property.

Vending and Laundry Machines

Vending and laundry machines are proved by a third party entity for the convenience of our students.  Any loss of money in vending or change machines should be reported to the Business Office for refunds. If laundry machines are not working properly, contact your Resident Manager.

Visitors and Overnight Guests

If guests will be staying overnight, the host must talk to their Resident Assistant and fill out the Overnight Guest Request Form. All guests are expected to abide by the same rules that apply to students and it is the responsibility of the host to ensure that the guest is aware of campus policies. In addition to filing with Res-Life staff, overnight guests are asked to limit their stay to two nights and register their vehicle with a temporary parking permit at the Business Office. The College does not permit members of the opposite sex to stay overnight in a residence hall. 

Vacations and Interim Housing

All residence halls will be closed to visitation when school is not in session. These breaks include Thanksgiving, Christmas, Spring Break, and Easter vacations.

NOTE: During Christmas and Spring Breaks, the res-halls close and residential students must vacate as housing fees do not cover these breaks. Students wishing to stay in the halls during these times because of extenuating circumstances must receive authorization from the Dean of Students or Residential Life Office and are subject to additional lodging charges. Exceptions for students to reside on campus over breaks are extended to students who are part of a college-sponsored activity (i.e., basketball, theatre) or live in on-campus apartments.