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Residential Life Handbook 

Community Standards and Polices 

In addition to Student Living and Residential Life standards and policies, students living on campus must be familiar with and abide by Florida Poly’s Student Code of Conduct.

The Department of Residential Life takes seriously the illegal use and abuse of alcohol and chemical substances. This includes the use by individuals either under the legal age or in an inappropriate manner, illegal drugs, including marijuana, and inappropriate use of prescription medications. As an educational institution, we place a great deal of responsibility on students who are of legal age to make responsible decisions about alcohol consumption. College students also have a great deal of independence. However, with independence comes responsibility. 

The responsible student will:

  • Make an informed decision about alcohol consumption.
  • Know, understand, and conform to federal, state, and local laws, and adhere to Florida Poly policies regarding alcohol and/or other drug use.
  • Assume accountability for one’s behavior and accept the consequences for all actions.
  • Assume accountability for one’s guests and accept the consequences for all actions.
  • Not make alcohol and/or other drugs the main focus in their activities. Utilizing alcohol and/or other drugs just to consume or get intoxicated is not responsible use.
  • Not pressure other students to utilize alcohol and/or other drugs, whether directly or indirectly.
  • Not pressure other students to engage in sexual activity when either or both of them have utilized alcohol and/or other drugs.
  • Not behave in a way that is disruptive or otherwise harmful to self or others, including times when this behavior is related to alcohol and/or other drug use.
  • Show care and concern for students who use alcohol or drugs in a manner damaging to themselves or the community, and refer students to the Department of Residential Life, CARE Services or Counseling Service, or any faculty or staff member for additional assistance.

Alcoholic beverages may not, in any circumstance, be used by, possessed by, or distributed to any person under 21 years of age. In units/suites where not all residents are 21, students who are 21 may keep alcohol in their assigned rooms (A, B, C, D); however, alcohol may not be consumed in or kept in any common area fridges or cabinets. Peer pressure to use alcohol will not be tolerated. When in possession of or utilizing alcohol, no students under the legal drinking age may be present; in this situation, all students present are at risk of violating the alcohol policy. Residence Life staff has discretion to determine what constitutes responsible personal use by persons of legal drinking age.

Students should note that the possession of alcoholic beverage containers, either full or empty, may be taken as a presumption of use and possession, and as such, may be considered policy violations. Students may also be held accountable for policy violations, even if they do not have actual possession of alcohol, when they are present at alcohol-related events; commit other policy violations while intoxicated; or are in possession of alcohol or illegal substances. 

Use, possession, manufacturing, selling or distribution of marijuana, heroin, narcotics, or other controlled substances, is prohibited except as expressly permitted by law. This includes the misuse of prescription drugs, paraphernalia used for drugs (e.g., bongs, glass pipes, etc.) and the un-prescribed use, inhalation, or ingestion of a substance (e.g., nitrous oxide, glue, paint, etc.) that could alter a person’s mental state. Florida Poly is a federally-funded institution, which mean it is illegal to possess, store, or utilize marijuana on Florida Poly’s premises – even if the student possesses a medical marijuana identification card.

For more information regarding Florida Poly’s Alcohol and Drug policies, please review the Student Code of Conduct. Information regarding alcohol and drug policies may also be found in your lease agreement.

Students are expected to exhibit appropriate behavior within the community of the residence halls. Inappropriate behavior includes any activity that disrupts, endangers, or interferes with the educational environment of the residence hall community. Residential Life staff have discretion to determine what constitutes inappropriate behavior.

Students may store their bikes in their unit/suite or room as long as they are not dirty, do not cause a fire hazard, and do not inconvenience other residents. Hanging bikes from the ceiling or fire sprinkler pipes is prohibited. The only proper place to store a bike is a bike rack or bedroom. Do not lock bikes to trees, signs, stair rails, etc. Bike racks are provided outside the residence halls and around campus for your convenience.

The burning of incense, candles, or any similar item (e.g., candle warmer) is prohibited in the residence halls.

It is the resident’s responsibility to keep their unit/suite and room clean at all times. It is also the resident’s responsibility to purchase their own cleaning supplies (e.g., vacuums, brooms, wipes/sprays, etc.) to maintain the cleanliness of their unit/suite and room.

Personal hygiene is very important in a close community environment. Residents are responsible for cleaning up any mess made in the common area kitchens or other common areas. 

All trash and garbage must be placed in the trash chute located on each floor in each building. Residents need to place trash inside of trash chute door, not in the surrounding area. No trash should be left in the units/suites or room, common areas, hallways, or similar areas. There will be a reasonable charge of $25 per item/bag for violation of this provision. Large cardboard boxes that will not fit in the trash chute should be placed inside the trash room for disposal. Please work with us to keep our community and halls beautiful!

Students living on campus must maintain a minimum of one credit hour in order to live on campus. Residents who fall below this requirement or are no longer taking courses at Florida Poly will be required to move out of the residence halls.

 

The lounges and study spaces in the residence halls are for the enjoyment of all residents. Please use common sense and courtesy in your use of the lounges. Specifically:

  • No altering of common spaces (e.g., adding, removing, permanent rearranging).
  • TVs must be kept at a reasonable volume to respect the other members of your community.
  • Loud or disruptive behavior will not be tolerated.
  • Clean up any mess that you make and return furniture to its original setting.
  • Respect the rights of others.
  • No sleeping in the lounges.
  • When using common area kitchens thoroughly clean up after yourself for health and safety reasons. All refrigerators are routinely cleaned out for health reasons, so please label any food items with your name and a date.

Due to COVID-19, common areas, lounges, kitchens, and study spaces may be closed, or furniture will be removed to promote social and physical distancing within the residence halls during the 2020-21 academic year.

Damages occurring in the public areas of the residence halls are charged to the individual or group responsible when that can be determined. When this is not possible, all residents of the hall or floor will be collectively responsible for the costs involved. "Common Damage" bills are assessed to student accounts at the end of each semester. "Common Damage" is defined as damages occurring in common space areas, and those areas accessible to all the community, including but not limited to stairwells, hallways, lobbies, study spaces, and hospitality areas.

 

Residents are encouraged to personalize their assigned space. Please observe the following guidelines regarding decorations:

  • All decorations should be hung on walls in student rooms with minimal damage. Double-sided tape, duct tape, sticky tack, 3M Command strips, and other materials that damage the walls, are prohibited. Small finishing nails and thumbtacks may be used to display pictures but must be kept to a maximum of eight per room within the unit/suite.
  • Painting and wallpapering of any nature is strictly prohibited in your lease.
  • Mirrors are not to be affixed to the walls, doors or any part of the premises and resident will be charged for the removal of such.
  • Dartboards are not permitted on the premises.
  • Hanging items from the doors (bathroom caddies, pull-up bars, etc.) will cause damage to the door and/or frame and will require a charge at the end of the year.
  • Materials posted in students’ room must be made with roommate(s) consent.
Materials posted in students’ room cannot be affixed to either side of the window due to fire and safety concerns, and potential for damage to the window.

All students must always wear upper and lower garments and shoes or sandals in all interior public common areas of the residence halls. This includes but is not limited to stairwells, hallways, lobbies, study spaces, and hospitality areas. The pool area, defined as the fenced in area around the pool, has an amended dress code. Please refer to the Pool Addendum in your lease agreement for more information.

The following appliances are approved for use in resident units/suites and rooms:

  • Small electrical appliances that are Underwriters Laboratories (UL) approved. Examples include radios, stereos, clocks, desk laps, TVS, DVD players, gaming systems, personal grooming items, slow cookers, rice cookers, hot-air popcorn poppers, air fryers, fans, teapots, coffeemakers (with automatic shut-off), compact microwaves, compact refrigerators (mini-fridge), and personal computers.

The following appliances are not permitted to be stored or used in resident units/suites or rooms per fire code:

  • All open heating element devices, including but not limited to toasters, camp stoves, range-top burners, hot plates, toaster ovens, and personal grills (e.g., panini maker, George Foreman grills, table-top grills, etc.).
  • Any lamp or appliance that uses halogen lights of any kind.

Cooking in units/suites and rooms is limited to approved and provided appliances only. All other cooking must be performed in the designated common kitchen areas, using the existing appliances in those areas. Due to COVID-19, some common area kitchens may be closed throughout the 2020-21 academic year.

We do not allow 3D printers or any other engineering-based equipment in the residence halls, as this equipment is considered a fire hazard and requires proper safety training to operate. There are several labs around campus that students can use for all printing and engineering work and project needs.

Residents must not tamper with or ride the top of any elevator at any time. Passengers must maintain orderly conduct. This also includes not utilizing alarm buttons in the elevator for anything but their intended purpose.

Due to COVID-19, a maximum of two individuals at a time are allowed per elevator ride. There will be markings on the ground in each elevator car indicating where individuals are to stand. 

In the event of a fire or any emergency, please dial 911 immediately. For any fire emergency evacuate the building immediately.

Fire drills must be performed once per semester. This is a scheduled drill, run by all building staff members. Prior notice will not be given to all residents. Fire drills are conducted once a semester to familiarize students with emergency evacuation procedures. All residents must evacuate immediately. Residence hall staff members will enter rooms to ensure cooperation. Tampering with fire equipment (e.g., smoke detectors, fire extinguishers, fire pull stations, etc.) or failure to evacuate will result in a fine and may result in termination of the lease contract. Students needing special assistance during fire alarms or emergencies are requested to notify the Department of Residential Life at the beginning of the academic year.

State and local laws pertaining to tampering with fire safety may incur fines. Students found to be responsible for the violation may be responsible for any fines. Students are responsible for restitution of any damage to personal property, facilities, or grounds owned by VC FPU HOUSING I LTD and VC FPU HOUSING II LTD.

Flammable liquids, flammable vapors, and other dangerous substances, as well as any containers holding (storing) such substances, constitute a serious danger and are prohibited in the residence halls. Reasonable provision will be made for aerosol hairsprays, deodorants, and such, but these are potentially hazardous and should not be stored in the halls in large quantities.

Sports activities inside the residence halls are not permitted. This includes, but is not limited to, Frisbee, football, soccer, volleyball, baseball, golf, rollerblading, having water fights, bicycle riding, rough housing, and playing pranks that may affect the safety and security of community members.

Student Living is committed to respecting the student’s right to privacy. However, Student Living also reserves the right to enter rooms in order to perform required maintenance, determine the condition of the property, investigate suspected violations of Florida Poly and Student Living rules and policies, and to maintain the health and safety of all students.

To ensure that the residence halls remain well maintained, Student Living and Residential Life have the right to perform unit/suite and room inspections each semester, including during vacation/break periods. 

Per your lease agreement, Student Living, Residential Life, or any such serviceman may enter your unit/suite and room by key, leaving notices, at reasonable times for the purposes of maintenance work or inspections, repairs, extermination, emergency, or safety and fire inspections. Student Living or Residential Life will notify you of these inspections the best we can via email or flyer notices to your unit/suite entry door prior to the date of inspection. Please be aware that Student Living and Residential Life will be entering your unit/suite or room periodically and appointments are NOT necessary. Residential Life reserves the right to remove any object or material from a unit/room that would violate Florida Poly’s Student Code of Conduct, lease agreement, or Residential Life policies.

 

If a student fails a Health and Safety Inspection, the student must correct the issue within 48 hours and continuously maintain compliance from then on. Conduct action may be taken with any student(s) found in possession/non-compliance with such items or requests to fix, including but not limited to Health and Safety violations (cleanliness, etc.) and policy violations.

On your move-in day, you will be given a key for your bedroom and mailbox. All keys are non-transferable, and disciplinary action will be taken if a key is loaned out or duplicated. All keys must be returned during Spring move-out (unless you are graduating and moving out during the Fall semester, or if you are moving out during a non-traditional move-out period). Tampering with, or removal of locks, doors, or hardware related to such is strictly prohibited. If any key is lost or stolen, a new key must be obtained through Student Living, and you must notify Student Living immediately regarding your lost or stolen key. In order to maintain security, your lock must be changed. There is a $15 charge to replace the bedroom and mailbox key, and there is a $35 fee for lock changes. 

On your move-in day, you may also be given your Florida Poly ID card (for new students only; returning students will already have been given their Florida Poly ID card). Both residence hall exterior doors and unit entry doors are secured with Florida Poly ID card access. If you have an issue with your ID card access, visit the Residential Life front desk in Residence Hall 2. If you have lost or have broken your ID card you will need to visit the Auxiliary Enterprises Service Center, located in the Wellness Center, for a replacement. There is a $15 charge to replace lost ID cards.

A noxious odor is any aroma of such intensity that it becomes apparent to others. Any odor can become noxious or offensive when it is too strong. Some examples are perfume, trash, dirty laundry, or the smell of cigarette smoke. When a noxious odor can be localized to a room, the resident(s) and/or guests of that room may be required to meet with a Residential Life professional staff member.

Student Living, Residential Life, and Florida Poly are not responsible for, nor do they insure, the student’s personal property.

We strongly recommend that you contact an insurance agent to purchase Apartment Dwellers Insurance to cover your personal belongings against fire, burglary, and water damage, as well as personal liability. If you are a legal dependent of a parent or guardian, you may be covered under that person's homeowner’s insurance. Your parent or guardian should check with their insurance carrier to determine this.

Residents shall not permit any pet or animal, without prior written consent from the Office of Disability Services, Residential Life, and Student Living, to be anywhere in the premises. If residents are found to have a pet or animal in the premises at any time, for any length of time, without written consent, the resident will automatically be charged a $100 pet fine per day, per pet or animal, per occurrence and the pet or animal must be removed immediately. Residents will be subject to eviction if a non-approved pet or animal is not removed from the premises. Residents are responsible for any damages to carpet, furniture, and overall premises and any necessary pest control service as a result of a pet/animal.

If you need an accommodation relating to your housing on campus, please contact the Office of Disability Services to begin the process. Once your intake has been completed and approved by the Office of Disability Services, you will begin working with Residential Life regarding you housing need(s).

Swimming in the residence hall pool is limited to residents and their guest(s). There is no lifeguard on duty at any time and swimming is at each person’s own risk. Pool use hours are 8 a.m. to dusk each day, except during Residential Life sponsored events*. No diving, glass containers, or unruly behavior is allowed in the confines of the pool. All pool furniture must remain in the pool area. No sexual acts are allowed in or around the pool area, and residents are not allowed to enter the pool area after hours and when the pool area is closed. All Student Living, Residential Life, and Florida Poly Student Code of Conduct policies are always in effect while at and in the pool area. Portable swimming pools are prohibited in all residence halls, units, and rooms.

* Pool hours will be adjusted and changed during the 2020-21 academic year due to COVID-19. The pool will ONLY be open during business hours (when the Student Living office is open). Pool furniture will be arranged and removed to ensure social and physical distancing is followed. 

All marketing materials (e.g., flyers, posters, bulletins, or anything conveying information) intended for public posting in the residence halls must be approved through the Department of Residential Life, located at the front desk in Residence Hall 2. Resident assistants (RAs) will post marketing materials on their hall bulletin boards and TV displays. Residential Life has the right to not approve or to remove displayed items at any point in time.

The following items are prohibited in the residence halls:

  • Firearms (including, but not limited to, handguns, rifles, pellet guns, BB guns, etc.)
  • Any weapons (including, but not limited to, swords, bow and arrows, balloon slingshots, martial arts weapons, hunting knives, etc.)
  • Dartboards and darts
  • Fireworks or other explosives
  • Candles or incense
  • Animals/pets (unless approved by the Office of Disability Services, the Department of Residential Life, and Student Living)
  • Any open-heating element appliances (including, but not limited to, countertop burners/stoves, barbecue grills, George Foreman-type grills, toaster ovens, etc.)
  • Kitchen stove/range
  • Washer/dryer
  • Internet/Wi-Fi routers
Lofts of any kind

Quiet hours are in effect Sunday – Thursday from 10 p.m. to 10 a.m. and Friday and Saturday from 1 a.m. to 10 a.m., unless otherwise determined by Residential Life. During the quiet hour period, TVs, stereos, voices, etc. must be lowered until inaudible in neighboring units/rooms and hallways. Furthermore, residents will refrain from loud and discourteous behavior in the hallways, stairwells, bathrooms, lounges, lobbies, and any common area in or around (outside) of the residence halls.

Courtesy hours are in effect 24 hours a day. Excessive loud disturbing noise or behavior at any time during the day or night will not be tolerated. Please be courteous and respectful to the needs of your fellow residents.

During the last week of classes and final exam week each semester, quiet hours will be in effect 24 hours a day. These hours will be posted, and violations of these quiet hours may result disciplinary action. These hours extend to the pool area as well.

Students are not permitted on the residence hall roofs, canopies, on top of elevators, or any other designated areas deemed unsafe by Residential Life and Student Living staff at any point in time.

Upon move-out, residents are responsible for any damage(s) they do not list – and that occur during their occupancy of the space – on their unit/room condition report they receive when they arrive to move-in. Once your unit/room condition report is completed, when you move in, please give it to your resident assistant (RA). Unit/room condition reports will remain on file with Student Living throughout the academic year.

All furniture must be in their original locations, as they were found when the student moved in, upon move-out*. Constructing homemade or store-bought lofts are not permitted in the residence halls. All Student Living-provided furniture and furnishing must remain within its designated space. Closet doors are not to be removed. 

* Due to COVID-19, lofting beds will not be permitted during the 2020-21 academic year. Also, furniture will be arranged in such a way, in rooms, to promote social and physical distancing; residents are not permitted to rearrange furniture in their unit or room during the 2020-21 academic year.

Students are responsible for their living environment. This includes monitoring who is following them into a residential area. Each student entering or leaving a residence hall should ensure that entrances are secured and locked to prevent unauthorized entry. Unauthorized entry includes holding a door for someone who does not live in your residence hall. Students allowing non-residents to enter a residence hall will be held liable for any damages or disruptions caused from unauthorized entrants.

Maintaining a campus free from sexual misconduct is important to the Florida Poly community. The University is committed to fostering an environment that promotes prompt reporting of all types of sexual misconduct, prohibits retaliation, and provides options for resolution that is timely and fair for all complaints.

Florida Poly does not discriminate on the basis of sex in its educational programs and activities. Title IX of the Higher Educations Amendments of 1972, 20 USC 1681 et seq., a Federal civil rights law, prohibits such discrimination and sexual harassment, including sexual assault, dating violence, domestic violence, and stalking.

To be considered under the jurisdiction of Title IX jurisdiction, the alleged sexual harassment must have occurred to the person participating or attempting to participate in the University’s education program or activity within the United States.

  • Education program or activity includes locations, events, or circumstances over which the University has exercised substantial control.
  • The University must have jurisdiction over the respondent and the complainant during the time of reporting, this includes both students and employees.

 

Even if an allegation falls outside of the Title IX jurisdiction, the University may move forward following the process outlined in University policy:

Reporting:

Any member of the University community may submit a report or by disclosing to a University employee (faculty, staff, resident assistants, and university police). Any member of the University community may seek guidance, resources, or file a complaint, in accordance with this policy, by contacting:

Michelle Disson

Title IX Coordinator

4700 Research Way, ASC East, Lakeland, FL 33805

titleixcoordinator@floridapoly.edu

863-874-8484

http://floridapoly.edu/report

 

Confidential Employees:

Employees, vendors, and contractors working in counseling services, medical services, and the University Ombudsperson. These resources do not have to report any disclosure of sexual misconduct to the Title IX coordinator. 

Resources:

  • Supportive measures offered to students are non-disciplinary, non-punitive individualized services offered as appropriate and as reasonably available. (e.g., academic assistance, housing assistance, No Contact Orders, safe ride/walk).
  • Counseling Services – on- and off-campus counseling available by reaching out to care@floridapoly.edu or call BayCare’s Student Assistance Program 24/7 at 800-878-5906.
  • Peace River Center – local crisis center that offers victim services, counseling, advocacy, and legal assistance.

For more information, visit the Title IX webpage and related University Policies.

Smoking is defined by inhaling, exhaling, burning, carrying, or possessing any lighted tobacco product. This

includes cigars, cigarettes, cigarillos, pipes, bidis, and hookahs. Tobacco products means all forms of tobacco, including but not limited to cigarettes, cigars, pipes, hookahs, electronic cigarettes, and all forms of smokeless tobacco.

According to FPU-1.0035P Smoking and Tobacco Use on University Campus, smoking is prohibited on University premises, including in and about the residence halls, except in designated smoking areas or as permitted by prior University approval. The use of smokeless tobacco and electronic cigarettes is prohibited in University buildings; smokeless tobacco and electronic cigarettes may be used in any outside area. The sale of tobacco products is prohibited on the University premises. University premises is all land, buildings, facilities on the University main campus, including adjacent streets and sidewalks.

Designated smoking areas are areas designated by the University where smoking is permitted. All designated smoking areas will be marked with visible signs. Smoking is only permitted within 20 feet of the signs.

Any student who repeatedly refuses to abide by the policy may have committed misconduct as defined in the Student Code of Conduct and be subject to sanctions as described in the Student Code of Conduct.

 

Per the Lease Contract, “students are responsible for payment of all costs and damages to your dwelling, other residents’ dwellings, or any other portion of the apartment community for repair, replacement, or cleaning due to smoking or smoke related damage caused by you or your occupants, family, guests, or invitees, regardless of whether such use was a violation of this Addendum. Any costs or damages we incur related to repairs, replacement, and cleaning due to your smoking or due to your violation of the no-smoking provisions of the Lease Contract are in excess of normal wear and tear. Smoke-related damage, including but not limited to, the smell of smoke, vapor, or any other byproduct of the referenced products, which permeates sheetrock, carpeting, wood, insulation, or other components of the dwelling or building is in excess of normal wear and tear in our smoke-free apartment community.”

Recognized clubs, organizations, and Florida Poly affiliate departments and offices are the only groups authorized to solicit in the residence hall. Solicitation is not permitted in the residence hall without prior written authorization from the Department of Residential Life. Please contact the resident assistant (RA) on-call or University Police Department if solicitors do not leave the building.

Please review Florida Poly’s Commercial Solicitation on University Property policy for more information.

Students may have overnight guests with prior authorization from the roommate/suitemates and the person whose bed might be used. Guests and visitors will not be allowed in a room unless all occupants in that unit/room agree. Students should inform their resident assistant (RA) when they plan to have overnight guests. All guests are subject to University regulations and residence hall polices. Students are responsible for the actions of their guest(s), including financial responsibilities from damages. In addition, guests should always be accompanied by the residential student hosting the guest.

Guests are permitted to stay no more than three consecutive days in a seven-day period. Guests are limited to three total days a semester.

Please note, COVID-19 may impact this policy for the 2020-21 school year. If this policy changes, Residential Life and Student Living will properly inform students who live on campus.

Per Florida Poly’s Student Code of Conduct, illegal or unauthorized possession of firearms, explosives, weapons, or dangerous chemicals on University property, or use of any such item, even if legally possessed, in a manner that harms or threatens others, is prohibited.

The following items are not permitted in the residence halls:

  • Firearms (including, but not limited to, handguns, rifles, pellet guns, BB guns, etc.)
  • Any weapons (including, but not limited to, swords, bow and arrows, balloon slingshots, martial arts weapons, hunting knives, etc.)
  • Fireworks or other explosives

Throwing of any object from a window is prohibited, and no one can climb on roofs or ledges. Tampering with the windows and forcing them open further than permitted may cause undue damaged to the building and could result in charges. Additionally, window decorations are not permitted other than of blinds and curtains. Students will be asked to remove items posted in the window or items that can be readily seen from the exterior of the building by a casual observer.