Housing Policies

Off-Campus Living Policies

Students wishing to live off-campus must meet at least one of the following requirements:

  • Married
  • Age 21 or older
  • Junior or senior class status (at least 56 credits)
  • Living at home within a 75 mile radius of campus
  • Living with an aunt or uncle who is an employee of Southern Virginia
  • Sophomore living in River Crossing Apartments
  • Parent or legal guardian of a dependent child

Residential Living Policies

The Residential Living Policies apply to all students living in University-owned housing. Southern Virginia students are expected to be familiar with and uphold university standards and policies in order to create a vibrant, safe, and secure living and learning campus community.

The Residential Living Policies are based on the standards of respect for the rights of the individual, the law, property, the university, and the larger community.

Part of being refined, one of the university’s core values, is showing courtesy. When interacting with others, students should show courtesy and consideration, behaving in a manner that demonstrates personal refinement.

When a student occasionally chooses to be at another location overnight, the student should notify their RA (or their AC in the RAs absence) in case of emergency.

Student safety is of paramount importance to Southern Virginia University. In order to ensure that our students are safe students are asked and encouraged to report unsafe conditions such as broken windows, light fixtures, wall sockets, smoke alarms, and missing fire extinguishers to their RA or AC as soon as they become aware.. Because of the risk of fire, students should never have an open flame (including the burning of candles or incense) in campus housing. Halogen lamps, submersible heating coils, hot plates or space heaters are not allowed in university-owned housing (see “Prohibited Items” on this page). Toaster ovens and personal air conditioners may be allowed in apartments, townhomes, and houses, but are not permitted in individual rooms within the residence halls. Overloading electrical wiring can also pose both a fire and a safety hazard. Fire drills, alarms, and related equipment are a part of the university’s fire safety efforts.

To encourage readiness and promote awareness of what to do in care of a fire, fire drills are performed each semester by campus security without prior warning. When a fire alarm sounds, students exit the building calmly and quickly using the routes illustrated on their emergency evacuation plan (posted on or near the front door of their residence). Due to the nature of student schedules, “roll call” will not be conducted during a fire drill, however, in a real fire emergency roll call will occur. If a student is aware of the absence of someone they knew to be in the building this should be reported to their RA, AC, or to an university official immediately.

Fire extinguishers are located in all campus kitchens and residence halls. Questions or concerns about fire safety or use of fire extinguishers can be directed to Campus Security.

Students should activate alarms and fire-related equipment only in actual emergencies. The following actions are considered contrary to the university’s standards of conduct:

  • Failure to evacuate when a fire alarm is sounded
  • Inappropriate activation of any emergency warning equipment
  • False reporting of any emergency
  • Removal, damage, or tampering with fire safety or other emergency warning equipment

Director of Housing: The director of housing has responsibility to oversee and assist in the implementation of Southern Virginia’s housing plan for all on-campus and off-campus housing.

Area Coordinator: An Area Coordinator (AC) is given responsibility for specific university owned residential living units in a designated area and they oversee resident advisors (RAs) living in that area. They work to ensure a positive and safe living and learning community.

Resident Advisor (RA): Resident advisors reside in assigned university owned housing. Resident advisors assist Area Coordinators (ACs) in their responsibilities.

Security Officer(s): The Southern Virginia University security officer assists with providing a safe and secure living environment for university students. He/she is provides input on evacuation plans and assists with regular “fire drills” as appropriate in coordination with the director of housing and the director of physical facilities. He/she works closely with local law enforcement agencies in addressing concerns involving student conduct off campus.

Students that live on campus are asked to pay a $250 security deposit, called a housing deposit, prior to moving into university housing. The deposit is held in reserve by the university until the student moves off campus at which time the student, assuming no damage to the unit has occurred, may have it returned to them.

Once paid, a housing deposit for a prospective student is refundable if the student notifies the university that they will not require on-campus housing prior to the refund deadline. (May 1st for fall semester and December 1st for spring semester). Notifying the university typically requires that the student e-mail their admissions advisor, or informs the housing department in writing via email at housing@svu.edu that they will not be living on campus or attending the university. Returning students should notify the housing office via email that they would like their deposit refunded prior to July 1st for fall semester and December 1st for spring semester.

Students having already begun occupancy of a room that leave before the end of a semester may not receive their deposit unless they find an individual not currently living on campus to move into their spot. All students must properly check out of their room with their resident advisor.

All students are invited and encouraged to live in university owned housing, especially those that are under the age of 21 or have earned less than 56 credit hours.. However, there are situations where living off-campus may be in the best interests of a student. They are as follows:

  • The student is married
  • The student is twenty-one years of age or older
  • The student has earned at least 56 credit hours
  • The student is living at home within a 75 mile radius of campus
  • Sophomore living in the River Crossing Apartments
  • The student is the parent or legal guardian of a dependent child

Keys are issued to students during the check-in process. Students should always know where their key is located. It is strongly encouraged for students to remain in possession of their key and not to lend it to others. However, in the event that a key is lost, the student should report it to their resident advisor as soon as possible. Key replacement comes with a $25 key replacement fee. If, when a student checks out of their room, they are unable to or choose not to return their key, the same key replacement fee will apply.

Duplication of university keys is prohibited.

Visitors to campus are welcomed and encouraged. Members of the campus community are encouraged to visit and socialize with one another. When that socialization takes place in university owned housing, out of respect for the residents, the following is expected whether or not both parties are students: members of the opposite gender do not enter bedrooms and members of the same gender enter only upon invitation of the room’s occupant and observance of the university’s standards of conduct.

With prior agreement from all roommates, and proper notification to the RA (this is done using the overnight visitor form found on MySVU prior to the guest arriving on campus), students may occasionally host guests of the same gender in their room who are at least 16 years of age. It is recommended that guests generally stay no longer than two nights, however, guests should not stay more than seven nights,.If the guest’s presence in any way disrupts the campus environment they may be asked to leave. Guests are the responsibility of the host student and are expected to observe the university’s standards of conduct.

Parents, and siblings younger than 16 years of age, should not stay in campus housing. Hotels are available in Buena Vista and Lexington for those needing accommodations.

Pets are not permitted in on-campus residential living units. Should an animal be discovered to be present in university owned housing the student will be expected to remove the animal promptly. Any repairs to university property that may be required due to the animal’s presence on campus, including cleaning, will be the financial responsibility of the student whose animal it was.

Service animals and emotional support animals are permitted on campus and in university owned housing as dictated by law. Students requiring a service animal or emotional support animal should notify the director of housing that the animal will be accompanying them and provide documentation. All documentation submitted must be current and conducted by a qualified professional in the area of the disability with knowledge of the person’s disability and need for an accommodation. All costs associated with the testing and/or medical evaluations will be paid for by the individual.

The director of housing and their agents, security officers, and the director of physical facilities and their agents are authorized to enter university owned residential living units as deemed necessary for the following official reasons: to make needed repairs, for health and safety inspections, to show the room/apartment to a prospective tenant, and in case of an emergency or perceived emergency.

Every effort will be made to respect tenant privacy. This means that the individual will knock before entry and that a reasonable attempt will be made to schedule visits at a reasonable hour when tenants are home whenever possible. An individual’s personal items may be secured and removed from the unit for the following reasons: an emergency, the individual is not authorized to be in Southern Virginia housing, there exists the potential for damage to an individual or the property or the item presents a safety hazard, and in the case of suspected illegal activities..

There is a very limited number of private rooms that are available to residents. Receiving a private room is contingent on availability, the student’s class standing, and payment of the private room fee. Returning students will be given preference when assigning private rooms. Private rooms are defined as rooms that are configured for only one occupant.

Students who, through circumstance, end up living in a room by themselves that is configured for more than one person are not considered to be living in a private room. Individuals in this situation should be aware that other students may move into the room with them at a later time.Unless an individual is paying the private room rate, the student is not guaranteed a private room.

For the safety of all, the following items are prohibited on university-owned housing properties:

In the Residence Halls:
  • BBQ
  • Candles
  • Hot plates
  • Lighter Fluid
  • Non-grounded extension cords
  • Non-protected multi-plug adapters
  • Toaster ovens
  • Wax melting devices(i.e. scentsy or candle warmers)
  • Weapons (including Knives with a blade longer than 4”, Taser, stun guns)
In the Apartments:
  • Candles
  • Non-grounded extension cords
  • Non-protected multi-plug adapters
  • Wax melting devices (i.e. scentsy or candle warmers)
  • Weapons (including Knives with a blade longer than 4”, Taser, stun guns)

When a student arrives on campus at the beginning of a term they should “check-in” to their room with their resident advisor or area coordinator. This involves a thorough evaluation of the condition of the room prior to the student moving in along with an overview of general policies and safety procedures for the building in which the student will reside. Keys are also issued at this point. The student then assumes responsibility for their key and their room and recommits to abiding by the Standards of Conduct and residential living policies.

Questions about the check in process should be emailed to housing@svu.edu.

At the conclusion of a student’s occupancy of their room (when they move out of their room), students check out of their room with their resident advisor or area coordinator This check out should be completed prior to leaving campus. The checkout process involves a thorough inspection of the condition of the room as compared to when the resident checked-in to the room. All personal belongings should be removed prior to check-out and the room/unit cleaned and returned to the condition it was when the resident checked in. Students are strongly encouraged to follow the checkout cleaning checklist to return the unit to its pre-occupancy condition Key(s) issued to the student are returned to the resident advisor or area coordinator checking them out. At check out, any damages that may have occurred and cleaning that was not performed will be evaluated and submitted to the physical facilities department for a cost assessment. The student is responsible for these costs.

Items left in residential living units after check-out without prior storage arrangements immediately become the property of Southern Virginia University to be discarded, utilized, or sold.

Students residing in on-campus facilities are expected to check out no later than 6:00 p.m. on the day following the last day of final exams for the fall and summer terms and the day after commencement for the spring term.

Quiet hours are a designated period of time during which students may expect relative quiet from surrounding rooms, lobbies, and hallways. This time is provided to allow for an uninterrupted night’s rest and study and reflection. Campus wide quiet hours are as follows, however, specific living areas may adapt these hours based on the unique needs and desires within that living community.

Monday – Saturday: 11 p.m. – 7 a.m.
Sunday: 24 hours a day
Finals Week: 24 hours a day

When a student wishes to change rooms they should share their desire with their RA. If, after discussing their desire to move with their RA, they still would like to do so the student will submit a room change request (available on MySVU). Room changes are approved by the area coordinator of the area the student wishes to move to and the area coordinator of the area that the student currently lives in. Room changes are reviewed by the director of housing.All room changes are subject to room availability and roommate compatibility. At the beginning of a term students that wish to change rooms are asked to allow sufficient time for all students to arrive on campus and check in to housing before requesting a room change (typically this is the end of the first week of classes).

Students changing rooms go through the normal check-out and check-in procedures with their RAs or ACs.

One of the expectations the university has of students living in university owned housing is that they will maintain their rooms and homes so that they are clean and tidy, both inside and out. Doing so maintains a physically healthy environment for the student, ensures the proper maintenance of student living accommodations, prevents potential damage to the unit from occurring, and extends the life of campus facilities.

In university owned housing, resident advisors perform health and safety checks on a regular basis but may be done more frequently if requested or needed. These checks are opportunities for the resident advisor to teach students about recommended cleaning methods, provide suggestions on proper care of the unit, check for maintenance and other facility concerns, and answer questions about the fire code and other health and safety guidelines.

On campus security is provided by Synergy Security. An officer is on duty and available to assist students twenty-four hours a day and to respond to any safety or security needs that may arise.

Campus security is the responsibility of every member of the campus community. Each student should secure his/her personal valuables at all times. Rooms, apartments, townhomes, and houses should be locked when occupants are not there. Everyone should report suspicious persons, activities, or other circumstances to security and their RA or AC or to some other appropriate campus authority (director of housing, dean of students, etc.).