Residence Life Community Guidelines
At Westmont College we value healthy community, shaped and formed by shared commitment and mutuality. In order to move towards positive communal experiences, we’ve developed a set of guidelines for relating to each other and our work: the Student Handbook. We see this document not as merely restrictive, but rather an invitation to shared experience and life together–like different acquaintances gathering around a table. A table is a place of both physical nourishment and relational space for connecting with each other. As you enter Westmont’s Residence Life experience, you are invited to a space of nourishment and connection, to know and be known.
Our Student Handbook and Community Life Statements create the borders of our table. We invite you to read our Student Handbook and imagine with us what kinds of positive community experiences we can create together.
Residence Life Policies 2020-2021
Westmont reserves the right to have authorized personnel enter any unit or room for the purpose of inspection, repairs or other official business. Authorized personnel may also enter rooms when they have reasonable grounds to believe that the well-being or safety of the occupants of the building are in jeopardy or a college policy is being violated. During vacation periods, public safety personnel may make safety inspections.
Students are not permitted to install or use portable air conditioner units (neither window units nor portable units requiring venting through the window) in their residence hall rooms. Students may bring fans to help cool their rooms. Students are also permitted to use small portable evaporative coolers that do not exceed 1.0 amperage. These units are not recommended as they work best in dry/arid conditions. Residents will be responsible for any water damage that results from the use or operation of evaporative coolers.
For safety and aesthetic considerations, the residence hall lounges and Kerr Student Center, dining commons and the Ocean View Apartments are the only locations where cable television, antenna and satellite services are provided and permitted. Students are not permitted to connect to existing cable lines or add their own.
You may use hot-air corn poppers which do not use oil and hot pots that do not have exposed heating coils in your room. Residence halls have kitchens for occasional, recreational cooking. The students in each residence hall are responsible to keep their kitchens clean, as Westmont does not provide regular cleaning service for them. Fire and safety regulations prohibit the use of appliances with exposed heating coils, microwave ovens and toaster ovens in student rooms.
Due to Westmont being located in a high fire region, students may not use personal bbqs in the vicinity of the college (including the hills behind the campus). Students may arrange to use the residence hall bbq with the resident director. Students may keep personal bbqs in their rooms (for use off campus–beach, etc.) but may not keep any fuel in their room.
Since earthquakes occur in the Santa Barbara area, you should exercise care in the arrangement of furniture in your room. Although Westmont allows creative furniture arrangements, the college discourages anything that could be a safety hazard for room occupants. Please contact your resident director for approval of any unusual furniture arrangements. Your resident director may be able to furnish some additional college-owned bed frames, depending upon availability.
Bicycles brought to campus must be registered with residence life during residence hall check-in. If a bicycle is brought to campus after check-in it must be registered with your resident director.
Bicycles should be in individual rooms or locked in the bicycle racks near the residence halls, and not in hallways, lounges, entry ways, storage rooms, or planters. To prevent damage and theft, you should store your bicycle in your room during extended breaks.
Westmont offers no bicycle storage for the summer months. Therefore, all bicycles must be removed from campus at the end of the academic year. Any owners who leave their bicycle after the closure of the residence halls will be notified to claim and retrieve their bicycle within 90 days of notice. Bicycles not retrieved within 90 days will be disposed. Unregistered bicycles left after the closure of the residence halls will be tagged for removal. Any tagged bicycles remaining past 90 days will be disposed of (Mopeds left on campus will be towed and stored as per county guidelines at the expense of the owner/operator).
Bicyclists are expected to abide by all California bicyclist laws and are encouraged to use campus roads when riding through campus. If bicyclists choose to ride on pathways, they are expected to use common bicycle etiquette (e.g., riding cautiously and giving the right-of-way to pedestrians).
If you live in a campus residence hall, you must participate in the meal plan (exceptions include residents of Ocean View Apartments and the Global Leadership Center). If you do not live on campus, you may enroll in the meal plan through the Housing Office. You may also purchase discounted Munch Money on your ID card from the cashier for food in the dining commons.
In order to keep your sleeping surface below the wall-mounted smoke detector and prevent injury or damage from striking the ceiling, your mattress should be 36 inches from the ceiling. Your resident director has bunk bed connectors, and he/she must approve any trading of beds between rooms.
Safety codes prohibit burning open flames or incense in any college building except Ocean View at any time. Violations are subject to a $100 fine per incident.
If you wish to make a housing change or roommate request, begin by discussing your request with your resident assistant or resident director.
You should address requests for room changes to your resident director. Changes may be made beginning the third week of each semester, If approved by your resident director. To change rooms between the fall and spring semesters, you must check with the resident director and fill out the online request form (available at the Housing website). Approvals will be communicated in late November or early December. Official check-out and check-in procedures apply to old fall room assignments and new spring assignments. The deadline for completing both check-out and check-in is 12:00pm (noon) on Saturday, December 14, 2019. Note that a room change may eliminate a triple-room refund.
In order to protect you from unwarranted damage charges, you must complete the room condition inventory (RCI) form and sign the check-in agreement prior to moving into your room. Be sure to observe the proper check-in procedure with your resident director to avoid a possible $50 fine.
In order to ensure that your room is left in proper condition and is vacated on time, you must make an appointment and check out in person with your resident director before leaving. There are no exceptions to this policy.
You should leave your room in the same condition as you found it. Westmont will assess charges for all damage, odd furniture arrangements and excess mess not recorded on your Room Condition Inventory (RCI) form. In order to avoid a possible $50 fine and/or $200 moving and cleaning fee, be sure to follow the proper check-out procedures.
The fall semester check-out deadline is 12:00pm (noon) on Saturday, December 14, 2019; the spring semester check-out deadline is 12:00pm (noon) on Friday, May 2, 2020. The spring deadline applies to all students not officially involved in graduation ceremonies or authorized to stay by the Housing Office (e.g., for reasons such as Mayterm, athletics, summer residency at Ocean View or Westmont summer employment). If you are authorized to stay in Westmont housing beyond Friday, May 1 you have until 12:00pm (noon) on Sunday, May 3, 2020, to check out.
If you wish to withdraw from school during a semester, you must obtain a withdrawal form from the Registrar’s office in Kerrwood Hall and go through the residence hall check- out procedure.
The residence halls will close for the Christmas holiday at 12:00pm (noon) on Saturday, December 14, 2019. They will reopen at noon on Saturday, January 4, 2020. During this break, security personnel may inspect your residence hall room or apartment for safety hazards.
Since heat and electricity may be turned off in the campus residence halls, you should empty your personal refrigerator and make provisions for pet fish. Although you may keep a flame-treated Christmas tree in your room, you must remove it before the break, or public safety officers will discard them, complete with decorations.
Students living in the Ocean View apartments may stay there during the Christmas holiday, but on-campus residents may not stay.
During the Christmas holiday, you are welcome to visit the campus to pick up mail, use the library, attend basketball games, show the campus to parents and friends and make use of the public areas (note that business days/hours are reduced during this break). However, you must obtain authorization prior to accessing the residence halls. A $50 fine may apply for each violation.
I.T. provides a number of computer-related services and assistance. Details can be found on their web page. If you have a computer, you may obtain access to resources on the World Wide Web and to the high- speed campus network. Connection to the network requires a 100Mb or 1000Mb Ethernet card and Ethernet cable or Wi-Fi card. The Computer and Network Use policy governs the use of the campus computing facilities and network. You must agree to abide by the policy in order to obtain access to these resources.
Westmont recommends that your parents include your belongings away from home in their homeowner’s policy and that you obtain insurance protection against loss, damage or theft of personal property. (The college assumes no responsibility for and does not provide insurance or any other financial protection for your personal property or that of your guests.) Westmont recommends locking your room to prevent theft.
If you wish to hang personal window coverings, you should contact the housing director in order to avoid charges for wrinkles or damage caused by improper handling. You may hang only drapes from existing drapery rods. The Housing Office will supply missing drapery wands. Since laundering or dry cleaning can shred drapery fabric, the college does not clean draperies.
You may use UL-rated power strips with built-in circuit breakers as extension cords in your room. However, regular extension cords may fail at the outlet during a power surge and cause an electrical spark, representing a safety hazard. Therefore, these are prohibited.
The college asks and expects your cooperation in maintaining safety for the entire community in the event of an emergency. Please review and become acquainted with the Immediate Actions specified on the Emergency Info website. Make sure to keep your emergency contact information up to date on webadvisor.
Due to our concern for the safety of students and the preservation of facilities, the practice of extreme sports (parkour, free-running and other activities involving elevated risk of personal injury or property damage) is discouraged on the Westmont campus.
County fire regulations make it illegal to tamper with fire equipment. Tampering with fire extinguishers, hoses or alarms will result in a minimum $100 fine, and damaged equipment or emptied fire extinguishers will result in additional charges.
The possession of fireworks and firearms is illegal and unsafe, and you may not possess weapons, firearms or fireworks on campus at any time. This includes Airsoft guns and pellet guns. Violators of this policy are subject to suspension.
All furniture and furnishings, cabinet doors, handles, drawer pulls and other such fixtures in residence hall rooms, lounges and Ocean View apartments must remain in place. Unauthorized removal of furniture from these locations may result in a minimum $50 fine.
Although Westmont does not remove triple furniture when vacancies exist, you may disassemble unused beds and store them in your room. However, you must return them to their original condition at check-out or when needed by an additional resident. For safety reasons, custom lofts and beds are not permitted (also see Lofts).
Campus residents should register their overnight guests online at the housing website (see guest registration). Guests are welcome to stay for a maximum of five nights each semester and must stay in the same room all five nights. No extensions will be granted. Current Westmont students who do not pay for on-campus housing do not qualify as guests. For guests of the opposite sex, residents should ask a friend of that sex to host and register that guest.
Please maintain respect for the concerns of your roommates when guests visit. As a host, you are responsible to explain college regulations (such as vehicle use) and community behavioral standards (such as open hours and alcohol use) to your guest(s). You may also be held responsible for any damage to college property caused by your guest(s).
To ensure your safety, Westmont prohibits potentially injurious or damaging activities inside the residence halls, including playing with balls, throwing Frisbees, using skateboards and riding bicycles.
It is fairly common for students to enjoy the beautiful campus and nice weather by hanging hammocks around campus. For the safety of our campus community, hammocks must be secured to stable trees only in a way that does not damage the tree, and hung at a height of no more than six (6) feet high at the center point while empty. Additionally, hammocks may not be secured to any man made structure or hung in such a way that would interfere with pedestrian walkways, egress from buildings, impede grounds maintenance, or harm property. The college accepts no responsibility for tree or limb stability or suitability for hanging hammocks nor maintains or designates trees or limbs for this purpose. Consequently, students hammock at their own risk, which includes accepting sole responsibility for determining trees and limbs which are stable and suitable for bearing the occupied weight of hammocks.
Hammocks hung in an area outside of the residential areas must be removed after each use. Hammocks may be left in residential areas provided they adhere to the above guidelines. It is the student’s responsibility to use and maintain hammocks in a safe manner per the manufacturer’s specifications and any conditions imposed by residence life staff. The student must remove any hammock displaying signs of undue wear and tear. The college reserves the right to remove hammocks from service for any violation of this policy or any other applicable college policy, rule, or procedure.
Westmont’s hilly campus and narrow walks and roadways make skateboarding, in-line skating, and scooters unsafe. This also applies to our neighboring roads. For this reason, Westmont is in compliance with the college insurance provider’s request to prohibit all use of these items on campus and neighboring roads. Use of these items on campus could result in a $50 fine.
Additionally, due to fire safety concerns regarding reported hover board fires nationwide, the college prohibits the use, possession, or storage of hover boards, electronic skateboards, including self-balancing boards/scooters and similar devices containing lithium ion batteries on campus until safety standards for them have been adequately developed and implemented across all models.
If you lose your room key, report the loss immediately to your resident director, who will issue a spare key and ask security to rekey the lock. The re-keying charge is $30. In order to prevent non-occupants from gaining unauthorized access to your room, do not attach your room key to any kind of identification card.
See Auxiliary Services for information about the laundry machines in the residence halls.
Westmont provides ceiling-mounted fluorescent fixtures in each room. The college recommends that you bring your own desk lamp. Westmont allows the use of new fluorescent torchieres bearing the EnergyStar label. These cost more to purchase but provide a safer, more efficient torchiere.
Halogen floor lamps (torchieres) are prohibited. Though inexpensive to purchase, they present serious safety concerns because the bulbs burn at extremely high temperatures (1,000°F). They can easily ignite flammable and combustible materials. Halogens also require a large amount of electricity to operate. You should place personal light fixtures away from flammable materials such as draperies, mattresses, carpet, bed linens and clothing.
For reasons of safety, the college does not allow the installation of custom-built lofts, beds or platforms. For information about borrowing additional, college-owned bed frames or beds from other residents contact your resident director.
Residence hall mattresses are extra-long twins (80 inches long by 36 inches wide). If you prefer a different mattress, contact the Housing Office, 805-565-6036, to arrange for an exchange from the college’s supply of older ones.
It’s illegal to view movies rented or purchased for private use in a public area. Therefore, students are not allowed to watch movies in residence hall lounges. While we do understand that this policy can seem restrictive if a group of friends wants to watch a movie together, we are committed to living with integrity as an institution in regard to copyright laws. You can do your part by viewing movies in your room.
Everyone who reserves campus housing is obligated to pay the room charge for the entire semester. If you move off campus or withdraw, the schedule for refunds is in the college catalog.
Westmont has established the following open-hours policy that designates times during which you may visit the individual living areas of members of the opposite sex. The rationale for establishing such a policy is twofold. First, while the college recognizes the need for privacy among students, it seeks to avoid situations of absolute privacy because of the potential for abuse (see section on Sexual Activity Outside of Marriage). Second, the policy allows for personal space needed to respect the differing sleep, study and living patterns of roommates.
All-campus open hours occur noon-midnight, Sunday through Thursday and noon-1 a.m. on Friday and Saturday. If there are no campus classes scheduled for the following day, open hours end at 1 a.m. Room doors of hosts must remain at least halfway open and allow unrestricted visual access to the room. At no time may you engage in intimate activities (e.g., lying under covers in bed together) which could make others feel uncomfortable and put yourselves in a compromising situation. Violations may result in the loss of your open-hour privileges, community service hours, removal from the residence hall and/or suspension. You are responsible to know the boundaries and times of open hours in all living areas. Please direct any questions or comments about this policy to your resident director or the deans in the Student Life office.
In consideration of other residents, you should not leave personal items (such as shampoo bottles, curling irons, surfboards, and bicycles) in common areas in the residence halls. The custodial staff regularly checks common areas and moves personal items left there to a collection bin. Items not retrieved in a reasonable amount of time may be donated to a charitable organization.
Students may keep fish in your student room or apartment. However, electricity is turned off in the residence halls during Christmas vacation, so students should remove fish from their rooms during this holiday. Keeping or caring for pets other than fish on campus will result in removal of the pet and a $50 fine.
Students with disabilities requiring the assistance of a service or support animal on campus should contact the Office of Disability Services (ODS) at 805-565-6186. ODS will work with you to determine appropriate accommodations.
Westmont strongly discourages pranks and practical jokes because they are often unwelcome and even demeaning to victims, and they can result in escalated retaliation. Participants who violate this policy are subject to the student conduct process and will be held responsible for any negative consequences. Sanctions may include paying retribution, cleaning up any resulting mess, civic engagement within or outside the Westmont community or any additional sanctions deemed appropriate in response to the prank.
Official quiet hours are from 11 p.m. to 7 a.m. Throughout the rest of the day, please extend courtesy and sensitivity to others’ needs for quiet due to illness, study requirements, etc. Using headphones when listening to loud music helps accomplish this goal.
Each residence hall room has a blue recycling can. Please make every effort to recycle as much as possible; please visit Westmont Recycling for more information. It is your responsibility to bring out your own recycling cans and dump the contents into the recycling dumpsters located outside your residence hall near the normal trash dumpsters.
You may keep a small refrigerator (under five cubic feet) in your residence hall room for an additional charge of $30 per year to defray energy expenses.
Physical plant will repair your electrical and plumbing problems, broken windows, screens, locks, etc. Your resident director or resident assistant will arrange for maintenance needs upon your request. If a room or building emergency occurs, contact security immediately at 805-565-6222 and report the problem to the residence hall staff as well. You should address furniture concerns (including those involving mattresses and draperies) to the housing director.
Since climbing to or walking on roofs represents safety hazards and may cause undetectable and costly damage, please do not climb on the roof of any Westmont building at any time. A $100 fine per violation may apply.
The Housing Office seeks to accommodate requests for housing but reserves the right to determine and change room and roommate assignments. Returning students select rooms and roommates for the following fall during housing requests for next year. It is the sole right of the Housing Office to assign occupants to specific rooms and apartments.
If you plan to study away or abroad for the fall semester you should make arrangements for your future housing (in the spring semester) as soon as possible. Contact the Housing Office and see the information for away/abroad students on the housing website.
Westmont wants to offer you a room that is in the best possible condition. In order to keep rooms looking their best, the college assumes sole responsibility for painting rooms in full or in part.
You may use tack and some adhesives and tapes in decorating your room (see your resident director for suggestions). Duct and double-stick tapes are not recommended. Since damage occurs when bolts and nails are used on walls, ceilings, building surfaces and furnishings, their use is prohibited and may result in possible damage fees. This applies equally to window, door and hallway decorations. Please make every effort to return your room to its original condition after you leave.
Window screens are considered permanent fixtures and may be easily damaged; removing them for any reason other than an emergency will result in a $25 fine. Additional charges may be assessed if damage or loss occurs.
At Westmont we enjoy a beautiful location and a lovely and well maintained campus. Our students appreciate being outside year round where they can participate in rejuvenating and safe outdoor activities.
This policy has been established to ensure the safety of the campus community and to protect college property should students choose to slackline on campus. All slacklining activity must comply with this policy as well as all other relevant campus policies.
Definition of Slacklining
Slacklining is defined as an activity in which the participant traverses, stands on, hangs from, or otherwise uses a span of rope or webbing, positioned horizontally with the ground below and securely anchored at two fixed points.
Parameters for Securing Slacklines
For the safety of our campus community, slacklines must be secured to stable trees of one (1) foot or more in diameter only in a way that does not damage the tree. Slacklines may not be secured to any man made structure or hung in such a way that would interfere with pedestrian walkways, egress from buildings, impede grounds maintenance, or harm property. A clear and flat landing surface must be present under the full length of the slackline. Additionally, no point of the slackline may be higher than four (4) feet off the ground. Slacklines may not be set up within a space that has been scheduled or designated for another use. Trees and/or landscaped areas showing damage from slacklining activities may be restricted from future slacklining activities at the discretion of the Director of Physical Plant, Director of Campus Planning or Student Life staff. Slacklining is not permitted on Kerrwood Lawn, the Formal Gardens or on or around the President’s Patio.
All equipment associated with slacklining shall be used and maintained in an operable and safe condition by the participants per the manufacturer’s specifications and any condition imposed by Campus Safety or Student Life staff. Participants must remove any slackline displaying signs of undue wear and tear.
Activities such as stunts, tricks or flips are not permitted as these are extremely unsafe activities. Spotters are highly recommended at all times, especially for new users.
Slacklining is permitted only during daylight hours, between sunrise and sunset. The owner of the slacklining equipment is responsible for setting up and taking down the equipment according to these time parameters each day and may not leave equipment unattended at any time. Unattended slacklining equipment may be removed and stored without notice. Additionally, slacklining is permitted only in favorable weather conditions. When precipitation or high winds are present, slacklining is not permitted.
Participants assume any and all risks and consequences associated with slacklining, including accepting sole responsibility for determining trees and limbs that are stable and suitable for bearing the occupied weight of slacklines. Participant risks include but are not limited to, death, paralysis, and serious injury. Participants take full responsibility for engaging in best safety practices within this activity.
Enforcing the policy
The college reserves the right to remove slacklines for any violation of this policy or any other applicable college policy, rule, or procedure and to curtail any slacklining activity deemed unsafe at any time, whether or not the activity is in compliance with the policy requirements.
January 14, 2020
Approved visitor groups (but not students or their guests) may receive permission from the Housing Office to sleep in lounges. Students who are found to be sleeping in lounges will be subject to a $50 fine per incident (or night). For security reasons, neither college residents nor guests may sleep outdoors on campus.
Each residence hall room is supplied with a working smoke detector. Please do not remove or tamper with the smoke detectors. If you are experiencing any problems with your smoke detector, contact a residence life staff member immediately. Campus safety personnel check smoke detectors in rooms during Christmas break to insure they are in working condition. Any smoke detectors that have been removed or damaged will be replaced, and the residents of the room will be charged.
You may remain on campus for all or part of spring recess, but you must sign-up in advance on the online form at the housing website. No dining or custodial services will be provided, access to the residence hall kitchens may be limited, residence hall staff will be available only on a very limited basis, and shuttle service will be suspended during spring recess. Guests may not stay in the residence halls during this break. Behavioral expectations and housing policies apply as usual.
The Spring Sing committee will meet with the director of physical plant and/or the housing director to determine appropriate locations for painting and building sets. Student participants will be held responsible for any resulting damage or excess mess in the residence halls.
There are many public storage facilities in the Santa Barbara area for items that do not fit in your residence hall room, or for items you wish to store during the summer. During the year, all of your belongings, except for motorized vehicles, must be kept in your assigned room or apartment. This applies to vehicle accessories, such as jeep tops and roof racks.
During the spring semester, you may apply for summer housing at the housing Web site. If you wish to occupy campus housing after Commencement, you must qualify to do so. Also, you should submit an application as soon as it becomes available during the spring semester. Short-term summer residents, such as intercollegiate athletes and those attending Mayterm or summer travel programs, are housed in Page Hall. The transition from spring to summer housing occurs during the morning and afternoon of the day after Commencement.
Any current student may apply for summer housing at the Ocean View apartments, and Westmont student employees receive initial priority for housing in Ocean View. There is no Mayterm housing at Ocean View, although current Ocean View residents’ Mayterm requests will be evaluated on a first-come, first-served basis (depending upon available space).
Summer housing space at Ocean View is limited. There is a 10-week minimum rental commitment, and applications are considered on the basis of the space available and the duration of the rental commitment. Summer housing check-in at Ocean View occurs during the afternoon on the day after Commencement.
Telecommunications no longer provides phones in residence hall rooms; students must provide their own analog phone. Phone service (extension number and dial tone), and a voice mailbox are available free of charge to students who subscribe. To activate phone and/or voice-mailbox service, log in to your Student Profile, and under Telephone Services, click enable. A long- distance code is required for all out-of-area-code calls, and you may also enable this through your Student Profile. All charges are billed to your student account. Visit the Telecommunications website for more information. For problems, please submit a Mayday.
Dumpsters and trash bins are located outside each residence hall. To ensure a sanitary environment for all students, please do not leave trash in hallways, foyers, lounges, stairwells or any other area in the residence halls. Each section is responsible to monitor its common areas and cover excessive cleaning charges.
All triple rooms contain furniture to accommodate three residents. All furniture is to remain in each triple room, even if not fully occupied. For occupants of triple rooms (except for flex-triples in the GLC), a refund is credited at the end of each semester to residents who have lived in a fully occupied triple room for the entire semester. However, since the Housing Office cannot guarantee that designated triple rooms will be fully occupied, you should not count on receiving a refund. If one or more of the roommates vacate a triple room during the semester, none of those occupants will receive a refund for that semester.