Student Housing Policy
TSTC requires that all new students who are under the age of 21 on the first day of class for which they enroll, must live on campus for a minimum of two semesters (Policy and Procedure 4.1). Policy exemptions will be considered for students who:
a. Live with parents/legal guardians and commute;
b. Are married or have dependents;
c. Have a doctor’s exemption for medical circumstances which cannot be accommodated;
d. Have completed two semesters or three quarters of college work.
Special circumstances justifying an exemption will be considered by and should be directed to the Director of Campus Living. Please submit an application for enrollment to TSTC before applying for housing. The full deposit must accompany the housing application. For more specific information regarding single student housing, contact Campus Living, located in the Student Services Center, at 254.867.3824.
It is our belief that the residential life experience is an important part of your educational process. The living environment at TSTC gives students the opportunities for social interaction, interpersonal relationships and cultural activities. We want to foster a living/ learning environment where students can develop qualities of self-discipline and responsibility, and will enlarge your educational experience through new ideas and cultural diversity.
This portion of the Student Handbook is designed to provide you with an introduction to residence life at TSTC. You will find information regarding staff, programs and expectations, as well as the policies that govern students who live on campus. You will need to familiarize yourself with these rules and regulations as you are expected to abide by them. It is the students. responsibility to read and understand the rules and regulations that govern residence life.
Campus Living Staff
The staff is available to assist you in your educational experience. We hope to create a living /learning environment that will not only allow you to develop your educational goals but to develop personally and socially as well. The Campus Living staff is responsible for the direct operation of Red River Apartments and Lavaca Hall. Students residing in these areas will work directly with Campus Living. In addition to overseeing housing operations, this office also handles student rights and responsibilities matters for the entire campus. As part of the Student Development Division, this office reports directly to the Associate Vice President for Student Development.
Resident Assistants (RAs)
The Campus Living Office employs Resident Assistants (RAs) for Red River Apartments and Lavaca Hall, who are selected for their ability to communicate with others, their willingness to accept responsibility as well as possessing a genuine desire to assist others. RAs are the primary resources of information for you, and have received training to enable them to deal with various situations. They are employees and should be treated with the same respect as any other employee. They have a primary responsibility to enforce policies of the institution and the rules and regulations of Campus Living. You are expected to cooperate accordingly.
Campus Living Policies
The TSTC Campus Living policies apply to all residence facilities at TSTC Waco including Red River Apartments, Village Oaks Apartments and Lavaca Hall. Any student having signed a contract/lease agreement is expected to abide by these policies.
No freestanding antennas, poles or dishes are permitted to be installed at any facility. Splicing of an antenna or cable television is prohibited.
Residents of Red River and Village Oaks apartments are responsible for the condition and cleaning of the appliances. Ceiling fans are prohibited. Students are not allowed to install appliances such as washing machines, dryers or dishwashers. Oscillating and box fans may be used. Stereos and televisions are permitted. We ask that you observe quiet hour regulations when using these items. (See Quiet Hours).
Anyone who wishes to live on campus will need to complete a housing application and return it to the appropriate office. Housing assignments will not be made or reserved until the receipt of the deposit or special arrangements have been made. (See Deposit.)
Every attempt is made to accommodate student preferences for housing assignments through the application information provided by all students when they apply for housing. It is our practice to attempt to assign students with similar interests and lifestyles to the same residence. Priorities for housing assignments are based on the date the deposit and application are received. The housing contract/lease agreement is for a space and does not guarantee assignment to a particular type of facility or room.
It is sometimes necessary to consolidate housing assignments to reduce the costs of operation. Dependent on the demand for space, we will consolidate and close apartments, sections, floors or buildings when the need arises. Each student who is affected will be notified to make arrangements to move without charge. We will make every effort to reassign the student to an acceptable space. Any costs that may be incurred by such moves such as telephone, cable television, etc. should be discussed with management upon receipt of consolidation notice.
Room changes may be made at the beginning of each semester. The moving period will be posted and any room changes should take place during that period only. Should special situations arise after that period, you will need to see the apartment manager or the director. Room changes WILL NOT be made on the basis of religious, ethnic or similar differences with roommates.
TSTC reserves the right to deny access to housing or reassign students when it is considered to be in the best interest of the institution. There will be no charge for moves initiated by the institution for disciplinary matters; however, the student does risk forfeiture of the security deposit. (See Discipline, Deposit.)
Between Semesters/Holiday Occupancy
Single student housing rental rates are based on days of occupancy when TSTC is in session. Students may occupy their space during most breaks as long as the space does not require maintenance. Lavaca Hall and Red River Apartments are closed during the Christmas break. Students should leave no later that 24 hours after their last final in the fall and not return until the weekend prior to the first class date for the spring term. Those needing housing during this time must contact Campus Living for possible arrangements, which will be billed to the student’s account.
Cable television is provided to all Lavaca Hall and Red River Apartment residents. Cable hookups are available in the Village Oaks apartments with activation of service being the student.s responsibility. All charges will be assumed by the student. The TV lounge in Lavaca Hall also has cable and is available for use by Lavaca Hall residents.
Cancellation of Contract/Lease Agreement
The housing lease agreement is a binding document and students are expected to fulfill the obligations. The terms by which a lease may be terminated by the resident are identified in the agreement and students will need to be familiar with them. Any request for cancellation of a lease agreement will need to be in writing. Village Oaks residents will need to direct their requests to the manager of Village Oaks. Residents of Red River apartment and Lavaca Hall will need to direct requests to the Director of Campus Living.
The students who deliberately cause damage or those who cause damage as a result of an unauthorized activity may be subject to disciplinary action.
Soft tip darts and dartboards are allowed in housing facilities. Steel tip darts are prohibited.
The security deposit is to accompany the student.s application for housing in order to receive a housing assignment reservation. The refundable portion of the deposit is only returned when the student has followed the proper check-out procedure, paid all debts and fulfilled the lease agreement.
TSTC expects that all students abide by policies and regulations involving student conduct defined herein. When violations of such policies occur, students will be referred through the institution.s disciplinary process.
There are several types of disciplinary actions that may be imposed. These actions, as well as the appeal procedure and due process proceedings, are defined in the Code of Student Conduct section of the Student Handbook available online at www.waco.tstc.edu/handbook.
Use or possession of illegal drugs and/or paraphernalia is prohibited in campus housing facilities and surrounding areas. Any student in violation of these regulations or whose behavior is affected by the use of drugs will be subject to disciplinary action.
If illegal substances or contraband are found in the common area of a living environment, each resident will be held responsible. It is the student.s responsibility to report any such violation to the proper authorities. (See Prohibited Items.)
For the protection of all students, TSTC employs the use of .drug sniffing. dogs as a means of enforcing the institution.s policy on drugs and/or weapons. Drug dogs will be used periodically in the housing areas and parking lots as allowed by law. (See Entry, Search & Seizure.)
Only those persons enrolled at TSTC Waco will be allowed to reside in facilities designated for single-students. If at any point, a resident discontinues enrollment at TSTC, they will be required to vacate the premises.
Entry, Search & Seizure
Students, along with all other citizens, are protected by the constitution against unreasonable search and seizure. If, however, there is ‘reasonable cause’ to believe that an institutional policy or law is being violated, a search maybe considered reasonable. The alert by a drug-sniffing dog is considered reasonable cause, and a search warrant will be sought. TSTC reserves the right to enter a student.s living space when the occupant of the space may be harmed or endangered; for the purpose of inspection of property; to seek missing furnishings; to make improvements or repairs; to control the space in the event of an epidemic or an emergency; to ensure evacuation during fire drills; to conduct routine safety inspections, repairs or pest control; to check for suspected violations of the institution.s policies on drugs or weapons; to exercise contractual lien; to remove unauthorized pets; or to show probable cause that a violation of TSTC policy is being or has been committed upon invitation of a resident; to allow entry by a law enforcement officer with a warrant; to show space to inspectors, fire marshal, or an appraiser. A notice will be left for the resident describing the purpose of entry any time that a space has been entered.
Students may be evicted from housing when they fail to meet enrollment requirements, fail to make financial payments or as a result of disciplinary action. Residents who have been evicted may return to campus when they meet the terms of the eviction; i.e. re-enrollment in the institution, payment of fees or clearance by the institution.s disciplinary officer.
The costs of damages and/or cleaning charges are not covered by the terms of your lease agreement. Any additional charges will be assessed to the student. If you have a question regarding charges, contact the Campus Living office.
Fire, Safety & Security
It is the responsibility of each resident to be familiar with the policies and procedures designed to ensure safety and security.
Fire alarms signal that all occupants of the building are to evacuate immediately. In the apartments, evacuation may include neighboring apartments, building, etc. Residents should follow the instructions of the RA during fire alarm/drill procedures. The RAs will evacuate areas as they deem necessary in order to ensure the safety of all residents. Any person who fails to comply with the evacuation proceedings will have disciplinary action imposed against them.
Each apartment is equipped with fire prevention/notification devices. It is the responsibility of the student to immediately notify Campus Living if one of the devices is not working, has been discharged or needs repair. Batteries are not to be removed from the smoke detectors.
The furniture is provided for the residents of each room/apartment. The items in the living areas should remain in the living area and not be taken to individual rooms. No furniture should be taken outside the living area. Personal furnishing must be removed at move out to avoid forfeit of deposit and/or additional fines.
Gambling is not permitted in any housing facilities. Residents found in violation are subject to disciplinary action.
Housing facilities have trash dumpsters located in their areas. Residents are responsible for disposing of their own garbage. Items such as engine parts, carpets, furniture, etc. will not be picked up. Do not place garbage outside your door, on the patio or balcony as it will result in disciplinary sanctions and a charge for removal.
Due to the potential fire hazard, grills are not permitted on the porch/balcony areas, stairwells or parking lots of housing facilities. However, there are several grills located adjacent to the buildings for use by the residents.
Residents have paid for the educational support campus housing provides. Any guests of residents are subject to the same rules and regulations. Guests should not impose on the rights of other residents. Residents will be held responsible for the actions of their guests. In order to maintain the spirit of a community living environment, we ask that you abide by the following visitation hours in all residences:
- 10 a.m. until 11 p.m. Sunday through Thursday
- 10 a.m. until 1 a.m. Friday and Saturday
The host should accompany all guests while in any of the housing facilities. Residents are not to give guests the key to their space.
- No person will be allowed to use visitation privileges unless the specific guest of the resident and the host is present.
- Residents are not allowed to invite unauthorized guests to reside, even temporarily, in their residence.
- Overnight guests of the opposite gender are not permitted.
- Residents should register all guests with the housing staff.
- Unauthorized visitors may be asked to leave immediately by a staff member.
- Registered sex offenders are not permitted on the premises for any reason or any amount of time, no matter what relation or affiliation they have with a resident.
All students, when asked to do so, should identify themselves to any college official (including RAs) upon request. In compliance with Texas state law, students should carry their TSTC ID card on their person at all times.
Any staff member, including an RA has the authority to file an incident report for offenses which violate institutional policies. Anyone issued an incident report will need to contact the appropriate authorities the following working day. Information on the contact procedure is located on the incident report. Important: Failure to report will result in disciplinary action based on the information in the report.
Residents who discover insect problems should report them to a housing official immediately. Residents should keep in mind that food and an unclean environment attract insects and may cause a health hazard.
Staff members will from time to time conduct safety inspections to ensure that safety standards are being met, to check smoke detectors and fire extinguisher and to check for safety and health hazards that may have been created. Notice will be given to residents when safety inspections are to be done. If safety hazards exist, they will be corrected immediately. If they are a result of the resident’s actions, the resident(s) will be charged for the corrections. (See Entry, Search & Seizure.)
Every resident is provided with a key to his or her space at check-in. It is the resident.s responsibility to keep possession of those keys. Lost or stolen keys should be reported immediately in order to protect the safety of the residents and their belongings. Residents will be responsible for any re-key charges that are a result of stolen or lost keys. Residents may not have duplicate keys made. If duplicates are found, the locks will be re-keyed and the resident will be charged. If a student desires to have additional security devices on their spaces, it will need to be approved through the appropriate housing office.
Keys are to be returned as part of the check-out procedure. Residents will be considered to be occupants of the space and charges will be accrued until keys are turned in unless written notice has been provided to the appropriate office. Failure to turn in keys, however, will result in the automatic forfeiture of the deposit.
Laundry facilities are located on or near housing facilities. Laundry rooms are for the residents only. We ask that you assist us by keeping them clean and removing the lent from dryer screens after each use.
Residents who become locked out of their space can contact the appropriate housing office during the normal working hours or the RA on duty after hours. For your protection, identification will be required prior to students regaining access to the space.
Residents of Red River Apartments and Lavaca Hall may obtain a key from the United States Post Master to the mailbox for their unit. Residents of Village Oaks may receive a key and a box assignment at the Village Oaks office.
Maintenance problems are to be reported to an RA or to the office as soon as possible. In emergency situations after hours, you will need to contact an RA to address maintenance needs. They will be able to contact after-hours maintenance staff. After hours maintenance will be done only for emergencies. If you are unable to report emergency needs to your RA, contact the TSTC Police Department at (254) 867-3690.
Due to limited personnel, we are unable to provide a message service for you. However, students may advise relatives that in case of an emergency, we will make every effort to contact you.
All students who are not enrolled for the following semester should properly check out of their space at least 24 hours after their last final, but no later than 5 p.m. on the last day of the semester. Properly checking out consists of removing all trash and personal items from the assigned space, returning all keys to the appropriate office and completing all necessary paperwork. Items left in an apartment once the students have checked out will be considered abandoned and will be disposed of at the resident.s expense. Failure to move-out by the designated time will result in additional fees. Moving out prior to the end of one’s lease does not constitute a cancellation of the lease. (See Cancellation of Lease Agreement).
The volume of noise is to be kept low to ensure that other residents are not infringed upon. Quiet hours are to be observed from 11 p.m. until 10 a.m. unless otherwise posted.
Nurse, Health Services
The TSTC Waco campus Health Center is located in the Student Service Center. The health center is open from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. Should an emergency arise after hours, you can contact emergency services by using the 911 procedures or contact an RA. Emergency transportation is not provided.
(See Fire, Safety & Security.)
All vehicles are required to be in legal, operable condition to be parked in the housing area. Parking in the grass, on the sidewalk, in front of trash dumpsters or any area marked restricted is prohibited. Those in violation will be towed at the owner.s expense. Vehicles without proper license, inspection or parking permits may be ticketed or towed.
Residents are responsible for payment of fees on time. It is the resident’s responsibility to make payment on time without notice. Failure to do so will result in action that may include eviction.
Pets are not permitted in single student housing facilities. Fish tanks are acceptable but must be moved during breaks or holidays. An animal control officer will remove unauthorized pets. (See Entry, Search & Seizure.)
Students are responsible for the arrangements for telephone service and any charges associated with it. Contact the office for information. Local telephone service is provided in individual rooms in the residence hall. Residents must provide their own phone.
We ask that you use tape with gummed adhesive in hanging items from concrete or brick walls. Small nails or straight pins should be used on Sheetrock walls. Any damages caused will be charged to the residents. No flags, banners, signs, posters, or any other medium for a message may be displayed outside or in view of the public. Lewd, indecent, obscene expression or conduct is not condoned by the institution.
TSTC officials will confiscate and/or correct all prohibited items. The following items are strictly prohibited:
- Alcoholic beverages and/or empty containers
- Barbeque grills or pits
- Illegal drugs or paraphernalia
- Weapons of any kind, guns, knives, clubs, ammunition, etc.
- Darts and dartboards (steel tipped)
- Electrical or gas space heaters
- Inoperable vehicles
- Candles, incense or devices with open flames
- Personal beds/waterbeds
- Pets, other than a fish in a ten gallon tank or less
- Live Christmas trees
- Flammable liquids, fuel
- Overloaded electrical outlets or extension cords
- Bean Bag Chairs
- Halogen Lights
Reasonable noise levels are to be maintained at all times. Any infractions should be reported to the RA. Quiet hours to be observed are from 11 p.m. until 10 a.m. Residents should limit their volume so as not to disturb the neighbors or roommates. Residents are asked to cooperate with RAs when asked to reduce the noise level. Failure to do so will result in disciplinary action.
It is assumed that until the terms of the lease agreement have been satisfied, the student reserves the space for the following semester. Once the terms of the lease agreement have been met, the student will be notified and required to complete a reserve/release notification. Failure to do so will result in the space NOT being reserved and assigned to another student. Students who Co-op will need to notify the office to make the necessary arrangements.
Students who notify the office that they are releasing their space but fail to return their keys and reasonably appear to have moved out will forfeit their deposit and be subjected to additional charges. (i.e. cleaning, removal of excess items, etc.)
Housing facilities are not to be altered, including painting, wall papering or additional fixtures. If you have changes you would like made, please contact the Campus Living office.
Residents wishing to make any type of room change must contact the office. Moves made during the middle of terms will have no charge. Any room change after that period will be accompanied with a $25 moving fee if honored. TSTC reserves the right to deny any move not considered in the best interest of TSTC as well as the automatic reassignment of students when deemed necessary. (See Assignment, Discipline.)
Individual living spaces, including any common areas, should be kept in a neat and orderly fashion in order to prevent any unsanitary or unhealthy living conditions. The following are standards to be used to determine the appropriate condition of the living unit(s):
. Floors and walking paths are uncluttered.
. Cooking areas are clean and free of unclean utensils.
. Food items are properly stored.
. Personal belongings are limited to private quarters.
. Items and/or furniture are not arranged in a manner to present a
significant risk of injury.
. Furniture and property are properly maintained and not damaged.
. Conditions do not exist that may attract vermin or insects.
Solicitation & Posting
Solicitation and posting of materials in any housing facility is prohibited. Anyone wishing to distribute materials or solicit in campus housing should first make a request to the Director of Campus Living. We ask residents to report anyone posting items or soliciting in the housing area to the office.
Tornado warnings are sounded on the TSTC siren alarm system and are identified as such by one steady blast for three minutes. Six 10-second blasts will indicate an all-clear and return to normal activity. In case of a potential tornado or natural disaster, residents should monitor the weather conditions and be prepared. Those living in apartments should proceed to the internal-most portion of the unit in case of emergency. Residents of Lavaca Hall should proceed to the ground floor and assemble in the hallway with all doors closed. You should only return to normal activity after the all-clear signal has been sounded. In case of fire, residents should exit the building according to the evacuation procedures provided in all units. You should only re-enter the facility after clearance has been given by a TSTC Police officer or school official. All residents receive a copy of the evacuation plans and there are procedures posted in each unit.
The use of tobacco products in the public/common areas of the housing facilities and in non-smoking apartments is prohibited.
Students are to follow all federal, state and campus statutes pertaining to the operation of any and all vehicles. Any damage caused by any unlawful activities will be charged to the offender’s account. No repair work of any kind is to be done in the parking areas. Should a vehicle become inoperable, students should notify the necessary staff to make the necessary arrangements.
No vehicle may be left on jacks, logs, blocks, etc. Inoperable vehicles may be towed at the owner’s expense in accordance with the Waco Ordinances for Junk Vehicles.
Eighteen wheelers, trailers of any type, boats, recreational vehicles, and all motorized off-road vehicles are prohibited and are subject to a traffic citation or towing at the owner’s expense.
Any problems with vending machines (soda, candy and washer/dryer) should be reported to Campus Living at (254) 867-3824. Abuse, vandalism or destruction of any vending machine will result in disciplinary and possible legal action.
Staff members must often confront residents to ensure the rules and regulations are being met. Any form of verbal abuse or retaliation toward the RAs as a result of performing their job responsibilities will not be tolerated. Whether said directly to or in earshot of a staff member, such improprieties will be taken seriously and disciplinary action will be imposed.
Waterbeds are not allowed in housing facilities. Should a resident have a special medical need requiring a waterbed, they should contact the Director of Campus Living.
Weights, weight benches or exercise equipment are not permitted in housing facilities. TSTC maintains exercise facilities and programs for students to use. Should you have a special medical need that would require such equipment, please contact the Director of Campus Living.