Living on campus
Point Park University's residence halls offer students a dynamic living and learning environment in the urban setting of downtown Pittsburgh. The University has five residence halls that are conveniently located on campus and offer many different living options for students.
The following policies, codes and processes are part of the Point Park University Student Planner/Handbook.
David L. Lawrence Hall
The former 21-story Sherwyn Hotel houses approximately 420 residents. The ninth through the twentieth floors are residence hall floors. Rooms in Lawrence Hall are single, double, or triple occupancy. Each room is equipped with furniture, a private bathroom, Cable TV/Ethernet ports, and wall-to-wall carpeting. Telephone service is not provided. Lawrence Hall is a smoke-free building.
Clara Thayer Hall
A 10-story traditional-style residence hall, it accommodates approximately 135 residents. The fifth through eighth floors are residence hall floors. Rooms in Thayer Hall are single, double, or triple occupancy with two community bathrooms on each floor. Each room is equipped with furniture, an individual heating/air conditioning unit, and Cable TV/Ethernet ports. Telephone service is not provided. Please be aware that Thayer Hall does not have overhead lights in the rooms. You will need to provide your own lighting for your room. Thayer Hall is a smoke-free building.
Conestoga and Pioneer Suites
Conestoga and Pioneer Suites are suite-style housing. The floors are co-ed, but each suite is single gender. Each suite consists of two bedrooms, two bathrooms, a living room, and a kitchenette. Each bedroom has a loft bed, dresser, standing closet, desk, and chair for each resident. The living room is furnished with a couch, chair, coffee table, entertainment center, and a table with chairs. The kitchenette is supplied with a microwave, under-counter refrigerator and cabinets. Each suite has Cable TV/Ethernet ports. Telephone service is not provided. Each suite is air-conditioned, and both Conestoga and Pioneer are smoke-free buildings.
The Boulevard Apartments are our newest residences. There are four apartments per floor; two 2-bedroom and two 3-bedroom. The apartments are co-ed, but each bedroom is single gender. Each bedroom has its own separate bathroom. The living room is furnished with a couch, chair, coffee table, entertainment center, and a table with chairs. The kitchen is supplied with a full-size refrigerator, stove, and dishwasher. Each apartment has cable TV/Ethernet ports. Telephone service is not provided. Each apartment is air-conditioned, and the building is smoke-free. Laundry and trash facilities are located on each floor.
The University is not responsible for theft or destruction of personal property. Information about insurance is available through the Office of Campus Life. It is highly recommended that valuables be covered by homeowner’s or renter’s insurance.
Room Assignments and Occupancy
The University considers the information on the Housing and Food Service Contract and Roommate Questionnaire when assigning rooms; however, there is no guarantee of a specific assignment.
Returning residents are assigned prior to assigning any new residents. Priority in assigning new residents is based on the date the Housing and Food Service Contract and room deposits are received.
Roommate preferences are considered only by mutual request of all potential roommates; however, there are no guarantees. The University reserves the right to make room assignments as deemed necessary.
Failure to occupy the assigned room before noon of the second day of classes without prior notification to the Office of Campus Life of a delayed arrival will result in the loss of assigned accommodations, and the student will be liable for the $150 cancellation fee.
In order to reside in Point Park University housing, you must be a full-time student. The Assistant Dean of Campus Life/Director of Housing and Occupancy Management will make exceptions if space allows.
Room Cancellation/Termination of Contract
Continuing students who have room assignments for the fall term have until May 1 to cancel without penalty. After May 1 students will receive the $15 damage deposit but forfeit the $250 room deposit portion of the fee. Students who have room assignments for the spring term have until December 1 to cancel without incurring the $250 fee. Cancellations after taking occupancy of the room will be subject to the Refund Schedule for Campus Life Charges.
Refund Schedule for Campus Life Charges
Any student who moves out of the residence halls after taking occupancy of the room and prior to the end of the term will be subject to the following refund schedule:
- First calendar week: 90%
- Second calendar week: 75%
- Third calendar week: 50%
- Fourth calendar week: No refund
A student who cancels/terminates the Housing and Food Service Contract and reinstates it during the same semester will be assessed a $25 reinstatement fee.
The residence halls are open during the Thanksgiving, Spring, and Easter breaks. Students who prefer to remain in the residence halls during these periods may do so.
Students may stay in the residence halls during the Christmas break and the month of August, for those taking summer classes, providing they will be resident students the following semester. A fee will be charged for this time period. Those living in the suites and the apartments will not be subject to any fees.
Residents may leave their personal effects in their rooms during vacation periods if they are returning to the same room. The University will take reasonable precautions during these periods, but WILL NOT BE RESPONSIBLE FOR STUDENT LOSSES.
When students leave the residence halls for the summer break they must remove their personal property from the room. Point Park University does not provide storage.
If the Housing and Food Service Contract is signed before the end of the second week of classes (14 consecutive days from the first day of classes), full rates for Housing and Food Service Contracts will be charged. If a transfer from one room to another occurs during this period, the full rate will be charged for the room to which the resident transfers, if there is a rate differential. If the Housing and Food Service Contract is signed after the second week of classes (14 consecutive days from the first day of classes), charges will be the pro-rated share of the remaining days in the term.
The Office of Campus Life will consider room and/or roommate changes only after the student(s) involved make every effort to resolve current issues. The Assistant Dean of Campus Life/Director of Housing and Occupancy Management must approve requests for room changes. No room changes will be approved during the first two weeks of the semester..
At times, for various reasons, a consolidation may need to take place. This means that students from one room or floor may need to be split up or moved to another room. This may be for reasons of discipline, safety, health, irresoluble differences, or to achieve maximum space considerations. You will be notified at least forty-eight hours in advance before required moving, unless emergency circumstances dictate otherwise.
Move In/Move Out Procedures
Move in procedures are mailed to students’ homes approximately two weeks prior to the start of the term. New student move in begins on the Thursday prior to the first day of classes. Move in for all returning students begins on the Saturday prior to the first day of classes. Any student arriving to move in before or after the scheduled hours will be assessed a $25 fee. Exceptions may be made by contacting the Office of Campus Life prior to moving in.
Before moving out, a resident is to have his/her room checked by a Campus Life staff member and turn in their room key. Failure to return the room key and University ID card will result in a $70 charge. A resident is to remove all refuse and discarded material and must leave the room clean. All charges for cleaning or removal of personal property will be billed equally to the residents. Belongings left behind will be considered abandoned and will be discarded..
Community Standards Initiative
The residence halls at Point Park University are devoted to establishing positive living and learning communities for our residents. Each floor in the residence halls will develop its own set of community standards at its initial floor meeting through a community compact. The community compact will address issues such as quiet hours, guests, and general day-to-day activities on the floor. In addition to the community compact, each room in the residence halls will have a roommate agreement. The roommate agreement is a mutually agreed upon contract ratified by those who occupy any given room. Just as in the community compact, the roommate agreement will outline the living standards for that room..
Rights and Responsibilities
Remember that you have rights and responsibilities within the University community, just as you would in the outside community. By exercising your rights, with respect for the rights of others, and by taking your responsibilities seriously, you will do your part to make campus living a pleasant experience for everyone.
- The ability to sleep, read, and study free from undue interference, unreasonable noises, and other disturbances.
- Personal privacy within the limits of the residence halls and the respect of others for your personal belongings.
- A clean living environment and unrestricted access to your room/residence hall.
- Freedom from harassment, especially acts of racial or ethnic prejudice, hazing, or discrimination based upon race, color, national origin, sex, age, religion, ancestry, disability, veteran status, or sexual orientation.
- Assistance and support from the Campus Life staff.
- The right to associate with whomever you please.
- The right to confront another’s behavior when it infringes on your rights.
- Express your understanding of your individual rights to fellow residents in a calm and diplomatic manner.
- Treat fellow residents and Campus Life staff with respect, consideration, and consistent cooperation.
- Make every effort to understand and comply with all University and Campus Life policies and regulations.
- Exercise an individual commitment to personal and community security.
- Avoid damaging the public areas and their furnishings, and elevators.
- Give every resident the personal dignity he/she deserves.
- Observe quiet hours, keep your stereo and your voice at a reasonable volume, and remind others that you expect the same from them.
You and Your Roommate(s)
Honesty, consideration, mutual respect, discussion, compromise, and understanding are keys in learning to live with roommates. If you experience initial difficulties in adjusting to a new roommate, remember you are not alone. The following information should be helpful in dealing with roommate situations.
Your Rights as a Roommate
- The right to read and study free from interference in one’s room. Unreasonable noise levels and other distractions inhibit the exercise of this right.
- The right to sleep at a reasonable hour without disturbance from noise, guests, roommates, etc.
- The right to a clean environment in which to live.
- The right to expect that a roommate will respect your personal belongings.
- The right to free access to one’s room and facilities without pressure from a roommate.
- The right to personal privacy.
- The right to be free from fear of intimidation, physical, and/or emotional harm.
Remember, if you continue to communicate and respect each other, most problems are easily solved. Having a roommate is one of the greatest experiences of living on campus.
Enjoy your roommate relationship and benefit from it.
- Try to be appreciative of alternative lifestyles.
- Talk about your feelings. A roommate cannot react to unexpressed feelings. Don’t leave nasty notes; talking is much more effective.
- Don’t pretend that everything is fine if it is not. If you wait until a situation gets really bad, you may overreact to a minor situation.
- Ask to borrow anything; make sure that you replace anything you borrow (or break) in at least the same condition as it was when it was borrowed.
- Make every effort to keep your living space clean, comfortable, and pleasant. Be sure to do your share.
- Be careful of practical jokes; the intent could be misunderstood.
- If necessary, have your community facilitator/mentor assist you in settling disputes.
- If you expect your roommate to respect your rights, you must do the same!
Community facilitators are upper class students who have been hired based upon their level of maturity, social skills, and desire to serve the University community. They are trained in the co-curriculum devised for all freshmen: conflict/ dispute resolution skills, self-assessment skills, and academic persistence. Community facilitators work with community members to provide opportunities for educational, co-curricular activities that promote the values and life skills that are the hallmarks of an educated citizen..
Community mentors are upper class students who have been hired based upon their level of maturity, social skills, and desire to serve the University community. They reside in the sophomore residence halls and work closely with the coordinator of The Sophomore Experience program to generate campus programs and events that support the needs of the sophomore student population. The community mentor’s primary concern is to assist sophomores in making a successful transition from the first year of college to the second year. They also enhance sophomores’ integration into the campus community and provide opportunities for sophomores to cultivate self-knowledge and make informed decisions about their future.
Community Advisors are upper class students who serve the University community through mentoring and advising Junior and Senior resident students. They reside in the Boulevard Apartments and execute original programming focused on career attainment, leadership development, and academic excellence. The Community Advisor aids in helping students reflect on lessons learned at Point Park University, as well as assist in the transition into adulthood through the promotion of life skills. They also are integral in connecting Juniors and Seniors to various resources on campus, and coordinate the University’s annual Senior Week program.
All residents are responsible for the behaviors that occur in their residence hall room. For the safety and well-being of all residents, resident students are expected to ensure that their actions, and that of their guests, do not violate University policy.
Access to Facilities
Authorized representatives of the University may enter any University space at any time to inspect facilities or carry out repairs and maintenance. Such inspections will normally be conducted according to announced schedules but the
University may authorize entrance to an accommodation if convinced that a clear and present danger or violation of the University’s regulations requires such entrance. Any maintenance issue that requires the Physical Plant Department to enter a room will be accompanied by a form left in the room. The form will state why and when the room was entered, and by whom.
The University reserves the right to enter any room for the following reasons:
- In the case of an emergency
- For safety or health reasons
- To make repairs or supply services
- To do periodic inspections during the year and at the end of each term closing
- To assure compliance with federal, state, and local laws, and University policies
- Whenever there is cause to believe a violation has occurred or is taking place
Hindering or delaying a University Official’s entrance into an area is prohibited.
Cable TV (see Services for Students - Internet/Data Network Access)
Courtesy Noise Policy
Although each residential community creates their own quiet-hour guidelines, the residence hall environment should always be conducive to study and sleep. If asked by another student or staff member to adjust the noise volume, a student is expected to comply. Excessive or unreasonable noise levels are not acceptable at any time.
Residents may arrange the furniture in their rooms in a reasonable manner. Furniture must remain in the room and may not be moved from room to room. Furniture must be reassembled and rearranged back to its original state prior to departure. You and your roommate(s) are responsible for the furniture in your room. If furniture is broken you will be assessed a fine for replacement. Furniture provided to the student lounges is in public areas and may not be moved to residents’ rooms.
Students are responsible for the actions of their guests. Guests may be current Point Park University students, or non-students. The following guidelines have been established to ensure a comfortable and safe community environment in the residence halls:
- All guests, regardless of their designation, must abide by Point Park University policies, as well as the Student Code of Conduct.
- All guests visiting the residence halls must be 16 years of age or older; exceptions will be made during University-wide events. However, no guest under 16 years old will be permitted to stay overnight at any time.
- Visitation must always be with the consent of roommates. Additionally, where visiting hours are determined by a community compact or other University directives, these policies must be followed.
- Visitation must not interfere with the sleep and study of roommates and neighbors.
- Guests are not permitted in the residence halls without a resident host or hostess. Guests must always be accompanied by a resident host or hostess.
- Guests, including overnight guests, will not be issued keys by University staff or by their hosts or hostesses.
- Residents will be held responsible for the behavior of their guests and of their guests’ adherence to University rules and regulations.
- Guests are required to provide and leave valid photo ID with the desk attendant upon entering a residence hall; no exceptions will be made.
- Guests in violation of University policies may be escorted from the premises and barred from further entry into the residence halls.
- Any guest may be asked to leave by a roommate. Such a request must be met with complete and immediate compliance.
- A residence hall may be closed to non-residents at any time in order to insure the safety and welfare of the resident population.
- Additional sign in procedures, which may include, but are not limited to, requests to show additional forms of identification, may be put in place in any residence hall where it is deemed necessary to maintain a safe and secure environment.
Guest Sign In
- Guests are required to provide and leave a valid photo ID with the desk attendant upon entering a residence hall; no exceptions will be made.
- All non-Point Park guests must be accompanied by their host or hostess during sign in
- Guests whose names appear on the Persona Non Grata (PNG) List will not be permitted into the residence halls. If a guest happens to share a name with, but is not, someone on the PNG List, the guest must show proof of birth date to verify that they are not the banned individual.
- A student may not host or allow a person access to the residence halls who is on the PNG List.
- Guests will retrieve their photo ID upon exiting the residence hall building.
- Guests may not remain in a residence hall more than three nights per month.
- No overnight guests will be permitted during examination, vacation, or move-in periods.
- Conflicts regarding visitation and infractions of the guest policy will be handled through disciplinary action, as appropriate.
The playing of sports (i.e., baseball, basketball, football, soccer, hockey, golf, Frisbee, etc.) in the hallways and public areas is prohibited. The riding of skateboards, roller skates, rollerblades, etc. is also prohibited. If such an item is used within the University, it could be confiscated.
Lock Out Policy
Each resident will receive two free lockouts. In the event that a resident is locked out of his/her room, he/she will call the Office of Campus Life for the office assistant/key manager to unlock the door. After a resident has used their
two free lockouts, the following charges will be enforced:
- 3rd occurrence: $25 fee
- 4th occurrence: $50 fee
- 5th occurrence: Re-core and student will bear the cost, plus $50 fine
- 6th occurrence: 2nd re-core – cost to student, as well as $100 fine
For any occurrence beyond the sixth, the student will meet with Community Director to further address the problem, and disciplinary action may be taken by the University.
Lockout fees are used by the Office of Campus Life to hire student workers for this duty.
Lofts are permitted in the residence halls if built of fire-retardant wood and able to hold 500 pounds. Lofts are not permitted to be left in your room over the summer months or when you terminate from the residence halls. The University does not provide tools to build or dismantle a loft.
Keys to residence hall rooms are issued by the Office of Campus Life only, and only to the registered student assigned to that room. When moving out, all keys must be returned to the Office of Campus Life. If you lose your key, report it immediately to the Office of Campus Life; Campus Life will report the loss to the Public Safety Department. A lock change will be ordered for your room; there is a $70 fee for all lock changes..
Pets and Animals
Possession, care, or harboring of all animals, including but not limited to, animals, birds, reptiles, or insect life forms is strictly prohibited in the residence halls. Evidence of pet care such as pet food, terrariums, etc. is also prohibited. If an animal, bird, reptile, or insect is found in a resident’s room, the resident will have twenty-four hours to remove it or be assessed a $25 charge per day until the animal or insect is removed from the residence hall.
The only exception to this policy is that resident students are permitted to have a small aquarium of fish; the Office of Campus Life will have the right to approve or deny an aquarium. Documented, pre-approved, service animals are permitted.
Resident Identification Card
Residents are expected to carry their Point Park University ID card at all times. Residents must present their ID card to Security, community facilitators/mentors, or any other University official upon request. You must have a valid ID card to gain entrance to the residence halls floors. Your ID card will access all residence hall floors from 7:00 a.m. to midnight. After midnight you will only have access to your floor. Lost or stolen ID cards can be replaced through the ID Center. There is a $25 replacement charge for a new ID card.
Residential Sign Posting
Postings in residential facilities must be first approved by the Office of Campus Life. They will then be properly hung or distributed by the Campus Life staff. Outside solicitation and advertising are not allowed, except where specifically approved by the Office of Campus Life and/or Student Affairs. As a private institution, Point Park University reserves the right to exclude materials that may not be in the best interest of the University community. (See also University Policies and Procedures – Sign Posting) There will be no taping of signs and notices to walls or doors (except for the Campus Life Staff Members). Postings not properly approved or hung will be removed by the University.
The Office of Campus Life will consider room and/or roommate changes only after the student(s) involved make every effort to resolve any issues. The Assistant Dean of Campus Life/Director of Occupancy Management is responsible for approval/denial of requests for room changes. No room changes will be approved during the first two weeks of the semester.
While every person likes to personalize his/her space in order to feel at "home," the residence halls are governed by certain local fire safety ordinances. It is necessary for residents to be aware of the following guidelines:
- Students are not permitted to paint, renovate, or modify their rooms in any way.
- Furniture must not obstruct smoke detectors or sprinklers or impair a quick exit from the room.
- Students are permitted to hang decorations (pictures, posters, etc.) in their room, however, any damage that necessitates painting and/or repairs will be at the resident’s expense.
- Decorations must not be hung from or cover smoke detectors or sprinklers.
- Candles, incense, and halogen lamps are not permitted.
- Live-cut trees are not permitted in the residence halls.
- Students may hang minimal decorations on their room door. If door hangings are determined to be a fire hazard, students will be required to remove such decorations. The Office of Campus Life reserves the right to deny any decorations that are deemed inappropriate or offensive.
- Alcohol bottles, binge drinking paraphernalia (i.e., beer pong tables, beer funnels, etc.), and drug paraphernalia are not considered decorative items. Students possessing these items may be charged with a violation of the University’s alcohol or drug policy.
For noise, fire, and safety reasons, residents are not permitted to host large gatherings in their room. Room occupancy is restricted to the number of residents, doubled, plus one. For example, for a triple room, the capacity would be 7 people: 3 (number of occupants) x2 (doubled) +1 = 7.
Safety and Security
- Smoke detectors may not be damaged, tampered with, or covered. If the maintenance staff determines that a smoke detector has been damaged or tampered with, a $100 charge and/or replacement costs will be assessed to the occupants of the room and disciplinary action will be taken.
- Combustible material is not to be used for decorative purposes.
- Candles, incense, and halogen lamps are prohibited from the residence halls.
- Propping doors open is strictly prohibited.
- All appliances, with the exception of thermostatically-controlled hotpots for boiling water only, are prohibited in Lawrence and Thayer Halls. Prohibited appliances will be confiscated by the Campus Life staff.
- Storage of flammable liquids is prohibited
- All students are required to show their Point Park ID upon entrance to the residence halls as requested by security staff.
- In non-emergencies, students may not exit/enter any building through a fire exit only door, window, or other restricted area. Students may only access fire escapes in cases of emergency.
- Propping doors open is prohibited.
- Entering, or allowing entrance to, exit-only or non-secured doors (ex. Thayer side door after-hours) is prohibited.
- Removing window screens, bolts, or blocks from residence hall windows is not permitted.
- Students who remove the bolts or blocks from their room window(s) will face the following minimum sanctions:
- 1st Offense: $75 fine
- 2nd Offense: $150 fine
- 3rd Offense: Deferred Housing Contract Cancellation
- Students who remove the bolts or blocks from their room window(s) will face the following minimum sanctions:
- Students and guests are not permitted to be on building roofs
- Students who are found to be on a roof will face the following minimum sanctions:
- 1st Offense: $250 fine and Deferred Housing Contract Cancellation
- 2nd Offense: Housing Contract Cancellation
- Students who are found to be on a roof will face the following minimum sanctions: