Terms of Occupancy

HOUSING CONTRACT AND TERMS OF OCCUPANCY
(Updated as of April 8, 2015)

INTRODUCTION

Gallaudet University (hereinafter "the university") and the undersigned student hereby agree to the following terms and conditions. The housing contract is not a lease but a license to use the facilities and is binding for the entire academic year. The university shall provide the student with an assigned space in a residence hall room ("the room"). The assignment shall commence and terminate as indicated in room assignment information available in the Office of Residence Life and Housing (hereinafter "RL").

All materials contained herein are an integral and binding part of this housing contract. Residence Hall policies and procedures in the published and online Gallaudet University Student Handbook, RL website, University catalogues, publications, departmental brochures, and official University memorandums are hereby incorporated into this housing contract and are binding on all parties to this housing contract. It is the student's responsibility to become familiar with all provisions of this housing contract.

No oral statement made by any agent of the university shall be considered a waiver or modification of any term or condition.

DATES OF OCCUPANCY

Part A
Fall semester opening is generally the Saturday prior to the first day of classes of the fall semester. Fall semester closing is generally within 24 hours after the student's last exam and no later than 12:00 noon on the day following finals completion.

Part B
Spring semester opening is generally on the Sunday prior to the first day of classes of the spring semester. Spring semester closing is generally within 24 hours after the student's last exam and no later than 12:00 noon on the day following finals completion. Graduating students are normally able to reside in the residence halls until 12:00 noon the day following graduation exercises in May.

PAYMENTS

Part A
This housing contract is in effect until terminated by the university or written cancellation by student accompanied by written university acceptance.

Part B
The student understands and agrees that the housing contract is for a space in the residence halls and not for a specific room or building. In consideration of the assignment of the room, the student agrees to pay the university the appropriate charge for that type of room.

Part C
All students who contract for, or who are required to contract for, housing are charged for housing and any associated fees through their student accounts.

Part D
Failure by the student to pay for all charges does not constitute the cancellation of this housing contract by the student.

GENERAL TERMS AND CONDITIONS

Part A - Purpose
The student will use the room for residential and educational purposes in accordance with this housing contract and its general policies.

Part B - Residency Requirement
The university requires all first year and second year students to live in campus housing. Exceptions to the residency requirement may be made for students who reside with a parent or legal guardian within 60 miles of the campus, carry at least nine credit units online, has already lived on campus for two complete academic years (defined as four Fall and Spring semesters), is married, is a legal custodial parent or court-appointed custodial guardian of a minor child(ren), or who is registered with the Office for Students with Disabilities (OSWD).

For more information on the exemption request process, email residence.life@gallaudet.edu or go to http://reslife.gallaudet.edu and click on "Residency Requirement."

Part C - Assignments
Space will be assigned on a first-come, first-served basis as Housing Applications are received. On-campus housing is not guaranteed to all enrolling students, although overflow housing, depending on space availability, may be available for those who send in the Housing Application after the deadline as specified by RL.

The university reserves the right to make room assignments, to authorize or deny room and roommate changes, to consolidate vacancies, and to require a student to move from one room or residence hall to another. The university further reserves the right to make room changes during the year as deemed necessary by RL.

The university reserves the right to terminate any student's housing contract, without refund of any monies, for failure to comply with residence hall regulations, university regulations, or if the student's actions are found to be detrimental to the health or safety of themselves or others.

The university reserves the right to assign students to temporary space when necessary without recompense. Students so assigned will be reassigned to permanent space as it becomes available.

Rooms in the housing facilities may only be occupied by the student(s) assigned to that particular space. A student's right to occupy a room in the housing facilities pursuant to this housing contract may not be assigned or transferred by the student. Room assignments may be changed only upon written authorization from RL and after the student(s) involved have made a serious attempt to adjust to the situation. Under normal conditions, no changes of room assignments will be made during the first week of each semester. Roommate assignments are made without regard to race, color, religion, national origin, marital status, personal appearance, family responsibilities, physical or mental disability, political affiliation, or status as a Vietnam era or disabled veteran. Students of the other sex will not be assigned to, nor may they reside in, the same room.

Part D - Late Arrivals
Failure to occupy an assigned space by 5:00 pm on the last day of business registration could result in assignment of the room to another student unless a student sends an advance written request for an extension of the arrival period and it is granted in writing by RL.

Part E - Room Conditions
The university agrees to provide and the student agrees to maintain the assigned room and all public areas in and around the immediate building(s) accessible to the student in a clean, safe, and sanitary condition. Upon termination of this housing contract, the student should leave the assigned room, its furnishings, and its equipment in as good an order and condition as the same were upon commencement of the student's occupancy,ordinary wear and tear excepted. University staff will complete an inventory of furnishings and an assessment of damages; charges will be assessed to the responsible individual(s). Personal property left in a room following the termination of occupancy will be deemed abandoned. Students will be charged for the removal of such property.

Part F - Damages
The student agrees that all damages to university property caused by the student or the student's guest(s) will be repaired by the university at the expense of the student. It is further agreed that all costs for damages occurring on the floor or building will be shared equally by all students of that floor or building when individual(s) causing the damage cannot be precisely determined by the university.

Part G - University Liability
The university does not insure the personal property of any student on or off campus. The university has no responsibility for any theft, damage, destruction, loss, etc., of any personal property, including, but not limited to, money, valuables, equipment or any personal property whatsoever belonging to or in the custody of the student, whether caused by intentional or negligent act or failure to act, or natural causes, fire, or other casualty. The university is not liable for the failure or interruption of utilities or for conditions resulting from failure or interruption of the same.

Part H - Housing Cancellation
Any student wishing to request cancellation of their assignment must submit a Housing Cancellation Request (available online or in RL) to RL. Cancellations will not be in effect until officially approved. Requests will be approved as follows.

Cancellation of Housing
Requests for cancellation are only considered for the following reasons:

  • Academic Suspension from the university after the student has completed the appropriate written notification and approval as required by the university.
  • At any time the student cancels the housing contract after participating in the Room Lottery process and selecting a residence hall/room or if the student has been assigned a residence hall/room upon request because the student is not returning on campus due to either withdrawing or taking a leave of absence from the university or moving off campus.
  • For reason other than those listed, the student must be able to demonstrate that a significant, uncontrollable, and unforeseen change has occurred, since the time that the housing contract was signed, that now requires release from the housing contract. Verifiable third party documentation that supports the request must be provided at the time the request is made.
  • In the above cases, if cancellation is approved, the housing contract will be cancelled and the student will be charged the $500 Housing Cancellation Fee. Refunds of room charges will be made according to the university refund schedule. Vacating the premise and/or non-occupation of an assigned space does not release the student from contractual obligations.

Cancellation of Housing for Special Circumstances
Additionally, students may also request cancellation of their housing contracts in the following situations. In these cases, if approved, the students will be released from their housing contract without being assessed the $500 Housing Cancellation Fee.

  • Voluntary Leave of Absence or Withdrawal from the university when the student has officially withdrawn from the university after the student has participated in business registration and the fall or spring semester has commenced with the appropriate written notification and approval as required by the university.
  • The student will be released from the housing contract at the end of the fall semester if requirements for graduation have been completed and the Housing Cancellation Request is received in RL prior to November 15.
  • The student will be released from the housing contract at the end of the fall semester if the student is not returning on campus for the spring semester due to withdrawing or taking a leave of absence from the university, moving off campus, going on an internship, or the student is a visiting student and the Housing Cancellation Request is received in RL prior to November 15.
  • The student will be released from the housing contract if they are called to active military duty so long as the student submits a Housing Cancellation Request and a copy of their military orders. In this instance only, refunds of room charges will be made on a pro-rated basis.
  • Marriage, after such marriage has taken place and legal verification has been supplied to RL.

Cancellation of Housing Due to No Show
In the event that a student does not arrive to check into their campus assignment and has not submitted a Housing Cancellation Request by 5 p.m. on the last day of business registration, the following will occur:

  • If a returning student has signed housing contract on file and enrolls in classes for the fall or spring semester, the student will be held responsible for fulfilling the housing contract, including full payment of room charges, and a space will be reserved for the student.
  • If a returning student has signed housing contract on file, but does not enroll in classes for the fall or spring semester, the housing contract will be cancelled, the student will be charged the $500 Housing Cancellation Fee, and the student will be responsible for paying room charges each night of occupancy.
  • If a newly-admitted student has signed housing contract on file, but does not enroll in classes for the fall or spring semester, the housing contract will be cancelled, and the student will be waived of the $500 Housing Cancellation Fee.

Part I - Cancellation/Change Request Appeal
In the event that a student's request for cancellation or assignment change is denied, the student may choose to submit a written appeal to the Director of Residence Life and Housing. All appeals must be submitted in writing within five (5) working days of receipt of the decision. All materials in the case will be reviewed and final decisions will be communicated in writing, normally within three working days of receipt of the appeal.

Part J - Refunds
Except where indicated otherwise, refunds of room and board charges and room fees will be made according to the university refund schedule, based upon the amount of time the student occupied the space. Please refer to http://www.gallaudet.edu/finance_office/student_financial_services/refund_policy.html for information regarding this schedule. Occupying a space includes, but is not limited to, physical dwelling in the space, retaining keys to the space, and/or maintaining belongings in the space. Cancellation fees are applicable as defined in this housing contract. Refunds are based on the date that the student is approved for cancellation and/or checks out of his/her assigned space. If there is a discrepancy between these dates, the later date will be utilized for billing purposes.

Part K - Termination by the University
The university may terminate the housing contract, with no right to a refund and an assessment of the $500 Housing Cancellation Fee, for the following reasons:

    1. Disciplinary suspension or expulsion of the student from the university;
    2. Disciplinary eviction of the student from university housing;
    3. Failure by the student to meet the university's academic and/or technical requirements; or
    4. Violation of a material term or condition of occupancy by the student and/or his/her guest(s).

    Those students whose housing contracts are terminated by the university during the winter break period following the fall semester are required to completely vacate their residence hall space by no later than the Friday prior to the start of classes for the spring semester. In all other situations, the student will be required to immediately vacate university housing upon termination of the housing contract. The university reserves the right to take necessary measures to remove a student and belongings remaining in university housing after termination of the housing contract. The university shall also charge the student a pro-rate charge, plus penalty fees, for each day remaining after such termination

    SIGNATURES

    By signing and submitting the Housing Application, the student voluntarily agrees to and will be bound by the terms and conditions outlined in this housing contract. 

    REFUNDS FOR ROOM CHARGES

    Refunds are governed by the time of withdrawal from the University and the date of check-out from the residence halls. A percentage of room charges are refundable during the first four weeks of classes, starting at 80% the first week, 60% during the second week, 40% the third week, and 20% the fourth week. No refunds will be given on the fifth week and thereafter. Also, refunds will not be given in the event of disciplinary suspension or dismissal.

    CARE OF UNIVERSITY PROPERTY

    The resident agrees to act as a responsible citizen in the use and care of his or her room, the rooms of others, and the common facilities of the University campus. The resident will assume any financial responsibility for his or her misuse or abuse of University property.

    The University expects better than ordinary care in the use of all facilities in the hope that the costs of these facilities can be kept at a minimum.

    1. Repair/replacement costs for theft of or damage to facilities, furnishings, and equipment (accidental or otherwise) are billed to any resident or group of residents involved.
    2. When the person(s) responsible for the theft or damages cannot be identified, all occupants of the residence hall or living group will share the repair/replacement costs equally.
    3. The student may not paint rooms nor make any alterations without the permission of the Office of Residence Life and Housing.
    4. Room occupants will be charged for damage such as defaced walls, ceilings, or furniture, burns on carpets or furniture, broken furniture, lost/stolen room keys, or the deterioration of property due to misuse on the part of occupants and/or visitors.

    CONTACT INFORMATION

    Gallaudet University Office of Residence Life & Housing
    c/o Housing Operations

    • Postal Address: 800 Florida Avenue NE Washington, DC 20002
    • Campus Address: Ely Center 132
    • E-Mail: residence.life@gallaudet.edu
    • Phone: 202.250.2894
    • FAX: 202.651.5757
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