Residential Life Policies

Terms and Conditions for University Housing

The University housing policy requires all freshman, sophomore, and junior students to live in University-operated residence halls. Exceptions are made for students who meet one or more of the following criteria:

  1. are 22 years of age by September 1, of the applicable fall semester.
  2. possess senior status (88 or more total earned credits) by the first day of classes for the applicable fall semester. Students are classified as seniors based only on total earned credits (88 or more) and not by number of semesters in residence, anticipated date of graduation, or any other criteria.
  3. are commuting from the permanent home and primary residence of a parent or legal guardian. Residential students who wish to become commuters must complete a Commuter Student Agreement form and submit a signed statement from the parent or guardian confirming that the student is commuting from their home. The commuting address must be within a "reasonable" distance of Valparaiso, generally defined as no more than 50 miles or one hour, whichever is shorter.
  4. are veterans of active duty in the U.S. Armed Forces.
  5. are married.
  6. are the parents/legal guardians of a minor child with plans to live with the child.
  7. are sophomore or junior active members of a Valparaiso University fraternity and living in recognized fraternity housing.
  8. Students will not be allowed to complete their class registration until they comply with the University housing policy.

Valparaiso University maintains its residence halls for occupancy primarily by full-time undergraduate students. Part-time, graduate, and law students are welcome to apply to live on-campus, however first priority for housing is given to full-time undergraduates. The University reserves the right to deny housing to individuals who are not full-time undergraduate students.

LENGTH OF THE HOUSING AGREEMENT

The Housing Agreement is a binding contract that obligates the student to live in University-operated residence halls/apartments for the full academic year (fall and spring semesters) or remaining portion thereof, exclusive of vacation periods. Students are released from the Housing Agreement only if they graduate in December, withdraw from the University, or participate in off-campus study programs (co-op, overseas study, etc.) during the spring semester.

Students are not excused from the Housing Agreement because they meet age requirements or attain senior status mid-year. Students are also not automatically excused from the Housing Agreement if they drop below 12 credit hours or wish to commute. Students with co-op or student teaching assignments during the spring semester may petition to be released from the Housing Agreement only if their placement site is beyond a reasonable commuting distance from Valparaiso.

REGULATIONS

By signing the Housing Agreement, the student agrees to comply with all residence hall policies, rules, and regulations listed in the Valparaiso University Bulletin and General Catalog, the Valparaiso University Student Guide to University Life, as well as all other policies, etc. the University may issue.

On line versions of the catalog and guide may be viewed at the

Registrar's Office website: http://www.valpo.edu/registrar/

REFUND OF THE HOUSING DEPOSIT

In case of eligible cancellation of a Housing Agreement by a student, refunds will be made as follows:

  1. 100% if WRITTEN NOTICE is received by the Office of Residential Life ON OR BEFORE the application deadline -- March 1, 2013 for the Fall 2013 semester and November 15, 2013 for the Spring 2014 semester.
  2. 50% if WRITTEN NOTICE of cancellation is received by the Office of Residential Life between the application deadline and June 1 for the fall semester, or by December 1 for the spring semester.
  3. NO REFUND if notice is received after June 1 for the fall semester, or December 1 for the spring semester.

The Housing Agreement may not be canceled after July 1 (for the Fall Semester) or December 31 (for the Spring Semester) unless a student withdraws from the University. Requests for cancellation after the deadline must comply with the criteria covered related to Housing Policy Exemptions. Approved cancellations after this date are subject to a $200 late cancellation fee.

NON-DISCRIMINATION POLICY

The Office of Residential Life adheres to the Valparaiso University non-discrimination policy in all of its programs, practices, and policies. Room assignments and changes are made without regard to race, color, or national origin.

TRANSGENDER HOUSING OPTIONS

Valparaiso University offers several transgender housing options dependent upon the class standing of the student. These include:

  • Single or double rooms with private bathrooms 
  • Suite-style housing options 
  • Apartment options 

Students interested in receiving additional information or exploring these housing options should contact Ryan Blevins, Assistant Dean of Student for Residential Life.

SMOKING POLICY

Smoking is prohibited in all student residences including residence hall rooms, student apartments, common areas of residence halls, floor lounges, kitchens, computer labs, recreation rooms, lobbies, etc.

CONSOLIDATION POLICY

Once classes begin each semester students who have not been granted a designated single room, but find themselves without a roommate during the first eight weeks of the semester (at no fault of their own), will be subject to room consolidation. Students in these circumstances will be notified by letter, and given these options:

  1. pay for a single room on a pro-rated basis for the remainder of the academic year (this option available only to students in their third or greater semester in residence)
  2. have another student who is living alone move in with him/her.
  3. move into a room that is occupied by another student living alone who has not paid for a single room.

When conflicts about moving occur, the student with the least number of earned credits will be required to move. First-year students (students entering the university during the applicable fall semester, or later) DO NOT have the option of paying for a single room but must consolidate with another student living alone. Students who lose their roommates after the eighth week of the semester will not be subject to consolidation.

Students living in three- and four-person rooms/apartments that are not filled to capacity will also be subject to consolidation. Students who fail to adhere to the consolidation policy are subject to disciplinary action, and/or the appropriate rent charges. Residential Learning Coordinators and Resident Assistants work with students involved in the consolidation process to help explore options, and work towards a quick and amicable resolution to the process.

The University reserves the right to make changes in the residence hall assignments, if necessary for the most effective accommodation of the student body.

VACATION / BREAK HOUSING

Vacation/break housing in 2012-2013 will be offered to students who:

  1. are International/Interlink
  2. are a VU athlete with practice or games
  3. are involved in a credit-bearing internship or co-op program over break
  4. are student teaching
  5. live more than 500 miles from my home

The Office of Residential Life will usually choose between Brandt Hall or Wehrenberg Hall for vacation/break housing. All other residences close for vacation/break periods and academic breaks. Students who anticipate a need for housing over vacation periods may wish to pursue an assignment in the aforementioned areas during the formal room selection process. Students who are eligible for break housing, but do not live in Brandt or Wehrenberg would be required to relocate for the break period if they are deemed eligible for break housing. For more information regarding break housing, please contact the Office of Residential Life.

SINGLE ROOMS

Students may place their name on a waiting list for single rooms once he/she has complete the room selection process. Single rooms may not be requested for the first floor of Alumni, Brandt, and Lankenau Halls. Single rooms will be assigned on a space available basis only according to room selection priority number. There are a limited number of designed single rooms available in Guild Hall and Memorial Hall. Not all of these rooms are available during the room selection process.

Students who are interested in a single room should check the appropriate box on the Housing Agreement on the night of the room selection process. By doing so, the student acknowledges that there are additional costs for a single room accommodation. Students who are placed on the waiting list must sign up with a roommate or be placed with a roommate by the Office of Residential Life. The Office of Residential Life will make reassignments to single rooms as space becomes available over the course of the spring and summer months.

MEDICAL ACCOMMODATION REQUESTS

Students with medical conditions that require specific accommodations (air conditioning, private bath, etc.) need to:

  1. Sign up for the room selection process at his/her residence hall desk
  2. Schedule a brief meeting with his/her Residential Learning Coordinator to discuss additional documentation needed for the request.

This includes students who are currently receiving medical-related accommodations. Documentation from a physician must be on file with the Office of Residential Life prior to March 1, 2013 to be considered. The student may also be required to meet with the University physician, a member of the Student Counseling and Development Center, and/or register with Student Disability Services.

The University will attempt to provide reasonable accommodations to all students. Students with conditions covered by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) must be registered with Student Disability Services. Students with conditions not covered by ADA will be accommodated as space is available. Students requiring air-conditioning, and granted a special accommodation, must choose from rooms where air-conditioning units are already present. The university will not install air-conditioning units where they do not already exist.

Students with documented medical conditions must participate in the room selection process, so please make sure you sign up at your residence hall desk and meet with your Residential Learning Coordinator.

REQUESTING A HOUSING EXEMPTION

Valparaiso University maintains its residence halls for occupancy primarily by full-time undergraduate students. Part-time, graduate, and law students are welcome to apply to live on-campus, however first priority for housing is given to full-time undergraduates. The University reserves the right to deny housing to individuals who are not full-time undergraduate students.

Valparaiso is by design a residential University. Living on campus provides educational and living and learning experiences that lead to a student's growth and development and an enhancement of one's total education at VU. Because residentiality is such an important component of the VU experience, only in very special circumstances would a student be exempted from the University housing requirement. Requests for policy exceptions will be considered only if they fit into one of three categories:

  1. Special needs related to a specific medical condition that cannot be accommodated in University residence halls.
  2. Special needs related to a specific psychological or psychiatric condition that cannot be accommodated in University residence halls.
  3. An extreme, unanticipated, and unpredictable change in family financial status since the student's initial enrollment at the University and/or signing of the Housing Agreement.

In each case, a student must complete a Housing Policy Exemption Application at the Office of Residential Life. In medical and psychological/psychiatric cases, the student must provide documentation from a physician, psychologist, or psychiatrist including diagnosis, specific needs related to condition, and recommended treatment including an explanation of why alternative housing is necessary. The student must also submit a written statement authorizing the attending physician, psychologist, or psychiatrist to discuss the student's case with University medical and/or psychological staff. In cases of financial hardship, the student must submit appropriate documentation including such items as tax returns, financial aid statements, and payroll receipts. The student may also be required to meet with a Financial Aid officer to review the family’s financial status and explore the possible availability of additional aid in response to changes in said status. In all cases, the student must show how living off campus will result in savings so significant that not doing so would require him or her to withdraw from the University.

All requests for exemption are reviewed by the Assistant Dean for Residential Life and/or the Housing Appeals Committee. The student requesting an exemption is responsible for assembling and presenting any and all information to assist the committee in the decision making process. Students are informed in writing of the decision. All decisions are final. In the event of an approved Housing Agreement cancellation, the student may be subject to a $200 late cancellation fee. To avoid a hold being placed on your student records, please submit your request by April 1, of the applicable spring semester for the next academic year.