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Residential Living

Residence Life

The mission of Residence Life is to guide students’ growth through meaningful relationships with God and others in a purposeful living/learning community.

Spring Arbor University was established as a residential university. It subscribes to the living/learning experience as a vital part of whole–person Christian education.

In keeping with this philosophy, all full-time, traditional-aged students enrolled in the traditional campus offered program are required to live in the campus residences. Students in violation of this policy will be fined $100 and required to move on campus immediately.

Exceptions may be granted to those who meet one of the following criteria and complete a Housing Exemption Application:

  • 22 years of age by the first day of the semester
  • Living with an immediate family member over the age of 22
  • Married or possessing of independent status as defined by the Office of Financial Aid (Note: married students are not permitted to live in traditional campus housing)
  • Student who has custodial care of legal dependent(s)
  • Students involved in a 12-credit hour or more internship or a student teaching semester more than 30 miles from campus

NOTE: A student’s off-campus residence may not be more than 60 miles from campus and must be the homeowner’s primary address.

SAU is not obligated to house students who are under the age of 17 or older than 22. Students entering or who fall below full-time status must request permission to reside in campus housing.

To stay on campus during J-term, students must be taking a class, working on campus, or participating in in-season athletics.

Campus Meal Plan Requirement

SAU values community development and views sharing mealtimes as vital to nurturing relationships on campus. Therefore the following meal plan options are required for resident students:

  • First time students living on campus may select from either Meal Plan #1 or #2 and must maintain one of these plans for the entire academic year.
  • Sophomores living in traditional residence halls may select from meal plans #1 through #4.
  • Juniors and Seniors living in traditional residence halls may select from meal plans #1 through #5.
  • Sophomores and Juniors living in village housing may select any of the six meal plans offered.
  • Seniors living in villages or K-houses will have the option to select from any of the six meal plans offered. However, no meal plan is required for these students.

For meal plan summaries, see a full description at

Resident Directors and Resident Assistants

Resident Directors (RDs) are full-time professional staff members who have completed at least an undergraduate degree. They live in a residence area and are responsible for facilitating a Christian living/learning environment. They are assisted by upperclassmen Resident Assistants (RAs) and may also have Assistant Resident Directors (ARDs).

Community Responsibility

Students living in campus owned housing are responsible for the behavior that takes place within their residence.

No apartment, house or room should be used by anyone (tenant or guest) at any time for activities in violation of Spring Arbor University policies. If evidence exists that such violations have occurred, accountability action will be taken. This action could include forfeiting housing privileges, moving students to another location, and/or other accountability action.


Study, television and conversational areas are provided at various places within the campus residences. Lounge conduct is expected to be appropriate to the area and never an embarrassment to others. Couples involved in inappropriate expressions of intimacy will be subject to accountability action. Each individual who uses a lounge should take responsibility for keeping it clean, orderly, and well-maintained. Lounge furniture is not to be removed. Lounges are closed to members of the opposite gender after 2 am. Lounges reopen to the opposite gender at 8:00 a.m.

Overnight Guests

Overnight guests in University housing must be registered and approved in advance with the host’s RA. Guest day visits and overnight accommodations are a privilege and may be discontinued by the RD at any time. Guests under the age of four are not allowed overnight. Students need to respect the wishes of their roommate(s) when inviting guests over. Students are responsible for the behavior of their guests. Guests may stay no more than three nights a month (anywhere on campus). Students with guests on campus are responsible for picking up a temporary parking pass for their vehicle by contacting campus safety.

Quiet Hours

Quiet and study hours are an established necessity of community living to provide everyone an opportunity for adequate study and rest in their room. Quiet hours are from 11 p.m. to 9 a.m. During quiet hours, all residents and other persons in and around the residence halls are expected to refrain from making or causing noise or any other disruption that infringes upon the rights of residents to study, rest or sleep. During quiet hours, all sound must be contained within a resident’s room.

Courtesy Hours

Whenever quiet hours are not in effect, noise levels must be kept at a minimum, as determined by the residence life staff. Speakers are not permitted on windowsills and, at no time, should amplified sound be directed out windows. A violation of this policy may result in a fine or referral to the accountability committee. Drums are not permitted in the residential area.

Housing Check-In/Check-Out

Upon arrival at Spring Arbor University, each student will be issued the appropriate room key by the RD. Students should keep their doors locked to provide a safeguard for individual belongings.

The RA will check the student into the proper room by jointly completing a room condition report. Room condition reports are used as a record of the condition of the room at the time of check-in and check-out. Any missing articles or damages that occur during a student’s residency will be recorded and charged to the student.

Each resident must complete the following basic check-out procedure before leaving campus:

  • Clean the room thoroughly and request a check-out time with an RA.
  • Go over the room condition report with the RA.
  • Turn in the room key and sign the room condition report.

NOTE: $20 is charged for failure to return the key and $50 is charged for failure to check out with a staff member. Other fines may be assessed for lack of cleaning or damages.

Specific instructions will be posted in residences prior to closing campus housing at Christmas, spring break and at the end of the school year. It is expected that students will leave campus within 24 hours of their last exam.

Any violations of these procedures could result in fines of up to $200 plus damages.


Occupants are responsible for damages that occur in their residence. The residence is defined as everything from the exterior entry door to the exterior of the window(s). Damages within the residence should be reported to the RA and recorded on the room condition report including information on who will specifically be held responsible for the damage.

Damage to common areas such as hallways, bathrooms, stairwells, lounges and all the corresponding fixtures and furniture within these areas will be charged to individuals responsible. In cases involving group negligence, the University reserves the right to assess fines and or other disciplinary action to the group. Resident students have a $200 housing deposit that may be decreased due to damages or other fines.

Housing Assignments

Housing assignments for new students are made on the basis of information requested on the housing application form and availability of space. Choices for returning students are made in the spring during the room sign-up process. The University reserves the right to place additional students in all rooms if needed. Students who sign up for housing but then no longer need housing must inform the office of Student Development and Success by July 15. Failure to do so may result in the loss of the $200 housing deposit.

Room Changes

It takes considerable time and effort to build good roommate relationships. The RA and RD are available for consultation in resolving issues. A room change may be officially requested through the RD. We do, however, encourage all students to make a good faith effort in their present situation for at least one full semester. Room change applications will be made available toward the end of the first semester.

Room Security

Campus residences remain locked at all times. Residents may use their ID card to access exterior doors. Each resident is issued a personal room key enabling rooms to be locked at all times. If you become locked out of your room, the proper procedure is to find your roommate or wait for your RA or any RA. Lastly, contact your RD.

  1. Do not block or prop open hallway or entrance doors.
  2. Always lock your room, even if only leaving for a few minutes.
  3. Report any strangers in the building to the residence life staff or campus safety (Solicitors are not permitted on campus).

Room Searches

When there is reasonable cause, as determined by University Officials in their sole discretion, to believe that an individual is using a campus residence for a purpose which is illegal, unsafe, or otherwise in violation of community standards, authorized university staff have the right to enter, inspect, and search the residence with or without the student being present. Any evidence found in a search will be confiscated and turned over to the Office of Student Development and Success or Campus Safety. Except in an emergency situation (as determined by the University), a room search will be conducted by at least two representatives of the University. A student who refuses permission for a room search is subject to immediate dismissal.

Personalizing Rooms

Students are welcome to personalize their residence within certain limits. The goal is to create an enjoyable living environment that is consistent with the philosophy of the Spring Arbor University community.

  • Occupants are expected to keep their rooms clean.
  • Items, signs and posters not keeping with the character of the University are not to be displayed in student rooms or on University property. These include items that involve nudity or are otherwise morally objectionable or socially offensive, containers for alcoholic beverages and other alcohol and drug related paraphernalia (e.g., signs, posters, etc.).
  • Images displayed should adhere to the modesty guidelines referenced in community standards.
  • Outward facing objects (e.g., flags, posters, signs), with pictures or symbols that are visible in the window from the outside, are prohibited.
  • Nails, screws, duct tape or other adhesives that cause damage or leave sticky residue on the walls or surface may not be used. Double sided sponge tape is not allowed. White poster putty and masking tape are acceptable methods to hang things.
  • Candles, including candle warmers, and incense are not permitted, lit or unlit.
  • Halogen lamps are not permitted.
  • University supplied furniture must remain in the campus residence at all times.
  • Pets, with the exception of fish, are not permitted. Fish tanks must be 20 gallons or less.
  • Painting rooms is not allowed.
  • Use of wallpaper or contact paper is not allowed.
  • The possession of property owned by private agencies such as realtors and contractors, or the property of public agencies or utilities is appropriate only when used with their expressed permission.
  • The use of personal electrical appliances is limited because of the safety and sanitation needs created by living in a community. Consequently, cooking appliances are not permitted in rooms, with the exception of coffee makers, and hot pots. Enclosed cooking devices may only be used in kitchen areas. Microwaves, hot plates, toaster ovens and electric space heaters are not permitted in residence halls.
  • Students may have small refrigerators in their rooms (six cubic feet or smaller).
  • Electrical wiring, switches, outlets or fixtures must not be tampered with.
  • Only one extension cord per outlet is acceptable. No multi-plug receptacles or adapters may be attached unless they contain an internal fuse or circuit breaker with a maximum rating of 15 amps.

Miscellaneous Policies and Procedures

Sports in Campus Housing

Sports are not allowed within campus housing as considerable damage, injury and excessive noise can occur. Residence Life staff will determine what activities fall into this category. Water games are also not allowed in campus housing.

Electronic Entertainment and Media Use in Campus Housing

The use of television, video games, Internet-based content, and movies calls for discretion on the part of the user. As a Christian academic institution, SAU is concerned with stewardship of time and the appropriateness of media used; therefore, the following rules are in effect:

  • Pornography in any form is not acceptable
  • R-rated movies and mature rated games are not to be utilized in lounge areas or other public areas
  • Films or other media that are exceptionally violent, vulgar, or sexual in content should not be viewed

As a community that cares for each other, students are encouraged to challenge each other concerning appropriate media use. If anyone is having trouble in terms of the time or content of their gaming, internet, or other media use, they are encouraged to seek help from Residence Life staff or other Student Development and Success staff.

Telephone Service

By request, each residence can be equipped with a single telephone service line through Spring Arbor University.

Storage of Bicycles

Outdoor racks are provided and are the preferred location for storing your bikes. Bikes may not be temporarily or permanently stored or parked in hallways, basements or other public areas inside buildings. Bikes must not be left on the racks over the summer, as they will be removed.

Laundry Facilities Area

Each residence hall, village house and K-House is equipped with mobile app-operated washers and dryers.


Each residence hall and village house has a kitchen space with full-size stove, microwave oven, and sink. Students are expected to clean up after themselves, washing utensils, appliances, and the sink immediately after use.

Housekeeping/Maintenance Services

Light bulb replacement, plumbing repairs or emergencies, heating/cooling problems, and housekeeping inquiries should be brought to the attention of the RA for referral.

Property Protection

Spring Arbor University is not responsible for lost or stolen items or items damaged in our residential spaces. Personal goods should be protected by individual or family homeowner’s insurance (or renter’s insurance). The following suggestions are made for your protection:

Insure and mark all valuables.

  • Always lock your room and secure your window.
  • Report all losses or thefts to the Office of Campus Safety, and alert your RA.
  • Respect University property as you would respect your own belongings.
  • If you notice something happening that seems suspicious, report the matter to your RA, RD, Campus Safety, or call 911 at once. Your involvement will help make Spring Arbor University a safe and enjoyable community.

In Case of Fire

The Spring Arbor Township Fire Department has recommended the following procedures in case of fire. Check the door of your room. If your room door seems cool and there is no evidence of smoke in the hall:

  1. Open the door cautiously, keeping your body braced against it. Keep one hand on the knob and the other hand over the door opening to detect any in-rushing heated air.
  2. If the halls appear safe, proceed rapidly out of the building. Close all windows and doors behind you, but leave them unlocked.
  3. Go to the nearest exit and leave the building.
  4. Meet quickly at your designated area so that all persons can be accounted for.

Meeting Places

  • ALPHA – south of main entrance, by the oak tree
  • DELTA – west side of Delta, near Ogle Street
  • GAMMA – south of main entrance, by the oak tree
  • OGLE VILLAGE – courtyard
  • POST VILLAGE – courtyard
  • GAINEY HALL – by volleyball court
  • ANDREWS HALL – campus lot west of College Street
  • K–HOUSES  – front lawns

If your door is hot, you may be trapped. Do not open the door. Instead, follow this procedure:

  1. If you can safely exit the window, by any means do so. Otherwise hang a sheet out the window to signal rescuers.
  2. Seal the cracks around the door using cloth articles. This helps create a barrier against heat and smoke.
  3. If possible, open the windows slightly at the top and bottom to let fresh air in and smoke out of the room.
  4. Wait to be rescued.

If you must move through a smoke-filled area, move quickly in a crouching position. Heat and smoke rise, and dangerous gases settle near the floor.

Residence Hall Visitation Policy

Residence hall visitation hours provide students with the opportunity to invite opposite gender guests into their room. By accepting this privilege, a student is expected to demonstrate self-regulation and responsibility for other room occupants and guests.

Regulations for visitation hours are as follows:

  • Doors must remain open
  • Lights must remain on
  • Appropriate behavior between couples is expected
  • An RA will make regular rounds on each floor
  • Members of the opposite sex must not be in the rooms, hallways or stairwells for any reason, except during University visitation hours.

Men’s Floors

Tuesday: 7 – 11 pm

Women’s Floors

Thursday: 7 – 11 pm

ALL Floors

Friday: 7 – 11 pm

Saturday: 7 – 11 pm

Sunday: 2 – 11 pm

Village Visitation Policy

Regulations for village visitation are the same as stated for residence halls. Hours vary slightly as follows:

Men’s Villages

Tuesday: 7 – Midnight

Women’s Villages

Thursday: 7 – Midnight

ALL Villages

Saturday: 7 – Midnight

Sunday: 2 – Midnight

Koinonia House (K-House) Visitation Policy

Students living in University houses are upperclassmen. They are expected to live responsibly in a home environment. Persons of the opposite gender are not allowed in the bedroom areas of University houses (this includes bedrooms turned into studies or “hangout” space).

Visitation Hours

Sunday – Thursday: Noon to Midnight

Friday – Saturday: Noon to 1 am