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Residence Life


Residence halls at Dakota Wesleyan provide students with a living/learning environment that is an integral part of the total educational purpose of the university. The residence halls provide educational support services to the university by creating and maintaining a guided, group living experience for the personal, scholastic and social improvement of the individual resident. Students with circumstances requiring additional consideration or accommodations should contact the director of residential life.

It is the policy of Dakota Wesleyan University that all students live on campus unless one of the following applies to you by the first day of each semester.

  • You are under the age of 18.
  • You are 21 years of age or older by the first day of each semester.
  • You are married.
  • You have dependent children living with you.
  • You have been disciplinarily dismissed or banned from the residence halls.
  • You will be living with parent(s) or legal guardian within 40 miles of the campus. This must be substantiated by parent's signature on housing form.
  • You are enrolled as a part-time student (less than 12 credits).
  • Additionally, any student receiving over $11,000 institutional aid is required to live on campus, regardless of meeting other criteria or risks losing institutional aid.

Students who do not meet the above criteria are required to live on campus. If a student's living arrangements are in violation of the residency policy, the student may either move into the residence halls immediately or "buy out" the room portion of the housing contract at the full semester rate of a double room and a Tiger Blue Plan (15 meals).

Resident directors and/or the director of residence life will assign a room for each new student after the student has submitted the housing intention form and has paid the $50 room reservation deposit.

The housing process will take place in the spring semester of each academic year. The following is a general layout of the process.

Squatter’s Rights
All students who live in Allen Hall or the Apartments have an opportunity to squat their current room. In order to squat, the squatters must consist of at least 50% of the current residents and the room must be completely occupied (i.e. to squat a pod of six, at least three of the current residents of that pod must squat along with enough others to fill that pod up to six). If the current residents cannot agree on who will get to squat the room, squatting rights will be forfeited.

Displaced Student Housing
All students being removed from their current room by administration, you may claim a residency. Displaced students may squat any room, but it must be completely occupied. This may apply to students in special housing situations imposed by administration. This right does not apply to Dayton Hall residents.

Housing Lottery
All students who do not plan to squat their room but plan to live on campus for the next academic year must draw a lottery number based on their tier. The tiers are based on credits completed as of the end of the fall 2009 semester as follows:

Tier 1: 100+ completed credits
Tier 2: 80 – 99 completed credits
Tier 3: 60 – 79 completed credits
Tier 4: 40 – 59 completed credits
Tier 5: 20 – 39 completed credits
Tier 6: 0 – 19 completed credits

EACH STUDENT must draw a lottery number. Your number will determine the order in which you will choose your room for the next academic year. You and your roommate will draw at the time allotted by the roommate with the lowest lottery number.

REMINDER: You must have at least 45 completed credits to sign up to live in the Apartments!

Housing draw

Time 1 – Tier 1 invited to sign up for Apartment Singles
Time 2 – Tier 1 invited to sign up for Apartment Quads
Tier 2 invited to sign up for remaining Apartment Singles
Time 3 – Tier 1 invited to sign up for Apartment Doubles
Tier 2 invited to sign up for Apartment Quads
Tier 3 invited to sign up for remaining Apartment Singles
Time 4 – Tier 1 open sign-ups
Time 5 – Tier 2 open sign-ups
Time 6 – Tier 3 open sign-ups
Time 7– Tier 4 open sign-ups
Time 8 – Tier 5 open sign-ups
Time 9 – Tier 6 open sign-ups THIS ENDS THE HOUSING DRAW!

*Any student who has not signed up for housing by the end of the housing draw will not be guaranteed housing for the following academic year. The director of residence life reserves the option to reassign students’ rooms at any time as deemed necessary.

Residence Halls
*Two-semester contracts: Any new, current or transfer student who does not meet the criteria to live off campus and/or commute MUST sign a two-semester contract.

*Fall semester contracts: Students who will be eligible to move off campus spring semester (i.e., turning 21, student teaching, graduating, etc.) or who wish to retain the option of moving home (with parents/legal guardian within 40 miles of DWU) at the semester break, may sign a fall semester contract. Note that any change in housing arrangements must comply with DWU housing policy. Students may choose to extend fall contract through spring semester by contacting the director of residence life. Students failing to properly check out of the halls prior to the first day of classes spring semester give implied consent to renew and extend their contract for spring semester and agree to the terms listed previously.

*Spring semester contracts: Any new, current or transfer student who wishes accommodations for spring semester only.

Students may cancel fall and two-semester contracts in writing without penalty up to August 1. Spring semester contracts may be canceled in writing without penalty up to January 10 for new spring students.

Campus Apartments
All campus apartment contracts are two-semester contracts including fall and spring semesters of one academic year. Students must sign a new contract for each successive academic year that they wish to live in the campus apartments. Returning students may cancel the apartment contract, without penalty, if written notification is received by May 15. Written notification must include acknowledgement from the other roommates.

Dakota Wesleyan University strongly believes in and supports the residential experience. Therefore, there are specific criteria that must be met in order for the student life committee to grant a waiver of the residency requirement. Students must possess a solid record of academic achievement, demonstrate extraordinary circumstances and be in good standing with the university.

Current students must file all residency and meal plan exemption requests by March 1 for the following academic year. Requests filed after that deadline may not be considered. Appeal applications are available from the director of residence life or from enrollment services. All appeals must be submitted by March 1 for current students, June 15 for students entering in the fall, and December 1 for students entering in the spring. Granted appeals are valid for current academic year only. Students must file a new appeal annually until they meet one or more criteria to legitimately live off campus.

The right to privacy is of paramount importance and should not be violated. However, the entry into, and/or search of university owned/controlled facilities, including residence hall rooms, apartments, and offices; or private property may be conducted by the following people for the purposes and under the procedures detailed below.

  1. By civil law enforcement officers in the performance of statutory duties in accordance with legally defined procedures governing search and seizure.
  2. By university officials in the performance of judicial duties and in accord with DWU student code procedures governing search and seizure and/or with reason to believe that violation of city, state, federal law or DWU policy is occurring within university-owned and/or controlled property, including residence hall rooms and apartments.
  3. During vacations by authorized university personnel to insure that health, fire and safety regulations are maintained.
  4. By authorized university personnel or agents to make improvement and repairs, to provide routine maintenance services, and for fire, life safety and damage inspections. The university shall give at least 24 hours notice of such entry. When a student requests maintenance or repairs, no notice is necessary.
  5. By authorized university personnel in emergencies to protect the health and welfare of the occupants, or to make emergency repairs to prevent damages to the property of the student or the university.
  6. Out of consideration for neighboring residents/offices when an unattended persistent annoying noise is occurring within the room.
  7. During fire alarms all rooms will be entered and checked thoroughly, including closets, for occupants.
  8. When a staff member knocks and is invited in.
  9. When the door/curtains are open and a violation of university policies is in plain view.
  10. In cases where university officials have reason to believe that prohibited items are being transported or stored on university property, they may search the area. Individuals found to have prohibited items may be subject to disciplinary action on and/or off campus. This policy includes, but is not limited to, backpacks, bulky packages, coolers, laundry baskets and vehicles on university property or at university-sponsored events.

Room walk-throughs, as a health and safety precaution, will be conducted during breaks throughout the year. Students will be given notice of upcoming breaks and walk-throughs. Violations of university policies will result in disciplinary action. If a walk through is warranted for reasons other than health and safety at times other than breaks, residents will be notified. Residence life staff may obtain a search authorization if necessary.

During the academic year, students wishing to change rooms/halls may do so by making arrangements through the director of residence life. First impressions may not always be accurate and we will not consider room or hall changes during the first two weeks of any semester to allow students an opportunity to get to know their new roommate(s) before requesting a change. This time frame also allows us to verify occupancy and determine where spaces may/may not exist prior to any move. We hope that roommate differences and disagreements may be resolved through mediation and compromise. Resident assistants are available to help with this process if students choose to attempt to resolve their differences instead of moving. If all attempts to resolve the conflict fail and/or the student is determined to change rooms, hall or roommates, he/she is required to follow the established procedures. From this point, students may request room changes up to two weeks prior to final exams. During this period, no room changes may occur. Again, this allows us to verify occupancy and prepare for students transferring into DWU.

Before moving, a student must:

  1. Complete the necessary forms with the resident assistant.
  2. Obtain the director of residence life’s signature before any move.
  3. Check into new room according to procedures.
  4. Check out of previous room according to procedures.

Failure to follow the established procedures may result in a $25 charge for unauthorized room change and/or disciplinary action.

DEFAULT SINGLE If the resident’s assigned roommate never checked in or moved out during the academic year leaving one person in a designated double room this is called a default single. You end up with a single but are paying the double rate. To remedy this situation, the remaining resident has three options:

  1. The student may elect to pay the single room rate that will be adjusted accordingly from the date of change.
  2. The student may choose to consolidate by moving to another vacant space in his/her residence hall or have another student move into his/her room in order to maintain the existing room rate.
  3. If no consolidation occurs, student must accept any new roommate assigned by the director of residence life with little or no advanced notice.

SINGLE ROOMS We believe that living with one or more roommates is essential to the residence life experience and maximizes the educational opportunities available within the residence halls and thus only a limited number of students will be permitted to live alone in a double room and only when space is available. Students assigned to a single room understand that this privilege will result in higher room charges than those assigned one or more roommates. In the event that the institution must assign one or more roommates to those previously granted a single, we will notify you as soon as possible of this change. Students who are assigned roommates will be billed at the double rate until such time as it may become possible to grant their request for a single. We realize that we may have more requests for single rooms than we can accommodate. We have created the following list regarding who has priority for single rooms.

Single rooms are granted in the following order:

  1. Resident assistants
  2. Seniors according to the number of achieved credits
  3. Juniors according to the number of achieved credits
  4. Sophomores according to the number of achieved credits
  5. Freshmen according to the number of achieved credits

Once all single rooms have been assigned, students may request that their name be added to a waiting list in the event that a room becomes available. Available spaces are assigned according to the same priority list regardless of whether you are the first or last name on the list. In the event that we need to eliminate singles, they will be eliminated in reverse order when possible.

Students with documented medical or physical special needs requiring a single room may contact the director of residence life for information and additional consideration.

Each room and apartment is equipped to accept a touch-tone telephone which the student must provide. Campus and local service is included in the residential living charge established on a yearly basis by the university. Students may choose to use pre-paid phone cards or personal cell phones for long distance service. Pre-paid phone cards are available from a variety of stores, including the DWU Bookstore.

It is the policy of the student life office not to release phone numbers to the general public. Calls can and will be transferred from the campus life office to the student requested or his/her voicemail. In some situations, messages may be placed in the student's campus mailbox. Students are encouraged to activate their voicemail account and to check it regularly since this is the number that most faculty, staff and others are likely to use in the absence of any other contact information.

WARNING: Students are NOT authorized to charge calls to ANY university number. Any such calls will be referred to the telephone company as fraudulent calls. South Dakota laws prohibit the fraudulent use of a credit card, telephone billing number or device to obtain or attempt to obtain telephone services without payment of lawful charges. The maximum penalty for violation is a fine of $1,000 or two years imprisonment or both. Law prohibits intentional annoyance of another by telephone. The maximum penalty for violation is a fine of $500 or one year imprisonment or both. The misuse of college telephone equipment may result in the offending student's suspension from the university.

Students must refer to the information listed below for specific requirements of each vacation or break period. Halls are closed during Christmas break and all students must secure alternative housing arrangements. Step-down status will be in effect on campus during fall break, Thanksgiving, Easter and spring break, and during summer classes. During step-down status, services provided to students are limited (i.e., limited residence hall staffing and no food service). All university rules and policies are in effect. Students will be advised of any policy changes that will be effect during posted breaks.

When residence halls close for the semester and breaks, residents must complete the following checklist before departure:

  • Ensure the smoke detector works.
  • Empty the garbage.
  • Turn heater to low setting (not off).
  • Unplug all appliances except aquariums and refrigerators (at semester break everything must be unplugged except refrigerators in the apartments.)
  • Close and lock the window and shut the drapes.
  • Lock the door.

Students are encouraged to follow these guidelines whenever they leave for extended time periods.

Heaters are required to be left on because frozen pipes break and can cause extensive water damage. Repair and damage costs are the responsibility of residents who fail to keep their windows closed and heaters on during cold weather and vacation periods.

Students are encouraged to defrost their refrigerators regularly or at least once a year (i.e., before leaving for semester break). When you defrost your fridge, we recommend that you empty water trays, remove wet towels and prop fridge door open prior to leaving for the break. Water and wet towels left in a closed fridge may result in odor and mold upon your return as well as possible damage to the floor or furnishings from water leakage.

Residence life staff members will enter all student rooms when the halls close for breaks to make safety and security inspections and to complete work orders without additional notification.
Residents should also arrange for the care of plants and fish when the halls are closed since residence hall staff members are not responsible for upkeep.

Breaks are designed to give faculty, staff, and students a chance to relax and return refreshed and for these reasons all students are expected to leave for each designated break. With permission from the resident director, an exception may be granted if:

  1. A student is required by the university to stay;
  2. A student lives more than 400 miles from campus; or
  3. A student has extraordinary circumstances deeming it necessary to remain in the halls.

Students wanting to remain in the halls must contact their RD a minimum of two weeks prior to the break. There will be an additional charge of $10/night for those individuals staying over vacation periods since room and board costs do not include break periods. We reserve the option of determining which rooms will be used for vacation housing. Any student violating policies during these times will be subjected to double sanctions and required to find alternative housing for the remainder of the break. Students choosing to stay should seek alternative meal arrangements. Campus food services are not available during break periods.

THANKSGIVING BREAK The residence halls are not closed during Thanksgiving, however step-down status will be in effect during this time. No meal service is available and visitation is not permitted during this time.

CHRISTMAS/SEMESTER BREAK Christmas break officially begins after a resident's final exams are completed. All residents are expected to be out of the residence halls 24 hours after their last exam. Halls will reopen at noon the day before classes resume.

SPRING BREAK The residence halls are not closed during spring break, however step-down status will be in effect during this time. No meal service is available and visitation is not permitted during this time.

EASTER BREAK The residence halls are not closed during Easter, however step-down status will be in effect during this time. No meal service is available and visitation is not permitted during this time.

SUMMER BREAK Residents are expected to be out of the residence halls 24 hours after their last final exam or by 5 p.m. the day after graduation. Residents needing to stay beyond that time must have permission from the director of residence life

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Last updated: 1/11/10