Housing & Residential Life

2018-2019 Student Handbook

Residence Hall Rules & Regulations

**Violation is subject to misconduct action**


Students are expected to conduct themselves in accordance with the laws of the state of Montana and the Federal Government, Billings City Ordinances, Board of Higher Education policies and the MSU Billings Code of Student Conduct regulations. In general, students are expected to behave in a considerate and reasonable manner, which respects the rights of the University and of any other person who may be affected by their actions.


Reporting An Incident

It is the responsibility of each resident to help promote a safe and effective living environment. When residents see something happening that is a violation or out of the ordinary, they are encouraged to say something (SEE IT, SAY IT). Residents can report concerns to a student or professional staff member in person or can submit a report via the online system from the housing webpage. Simply go to www.msubillings.edu/reslife and select “Report An Incident” in the lower right portion of the screen. Your right to remain anonymous will be protected to the best of our ability.

A. Marijuana-Drug Policy:

No illegal drugs or drug paraphernalia are permitted (see Part IX, B, 2B of the Student Affairs Policies and Procedures). MSUB takes drug use seriously and eviction is not an uncommon practice for first time use.

  • Medical Marijuana Permits:  Although Montana state law permits the use of medical marijuana, i.e., use by persons possessing lawfully issued medical marijuana cards, federal laws prohibit marijuana use, possession and/or cultivation at educational institutions and on the premises of other recipients of federal funds. Possession of a valid and appropriately held Medical Marijuana Permit identification card does not authorize a Resident or their guests to possess, use, or distribute marijuana in any university residence hall or apartment, university-owned property or in any public area of the university.

    Students who request and receive a valid and appropriately held Medical Marijuana Permit identification card during the term of the Residence Halls contract, may submit a written request and copy of the MMP card to the Housing & Residential Life Office to petition from release from their contract without financial penalty.  Written requests will be evaluated on a situational basis and refunds are not guaranteed, but may be considered.
  • Legal But Abused DrugsMSUB is aware that there are some drugs that are often abused by students, but are legally obtained through certain shops (ie. Spray paint, Spice, Bath Salts). While these may have been obtained legally, MSUB does not allow or encourage use of them as they can have harmful effects when consumed. Any use of these types of drugs will be in violation of the residence hall drug policy and may result in misconduct action. 

B.  Liquor (Alcohol) Consumption:

  • The legal drinking age in Montana is 21.
  • Personal consumption of alcoholic beverages by residents of legal drinking age or their invited guests (also of legal drinking age), in private living quarters in the residence halls or other campus living units, shall not unduly interfere with the rights of others, nor cause the normal operation of the residence halls or campus living unit to be disrupted.
  • Individuals who are not residents may not bring alcohol into the residence halls.
  • No alcohol is permitted in community gathering places; i.e.—lobbies, elevators, stairwells, balconies, hallways, etc. (see Part IX, B, 2A of the Student Affairs Policies and Procedures.)
  • At no time will any size keg or party ball or large quantities of alcohol be allowed in the residence halls.
  • Residents must close their doors where alcohol is legally being consumed in an effort to avoid noise violations.
  • Students, who are not of the legal age, may not be present in a room where alcohol is present or being consumed.
  • It is illegal for those of legal drinking age to provide alcohol to any person under 21 years of age.
  • Residents who are not of the legal drinking age may not display or store empty alcohol containers in their room.
  • The sale of alcoholic beverages on campus is prohibited.


C.  Tobacco Use on a Tobacco FREE Campus:

MSUB is a Tobacco Free Campus. This means the use of any tobacco related product (i.e. cigarettes, electronic cigarettes, chewing tobacco, or other legal tobacco substances) IS NOT permitted to be used within campus property, including the residence. While students may possess tobacco products, the USE of ANY tobacco related product is prohibited. This includes any public area of the residence halls, balconies, in any residence hall room, and parking lots. 


Students found in violation of the university wide Tobacco Free

Campus policy may be subject to misconduct action.  Repeated and flagrant violations of this policy may result in the

termination of a resident’s housing contract.

If you currently use tobacco products and would like information on quitting please pick up a “Quit Kit” from  Student Health Services in the Petro Building foyer.

D.  Weapons and Explosives:

No firearms, ammunition, weapons, fireworks, explosives, noxious materials, incendiary devices, dangerous instruments, pellet guns of any kind, rifles, paint ball guns, or other dangerous substances are allowed in the residence halls or on campus property or build­ings.  Switchblade knives, bayonets, and all concealable weapons with blades over three (3) inches (7.62 cm) in length are prohibited on campus and within the residence halls at any time (see Part IX, B, 2C of the Student Affairs Policies and Procedures).

MSU Billings provides safe and secure storage of weapons, for those who qualify, in the campus Armory located at University Police. For information regarding, expectations, policy, and procedures please visit the MSU Billings Armory  page.


E.  Room/Hall Damages:

Residents will be financially responsible for all damages which

exceed normal wear and tear in their room.  Painting of residence hall rooms is prohibited.  Any damages to

lounges, restrooms, etc. will be charged to the resident responsible for the damage.  Rooms will be checked at both the time the resident checks-in and checks-out.  Corporate charges may be assessed to the wing, floor, or entire building if common areas are damaged.  The Housing Department reserves the right to lock off bathrooms, kitchen, or laundry rooms that have been excessively damaged or vandalized in order to have the area repaired and/or identify the person(s) responsible.


F. Quiet Hours:

Quiet hours are in effect from 10:00 pm to 8:00 am Sunday through Thursday and 11:00 pm to 8:00 am on Friday and

Saturday.  (Noise that can be heard further than two doors away is too loud).  In addition, “courtesy” hours are in effect

24 hours a day.  These hours allow for the normal pursuit of academics during non-quiet hours. 24-hour quiet hours go in effect the Sunday leading into finals week during fall and spring semesters, with non-quiet hours between 11:00 am to 1:00 pm and 5:00 pm and 7:00 pm.

G.  Visitation:

The residence halls are secured 24 hours/day for residence

protection and safety.  Guests may visit the residence halls under the following conditions:

  1. The guest must register at the front desk.
  2. Please check guests in at the front desk of the Hall.
  3. Guests must show a valid MSU Billings ID or Government Issued identification. Guests must be over 18 years of age or have obtained a guest pass. Residents can check-in a maximum of 3 guests at one time and must accompany their guest at all times.
  4. Residents of Rimrock and Petro Hall may enter the opposite building by showing their ID from noon to 12:00 am without checking in with a resident. Residents still must present a valid MSU Billings ID.
  5. Guests need to check-out at the front desk area when they leave.

H.  Solicitation/Sales/Electioneering:

No solicitation/sales/electioneering will be allowed in the Residence Halls.  Violators will be escorted out of the Residence Halls (see Part VII of the Student Affairs Policies and Procedures).


I. Overnight Guest Policy:

A residence hall student may have an overnight guest under the following conditions:

  1. The resident occupies a single room, or has obtained the permission of the roommate if they occupies a double room.
  2. Residents must sign in guests through the appropriate procedures in each hall and the guest must show a MUS ID or driver’s license.   Residents can check-in a maximum of 3 guests at one time and must accompany their guest at all times. Guests must check out when they leave.
  3. The stay may be for a maximum of two (2) nights. For stays longer than two (2) nights, arrangements must be made with the resident’s Hall Director.  Guests are limited to a maximum of 20 nights per semester anywhere in the residence halls.
  4. Any resident or guest who is in violation of the guest visitation policy may be subject to misconduct action by the Hall Director.
  5. All residents are responsible for the actions of their guests. All guests must comply with all residence hall rules and regulations. If a guest of a resident is found in violation of a rule or regulation, they may be denied entrance to the residence halls.

Residents who have guests who violate policies, may be denied the privilege of checking in guests for the remainder of the semester.


*Note: No minors are allowed in the residence halls without the prior approval of the Office of Housing and Residential Life. Residents may obtain a guest pass for minors at the Housing Office, Student Union 225, Monday through Friday, 8:00 am to 5:00 pm by filling out the appropriate paperwork, or from a Hall Director on duty after hours, the form may be obtained by visiting our web page www.msubillings.edu/reslife under forms. Residents must obtain the pass at least 48 hours in advance. Permission must be granted from a parent or a legal guardian of the minor. Housing and Residential Life has the right to refuse a request for minor visitation for safety and liability reasons. The minor must be accompanied by the host student at all times during the stay


J.  Burning of Incendiaries/Candles:

The burning of incense, candles, cigars or any other substance, creating a noxious odor in the halls is prohibited. Residents are encouraged to use & closely monitor warming devices.


We recognizes the sacred medicines of sage, cedar, and sweetgrass that smudging may incorporate as elements of purification and sacred ceremony.  Other related medicinal plants may be considered but must receive prior approval from the Associate Dean of Students.  We support the use of the sacred medicines for indigenous cultural events and activities taking place in the residence halls including, but not limited to, opening and closing prayers, smudging, feasts, sacred circle gatherings, and pipe ceremonies.  Per the 1978 Native American Religious Freedom Act, University Housing & Residential Life policy allows these traditional practices when used in a safe, careful and consistent manner.  At student wishing to use sage, sweetgrass, or cedar for religious purposes should register as a user with the Residence Hall Director upon move-in. The online form will be at www.msubillings.edu/reslife.


K.  Fire Alarms:

Treat all fire alarms as if they were the real thing.  All residents must evacuate the building immediately, when the fire alarm sounds.  All students need to exit down the closest stairwell, if it is safe to do so and out the fire doors.  Any students who do not evacuate the building are subject to misconduct action. Anyone found tampering with any fire equipment will be subject to misconduct action and possible criminal prosecution (see Part IX, B, 2I of the Student Affairs Policies and Procedures).

Fire safety information:

Fire extinguishers are strategically located throughout each

residence hall floor. They are to be used only in the event of a fire.  If you are found tampering with them, you could be charged a fee to refill and/or may be subject to misconduct action.


Exit signs are considered fire equipment and are placed to guide residents to exit routes in emergency situations. They are not to be covered or tampered with.  Smoke Detectors are also sensitive pieces of fire equipment.


Actions that result in the activation of a smoke detector, tampering with fire alarm apparatus and equipment (including removing smoke detectors or batteries) or false alarm may result in criminal penalties and misconduct action.


If a smoke detector is beeping, the battery probably needs replaced.  Please contact your hall director for a replacement.


Before a fire occurs, you should prepare yourself by knowing the location and route of your escape via the closest exit.  A smoke alarm can wake you, but an escape plan can help save you.  Fire drills occur periodically throughout the semester and are designed to provide an opportunity to help residents hear alarms and evacuate the building. Please treat them as the real thing every time – it could save your life!


If  a  fire  occurs,  please  follow  the  fire  safety  procedures outlined below:

  1. Keep your head low and move quickly to the nearest exit. Crawl, if you can, so you do not breathe smoke.
  2. Touch the door with the back of your hand before opening it. Before touching the door handle, cover your hand for protection. Intense heat, deadly smoke, or gas may be on the other side. If the door is hot, do not exit the room; place a sheet or something to gather attention outside your window for the fire crews to know which rooms they need to send rescue crews to.
  3. Do not waste time getting dressed, looking for keys, or gathering valuables. Leave the building immediately and stay out.
  4. Alert other occupants of the building and residence hall staff.

L. Pets:

Pets are not allowed in resident rooms, lobby areas or public spaces with the exception of fish. Turtles, frogs or any other fully aquatic animals are not allowed. Aquariums of more than 10 gallons must receive approval of the Hall Director.  We are not responsible for Pets in case of an emergency.


For information regarding service animals or emotional support animals, please visit the Housing webpage http://www.msubillings.edu/reslife/forms.htm.  There is an application that must be completed and turned into the Housing Office as well as to get registered with Disability Support Services. 


M.  In-Hall Sports:

To promote consideration of others and to protect facilities and fire safety equipment, any recreational activity; i.e. frisbee,

racquetball, golf, water fights, soccer balls, hackey-sack, running, NERF guns, darts, etc. occurring on residence hall floors is prohibited.  This includes, but is not limited to wrestling, rollerblading, skateboarding, riding bicycles, hover boards or wheeled device and the tossing, throwing, or kicking of any items.  Gambling is also prohibited. 


N.  Room Inspection and Entry:

MSU Billings is committed to respecting the student’s right to privacy.  However, the right to enter rooms and perform required maintenance, to determine the condition of university property, and to regulate suspected violations of university rules and regulations or if suspected conditions in the room are deemed life threatening is reserved.  Rooms will only be entered in accordance with State law, which requires prior written notice be given in all cases which are not deemed emergencies by virtue of belief that the occupant or the facility is in imminent danger or University policy is being violated.  This notice may be individually addressed or a general notice may be posted on each floor.  We reserve the right to do room inspections with proper notice at anytime.


1. Fire Drill Checks: During fire drills, rooms may be entered for the purpose of determining if all residents have evacuated. Students will be required to leave their rooms during a fire drill. This action is for the protection of your life.


2. Emergency situations which warrant entrance of rooms:

a. Occupant has been missing for an extended period of time for unknown suspicious reasons or is reported missing by a roommate, friend, or parental call of concern.

b. Occupant calls for help verbally or by telephone.

c. Residents and/or their belongings are threatened by imminent danger.

d. Conditions in a room are a constant and annoying disturbance to other residents, for example: radios, alarm clocks, phones, stereos, etc.

e. The possibility of trespassers exists, indicating that residents are in danger.

f. There is reasonable cause to suspect University rules and regulations are being violated


3. Room Entry:

a. Staff members will knock, but need not receive verbal permission, before entering a room if, in the mind of the staff member in charge, the danger is of sufficient magnitude.
b. If an occupant refuses entrance to a staff member, the staff member may enter with a pass key, only if he or she is reasonably sure
that the occupant or state property is in danger.
c. Room searching for contraband, such as Residence Hall firefighting equipment, narcotics, university property, or items, which may endanger Residence Hall occupants, shall be done in accordance with state laws.


4. Spraying for Insects

a. ALL rooms will be sprayed for insects twice a year (the end of each semester).


5. Maintenance requests that have been submitted grant permission to enter your room, unless otherwise specified.



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