Residence Life & Student Housing

Residence Hall Policies and Expectations

The following expectations are specific to students living in SMU Housing and their guests. Additional University policies can be found in the Community Standards and in SMU Student Code of Conduct available from the Dean of Student Life.

Appliances and Refrigerators

Only one refrigerator is permitted per bedroom and may not exceed 3.1 cubic feet in size. Refrigerators should be connected directly to an electrical outlet and should be the only appliance plugged into a double outlet.

Digital/Bulletin Board Posting Policies

All information to be posted in the residential communities must be submitted to the Residence Life and Student Housing (RLSH) Office for approval prior to distribution.  All postings must be for events and information related to or sponsored by an SMU club, organization, or department. The fliers must be prepared in both a digital and paper format.  The Residential Commons (11 communities) have digital signage. The upper division communities do not have digital boards. Provide 9 hard copies of your flier for those communities.   


  1. Submit one jpg image to
  2. The image resolution must be 1920X1080 in landscape format or it will not show correctly. We will not post images that are not in this format.
  3. Upon approval drop off eighteen (9) 8.5X11 inch fliers to the RLSH office in Boaz for the upper division communities.
  • Show clearly the name of the SMU club, organization, and/or department
  • Submit information at least 7 days prior to the preferred posting date.
  • Allow 48 hours to receive initial approval and up to 5 days to post the flier.
  • In the email, indicate a beginning and an ending date for how long the information should be posted

Postings That Will Not Be Approved:
• Postings specifically promoting a business
• Postings promoting alcohol

Dining/Meal Plans

All resident students are required by University policy to subscribe to a meal plan. Residents in Hawk and Martin Halls, SMU Service House, Daniel House & upperclass residents of Moore are not required to have a meal plan, but may subscribe if desired. All-you-care-to-eat meals are available at Umphrey Lee Center and at Arnold Dining Commons, convenience meals are available at Mac’s Place and Flex Dollars can be used at any SMU dining location and campus convenience stores. Students with special dietary needs may consult with the SMU Dietician at (214) 768-4349. Further information is available from Dining Services at

Energy Conservation and Recycling

All residents are encouraged to conserve energy whenever possible by following these energy-saving tips and strategies:

  1. Turn off the lights when you leave the room/apartment.
  2. Use a desk light instead of overhead lighting.
  3. Turn off electrical equipment, machines and lights when your work is done.
  4. Use electrical equipment sparingly.
  5. Plan your work to take advantage of sunlight for desk work and reading.
  6. Dress according to the weather.
  7. Be sure that there are no curtains or furniture blocking radiators.
  8. Close shades when it is hot and open them when it is cold.
  9. Don’t let the water run while you brush your teeth.
  10. Take shorter showers and/or shallower baths.
  11. Remember to turn off the hall television when finished watching it.
  12. Buy rechargeable batteries
  13. Use fluorescent light bulbs

Recycling containers are available in all residential communities and residents are encouraged to recycle as part of the effort to Reduce, Reuse, Recycle. Most recycling at SMU is ‘single stream’ meaning items do not have to be sorted.

Residents are encouraged to speak with their Residential Community Director (RCD) or E-Rep regarding energy conservation and sustainability

Lounge Areas

Lounges are available for all residents to use. Some lounges and community classrooms may be reserved through the RCD for study groups, meetings, and University related activities. Sleeping in the lounges is not permitted. When using a lounge, please respect quiet hours and be considerate of rooms nearby.

Overnight Guests

Guests may stay in a resident's room with advance permissions from roommate(s) and suitemates.  Guests are not permitted for the first two weeks or last two weeks of a semester. Guests are limited to three nights per week unless approved in advance by the roommate, suitemates, and the Residential Community Director. Residents must accompany their guests within the residence hall at all times. Guests may not stay overnight in any public area of the residence hall.

Quiet Hours

Quiet Hours are periods when noise must be kept to a low level and must be contained within a student’s individual room. At all times within the University housing, noise which is disturbing to others is inappropriate. The residence hall atmosphere must be conducive to reasonable sleep and study for residents.

All residential communities are required to have a nightly minimum of 10 consecutive-hour quiet period. Quiet Hours will begin at 10:00 p.m. on weekdays, and midnight on Friday and Saturday. Quiet Hours may be adjusted, by a community vote, as long as they adhere to the 10 consecutive-hour rule. Residents are expected to observe 24-hour Courtesy Hours at all times out of respect for the rights of others. If noise levels are disturbing, residents should first request that the noise be lowered. If this does not resolve the situation, residents may seek a staff member for assistance. It is expected that reasonable requests for quiet will be responded to in a positive and civil manner.

During final exam week, 24-Hour Quiet goes in effect at 7:00 p.m. on the last day of classes, to insure a conducive study environment.

Room Damage and Room Condition Report

The Room Condition Report (RCR) or Apartment Condition Report (ACR) is completed prior to resident arrival by staff members who inspect the room, make an inventory and record damage. Residents should make note of any damages and discuss them with RLSH staff within the first week of classes to ensure the resident is not billed for pre-existing damages. When a resident checks out, the RCR/ACR is used to assess any damages for which the resident may be responsible.

Damages are defined as repair or replacement needs that are caused by activity or use beyond what can reasonably be deemed normal wear and tear, even if the damage is accidental. Damages to resident rooms/apartments and common areas of the University residence community are not anticipated and are therefore not included in the rent. Residents will be charged directly for damages that occur in their room/apartment. Outside contractors and other workers are not permitted to perform repairs or other work in University residence rooms/apartments unless hired by SMU to do so.

In addition, damages that occur in common areas for which no resident accepts responsibility will be charged to residents of the residential community on a pro-rated group basis. Depending on the circumstances, common damages will be charged to all residents of the community or to a subset of residents. For example, damages to the lobby may be charged to all residents while damages to one hallway might be charged only to residents on that floor.

A list of common damage charges will be posted in your residence hall.

Room Decorations

Residents may personalize their rooms, within limits. All University furniture must stay in the room. Bookshelves, pictures and other items may not be secured to the walls by bolts, screws or nails, glue, etc. Concrete blocks, bricks and boards and ‘homemade’ lofts are not permitted. Residents may request a "loft adapter kit" (where applicable) from the Area Desk while available if they want to raise their beds. Rooms may not be painted and carpet may not be removed. Modifications to the room are prohibited. Tension rods are the only mechanism that may be used to hang curtains. Door decorating is allowed for specific time periods for holidays and special occasions. Doors may be decorated for holidays up to one week and for up to two days for special occasions.

Any damages to the room, including damage to walls, will be charged to residents when they check out of their rooms. To avoid unnecessary charges and damages, RLSH provides these guidelines for how to hang things in the halls.

In all residential facilities, painter’s "blue tape" and poster putty/sticky tack are permitted for hanging posters and light-weight items on the walls. “Blue tape” is approved for short term use only and should not be used to hang something for more than 10 days at a time.

Residents who live in the following residential facilities may also use up to ten tacks/pushpins and small picture hangers (20 pound max) per resident to hang items:

  • Armstrong
  • Boaz
  • Cockrell-McIntosh
  • Crum
  • Daniel House
  • Kathy Crow
  • Loyd
  • Mary Hay
  • McElvaney
  • Morrison-McGinnis
  • Peyton
  • Service House
  • Shuttles
  • Virginia-Snider
  • Ware

If you have any questions about what is permitted, ask your RCD or RA before you hang up any items.

Visitation and Guests

Guests are defined as any non-resident of a resident’s room. Guests who are not residents of that hall must be escorted at all times by the hall resident whom the guest is visiting. Residents are responsible for the actions of their guests, including any Community Standards violations or vandalism. At all times, the right of residents to study, sleep or privacy takes precedence over the privilege of visitation.


Commercial solicitation and/or canvassing are not permitted in the residence halls. This policy is important because it enhances hall security and limits interruptions. Activities such as magazine subscription sales, take-out laundry services and the like are not permitted inside the residence hall. Using residence hall space as an office is not permitted. RLSH will on occasion, however, permit some exceptions to occur for Hall Council and RHA activities. Contact hall staff or SMUPD if solicitation occurs in the hall.

updated Fall 2014