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Housing Policies & Procedures

Residency Requirement

The Board of Governers at Southeast Missouri State University requires that all full-time students live on campus for two years (four semesters, excluding summers). In accordance with the residency requirement, all full-time students must live on campus unless they meet at least one of the criteria for an exemption from the residency requirement:

  • Living with parent or legal guardian, and commuting from their residence, within 50 miles of Cape Girardeau.
  • 21 years of age by the beginning of the semester for which they are enrolled.
  • Are a military veteran having served one year of active duty military service, post Initial Entry Training (IET). If so, send in a copy of DD214 (long) if under age 21 by the beginning of the semester for which you are enrolling.
  • Completed at least 57 credit hours, which are accepted by the University towards earning a degree from Southeast. Credit hours must be earned as of the beginning of the semester for which the release is requested. If so, send in copy of your transcript.
  • Married and/or have dependent children living with the student. Send in copy of marriage license. If impending, a copy of the wedding announcement. If you have a dependent child, send in a copy of the birth certificate or prior year’s tax return with child listed.
  • Resided in University housing at Southeast or another college or University for two years (4 semesters, excluding summers).
  • Qualify for the Sophomore Exemption. Contact the Office of Residence Life for more information.
  • Attending one of the regional campuses or higher education centers and not a student on the main Cape Girardeau campus. Send in copy of classes.
  • Temporary Protected Status (TPS) Exemption for students from a country with TPS designation (as identified by the US Department of Homeland Security) within the past 3 years, who are experiencing financial hardship. Submit evidence of country of origin from Passport, I20 or DS-2019. Must have completed at least one semester living on campus at Southeast.

Terms & Limitations of the Release from Residency

  • The release from residency remains in effect as long as the student continues to meet the criteria for an exemption from the residency requirement. If the student’s situation changes (i.e., moves out of parent’s home and moves into other off-campus housing) the residency release becomes invalid and the student must meet the University’s residence requirement or be approved for a release.
  • A residency release obtained due to false, inaccurate, or misleading information being provided to the University will be rescinded. The student will then be required to move on campus and/or reapply for a release from residency and may be referred to the Office of Student Conduct.
  • The Office of Residence Life does not use verbal notification for any contract or residency release request decisions. The student will receive written notification of the decision regarding residency request.

Contract Cancellations Guidelines

Students who wish to request a cancellation of their Contract for University Housing must complete a Contract Cancellation form. Contract cancellations are permitted for students who have a change in student status, such as withdrawal from the university, marriage or similar situations as outlined in the University Residency Requirement. The University and Office of Residence Life do not generally allow cancellations of contracts for University housing after the contract has been signed. If you have questions about the contract, residency requirement, or cancellation policy, visit the Office of Residence Life website at

Guests Policies

Students are responsible for the behavior of their guests at all times and should inform guests of appropriate University and Residence Hall policies:

  • Guests must be registered with the Resident Assistant or Hall Director for the purpose of safety and security. If guests are found unregistered, they may be told to leave the building, and/or be escorted by the Department of Public Safety.
  • Additionally, any overnight guest must register their vehicle with the Department of Public Safety (DPS).
  • Guests must be approved by the host’s roommate(s).
  • Guests must abide by all policies of the residence halls and floors, with guests and hosts mutually responsible for the conduct of the guest. Guests not observing University or residential life policies may be escorted from the building and restricted from further access. Residents are subject to disciplinary action for the inappropriate behavior of their guests.
  • Each guest should be accompanied by a host at all times. Any person not in the presence of a host may be escorted from the building and restricted from future access.
  • The length of stay for any overnight guest may not exceed two consecutive nights in a 30-day period. Overnight guests are permitted only if the guest does not violate the guest policy.
  • All guests must use gender appropriate bathroom facilities. Guests may use shower facilities located on floors occupied by the same-sex residents.
  • During a fire alarm or other emergency in an adjacent building, Residence Life staff (student and/or professional), the Department of Public Safety, and/or the Cape Girardeau Fire Department may restrict access of guests to adjacent buildings.

Failure to abide by the guest policies may result in suspension of guest privileges.

Alcoholic Beverages

Southeast Missouri State will enforce the ban on alcohol and alcohol containers (full or empty) in all residential buildings and public areas of the residence halls. Empty alcohol containers will be treated by the Office of Residence Life, Student Conduct, and the Department of Public Safety as alcohol violations, as it is presumed that the alcohol was consumed on campus.

Drugs & Drug Paraphernalia

The possession or use of illegal drugs or drug paraphernalia may result in suspension from the University, removal from the residence halls, and suspension of other rights and privileges. Since the possession or use of illegal drugs is a violation of criminal law, it is possible for a violator to be subject to criminal action. This policy includes the misuse of prescription drugs.

Fire Safety Equipment

Tampering with fire safety equipment in any way is both against Residence Life policy as well as state law. False alarms pose a serious risk to the safety of residents and their guests. Disciplinary action will be taken against those found tampering with safety equipment or causing false alarms with sanctions including removal from the residence halls.

Hallway Sports

Playing with sports equipment, playing organized games and/or using equipment better suited for outdoor use in the hallways is prohibited. This is to protect the rights of other residents to sleep, study, and to have access to their rooms as well as prevent damage to University or personal property. Failure to comply with this policy may result in disciplinary action, confiscation of equipment, and/ or suspension from the residence hall.


No form of bigotry, harassment, intimidation, threat, or abuse – whether verbal or written, physical or psychological-will be tolerated. Any such behavior may be grounds for dismissal. This also includes internet based, phone based, and sexual harassment. For assistance, contact a Residence Life Staff member. In an emergency, call the Department of Public Safety.

Quiet & Courtesy Hours

It is expected that each resident will show courtesy and be sensitive to the needs of other residence hall community members at all times. Televisions, game systems, or stereos played at excessive volumes can be particularly disruptive to persons trying to sleep or study. For that reason, residents are expected to be conscious of the volume of their electronic devices. Repeated disruptions may result in a resident being required to remove stereos or other devices as deemed necessary or relocation to a different residence hall.

Room Entry

The expectation of privacy is important and should not be violated. However, entry into or search of student living quarters may be conducted by the following person for the following purposes:


  • Law enforcement officers in performance of statutory duties.
  • University personnel to perform custodial and maintenance service to ensure that health, fire, and safety regulations are maintained.
  • Authorized University personnel in emergency situations to protect the health and welfare of students. Or, any time that there is cause to believe the health and safety of the residents may be in danger or result in probable destruction to evidence of the violation.
  • Authorized University officials when there is reasonable suspicion to believe a violation of University, Residence Life, or civil regulations is being committed.
  • Authorized University staff to check the cleanliness and safety/security of a room.


Authorized University personnel indicated above include: members of the residence hall staff, members of Facilities Management staff and University personnel or their agents contracted to perform maintenance or repair services on behalf of the halls. Other members of the University staff may enter under conditions above only when accompanied by authorized personnel or their agents. Observance of possible violations of University policy, rules, or regulations will be referred to the hall staff or Office of Residence Life for follow up.


Residence hall premises are for the exclusive use of residents, their guests, and University personnel. Any persons other than residents, their escorted guests, and/or authorized University personnel are prohibited from entering or remaining on these premises. Trespassing violations will be handled through the Office of Student Conduct and the Department for Public Safety.


Students may not damage or deface student rooms or common areas of the residence halls. Any student who destroys or defaces any bulletin board or other materials posted for the benefit of the community will be referred to the Office of Student Conduct and will be responsible for the replacement costs of the vandalized materials, including any time necessary to repair the materials.

Weapons, Ammunition, & Fireworks

The Office of Residence Life adheres to the Code of Student Conduct policy on weapons and fireworks. A violation of this policy is subject to immediate removal from the residence halls.