Community Standards

The following are the Community Standards that guide the actions of the Office of Student Life in creating a vibrant, safe and healthy community. While the list may seem extensive, there is a simple underlying principle that guides all of our actions: we engage in activities that are designed to create a safe, supportive residence hall community and expect residents to do the same. As members of a community living in close proximity to one another, your actions can have a significant impact – positive or negative – on the academic performance and personal growth of other residents. Our goal is that all residents have a positive impact on the community and on the lives of others.

 (last updated in August 2017)

Guide to Community Living

Most up to date information.

Art in the Residence Halls

Students may not possess, nor may they utilize any artistic media, which poses a safety risk in the residence halls. For example, solvents, inks, oil or spray paints. Students may make use of non-hazardous media, however, they are responsible for any damages or cleaning fees associated with their actions. Any art installation in the residence halls must be approved by Assistant Director of Student Life in advance and is subject to any additional requirements of the Office of Student Life. Any artistic media or art installations which fail to meet these requirements will be removed at the resident’s expense and will not be returned. MECA is not responsible for lost, stolen or removed art work.

Bikes

Bike storage is available in the basements of both Miles Standish and Shepley, and also in the lobby of Oak. Residents must register their bikes with the Office of Student Life. The form to register a bike can be found in the Residence Life section on the MECA website. Bikes must be chained ONLY to the bike rack. Bikes not registered with the Office of Student Life or chained to anything other than the bike rack will be removed from storage. Neither MECA nor the Office of Student Life is responsible for theft or damage that results from bike storage and students are strongly encouraged to lock up their bike.

If you live at S&F, external bike racks are available in front of the building. Your bike will need to be registered with MECA through the bike registration form as well as with Port Properties at their office at 104 Grant Street.

Bikes must be removed when a resident moves out. Any bikes left at the end of the academic year after move out will be removed and donated.

Break Access to the Residence Halls

Oak, Miles Standish, and Shepley

There is no access to the residence halls during winter break. Residents may stay in the halls during Thanksgiving and Spring breaks. If a student has an extenuating circumstance and needs to stay in the halls over winter break, they must contact their Assistant Director, and decisions will be made on a case by case basis. An additional fee will apply. Students must vacate the residence hall within 24 hours after their final exam or request an extension.

S&F
Residents in S&F are granted access to the residence hall during all breaks, including Winter Break. Residents will still be required to fill out an online break housing for to sign up for break housing.

Residents who will not remain in housing over breaks are expected to:

  • close and lock all windows
  • remove all trash and recyclables to designated receptacles
  • turn off all lights and unplug all appliances
  • remove all items on or around the heaters
  • remove or secure all food to prevent pest infestation
  • lock room/apartment door
  • have a clear path to all fire exits in the room
  • mini-fridges will need to be defrosted and unplugged during winter break.

Failure to meet these break closing expectations could result in judicial action or additional fees.

Building Access and Keys

Residence halls are locked 24/7. Oak and Shepley residents use their MECA ID card as a proximity card to enter the building. Miles Standish and S&F residents are issued a key to enter the building. Residents are also issued a room key and mailbox key. Residents are not permitted to replicate keys or loan their keys to other residents or nonresidents. Residents may not alter the keys issued, including tape and painting. Residents are given one free lock out each semester. For each additional lock out, they are assessed a lock out fee of $5, which will be applied to their student bill. If a resident has lost their keys or reported them stolen to the police, they must report this to the Student Life Office immediately. Students will be given a temporary key for 3 days. Room keys not found within 3 days will result in a lock core change and new keys made for all residents. All keys must be returned at the time of move out.

Fees for Keys & Lock Changes:

  • Lock change: $50
  • Mailbox key: $10
  • Miles Standish front door key: $10
  • All S&F keys are $100 per key

College-Owned Furniture

All furniture assigned to a room must remain in the room. Likewise, common area furniture must not be removed from common areas. Should furniture be found moved or missing, the resident(s) involved will be billed the cost for relocation or purchase. Some wear and tear is expected on college-owned furniture, but cases of exceptional damage will be billed to the resident(s) involved. College-owned mattresses should be covered by a mattress pad and sheets at all times during use and should not be placed on the floor.

Resident-Owned Furniture

Due to the risk of bedbugs as well as the difficulty of disposing of abandoned property, residents may not use their own mattress and/or box spring. Residents may not bring any piece of upholstered or large furniture into the residence halls such as couches, futons and recliners.

Residents are required to obtain prior approval from their Assistant Director of Student Life if they are requesting an exception to this policy.

Common Space Cleaning Fees

The Facilities Department regularly cleans all common spaces in the residence halls. These services include: sweeping, vacuuming, emptying trash and providing maintenance. When these areas are dirtied or damaged beyond normal wear and tear, the Office of Student Life will make every attempt to ascertain the person(s) responsible. If this is not possible, all residents will share the cost of cleaning and/or repair. The minimum charge per resident will be $5.00.

Cooking

Students residing in Shepley, S&F, and Miles Standish will have a kitchen in their unit. Oak units do not have a kitchen. There is a small refrigerator and a microwave for students to use in the Oak Lounge. Oak students have access to communal kitchen in the Shepley lounge, located on the first floor in Front Shepley. It has a stove, oven, microwave, and full size fridge.

Shepley and Miles Standish apartments come with an apartment sized refrigerator, stove, oven and sink. Microwaves are not provided. You are welcome to bring one microwave per unit.

S&F apartments come with an apartment sized refrigerator, dishwasher, oven, stove, and sink. Microwaves are not provided. You are welcome to bring one microwave per unit.

Oak residents are welcome to have a mini-fridge (4.2 c/f max) and microwave. You are welcome to bring one of each per unit.

Electrical Appliances

Devices with an open heating coil or system, such as toasters, toaster ovens, hot plates and griddles, are prohibited. Mini-refrigerators are permitted but will be inspected, inside and out, during room inspections. Halogen lamps, lava lamps or other lamps that generate excessive heat are prohibited. The use of electrical appliances with a high voltage/wattage draw, such as sub-woofers, air conditioners and space heaters, requires the prior approval of the Director of Facilities; this approval will be communicated in writing.

Extension Cords

A UL-rated power strip that has a switch, 15 amp circuit breaker, ground fault protection and surge protection must be used, and may not be plugged into another power strip. For fire and safety reasons, extension cords are not allowed in the residence halls.

Facilities Issues in Oak, Miles Standish, and Shepley

Residents who have facilities issues they need fixed should email facilities at facilities@meca.edu. In the case a facilities issues poses an immediate risk to persons or the residence halls, residents must notify an RA or Pro Staff member immediately.

Facilities Issues in S&F

Maintenance: 207-761-0832 ext 1 (routine maintenance)
Emergency Maintenance: 207-761-0832 ext 2

Call the emergency number for any building problems, including a clogged toilet, water problems, appliance issues, and electrical issues. Call the emergency line for urgent problems, such as a loss of heat or a major leak. etc. If you report a non-emergency issue on this line, you will be charged a minimum of $25.00 per call (other fees may be incurred if staff is sent to your apt). If these numbers are unresponsive, or you are unsure of what to do, feel free to call the RA or ProStaff On Call.

Laundry

Laundry facilities are in each residence hall. Oak’s laundry room is located in the lobby. Miles and Shepley laundry rooms are located in the basement. Laundry costs $1.75 to wash and $1.75 to dry. Our washers and dryers run on quarters or you can use a credit/debit card. Should there be any issues with the laundry machines, please email the Assistant Director.

Mail

Oak, Shepley, and Miles Standish Residents:

Letters or small packages mailed through the United States Post Office should be delivered to Oak, Shepley, and Miles Standish. The mail-carrier delivers mail to each unit’s mailbox. Mailboxes are located on the first floor of the building.

The mailing addresses for Oak, Shepley and Miles Standish are:

Miles Standish
Student’s Name
11 Shepley Street, Room #
Portland, ME 04101

Shepley
Student’s Name
15 Shepley Street, Room #
Portland, ME 04101

Oak
Student’s Name
51 Oak Street, Room #
Portland, ME 04101

S&F
Student’s Name
117 Preble Street, Room #
Portland, ME 04101

Packages mailed through Fed-Ex, UPS or other private carriers should be sent directly to MECA’s Porteous building. Private carriers do not have access to our residence halls. The College Receptionist will sign for packages and students will be emailed when their package has arrived and to pick up their package at the Student Life desk.

The mailing address for Porteous is:

Maine College of Art
Student’s Name
522 Congress Street
Portland, ME 04101

Parking

Student parking is not available on campus. Any unauthorized vehicles found parked at Shepley, Miles Standish, and S&F will be towed at the owner’s expense. Students are strongly discouraged from bringing a vehicle with them due to the limited nature of parking in Portland. The City of Portland has public transportation, which students can utilize to get around the city. Conveniently, there is a bus stop in front of MECA.

Pets

No animals (except for service animals required for a disability or assistance animals approved through the Disability Services Coordinator) are permitted in the residence halls. Residents may only have a fish tank with fresh water fish in a three gallon or smaller tank. No other animals in tanks allowed.

Pets: Assistance Animals

Maine College of Art (MECA) is committed to allowing Assistance Animals as defined by the Fair Housing Act that provide physical and/or emotional support to individuals with disabilities.  This policy specifically addresses Assistance Animals and does not apply to “service animals” as defined by the Americans with Disabilities Amendments Act. This policy explains the specific requirements applicable to an individual’s use of an Assistance Animal in the residence halls at MECA.

It is MECA’s policy to prohibit any animal in the residence halls except in cases of approved reasonable accommodations based on a documented disability. However, no Assistance Animal may be kept in the residence hall at any time prior to the individual receiving approval as a reasonable accommodation. A request must be initiated by the student registering for disability accommodations with the Disability Services Coordinator.

Storage

There is no storage space for student belongings available in the residence halls during the academic year. Over the summer, International students or students who live a significant distance from MECA can request storage from their Assistant Director.

Toilet Paper

Toilet paper in the residence halls is provided by the Maine College of Art. Toilet paper is located in the laundry rooms of each building. Residents may not take more than four rolls of toilet paper at any given time.

Trash, Recycling and Composting

Trash and recycling containers are provided in the residence halls. Residents are expected to dispose of their own trash regularly in the provided containers. Trash found in inappropriate areas will result in a removal charge to the responsible resident(s) or to the entire community if the responsible party cannot be identified.

Composting is provided in Miles Standish or Shepley. Residents wishing to compost should contact their RA for a composting container for their unit. Compost bins can be found by the dumpsters in Miles or Shepley.

Wall Hangings

Residents are encouraged to hang posters, pictures, etc in an effort to personalize their room. All hangings should utilize a media that will not damage the walls. The use of nail, tacks or push-pins is strictly prohibited. Due to fire safety concerns, wall hangings should cover no more 50 percent of the wall space in your room. Damage charges may result for items that are inappropriately hung. No items may be hung from the ceiling.

Policies

Abuse

Conduct which threatens or endangers the health, safety, or emotional well being of MECA community members will not be tolerated. Verbal, physical, or sexual abuse or the threat of abuse, is strictly prohibited and will not be tolerated.

Alcohol Policy

All students and their guests are required to adhere to federal, state, local, and Maine College of Art policy regarding alcoholic beverages. Maine State Law requires that people be 21 years of age before purchasing, using, and/or possessing alcoholic beverages.

Oak, Miles, and Shepley Alcohol Policy
Possession or use of alcohol in Oak, Miles, or Shepley is strictly prohibited. The following is a partial list of behaviors prohibited by this policy.

  • Possession of alcohol;
  • Exhibiting signs of alcohol consumption or intoxication (including slurred speech, nausea, alcohol on breath, etc.);
  • Possession or disposal of an empty alcohol container;
  • Possession of any equipment whose purpose is the consumption of large amounts of alcohol (including taps, funnels, etc);
  • Sale, service, provision, or production of alcohol;
  • Supporting the violation of the alcohol policy (being present or providing a room where an alcohol violation is taking place).

S&F Alcohol Policy
S&F has a different alcohol policy, which is detailed below, for those residents who are 21 years of age or older.

  • Students who are 21 years of age or older and reside in S&F are allowed to consume alcohol in their apartments providing all occupants, including guest, present are 21 year age or older.
  • Legal aged residents of S&F are allowed to have either one six-pack of 12-ounce beers or wine coolers or one bottle of wine per resident, not including guest. Liquor is not allowed.
  • Common sources of alcohol such as, but not limited to, kegs, party balls or alcoholic punches are not allowed.
  • Impairment as the result of intoxication does not negate a student’s responsibility for the consequences of their actions, or the actions of their guest(s), regardless of age.
  • The consumption of alcohol in public areas such as, but not limited to, hallways, elevators, common lounges, laundry rooms, outside of the residence hall on College property.
  • Because rapid consumption of large quantities of alcohol is far more dangerous than casual and responsible drinking, games (such as Beer Pong or Flip Cup), which promote alcohol consumption based on speed and/or volume, are not permitted.
  • Guests who are not MECA students will be considered the same age as their host when enforcing the alcohol policy, regardless if they are over 21. This means if a MECA student is 19, and has a guest come visit who is 21, the guest will be considered 19 and is not allowed to drink or possess alcohol, since their host is underage.
  • All other policies set forth in the Guide To Community Living apply to residents of S&F when visiting Oak, Miles, or Shepley.

Failure to comply with the alcohol policy may result in investigation and/or charges by the Portland Police.

Communication

The primary form of communication from the College is email. Residents are responsible for checking their MECA.edu e-mail account regularly. Information may also be passed along to residents during mandatory floor/building meetings.

Disability-based Housing Accommodations

Please contact the Disability Services Coordinator at disabilityservices@meca.edu or 207-699-5035 if you require disability-based housing accommodations. Early communication is essential in requests for specific room assignments or modifications.

Disciplinary Process

About the Housing Judicial Process

The housing judicial process uses the Guide to Community Living and the Housing Contract as it guides to policies and alleged violations that may have occurred in the residence halls.This is a separate process from the process outlined in the Student Code of Responsibility; though behavior in the residence halls may result in consequences through both disciplinary processes. Student Life professional staff are the administrators of the housing judicial process. Typically, the judicial process moves through the steps below in a progressive manner (i.e. a warning is issued, probation is next, and finally a student’s housing contract is terminated). However, particularly serious cases may result in immediate probation or termination of housing contract.

All judicial decisions of the Office of Student Life shall be based upon the determination of whether it is more likely than not the involved student violated the policies and/or procedures of the Office of Student Life. This is not a legal process, but an administrative one.

Judicial Process

Step 1: Report. The Office of Student Life receives a report of an alleged violation of the Guide to Community Living. This report may be received from any member of the MECA community including, but not limited to, RA staff, facilities staff, professional staff members, and other residents in the halls. Students who believe a policy violation has occurred are encouraged to talk to the Assistant Director of Student Life, and fill out a Universal Incident Report Form. We encourage students to report things as soon as possible.

Step 2: Review. A Student Life professional staff member may review the report of the alleged violation and gather more information to help determine if a violation of the Guide to Community Living has occurred. This may include one on one meetings with any students involved in the reported incident. Any resident that receives a notice to report to a judicial meeting is expected to cooperate with this process. All notices for judicial meetings will be communicated through the student’s MECA email. Please note that choosing to not participate in the judicial process does not delay the process, nor relieve a student of the outcome and sanctioning if applicable.

Step 3: Determination. Based upon the information gathered, the Student Life professional staff member will determine if a violation of the Guide to Community Living has occurred. This decision is determined for each student individually. The student may be notified of the decision made in the initial one on one judicial meeting, a follow up meeting with the professional staff member, and/or in writing through the student’s MECA email. If a student refuses or fails to participate in the judicial process, a decision may be made in absentia.

Step 4: Sanctioning. If the decision is that the student is in violation of the Guide to Community Living, certain sanctions may be given to the student. Sanctions given should be educational in nature and should be proportional to the violation(s) occurred. The professional staff member may take into account past judicial outcomes, actual and potential harm caused by the violation, intent and motivation, voluntary evidence to remedy the harm caused by the violation, and evidence of positive learning and growth when making a sanctioning decision. Below are the potential outcomes for the judicial process:

    • Formal Warning: A warning will be delivered in writing to the student’s MECA email. This is an official notice that a violation has occurred and further, repeated, or other misconduct may result in more serious judicial action.
    • Formal Warning with Condition: A formal warning with additional sanctions such as restitution for damage, service to the community or school, written essays, or other educational sanctions as determined by the professional staff member.
    • Housing Probation: Residents will be notified in writing when they are placed on housing probation. This letter will specifically delineate: the duration of the probation and any steps the resident must take before probation will be rescinded (i.e. counseling, community service or community restitution, etc). Once a resident is placed on probation, any additional violation is grounds for termination of a housing contract. Probation may be appealed in the manner described below.
    • Housing Contract Termination: The following apply if a student’s housing contract is terminated:
      • Residents will be notified in writing and given a date by which they must move-out of the residence halls (typically seventy-two (72) hours after the issuance of the letter). After this date, residents will not be allowed into the residence halls for any reason without express written permission from a Student Life professional staff member.
      • Contract termination may be appealed in the manner delineated below. If any conduct violation is reported during the move-out window or while an appeal is pending, the resident will be removed from the hall immediately and may face additional Code of Student Responsibility charges that may impact their status as a student. Arrangements to remove the resident’s belongings will be made at the student’s expense.

Interim Housing Suspension:
The Director of Student Life or their designee may suspend a student from college housing for an interim period pending judicial or criminal proceedings or medical evaluation for behavior that poses a substantial and immediate threat to any person(s) or the stability and continuation of normal college functions. The interim suspension will be effective immediately without prior notice.

Judicial Appeals:

Right of and grounds for appeal:

  • The sanctions imposed are greatly disproportionate to the violation that occurred
  • A procedural error has occurred that significantly impacted the outcome of the procedure
  • New evidence is available that was previously not available at the time of the decision that could significantly impact the outcome of the judicial hearing.

Appeals Process:

Appeals may not be heard or granted due to the dissatisfaction of the imposed sanction. There are two levels of appeal. Residents may appeal directly to the Director of Student Life in writing within five business days of any disciplinary decision. The Director will meet with the resident making the appeal and may take one of the following steps: uphold the original decision; overturn the original decision; or overturn the original decision and issue a different conduct decision. The Director will provide written notification regarding the resolution of the appeal within five business days of the meeting.

If a resident is dissatisfied with the resolution provided by the Director a final appeal may be made to the Dean of the College. This appeal must be made in writing and must be received within five business days of the Director’s decision. The Dean will meet with the student making the appeal and may take one of the following steps: uphold the original decision; overturn the original decision; or overturn the original decision and issue a different conduct decision. The Dean will provide written notification regarding the resolution of the appeal within five business days of the meeting.

Appeals must progress sequentially through the steps listed above; the parties listed above will not hear an appeal until previous steps have been exhausted. While an appeal of contract termination is pending, the Director has the sole discretion to determine whether the resident making the appeal will be allowed to remain in the residence halls during the appeal process.

Discrimination

Maine College of Art does not to discriminate on the basis of gender, gender identity, gender expression, sexual orientation, disability, genetic information, HIV status, race, age, religion, national or ethnic origin, or military/veteran’s status in its educational programs, admissions policies, employment policies, financial aid, or other College administered programs.

This policy is enforced by Federal Law under Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. It is also enforced under Maine law through the Maine Human Rights Act at 5 M.R.S.A. section 4551 et. Seq. Inquiries regarding compliance with these statutes may be directed to the Executive Vice President, Maine College of Art, 522 Congress St., Portland, Maine 04101, (800)639-4808 or (207) 879-5742, or to Director, Office of Civil Rights, Department of Education, J.W. McCormack POCH, Room 701, Boston, MA. 02109-4557, (617) 223-9662 or the Maine Human Rights Commission, 51 State House Station, Augusta, Maine 04333-0051, (207) 624-6050.

Drugs

All students and their guests are required to adhere to federal, state, local and Maine College of Art policies regarding illegal drugs. Illegal drugs are strictly prohibited in the residence halls. Federal law and the Drug Free Schools and Workplace Acts make possession and use of marijuana on-campus illegal, even if state law allows for legal use of medical or recreational marijuana. Therefore MECA does not permit medical or recreational use of marijuana anywhere on campus. Use, possession, manufacturing, distribution, and/or acting under the influence of alcohol and/or illegal drugs in the residence halls are grounds for disciplinary action up to and including contract termination. The abuse and/or distribution of prescription drug(s) are strictly prohibited. Smoking, vaping, and other use of tobacco products are not allowed in the residence halls or on campus.

The following is a partial list of behaviors prohibited by this policy. It is intended to serve as a guide to appropriate behavior and is not an exhaustive list.

  • The possession and/or use of illegal drugs or illegal drug paraphernalia
  • The possession and/or use of another person’s prescription medicine
  • Exhibiting signs of being under the influence of illegal drugs (such as altered mental state, vomiting, agitation, etc.)
  • Sale, service, provision, or production of illegal drugs or prescription medicine with any person
  • Supporting the violation of the drug policy (being present in a room/space or providing a room/space where a drug violation is taking place)
  • Admitting to using drugs anywhere on campus
  • The use or possession of marijuana including medical and synthetic marijuana.

Failure to comply with the drug policy may result in an investigation and/or charges by the Portland Police Department.

Resources for Substance Abuse
If you or someone you know is dealing with substance abuse concerns, we encourage you to seek out support from MECA Counseling & Wellness: counseling@meca.edu or the Cumberland County Opportunity Alliance Crisis Response (24-hour hotline) 207.774.HELP (4357)  

E-mail

Email is the official form of communication of the College. All residents are responsible reading for information sent by the College to their MECA e-mail account. While some information may be communicated via other means, most changes in policy and procedure as well as most important announcements will be communicated via e-mail.

Emergency Contact

In the event of an emergency situation, please contact the Student Life Staff On Call at 207.228.3474. When appropriate, call 911 first and then call the Student Life Staff member On Call. Emergencies include medical emergencies, suspicious persons on campus, fire, missing person, assault or other concerning behavior.

Fire Drills

MECA will run fire drills at least once per semester in all Residence Halls. Students must participate in the drills and follow evacuation procedures. Failure to comply in fire drills may result in judicial sanctions.

Fire Safety

All residents are expected to evacuate the building immediately in a manner consistent with the posted evacuation procedures in the event of a fire alarm and should take steps in their day-to-day activities to minimize the risk of fire. When exiting Shepley or Miles Standish, cross Shepley Street to the sidewalk on the opposite side of the road. When exiting Oak, cross the street and wait on the opposite sidewalk. S&F residents should exit the building and cross the street to Bayside Bowl.

MECA will run fire drills at least once per semester in all Residence Halls. Students must participate in the drills and follow evacuation procedures. Failure to comply in fire drills may result in judicial sanctions.

The misuse of fire escapes, fire alarms, fire suppression equipment, smoke detectors, fire extinguishers, and/or failure to comply with related procedures is a serious infraction and can result in judicial action and/or additional fees. Fire escapes and fire exits should only be used in the event of an emergency situation. Items may not be hung from or cover, sprinklers, pipes, or smoke detectors in the residence halls. Candles, candle warmers and incense, both lit or unlit, are prohibited in the residence halls.

“Good Neighbor” Policy

Maine College of Art seeks to be a positive force of the Portland community. Behaviors which negatively impact our neighbors will not be tolerated. Behaviors prohibited by this policy include, but are not limited to: excessive noise, trespassing, littering, and vandalism. These behaviors may be criminally prosecuted and also initiate the conduct process at MECA.

Guest Policy

A guest is defined as any person not living in the residence halls. Between the hours of 11:00 PM and 8:00 AM, all guests in the residence halls must be signed-in according to the following policies:

  • All residents of the room must agree to have guests stay and may request the guest leave at any time. A guest form must be completed prior to signing in your guest. Your roommates will need to sign the form confirming their approval.
  • Both you and your guest must see the RA on call. The guest needs to provide photo ID, name, address and phone number if a non-MECA student.
  • The RA on call must receive all notifications regarding the presence of guests between 9:00 pm and midnight. If you will arrive with your guest after midnight, you must be proactive about notifying the RA on call ahead of time.
  • No more than one guest is permitted per resident at a time.
  • Residents must accompany their guests at all times and are responsible for their guest’s behavior.
  • Residents may not share their keys or student ID (access cards) with guests.
  • Guests under the age of 18 need to have a parent or guardian call the Director of Student Life least two business days prior to arriving on campus.
  • Guests may be asked to leave at any time by any staff person from the Office of Student Life.
Overnight Guest Policy

In addition to all above guest policies, residents may have an overnight guest provided they stay no more than two consecutive nights. Residents are allowed a guest for up to two nights in a two week period. Guests staying longer than two consecutive nights must be approved by the Assistant Director of their building at least two days in advance.

Housing & Board Contract

The housing and board contract is a binding contract between the Office of Residence Life at Maine College of Art and the individual student residing in the residence hall. The contract is for the 2017-2018 academic year (fall 2017 and spring 2018) or whatever portion therefore remains at such time as the student enters into the contract. Signing the housing and board contract is just like signing a lease for an apartment. Once you sign, you are making an academic year long commitment and you have the responsibility to see it through.

Cancellation of the Housing and Board Contract:

Students must pay for all contract costs unless they withdraw from the College according to the withdrawal period or are released from the contract. Students who chose to withdraw from MECA will forfeit their deposit unless released by the Director.

Requesting a Cancellation of the Housing and Board Contract:
Students with extenuating circumstances who want to be released from their housing and board contract, need to submit a written request to their Assistant Director. The Assistant Director and the Director of Student Life will review the request and make a decision. The student will be notified in writing within 7-10 business days of the initial request. If the request is approved, the student forfeits their $100 returnable deposit.

If the student is dissatisfied with the decision, they can make a final appeal to the Executive Vice President of the College. This appeal must also be made in writing and must be received within five business days of the decision. The Executive Vice President of the College will provide the student written notification regarding the appeal within five business days.

Meetings

Approximately once a month, RAs will hold mandatory floor/hall meetings. These meetings will be used to make important announcements as well as to create a forum for feedback. Residents are responsible for knowing information announced during these meetings and are advised to contact their RA ahead of time if they are unable to attend.

Quiet and Courtesy Hours

Residents are expected to maintain appropriate noise levels in the residence halls. Designated quiet hours for all building are from 11:00PM – 9:00AM Sunday through Thursday and from 12:30AM – 9:00AM on Fridays and Saturdays. During these times, residents should not generate noise levels audible outside of their rooms.

Courtesy hours are in effect 24 hours a day and are in place to create an atmosphere for students which is conducive for normal living, sleeping and studying in the residence halls. Courtesy hours prohibit residents from causing loud or disturbing sounds, which may interfere with other students’ right to rest, study and be free from unnecessary or unwarranted distractions. Students who are disturbed by unreasonable noise outside of quiet hours should speak to the resident causing the noise and ask for the noise level to be lowered. Residents who are confronted for courtesy hour violations are expected be courteous and lower the noise level upon request.

Right To Enter

Maine College of Art reserves the right to enter any College-owned space at any time for the purpose of responding to emergencies, maintaining acceptable health and safety standards, establishing order, making repairs, routine maintenance (including response to work orders), inventory, extermination, cleaning, enforcement of College policies, securing buildings during vacations and break periods and for any other reasonable purpose. A resident’s absence will not prevent such entry. Entry will be made by authorized College personnel.

Right To Enter and Search

The College reserves the right to enter and search student rooms/apartments and/or belongings in any College building or storage space at anytime. A resident’s room or apartment or possessions on campus will not be searched by local authorities unless there is sufficient reason to believe a resident is using their assigned space for purposes which may be in violation of Federal, State, or local law, or College policies. The College will cooperate with law enforcement officials who, having obtained a search warrant from an appropriate source having jurisdiction to issue such warrants, seek entry to student rooms for the purpose of executing such warrants.

Room Cleaning

Residents are solely responsible for maintaining the cleanliness of their own living space and shared bathroom. Roommates are expected to discuss and share in cleaning responsibilities.

Room Inspections

Room inspections for health and safety reasons are conducted at least twice per semester. Students will be notified if there is a violation in their room and will be given 48 hours to correct the violation. If the violation has not been addressed upon re-inspection, then it will be corrected at the resident’s expense. Prohibited items may be confiscated during these inspections. Violations found during health and safety inspections could result in judicial actions.

Roommate Agreement

The roommate agreement is a tool for students to start a conversation with their roommates about what about what boundaries they would like to set with each other for the coming year. The agreement encourages roommates to talk about simple issues and more complex ones so they can have a clear understanding of how they want to share their room. We encourage students to communicate directly with their roommates when a conflict arises. RAs are available to help mediate conversations if needed.

Room Placements and Changes

Maine College of Art attempts to honor students’ requests for building, room types and roommates. Please note that some requested roommates may not be able to be accommodated; in this event, another option must be selected. MECA reserves the right to make or change residence hall placements at its sole discretion. If a resident wishes to change rooms, a room change request form must be filled out and the resident’s Assistant Director of Student Life must approve all room changes before a move may take place. In the event a room change is requested due to roommate conflict, mediation and/or conflict management may be required before a room change is approved. Room changes will not occur within the first two weeks of classes. Residents will be given seventy-two (72) hours to move rooms and complete all necessary paperwork associated with the move.

Sharps Policy

In accordance with the Maine Department of Environmental Protection, Biomedical Waste Management Rules (06‑096 CMR 900), household sharps (defined as needles, syringes, and lancets used at home for health care) will be disposed of from the Maine College of Art Residence Halls in the following manner: all household sharps will be placed in a rigid, strong plastic or metal, puncture resistant container with a screw-on or tightly secured cap.  Such as a laundry detergent bottle, or a purchased sharps container. Once full the cap will be reinforced with heavy-duty tape such as duck tape, clearly marked with “Do Not Recycle” and “Household Sharps” written noticeably on the outside of the container. The container can then be disposed of with the regular trash.

Tobacco-Free and Smoke-Free Campus

MECA is a Tobacco-Free and Smoke-Free Campus. This policy applies to all faculty, staff, students, contractors, vendors, and visitors. The use of tobacco and all tobacco products including non-FDA approved nicotine delivery devices, such as electronic cigarettes and vaporizers are not permitted in any MECA owned or leased property (including the residence halls) or vehicles or within 20’ of any building entrance, loading dock, or ventilation system.

Sales, Solicitation and Campaigning

To ensure the privacy of all students is maintained, salespeople, solicitors and/or political campaigners of any type, from recognized College organizations or from outside agencies, are not allowed to go door to door in the residence halls. Solicitation and political campaigning may be allowed in pre-approved college spaces, but never in the residence halls.

Sexual Misconduct, Anti-Discrimination, Anti-Harassment

We encourage any student, faculty, or staff member who thinks that they have been a victim of harassment, discrimination, sexual misconduct including sexual assault, dating violence, stalking, or domestic violence to seek support and report all incidents to the Title IX Coordinator, Beth Elicker at belicker@meca.edu. If you or someone you know has been a victim of sexual misconduct, we strongly urge you to seek out resources for support and information, exploration of options, connection with local resources, safety planning, and help legal options, and medical attention. More information found here. 

Student Code of Responsibility

Students who live in college housing are responsible for following the Student Code of Responsibility, the Guide to Community Living, and the Housing Contract. Violations of any of these policies may result in separate judicial actions or sanctions.

Student Status

All students residing in the residence halls must be at full-time status with 12 or more credits per semester at Maine College of Art. In rare situations, if a student needs to drop below 12 credits in a semester, they must first request an exception to this policy in writing from the Director of Student Life. The contracts of residents who are not currently enrolled or who are not regularly attending classes will be terminated.

Theft

MECA is not responsible for theft in the Residence Halls. All valuables should be locked and stored properly. Students should lock their rooms when they are not in their room or sleeping. Students should keep windows closed and locked when they are not home, especially students on the lower floors or with windows that access a fire escape.

Transportation and Taxi Voucher System

MECA provides access to a taxi voucher system intended for transportation in the event of an urgent medical need such as accidents or serious sudden illness. This does not include routine medical or dental appointments. Residents experiencing a medical emergency will be transported by ambulance (the cost associated with this service will be billed to the individual). Residents in need of a taxi voucher should contact the Student Life Professional Staff member on call at 207-228-3474 for assistance.

Unauthorized Areas

Student access to roofs, fire escapes (except in the case of emergency), and ledges is strictly prohibited. Students are prohibited from entering any secured area of the basement or utility closets. This is a significant life safety issue and residents violating this policy will be subject to immediate disciplinary action (possibly including contract termination).

Weapons

Weapons of any sort, including, but not limited to, firearms, ammunition, paintball guns, BB guns, knives with blades larger than 3”, bows, arrows, rockets, sling shots, air guns, martial arts weapons, and explosives of all types (including fireworks) are not permitted in the residence halls. Immediate termination of the residence hall contract and referral to the Portland Police may result.

Windows

Residents and their guests are strictly prohibited from removing or damaging window screens, throwing objects out of, passing anything in or out through, sitting directly in, or exiting/entering through any window. Nothing should be hung or placed in or on any windows (e.g. air conditioners, window boxes, antennas, satellites. Residents should make sure their room windows are closed and locked when their rooms are unoccupied. Window stops are safety features and residents on lower floors or accessible from the fire escape are encouraged to use them. Their removal is a violation of residence hall policy and constitutes a life safety concern.