Residence Life Handbook

Health, Safety, and Security Measures

Ammunition Storage
Small quantities may be stored with Campus Safety. See your HD for details. Ammunition is prohibited in the residence halls.

The use of toasters and hot plates or any open coil appliance is prohibited in residence hall rooms. Prohibited appliances will be confiscated. George Foreman Grills and halogen lamps are also not allowed to be used in resident rooms. Foreman Grills are allowed to be used in the residence hall kitchen areas and must be attended at all times. 

Apartments with full kitchens are allowed open coil appliances.  Efficiency apartments without kitchens have the same restrictions as residence hall rooms.

Clothes irons may only be used in lounges and in the laundry rooms, unless they have an auto shut-off. If you have any questions about the use of a particular electrical appliance, please ask your RA. All small appliances, unless otherwise noted by the manufacturer, should be unplugged when not in use.

The burning of any materials, including candles or incense, is a potential fire hazard and is not permitted in the residence halls.  The burning of candles or incense is not permitted in the apartments. Burned candle wicks must be cut.

Nothing may be attached to the ceilings in Palmerton Hall. Never attempt to clean textured ceilings.

Occupants are responsible for cleaning their assigned room and or apartment. Vacuum cleaners are available for student use. Occupants who cause other than normal soiling in common areas will be expected to clean up such messes, for example, vomit in hallways or restrooms. At least one health and safety inspection will be conducted each semester in each resident room/apartment unit.

Cooking is not permitted in residence hall rooms. Cooking is only permitted in apartments with kitchen facilities.

Cooking Rooms (Kitchens)
Cooking rooms are available in each residence hall for limited food preparation. Students may use closed-unit electric cooking appliances in these areas (those appliances prohibited from use in resident rooms). Common area microwaves and toasters are available for resident use. Students are expected to maintain cooking areas in a sanitary manner. Failure to keep cooking areas clean may result in the areas being closed for indefinite periods of time. Bathroom sinks and shower areas are not to be used for cleaning or washing cooking utensils or disposal of food items.

Emergency Procedures
General emergency information is located on bulletin boards on each floor of each residence hall and limited information is posted on the inside of each resident room door.

Explosives and fireworks are prohibited in the residence halls and the apartments.

Flammable Liquids
Flammable liquids are prohibited in the residence halls and the apartments, including, but not limited to, gas, oil, or similar materials.

Food Storage
Food kept in resident rooms/apartments must be kept in closed containers for health reasons. Food bottles and cans must not be left between the screen and the window.

Hostile Person(s) Guidelines

If a hostile person(s) is actively causing deadly harm or the imminent threat of deadly harm within the residence hall or apartments, here are the recommended guidelines:

  • Lock yourself in your room. 

  • If communication is available, call 9-911 (campus phone) or 911 (non-campus phone)

  • Stay in contact with internet, if available for situation updates (Ensure the light from the monitor is not visible to the outside of the room.)

  • If away from your room, join others in a room that can be locked.  If the door has no lock and the door opens in, a good heavy door wedge can be kept on hand and driven in as hard as you can, otherwise look for heavy furniture to barricade the door.

  • Do not stay in an open hall.

  • Do not sound the fire alarm.  A fire alarm would signal the occupants in the rooms to evacuate the building and thus place them in potential harm as they attempt to exit.

  • Barricade yourself in your room with desks, beds, or anything you can push against the door. 

  • Lock your window and close blinds or curtains.  Depending on the hostile person(s) location, consideration may also be made to exit through window openings. Have someone watch as you get as many students out of the windows (ground floor) as calmly and as quietly as possible.

  • Stay away from the window.

  • Turn all lights and audio equipment off.

  • Try to stay calm and be as quiet as possible.

  • If you are caught in the open such as hallways and lounge areas, you must decide what you are going to do.  This is a very crucial time and can possibly mean life or death depending on your actions.

  • You can try to hide, but make sure it is a well-hidden space or you may be found as the intruder moves through the building looking for more victims.

  • If you think you can safely make it out of the building by running, do so.  If you decide to run, do not run in a straight line.  Keep any objects you can between you and the hostile person(s) while in the building.  Once outside, do not run in a straight line.

  • If the person(s) are causing death or serious physical injury to others and you are unable to run or hide, you may choose to play dead if other victims are around you. 

  • The last option you have if caught in an open area may be to fight back.  This is dangerous, but depending on your situation, this could be your last option.  Again this is not a recommendation to attack the hostile person(s) but rather a choice to fight when there is no other option.

  • If you are caught by the intruder and are not going to fight back, obey all commands and do not do anything to provoke the intruder.

  • Once the police arrive, obey all commands.  This may involve your being made to put your hands in the air.  This is done for safety reasons, and once circumstances are evaluated by the police, they will give you further directions to follow.

These safety tips and guidelines are not all inclusive, but if understood and followed up with periodic reminders and training when feasible, it can increase your chances of surviving a hostile person(s) incident.

Lounges are intended for studying, hanging-out or watching TV.  They are not for sleeping.  If you need to take a nap or sleep, then please use your room.  It is everyone's responsibility to keep the lounges and other public areas clean.  Please be sure your trash is put in a trash receptacle and that if you move furniture around that you put it back where it belongs.

One small size microwave per room is allowed in your residence hall room.  Apartments are allowed to have larger microwaves in their kitchens.

Missing Student

If you notice that your roommate or a neighbor have not been around and no one knows where they are, please be sure to let your RA know that you believe the student is missing. 

ResLife staff will initially attempt to contact the student via email or by phone.  If no contact is made, the Hall Director or Assistant Hall Director will double check the student’s room to see if they are in their room or if visible personal property might indicate if the student has taken an extended trip or other planned absence from the residence hall.  Upon confirming the student is not around and hasn’t been seen, ResLife staff will notify the Dean of Students, who will then follow South Dakota Board of Regents policy 3:21 Notification of Law Enforcement and Appropriate Persons that a Student is Missing for students believed to be missing.  The Dean of Students will refer the missing student information within twenty four hours or less to the Rapid City Police Department (RCPD) upon confirmation that the student is missing.  The emergency contact or parent, if applicable, will be notified within twenty four hours or less that the student is confirmed missing.

Students residing on-campus will be given the opportunity to identify an emergency contact within their housing application.  ResLife, authorized campus officials and RCPD will use this confidential information in the event the student is believed to be missing.  In the event that an unemancipated student under the age of eighteen is missing, the university will notify the custodial parent or legal guardian.

Motor Vehicles
Repair, painting or cleaning of motor vehicles is not permitted in the residence halls. Heating devices may not be connected from vehicles to any residence hall outlet.

Pets (Animals)
Pets (animals) are not allowed in the residence halls or the apartments with the exception of small aquarium-sized fish or other approved aquatic life (aquatic life = animals that sustain life in water, not on land).  Fish tanks must be smaller than 10 gallons.  Talk with your HD or apartment manager to get approval for other aquatic life.

Radio Transmitters
Radio transmitters drawing in excess of 100 watts or involving outside antennas may not be used in the residence halls. Operation and licensing must conform to Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Rules and Regulations. Transmitter operation must not interfere with other licensed stations, nor interfere with reception in the residence halls. Outside antennas of any kind are not to be used in the residence halls.

Only small-unit refrigerators (6 cubic foot or less) may be used. Limit of one per resident in the residence halls. Fridge size is limited to typical dorm size fridges - approx. 3.0 to 4.0 cubic feet (some companies make compact fridges that are 6.0 cubic feet). These fridges are usually 2-3 feet tall and are also acceptable in dorm rooms.
Apartment units have refrigerators provided.  Additional fridges are not allowed.

Trash/Refuse Removal
Refuse or trash should be removed from your room on a regular basis. Large dumpsters are available near the halls and the apartments. Take your refuse directly to a dumpster regularly. Do not leave trash bags in hallways or lounges or other public use areas.

Security demands that students lock their rooms/apartments when away. The university is not responsible for money or other valuables/items stolen from rooms. Always report any lost or stolen items and suspicious person to your HD or campus safety at x6100 immediately.

Dangerous/Deadly Weapons are prohibited in the residence halls and the apartments. South Dakota Codified Law (SDCL) 22-1-2(10) defines such weapons, and reads as follows:

“Dangerous weapon” or “deadly weapon” (is) any firearm, knife or device, instrument, material or substance, whether animate or inanimate, which is calculated or designed to inflict death or serious bodily harm, or by the manner in which it is used is likely to inflict death or serious bodily harm.

Such weapons will be surrendered to Campus Safety for secure storage. When removed from storage, they must be taken from campus immediately or stored in a locked vehicle on-campus. They must never be taken to a residence hall room or apartment building. Due to limited secure storage space, Residence Life and Campus Safety retain the authority to refuse to store weapons. Students storing weapons with Campus Safety must sign and abide by the Weapons Storage Agreement.

Residence hall and apartment windows must be kept clear of drawings, pictures, signs, lettering, bottles, cans, etc. unless the HD or Director of Residence Life has given approval.

The unauthorized removal of windows and screens from any residence hall window will result in appropriate disciplinary action being taken. Windows must be in place and operative so that they may be closed to help contain fire if such an emergency situation occurred. Screens must remain in place, particularly during warmer weather to reduce the number of insects entering the building. Screens also prevent drafts from blinds that can be blown through the opening when a screen has been removed.

Nothing must ever be thrown from any window. Entrance or egress through a residence hall window is prohibited.

Window air conditioning units are prohibited in the residence halls.  Air conditioners are allowed in the apartment units, please coordinate installation with your apartment manager.