Living Standards - University Minimum Living Condition Policy

1. The residence halls shall be constructed and maintained to conform with all applicable safety codes and health standards.

a. All furnishings and equipment supplied by the University will meet applicable fire and safety code standards promulgated by the state of New York.
Binghamton University is in compliance with this guideline and meets all applicable state codes when purchasing furnishings and equipment.

b. Each resident's sleeping room will have an operational smoke detector (applies to University or dormitory authority owned housing on University property).
Binghamton University is in compliance, meeting all applicable state and local codes. Once notified of non working smoke detector, maintenance personnel respond immediately to repair it. For battery operated detectors, there is an annual battery replacement program.

c. Student residents are required to adhere to all applicable safety codes and health standards in the use of private equipment and appliances (where permitted).
Students are required to sign a housing license under which they agree to abide by all University health and safety regulations. These regulations are promulgated in the housing license, housing booklet, and Rules and Expectations.

d. Access to residence hall living on each campus that operates residence halls will be provided for the differently abled in accordance with applicable codes and standards (e.g., section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973).
Binghamton University is in compliance with this guideline through the modification of existing facilities and through compliance to code in the construction of new facilities. A list of specific locations is available from the Residential Life Office, the Physical Facilities Department, and the Services for Students with Disabilities Office.

e. Inspection and assessment of the physical facility and its components (e.g., water, electricity and heating systems) will be conducted annually by appropriate campus personnel. The report of this inspection should be distributed to appropriate campus personnel. A priority list (as viewed by appropriate campus personnel) of repairs/refurbishment should be part of this report, with recommended timetables for completion. Backlogs from earlier reports should be noted.

In May of each year, shortly after Commencement, the Physical Facilities Department conducts a formal inspection of all residence hall buildings. This inspection covers all rooms, suites and public areas. The purpose of this inspection is for the Physical Facilities Department to define and address problems, damage, etc., that must be corrected prior to students' returning to campus for the fall semester.

2. The campus maintenance plan shall provide for a regular schedule of cleaning and repair for all common areas in residence halls.

a. A regular schedule for cleaning of common areas including lounges, hallways, bathrooms and areas used by all residents should be established. Copies of the schedule should be posted. Binghamton University has custodial cleaning schedules for all hallways, lounges, bathrooms, stairs and common areas. Cleaning schedules are posted in the service closet on the floor of each area. The cleaning schedule is defined by a small scale drawing, colored for each custodian's work station, and also by a chart that outlines the specific functions that are to be carried out. Signs posted on the bathroom doors inform students in residence halls of the times and days the bathrooms will be closed for cleaning.

b. Every reasonable effort by the campus administration and student residents should be made to keep residence halls sanitary and vermin-free, and all appliances provided by the University should be kept in working order or removed from service.
Twice per week, and on an emergency basis, a licensed pest control company is present on campus and responds to reported problems. University-owned appliances will be repaired, replaced, removed or rendered inoperable to avoid potential hazard.

c. Campuses should have an established procedure, developed in conjunction with the central administration Offices of Finance and Business, Capital Facilities, and Student Affairs, for declaring student rooms unlivable and for removing them from service until conditions are corrected.
The director of residential life or designee makes the decision as to whether a student room is unlivable and should be removed from service, based on pertinent information from the assistant vice president for facilities and management, director of occupational safety and health and/or appropriate campus personnel. The criteria on which this decision is based will consider the life, health, and safety of student residents and whether continued occupancy could harm the occupants or further impair the condition of the facility.

3. The campus shall provide each student resident with adequate living space; furniture; and appropriate and sufficient heat, light and hot water.

a. As a minimum, except in the case of tripling, each student resident will be provided with: a bed, adequate area illumination, a chair, a dresser/chest, a desk/carrel unit, and a closet or wardrobe. All such equipment should be clean, sturdy, free from major scarring and of acceptable appearance.
Binghamton University is in compliance with this guideline. In a tripling situation, students are provided with a bed, adequate area illumination, a dresser/chest, and a closet or wardrobe space. On an annual basis, all rooms will be inspected to determine the condition of each piece of furniture. Pieces identified as unacceptable will be removed from service.

b. Campuses should provide for the planned replacement or rehabilitation of residence hall furnishings. Binghamton University provides for annual replacement of needed equipment and furniture. Furniture replacement priorities are ascertained in consultation with students and staff, as well as through an annual inspection program. Binghamton University replaces the residence hall furnishings on a regularly scheduled basis.

4. The campus shall establish procedures for routine and emergency repairs to residence hall facilities.

a. Protocols will be established to address promptly inquiries, requests, and complaints regarding routine repairs and maintenance for the provision of heat, light and hot water. Student residents should also be apprised periodically of the status of their requests. These protocols, along with appropriate telephone numbers, should be provided in writing to each student resident. All repairs, especially those involving heat, light and hot water, should be accomplished within a reasonable amount of time.

Binghamton University stations one staff maintenance person at each residence hall complex to administer repairs to the residence halls. This full-time employee's sole objective is to ensure that repairs are done quickly and continuously on a daily basis. Some of these repairs specifically address heating, lighting or hot water problems. If the maintenance per-son in the residence complex is not able to address these problems, the maintenance person will call the Physical Facilities Department for further assistance and/or material. The procedure used by student residents is as follows:

Student residents notify the resident assistant or resident director of their building or their area office, identifying the floor and specific room or area in that building where there is a problem (e.g., heat, lights, hot water). The address and telephone number of residence hall staff are posted in each building. Health and safety emergencies may be reported by dialing 911 and will be responded to immediately. Appropriate information is forwarded to the Physical Facilities Department for action.

The resident assistant, resident director or area office notifies the Physical Facilities Department of the specific problem. The department will then notify the maintenance person in that building of the problem so it can be promptly addressed.

It is imperative that this procedure be followed in order that the Residential Life Office and the Physical Facilities Department can track how the problem arose and how it was addressed.

b. Emergency work orders normally consist of more than a routine, minor repair problem in a residence hall or facility. An example of an emergency would be no heat, no hot water, etc. If these problems occur during the normal working hours during the work week, emergency work orders should be reported to the resident assistant, resident director or area office as earlier mentioned. Emergency work orders are handled ahead of other minor problems.

If the emergency is diagnosed as too involved for the maintenance employee of that complex to handle, the maintenance person will notify the Physical Facilities Department, which will immediately dispatch additional qualified staff to deal with and resolve the problem.

Procedures for emergencies after normal working hours or weekends follow:

Binghamton University provides for an emergency maintenance staff to work seven days a week, 24 hours a day, including holidays. The main purpose of this staff is be on hand to quickly address any emergencies in residence halls during non working hours when students are in residence at the University. This staff carries two-way radios and is in constant communication not only with the Physical Facilities Department, but also with the Public Safety Office.

Should an emergency arise that is beyond the scope of the staff presently working, maintenance personnel have access to an "emergency call-in list" of other Physical Facilities Department personnel who may be summoned to work at any time of the day or night. This staff will respond immediately and take whatever measures are necessary to correct almost any problem that may arise on campus. This staff has the full support of the assistant vice president for physical facilities to spend whatever time and/or material is required to correct all deficiencies or emergencies as they arise. Students should address questions about the status of requested repairs to their area office.

5. The campus shall establish procedures for redress for student residents in the event of the loss of services such as heat, light and hot water in residence halls for extended periods when such loss is within the control of campus personnel.

a. If the loss of heat, light, or hot water, or any other condition detrimental to the life, health, or safety of student residents, persists for an unreasonable time, campus procedures will include a plan for reassignment of student housing on campus.

If any students at Binghamton University go without heat, electricity or hot water for an unreasonable amount of time (weather conditions will be a determining factor), or their room is declared unlivable for any other reason, and the situation is determined to be within the control of campus personnel, then those students should be reimbursed for the amount of time they were inconvenienced. The reimbursement shall never exceed the full cost of room rent for the number of days the students were affected by the detrimental condition. When a student room has been declared unlivable and is removed from service, the occupant(s) of that room shall be reassigned to an available University housing space.

b. If reassignment on campus is not possible, the procedures should also include a plan for the provision of alternate housing at no additional charge to student residents and/or refund of a portion of room rental residential facilities administered by the University.

Last Updated: 7/23/13