Residence Hall Occupancy Agreement 2013-2014

The Jewish Theological Seminary
Residence Hall Occupancy Agreement 2013-2014
For the JTS Residence Halls (Brush, Goldsmith, Mathilde Schechter)

Download the Residence Hall Occupancy Agreement 2013-2014 (PDF).

This occupancy agreement shall constitute a license and shall not be deemed to constitute a lease.  JTS may revoke this license if the terms and conditions set forth in this agreement are breached.  JTS reserves the right to modify procedures, obligations, and regulations at any time.  Subject to JTS's right of revocation, the student agrees that this agreement shall remain in force for his/her full term of occupancy.

1. Eligibility
To be eligible for JTS housing students must:

  • be accepted and matriculated at JTS,
  • have a current student account with no holds for late tuition or other payments,
  • have proof of ability to cover all charges,
  • have enrolled in JTS student health insurance or have proof of similar health insurance coverage, having completed a health insurance waiver with the Office of Human Resources,
  • be enrolled in an academic program as the Jewish Theological Seminary.

Housing is guaranteed only to single matriculated undergraduates.  Seniority is granted to all matriculated students over incoming JTS students.  Eligibility limits may be extended for academic reasons including comprehensive exam, thesis or dissertation research, fulfillment of language requirements, or other reasons.  Requests for eligibility extensions must be addressed to the Director of Residence Life in writing and be verified by an academic dean.  Any student beginning a second consecutive academic program at JTS is eligible for continued housing, but their seniority will be reduced to that of a first year student in their new program.

2. Conditions
The Office of Residence Life reserves the right to change room or hall assignments, to assign roommates, and to consolidate vacancies as it deems necessary.  Students who have a vacancy in their room or apartment are obligated to accept a roommate(s) assigned by the Office of Residence Life.  Any attempt to discourage another student from moving in will be considered a breach of this agreement and will be considered by JTS sufficient grounds for reassigning the current student and/or further disciplinary action including a fine, and loss of housing privileges.

All students are obliged to abide by the policies and procedures established by the Office of Residence Life as it may be amended by JTS in its sole discretion from time to time.  Students who switch rooms without following proper procedure will be subject to penalty, and must switch back.

Overnight guests may not occupy student rooms when the host resident is not present.  Resident hosts are responsible for knowing the whereabouts of their guests and are responsible for their behavior in the residence halls.  Rooms, suites and apartments are single-sex. Cohabitation, and/or overnight guests who stay longer than 72 hours, is strictly forbidden.

Subletting of rooms is forbidden.  No commercial activity, including babysitting, may be conducted by any resident in the residence halls, from within the residence halls.  Residence hall mailboxes, addresses, storage areas, and phone lines may not be used to conduct commercial business.

3. Terms of Occupancy
Residence Hall occupancy agreements are 9 months for all full-time JTS residents.  The term for new incoming students begins August 25, 2013 and ends May 18, 2014.  All others will be electronically assigned a move in and move out date by the Director of Residence Life.  Thanksgiving, Winter Break, Pesach, Spring Break and other holidays are included for all residence halls as well.  Students remaining during winter break will need to notify the Office of Residence Life.  Summer sessions are applied for, assigned and billed separately.

All undergraduates and graduates hold 9-month agreements.  Graduate students in Brush and Goldsmith Halls may elect to remain in housing over the summer for 12 months.  Graduate students do not need to be registered for summer session classes to remain in housing.

Single room rate:  $5,960 per semester
Goldsmith Rooms w/ Fire Escape Access: $5,360 per semester
MSRH Doubles or Triples:  $5,225 per semester

Additional rates will apply for those students living on campus during the summer.

Any student occupying the residence halls after the termination date of their agreement, without having been granted a housing extension in writing from the Director of Residence Life, will be fined $100 per day.  Extensions must be requested in writing and directed to the Director of Residence Life. 

4. Payment and Compliance
JTS does not require a separate deposit for residence hall housing applicants.

Any student who enters into a housing agreement after classes begin in any given semester will receive a pro-rated housing charge.

The student agrees to pay all occupancy charges and damage assessments when due.  Occupancy charges will be billed to the individual's student account.  All of the foregoing charges shall be deemed residence hall fees.

The student agrees to comply at all times with JTS financial regulations in force during the term of this agreement, and with the terms contained in the JTS Academic Bulletin.

5. Agreement Termination
By signing this agreement the student represents to the Office of Residence Life that he/she has reviewed his/her financial resources and personal needs prior to signing the Occupancy Agreement.  Once a student signs the Occupancy Agreement, he/she is financially responsible for that space for the full term of the agreement.

It is the responsibility of the student to directly inform the Office of Residence Life, in writing, of any changes in his/her marital, academic and/or residency status, including withdrawals and leaves of absence.  The Office of Residence Life will process any allowable refund only after the student has fulfilled this obligation.

Students approved to terminate their housing agreement prior to the date that late registration period begins for a given semester or session, will not be charged housing for that semester or session.

Students approved to terminate their housing agreement before the last date of the late registration period for a given semester or session, are obligated to pay 50 % of their current semester or session.

Students approved to terminate their housing agreement after the last date of the late registration period for a given semester or session, are obligated to pay their current semester or session in full.  Housing agreements may be broken without financial penalty for academic dismissals, medical leaves, financial need, or other individual cases that will be reviewed by the Director of Residence Life.  Students dismissed from JTS Housing for disciplinary sanctions, however, will not receive a refund.

The resident who withdraws, takes a leave of absence, is suspended from the residence halls or JTS, or is dismissed from JTS must remove all belongings, return their room/suite/apartment key, and vacate within 48 hours of the action.  If the resident fails to vacate within the 48 hours, JTS may take possession of the assigned space, remove and dispose of the student's belongings at the student's risk and expense, change the locks to that room/suite/apartment, and charge all costs associated with that change to the resident.

6. Key(s) Assignment
Each resident will be assigned the key(s) necessary to live in his/her particular residence hall.  If a key is lost, a new key will be issued and a $25 replacement charge per key will be assessed to the individual's student account.  A $10 charge will be assessed for lockout service upon the third request in one semester, and every request thereafter.  Under no circumstances are keys to be duplicated.  Upon evidence of key duplication, negligent loss, or unauthorized transfer, JTS reserves the right to evict the student from the residence hall and/or to charge him/her the cost of changing the locks.  A student may not lend his/her residence hall key to anyone.  If a non-resident attempts to enter the residence hall with a key, unaccompanied by the resident and without prior authorization, s/he will not be granted entrance and the key will be confiscated.  A resident whose room/suite/apartment assignment changes or terminates, ceases to have access to that assigned space and must return the key to a residential staff member upon check-out and final room inspection.  A resident must live in the assigned space to retain keyed access.

7. Personal/Property Safety and Insurance
JTS bears no responsibility for loss or damage to any personal property of residents or their guests regardless of cause whether in storage or your room/suite/apartment.  Concerned students should carry their own property insurance.

Room/suite/apartment doors should be kept locked at all times even when residents are inside their rooms.  It is a violation of housing policy to leave your keys in the door or lend them to someone else.

Students with residence hall stickers affixed to their JTS or Barnard identification cards may enter JTS residence halls.  All other guests must sign-in with the Security Guard. On Shabbat, resident hosts should leave a list of expected guests.  Those without identification may only enter with the host's permission granted in person in front of the Security Staff.

8. Check-in, Check-out and Room Inspections
Each student must formally check-in and check-out with the RA/RD as their housing assignment commences, changes, and/or terminates.  Check-in and check-out procedures involved director contact with an RA or RD, turning over of keys and residence hall access ID stickers, a complete room inspection, and the signing of the room inspection forms.

Prior to check-out you must remove all your refuse and discarded materials from your assigned space including the kitchens and other common areas.  After the inspection, all keys and hall stickers must be returned to the RA/RD. Upon leaving the residence hall, a student shall leave the room and suite in broom-clean condition.  The student will be responsible for charges or fines associated with damages or un-cleanliness in their space upon inspection.  Students who vacate their assignment without checking-out with an RA or RD are liable for any and all cleaning or damage fines assessed by the residential staff.  Charges and damage fines may only be appealed if the student checked-out properly with an RA or RD.  Appeals must be made in writing within 7 days of receipt of a charge on a student account.  Should cleaning services be required as a result of noncompliance with this policy, the student will be charged for labor and materials.

All rooms/suites/apartments will be inspected by the residential staff before opening, during the Fall semester, during Winter Break, during the Spring semester, upon residence hall closing and several times during summer session turnover.  Charges or fines may be assessed to student accounts upon discovery of any damages or violations.

Rooms and common areas are expected to be left in the same or similar condition in which they were made available.  Students may not remove furniture from their room/suite/apartment nor from a community room or common area.  Students will be charged for any missing items.  Students may also be fined for moving furniture from common areas. Students are responsible for the modems and set top boxes in their rooms and the wireless router in the living room.  Modems and set top boxes cannot be removed or moved; the student is responsible for purchasing longer coaxial cable.  If the boxes or modems are removed or moved, fines will be assessed.

No student will be permitted to check-in or check-out on Shabbat or Festivals.  Doing so will result in disciplinary action.

9. Disabilities Policy
Students with disabilities requiring any form of housing accommodation must identify themselves in writing annually to the Director of Residence Life at the time application for housing is made.  Students must be able to provide JTS with a current and comprehensive diagnosis, duration (if temporary) of the disability, limitations, any recommendations for accommodations, and a release allowing JTS to contact the doctor.  After assessment of the submitted materials, JTS will determine an appropriate accommodation, if any. JTS cannot assess or approve any requests unless these guidelines are followed in full.

10. Room Entry Rights and Search Procedures
Room entry and search may be necessary, and JTS may exercise its contractual right to do so under certain circumstances.  JTS recognizes and respects students' desire for privacy, especially within the context of a group living environment.  The Office of Residence Life is opposed to general room searches, that is, the search of a number of rooms in a given area.  General room searches, except in the case of emergency, will be permitted only after authorization by the Vice-Chancellor/Chief Administrative Officer or his/her designee.

In any individual room search, the occupant will be notified in advance if possible and if appropriate.  Unless the situation is deemed an emergency, the staff will knock and announce themselves, wait for a reasonable length of time, and then entry may be made.

JTS reserves the right to enter a student room to provide maintenance or housekeeping services, conduct sanitation or safety inspections, recover JTS property, protect life, limb, or property, in the event of an emergency, or if there is a reason to believe that an imminent hazard to the property and/or resident(s) exists, and to remove or correct any hazard discovered.  JTS reserves its rights, as well, to enter if there is reason to believe a law or a JTS rule or policy is being violated.  When a student makes a service request, permission to enter a room when student(s) is not present is assumed.

JTS is obligated to recognize valid search warrants.  Absent a warrant, staff may not disturb resident property unless doing so is required to fulfill a maintenance request, or there is an imminent hazard to the property, the occupants of that room or the surrounding area.  Residents may be asked when they are present, to open closets, drawers, desks, luggage, during a room search.

Authorized staff members may remove an item of personal property from a resident room without prior consultation with the owner if it is the judgment of the staff member that the item represents an imminent hazard to the property, the occupants of that room or the surrounding area, or possession of the item is a violation of JTS rules or of law.  JTS staff is also authorized to remove from a resident room clearly identifiable JTS property not provided as part of the room furnishings.  If an item is removed under the above conditions, and the student is not present, the resident will be notified promptly of the removal.  If the removed item may be legally possessed by the student, but is in violation of housing policy identified in the Guide to Student Life, or otherwise published or communicated by the Office of Residence Life, it may be claimed by the student although not retained in the building.

11. Trash Disposal and Recycling
Trash and recycling may never be left in hallways, stairwells or common areas.  Rodent control depends upon adherence to this policy. New York City mandates the recycling of certain materials.  All students are required to abide by the recycling procedures.  Information is posted in the residence halls and is made available at the residence hall orientation meetings.

12. Shabbat and Yom Tov
In public areas of the residence halls no use of electricity (e.g. turning on and off lights, heating/air conditioning units, TVs, VCRs, computers, radios, or any other electrical device) is permitted on Shabbat, nor is writing, playing music, use of telephones, laundry facilities, vending machines, copy machines, computers, money or accepting deliveries.

There is no cooking permitted anywhere in the residence halls on Shabbat.  Cooking on Yom Tov is to be done in accordance with the halakhic principle of dvar yom b'yomo which limits cooking for those essential items for that day only.  Ovens may be kept on to warm food on Shabbat but may not be turned any higher than warm.

In private rooms, and in shared areas of suites/apartments, students may observe Shabbat according to their own customs so long as their observance does not disturb room/suite/apartment mates.

13. Kashrut
Brush Residence Halls and graduate students living in Goldsmith Residence Halls:  All groceries brought into the Goldsmith and Brush residence halls, whether prepared, cooked or raw, must be certified (hekhsher) kosher. 

Mathilde Schechter residence hall and undergraduate students living in Goldsmith residence hall:  All groceries brought into the Mathilde Schechter Residence Hall (MSRH) and Goldsmith Residence Hall must contain only kosher ingredients. At the beginning of the academic year, the residents in each MSRH kitchen will discuss and sign a kitchen contract which will determine whether their particular kitchen will be hekhsher kosher or ingredient kosher. The kashrut for groceries in MSRH must follow your individual kitchen contract.  List College residents living in Goldsmith Hall will meet with the other residents in their apartment to determine whether their particular kitchen will be hekhsher kosher or ingredient kosher.

For All Residence Halls (Goldsmith, Brush and MSRH):  Any cooked/prepared foods can neither be delivered or brought into Goldsmith, Brush or the Mathilde Schechter Residence Hall (MSRH) unless it is from an approved kosher restaurant.  A list of approved kosher restaurants can be found in the Guide to Student Life.

The best indicator of a product's kashrut is a hekhsher - a symbol signifying rabbinic supervision of the product's production and contents.  Hekhsherim common in New York include the OU and the OK of the Kashruth Labs.  The most updated list of acceptable hekhsherim are available through the Office of Residence Life, Office of Student Life, your Jewish Life Director (JLD) or Residence Director (RD).   The Office of Facilities Management kasher all kitchens within the residence halls over the summer before the start of the academic year.

14. Fire Safety & Policy
A supplement to these procedures will be distributed from time to time.  All students and their guests are required to comply with fire safety measures including but not limited to:

  • The residence halls are smoke free, including bedrooms and common areas in Brush, Goldsmith and MSRH,
  • Evacuation during fire alarms and fire drills,
  • Clear pathways to modes of egress in private spaces and common areas, including the storage of items in hallways, unassigned rooms, common spaces of suites, rooms or apartments,
  • Ceilings free from any decoration with an 8 inch border down room walls,
  • Radiators, heat risers, stoves, ovens, personal appliances and other heating elements are kept away from flammable materials,
  • Personal appliances and electrical wiring must be labeled UL listed,
  • Cooking is permitted only in designates kitchens and areas and is forbidden in student rooms and suites, as is leaving cooking items unattended on stove tops or in ovens,
  • Flammable, corrosive, and/or explosive liquids, solids or compounds of any kind are not permitted to be used or stored in residence halls, and
  • Tampering with fire safety equipment of any kind is forbidden and subject to fines and serious disciplinary action.

Residents who intentionally or negligently set off a local or building alarm, will be fined $150 per incident and may face additional disciplinary sanctions.

15. Alcohol & Drugs
No student under the age of 21 is permitted to possess, buy, sell, gift, receive, or consume any alcoholic beverage in the residence halls.  This includes kosher wine on Shabbat.  Any student violating this paragraph may be subject to dismissal from the residence halls and/or JTS.

MSRH in particular is a "dry" residence hall. Alcohol is permitted in Goldsmith and Brush residence halls with the exception of kegs (whole, half or quarter), beer balls, wine casks, boxes, barrels, or funnels.

Underage residents may attend a gathering where residents over 21 are serving and consuming alcohol only with prior staff notification and monitoring.  The host of the gathering is responsible to insure that no violation of this policy takes place.

Any and all drugs or evidence of drugs of any amount, drug paraphernalia with evidence of previous use (which shall include smoke emanating from drug use), and alcohol in the possession of an individual under the age of 21, are forbidden in JTS residence halls as a violation of law and will be confiscated and destroyed if present.  Students found using drugs or who are in possession of drugs and/or drug paraphernalia (which shall include smoke emanating from drug or tobacco use since the residence halls are smoke free) are subject to dismissal from the residence halls and/or JTS.  Confiscated items will not be returned under any circumstances.

16. Forbidden Items
The following items are forbidden under any and all circumstances in JTS residence halls and may be confiscated if discovered:

  • Candles except those used for Shabbat/Havdalah/Yom Tov
  • Dart boards that use metal tipped darts (soft rubber are acceptable)
  • Full-size refrigerators unless provided by JTS in a common or shared kitchen
  • Halogen lamps
  • Incense
  • Large personal furniture that is too large for the living space or common area
  • Microwaves except in common/apartment kitchens
  • Open coil heating or cooking appliances including toaster ovens
  • Pets
  • Weapons, firecrackers, explosives, ammunition

Students found with these items will be asked to remove them from the residence halls.  These items are subject to confiscation, fines and/or other disciplinary sanctions.

17. Personalization of Space
Students may not paint, carpet, install shelving, permanent window treatments, or furniture, nor make any other alteration to their assigned spaces or to common areas within the residence halls.  Wall decorations are limited to two tapestries per room, including common areas.  Small or lightweight items may be hung with white masking tape or Fun tack.  Scotch, duct or electrical tape, nails, screws, pins and tacks may not be used in residence halls.  Students who choose to use such items will be billed for damage to walls, doors, and furniture.  UL listed holiday lights may be strung along walls with the condition they be left 8 inches from the ceiling and are not touching flammable materials.  Stickers and decals may not be affixed to JTS property.  Lofts may not be built nor installed in student rooms or in common areas.  Nothing may be hung out of windows or off fire escapes.

18. Air Conditioning
Residents of MSRH receive central air conditioning.  Residents of Brush and Goldsmith residence halls with their own air conditioners installed in their room windows are assessed a $50 per month charge for usage from April through September. Installation and removal of air conditioners requires Facilities Maintenance staff and a $50 charge is assessed per request for installation, removal or relocation.  Charges for air conditioners installed and used in Goldsmith apartment common areas are divided equally among each resident of the apartment.

19. Standards of Conduct and Disciplinary Procedures
The State of New York requires us to notify all students concerning an amendment to the Education Law which relates to the maintenance of public order on our campus and in our residence halls.  The law mandates that JTS shall prohibit, among other things, any action or situation that recklessly or intentionally endangers mental or physical health or involves the forced consumption of liquor or drugs for any purpose of initiation into or affiliation with any organization.

As a resident of a JTS residence hall, you must comply with all city, state, and federal laws and with JTS rules including the standards of conduct set forth in the Guide to Student Life.  It is a basic tenet of continued occupancy in JTS housing that individual rights and sensitivities are respected, that the quiet enjoyment and safety of occupants of the residence halls be assured, that rules concerned with the preservation of public health and sanitary conditions, and the prevention of fire conditions be followed, and that a student shall not be a disruptive influence.  Hall sports are strictly forbidden.  Courtesy and quiet hours established in the building must be obeyed.  Violence, hostility, aggression, intimidation, harassment, perceived discrimination, or physical or verbal abuse of any kind directed toward another student, staff, administrator or faculty member will not be tolerated.  If disruptive behavior or continued insensitivities to the needs of other occupants persists, the student guilty of such conduct will be suspended from the residence halls and his or her future housing privileges may be terminated.  JTS reserves its right to deny housing to a student who continually demonstrates that s/he is unwilling to follow JTS housing policy.

If it is determined that a student has violated residence hall policy or any residence life or JTS regulations, the resident involved may be placed on housing probation for the balance of the academic year, or longer, at JTS' discretion.  The Student Disciplinary Procedures, which can be found in the Guide to Student Life, govern residence hall matters.  The violation and its consequences will be detailed in a letter to the resident/student, which will be sent to the resident/student and placed into his/her permanent housing file.

A student may be temporarily suspended from the Residence Halls as described in the Student Disciplinary Procedures.  Any further violation of housing policy, any violation by a student already on housing probation, or a serious first violation, may be grounds for termination of a student's housing privileges, the possible barring of a student from the residence halls, and may be grounds for suspension from JTS as well.

Any resident on housing probation may lose housing seniority.  A community service requirement may be included as part of any disciplinary action.  A student may be referred to the Counseling Service office as part of a disciplinary sanction.

Housing process dates, policy revisions, and charges are updated and published by the Office of Residence Life periodically.  JTS, and the Office of Residence Life, reserves the right to revise policy at any time.  All students in residence are required to comply with policy changes when they go into effect.  JTS's failure to insist upon strict adherence to any JTS policy herein shall not be deemed as a waiver of such policy.

By taking possession of the keys to your residence hall room, you are signifying that you are in agreement with the above provisions of the JTS Residence Hall Occupancy Agreement, 2013-2014.