Minimum Living Condition Standards for Residence Halls

Minimum Living Condition Standards for University Residence Halls

In accordance with Chapter 416 of the Laws of 1988 and the State University Board of Trustees’ Resolution 89-130 adopted June 21, 1989, SUNY Oswego has developed procedures to assure compliance with the standards and guidelines prescribed by the trustees.  Listed in order below are the five standards, followed by the implementation guidelines developed by the SUNY Committee on Minimum Living Condition Standards. The SUNY Oswego procedures established to meet those standards and guidelines are in bold print.

Standard I

The residential communities shall be constructed and maintained to conform to all applicable safety codes and health standards.

1. All furnishings and equipment supplied by the University meet applicable fire and safety code standards promulgated by the State of New York.  SUNY Oswego follows the NYS Uniform Fire Prevention and Building Code. Questions and concerns are forwarded to the campus Fire Marshal. All buildings are inspected at least once each year by local maintenance personnel and New York State fire inspectors. Minor deficiencies are repaired by maintenance personnel; major problems are prioritized on the capital budget request for life safety.  All College-supplied furnishings meet the applicable fire and safety standard extant at time of purchase.
2.  Each resident’s sleeping room will have an operational smoke detector.
Each student bedroom is equipped with a smoke detector that is tested annually. 

3.  Student residents are required to adhere to all applicable safety codes and health standards in the use of private equipment and appliances (where permitted).
To live in campus housing, SUNY Oswego students are required to sign a Room and Board Agreement which includes information about College safety regulations regarding the use of individual appliances and equipment.  Residence Life staff members are instructed to enforce those conditions. 
(See SUNY Oswego
Room and Board Agreement.)
4.  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).
Many campus residential communities are accessible to differently-abled individuals. Most residential communities have grade-level entrances, are equipped with elevator service and feature modified toilet stalls with grab bars.
5.  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.
SUNY Oswego completes a thorough inspection of each residential community at least once each year.  The inspection team consists of the director and assistant director of the community, hall government representative, supervising janitor, facilities staff and Community Development Specialist.  Facilities needs are prioritized for repair, rehabilitation and/or refurbishing, as appropriate. Rehabilitation and/or refurbishment lists are reviewed by Residence Life and Housing and prioritized project lists become part of the budget request.  Project Lists are available for review by students upon request to their RHD/AHD/VCD and/or the Residence Life and Housing Office.  Other inspections are currently performed annually by the Dormitory Authority and SUNY Systems Administration.  

Standard II

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

  1. 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.
    Under normal circumstances, common area bathrooms, lounges, hallways, stairwells, laundry rooms and other public areas are cleaned on a daily basis between 7:00 a.m. and 3:30 p.m.  A daily custodial cleaning documentation sheet is posted in each residential and public bathroom.  Employees performing this bathroom cleaning are required to sign, date and initial this sheet upon completion of the cleaning.  Cleaning routines for all other areas of the residential community are available at each front desk upon request.
  2. Every reasonable effort by the campus administration and student residents should be made to keep residential communities sanitary and vermin free, and all appliances provided by the University in working order or removed from service.
    SUNY Oswego maintains a relationship with a licensed pest control company to provide treatment when necessary.
    College-supplied appliances such as microwaves, stoves, televisions, and DVD players are serviced as soon as possible and labeled “out of order” or “removed until repairs are accomplished”.
  3. 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 Assistant Vice President for Residence Life and Housing or designee, in consultation with the maintenance supervisor, custodial supervisor, Residence Hall Director/Village Community Director and residents of the room determine whether or not a student room is unlivable due to substandard conditions including health and safety concerns that cannot be corrected in a reasonable period of time.  If the room is determined to be unlivable, students are reassigned until the conditions are corrected.

Standard III

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

  1. The campus will provide each student resident with adequate living and lounge furniture. As a minimum, except in the case of tripling, each student resident will be provided with: a bed, adequate area illumination, chair, dresser/chest, desk/carrel unit, closet or wardrobe. All such equipment should be clean, sturdy, free from major scarring and of acceptable appearance.
    Resident bedrooms are furnished with closets/armoires, beds, mattresses, desks, desk chairs, dressers, floor lamps, mirrors, and wastebaskets.  Each item is inventoried and assigned to the room.  On an annual basis all rooms are inspected to determine the condition of each piece of furniture/equipment.  Pieces identified as unacceptable are removed from service.
  2. Campuses should provide for a planned replacement or rehabilitation of residence hall furnishings.
    An equipment replacement list is updated yearly, reviewed by Residence Life and Housing and becomes part of the budget request. 

Standard IV

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

  • Protocols will be established to address promptly inquiries, requests and complaints regarding routine repairs and maintenance for the provision of heat, lights and hot water. The student resident should also be apprised periodically of the status of his/her request. 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.
    Routine maintenance and custodial concerns should be reported through the Facilities Maintenance and Operations electronic work order link
    iServiceDesk will provide:
  • Immediate e-mail confirmation of your request.
    E-mail confirmation once the request is reviewed and converted to a work order
  • An automatic e-mail notification when your work order status changes

Residents may need to make an appointment, as maintenance staff will be unable to enter the room without the resident present or without prior consent from the resident and any roommate(s).  Although we strive to deal with each report effectively, errors do occur.  Residents should persist in reporting problems until they are resolved and maintenance emergencies should be reported to the front desk.  If the desk is closed, contact the RSS on duty or University Police (315.312.5555).

Routine work orders generated for student rooms generally will be completed within 72 hours of the request.  Loss of heat or electric service is considered an urgent situation and is addressed as soon as staff and materials are available, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. I f a repair of this type cannot be completed in a reasonable and safe period of time, the resident(s) are temporarily reassigned until the problem is corrected.

 In order to determine the sufficiency of repairs, a Facilities, Maintenance and Operations representative follows up on all resident-initiated repairs, including timeliness and quality by contacting the resident(s).  Complaints may be addressed to the Residence Life and Housing Office.

 Note:  Residential community temperatures should not drop below 68 degrees. If the room seems cold, residents are to check to be certain that windows are tightly closed and that there is one to two feet clearance between the baseboard heating unit and furniture and bedding.  If neither of these two items seem to be causing the problem, the RHD/VCD is contacted so that he/she can take a temperature reading.  If the temperature is below 68 degrees, maintenance personnel are contacted.  If the problem cannot be quickly resolved, Residence Life and Housing provides a special heater for the room until 68 degrees can be maintained.


  1. To the extent possible, major rehabilitation or other capital projects should take place at times when students are not in occupancy of the residence halls. Major construction projects which are disruptive to ongoing programming should not continue during scheduled examination periods. If this is impossible, arrangements should be made to house residents elsewhere.
    All major rehabilitation projects, whenever possible, are scheduled and completed during times of recess or in a manner that results in the least disruption to the residents of the building.


Standard V


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 that are within the control of the campus.

  1. These procedures will include a plan for reassignment on campus if conditions continue for an unreasonable time, which involve the loss of heat, light, or hot water or the creation of any other condition which is detrimental to the life, health or safety of the student residents.
    In the event of the complete loss of heat, light, or electricity, the situation is considered urgent.  Maintenance personnel are dispatched as soon as possible.  If the problem cannot be resolved within a reasonable amount of time, the student(s) are temporarily reassigned until the problem is corrected. Such reassignments may be to another resident bedroom, a lounge, or other space not designated as a resident bedroom depending upon levels of occupancy at the time of the incident.
    In the event of a minor loss of heat, light or electricity or other deteriorated physical condition (i.e. leaks), maintenance personnel are dispatched to repair the problem in a reasonable amount of time.  If the College cannot complete the repair in a reasonable amount of time, the resident(s) is/are offered reassignment.  If the resident(s) choose(s) to remain in the room, they must sign a waiver absolving the College from any liability.
  2. 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 charges where applicable.
    Every effort is made to reassign students to rooms or other temporary housing accommodations in the event of loss of utilities.  If it is impossible to reassign the resident(s) due to loss of heat, light, or electricity, the resident(s) may request a refund of room rent in writing to the Assistant Vice President for Residence Life and Housing.  Refunds are based on the College’s per diem rate for on-campus facilities for each day that the College was unable to reassign the resident(s).  The Assistant Vice President for Residence Life and Housing in consultation with the maintenance supervisor, custodial supervisor and the Associate Director of Residence Life and Housing for the area will determine a refund (if any).