Residency

Revised and approved by President Roth, July 2015

Wesleyan University believes that residential life represents an extremely important aspect of the overall college experience. It therefore commits a great deal of its resources and energy to providing students with opportunities for their development as scholars, as social beings, and as individuals. However, to get the most out of these possibilities, it is essential that students bring to residential life a spirit of understanding for, and generosity toward, all members of the community. This spirit, accompanied by an active and enthusiastic willingness to share and participate for the good of all, virtually guarantees the realization of a successful and rewarding residential community.

In the spirit of creating and maintaining this unified community at Wesleyan, the University has a residential requirement for all undergraduate students. A limited number of exemptions from the residential requirement are permitted via the off-campus application process (information available from the Office of Residential Life). Wesleyan provides University housing sufficient to accommodate all single undergraduate students.

Wesleyan continues to recognize the right of existing, private, residential, independently chartered Greek organizations to function at the University provided that they are formally recognized by the University via program housing and comply with applicable University rules and regulations. Greek organizations formally recognized by Wesleyan may receive the privileges accorded to student organizations. By recognition, Wesleyan does not endorse any such organization but agrees to provide it with access to certain facilities and privileges.

If a Greek organization limits its membership to students of a single sex, then in order to be recognized by the University it must satisfy the requirements for social fraternities and sororities established by Title IX of the federal Education Amendments of 1972. These requirements, as now in effect, exempt the membership practices of single-sex Greek organizations from Title IX’s anti-discrimination requirements provided that they are tax-exempt organizations under section 501(a) of the Internal Revenue Code.

To be recognized by the University, Greek organizations as described above must sign the Wesleyan University Greek Organization Standards Agreement and their members must comply with all applicable University rules and regulations and also with all applicable local, state, and federal law. The rules and regulations of Wesleyan take primacy over the rules and procedures of the applicable organization.

Wesleyan students are prohibited from using houses or property owned, leased, or operated by Greek and affiliated organizations that are not recognized by the University. Wesleyan students are also prohibited from using any other property that the University informs students are off-limits for health, safety, or conduct reasons at the University’s discretion. These prohibitions include using such houses or property as residences, taking meals at such houses or property, and participating in social activities or otherwise being present at such houses or property.

Residential Smoking Policy

Wesleyan University has a responsibility to its students and employees to provide a safe and healthful environment. Secondhand smoke, also known as environmental tobacco smoke, is a Class A carcinogen and has detrimental effects on health. Research findings have established that environmental tobacco smoke triggers asthma attacks and causes lung cancer, as well as cardiovascular and lung diseases. Secondhand smoke contributes to increased absenteeism; institutional costs for medical care, medical insurance, and fire damage; and cleaning and maintenance costs.

The goal of the former smoking policy was intended to limit exposure to environmental smoke to enclosed spaces in residence halls. This has been found to be ineffective because smoke is transferred through the ventilation systems, hallways, spaces between door frames, and open doors.

To limit environmental smoke, the University prohibits smoking in all residential facilities and faculty and administrative buildings (including all offices, common areas, and classrooms). The policy also prohibits smoking within 25 feet from the perimeter of all University buildings.

In light of compelling research findings about the effects of environmental tobacco smoke, the University strongly discourages students from smoking in areas where nonsmokers cannot avoid exposure to smoke. These include areas near windows, doorways, breezeways, and ventilation systems.

Effective implementation of this policy depends upon the respect and cooperation of all members of the Wesleyan University community. Students are encouraged to discuss problem situations regarding smoking in residential areas and outdoor areas with fellow students. Complaints and disputes that are not resolved through discussion should be brought to the attention of a resident advisor, house manager, head resident, or area coordinator. If a satisfactory resolution is not reached, the director of residential life should be consulted. Students who repeatedly violate the smoking policy may be charged with violating the Code of Non-Academic Conduct.

The Office of Student Health Services (860-685-2470) provides assistance to students who wish to stop smoking. WesWELL, the Office of Health Education (860-685-2466), offers educational programs about the effects of smoking. We encourage all students who smoke to take advantage of these programs to protect their own health and the health of other members of the Wesleyan community.

Meal Plan Requirement

As a residential liberal arts college, Wesleyan has a campus dining service to meet the needs of students, staff, and faculty on campus. In 1994, a committee of the Wesleyan Student Association (WSA) conducted an extensive review of the dining program and concluded that to ensure the economics of a functional dining program and to promote community on campus; there should be four-year mandatory participation in the residential dining program. The University’s Board of Trustees approved the students’ recommendation later that year and the meal plan requirement has been in place for all undergraduate students since that time.

In rare circumstances, exemptions from mandatory participation or modification of plan requirements are appropriate. Petitions must be made to the director of the Usdan University Center. The following guidelines have been developed in order to respond to requests for exemptions and/or changes:

  • The student is a nontraditional undergraduate. Specifically, the student is 25 years of age or older and resides with his/her/ family (spouse/partner and dependent children, if any).

  • The student has a medical condition that requires dietary restrictions that cannot be accommodated by the dining program. Students requesting exemptions or changes to the meal plan for medical reasons must meet with a physician at University Health Services to review their medical condition. The medical director will consult with Wesleyan’s nutritionist (if appropriate) and then forward a recommendation to the director of the Usdan University Center.

  • The student has obtained off-campus status (exemption from the residency requirement) and commutes to the University from the residence of a parent/guardian.

  • The student has special nonmedical dietary needs that cannot be accommodated within the context of the dining program. Students requesting exemptions or changes to the meal plan for dietary reasons must meet with the dining services nutritionist to review their dietary needs. The nutritionist will forward a recommendation to the director of the Usdan University Center.

These guidelines have been reviewed by the Student Dining Committee.