Residence Life

Policies

Community is the heart of Abilene Christian University. We offer a diverse community of faith, an extraordinary academic community and a vibrant campus living community, each committed to supporting the others. ACU’s residential environment enhances and deepens the academic and faith communities for a richer student experience. Living on campus is an integral part of your ACU undergraduate years.

Community is the heart of Abilene Christian University. We offer a diverse community of faith, an extraordinary academic community and a vibrant campus living community, each committed to supporting the others. ACU’s residential environment enhances and deepens the academic and faith communities for a richer student experience. Living on campus is an integral part of your ACU undergraduate years.

Main Content

Requirements

Housing-Related Policies

You can review ACU’s Housing and Meal Plan Accommodation policy here.

All first and second-year students are required to live in traditional, on-campus residence halls. Third-year, fourth-year and graduate students choose to live in either on-campus apartments or off campus.

The campus residency requirement is determined by the years out of high school, not the number of college credit hours earned. First-year students who have recently graduated from high school will live in residence halls designated as first-year halls. Students completing their second year of post-secondary education will live in residence halls designated as second-year halls.

Exceptions to the residency requirement are not based on financial need. The exceptions are as follows:
  • A student’s parents are Abilene residents and he or she will live with his or her parents in the family’s primary residence. Students whose parents own property or a home in Abilene are not exempt from the residency requirement.
  • A student is 21 years of age prior to the beginning of the fall semester.
  • A student has graduated from high school more than two years prior to the beginning of the fall semester. (Homeschooled students and high school students enrolled in college classes earning dual credit are not exempt from the residency requirement.)
  • A student is married and submits a marriage license to Residence Life.
  • A student is enrolled in less than 12 hours at ACU.
  • A student has a documented medical/ADA concern submitted and verified through Alpha Academic Services.
  • A student previously lived four long semesters in residence halls.

 

Students seeking specific and documented medical or disability accommodations must turn in specific and appropriate documentation to ACU’s Alpha Scholars Program (alpha@acu.edu). Alpha Services will make a recommendation of reasonable accommodation to the Director of Residence Life and, except in extraordinary situations, the recommendations of Alpha Services will be fully followed.

You can review ACU’s Housing and Meal Plan Accommodation policy here.

Residence Life seeks to accommodate requests for housing but reserves the right to determine and change room and roommate assignments. We work hard to accommodate hall and roommate requests and in matching “potluck” students. Our ability to accommodate housing requests is often contingent on class size and residence hall space. Depending on incoming class sizes, residence halls may house students based on need, not tradition. Students may be asked to live in three-person suites, in common spaces and so forth. Consistency and fairness are paramount in the room assignment process. Students are not granted hall-to-hall changes except in rare and extenuating circumstances. The Director of Residence Life or designee must approve hall-to-hall changes.

Students seeking specific and documented medical or disability accommodations must turn in specific and appropriate documentation to ACU’s Alpha Services department (alpha@acu.edu). Alpha Services will make a recommendation of reasonable accommodation to the Director for Residence Life or designee. Except in extraordinary situations, the recommendations of Alpha Services will be fully followed.

Students are not permitted to move in outside of designated Move-in dates/times without prior approval from the Residence Life office.

Students are required to complete several online forms in their My Housing Portal (including the Room Condition Report and the Student’s Emergency Contact Form) before the end of the first week of school. In the event of a room change or withdrawal from ACU, as well as move out at the end of the year, it is extremely important each resident checks out with the appropriate Residence Life staff member. Students should schedule a time to inventory the condition of the room, sign the checkout form, return the keys and move out of the room. Students who do not properly follow the checkout procedure will be fined. Additionally, students will be held responsible for any room damages or custodial requirements not reported on the Room Condition Inventory during check in. Proper checkout procedure is for the benefit of the student.

The following appliances are approved for residence hall use:

  • Small, mini-fridge no more than 4.3 cubic feet (one per room)
  • Microwave (one per room)
  • Television/game devices (may not be mounted)
  • Stereos and stereo equipment (may not be mounted)
  • Lamps/alternative lighting (no halogen lamps)
  • Coffee maker (must have automatic shut-off)
  • Blender
  • Fan
  • Hairdryers/curling irons/straighteners
  • Automatic shut-off iron
  • One UL-approved extension cord per appliance (used with caution)
  • Surge protectors
  • Vacuum cleaner

The following items/actions are prohibited in ACU residence halls, rooms and common spaces:

  • Adhesive wallpaper or contact paper
  • Alcoholic beverages, containers and promotional items (including posters or decorative shot glasses)
  • Alterations to the wall or ceiling including the installation of ceiling fans or mounting light fixtures, flat screen TVs, and shelving
  • Antennas or satellite dishes attached to windows or outside of buildings
  • Athletic activities (outside of official Residence Life programs) including but not limited to: running, throwing, bouncing or kicking of objects; and the use of golf clubs, lacrosse sticks, footballs, etc.
  • Attached construction of any kind Blocking and/or propping open entrance, exit or fire doors including stairwells
  • Cats, dogs, and other non-fish pets except for approved ESAs, Service Animals, and those in pet-friendly housing.
  • Cooking appliances designed for frying, grilling, baking or with open heating elements
  • Controlled and/or illegal substances, designer/club drugs or prescription drugs written for another individual
  • Fabric or flammable material attached to the ceiling
  • Fighting of any kind
  • Firearms, ammunition and other weapons, including BB guns, pellet pistols, air rifles, darts, nunchucks, throwing stars, bows and arrows, sling shots, blow guns, paintball guns, taser devices, knives and other similar items
  • Fireworks, including smoke bombs and firecrackers Jumping, climbing or throwing anything out of windows
  • Mopeds, motorcycles, flammable fuel, gas engines
  • Open flames such as candles, incense, matches, lighters, etc.
  • Sexually explicit or inappropriate material or behavior, including but not limited to movies, posters, print materials, music, art, displays of profanity or other potentially offensive, insulting or provoking materials not consistent with the general spirit and Christian message of ACU
  • Smoking, including vapes or e-cigarettes
  • Space heaters
  • Other items at RD discretion

Pets are not allowed in the residence halls. Bringing pets into a residential facility at any time may result in a $100 fine for the first offense plus any additional cleaning fees incurred. Repeat incidents will lead to larger fines, student removal from halls and other possible disciplinary responses.

For more information about service animals, please contact the Alpha Scholars program.

University furnishings in the resident’s room should not be dismantled or removed. All university-provided furnishings must remain in the resident’s room at all times, including loft kits. Common space furniture must remain in its area of designated use. Removal or relocation of any of these items can be considered theft and may be handled by a fine and/or replacement charges.

Each year, repairing and replacing residence hall furniture and equipment is done at a considerable cost to the Department of Residence Life and the university. In an effort to keep housing costs as minimal as possible, it is expected that students be good stewards of all furniture and hall equipment.

All halls are equipped with wireless capabilities. Students are asked to be responsible in their computer use and to respect the Christian community of which they are a part. Students with computer or technology issues should contact Team 55 (ext. 5555). All halls have centralized printers for student use. Students may print from their rooms to the hall printers.

More information is provided in the Town Hall meeting at the beginning of the year. Computers are available for student use in the library and campus center.

Living in Community Policies

It is a primary mission of Residence Life to equip residents with the tools and experiences necessary to live, study and worship in close community with others. The majority of the residence halls are double or triple occupancy and, as can be expected, roommate conflicts and disagreements do arise on occasion. The Department of Residence Life has very purposeful and developmental procedures for addressing these concerns.

Communication is key. It is the responsibility of the student to notify the appropriate staff of concerns. Initially, students who feel they are not able to work out roommate disagreements should notify their RA for assistance. If the RA is unable to mediate the conflict, the roommates will meet with the RD for conflict resolution. Except in situations as approved by the RD or the Director of Residence Life, students will not be permitted to change roommates until the semester break. Students initiating changes on their own will be subject to fines and relocation at the discretion of the RD or Residence Life staff. Additionally, the student initiating the change will likely be required to relocate.

ACU students come from a variety of backgrounds: racial, ethnic, cultural and national origins, religious heritages and other diverse life circumstances. Room changes or roommate reassignment requests based upon any of these factors will not be approved.

For emergency and safety reasons, overnight guests must be registered with the AC/RD. In accordance with the campus visitation policies, guests must be the same gender as the resident. Guests may stay a maximum of three nights, except in situations approved by the Director of Residence Life or designee. Guests are expected to abide by all campus policies, and the host student assumes responsibility for the actions of their guests. Guests are required to register their vehicles with the ACU Police Department.

Babysitting is not permitted in the residence halls (this includes Treadaway Kids, Wildcat Kids and Big Brothers and Big Sisters). No one under the age of 16 is permitted in the residence halls without the consent of the Director for Residence Life or designee except during summer Leadership Camps, during pre-approved family open house times or in limited, case-by-case situations.

Students are expected to respect their rooms and hall common spaces as their home. For purposes of sanitation and safety, students are encouraged to regularly clean their rooms, linens and private bathrooms. Students are encouraged to bring their own vacuums as ACU does not provide these for the halls.

Damage and repair charges to residence halls or ACU property will be charged to individual students, including labor, repair and/or replacement charges. In the event that large-scale damage occurs, groups of students or the entire residential community may be fined. Additionally, depending on the type and/or extent of the damage, punitive fines may also be applied above and beyond the actual cost of the damage.

Students should not use nails, screws, carpet tape or any other decorating tool that damages walls or other surfaces. “Plasti-tack” is recommended for light-weight decorations. The use of paint, wallpaper or fabric to cover walls is not permitted.

Students with concerns regarding their residence hall living/learning experience should first contact their RA or SRA for a solution or remedy to their concerns. If the RA or SRA is unable to assist them, students should contact their hall RD. If the RD is unable to assist with their concerns, students are encouraged to contact the Director of Residence Life or the Housing Manager for help and assistance.

ACU takes a developmental approach to residential curfew. As members of the residential community, all first-year residents will have a curfew Sunday through Thursday. Specific times and dates will be posted in each residence hall. Students who violate residential curfew may be subject to fines. Second-year residents do not have curfew.

Per the residency requirement, it is expected that students who have been assigned a residence hall will spend at least five nights per week (or 80% of the time) in the residence hall. If an RD is notified that a resident has been absent several nights in a row, the RD will contact the resident and may prohibit them from spending the night out of the hall. This is at the discretion of the RD.

Visitation to resident rooms by members of the opposite gender is limited to times of recognized hall open house. Open house policies are discussed at Town Hall meetings. All visitors must be registered at the front desk and be escorted by a resident. For privacy and safety concerns, it is important that all members of the residential community acknowledge and support these policies.

The chief objective of Residence Life is to support and further ACU’s academic mission. As such, quiet hours will be strictly enforced. Common spaces are available in each residence hall for students to study, watch TV or hang out. Quiet hours are discussed in Town Hall meetings and will be posted in residence halls.

Safety, security, hall announcements and other important topics are discussed at Town Hall and periodic floor meetings. Residents are required to attend all scheduled meetings and are responsible for the information disseminated. A resident who has a schedule conflict with a floor/hall meeting should inform their RA as soon as possible and arrange a time to meet individually with the RD to receive the important information. Important information such as fire and weather safety, hall policies and so forth are discussed here. ACU will not be liable for information not received by a student who does not attend these meetings.

Facilities & Safety Policies

While the university respects each student’s privacy, it reserves the right to enter residence hall rooms/apartments to check general conditions, perform custodial service, make repairs, handle emergencies or if there is reason to believe a health or fire hazard exists.

Entry under the above conditions will not be used as an excuse to search a room for prohibited items. However, where there is legitimate reason, including suspected student conduct violations, designated university officials including Student Life and Residence Life/Housing staff with authorization from the Dean of Students or designee, may enter and search a student’s room with or without the consent of the occupying student. When possible, it is desirable for the student to be present when a search is made.

In rare cases, students who leave the residence hall and who do not respond to institutional communication may have their locks changed on their room door in order to encourage them to meet with the appropriate staff. Changing the locks is generally a last-resort administrative action by the university. Students will be notified via email before locks are changed. ACU is not responsible for items left beyond 30 days. Students may be charged a re-key fee in the event their locks are changed.

ACU has implemented ACU Alert, a text-messaging notification system to notify students in the event of a campus emergency. All students are strongly encouraged to sign up for the ACU Alert service. To register for ACU Alert and obtain more information, see ACU Police Department’s webpage.

Emergency evacuation procedures are posted in every residence hall and will be discussed in Town Hall meetings.

In conjunction with Facilities Management and the Office of Risk Management, residence halls may conduct fire drills each semester. All fire alarms/drills should be treated as an actual fire, and the building must be evacuated immediately. Students who fail to evacuate during a sounding fire alarm or who tamper with fire control measures (such as false alarms, smoke alarms, pull stations, warning lights and horns, fire extinguishers, sprinkler systems) will be subject to disciplinary sanctions, possible fines and referral to civil authorities. After an evacuation, students are not to return to the building until the AC/RD or designee has deemed it safe to do so.

All residence halls are locked 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Students must have their student ID in order to gain entrance to their hall. Residents should carry their room keys and ACU ID cards for their halls when they leave their rooms. Residents should not open hall doors for nonresidents wishing to enter the hall. Keys are the responsibility of the resident and rooms should be locked each time a student leaves their room. A resident who is locked out of their room should immediately contact their RA or the Residence Life office. A lost key should be immediately reported to the RD. To aid in the security of the hall, a lost key will result in a nonrefundable $65 charge to re-key the lock. Any student found to have duplicate keys or unauthorized keys will be fined to re-key the lock and subject to disciplinary action up to, and including, suspension.

ACUPD officers are responsible for the student safety needs of the campus. They regularly patrol campus facilities and are available 24 hours a day. All students are strongly encouraged to sign up for the ACU Alert service.

Safety, security, hall announcements and other important topics are discussed at Town Hall and periodic floor meetings. Residents are required to attend all scheduled meetings and are responsible for the information disseminated. A resident who has a schedule conflict with a floor/hall meeting should inform his/her RA as soon as possible and arrange a time to meet individually with the RD to receive the important information. Students who do not attend may be subject to disciplinary action.

Commercial washers and dryers are available to hall residents free of charge. All problems with laundry equipment or facilities should be reported in accordance with the established maintenance request policy. The washers are energy efficient; please follow posted signs for use so as to avoid damage to clothes and equipment. Students are prohibited from doing laundry for their off-campus friends or non-residents. Students who do so may be subject to a fine.

Facilities Management will repair electrical and plumbing problems, broken windows, air conditioners, screens, locks, etc. The AC/RD will explain the maintenance request policy at the Town Hall meeting at the beginning of the school year. It is the student’s responsibility to report all maintenance requests as soon as possible.

If a room or building emergency occurs, students should contact the residence hall staff immediately. Facilities Management staff may enter a student’s room at any time to address issues of building maintenance or repair. Students may be responsible for damages, unclogging drains and major repairs due to student negligence or accident.

It is important to note that only Facilities Management is permitted to make repairs in the residence halls. Students, their parents or others are not allowed to make hall repairs.

Theft is one of the most destructive and divisive occurrences among members of a residential community, undermining community living at its very core. Communities are based on trust, respect and mutual responsibility. Theft of student property is not tolerated in any shape or form and may result in removal from campus housing on a first occurrence as well as additional disciplinary sanctions.

In order to minimize the possibility of theft, residents should take the following precautions:

  • Room doors should be locked any time a resident is not in the room, including those times they are to be gone for only a brief time.
  • Residents should keep their keys with them at all times. Even if a resident expects his/her roommate to remain in the room, they should take their key.
  • Resident doors should be locked when residents are asleep.
  • Valuables should be locked up and kept out of sight.
  • Residents should know their neighbors and report any suspicious activities or people to an RA or their RD.

During severe weather alerts (watches and warnings), residents should monitor television and radio reports, watch for an ACU Alert and take reasonable precautions. Each resident should have a flashlight. Residence hall staff members are educated for response in certain weather-related emergencies, but each student is responsible for being aware of the emergency procedures for their living environment.

In the event a weather-related emergency arises, students are to respond immediately to hall staff safety instructions for their particular hall. If hall staff is not around, students are to refer to their emergency procedures. These instructions are discussed at all Town Hall meetings and in various drills throughout the semester. Residence Life staff are also available for further clarification or discussion.

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ACU Ranks High

For the third year in a row, Abilene Christian University is the highest-ranking university in Texas in U.S. News & World Report benchmarks focused on programs that lead to student success.

According to U.S. News & World Report methodology, the Academic Programs to Look For benchmarks highlight “colleges and universities that offer well-regarded study abroad, service learning and other special programs that, research shows, are linked to student success and positive learning outcomes while fostering a successful undergraduate student experience.”