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Policies & Procedures
St. Jerome’s University Mission Statement


St. Jerome's University is a public Roman Catholic University federated with the University of Waterloo, historically associated with the educational vision of the Congregation of the Resurrection.  We are committed to learning and academic excellence; the gospel of values of love, truth and justice; and the formation of leaders for the service of the community and the Church.  In all of our activities and practices, St. Jerome's University functions within the context of the Roman Catholic tradition and the principles of academic freedom.

The SJU Residence Experience


Our pride is our community: the friendships, the spirit, the common interests, the shared responsibility and the call to action. It gives us energy, it gives us perspective, it gives us pause. It’s the debate in class that becomes conversation over dinner and draws us together as lifelong friends.  As residents of St. Jerome’s University, we are a community that represents diversity, inclusiveness and acceptance.


Our tradition - giving hundreds of hours to local charities, sporting team colours to cheer on our floor mates, 300 friends gathering to sing “happy birthday”, community meals, quirky and intriguing roommates who share their care packages and make sure we’re always up for class.


We’re deeply engaged: In our studies, in our interests, in our communities and abroad. We’re curious, inspired, committed and we value the interconnectedness of our global community. We’re partners in sustainability and environmentalism. We’re dreamers, doers, talkers and actors.


And so - we’re proud of our community.  Proud to be part of 150 years of active social justice and community service that is strongly linked with academic success and our mission to educate the “whole person”. We’re also proud of our Catholic values, unique traditions, mealtime rituals and that genuine feeling that everyone counts, everyone contributes and everyone has something to offer.


Living is learning. It starts with you, it lives in every room and it is the one thing that will stay with you forever.


Living in Residence


A residence is much more than a convenient place to live on campus--it is a place to learn and to grow. In addition to the academic challenges that you will experience at university, the daily experience of living with other students will challenge you to expand your awareness and understanding of yourself and others. You will establish some lasting friendships. You will have an opportunity to contribute to the quality of university and residence life.


Moving into residence means moving into a new community. You will have many opportunities to get involved. There will be numerous committees, activities and events that will allow you to interact with other residents, develop friendships, and build community. Moving into residence also means learning to live with others. Living together requires that each resident take responsibility for the spirit of mutual respect and cooperation necessary for successful community living. This means that: 


  • Each resident must be considerate of the  privacy and property of other residents;
  • An atmosphere conducive to study and rest be maintained;
  • Courtesy and respect be shown to other residents, the residence staff, the kitchen staff and the cleaning and maintenance staff;
  • Each resident has the right and the obligation to remind other residents of their responsibilities to the residence community and the standards and expectations of the residence community at St. Jerome's;
  • Intimidation, harassment, or acts of discrimination on the basis of race, colour, gender, religion, national origin, handicap, age, sexual orientation, political affiliation or any protected ground under the Human Rights Code will not be tolerated by the University.


Residents must comply with requests made by residence staff and University officials. These requests include those pertaining to established regulations, policies and guidelines. They also include attending community and/or individual meetings. The conduct of residents is governed by both the Residence Handbook and Contract, as well as other residence guidelines and directives issued by St. Jerome’s University and the University of Waterloo.


Residence Handbook and Contract


This handbook is designed to give you the information you need about residence at St. Jerome's University. Please read the contents carefully. If you have never lived in residence, this handbook will provide you with an introduction to many facets of the residence life experience.


The Director of Student Affairs reserves the right to amend, alter or add to the policies of the residence at any time.  The Director of Student Affairs reserves the right to take any steps necessary to preserve the safety, security and well-being of the residents and/or residence property.  Such steps include, but are not restricted to, the right to terminate a residence contract without financial penalty to the residence.


This Residence Handbook is considered part of your Residence Contract and you are therefore bound by its terms and conditions.

Residence Contracts

Regular stream students entering the Fall term are required to register for the Fall and Winter terms. Co-op students entering in the Fall term will be required to register for either the Fall and Winter terms, or the Fall and Spring terms. One-term contracts will only be given for the Winter or Spring terms.


When a resident signs a contract, they also agree to the conditions regarding the usage of their room and furnishings, the rights of others with whom they live, the values of the University and all other conditions outlined in this Residence Handbook. This Handbook is in effect during all academic terms.


Residence deposits (except deposits collected for one-term contracts) are credited toward the first term of a Residence Contract. All residence deposits are non-refundable and non-transferable. This includes; students who do not meet the conditions on their “Offer of Admission” to the University of Waterloo or St. Jerome’s University; students who defer their “Offer of Admission” to the University of Waterloo or St. Jerome’s University that choose alternate accommodations following the period of deferral; students who withdraw academically from the University of Waterloo or St. Jerome’s University.

Contract Cancellations, Withdrawals and Terminations

The cancellation of a residence contract may occur as a result of any incident or circumstance that would nullify an existing contract or cause the Residence Office to terminate a contract within the guidelines expressed in this Residence Handbook.


A resident who has withdrawn from the residence or whose residence contract is terminated by the Residence Office must vacate the residence within 24 hours.


Contract cancellations and the management of fees, fines or costs associated with damages will be assessed in the following manner:


Student Initiated Contract Cancellations


In the event that a student wishes to cancel their existing residence contract, the student will be responsible for 60% of their fees for the contract term(s), whether or not the room is re-occupied. The resident's deposit, if applicable, will be applied to the outstanding fees. However, if a cancellation occurs less than 21 days prior to the start of term (as defined by the University Calendar), the resident will be responsible for the residence fee in its entirety for that term.


A $100.00 Processing fee will be applied in all instances where a student is entitled to a partial refund.


Contract Cancellation due to Academic Withdrawal


All students withdrawing from the University of Waterloo or St. Jerome’s University are required to submit to the Residence Office a letter from the Registrar’s Office or Academic department verifying their full withdrawal from the University.


A student who is required to withdraw academically from the University of Waterloo or St Jerome’s University (as initiated by the University) at any point after the term has commenced will be entitled to a partial, pro-rated refund up to the midpoint of the term, as defined by the University Calendar. Refunds will be made at the discretion of the Residence Office and each student should speak to the Residence Office to determine their refund details.


Students required to withdraw for academic reasons between terms (e.g. between Fall and Winter or Fall and Spring terms) will not be billed for the second term of their contract, as long as the appropriate paperwork from the Registrar’s Office is in place.


Voluntary withdrawals initiated by the student that occur at any point during the contract term will be treated in the same manner as student initiated contract cancellations.


A $100.00 Processing fee will be applied in all instances where a student is entitled to a partial refund.

University Initiated Cancellation


In the event of a Resident's failure to abide by the provisions of the Residence Handbook, or other residence guidelines and directives that may be issued by the University of Waterloo, or through the residence office, St. Jerome's may forthwith terminate the residence contract agreement.


In the event that a resident’s contract is terminated, the Residence Office maintains full discretion as to the amount of a full or partial refund of residence fees, if applicable.


A $100.00 Processing fee will be applied in all instances where a student is granted a partial refund.


Special Circumstances


Special circumstances regarding contracts may be considered by the Residence Office. Special requests for consideration must be presented in writing to the Residence Office.

Residence Interruptions

The University undertakes to avoid unnecessarily disturbing the student but reserves the right after reasonable notice, to change the accommodation assigned to the student if circumstances arise which, in the unfettered discretion of the University, are necessary or desirable. The student may request a change of rooms in accordance with the Room Re-Allocation Process and with approval from the Residence Office.


The University shall not be liable for the failure to provide the residential accommodation which is contracted for herein when such failure is caused by fire, explosion, water, Acts of God, civil disobedience or disturbances, strikes or other labour interruptions, vandalism, war, riot, sabotage, failure of public utility services, governmental rules, or any other courses which are beyond the reasonable control of the University (collectively referred to herein as "Emergency" or "Emergencies").


In the event that the Residences cannot open and/or must close for any such Emergency every attempt will be made to ensure that students are notified in advance and the University will use its best efforts to mitigate against the effects thereof. The University and the Residence Office are not liable for any loss in these Emergencies. There shall be no compensation in any form whatsoever for inconvenience or discomfort suffered as a result of Emergencies or other circumstances that are beyond the control of the University or the Residence Office.


In the event that the Residences cannot open and/or must close due to the actions of third parties with respect to planned or unforeseen renovation or construction, which are beyond the control of the University but not an Emergency, the University shall use its best efforts to notify the students in advance and provide substitute accommodation on- or off-campus.

Resident Conduct & Expectations

In general terms, acceptable conduct of residents is defined as activity that does not infringe on the rights of other members of the University community and conforms to the policies and regulations of the University.


The conduct of residents is governed by this Residence Handbook and other residence guidelines and directives that may be issued by St. Jerome’s University, the University of Waterloo, or through the Residence Office. The expectation of acceptable conduct applies to the on-campus conduct of all residents and residence student organizations. The expectation of acceptable conduct also applies to off-campus conduct of residents and resident student organizations in direct connection with:


  • Field trips, floor trips, committee organized events and university or residence coordinated volunteer work;
  • Any residence activity sponsored, conducted, or authorized by the university, their respective residence administration and/or student organizations;
  • Any activity that causes (or was likely to cause) destruction of property belonging to the university, or causes (or was likely to cause) harm to the health or safety of members of the university community;
  • Or any activity that brings the University, or the residence operations into disrepute.


It must be emphasized that the University’s system of non-academic discipline should not be regarded as a substitute for the civil or criminal law but rather as a complementary system. Students continue to be subject to provincial and federal laws while in residence, and violations of those laws may also constitute a violation of the definition of acceptable resident behaviour. In such instances, the residence administration may proceed with disciplinary action independently of any criminal proceeding involving the same conduct and may impose sanctions for inappropriate conduct even if such criminal proceeding is not yet resolved or is resolved in the student's favour.


Should your need for support and assistance exceed the resources available, or should you not actively participate in residence sanctions, you may be required to leave residence. You may also be required to leave residence if your behaviour gives rise to concerns for your own wellbeing, or the wellbeing of others in residence.


The residence reserves the right to determine appropriate sanctions when policy has not been followed or when a resident acts in a manner that is not commensurate with the Expectations and Residence Conduct Policy contained within the Residence Handbook.  Sanctions will apply even if the student withdraws from the residence, is no longer enrolled in classes, or subsequently fails to meet the definition of a student while a disciplinary matter is pending. 


Sanctions may include, but are not limited to: no longer being eligible to be housed in residence accommodations, being served with a trespass notice, a behavioural contract and/or residence fines.  Students should be aware that unacceptable conduct off-campus or within another residence community may result in sanctions and other means of non-academic discipline that could impact potential residency at any of the residences of the University of Waterloo and the Federated University and the Affiliated University Colleges.


Fines will be assessed dependent on the nature of the incident and the circumstances surrounding it. All fines are made at the discretion of the Residence Dons in consultation with the Residence and Student Life Coordinator. Fines will be in the amount of $125. If fines are paid within 7 days, the fine amount will decrease to $100, excluding fines related to drug violations which will remain $125.


Reasons for behavioural contracts, fines or expulsion may include, but are not limited to: noise violations; smoking cigarettes, electronic cigarettes, hookah, etc. in residence; alcohol or drug violations; theft; threats; violence; damage to the rooms; exceptional house cleaning; or any other conduct unbecoming of a St. Jerome's University resident.


In the event of the Resident's failure to abide by the provisions of the Residence Handbook, or other residence guidelines and directives that may be issued by the University of Waterloo, or through the Residence Office, St. Jerome's may forthwith terminate the residence contract agreement. Where St. Jerome’s terminates a Residence Contract, the student is expelled from residence and is required to vacate the premises within 24 hours. An expelled student is responsible for his/her residence fees as outlined in the Residence Contract and at the discretion of the Residence Office.

Appealing a Sanction

Should a student believe a sanction was imposed unfairly, with prejudice and/or in a manner that is not in accordance with the policies outlined in the Residence Contract, the Residence Handbook and applicable legislation, he or she may engage in the appeal process outlined below.


Informal Appeal


A student is encouraged to pursue an informal appeal through discussion and dialogue with his/her Residence Don, Community Advisor and/or the Residence and Student Life Coordinator prior pursuing formal appeal mechanisms. These discussions are intended for all parties to more thoroughly understand why sanctions may have been imposed and to clarify residence policy.


The majority of disputes are resolved at this level. Should a student believe the outcome of the informal appeal is not satisfactory, they may engage in the Formal Appeal process.


Formal Appeal


Once an Informal Appeal has been explored, a student may submit in writing (not electronic) a formal letter to the Director of Student Affairs. The Director will meet with the student to discuss the incident, the student’s involvement and to discuss the application of residence policy and procedure to a given situation. The Director of Student Affairs, will communicate a decision regarding the formal appeal to the student in writing.


Should a student still feel dissatisfied with the outcome of the Formal Appeal process, they may request a Tribunal Review.


Tribunal Review

Composition of the Residence Tribunal:

1. Vice President, Administration (Chair)

2. University Registrar

3. President of SJU Students’ Union


The Administrative Assistant in Student Affairs will serve as a secretary to the Residence Tribunal in a non-voting capacity. 


A student may request a sanction to be reviewed by the Residence Tribunal only once both Informal and Formal Appeals have been pursued and a decision communicated. The student must complete the Tribunal Review Form available at and submit no later than the November 30 (Fall term), March 31 (Winter term) or July 31 (Spring term).


A student requesting a Tribunal Review may only appeal on one of two grounds, which must be declared in their Tribunal Review Form:


1. An appeal based on an unfair or improper application of residence policy or procedure as it relates to a student’s involvement in an incident; OR

2. An appeal based on a dispute of the facts as they pertain to why a sanction was imposed;


Upon receipt of the Tribunal Review Form, the Tribunal will review all documentation related to the incident in question, meet individually with the student in question and the Residence Don(s) directly involved in the incident to discuss the sanctions imposed and the circumstances of the appeal. At his/her discretion, the Chair may request to meet with other individuals in order to fairly adjudicate the appeal. Tribunal Review meetings occur once per term, usually during exam preparation days as outlined in the University of Waterloo Calendar.


The Vice President Administration will communicate a final decision to the complainant in writing. Decisions of the Tribunal are final.


Notes about Appeals


Statute of limitations: A sanction can only be appealed during the term in which the incident in question occurred. Should the incident occur after the final submission date for Tribunal Review Form and prior to a decision regarding a Formal Appeal in a given term, an appeal should be initiated in the term immediately following the incident in question.


Representation: A student wishing to appeal a sanction does so of their own volition, without proxy or representation.


Non-appealable Sanctions: Removal from residence and trespass notices are made at the final discretion of the Director of Student Affairs, in consultation with the Vice President Administration, The University of Waterloo, Campus Police and other municipal, provincial and federal authorities where applicable. Such sanctions are not appealable through the St. Jerome’s University Residence Appeal process.

Roommates and Room Allocations

First year students are asked to complete and return a Roommate Selection and Personal Information Form which will aid the Residence & Student Life Coordinator and the Dons in room and roommate allocations.


For returning students, room allocations are done in a live lottery. The Residence Office will provide the specific details for the lottery in March of each year.


All room allocations and returning contract offers are approved by the Residence & Student Life Coordinator, in consultation with the residence staff.


The Residence Office maintains final decision-making authority on both roommates and room allocations. Room changes are discouraged and are not permitted without the permission of the Residence Office.

Mediation Guidelines

Living in a residence environment requires shared living space with various other students. It is not uncommon for conflict to occur. As a member of the educational community, we believe that managing conflict is an excellent way for students to learn about themselves and how to get along with other people who may not have the same ideals or beliefs.


The following outlines the process that students are to take when they encounter a conflict within residence:


1. Speak to the person(s) involved in the conflict and try to find a resolution on your own in a calm, respectful manner. If you need ideas about how to do this, speak with a Don.


2. If you are unable to come to a resolution on your own, please contact your Don. They will act as a neutral third party and assist you in the process of finding a mutually agreeable resolution to the conflict.


3. In the event that the conflict cannot be solved with the assistance of the Don, students are encouraged to use a Community Advisor as a mediator. If the conflict cannot be resolved, an alternative solution will be implemented by the Residence and Student Life Coordinator. These decisions are final.


Please note: The Residence Staff (Don, Community Advisor and Residence Manager) are neutral third parties in any conflict. They will not act as an arbitrator or “judge” and will not make decisions regarding right and wrong when there are no infractions covered within the Contract or Residence Handbook.

Departure from Residence

Residence policy requires that students leave residence no more than twenty-four hours after their last scheduled written exam unless they are given special permission by the Residence Office. Students who write exams on the last scheduled exam day, as outlined by the University of Waterloo Calendar, will be required to leave residence by 12:00 p.m. (noon) the following day.

Community and Floor Meetings

House and floor meetings are held on a regular basis. The Residence Managerr may on occasion decide to conduct community forums for the residence community to discuss important events in Residence or changes to residence policy and practice.  Regular floor meetings are held by each Don to inform residents of the current happenings and planned activities for their floor. Attendance at these meetings is mandatory unless a previous arrangement, in writing, has been made with your Don.

Cooking in Residence

Cooking in residents' rooms is strictly prohibited. Residents may use kettles and coffee makers provided that they do not set off the breakers. No toaster ovens, rice cookers, crock pots or microwave ovens are to be used in the rooms.


This policy is in place to accommodate guests that do not currently live at St. Jerome's University, or any of the other on-campus residences at UW.


A "guest registration form" must be filed with a Don in the building in which the guest will be staying two days before any non-resident enters the residence overnight or for the weekend. This form will require a signature from the roommate and the Don, indicating their approval of an overnight guest. No guests will be permitted without the consent of the roommate. While the guest is staying at St. Jerome's, a resident must accompany them at all times.


Residents are responsible for their guest's behaviour and any financial consequences of the guest's actions. Residents must insure that guests adhere to the policies, rules, regulations and terms contained in this handbook, as well as all St. Jerome’s University and University of Waterloo policies. If a resident abuses the guest policy, or has guests that are disturbing to the academic atmosphere present at St. Jerome's University, they will have their guest privileges suspended for the remainder of the term by the Residence Manager. A resident is permitted to have a guest over for a maximum of three consecutive nights. The guest may be asked to leave at any time if they are causing a disturbance or not adhering to St. Jerome's or UW policies. When requested, guests must identify themselves to Dons, Residence Life Staff, etc. Guests who fail to do so will be required to leave the residence immediately.


Any person in the residence who is not a guest of a resident or who cannot give a satisfactory explanation for their presence, should be reported immediately to either a Don, the Residence Manager or the UW Campus Police.


Because salespersons, canvassers, or agents are not allowed in the residence, nor may a business operate within the residence, any resident who finds such a person or business shall report it to a Don or the Residence Manager immediately.


Occupancy of a room is limited to the resident(s) assigned to that room by the Residence Office. Renting, subletting, loaning, transferring, or contracting your room, or space in your room, and/or allowing someone to live in your room is strictly prohibited. Any violation of this will result in the termination of a Resident’s Contract.


For more information about Guests, please see Guests.

Emergency Procedures

In the event of a major emergency at St. Jerome’s University, please follow the steps outlined below to ensure your safety.


For Fire
  1. Tell Someone. Inform a Don immediately. Yell “fire!”
  2. Trigger a fire alarm by pulling a pull station.
  3. Evacuate the building immediately
  4. Proceed to designated muster points


Other Emergency
  1. Tell someone. Inform a Don immediately.
  2. Dial 911 from your cellular phone or use an emergency phone provided throughout residence. Inform the dispatch attendant of the problem at St. Jerome’s University. Clarify which building you are in (e.g. Ryan & Siegfried Hall [Building #814]).
  3. Send someone to wait at the turnaround to meet the Emergency Personnel.                                                                

If a lockdown occurs, secure an area as follows:


  1. Move immediately to the nearest room you feel is safe with as many people as possible;
  2. Lock and barricade the door;
  3. Turn off the lights or maintain minimal lighting;
  4. Cover all windows with blinds, curtains, etc.;
  5. Keep back from windows and doors;
  6. Lie flat on the floor or take cover out of sight;
  7. Turn off cell phones except to report injured people;
  8. Keep calm and quiet; and;
  9. Stay in the room until police arrive. Remember it may be several hours before you can be safely evacuated

Any resident who threatens to, attempts to, or causes bodily harm or who intentionally damages personal property of another resident will be deemed to be in breach of the Residence Contract. Complaints or inquiries regarding these issues can be made to a Don, the Residence Manager, the Director of Student Affairs, University Coordinator for Human Rights & Ethical Behavior, Counseling Services, Health Services or the campus Ombudsperson. Concerns regarding Harassment may also be directed to one of the St. Jerome’s University grievance advisors.

Alcohol, Drugs and Smoking

Residents who choose to consume alcohol while on SJU property are expected to do so safely and in a manner that respects the well-being and legal obligation of the University and its members.


The consumption of alcoholic beverages is restricted to the bedrooms. Open alcoholic beverages are not permitted in the hallways or common areas of the residence facilities. On occasion and with explicit written instruction, the Director of Student Affairs may permit Alcohol in common areas under the control of the Dons.


Any person who serves an alcoholic beverage to, or purchases an alcoholic beverage for any person under the age of 19 is in violation of the law. Students participating in underage drinking or the purchase of alcohol for minors will be subject to fines and/or expulsion at the discretion of the Director, of Student Affairs.


Our University will not receive or accept packages from LCBO, even if the student is over the age of 19. The delivery person will have to contact the student directly for pick up. If the student is unable to pick up the package it will be returned to the depot and the student will have to make alternate arrangements to pick it up.


If you serve any person an excessive amount of alcohol, regardless of their age, you can be held legally liable as a host should your guest sustain injury.


It is expected that students consuming alcohol will do so in a responsible manner. If a resident fails to maintain a responsible level of alcohol consumption, or breaches this policy, the Director, Office of Student Experience may intervene by imposing conditions, a behavioral contract, restrictions, fines and/or expulsion. Residents are responsible for the consequences of their own actions as well as the actions of their guests, whether or not they are under the influence of alcohol. Consumption of alcohol is not an excuse for disruptive behaviour or for breaching the rules.


Drinking games and the use of instruments (e.g. funnels) to maximize or accelerate the consumption of alcohol are prohibited in all areas of the residence and on the property of St. Jerome’s University.


The use or possession of drugs, the possession of which is prohibited by law, is prohibited in University buildings, including the Residences, or on St. Jerome's property. St. Jerome's provides no immunity from actions that contravene any University policy or legislation such as, but not limited to, the Controlled Drugs and Substance Act or age of majority laws. The possession or use of illegal drugs, being party to the consumption or use of illegal drugs by being willfully present during their use or consumption constitutes cause for immediate expulsion.


St. Jerome's University and the Residences are smoke free environments. Smoking cigarettes, vaping, electronic cigarettes and/or hookah in the residences will result in fines, expulsion or both.


For the protection of all residents firecrackers, firearms, weapons, or any object the Director of Student Affairs considers dangerous to the health and or wellbeing of fellow residents, shall not be allowed in the residence.


St. Jerome’s University permits certified service animals that assist students with physical, mental and/or sensory disabilities to live in residence at St. Jerome’s University and to attend residence-related functions both on and off campus. Contact the Residence Office for more information about having a service animal in residence.


Residents may not keep pets, of any kind, in their rooms or on St. Jerome's University property.

Damages and Losses

Residents are expected to exhibit individual and group concern for the residence and its grounds. Responsibility and charges for loss, damage, or exceptional housekeeping requirements will be assessed as follows:


  • The individual(s) responsible for the damage or exceptional housekeeping requirements will assume full responsibility.
  • Each resident is responsible for damage, loss, or exceptional housekeeping requirements in their room.
  • When damage, loss, or exceptional housekeeping requirements occur in a designated area and the person(s) responsible cannot be identified, the residents responsible for that area whether present or absent, will be billed collectively for replacement, repairs or housekeeping charges.


It is very important for students to exercise extreme care in filling out the "Room Inventory Form" which is distributed at check-in time. Students will be held responsible for any damages over and above those damages initially noted on the inventory form.


Each resident is held financially responsible for undue damages or losses to furniture and equipment in their room, including the window screen and windows, painted walls and woodwork. No scotch tape, hooks, nails, tacks, etc. are to be used on the walls, door or ceilings of the rooms. No stickers, plaques, etc., which cannot be removed or which may leave permanent marks, are to be used. If any paint is removed from the walls, residents will be billed for the full cost of repair.