residence hall faq

Housing and Room Assignments

  1. Who is required to live in the residence halls?
  2. How long is my lease?
  3. How do I pay for living in the hall?
  4. Are the residence halls co-ed?
  5. I want to live with my friend. How do I request a specific roommate?
  6. How will you assign my roommates if I do not request to live with a particular person?
  7. Can I live with someone of a different gender?
  8. What if I want to cancel my Housing Agreement before the end of the academic year?
  9. Are single rooms available?
  10. When will I receive my room and roommate assignments?
  11. How do I switch rooms?
  12. Is summer housing available?
  13. Can I tour the residence halls?
  14. Can I mail packages to the residence hall before move-in day?

Facilities and Amenities

  1. Is cable TV provided in my room?
  2. Will I have Internet access in my room?
  3. What furniture is provided in my room? Can I bring anything extra?
  4. Can I bring a refrigerator or microwave?
  5. What is the standard bed size?
  6. Are vacuums and cooking utensils provided in the residence hall?
  7. Do the residence halls have laundry facilities?
  8. Are housekeeping services provided in the hall?
  9. Is there a storage room in the residence hall for students to use?
  10. Where can I park my bicycle?
  11. Is there an elevator in the hall?
  12. Are bedrooms carpeted?
  13. How do I request room repairs?
  14. Will I have a phone in my room? What is the phone number?

Policies

  1. What are the residence hall policies and procedures?
  2. Can I stay in the residence hall during school breaks?
  3. May I paint my room?
  4. What is the policy regarding room decorations?
  5. Do I have to move out of the residence hall if I drop below full-time student status?
  6. Can I have overnight guests?
  7. Are pets allowed in the residence hall?
  8. Is there a noise policy?
  9. Is alcohol permitted in the residence hall?
  10. Is smoking allowed in the residence hall?
  11. What if I lose my keys?
  12. How do I appeal a housing charge?

Safety and Security

  1. What fire safety precautions exist in the residence hall?
  2. What other security measures are in place in the residence halls?

Housing and Room Assignments

1. Who is required to live in the residence halls?

All new undergraduate students (first year and transfers) are required to live in campus housing during their first academic year at SFAI (for information on appealing this requirement, please visit the New Student Residency Requirement page under the Apply for Housing section). There are many benefits to living in campus housing, including easy access to SFAI resources and services and living amongst a diverse community of artists who will likely inspire your own work. Perhaps most importantly, research shows that students who live in campus housing earn better grades and are more likely to graduate than those who live on their own.

2. How long is my lease?

Residents in SFAI housing sign a Residence Agreement (License Agreement), not a lease. Students who move into the hall during the fall semester sign a Residence Agreement for a full academic year. The agreement does not include housing during winter break, which occurs between the Fall and Spring semesters, so residents must make alternate arrangements if they plan to stay in San Francisco during that time. Students who move into the hall during the Spring semester sign a Residence Agreement for that semester only. In both cases, the 2014–2015 Residence Agreement ends on May 9, 2015. We do not offer month-to-month Residence Agreements, nor do we prorate housing fees.

3. How do I pay for living in the hall?

Your student account will be billed each semester. You will pay half of your annual room rate in the Fall and the other half in the Spring. If you have questions regarding your student account, please contact the Cashier’s Office at 415.749.4544.

4. Are the residence halls co-ed?

Yes. Students of all genders live on the same floors in our residence halls. We do not offer same gender floors at this time. We do, however, offer a gender-neutral housing option in the residence halls, which allows residents to be placed with a roommate who may identify with a different gender than they do. Students who do not specifically request to participate in the gender neutral housing program will automatically be placed with roommates who are of the same gender. For more information regarding the Gender Neutral Housing Option, please refer to the supplemental Gender Neutral Housing Questionnaire.

5. I want to live with my friend. How do I request a specific roommate?

Both you and your friend must indicate your preference to live with each other on your Housing Application. We will make every attempt to pair students who request to live together.

6. How will you assign my roommates if I do not request to live with a particular person?

Most students do not request to live with a specific person. In this case, we carefully consider the living preferences you indicate on your Housing Application and do our best to match you with someone compatible. All we know about you before you arrive is what you write on your application, so it is important to be as honest as possible when completing your application packet.

7. Can I live with someone of a different gender?

Yes. We offer a Gender Neutral Housing Option in the residence halls. Students may choose to share a room with someone of a different gender. Students who do not specifically request to participate in the gender neutral housing program will automatically be placed with roommates who are of the same gender. For more information regarding the Gender Neutral Housing Option, please refer to the supplemental Gender Neutral Housing Questionnaire.

8. What if I want to cancel my Residence Agreement before the end of the year?

All students living in SFAI housing for the 2014–2015 academic year sign a Residence Agreement that ends on May 9, 2015. Residents who wish to be released from their Agreements prior to this date must appeal their Agreement by filling out the Housing Appeal Form. As per the Residence Agreement, appeals are only granted for the following reasons: (a) end of student status (certification from the Registrar’s Office is required), (b) marriage (certificate is required), and (c) hardship or extraordinary circumstances occurring subsequent to the signing of the Residence Agreement determined by the Institute to be beyond the control of the resident. Written appeals and supporting documentation must be submitted to the Housing and Residential Life Office at 800 Chestnut Street, San Francisco, CA 94133. Complete appeals will be forwarded to an appeals committee for review. For details regarding the appeals process, please contact the Resident Director at housing@sfai.edu or 415.351.3556.

9. Are single rooms available?

Yes, we do have single rooms available in Abby Hall; however, there are a very small number of these rooms available. Residents are welcome to request this room type, although we still encourage those who request single rooms to spend time completing the preferences section of the Housing Application in the event that they are assigned a roommate.

10. When will I receive my room and roommate assignments?

Room and roommate assignments are typically mailed out in early August for the Fall semester and early December for Spring.

11. How do I switch rooms?

Room change requests are reviewed on a case-by-case basis. Room change requests are not generally granted during the first two weeks of the semester or the last two weeks of the semester. For more information, contact your RA or email the SFAI Housing and Residence Life office at housing@sfai.edu.

12. Is summer housing available?

Yes! SFAI does offer summer housing. More information is available on the Apply for Housing page.

13. Can I tour the residence halls?

Housing staff would be happy to provide a tour of our residence halls ahead of your arrival. Please contact your admissions representative for details, or email admissions@sfai.edu.

14. Can I mail packages to the residence hall before move-in day?

We are unable to store mail and packages for students before move-in day. In order to receive mail and packages after move-in day, please use the following address:

For Sutter Hall:
Student Name
717 Sutter Street, Room #
San Francisco, CA 94109

For Abby Hall:
Student Name
630 Geary Street, Room #
San Francisco, CA 94102

Facilities and Ameneties

1. Is cable TV provided in my room?

Yes. A color television and basic cable is provided in all residence hall rooms.

2. Will I have Internet access in my room?

Yes. Wireless Internet is provided in every room and throughout the buildings.

3. What furniture is provided in my room? Can I bring anything extra?

Each residence hall room is equipped with one bed per student, clothing storage bins, desks, a color television, mini-refrigerator(s), and a microwave. Some rooms also are equipped with a DVD player and lockers. Make sure to coordinate with your roommate if you plan on bringing large furniture items with you as there is limited space in each room.

4. Can I bring a refrigerator or microwave?

No. Each student room is equipped with either two small mini-fridges or one medium size mini-fridge as well as one microwave.

5. What is the standard bed size?

Regular twin size beds are standard throughout both of our residence halls.

6. Are vacuums and cooking utensils provided in the residence hall?

Yes, the community kitchen in each building is equipped with pots and pans and dishes. Residents may borrow vacuums and additional kitchen items (such as blenders and tea kettles) at the front desk. Students are encouraged to bring their own cooking and eating utensils if there is anything that they require beyond the basic kitchen supplies.

7. Do the residence halls have laundry facilities?

Yes. Coin-operated washers and dryers are conveniently located in the buildings. Residents may use quarters to purchase wash cycles for $2.00 and dryer cycles for $1.50.

8. Are housekeeping services provided in the hall?

Housekeeping services are not provided for individual rooms. Custodial staff members are employed to clean and tidy common areas such as the kitchen, hallways, shared bathrooms, and the community lounge daily. They do not clean individual student rooms or private bathrooms, and will not empty student wastepaper baskets, wash dishes, or do laundry.

9. Is there a storage room in the residence hall for students to use?

There is no additional storage space in the residence halls. Everything you bring must fit in your room.

10. Where can I park my bicycle?

Students who bring bicycles can store them in their rooms or in bike storage areas located in the buildings.

11. Is there an elevator in the hall?

Yes. There is one elevator in each building.

12. Are bedrooms carpeted?

Yes, all of the rooms are carpeted. Students may bring additional area rugs to help personalize their rooms.

13. How do I request room repairs?

Students should report all nonurgent maintenance concerns by emailing housing@sfai.edu. After a maintenance request is submitted, a staff member will come to your room to investigate your concern. If you are not at home, the staff member will attend to your request in your absence.

If your repair is urgent (such as an overflowing toilet or a power outage) report the problem immediately to the front desk or a building staff member.

14. Will I have a phone in my room? What is the phone number?

Yes, your room will have a landline phone that can accept calls, and call out to local numbers. The number for Sutter Hall is 415-655-9196, and the number for Abby Hall is 415-913-7477. The extension will be your room number, and the front desk assistants can also transfer you to the room that you need to reach.

Policies

1. What are the residence hall policies and procedures?

A complete list of the policies and procedures can be found in your 2014-2015 Housing Application. If you have any questions or concerns regarding the housing policies and procedures, please contact the Resident Director at 415.351.3556 or at housing@sfai.edu.

2. Can I stay in the residence hall during school breaks?

The residence halls remain open during Thanksgiving and Spring Break but close during Winter Break. In the 2014–2015 academic year, the halls will close for winter break on December 6, 2014, at noon and will reopen on January 14, 2015, at 10 am. During this closure period the doors will be locked and students will not have access to their rooms or belongings. Students enrolled in an official SFAI Winter Intensive Course may return to the residence hall early free of charge. The residence hall will close in the Spring on May 9, 2015, at noon.

3. May I paint my room?

Students may not paint their rooms. All painting is done by professional painters hired by SFAI’s Facilities Department.

4. What is the policy regarding room decorations?

The following items are prohibited: nails, thumbtacks, pins, crepe paper, acetate, and adhesives such as gum labels, decals, contact stickers, contact paper, scotch tape, or rubber cement. Blue painter's tape may be used with care. Live trees are not permitted in rooms or on the floors. Room decorations must be kept in the interior of your room and may not extend into the hallway. No more than 50 percent of a student’s room may be covered, and nothing may be hung or draped from the ceiling.

Residents will be charged for all necessary room repairs when they move out of the residence hall.

5. Do I have to move out of the residence hall if I drop below full-time student status?

According to the Residence Agreement, all residents must be currently enrolled full-time students. If you are considering dropping below full-time status, please see the Resident Director for assistance.

6. Can I have overnight guests?

Yes. However, overnight guests must be approved by all roommates and suitemates, and may not stay longer than 3 nights per month (10 nights total per semester). Residents will be held accountable for the conduct of their guests and must accompany their guests at all times.

7. Are pets allowed in the residence hall?

Pets are not allowed in the residence halls, although we will work with you to accommodate licensed service animals for residents with a documented need of such support.

8. Is there a noise policy?

Being respectful and courteous of others is an essential part of living in a community. At all times residents should respect each other’s rights to an atmosphere conducive to studying, living, and sleeping. Residents must decrease the volume of any noise disturbing other residents when asked by either residents or staff. The use of amplified equipment in or around the residence hall, with the exception of stereos, or any disruptive level of noise is prohibited at all times. Quiet Hours are in effect from 10 pm to 8 am Sunday through Thursday, and from midnight to 9 am Fridays, Saturdays, and nights preceding holidays. During Quiet Hours, noise must be kept to a minimum (residents must be quiet in common spaces, and noise within individual rooms should be low enough that it cannot be heard outside your room). Courtesy Hours are in effect 24 hours a day. During Courtesy Hours, residents should still maintain noise levels that are considerate of the needs of others and must decrease their volume if asked.

9. Is alcohol permitted in the residence hall?

The use of alcoholic beverages must be in compliance with California State Law and is strictly limited to those persons 21 years of age or older. The possession, transportation, and or consumption of alcohol by individuals less than 21 years of age is strictly prohibited. Alcoholic beverages may not be consumed in public spaces or common areas. When alcohol is being consumed by persons 21 years of age or older, the doors and blinds to the private room where the alcohol is being consumed must be closed, and no persons under the age of 21 may be present. Beer kegs and other common source containers are categorically prohibited from all residential and common areas, public or private. Residents under the age of 21 are not permitted to host in their living unit guests and residents of any age who are in possession of alcohol. Residents 21 years of age and older may not serve, provide, or purchase alcohol for residents or guests who are under the age of 21. At no time may persons under the age of 21 be present while alcohol is being consumed in the residence halls. Alcohol containers, open or closed, which are left in plain view shall qualify as evidence of alcohol consumption and can be assumed to be the property of any and all persons present, or of the residents of the living unit in the event that they are found in a room when nobody is present. Providing alcohol to minors is grounds for legal action and disciplinary sanctions including notice to move out of the residence and suspension.

10. Is smoking allowed in the residence halls?

Smoking is strictly prohibited in the residence halls including electronic smoking. Residents who wish to smoke must do so outside the building at least 25 feet away from the front door, or at the curb.

11. What if I lose my keys?

Email housing@sfai.edu as soon as you realize that you have lost your building entrance or room card. While you are waiting for your card(s) to be replaced, the front desk assistants will let you into your room. Residents are responsible for all costs incurred related to replacing missing keys, including lock changes and new key costs. Under no circumstances are residents permitted to duplicate housing keys.

12. How do I appeal a housing charge?

Written appeals and supporting documentation must be submitted to the Assistant Dean of Students in the Student Affairs Office at 800 Chestnut Street, San Francisco, CA 94133.

Safety and Security

1. What fire safety precautions exist in the residence hall?

All rooms, hallways, and public areas are equipped with a sprinkler system and smoke detectors. Smoking anywhere in the hall is strictly prohibited, as are toasters, toaster ovens, hot plates, heaters, and any other open coil appliances. Halogen lamps, candles, and incense are fire hazards and are also prohibited. Fire extinguishers are located on every floor of the residence hall, as well as at the front desk and in the kitchen. Each building is equipped with a fire alarm system which will sound any time a smoke detector or pull station is activated, or water flows from a sprinkler head. This means that any local fire event will send the entire building into alarm, helping to ensure that residents are able to evacuate the building at the first sign of a fire. Our student and professional staff are trained in evacuation procedures to help residents move to safety efficiently.

2. What other security measures are in place in the residence halls?

The front doors to the residence halls are locked 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and can only be accessed with a building entrance card issued to current residents and staff members. The Front Desk is staffed by professional security guards every day from midnight to 8:00 am and by student staff members from 8:00 am to midnight. Students are strongly encouraged to lock their bedroom doors whenever they leave their rooms.

Our halls are staffed by Resident Advisors who have duty responsibilities seven nights a week from 7:00 pm until 8:00 am, and all day on weekends. The Duty RA conducts health and safety rounds in the building, responds to resident concerns, and carries an emergency cell phone. Residents are given the phone number to the RA Duty phone during the first hall meeting of the year and are strongly encouraged to program the number into their cell phones. In the event of an after-hours emergency in the residence halls, Resident Advisors contact the on-call member of the Student Affairs professional staff, who coordinates emergency response.

For more information about health and safety precautions in our halls, please contact the Resident Director at housing@sfai.edu or at 415.351.3556.