Home > Student Handbook > Residence Hall Guide > Minimum Living Standards for Residence Halls

New York State Minimum Living Standards for Residence Halls

Last Update:

In 1988 the New York State legislature directed the State University Board of Trustees to develop Minimum Living Condition Standards for the SUNY residence halls. The five standards are stated along with how SUNY Canton addresses each standard.

Standard I

The residence halls shall be constructed and maintained to conform with all applicable safety codes and health standards.


  1. All furnishings and equipment supplied by the University will meet applicable fire and safety code standards promulgated by the State of New York.

    SUNY Canton is in compliance with this guideline and meets all applicable state codes when purchasing furnishings and equipment.
  1. Each resident’s sleeping room will have an operational smoke detector.

    The Physical Plant at SUNY Canton provides annual preventative maintenance for the smoke detectors. Annual testing of smoke detectors is conducted by the Physical Plant office and Simplex and the records of the inspection are kept by both the Physical Plant office and Simplex. Once notified of a non-working or malfunctioning smoke detector, it is replaced with a working smoke detector.
  1. Student residents are required to adhere to all applicable safety codes and health standards in the use of private equipment and appliances (where permitted).

    Residents of SUNY Canton’s residence halls are required to sign a residence license directing them to the Student Handbook which informs them of safety regulations and sanctions regarding their use of private equipment and appliances in the residence halls. All residents are notified of the Student Handbook’s location on the College’s website.
  1. 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).

    SUNY Canton is in compliance with this guideline. Both Heritage Hall and Rushton Hall have handicapped accessible rooms and facilities.
  1. 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.

    The Physical Plant Office at SUNY Canton is responsible for inspecting the physical facility annually and reporting the list of repairs/refurbishments to the following: the College President and their cabinet, the Vice President for Student Affairs/Dean of Students, and the Director of Physical Plant.

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.

    During the week all trash will be removed each day and bathrooms are stocked with toilet paper. In addition, under normal circumstances, bathrooms/restrooms, lounges, hallways, and laundry rooms will be cleaned daily, Monday through Friday between the hours of 6:30 am through 3:00 pm. This information will be posted for viewing by residents in the main lobby of each residence hall.
  1. Every reasonable effort by the campus administration and student residents should be made to keep residence halls sanitary and vermin free, and all appliances provided by the University in working order or removed from service.

    The services of a local pest control company are contracted by SUNY Canton to provide regular service. Pest problems are referred immediately to the pest control company for their immediate response (24-48 hours) to eliminate the problem.

    A private vendor has contracted with College Association to provide and maintain washers and dryers in the residence halls. A toll-free phone number and web address to report maintenance problems is conspicuously posted in each laundry room along with detailed directions for operation of the washers and dryers. Terms of contract require the vendor to respond within 24 hours from receiving notification of the problem. If a machine is out of service for 72 consecutive hours, the vendor will provide a replacement.
  1. 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 Director of Residence Life will make the decision as to whether a student room is unlivable and should be removed from service, based on pertinent information from the Director of Physical Plant and/or other appropriate campus personnel. Life, health, and safety of student residents, and whether the continued occupancy could harm the occupants or further impair the condition of the facility will be the criteria utilized in making this decision. The affected students, the Vice President for Student Affairs/Dean of Students, Vice President for Administration, and Director of Physical Plant will receive written notification of this decision.

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, lamp, chair, dresser, desk, and closet. All such equipment should be clean, sturdy, free from major scarring, and of acceptable appearance.

    SUNY Canton is in compliance with the above guidelines. In a tripling situation, students are provided with a bed, adequate area lighting, chair, dresser, desk, and closet space. On an annual basis Residence Life and Maintenance inspect all student rooms to determine the condition of each piece of furniture. Items identified as unacceptable will be removed from service and replaced with furniture in good repair.
  1. Campuses should provide for a planned replacement or rehabilitation of residence hall furnishings.

    Residence hall furnishings are replaced on a regularly scheduled basis.

Standard IV

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


  1. Protocols will be established to promptly address 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 their 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.

    Residents experiencing problems with heat, lights, or availability of hot water in bathrooms may report them by phone to the Physical Plant during weekdays from 8:00 am through 4:00 pm. Problems experienced at other times are to be reported to University Police who in turn will contact appropriate campus personnel to address the problem in a reasonable time frame. This procedure and appropriate phone numbers will be stated in the Student Handbook. The Physical Plant will inform the Residence Hall Director of action taken so that the Residence Hall Director can notify the affected student(s). The work order system is utilized by the Physical Plant for routine building repairs and maintenance. If a problem persists, the resident may inquire of the Residence Hall Director the status of the work order.
  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 programs should not continue during scheduled examination periods. If this is impossible, arrangements should be made to house residents elsewhere.

    SUNY Canton is in compliance with the above guideline.

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.

    If a student residing in SUNY Canton’s residence halls goes without heat or electricity or access to hot water for three or more days, or the room is declared unlivable for any other reason, and the situation is determined to be within the control of the campus, then that student should be reimbursed for the amount of time they were inconvenienced. The reimbursement shall never exceed the full cost of room rent for the number of days the student has been affected.

    A committee comprised of the President and Vice President of the Residence Hall Association and two Residence Life professional staff members shall review all applications for redress and determine the appropriate level of reimbursement.

    When a student room has been declared unlivable and is removed from service, the occupants of that room shall be reassigned by the Director of Residence Life to any available student room even if it results in the room being tripled.
  1. 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.

    If no space is available in the residence halls, the College may offer the student an opportunity to be released from their housing license and refund the unused portion of their room fee or the College may make arrangements to house the student(s) in off-campus facilities at no additional charge to the individual.

Back to Table of Contents