The University of Wisconsin Oshkosh enforces the University of Wisconsin System Board of Regents Housing Policy for students in their first two years (4 semesters).
Living at the heart of the campus community; easy access to campus events & student organizations; proximity to academic, social, and personal resources; and building connections with their fellow Titans are a few reasons why UWO follows and enforces the Board of Regents Housing Policy. Additionally, national studies continue to show students living in residence halls are more likely to be successful academically, more likely to complete their education, and develop the interpersonal skills today’s employers seek.
Most freshmen and sophomores are required to live in the residence halls unless they live within a specified distance. Students commuting from their parent’s/legal guardian’s permanent home within 45 miles of campus may be exempted from the housing requirement by completing a Commuter Card. Additionally, UWO will exempt anyone from the housing requirement if one or more of the following are true by the first day of a fall semester:
- They have successfully earned at least 48 credits;
- They are at least 21 years of age;
- They have lived in a residence hall for four semesters;
- They are married; or
- They are a veteran.
Commuting Address: Students required to live on campus may only commute from their parent’s or legal guardian’s permanent home address at which both the student and parent/legal guardian reside. Students are unable to commute from the permanent homes of non-custodial relatives (grandparents, aunts/uncles, cousins) residing within 45 miles of campus. Students are unable to commute from properties owned, leased, or rented by a parent/legal guardian if the parent/legal guardian is not a primary resident at the property. For questions, please contact the Department of Residence Life.
Any student who believes they qualify for exemption in their first two years (4 semesters) must complete the Commuter Card (form) on or before the first day of fall classes (or spring classes if on a Spring Only housing contract). The Department of Residence Life will refer students required to reside on campus without Commuter Cards to the Dean of Students for follow up. Failure to complete the Commuter Card or falsification of the Commuter Card may result in University conduct action.
Appeals are reviewed by the Appeals Review Committee, a function of United Students in Residence Halls (USRH), to determine if the circumstances or the situation warrant either release from a current housing contract or exemption from the Board of Regents’ and Department of Residence Life’s housing policies:
Board of Regents’ Housing Policy states that “Those Freshman and Sophomore students (students who have not earned at least 60 credits by the first day of classes, fall semester) who are not veterans, married or living with parents or guardian, shall be required to live in a University-operated residence hall when such accommodations are available.”
Additionally, UW Oshkosh adopted a housing policy which states that “To be eligible to be exempt from residing on the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh campus, students must have earned 48 credits OR have resided on campus for four (4) semesters or be at least 21 years of age by the first day of fall semester classes (or by the first day of spring semester classes if that is your beginning semester at UWO).”
The committee has the obligation to enforce both the department’s housing policy and the terms of the housing contract, and in viewing each appeal, must judge each in a fair and consistent manner.
Appeal to be Exempt from the Housing Requirement
If you feel you have sufficient reason/s to be exempt from the requirement to reside on campus, state them fully in your appeal and include any additional materials to support your request: physician/counselor recommendations, copy of lease (to include date signed), proof of classes attempted at other schools, etc.
Contract Release Appeals
The term of a housing contract is the entire academic year (both semesters), unless you have signed our One-Semester-Only Contract Option form or are no longer attending UWO for the spring semester. For those who sign a contract after the school year has begun, the contract is in effect for the remainder of that academic year unless withdrawing from classes.
After the term of the contract begins, the Resident may apply to the Department of Residence Life for a contract termination under the following circumstances:
- Assignment to a University-sponsored internship, research, or other University program which requires living away from Oshkosh. Documentation confirming assignment and dates is required.
- Marriage. Copy of marriage certificate is required.
- Unusual and compelling circumstances which, in the judgment of the Director of Residence Life (or designee*), entitle the Resident to special consideration. Requests for cancellation of housing contracts are reviewed by the *Appeals Review Committee to determine if the circumstances or the situation meet the three criteria necessary to be judged unusual and compelling:
1. A significant change must have occurred in the resident’s situation since the beginning of the term of the
2. This significant change must have been an event which could not reasonably have been expected by the
3. The significant change must have had serious negative consequences, in the judgement of the Appeals Review Committee, which make continued residency inadvisable.
Please Note: All appeals must be written by the student but may include supporting information from parents.
Before you Submit an appeal, Consider the following …
Have you explored all your alternatives?
~ Moving to another room/floor/hall
~ Explored different study environment (hall/floor study lounges, library, student union, etc.)
~ Looked into the availability of a single room
~ Looked for a different roommate
~ Have a sibling, relative, neighbor assist
~ Explored alternative child or dependent adult care
Have you provided documentation supporting your claim?
NOTE: In order not to delay the appeal process, DOCUMENTATION must to be included at the time the appeal is
submitted in order for the Appeal Committee to make a decision.
~ Letter from physician/counselor confirming illness/injury and how off-campus housing is of benefit vs. oncampus housing
~ Letter from parent/s explaining the need for you to return home
~ Copy of marriage certificate (not license)
~ Copy of child custody papers
Have you demonstrated how this will be financially beneficial to you? (vs. Residence halls)
~ Investigated off-campus expenses (phone, heat, water, parking fee, travel expenses, etc.)
~ Explored food options
Have you explored other financial alternatives?
~ Financial aid / scholarships
~ On and off campus jobs
Have you provided enough information to allow for a complete understanding of your situation?
~ Specific background info (dates of when illness/injuring occurred, etc.)
~ Explain reasons clearly
Were you aware of this situation before you signed your contract? (Health problem, job responsibilities or hours, etc.)
Have you taken responsibility to resolve your situation?
~ Talked with your roommate about your concerns
~ Talked with your Residence Hall Director or Community Advisor about your situation
~ Explored University resources (Counseling Center, Student Accounts, Financial Aid, Health Center, etc.)
Common Situations and Reasons For Appeal Denial:
Financial difficulty. Lack of funds alone is not an acceptable basis for contract release/exemption. Finances for the academic year should be considered prior to activating the contract and/or enrollment to the University. Financial aid is available to those who qualify on the basis of need. Late notice or inadequate notice from the Financial Aids Office is not grounds for contract release. It is the student’s responsibility to check on their financial status and to cancel their contractual obligations prior to the start of a term.
Unhappiness with residence hall life. Residence hall living is a new experience for most students and requires a certain amount of adjustment. If the resident has made a fair adjustment to the hall environment and is still unhappy, a hall change or room/floor change is generally an effective remedy. If a specific area continues to be a major problem, the residence hall staff is available to work with the resident on an individual basis to find a solution. This involves active participation by the resident.
Meeting qualifications during the term of the contract. Students entering into a contract beginning with the fall semester must qualify by the first day of fall semester classes. Likewise, those students entering into a contract beginning with the spring semester must qualify by the first day of spring semester classes. Obtaining the required number of credits or turning age 21 during the course of the academic year are not grounds for release from the contract/housing policies.
Commuting/living with relative. Commuting must be from the home in which your parent resides. Homes of siblings, grandparents, other relatives, or fiancé/significant other are normally not permitted. Permission to live with a relative must be based on extraordinary and/or compelling circumstances with documentation of such and not for the financial gain or convenience of the student and/or relative. The choice to commute from the home of a parent or legal guardian must be made before activating the housing contract.
Asthma/allergies/health conditions. Even with medical documentation, most medical conditions do not automatically exempt one from the housing policy/contract release. We have a Facilities Specialist who will work with individual students to make residence hall rooms environmentally and health friendly. We also have an allergist on staff at the University Health Center who reviews these types of appeals and makes a recommendation to us.
The emphasis of the Residence Life staff is to work with residents to help them be in compliance with housing policies.
Once the Housing Appeals form has been completed, please email the completed form to firstname.lastname@example.org. The subject line should say “Housing Appeal Submission”.
Commuter Card Form
Students must complete the Commuter Card form below on or before the first day of fall classes (or spring classes if on a Spring Only housing contract). Department of Residence Life staff will review all Commuter Card submissions and follow up with students to confirm the housing requirement exemption. All correspondence will be sent to the student’s UW Oshkosh email account from email@example.com.
For questions or assistance with the Commuter Card form, please contact the Department of Residence Life at firstname.lastname@example.org or 920-424-3212 (Monday – Friday, 8:00am to 4:30pm).