Contract Release Requests
Virginia Tech seeks to provide rooms for students at the lowest possible rate. For this reason, the University must operate the residence halls on a contract basis for the full academic year. Summer session contracts are in force for both summer sessions if the student is enrolled; academic year contracts are in force for the both the fall and spring semesters provided that the student is enrolled. Each student who resides on campus is required to sign a Housing/Dining Contract prior to assignment. When the Housing/Dining Contract is signed and returned to Virginia Tech, it becomes a legally binding agreement ‐ a contract ‐ between the student and the University.
As specified in the Housing/Dining Contract, the contract will be terminated if the student completes requirements for graduation, or for any other reason is not enrolled in the university. If the student subsequently returns during the contract period, the contract will be reactivated upon re-enrollment. The university reserves the right to terminate the contract in the interest of order, health, maximum utilization of facilities, or disaster after due notice to the student.
Release from the contract for other reasons may be made upon the recommendation of the Contract Review Committee. The committee will consider extenuating circumstances with regard to the impact upon both the student and the university. Extenuating circumstances may include, but are not limited to, medical, personal, or family issues; unforeseen financial distress; and marriage.
Prior to Submitting a Contract Release Request:
- Submitting a contract release request is not a guarantee of contract release. Students are cautioned not to enter into other binding agreements prior to official release from their contract.
- The committee reviews cases with a focus on unforeseen extenuating circumstances that preclude the student from honoring their contractual commitment. Requests which may be addressed by a room or hall change are seldom approved.
- Students whose contract release requests are based on medical need/disability must be reviewed by Services for Students with Disabilities (SSD) prior to any review by the Contract Review Committee. The SSD Office serves in an ex officio capacity to the committee to review all medical requests, and they will enlist the assistance of the Schiffert Health Services and Cook Counseling Center as necessary. Upon completing their review, the SSD office will then make a recommendation to the committee chair. The forms for the student and the health care provider to complete are located here.
- Requests for Spring semester release will be heard after the Thanksgiving break in the Fall semester.
Submitting a Contract Release Request:
- Complete the Request for Contract Release Hearing Form through the StarRez Portal under Online Forms.
- When completing the hearing request form, be prepared to provide brief information on the following: the primary reason for seeking contract release, action(s) taken using campus resources to attempt to resolve the issue, and why release from the housing contract is the best possible solution.
- A pre-hearing conference with the committee chair is available upon request.
Contract Release Hearing Procedures:
- A hearing will be scheduled with the contract review committee to review the request.
- On the day of the hearing, students will be called into the hearing room. Students should only to bring items pertaining to their hearing into the conference room. Students are asked to dress and act appropriately for an official deliberation of the University.
- Other persons (including but not limited to parents/guardians) are not allowed into the hearing except to offer support of specific items to be presented for a limited time. If present, third parties will not be permitted to disrupt or to delay the proceedings through irrelevant or inappropriate presentations.
- The chair will explain the order of events, and committee members will be introduced.
- The Contract Review Committee consists of the Chair of the Committee and 2-5 administrative professionals within the Division of Student Affairs. Students may be asked to serve as committee members as well.
- The student will be given the opportunity to present the information from the initial request and provide the committee with any additional information pertinent to the request.
- It is the responsibility of the student to provide the information that proves their request involves a significant and unforeseen change in circumstances since they signed their Housing/Dining contract which precludes them from fulfilling their contractual obligations.
- The committee members may question the student about the request.
- The student will be given the opportunity to make a final comment to the committee.
- The student will be dismissed from the hearing room while the committee deliberates.
- Decisions are based on the documentation and information provided by the student; any information provided to the committee is at the discretion of the student.
- Once the committee has reached a decision, the student will be recalled to the hearing room and verbally informed of the decision.
- If the contract release request is denied, instructions on the appeal process are given.
- If granted, instructions for moving out are provided.
After the Contract Release Hearing:
- Written notification of the hearing outcome will be sent to the student’s Virginia Tech email within 48 business hours of the hearing.
- Students who wish to appeal a release denial must submit a written appeal within seven calendar days of the hearing through the StarRez Portal under Online Forms.
- Appeals will be reviewed by the Senior Associate Director for Housing Services.
- Appeal interviews may be held at the discretion of the appeal agent.
- Students will be notified of appeal decisions via their Virginia Tech email.
Students whose contract release requests are approved are expected to follow proper room check-out procedures by the date specified in the approval letter.