Living Off Campus

Off-Campus Student Life

Off-Campus Student Life, located in the Anderson Student Center, is a wonderful resource for students who do not live on campus. In addition to being a space where students can use computers, or store their lunch in the fridge, Off-Campus Student Life also provides services that are very popular among students who live off campus. Some of these services include:

  • Off-Campus Housing and Roommate listings: View available rentals on the Web site at
  • Neighborhood Student Advisors planning programs and events for off-campus students
  • Renter education sessions.
  • The Student Tenant Education Program (STEP)

Parking and Transit

Parking is a challenge in most areas. If you live in the neighborhood and your residence doesn't provide off-street parking, you may need a permit to park on your street. Permits are available at the City Hall Annex, Room 800, 25 W. Fourth St., St. Paul. Call (651) 266-6200 for more information. Be prepared to show proof of residence such as a lease or utility bill when purchasing a permit.

Around St. Thomas you may park on Summit, Cleveland, Selby, Cretin and Goodrich avenues at certain times, and also on some parts of Grand and Marshall avenues. If time restrictions are not marked it is automatically regarded as 48-hour parking. Be sure to obey parking signs!

To park in lots and ramps on the St. Thomas campus, you can pay hourly or purchase a permit from Public Safety and Parking Services

Transit: Metro Transit provides bus and light-rail public transportation for the Twin Cities and surrounding communities. The information desk on the first floor of Murray-Herrick Campus Center has routes and maps for the areas directly around St. Thomas. More information is available at, or (612) 373-3333. As you consider bus options, be sure to check with Public Safety and Parking Services. It may offer significantly reduced rates for students.

St. Thomas provides a free shuttle between its Minneapolis and St. Paul campuses throughout the day.


Night and Day Snow Emergency Plowing

St. Paul declares snow emergencies after snowfalls of three inches or more, OR an accumulation of three inches of snow over several days. All streets are either Night Plow Routes or Day Plow Routes. Night Plow Routes have red and white plowing signs. Day Plow Routes don’t have plowing signs.

Night Plowing: When: 9 p.m. to 6 a.m. the night a snow emergency is declared. Where: The busy streets – marked with signs that say NIGHT PLOW ROUTE plus one side of north-south residential streets with signs that say NIGHT PLOW ROUTE THIS SIDE OF STREET.

Day Plowing: When: 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and normally following night plowing. Where: East-west residential streets plus one side of north-south residential streets – the side WITHOUT night plowing signs. Note: There are some exceptions to these rules. They are all well-marked.

  • Parking is banned until snow is plowed curb-to-curb on these routes.
  • The city now tickets and tows cars before the plows begin. The fine for a “snow tag” is now $40. Towing can result in substantial towing and storage fees.
  • To find out if a snow emergency is in effect, listen to the radio, watch TV newscasts and read newspapers – or call 266-PLOW (266-7569) the 24-hour snowplowing information line.
  • You also can sign up to get e-mail or voicemail notification of snow emergencies at Go to Public Works on the left and then click on snow emergency information.

Off-Campus Safety

  • Keep your doors locked, as most burglaries involve unlocked doors.
  • Keep first floor, fire escape and other accessible windows closed and locked
  • Be aware of strangers in your building. If someone you don't know asks to use your phone, offer to make the call for him or her but do not let him or her in.
  • Have the local police telephone number posted near all telephones in case of emergency, and be sure to report all obscene or harassing phone calls.
  • Never loan anyone your key. Non-residents- even close friends- do not have the same level of concern for the security of your home. If keys are lost or stolen, report the loss immediately to the police, and change your locks.
  • Never reveal to a visitor or telephone caller that you are alone. When there is a visitor at the door, call out in a loud voice, "I'll Answer it!" to imply that you are not alone.
  • Do not use your first name on mailboxes or in phone directories. Use your first initial only.
  • Be aware of deserted laundry rooms, common lounges, basements, parking garages, and elevators, especially at night.
  • Always escort your guests in and out of the building.
  • Remember, you are responsible for the conduct of your guests while they are present in your building.
  • Avoid walking alone at night. Take advantage of campus escort services. Call Public Safety St. Paul (651) 962-5100, or in Minneapolis, (651) 962-4100, to request a walking escort.

Being a Good Roommate

When living with roommates, be sure to maintain respectful relationships. A few ground rules:

  • Establish ground rules and expectations.
  • Remember that everyone is equal and should have equal rights to be heard in any discussion.
  • Assume each other's perspective. Ask your roommates to reverse positions (i.e., to stand in your shoes while you stand in theirs). This can sometimes be the most effective way of getting your point across and to understand a roommate's concerns.
  • Do not team up with one roommate against another. This creates defensiveness in the other roommate. You all are working together for a solution.

Being a Good Neighbor

Respect for your neighbors is important. Living off-campus you may find yourself living next door to a retired couple, a single parent with small children or a young professional.. You may discover that your lifestyle must adapt to your new environment.

You should try to foster good relationships with your neighbors by getting to know them. You should introduce yourself to them, as this will make it easier to solve problems that may arise later. Communication between you and your neighbors is the best way to avoid conflicts.

Noise is a common issue for student tenants. Such problems are often the result of loud and overcrowded parties. The best strategy that we can recommend comes in the form of a piece of friendly advice we heard from an elderly neighbor: "Don't have a party. Go to one."

If you decide to host a party, remember it is your responsibility to keep social events under control. The following tips are useful guidelines whenever you host an off-campus party:

  • Inform your neighbors that a party is going to take place. Give them a contact name and phone number where you can be reached in case they have a problem.
  • Avoid parking problems. Consider the parking needs of your neighbors.
  • Monitor the noise level coming from your house or apartment.
  • Remind guests to leave the party quietly.
  • Clean your house and the property after a party. Remove all garbage from the yard and street. Keep your neighborhood clean.
  • If you serve alcohol, limit amount served and never serve to underage people.
  • Remember that you are responsible for the behavior of your guests. It is also important to note that if the police or Public Safety and Parking Services have to visit an off-campus party and a report is filed, the residents will be subject to the discipline process at St. Thomas. Sanctions can include, but are not limited to conduct probations and suspension. Students on conduct probation cannot apply to or study abroad and may not be able to apply for some leadership positions on campus.

There are a few other things to take into consideration when being a good neighbor. The first is porch and yard maintenance; cut the lawn and rake the leaves. Be attentive to the appearance of your yard and porch by regularly caring for it and picking it up. It shows that you care about being a good neighbor. In addition, a city ordinance stipulates that you must clear your sidewalk within 24 hours after snow ceases to fall. You can make a positive impression on your block by shoveling a little more than your share.