Housing Rights and Responsibilities

From the Rights & Responsibilities Handbook 

Section 9. Living in the Residence Halls Respectful Community: The Department of Community Living strives to create a comfortable and educational living community for all students. Each student is expected to behave in a manner that respects and considers the rights of others in the University community. The exercise of one person’s rights must not infringe upon the exercise of another’s rights in the ordinary course of daily living. Policies and procedures relating to residence halls are contained in previous sections of this publication, in the Residence Halls and Meal Plan License, and in other publications issued by the University. These policies and procedures carry the force of University regulations (see section 2.9.). All students are expected to comply with these policies and procedures, as well as with those listed below. Students are reminded that multiple-occupancy rooms, as well as shared apartments and suites, create shared responsibility for residential behaviors. The Department of Community Living values regular and close interaction with residents so as to maximize communication about circumstances that could affect the quality of life in the residence halls.

9.0. Room Vacancies and Room Transfers: Any changes to a student’s room assignment must be processed through the Department of Community Living. Requests are available on the Department of Community Living website: www.brandeis.edu/studentaffairs/dcl. Room transfers and changes are not performed during the first two weeks of classes. The Department of Community Living may assign a new occupant to any vacancy as required. Any conduct, including deception or harassment, designed to dissuade potential residents or roommates are unacceptable. Consult with the Department of Community Living or an Area Coordinator for information on these policies. Any conduct that is disruptive to the room transfers/changes process may constitute additional violations of “Rights and Responsibilities.”

9.1. Involuntary Reassignment of Housing: The Department of Community Living reserves the right to reassign students to other locations, or to remove them outright from University housing. The decision to reassign will be made by the Area Coordinator, in consultation with the Director of Community Living. If a student is reassigned or removed outright pursuant to a pending referral to the Department of Student Rights and Community Standards, the procedures outlined in section 18. shall begin within 10 class days after the reassignment or removal. It is recommended that the move happen within four business days, of notification of the decision to reassign or remove a student or as deemed appropriate by the Area Coordinator.

9.2. Key, Lock, and Door Security:
Keys for all residence halls, suite doors, and individual room doors are distributed by the Community Living staff. Any lost key must be reported to the Department of Community Living immediately. If the key is not located within 24 hours, the Department of Community Living may change the lock and bill the responsible student for the cost of the lock change. (Additional charges may apply for suite door and entrance door keys.) Failure to return keys when vacating an assignment will result in a lock change and the appropriate charge(s) to the student. For the safety of all residents, keys to the residence halls may not be duplicated or distributed to others. Locks must not be tampered with in any way, or the responsible students may be subject to financial charges and other sanctions. For safety and security reasons, entrance doors to the residence halls and fire doors must not be “propped” or left open. For the safety and security of the community, do not permit unknown persons to enter the building via “tailgating” (entering behind someone who is holding the door open).

9.3. Lockouts: Students are expected to carry their room keys with them at all times. If a student is locked out of their room, the student may go to the Department of Community Living in Usdan between the hours of 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, and temporarily check out a loaner key after presenting proper identification (see section 1.5.). On holidays and weekends and after 5:00 p.m. on weekdays, the Department of Public Safety in Stoneman will unlock student rooms upon presentation of proper identification. Facilities personnel are instructed not to open locked doors for students. Multiple lockouts may result in financial penalties.

9.4. Right of Entry: The University reserves the right to inspect rooms and perform maintenance at reasonable times, and to enter rooms at any time in case of emergency, in response to a complaint of disturbance or when there is reason to believe that a violation of University policy is occurring within the room (see sections 16.1. and 16.2.) University personnel may enter a room after knocking and identifying themselves. Residents are not permitted to change or add private locks or security devices to their rooms or to any part of the building.

9.5. Room and Common Area Accountability: The assigned residents of a given residence hall will be held accountable for any inappropriate behavior that occurs within the hall, or any damages resulting from such behavior. Each student is responsible for any damages caused by the student and/or the student’s guests. When damage can be attributed to the responsible person(s), the cost of repair or replacement is billed to the individual(s) involved (see section 9.). Common-area furniture may not be moved to individual rooms. When damage occurs in a student’s room, corridor, or apartment but cannot be attributed to a specific party, the costs may be billed in equal parts to all residents of that area. Each student is responsible for completing and returning Room Condition Reports to the appropriate Area Coordinator at the beginning of the year (or when occupying a new assignment). To avoid being billed upon termination of the Residence Halls and Meal Plan License, all rooms and corridors must be left clean, neat, and in order. For student safety, the main entrances of residence halls remain locked at all times. Propping or tampering with residence halls doors is prohibited. Students must refrain from utilizing any window as a point of entrance or exit except in case of fire or danger to one’s life.

9.6. Room and Furniture Alterations: All University-supplied furnishings must remain in students’ rooms, suites, and apartments unless their relocation is approved by the Department of Community Living. Additional furniture must meet all fire codes and be approved by the Department of Community Living before being allowed into the residence halls. Any student seeking reasonable physical alterations to their room or furniture must request permission from the Department of Community Living. Community Living may consult with the Health Center, Disabilities Services and Support, or the Department of Facilities Management before permission is granted.

9.7. Distribution of Postings: If a student or campus organization wishes to distribute fliers, posters, etc., in the residence halls, the materials must be delivered to the Department of Community Living for distribution by staff (see section 6.1.). Students may not post on behalf of non-Brandeis advertisers; off-campus individuals and entities seeking to advertise to the Brandeis community must have sponsorship by a University department. Contact the Department of Community Living for information about the posting policy for residential spaces.

9.8. Storage: The University does not provide additional storage space or facilities outside of a student’s residence hall room (with the exception of limited storage space for international students). See Department of Community Living staff and/or your Area Coordinator for information on these policies.

9.9. Visitors and Guests: Visitors and guests are permitted in the residence halls, provided that consideration is given to the rights of all licensees. Should a roommate, suitemate, or apartment mate have an objection to any guest’s proposed visit to a multiple-occupancy assignment, those objections must first be mediated before the guest may be welcomed. Any student whose guest remains within the residence hall for more than three consecutive days must notify the Area Coordinator responsible for that area. Permission to host guests may be curtailed during sensitive community periods, such as Orientation and exams. Public spaces are reserved for use by all residents, and therefore may not be used to accommodate overnight guests. Residents assume responsibility for the actions of their guests, and hosts may be found responsible for their guests’ behavior (see section 2.8). Guests must be escorted by their host at all times.

9.10. Noise: Quiet Hours are established for all residence halls. During the school week (Sunday night through Friday morning), Quiet Hours begin at 11:00 p.m. and conclude at 8:00 a.m. On weekends, Quiet Hours are as follows: 1:00 a.m. Saturday through 10:00 a.m. Saturday, and 1:00 a.m. Sunday through 10:00 a.m. Sunday. During these times, a student should be able to study, read, relax, or sleep in their room without being disturbed by noise from other residents, guests, or members of the community. At all other times, residents are expected to be respectful of others with regard to noise. Quiet Hours remain in effect during all times of year, regardless of holidays, vacations, or recesses. A professional Students and Enrollment staff member may extend Quiet Hours for an approved purpose, and Quiet Hours will be extended during reading periods and final exam periods. Students in violation of Quiet Hours may be required to meet with a staff member within 24 hours.

9.11. Solicitation in the Halls: Because residence halls are living communities, students living on campus should be free from the pressures of door-to-door solicitations, sales, or distribution by any member of the community or any other individual or on behalf of any business or organization. All salespersons or solicitors must have explicit permission from the Department of Community Living or from another Students and Enrollment department. Students may not use their rooms for the purpose of operating a business (see section 14.).

9.12. Video Cassettes, DVDs, Digital Mass Storage Devices, Streamed Content, and Other Media: In compliance with copyright laws, video cassettes, DVDs, and other media intended for private use may be shown in public areas within the residence halls only if no admission is charged, the event is not widely advertised, and no University funds (including student fees) are used to rent or purchase films (see section 10.4.).

9.13. Pets: For the health and safety of all residents, fish are the only pets permitted in the residence halls. Fish tanks may have a maximum capacity of ten gallons of water (see section 2.7. regarding exceptions for guide, assistance, and service animals). No other animals are permitted in the residence halls for any period of time.

9.14. Residential Safety Restrictions: Students must comply with safety and security guidelines. Some personal items and actions may be considered unsafe and may be restricted or prohibited. To protect the safety of all residents, the following list will apply to all persons residing in or visiting residence halls:

  • 9.14.a. Bulb Safety: No halogen bulb is permitted, including in desk lamps or torchière-style floor lamps that use halogen bulbs. String lights may be used only if the bulbs are LEDs (light-emitting diodes). String lights may not be strung on or above doorways or windows or on any ceiling; in the event of a fire, they can pose an obstacle to egress.
  • 9.14.b. Overloaded Circuits: Avoid overloading electrical outlets, including excessive use of extension cords. (Use UL-listed, multiple-outlet power strips instead.)
  • 9.14.c. Tampering with Electrical Fixtures: Tampering with electrical or lighting fixtures or wiring is prohibited.
  • 9.14.d. Proximity to Electric Heaters: Do not place any items (e.g., furniture, pillows, tapestries) closer than 12 inches to electrical heating units in the Foster Mods or the Charles River Apartments. This type of heating appliance can reach higher surface temperatures than steam heaters in other halls.
  • 9.14.e. Flammable Gases and Fluids in Residence Halls: Storing or using flammable gases or fluids in any residence hall is prohibited. This includes lighter fluid for grills, propane or butane for cooking, and jellied fuels for chafing vessels. It does not include personal-sized cigarette lighters.
  • 9.14.f. Ceiling Decorations: The hanging or attaching of any flammable item, posting, or decoration (including string lights) from a ceiling, irrespective of its proximity to or obstruction of electrical or fire/life safety protection devices, is prohibited.
  • 9.14.g. Elevating Furniture: The propping or elevation of furniture using cinder blocks or other unapproved methods is prohibited.
  • 9.14.h. Air Conditioners: The installation of any air conditioner without medical authorization and approval from both the Department of Community Living and Disabilities Services is prohibited.
  • 9.14.i. Refrigerators: Standard-size refrigerators (taller than counter height or more than 35 inches tall) are not permitted unless installed by the University.
  • 9.14.j. Exterior Installations: It is prohibited to install any outside antennae or other exterior devices or materials.
  • 9.14.k. Throwing/Dropping Items: It is prohibited to throw or drop items from windows, stairwells, ledges, etc. 9.14.l. Fire Safety: It is prohibited to violate any fire safety policies (see sections 2.4 and 8.).
  • 9.14.m. Hall Sports: Hall “sports” of any kind are not permitted. Activity in the residence halls and rooms involving athletic equipment such as balls,Frisbees, etc., may damage fire safety equipment, walls, ceilings, or other University or personal property.
  • 9.14.n. Unauthorized Access: It is prohibited to access or to attempt to access any interior or exterior portion of a residence hall not intended for student use, such as utility closets and rooms, custodial closets and rooms, roofs, fire escapes, maintenance hatches, or other spaces that are posted with restrictions (see sections 6.4. and 6.5.).
  • 9.14.o. Safety and Security Concerns regarding Postings: Any postings or decorations in the interior of a residence hall must comply with safety and security policies as determined by the Department of Community Living or other departments charged with maintaining such policies (see sections 9.7. and 9.15.).
  • 9.14.p. Evergreen Decorations: Natural (cut or potted) evergreen trees, wreaths, or boughs are prohibited in common spaces or bedrooms due to their flammability

9.15. Confiscation Policy: Items found to be in violation of these policies may be confiscated and may be returned to the owner with the agreement of the Area Coordinator. Alcohol bottles used as decorations will be disposed of.

16.2. Health and Safety Inspections: Student residence hall rooms are inspected by members of the Community Living staff periodically during the academic year to evaluate the safety, security, and health conditions of the rooms and to check for illegal possession of University-owned property. These inspections will be conducted by floor, by section of building, or by building. Public notification of such inspections will be provided at least 24 hours in advance and will specify an estimated date and time of the inspection for a given area. For example, “Inspections in East Quad will take place between November 3rd and November 18th, between the hours of 6 p.m. and 9 p.m.” A student’s presence in a room is not required for the inspection to take place (see section 9.4.).