Housing Rights and Responsibilities

From the 2014-15 Rights & Responsibilities Handbook (PDF)

Section 9. Living in the Residence Halls


9.0. 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, 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 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 to maximize communication about circumstances that could affect the quality of life in the residence halls.

9.1. Room Vacancies and Room Transfers: Any changes to a student’s room assignment must be processed through the Department of Community Living. Change of Housing Requests are available on the Department of Community Living website:
www.brandeis.edu/studentaffairs/dcl

Room transfers/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, is unacceptable. See the Department of Community Living or a Community Development Coordinator for information on these policies. 9.2. Involuntary Reassignment of Housing: The Department of Community Living reserves the right to reassign students to other locations or remove them outright from University housing. The decision to reassign or remove a student shall be made by a
Director in Community Living after consultation with the DOS. 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 18.1 shall begin within 10
class days after the reassignment/removal.

9.3. 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 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.

9.4. 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, 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.

9.5. 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 16.2 and 16.3). Residents are not permitted to change or add private locks or security devices to their rooms or to any part of the building. University personnel may enter a room after knocking and identifying themselves.

9.6. Room and Common Area Accountability: The assigned residents of a given residence hall will be held accountable for any inappropriate behavior or damages that occur within the hall. 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 9.0).

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 to the appropriate Community
Development Coordinator Room Condition Reports at the beginning of the year (or when occupying a new assignment). To avoid billing 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 entrance of residence halls remains 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.

9.7. 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. Furniture must meet all fire codes before being
allowed into the residence halls. Any student seeking reasonable physical alterations to room or furniture must request permission from the Department of Community Living.

Community Living may consult with the Health Center, Disabilities Services and Support and the Department of Facilities Management before permission is granted. 

9.8. 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. Students are advised that off‐campus individuals and entities seeking to advertise to the Brandeis community must have sponsorship by a University department.

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

9.10. 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 any objection to any guest’s proposed visit to the 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 Community Development 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.

9.11. 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. on Sunday. During these times a student should be able to study, read, relax or sleep in the room without being disturbed by noise by 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 or during reading periods and final exam periods.


9.12. 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 by 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 another Students and Enrollment department. Students may not use their rooms for the purpose of operating a business
(see section 14).

9.13. 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 10.5).

9.14. 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).
9.15. 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:

9.15.a. Bulb Safety: No halogen bulb is permitted, including desk lamps or torchière‐style floor lamps that use halogen bulbs. String lights may only be used 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, these can pose an obstacle to egress.

9.15.b. Overloaded Circuits: Avoid overloading electrical outlets, including excessive use of extension cords (use UL‐listed, multiple outlet power strips instead).

9.15.c. Tampering with Electrical Fixtures: Tampering with electrical or lighting fixtures or wiring is prohibited. 

9.15.d. Proximity to Electric Heaters: Do not place furniture 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. \

9.15.e. Flammable Gases and Fluids in Residence: 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.

9.15.f. Ceiling Decorations: The hanging or attaching of any flammable item or postings or decorations (including string lights) from a ceiling, irrespective of their proximity or obstruction of electrical or fire/life safety protection devices, is prohibited.

9.15.g. Elevating Furniture: The propping or elevation of furniture using cinder blocks or other unapproved methods is prohibited.
9.15.h. Air Conditioners: The installation of any air conditioner without medical authorization and approval from the Department of Community Living and Disabilities Services is prohibited.

9.15.i. Refrigerators: Standard size refrigerators (taller than counter height or more than 35 inches tall) are not permitted unless installed by the University.

9.15.j. Waterbeds: Waterbeds are not permitted.

9.15.k. Exterior Installations: It is prohibited to install any outside antennae
or other exterior materials.

9.15.l. Throwing/Dropping Items: It is prohibited to throw or drop items from windows, stairwells, ledges, etc.

9.15.m. Fire Safety: It is prohibited to violate any fire safety policies (see sections 2.4 and 8).

9.15.n. 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.

9.15.o. 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, including: 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 6.6). 

9.15.p. 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 9.8 and 9.15.f).

9.15.q. Evergreen Decorations: Natural (cut or potted) evergreen trees, wreaths or boughs are prohibited in common spaces or bedrooms due to their flammability. 

16.3. 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 24 hours in advance and will specify the date and time of the inspection for a given area. A student’s presence in a room is not required for the inspection to take place (see section 9.5).