Housing Rights and Responsibilities

From the 2013-14 Rights & Responsibilities Handbook (PDF)


10. Living in the Residence Halls

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 which 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 Dining Services License, and in other publications issued by the University. These policies and procedures carry the force of University regulations. All students are expected to comply with these policies and procedures as well as the ones listed below.

10.1 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 Request Forms are available on the 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 Community Living or a Community Development Coordinator for information on these policies.

10.2 Involuntary Reassignment of Housing: Pending the outcome of a disciplinary proceeding, 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 the Director or Associate Director of Community Living after consultation with the Dean of Student Life or the dean’s designee. If a student is reassigned or removed outright, the procedures outlined in Section 19.1 shall begin within 10 class days after the reassignment/removal (see also Section 22).

10.3 Door, Key and Lock 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 may not be “propped” or left open.

10.4 Lock-outs: If a student is locked out of her or his room, the student may go to the Department of Community Living between the hours of 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, and temporarily check out a loaner key after presenting proper identification. On holidays, weekends, and after 5 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. Students are expected to carry their room keys with them at all times; multiple lockouts may result in financial penalties.

10.5 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 also Sections 17.2 and 17.3). 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.

10.6 Room and Common Area Accountability: Damage to property in a University residence hall is the responsibility of the residents. Each student is responsible for any damages caused by him or herself 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. When damage occurs in a student’s room, corridor, or apartment but cannot be attributed to a specific party, the costs are billed in equal parts to all residents of that area. Each student is responsible for completing and returning to the appropriate Community Development Coordinator his or her Room Condition Report at the beginning of the year (or when occupying a new assignment). To avoid billing upon termination of the Residence Halls and Dining Services License, all rooms and corridors must be left clean, neat, and in order. For student safety, the main entrance of residence halls remain locked at all times. Tampering with, or propping residence halls doors is not permissible. Students will refrain from exit or entrance of a building or room via a window except in case of fire or danger to one’s life.

10.7 Room and Furniture Alterations: All University supplied furnishings must remain in the student’s rooms, suites, and apartments unless 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 her/his room or furniture must request permission from the Department of Community Living. Community Living may consult with the Health Center and the Department of Facilities Management before permission is granted.

10.8 Postings: If a student or campus organization wishes to post fliers, posters, etc in the residence halls, the materials must be delivered to the Department of Community Living for distribution by staff (See also Section 6.1).

10.9 Storage: The University does not provide additional storage outside of a student’s residence hall room. See Community Living staff and/or your Community Development Coordinator for information on these policies.

10.10 Visitors and Guests: Overnight visitors and guests are permitted in the residence halls, provided that consideration is given to the rights of all permanent occupants. Any student whose guest remains within the residence hall for more then three consecutive days must notify the Community Development Coordinator responsible for that area. One week per semester is the maximum length of tome permitted for each guest. 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.

10.11 Noise: Quiet hours are established for all residence halls from 11 p.m. to 8 a.m. Sunday through Thursday, and from 1 a.m. to 10 a.m. Friday and Saturday. During these times a student should be able to study, read, relax, or sleep in his/her room without being disturbed by noise. At all other times, residents are expected to be respectful of others with regard to noise. A professional Student Affairs staff member may extend quiet hours for an approved purpose or during final exams.

10.12 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. All salespersons or solicitors must have explicit permission from the Department of Community Living or another Student Life office. Students may not use their rooms for the purpose of operating a business (see Section 15).

10.13 Video Cassettes, DVDs, 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 Activities Fee funds) are used to rent or purchase films.

10.14 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 water. See also Section 2.11 regarding exceptions for guide and service animals.

10.15 Safety Restrictions: To protect the safety of all residents, certain items and actions are strictly prohibited in the residence halls. Postings and decorations must comply with safety and security guidelines. Other items may also be considered unsafe and may be similarly restricted. Strictly prohibited are:

  • torchiere-style halogen lamps that use tubular halogen bulbs
  • overloading of electrical outlets, including using extension cords (use UL multiple power strips instead)
  • tampering with electrical or lighting fixtures
  • furniture closer than 12 inches to electrical heating unit in the Foster Mods or the Charles River Apartments
  • storage or use of flammable fluids in buildings
  • large fabric ceiling hangings and other flammable postings or decorations
  • propping furniture using cinder blocks or other unsafe methods
  • air conditioners without medical authorization
  • standard size refrigerators in rooms
  • waterbeds
  • installation of outside antennae or other exterior devices
  • throwing items from windows, stairwells, ledges, etc.
  • violation of any fire safety policies (See section 8)
  • “hall sports” of any kind. Activity in the residence halls and rooms involving athletic equipment such as balls, etc may damage fire safety equipment, walls, ceilings, or University property.