Except in the course of routine inspection, emergencies or in instances of plain-view violations or reported/suspected policy violations, the room and personal possessions of a student shall not be searched unless appropriate authorization and permission have been obtained. Prohibited items will be confiscated if observed.  Any materials or other tangible items seized may be used in University conduct proceedings and/or as evidence in a legal proceedings. 

The conditions for search are as follows:

Emergencies: The safety and security of students and their guests are top priorities of the University. As such, staff authorized by the University (such as the staff of Facilities, Campus Security, Campus Life and Student Affairs) may enter a student’s room without permission in response to
: attempted or suspected suicide
; fire
; significant physical injury
; medical emergency
; situations in which there is a potential or actual threat to security, health, or welfare; or when suspected policy violations are made known to the Department of Campus Security or Office of Residence Life and Student Conduct.

Plain View Violation/Searches: Items, including materials, substances or possessions, that may be prohibited, illegal, or stolen, and are observed by staff during the normal execution of their duties may be confiscated and/or used in a University conduct and/or legal proceeding. Confiscated items will be kept by the University for the remainder of the academic term; students can retrieve their items at the start of winter or summer break unless it is an item deemed  illegal federally or in the state of New Jersey; those such items will be disposed of immediately. A student(s) may voluntarily open a closed area or personal belonging for a plain view inspection during the course of a search, or authorization may be requested from the Dean of Students or designee to authorize a search. Searches can be conducted in the absence of the resident(s) in accordance with the procedures outlined above. In certain situations, Campus Security may be called upon to assist with confiscation procedures and may act on any violation in plain view, or present via odor. Residence Life representatives and/or Campus Security have the authority to conduct a search in instances where a plain view or odor violation has occurred.

Authorization:  Authorization may come from a court of competent jurisdiction in the form of a search warrant, if there is an alleged violation of federal or state laws.

If there is an alleged violation of University policies or regulations substantiated by credible information, or upon oath or affirmation authorization may come from the Dean of Students (or a designated representative). 

Such authorization shall be in the form of electronic communication or a written note, that includes the following:

  • The name of the student whose room is to be searched and his/her campus address

  • The specific violations of University regulations alleged

  • The area to be searched, in most cases this may be the entire room

Entry shall be preceded by verbal identification of the searchers and the purpose of the search. A copy of the authorization for the search shall be furnished to the student.


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