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RESIDENCE LIFE: Philosophy and Policy

I. Introduction

a. Philosophy: Drew University is committed to promoting academic, intellectual, and social development, while maintaining a vibrant and responsible community life and views the unique experience of living in a residence hall as contributing to this development. By choosing to live in a residence hall, students commit to conforming to certain responsibilities to ensure the growth and development toward the Office of Residence Life’s mission. Those responsibilities include: 

  • Recognizing one’s membership in a residential community
  • Respecting all community members, including students, faculty, and staff
  • Participating in the maintenance of the residential facility
  • Informing the Office of Residence Life staff or Public Safety Officers about behavior that is disrespectful to community as well as situations that infringe on the safety of the community
  • Avoiding any behavior that indicates or could be perceived as retaliation for the reporting of potential violations of community standards
  • Supporting and honoring the diverse lifestyles and pursuits of individual members in the community
  • Playing an active role in the social and intellectual life of the community

Residents are expected to familiarize themselves with the Residence Life Policies, the University Policies and Procedures in Daniel’s Dictionary, and to also comply with applicable city, state, and federal law. Students who violate Residence Life or other University policies will be subject to disciplinary action.

b. Community Standards: In addition to the policies in the Conduct Policy section below, each floor/house/hall establishes governing standards for their immediate community. These standards do not replace University policies and procedures, but serve as additional standards for the members and guests of the community.

c. Room Inspections: In order to maintain a healthy, safe environment in the residence halls, the Office of Residence Life conducts room inspections several times during a semester. Violations of prohibited items and other infractions such as alcohol in a room whose occupants are underage may result in fines or sanctions. Fines may be imposed for each infraction. Please see the Fines and Prohibited Items section for more information. All prohibited item(s) may be confiscated by the Office of Residence Life or a University Official. The owner of the confiscated item(s) may only pick up the confiscated material at the end of each semester. Failure to retrieve item(s) at the end of the semester may result in the item(s) being donated or discarded.

d. Property Damage: The University is not responsible for damage to, or loss of, students' personal property due to fire, facility failure, theft, any type of water damage, or severe weather. Students are encouraged to check on their parents' insurance coverage or obtain personal property insurance prior to arriving to campus. All items that are believed to be lost or stolen should be reported to the Department of Public Safety within a timely manner.

II. Conduct Policy

a. Appliances: Students are allowed to have a refrigerator, and may bring their own, as long as the internal dimensions are less than 4.5 cubic feet and starting current does not exceed 7 amps. Combined refrigerator/microwaves and microwaves are not allowed, except for University-issued micro-fridges that can be rented or bought. Information for the rental or purchase of micro-fridges is located on the Office of Residence Life webpage. Some lounges in the residence halls have kitchens with community stoves, refrigerators, and microwaves. When using a stove or microwave, a student must stay with their items at all times.  University Staff can throw away any unattended food.  Washing machines and dryers of any type are not allowed.  Please see section i. for a list of Prohibited items.

b. Check-in and Check-out: Returning students must be registered for at least 12 credits in order to be eligible for room selection. The order of selection is determined by the Office of Housing, Conferences, and Hospitality. The online process can be found on the Housing homepage.

Students may check in only during the official check-in times as designated by the University calendar. Early arrivals must be approved by the Office of Residence Life and will be billed. Students must complete all necessary requirements of the Business Office, Financial Aid, and Health Services before they will be allowed to check-in. 

Prior to students taking occupancy of a room, staff will perform an inspection using the Room Condition Report (RCR). At move-in time, residents should review the RCR and report any discrepancies to the RA/HA/CRD within 48 hours. Any damage that is not reported or occurs during the year beyond normal wear and tear to a room or its furnishings or other University property will be charged to the student.

Students are expected to keep the rooms and roommates assigned to them for the academic year. Students may not take up residence in any room other than the one to which they are assigned unless a room-change has been processed. Students are encouraged to be mindful of the needs and rights of others. The Office of Residence Life will intervene in situations where a roommate's rights are not being observed or when policies are not being followed.

When a student vacates, the room will be checked for damage. Students are required to formally check out of their room. Appointments must be made at least 24 hours in advance for all check-outs. When circumstances prevent a student from formally checking out, students may still check out properly by utilizing an Express Check-Out form and process. Use of the Express Check-Out option waives one’s right to appeal damage charges.

Late or improper check-outs will result in a fine assessed to the student’s account and waives the right to appeal any fines/charges related to your check-out (See Fines). Students will be charged for unclean rooms or damage that has occurred. Complex Residence Directors and a representative from Facilities make all final decisions regarding billing. Please consult with your Complex Residence Director for more information regarding the check-out process.

c. Common Area and Public Area Use:
Drew University provides common areas and public area in its residence halls. Common areas are spaces shared by suitemates such as shared living rooms, kitchens, bathrooms, etc. All suitemates are responsible for their room’s common area(s). Public areas are considered hall lounges, bathrooms, kitchens, area surrounding residence halls, and hallways. All residence hall residents are responsible for their residence hall’s public area(s). 

Should something become damaged in your common area, or if you find something that is damaged in a public area, please report this to a residence life staff member or via the work order request form as soon as possible. If there is damage in a room, do not attempt to repair it yourself, as this action often increases the final cost of repair. Public area damage assessments are not appealable.

Student groups may reserve Residence Hall lounges online via the Event Management System (EMS). Please contact Office of Housing Conferences and Hospitality at 973-408-3103 for all lounge reservation questions. Students (and their guests) may not sleep in residence hall lounges. No one is permitted to sleep in lounge spaces, including students preparing for a Drew-sponsored trip.

Damage done to common or public areas is the responsibility of each resident. Excessive or egregious damage may result in reassignment or other sanctions of those individual(s) responsible. If the responsible individual(s) cannot be determined, the entire community may share the cost of this damage, which may include a wing, floor, building, or complex. Other measures such as suspension of guest privileges, broadening of quiet hours, restriction of lounge use, etc, may be taken to prevent recurring damages.

Vandalism should be reported in writing via an official Incident Report (See Incident Reports), to your Complex Residence Director, or to the Department of Public Safety. It is important to report these damages as soon as it is noticed and prior to the closing of residence halls for any break period by contacting a staff member.

Unauthorized access or use of restricted areas in or about a residence hall, including but not limited to roofs, ledges, building emergency fire escapes, terraces, basements, storage areas, mail rooms, or emergency exits. Unauthorized access or attempts to access fire escapes, balconies, storage closets, offices, and roof tops are prohibited.

d. Fire Safety:
Posters, draperies, and other flammable items are not allowed to be located over or near light fixtures/lamps or suspended to block the smoke alarm or door. (Please refer to the Decorations section for more information.)

Fire safety equipment is intended for the protection of all residents and is not to be tampered with or covered. Such equipment includes fire alarm pull boxes, smoke detector systems, alarm bells and sirens, fire extinguishers, emergency and electrical panels, etc. Creating a false alarm is prohibited.

Do not hang items from, or interfere with, the sprinkler system, pipes, or smoke detectors. Items may not be hung from the ceiling. Students (and their guests) may not sleep in residence-hall lounges. Fire marshals have advised Drew that no one is permitted to sleep in lounge spaces, including students preparing for a Drew-sponsored trip.

Never place your room furniture in the hallway, as it is a fire hazard and will be removed. Students will be charged for replacement of damaged or missing university room furniture. All non-University furniture brought to campus by students should be fire resistant and must be removed from campus prior to final check-out (i.e. it may not be left in rooms or hallways). Tables may not have a length of more than 4 feet on any side.

Students are required by state law to evacuate the residence hall when a fire alarm is activated. Propping open exterior hall doors or interior fire doors or circumventing any other safety/security measures is also prohibited. In addition, bicycles or other personal belongings may not be placed in stairwells or other public areas of buildings.

e. Room Furniture and Lofts: No University furniture may be removed from a room. No bedroom or lounge furniture may be moved for outdoor use. Students should not attempt to make repairs or alter University furniture/facilities. If repairs are required, contact the Facilities Department directly at 973/408-3510 or by the work order request form.

Lofts are only allowed through the approved vendor found on the Residence Life Homepage. Students who rent and use this loft may not place other furniture on top of a loft. A loft may not be created by placing a mattress on top of other University furniture (such as a desk). Sanctions include the immediate removal of the loft at the owner’s expense.

f. Grilling Procedure: Residents who wish to grill must remain 50 feet from any building for safety, or where a built-in grill is located. No grilling is permitted in areas where vehicular traffic is allowed. You are allowed to grill in any University designated grilling locations. You may only grill on actual metal grills with charcoal only. Ditches, wood, and paper are not allowed; you may only use grills for food purposes. No lighter fluid or match-light charcoal may be stored in your room or in any part of the residence halls. Students are only allowed to grill until 10 p.m.

g. Guest and Visitation: Please see Daniel’s Dictionary for the complete guest policy.

h. Key and Lock Out: Room keys must be returned by the resident at the time of check-out. Keys must not be duplicated or loaned to anyone. Lost keys should be reported immediately to a member of the Residence Life staff or University locksmith as lost keys pose a safety concern. Students are responsible for any use of their key, unless reported lost or stolen. A student is responsible for any violations or damage in his or her room as a result of key usage or leaving a room unlocked. New room keys will be issued at a cost of $25 - $75 depending on room occupancy. Students must return the same key at the end of the semester or they will be billed.

For lock-outs during normal business hours, students are encouraged to locate a complex RA/HA/CRD prior to contacting the Department of Public Safety regarding lockouts. CRDs can generally be found in their office, Monday - Friday 9AM to 5PM. Students may contact the RA on duty between the hours of 9 pm - 12 midnight to gain access to their room. Outside of the prior listed hours, students should contact the Office of Public Safety for access into their building or room. Upon access to the room all students must present valid identification and their key to the University Official. Excessive lock-outs may result in student conduct and fines.

Graduate and Theological students experiencing a lock-out are encouraged to contact Public Safety.

i. Prohibited Items: To protect the health and welfare of the University community, the following are prohibited in residence halls. Please note that this is not a complete list. Please consult your Complex Residence Director if you are unsure about an item. Any of these items found can be confiscated and discarded at the discretion of the Complex Residence Director. 

  • Firearms and objects of all kinds with the potential to cause bodily harm, including (but not limited to) guns, BB guns, knives, bows and arrows, swords, and martial arts equipment
  • Fireworks, explosives, incense, candles of any kind (including wick or non- wick), candle warmers, and flammable liquids
  • Items attached to/hanging from fire-safety equipment
  • Tapestries or live plants over 4 feet tall
  • Volatile liquids and substances of any kind, including fuels, lighter fluid, self lighting charcoal, open cans of paint, paint thinner, and turpentine
  • Extension cords or “outlet expanders” (with the exception of surge protectors - surge protectors are allowed, but one may not be plugged into another.)
  • Electric blankets
  • Decorative lighting (such as holiday lights, neon signs, black lights/UV lights); Halogen lamps of any size. Paper lamps/lanterns and paper lampshades
  • Alcohol if under the age of 21; Kegs, beer balls, and other alcoholic beverages in bulk quantities, empty containers, funnels, or other paraphernalia used for bingeing purposes, shot glasses for those under the age of 21; high proof alcohol over 100 proof.  Please see the Alcohol and Drug Policy
  • Illegal or non-prescribed drugs and drug paraphernalia Please see the Alcohol and Drug Policy
  • University furniture other than that provided at the beginning of the year and unapproved lofts
  • Any table exceeding more than 4 feet on any side. 
  • Dirty, broken, or dilapidated items and furniture. 
  • Any appliance exceeding 500 watts (except hair dryers used in bathroom facilities)
  • Refrigerators with built-in taps and/or internal dimensions larger than 4 ½ cu. ft. or starting current exceeding 7 amps. Each resident may have one small refrigerator.
  • Microwave ovens, microwave-refrigerator combos (except the approved microfridge ), hot plates, deep fat fryers, toasters, electric kettles, open-flame or open coil appliances
  • Coffee makers, except for those that have include all of the following:  non exposed heating elements/coils, automatic shut off switches (ie, Many Keurigs and K-cup ones are allowed.)
  • Air conditioners, space heaters, ceiling fans, washing machines (including small ones that attach to a sink), dryers, freezers, or other high voltage equipment
  • Plug in and indoor grills, such as Foreman Grills or similar models.
  • Waterbeds, pools, and sand
  • Motorcycles, mopeds, or motorized bikes
  • University, other university/college, local, state, federal, or private/non-profit industry signage
  • Pets or animals, (except for non-meat-eating fish)

j. Noise Policy: The creation of an environment conducive to academic excellence requires that each resident keep sound to reasonable levels and to comply with the requests to reduce sound levels that are intrusive. Individual halls are free to adjust quiet hours within the minimum standards and 24-hour “courtesy hours” are always in effect. Courtesy hours mean that students must reduce intrusive noise, when requested by a fellow Drew community member. 

Quiet Hours: CLA Halls Sunday - Thursday Begin at Midnight and end at 10:00 a.m.
Friday - Saturday Begin at 2:00 a.m. and end at 10:00 a.m.

Quiet Hours: Grad/Theo Halls Sunday - Thursday Begin at 9:00 p.m. and end at 7:00 a.m. Friday - Saturday Begin at 9:00 p.m. and end at 10:00 a.m.

k. Signs, Banners, and Chalking: The posting person/organization is responsible for removing signs promptly once the event has past. No materials shall be posted on windows, doors or glass panels either inside or outside the residential buildings. The only exceptions are materials relating to fire, health, or safety (such materials must be approved for posting by the Director of Public Safety).

Banners may not be hung outside residence halls or in residence hall windows.

Chalking is allowed in locations that may be cleaned by rain. Chalking may not occur on buildings, stairs, walls, and areas under breezeways. If chalk appears on any of the prohibited sites, it may be treated as vandalism and subject to disciplinary sanctions and fines. No chalk paint, or  permanent chalk is allowed.

l. Solicitations: To protect the privacy of residents, solicitations, sales, canvassing, fund raising and contribution drives are restricted. Permission can only be granted via the Director of Residence Life and Community Standards. For more information, contact the Office of Residence Life. If someone is seen soliciting on the residence hall floors or main areas, please contact your RA/HA, CRD or Public Safety.

m. Smoking: Drew University is a smoke free campus as it applies to all academic, student support and residential buildings. All private (residential rooms, suites, townhouses, bathrooms, etc) and public areas (main lobby, common lounges, study rooms, hallways, laundry facilities and stairwells) in all residential facilities are considered smoke free. Resident students and their guests must smoke outside of the University owned residential facilities. It is strongly recommended that smokers remain far enough from the building to respect the rights of non-smokers.

III. Process

a. Procedures for Residence Life Policy Violations:
Procedure will follow the “University Student Conduct Policy and Procedures,” as found in Daniel’s Dictionary. Incident Report forms may be used to file reports of Residence Life Policy Violations and may be obtained from the Residence Life Web page.  Incident Reports may be filled out by faculty, staff, or students to report vandalism, accidents, thefts, or policy violations. They will be circulated to the appropriate University offices and, in the case of an alleged policy violation, may lead to the onset of the student conduct process. Confidentiality and anonymity cannot be guaranteed.

b. Sanctions, Community Service, and Fines: Violations of residence hall policy may lead to student conduct sanctions. A listing of those sanctions can be found in Daniel’s Dictionary under Sanctions. Additionally, violations may result in fines or community service. Community Service may take the form of service to the school or surrounding community by working with or under the supervision of a Drew University Faculty or Staff member. Fines are subject to the discretion of Drew University. Fines are separate and distinct from, and may be imposed in addition to, reimbursement for cost of damage. Below is a listing of fines, which can be amended depending on the severity of the violation. 

Health, Welfare, and Safety Fines 

  • Tampering with fire safety equipment $50-$1000 (or determined by the Madison Fire Dept.)
  • Excessive Lock-outs: $50
  • Failure to vacate room during fire drill $50-$500
  • Propping outside doors $50 - $500 (or determined by the Madison Fire Dept.)
  • Prohibited appliances/items up to $500
  • Prohibited Items and Health & Safety Inspection Violations: Fines will be assessed for possession of any prohibited items and will increase for each offense. $25 is the minimum for first-time violations. Second time violations have a $50 minimum. The fee for unapproved appliances is $100 for the first incident and $200 for the second.

Check in and Check-out 

  • Failure to remove an illegal loft $125, plus $30/day
  • Failure to leave room by official hall closing $50 for first half hour plus $25 for each subsequent half hour.  
  • Improper check-out of room $100
  • Illegal room switch $125
  • Failure to properly clean room at end of year $25 minimum
  • Furniture missing from room equals fines to replace
  • Trespassing during vacation periods $250
  • Conduct Violations 
  • Failure to complete assigned Community Service minimum $25 per hour assigned.
  • Failure to comply with the directive of a University official up to $500
  • Failure to complete a sanction up to $500
  • Giving false information to a University official up to $500
  • Disrespecting University official up to $500
  • Vandalism up to $500 plus additional fine from Facilities
  • Wrongful possession of University property $50-$500
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