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 and Housing’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 Campus Security 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 University Policies and Procedures in Daniel’s Dictionary, including the Residence Life Policies, and are held responsible for understanding their rights and obligations under these policies.  Additionally, all Drew University students are expected to comply with local, state, and federal laws. Both the University and the Office of Residence Life will officially communicate with students via their University-issued e-mail account. Students who violate Residence Life or other University policies will be subject to disciplinary action.

b. Community Standards: In addition to the policies 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. Residence Life Policy infractions, including possession of any prohibited items listed below, may result in fines or a referral to the Office of Residence Life and Student Conduct for disciplinary action.  Allegations of conduct policy violations, including provisions of the University’s Alcohol and Other Drug Policy, may result in the filing of a formal incident report by Residence Life and/or Campus Security staff members, and may result in disciplinary action as outlined in the student conduct procedures within Daniel’s Dictionary.  Please see the Procedures for Residence Life Policy Violations section below for more information. Residents should note that the Borough of Madison will conduct periodic fire inspections of both general/public spaces, as well as individual student rooms. Fines from the Borough are the direct responsibility of the student, and are significantly larger than university fines.  

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 Campus Security within a timely manner.

II. Residence Life Policies

a. Appliances:

Students living in CLA residence halls are provided with one microfridge (combined refrigerator/microwave) unit per bedroom. Personal refrigerators or personal microwaves, or personal combined units are not permitted inside the residence halls. 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.

Personal WiFi routers are not permitted in the residence halls. The Drew WiFi network has been designed to be robust and serve the demand of all residents. Adding additional WiFi devices will cause unwanted interference which will degrade performance and may impede access to the network by other residents. If you wish to connect multiple wired devices to the network, please use an inexpensive wired switch instead. If you experience issues with the WiFi connection in your room, please call the University Technology Service Center at 973-408-4357 to report the problem.

b. Check-in and Check-out:

Returning students must be registered for at least 12 credits in order to be eligible for room selection, and residents must maintain a 12 credit course-load to remain in housing, with the exception of seniors in their final semester.  Those students who have been advised to reduce their course load, must obtain approval from the Dean of Students, or designee, in order to remain in housing below the 12 credit threshold.

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 Student Accounts Office, Financial Assistance, 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 CA/HA/CRE 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 who illegally switch rooms may be subjected to disciplinary action. 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. The Office of Residence Life, while infrequently, reserves the right to move a student from their assigned room to another location.

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 fee assessed to the student’s account. Students will be charged for unclean rooms or damage that has occurred. Students will be charged for replacing or repairing any missing or damaged University-owned furniture. The Coordinator of Residential Engagement will make all final decisions regarding billing. Please consult with your Coordinator of Residential Engagement 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, Mazevo: No one (students or guests) is permitted to sleep in lounge spaces, including students preparing for a Drew-sponsored trip.

Vandalism should be reported in writing via an official Incident Report (See Incident Reports), to your Coordinator of Residential Engagement, or to the Department of Security. 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. Tampering with fire safety equipment is considered to be a serious violation of University policy.  Such actions may result in a referral to the Office of Residence Life and Student Conduct for disciplinary action, and may result in the imposition of sanctions, including fines and/or removal from University housing.  Fines may also be assessed by the Madison Fire Department.

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.

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). Furniture, or other items, should not block the appropriate egress.

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.  Creating a false alarm is prohibited. Failure to comply with fire safety policies may result in disciplinary action, including the imposition of fines as determined by the Office of Residence Life and Student Conduct and/or the Madison Fire Department. 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 not allowed in the Residence Halls. Sanctions include the immediate disassembling of the unapproved loft at the owner’s expense.

f. Grilling Procedure:

Residents who wish to grill must obtain approval from the Office of Residence Life and follow the established guidelines.

g. Guest and Visitation:    

All guests of students present in the residence halls must be registered through the Guest Registration FormPlease 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 $75 per key. 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 call the Office of Residence Life at 973-408-3394. For after hour lock outs students may contact the Residence Life Duty Phone 973-270-1365 or Campus Security 973-408-3379. Upon access to the room all students must present valid identification and their key to the University Official. Excessive lock-outs may result in a student being documented and fined.

Graduate and Theological students experiencing a lock-out are encouraged to contact Campus Security.

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, and may be amended if a product is subject to a safety recall, or additional guidance is given by the Madison Borough Fire Department or other source. Consult your Coordinator of Residential Engagement if you are unsure about an item.  Any of these items found can be confiscated and discarded at the discretion of the Coordinator of Residential Engagement. 

Alcohol and Other Drug Paraphernalia  

  • 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 binge drinking purposes, shot glasses for those under the age of 21; high proof alcohol over 100 proof.  Please see the Alcohol and Other Drug Policy.

  • Illegal or non-prescribed drugs and drug paraphernalia, please see the Alcohol and Other Drug Policy.

Electronics and Appliances

  • Any appliance exceeding 500 watts (except hair dryers used in bathroom facilities)

  • Personal Refrigerators are not permitted as microfridge units are provided in every bedroom.

  • Microwave ovens, microwave-refrigerator combos (except the approved microfridge), hot plates, deep fat fryers, toasters, rice cookers, open-flame or open coil appliances

  • Coffee makers and electric kettles, except for those that have include all of the following: non-exposed heating elements/coils, automatic shut off switches

  • 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.

  • Electric blankets

  • Electronic bikes, electronic scooters, electronic skateboards, hoverboards, and any comparable device may not be stored or charged in or near residence halls or other campus property.

  • Extension cords or “outlet expanders” (with the exception of surge protectors - surge protectors are allowed, but one may not be plugged into another.)


  • Items attached to/hanging from fire-safety equipment

  • Tapestries, posters and other decorations are limited to cover no more than ten percent of the aggregate areas of wall and ceilings in any room, decorations cannot cover any fire safety equipment.

  • University, other university/college, local, state, federal, or private/non-profit industry signage

Flame Producing and Flammable Items/Liquids

  • Fireworks, explosives, incense, candles of any kind (including wick or non- wick), candle and wax warmers, and flammable liquids

  • Volatile liquids and substances of any kind, including fuels, lighter fluid, self lighting charcoal, open cans of paint, paint thinner, and turpentine


  • University furniture other than that provided at the beginning of the year and bed lofts

  • Waterbeds and pools


  • Decorative lighting (such as electric holiday lights, neon signs, black lights/UV lights)

  • Halogen lamps of any size.

  • Paper lamps/lanterns and paper lampshades.


  • Hookahs (presence and/or use)

  • Bongs (presence and/or use)

  • Smoking anywhere within the interior of a residence hall, or in an exterior area that results in migration, seepage, or recirculation of smoke indoors (including the use of electronic smoking devices).  See Section M. Smoking below for more information.


  • 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

Other Prohibited Items

  • Any recalled products

  • Sand

  • Pets or animals, (except for non-meat-eating fish in non-electric tanks and service animals approved by the Office of Accessibility Services)

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, Campus Security, or Pro Staff on duty.  The below hours serve as guidance, and the University has the right to adjust these hours at any time.

Quiet Hours: CLA residence halls:

Sunday - Thursday Begin at 11:00 p.m. and end at 10:00 a.m.

Friday - Saturday Begin at 1:00 a.m. and end at 10:00 a.m.

Quiet Hours: Graduate and Theological residence 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.

Pro Staff on duty, Community Assistants (CAs) and/or Campus Security may request that students lower their noise level before quiet hours. Students are expected to comply with the first request and may be referred to Student Conduct if they do not. When quiet hours are in effect, any residents present in a room/suite at the time of a noise violation may be referred to Student Conduct.

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 Campus Security).

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, fundraising and contribution drives are restricted. Permission can only be granted via the Director of Residence Life and Student Conduct. 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 CA/HA, CRE or Campus Security.

m. Smoking:   

Drew University is a smoke free campus. 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 may not smoke anywhere on campus, including inside or outside of University owned residential facilities.. The use of electronic smoking devices (including but not limited to Minis, Mid-Size E-Cigs, Vape Pens, Advanced Personal Vaporizers (APVs), and MODs), is also prohibited and is treated the same as smoking.

n. Collective Fines:  It is the responsibility of all residents to maintain the health, safety, and cleanliness of a residence hall. When there is damage to communal areas (such as desecrated bulletin boards/wall hangings, unreasonable messes in bathrooms, trash in the hall) and the Office of Residence Life and Student Conduct is unable to determine the individual(s) responsible, all residents in a hall or building may be charged a fine, assigned community service, and/or other sanctions for the damage. Residence Life may also charge fines and/or other sanctions for individuals who do not attend mandatory hall meetings or do not vacate the residence hall in the event of a fire alarm going off.

o. Room Inspections and Searches:   In accordance with the Regulations for Search and Routine Room Inspection found in Daniel’s Dictionary, 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. Except for searches authorized by those regulations, otherwise, the University will not make any unauthorized entry to a room unless it is to perform services either requested or for routine maintenance; a life threatening situation is present; a major disturbance to the community or known criminal activity is occurring; fire/safety emergency; securing for vacation periods.

III. Procedures for Residence Life Policy Violations:

University Student Conduct Policy and Procedures: Any member of the Drew community, visitor or guest may allege that a student has violated University policy and when appropriate the University may choose to file allegations on behalf of another person or on its own behalf.  Incident Report forms may be used to file reports of Residence Life Policy Violations and may lead to the onset of the student conduct process. The procedure will follow the “University Student Conduct Policy and Procedures,” as found in Daniel’s Dictionary. Additionally, violations of the student conduct policy may result in sanctions, ranging from severe penalties to less stringent measures, as appropriate to the underlying conduct, course of conduct, or overall student conduct history.

Procedures for Failed Room Inspections (including possession of prohibited items): Residence Life staff conducts room inspections several times during the semester.  Residents can pass or fail the inspection based on the status of the bedroom, or if applicable, the common areas of a suite or a bathroom.  A resident will fail a room inspection due to possession of prohibited item(s) or if the overall condition of the living area does not meet standards to maintain a healthy, safe environment in the residence halls. A student may receive a warning from Residence Life staff for a first failed room inspection.  Fines will be assessed for a subsequent failed room inspection (including possession of any prohibited items). $25 is the minimum fine for a second violation. If a resident fails a room inspection three times during the year, an Incident Report will be filed, and he/she will be referred to the Office of Student Conduct and Community Standards for disciplinary action.  In cases of shared living areas, a resident may claim responsibility for prohibited items with their CRE; otherwise the entire unit may be assessed any applicable fines.  Please note that damage charges are also assessed during room inspections. It is expected that residents will report major damages or safety issues to Residence Life staff as soon as possible. At the discretion of University staff, a formal incident report may be filed for allegations of policy violations at any point by Residence Life and/or Campus Security staff members, and may result in disciplinary action as outlined in the student conduct procedures within Daniel’s Dictionary.

Housing information and additional policies can be found in the Housing agreement and on the web page at:

  • No labels