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  • Regulations for Search and Routine Room Inspection

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Students living in the residence halls can expect a level of privacy in their rooms and suites, as well as in the community at large. However, the University reserves the right to enter rooms utilizing a master key for reasons related to safety, security, health, fire-code compliance, facility maintenance, legal, reasonable cause, or discipline.
Routine inspection for safety, maintenance, or alteration may occur without notice to room occupants. In such cases, entry shall be preceded by a knock and verbal identification. Entry may be made even if a student is not present. Such entry does not include the authority to search personal belongings in a student’s desk, closet, bureau, etc. However, it does provide authority to perform necessary functions such as safety, maintenance, and room inspection. At the time of such entry, any prohibited articles that are in plain sight may be reported to Public Safety (x3379).


Except in an extreme emergency (of such a nature as to cause fear for the physical safety of a room occupant) 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 room 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, Public Safety, 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
; fire
; significant physical injury
; medical emergency
; situations in which there is a potential or actual threat to the security, health, or welfare of the resident(s) of the room, suite, or surrounding community
; or when suspected policy violations are made known to the Department of Public Safety or Office of Campus Life and Student Affairs.

Plain View Violation/Searches: Items that are Items, including materials, substances or possessions, that may be prohibited, illegal, or stolen, or materials, substances, or possessions that are in plain view and and are observed by staff during the normal execution of their duties (within or beyond the confines of a residence hall room) may be confiscated and/or used in a University conduct and/or legal proceeding. During such plain-view searches, staff may not open drawers, closets, closed doors, refrigerators, or any sealed area or property owned by a student(s). A student(s) may voluntarily open a closed area or personal belonging for a plain view inspection during the course of a search. Plain-view violations/searches , 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, Public Safety may be called upon to assist with confiscation procedures and may act on any violation in plain view, or present via odor.

Voluntary Search: Students have the option to provide written or verbal consent to have their room or personal area(s) searched when there is reasonable cause to believe they are in possession of prohibited illegal or stolen items, materials, substances, or possessions, or are aware of or involved in a violation that is criminal in nature. Such searches shall be conducted by a Public Safety officer. Any evidence seized may be used in a University conduct and/or legal proceeding.

Involuntary Search: When there is reasonable cause to believe that a student is in possession of prohibited, illegal, or stolen items, materials, or substances, or has knowledge of or involvement with a violation that is criminal in nature, Public Safety may request authorization for a search of a defined area for a specific reason. Authorization standards are listed below. Public Safety has been given authority to complete   Public Safety has 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 the penal laws of this or any other state. The administration shall request such authorities to inform the president (or a designated representative) of the impending search so that a representative of the University, and when possible, a student government representative (such as the attorney general) may be present at the search to guard against violation of a student’s rights.
If 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) upon a finding that there is probable cause to believe that such regulations have been violated.

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

When searches are authorized by the University, the Dean of Students will notify a representative of the student government association, may be present at the searchthat a search is in progress. 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. The student may be compensated for any damage to personal property occurring as a result of any University search procedure.  Public Safety has been given the authority to complete a search in instances where a plain view or odor violation has occurred.