Rules and Regulations

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If you live on-campus, you should be aware of certain rules and regulations that your school is likely to have. It's not easy for a school to keep tabs on the hundreds or even thousands of students that live on-campus. Having students sign housing agreements helps schools to protect not only themselves, but the students as well. The following are some rules and regulations that you're likely to encounter.

Agreements, Rights, and Responsibilities

When taking up residence in a dorm at your school, you'll usually have to sign some sort of consent or agreement form. This form outlines the agreements between you and your school as well as the rights and responsibilities you will have throughout the school year. Here are a few common agreements, rights, and responsibilities:
  • General housing and meal plan contract – You'll probably have to sign a residence contract, which is a binding housing contract, similar to a lease. Many schools require students to purchase a meal plan as part of their housing agreement.

  • Entering student rooms – Most schools reserve the right to enter and inspect your room to make sure that you and your roommate(s) are complying with housing standards. This is also a means for the school to maintain safety and maintenance standards.

  • Room changes and reassignments – Sometime after moving in, you should have the right to switch rooms. This will require the agreement and signatures of all parties involved in the change. At the same time, your school may reserve the right to reassign you to a new room or assign you a new roommate (though this is rarely done).

  • Room damages – You will be responsible for any damage done to your room during the time you were living there. When you check in at your dorm, you should receive a room-damages form, which will allow you to document any damages that are already in the room. At the end of the year, you will be liable for any damage in the room that isn't listed on the room damages form.

State and Federal Regulations

Schools are not exempt from any state or federal laws, so you'll have to follow them as well. The two main considerations are smoking regulations and the alcohol policy.
  • Smoking – Every state has its own regulations when it comes to smoking at school. For instance, some states have banned smoking from all college-owned or -operated residences. Your school may have its own additional regulations that go above and beyond state law. If you smoke, you should look into your school's smoking regulations.

  • Alcohol – At no school, in any state, are you allowed to have alcohol in your room if you're under 21 years of age; as long as there is a minor living in the room, you cannot have alcohol in the room. Some schools' alcohol policies are even more strict and may ban alcohol altogether.

Other Rules

You're bound to have a whole host of other rules for living on campus. You'll usually have rules regarding:
  • Air conditioners
  • Appliances (usually, you can't have anything with an open heat source like coffee makers, hot plates, toasters, or space heaters.)
  • Room keys (regarding replacements, etc.)
  • Guests
  • Halogen lamps (probably not permitted)
  • Restricted or dangerous substances (drugs, explosive materials, etc.)
  • Fire safety
  • Pets
  • Quiet hours and noise
  • Usage of common areas
The above should give you an idea of what to expect from your school. Every school, however, is different, so make sure you check with your school to find out about their specific policies. Knowing these well will help make your living situation much easier.



Sean McClain  Posted by Sean McClain on June 29, 2010

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