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II. Individual Room Policies

1. Decorations.

Residents are encouraged to decorate their assigned rooms in order to make their residential community feel like home.  Residents are expected to decorate with adherence to the following:

  • No permanent alterations may be made to the residence hall rooms.
    • This includes painting, installation of lighting or partitions, removal or replacement of carpet or any modification that affects the condition of the room.  If a student is concerned about the condition of a room and the items therein, they should contact Residential Operations to address the concern.
  • Students are permitted to hang items with map tacks, thumb tacks or 3M brand Command hanging devices. 
  • Students are not permitted to hang items with nails, screws, contact paper, double-sided tape, wall gum or stickers.  Residents may not use other devices that leave large holes and/or other adhesive material.
  • Students are not permitted to hang any items from the sprinkler piping, sprinkler heads or any room electrical wiring.
  • Privately-owned Greek letter organizations and Society Houses establish their own policies regarding decorations.

2. Fireplaces.

The use of fireplaces in College-owned undergraduate housing is prohibited.

3. Guests & Visitors.

Guests are defined as individuals who are not Dartmouth College undergraduates, and visitors are defined as Dartmouth College students who are not assigned to the room they are visiting.

  1. Guests/visitors are allowed to visit in a student room for a period not to exceed three days and two nights during a two week period.
    • Hosts must check with their roommate(s) for approval before inviting a guest/visitor to the room.  If the roommate(s) do not approve, the guest/visitor cannot stay in the room.
    • Students with concerns regarding guests/visitors should talk to the host, and then, if necessary, with their UGA and/or Community Director.
    • A guest/visitor cannot use a student's room when the host is not on campus.
    • Guests/visitors are not allowed during interim periods.
    • ORL reserves the right to limit guests in the residence halls.
  2. Hosts are responsible for the actions of their guests/visitors and will face disciplinary action if their guest or visitor violates College or Residential Policies.
    • Hosts should familiarize guests/visitors with community expectations.
    • Visitors are also responsible for their actions, according to College policy.
  3. Minor Guests (18 years old and under) must have a Host student who assumes responsibility for their welfare.
    • The Host of a minor not associated with an official College-sanctioned program must register the guest's name, home address and home telephone number with the Department of Safety and Security.
  4. Due to occupancy regulations and building capacities, Dartmouth student visitors are not to maintain residency or prolonged presence in a room where they are not assigned.
    • Repetition of visits by the same guest(s) or visitor(s) over consecutive periods of time is not permitted.

4. Guest Hosting for Dartmouth College Sponsored Conferences or Events.

The Office of Residential Life must be notified at least two weeks in advance of the conference or event to provide appropriate notice to residents in the facilities to be used.

Hosting guests must include adherence to the following guidelines:

  • Each guest must be hosted in a student room and consent to host a guest must be given by all room occupants.
  • Residing/sleeping in common spaces is not permitted.

5. Open Flame/Candles.

Open Flames are not permitted.  Open flames are a leading cause of residence hall fires nationwide.  The lighting and burning of candles, incense, or any other item with an open flame is not permitted and will result in a $100 fine, assessment of the cost of any repairs associated with damage caused by the open flame, and/or disciplinary action which may include immediate removal from the residential facility.  Candles are permitted for decorative purposes only in residential facilities (see religious exception below).  For purposes of this policy, only candles that do not have a wick or that have an unburned wick are permitted.  Candles that are lit or that have a burned wick are a violation of this policy and appropriate disciplinary action will be taken.

The only exception to the Open Flame policy is for religious or spiritual observance.  In maintaining a residential community, we must balance the safety of all community members in relation to the belief system of individual members of the community.  In order to do this we require that students who wish to maintain an open flame for religious or spiritual observance complete a request form with the Residential Education Office in the Office of Residential Life.  The form must be submitted and approved prior to the lighting of any open flame.  Upon approval, residents may maintain an open flame with the following parameters:

  • He/She must be in the presence of the flame at all times.
  • He/She is responsible for any damage or injury that may be caused as a result.
  • If produced smoke creates a health risk for other community members, the resident may be asked to seek out another location.
  • Resident should be able to provide Safety and Security officials with a copy of the above mentioned form upon request.
  • Failure to adhere to this protocol will result in immediate revocation of these privileges and will result in a $100 fine and disciplinary action.

6. Room Access.

Students' keys open their assigned individual room or suite door within the building.  In some facilities, students' ID cards provide access to their suite or apartment; as a result, the entry doors to these locations are locked at all times.  Tampering with electronic or traditional locking devices is a serious matter because it has an impact on other residents' health and safety.  Any student found tampering with locking devices or impeding their function in any way will be removed from College residences.  The entry doors to most rooms or suite of rooms are equipped with dead bolts, and all windows have locking devices.

  • Students are expected to sign out their room key.
  • Students are encouraged to lock their doors at all times.
  • Students are encouraged to report the presence of any suspicious persons or unusual activities in the residence halls.
  • Room keys or entrance door access devices are not provided to guest or visitors.
  • Student rooms can be accessed by other students only after securing appropriate permission.
  • Students should not enter another resident's room without the knowledge and consent of the occupant(s), regardless of whether or not the door is closed and locked.

7. Room Keys.

A room key is issued to each student assigned to a College residence.  Students are responsible for picking up their key from the Housing Office and locking their rooms.

  • Only one room key per occupant will be issued.
  • Keys must be returned to the Housing Office or one of the remote key return sites located in the Hopkins Center, the River, the Choates, East Wheelock, and Safety and Security.
  • A key will be loaned to a student only when a Lock Change Request is filed and approved.
  • Students must present photographic identification in order to receive a room, kitchen locker or loan key.
  • When a room is vacated, failure to return the key will result in a $55 lock change charge.
  • New or additional locks may not be affixed to doors.
  • Privately owned Greek letter organizations and Society Houses are responsible for providing residents with room keys and access to the building.

8. Room Care.

Due to health and safety concerns, students are expected to keep their rooms reasonably clean and orderly.

  • If, after appropriate warning, a student does not maintain the room in reasonable order, the student may be required to vacate the premises.  If this occurs, no rent refund will be offered, and the student may be assessed a room cleaning charge.
  • If a vacated student residence is left in a condition that it requires more than routine cleaning, a minimum charge of $50 will be assessed.

9. Room Entry without Consent.

The College reserves the right to enter and to inspect any student room at any time without permission or consent of the room occupant(s) to provide emergency service or general maintenance work, make safety or condition inspections or investigate probable violation(s) of College regulations.

  • If a room is entered to perform maintenance or repairs when an occupant is not present, a note will be left in the room stating that a College employee was in the room for an official reason and will give a telephone number that the student may call for information about the maintenance repair.
  • College employees will lock the room door after the inspection or maintenance work is completed.
  • Any student who enters another student room without permission is considered to be engaging in endangering behavior and will face disciplinary action that typically results in removal from College residences.

During defined Interim periods, the College reserves the right to use designated residence halls to house guests of the College and undergraduate students who are unable to return home. Regularly assigned occupants of these rooms will receive no reduction in rent for such use and will make their rooms reasonably available.

10. Room Entry During End of Term or Interim Closing.

At the end of each term and interim period, the Office of Residential Life designates a closing date and time for that term.  On this date and time all residents are expected to have vacated their rooms unless permission has been granted to remain.  During the closing period, staff members form the Office of Residential Life will enter each student's room to ensure compliance with closing procedures.  During this process if items are found that violate College or ORL rules and Regulation, the appropriate office will be notified, the items may be confiscated and the occupants will face disciplinary charges.

11. Room Furnishings.

In all College residences, each resident is provided with a bed frame, mattress, desk, desk chair, dresser and closet/wardrobe. The College does not provide storage space for room furnishings.  Student rooms are generally carpeted.

  • All Office of Residential Life supplied furniture must stay in its designated room.
  • Students are not permitted to leave room furnishings in common areas, hallways or corridors.
    • Furniture found in any of these areas will be returned to the student's room and a $100 fine for obstruction of egress and a moving charge will be assessed to the student for each incident. 
  • Due to the damage they cause and the excessive labor required to remove them at the end of terms, cinder blocks are not permitted in all College residences.
  • At the request of the Hanover Fire Department and in the interest of fire safety, lofts of any type are not permitted in Residence Hall Rooms. 
  • Ping-Pong tables, pool tables, video arcade games and other large game tables (by use or function) are not permitted due to limited room space and potential disruption to other students.
  • Students who have a medical need for furnishings or equipment other than those provided should contact the Housing Office to obtain information regarding an application and the requirements for medical documentation.
  • Privately-owned Greek letter organizations and Society Houses establish their own policies regarding room furnishings.
  • For safety reasons, triple bunking of beds is not allowed.

12. Room Inspections and Maintenance.

Students should report maintenance needs by calling Residential Operations at 646-1203 during weekly business hours and the College Troubleshooter at 646-2344 during evenings and on weekends.

Inspections of student rooms in College-owned facilities are conducted during the interim period between academic terms.  New room occupants are expected to examine their room and fill out the Room Inventory Condition Form on the web and submit the form within two weeks from the date their assignment begins.

  • If the room occupants do not submit the inventory form by the deadline, it will be assumed the room is in excellent condition and any damage or loss will be assessed equally.
  • The cost of repairing any damage or breakage that was not reported on the inventory form is billed directly to the occupants of the room.
  • When an inspection reveals maintenance needs, the Operations staff will contact Facilities Operations and Management to do plumbing, electrical, painting or carpentry work.
  • When an inspection reveals unreported damage, missing furniture or possible violations of College policy, the residents of the room will be notified and any applicable charges will be assessed and disciplinary action may be taken.

13. Room Use & Occupancy.

  • All residents of a room are responsible for what occurs in their room.
  • The rooms in College residences are expected to be occupied as designated. For example, a single room is to be occupied by an individual and a triple is to be occupied by no more than three persons.
  • Any individual found to be residing in a student room without a room assignment will face disciplinary action for theft of services.
  • Refer to the Guest and Visitors section for information about these individuals.
  • Personal possessions may only be stored in a student room over an interim period when the student's housing assignment is in that same room for both the term before and the term after the interim period.  A student's belongings may be stored in his/her room student room during the interim period under some other circumstances, but only after written permission is obtained from the ORL Operations Office.

14. Permitted and Non-Permitted Items.

  1. There are various items that are appropriate for and permitted in residence hall rooms.  Please review the list below to identify approved items. Examples of Permitted Items (This list is not exhaustive.):
    • Electric refrigerators not larger than three cubic feet; small coffee pots (if UL-approved for commercial use, or comes with  a 3 pronged plug AND has automatic shut-off); cordless telephones of 900 MHZ or 5.8 GHz.
    • Electric flat irons with an automatic shut-off, Hair dryers.
    • Surge Protectors.
  2. There are various items that are not appropriate for use in student rooms for safety reasons.  Possession of one or more of these items can subject the occupant(s) of the room to a $50 fine and possible disciplinary action.  Examples of Non-Permitted Items (this list is not exhaustive):
    • Air conditioners (Privately-owned Greek letter organizations and Society Houses develop their own policies.)
    • Outside antennas and/or satellite dishes for television/radio reception.
    • Waterbeds.
    • Portable space heaters; Electrical appliances with a heating element.
    • Microwave ovens, Hot plates, Toasters, Rice Cookers.
    • Electric, propane gas or charcoal grills.
    • Torchier style halogen lamps, or any halogen lamp with a bulb of 100 watts or greater.
    • 2.4 GHz cordless telephones as they interfere with the College's wireless network.  900MHz and 5.8 GHz telephones are permitted in rooms where a VoIP phone is not already provided.
    • Live or cut Christmas Trees.
    • Flammable liquids or gases.
    • Cinder Blocks.

15. Smoke Detectors.

  • Students are responsible for checking the smoke detector in their room for proper functioning. This check involves seeing that the red light in the center of the detector is lit.
  • Any malfunction must be reported immediately to Residential Operations during business hours or to Safety and Security in the evenings and on weekends.
  • Smoke detectors are permanently wired to each room and should never be disconnected, covered, or otherwise obstructed.
    • Such acts will result in a $100 fine and assessment of repair/replacement costs to the responsible party/parties (by prorating the charges).
    • Responsible parties are subject to disciplinary action that may result in removal from College residences and/or criminal charges.

16. Special Housing Areas.

  1. Substance-Free Policies.
    • Residents agree not to use or possess alcohol, tobacco products or illicit drugs in any space within the residence halls.
    • If residents consume any of the described substances while outside the substance-free halls to which they are assigned, their behavior upon return will not have a negative impact on the community, residents or property.
    • Residents agree that they have the responsibility to inform guests of the hall's substance free policies.  Guests are responsible for following the policies of the substance-free residence hall, and the host resident is judicially responsible for the conduct of guest at all times while they are present.
    • The violation of substance free policies by guests may place in jeopardy the host resident's placement in substance free housing.
    • Residents will confront those who are in violation of the substance-free policy in a manner that is supportive to them as well as to the community.
  2. Affinity Housing
    • Affinity housing has an application process and residential expectations in place that are in addition to those in place for the rest of the community.  Residents in these areas are expected to adhere to these additional expectations.
  3. Violations of Special Housing Area Regulations.
    • Resident students, undergraduate staff members, faculty and/or custodial staff members should notify the Office of Residential Life about any violation of the regulations pertaining to special housing areas.  When such allegations are made, the appropriate Residential Life staff member will initiate an investigation of the complaint. 


Last Updated: 8/14/13