Residential Life Policies
As articulated in the Student Handbook, the residential life program is focused on the development of positive learning communities and is designed to support the overall academic mission of the College. With the notion of community and academic success at its core, the program strives to promote self-awareness, to enhance interpersonal communication, to provide opportunities for meaningful involvement outside of the classroom, and to develop in students a strong sense of civic responsibility. What follows is the important information relating to specific housing rules and regulations.
Students should refer to the Student Handbook for a more complete outline of all policies related to residential life at Denison.
For fire safety and sanitation purposes, cooking shall be restricted to common area kitchenettes and to apartment-style living units that have within them self-contained kitchen areas. Students residing in rooms or suites without self-contained kitchens are prohibited from cooking within those spaces and may not be in possession of cooking appliances of any type—including (but not limited to) microwave ovens, hot plates, electric skillets, electric grilling machines (e.g. George Foreman-style grills), toasters and toaster ovens, and rice cookers—that are predominantly designed for kitchen area use. Although students may desire to have available to them cooking appliances for use in the common area kitchenettes, the prohibition of cooking appliances still applies. These public kitchen areas are intended to be used for snack preparation only and to assist in hosting social functions. Given the numbers of students that share single public kitchens, these area are not designed to sustain full-service food preparation.
All students may possess and use electric coffee makers, if they wish, provided the coffee maker includes an automatic shut-off feature. Coffee makers without this feature are not permitted.
Students who reside in those areas with self-contained apartment kitchens are permitted to use the range of kitchen appliances. However, use is restricted to the kitchen area only. Any evidence of cooking outside the kitchen would be addressed accordingly.
Students are expected not to prop open any residence hall doors because it compromises the general safety of the building. Additionally, students should never allow strangers into any campus residence hall. Suspicious looking persons should immediately be reported to Campus Safety and Security. Telephones are available on the exterior of each residence hall for use by visitors.
Because the University provides appropriate residential furniture to maximize room space, the construction and assembly of lofts or platforms in the residence halls is prohibited. Upon request, the University provides appropriate equipment to students who wish to elevate their beds. Due to furniture type and/or ceiling height or other building restrictions, the lofting of beds in Sunset A, B, and C, and ASH House.
Noise & Quiet Hours
Excessive noise in the residence halls can be disruptive to the community and often infringes on the right of others to sleep and study. With this in mind, residents are expected to extend appropriate courtesy to all residents at all times and to comply fully and promptly with any request from a resident or other member of the community to reduce noise levels or discontinue activities which the resident may find disturbing.
In support of the academic mission of Denison, the Office of Campus and Residential Life requires that all residence halls maintain quiet hour periods during the academic year.
These designated quiet hour periods are:
- Sunday-Thursday, 11pm—9am
- Friday and Saturday, 1am—10am
During these designated periods, noise of any kind (which includes but is not limited to, music, social gatherings, loud conversation, or slamming doors) that can be heard inside or outside the residence hall would constitute a violation of quiet hours. Residents may receive a Notice of Violation for infractions or may be subject to formal action under the Student Code of Conduct.
During examination periods, strict quiet will be maintained 24-hours a day, beginning at the end of the regular quiet hour period, following the last day of classes. No registered events may occur in the residence halls during the examination period.
Obstruction of Common Areas
To avoid potentially dangerous traffic situations, lobby areas, hallways, stairwells and other common areas of the residence halls must be kept free of obstruction at all times.
Items such as trash bags, bicycles, furniture, personal effects or other items should not be left in places where they might impede, block or hinder egress in an emergency. Items found in these areas may be confiscated and/or discarded by campus security if deemed hazardous to proper egress. Bicycle racks are available on campus and in some residential halls.
Overnight Guests & Visitors
Students may have a guest(s) stay overnight in their residence hall room only when they have the consent of their roommate(s).
The rights of the roommate(s) and floor members must be respected at all times. Guests may stay overnight only for two nights within a seven-day period (this also applies to students who reside in a single room). Guests must comply with all residence hall and University policies and regulations. Resident students hosting guests are responsible for informing their guests of these rules and may be held responsible for any inappropriate behavior of their guests.
Guest privileges are restricted during break periods.
Posting of Materials In Residence Halls
In accordance with policy set by the Student Activities Office, there shall be absolutely no posting of signs, posters, written or printed information and/or fliers on front lobby doors, windows and window frames, inside stairwells or on stairwell doors.
The posting of any type of information in these areas can impede, hinder, disorient or obstruct another person in their attempt to exit the building during an emergency. Student room doors both inside and outside may not be covered to excess with paper or other highly flammable material.
Because of the inherent fire and life-safety risks associated with these items in a community setting, the possession or use of the following items is strictly prohibited in the residence halls:
- candles, incense and its associated paraphernalia, and potpourri burners;
- halogen lighting and upward lighting of any kind;
- kitchen and other cooking appliances, including (but not limited to) microwave ovens, hot plates, electric skillets, electric grilling machines (e.g. George Foreman-style grills), toasters and toaster ovens, and rice cookers (Note: This prohibition does not apply to apartment units with self-contained kitchen areas);
- extension cords (non-power strip variety);
- weapons. All life-like and replica weapons, as well as all Airsoft type pistols/rifles, shall be considered weapons for the purposes of this regulation;
- ceiling fans or other added electrical fixtures of any kind;
- space heaters;
- knives of any kind (non-cooking);
- all dangerous chemicals and flammable and/or combustible materials including (but not limited to) gasoline, charcoal fluid, lighter fluid, propane gas tanks, or other dangerous chemicals
- fireworks, including (but not limited to) sparklers, firecrackers, and smoke bombs, or other incendiary devices of any kind. Violation of this rule shall result in referral to the formal conduct process
- live Christmas and/or holiday trees or wreaths (See "December Holiday Decorating" above);
- large bulb-type holiday lighting;
- pets. Due to a variety of health related issues, no animals will be permitted in student rooms within University residence facilities. Fish are the only exception to this policy. Aquariums up to a maximum of 10 gallons are allowed; and
- air conditioner units, either window-installed or free-standing (see approved guidelines under Air Conditioners).
Residence Hall Access
To provide reasonable security for residents, all residence hall entrances remain locked twenty-four hours a day. Students can access their assigned residence hall at any time using their Denison University Identification Card. Additionally, the card provides student access to all other campus residences—through outside doors designated Resident Access—but only between the hours of 7am and 1am.
Students are expected to enter and exit residential facilities only through approved entrances and exits. With the exception of an emergency situation such as fire, students are prohibited from entering or exiting through any room or apartment window, or from using fire escapes or other non-approved points of egress to enter or exit residential facilities. Violation of this prohibition is resolved through the university conduct process. Students are advised that university officials have the right to enter any room to ensure student safety and compliance with all university regulations.
Roofs & Ledges
The University must be concerned about student safety. As such, students are strictly prohibited from access to all roofs, balconies, ledges, and fire escapes. Students should not lean, hang on or place any part of their body out of residence hall windows.
Violation of this regulation is not resolved by reciept of an NOV, but is resolved under the Student Code of Conduct. All violations shall be referred to the formal university conduct process.
All students are expected to live in their assigned rooms. Students are advised that there is a room freeze in effect on all room changes during the first two weeks of both the Fall and Spring semesters. Specific dates are set by the Office of Campus and Residential Life.
Any student that changes rooms during this room freeze, or changes rooms without completing the appropriate paperwork or without express authorization from the Office of Campus and Residential Life, may be subject to disciplinary action under the community rights and standards process, which could result in that student's loss of lottery privileges.
When a room change is needed or desired, the student seeking the change should request authorization by completing the appropriate form with the Housing Coordinator in the Office of Campus and Residential Life. However, in the event a student is seeking a room change because of a roommate conflict, the student will be referred first to the quad area staff for assistance with resolution of the conflict before any room change will be considered. Upon receipt of the completed form, the Housing Coordinator will process the request and inform the student of the approval or denial of the request. Upon notification of approval, the student may then initiate his or her move into the new living space and must complete the move within 48 hours.
Students are advised that the University reserves the right to reassign rooms, consolidate assignments or remove students from the residence halls as deemed necessary. Consolidation may require that a student move to another room or require that occupants fill empty spaces by having other friends or peers move into those vacancies. Any student who may be singly occupying double-occupancy rooms, or students residing in triples, quads or apartments who may have space, may be subject to administrative consolidation. Students with empty room spaces are advised to seek a roommate and/or be prepared for occupancy by another student at any time.
Students are encouraged to decorate their interior residence hall rooms, but to do so in ways that are conducive to the rights of others and that do not compromise the safety of the residence halls or cause damage to facilities. Room decorations must be limited in order to comply with all fire safety regulations; they must be flameproof, fire resistant or non-combustible.
With this in mind, the following regulations are in place regarding room decoration:
- Nails, hooks or other materials that damage walls are not to be used in residence hall rooms. Posters and pictures should be affixed to walls with caution given to the amount of the wall covered by paper or other flammable material.
- Tapestries, posters, curtains and other decorative items shall not to be hung or affixed to ceilings.
- Drapes, tapestries, beads, or other items that block egress from the room into the hallway are not permitted, as these pose a significant hazard in the event of a fire.
- Decorations may not interfere with safe passage or evacuation from any room or common area. If used, freestanding decorations must be fire resistant and may not block aisles or exit routes. Only a small portion of entrance and bathroom doors may be covered by papers, flyers, pictures, etc.
- All electrical lights, including Christmas lighting, must be UL-approved (Underwriters Laboratories) and the UL sticker must be intact. Additionally, only Christmas lights of the small bulb or rope variety may be used. Large bulb holiday lighting is prohibited due to their high fire risk. Holiday lighting or any other item shall not be attached near or around fire- or other life-safety fixtures, including (but not limited to) fire sprinkler heads and smoke detectors. Lighting may be inspected by the University at any time, and may be removed if deemed inappropriate, excessive, or improperly installed.
During the month of December, many students may choose to adorn their rooms and the building with seasonal and festive decorations. In the interest of fire safety, Denison University has in place guidelines and restrictions regarding these decorations.
Because of the significant risk of fire, neither live nor cut holiday trees, i.e. Christmas trees, are permitted in any campus building, including the residence halls. This also includes the use of wreaths or other garland that is constructed from live tree material. Any such item will be confiscated and discarded by the University. The University shall define a holiday or Christmas tree; as any tree, limb or branch thereof or any device, however constructed, that is intended to imitate or simulate any such tree used for decoration purposes during the Christmas holiday season. Students may use and decorate artificial trees in their residence hall rooms and lounges provided they are certified as slow burning and/or fire resistant. Metallic trees are to be lighted only by indirect spot lighting. Students wishing to set up an artificial tree in their room or in the main lounge of their residence hall should contact their Resident Assistant.
Students shall be responsible for all University furnishings present in their room. All furniture must remain in the assigned room; the University does not have appropriate space for the storage of unwanted furniture. Students shall be billed for the repair and/or replacement of any furnishings that are missing or damaged.
Denison University prohibits the moving of common area furnishings into student rooms. Students found with common area furniture or other items may be subject to action under the student code of conduct.
In accordance with the Student Code of Conduct, smoking in any interior area of the University, including classrooms, labs, private offices, restrooms, hallways, residence hall rooms and dining rooms is strictly prohibited.
Window screens may not be removed from residence hall windows for any reason. Security screens shall remain in the closed position at all times unless there is an emergency.