Community Standards for Living on Campus
Responsibility, Respect, Safety
The success of the residence hall community depends on the willingness of each resident to accept personal responsibility as a member of this community. To this end, the following policies and procedures are designed to protect the right to privacy, to promote an atmosphere conducive to learning, to protect personal and WPI property, and to respect the needs of each individual. All residents are expected to abide by these regulations, and by ALL WPI regulations outlined in the Campus Code of Conduct. Should a resident or his/her guest choose not to comply with these regulations, judicial action may follow. Possible consequences include, but are not limited to, financial liabilities, probation, and dismissal from residence halls and/or WPI, or other civil action. Violations of residence hall policy will be adjudicated by an administrative hearing officer, or if the situation warrants, the Campus Hearing Board. All policies and procedures outlined herein apply to residents living in any facility used as a residence hall.
A. General Responsibilities
Students living or visiting residence hall facilities are expected to abide by the rules, regulations, and standards of the campus. Residents must also comply with the terms and conditions of occupancy as stated in the housing agreement. In addition, all of the laws of the state of Massachusetts are in effect at all times. Students are expected to conduct themselves in a safe and orderly fashion while residing in the residence hall community. Any behaviors deemed as disruptive to sleeping or studying are prohibited. Attempting, aiding, abetting, or being an accessory to any act prohibited in the residence halls, or by the Campus Code of Conduct, is strictly prohibited.
B. University Limits of Liability
Students shall not hold the University liable, financially or otherwise, for any expense, loss, or damage resulting from violation of these rules, regulations or standards or because of the negligence of any student.
C. Personal Property
WPI assumes no liability for the loss or damage, from any cause, to students’ personal property. It is suggested that students contact an insurance agent regarding insuring personal property. We suggest that you record the serial numbers of all valuable equipment kept in your room. (In the event of theft, this information is needed by the police to investigate the matter.)
Students must follow oral or written instructions regarding University regulations or state laws as given by authorized representatives of the University including all members of the residence hall staff. Students must present their University identification cards to the residence hall staff or authorized campus authority upon request Failure to cooperate with staff members acting in accordance with their duties is prohibited.
E. Entry Into Student Rooms By University Officials
Residential Services reserves the right to grant WPI staff members or authorized agents permission to enter student rooms for the purpose of assessing and repairing the physical facilities and to ensure the maintenance of appropriate health and safety standards, which may include policy violations.
Solicitation in the buildings or on the grounds is prohibited. Students/student organizations may not use the rooms or permit rooms to be used, for any commercial purposes whatsoever. Any door-to-door solicitation is regarded as an invasion of privacy and is therefore prohibited. Any person found soliciting in the residence halls is subject to arrest for criminal trespass. Gambling in which money exchanges hands is not permitted in the residence halls.
Posting Announcements in On-Campus Residences Any organization or individual wishing to post an announcement in any residential unit at WPI must first have the announcement approved by a member of the professional staff in Residential Services. This is the only approved method for distribution of announcements in the residence halls. In addition, no announcements may be posted on any fire doors, exterior doors, or windows. Custodial staff will remove all materials posted in these areas.
The only permitted pets in any residence hall, including the apartments, are tropical fish or goldfish in aquarium (limited to a 10 gallon tank). Any pet found in residence may be removed by a University official and remanded to the local SPCA.
H. Offensive and Obnoxious Odors
Residents are to control the environment and use of substances in their room so those odors, which are offensive to others, do not emanate form that room. Such substances may include incense, heavy perfumes, deodorant room scents, or other substances that create odors that may be difficult to confine to one particular room.
I. Quiet Hours
1. Within the residence halls, each roommate has equal rights to inhabit his/her room and to have reasonable privacy and peace in that room. To this end, quiet hours are established during which excessive noise and disturbances are prohibited. Quiet hours are to be observed at the following times.
Sunday through Thursday 11:00 pm – 8:00 am
Friday and Saturday 1:00 am -9:00 am
A period of 24-hour quiet hours will be in effect during the last week of each term, finals week. This will begin the final Sunday of the term at 5:00pm and continue through the remainder of the term.
2. Courtesy hours are in effect at all times, and are defined as times during which students are to consider the impact of their music, noise, etc. on other members of the residence hall community. Students are expected to act in a manner that does not disrupt or interfere with individual and/or group rights.
3. Sound equipment, including radios, stereos, amplifiers, etc. must be operated with consideration of others. Stereo equipment or speakers may not be directed out of windows. Musical instruments should be used in Alden Hall practice rooms.
J. Acts of Intolerance, Physical Violence, and Harassment
Acts of intolerance, physical violence, and/or harassment of any kind will not be tolerated. Disciplinary action will result from any such incident . Further, acting with violence or aiding, abetting, encouraging or participating in the commission of any act of violence in the residence halls is prohibited. In such cases, disciplinary action may follow.
K. Guest Policy
It is important to note that a room is a private space that should be shared equally by all roommates. As a responsible roommate, it is not appropriate to engage in any activity that would deny your roommate access to the room, or make them feel uncomfortable while in the room. When one roommate has a friend or friends visiting, it should always be with the consent of the other roommate(s). Students may have overnight guests in their rooms with all roommates’ permission. In addition, no student is permitted to have an overnight guest for more than three nights per month, whether the nights are consecutive or not. Keys are not provided for guests. It should be noted that it is the responsibility of the host to explain all University policies, and to be held accountable for the actions of his/her guest. If you leave your room or guest unattended, you can also be held responsible for the guest’s activities.
L. Alcohol and Drug Policy
In accordance with the laws of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, WPI prohibits the unlawful possession, use, and/or distribution of illicit drugs and alcohol on its property and/or as part of its activities. All resident students are expected to abide by these laws with regard to the possession, use or sale of alcohol and other drugs.
It is a criminal offense, punishable by up to a year in jail and $2000 fine, for any person to furnish any alcoholic beverage to a person less than 21 years. According to Massachusetts state law, furnish means to knowingly or intentionally supply, give, provide to, or allow a person less than 21 years of age to possess alcoholic beverages on premises or property owned or controlled by the person charged.
More specifically, the policies are as follows:
1. Students under the age of 21 cannot possess, consume, transport, be served alcohol, or be in the presence of alcohol. (Including empty bottles or cans/even as a decoration).
2. It is a violation to possess or consume alcohol in the common areas of the residence halls.
3. Students may not provide alcohol to minors.
4. Kegs, beer balls, bulk containers, or any other common sources of alcohol are not permitted on WPI owned, operated, or affiliated property at any time.
5. Alcohol (or empty alcohol bottles/cans) should not be displayed in windows.
6. Dangerous or binge drinking. The WPI Code of Conduct guarantees certain rights and responsibilities to members of the WPI community. Among those responsibilities is the expectation that no member of the community shall impair the well being of another community member or self. Dangerous drinking and/or binge drinking is an example of behavior that can be injurious and is prohibited under the WPI code of conduct.
7. Students may not possess, use, or distribute illicit drugs or possess drug-related paraphernalia.
M. Fire Safety Policies
1. Fire Alarms: All students are required to follow fire evacuation procedures. Failure to evacuate during a fire alarm is a violation of Massachusetts state law and WPI policy and will result in disciplinary action. Residential Services conducts fire drills twice a year. Student cooperation and support is essential during all fire drills.
2. Fire-Fighting Equipment: Any tampering with the fire alarms or fire-fighting equipment is prohibited. This includes alarms, fire extinguishers, fire hoses, heat and smoke detectors, and sprinkler systems. All safety and fire equipment in the room/apartment (smoke and heat detectors, sprinklers, and water pipes) must be kept clear of obstruction.
3. General Fire Safety: Due to the threat of safety causes by falling ashes, the use of incense is prohibited in the residence halls. Kerosene, gasoline, or other flammable liquids are not permitted in the residence halls. Flammable covers, paper shades and decorations on the light fixtures are strictly forbidden. In addition, air conditioners, space heaters, and halogen lamps are prohibited and will be confiscated whether or not they are in use. Candles (whether lit or unlit), scented lamps, and open flame devices of any kind, except for cigarette lighters and matches, are prohibited anywhere in residence halls and student rooms.
4. For health and safety reasons cooking is allowed only in kitchen areas.
5. Microwaves are allowed in residence hall rooms, but must be maintained by residents in the room. Refrigerators are permitted but they must be 4.3 cubic feet or less or use no more than 120 volts (2 amps) of electricity.
6. Apartment residents are not permitted to have gas grills.
7. The following appliances are not allowed in the residence halls: Hotplates, toaster ovens/toasters, hot pots, George Foreman grills, electric skillets or any appliances without a thermostat/automatic shutoff. Small appliances that are UL certified are allowed in East, Faraday, Ellsworth/Fuller in the kitchen areas.
8. The residence halls at WPI are considered a smoke-free environment. Smoking is not permitted in common areas or individual student rooms.
9. Student rooms may be decorated to assist in the personalization of the rooms. Some restrictions do apply. Fire safety equipment, such as heat detectors and smoke detectors may not be tampered with. Other restrictions include:
a. Lofts are NOT permitted in the resident halls. (Commercial bed risers specifically designed to raise beds a few inches off of the floor will be permitted only if they have been inspected for safety by a member of Residential Services staff.)
b. If you use posters or wall hangings to decorate your room, do so in moderation. Entire walls may not be covered, as this would ensure rapid spread of fire, should on begin. All such decorations must be affixed flat against the walls so that flames cannot reach both sides. (A good rule of thumb is to leave about 70% of the wall surfaces uncovered.)
c. Nothing may hang from the ceiling in the residence halls.
d. Student Room Doors: The doors of the student rooms may be decorated but are considered public areas. Such decorations may not damage door surfaces or create health or safety hazards. In addition, obscene or offensive materials are strictly prohibited.
e. Holiday decorations: Live trees or boughs are not permitted in student rooms or hallway areas. Decorative materials used in any area must be appropriately flame resistant. Student room decorations may not include live greenery, candles, gas/fuel-operated equipment. Any lights used for decorative purposes must be UL listed, interior lights, and may not be used as extension cords.
f. Furniture may not be set up in a way that creates an increased risk factor for fire safety, this includes blocking egresses, unsafe stacking/placement, etc.
N. The following items are not permitted in the residence halls:
Firearms (including antique guns), explosives and other weapons, ammunition, fireworks, starting pistols, incendiary or toxic chemicals, paintball equipment, air rifles, bb pellets, dart guns, torches, stun guns, swords, knives, or any other type of weapon or projectile-firing device.
O. Unauthorized Video/Cable/Computer Equipment
Use Any unauthorized use of campus video equipment, or computers may result in disciplinary action against a student. Furthermore, use of any video equipment or computer technology in a manner, which impermissibly infringes upon another person’s right to privacy, may also result in disciplinary action and/or the required removal of the video equipment or computer technology from the residence halls, or in any campus building.
P. Damage Deposit and Keys/Lockouts
During the first term of residence, the student is assessed a damage deposit, which is held to cover any outstanding damage charges at the time the resident permanently leaves the residence halls. Charges for repair costs of individual damages during the year will be deducted from the damage deposit. Damage to the student rooms and furnishings beyond normal wear is the financial responsibility of the assigned occupants of the room. The damage deposit, less any outstanding charges, will be credited to the student account and appear as a credit on their next bill.
One of our goals is to focus students attention on the need to accept responsibility for the governance of their own community. Students should encourage their fellow residents to share in accepting the responsibility for ensuring that WPI property is not damaged or stolen. Individuals identified as being responsible for damage, theft or losses in common areas of the building will be billed for the cost of repair or replacement. Any student aware of any person responsible for specific damages should contact their RA. If damage occurs on a floor or in public areas of the residence halls, and it is impossible to determine the individual(s) responsible, residents of the floor or building will share the financial responsibility for such damage. Any intentional damage to WPI property or to property on WPI premises belonging to others may result in disciplinary action.
Student Room keys
1. Each resident is issued a room key. Room keys should not be loaned to others at any time. All keys issued to students for a residence hall must be returned to Residential Services when the student moves out of the residence hall.
2. Lost keys must be reported immediately to Residential Services for safety reasons.
3. In the event a student loses a room key, a lock change is required and will be processed through Residential Services. A three hundred dollar ($300) charge will be assessed to the student in Founders Hall, East Hall, and Ellsworth/Fuller apartments. A seventy five dollar ($75) charge will be assessed to all other students for the lock change.
The University Lock-out Policy
During University business hours (Monday through Friday, 8am to 5pm), students will come to the Office of Residential Services in East Hall and sign out a loaner key. Temporary ID cards will not be issued by the Office of Residential Services
After University business hours, students will need to call Campus Police in order to be let in to their rooms. For each lock out responded to by Campus Police, their student account will be billed $15.
Q. Occupancy Policies
1. Room Changes: A room change freeze is in effect for the first two weeks of terms A and C, and the last two weeks of B and D term so that staff may ascertain accurate occupancy information. Room change requests should be first discussed with your Resident Advisor. The proper paperwork must be obtained from Residential Services and completed before making a room change. If approval for a room change is granted, the student must complete the proper check-out and check-in procedure with the Resident Advisor. Students who move without going through the above procedures will be subject to disciplinary action.
2. Winter Recess and Term Breaks: The residence halls close (with the exception of Fuller, Ellsworth, Salisbury Estates and East Hall) during the winter holiday recess. Dates of closing and re-opening are posted in the residence halls. The residence halls remain open during other term breaks.
3. Term D Closing: The residence halls close each year at noon the day following the last day of classes. All students are expected to have turned in their keys, checked out with their Resident Advisor and removed all belongings from the residence halls by this time. Failure to turn in a key when vacating a residence hall will result in a lock change order and a charge to the student’s damage account.
R. Care and Use of Facilities
The University requires proper care and use of residence hall facilities at all times. Registered occupants of each room are responsible for keeping their room and its contents in good order and free from damage by themselves and others. The following are policies related to use of residential facilities.
1. Sports or similar activities are not allowed in the lounges, residential corridors, stairwells, or any public area of the residence hall. Some examples are: Frisbee, basketball, rollerblading, golf, or use of Nerf or other toy guns.
2. The furnishings provided in the lounges, dining halls, and other public areas of the residence hall are for the use of all students and may not be “relocated” for use in student rooms.
3. Students are not permitted to paint their rooms.
4. Screens and windows must remain in place at all times. Students are prohibited from throwing or hanging any items out of their windows.
5. Items visible to the exterior of your room deemed, at the discretion of a WPI official, as inappropriate items will be asked to be removed.
6. Students are not permitted on the roof of any residence hall at any time.
7. Tampering with equipment (elevators, vending machines, and laundry machines) is prohibited.
8. Individual antennas may not be attached to or hung from any residence hall.
9. Bicycles may be stored in a residents room with the permission of all room occupants. Bicycles may not be stored in common areas or stairwells because they represent a hazard that may obstruct a fire exit. Mopeds or Motorcycles are not permitted inside residence halls or apartments.
10. Waterbeds not permitted in any residence facility. Personal beds are not allowed without authorization from Residential Services.
11. Storage of personal belongings in common areas is not permitted at any time.