Residence Hall Policies
Because one of the primary purposes of Gallaudet University is to support the creation of a positive living and learning community, the following regulations are enacted to protect the general welfare of the residential community. Infractions of any of these regulations may result in disciplinary actions including, but not limited to, fines, loss of privileges, change of residency, or other disciplinary sanctions. All violations of these regulations will be handled either through a residence hall disciplinary conference, referral to the Office of Student Conduct for disciplinary proceedings, or administrative action.
Students are expected and required to become familiar with and abide by the Student Code of Conduct, residence hall policies and procedures, and to understand their rights and responsibilities as outlined in this handbook. Students who are continuous offenders and/or accumulate large amounts of damage charges or fines may be administratively suspended from the residence halls.
Except for service animals and fish in a properly maintained aquarium no more than ten (10) gallons in size, no animals are allowed in the residence halls. The limit to the number of aquariums per room is set at one aquarium per resident. The only animal permitted to be in aquariums are fish (not frogs, water frogs, lizards, and the such).
Gallaudet permits service animals, which are individually trained to provide assistance to an individual with a disability, on campus and in its public facilities. Service animals are not permitted in private residences, residence hall rooms or apartments without the permission of the occupant(s). Owners/users must ensure that the animal has the appropriate license, inoculations, and owner/user ID tag and are expected to ensure the good conduct, health, care, and protection of their service animal. In addition, the service animal must be kept under control at all times and on a leash in public areas; and the owner/user is responsible for any damage done by the animal and for the upkeep of any area traversed or occupied by the animal. A service animal may be excluded from the campus if the animal poses a direct threat to the health and/or safety of others.
Please refer to the Administration and Operations Manual (Policy #1:08) for additional information. Students requesting permission to reside on campus with a service animal should contact the Office of Campus Life for further information.
Residents may appeal any residence hall levied fine(s) by submitting a completed appeal form to the Coordinator of Residence Education (CRE) of the residence hall where the fine(s) was issued. The form must be received within five working days upon receipt of the fine, otherwise the appeal is forfeited.
Deadbolts are not to be used to prop open doors nor are they to be taped over at any time. Propping open doors is a serious safety issue and can lead to the damage or theft of possessions, as well as personal injury. Those found using their deadbolts to prop open their doors are subject to disciplinary action. You should keep your door locked at all times for your safety and security.
Disorderly or Disruptive Behavior
Students are expected to cooperate and be civil with one another, with residence hall staff, and with other University officials. A student shall not interfere with, annoy, disturb, or obstruct any other student or staff member of the University by means of noise, abusive language or any other nuisance. Students who verbally abuse or fail to cooperate with University officials (including all members of the residential hall staff acting in the performance of their duties) will face severe disciplinary action.
There are elevators in Benson, Carlin, Clerc, Ballard North, and Peet Halls. Elevators are sensitive equipment, therefore holding the elevator, tampering with the alarm, misuse or defacing of the elevator, or entering the elevator shaft is not permitted. Because such objects tend to fall into the shaft, the posting of papers, advertisements, information, etc., in the elevators is also not permitted.
Fire Safety Policy
The following regulations are intended to prevent injuries to members of the University community and physical damage to its facilities. Because violating these regulations may result in danger to individuals and/or the community, the University will take disciplinary action on the first offense. Rooms will be inspected periodically to ensure compliance with University regulations.
These regulations are:
- Access/Exit - The room should be set up in a way that does not interfere with ease of access or exit of the room in case of emergency. Hallways should be clear and no objects or furniture should obstruct the path between the door and your bed. Ideally, the path should be equal to or larger than the width of a door frame.
- Cooking - Residents can use microwave ovens, air poppers, and coffee makers within their rooms. However, it would be impractical and dangerous to establish a full "kitchen." Items that have exposed heating elements or become very hot are dangerous. If such items are found in a student's room, the item will be confiscated and held, and will be subject to disciplinary action. The student will also be required to either send or take the item home.
- Electrical Appliances - Electrical appliances with exposed heating elements (i.e., all, but not limited to, space heaters, hot plates, heating coils, electric frying pans, broilers, toaster ovens, toasters, slow cookers, sandwich makers, 'George Foreman' grills, or griddles) are prohibited in the residence halls. If such items are found in a student's room, the item will be confiscated, and the student will be subject to disciplinary action. All approved electrical appliances must be safety-labeled by either Underwriters Laboratories (UL) or Factory Mutual (FM). Appliances such as electric clocks blankets, electric razors, iron, radios, stereos, and hair dryers must be in safe operating condition.
- Electrical Equipment Overload - Please help prevent an overload of the electrical system by making sure that you do not have too much electrical equipment turned on at the same time. It is recommended that a quality power surge protector be used to protect your sensitive equipment. If you have any concerns or are not sure, please contact the Campus Life staff.
- Fire Doors - Fire doors or any door with an automatic closing mechanism must not be propped open or disabled as doing so will undermine safety and security efforts by making the building accessible to anyone without an access card.
- Fire Procedures/Policy - All residence halls are equipped with an internal alarm system and strobe lights. Residents should become familiar with the location of the nearest emergency exits, fire extinguishers, and evacuation procedures. When there is a fire alarm, students must leave the building immediately by using the designated stairways. The residence hall staff has complete authority to check all rooms and closets during fire alarms. Because uncooperative actions can lead to a loss of life, a fine will be levied against offenders who are late in evacuating or try to avoid fire alarm evacuation measures. Failure to cooperate with any staff member or refusal to evacuate during a fire alarm could lead to a loss of residence hall housing privileges.
- Fire Safety Equipment - Tampering with fire safety equipment, defined as alarms, detectors, sprinklers, strobe lights, pull stations, fire doors, and extinguishers, is prohibited at all times, and the individual responsible will be subject to administrative and/or criminal action. Anyone who pulls a false fire alarm at Gallaudet University will be suspended for a minimum of five (5) years in addition to being fined $300. Pulling a false alarm is a crime and is punishable in the District of Columbia with a minimum of 10 days in jail and a $300 fine. Absolutely nothing may be placed on wiring, ceiling lights, or smoke detectors as doing so will compromise residence hall safety.
- Flammable Liquids - No flammable or combustible liquids, such as gasoline, kerosene, charcoal, charcoal starter, turpentine, paint, or similar substances, may be stored in any housing unit. Any of these substances found in the residence halls will be confiscated and discarded, and a penalty may be assessed against occupants found responsible for violating this regulation.
- Grills - Storage of barbecue grills is not permitted within residence halls. Only University owned or approved grills may be used by individuals and organizations.
- Holiday Decorations - Flammable holiday decorations, such as live Christmas trees (cut or balled) or live wreaths, are not permitted in residence halls except as expressly permitted by the Director of Campus Life. Artificial trees should be labeled as constructed of noncombustible materials. Decorative lights and extension cords must be "UL listed" and in good condition. Snow spray for windows is not permitted because it is often difficult to remove.
- Halogen Lamps - Because halogen lamps have been identified as the cause of several residence hall fires throughout the nation, desk, torchiere or pole lamps that use tubular halogen bulbs are prohibited within residence halls. Such lamps can reach temperatures in excess of 2100 °F (paper, for example, ignites at 451 °F) and are considered an unacceptable fire risk.
- Open Flames - For obvious reasons, open flames, including kerosene lamps, stoves, candles, incense, burning cigarettes, or similar items, are not permitted in any housing unit. These items are subject to confiscation upon discovery. Candles with unburned wicks can be displayed for decorative purposes.
- Smoke Detectors - If the smoke detector in a student room is concealed or blocked in any way or activated intentionally or unintentionally when fire is not evidenced, the residents found responsible will be subject to disciplinary action.
Fire Safety Evacuation Procedures
Know the location and routes for your first and second routes of evacuation. If you suspect a fire or the alarm goes off, grab your keys and ID and walk to the nearest exit. When a fire alarm occurs, do not waste time getting dressed or gathering valuables. Seconds can make the difference between survival and tragedy. Keep your head low and move quickly if smoke is in the air. Most smoke and dangerous gases rise to the ceiling, so to avoid breathing them, crawl if you can.
Touch the door before opening it. If it is not hot to the touch and no smoke is leaking in around the edges of the door, proceed and move toward the exit. Brace your foot and shoulder against the door and open it cautiously a few inches to check for heat and smoke on the other side. Keep your head out of the way while opening the door.
Plunkett Video Room/Computer Room
Only students residing within their respective residence halls within the Ballard Residential Complex may use the Video/Computer Rooms. Access may be obtained by surrendering a valid Gallaudet ID to the resident hall office to obtain a key. Movies can be borrowed from the residence hall offices, or a resident may view personal DVD or VHS movies. Time limitations are 3 hours for the movie room and 30 minutes for the computer room. The rooms must be kept clean at all times. Computers, DVD and VHS players may not be used to view pornography. In addition, Campus Life reserves the right to close the rooms at any time, for any reason.
Guest Policies (year-round)
These Guest Policies ensure that all students living in University housing are provided an environment that is conducive to study and the pursuit of academic and personal growth. These priorities take precedence over students' social activities. In addition, the policy is designed to recognize the rights of residents and their roommates and to protect the residents from access to the residence halls and rooms by unauthorized individuals. The University reserves the right to prohibit a guest from access to any residence hall or registering as an overnight guest.
Visitors to the campus who are not members of the University community are permitted only upon invitation.
Clerc Center students are not allowed in Gallaudet University residence halls at any time regardless of age except when the student is registered to stay with a legal guardian in visitor housing. Children under the age of 18 are also not permitted in the residence halls, unless accompanied by a parent or legal guardian, and are not to be overnight guests.
All off-campus students and guests of resident students must sign in, state who they are visiting, and provide a valid picture identification card (defined as a state driver's license, state identification card, passport, military ID, and international health card that has the name of the person and the date of birth) to residence hall staff upon entry into the residence halls. The staff person will then log the visitor's information which will be stored in the residence hall database. Upon registration as an overnight guest, an overnight pass card will be issued to the guest which is required to be carried at all times and surrendered upon checking out.
Guests are defined as off-campus students and persons not registered at Gallaudet University. Residents are responsible for the behavior of their guests, as the same rules and regulations that apply to residents also apply to their guests. You should accompany your guests around campus and at University-sponsored events off campus at all times, as you are responsible for your guest's behavior. This may include responsibility for the cost of repair or replacement of any property, fines for violation of University or residence hall policies, or for treatment resulting from personal injury to others.
Overnight guests are permitted in the residence halls, provided that the guest is properly registered and the host had prior discussion with, and the expressed approval of all roommates/suitemates. There are limits to the duration and frequency of such visits, in the interest of the rights of roommates, suitemates, and other residents. Overnight guests may stay for up to three (3) consecutive nights within one week and may not be hosted in University housing for more than eight (8) nights total in any calendar month. In addition, a resident may not have overnight guests for more than eight (8) nights in any given calendar month as well. (Exception to the limit will be granted to members of the student's immediate family and other guests as expressly permitted in writing by a Coordinator of Residence Education or the Office of Campus Life.
Absolutely no guests will be allowed during the first two weeks and last two weeks of classes, including the final examination week.
To promote overall safety and facilitate the access of overnight guests to the residence hall, residents are required to register their non-residential overnight guests at their residence hall office in advance. For clarification, "non-residential overnight guests" refers to any guest who is a non-student or Gallaudet student who does not live in the residence halls. Pass cards for overnight guests who are not Gallaudet students are available. These cards will allow guests to board the shuttle bus from Union Station, as well as to allow access to the residence hall. An overnight guest is defined as any off-campus guest remaining in a host's room after 12:00 a.m. Sunday through Thursday and 2:00 a.m. on Friday and Saturday.
During the summer, the guest policy remains in effect. However, there is no period during which guests are not permitted for summer school students residing in the residence halls. No overnight guests are permitted, however, for summer program participants (through Summer and Enrichment Programs). All hosts and guests must adhere to the guest policy as herein described.
Because residence hall living presents a unique set of living circumstances, it is strongly recommended that students purchase two (2) types of insurance. First, Gallaudet neither undertakes nor assumes any responsibility for protecting private personal property from any type of loss. It is strongly recommended that students insure any personal property on campus through a family policy or the purchase of separate insurance. Second, Gallaudet reserves the right to hold people responsible for any damage that they cause to University property or any liability claims. Liability insurance coverage can protect students from this risk. If liability coverage in a family insurance policy does not extend coverage to a student's campus activities, separate insurance for this exposure is advisable and available from any insurance agent.
Because the careless use of laser pointers can cause eye damage and unnecessarily cause people to feel threatened, possession of laser pointers by students are prohibited on campus.
Loss of Residence Hall Privileges
The staff of the Campus Life Office can recommend a resident's removal or loss of residence hall privileges to the Director of Campus Life. The Director of Campus Life may then recommend charges with the Office of Student Conduct that will necessitate the resident's participation in a disciplinary hearing.
If the recommendation is upheld, the resident must vacate the premises within 72 hours upon receipt of a letter revoking his or her housing privileges. If the resident fails to vacate the premises within the prescribed time, the residence hall personnel reserve the right to vacate the room and will not be responsible for the resident's personal property. The resident will also be prohibited from entering any residence halls.
Panic buttons have been installed in each room of the Ballard Residential Complex, as well as every residence hall office. These buttons are for the use of emergency summons only. When a panic button is pushed, a signal goes directly to the Department of Public Safety, facilitating an immediate response. False alarms are viewed as a serious matter and carry severe consequences. Please use your panic button for situations requiring immediate assistance only.
Public Poster Policy
All public posters and flyers must have the Campus Activities stamp of approval in order to be posted in the residence halls. Those stamps of approval will state the maximum duration of time a poster may be displayed. Posters in the residence halls are limited to a maximum size of 8x11" unless special permission for a larger size is given by Campus Life staff. All posters must be posted in designated bulletin board areas. All posters found improperly posted (e.g., on windows and doors) will be taken down and thrown away. Please ask your residence hall staff for the best place to put up posters.
Public bathrooms are only to be used for their designated purpose. Activities such as hair cutting/shaving, hair dyeing, and dish washing are not to be performed at any time because such activities create an unsanitary environment and could lead to damage of University property.
Designated quiet hours in all residence halls are from 11 p.m. to 9 a.m., weekdays, and 1 a.m. to 10 a.m., on Friday and Saturday. "Quiet Hours" refer to those periods when the residence halls must remain especially quiet. Quiet hours are maintained to provide an atmosphere conducive to relaxation, study and sleep. During designated quiet hours, it is expected that all residents will contain noise so it cannot be heard or felt outside of their room with the door closed. A 24-hour quiet period will also be enforced from Study Day to after the last scheduled exam.
We expect each resident will take responsibility for developing a community, which fosters scholarship, citizenship, and leadership. It is not possible to accommodate the needs of every resident regarding sleep and study time. However, through your floor compacts, quiet hours may be extended to meet the needs of your floor. It should be noted that Carlin Hall is designated as a 24-hour quiet residence hall.
Reasonable quiet is maintained 24 hours a day throughout the residence halls. These are referred to as "courtesy hours." When asked by another resident to reduce noise/lower the volume of your music, or conversation, you will be expected to immediately do so out of courtesy to your neighbors. Violators will be subject to disciplinary action.
Removal of Student's Property
If a student who resides in the residence hall does not vacate his/her room upon check-out or does not return to the University due to a leave of absence or withdrawal from the University, the student will have up to 30 calendar days to remove their property or the property will be disposed of and the University will not be held liable for loss of property. The University will also bill the student the regular room rate for the dates that the property remained in the room, since the room could not be used for a different assignment.
The Office of Campus Life also reserves the right to have its staff pack up and store property of students who do not vacate their room or do not return to the University due to a leave of absence or withdrawal from the University. The property will be stored in a relatively secure room as determined by the Office of Campus Life and all efforts will be made to ensure the safety and integrity of the property. However, the Office of Campus Life will not be held liable for any broken or missing property. It is the student's responsibility to contact the Office of Campus Life to arrange for property pick-up or shipping. As stated above, the student will have up to 30 calendar days to remove their property or the property will be disposed of and the Office of Campus Life and the University will not be held liable for loss of property.
Rollerblades, skateboards and scooters can only be used outdoors. They are not intended for indoor use and must not be used within a residence hall. Students found using these items within residence halls will be asked to stop.
For reasons of fire safety, the maximum room capacity in any residence hall shall not exceed four (4) times the occupancy rate of a resident's room to ensure safe emergency exit. This means that if the room itself can hold two residents, no more than 8 people may be in the room at one time. For example, the occupancy rate of suites in Clerc and Carlin is four people; therefore 16 people can be in the suite at one time. Likewise, the occupancy rate of Benson, Peet, and the Ballard Residential Complex is two, which allows a group of 8 people to be in a room at one time.
Personalizing a room so that it is a comfortable space to live is a natural inclination of residents. It is important to consider how to decorate a room so that damage to walls, the doors and windows does not result. It is the desire of the University that all rooms are kept free of damage for present and future residents.
The following items may be used to hang or affix items to walls. They are readily available at the campus bookstore. If you are not sure of what to use, please consult with your CRE:
- White adhesive putty (non-staining and easily removed)
- Self-sticking, removable mounts
- Grey poster tape (Scotch's Removable Mounting)
- Scotch Tape
The following must not be performed on the walls, woodwork, doors, windows, or furnishings to avoid repair charges from damaged incurred as a result:
- Drilling of any holes
- Use of glue or paste
- Use of double stick foam
- Use of contact paper
- Use of nails, or screws to the walls, ceiling, or doors
- Removal, relocation or disassembly of furniture - this includes moving furniture from one room to another room within the same suite with the exception of within the same suite in Clerc Hall
- Elevation, stacking, or upturning of furniture
- Removal of ceiling tiles or running wires through the tiles
- Hanging objects from ceiling fixtures
- Removing vertical blind vanes from the headrail and/or removing the headrail from the window frame.
Residents may not paint walls, doors, furnishing, or any other fixture in the rooms. Plants brighten up a room, but they should be placed in an area where water will not cause any damage. Any defacement to the room will be billed to the residents of the room, based on the Physical Plant Department's estimate for repair or replacement.
Residents are not to make any repairs to damage in their rooms, hallway, or other University facilities. In addition, students are not permitted to drill holes in or affix any items to the walls, ceiling, or doors with either nails or screws. Loft beds are not permitted, and furniture cannot be removed, relocated, or disassembled. This includes moving furniture from one room to another room within the same suite with the exception of within the same suite in Clerc Hall. To minimize risk of damage, beds, desks, or any other pieces of furniture cannot be elevated, stacked, or upturned. Ceiling tiles may not be removed, and wires or cables may not be run through the tiles. Do not hang clothes or any other items from light fixtures, ceiling track systems, sprinkler heads, smoke detectors, strobe lights, or any other wall or ceiling mounted device because such items are not designed to hold weight. Doors and/or doorframes marked in any way will result in vandalism and repair charges.
Satellite dishes or powered antenna devices are not permitted in any residence hall on campus. Mounting of any device or object on the exterior of any building is prohibited, as doing so would constitute damage to University property.
It is unlawful to prop side exit doors open because to do so circumvents security measures and endangers residents.
Gallaudet University is committed to providing a healthy, smoke-free environment for students, faculty, staff, and visitors on the campus by reducing health risks associated with tobacco smoke and minimizing discomfort and inconvenience to non-smokers. Smoking is not permitted within any campus building, in elevators, or in bathrooms. To allow residents to enjoy clean, fresh air, smoking is not permitted within 25 feet of any residence hall. Areas where smoking is permitted are designated and posted for each building/set of buildings.
Storage space is not available on campus. The University will dispose of personal belongings left behind more than 30 days after the resident leaves the University. The University assumes no liability for the loss of those items or any other personal items abandoned in University space.
All residence halls have one designated main entrance and this is where everyone should enter the residence hall. Other exterior doors which are not the designated main entrance are not to be used to enter the building nor to allow friends, visitors, or guests to enter the residence hall. This is considered unauthorized entry and may result in disciplinary action. This also applies to gender-specific public or community restrooms. Members of the opposite sex caught in a public or community restroom not designated for them is considered unauthorized entry.
Leaving your room or suite door unlocked is a serious safety issue and can lead to the damage or theft of possessions, as well as personal injury. Those found leaving their door unlocked will be subject to disciplinary action. You should keep your door locked at all times for your safety and security.
All members of the community will not tolerate vandalism because it lessens the enjoyment of the University environment. Participation in any act of destruction could become grounds for dismissal from the University. The cost of repairing damages shall be billed to all students involved.
The following acts, among others, are prohibited:
- Vandalism, defacement, abnormal alteration, or destruction of another person's property or university property, facilities, and/or furnishings.
- Removal, loss, or damage to windows in student rooms or tampering with security hardware such as locks, panic buttons, and door alarms.
When the person(s) responsible for theft or damage cannot be identified, all occupants of the residence hall or living group will share the repair/replacement costs equally.
In the event of a theft, a residence hall staff member should be contacted immediately. Residents should also fill out a report with the Department of Public Safety.
Visitors are welcome in the residence halls as long as they sign in and provide a photo ID for verification and data entry upon arrival, and adhere to policies. Only current, valid photo IDs with proof of age (driver's license, state identification card, passport, military ID, and international health card with photo and date of birth) will be accepted. Visiting hours are from 8 a.m. to 12 midnight, Sunday - Thursday and 8 a.m. to 2 a.m. Friday and Saturday. Failure to comply with residence hall and University policies is grounds for removal from the campus. Regardless of the expressed purpose of staying beyond visiting hours, this policy must be adhered to all times. Off-campus students wishing to stay past visiting hours for educational purposes must register as an overnight guest.
Weapons and Explosives
In the interest of public safety, the setting of fires, use of flammable or highly combustible materials, or the possession of weapons or ammunition on the premises of the University is prohibited. Pellet, paint, and taser guns are prohibited on campus premises.
In regards to Clerc Hall, wooden platforms are not to be constructed in the bay window areas. Such platforms raise serious safety concerns and may result in damage to University property. Failure to comply will result in the issuance of fines. No warnings will be given.
RESIDENCE HALL DISCIPLINE PROCEDURES
Most minor violations of the Student Code of Conduct or residence hall policies and procedures that take place in the residence will be dealt with administratively through the use of residence hall disciplinary conferences. The disciplinary conference will normally consist of an informal meeting between the respondent and a Coordinator of Residence Education. Campus Life may defer specific cases to the Office of Student Conduct for adjudication, if appropriate.
Residence hall disciplinary conferences parallel the process of the Office of Student Conduct disciplinary conferences. Students who allegedly violated the Student Code of Conduct will be sent a written statement outlining the alleged violations, the procedures to resolve the complaint, and the possible range of consequences. Students have three business days to set up an appointment for a disciplinary conference with the Coordinator of Residence Education of the residence hall that the alleged violation took place in. During the disciplinary conference, the student may present relevant information and witnesses and respond to the information presented in the disciplinary conference.
The Coordinator of Residence Education shall determine whether the student is responsible for the violations with which he or she is charged with. The determination shall be made on the basis of whether it is more likely than not that the accused student violated the Student Code of Conduct.
If the student is found responsible for violating the Student Code of Conduct, the Coordinator of Residence Education will determine the sanction which ranges from disciplinary reprimand, the issuance of fines, community service, or any educational sanctions deemed appropriate and consistent with the violation(s). Students have the right to appeal to the Director of Campus Life or the Campus Life Program Manager following similar appeal guidelines found under Student Conduct Programs on page 53. The student will need to submit an appeal in writing within five working days, state the grounds in which he/she is appealing, and with an explanation. The Director of Campus Life or the Campus Life Program Manager may affirm, reverse, or modify the sanctions originally assessed based on the information collected from the Coordinator of Residence Education and the appellant. The decision made by the Director of Campus Life or the Campus Life Program Manager is final.