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.

Air Conditioning and Heating - The unit located under the window in most rooms is for heat and air conditioning. There must be at least a 6-inch (6") space between the A/C-heating unit and the furniture to allow proper airflow and, if necessary, access for maintenance service. Objects should not be placed on the unit as they may interfere with airflow and block access by maintenance personnel. Repair requests should be made at the residence hall staff office. Heating and cooling service is dependent upon weather conditions which make providing specific dates of transition difficult. The Facilities Department is responsible for determining when transition from heating to cooling and vice versa will take place.

Animals - Pets are not allowed on the premises of Gallaudet University, including the residence halls, with the exception of service animals (who are in compliance with the Service Animals policy as outlined in the Administration and Operations Manual) and fish in a properly maintained aquarium no more than ten (10) gallons in size. 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 such).

Service Animals - 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 Office of Residence Life and Housing. 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 must contact the Service Animal Evaluator at to begin the application process to get approval. Students must initiate this process at least 30 days before bringing their service animal to the residence hall.

Appeals - Residents may appeal any residence hall levied sanctions by submitting an online appeal form. The online appeal form will be sent to the Director of Residence Life and Housing and/or the Program Manager at the Office of Residence Life and Housing. The online appeal form can be found at under the link "appeals." The appeal form must be received within five business days upon receipt of the fine, otherwise the appeal is forfeited.

Bicycle Security Precautions - The following guidelines are intended to help you keep your bicycle safe at all times:

  • You are permitted to keep your bike in your residence hall room if your roommate agrees.
  • Bikes may not be ridden inside the residence halls.
  • Bikes are not to be parked, stored, or locked in any residence hall lobby, public area, or stairwell.
  • Secure your bike outdoors with a high quality bike lock.
  • Use outdoor bike racks; do not lock your bike to railings, lamp posts, signs, ramps, trees, handrails, etc.
  • Make sure your lock secures both wheels and the frame.
  • If your bike has quick-release wheels and seat, secure the front wheel with the back wheel and frame and carry the seat with you.
  • Keep a through description of your bike, with a photograph, in case a theft occurs. Insure your bike.
  • All bikes are required to be registered with the Department of Public Safety (DPS) and the Metropolitan Police Department to aid in recovery if theft occurs.

Card System - An ID card-scan Access Control System that regulates building entry is in effect for all residence halls. ID cards are the property of the University and are to be surrendered when leaving the University. Residents' IDs are individually coded to allow them access to their hall (and wings in the Ballard Residential Complex) at all times. Access to other residence halls is permitted during designated hours only. However, with this system comes shared responsibility for the security of all residents of the halls. Residents need to:

  • Carry their ID cards at all times when leaving their building. Residence hall staff will not open the door for residents or visitors.
  • Not allow another person to use their cards at any time and remember that the ID is for their personal use only.
  • Immediately report lost ID cards to the Department of Public Safety to avoid unauthorized use of the cards. A fee of $20 will be issued for replacement.
  • Surrender the ID when requested by University staff, including Residence Life staff and paraprofessional staff.
  • Report to the Department of Public Safety if the ID does not work.
  • Surrender the ID when leaving the University due to graduation, withdrawal/taking a leave of absence, transferring, or when the individual is no longer a student.

Deadbolts - 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. Failure to cooperate with University officials include, but are not limited to, failure to comply with a reasonable request, fleeing the scene of an alleged policy violation, and refusing to give proper ID when requested.

Elevators - There are elevators in Benson, Carlin, Clerc, Ballard North, and Peet Halls, Denison House, and LLRH6. All elevators in the residence halls require current student IDs to operate. 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. Please follow the posted maximum occupancy guidelines to avoid the elevator breaking down. Elevators are not to be used in the event of a fire alarm.

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:

A. 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.

B. 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.

C. Decorations in Room - Students are encouraged to decorate their rooms to make the room like home, however, only 20% of each wall can be covered by banners, posters, pictures, gift wrap, and other decorations that are flammable. In the past, some students have covered their entire wall with paper, banners, and flammable materials - this increases the risks of a fire and the D.C. Fire Marshall has ruled that only 20% of the wall can be covered, the remaining 80% must be left bare to reduce the likelihood of a fire happening and to reduce the speed of the spread of a fire should one start in the room.

D. Electrical Appliances - Electrical appliances with exposed heating elements (e.g., 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.

E. 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 Residence Life staff.

F. 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.
In the case of a fire alarm in LLRH6, closing kitchen fire walls should not be blocked by any object at any time.

G. 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 and not use the elevators. Residents are to gather at the designated assembly area near the residence hall. Information on the designated assembly areas are posted on the first floor of each residence hall. 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.

H. 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, placed on persona non grata for the duration of the suspension, and 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.

I. 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.

J. Grills - Barbeque grills are not permitted to be stored within residence halls. Only University owned or approved grills may be used by individuals and organizations.

K. 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 Residence Life and Housing. 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.

L. Halogen Lamps - Because halogen lamps have been identified as the cause of several residence hall fires throughout the nation, desk, torchere 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.

M. 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.

N. 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, take 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. When you exit the residence hall, immediately go to the designated assembly area. Information on the designated assembly areas are posted on the first floor of each residence hall. Do not use elevators during fire alarms at any time.

Food Deliveries - Food deliveries must be made at the main entrance of the residence hall. To facilitate security, delivery persons are not to be permitted to go beyond the lobby of the residence hall and the resident must meet the food delivery person in the lobby.

Furnishing - Residence hall furniture is meant for long term use and should be treated with care so that you and others may enjoy it. It is the responsibility of residents to exercise due care in the use of furniture. This means that every effort should be made to protect furniture from damage caused by the placement of objects not normally expected to be placed upon them. This includes refrigerators, cement blocks, weights, dressers, and any other object that could conceivably cause harm to furniture. When such objects are placed upon furniture, a barrier such as a towel must first be placed on the surface to reduce the risk of scratches, gouges, and other damage. Furniture should only be used in the manner for which it was designed.

Because of extreme weight and potential for water damage, waterbeds are not permitted in the residence halls. Bunk beds and lofts are permitted all residence halls using University Loft furnished bunk bed and lofts. All students who want bunk beds or lofts are required to read and sign a release of liability form before having a bunk bed/loft in their room. The Office of Residence Life and Housing will provide the appropriate parts to convert the beds into bunk beds and lofts. Residents are expected to provide their own linens, blankets, bedspreads, towels, pillows, study lamps, wastebaskets, clothes hangers, irons, ironing boards, and any other items needed. No furniture or furnishings may be removed from a room or common area without written permission from the Office of Residence Life and Housing. Unauthorized University furniture found in a room or suite may result in a penalty assessment, billed to the occupant(s) of the room or suite. Each item must be returned to its original place after notification of a violation. In addition, repeat violators may lose the privilege of living on campus.

When planning to decorate, residents should keep in mind that no permanent changes may be made to the rooms. Any damage caused by decorating the rooms or by removing décor at the end of the year will result in a charge to the resident. In order to minimize the risk of injury or further damage, residents are not to make any repairs to damage in their rooms, hallways, or other University facilities.

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.

Overnight Guests (off-campus visitors):
Off-campus visitors are defined as anyone who is not a registered student at Gallaudet, Gallaudet students who reside off-campus, or students who are attending the Clerc Center, regardless of their age, except when the student is registered to stay with a parent or legal guardian in Visitor Housing. Children under the age of 18 are also not permitted to register as an overnight guest.

Off-campus visitors can register as an overnight guest, provided that the off-campus visitor 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 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 (exception to the limit will be granted to members of the student's immediate family and other overnight guests as expressly permitted in writing by a Coordinator of Residence Education, Graduate Assistant, or the Office of Residence Life and Housing). Overnight guest registration period commences the first Friday after classes begin and concludes on Study Day.

All residents who plan to have overnight guests are encouraged to register their overnight guest with the residence hall office in advance and obtain all the necessary signatures to ensure a smooth check in on the day the overnight guest will arrive. If any overnight guests need to stay longer than three consecutive nights, please see your Coordinator of Residence Education in advance to get permission prior to your overnight guest's arrival. Failure to do so will result in your overnight guest only being permitted to stay three nights until the host meets with his/her Coordinator of Residence Education to obtain permission.

Upon registration as an overnight guest, an overnight pass card will be issued to the overnight guest which is required to be carried by the overnight guest at all times and surrendered upon checking out. The overnight guest pass can also be used to board the University shuttle bus. The staff person will feed the overnight guest information into the Residence Life and Housing database. Residents are responsible for the behavior of their overnight guests, as the same rules and regulations that apply to residents also apply to their overnight guests. You should accompany your overnight guests around campus and at University-sponsored events on- and off-campus at all times, as you are responsible for your overnight 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.

During the summer, the overnight guest policy remains in effect. However, there is no period during which overnight guests are not permitted for summer school students residing in the residence halls. No overnight guests are permitted, however, for summer program participants (through the College of Professional Studies and Outreach). All hosts and overnight guests must adhere to the overnight guest policy as herein described.

When anyone registers to be an overnight guest between the hours of 2:00 AM and 8:00 AM, this counts as one night regardless of what time the overnight guest was registered. For example, if an overnight guest was registered at 6:00 AM, this counts as one night.

Overnight Guests (on-campus residents):
On-campus residents are defined as any registered Gallaudet student who resides on-campus in the residence halls or Denison House.

On-campus residents are not required to register as overnight guests in the residence halls; however, the host is responsible to have had prior discussion with, and the expressed approval of all roommates/suitemates in order for the on-campus resident to stay overnight in the host's room/suite. There are limits to the duration and frequency of such visits, as long as the interests and the rights of roommates, suitemates, and other residents are not being infringed upon.

Visitors are defined anyone who is not a registered student at Gallaudet, Gallaudet students who reside off-campus, or students who are attending the Clerc Center, regardless of their age. Children under the age of 18 are also not permitted in the residence halls, unless accompanied by a parent or legal guardian.

All visitors who enter the residence halls must go to the residence hall office, 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.

When the visitor leaves the residence hall, the visitor is responsible to sign-out with the residence hall office.

Visitor hours are from 8:00 AM to 2:00 AM daily.

Visitors who want to remain in a host's room after 2:00 AM daily will need to register as an overnight guest (please see the overnight guest (off-campus visitors) aspect of the Guest Policy for more information on how to register as an overnight guest).

Visitors who are found in the residence halls past visiting hours will be considered overnight guests and could lose their privilege to visit the residence halls.

Keys - Each resident is assigned a room key upon arrival for his/her use only. All residents must carry their keys at all times. Community restrooms can be accessed with the room key. A key may not be used by anyone except the resident to whom it was assigned. A fee may be charged for lockouts, and a spare key will not be issued without valid picture identification. Spare keys must be returned immediately (within 15 minutes) or a lock change may be processed. Lost or stolen room keys should be reported to the residence hall staff immediately.

When a key is reported lost or stolen, a work order will be issued for a new lock and new keys which will result in a $50 fee being billed to the account of the resident that the key is registered under. Regardless of whether the lost key is found at a later date, lock change charges cannot be canceled. Residents are financially responsible for all lost or unreturned keys issued to them. Keys returned by mail or after checkout will not be accepted.

Keys are to be returned to the residence hall office on the day residents check out of their room. Any unreturned keys will result in the resident's account being billed $50 for a new lock and set of keys.

Laser Pointers - 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.

Lockout Policy - If a resident is locked out of their room/suite, the resident should go to the residence hall office, show their student ID or a valid photo ID to the staff on duty and the staff on duty will obtain a spare key to the resident's room. The resident can hold the key for up to 15 minutes.

The first two times a resident is locked out during an academic semester, there will be no charge. On the third and each lockout after that, the resident will be charged $5.00. Lockout fees cannot be charged to the resident's student account.

Loss of Residence Hall Privileges - The staff of the Office of Residence Life and Housing can recommend a resident's removal or loss of residence hall privileges to the Director of Residence Life and Housing. The Director of Residence Life and Housing 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 staff reserves 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 - Panic buttons have been installed in each room of the Ballard Residential Complex, in every residence hall office, and in the laundry room in the Kendall Apartments. 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 unless it is a poster/flyer by the Office of Residence Life and Housing. 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 Residence Life staff. All posters must be posted in designated bulletin board areas. All posters found improperly posted (i.e. 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 Bathroom - Public bathrooms are only to be used for their designated purposes. 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. To prevent damage of University property, please see your CRE/GA for designated room(s) to use for hair dyeing.

Carlin Hall has some private bathrooms with a bath tub where access is given to students who have a health or medical need for a bathtub (as determined through the application process for special accommodations through the Office for Students with Disabilities). These bathrooms are for the use of these residents only and cannot be used for other purposes such as bathing service animals.

Quiet Hours - Designated quiet hours in all residence halls are from 11 PM to 9 AM, weekdays, and 1 AM to 10 AM, 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 and vibrations 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.

Refrigerators/Freezers - You may bring your own refrigerator or freezer as long as it does not exceed 4.5 cubic feet. This is to conserve space and energy. Precautions must be taken when defrosting the unit to avoid water damage to University property.

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 Office of Residence Life and Housing also reserves the right to have its staff pack up and store property of students who does not vacate their room or does 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 Residence Life and Housing and all efforts will be made to ensure the safety and integrity of the property, however, the Office of Residence Life and Housing will not be held liable for any broken or missing property. It is the student's responsibility to contact the Office of Residence Life and Housing to arrange for property pick-up or shipping. It is also the student's responsibility to pay for any shipping costs incurred and the Office of Residence Life and Housing will require up-front payment of shipping costs before shipping the student's property. 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 Residence Life and Housing and the University will not be held liable for loss of property.

Rollerblades/Skateboards/Scooters - 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 using them indoors.

Room Capacity - 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 Hall, Carlin Hall, and LLRH6 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.

Room Care - 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 or GA:

  • White adhesive putty (non-staining and easily removed)
  • Self-sticking, removable mounts
  • Thumbtacks
  • 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 tape
  • 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 Facilities 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. Bunk beds and lofts are permitted all residence halls using University Loft furnished bunk bed and lofts. All students who want bunk beds or lofts are required to read and sign a release of liability form before having a bunk bed/loft in their room. The Office of Residence Life and Housing will provide the appropriate parts to convert the beds into bunk beds and lofts. 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.

Room Inspection - Periodic inspections will be held for maintenance, health, and safety purposes as well as for observance of residence life policies, procedures, University regulations, and the requirements of public law. If a resident is found to be in violation of University standards, he/she is given 48 hours to make the necessary corrections to bring the room back into compliance. Residence Life staff will conduct a follow up inspection to ensure that the room is in compliance of University standards. If the room fails the follow up inspection, the residents will be fined $25 and have 48 hours to make the necessary corrections to the room to bring the room back into compliance. A second follow up inspection will be performed and if the room fails the second follow up inspection, the residents will be fined $50 and be referred to the Office of Student Conduct for further disciplinary action.

To avoid charges for room damages for which he/she is not responsible, each resident must fill out an inventory content form when he or she moves into a room. The inventory form lists all room furnishings and space for resident comments on the specific condition of the furniture and the room. Residence hall staff members verify the forms during maintenance inspections.

At the end of a semester (or when a resident vacates the room), the Coordinator of Residence Education, Graduate Assistant, or a designee will check the condition of the room and its furniture again, and appropriate charges, if any, are billed to the occupants of the room. All furnishings must be rearranged to their original place (according to a posted floor diagram) upon checkout at the end of the semester.

Safety and Security - The following are examples of some important rules designed to enhance the safety and security of residents. However, residents should keep in mind that the most foolproof measures are not effective unless community members support them and do not violate them.

  • Always enter and leave the building through the main entrance. Side exit doors are to be used for exiting the building during emergencies only. Side exit doors are not to be used to allow others into the building, which circumvents the security of the building.
  • Never admit an uninvited nonresident into the building. Do not let strangers enter the building by tailgating you.
  • Visitors and overnight guests of residents must be checked in through the residence hall office at all times. See the residence hall staff to sign in your visitor or fill out an overnight guest registration form.
  • Do not lend your keys or access card to anyone. Report lost or stolen keys or access cards immediately. A lost or stolen key or access card makes your property and that of your roommate(s) vulnerable to theft.
  • Under no circumstances should you prop open any exterior door. Although doing so may seem convenient, you are endangering yourself and everyone else. The exterior side exits are locked for your safety. Interior doors should not be propped open either. These are designed to function as fire doors and propping them open eliminates their effectiveness in preventing the spread of fire.
  • Lock the door to your room when you are asleep or alone in the room and whenever you are away from the room. Statistics show that most burglaries in student housing units occur in unlocked, unoccupied rooms. It only takes a minute for something to be taken.
  • Do not open your door to strangers. Use your peephole to identify who is at the door before allowing entry.
  • To prevent theft of personal property and damage to your door, do not use your deadbolt to prop open your door.
  • Report any strange or suspicious people to the residence hall staff or Department of Public Safety (DPS) immediately.
  • Engrave all personal items of value in your room with your driver's license or other identifying number. Engraving tends to deter theft and facilitates recovery of your possessions should they be stolen and recovered. DPS can assist with the engraving of your items.
  • Keep a record of the serial numbers of all your belongings.
  • Do not advertise your valuables. Keep them out of sight. Arrange your room so that high-risk items, such as laptop computers, cameras, stereos, and televisions are not visible from the hallway when the door is open or from ground-level windows. Items of high monetary value and minimal use in a University environment (such as jewelry) should be left at home.
  • Keep large sums of cash in your bank account, not your room. Use traveler's checks and keep small amounts of cash with you.
  • Be mindful of visitors to your room. Do not take in overnight guests you do not know.
  • If you live on the first floor of your building, be careful about leaving windows open, especially when you leave the room.

Satellite Dishes - 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.

Side Exits - It is unlawful to prop side exit doors open because to do so circumvents security measures and endangers residents.

Smoking - 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 on campus will only be permitted in designated smoking areas. Smoking is not permitted in any other campus locations including University and Clerc Center buildings, in elevators or bathrooms, in any University vehicle, walking on campus, or at the entrance of any building. The designated smoking areas are 1) located on the side of the Kellogg Conference Hotel behind Ole Jim, 2) the area under the old bridge near Benson Hall Circle, and 3) the sitting area on the side of the Merrill Learning Center facing the Gallaudet Mall.

Solicitation - Casual solicitations for charitable or University-sponsored activities or for similar purposes by off- and on-campus students, student organizations, and employees are strictly prohibited; however, in no instance should such solicitations interrupt work or learning or place unwanted pressure on students, faculty, teachers, and staff, nor disrupt the residence hall living environment. Door-to-door solicitations or promotions are prohibited.

In order to avoid disruption to the educational mission, protect students, faculty, teachers, and staff from commercial and non-commercial exploitation and harassment, preserve the aesthetic atmosphere of the University, and promote safety and security, solicitations by outside parties are not permitted unless requested as part of a University-sponsored program or service.

Storage - 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.

Trash - Students are to empty their wastebaskets and other disposable materials in the appropriate recycling receptacle, trash chute, or trash room located near the stairwells or elevators on each floor. To maintain a clean, healthy and attractive environment with a minimum of pest infestation, it is required that all trash be tied in plastic bags. To avoid excessive trash build-up over the weekends, throw out your trash before Friday.

Large boxes, such as pizza boxes, clog the trash chute, so residents are expected to take boxes to the basement trash room for easy removal. Residents must take responsibility for cleaning their rooms and disposing of trash properly (e.g., in designated receptacles). At all times, all trash is to be properly disposed of and are not permitted to be left in the public bathrooms or hallways. Large items are to be taken to trash bins provided outside the residence halls or placed in the basement trash room.

Residents are expected to keep other common areas of their residence halls, including hallways, bathrooms, lounges, or other public places, free of trash. Improperly disposing of trash will attract vermin such as mice and cockroaches. Please do not litter. Doing so will result in disciplinary action.

Unauthorized Entry - 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. Entry into any areas that are considered off-limits to students such as rooftops, boiler rooms, storage rooms, etc. are not allowed as well.

Unlocked Doors - Leaving your room or suite door unlocked or intentionally tampering with your door to enable it to remain unlocked at all times (e.g. taping the door mechanism open) 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.

Vandalism/Theft - 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:

A. Vandalism, defacement, abnormal alteration, or destruction of another person's property or University property, facilities, and/or furnishings.

B. 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.

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, martial arts weapons, sling shots, bows and arrows, sabers, swords, knives with blades in excess of three (3) inches except for kitchen knives used in preparation/serving of food, paint, pellet, or taser guns, "toy" or realistic replica of a real weapon, and other weapons, or use of any such item, even if legally possessed, in a manner that harms, threatens, or causes fear to others is prohibited on University premises including the residence halls.

Wooden Platforms - 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 and the removal of the platform by University staff. No warnings will be given.


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 or a Graduate Assistant. The Office of Residence Life and Housing 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/Graduate Assistant 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/Graduate Assistant 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/Graduate Assistant will determine the sanction which ranges from disciplinary reprimand, the issuance of fines, community service, loss of housing priority points, or any educational sanctions deemed appropriate and consistent with the violation(s). Students have the right to appeal to the Director of Residence Life and Housing or the Program Manager following similar appeal guidelines found under Student Conduct Programs on page 75. The appeal must be received within five business days upon receipt of the fine, otherwise the appeal is forfeited. The student will need to, state the grounds in which he/she is appealing, and with an explanation. The Director of Residence Life and Housing or the Program Manager may affirm, reverse, or modify the sanctions originally assessed based on the information collected from the Coordinator of Residence Education/Graduate Assistant and the appellant. The decision made by the Director of Residence Life and Housing or the Program Manager is final.

Incident reports that occur near the end of the semester will be processed and the Coordinator of Residence Education and/or the Graduate Assistant will determine interim sanctions, if any, based on the information available. Interim sanctions can range from disciplinary reprimand, the issuance of fines, community service, loss of housing priority points, or any educational sanctions deemed appropriate and consistent with the violation(s).

Students who have been assigned interim sanctions can meet with their Coordinator of Residence Education and/or Graduate Assistant upon their return to the University or via video conferencing to discuss the incident and if the student is found not responsible then the interim sanctions will be dropped.