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Residential Life

Student Housing / Residential Regulations / Residential Life Government / General Residence Life Policies / Residential Conduct System

The Office of Housing and Residential Education (http://www.vanderbilt.edu/ResEd) provides a comprehensive development program for students living in University residential units.  In partnership with faculty and staff from across the University, residential education professionals work to build a living-learning community where values of scholarship and leadership are nurtured in a culture of collegiality. Residential education staff effect interactions among students and faculty and support students’ scholarly pursuits. Values of civility, accountability, discovery, and celebration are at work in Vanderbilt’s residential community.

The Office of Housing and Residential Education employs a compassionate group of upperclass, graduate, and professional students as resident advisers (RAs) and head residents (HRs). Professional, in-residence staff supervise the student staff. The collective residence-life staff, in cooperation with Vanderbilt Student Government (VSG) and other campus partners, organizes and coordinates social, educational, and recreational programs throughout the residences.

Student Housing

The residential experience is regarded as an integral part of a Vanderbilt undergraduate education. The mission of the Office of Housing and Residential Education is to provide the residential experience to as many undergraduate students as can be physically accommodated.

The residential requirement, established by the Board of Trust in 1952, states that “All unmarried undergraduate students, except those who live at home with their families in Davidson County, must live in residence halls on campus during the academic year, May session, and summer sessions. Authorization to live elsewhere is granted at the discretion of the Director of Housing Assignments in special situations, or when space is unavailable on campus.”

Undergraduate students with children, married undergraduate students, and undergraduate students who are 21 years of age or older with University-certified same-sex domestic partners may call or write the Director of Housing Assignments for assistance with housing arrangements.

In general, first-year students are housed separately from upperclass students. When there is insufficient space in the regular first-year-student housing system or in special situations, first-year students may be housed with upperclass students. All undergraduates make housing arrangements through the Office of Housing and Residential Education in Branscomb Quadrangle.

First-Year Student Assignments

Procedures for first-year student housing assignments will usually be posted at http://www.vanderbilt.edu/ResEd by no later than February 1, of the year in which they will enter the University as first-year students.

Admission to the University does not guarantee assignment to a particular type of room or building. Further, the University population is fluid, and demand for housing may change considerably in a relatively short period of time. In circumstances in which the number of first-year students enrolled exceeds the number of spaces for first-year students in regular rooms, it may be necessary to house students in triple rooms, in single rooms, in upperclass areas, in apartments, or in alternative accommodations (such as study rooms on residential floors) for a few weeks, for a semester, or for the entire first year.

Sophomore and Upperclass Student Assignments

Returning unmarried upperclass students receive their housing assignments through a random selection process in the spring. A $200 deposit is required prior to the random selection. Upperclass students residing in single and double rooms have an opportunity to reserve their rooms for the following year, gender requirements permitting. Eligibility for participation in the random selection is determined by the Director of Housing Assignments with advice from the Vanderbilt Student Government.

Students who participate in any Vanderbilt study abroad programs, or who graduate, withdraw, or take a leave of absence, may request cancellation of their housing contracts by writing to the Office of Housing and Residential Education, sixty days prior to the beginning of the semester.

Requests to Live in Off-campus Housing

Vanderbilt is a residential University. All unmarried undergraduate students are required to live in on-campus residential housing unless the University grants a student authorization to live off-campus. The residential requirement is binding for the student’s entire undergraduate education. Therefore, off-campus authorization is a privilege, not a right.

Only students who have been authorized to reside off campus by the Director of Housing Assignments or his designee may do so. Students should not make deposits or sign leases until they receive written authorization from the housing assignments director to reside off campus. The Office of Housing and Residential Education maintains an off-campus referral service (https://apphost1a.its.vanderbilt.edu/housing/Main/). Most of the rental property listed is close to the campus, but cost, furnishings, and conditions of the accommodations vary greatly.

Authorization to live off-campus is granted at the discretion of the Director of Housing Assignments and may be revoked at any time for good cause, as determined at the discretion of the Director of Housing Assignments. Reasons for the revocation of off-campus authorization include, but are not limited to, violations of University policies or regulations; failure to abide by the tenets of the “good neighbor guideline;” (http://www.vanderbilt.edu/ResEd/main/PolicyGNG.php) or behavior that adversely affects the University’s relationship with the neighborhood community.

When Vanderbilt receives notice of a landlord in a community whose practices are violating local law and/or endangering the safety and well-being of student tenants or neighbors, then Vanderbilt reserves the option of denying students the privilege of living off-campus at properties owned by such landlords.

If a student is living in an off-campus residence alone or with one or more other students or non-students, and the residence is found by the University to be in violation of the “good neighbor guidelines” (http://www.vanderbilt.edu/ResEd/main/PolicyGNG.php) or is adversely affecting the University’s relationship with the neighboring community, all residents may be considered in violation of the good neighbor guidelines even though of a specific individual responsible for the conduct cannot be identified. A student whose authorization to live off-campus is revoked will be required to return to campus immediately and live in on-campus housing assigned at the discretion of the Director of Housing Assignments.

Students directed to return to on-campus housing will be charged, on a pro-rata basis, the standard University housing fee, effective the day assignment to on-campus housing is made. Authorization to live off-campus will be granted only on the condition that the student agrees that the University will not be liable or responsible for any contractual arrangements or agreement into which a student has entered, such as a lease agreement for off-campus housing, if authorization is revoked and the student is required to return to, and live in, assigned on-campus housing.

Requests to Live in a Fraternity or Sorority House

Students who want to live in fraternity or sorority chapter houses must file the necessary forms each semester, May session, or summer session with the Office of Housing and Residential Education. Requests for residency in the chapter houses for the spring semester must be filed thirty days before the beginning of spring semester.  During the academic year, requests to move from a campus residence to Greek housing cannot be granted unless accompanied by a request from a Greek house resident to move to the University residential system.  A maximum of six officers, preferably of junior or senior class standing, may live in each chapter house. Approval to live in a Greek chapter house must be obtained from both the Office of Housing and Residential Education and the Office of Greek Life.  Approval to live in a Greek chapter house is not equivalent to authorization to live off-campus.

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Residential Regulations


Rooms designated for students are rented (and students are liable for the room rent) for the entire academic year, exclusive of Thanksgiving break, semester break, spring break, and Commencement Week. Students who graduate or withdraw in the first semester are not liable for the spring semester rent if written notice is given sixty days before the opening of the spring semester. Students who graduate or withdraw from the University during the semester must vacate their rooms within twenty-four hours.

Students who withdraw for medical reasons may receive a pro rata refund. Students who withdraw or who are suspended or expelled during the semester may be entitled to partial refunds of rent. Rooms may not be sublet or used for any purpose other than as a residence for those to whom they are assigned. Residential rooms and services (telephone, data network, etc.) may not be used for business purposes. Student rooms may not be used for publicized events, including meetings of organizations, Bible studies, social events, etc.


Campus residences are generally open for occupancy on the day before registration begins for each semester, and close at 9am on the day following the last day of classes before holidays and at 9am on the day following the last day of examinations at the end of the semester. Campus residences generally reopen after holidays at 9am on the Sunday prior to the first day of classes.  Following semester break, they open at 8pm on the Saturday prior to the first day of spring semester classes.


Campus residences are officially closed during Thanksgiving break, semester break, spring break, and the week prior to commencement. Students are not contractually entitled to occupy their rooms during these periods. However, at the discretion of the Senior Director of Housing Operations or the Senior Director’s designee, students may occupy their rooms during these periods if they register to do so with the Office of Housing and Residential Education. Prior to these breaks, students will receive notice of which buildings and floors may be occupied and instructions for registering to stay. Failure to register may result in exclusion from the residences and/or disciplinary action. Residential houses on the Commons are not open during the week prior to commencement and first-year students may not register to stay after the conclusion of final examinations.

Expiration and Termination

A room contract will be terminated upon a student’s graduation, completion of his or her program, or withdrawal or dismissal from the University. Under these circumstances, the student must vacate the apartment or room within twenty-four hours. Resident contracts may be terminated only when, at the discretion of Director of Housing Assignments, unanticipated and major changes occur in a student’s situation that would justify such termination. Contracts may not be broken to enable students to obtain lodgings elsewhere.


Residents must check-in with residential staff when they arrive on campus. Residents will be issued a key and/or combination and a room condition report. The resident must review, sign and return the room condition report to document any problems with the room when it is initially occupied. A resident may be held responsible for any damage to his or her living space that is found when he or she moves out unless the damage was noted on his or her room condition report at check-in, is the result of normal wear and tear, or is the result of a properly-reported maintenance problem that arose during the year (please see Damage to Property under “General Residence Life Policies,” below).

As residents vacate their rooms, they must return their keys and schedule a check-out meeting with the residential staff to review and sign their room condition reports. Residents will be held responsible for all room charges until their check-out dates have been recorded. If the room condition report is not reviewed and signed, then the resident may be held responsible for all damages above and beyond those noted on the original room condition report.

Room Changes

Students may not move from their assigned spaces to other spaces without the prior approval of the Office of Housing and Residential Education. Room change requests are granted at the discretion of the Director of Housing Assignments. Students who make unauthorized room changes are subject to disciplinary action.

Students who make unauthorized room changes will (1) not be permitted to reserve their current assignments for the following academic year; (2) lose a point for random selections for the following academic year; (3) lose a class in seniority for the off-campus authorization process for the following academic year; (4) be denied authorization to reside in a Greek House for the following academic year; or any combination of the above.


Gender designations of buildings, floors, lodges, suites, or apartments are made on an annual basis. Single students who share apartments or rooms must be of the same gender.

Room Entry

The University recognizes and respects the desire for privacy.  Designated staff members are authorized by the University to enter any University premises.  Authorization for entry includes, but is not limited to, custodial services, maintenance and repair services, and inspections. Staff conduct inspections for a variety of reasons that include–but are not limited to–fire and safety issues, health and welfare issues, maintenance or damage issues, and closing for breaks and end of an academic session.  Although inspections are generally announced, circumstances may dictate that an inspection be unannounced.


A search of a student, a student’s possessions, or a student’s premises may be authorized by the Dean of Students or the dean’s designee, if there is reasonable cause to believe that a violation of University policy is occurring or has occurred.


During searches and inspections of residential units (rooms, suites, apartments, etc.), University personnel may confiscate items prohibited by University policy.

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Residential Life Government

Vanderbilt Student Government – The House

Undergraduate students enrolled at Vanderbilt are constituents of Vanderbilt Student Government, the governing body responsible for voicing student concerns, and advocating on their behalf. Moreover, all students residing in campus residences are represented by their elected hall or house presidents who serve in the VSG House. The House serves as the liaison between the residents and the Office of Housing and Residential Education. Concerns including facilities improvement, recycling, residential autonomy, damage to residential facilities, and social, recreational, and educational programming should be directed to these presidents.

Residential Conduct System

In the fall, each residence hall or house selects a judicial vice-president whose duties are as follows:

  • Publication of regulations and responsibilities in the residential unit, in cooperation with the residential staff.
  • Supporting the Residential Conduct System by serving as a hearing panel member.

Residential Autonomy

Residents are expected to become familiar with the procedures and options of autonomy regulations, and to recognize their individual responsibility for the enforcement of regulations in both legislative and judicial matters. Subject to the approval of the Director of Residential Education, residents of a unit (residence hall/house, or floor) may, upon petition by 15% of the residential unit, and subsequent endorsement vote by a two-thirds majority of the same unit, modify the rules and regulations in the following areas [The default policies follow in brackets]:

  • Areas, occasions, and times for the use of alcoholic beverages (upperclass residences only). [Alcoholic beverages are restricted to individual rooms where the residents are of legal age for purchase, possession, and consumption of alcoholic beverages.]
  • Visitation hours (in University residences) [Visits of a relatively short duration in residents' rooms by members of the opposite sex are permissible at any time within a given 24 hour period.]
  • Provisions for quiet hours [7pm-7am, Sunday through Thursday; midnight-10am Friday and Saturday; 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, during reading days and examination periods.]
  • Responsibility for guests [Resident hosts bear disciplinary and financial responsibility for their guests.]
  • Requirements for the scheduling and attendance of residents at residence hall or floor meetings [Attendance at meetings of residential units is required; such meetings are scheduled by elected officers in consultation with residential staff.]
  • Sale of condoms [Condom vending machines are installed and stocked in undergraduate residence halls, as practicable.]

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General Residence Life Policies

The following policies and regulations are specific to residential living, and the University expects students to abide by these policies. Further, students are expected to govern themselves according to the Student Conduct Code, as well as state, federal and local laws. The University reserves the right to make other regulations as necessary, without notice, to ensure comfort and safety.

Care, Cleaning, and Repair of Rooms

Students are expected to keep their rooms clean. Students may be required to clean their living accommodations, including appliances, if the area coordinator or associate director for the area determines that the room, apartment, or specific appliance presents a health or safety hazard. Inspections for damage and/or cleanliness will be conducted by University staff. Students are expected to clean rooms and appliances, sweep floors or vacuum, and remove all trash and personal items prior to vacating a room or apartment. The housekeeping staff will clean the bathrooms and general public areas of apartments and suites once every two weeks.

Students are prohibited from painting their rooms and University furniture, including headboards. Adhesives (e.g., glow stars) are also prohibited. Pictures and bulletin boards may be hung only from the picture rail. (Hooks for picture rails may be purchased in the University bookstore.) Use of tape, staples, adhesive holders, screws, brackets, tacks, and nails is prohibited on the walls, woodwork, floors, ceilings or furnishings. Non-staining putty may be used. The use of over-the-door hangers is prohibited due to the damage that these devices cause. Only tension rods may be used for curtains or other window treatments.

Concrete blocks, cinder blocks, bricks, are prohibited from University residences because of the potential damage to walls, floors, and carpets caused by their use. Plastic crates are acceptable substitutes as long as their use does no damage. The height that one may elevate a standard bed is limited to 13″ from the bottom of the bedspring to the floor. Wooden “bed-risers” are permitted as long as they conform to the specifications established by the Director of Housing Facilities, and may be purchased at the University bookstore and from other authorized local vendors. Weightlifting equipment is not permitted in campus residences. Water beds, hot tubs, lofts, and bunk beds (other than those provided by the University), are prohibited. The unauthorized construction of walls and partitions in University housing is prohibited.

Satellite dishes or antennae may not be affixed to, or mounted on, any interior or exterior area of a campus residence in any manner or fashion.

Residences are heated and cooled by central systems. As a consequence, residents should keep their windows closed. Heating or cooling problems should be reported to the area maintenance supervisor (AMS).

Residents are expected to maintain and leave the residence at checkout in the same condition of repair as it was when they checked in, normal wear and tear, excepted.

Students will be charged for any damage to rooms and public areas of campus residences, which results from misconduct or misuse. Charges for damages for which responsibility cannot be determined will be prorated among the residents of a residence hall or living unit. In order to control the quality of the craftsmanship in campus living areas, students may not make repairs to avoid damage charges. Residents should report needed repairs to the area maintenance supervisor (https://apphost2.its.vanderbilt.edu/housing/Facilities/Main/Request.cfm), the Office of Housing and Residential Education, or the building’s residential staff members. The University will make all needed repairs and do all redecorating, including painting, at its discretion. Authorized University personnel may enter at any reasonable time, or in emergencies, to inspect and repair property and equipment or to investigate allegations of policy violations.

The common areas of suites, apartments, and lodges are intended as joint living space for the residents. Students are not permitted to use these rooms as bedrooms. Furnishings in these rooms may not be moved to individual bedrooms.

Communicable Diseases

Residents must report immediately to the Student Health Center any case, or suspected case, of a communicable disease.

Damage, Collective Damage, and Liability

The University is not responsible for personal property and is not liable for damages to student property caused by vandalism, mischief, or other students’ negligence.  The University is not liable for damages caused by electrical or mechanical failures or difficulties, or broken water pipes, unless, after being notified, the University fails to take reasonable means to correct the failure or difficulty.  Students are strongly encouraged to arrange for insurance coverage for all valuables and belongings they bring to campus. Students should check the provisions of parent/guardian homeowners/renters insurance and/or consider obtaining personal coverage. See Loss of Property/Insurance Coverage below.

Damage to Property

Damage, vandalism, littering, or theft of University property or property of a member of the University community, or of a campus visitor, by a student or student groups, may result in disciplinary action as well as the offender’s being held financially responsible for the cost of repair or replacement.

For example, a student may leave a window open during cold weather causing burst pipes and the flooding of student rooms and common areas. Or, a student may cause a fire triggering the building’s sprinkler system causing both water and smoke damage to student rooms and common areas. In these cases, the perpetrators may be held responsible not only for disciplinary purposes, but also for the financial losses suffered by other students and the University resulting from these events.

Students may be held financially responsible for damages or losses resulting from accidents or negligence. Students who suffer losses under such circumstances must take their claims to their own homeowners or renters insurance carriers. These companies may subrogate the claims to the carrier of the responsible student’s insurance. (Note: Among the most common occurrences is water damage caused by the triggering of interior sprinklers as a result of horseplay, or hanging objects from sprinkler heads.)

Collective Damage

Damage and vandalism are costly and undermine the quality of life in the residential community.  The University expects members of the residential community to aid in the prevention of vandalism.  Residents are jointly and severally responsible for damage to their living units and furnishings, and are collectively responsible for damage to common areas.

Residents of a building, or part thereof, may be assessed charges for repair of damage to common areas.

Interruption of Services

Interruption or curtailment of services maintained in a residential building, if caused by strikes, mechanical difficulties, or other causes, does not entitle residents to any claim against the University or to any reduction in rent.  Noise from service vehicles, construction activity, or other normal and necessary activities does not entitle residents to any claim against the University or to any reduction in rent.

Electric Appliances

Small items such as radios, sound systems, electric blankets, clocks, lamps, and coffee makers with enclosed heating elements are permitted in rooms, but no appliances with exposed heating elements, or grills (for either outdoor or indoor use, including “George Foreman” grills and like devices), are allowed. Appliances that draw a large amount of current from each circuit, such as hot plates, air conditioners, electric heaters, and instant water-heating elements, are prohibited. In addition, washers, dryers, and dishwashers are not allowed. Microwave ovens less than six years old, having a maximum power of no more than 800 watts and an interior capacity of no more than one cubic foot are permitted. Refrigerators less than six years old that have no more than a four-cubic-foot capacity may be used. The residential staff of a building may require that any appliance be placed in storage if the manner in which the appliance is used causes interruption of service or endangers the health, safety, or well-being of members of the residential community.

All appliances used in campus residences must be in good condition, with special attention given to seals, electrical cords, and plugs. Only power strips with circuit breakers may be used as extension cords. In consideration of fire safety, halogen lamps or light sources are prohibited in campus residences. The Senior Director of Housing Operations reserves the option of revoking authorization for the use of any appliance in individual buildings or throughout the residential campus.

Consumer electronic devices used for wireless communication (routers, AirPorts, etc.), are prohibited.


No University furniture, plants, or other furnishings, including those in lounges or reception areas, may be exchanged with anyone, stacked, or moved from one room to another. Headboards and footboards may not be removed from beds and University furnishings may not be removed from rooms. Anyone who moves furniture or mattresses without authorization will be responsible for the costs incurred in moving these items back to their proper positions (or the cost of repair or replacement, if an item is damaged or lost) and will be subject to disciplinary sanction. Doors and window screens may not be removed.

Student-owned furniture brought into campus residences and Greek houses must meet the hospitality/contract-grade furniture fire-safety specifications of either the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) standard 260, or the California Technical Bulletin 117, section E. (Furniture that complies with either standard will be appropriately tagged by the manufacturer.)  Student-owned furniture must be removed before the student checks out of his/her room at the conclusion of the period of occupancy.  Failure to comply may result in the assessment of charges for removal as well as disciplinary sanctions.

Guests and Visitation

Escorts, Resident

Resident hosts must escort non-residents of the opposite sex on their floors at all times during a visit (i.e., into the building, on the floor and in stairwells, and out of the building). Individuals may not visit a floor designated for the opposite sex without an escort from a resident host. (Individuals visiting floors designated for the same sex as their own do not require escorts, but do require resident hosts.) Resident students (or their same-sex visitors) who must pass through a portion of a floor designated for the opposite sex in order to get to their own floors (or the floors they are visiting), must take the most direct route possible, and should remain mindful of the rights of the residents of the opposite sex through whose floors they must pass.

An exception to the escort policy is made for “intervisitation,” that is, residents of a given building or residential area having a presence on floors in their buildings or areas, which are assigned to residents of the opposite sex. Visiting residents may be on these floors to visit persons residing there, or to use a common facility such as a kitchen, a study area, a lounge, etc. The specific hours for intervisitation are scheduled and are governed by card readers that permit access to the halls. In general, the hours are from noon to midnight. At other times, the escort policy is in full force.


Visits of a relatively short duration by members of the opposite sex in residential rooms are permitted during visitation hours. In most campus residences, a visit may occur at any time during a given 24-hour period. (Students are expected to know the hours of visitation in their own living units, and in the units of those they may visit.) However, overnight and extended visits by members of the opposite sex are not allowed by the visitation policy.

It is inappropriate (and unauthorized) for persons to use bathroom facilities designated for the opposite sex. Common bathroom facilities on residential floors are designated for the sex assigned to the floor, unless otherwise indicated.

Overnight Guests

Residents seeking to host nonresident, overnight guests must obtain authorization from all of their roommates, suitemates, lodgemates or apartmentmates.  Upon arrival, nonresident, overnight guests must register at the appropriate receptionist’s desk (or with residential staff when a residence either has no desk, or the desk is not staffed), and must check out upon departure. Arrangements for temporary housing of overnight guests must be authorized by the head resident or staff official on duty, at the earliest possible date. There is a three-night limit on visits by guests in undergraduate residences.

Guests may occupy the vacant half of a double room with the written authorization of the absent occupant. Hosts must be of the same sex as their guests.  No one may serve as host in absentia. The University reserves the right to require that a guest vacate a room, a residence, or the campus, for any reason and at any time.

Guests During Breaks

A Vanderbilt student who lives in a residence that closes during breaks may be invited to stay as a guest in the room of a student who remains on campus. The host must be present during the break. The host must obtain the authorization of all the roommates, suitemates, lodge mates, or apartment mates, in order to offer a place to stay during a break, to a student who is not a resident of the unit. The guest must register online or at the appropriate desk in compliance with posted or published procedures.

ID Card Access Readers

Most campus residences have ID card access readers at one or several entrances. Access schedules vary by building and by entrance. For reasons of safety and security, students may not enable building access to persons they do not know to be residents of that building.

Lost ID cards should be reported immediately to the Vanderbilt University Card Office, 184 Sarratt Center, 322-2273 (C-CARD on campus phones), on the Web at https://services.jsatech.com/login.php?cid=16, or to any facility that accepts the Vanderbilt Card, such as dining halls or Varsity Markets. Lost cards may also be reported to the University Police Department at 322-2745.

Keys and Access Codes

Keys and access codes to residential rooms and other necessary keys, if any, are issued to residents upon check-in to their rooms. Residents may not duplicate keys or share access codes. No deposit is required, but if a key is lost or not returned when a room is vacated, the lock will be changed and the resident charged for the replacement. If it is determined that access codes have been shared, the code will be changed and the resident(s) charged for the change.

Linens and Laundry

The University does not supply towels, washcloths, linens, blankets, or pillows. Coin- or Commodore Card-operated washers and dryers are provided for campus residents in each of the seven residential areas.

Loss of Property/Insurance Coverage

Every student is responsible for his or her own property and should consider obtaining personal coverage or having coverage under his or her parent’s homeowner’s policy for items brought to campus. Coverage should include both losses of University property and losses of property owned by others, that a student may cause.

Music Practice Rooms

Certain rooms in campus residences have been designated for use as music practice rooms. Due to their proximity to residential space, their use requires policies that preserve the quiet of the halls for the residents. Policies and specified times for the use of these spaces will be posted in each space. Except for University-supplied pianos, no amplified or percussion instruments are permitted. Use of these rooms for music practice may be terminated by the Office of Housing and Residential Education.

Party Registration

Gatherings in residential spaces with alcohol present must be registered, regardless of their size.  Gatherings with alcohol are permitted only in Carmichael Towers East suites, Carmichael Towers West, Mayfield Place, Chaffin Place, Morgan House, and Lewis House. All gatherings must abide by all other University and residential policies (noise, alcohol, visitation, etc.). Party registration forms are available at the receptionist’s desks and through residential staff members and should be submitted by no fewer than 72 hours in advance of the event. Party registration forms are also available online at http://www.vanderbilt.edu/ResEd/main/partyregistration.pdf.


Students may not have pets and other animals in University residences. Students are also prohibited from keeping or providing for animals on University property, and visiting animals must be kept outdoors and leashed. Students who violate this policy are subject to disciplinary action and will bear any associated costs in rooms where animals are found in violation of this policy. Fish may be kept in aquariums, but flesh-eating and dangerous fish (e.g. piranha) are prohibited.

Policy Violations

Students who are found to be in violation of University policy may be required to change room assignments or vacate University housing as directed by the Office of Housing and Residential Education.  (See also “Residential Conduct System,” below.)

Quiet Hours

Quiet hours are in effect from 7pm until 7am., Sunday through Thursday, and midnight until 10am, Friday and Saturday. During these hours, residents must cease all activities that might disturb study or sleep. Radios, televisions, etc., should be turned to low volume and other noisy activity curtailed. During reading and examination periods, quiet hours are in effect 24 hours a day. In addition, the residents may vote to alter quiet hours, in accordance with the provisions for residential autonomy. Non-quiet hours are not “noisy” hours. “Courtesy” hours are in effect 24 hours a day.

The use of electric guitars, other amplified instruments, drums, and other instruments producing loud volume, is prohibited in campus residences.

Because of their propensity to be heard and felt through solid materials, subwoofers in stereo speakers or other audio equipment are also prohibited.

Safety and Fire Prevention

Residents must abide by the fire safety practices and regulations listed below:

  • Combustible materials may not be stored on the premises.
  • Cardboard boxes may not be used for storage of items in storage areas.
  • The Metropolitan Nashville-Davidson County Fire Code prohibits the use and storage of grills within ten (10) feet of any combustible materials on any balcony or patio of a multifamily dwelling. Use or storage of grills is prohibited on any balcony or patio, or in any residential facility.
  • Motorcycles, mopeds, and other internal combustion machines may not be kept in University housing.
  • Bicycles may not be stored in hallways, stairwells, or other common areas because they may block emergency egress. Bicycles may be stored in student rooms.
  • Candles, other open flames, oil lamps, and incense, are prohibited in the residence halls.
  • Walkways, stairs, and corridors must be kept clear at all times for emergency egress. Student property may not be stored in these areas.
  • Heat producing appliances (coffee makers, heating pads, slow-cookers, etc.) must be attended when turned on.
  • Flammable materials may not be used to cover or obstruct light sources, heating/cooling sources, or fire-safety fixtures,
  • The University’s smoke-free campus policy limits smoking to designated outdoor areas. Extinguishing or disposing of smoking materials by any means other than the urns provided is prohibited.
  • Access to windows and doors must be kept clear for emergency egress.
  • Fire doors may be used by residents or guests only for emergency exit or exit during drills.
  • Failure to evacuate a building when a fire alarm sounds is prohibited.
  • Additionally, the following are prohibited and will likely result in disciplinary sanctions, including possible suspension from the University or a prorated damage charge among the residents of a particular area if the responsible person(s) cannot be identified (see Collective Damage above):
    • Tampering with door alarms, fire extinguishers, sprinkler heads, water flow or other control valves and other fire-safety equipment,
    • Tampering with smoke detectors, emergency phones, building access systems, elevator systems, surveillance cameras or other safety and security equipment,
    • Tube lights and string lights, except that string lights may be used under the following conditions: Such lights may be used only in individual rooms and not in common areas. The lights must be UL approved and in good condition. No more than three strands of such lights may be strung together, and must be plugged directly into an outlet or into a surge protector that is plugged directly into an outlet.
    • Items suspended from the ceilings, sprinkler heads, overhead piping, or on or near water pipes,
    • Use or possession of fireworks,
    • Disabling fire alarm systems,
    • Arson/igniting fires,
    • Tampering with or damaging fire-exit lights, signs, horns, strobes or other notification devices,
    • Tampering with or obstructing emergency-exit doors,

Safety and Security

Residents must abide by the safety and security practices and regulations listed below:

  • Nothing may be thrown from windows. Objects may not be placed on window ledges or on roofs.
  • Tampering with card access readers is prohibited.
  • Removing window or door screens is prohibited.
  • Propping open exterior doors or any doors controlled by card access readers is prohibited.

It is essential that residents cooperate with the University in every way to safeguard the residential community and the belongings of residents. Students should keep room doors locked, keep money and other valuables out of sight, and report thefts and suspicious persons immediately to their head residents, resident advisers or the Vanderbilt Police Department.

Periodically, officers from the Vanderbilt Police Department may enter campus residences, Greek houses, and other campus facilities to assess their safety, security, and compliance with University policies.

Security Checks

At certain hours, students may be required to show Vanderbilt identification to gain entrance to campus residences. (See also “ID Card Access Readers,” above.)

Smoke-Free Campus

Vanderbilt University is a smoke-free campus. Smoking is prohibited in all buildings on campus, including University residence halls and Greek chapter houses, and on the grounds of the campus with the exception of designated outdoor smoking areas. Locations of additional designated smoking areas for campus residents may be found at on the Housing and Residential Education website.  Greek organizations may elect to designate outdoorsmoking areas on their house grounds.

Designated smoking areas will be marked with signs and include cigarette urns for disposal.

Vanderbilt University is committed to providing a healthy, comfortable and productive environment and offers several resources for smoking cessation. http://www.vanderbilt.edu/student_health/smokingcessation .

Solicitation in Residential Units

In general, solicitation in campus residences is prohibited. Room-to-room solicitation for any reason is not allowed. Those students or student organizations who wish to organize clothing, food, blood, book, or other drives in the residence halls must request authorization from the Director of Residential Education.  For more information on guidelines for student organizations, please refer to the Student Organization Manual at http://www.vanderbilt.edu/studentorganizations/manual/index.html.


During the school year, there are limited storage facilities in most residence halls for large luggage items. (Students are expected to keep weekend bags in their rooms.) Storage is available on a “first-come, first-served” basis. Each stored item must be labeled with the student’s name, room number, home address, and date stored, using the storage stickers provided on site. Charges may be assessed for special handling. The University does not accept responsibility for any loss or damage for items students place in storage.

Items may be stored in trunks, metal trashcans or plastic storage containers with lids. Fire regulations require that no cardboard boxes be used for storage of items. Each student may store a maximum of two storage items, but furniture may not be stored in University storage areas.

Summer Storage

Student summer storage facilities are designated for each of the upperclass residential areas. Students may store two items–one of which may be a refrigerator–in the respective residential areas in which they will reside when they return the following fall. Any personal property remaining in living spaces, or in individual floor or corridor closets or storage rooms at the termination of the housing contract, or in the storage rooms past the removal deadlines, will be considered abandoned and may be disposed of without notice at the discretion of the Director of Residential Education.  All stored items must be logged in.  Students should retain receipts for their records. The University does not accept responsibility for loss of, or damage to, stored items.

Substance Free Residences

Residential areas for first-year students are designated as substance free by the Office of Housing and Residential Education. The use of tobacco products and the possession or use of alcohol or illicit drugs in these substance-free areas (in either private rooms or common areas) by residents or their guests, are prohibited.


In most cases, each resident is provided with a private telephone line. The University does not provide telephone handsets. Students may use handsets that are FCC registered. Use of non-FCC registered phones, or other non-compatible devices using telephone lines, is prohibited. Because they interfere with wireless data networks, 2.4GHz cordless phones are also prohibited. Both 900 MHz and 5.8GHz cordless phones are compatible with the wireless data network, and may be used in campus residences.

Wireless Data Network

The Office of Housing and Residence Education has implemented a wireless data network throughout campus residences. Wireless consumer electronic devices—sometimes called routers, access points (AP’s) or AirPorts—interfere with the University wireless data network, and, in worst-case circumstances, could even take down the data network. Manufacturers of such devices include Apple, Belkin, D-Link, Linksys, etc. These devices are prohibited.

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Residential Conduct System

The purpose of the Residential Conduct System is to enable residents to hold one another accountable for their actions and promote a greater sense of community within the residences. Students and their guests are expected to abide by all policies, regulations, and procedures in the Student Handbook and other documents while living in, or visiting, University residences. Ignorance of these policies, regulations, and procedures is not an excuse for failing to comply with them.

Generally, the Residential Conduct System will consider cases of alleged violations for which sanctions less than disciplinary probation are appropriate, which occur within the residences or their immediate environs. However, students accused of violations of University policy within the jurisdiction of the Residential Conduct System may be referred to the Office of Student Conduct and Academic Integrity along with the cases of non-residents.

In general, alleged violations of residential policies may be observed and reported by residents, residential staff, or University Police officers.

The Senior Director of Residential Education, or the Director’s designee, will review incident reports and determine how a case will be handled. The Senior Director of Residential Education may initiate further investigation of the incident by residential staff members. The Senior Director of Residential Education may take no action, or refer the matter to either the Office of Student Conduct and Academic Integrity or the Residential Conduct System. If a referral is made, the residents named in the incident reports will be notified regarding both the alleged violation and the disposition of the matter (referred to Office of Student Conduct and Academic Integrity, or referred to Residential Conduct System) within a reasonable length of time (generally, ten business days) following the receipt of the incident report. When an incident is referred to a judicial officer or body, the resident will be directed to schedule, and to keep, an appointment with the appropriate staff member. This request may be made by email, telephone, letter, or in person. Failure to comply with such directives is a violation of University policy and will not stop the conduct-system process. The case may be resolved in the resident’s absence.

Should the Senior Director of Residential Educations determine that a resident may pose an imminent danger to persons or property, the Senior Director of Residential Education may direct the resident to vacate the residential system immediately and not to return, pending further investigation and review. A preliminary hearing will be held, within five business days of such a directive, to review the directive. Appeals of the review may be made to the Senior Director of Residential Education. (See “Appeals,” below.)

Cases heard in the Residential Conduct system can be adjudicated in one of three ways: a hearing by the Residential Conduct Board; an Informal Hearing held by an Area Coordinator, or designee; or a formal administrative hearing.  The Senior Director of Residential Education or designee will review all cases and refer them to the appropriate authority.  The Residential Conduct Board will hear most cases involving first violations of residence-life policies, including those concerning co-habitation, escorts, trash, noise, pets, vandalism, or the possession of certain prohibited items (candles, incense, decorative lights, cooking devices, etc.).  Cases involving alcohol, tobacco, or other drugs as well as violations of fire-safety will be heard by an Area Coordinator at an informal hearing or by the Senior Director of Residential Education at a formal hearing.


The Residential Conduct Board consists of four residents and is chaired by the Senior Director of Residential Education or the Senior Director’s designee. The resident board members are judicial vice-presidents of residences or other residential council members selected by the appropriate Vanderbilt Student Government officer. Findings of guilt or innocence and, when appropriate, assignment of sanction, are determined by a simple majority vote, assuming that all five members of the board are present (see below).

The resident will be informed in writing of the charges and will have no fewer than three business days to prepare for the hearing unless the resident agrees to a hearing at an earlier date. The resident will have the opportunity to examine all of the evidence presented in the case. The resident may present information at the hearing and may ask relevant questions about information presented at the hearing by the hearing authority. The hearing authority determines the relevance of questions.

In the event that one of the four judicial vice-presidents is absent during the hearing, the resident will have one of three options.

1. Postpone the hearing until a later date as determined by the Senior Director of Residential Education or the Senior Director’s designee,

2. Elect to have the case heard by the Senior Director of Residential Education or Director’s designee, only,

3. Waive the right to the fourth resident member and continue the hearing with three judicial vice-presidents and the Senior Director of Residential Education or Senior Director’s designee.

If the decision of guilt or innocence by the three judicial vice-presidents is not unanimous, the case must be reheard by a full Conduct Board.  If the accused resident enters a guilty plea, a two-thirds majority is required to impose a sanction.

All participants in hearings are expected to tell the truth and conduct themselves in a respectful and appropriate manner. Accused residents may not attempt to influence, harass, or intimidate complainants, witnesses, or members of the Conduct Board.  Instances of perjury by any participant during the investigation or hearing may result in a referral to either the Office of Student Conduct and Academic Integrity or the Residential Conduct System at the discretion of the Senior Director of Residential Education or the Senior Director’s designee.

Persons serving as hearing officers may disqualify themselves if they believe that they cannot be impartial or even if it appears that their impartiality may be questioned. Accused residents may object for specific cause to any person(s) serving as a hearing officer for their respective cases.

In cases not sent to the Residential Conduct Board, an Area Coordinator (or person designated by the Senior Director) will hold an initial meeting with the resident and others with relevant information. The resident will be provided with written notification of the alleged violation(s) as well as with information about the Residential Conduct System process. The resident will have an opportunity to examine the written notification and to respond to the incident report.

Based on the interview and any other relevant information that may be available, the Area Coordinator or the AC’s designee may take the following actions:

If the evidence indicates that no violation has occurred, the matter may be dropped and the AC or the AC’s designee will notify the accused resident and complainant.

The accused student may be referred to mediation. In mediation, an impartial third party guides a process of communication between conflicting parties to promote reconciliation, settlement, or compromise. The accused student will have the opportunity to select a mediator from available staff members; generally the mediator will be a residential staff member or a staff member from the Psychological and Counseling Center. The purpose of mediation is to help the conflicting parties reach agreement about future behavior. An Area Coordinator or an AC’s designee will monitor the agreement, which may be delineated in a “behavioral contract.” Failure to achieve agreement or failure to abide by the agreement will result in referral of the case to an Area Coordinator or the AC’s designee for further action.

If the evidence indicates that it is likely that a violation occurred, then the Area Coordinator or the AC’s designee may formally charge the resident. The resident may accept or deny responsibility for the violation. The accused resident may then choose an informal or a formal process to adjudicate the charge. Typically, the resident will select the informal process in cases in which the facts are not in dispute and the resident accepts responsibility for the violation. Hearings may not be scheduled earlier than three days after a student has been charged without that student’s consent.

In the informal process, the Area Coordinator or the AC’s designee and accused student will discuss the incident, its circumstances, and other relevant information. The Area Coordinator may impose a sanction when appropriate. (See “Appeals,” below.)

In the formal process, the student will be referred to the Senior Director of Residential Education or the Director’s designee to have an administrative hearing in which the Senior Director of Residential Education or Director’s designee will hear the case, determine the question of guilt or innocence, and assign sanctions when appropriate.


Sanctions are intended to be educational in character. Students are encouraged to consider the consequences of their actions not only for the development of their own characters but also for the well-being of the residential community. A resident’s prior conduct record may result in progressively more severe sanctions.

Students found guilty of violations may receive one or more of the following sanctions:

Reprimand: The resident will be issued a written warning advising the student to reflect on his or her actions and to abide by University policy thenceforth.

Behavioral Contract: The resident will sign a written agreement in which certain behavioral changes are specified.

Work Service: The resident will be required to provide a service beneficial to the community within a specified period of time.

Educational Sanction: A resident will be required to complete within a specified period of time an educational task related to his or her behavior.

Restitution: The resident will be required to pay for lost, stolen, or damaged property or for lost revenue.

Fines: The resident will be required to pay a fine, not to exceed $200.

Reassignment: The resident will be reassigned to another residence for his or her benefit and/or the benefit of his or her community.

Loss of standing in the Housing Assignment Process: The resident will lose seniority, point standing or both in the housing assignment process.  The resident may also lose eligibility to participate in the off-campus or Greek House authorization process.

Residential Probation: The resident will receive a stern, written warning advising the resident that any further violations of University policy within a specified period of time will likely result in referral to the Office of Student Conduct and Academic Integrity for discipline. Residential staff members placed on residence hall probation are subject to termination. Residents on residence-hall probation may be required to resign from, or be prohibited from seeking, offices or positions of responsibility in Vanderbilt Student Government, including local councils of residential units.

Prohibition of entry or use of residential facilities: The resident may be prohibited from entering certain residential facilities. Violators may be subject to arrest for trespass. Limits may be imposed on the resident’s use of various residential services (laundry rooms, data networks, etc.).

Residential Expulsion: The resident may be expelled from the University housing system and have his or her housing contract terminated. The resident will be expected to vacate his or her space within 24 hours of expulsion. The expelled resident is liable for all damages to the space and for rental charges in accordance with the published refund schedule.

Failure to abide by the requirements specified by sanctions will likely result in further action.


A resident found guilty by the Residential Conduct System may appeal the finding and/or the sanction to the Senior Director of Residential Education or the director’s designee. Appeals must be filed in writing within five business days of the date of the decision.

Appeals must be prepared in writing by the resident. Appeals prepared by another person will not be accepted. Appeals must specify the grounds for appeal (found below):

  • Insufficient evidence to support the decision.
  • Harshness of sanction sufficient to show an abuse of discretion by the Residential Conduct System authority.
  • Procedural irregularity sufficient to affect the decision.
  • New evidence that was not reasonably available for presentation at the original hearing, and that could reasonably be expected to affect the decision.

The Senior Director of Residential Education or the director’s designee will respond to the appeal in a timely manner (generally within fifteen business days). The Senior Director of Residential Education or the director’s designee may respond by:

  • Affirming the original finding.
  • Affirming the original sanction.
  • Reversing the original finding and dismissing the complaint.
  • Reversing the original finding and directing that a new hearing be held.
  • Setting aside the original sanction and imposing a different sanction.

The appeal decisions of the Senior Director of Residential Education or the director’s designee are final.

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