Chapter 4: Residential Life
NOTE: During the 2020-2021 academic year, the University will be establishing and operating under guidelines and protocols to reduce the spread of COVID-19, which may change over time in light of the evolving nature of the pandemic. These guidelines and protocols will be communicated to students through other mechanisms and not through the Student Handbook. Students are expected to abide by any and all University guidelines and protocols to reduce the spread of COVID-19. In some circumstances, these guidelines and protocols may supersede provisions in the Student Handbook.
The Office of Housing and Residential Experience provides a comprehensive development program for students living in University residential units. In partnership with faculty and staff from across the University, Residential Experience professionals work to build a living-learning community where values of scholarship and leadership are nurtured in a culture of collegiality. Residential Experience 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 Experience employs a compassionate group of upper division, graduate, and professional students as resident advisers (RAs) head residents (HRs), graduate area coordinators (GACs), and graduate program coordinators (GPCs). Professional, in-residence staff supervise the student staff. The collective Residential Experience staff, in cooperation with Vanderbilt Student Government (VSG) and other campus partners, organizes and coordinates social, educational, and recreational programs throughout the residences.
The residential experience is regarded as an integral part of a Vanderbilt undergraduate's education. The mission of the Office of Housing and Residential Experience 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 1959, states that “All unmarried undergraduate students are required to 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.”
In general, first-year students are housed separately from upper division students. When there is insufficient space in the designated first-year-student housing system or in special situations, first-year students may be housed with upper division students. All undergraduates make housing arrangements through the Office of Housing and Residential Experience in Branscomb Quadrangle.
First-Year Student Assignments
Procedures for first-year student housing assignments will usually be posted on the Housing and Residential Experience website by no later than February 1, of the year in which students will enter the University.
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 upper division 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 Upper Division Student Assignments
Returning unmarried upper division students receive their housing assignments through a random selection process in the spring. 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 Experience, sixty days prior to the beginning of the semester.
Requests to Live in Off-campus Housing
Vanderbilt is a residential University. As stated in the Residential Requirement, “all unmarried undergraduate students”—regardless of class standing or seniority—“are required to live in residence halls on-campus” unless the University grants a student authorization to live off-campus or in Greek housing. The Residential Requirement is binding for the student's entire undergraduate education.
Note that there is no guarantee of on-campus housing, and that the University may not always be able to provide on-campus assignments to every student who desires to live on campus. In such circumstances, the University will announce procedures for seeking on-campus assignments and enhance efforts to help students seeking available off-campus housing.
Only students who have been authorized or who are required to reside off campus by the Director of Housing Assignments or the Director’s designee may do so. Students should not make deposits or sign leases until they receive written notice from the housing assignments director that they are authorized or required to reside off campus. The Office of Housing and Residential Experience maintains an off-campus referral service.
When Vanderbilt receives notice of a landlord 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" or is adversely affecting the University's relationship with the neighboring community, all Vanderbilt students who are residents may be subject to corrective action through the University’s accountability process, even though a specific individual responsible for the conduct cannot be identified.
Authorization to live off-campus may be revoked at any time for good cause, including as part of a sanction imposed following a student accountability proceeding. 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 Guidelines;" or behavior that adversely affects the University's relationship with the neighborhood community. 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. If authorization is revoked and the student is required to return to, and live in, assigned on-campus housing, 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.
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 Experience. 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 Experience 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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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 (data network, etc.) may not be used for business purposes. Student rooms may not be used for publicized events, including meetings of organizations, 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 noon on the Friday prior to the first day of spring semester classes.
Campus residences are officially closed during Thanksgiving break, semester break, and spring break. Students are not contractually entitled to occupy their rooms during these periods. However, at the discretion of the Senior Director for 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 Experience. 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 corrective action through the University’s accountability process. Residential houses on the Ingram 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.
End of Spring Semester/Commencement Week
By no later than 9am of the first Saturday following examinations, all residents must completely vacate and check out of their residences except for graduating residents and residents with official roles in sanctioned commencement events or other roles designated by the University.
Only graduating residents and residents with official roles in sanctioned commencement events or other roles designated by the University, whose commencement week residency has been approved in advance by the Office of Housing Assignments, may stay in residence halls during commencement week. These residents must completely vacate and check out no later than 1pm of the Saturday following commencement.
Other than graduating seniors, at the sole discretion of the Office of Housing Assignments, students with official roles in sanctioned commencement events or other roles designated by the University may be required to move from their spring room assignment to a commencement-week assignment by 9am the day after their last examination and vacate their commencement week housing no later that 1pm the Saturday following commencement.
Expiration and Termination
A room contract will be terminated upon a student’s graduation, completion of his/her/their 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, or because a student has placed a deposit on, or signed a contract for off-campus accommodations.
Residents must check-in with residential staff when they arrive on campus. Residents will be issued a key and/or an access combination. The resident must complete and sign the online room condition report to document the initial condition of the room and its furnishings. A resident may be held responsible for any damage to his/her/their living space that is found when he/she/they moves out unless the damage was noted on his/her/their 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. (See Damage to Property under “General Residence Life Policies.”)
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 damage and corresponding charges incurred between the check-in and check-out dates recorded on the room condition report. If the room condition report is not reviewed and signed, then the resident may be held financially responsible for all damages above and beyond those noted on the original room condition report.
Students may not move from their assigned spaces to other spaces without the prior approval of the Office of Housing and Residential Experience. Room change requests are granted at the discretion of the Director of Housing Assignments. Students who make unauthorized room changes are subject to corrective action through the University’s accountability process.
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.
The University offers a variety of living accommodations for students of all sexual orientations and gender identities and expressions. Gender designations of buildings, floors, lodges, suites, or apartments are made on an annual basis. Single students who share bedrooms must be of the same gender, unless the University has designated the room for multi-gender occupancy.
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, University 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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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 all University policies and regulations, 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 assistant 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 each week.
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 (e.g., UHU Tac and Scotch Removable Mounting 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, and 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 and 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. To conserve resources, 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 in the student housing portal, to the Office of Housing and Residential Experience, or to 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. Furnishings in these rooms may not be moved to individual bedrooms.
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 .)
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 corrective action through the University’s accountability process as well as the responsible student(s’) being held financially responsible for the cost of repair or replacement.
For example, a student may leave a window open during sub-freezing 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 accountability 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.)
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.
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 for Housing Operations reserves the option of revoking authorization for the use of any appliance in individual buildings or throughout the residential campus.
Because the University provides ubiquitous wireless data network coverage in all its residences, consumer electronic devices that emit a wireless signal (routers, AirPorts, etc.), are prohibited, and settings for smartphone hotspots or wireless connectivity for printers, must be disabled. (See also “Wireless Data Network.”)
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 corrective action through the University’s accountability process. 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/their room at the conclusion of the period of occupancy. Failure to comply may result in the assessment of charges for removal as well as corrective action through the University’s accountability process.
Visitation and Overnight Guests
Visitors are allowed in residences throughout the 24-hour day. However, residents must remain sensitive to the safety and security concerns of the residential community as well as the privacy needs of floormates/roommates/suitemates/lodgemates/apartmentmates. Prior to a visitor’s arrival, resident hosts should discuss with the persons with whom they share space, the fact that visitors are expected. Residents are responsible for the conduct of their visitors and violations of University policy may be referred to the Office of Student Accountability, Community Standards and Academic Integrity. Visitors (including Vanderbilt students who do not have access to a particular building), must be escorted at all times when in the residence halls. Lending ID cards or room keys to visitors and sharing access codes are prohibited.
A student who wishes to host an overnight guest must complete a guest registration form located on the AnchorLink page of the appropriate residence hall or house. The request should be made at least 24 hours prior to the arrival of the guest. The relevant Area Coordinator will review the request and send a message regarding the status of the registration. Host students should seek the permission of roommates and others with whom they share space (suitemates, e.g.,) before completing the registration form. Guests’ stays are limited to three consecutive nights. Guests must be escorted at all times in the residences. Lending student ID cards or room keys and sharing access codes are prohibited. Residents are responsible for the conduct of their guests and violations of University policy may be referred to the Office of Student Accountability, Community Standards and Academic Integrity.
Visiting Minors or Minor Guests Not Participating in a Vanderbilt or Third Party Program
Vanderbilt, as a research university, is generally not a proper environment for minors (under the age of 18) who are not directly accompanied by a parent or guardian unless they are participating in a program planned for minors and adequately supervised by adults who have the appropriate training and credentials.
Minor visitors may be allowed, subject to applicable University policies and the exceptions outlined herein, in student residential housing floors or rooms, but must be escorted at all times by their resident host or by their parent/legal guardian. For visits and/or overnight stays, the resident host is responsible for the minor guest and must accompany them at all times. Resident hosts must register overnight minor guests at least 24 hours in advance of the stay by completing the guest registration form on the AnchorLink page of the appropriate residence hall or house. The resident host must provide the age of the guest and documentation that the minor’s parent or guardian approves the visit. Residents are not permitted to host minor guests under the age of 16 for visits unless the guests are siblings of the resident. If the minor guest is unrelated to the resident host and is under age 16, the minor’s parent or guardian must also be present at all times. Residents are not permitted to host overnight guests under the age of 16; requests for exceptions for siblings of the resident may be reviewed and must be approved 24 hours in advance of the stay by the Senior Director of the Office of Housing and Residential Experience. Residents who violate these policies may be referred to the Office of Student Accountability, Community Standards, and Academic Integrity.
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. Students may not be present in residence halls to which they do not have access unless they are visiting another student and are accompanied by the host student. A resident enabling building access to a student whom they are not hosting is not considered an authorized entry to the building for the entering non-resident student.
Lost ID cards should be reported immediately to Vanderbilt Card Services, 184 Sarratt Center, 615-322-2273—C-CARD on campus phones, on the website, or to any facility that accepts the Vanderbilt Card, such as Campus Dining outlets or Varsity Markets. Lost cards may also be reported to the Vanderbilt University Police Department at 615-322-2745.
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- and 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/her/their own property and should consider obtaining personal coverage or having coverage under his/her/their 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 Experience.
Gatherings in residential spaces, regardless of whether alcohol is present, must be registered, when the number of people at the event will exceed the number of occupants of the apartment/suite plus ten (10). For example, a suite of six (6) can have up to sixteen (16) people, including the residents of the space, without needing to register the gathering. Gatherings are permitted only in Zeppos College suites, Warren College suites, Moore College suites, E. Bronson Ingram College suites, Carmichael Towers East suites, Mayfield Place, Chaffin Place, Morgan House, and Lewis House. All gatherings must abide by all other University and residential policies (noise, alcohol, visitation, etc.). The registration form is located on each residential community's individual AnchorLink page. Registrations should be submitted no later than 24 hours prior to the proposed event, or by 12pm on Friday (for weekend gatherings). The form, once submitted, is sent to the Area Coordinator for approval. Additional event management policies for events with alcohol are outlined in the "Events with Alcohol Hosted in Residential Spaces" section of Chapter 6.
Students are prohibited from having pets or keeping or providing for any animals on University property, including in University residences, except in the circumstances outlined in the "Assistance Animals" section of Chapter 1. Additionally, visiting animals must be kept outdoors and leashed. Students who violate this policy are subject to corrective action through the University’s accountability process, 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.
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 Experience.
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 devices that produce open flames, oil lamps, and incense, are prohibited in the residence halls, and subject to confiscation, whether or not they are lit at the time they are discovered. Exceptions for registered events sponsored by University departments may be made at the discretion of the Senior Director for Housing Operations, or the Director’s designee.
- 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 (e.g., sheets, blankets, bandanas, scarves), may not be used to cover or obstruct light sources, heating/cooling sources, or fire-safety fixtures.
- Cut trees, wreaths, and greenery (generally employed as seasonal decorations), are prohibited.
- Installation of elaborate door decorations is limited to a specified period of time–set by appropriate administrators–and may not remain overnight.
- Decorations on the exterior of room doors may not exceed 150 square inches, total, of surface area.
- 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.
- Emergency exits may be used by residents or guests only for emergency exit or exit during drills. Other use is prohibited.
- Failure to evacuate a building when a fire alarm sounds is prohibited.
- Additionally, the following are prohibited and will likely result in corrective action through the University’s accountability process, which action may include 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 ):
- 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: string lights must be UL approved and in good condition. They may be used only in individual rooms and not in common areas. The lights may not be suspended from ceilings, sprinkler heads, or overhead piping. 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 or igniting fires of any kind--anywhere on campus--except for the purpose of cooking on a grill in accordance with University policies and regulations and applicable statutes,
- 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 hung or 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 emergency exits or any door 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 their 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 University Police Department.
Periodically, officers from the Vanderbilt University Police Department may enter campus residences, Greek houses, and other campus facilities to assess their safety, security, and compliance with University policies.
At certain hours, students may be required to show Vanderbilt identification to gain entrance to campus residences. (See also “ID Card Access Readers.”)
Vanderbilt University is a smoke-free campus. Smoking and the use of electronic cigarettes, vaporizers, etc., are 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 on this map.
Greek organizations may elect to designate outdoor smoking 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. “Quit Kits” can be obtained free of charge from the Center for Student Wellbeing, and links to other resources can be found on its website.
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 Senior Director of Residential Experience.
Student-Election Campaigning in Residential Units
Residence hall campaigning is permitted for Vanderbilt Student Government, Honor Council, and Outstanding Senior elections, only (i.e., those with campus-wide or specific residential-unit interest). Room-to-room solicitation or campaigning is specifically prohibited. As a practical matter, campus-wide elections generate more posters than can be accommodated on residential bulletin boards. Students running for office may post two flyers per bulletin board in residences, but may not cover or remove flyers already in place. Posters larger than 11″ x 17″ in size are prohibited. The internal and external use of residential windows, doors, walls, and bathroom stalls is prohibited. Candidates are responsible for removing flyers within 48 hours of the conclusion of an election.
In the lobbies of certain residences, it is appropriate to hang banners of campus-wide interest. In these lobbies, candidates running for campus-wide offices may hang banners limited to three (3) feet in width and five (5) feet in length. Candidates wishing to hang banners in residential lobbies must contact the appropriate Area Coordinator for authorization and guidance. Candidates may reach appropriate Area Coordinator by calling the Office of Housing and Residential Experience at 615-322-2591.
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.
Student summer storage facilities are designated for each of the upper division 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. Property left in storage longer than one year will be considered abandoned and disposed of accordingly.
Personal property remaining in living spaces, 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 Senior Director of Residential Experience. 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. Property left in storage longer than one year will be considered abandoned and will be disposed of accordingly.
Substance Free Residences
Residential areas for first-year students are designated as substance free by the Office of Housing and Residential Experience. The use of tobacco products and the possession or use of alcohol or other drugs in these substance-free areas (in either private rooms or common areas) by residents or their guests, is prohibited.
Statutes and University policies regarding the use of alcohol, tobacco, and other substances apply to all residences.
Wireless Data Network
The University has implemented a wireless data network throughout campus residences. Wireless consumer electronic devices—sometimes called routers, access points (APs) 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. In addition, settings for smartphone hotspots or wireless connectivity for printers and other devices, must be disabled to prevent interference with University wireless APs.
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