Residential Life Policies
Window air conditioning units may not be installed in residence hall rooms. Students requiring special housing (e.g., an air-conditioned room, meal plan exemption, or living on an entry level floor) due to a medical condition must apply for an accommodation through the University Wellness Center for review by the disabilities accommodation committee. Once an accommodation is granted, the student should bring their letter granting the accommodation to the Office of Residential Life and schedule a meeting with the director of residential life.
In order to be considered for housing accommodations, the granted accommodation approval letter must be received by the Office of Residential Life no later than April 1 for returning students and July 1 for incoming students. Late requests are unable to be accommodated.
Air conditioning is provided in some but not all residence halls. See the residential life web page for detailed information about the amenities provided in each residence hall.
Alcohol and Drugs in Residence Halls
Alcoholic beverages are not allowed in the common areas of residence halls, regardless of the age of the resident. Opened containers of alcoholic beverages (including cups and glass bottles) are forbidden in all public areas of residence halls such as courtyards, breezeways, and halls. Underage residents are prohibited from display of alcoholic beverage containers of any sort in the residence hall facilities, including but not limited to: bottles, cans, growlers, flasks, etc.
See the EQB Guide for more detailed information, especially concerning alcohol and other drugs.
Breaks and Vacation Periods
The residence halls remain open for students during Fall, Thanksgiving, and Spring break. Residents may be asked to register to stay during these breaks. Students may not stay in residence halls during the winter, spring, and summer vacation periods unless express, written permission is given by the Office of Residential Life. Students do not have access to the halls or their rooms during these periods. Please note dining options are limited during breaks.
Cable television is provided for residence hall common rooms only. Splicing into the cable system for use in personal rooms is considered stealing and is reported to the Honor Council. Students may not install satellite dishes or antennas in residence halls.
Upon arriving on campus, students are expected to collect their keys and sign a room condition report and housing contract for the academic year. Failure to pick up keys or complete the appropriate paperwork will result in a fine.
Students are expected to leave their rooms in a clean and orderly manner at the end of the term. If a student has opted for Standard Check-out, each room must be inspected by a proctor or area coordinator and the check-out form completed and cosigned by the inspector before a student departs for the summer. If a student opts for Express Check-out, they must return their key to the Office of Residential Life. In choosing Express Check-out the room inspection will happen without the student and that student waives their right to contest any fines associated with damages to the room or violations of policy. Failure to check-out of the residence hall results in a $50 fine as well as waiving the right to contest fines associated with damage to the room or violations of policy. Unless involved with Commencement or directly related to a graduate, all freshmen and sophomores are required to check-out of their residence hall 24 hours after their last exam.
The Office of Residential Life does not permit on-campus storage for student belongings over the summer. Contact information for local storage facilities is posted in each building early in the Easter semester.
The University assesses fines for damage including but not limited to damage to walls, carpet, furniture, doors, windows, screens, and other University property. The University assesses charges for the disposal of any improperly stored item. Students are also charged $50 for each key that is missing upon check-out of the residence hall.
Students of the opposite sex and same-sex partners are not assigned and may not arrange to live together in any facility in the residential system.
Common rooms are primarily used by residential life staff for hall programs; beyond that, they may not be used for organized or spontaneous social activity which restricts any resident’s use of the common rooms or for activity which results in the violation of University policies. Please note, students and/or their guests may not sleep in the common rooms.
Damage to Residence Halls
Students are responsible for keeping their rooms clean and orderly and for damage to their rooms and furnishings. When a student is assigned to a residence hall, it is understood that the assignment carries with it an obligation to maintain a reasonably clean and orderly environment and to protect University property. Doors to rooms, bathrooms, and closets, and window screens should not be removed. A student who violates these expectations is fined $50 as well as the cost of repair.
University property including, but not limited to, furniture, plants, mattresses, doors, screens, and other furnishing in lounges or reception areas, may not be removed or exchanged, stacked or otherwise relocated.
Needed repairs should be reported to a proctor or area coordinator and should not be attempted by students.
Students must not mark or mar walls, doors, or carpets. Decals or contact paper should not be attached to walls, doors, windows, ceilings, and room furnishings. Only non-toxic, reusable white putty should be used to attach decorations to the walls. Use of nails, tape, or 3M command strips is not allowed.
A student who intentionally or carelessly damages residence hall property is fined for vandalism, charged restitution, and subject to lose priority for room assignment for the next year. Per the EQB Guide, students engaged in such action may also be subject to criminal charges. At the discretion of the dean of students (or their designee), a community service option may be made available in lieu of or in addition to the cost of the repairs. Subsequent offenses will be referred to the Dean of Students’ Office.
If it is unable to be determined which person(s) are responsible for residence hall damage that is clearly not the result of normal use, the cost of damage and repairs is split amongst the residents of the building. Charges related to damage in common areas of the residence halls may not be appealed.
Damage to Personal Property
University insurance does not cover personal losses. Students should take precautions to protect personal belongings from theft, fire, water damage, accident, or other loss.
Students may not come to campus until their designated arrival date, as provided by the Office of Residential Life. Students who arrive early without permission in August, January, or March are charged $200 per night until the residence halls officially open.
Exceptions to Living On Campus
Sewanee is a fully residential campus and living in a Residence Hall, Theme, or Greek House is required during the entirety of a student's enrollment. Exemptions to live off campus are limited and granted only to married students, students with dependents (children), veterans of the U.S. military, dependents of University employees, and students over the age of 24.
Students are expected to observe the following fire code regulations. Violators of these regulations or general expectations of safe behavior are subject to a minimum of a $200 fine, disciplinary action, and payment of any damages. If the fire department answers a call due to misbehavior, the responsible parties are likely to be charged a minimum fine of $200 (the cost of response by the fire department is approximately $500 per hour).
For the protection of residents, residence halls are equipped with smoke and fire detection and prevention devices. Tampering with the smoke detector and alarm system or with fire extinguishers is a University offense as well as a violation of the fire code. Inappropriately discharging a fire extinguisher is a $100 fine as well as the cost of clean-up and the cost of recharging the extinguisher.
Stairwell doors leading to hallways should be kept closed.
Hallways must be kept clear at all times. Furniture and personal belongings such as bicycles, trunks, boxes, and drying racks may not be placed in the hallways.
Ceiling hangings of any description are not permissible as they interfere with the proper function of the fire/smoke detection and prevention devices.
Fireworks, firecrackers, and flares are not permitted anywhere on campus. Violators are fined $200.
Lighting or heating devices which produce an open flame or smolder are prohibited in the residence halls. This includes candles, incense, and kerosene lamps. No hotplates, indoor grills, toaster ovens, or auxiliary heaters are to be used; hot irons and coffee pots should not be placed on the carpet. Halogen lamps are discouraged; bulb wattage must not exceed 150 watts.
While Oil Diffusers are permitted, they may not be left unattended. If an oil diffuser sets off the fire alarm and requires the fire department to respond, the diffuser will be confiscated and the student responsible will be charged for the cost of the call out.
Bicycles left in residence hall common rooms, halls, stairwells or where they obstruct exits will be removed. They should be stored only in areas approved for bike storage.
Personal refrigerators (limited to half-size, “under-the-counter” models) are allowed in student rooms. Refrigerators must meet all requirements and specifications as prescribed by the Office of Residential Life. Those found unsafe are removed. It is recommended that a plastic drop cloth or other covering be placed underneath any refrigerator to prevent damage to floors and carpets.
Students should not tamper with electrical fixtures. Extension cords of any kind are prohibited. Power strips are permissible.
Students must comply with all fire safety measures undertaken on campus, including vacating buildings when a smoke/fire detection device has been activated or when the fire department is engaged in a practice session. Failure to exit during an alarm results in a $75 fine.
Furniture and other residence hall equipment may not be removed from the residence hall, from the common room, from one room to another or to the hallways. Such property may also not be borrowed by fraternities, sororities, or other social groups.
Beds other than those provided by the University as standard room furniture are not permitted in the residence halls. Students may not build loft-type beds or other structures. Beds may not be disassembled. Bed frames, box springs and mattresses, mattress covers, and head and footboards should not be removed. Concrete blocks may not be used in residence hall rooms, however plastic bed risers are permitted.
Students should not tamper with built-in furniture such as wall-mounted bookshelves or wardrobes. Metal-frame futons are prohibited in the residence halls.
Residents may not have long-term guests in the residence halls. All guests may only stay in a residence hall room with the permission of all persons assigned to the room or suite. Cohabitation is not permitted. All guests must be respectful of the entire residential community. No guest or visitor under the age of 18 is permitted in the residence halls unless she/he is a sibling of a current student and/or is in the halls under the sponsorship of the Office of Admissions.
Residents should register their guests via the online form. Guests are required to abide by University policy including the policies governing alcohol and drug use. Residents are held responsible for any damages or infractions perpetrated by guests. Privileges to have guests in the residence halls may be revoked if a student’s guests violate University policies. Residents are not permitted to sublet their assignments.
Individual room keys, front door keys, and ID Card Access should be used only by the student to whom they are issued. The keys are to be used only when school is in session and are to be returned at the end of the year to the Office of Residential Life. Lost keys, for which there is a $50 fine, must be reported.
Most residence halls have community kitchens which are open for use by residents. Residents are responsible for cleaning up after themselves completely including personal dishes, bowls, cups, pans, or utensils, as well as the surface areas and equipment they use. Students must label their individual items in the refrigerator and dispose of them on or before expiration dates. The University is not liable for any food or items left in the kitchen. Abuse of these spaces may result in the loss of access to the kitchen, as well as group charges related to cleaning or repair. Residents are responsible for reviewing and following any posted policies/procedures in their individual kitchen.
Students who are locked out of their residence hall rooms should do the following first, keeping in mind that a lock out, while inconvenient, is not typically an emergency:
Attempt to reach their roommate(s).
Attempt to reach a proctor in the building by going to their rooms.
If unable to connect with those listed above, a student who is locked out may do the following:
Between the hours of 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m. call the Office of Residential Life (1446) for daytime assistance.
Between the hours of 4:30 p.m.-9:30 p.m. call the Sewanee Police Department (1111).
Noise and Quiet Hours
Excessive noise should be avoided at all times. Excluding periods of final examinations, quiet hours are from 7:30 p.m. to 8 a.m. Sunday through Thursday and 10 p.m. to 8 a.m. on Fridays and Saturdays. During final examination periods, quiet hours are in effect 24 hours every day until the last exam. During times when seniors living in the residence halls are preparing for comprehensive examinations, quiet hours are in effect 24 hours every day until the end of the comprehensive exam period. Quiet hours violations result in a minimum fine of $25.
Parties or large gatherings are not permitted in residence hall rooms at any time. Students hosting parties in their rooms will be referred to the student conduct process.
Students living in housing managed by residential life may not own pets, may not feed or keep pets in the residence hall, nor keep pets anywhere on the Domain. A minimum $25 fine is imposed for violation of this policy and students may be fined an additional $25 per day that the animal continues to be kept on the Domain. Students will also be fined for all cleaning related to the presence of the pet, including carpet cleaning.
Service animals and approved emotional support animals should follow the expectations communicated to them by the Student Accessibility Services office.
Intentionally misrepresenting the status of an animal to a University staff member, including Residential Life student employees (i.e. Proctors), will result in additional conduct consequences.
Residence halls are off limits to all persons except members of the University, their guests, and others who have legitimate business. Off-campus salesmen and persons advertising business products are not admitted to the residence halls without a letter from the dean of students dated after the first day of the beginning of each semester.
Living in community is a central tenet of the Sewanee experience. Peer relationships are among the most important and influential in the collegiate experience. As a result, the Office of Residential Life takes great care in matching residents as roommates for incoming students and urges returning students to take the same care when choosing their own roommates. Because of our commitment to personal growth as part of community living, we ask that residents wait to initiate any housing assignment changes until the Monday after classes begin each semester with reasonable attempts towards respectful living during that time.
Requests for room changes may begin with a student’s proctor. If needed, a student can also begin the conversation with their area coordinator. Typically, there are few openings on campus; room changes that are even swaps (1 to 1) are more likely to be approved expeditiously. All students involved must confirm they are aware of the move.
This initial conversation with a member of the residential life staff then leads to a supported conversation between the residents in conflict (sometimes called a mediation) and the setting of clear and respectful mutually agreed upon expectations for living together (sometimes in the form of a roommate agreement). This effort is an important step to resolving conflict. It is normal for a member of the Residential Life staff to set a time to follow up after an initial conflict resolution.
If there is not an even swap solution, policy stipulates that the student initiating the request for a change with a member of the residential life staff be the one to move if residents are unable to co-exist respectfully in a room. The only exception to this would be a case where the outcome of a documented conduct case requires the other party to move. Rarely are housing assignment changes something that can be resolved immediately; it is reasonable to expect housing assignment changes to take more than a week to resolve.
Residents who change rooms are expected to inform their roommates/suitemates in order to give them the opportunity to recruit a new roommate/suitemate before one is assigned. If a roommate leaves (or never arrives to campus), remaining roommates have a period of 7 days to recruit a new roommate to move in. After this period has passed, any student of the corresponding gender may be assigned to the space by the Office of Residential Life. At the end of the Advent semester, students without roommates must prepare to move and consolidate into new assignments prior to the winter break.
Any requests for room change must begin with a discussion with the proctor or area coordinator. Students are expected to make a good faith effort towards resolving a conflict with a roommate prior to a room change being approved. The Office of Residential Life must approve all room changes before the change takes place. Unapproved moves are referred to the conduct system and residents may be found responsible for failure to comply.
Room Entry and Searches
The University reserves the right to:
Enter by authorized personnel for inspection and repair, for disciplinary purposes upon reasonable cause to suspect violations of University conduct regulations, in an emergency, or for any other appropriate reason;
Levy and collect charges for damage to, unauthorized use of, or alterations to room or equipment
Remove unauthorized or improperly used equipment
Reassign, evict, or levy fines against students who violate the above rules.
Room doors should be locked to prevent theft. The University assumes no financial responsibility for lost or stolen property. Please contact the Sewanee Police Department (Ext. 1111) and your proctor or area coordinator immediately if you become aware of a theft or of intrusions by unauthorized persons.
Exterior doors to residence halls are normally locked. The schedule for locking and unlocking doors may change according to the academic calendar or special events occurring on campus.
Propping open exterior doors is prohibited and jeopardizes the safety of all residents of a residence hall.
Smoking and the use of tobacco products is prohibited in all residence halls and on balconies. Prohibited tobacco products include, but are not limited to, cigarettes, cigars, cigarillos, pipes, hookahs, all smokeless tobacco and e-cigarettes. Smoking is prohibited within 50 feet of all campus buildings. Violators of this policy are subject to a minimum $25 fine.
Students living in substance-free agree not to possess or use alcohol, tobacco, smokeless tobacco or other illegal substances while on campus. It is not only restricted to a substance-free room/suite. In substance-free housing, this policy effectively extends to students rooms, regardless of the resident’s age. Specific floors and wings of some buildings are set aside for substance-free living each year. The locations change each year based on the number of requests received.
Students who violate the conditions set forth for substance-free housing are subject to disciplinary action including fines and sanctions; and they are likely to have their substance-free housing privilege revoked. Should an individual’s substance-free housing privilege be revoked, he/she will be required to move to the first available space, as determined by the director of residential life or the deans of students.
Telephone & Internet Services
All residence halls are equipped with wireless internet and at least one landline phone in each room. All residents are expected to adhere to University policies regarding use of these amenities. Please visit the Library/Information Technology Services website for more information on these policies, as well as information on how to access these services.
In the interest of student safety as well as successful living and learning, students are expected to not physically enter non-public areas of the university without first receiving the appropriate permission(s) that grants access. Permission may be given in many forms, including but not limited to actual permission from the person that controls the area and/or card access. Furthermore, students are expected to refrain from assisting those without permission from entering such areas. Non-public areas include, but are not limited to, residence halls, residence hall rooms, construction areas, athletic playing surfaces, staff or faculty offices, card-restricted rooms/areas, rooftops, balconies, etc. Students found in violation of this policy will be referred to the student conduct process.
A roommate’s right to free access to the room at all times must not be abridged by visitation. A roommate must not be deprived of the right to privacy, study time, or sleep because of a guest. When there are infractions of the visitation rules, action is taken against all responsible parties via the University conduct process. Students can expect a minimum fine of $25; repeated violations include loss of priority for room sign-up for the next year, loss of visitation/guest privileges in one’s residence hall, or eviction from the hall system.
If the visitor is not a current student, they must fill out this form.
Students may not display neon signs, commercial signs, flags, or generally offensive materials from their residence hall room windows.