Residence Life Rules and Expectations
Residing in UMW’s residence halls can be a rewarding experience, but it relies on all community members taking responsibility for their decisions and understanding the impact their decisions may have on others. In this section, you will find rules, expectations, and policies that are in addition to the University’s Code of Conduct, Honor Code, and Policy on Sexual and Gender-Based Harassment and Other Forms of Personal Violence.
Abandoned Personal Property: Any personal property discovered during room checks after checkout will be logged and removed from the residence hall room. Students will be contacted via email and will be asked to retrieve their belongings within 14 days or provide UMW permission to dispose of them. UMW will adhere to state regulations on abandoned property in terms of storage, re-purposing and/or disposal. Students will be held responsible for the costs to remove and store abandoned personal property from the residence halls.
Beds: Residence halls have extra-long twin (80-inches long) mattresses unless otherwise noted on the residence life website. All rooms are furnished with bed frames that can be bunked or lofted utilizing a university provided loft kit. Personal lofts (those not provided by the University) are prohibited. Information regarding bed modifications can be found on the Residence Life and Housing website.
Break housing: Students who are in need of housing over the Winter Break period may request to remain on campus during the break period. The university will review all submitted requests. Those approved to stay will receive written confirmation from the Office of Residence Life and Housing. Remaining on campus during break without with approval from the Office of Residence Life and Housing is prohibited. Most campus services, including food service, are unavailable during break.
Computer Use in the Residence Halls: All students in the residence halls receive both free ethernet internet access and wireless access. The use of non-Apogee routers or the downloading of illegal content may result in the termination of one’s internet service.
Check-out: Residents must remove all their belongings from on-campus residences 24 hours after their last exam or no later than the posted closing time each semester, whichever is earlier. Graduating seniors may occupy their rooms until 10 a.m. on the day after graduation in May. Residents must follow all check-out procedures including, but not limited to, removing all personal belongings, cleaning, returning loft equipment to designated storage space, notifying RA of any damages, and returning keys and RFID tags (ELEV parking garage). Failure to follow check-out procedures may result in an improper check-out fee.
Commercial enterprises: No business may be conducted in the residence halls without written approval from the Dean of Residence Life and Housing or his or her designee. The presence of any promoter, vendor, or unauthorized visitor should be reported to Residence Life staff and/or University Police.
Custodial Services: Custodial service is provided only for residential common areas open to everyone. Cleaning of student rooms, suite bathrooms, and apartments is the responsibility of the individual occupants who use those areas. Charges will be assessed for inordinate cleaning of public areas. Toilet paper is provided in communal style bathrooms. Students residing in suite-style and apartment style buildings must provide their own.
Damage assessment: Students are responsible for UMW property in their rooms and elsewhere in the residence halls. Charges may be assessed to an individual who is found responsible for property damage or a situation that requires excessive cleaning. If it cannot be determined who is responsible for damages in a common area, students of the community can be held responsible for the damage charges.
Dining: All residential students are required to have a meal plan. Students who fail to select a meal plan during Housing Selection will automatically receive a plan (Eagle plan for first-year students, 150 block plan for returning students). For more information on University Dining visit UMW.SodexoMyWay.com.
Early Arrivals/Late Departures: Residents are expected to arrive on published move-in dates and move-out in accordance with the ‘Check-Out’ section of this document. Students who need consideration for early arrivals or late departures must seek approval from Residence Life and Housing. More information is available for here for early arrivals and here for late departures
Entrance to student rooms: UMW reserves the right for its authorized representatives to enter the premises for housekeeping purposes; repair and maintenance; to determine occupancy and vacancies; health or safety reasons; to protect life, limb, or property; and to assure compliance with state, federal, or UMW regulations. UMW reserves the right to enter student rooms during breaks for maintenance, housekeeping, safety purposes, and to determine compliance with closing procedures.
Fire safety: Fire extinguishers, fire alarm systems, exit signs, and other fire prevention and protection equipment are provided in UMW buildings as a safeguard for lives and property. UMW regulations and Virginia law prohibit sounding a false alarm or tampering with fire safety equipment. Students found in violation of UMW policies prohibiting sounding of a false alarm or tampering with fire safety equipment in residence halls are subject to permanent removal from residential housing, and additional sanctions or criminal penalties may apply. Regular fire drills are held under the direction of Residence Life staff in conjunction with the Campus Fire Safety Officer. Residents MUST leave a building when a fire alarm sounds. Certain items are listed under “Prohibited Items” due to restrictions under fire safety regulations. UMW reserves the right to limit the amount of paper on walls, ceilings, windows, and doors for the purpose of fire safety. Any fabric hanging from windows must be flame-retardant. Fabric must not hang from walls. Items shall not hang from ceilings, or sprinkler and heating piping. Health and safety inspections will be conducted at least once every semester to determine compliance with policies. Fire Safety Inspections of at least 20% of the units in all residence halls will be conducted annually by the Virginia State Fire Marshal’s Office. The Office of Emergency Management and Safety can address other fire safety concerns or questions. Online resources can be found at http://adminfinance.umw.edu/safety/firesafety/.
Decorations: Residents may choose to use decorations for holidays and events or to make residence halls feel more like home. Please abide by the following guidelines for decorating.
1. Absolutely no indoor pyrotechnics, fog machines, or flame producing items – both in and out of doors. This includes tiki torches.
2. Natural cut trees are prohibited in the residence hall rooms and in areas of public assembly area (where 50 or more people gather for a purpose).
3. Cornstalks, leaves, and hay are prohibited for use as decorations due to their combustible nature. Other natural materials, such as pumpkins, squash, and gourds, are permitted.
4. Artificial trees need care in selection and handling. Plastic trees can burn. Use the type clearly marked as made from slow burning materials. Those with built-in electrical systems should carry the Underwriter’s label (UL). Metal trees may be a shock hazard. Use only indirect lighting with them. If lighting strings are placed on a metal tree, the tree may become electrically charged. Never use electric lights on a metal tree.
5. Use noncombustible decorating materials (metal, glass, etc.). Untreated cotton batting, flock, and paper ignite easily and may burn intensely. Use only flame-retardant or noncombustible materials for costumes and decorations. Crepe paper and streamers used for decorations must be labeled as “fire-proof” or “flame-proof.” Be sure to read the label before you buy the material. Plastic bags and plastic sheeting may not be used for decorating – this material is very combustible!
6. Keep exit corridors and doors free of decorations. Their use in these areas could cause confusion and make exiting dangerous in emergency situations.
7. Cover no more than 10% of any available wall space with decorations. Do not block or cover fire alarm pull stations, emergency lights, exit lights, hose and extinguisher cabinets, or any part of the sprinkler system. Regular corridor lighting must not be completely covered. Keep decorations at least ten feet from exit doors.
8. Items shall not hang from ceilings, on/from heating, and sprinkler system piping. There must be 24-inch clearance from ceilings and 18-inch clearance on sprinkler heads.
9. Corridors must not be “wall-papered” with combustible materials. Combustible decorations are not permitted in stairwells.
10. Do not string decorations down corridor ceilings. They can act as fuses should they become ignited.
11. The use of lighted candles or any open flame device is not permitted in residence halls. Safe alternatives include flashlights and battery-operated candles.
12. Electrical decorations should be UL listed. Equipment should be checked for frayed cords, loose connections, and broken sockets. They should be unplugged when you leave your room or before you go to sleep.
13. Make sure all indoor and outdoor holiday lights are UL listed. In residence halls, only indoor “cool lighting” is permitted. The number of strands of lighting connected is limited to the manufacturer’s recommendations (no more than 2-3 strands). These should not be strung in any fashion where the cords can become frayed, such as being wrapped where the cords are trapped between the metal bedding frame and the mattress.
14. If an electrical appliance smokes or has an unusual smell, unplug it immediately and have it serviced.
15. Replace any electrical cord that is cracked or frayed.
16. Only approved bed canopies (such as Campus Canopies) that have an NFPA 701 standard tag shall be used on beds. Beds shall not be lofted higher than 4’ above the floor. At no time may a sheet/blanket be placed on top of the loft.
17. Decorations that can cause damage to University property including walls, ceilings, doors, windows, and furniture are not permitted. 3M products and LED light strips with adhesive backings cause significant damage and should not be used.
Furnishings: Furnishings supplied in a residence hall room must remain in the assigned room; the moving of furniture into another room in a suite is prohibited. No furnishings located in residence hall common areas may be removed or moved into student rooms. A service charge of $50 per item to return furniture will be assessed. Stacking furniture or placing a bed on top of other furnishings constitutes a safety violation. Limited additional furniture is permitted. Residents are held responsible for any damage caused by the moving of furniture, either in the apartment or common hallways. Inflatable furniture, beanbag chairs, exercise (i.e., treadmills) and recreational equipment (i.e., pingpong tables) are not permitted. Upholstered furniture must be fire retardant. Look for one or more of these fire-retardant standards on identification tags:
• NFPA 701
• Class 1 of the U.S. Department of Commerce Commercial Standard 1915330 ·
California Flammability Bulletin 117- ASTME 84
• Upholstered Furniture Action Council (UFAC) (Gold Tag)
All upholstered furniture must be in good condition. Residence Life and Housing, The Office of Emergency Management and Safety, and/or the Fire Marshal reserve the right to have a student remove any item that presents a fire, health, or safety hazard.
Guests: Residents are responsible for guest conduct in the residence halls and may be held accountable for any misconduct. Guests must be escorted at all times. Permission to have overnight guests is contingent upon the prior approval of all occupants of the living space and in conjunction with each residence hall’s visitation policy. There is no overnight visitation, except for immediate relatives, in first-year residences during the fall semester. No one guest may stay in a building more than three consecutive nights or more than 14 nights each semester. No one resident may have overnight guests for more than 14 nights in a semester. Guests who are believed to be residing in the building without a room assignment will be banned from visiting. Overnight guests are prohibited during break periods and other times when the halls are not officially open. Guests who visit Eagle Landing must be signed in at the front desk during the hours of midnight and 8 a.m.
Heating and Cooling: All residence halls are air-conditioned. Energy efficient sensors that respond appropriately to outside temperature control centralized heating. Buildings with centralized cooling systems are controlled in the same fashion. Residents should avoid running window AC units in the winter when the heat is on. Students are encouraged to contact Facilities if their room is too hot or too cold.
Housing and Dining Services Agreement: To operate the residence hall and dining services at the lowest possible rate for the students, the University of Mary Washington must provide these services on an agreement basis for the full academic year (or for the spring semester only for students entering for that term). The University of Mary Washington uses an electronic application process that allows students to execute their housing agreement online. *Forty-eight hours after the official Housing and Dining Services Agreement is submitted electronically to the University of Mary Washington, it becomes a binding Agreement between the student and the University. Students who submit the Agreement will not be permitted to cancel the Agreement unless they meet the termination terms of the Agreement.
Keys: Upon checking-in, each student is given a key to his/her residence. If a key becomes lost or is not returned by the designated check-out time, locks will be changed at the student’s expense. If replacement of a key or lock is necessary, it should be immediately reported to the University Police at Brent House or by calling 540/654-1025 and to your Resident Assistant. The cost for replacement keys or locks ($125.00 per key/lock) will be assessed to the student’s account. Students are prohibited from placing their own locks on individual doors. Duplication of any University key is strictly prohibited. Students may not share their key with someone not assigned to the residence hall room.
Lock-Out: Students are expected to carry their room keys and Eagle One IDs at all times. Should a student become locked out of their room, they should contact Residence Life and Housing (540-654-1058, M-F 8-5) or the RA On-Duty phone (posted in Residence Hall lobbies, after-hours, and weekends). A staff member will be dispatched to let you in to your room. Please be patient as the staff member may be coming from another location on campus or need to wrap up another obligation before responding. Students will receive one free lock-out service per semester and will be charged $10 to their student account for any additional lock-out.
Lounges: Lounges are provided for the use of all residents of a building. Residing and/or sleeping in a lounge is prohibited. Organizations may not reserve floor study lounges. The main lounge or parlor within a building, seminar rooms in the Randolph/Mason Link, Willard, and Virginia, and the Eagle Landing Rotunda and conference room may be reserved for use
by completing a request in 25Live.
Microwave ovens: Microwaves are permitted only in the kitchen areas of residence halls, UMW Apartments, and Eagle Landing. Because of electrical wiring and to ensure fire safety, microwaves are prohibited in student rooms and non-kitchen areas.
Noise: Residents are responsible for ensuring that their behavior does not violate another’s right to sleep or study. Excessive noise in and around residence-hall areas is prohibited. Quiet hours are generally 10 p.m. to 8 a.m., nightly. Sounds are not to be heard outside rooms during these hours. Each floor or hall may vote to extend these hours. At all times, “courtesy hours” are in effect and residents should comply with requests from other residents and/or staff members to lower their volume. Hall staff may extend quiet hours before and during examination periods and/or as necessary. Items producing sound should be kept on low volume at all times. Stereo speakers may not be placed on window sills and/or directed outside. Because of safety and noise regulations, sports are not permitted to be played in residence halls. Musical instruments are not to be played in residence halls unless headphones are used.
Personal property insurance: Students are responsible for the care and safety of their personal property. UMW cannot be held liable for loss or damage to personal property. Students are strongly urged to confirm whether their personal property is covered under their parents’ homeowner’s insurance and make arrangements for additional renter’s insurance coverage if necessary.
Pets and Other Animals: living or dead, are not permitted in UMW Residence Halls and apartments. Exceptions include registered service animals, ESAs approved through accommodation process, service animals in training as part of a specific University-sponsored program, and fish kept as pets in a 10-gallon or smaller aquarium. Handlers of service animals or approved ESAs must submit registration forms, signed expectations, roommate acknowledge forms, and vaccination records to Residence Life and Housing before bringing the animal to campus. Violations of handler expectations or expiration of vaccination records may result in revocation of approval.
Prohibited Items: Certain possessions present a health and safety concern within collegiate and congregate living environments. Students are expected to refrain from bringing any prohibited items into the residence halls.
Reassignment/Consolidation: The University reserves the right to change room assignments at its discretion, for instances including, but not limited to, violation of residential policies or other University policies/procedures, damage and/or repair to facilities, and/or to ensure the safety of self and others. The University also reserves the right to reassign students for the purpose of consolidating residents within similar housing accommodations to maximize occupancy where necessary.
Refrigerators: Personally-owned refrigerators that are 2 amps or 4.5-cubic-feet or less in size are permitted, providing they are UL approved. Only one refrigerator is permitted in a double or triple room. Locked refrigerators are not permitted unless approved by the Dean of Residence Life and Housing or their designee. Only the full-sized refrigerator provided in each apartment kitchen is allowed in the UMW Apartments and Eagle Landing; no additional refrigerators are permitted.
Residence Hall Association: All residential students are members of the Residence Hall Association (RHA) and have an opportunity to get involved in their residential community. RHA provides opportunities to discuss issues facing the building and develop social programming designed to enhance the sense of community within the residence halls. RHA’s student leadership for the upcoming academic year is determined through an election process held every spring.
Room Changes: Changes in room assignment must have prior approval from the Office of Residence Life and Housing. All students involved in an unauthorized room change will be assessed a $50 fine and are subject to disciplinary action. Once approved, unless otherwise detailed, residents must remove all belongings from the room, turn in room keys, and checkout of their room. When moving into a new room, students must follow instructions to obtain their new key.
Room Condition: Each resident is responsible for leaving his or her room space in the same or better condition than that in which it was found upon moving in, as stated on the “Room Condition Report” (RCR) provided upon moving-in. Charges will be assessed for repainting and refinishing; repair or replacement of damaged or missing furnishings and equipment; special cleaning made necessary by misuse of facilities; removal of any extra furniture, abandoned property, or trash/item removal; or other unusual conditions requiring correction. Residents are responsible for notifying Residence Life staff immediately upon discovering any deteriorated or altered room conditions. Work orders may be filed by residents at https://www.umw.edu/residencelife/on-campus/work-orders/. Occupants are expected to keep their rooms clean and orderly at all times. Trash is to be placed in appropriate receptacles. Damage assessments will be conducted upon move-out, and students will be charged for any damages not previously indicated on the RCR.
Storage: Storage space is not available for personal belongings or for the removal of University furnishings. No student may store anything in a residence hall storage closet/room. Anything a student brings to campus must fit inside of his/her room.
Unauthorized areas: Students are not permitted in maintenance areas, boiler rooms, roofs, storage areas, custodial areas, or locked balconies. Window screens may not be removed to gain access to the exterior of the building.
Vacancies: The Office of Residence Life and Housing will fill vacancies either by consolidating existing assignments or assigning another student to the vacancy. Vacancies prior to the start of each semester will be filled at the discretion of the Office of Residence Life and Housing. When possible, during the year, the Office of Residence Life and Housing will allow the remaining student in a room to select a compatible roommate, if desired. If the student is afforded this opportunity and does not select a roommate within 48 hours of the space being vacated, the Office of Residence Life will fill the vacancy at their discretion. All students are expected to always keep all vacant spaces free of personal belongings and ready for a new student. Students are also expected to accept any assigned roommate or move to another room upon request. Intimidation and/or displaying behaviors that are unwelcoming to a new roommate will not be tolerated.
Additional UMW Apartment and Eagle Landing Notes:
Balconies and porches (UMW Apartments only): All apartments are equipped with either a balcony or porch area. For reasons of safety, no more than four people are permitted on a balcony at any one time. No smoking is allowed on the apartment balconies. Additionally, balconies and porches are to be always kept orderly and are not to be used as storage areas for personal belongings, such as laundry or trash. Grills, hammocks, futons, couches, bicycles, mattresses, and swings are not permitted on the balconies or porches. Residents shall not hang or display any flags, banners, signs, items of clothing, or household linens outside apartments from windows, doors, railings, and porch roofs, or place such items on balconies and porches. No University-provided furniture is permitted to be moved from the apartment to the balcony/porch.
Cooking: Care needs to be always taken while cooking. Cooking materials should not be left unattended or left on when the apartment is unoccupied.
Married student housing (UMW Apartments only): If a one bedroom or efficiency apartment is available, two currently enrolled full-time married students may elect to be assigned there during housing selection. Should an apartment become available during the year, a married couple on a waiting list may be housed in a one bedroom or efficiency apartment. Documentation of marriage is required. Children are not permitted to reside in on-campus housing.