Residential Life Policies
Living on campus is a great opportunity to begin to practice skills of independence and to learn about the process of self-governance. It takes a delicate balance to meet the needs of the individual and community in every case, and, as such, students are encouraged to bring ideas or concerns to the attention of Residential Life staff.
General Safety Regulations
- Residents should not prop open any exterior door.
- Resodents should always lock their room door.
- Keys and OneCards issued to the student may not be loaned or transferred to others.
- Door-to-door solicitation is prohibited in the residence halls. Contact the Office of Student Engagement for guidelines on campus sales. The Office of Public Safety should be contacted when a solicitor is observed in the residence halls.
- Student grilling is permitted only at the permanent outdoor grills at Donnybrook II and the Heubeck patio, which must be reserved in advance through the Office of Student Engagement.
- The house must agree, by consensus, to any personal gathering in a commons room. In addition, Residential Life must approve any gathering of more than 15 people within the commons room, due to fire and safety issues. The commons room remains a public area even when personal gatherings are held there.
- Hallways are not public assembly areas and should not be used as such, according to fire and safety regulations.
Disclosure of Information on Lead-Based Paint and/or Lead-Based Paint Hazards
Lead Paint Warning Statement: To fully comply with the Federal EPA regulations regarding communications about use of lead-based paint in residential facilities, the following information is provided to all residents of campus-owned, apartment style housing that was constructed prior to 1978. Residents of these units will be given a copy of the pamphlet "Protect your Family from Lead in Your Home (PDF)," and asked to sign a Disclosure and Warning Statement.
Alcohol & Other Drugs
- A student must be at least 21 years old to consume, purchase, possess, or transport alcohol at any time.
- No one, including those of legal drinking age, may provide alcohol to individuals under the age of 21 or consume alcohol of any kind in public areas of the residence halls, including hallways, bathrooms, commons rooms, and lounges.
- Even if they are not drinking, students who are under the age of 21 are not permitted in rooms where alcohol is being consumed. Students who are of legal drinking age may not force, in any way, students under the age of 21 to leave their own residential room.
- No multi-quart (mass-consumption) containers or kegs are permitted in the residence halls at any time.
- Drinking games, including any activity that encourages the rapid and/or excessive ingestion of alcohol, are not permitted. Such games include, but are not limited to: quarters, beer pong, Beirut, power hour, and flip cup. Paraphernalia identified as having been used in a drinking game, including tables, may be confiscated by public safety officers and will become the property of the college.
- State and federal laws and college policy prohibit the possession, use, distribution, or sale of illegal drugs in the residence halls.
- The college will hold hosts responsible for their guests' use of alcohol or other drugs.
- Residents are strongly advised to consult the Code of Conduct and the Policies on Alcohol, Tobacco, and Other Drugs for additional information, and they are responsible for compliance with all regulations set forth therein.
Students who sell merchandise, or distribute goods or advertising on campus, either in person or online, are prohibited from using college facilities or services, including residence hall rooms, public spaces on campus, campus telephone numbers, computing and/or network services or college postal facilities, for the purpose of such activities. The purpose of this policy is to minimize disruption to residential and academic life, and to preserve the non-profit status of the college. This policy does not apply to approved fund-raising activities by student groups.
Common Rooms & Areas
The house must agree, by consensus, to any personal gathering in a commons room. In addition, the Office of Residential Life must approve any gathering of more than 15 people within the commons room, due to fire and safety issues. Clubs are prohibited from meeting in any commons room area. The commons room remains a public area even when personal gatherings are held there. In addition, hallways are not public assembly areas and should not be used as such, according to fire and safety regulations. Common Areas Event Contract (PDF).
- Upon the activation of an alarm, all residents are expected to:
- Evacuate the residence hall immediately
- Report to the house's agreed upon meeting location
- Students will be subject to disciplinary action and/or fines if they do not evacuate
- Students should re-enter the building ONLY when instructed to do so by a Security Officer.
- Tampering with or misusing fire equipment (including smoke detectors) is prohibited. Such action may be referred to the legal authorities in addition to college action.
- Candles and incense are not permitted in the halls.
- No trash should be left in hallways at any time. Trash should be taken to the appropriate trash room.
- The use of irons, hot pots, and coffee makers without an auto shut-off feature is prohibited.
- Halogen lamps are not allowed in student rooms.
- Only approved cooking appliances (ie. MicroFridge units) may be used in student rooms.
- Only UL-approved extension cords in good condition may be used.
- Smoking is not permitted in any residence hall. Smoking is not permitted in the Stimson breezeway. Residents should consult the college's policies on Alcohol, Tobacco, and Other Drugs for additional information.
- No decorations or other items may be hung from the ceiling because they may interfere with the room's smoke alarm system.
- No decorations or postings are permitted in hallways or public areas unless previously approved by Residential Life. Exceptions to this policy include bulletin boards on individual room doors and Resident Assistant bulletin boards in the residence halls.
- Do not hang any item, including a hanger, clothing, or decorations, from the room's sprinkler head. Doing so could activate the sprinkler and cause flooding.
- Effective immediately, the use, possession, or storage of Hoverboards, Swagways, IO Hawks, Skywalkers, and similar devices, is prohibited on campus until safety standards for them can be developed and implemented, and the prohibition lifted.
Vandalism is the willful or malicious destruction and/or defacement of property. Damage is often caused by someone who may be under the influence of alcohol or drugs and often, vandals claim they don’t know why they caused the damage.
Although the financial burden of vandalism affects individual students, hall-mates, and the institution as a whole, deliberate damage of Goucher property impacts campus life far beyond monetary losses. Vandalism adds avoidable work for FMS and Housekeeping employees, affects campus beauty, and causes serious safety concerns.
If you witness vandalism, report the persons to the Office of Public Safety immediately. You can choose to remain anonymous.
When damage is discovered in common areas, the Office of Residential Life will notify students responsible for those areas of the need to assess charges for repairs and labor. This notification will include instructions on how to report information on the individual(s) responsible.
If responsibility can be determined, charges will be assessed to the responsible individual(s). These students may also face disciplinary action, with recommended sanctions outlined below.
Students responsible for vandalism who come forward voluntarily may not be formally charged with vandalism. These individuals are required to pay repair/labor costs and will be issued a formal warning.
Vandalism Sanctioning Guidelines:
- 1st Offense: 1. Restitution (repair & labor) 2. Educational Conference/sanction
- 2nd Offense: 1. Restitution (repair & labor) 2. Educational Conference/sanction 3. Disciplinary Probation and/or removal from residence halls
- 3rd Offense: 1. Restitution (repair & labor) 2. Educational Conference/sanction 3. Removal from residence halls and/or suspension
* Failure to complete sanctions may result in additional fines, revocation of privileges, and/or Room Draw position adjustments. Failure to pay restitutions will result in additional fines and the original restitution amount being placed on student bill. *Students who self-report will receive only a restitution fine and a formal warning. At the discretion of the ADOS, repeat offenders who come forward voluntarily may be issued additional sanctions.
Visitation & Guests
Students interested in hosting an overnight guest in their on-campus residence must register their guest(s) with the Office of Public Safety. Guests must present a government issued ID, name of host, host room, and visit start and end dates. They will receive a guest pass that they are required to keep on their person for the duration of their visit. Guests must present their pass upon request by Goucher Staff and RAs, to access the SRC, or to gain admittance to on-campus events (that are not open to the public). View the guest registration form (PDF).
Students hosting guests should remember the following:
- Hosts must escort their guest at any time the guest is in the residence halls
- Visitation must not interfere with other students' sleep or study ·
- All residents of the room/apartment must approve overnight guests ·
- Guests may stay a maximum of three consecutive nights ·
- Unregistered guests will be required to leave campus immediately At all times, students are responsible for the conduct of their guest(s).
- Any student hosting a visitor should review Goucher's Social Host Policy (Article IV.A.4 of the Student Code of Conduct): It is the responsibility of any student who hosts a visitor or guest (including another Goucher student) on Goucher-owned or -leased property to ensure that the visitor or guest knows and adheres to the Goucher Student Code of Conduct. In instances where visitors or guests violate the Code of Conduct while on Goucher-owned or leased property, or while a guest of the student at a Goucher-sponsored activity off-campus, the host will be held responsible. Responsibility under these rules may occur even if the host is not a participant in the activity or has left the visitor(s) alone.
Gatherings in individual rooms or apartments should not exceed the following standards, according to fire safety regulations:
- Singles: four people
- Doubles/Triples: six people
- Suites/Apartments: 13 people
As stated in the Residential Life contract, college personnel may enter rooms in the event of an emergency, for health/safety reasons, or because of suspected violation of the law or school policy. Room inspections are conducted periodically and during each break by Residential Life and/or security personnel. In instances where work requests are made to Facilities Management Services (FMS), the residents should state in advance if they wish to be present when the room is entered, and an appointment will be arranged. If no statement is made to this effect, the work will be completed in the residents' absence at the earliest possible time. View the Room Entry and Search Policy (PDF).
Property Damage & Loss
The college is not responsible for the loss of or damage to students' personal property.
Students are urged to:
- Purchase surge protectors to guard against occasional electrical surges.
- Record the serial numbers of valuable personal items.
- Secure appropriate insurance.
As a precaution, students are also encouraged to take valuable belongings home during breaks. Residents are urged to confirm existing coverage under the homeowner's policy of their parents or guardians and, if not covered, to secure individual property insurance.
Damage to Individual Rooms
Damage within residence hall rooms/apartments is assigned to the occupants of the room (split equally unless someone acknowledges responsibility). Before students arrive on campus, RAs perform damage inspections of every residential room on campus. During the first week, residents and RAs will perform a walkthrough of the room together and submit a Room Condition Report (RCR) for their assigned room. Residents are urged to participate in this process to protect themselves from being assessed charges for prior conditions. By not going through this process, students waive the right to appeal damage charges at the end of each semester.
Student room keys are issued through the Office of Residential Life. When a student checks into the residence halls, he/she is issued a room key, and his/her OneCard is activated for access through residence hall exterior doors. Keys and OneCards are non-transferable, are not to be duplicated, and should not be loaned to others. Doing so jeopardizes one's personal safety and the safety of the entire community.
In the case of lost or broken keys, residents should notify the Office of Residential Life immediately. All keys must be returned prior to departure from campus when a student withdraws, moves off campus, changes rooms, or checks out of the residence hall at the close of the academic year. For safety reasons, a lock change is required unless a broken or bent key is returned to Residential Life. Charge for lost keys or keys not returned (includes lock change when necessary): $120. Replacement of bent or broken keys (with return of key): $15.
A resident who has been locked out of his/her room should report to the Office of Residential Life during regular business hours, and to the Office of Public Safety after regular business hours. A staff member or an officer will accompany the resident to the room to unlock the door. If the resident has lost his/her key, the same procedure will be followed, but the resident will be authorized to keep the temporary key overnight. The resident should notify the Office of Residential Life of the loss no later than the next business day. If the resident is concerned for his or her safety and has reason to believe that his/her room might be accessed with the lost keys, he/she should notify Public Safety immediately. Public Safety, upon request, will loan the resident a supplemental locking mechanism (glove lock) to offer additional security until the lock can be changed.
When an item in the room, hall, or bathroom needs repair, the resident should notify FMS as soon as possible. This can be done by going to http://www.goucher.edu/fixit. Residents are not responsible for normal wear and tear in the residence halls, but they are responsible for maintaining a community where individuals appropriately respect the physical facilities.
All bicycles that are used on campus by any member of the Goucher community must be registered with the Public Safety Office. There is no charge for bicycle registration. To register a bike, you will need a valid Goucher I.D. and a complete description of the bicycle. Bicycles may not be parked in stairwells, breezeways, hallways, or other public areas inside of any campus building, per Baltimore County Fire Code Regulations. Goucher College is not responsible for lost or stolen bicycles.
For reasons of safety, humaneness, and group hygiene, students may not keep pets in the residence halls, except for birds and fish (in aquariums of 10 gallons or less). All roommates must agree to allowing the aforementioned pets in the room/suite/apartment.
The college reserves the right to limit the type and number of birds or fish permitted.
Damage Charges & Billing
Each student is responsible for an equal share of the cost of damages incurred in the individual room/apartment (split among roommates). Following the closing of the residence halls, the Office of Residential Life and the college's Facilities Management Services (FMS) department inspect all residence hall areas and generates a list of damages and cost estimates. Each proposed charge is compared to the RCR residents complete with their RA during check-in, which noted any pre-existing damage. Items not noted on the RCR will be charged to the student.
How to Avoid Unnecessary Billing
- Confront community members and guests about inappropriate behavior to decrease the occurrence of senseless vandalism.
- Speak up. When an act of vandalism is observed, the information should be brought immediately to the attention of the Office of Public Safety. In virtually all incidents of vandalism, there are individuals who have observed the actual incident or know others who did. Community members should not tolerate others who choose to allow the group to suffer for their actions.
- The Office of Residential Life should be consulted during the year to check the status of house damages. Residents should help the community assistant strategize ways to address such issues.
- All pre-existing conditions and damages to the room should be documented in specific terms on the RCR during check-in.
- Nails should not be hammered into the walls (use only removable items, such as Fun Tack).
- All residues should be carefully removed from walls and doors prior to departure.
- All problems in the room or apartment should be reported to the RA at move-in so a work order can be filed with Facilities Management Services.
- Rooms, apartments, and public areas of the house should be left in the condition they were found.
For safety and energy conservation, limits are placed on the possession and use of electrical appliances in the residence halls. Residents should be sensitive to the demands placed on the electrical circuits.
These items are allowed in residence hall rooms:
- MicroFridge units
- Hair dryers/ curling irons
- Electric toothbrushes
- Electric curlers
- Lamps (NOT halogen lamps)
- Refrigerators (four cubic feet or smaller)
- 14-gauge wire UL-approved extension cords
- Irons (with auto shut-off feature ONLY)
- Coffee pots/ hot pots (with auto shut-off feature ONLY)
These are allowed only in house kitchens or house commons rooms:
- Popcorn poppers
These are prohibited from residence halls:
- All other electrical appliances, including but not limited to:
- Hot "coil" pots (without auto-shut off feature)
- Electric frying pans
- Toaster ovens
- Inadequately wired appliances
- Microwave ovens
- Space heaters
- Personal air conditioners
- Halogen lamps
Please note: Goucher reserves the right to place any unauthorized or dangerous appliances in storage at the student's expense until the student can arrange to have it removed from campus. Confiscated items not picked up at the end of each semester will be donated or discarded.
- Electrical wiring must not be disturbed, including wiring leading to fire safety equipment. Installation or alteration of electrical equipment is to be done only by Facilities Management Services personnel or college-approved contractors.
- All electrical lighting fixtures must be UL approved.
- Students are urged to purchase surge protectors and to limit their concurrent use of electrical appliances. The college reserves the right to limit the wattage used in each room.
- Outside aerials and radio-sending equipment are not permitted.
- Unauthorized access to cable television is prohibited.
Firearms & Other Dangerous Weapons
No weapons are allowed on Goucher College premises except for the exceptions listed. The term weapon includes any potentially dangerous object or substance including, but not limited to, any firearm (including any weapon or instrument from which a shot, projectile, or other object may be discharged by force, whether operable or inoperable, loaded or unloaded); any BB gun, pellet gun, air rifle, paint gun, or any replica firearm, sword (including decorative), or other martial arts weapon; any bomb (or other explosive material), knife (other than an ordinary pocketknife carried in a closed position, with a blade of three inches or less), switchblade, billy club, nunchaku, blackjack, bludgeon, metal knuckles, slingshot, razor, or ice pick; illegal or potentially dangerous chemicals, fireworks, or any instrument, which by its nature or circumstances may be reasonably construed as a weapon.
Exceptions to this policy
Sworn peace officers employed by public agencies who are authorized to wear, carry or transport a weapon as part of their official equipment are authorized to carry their authorized weapon but are encouraged to report their presence to the Goucher College Office of Public Safety. People may carry OC (oleoresin capsicum) spray for self-defense purposes. Groups using weapons as theatrical props should report that information to the Goucher College Office of Public Safety. The use of weapons in programs sanctioned or sponsored by student clubs (e.g., fencing club), where such items are maintained, stored, and monitored by a college staff member, and are used in a controlled, monitored environment, are permitted.