Housing Contract

All students are required to live on-campus unless they meet exceptions described in the college's On-Campus Residency Policy (which includes an exception for those who commute from their parent /guardian's permanent home address). However, the opportunity to reside on campus is a privilege extended to students who are willing to abide by all Goucher College rules and policies. In addition to the policies below, the resident agrees to follow all college, Residential Life, and house policies. College and Residential Life policies are published in the Campus Handbook, the Academic Catalogue, and documents relating to particular departments or services. House residents will vote on basic community standards and some house policies when the students arrive in the fall.

1. Introduction. This contract will serve as an official agreement between Goucher College (the college) and the resident student. It is designed to be a clear statement of the rights and responsibilities of both the student and the college. When signed by both, it will confirm and indicate acceptance of the terms of the contract. All resident students must sign this contract to remain in residence.

2. Duration. This contract is in effect for the duration of the current academic year (including summer housing, if applicable), as long as the student remains in residence as a full-time, registered Goucher student. If a resident receives part-time status at any point during a semester already in progress, the student will be required to move off-campus unless, given available space, the student is approved to remain on campus by the Office of Residential Life.

3. Vacation Periods. The residence hall opening/closing schedule is available to all residents on the Residential Life website and is emailed to all residents prior to the start of the academic year. Students may not remain in residence during vacation periods when the halls are officially closed. Violations will be referred to the Office of Campus Safety and/or the Office of Residential Life. Exceptions to this policy are made for those students authorized to participate in college-sponsored programs such as academic programs and athletic programs, in season, and nine-month residents, all of whom must receive approval from the Office of Residential Life.

4. The College's Responsibility. Goucher College agrees to provide housing as described in the Academic Catalogue and Campus Handbook. It will also provide heat, water, electricity, and maintenance service during the times that the college is in session.

5. Violations of the Contract. (a) Any resident who believes that the college has not lived up to its responsibilities under this contract should contact the college staff member or office directly involved in the alleged violation. If the alleged violation continues, the resident should discuss it with the Director of Residential Life. (b) If the college or a representative of the college finds that a resident has not lived up to any of the terms of this contract, the college representative will contact the resident to explain the violation and the consequences, if continued. If the contract violation continues or recurs, the college representative will contact the Director of Residential Life. This individual will explain to the student the options through which the situation may be resolved, which may include, but are not limited to, referral to the Student Judicial Board. In the event of serious violation of the terms of this contract, the college has the right to require the resident to vacate the room immediately. (c) Appeals of decisions of the Director of Residential Life under paragraphs 5(a) or (b) may be made to the Vice President and Dean of Students.

6. Room Assignment. Room drawing procedures will be determined and distributed each spring by the Office of Residential Life. The college has the right to assign students to temporary housing facilities or to relocate students as necessary. Any student moving into an assigned room must check in at the Office of Residential Life within forty-eight (48) hours after classes have begun. If the student fails to check in, the room may be assigned to another student.

7. Room Changes. After the first full three weeks of each semester, room changes are generally permitted on a space-available basis. Before a student can move, they must obtain approval and authorization from the Office of Residential Life. A student changing rooms must officially check out of the room being vacated and check in to the room being entered. Failure to follow this process could result in an improper room change fine ($100). The residential assistant (RA) or staff member on the floor will assist and/or advise the student regarding the review of the Room Condition Report. Failure to check in or out when moving will subject the student to a fine against the room damage deposit at the end of the school year. A student moving from one room to another between terms must vacate the original room by the official close of the residence halls. Failure to do so or to make acceptable arrangements with the Office of Residential Life will result in the student's belongings being removed at the student's own risk and expense, assessment of packing and storage fees, and the loss of the new room.


8. Abandoned Property. Students who withdraw or take leave from the college during the academic year must remove personal belongings within 10 business days from their residence hall. Failure to make appropriate arrangements will result in a room packing and storage fee ($250). Students may not leave personal possessions in the halls during the summer. Items left in a room after a student vacates the halls and items improperly stored in common spaces will be deemed abandoned. Such items will be sold, destroyed, discarded, maintained for use by the College, or donated to an appropriate charitable organization depending upon the items and their value, without liability to the student for trespass, conversion or otherwise. Any charges for removal and disposal will be assessed to the student.

9. Keys. Residents are provided with one room key and a OneCard. Residents are not permitted to duplicate or transfer use of either key or OneCard. In case of loss or failure to return the issued key, the resident will be charged for the cost of changing the core of the lock and for replacements of all keys ($120). The cost for replacement of bent or broken keys or cards will be the responsibility of the resident. Lost, damaged, or stolen keys or access cards should be reported to the Office of Residential Life and the Office of Campus Safety immediately.

10. Personal Property. The college is not responsible for the loss of or damage to the student's personal property from any cause whatsoever. Students should record the serial numbers of valuable personal items and secure appropriate insurance. Students are strongly encouraged to check for existing coverage under the homeowner's policy of their parents or guardians and/or secure individual property insurance if needed.

11. Room Condition--Check-In/Check-Out Procedures and Damage. The resident is responsible for the condition of the assigned room. When moving in, the student will complete an online Room Condition Report (RCR). The student is responsible for reporting any discrepancies on the RCR by the stated deadline or within 48 hours of moving into the room, whichever is later. After this period, the student will be held responsible for any damages not previously indicated on the RCR. It is the student's responsibility to inform Facilities Management Services of routine maintenance needs. After the student vacates the room, personnel from Facilities Management Services (FMS) and/or Residential Life will inspect the condition of the room to ascertain any damage, costs of which will be assessed to the student's account if not documented as pre-existing on the RCR. The resident will be charged for any missing furniture, for any custodial or maintenance needs beyond the normal expected wear and tear, for painting needs (see paragraph 13. Painting/Structural Changes), and for any other disfigurement of the room. No furniture may be removed from student rooms; for example, if bed frames or venetian blinds are not being used, the student must store them in the room and reassemble them before departure. If, because of damage, any of the room's original furniture is removed by FMS during the year, it is the resident's responsibility to have the inventory sheet revised immediately (filed in Residential Life). The student will be held responsible for any loss or damage as assessed by FMS and/or the Residential Life staff. Students are also responsible for the community areas of the residence halls. Hallways and bathrooms must be kept in good condition (including at the close of the semester) or the floor residents will be charged for extra cleaning and/or damage. Inquiries regarding itemization of residence hall billing should be submitted in writing. To be considered for adjustment, written appeals related to specific charges must be received by Residential Life no later than sixty (60) days after the date the bill was sent.

12. Wiring. Electrical wiring must not be disturbed, including wiring leading to fire safety equipment. Installation or alteration of equipment may be done only by FMS or their approved contractor. No electrical lighting fixtures other than the usual fixtures that are generally approved by the underwriters laboratories (U.L.) may be used in rooms. Occasionally circuits overload due to the high demand from student appliances; brief power outages or surges may occur (see paragraph 9. Personal Property). Students are urged to purchase surge protectors. The college reserves the right to limit the wattage used in each room to an amount deemed reasonable. Outside aerials or radio-sending equipment will not be allowed.

13. Painting/Structural Changes. No student may paint any room. No structural changes may be made without approval from FMS.

14. Room Entry. 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, in accordance with the college's Room Entry and Search Policy. All areas of the room may be searched, including desks and closets. In addition, personal items of the resident, such as backpacks and suitcases, may be searched, at the discretion of the college officials conducting the search. Room inspections are conducted periodically and during each break period 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.

15. Repairs. All repairs to college property should be made by FMS. Requests should be submitted to Facilities Management Services via the online repair request system. This can be found on the Office of Residential Life website as well as the FMS website.

16. Health and Safety Issues. Students are responsible for maintaining a safe, secure, healthy, and hygienic room and living environment. Students are expected to keep their room doors locked, to refrain from propping exterior doors, to un-prop exterior doors found open, and to report all suspicious activity to the Office of Campus Safety. Rooms must be kept reasonably clean; a student may be removed from the residence halls if his/her room is unhygienic.

17. Screens and roof access. Screens must stay in windows at all times and students are forbidden from being on the roof of residence halls. Removing screens or being caught on a roof will result in an immediate charge ($50) due to the safety risk it poses.

18. Meal Plan. A meal plan is required of all resident students. Food service will be provided when the college is in session. Meal cards are not transferable and must be presented at all meals. No food, beverage, trays, dishes, utensils, etc., may be removed from the dining halls, with the exception of authorized to-go containers.

19. Internet Access. Internet access is provided to the network at no charge. Securing the appropriate hardware and software is the responsibility of the student. Residents are expected to adhere to all policies concerning the internet and individual computing accounts.

20. Weapons or Dangerous or Illegal Implements. Possession of weapons, including firearms, explosives (including fireworks, smoke bombs, etc.), knives or other dangerous or illegal implements or substances on the premises of the college, whether or not a federal or state license to possess the same has been issued to the possessor, is prohibited.

21. Alcohol and Other Drugs. All students are subject to state and local laws pertaining to alcohol, including the age of restriction. Specifically, a student must be at least 21 years old to consume any alcoholic beverages. Minors may not purchase, possess, consume, 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. No multi-quart containers or kegs are permitted in the residence halls at any time. State and federal laws and college policy prohibit the possession, use, distribution, or sale of illegal drugs in the residence halls. Students should consult the Campus Handbook for further information regarding college policies on alcohol and other drugs.

22. Pets. With the exception of small fish in aquariums (ten gallons or less) and birds in cages, pets are prohibited. If an approved pet causes a disruption, the resident will be required to remove the pet from the residence halls.

23. Special Housing Needs. Any student who believes they have special housing needs must submit supporting documentation to the Office of Accessibility Services. Requests will be considered by the director of OAS. Reasonable accommodations will be made as appropriate.

24. Joint and Several Liability. The student and guarantor(s) shall be individually and jointly liable with other residents for all damage done to individual rooms, hallways, bathrooms and common residential areas, including equipment and furnishings therein. The resident agrees to share in the payment of damages sustained.

25. Rules and Regulations. All students choosing to reside on Goucher College's campus consent to abide by the rules and regulations set forth in the Goucher College Campus Handbook. Students are responsible for the contents of their assigned rooms, as well as all behavior occurring in their rooms. Students are responsible for informing their guests of the college's policies and they are responsible to the college for their guests' behavior.

26. Nondiscriminatory Assignments. Housing assignments are made without discrimination by reason of race, color, religion, national origin, age, political affiliation, sexual orientation, disability, and gender identity, and are consistent with the provisions of Title IX.

27. Changes in Housing Status. Any violation of this contract will be referred to the appropriate administrator. The college reserves the right to terminate or make changes in the housing contract or an individual's housing status in accordance with state, local, and federal laws or for reasons of safety, health, hygiene, and/or college policy. A student may be involuntarily removed from the halls for violations of college or residence hall policies, or for behaviors that put the student or other members of the community at risk. Residents will be advised of all changes.