Housing Contract


This document amends the 2020-2021 Residence Hall Contract and is in full force and effect during the 2020-2021 academic year.

Goucher College cannot and does not guarantee a COVID-19-free environment, and there remains a risk that you may contract COVID-19 if you come onto campus to live and/or attend classes.

Because of the current COVID-19 pandemic and for the duration of the 2020-2021 academic year, You acknowledge and agree that the College may take the following actions, and any related actions, if it determines, in its sole discretion, that such actions are advisable to protect the safety and health of the college community:

(i) require You to self-quarantine or shelter in place, for such period as deemed necessary;

(ii) place limitations and/or conditions on Your ability to utilize common areas in the residence halls and non-residential spaces on campus;

(iii) restrict your ability to have off-campus visitors enter your residence;

(iv) prohibit Your gathering together with other individuals on campus and/or place limitations and/or conditions on such gatherings, including but not limited to requiring physical distancing and usage of face coverings;

(v) require You to undergo regular testing for the COVID-19 virus and to report those results to the College confidentially;

(vi) require you to participate in all contact tracing efforts;

(vii) require You to move to a different building on campus for the purpose of self-quarantine, to receive medical care, or for other health and safety reasons; and/or

(viii) require You to vacate the residence halls for all or a part of the academic semester or year.

Any failure to adhere to any of the above or related directives, is a violation of the Code of Conduct that may result in sanctions, including removal from Goucher housing and/or suspension/dismissal from the College.



2020-2021 Goucher College Housing & Dining Contract

This document (referred to as the “Contract”) forms a complete understanding between You, as a student, and Goucher College, as the owner and operator of the housing and dining facilities on the Goucher College Campus. This Contract will explain to you all of the rights and responsibilities that govern your use of the residence halls and dining facilities.

All students are required to live on-campus unless they meet specific 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).

You agree to follow all College, Residential Life, and house policies and will additionally abide by all those policies stated below. You can find the College and Residential Life policies in the Campus Handbook, the Academic Catalogue, along with documents relating to particular departments or services. All such policies are considered a part of this Contract so we urge you to familiarize yourself with all of these policies. Additionally, House residents have the right to vote on certain house policies when You arrive on campus in the fall.

Introduction. This Contract will serve as an official agreement between Goucher College (referred to as the “College”) and the resident student (referred to as “You”). It is designed to be a clear statement of the rights and responsibilities of both You and the College. When both You and the College sign this Contract, it will confirm Your acceptance of the terms stated in the Contract. All resident students, including You, must sign this Contract as a condition of living in a College residence hall.

Duration. This Contract is in effect for the duration of the current academic year (including summer housing, if applicable), as long as You remain in residence as a full-time, registered Goucher student. If You receive part-time status at any point during a semester already in progress, You will be required to move off-campus unless (i) there is available space for You in a residence hall and (ii) You are approved to remain on campus by the Office of Residential Life.

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. You may not remain in a residence hall during vacation periods when the residence halls are officially closed by the College. Violations of this rule will be referred to the Office of Campus Safety and/or the Office of Residential Life. The College may make exceptions to this policy for students who are authorized to participate in college-sponsored programs such as academic programs and athletic programs (in season), and nine-month residents, provided approval is received in advance from the Office of Residential Life.

The College's Responsibility. Subject to the terms of this contract, the College will provide housing as described in the Academic Catalogue and Campus Handbook. The college will also provide heat, water, electricity, and maintenance service during the times that the College is in session. You understand that unanticipated weather events and building system failures may occur that may disrupt service. You should review paragraph 29 of this Contract for more information.

Disability and Accommodations. The Office of Residential Life works in close collaboration with the Office of Accessibility Services (OAS), which approves and facilitates accommodations for residents with disabilities and for residents requesting accommodations. If You have a disability, or if you suspect that you have one and may require a special accommodation, please contact the Office of Accessibility Services as soon as possible. Accommodations received after the deadlines posted on the OAS website will be granted based on availability at the time You make your request.

Violations of the Contract.

(a) If You believe that the College has not lived up to its responsibilities under this Contract, You should contact the Director of Residential Life who will refer the matter to the appropriate office for resolution under existing college policies.

(b) If the College or a representative of the College finds that You have not lived up to any of the terms of this Contract, a representative of the College will contact You to explain the violation and the consequences that will take place, if the violation continues. If the Contract violation continues or recurs, the College representative will contact the Director of Residential Life. When this occurs, the Director of Residential Life, or a designee, will explain to You the options for resolving the violation, 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 matter will be referred to the Associate Dean of Students.

Room Assignment. Room drawing procedures will be determined and distributed each spring by the Office of Residential Life. The College may assign You to temporary housing facilities or relocate You as necessary. When You move into your assigned room, You must check in with at the Office of Residential Life within forty-eight (48) hours after classes have begun. If You fail to check in, You may lose your room assignment and the room may be assigned to another student.

Room Changes. Room changes are generally permitted on a space-available basis after the first full three weeks of each semester. Before You can move, You must obtain approval and authorization from the Office of Residential Life. When changing rooms, You must officially check out of the room You are vacating and check in to the new room in which You will now reside. If You do not follow this process, You will be charged an improper room change fine in the amount of $100.00. The residential assistant (RA) or staff member on the floor You are vacating and the floor where You will be residing will assist and/or advise You regarding the review of the Room Condition Report. Failure to check in or out when moving will subject You to a fine against the room damage deposit at the end of the school year. If You move from one room to another between terms, You 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 your belongings being removed at your own risk and expense, as well as the assessment of packing and storage fees, and the loss of the new room.

Abandoned Property. If You withdraw or take leave from the College during the academic year, You must remove personal belongings from your residence halls within ten (10) business days. If You fail to do this, You will be charged a room packing and storage fee in the amount of $250.00. You may not leave your personal possessions in the residence halls during the summer. Any items either left in a room after You vacate the residence halls or that You improperly store in common spaces will be deemed abandoned. All abandoned 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. You understand this and You specifically agree that the College will have no liability to You for trespass, conversion, or any other cause of action. You will be assessed any charges for removal and disposal.

Keys and Security. You will be provided with one room key and a OneCard. You are prohibited from duplicating or transferring the use of either your key or OneCard to any other person. If You lose or fail to return the issued key, You will be charged for the cost of changing the core of the lock and for replacements of all keys in the amount of $120.00. You will also be responsible for the cost of replacement of bent or broken keys or OneCards. You must immediately report lost, damaged, or stolen keys or access cards to the Office of Residential Life and the Office of Campus Safety. IT IS CRITICAL THAT YOUR INDIVIDUAL ROOM IS LOCKED AT ALL TIMES.

Personal Property. The College is not responsible for any loss of or damage to your personal property from any cause whatsoever. You should record the serial numbers of valuable personal items and secure appropriate insurance. You should also consider engraving your identification of valuable items. You are strongly encouraged to check for existing coverage under any homeowner's policy held by your parents or guardians and/or secure individual property insurance, if needed.

Room Condition--Check-In/Check-Out Procedures and Damage.

(a) You will be assessed a room damage deposit of $175 prior to moving into your assigned room. This will be charged to your student account. If you are not assessed any room damage charges this amount will be credited back Your account in June (or in January if You will not live on campus for the spring semester).

(b) You are responsible for the condition of your assigned room. When moving in, You will need to complete an online Room Condition Report (RCR). You are responsible for reporting any discrepancies on the RCR by the stated deadline but not later than forty-eight (48) hours after You move into the room. After this deadline has passed, You will be held responsible for any damages not previously indicated on the RCR and such damages will be charged to your account.

(c) No furniture may be removed from your room; for example, if bed frames or venetian blinds are not being used, You must store them in the room and reassemble them before You depart. If, because of damage, any of the room's original furniture is removed by FMS during the year, it is Your responsibility to have the inventory sheet revised and immediately filed with the Residential Life office.

(d) After You vacate the room, personnel from Facilities Management Services (FMS) and/or Residential Life will inspect the condition of the room to ascertain any damage. The costs of repairing any damages not documented as pre-existing on the RCR will be assessed to your account. You will be charged for any missing furniture, for any custodial or maintenance needs beyond the normal expected wear and tear, for painting needs (as explained in paragraph 14. Painting/Structural Changes), and for any other disfigurement of the room.

(e) You are also responsible for any damage You cause to the community areas of the residence halls. Hallways and bathrooms must be kept in good condition (including at the close of the semester) or You, along with the other floor residents, will be charged for extra cleaning and/or damage. Inquiries regarding itemization of residence hall billing should be submitted in writing. If You dispute any charges and are seeking an adjustment, You must file your dispute in writing, stating the specific charges You are appealing and your appeal must be received by Residential Life no later than sixty (60) days after the date the bill was sent to You.

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 may overload due to unusually high demand from student appliances. In these cases, brief power outages or surges may occur. Any resulting damage to your personal property will be subject to the provisions of paragraph 11. You are urged to purchase surge protectors for your possessions. The College reserves the right to limit the wattage used in each room to an amount deemed reasonable. No outside aerials or radio-sending equipment will be allowed in the rooms or residence halls.

Painting/Structural Changes. You may not paint any room. You may not make any structural changes to your room or the residence halls without written approval from FMS.

Room Entry. College personnel may enter any room in the event of an emergency, for health/safety reasons, or because of a suspected violation of the law or school policy, in accordance with the College's Access and Search Policy (PDF). 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 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), You should state in advance if You wish to be present when your room is entered, and an appointment will be arranged. If no statement is made to this effect, the work will be completed in your absence at the earliest possible time.

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.

Health and Safety Issues. Students are responsible for maintaining a safe, secure, healthy, and hygienic room and living environment. You are required to keep your room door locked, to refrain from propping exterior doors open, 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 and You may be removed from the residence halls if your room is unhygienic.

Screens and Roof Access. Screens must remain in windows at all times and You are forbidden from being on the roof of residence halls. If You remove your screens or are found on a roof, You will incur an immediate charge in the amount of $100.00.

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. Meal plan options and services are described on the College’s website and may change from time-to-time, in the College’s discretion. Meal plan usage and dining facilities may be unavailable or limited outside of contract periods, during academic recesses, or during special events on campus. As such, it is your responsibility to plan ahead for these occasions. You are required to show your student OneCards when purchasing food on campus. Should the College need to close due to a Force Majeure Event as defined in paragraph 29, You will not be reimbursed for unused dining dollars or GopherBucks.

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

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 You have a federal or state license to possess one of these items, is strictly prohibited, as described in the College’s Weapons Policy.

Alcohol and Other Drugs. All students are subject to both the College’s Policy on Alcohol, Tobacco and Other Drugs, and to state and local laws pertaining to alcohol and illegal drugs. Specifically, You must be at least twenty-one (21) years of age to consume any alcoholic beverages in the State of Maryland. If You are under the age of twenty-one (21), You 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 twenty-one (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 Goucher’s Policy on Alcohol, Tobacco and Other Drugs for further information regarding the College’s policies on alcohol and other drugs. Goucher is a smoke-free campus and smoking of any substance, including the use of e-cigarettes, is prohibited everywhere on campus.

Animals. The rules governing the presence of animals in the residence halls, including service and assistance animals, are found in the College’s Animal Policy, with which You and all other students must comply. With the exception of small fish in aquariums (ten gallons or less) and birds in cages, pets are prohibited. Procedures with respect to service and assistance animals are described in the Animal Policy and additional information can be obtained from the Office of Accessibility Services. If an approved pet or other animal causes a disruption, You will be required to remove the pet or animal from the residence halls.

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.

Joint and Several Liability. You and your 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 all equipment and furnishings. As part of your agreement to reside in a residence hall, You agree to share in the payment of the cost of repairing damages sustained to College property.

Guests. It is your responsibility to inform our guests of the College's policies and You are responsible to the College for your guests' behavior and the cost of any damage they may cause.

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

Termination by The College. In addition to any other terms and conditions set forth in this Contract, the College may terminate this Contract (in addition to other available remedies) and revoke your right to occupy your room (including denying access to the room) for any of the following reasons:

(a) Monetary Breach. Your failure to pay any fees or other amounts due to the College under this Contract.

(b) Any violation of College’s policies or any terms of this Contract. You may be removed or suspended from the residence halls for failure to comply with College policies or the terms of this Contract, or if your actions are found to be detrimental to the health, safety, or general welfare of other residents or members of the College community. If You are removed or suspended from the residence halls, You may be denied further access to or visitation in any residence hall. For more information see the College’s Interim Separation Policy.

(c) The occurrence of a Force Majeure Event as described in paragraph 29

Force Majeure. For purposes of this Contract, the term “Force Majeure Event” means any event which, whether or not foreseeable, was not caused by the College, but which results in the College being unable to comply with any or all of its obligations under this Contract.

Except as explicitly set forth below, the College has no liability to You for its failure to perform any terms or conditions of this Contract due to a Force Majeure event, even if that failure to perform results from the closure or partial suspension of the residence life operations and residence halls resulting from a Force Majeure Event.


Revisions. This contract is subject to revisions. The Office of Residential Life will notify You of changes by means of a college email message and by posting the new information on the Office of Residential Life web page at least two (2) days before the revision takes effect.

Governing Law and Jurisdiction. This Contract is being entered into in the State of Maryland and shall be construed in accordance with and governed by the laws of the State of Maryland. By signing this Contract, You consent to the exclusive jurisdiction of courts within the State of Maryland and Baltimore County.

Entire Agreement. This Contract constitutes the entire agreement between You and the College, and supersedes any previous agreements, understandings, or agreements made by You or the College, whether verbal or written, which may modify, explain, conflict with, or otherwise be different from anything stated in this Contract.

Severability. If a Maryland court determines that any term of this Contract is found to be unenforceable or contrary to law, it will be modified to the least extent necessary to make it enforceable, and the remaining portions of this Contract will remain in full force and effect.

A signed Contract must be returned to the Office of Residential Life prior to checking into a room. This happens during the housing selection process.