Appendix I: Housing Regulations


Residence hall life is one of the most valuable experiences of a student's college years. This environment of close association provides an opportunity to learn to balance properly the opposing claims of individual freedom and the rights of others. One element of good citizenship is sensitivity to the rights of others. Thus, you should be open to the requests of others to stop behavior that infringes on their rights. Even more desirable is the development of a sense of self-discipline so that you are intuitively aware that certain acts (e.g., loud playing of music) are ruled out because you know that they are bothersome to others.

A student may have his privilege to live on campus withdrawn for a specified period for any infraction of regulations which indicates unsatisfactory citizenship in the residence hall or fraternity house. In this event, the student may be removed from his campus housing, with no refund of residence hall rent or change in his boarding contract allowed. He may have to live off campus if he is to remain enrolled in the College or he may be banned from his place of residence for specific hours of each day. In the event that he withdraws from the College, there shall be no refund. Written application for permission to live on campus again must be submitted to and approved by the Director of Residence Life.

Disregard of the following standards, as well as other rules, may subject individuals and entire halls or sections of residence halls to disciplinary action. The entire Code of Student Conduct applies.  All students should be familiar with the rules stated in the annual Housing Agreement.

Fraternity house managers must live in their respective houses for the academic year.

1. Housing Policy

Hampden-Sydney College has a four-year residential requirement.  Only registered students and College-assigned occupants may reside in College-owned facilities. All students are required to live on campus unless they have received a formal exemption from the College's housing policy. Exemptions are granted for the following reasons

  • Student is married, and commuting to campus from a home shared with a spouse
  • Student lives with parents and is commuting to campus from family home
  • Student has completed eight, full-time (12 credit hours or more) semesters at Hampden-Sydney College

The College may make exceptions to this housing policy for students wishing to live off campus, normally only when enrollment exceeds housing capacity. A limited number of off-campus housing assignments (third party landlord) are made available each year in the online room choosing process outlined under Housing Assignments. Students are advised that signing a lease or rental agreement with a third party landlord does not exempt them from the College's Housing Policy, and leases or rental agreements should not be signed unless an off-campus housing assignment has already been obtained during the annual housing selection process.

Housing Assignments
The College tries to grant the preference of each student in making housing assignments and roommate pairings. However, there may be occasions where some assignments have to be changed in the interest of the total housing program.

The Director of Residence Life assigns roommates for freshmen. Mutual roommate requests submitted by June 1 will be granted.

Housing assignments for upperclassmen are determined by the online room choosing process. The rising senior with the highest overall academic standing is given the first chance to make a housing selection. Selection times then run down through the classes in order of credit hours earned and cumulative grade point average.

The demand for space in College housing is typically greater than the supply of rooms available during housing selection.  If all housing options have been claimed during a student's selection time, he will sign a To be Announced (TBA) Housing Contract.  Students who sign a TBA Housing Contract will have their housing assignment made by the Director of Residence Life before the start of the Fall Semester. TBA assignments will be based on available housing options and the requests made by the student. More information about this process is available on the Residence Life website.

Room Changes
Requests for room changes should be initiated with a student's current resident advisor. Room changes must be formally approved by the Director of Residence Life or his designee before a student begins to relocate.

According to the Housing Agreement, unapproved room changes will result in a fine of up to $300.  There is no charge for approved room changes.

Only under special circumstances will freshmen be allowed to make a room change before November 1.  

2. Social Regulations

Visitation Responsibilities
A roommate's right to free access to his room at all times must not be abrogated by visitation by guests. A roommate's concurrence is necessary in order for a room to be used for visitation. A roommate must not be deprived of his right to privacy, study time, or sleep because of a guest.

Parties
There are to be no organized parties, kegs of beer, or other common-container alcohol in residence halls without the permission of the Dean of Students or the Director of Residence Life. This rule does not preclude groups or couples from getting together in a room on Friday or Saturday nights; however, they should not be noisy, should respect the rights of others, and should obey the law and alcohol policy. Socializing in rooms should be limited to no more than twelve people. Those who live in fraternity houses or campus cottages with adequate common space may host larger groups. The rule does mean that no one may organize a party or invite persons to a social function in or around a residence hall without submitting a party registration form according to College policy and gaining the approval of the Director of Residence Life.

College policy prohibits the drinking of alcoholic beverages in public on the campus or in College buildings. No alcoholic beverages-in either primary or secondary containers-may be present or consumed in public areas (halls, porches, etc.) in or around residence halls, and no alcohol may be provided or served by persons responsible for an approved, organized social activity or party.

Noise Level
At all times, especially on weeknights, the noise level in and around fraternity houses and residence halls shall be such that it neither disturbs neighbors nor keeps fellow students from their right to have quiet for study and rest.

The noise level should never be excessive in residence halls. Students, with the assistance of Resident Advisors, are responsible for keeping order and maintaining quiet. In fraternities, the president should be responsible for enforcement. If the problem cannot be handled at this level, the offender(s) should be reported to the Dean of Students. Specifically in regard to music and video games, while there is no desire to keep a student from enjoying his sound equipment, limits must be set which allow other students the freedom to study or sleep in the comfort of their rooms, free from outside disturbance. Abuse of the privilege to use a music player or game console will lead to restrictions or to the withdrawal of the privilege to have such equipment in the residence halls. This decision is made by the Dean of Students and the Chairman of the Student Court.

3. Property Maintenance

Proper care of College property is expected of all students.

No College furniture is to be removed from any residence room.

No lofts are permitted other than the College dorm furniture that is specifically designed to be lofted.

The minimum charges stated below are not substitutes for disciplinary action. The full range of penalties of the Code of Student Conduct applies, including the possibility of eviction from the residence hall.

Smoking

Smoking is not permitted in any Residence Hall, Fraternity House, College-Owned apartment or cottage or Settle Hall including the Tiger Inn.  Students who are found smoking, or whose room contains evidence of smoking, are subject to fines and disciplinary action.

Appliances

You are not allowed to possess unauthorized cooking equipment, to include any kind of oven or toaster oven, hot plate or cooking unit, electric grill (George Foreman), skillet, fryer, or cooker, hot dog cookers, hamburger cookers or toasters. Sanctions include confiscation of equipment. No cooking is allowed on grills or other implements on fire escapes, windowsills, stairwell landings or balconies etc.

The following appliances are permissible: one half-size refrigerator (UL listed; up to 4.3 cubic feet) and one microwave oven (UL listed; up to 1000 Watts) per student room; coffee pots and coffee makers with thermostats; popcorn poppers; and blenders. Grills must be charcoal grills and can only be used on concrete patios, parking areas, or lawns; they must be ten (10) feet or more from any structure. Grills cannot be used on decks or porches.

No personal air conditioners are permitted in student living areas.

Dart Boards

You are not allowed to possess a dart board or darts; confiscation of the equipment and other sanctions will result, including restitution for damages.

Pets

No pets may be kept on campus by students living in residence halls, fraternity houses, or College-owned housing. No pets are allowed in other College buildings, and no pets belonging to students who live off-campus may be brought onto the campus unless they are on a leash. No warm-blooded, feathered, or poisonous animals, or snakes, caged or uncaged, are allowed in the residence halls, college-owned cottages, or fraternity houses. They are also prohibited from visiting. Animals are both a health hazard and a nuisance for the hall community. The presence of a pet in a residence hall may result in fines and disciplinary referral to the Student Court Chairman. In some cases, it may be necessary to contact Prince Edward County Animal Control.

Cleanliness of Residence Halls and Vicinity

Students are encouraged to treat all College facilities as they would treat their own home and expect other students and guests to do the same.

Trash should never be excessive in the halls or public areas of residence halls. If Buildings and Grounds personnel have to clean up excessive trash and debris inside a residence hall, a minimum $50 fee will be assessed to students living on the hall, or to the students responsible.

The area around residence halls should be kept free of debris, glass, etc. Residents are expected to use trash receptacles and not to litter the grounds. A minimum fee of $50 will be charged to a section, residence hall, or student responsible if there is excessive trash outside the residence halls and Buildings and Grounds personnel have to clean it up.

No furniture (e.g., tables, chairs, sofas), boxes, or other materials may be left outside of any building overnight. A minimum fee of $50 will be charged to remove these objects, which are subject to confiscation.

No items (e.g., flags, banners, tapestries, posters, etc.) may be displayed in the windows or outside of any College-owned housing facilities.

Only College-issued blinds are approved for installation in windows.

If a student becomes aware of vandalism or damage caused by another student or guest, he is encouraged to report this information to his RA immediately so that the person(s) responsible may be held accountable. Likewise, if a student accidentally or intentionally vandalizes or damages property he is expected to take responsibility for his actions and promptly report the incident to his RA.  

Damage of Undetermined Origin

Though RA's make efforts to investigate the origin of damage and vandalism in their area, it is not always possible to identify the person(s) responsible. In the event of damage of undetermined origin in or around a residence hall, the cost of repair will be split between the residents of a hall, section, or entire residence hall(s) as determined by the Dean of Students or the Director of Residence Life. The minimum charge per person will be $5.

Residence Hall Inspections

Residence halls are inspected from time to time by RAs, Office of Student Affairs staff, the Fire Safety Department, or the State Fire Marshal. The main purposes of inspections are to discover and determine responsibility for damage to, misuse of, and/or misappropriation of College property, and to report matters needing maintenance. Obvious violations of College regulations in non-maintenance areas may be discovered and reported as a result of the inspection, but the inspection itself is not a search of one's room or belongings. 

Room Check-in and Check-out

It is required that each student have his residence hall room inspected both when he occupies the room and when he vacates the room. Failure to do will result in a $50 fine. When making a mid-year room change, students are also required to complete a room check-out with their RA, and a room check-in with their new RA.

Fines and charges are assessed if the room is not clean, or if property is missing or damaged, when a student departs. Rooms that are not left in a condition fit for immediate reoccupation will be charged a cleaning fee of not less than $25. Additional fines and charges are possible.

If seniors are checked out of their rooms before graduation, they may not remain in their rooms unless they have written permission to do so from the Director of Residence Life.

All students should be familiar with the rules stated in the annual Housing Agreement.

4. Fire Safety

Rules and Prohibited Items

Fire extinguishers, heat and smoke detectors, pull stations, sprinkler heads and pipe, automatic door closers, evacuation signs, exit signs, smoke free building signs and emergency lights are all considered “life safety devices”. Tampering with, vandalizing, or misuse of any of these devices is a chargeable Class 1 misdemeanor in Virginia (punishable by up to one year in jail and a $2500 fine) and is considered a serious life safety offense by the College. This includes intentionally setting off a fire alarm (activating a pull station) when there is no fire, covering a smoke detector or sprinkler head, falsely reporting a fire, the setting of a fire, failure to evacuate during a fire alarm activation or entering a building during a fire alarm activation. The lighting of fireworks is considered hazardous and is strictly prohibited.

Violation of any of these rules may result in a fine assessed by the Fire Safety Department or immediate eviction from the residence hall for a period to be determined by the Dean of Students and the Chairman of the Student Court and the possibility of other serious disciplinary action.

  1. There shall be no storage of any personal belongings (including bicycles), sports equipment or furniture in hallways, stairwells or landings, entrances, exits, and vestibules of any residence hall, cottage, or fraternity house (student living areas).
  2. Emergency exit paths (egress) in the bedrooms, halls and entrances shall be maintained equal to the width of the door.
  3. No items shall be hung from the ceiling or from sprinkler heads or sprinkler pipes.
  4. No combustible material may be hung in windows or on doors. Approved flame-retardant curtains may be used (tag needs to say it meets NFPA-701 Small Scale); contact the Fire Safety department for approved vendors.
  5. Absolutely nothing shall be hung from or attached to the ceiling.
  6. Curtains and drapes shall be either non-combustible or flame resistant and be labeled as such.
  7. Each student may hang one exposed 2' x 3' paper poster on the wall of their bedroom. All other flammable decorations in student living areas, (i.e., posters, flags, banners, etc.) must be behind glass or Plexiglas, in a manner that no part of the item is exposed to open flame. There is no restriction on metal signs.
  8. There shall be no lumber, trash, combustible materials, flammable liquids, gasoline powered items, kerosene heaters or lamps stored or used in student living areas.
  9. There shall be only two items plugged directly into each wall outlet.
  10. Surge protector/power strip shall be protected with a built-in 15 amp circuit breaker and shall be plugged directly into a wall outlet and not into another surge protector.
  11. Extension cords shall not be used in any student living area.
  12. Multi-tap adapters and cube adapters are not permitted in any student living area.
  13. Fresh-cut trees or greenery (i.e. Christmas trees or bamboo) are not permitted in student living areas.
  14. Life Safety devices shall not be unplugged or tampered with or obstructed in any way. These include smoke detectors, heat detectors, sprinkler systems, pull stations, exit and emergency lights, fire extinguishers and evacuation plans, which are found in both rooms and hallways of residences. They are for the safety of those within that room or building.
  15. Incense is prohibited in any student living areas.
  16. Traditional candles are strictly prohibited in student living areas; battery-powered flameless candles are permitted. Students found to have traditional candles will be asessed a $100.00 fine, and the candle will be confiscated and taken to the H-SC Police Station.
  17. Open flames from any source are prohibited inside student living areas.
  18. Storage of goods or placement of furniture shall be at least 24 inches below the ceilings.
  19. Halogen lamps are not permitted on campus.
  20. Chocking or propping of stairwell doors in the open position is prohibited. Doors to student rooms may be chocked or propped open if the room is occupied; doors must be closed when no one is in the room.
  21. Charcoal grills shall not be used or stored within 10 feet of any building.
  22. Propane grills are strictly prohibited.
  23. Smoking (including E-cigarettes and vaping) is prohibited in student living areas.
  24. Bunks, lofts and beds shall not be draped or enclosed.
  25. Inflatable furniture such as couches and chairs are not allowed. Inflatable air mattresses may be used only on a temporary basis, such as for weekend guests, and after use shall be deflated and stored.
  26. Please see Section 3 on Appliances for cooking equipment not allowed.
  27. Electric space heaters are not allowed in the student living areas.
  28. Portable Fire Pits on campus will be used as follows:

    A. The Use of Accelerants is Prohibited
    B. Only Wood May Be Burned
    C. Fires Must be Extinguished by 2AM
    D. Fire Pits must be at least 25 feet from any structure or flammable material
    E. Manufactured fire pits shall be no larger than 3' in diameter
    F. Bon fires and open pit burning is strictly prohibited.

Fines and Inspections

Fire safety violations generally carry a fine as well as any repair costs. The fines associated with fire safety violations is currently $100 per violation with a cap set at $500 per incident. Please note the following exceptions:

Class 1 Violations: Smoking in student residences, unattended burning candles, covering a smoke detector or sprinkler head, tampering with fire safety equipment, failure to evacuate any time there is a fire alarm activation or entering a building during a fire alarm activation will result in an immediate fine in the amount of $250.

These fines are minimal and can be increased by the Chairman of the Student Court and the Dean of Students at any time based upon the special circumstances surrounding a particular event.

Authorized College personnel have the right to conduct room inspections to ascertain safety conditions and room damages at any time. Fire safety inspections occur on a continuous basis. Some are scheduled; others may occur as part of daily routine tasks, possibly in conjunction with test or repairs to the fire protection systems. Fire safety violations will be addressed at the time they are observed in an effort to maintain the highest level of safety and protection from fire for our students. Room inspections are also conducted as part of the annual safety inspection of student living areas by the Virginia State Fire Marshal.

Fire Safety Violation Appeals

Appeals must be filed within 60 days of the date of the fire safety violation notice (email); you should pick up and fill out an appeal form in the Business Office. Your completed appeal form will be submitted by the Business Office to the Fire Safety Violation Appeals Committee, which reviews appeals and will notify you of its decision. No appeals will be accepted after April 30.

If the appeal is accepted by the Committee, the fine will be canceled. Otherwise, you must then immediately pay the fine in the Business Office to avoid further disciplinary action for non- payment of the fine.

Fire Safety and Fire Drills

The College places a high priority on residence hall, apartment, cottage, and fraternity house safety. Twice each semester fire drills are held and everyone is expected to cooperate with the RAs and house managers who act as fire marshals. As described above, serious penalties are assessed against those violating fire and safety regulations or who in any way create a danger for others. Violations include failure to leave a building when a fire alarm is sounding, entering a building while the fire alarm is sounding or failure to cooperate with officials during a fire or fire drill. Resident advisors are to establish a meeting place for their residents at least fifty feet from the building and determine who is not present. If it is suspected that a student may be inside the building, this information shall be immediately shared with fire and rescue personnel.

As a resident of a residence hall, cottage, or fraternity house at Hampden-Sydney College, you have a responsibility to acquaint yourself with the following fire and fire drill procedures. Become familiar with all routes of escape available to you from your room. Always know two ways out! Most buildings are equipped with an evacuation plan. Become familiar with it. Should a fire occur, it will be too late to search for an exit.

If you detect a fire in your residence hall, evacuate the building, call 911 immediately and call your RA. If you hear an alarm sound you should:

  • Feel the door with the back of your hand. If your door is very hot, DO NOT OPEN THE DOOR. In this event, open your window and sit on the sill. Wait for help. If the door is cool to touch, open it and leave the building. Close the door behind you.
  • Use primary fire exits (stairs and main doors) whenever possible.
  • If your primary means of exit is blocked, use the secondary exit. Your RA will inform you of the primary and secondary exit routes for your part of the residence hall; you can also consult the evacuation plan mounted in your hall.
  • Close your door when evacuating the building. This procedure can prevent the needless spread of fire within the building.
  • Do not panic. Leave the building as quickly as possible, but without bolting or becoming a part of the problem.
  • Do not linger. Never remain inside a building after a fire alarm has sounded. Treat all drills as fires. You will not likely be able to distinguish a drill from the real thing until it is too late! Again, get at least fifty feet from the building at the location designated by your RA and cooperate with firefighters and check in with your RA (when possible).
  • Do not return to the building until told to do so by a fire official or someone in charge.
  • Always report to your RA or house manager all dangerous and suspicious behavior that might contribute to a fire problem in your residence hall.