Residential Life Policies: Important Things to Know

Here you will find detailed explanation of the policies and procedures listed on our policies and procedures page. Please refer to the list below for an in depth understanding of Prohibited Items, Guest Policy, Residential Space Decorating, Posting Policies, Weapons, Firearms, and Explosives, and our Residential Conduct Process.

Consider a Sustainable Approach

As you think about what to bring, consider a sustainable approach. Becoming a part of WashU means joining a community committed to addressing climate change and improving global public health. Make an impact now using the resources below:

Decorating Your Residential Space

  • Velcro, double – sided tape, hooks with double – sided tape, etc. will damage surfaces and are prohibited. You will be charged at the end of the year for any damage caused by any adhesive product.
  • Painting any piece of University furniture or surface in their rooms, apartment or common area is prohibited.
  • Hanging any object from light fixtures, sprinkler heads, and/or outdoor pipes is prohibited.
  • Decorations for your room consisting of flags, sheets, nets, or large pieces of material hung or draped from the ceilings are prohibited. Large pieces of material are considered a fire hazard, especially when draped across the ceiling.
  • Covering overhead lights with any material is prohibited.
  • Black (or dark) overhead light bulbs are prohibited in existing fixtures in student rooms, lounges, houses, and hallways.
  • Live or cut trees are prohibited inside residential life managed facilities. Artificial trees should not block access to fire safety equipment or exits, and should be fire retardant.
  • Only Underwriters Laboratories (UL) or Electronic Testing Laboratories (ETL) approved lights are permitted. Halogen floor and desk lamps are prohibited. Do not overload outlets or hang lights near flammable materials. Be sure to unplug decorative lights at the end of the day. Lights may not be hung from sprinkler heads or the exterior of the residential room door, or on balconies. Furnishings are not to be used for any function other than their intended purpose.
  • University equipment, furniture, or furnishing may not be removed or disassembled. Students will be charged for replacement or repair costs.
  • Waterbeds are prohibited in all residential facilities.
  • Painting of resident rooms/suites is not permitted. Residents should not use abrasive adhesives (duct tape, masking tape, glow stars, etc.), which might remove paint. Nails, screws, and other tools that damage the wall surface are also not permitted. Talk to your RA for recommended decorating tips.

Posting Policies and Procedures

  • This policy applies to students as well as all recognized student groups and departments. Any organization with student members who live on campus will be responsible for posting its own materials.
  • Nonresidents will not be given access to the halls for posting purposes. Advertising materials from entrepreneurs, businesses, and other commercial interest groups found in locations other than the Residential Life Center will be removed and destroyed.
  • The following guidelines must be followed: No more than one flyer per open bulletin board is permitted. All postings must clearly include sponsoring organizations or an individual’s name and contact.
  • Entrepreneurs, businesses, and other commercial interest groups may only post materials on bulletin boards located in the Residential Life Center.
  • Flyers may not be attached to official RA/RCD bulletin boards, painted surfaces, glass doors of any type, floors, ceilings, trees, and sidewalks. Flyers may only be posted on official posting boards. All others will be discarded. All questions about postings should be directed to an RA, an RCD, or the staff at the Residential Life Center.
  • Flyers may be posted only once per event. It
  • Posting on top of other flyers is prohibited. We request that you use tacks, and not staples or tape when posting; if using staples, please limit to two or three per flyer.
  • References to alcohol, drugs, or nudity are prohibited.
  • Sexist or discriminatory materials are prohibited. What constitutes sexist or discriminatory materials will be left to the discretion of the Residential Life staff.
  • Banners may not be hung from resident hall balconies. Banners or signs may be posted in student windows, but may not be placed outside of the window.
  • Door-to-door solicitation is prohibited in the residence halls.
  • Posters, flyers, handbills, notices, and other publicity such as promotions may not be placed under the doors of the residents in residence halls.
  • Arrangements may be made through Residential Life for placing advertisements in resident mailboxes in Hitzeman Hall.
  • No permanently affixing adhesive materials may be used on any surface.
  • Flyers must include a contact person and contact information. Violations of this policy will result in materials being removed and sponsoring organizations being subject to disciplinary action that may include, but is not limited to, a fine.
  • Materials do not have to be preapproved for posting, as long as these guidelines are followed.
For more information, call (314)935-5050.

Weapons, Firearms, and Explosives

  • Stun guns or taser guns
  • Metal-tip darts
  • Bow and arrows
  • Slingshot
  • Clubs
  • Brass knuckles
  • Ice picks
  • Any weapon or item(s) considered to be dangerous by Residential Life staff.
  • The only exceptions to this policy are instances in which:
    • The bearer is in possession of written permission from a dean, associate dean, assistant dean, or department head.
    • Such possession or use of a simulated firearm/weapon is directly connected to a University or school related event (e.g., play, film production). For further information please refer to the Policy on Theatrical Use of Simulated Firearms and other Weapons.

Conduct Process Explained

Incident Report Process
  • An Incident Report (IR) contains information gathered Residential Life staff detailing events or situations that occur in or around campus, specifically in the Residential Community.
  • In some cases, this includes documentation of violations of University and/or Residential Life policies.
  • Once an IR has been submitted, a case is created for appropriate investigation and follow up by a university staff member from Residential Life.
  • A file containing the IR will be maintained in the Residential Life Office. If the misconduct is serious in nature, the matter may be referred to the Office of Student Conduct and Community Standards, the University or local police, or some other off campus agency.
Accountability or Being Held Accountable
  • Consequences for violating policy may include, but are not limited to, educational obligations, restitution, referral to a conduct administrator, referral to local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies and removal from University housing. See the University Student Code of Conduct and the Office of Student Conduct and Community Standards website for more information about possible sanctions.
Residential Conduct Process
  • The conduct process has been developed to address incidents involving inappropriate behavior within our community. The goal of the Residential Conduct Process is to provide an educational opportunity for residents to reflect upon their actions and the effects such actions can have on the community; additionally, residents can gain new insight and skills that will help them make better choices in the future.
Students opportunity to engage in the process
  • These conduct processes provide fair, reasonable, efficient and expeditious resolution and afford residents with the following opportunities:
  • Residents may be notified of the alleged violation.
  • Residents are presumed not to be responsible for a violation until proven otherwise by a preponderance of evidence (more likely than not).
  • Residents may choose to respond to the allegations and/or present relevant information.
  • Residents may choose not to respond to the allegations or present relevant information.
  • If a student chooses not to engage in the process, a decision will be made in absentia.
  • When it has been reported that there has been an alleged violation of Residential Policy, residents may be subject to the residential conduct process. In addition, residents may also be subject to University action, including conduct action through the Office of Student Conduct and Community Standards. Cases sent to the Office of Student Conduct and Community Standards may include behavior that is repeated, disruptive, dangerous, and/or flagrant.
The Residential Conduct Process includes:
  • Receipt of Complaint (Incident Report)
  • Notification of Alleged Violations & Request for Meeting
  • Residential Conduct Meeting
  • Decision and Resolution
Receipt of Complaint
  • Incident reports containing alleged violations of the Residential Policies or the Student Code of Conduct can be submitted by Residential Life Staff through the internal reporting form. Any member of the community may report an incident by submitting an incident report through the public reporting form found here. All incident reports contain a detailed and objective account of the incident that occurred.
Notification of Alleged Violations & Request for Meeting
  • Within a reasonable time after receiving an incident report, a residential staff member, typically the Residential College/Community Director, will review the incident report to determine whether there is sufficient information to proceed with the Residential Conduct Process. In proceeding with the Residential Conduct Process, the conduct officer will email a written notice of alleged violations and a request for meeting to the resident. This notice includes information regarding the alleged incident such as the date, location and a brief incident description. It also outlines the Residential policy or policies which may have been violated and information regarding when, where and with whom the resident may discuss this incident. Finally, the notice states that the conduct officer may hear the case without the benefit of the resident’s input should the resident choose not to attend the meeting as listed or fail to reschedule within the outlined time frame.
Residential Conduct Meeting
  • During the Residential Conduct Meeting, the conduct officer will allow the resident to review the incident report and ask questions regarding the alleged violations. Additionally, the resident will have the opportunity to explain the incident from their perspective and present any additional information they believe the conduct officer should know. The conduct officer may also ask questions to better understand what occurred and to clarify information.
  • If the resident is found in violation of any Residential Policy, the conduct officer will assign educational obligations. Educational obligations are meant to provide educational opportunities that help residents reflect upon their actions, acquire new skills, and improve their decision making in the future. As an educational obligation, residents may be warned, charged for restitution for damages, assigned a special project, placed on residential probation, relocated, excluded, and/or evicted from University housing, and prohibited from returning to the residential facilities in the future. Should educational obligations not be completed as assigned, an administrative hold will be placed on the resident’s account. This hold prevents residents from registering for classes and accessing some other campus services (e.g., obtain a campus bus pass, etc.). The hold will be lifted once the resident successfully completes the assigned sanctions
Commitment to Restorative Justice
  • The Office of Residential Life at WashU is committed to behavioral intervention that places an emphasis on inclusive decision making to right a wrong that has occurred in the community to restore peace and harmony. Therefore, Residential Life uses a Restorative Justice approach when addressing conduct in our community. Restorative Justice is an approach that involves, to the extent possible, those who have stake in a specific offense or harm to collectively identify and address harms, needs, and obligations in order to heal and put things as right as possible.
  • Residential Life employs several Restorative practices that encourage students in the community to establish norms and standards that are conducive for fostering a safe, respectful and peaceful environment for learning and growing. Examples of
Restorative practices that may be used are:
  • Community Standards
  • Living Agreements
  • Circles
  • Conferences

Safety & Security Resources

  • Campus2Home Shuttle Service: The Campus2Home shuttle provides a safe ride home daily from the Washington University in St. Louis Danforth Campus to off-campus residences in four designated areas. These areas are: Skinker-DeBaliviere, the Loop South, north of the Loop and just south of campus. Visit the Campus2 Home Shuttle page for more information.
  • Noonlight Safety App:  WashU has contracted with NOONLIGHT, a personal mobile safety app. Like a blue light phone in the palm of your hand, NOONLIGHT is another tool the university uses to promote safety. Whether on campus or anywhere else in the continental U.S., the app can be activated if you are feeling unsafe. Download the Noonlight app using the complimentary university subscription.
  • Alerts:If you are interested in receiving crime alerts and advisories prepared by Washington University for off-campus neighborhoods in which the university owns property via email, please complete the Neighborhood Alert sign- up form.
  • Learn more information about WUPD resources at their website.

Other Resources