Student Housing Policies and Procedures

SMOKING POLICY

In compliance with the university smoking policy, all residence halls and fraternity/sorority houses are smoke-free. Students wishing to smoke are required to do so outside the buildings (at least 20 feet from the building).

FIRE ALARM PROCEDURES

  • Leave your room immediately, as required by state law.
  • Leave the wall or overhead light on.
  • Close the room door and lock it (only if time permits).
  • Walk quietly and quickly outside via the stairwells.
  • Do not use the elevators.
  • Remain outside until the signal is given to return to your room.
  • For your own protection, obey all fire regulations. Failure to evacuate a hall when an alarm sounds, and failure to comply with staff directors, constitutes grounds for disciplinary action, which may include eviction from the residence halls. Residence Life staff and University Police reserve the right to enter student rooms to locate the source of the problem and to ensure that everyone has evacuated the building.
  • Smoking should not occur on front steps or entrances to buildings, including under the entry awnings.

FIRE AND SAFETY EQUIPMENT

The State Fire Code prohibits anyone from tampering with fire and safety equipment in the residence halls or in any campus building. Tampering includes pulling false fire alarms, discharging fire extinguishers, removing exit signs and interfering with smoke detectors. Interference with smoke detectors mandates immediate attention.

Students responsible will be assessed for the damages and for the hourly rate of the repair person’s labor. All violators are subject to disciplinary action and possible criminal prosecution. The civil penalty for malicious use of fire and safety equipment is a $500 fine and/or 90 days in jail.

Air Conditioners/Space Heaters: Individual air conditioners and/or heaters are not permitted in the residence halls at any time. Due to fire hazards, items of this type will be confiscated if they are found in the halls. Although all the halls are air-conditioned, residents may wish to bring small fans for use in their rooms.

Combustible Materials: Due to the threat of fire, combustible decorative materials, such as dry vegetation, natural Christmas trees, excessive trash and similar materials are not permitted in the residence halls.

Cooking and Appliances: Due to the nature of residence hall living, the physical facilities of the halls, and the concerns for fire and safety standards, only microwave cooking is permitted in student rooms. MicroFridges are provided in the residence halls. Small refrigerators and MicroFridges (combination microwave, refrigerator and freezer) are allowed. Cooking appliances (such as percolators, toasters and hot plates) are not allowed in student rooms. George Foreman grills or similar products also are not permitted.

Electrical Requirements: Only heavy-duty, single-receptacle extension cords should be used in residence hall rooms. Due to threat of fire, extension cords should never be placed under carpets. Outlet-multiplier cubes and household extension cords are prohibited. A power strip with a built-in circuit breaker should be used if more receptacles are needed. All appliances must be UL-approved.

Halogen Lamps: Due to high operating temperatures that could result in threat of a fire, halogen lamps are prohibited in the residence halls.

Incense/Candles: Incense, candles and heated potpourri pots are not permitted in the residence halls. Burning substances in any form creates a fire hazard.

SAFETY - RESIDENCE HALLS & FRATERNITY/SORORITY HOUSES

1. Never prop open or block fire doors.

  • If it has an automatic door closer, then it should be closed. In the event of a fire these doors will help control the spread of smoke and fire.
  • Hallways, stairways and exits must be kept clear at all times.
  • Bicycles should never be stored in hallways or stairways; use bike racks.

2. Exits can never be blocked or locked.
3. Never store flammable liquids inside the house.

  • Examples include gasoline, kerosene, propane bottles, flammable paints, paint thinner, mineral spirits, charcoal lighter fluid or any other liquid that has flammable on the label. 
  • Tiki lamps are prohibited.
  • All paper towels or cleaning cloths that have been used with oils or flammable liquids must be promptly disposed of outside the building.

4.  Limit the amount of combustibles you keep in your room.    

  • Examples include excess amounts of boxes, books, papers or an excess of clothing.
  • Limit the amount of posters on walls; this greatly increases the spread of fire.
  • Vegetation is a fire hazard and is prohibited from use in or around the fraternity/sorority houses. This includes live Christmas trees.

5.  Do not use electrical outlet multipliers or outlet cubes.

  • If you need more outlets than you have, use a power strip with a built-in circuit breaker.

6.  All electrical extension cords must be heavy-duty, single-receptacle.

  • They should never extend through walls, ceilings or doorways.
  • They should never be run under rugs or carpet; this creates a fire hazard.
  • All extension cords used outside must be protected by a GFCI.
  • Never use frayed or broken extension cords.
  • Do not join or overload extension cords.

7.  Exit signs and emergency lighting should never be covered or blocked from view.
8.  Smoke machines are prohibited, they decrease visibility causing a hazard and they may cause a false fire alarm.
9.  Halogen lamps are prohibited from use on this campus.
10.  Never have a fire ignition source in the house.

  • Examples include candles, incense, fire works, space heaters, etc.
  • All personal appliances (irons, curling irons, hair dryers, etc.) should be unplugged when not in use
  • Coffee pots, hot plates, toaster ovens, etc. must be kept and used in the kitchen. 

11.  No bonfires, campfires or any open fires allowed.
12.  Smoking is not allowed inside the residence halls and houses.
13.  Always exit the building during a fire alarm. This is a state law and university policy.

  • Always know the location of the nearest fire extinguisher and two ways out of the building.
  • All discharged fire extinguishers must be reported to the Safety Department.

14.  Never tamper with or attach anything to any life safety equipment: smoke alarms, sprinklers systems, etc.

  • All sprinkler closets must be locked and not used for any storage.

15. All alterations inside or outside of the building, construction, excavation, etc. must be pre-approved by the Safety Department.

  • Such as haunted houses, platforms, stages, room changes, etc.

16. A minimum of 36 inches of clear space shall be maintained in front of all electrical boxes.
17. Electrical and mechanical rooms should be locked and never used for any storage.
18.  Any raised platform or stage higher than 30 inches shall require a 42-inch high guardrail.  Platforms shall not be more than 48 inches high.

  • All structures shall be secured and have no sharp edges.

19. No platforms or diving boards allowed around swimming pools (fraternities).
20.  Spring party pools (fraternities)

  • Pools should be a minimum 20 feet away from house
  • Pools should be no more than 24 inches at the deepest point. Side walls of pool maximum height 30 inches. Materials used to form sides of pool, such as crossties or lumber, must be secured, braced and sturdy. (No cement blocks)

The University Police and the Safety Department have the right to seize prohibited materials and/or shutdown any party found to be in violation of safety rules. Your safety is our No. 1 concern.

HOLIDAY DECORATING

In order to minimize the potential fire hazards associated with some holiday seasons, the following decoration guidelines should be followed for the protection of those students living in the residence halls or fraternity/sorority houses:

  • Cut or live trees and wreaths are not allowed.
  • Students are allowed to have artificial trees in their rooms/houses, but they must be marked UL-approved and fire resistant.
  • Only nonflammable or fire-retardant holiday decorations may be used.
  • Electric miniature lights are permitted, but are limited to three strands per connection or less as listed on the manufacture instructions. 
  • All electrical decorations must bear the UL label and should only be used as rated for indoor applications.
  • All cords and lighting strings should be checked for fraying, bare wires, loose connections and cracked plugs. Use only UL-approved heavy-duty extension cords with built-in overload protection (breakers).
  • Doors shall not be gift-wrapped. Excessive decorations or decorations made of highly flammable materials (crepe paper, leaves, etc.) are not permitted.
  • Decorations will not be attached to, blocking or suspended from sprinkler pipes, smoke detectors, electrical systems, ceilings, stairways, exits, etc.
  • All lights and decorations should be kept away from all combustibles.
  • All decorations must be turned off before leaving the room/house.
  • All decoration must be removed before leaving for Christmas break.