Residential Life Policies

A.  RESIDENCE AGREEMENT AND RELATED INFORMATION

1. Residence Agreement. All students living in College housing are required to comply with all rules, regulations, and policies related to student housing. This includes, but is not limited to, the information outlined below and various Residential Life publications (Opening and Closing Notices, Vacation Housing Notices, and the annual housing lottery document). In return, the College will work to provide Bowdoin students with safe, comfortable, well-maintained living space, in an academically conducive environment.

2. Residency Requirement. All first-years and sophomores are required to live on campus in residence halls, apartments, or College Houses. Juniors and seniors are allowed to live on campus or off campus in private rentals. Upperclass students who choose to live on campus must participate in the annual housing lottery to secure an assignment.

3. Assignment Information. Assignments for first-year students are made based on information requested prior to enrollment. Each spring, upperclass students choose housing for the next year by participating in the housing lottery. The lottery is run by the Residential Life staff. Lottery information is distributed immediately following spring vacation. Students returning for second semester, including those returning from off-campus study, are assigned via an open rooms/proxy process. For more information, contact the Office of Residential Life.

4. Right to Assign. The director of residential life reserves the right to assign any vacancy in College-owned housing at any time, and/or to reassign any student at any time.

5. Occupancy Periods. Housing is available only when the College is in regular session. Students are required to vacate College housing between semesters and during spring vacation. Information about dates and times that College residences open and close are published in the academic calendar in the Student Handbook. Closing notices are sent to on-campus students prior to each closing. All students, except graduating seniors, are required to vacate within twenty-four hours of their last exam. Students who arrive before housing opens or remain after housing closes without express permission from the Office of Residential Life may face disciplinary action and/or incur fees.

6. Vacation Housing. Students who need housing between semesters, during spring vacation, or during the summer should read the closing notices and/or contact the Office of Residential Life prior to these periods. Remaining in College housing when the College is not in session, without permission of the Office of Residential Life, is a violation of College policy.

7. Opening Day. All students must arrive no earlier than the scheduled opening day for fall and spring semesters. Early arrivals are not permitted. For more information, contact the Director of Residential Life.

8. ID Cards and Room Keys. When school is in session, student residences are accessed by ID cards and/or keys.  ID cards are issued through the OneCard Office located at the lobby of Coles Tower.  Room keys are issued from the Facilities Management Office in Rhodes Hall. For more information about keys, see the Facilities Management section. Students have access to residence halls and apartments via their ID Card. Access may be restricted or limited at the will of the College. Exterior doors to residence halls are locked at all times. Students are asked to help keep unwanted guests or intruders from entering buildings by
closing doors that others leave propped open and reporting suspicious behavior or malfunctioning doors to Security.

9. Room Lockout Policy. Students are expected to carry their ID Card and/or key with them at all times and are expected to keep their rooms locked. If a student locks themselves out of their room, they are to follow these steps to gain access to their room:

  1. Between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and midnight, students should attempt to find a student Residential Life staff member to gain entry to their room. Student Residential Life staff may not loan out their ID Cards or master keys.
  2. If a Residential Life staff member is unavailable or it is after midnight, students should call Security at ext. 3314 to request entry to the room. If a student is requesting an excessive number of lockouts, the Director of Residential Life may request to meet with the student and/or take formal disciplinary action.


Emergencies:
ext. 3500 or 725-3500
Non Emergencies: ext. 3314 or 725-3314

Broken or Lost Cards
You must have a working ID Card to access buildings on the system, eat in the dining halls, use your Polar Points, do laundry, make photocopies, and take books out from the library.

If your card does not function for any of the above-mentioned tasks, please come to the OneCard Office and it will be fixed or replaced at no charge.

If you lose or break your card, you may obtain a new card for $15.00. This cost will be billed to your account through the Bursar's Office. It is important to deactivate your card online at the OneCard website or call Security to have them deactivate it for you to help protect your card funds and keep the campus safe.

10. Personal Property. The College assumes no responsibility for loss of, or damage to, a student's personal property. Each student is encouraged to take appropriate steps to safeguard and insure his/her property. Students are encouraged to maintain appropriate personal property insurance. Any loss or theft of property should be reported to Security so that an official record is available if needed. The College does not provide storage for students' personal property.

11. Right to Enter. Bowdoin College reserves the right to enter any College-owned space at any time for the purpose of responding to emergencies, maintaining acceptable health and safety standards, establishing order, making repairs, routine maintenance (including response to work orders), inventory, extermination, cleaning, enforcement of College rules and regulations, securing buildings during vacation and break periods, and for any other reasonable purpose. The resident's absence will not prevent such entry. Entry will be made by authorized College personnel.

12. Right to Enter and Search. The College reserves the right to enter and search student rooms/suites/apartments and/or belongings in any College building or storage space. A resident's room, suite, or apartment or possessions on campus will not be searched by College authorities unless there is sufficient reason to believe that a resident is using his/her assigned space for purposes which may be in violation of Federal, State, or local law, or of College regulations. The College will cooperate with law enforcement officials who, having obtained a search warrant from an appropriate source having jurisdiction to issue such warrants, seek entry to student rooms for the purpose of executing such warrants. Before conducting a search, the Security Office must have written permission from the Director of Residential Life. The written permission authorizing the search shall state the reasons for the search, a description of the objects of information sought, possessions and locations to be searched, and the approximate time the search will be conducted. Although not required by law, whenever possible the search will be conducted at reasonable times with occupant(s) present.

13. Accountability. All occupants of shared living space are responsible for all activities taking place in their space whether they are present or not. All occupants will be held responsible for any prohibited activity or illegal items found in the space.

14. Withdrawal. Upon withdrawal or suspension from the College, the individual student has forty-eight hours or a time frame as determined by the Director of Residential Life to vacate the premises, return his/her key to the Facilities Management or Security Office, and ask that the employee make a notation of the departure.

B. HEALTH AND SAFETY IN COLLEGE RESIDENTIAL HALLS

The following fire safety code and college policy violations are all subject to disciplinary action either by administrative decision of a College official and/or action of the Judicial Board:

1. Care of rooms, common areas, and furnishings. All residents are responsible for keeping their room, suite, or apartment and all common areas in their building or apartment complex in acceptable condition in accordance with the Facilities Management Residence Hall Policy.

2.  Cooking/Kitchens. In certain locations, the College provides cooking facilities for student use.  Cooking other than by microwave outside of established kitchens is prohibited; students are allowed to use a microwave oven or coffeemaker in their room. Residents are responsible for food or other personal belongings left in the kitchen area. All food and trash must be properly disposed of and students should check to be sure that ovens are turned off after use.
 
a.  Appliances permitted. Microwave ovens of 1000 watts or less and not larger than one cubic ft. in size; Energy Star-rated refrigerators less than four cubic ft. in size; stereo equipment; computer equipment; coffeemakers; curling and clothing irons; hair dryers; desk fans; lamps; televisions and DVD players.

b.  Appliances not permitted. Any appliance with exposed heating elements, such as: hot plates; toasters; toaster ovens; gas stoves or burners; camping stoves; space heaters; tanning lamps; and all halogen lamps.  Appliances that exceed 1000 watts, including personal air conditioners, are prohibited.  In addition, any appliance not Underwriters Laboratory (UL) approved, in poor working condition, or deemed inappropriate by the Director of Residential must be removed from College spaces.

3. Fire Safety. The following fire safety code and college policy violations will be subject to sanction by administrative decision or by the Judicial Board; and may, if the violation results in personal injury to others, damage to College property, or is a repeat offense of the same violation, be reported to the civil authorities for prosecution or fine:

  • Setting of a Fire. This includes intentional or accidental fires, even those caused by
    cooking or smoking in approved areas.
  • Setting off Fire Alarms. This includes intentional or accidental fire alarms, even those
    caused by cooking or smoking in approved areas.
  • Failing to Evacuate. When an alarm sounds all occupants MUST vacate the building
    immediately; to remain in the building during an active alarm is a violation of state and
    federal fire codes. This includes all residential and academic buildings.
  • Tampering with, Misusing, or Defeating Fire Protection Equipment. This includes,
    but is not limited to: removing or covering emergency exit lights or signage; hanging items
    of any kind from sprinkler heads or piping; propping open fire doors; disabling or
    covering smoke detectors; or improperly discharging fire extinguishers or fire hoses.  The
    improper discharge of a fire extinguisher is a significant environmental health concern due
    to the chemical suppressants it contains (normally consumed when properly applied to a
    fire) being a severe respiratory irritant, and a distinct hazard to persons with sensitive
    respiratory conditions.
  • Possessing and/or Using Flammable Materials. This includes, but is not limited to:
    camp-stove fuel, fireworks, smoking materials, certain holiday decorations (see below),
    gasoline, paint thinners, lamp oil, lighter fluid, scented plug-ins, candles, and incense. 
  • Tampering with Any Wiring. This includes, but is not limited to: electrical equipment,
    building wiring, cable TV, computer wiring, or overloading electrical outlets with multiple
    plugs.  Only UL-approved grounded (three-prong) extension cords with an integral surge
    protector (such as those used for computers) are allowed; ungrounded (two-prong)
    extension cords of any kind are prohibited.
  • Causing or Contributing to a Fire Safety Hazard. This includes, but is not limited to:
    storage of materials in exits, stairwells, hallways, or passageways in any manner that
    obstructs egress; storing an excessive amount of waste paper or other flammable materials;
    having ceiling hangings of any kind, or wall hangings covering more than 50 percent of
    the wall space; and having an excessive amount of personal furniture in any College
    space.  Personal furnishings must be UL-labeled for fire resistance where applicable.
  • Any violation of Town of Brunswick Fire Department regulations.
  • Any violation of the Holiday Decorations policy, which is available in the Office of
    Residential Life.

4. Firearms/Weapons. Firearms, ammunition, and weapons of any kind are strictly prohibited in all College residences and other College spaces.

5. Animals/Pets. To preserve student health and safety, no pets/animals of any kind are permitted in any College spaces. Exceptions to this policy may be made only by the Director of Residential Life.

6. Roofs and Balconies. Bowdoin College strictly prohibits students from being on the roofs and balconies of any residence, as well as other College buildings. Students who allow others to access the roof or balcony from their room will also be held accountable. The College assumes no financial or legal responsibility for injury or damages sustained due to this prohibited act.

7. Winter Safety. Tunneling into plowed snow piles on campus is EXTREMELY dangerous, and therefore a prohibited activity. The piles of snow are continuously moved and added to by heavy equipment at all hours of the night and day during the winter, and the drivers have no way of knowing whether someone is inside or not. In addition, hollowed-out piles can easily collapse under their own weight, trapping or suffocating any occupants like an avalanche.

C.  GENERAL INFORMATION

1. Air conditioners.  Personal air conditioners are not permitted.

2. Furniture. Furniture belonging to the College may not be removed from rooms/suites/apartments and common space. This furniture is for all current and future residents. This regulation includes, but is not limited to, removal of beds, mattresses, trash cans, desks, chairs, tables, bookshelves, couches, loveseats, and appliances. Students are expected to comply with requests to return furniture indoors or to its original location.

3. Guests. The College allows guests for up to three nights, but their presence may not infringe upon the rights of other Bowdoin students. Specifically, Bowdoin students are not to be unwillingly deprived of their assigned sleeping accommodations because of guests. Any room, suite, or apartment-mate or other Bowdoin student who feels inconvenienced by a guest should first discuss the matter with the host student. If that brings no result, the student should contact his/her RA, Proctor, or the Residential Life Office. Bowdoin students who bring guests to campus are responsible for violations of College policies committed by their guests. If possible, the guests will also be held responsible for their actions.

4. Lofts and Waterbeds. Homebuilt lofts and waterbeds are not permitted.

5. Noise. In an academic setting, the need for quiet study areas takes precedence over recreational activities that cause noise. Noise is disruptive whenever it disturbs others. If disturbed by noise, confront the person making the noise-explain that the noise is a nuisance and ask him/her to quiet down. If this fails, contact the Proctor or RA who will confront the person causing the disturbance. If this alternative fails or the Proctor or RA is unavailable (out of the area or after 2:00 a.m.), call the Security Office-explain what steps have been taken and ask for assistance. For more information, see the Noise Ordinance.

Noise in the Town of Brunswick: In addition to being thoughtful of fellow students, all students should be considerate of local Brunswick residents. Many Brunswick residents live in the same neighborhoods as students and they deserve the same respect. Students hosting parties should be particularly cognizant of noise levels at their event and remind their guests to be quiet as they leave the event.

6. Senior Week Housing. All students except seniors (and those authorized by the Director of Residential Life to stay for Senior Week and Commencement) must vacate their rooms within twenty-four hours after their last exam. Events with alcohol are required to be registered during Senior Week.

7. Solicitation. College residential facilities are not open to any person selling or buying goods or services or otherwise soliciting. Students are urged to report solicitors to the Security Office.

D.  FAILURE TO COMPLY

Failure to comply with any College policy, including any Residential Life policies or procedures stated here or in any other Residential Life publication, may constitute a violation of the Social Code and result in disciplinary action. Such action may include but is not limited to, repair/replacement costs, monetary fines, or official College disciplinary action including Warning, Reprimand, Social Probation, and Conditions including removal from College housing, Suspension, Dismissal, and/or possible State or Federal Charges.