Terms, Conditions, and Regulations of the University Housing and Food Service Contract 2023-2024 Academic Year
The Housing and Food Service (HFS) Contract is a legally-binding contract, obligating the student to on-campus living once it is accepted. A student agrees to these Terms, Conditions, and Regulations (TCRs), as well as the HFS Contract legal terms/signing statements when accepting the HFS Contract.
The Pennsylvania State University ("University") strives to provide a residence environment that is both comfortable and conducive to learning and personal growth.
The University assigns housing accommodations without regard to personal characteristics, not related to ability, performance, or qualifications as determined by policy, or by state or federal authorities. The University does not discriminate against any person because of age, ancestry, color, physical or mental disability or handicap, national origin, race, religious creed, sex, sexual orientation, marital or family status, pregnancy (or pregnancy-related conditions), gender, perceived gender, gender identity, genetic information, political ideas, service in the uniformed services, or veteran status.
All students should familiarize themselves with these Terms, Conditions, and Regulations (TCRs) of living in University housing.
For the purposes of this document, "University housing" refers to University residence halls and apartments.
The term "resident" or "student" refers to the student who holds a Housing and Food Service (HFS) Contract with the University.
"Assignment," "space," or "room" refers to the space which has been assigned to the Student, including, but not limited to, an apartment, room, or suite.
"Housing" when capitalized refers to the University Housing and Food Services department.
"Residence Life" when capitalized refers to the University's Office of Residence Life.
"eLiving" refers to the University's online housing portal for students who hold an HFS Contract with the University and is available at www.eLiving.psu.edu. Access to eLiving is only provided to the student.
The HFS Contract is a legally-binding contract that details the obligations between the student and the University, and it is effective once the student accepts the HFS Contract. The student is required to abide by these Terms, Conditions, and Regulations (TCRs), which are explicitly incorporated into the HFS Contract, and includes assuming financial responsibility of all room and board fees for the entire HFS Contract period. The University reserves the right to modify the TCRs without advance notice to the student.
HFS Contracts are available only on a combined room-and-board basis unless otherwise noted. The HFS Contract cannot be transferred or assigned to another student except as outlined below in Contract Transfer of Obligation.
If a student is under the age of 18, the student must acknowledge that their parent/guardian has read and also agrees to these Terms, Conditions, and Regulations and that wrongful acknowledgment of their parent/guardian’s agreement could result in a penalty of perjury.
TERMS AND CONDITIONS
1. HOUSING DEPOSIT
A student accepting the offer of admission to the University through the MyPennState process will be required to submit a $100 non-refundable housing deposit in addition to University general deposit fees. If the student enrolls at the University, the housing deposit will be applied to the student's semester bill, available through the student's LionPATH account, as a $100 credit against the room charge for the student’s first semester that they live on campus as a first-year student. The $100 credit cannot be applied to other charges on the student's account. The housing deposit will not be refunded if the student does not attend the University during the student's HFS Contract period, or if the student makes the choice to change the campus of registration and does not live in University Housing where room and board charges are applied to the student's LionPATH account.
2. CONTRACT TERM PERIODS
There are four HFS Contract periods for assignments to University housing at Penn State Berks. The four HFS Contract periods include:
- Academic Year (Fall and Spring semesters).
- Break Access/Holiday Housing, which includes three break periods: fall (late November), winter (late December to early January), and spring (early March). University Housing is closed during these break periods.
- Spring Semester Only
- Summer Semester Only (Maymester, Summer Session I, and/or Summer Session II)
Specific occupancy dates for the HFS Contract periods can be found at arrival.psu.edu. The University reserves the right to not offer a particular housing option during an HFS Contract period.
Break Access/Holiday Housing
Break Access/Holiday Housing may be offered for any or all of the University-scheduled closedown/break periods. When Break Access/Holiday Housing is offered, any current resident who wishes to stay in University housing may request break housing via eLiving. There may be an additional fee for Break Access/Holiday Housing, which is charged to the student's LionPATH account. Any fee charged will be advertised to students during the sign-up period and will not be refunded if a student later opts not to stay on campus during the closedown period.
3. REASONABLE HOUSING ACCOMMODATIONS
If a student has a disability that requires an accommodation related to the housing environment, the student has the right to submit a Request for Reasonable Accommodation in Housing Form to the University. The form may be submitted at any time; however, if a student has indicated preferences on the HFS Contract, the form should be submitted by the deadline indicated on the Accommodation Requests website and on the form to allow the University sufficient time to consider the preferences for the assignment process.
A student must have a valid, accepted HFS Contract or have added their name to a Waitlist before the Request for Reasonable Accommodation in Housing Form can be submitted. Once the form is received and reviewed, the determination that is made will take effect immediately and may impact a student's current room assignment. If the form is received after the deadline, contract preferences for area, building, Living Learning Communities, and/or roommate requests will be reviewed but only taken into consideration if space permits. If the form is received after room assignments are posted, the University reserves the right to reassign the student to a space that will accommodate the student. If a student is offered a change to the housing environment, an additional cost may be associated with the resulting assignment or requests.
The determination for the Request for Reasonable Accommodation in Housing Form will remain on file and will be referenced to for processing room assignments for future HFS Contracts. Students are not guaranteed on-campus housing solely because a Request for Reasonable Accommodation in Housing Form has been submitted.
Questions regarding the process related to the HFS Contract and assignment should be directed to the Housing and Food Services Office. Questions related to special assistance for academic activities should be directed to Student Disability Resources.
TEMPORARY MEDICAL CONDITION
Room changes for temporary medical conditions are valid only for the academic year in which the request is submitted. If a student needs to request a temporary housing accommodation, the student's attending physician must complete the Request for Reasonable Accommodation in Housing Form. If a determination is made that requires a room change, the student will be reassigned to a space that will reasonably accommodate them until the accommodation is no longer required, or until the end of the contracted period should the original room assignment be assigned to another student with an HFS Contract.
4. ELIGIBILITY FOR UNIVERSITY HOUSING
To be eligible to reside in University-owned housing, a student must be at least 16 years of age during the period of occupancy.
To be eligible to reside in University-owned housing, a student must be scheduled for Berks courses as a degree-seeking student. The student is responsible for full payment of room and board charges for the contracted period. Room and board charges will be applied to the student's LionPATH account. The Bursar will generate bills on a monthly basis, with an identified due date. Failure to pay the bill by the due date will result in late fees being applied to the account.
If a student has an outstanding balance for room and board charges after the appropriate deadline, an email notification will be sent to the student's University email account. The notification will outline the consequences if payment is not received. Consequences include, but are not limited to, having a negative service indicator placed on the student's University account; vacating University housing; cancellation of the HFS Contract; and/or having amount owed sent to a Debt Collection agency for processing.
If a student withdraws or leaves the University prior to the end of the semester without paying room and board charges, an invoice will be sent to the student for the amount owed during the time the student was in University housing and/or used services. Failure to pay the outstanding balance will result in a negative service indicator placed on the student's LionPATH account; cancellation of future HFS Contract(s); and/or having amount owed sent to a Debt Collection agency for processing.
If a student processes a withdrawal or leave of absence for an identified semester, the student is not in registered status and not eligible to reside in University Housing. The student’s HFS Contract will be cancelled for the identified contract period only; for example, if the withdrawal or leave of absence is for fall semester, the spring semester portion of the HFS Contract will remain active. If the student’s registration status changes after the HFS Contract is cancelled, such as the student schedules classes, the HFS Contract will be reinstated, a room assignment will be processed, and the student will be responsible for room and board charges.
CHANGE OF CAMPUS REGISTRATION
An upper-class student who is planning a change of campus (COC) to Berks may submit a request for an HFS Contract through eLiving during the established contract process timeline. The student must initiate the change of campus process at their current campus. If the change of campus to Berks is not approved, it is the student's responsibility to contact the Housing and Food Services Office to cancel the Berks HFS Contract. There is no penalty fee to cancel an HFS Contract if the student is not eligible for a change of campus.
If a student's University academic records reflect a campus other than Berks after July 1, their room assignment will be changed to "Space Reserved" until the change of campus is approved. The student will then be assigned to an available space. If the change of campus to Berks is not approved, and the student does not notify the Housing and Food Services Office, the student's HFS Contract will be cancelled.
5. CHECKING INTO A ROOM
Information about the arrival process and when students can check in to their room will be announced in advance for each semester on the Arrival website. Each student should schedule move-in through eLiving and plan to arrive on the scheduled arrival day unless prior arrangements have been made for a special group to arrive early. If early arrival is available, it will be announced on the Arrival website. If a student arrives prior to the official opening day of the semester during the "early arrival" days, the student will be responsible for identified Early Arrival fees that will be charged to the student’s LionPATH account.
Students may have the option to complete pre-arrival check-in through eLiving and receive information for accessing their room and mailbox. The student must also complete in-person check-in as directed on the Housing Arrival website; the check-in process will activate the student's building clearance and includes acknowledgment of receiving access and responsibilities related to security. The student must present their Penn State id+ Card or other valid photo identification to complete check-in and receive any assigned key; a parent or other family member may not check in for the student.
Unless a student requests an extension of the arrival period by contacting the Housing and Food Services Office, the University is not obligated to hold a specific room assignment later than 5:00 p.m. on the first day of classes. If a student arrives after that time, the student must accept other available accommodations, whether in regular or supplemental housing and will remain obligated to the HFS Contract and for paying for the full room and board charges if enrolled at the University. Failure to complete the check-in process does not absolve the student from the obligation of the HFS Contract.
6. CHECKING OUT OF A ROOM
A student who is ready to check out of the room should review the Moving Out instructions. All rooms, regardless of the date or circumstances, should be clean and in good condition at the time that a student checks out. Move-out checklists and instructions will be provided to all departing students at end-of-semester checkout and are available upon request for students departing mid-semester.
The student must return any assigned key to the Housing and Food Services office upon check-out. The student will receive an email confirmation that a room key has been returned. If the student does not return an assigned room key, the cost to change the core(s) will be charged to the student's LionPATH account.
Any items that a student leaves in the room will be considered abandoned and handled in accordance with the University's Lost and Found Policy.
University Housing closes for the end of the fall and spring semesters at Noon on the day following the last scheduled examination for official University courses, as announced by the University Registrar
7. UNIVERSITY BREAK PERIODS
University Housing is closed during the three (3) official University-scheduled closedown/break periods. Students are required to vacate University housing during these break periods. The University will announce the closedown schedule for when University Housing will close and reopen for each break period. Students who are not able to leave campus may purchase Break Access/Holiday Housing if available and may be reassigned to a different room during the break period if required for operational or safety needs.
8. ROOM CHANGES
DIRECT ROOM EXCHANGE
A direct room exchange is a change of assignment with another student of the same gender identity with a compatible HFS Contract. A student interested in a room assignment change can use the Room Exchange eBoard available in eLiving to post, search, and process a direct room exchange during the available timeframe.
There are some restrictions to room exchanges depending upon either the HFS Contract or room type, such as Living Learning Communities. If a student has a medical accommodation, a direct room exchange cannot be processed unless the change is to a similar type of room.
EMERGENCY ROOM CHANGE
An emergency room change will be arranged only when all other options to resolve differences between roommates have been thoroughly explored by the guidance of Residence Life. If a student feels that an emergency room change is necessary, the student must discuss their need for the change to the room assignment with a Residence Life staff member. If the staff member determines that an emergency exists and space is available, the Residence Life staff member will either process a temporary change in room assignment or will contact the Housing and Food Services Office to process a permanent change in assignment.
SPRING SEMESTER ROOM CHANGE
Towards the end of fall semester, students will be notified by the Housing and Food Services Office when spring semester room vacancies will be available. If a student is interested in changing their room assignment for spring semester, the student will be able to view the vacancies and select a room in eLiving. Once a student has processed a room assignment change, the student will be responsible for fully vacating and checking out of the fall semester room assignment prior to leaving the University at the end of fall semester. If an assigned key is not returned within seven (7) business days of the end of the semester, the student will be assessed a charge for core change and key replacement. The amount will be charged to the student's LionPATH account. Housing and Food Services is not able to guarantee that the room the student selected for spring semester will be accessible at the end of fall semester to store items due to current occupancy. Temporary storage is generally not available.
ROOM CHANGES PROCESSED BY THE UNIVERSITY
The University reserves the exclusive right to change students' room assignments in the event that (1) the location is needed for other programs or purposes; (2) the student's room is specially equipped to provide for a medical need and such need arises; or (3) conditions require such reassignment to ensure a proper educational environment or safeguard the health and safety of individuals or the campus community. If possible, the student will be given assignment preferences after reassignments are completed. The University reserves the exclusive right to assign a student to a vacancy in a room, without prior notice or permission from the current occupant of the room.
9. CAMPUS MEAL PLAN
All students living in University Housing, with the exception of students who reside in University-owned apartments, are required to purchase the Campus Meal Plan for each semester/session that the student resides on campus. The HFS Contract is inclusive of the Campus Meal Plan, it is not required to be purchased separately. Students are responsible for paying the total cost of the Campus Meal Plan, based on the level selected, for every semester of the HFS Contract.
CAMPUS MEAL PLAN ACCOUNT BALANCES
The Campus Meal Plan offers three (3) levels for the academic year, with varying dining dollars available to purchase meals. The Campus Meal Plan will default to level two (2) when the student accepts the HFS Contract. For students who accept an HFS Contract for Summer Session, only one (1) level of the Campus Meal Plan is available. Depending upon the level selected, the available dining dollars used to make actual purchases may not be enough to cover all meals during a semester/session.
Campus Meal Plan account information is available through the University’s eAccounts application, available online at www.idonline.psu.edu. To adjust the meal plan level for fall or spring semester, the student can log in to eLiving and select a different level. The Campus Meal Plan level can be adjusted higher or lower as permitted during the semester until the last day of finals. Some students may not be eligible to lower the meal plan level, as it depends upon the amount of dining dollars that have been used at the time the student tries to lower the level. Additional dining dollars can be added directly to the student's Campus Meal Plan account through the id+ Online system, or the system can pull available funds from the student's LionCash account to cover transaction amounts at the same discounted rate.
Remaining dining dollars at the end of summer session will carry over to fall semester, and from fall semester to spring semester, provided the student has an active Campus Meal Plan for each semester. Even though dining dollars may be carried over to the spring semester, the student is still required to purchase the Campus Meal Plan and pay the total semester board rate for the level selected for spring semester. If a student has a large amount of dining dollars at the end of fall semester, the Campus Meal Plan level should be lowered for spring semester. Any remaining dining dollars at the end of spring semester are forfeited - no refund will be offered.
CAMPUS MEAL PLAN ACCOUNT TRANSFER
The Campus Meal Plan cannot be transferred or assigned to another student. The Penn State id+ Card (physical card and/or mobile credential) is used as the meal access card and may be used only by the student to whom the card is issued. The University also offers Penn State Eats, a mobile ordering system, which is only to be accessed and used by the account holder.
10. DAMAGES AND LIABILITY
- Room occupants will be held responsible for the condition of the room and furnishings and for any damages or losses that may occur during occupancy.
- Individuals identified as responsible for damage, theft, or losses in common areas of the building (such as corridors, elevators, stairwells, recreation rooms, dining commons, study rooms, bathrooms, laundry rooms, work rooms, and lounges) will be billed for the cost of repair or replacement. Amounts billed are additional charges under the HFS Contract and will be charged on the student's LionPATH account. Students may be held collectively responsible for damages, theft, or losses in common areas of the building that may occur during occupancy when the individual(s) responsible cannot be identified.
- For the purpose of damage, theft, or loss assessment, occupancy shall be inclusive from the date of check-in to the date the student properly checks out of the room. Charges will be applied to the student's LionPATH account. Residents must pay a damage assessment when billed.
- Students are not permitted to make damage repairs or arrange for them to be made directly with another person or vendor. In an emergency, a staff member on duty must be contacted. Any student who leaves the University at the end of the contracted period or earlier due to withdrawal from the University or other termination of study, or who fails to return any assigned room key at the time of check-out, will automatically be assessed a charge for a core(s) change and key replacement(s). The amount will be charged on the student's LionPATH account.
- The University is not liable for any loss or damage to a student's personal property, including any loss or damage that results from the University's effort to eradicate pests or insects.
- The University does not provide property insurance. Students are strongly encouraged to obtain their own property and/or rental insurance.
11. CONTRACT CANCELLATION AND RELEASE
FAILURE TO ENROLL
An HFS Contract accepted by the student is legally-binding and holds the student to the financial obligation of the entire contract period. A student can be released from that obligation should the student formally cancel their enrollment with the University.
A student may submit a request for a release from the HFS Contract for an extreme circumstance. An extreme circumstance is defined as a situation that has developed since the student accepted the HFS Contract, as related to a financial situation, marriage, or medical/disability-related concerns, including documented mental health concerns. The student is required to complete the HFS Contract Release Request form and provide documentation to substantiate the request and show the change in the student's circumstances. Medical/psychological concerns should be documented through the Request for Reasonable Accommodation in Housing form. The HFS Contract Release Request will be reviewed by the director of Housing and Food Services (or designee) in consultation with Residence Life to determine if the request warrants a release. If a student is released from the HFS Contract under this provision for the HFS Contract period term(s), the student could have a penalty fee applied to the student's LionPATH account, based on the date the request was submitted for consideration:
|Before 06/01||Fall: 25% of room and meal plan base rate
Spring: no fee
|Between 06/02-08/17||Fall: 50% of room and meal plan base rate
Spring: no fee
|Between 08/18-09/16||Fall: daily room and meal plan base charges, plus used dining dollars until cancellation date, or 50% of room and meal plan base rate, plus used dining dollars, whichever is greater, and
Spring: 25% of room and meal plan base rate
|Between 09/17-12/16||Fall: full room and meal plan base rate, and
Spring: 25% room and meal plan base rate
|Before 11/01||Spring: 25% of room and meal plan base rate|
|Between 11/02-01/06||Spring: 50% of room and meal plan base rate|
|Between 01/07-02/03||Spring: daily room and meal plan base charges, plus used dining dollars until cancellation date, or 50% of room and meal plan base rate, plus used dining dollars, whichever is greater|
|Between 02/04-05/05||Spring: full room and meal plan base rate|
^Deadline: date indicated is the deadline to submit the request for release from HFS Contract for extreme circumstance.
The daily room and Campus Meal Plan base fee charges are calculated by multiplying the number of days of occupation (identified as the first day that University Housing is available for students to move in, to the day that the student moved out and returned the room key to the University) times the appropriate room rate and base fee.
UNIVERSITY-SANCTIONED ACADEMIC ACTIVITY (E.G., PRACTICUM, STUDENT TEACHING, INTERNSHIP, CO-OP, STUDY ABROAD)
If a student will be away from the University for a University-sanctioned activity, such as practicum, student teaching, internship, co-op, or study abroad, for one or more semesters during the HFS Contract period, the student should submit an HFS Contract Cancellation Request through eLiving. Upon verification of the student's status in LionPATH, the HFS Contract will be cancelled for the period of time that the student will be away from the Berks campus. The HFS Contract will remain active for the period of time that the student is physically present on campus and the student remains financially liable for that portion of the HFS Contract.
WITHDRAWAL OR ACADEMIC DROP
If a student withdraws from the University, submits a leave of absence, or is academically suspended by the University, the student is no longer eligible to live in University Housing. For withdrawals and leave of absence, the student is responsible for following University guidelines so that the student's LionPATH account is updated and all classes are cancelled. Once a student has withdrawn, the student must officially check out of University housing within 24 hours.
- When the withdrawal, leave of absence, or suspension occurs prior to the beginning of the contract period, the student's HFS Contract will be cancelled with no penalty.
- If a student processes a withdrawal after the first day of the University classes, as announced by the University Registrar, for the HFS Contract period term, and within the first four (4) weeks of the semester, which ends on the Saturday of the fourth week, the student will be charged for daily room and meal plan base charges incurred up to the date of the cancellation or when the student has removed all personal belongings from the assigned housing and returned any assigned room key, whichever occurs last. The daily room and meal plan base charges are calculated by multiplying the number of days of occupation (identified as the first day University Housing is available for students to move in, to the day that the student moved out and returned an assigned room key to the University) by the appropriate room rate. The amount of the refund will be reduced on a daily basis, until the identified four (4) week time mark, which ends on Saturday of the fourth week.
- If a student processes a withdrawal after the first four (4) weeks of the semester, the student will not be eligible for a refund and will be responsible for the full semester room and meal plan base charges.
Unused dining dollars remaining on the date of the cancellation will be refunded at face value to the student's LionPATH account.
|Fall||Before 8/17||Full refund of room and meal plan charges*|
Partial refund of room and meal plan base rate. Student will be charged daily room and meal plan rate for time of occupancy (until official check out); refund of unused dining dollars. Refund amount declines on a daily basis.
|Fall||After 9/16||No refund of room and meal plan base rate; refund of unused dining dollars|
|Spring||Before 1/4||Full refund of room and meal plan charges*|
|Spring||Between 1/4-2/3||Partial refund of room and meal plan base rate. Student will be charged daily room and meal plan rate for time of occupancy (until official check out); refund of unused dining dollars. Refund amount declines on a daily basis.|
|Spring||After 2/3||No refund of room and meal plan base rate; refund of unused dining dollars|
*Full refund only applies if the student did not move in to University Housing. If the student moved in to University Housing, student will be responsible for room charges for duration of occupancy.
Once a student processes a withdrawal or leave of absence for an identified semester, the student is no longer eligible to reside in University Housing for that period. The student’s HFS Contract will be cancelled for the identified contract period only; if the withdrawal or leave of absence is for fall semester, the spring semester portion of the HFS Contract will remain active. If the student’s registration status changes after the HFS Contract is cancelled (i.e., the student schedules classes, cancels the leave of absence, cancels study abroad program, etc.) the HFS Contract will be reinstated, a room assignment will be processed, and the student will be responsible for room and board charges.
CONTRACT TRANSFER OF OBLIGATION
If a student who is enrolled and attending the Berks campus has accepted the HFS Contract and is interested in cancelling the HFS Contract, they may transfer the obligation of the HFS Contract to another eligible student by processing an HFS Contract Transfer of Obligation through the Housing and Food Services Office within the identified timeframe and according to the following conditions. The student who transfers the obligation of the HFS Contract will have a $100 administrative fee applied to the student's LionPATH account once the Transfer of Obligation has been processed.
CONDITIONS OF AN HFS CONTRACT TRANSFER OF OBLIGATION
- The Housing and Food Services Office will provide the time period for when HFS Contract Transfer of Obligations can be performed. Once the deadline has passed, requests may not be submitted. In the case where there are limited vacancies, the option of the HFS Contract Transfer of Obligation may be suspended prior to the deadline without advance notice.
- The student wishing to cancel the HFS Contract is responsible for locating an eligible replacement student.
- The replacement student accepting the HFS Contract Transfer of Obligation must be in good standing with the University.
- The replacement student cannot have already signed an HFS Contract for the same contract period.
- The replacement student must acknowledge that they understand that the HFS Contract offer may be for a different space. The replacement student may not receive the transferring student's HFS Contract type or room assignment. The replacement student may have the ability to add their name to a Waitlist for other housing options.
- The replacement student must accept the HFS Contract through eLiving. If the semester has already begun when the transfer is completed, room and board charges will be prorated for both students as necessary.
- If the replacement student does not take occupancy or withdraws from the University before taking occupancy, the student initiating the HFS Contract Transfer of Obligation remains liable for the financial obligation of the HFS Contract.
- It is a violation of University policy to sell or attempt to sell an HFS Contract. The replacement student cannot offer, and the transferring student cannot accept, any form of compensation for the HFS Contract Transfer of Obligation. Any student who is found to have sold or purchased an HFS Contract will be referred to the Office of Student Accountability and Conflict Response (OSACR).
- The Housing and Food Services Office may deny an HFS Contract Transfer of Obligation request if is determined that the transaction is not in the best interest of the University or the students requesting the transfer.
12. HFS CONTRACT TERMINATION
The University may terminate the HFS Contract or change the housing assignment of a student under the following circumstances:
- Violation. If the student violates the HFS Contract (including the TCRs), the Student Code of Conduct, or any other University rule or policy.
- Poor Conduct. If the student engages in conduct which (1) disregards the rights of other students; (2) jeopardizes their own or others' safety and/or well-being; or otherwise (3) disrupts the residential environment.
- Criminal Conduct. If the student's conduct and/or proven criminal record indicates a potential threat or danger to the University community, including students, faculty, and staff.
- Eligibility and Financial Holds. If the student does not have classes scheduled or has a financial hold placed on their student account for room and board charges incurred during previous semesters.
In certain circumstances, the student may be entitled to a fair and equitable hearing by the Senior Director of Residence Life or designee prior to HFS Contract termination. In the event of termination, the student is liable for room charges incurred through the date of HFS Contract termination and for any damages or losses resulting from the student's violation of the HFS Contract. Rather than an HFS Contract termination, the student may be offered the opportunity to work with Residence Life and/or the Office of Student Accountability and Conflict Response (OSACR) to resolve the issue. Outcomes may include but are not limited to educational sanctions, administrative sanctions, change of housing assignment, or other action with a nexus to the conduct concern. Guidelines and procedures for this process are provided by Residence Life.
The University further reserves the exclusive right to cancel or change students' room assignments in the event that health or safety conditions require such cancellation or room reassignment to ensure a proper educational environment or safeguard the health and safety of individuals or the campus community. In the event of an HFS Contract Cancellation, the student is liable for room charges incurred through the end date of the HFS Contract Cancellation and/or when the student officially checks out of University Housing.
13. REFUND POLICIES
END OF HFS CONTRACT - CAMPUS MEAL PLAN
Refunds for unused Campus Meal Plan dining dollars will not be given at the end of the contracted period. Refunds for unused dining dollars are not given if a student schedules classes that conflict with the meal schedule or if a student chooses not to eat in the University facilities.
CONTRACT CANCELLATION AND RELEASE - HOUSING AND CAMPUS MEAL PLAN
If an HFS Contract release is approved by the University after the semester has begun, the Housing and Food Services Office will follow the policy established in Section 11 Contract Cancellation and Release.
Any difference in the adjusted charges will be applied to the original charges on the student's LionPATH account, minus any outstanding balance due on the account. If a student used a credit card to purchase the Campus Meal Plan, any refund available will need to be applied to the original credit card account used to make the initial purchase. If the student’s LionPATH account is not available to process charges and/or refunds, the student will be responsible for making payment directly to the Housing and Food Services Office.
14. MAINTENANCE OF THE ROOM
ROOM INSPECTION FORM
The student is responsible for completing a Room Inspection Form in eLiving within seven (7) days of check-in. The Room Inspection Form is used to identify any damages or missing items in the room and will be verified when the student checks out of the room. Any damages or missing items not indicated on the Room Inspection Form will be charged as a damage fee on the student's LionPATH account.
Maintenance needs, problems, or questions regarding a student's room or suite should be submitted online through the University's FixIt system. FixIt should not be used to report emergency situations. In the event of an emergency, Residence Life, Housing and Food Services, or University Police should be contacted immediately. Emergencies include anything that needs to be fixed immediately, such as:
- Loss of heat
- Loss of electricity in your entire living space (beyond normal power outages)
- Electrical hazard
- Flooding or major leak
- Gas leak
- Any condition that represents an imminent threat or potential hazard to the community
- Glass window breakage that is a potential safety and/or security hazard
- Pest emergencies (bats, bed bugs, etc.)
Once a student has submitted a request for a repair to an item in their room, they can expect the repair to be completed during regular business hours. For the safety and security of residents, it may be necessary to reassign the occupants to a different room to perform certain types of maintenance.
Maintenance personnel may enter a student room to perform preventative maintenance, needed repairs identified during a room inspection, or an emergency repair. If an employee enters a student room when the student is not present, the employee will leave a form stating the date, time, and reason for entering the room. Although a student may ask to schedule an appointment for a repair, it will be determined by the University on a case-by-case basis if the situation needs an immediate response or can wait to be scheduled at the convenience of the student. Maintenance personnel may enter if student is not present for scheduled or requested appointment time.
Each student is expected to maintain their living space in an orderly and sanitary condition. Students who occupy a room, apartment, or suite with a bathroom are responsible for cleaning the bathroom. Each student is responsible for removing trash from the room, apartment, or suite and placing in the designated disposal area. If the University becomes aware of unsanitary conditions resulting from a student failing to maintain the room, apartment, or suite, Housing will clean the space. The student will be charged a cleaning damage fee, which will be applied to the student's LionPATH account. Depending upon how the University and/or other students are affected by the persistence of disorderly and unsanitary conditions in a student's room, the University reserves the right to cancel the student's HFS Contract and refuse an assignment for future contract periods. A student may also be referred to Residence Life and/or the Office of Student Accountability and Conflict Response (OSACR).
If a vacancy exists in a room, the University reserves the right to assign a student to that space without notice to or approval from the current occupant. The current occupant cannot refuse a roommate being assigned to the space.
When a student checks out of a room, University staff will enter the room and clean the space that was occupied by the vacating student. Any student who continues to occupy the room is required to keep their personal belongings on their side of the room in preparation for cleaning and assignment of a new student. The current student should not use the second set of furniture. The University is not responsible for damage to or loss of a student's personal belongings that were in the vacating student's space.
Shared spaces such as en-suite bathrooms, kitchens, and living rooms may also be cleaned while occupied to prepare for the arrival of a new resident. The current occupants of those spaces are responsible for making space in shared areas for the new student and their items.
15. INSPECTION AND SEARCHES
A room inspection is not a search. Student rooms are inspected during break periods and at the time of check-out. These inspections are conducted 1) to evaluate the condition of the room and furnishings; 2) to identify needed maintenance and repairs; and 3) to check for fire and safety hazards. If damages are noted, the cost for repairs or replacement will be charged to the student's LionPATH account. The University reserves the right to make non-routine, emergency inspections to protect the health and safety of all students.
Should University staff observe the presence of unapproved appliances or objects in the room or notice objects attached to the facilities in an unapproved manner, this will be recorded and the information provided to the student who will be expected to correct the situation. In the case of noncompliance, the University reserves the right to have the items removed at the expense of the student(s) in the room.
There are no routine room searches. A room search is conducted only when there is objective reason to believe that the student(s) in the room are in serious physical or psychological distress, or that the room contains items prohibited by University regulations (including federal, state, and local laws). An act of misbehavior is one of many reasons which will or may precipitate this concern. Room searches are conducted exclusively by Residence Life staff. When there is a potential search situation, the Residence Life staff must obtain approval from the Associate Vice President of Student Affairs. Approval is only granted after the reason for the search, the person(s) who is to search the room, and the object(s) being sought are clarified. Searches are usually conducted in the presence of the students living in the room, and only in unusual cases would the room be searched in their absence.
When it is necessary for University Police to search a room, the search will be performed according to procedures required by law. If time and circumstances permit, Residence Life will be notified in advance of an impending search. Items seized will be taken (as authorized by law) and inventoried, and a receipt listing each article will be given to the student or left in the room.
1. ALCOHOL AND ILLEGAL SUBSTANCES
- The possession or use of alcoholic beverages is prohibited in all University housing, including undergraduate students living in University-owned apartments, for students of any age.
- It is a violation of Pennsylvania state law, local municipality, and/or University policy for a student under 21 years of age to attempt to purchase, consume, possess, or transport alcoholic beverages. It is unlawful to sell, furnish, or give to any minor, or permit that alcoholic beverages be sold, furnished, or given to any minor.
- A student will be held responsible for activities that occur in their room and will be referred to Residence Life, the Office of Student Accountability and Conflict Response (OSACR), and/or University Police if guests are violating the on-campus alcohol policy in this provision.
- Failure to comply with the direction given by or the request to present identification, or supplying false information such as name, age, etc., to a University official acting in the performance of their job duties is a violation of the Student Code of Conduct and will result in a referral to Residence Life and/or the Office of Student Accountability and Conflict Response (OSACR).
It is a violation of Pennsylvania state law, local municipality, and/or University policy to possess, distribute, manufacture, or sell illegal drugs. Marijuana, including “medical marijuana,” is not permitted to be present, distributed, or used on University property at any time. If a student violates this policy, they will be referred to Residence Life, the Office of Student Accountability and Conflict Response (OSACR), and/or University Police.
It is also against University policy for a student to be under the influence of an illegal substance or to be in a residential area (room, common area, common building, building entryway, or quad area within residence area complex) and in the presence of an illegal substance. If a student is caught in the presence of an illegal substance within those areas, the student will be referred to Residence Life, the Office of Student Accountability and Conflict Response (OSACR), and/or University Police.
- Canvassing is defined as any effort to influence opinions, gain support, or promote a particular cause or interest, specifically excluding any solicitation or fundraising as defined by current University policy. Surveys are not considered to be canvassing for the purposes of this provision.
- Students, student organizations, residence hall student government, and outside interests are eligible to canvass in the building.
- Canvassing may not occur in individual residence areas unless approved by a majority vote of the students living within that area. Residence Life will organize the vote process at the beginning of the fall semester.
- Canvassing may occur in the food court with an approved space/table reservation with Residence Life. Canvassing may not occur within the dining areas. Any canvassing that occurs in the food court must follow the terms and conditions of the space/table reservation, which must be submitted a minimum of five (5) days prior to the canvassing event.
- Canvassing will be restricted to the hours of 11:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m.
- Any canvasser in the building must register with the Associate/Assistant Director of Residence Life no less than 24 hours prior to the canvass. The canvasser must clearly understand all provisions of canvassing regulations before the canvassing may occur. A canvasser who is not a resident of the building in which the door-to-door canvassing is occurring must be escorted by a resident of the building at all times. The canvasser is permitted to knock on student room doors, and then must identify themselves and announce their specific purpose for contacting the student. The canvasser may only enter a student's room with expressed direct consent of the student and must leave the room immediately if requested by the student.
- Canvassers must abide by all University rules and regulations. Violators will be referred to Residence Life, the Office of Student Accountability and Conflict Response (OSACR), and may be subject to civil or criminal prosecution.
A residence hall is a University-owned building that contains rooms assigned to students for sleeping, dressing, studying, and socializing. A residence hall also offers common areas used by all students assigned to the residence hall, including common means of entering and exiting, common lavatories, common study lounges, common laundry facilities, common storage areas, and areas used in common for organized educational and social functions.
Solicitation is the offer of sale of products or services.
- Except as hereinafter provided, no person (including a student), firm, business entity, charitable organization, religious organization, or other organization may solicit money, sell, or solicit the sale of any product or service anywhere in a residence hall.
- A student assigned to a room in a residence hall may invite a person, firm, business entity, charitable organization, religious organization, or other organization to their assigned room to solicit money, sell, or solicit the sale of products or services with that student only. Such solicitation or sale may only occur in the room of the student who invited the individual. The solicitation of money or the sale or solicitation of a sale of products or services to any other student is prohibited anywhere in the residence hall.
- Registered student organizations and residence hall student government may solicit money and/or sell or solicit the sale of products or services in a residence hall in accordance with University regulations governing student organizations, as identified in the Student Guide to General University Policies and Rules.
- Nothing in this provision shall be deemed to preclude any solicitation or sale by mail, email, telephone, or other communication media.
4. COMMERCIAL ENTERPRISES
The use of University-owned facilities and/or property for commercial sales activities by individuals or non-University organizations is prohibited. University organizations, within limitations established by University Policy AD27 and other University regulations, and with appropriate approval, may sell materials to support the purpose of the organization.
5. DECORATIONS AND DISPLAYS
Advertising of merchandise or services for sale or rent is not permitted in University-owned housing unless it is for the sale of personal property of a student living in the housing. Specific bulletin boards may be provided and designated for this service in the food court. Permitted advertisements, if posted other than on the designated bulletin boards, will be removed.
Students interested in hanging decorations should use the appropriate material based on the wall type in the room the student is assigned to.
- Drywall: Thumbtacks (less than 20)
- Cinder Block: wall-safe tape, poster putty, painters’ tape
General Decoration Guidelines
- Pictures, bulletin boards, and decorations may only be hung from the picture molding with picture hooks.
- Nothing may be strung across the room for the purpose of hanging decorations.
- Darts and dart boards are not permitted.
- The use of tape, adhesives, glue, paste, nails, tacks, staples, and screws on walls, furniture, doors or other woodwork, or glass is not permitted unless noted above
- Painting or papering of the room or furniture is not permitted.
- Live trees or cut fresh greens are not permitted due to fire hazard concerns. Small potted plants are permitted. Artificial trees may be used in approved lounge locations, as designated by Housing.
- Bulletin boards in the room and hallways may be decorated; hallways may not have decorations applied.
- Candles are not permitted. If the use of a candle is required for a religious celebration, the student will work with Housing and Residence Life staff to determine if an appropriate location is available for religious observance.
- Decorative lights may be used in the student's room. Students are encouraged to consider conserving energy by limiting the use of decorative lights. LED light strips are only permitted if the strip has an Underwriters Laboratories, Inc. (UL) label and is attached to the wall not with self-adhesive strip but with appropriate material as specified above.
A student may decorate the surface of their room door facing the corridor, provided that it is done according to the guidelines below. Adhering to these guidelines will protect doors from unusual harsh wear, eliminate potential fire hazards, and ensure free movement/access in the hallway. Decorations may not be placed on exteriors of University housing.
- If a room sign with a whiteboard and/or corkboard is provided, decorations are limited to static cling items.
- Decorations may only be placed on the upper section of the room door above the lock mechanism. If the door has louvers, no material may be placed on the louvers.
- Door peepholes may not be tampered with nor covered with decorations.
- Decorations may not project more than one-half (1/2) inch from the surface of the door. Greeting cards should be fastened shut.
- Decals and stickers are not permitted.
- Bunting and streamers are permitted to celebrate special occasions but must be removed within 24 hours.
A student may decorate the window(s) in their room and in lounge areas, provided that it is done according to the guidelines below. Adhering to these guidelines will protect windows from unusual harsh wear or damage and eliminate potential safety hazards.
- Decorations may only be placed on the inside of the window.
- Decorations must be removable (not permanent). Paint and spray foam are not permitted to be used on windows.
- One-half (1/2) of the total window space should remain transparent for emergency situations, such as a fire.
- Decorations that present a safety hazard due to excessive weight, possibility of breakage, degree of cleanliness, etc. must be modified and or removed if identified by University staff.
- Decorations must be temporarily removed at the request of University staff for regularly scheduled window cleaning.
DAMAGES AND VIOLATIONS OF UNIVERSITY POLICY
All room, door, and window decorations must be removed prior to the student checking out of the room. Damages to the room, door, windows, drapes, and/or blinds, as well as any extra cleaning required, will be the responsibility of the residents and may result in a damage charge that is assessed to the student's LionPATH account. University staff will determine the nature and extent of all damages after check-out.
Any room, door, or window decoration that is obscene (per Pennsylvania law) or in violation of University policy will be referred for review and the student may be referred to Residence Life and/or the Office of Student Accountability and Conflict Response (OSACR).
University housing is provided and intended for use by the students assigned to the area and for their invited guests. A guest is defined as a person visiting a student in the residence halls at the request of the student. Delivery persons are not considered guests. The University reserves the right to revoke the privilege of a guest policy at any time. Students will be notified if this occurs. If a student violates the guest regulations, including University students who are unescorted in a building, they will be referred to Residence Life and/or the Office of Student Accountability and Conflict Response (OSACR).
Overnight guests are not permitted to stay in University housing until after the first day of classes for the current semester, as announced by the University Registrar. This restriction helps ease the congestion of the move-in process and allows roommates the opportunity to get to know each other and decide how to handle overnight guests.
- The host student has the responsibility to ensure that their guest is aware of and understands University policies. A guest will be held accountable for their own actions. The host student may be held accountable for the behavior of the guest, and for any damages committed by the guest, unless the guest is also a University student.
- A student is permitted to have a guest in their room only if the student's roommate(s) has granted permission.
- The guest cannot receive a room key or access card. The host student is responsible for escorting their guest at all times. The host student is not permitted to give the guest an assigned room key, Penn State id+ Card, or mobile credential to gain access to the room or building.
- The guest may stay in the student's room for a maximum of three (3) consecutive nights. The guest may not move from one host's room to another host's room in an attempt to extend their stay in University housing past the three (3) nights.
- Only students living in the assigned housing and their invited guests are permitted in the living areas of the building, including individual rooms, floor lounges, and common area spaces. If an individual who is not a resident of the building or a guest of a resident is found in the building, the individual will be considered to be trespassing.
- The guest may only use the appropriate gender restroom/shower facilities.
- Guests are not permitted to stay during any official University closedown/break periods.
- Violations will be referred to Residence Life and/or the Office of Student Accountability and Conflict Response (OSACR).
The University reserves the exclusive right to modify the guest policy at any time, in the event that health or safety concerns require such a change to ensure a proper educational environment or safeguard the health and safety of individuals or the campus community.
7. QUIET HOURS
A goal of Housing, Food Services, and Residence Life is to provide students an atmosphere within University housing that is conducive to sleep and rest. To achieve this goal, it is necessary for all students to understand that the right of students to study and sleep takes precedence over the right of students to make noise. Established courtesy hours and quiet hours are posted in all University-housing facilities. It is expected that all students will maintain a proper study atmosphere during the established quiet hours. These hours may be extended if additional study conditions are required. Residence Life may extend the hours in consultation with the residence hall student government. The University reserves the right to adjust quiet hours throughout the semester. If a change is made, the updated quiet hours will be posted in the building.
- Sunday - Thursday: 8:00 p.m. - 8:00 a.m.
- Friday - Saturday: 1:00 a.m. - 10:00 a.m.
Courtesy hours are in effect 24 hours a day. A student's right to study and sleep will be respected at all times. Every student and their guests must lower their voices and/or the volume of their equipment (music, TV, computer, musical instruments, etc.) if asked to do so by another student or University staff.
During finals week, 24-hour quiet hours are maintained. Quiet hours are in effect beginning at 8:00 a.m. the day before finals begin and continue until the end of the semester for all University Housing facilities.
Students are expected to follow these guidelines during courtesy and quiet hours:
- Electronic sound equipment (radios, stereos, TVs, electronic games, computers, tablets, etc.), musical equipment, and room activities must not be heard outside of the room. Such equipment should not be played so loud as to disrupt other students.
- Amplified sound is not to be directed out of windows by using speakers or other devices.
- Each student has the responsibility to take the initiative and discuss noise concerns with an offending student. If a student is bothered by someone else's noise, the student should ask them to reduce the volume level of the offending noise. The student has every right to expect the other student to reduce the volume. Likewise, if a student is requested to reduce the volume level, they should do so out of respect for a fellow student. Residence Life will deal with excessive noise when noticed by or reported to them; however, staff may not always be aware of an issue or problem.
- Students and guests should keep their voice levels low while talking in hallways, bathrooms, study lounges, etc., to help maintain a quiet living environment for all students.
- Students will refrain from participating in sports/sports-like activities (e.g. basketball, water or nerf guns, spike ball, etc.) within or immediately adjacent to University housing. The University has designated areas outside of the halls for these types of activities.
- If a student persists in creating excessive noise or disruption, the student may be referred to Residence Life and/or the Office of Student Accountability and Conflict Response (OSACR).
8. PETS AND SERVICE ANIMALS
Pets of any type are not permitted in University housing, with the exception of one small tank that is not more than five (5) gallons (U.S.) for tropical fish or goldfish. Visitors and guests may not bring pets (including Emotional Support Animals (ESAs)) into any University building, including the residence halls. An individual with a service animal, service animal in training, or approved ESA is permitted to bring the animal into University housing, in accordance with University Policy AD66. A student who has a need for a service or emotional support animal should refer to the medical accommodations process for further information.
9. BICYCLES, SKATEBOARDS, SCOOTERS, IN-LINE SKATES, ROLLER SKATES, ELECTRIC PERSONAL ASSISTIVE MOBILITY DEVICES
In accordance with University Policy SY16: Regulations for Bicycles, Skateboards, Scooters, In-line Skates, Roller Skates, and Electric Personal Assistive Mobility Devices, the use of skateboards and skateboard-like devices on campus property is prohibited.
Any student with a bicycle on campus must register the bicycle and obtain a permit. Bike racks are provided outside of University housing and across campus. A student is permitted to store their registered bicycle in the room, provided their roommate(s) have granted permission. Bicycles are not permitted in lounges, laundry rooms, hallways, bathrooms, dining halls, or other shared/common areas. If a student causes damage by using a bicycle, the student will be responsible for any damage charges associated with repair.
Gambling in University housing is a violation of federal, state, and local laws, and is therefore prohibited. If a student is involved in a gambling-related incident, they may face legal and/or disciplinary action.
11. MAIL SERVICE
Students residing in University housing will have access to a mailbox or mail distribution service to receive U.S. Postal Service mail. The mailbox number and combination are available on the student's My Room page in eLiving. A student residing in University housing may also receive package deliveries; deliveries will be made to the Housing and Food Services Office/Mailroom, and the student will be notified when they may pick up the package by presenting their Penn State id+ Card. Only mail and packages that are addressed to the student's legal or previously indicated chosen name for the correct room assignment will be processed. The correct formatting for mailing addresses is available on the LiveOn website.
The Housing and Food Services Office/Mailroom does not accept "casual" deliveries from third-party vendors such as Instacart and DoorDash or from local stores such as Walmart or Target and is not responsible for loss or expense resulting from such items being delivered or dropped off at the building.
The student is responsible for updating their permanent address at https://accounts.psu.edu to ensure that all mail and packages received after the student has checked out of University housing can be forwarded. Packages cannot be forwarded and will be returned to sender.
University housing does not provide storage space for student use. The items that a student brings to live in University housing must be stored in the student's room. If a student processes a room change for the Spring semester, the University will provide information to students about the availability of storage options during the break period. The University is not responsible for damage to or loss of a student's personal belongings that are placed in a storage space. The University is not able to provide storage at the end of spring semester. A student may be charged storage fees or cost of disposal for items left on University property.
13. COMPUTERS AND NETWORKS
The University provides wireless connectivity in all University Housing buildings. A resident may use personal wireless devices on the network to access the University computing resources and the Internet. When a student utilizes the network, they are acknowledging their responsibility to act in accordance with the relevant policies, including the following:
- University Policy AD95: Information Assurance and IT Security
- EduCom Code: "Using Software: A Guide to the Ethical and Legal Use of Software for Members of the Academic Community"
- University Housing Network Connection Agreement
If a student violates these or any other policies or federal or state laws, access to the network or other information services may be suspended, and the student may face disciplinary action and/or legal proceedings. Assistance with networking and connectivity is available from the IT Service Desk.
University Housing offers a courtesy telephone in every residence hall building. The courtesy telephone can be used for emergency calls and local phone calls. There are no active telephone landlines provided in student rooms.
The University provides furnishing for all student rooms. A student is not permitted to use additional furniture (e.g. tables, liquid-filled furniture, or personal mattresses) with the exception of a desk chair or beanbag chair. If a student brings a personal desk chair, the desk chair provided by the University must be kept in the room. Dismantling furniture or removing it from a fixed position is not permitted. Furniture or furnishings may not be removed from the student's room, and students are not permitted to use other University furniture such as lounge furniture in their room. If the University-provided furniture is not in the room when the student checks out of housing, the student may be charged for furniture replacement. A student who violates this policy may be referred to Residence Life and/or the Office of Student Accountability and Conflict Response (OSACR).
If a student is interested in having a bed loft in their room, the student needs to verify with the Housing and Food Services Office whether the student's room is capable of having a bed loft due to ceiling height limits. If the use of a bed loft is permitted, the student will be responsible for adhering to the bed loft instructions.
A student is not permitted to have heavy or oversized items that damage floors, walls, or building facilities, disrupt other students, and impede safety egress. This includes, but is not limited to, fitness equipment (weightlifting, exercise, or sports recreation equipment such as treadmills, trampolines, stationary bikes); ping-pong or large-board tables; pianos; and large water basins.
16. CAMPUS DINING POLICIES
FOOD COURT CONDUCT
Removing food and beverages from the food court without paying or removing dishes, silverware, or condiments from the dining room is theft. Theft in the food court is a serious issue that will result in disciplinary action by Residence Life, the Office of Student Accountability and Conflict Response (OSACR), and/or University Police. Further repercussions could include cancellation of an HFS Contract. Housing and Food Services reserves the right to examine customers' backpacks or bags when exiting the food court. Acts of horseplay, food fights, and the use of inline skates, scooters, or skateboards are prohibited.
SAFETY AND SECURITY
1. FIRE SAFETY POLICIES
CANDLES AND INCENSE
Candles, incense, and other flame-emitting articles are prohibited in University housing.
The student is permitted to use a University-provided refrigerator/microwave unit to heat/reheat items within their room. If University housing provides a common-area kitchen, the student may use that space to cook but must follow the posted guidelines. Refer to the Appliances section for items that are permitted and prohibited. If a student is assigned to University housing where a common-area kitchen is available, the student is still required to purchase the Campus Meal Plan.
In accordance with University Policy AD32 Smoking and Tobacco Policy, the University is committed to a healthful environment for all members of the community. Smoking and the use of tobacco are prohibited in and on all University owned or leased properties, facilities, and vehicles. The use of cigarettes, e-cigarettes, vaping devices, cigars, pipes, smokeless tobacco, all nicotine delivery devices, and all other tobacco products is prohibited on campus, including University Housing and commons buildings. Marijuana, including “medical marijuana,” is not permitted to be present, distributed, or used on University property at any time.
2. FIRE PREVENTION
The University must comply with Pennsylvania state and local fire regulations; this requires that fire drills be conducted in University housing once per month. Everyone present in a building during the emergency fire drill must participate by vacating the building according to instructions. Rooms may be checked during a fire drill to ensure compliance. If a student fails to evacuate a building, the student may be referred to Residence Life and/or the Office of Student Accountability and Conflict Response (OSACR).
FIRE SAFETY EQUIPMENT
- Fire alarms and fire extinguishers are located on every floor of University housing. Students should familiarize themselves with the locations of the fire safety equipment.
- University housing is equipped with smoke detectors and sprinkler systems that are monitored by University Police. Any issue with a smoke detector or sprinkler must be reported to Housing and/or Residence Life immediately.
- Tampering with fire safety equipment is a very serious matter that could jeopardize the safety of many people. If a student tampers with this equipment, including covering the equipment, dismantling the equipment, or discharging a fire extinguisher, the student will be referred to Residence Life and/or the Office of Student Accountability and Conflict Response (OSACR). Disciplinary action may include but is not limited to cancellation of an HFS Contract.
GENERAL FIRE SAFETY PRECAUTIONS
Every student is responsible for taking precautions to prevent a fire and should exercise caution and good judgment when using electronic items or placing items near the heater. Desk lamps should not be placed near flammable objects, such as curtains, bedspreads, pillows, posters, clothing, etc., and should be turned off when the student is not present in the room.
3. FACILITY SAFETY POLICIES
AERIALS AND ANTENNAE
Due to Federal Communications Commission (FCC) interference regulations, aerials, masts, satellite dishes, and other short-wave radio transmitting equipment are not permitted in University housing.
Students are permitted to use the following appliances in University housing only if the item has, if applicable, an enclosed heating element, automatic shutoff, and an Underwriters Laboratories, Inc. label (UL label):
- televisions, stereos/radios, clocks, fans, hair dryers, hair setters, curling irons, printers, personal computers, gaming equipment, air purifiers
- clothes iron; iron may only be used in the laundry room but may be stored in the student's room
- coffee makers, Keurig machines, blender, popcorn air popper, non-pressurized rice cookers
- a grounded, 15-amp surge-protected plug-in strip with a built-in circuit breaker
The following appliances are NOT permitted in University housing:
- air fryers, hot plates, toasters, toaster ovens, Instapots, quick pots, crock pots, pressurized rice cookers, torchier-style lighting (floor-standing lighting) with halogen lamps, immersion heaters, heating coils, space heaters, ceramic heaters, ovens, griddles, indoor or outdoor grills, personal microwaves or refrigerators, freezer units, fitness equipment (treadmills, trampolines, stationary bikes, etc.), 3D printers, pianos
- personal or portable air conditioning units are not permitted in University housing. If a student has a medical need for an air conditioning unit, the student will need to submit a Request for Reasonable Accommodation in Housing Form.
- personal dehumidifiers are not permitted in University housing. If a dehumidifier is necessary, the University will install an approved unit.
- surveillance systems, per University Policy AD65 Electronic Security and Access Systems
If an unapproved item is observed in a student's room, the student will be asked to remove the item from University housing. If the student does not comply with the request, the University reserves the right to have the items removed. The University will store the items until the student is able to remove them from the building. If an unapproved item is received through the mail, the student will be notified that the package was received but will be returned to sender.
BALCONIES AND ROOFS
University housing may have exterior balconies as part of the architectural facade. Students are not permitted to access the balconies or roofs.
Students and guests are responsible for using elevators in a safe manner:
- Tampering with or abusing any of the elevator equipment or controls is not permitted.
- Elevator doors should not be pried open, nor should the doors be held open by the safety edges.
- If an elevator is stuck between floors, occupants should not attempt to exit the elevator until directions and/or assistance is provided by University elevator technicians or emergency personnel.
- Occupants should not jump up and down in the elevator.
- The elevator should not be used in the event of a fire.
If a student and/or their guest is found to be in violation, the student and/or guest may be referred to Residence Life and/or the Office of Student Accountability and Conflict Response (OSACR).
Windows in University housing should be kept closed and locked when a student is not present in the room to assist with energy conservation and protection of the room interior. Food and beverages should not be stored between the window and outside screen, or on the outside ledge. The window screen may not be removed or unlocked. Antennae, speakers, or other devices may not be strung out of windows.
WEAPONS AND FIREWORKS
Per University Policy SY12 Weapons and Fireworks Regulations, Fireworks, and Paintball Devices, the possession and storage of weapons in University Housing are prohibited.
4. SECURITY FEATURES
UNIVERSITY ID+ CARD
Every student is issued a University ID card (the Penn State id+ Card) and is responsible for following the id+ Card policies.
The id+ Card has monetary value and should be treated the same as cash. If a student suspects that their id+ Card has been lost, misplaced, or stolen, the student should follow these procedures:
- Report the id+ Card lost online, which will deactivate the privileges associated with the student's account (University housing access, Campus Meal Plan account, LionCash). This online service is available 24 hours a day. The student is responsible for deactivating a lost id+ Card. The University is not responsible for any loss or expense resulting from the loss, theft, or misuse of the id+ Card.
- To obtain a permanent replacement id+ Card, the student can visit the Housing and Food Services Office. The student must present positive proof of identification to receive a replacement ID. The card replacement fee can be paid for with check, credit card, or charged to the student's LionPATH account.
- A student whose id+ Card has been reported as lost, misplaced, or stolen will not be able to use card privileges at the food court until the student has secured a replacement card.
University Housing is equipped with an electronic/computerized card access security system. University Housing is locked 24 hours a day while students are in residence. Adjustments to the access hours may be modified during fall semester arrival and spring semester closedown. A student must use their id+ Card or mobile credential to gain access to their assigned building. Card readers are located on the building's entrance doors. Other exterior doors may be designated as exit-only doors, which cannot be held open or an alarm will sound.
If a card reader fails to unlock the door after a student presents their id+ Card or mobile credential, the student should report the malfunction to University staff. If the student is unable to gain entry to the building, the student should contact the Residence Life staff on duty for assistance.
If a student has food or other items delivered, the delivery person and unescorted guests are not permitted to enter University housing. The student is responsible for meeting the delivery person at the building entry door. The University does not accept "casual" deliveries from third-party vendors such as Instacart and DoorDash or from local stores such as Walmart or Target and is not responsible for loss or expense resulting from such items being delivered or dropped off at the building.
4. STUDENT RESPONSIBILITY FOR SAFETY
Each student plays a critical role in maintaining a safe and secure environment within University housing. Even with a sophisticated card access system, the safety and security of residents can be compromised by careless behavior. Every student is responsible for locking their room door, refraining from propping open student room doors, entrance doors, stairwell doors, and exit doors, and allowing unescorted guests to enter the building.
SAFETY AND SECURITY TIPS
- Students entering University housing should not permit an unknown person to enter with them.
- The staff member on duty should be notified if someone has insisted on entering University housing. The student should try to get a good description of the individual and observe the direction in which they were headed.
- Every student should keep their room door locked, even when sleeping, and especially when leaving the room or building.
- A malfunctioning card access reader or door should be reported to University staff immediately.
- If a student is expecting a guest, the student is responsible for meeting the guest at the building entry door and escorting him or her in the building.
- A student is not permitted to lend their id+ card or room key to another student or guest.
REPORTING SUSPICIOUS ACTIVITY
If a student notices any suspicious activity, the student should immediately contact the Residence Life staff on duty. Suspicious behavior may include the following:
- A person going room to room, trying to open doors
- A person loitering at unusual hours or locations
- A person running (especially if something of value is being carried)
- A person exhibiting unusual mental, emotional, or physical symptoms
- A person carrying University property or other items not wrapped
- Open or broken windows or doors
- Unusual noises, screams, or cries for help
See something, say something.