Residential Life & Housing Policies
Learning to live effectively with others without major impact on the community is an important life skill. The office of Residential Life and Campus Activities works in synergy with the department of Housing & Conferences to support the following policies that guide students in negotiating how to live in a community with each other, as well as how to live within the kinds of facilities that we offer on campus. The residential life staff will work towards making each student’s experience positive, but students also share the responsibility of co-creating their own residential experiences. To this end, students are expected to take part in upholding community standards, communicating with staff, and understanding and following policies. These policies should serve as guidelines for decision making, and enable students to consider the impact of their decisions. Students are expected to be active bystanders and call-in behaviors or actions that take away from our efforts to foster a safe environment for all. Residential life staff are available to assist and advise students, and students should feel comfortable contacting their RA or RLC for assistance early. If a student feels that their individual circumstance warrants an exemption from a policy or there is a question about a specific policy, the student should contact their RLC to discuss it. Students should refer to the procedure section to learn more about housing procedures.
By accepting admission to CC, students are agreeing to uphold the residential requirement at Colorado College. The housing agreement is provided to explain the contractual relationship between the department and the student. By signing the agreement, students are accepting its terms for that semester/year.
Since residential buildings are not suited for most pets and animals the only pets that we permit students have in the residence areas at any time are: fish/crustaceans that live under water, with a maximum allowable tank size of 10 gallons. Service animals and Emotional Support Animals are registered through the Accessibility Resource office.
Appliances and Electrical Equipment
Sharing a residential community includes sharing the utility capabilities of that facility. Outlets and overall electrical capacity in all student-housing areas can easily be overloaded if misused, especially in some of the more historic buildings. As a result, this policy requires that students use caution and limit their use of electrical equipment in the residential buildings to minimize risk of harm to themselves and the community. While personal expression is valued, the physical safety of the community is prioritized above individual expression with regard to electrical items.
The following are examples of how this policy applies.
- Standards for Permitted Electrical Items
- All electrical items must be Underwriters Laboratory (UL) listed and in good operating condition.
- Appliances may not have open flames or exposed heating elements and must be rated for 1,500 watts (maximum power draw) and/or approved for a 15-amp circuit.
- Permitted personal electronics are computer, stereo/radio, printer, razor, TV, hair dryer, fan, small lamp, cell phone charger, alarm clock, answering machine.
- The only permitted cooking related items are coffee pots, hot pots, and popcorn poppers. All of these items must have an automatic shut-off feature in use.
- Each outlet can draw up to 20 amps. Students should spread out appliances within a room or apartment to lessen the load on individual outlets.
- Microfridges, hair dryers, and other such appliances should be plugged directly into the outlet rather than a power strip. If your outlet is a two-prong outlet, you can purchase an adapter at a local hardware store.
- Irons must have a 10-minute automatic shut off mechanism and should be used in common areas on an ironing board.
- Do not leave items such as irons, microwaves, and ovens unmonitored while they are in use.
- The same standards apply to the student apartments, except that they may have additional cooking items that meet the above standards in their kitchens. Permitted items are: blenders, larger refrigerators, toasters, microwave ovens, ovens, and electric grills.
- Students who would like to use grills should refer to the Maintenance procedures in this section.
A microfridge will be provided in all rooms except Western Ridge apartments, 1010 N. Weber, Interfaith House, 223 San Rafael and Synergy House. These are Energy Star appliances and serve to promote sustainability as well as better management of energy resources. The microfridge is now a part of the room and must remain in the room. Students will not be charged for the rental of the unit, but will be responsible for any damages to it. No other types of microwaves, refrigerators or freezers are permitted in student rooms.
Any item that was not mentioned above as approved is prohibited. Examples include: electric blankets, air conditioning units, sun and heat lamps, torchiere-style halogen lamps or other lamps at risk of causing fire, crock pots, hot plates, personal home-brewing kits, kegerators, toasters, grills, etc.
A community agreement is a set of mutually agreed upon standards that each community (room, wing, house, apartment, hall) determines that they want to live by, and that is in accordance with the college values and policies. Each student staff member will facilitate the community agreement process to ensure that all students have the opportunity to have a voice and a part in creating and upholding community standards. Each community can discuss items like: bathroom cleanliness, quiet hours, substance use or non-use, expectations of guests, and any other aspect of living in a community. These agreements can be revisited by the community at any time during the year, and adapted as needed. If a community agreement is violated, the members of the community may play a role in recommending an outcome to the RLC/AC. Unless otherwise pre-determined by the community itself, a vote of 75 percent is required in the community agreement process, and 75 percent of the members of the community must be present. It is responsibility of the community members to create and uphold their community standards.
Since students are sharing space in a community together, the consequences of their choices and behaviors can impact many others. The community impact should always be considered when students make choices, especially in the evenings when other students are sleeping and preparing for class, work, or personal activities.
Students living in residential communities share a variety of common area space. Common area space is defined as any space in a residential building to which students have access and is not a specific student room/apartment. In general, it is expected that students respect these spaces and each other. Common spaces are not intended for sleeping, storage, or any use which may impact others’ ability to reasonably access the space. Any items posted in these areas should be suitable for any reasonable audience in the CC community. All of the areas below are considered common spaces and students may not store personal belongings in them. Any belongings left in these spaces may be confiscated and disposed of, and the student will be responsible for the costs. If any of these areas are damaged, they may be restricted for student use at any time. Alcohol is not permitted in any common spaces, unless pre-approved by the college. Videotaping is prohibited in common area spaces unless permission is granted in advance by the office of Residential Life & Campus Activities, the department of Housing & Conferences or the college media relations staff. Below are examples of how this policy applies to common areas:
- Group bathrooms (bathrooms with more than one shower, sink, or toilet) may only be used by individuals of the same gender at one time.
- Single-person bathrooms are designated for use by one person at a time and are open to all genders.
- Shower stalls and single-use bathrooms are for use by one person at a time.
- In Montgomery which is a gender-specific residence hall, the first-floor single use bathroom is designated as an All Gender restroom, so that guests may shower and use bathroom facilities without disrupting the community members.
- Sinks in bathrooms and water fountains are not meant to be disposals for food, sand, mud, or similar substances.
- Bathroom trash cans are not provided for students to dump their room trash in.
Computer labs are available in Loomis, Mathias, and South Halls. You do not have to be a resident of these halls to use the public access computer rooms; however, you may only have access when the main building doors are unlocked (for specific building hours, please inquire at the front desk you are interested in). Please note that not all computer rooms have printers. The computer rooms are open 24 hours a day for the residents of that particular building. The computer labs are being evaluated, and the services offered may change based on student need and feasibility.
Kitchens are provided in many areas for programs and limited amounts of personal meal preparation. Guidelines for using kitchens include:
- Clean up all messes made, including removal of dishes and trash.
- Do not leave oven or other appliances while they are in use.
- Use the common area refrigerator at your own risk, as items will be discarded if the cleaning staff needs to clean it.
Anyone wishing to use a residence hall area (other than the South Commons, McHugh Commons, or Bemis Great Hall – these three areas are reserved through the Worner front desk) should contact the front desk for that area. Events are subject to approval from the RLC who oversees that area of campus. Please call the specific front desk to obtain more information. Residential Life & Campus Activities and Housing & Conferences staff and students living in a specific building have priority over the lounge if it is not reserved ahead of time. Instructors who have a classroom reserved have priority over it between 8 am and 5 pm during the weekdays of the block that the class is being held.
Porches are common spaces that are attached to residential buildings (McGregor, Jackson, Ticknor, etc.) and are available for student use. As stated above, common spaces are not intended for sleeping, storage, or any use that may impact others' ability to reasonably access the space. Personal furniture are not permitted. Smoking and use of alcohol are not permitted in these areas.
Pianos are located in many of the residences. Hours for use vary by individual community and will be available at the front desk of each housing area. Mathias Hall has a music room that may be reserved by residents of Mathias. Both of these amenities must be respected by students or they will be limited for student use.
The sun deck is located in South Hall which may be available to students during limited hours. Custodial staff is not assigned to clean the sun deck, so it is essential that students who use it keep it clean. The South RLC can authorize use of the sun deck. Unauthorized use or abuse of the sun deck will result in closure.
Complying with College Officials
Students are expected to comply with college officials, even when they are confronted while in their own room or apartment. These are expectations that students should be living up to:
Carry their CC ID and show it to any college official who requests it (including RA's).
- Cooperate when asked to leave a facility or remove prohibited items
- Schedule a meeting with an RLC or other college official when requested to do so
- Respond to emails from the residential life and housing staff relating to room assignments and other processes
- Follow the room selection and other procedures published by housing
Fire Safety/Hazardous Materials
Due to the large number of students sharing living spaces in close proximity to each other, we expect that students will act in responsible ways with regard to fire safety.
Tampering with or misusing fire and safety equipment, such as fire alarms, fire extinguishers, smoke alarms, and exit signs, or creating a false alarm pose a serious threat to life and property and will result in a fine and/or possible suspension.
The following policies exist for safety purposes. Violations of these policies may include disciplinary action and life safety fines.
- Fire Equipment
- Fire equipment includes all items designed to limit a fire, prevent a fire, or assist in extinguishing fires or evacuating buildings. This includes lighted exit signs, fire extinguishers, sirens, emergency lighting, sprinkler systems, and door closers.
- Never tamper with smoke detectors. If there is a question about whether or not a detector is working properly, immediately consult a residential life staff member or campus safety. If a smoke detector starts beeping and there is no apparent heat or smoke source, it probably needs a new battery. Contact the front desk or staff member on duty. NEVER REMOVE A SMOKE DETECTOR!
- Do not tamper with or spray fire extinguishers. This will cause the release of a chemical that can set off the building’s fire alarm.
- Fire exit doors must remain closed when they are not being used as an exit in an emergency.
- Door closer mechanisms must remain on doors at all times.
- No doors (interior or exterior) may be propped open.
- Fireplaces in residential spaces are not permitted for use by residents unless approved ahead of time for a college event by the assistant director of housing operations.
- Keep hallways, windows, and stairwells free of trash and personal items in case they need to be used as exit routes.
- Do not block lights, sprinklers or smoke detectors by hanging items near them or stacking furniture near them.
- Do not burn any flammable items.
- Do not use or store flammable substances, such as gasoline, propane, sterno, and cleaning fluids on or near campus residential life areas.
- Flammable decorations, such as live or excessive greenery, excessive amounts of paper, and large paper decorations are prohibited.
- Keep all items at least three feet away from heating units.
- Remove trash/items that may be flammable or may impede an exit route.
- No lofts may be built or used in student housing, other than those provided.
For safety and operational reasons, access to some areas on campus and in campus buildings is restricted. These areas include mechanical rooms, maintenance closets, utility tunnels, telecommunications closets, crawlspaces, ledges, roofs without decks, balconies, electrical rooms and any other space so marked. In addition, climbing and scaling walls of any college building is prohibited to protect student safety and privacy and to maintain the condition of the buildings.
This policy is especially important in residential communities where many students are sharing a close living space. Students should exercise good judgment by not putting themselves or others at risk. Examples of how this policy applies in the residential communities include:
Candles, incense and hookahs are not permitted.
Substances such as propane, camping stove fuel, strong cleaning solvents, and paint thinner are not permitted.
This policy applies to students who are visiting a building which they are not assigned by the department of Housing & Conferences as well as to students who host guests in their community. A guest is a person who does not live in the building but is the guest of a resident who agrees to host them. CC does not restrict the hours when students may host guests in their residence except when students violate this policy and may receive a sanction which does limit this. Guests who violate policies may not be permitted to return to certain residential buildings. Students who host guests may be held responsible for their behavior. Students who choose to host guests have the following responsibilities:
- Ensure that the guest is aware of and upholds the policies
- Escort the guest in the building at all times
- Report any concerning behavior of the guest to the staff
- Ensure that the guest stays a short time so they are not imposing on the community or living in the residential room without paying housing fees.
- Ensure that the guest is not imposing on roommates/apartment mates.
Students may restrict visitation through their community agreement process. Visitation does not imply habitation or cohabitation. In gender-specific, substance free, or quiet communities, students and guests are encouraged to be additionally sensitive to the community values of residents who reside in those communities.
Residential rooms and apartments are designed for regular student use by the student(s) assigned to that space. If students want to have a large number of guests in their rooms, they must work with their RLC to determine how many people are appropriate to have inside a room/apartment at a time and be within fire codes. There must be at least 7.5 square feet of empty floor space per person. A typical double room is 12x12 feet. With furniture in the room, the average available floor space is about 75 square feet, which means that 10 people maximum may be in the average double room at a time.
Since residents share their living space with many others, we expect that students will act in ways that do not pose undue health concerns to their neighbors. Examples of this include:
- Keeping rooms/apartments clean.
- Disposing of trash/items that may attract bugs, mice, mold, or other concerns.
- Cleaning up after themselves and maintaining a reasonable level of personal cleanliness.
- Not bringing items into the building that may be infested or bring undue influence into the community.
- Keeping screens on windows where they are provided to limit access into buildings.
- In cases where a student’s health may be at risk, the college reserves the right to contract with a cleaning service and the student will be responsible for the related costs.
Students will be issued key(s) upon checking in at their front desk and are responsible for their key(s) until they turn them in when they are moving out of their assigned space. Students are expected to carry their keys at all times. Students are responsible for their key(s) and may not lend them to anyone else, including roommates/ apartment mates. Keys may not be duplicated. With the exception of maintenance or risk to safety situations, no student room or apartment will be unlocked to admit anyone except the specific student who is assigned to that room. For information about lock-out keys, refer to the Housing Procedures. If residential life staff learn that a key is lost/missing or if a key is not turned in by the date/time requested, a lock change will be ordered and charged to the student. If a student would like a lock changed outside of normal business hours, they may contact the RLC to request that service.
As academic pursuits are the central mission of the college, a policy of 24-hour consideration hours exists in all on-campus residences. This means that all students have the right to be able to sleep and study in their living areas with reasonable accommodation. As individuals’ definitions of “noisy” and “quiet” may differ, it is critical that students’ discuss this within their community. Indications that noise is too loud typically include things like it can be heard by a neighbor in his/her room, it can be heard 50 feet away from the building when windows are open, or it can heard down the hall. When in conflict, the residential life staff or campus safety make the judgment about whether someone has impacted others under this policy. Amplifiers, stereos, speakers (including subwoofers) or other loud devices used in and around any on-campus housing can be confiscated if they are found to be a noise disturbance.
Quiet hours are 11 p.m.-8 a.m. Sunday through Thursday, and midnight-9 a.m. on Friday and Saturday. During these times, students are expected to conduct themselves in a way that does not disrupt others from sleeping or studying in their rooms/ apartments. If there are enough students to support 24-hour quiet communities, these communities will remain 24-hour quiet throughout the academic year.
Role of Community Agreements and Confrontations
Students may choose to extend quiet hours for their living area through their community agreement. If a small house community can demonstrate that all of its members support a slightly different quiet hour structure and all of its members are willing to confront each other if the noise is concerning to them, the department staff will consider an adjustment of quiet hours. Location of the building, level of support from all community members, and conduct history of the community will be considered by the department staff. All students are encouraged to discuss and resolve noise violations amongst themselves, but they may also contact a student staff member to handle a situation if they prefer.
Room Assignments and Changes
- Students are assigned to a space on a semester or yearly basis.
- Room changes are permitted so long as the room change process is followed. (See the Housing procedure section).
- Students may not assign or sublease a room/apartment or use it as anything other than a personal residence.
- Students requesting a double or triple room may name a mutually agreed upon roommate and be placed with that student, regardless of gender.
- The department of Housing & Conferences reserves the right to assign/reassign students or not assign rooms as needed to accomplish its mission for students.
While we seek to help students find a way to create a sense of home in their residential space, we require that students limit that to decorations and belongings that will not damage the facility. Student rooms are also not intended to be used as art studios, music practice rooms, exercise facilities or in any other way that be harmful to the facility or the community. It is also the responsibility of each student to report maintenance or facility concerns to his/her front desk as soon as they are noticed. As it is impossible to address every type of decoration or room issue, the following are provided as examples of this policy so students can understand how it applies:
- All furniture provided by the college must remain in the room to prevent damage from relocation.
- Any furniture brought in by a student must be free of infestation of bedbugs or other health hazards. Furniture purchased from a thrift store or furniture that may have been left outside is at risk of infestation and should not be brought into residential buildings. Due to the the extensive costs for cleaning and exterminating, and the high correlation between used furniture and bedbugs, students need to be aware that if they have used furniture and bedbugs are found in their room, they will incur any costs associated with pest removal and cleaning. This is a minimum of $300. If multiple bedbugs are found, students will need to remove any non-college furniture from their rooms. The department invests money each year to spray for bedbug prevention, but the best prevention is for students to not bring items into the communities that may be infested.
- Furniture must meet applicable fire codes.
- Waterbeds or other heavy or extraordinary furniture is not permitted.
- Walls, furniture, and other room components may not be permanently altered, including dyeing draperies or painting walls.
- Students may not splice electrical wires or remove any outlet plates or light switches.
- All screens must remain in place.
- Items hung from the wall must be done so in a temporary way, so that no holes are put into the walls.
- False walls, lofts, and other potentially hazardous items may not be constructed or brought into rooms or apartments.
Students are responsible for the costs associated with consequences of violating this policy, such as life safety fines, laundry/extermination costs, and removal of furniture.
Solicitation is not permitted in the residence halls in any form. Posting of information is permitted only in two ways:
- Up to 55 fliers/small posters may be dropped off at the office of Residential Life & Campus Activities on the first three Mondays of every block. These will be posted in the residential communities in common bulletin boards or other areas. If groups request this on a regular basis, they may be asked to provide funds to help with pushpins, staples, or other needs for posting costs.
- Public bulletin boards are available in Loomis, South, and Mathias. Individuals and organizations may post items on those boards in accordance with campus posting policies. Students may inquire at the front desk or RLC office to learn about the locations of these bulletin boards. Items may be removed by hall staff on a blockly basis or if a flyer has expired.
Residential life staff reserve the right to remove anything that is not posted in accordance with the above. Student organizations and students may request to staff an informational table in the lounge area during specific hours. Requests should be made to the RLC or the desk coordinator one week in advance.