Skip to main content area Skip to institutional navigation Skip to sub-navigation


The community value of responsibility applies to the residential communities because each individual is responsible for personal safety as well as minimizing risk of harm to the other members of the community who may share a close living space. Students should be aware that they may be held responsible for their behavior when they impact the community due to the choices they make while under the influence of alcohol or other drugs.

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
    1. All electrical items must be Underwriters Laboratory (UL) listed and in good operating condition.
    2. 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.
    3. Permitted personal electronics are computer, stereo/radio, printer, razor, TV, hair dryer, fan, small lamp, cell phone charger, alarm clock, answering machine.
    4. 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.
  • Use of Electrical Items
    1. 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.
    2. 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.
    3. Irons must have a 10-minute automatic shut off mechanism and should be used in common areas on an ironing board.
    4. Do not leave items such as irons, microwaves, and ovens unmonitored while they are in use.
    5. 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.
    6. Students who would like to use grills should refer to the Maintenance procedures in this section.
  • Refrigerators and Microwaves
    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.
  • Prohibited Items
    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-brewking kits, kegerators, toasters, grills, etc.

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
    1. 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.
    2. 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!
    3. 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.
    4. Fire exit doors must remain closed when they are not being used as an exit in an emergency.
    5. Door closer mechanisms must remain on doors at all times.
    6. No doors (interior or exterior) may be propped open.
    7. 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.
  • Personal Belongings
    1. Keep hallways, windows, and stairwells free of trash and personal items in case they need to be used as exit routes.
    2. Do not block lights, sprinklers or smoke detectors by hanging items near them or stacking furniture near them.
    3. Do not burn any flammable items.
    4. Do not use or store flammable substances, such as gasoline, propane, sterno, and cleaning fluids on or near campus residential life areas.
    5. Flammable decorations, such as live or excessive greenery, excessive amounts of paper, and large paper decorations are prohibited.
    6. Keep all items at least three feet away from heating units.
    7. Remove trash/items that may be flammable or may impede an exit route.
    8. No lofts may be built or used in student housing, other than those provided.
  • Restricted Spaces/Roof Access
    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.
  • Hazardous Materials
    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.