Community Standards & Residence Hall Conduct

The success of a residential community depends upon mutual respect between all residents. The Office of Residential Life has established the following guidelines to develop and foster a living-learning atmosphere within the Sacred Heart residential community. All residents are expected to abide by the policies found here as well as those established by the Hall
Staff. Failure to abide by these guidelines will lead to disciplinary action and possible loss of housing.

These policies may change at the discretion of the Office of Residential Life.

Identification Card | SHU Card

Students must carry their student identification card at all times and must show it to campus officials or their designees upon request. Students should NOT lend out their ID card to other students or friends to provide access to the building or rooms. If ID cards are lost or stolen, students should contact Public Safety immediately and obtain a new card from the Student Union.

Keys & Locks

Students are expected to carry their identification card and keys at all times. Should an instance arise when a student becomes locked out of their room/apartment the student should first contact an RSA or a staff member to be let in at a cost of $5 to be paid in cash at the time of entry into the student’s room Public Safety (203-371-7995) will admit a student at a cost of $10, which will be charged to the student’s account. For security purposes, identification will be required upon unlocking of a door.

Lost Keys/Card
Each resident is issued a room key/card, and/or an exterior door key/ card and an apartment/bedroom key/card if applicable. Residents must carry their keys/card at all times and may not duplicate keys or lend them to others. Residents must report lost keys to the Office of Residential Life immediately. Lost keys may result in a lock change and the student billed the cost of the change (which may include the total replacement of all keys and the entire lock replacement). Residents should lock their doors at all times and should never "prop open" exterior doors. Lost keys result in a $35 fine/replacement charge for Taft Commons, The Ridge, Pioneer Gardens and the interior Oakwood Key. The exterior key for Oakwood is a $50
replacement charge.

Exterior/Interior Doors
For safety reasons, exterior doors to the halls are locked the majority of the time. In addition, propping exterior doors is not permitted. Residents must carry their ID card and key card with them to gain entrance. It is advised that students close their bedroom/suite/ apartment doors when leaving the building. Students are not permitted to install, change or replace current locks or doors without university permission.

Proper Entry
Students are expected to use the proper entry to one’s residence living environment, such as designated entry points: main, front door, and residence hall room door. Entry/exiting through windows, and/or Taft Commons balconies is strictly prohibited.

Respectful Living

Courtesy Hours
24/7 Courtesy hours are in place at all times. All residents need to be respectful of others' rights to study and sleep in the halls at all times.

Quiet Hours
Quiet hours are in effect Sunday through Thursday beginning at 9pm and continuing to 8am the following morning. Friday and Saturdays quiet hours extend from 1am to 9am. These hours are subject to change at the discretion of the RHD of that area.

Final Exams
Quiet Hours are extended to 24 hours a day during Final Exams. During quiet hours, the right to sleep or study is the top priority, and no noise should be heard outside of a room/apartment. Any violation that disrupts the community may result in immediate removal for the remainder of finals. Repeat violations can also result in offending items (i.e. stereos, etc.) being confiscated. Any noise that infringes on the rights of others shall be a considered a violation.

Hall Sports
For the safety of all persons, ball playing, sports, water fights and other such disruptive behaviors (wrestling and rough housing) are not permitted in the halls.

Guest Policy
Residents are permitted to have two overnight guests of the same sex in their residence hall room. With this right comes the responsibility of registering that guest through the use of an Overnight Guest Registration Form.

Overnight Guest Registration
All hosts must obtain authorization from their RSA/RHD for their guest at least 24 hours in advance, in addition to all roommate(s) signature(s) of consent. A resident accepts all responsibilities for his/ her guest while on campus. For overnight guests of the opposite sex, it is the host's responsibility to find students of that gender with whom the guest may reside. Students may not have overnight guests of the opposite gender staying in their resident hall room. The host must accompany guests at all times.

Visitation Hours & Guidelines
Non-student and other SHU student guests are permitted in the halls from 9am to 1am (Sundays - Thursdays) and 9am to 2am (Fridays & Saturday). All non-residents of that hall/floor and guests must leave the hall no later than the designated time (1am or 2am). Guests may not be in an opposite sex room, apartment, or hallway when visitation hours are concluded. All non-SHU student guests to the halls must be registered and accompanied by a SHU resident at all times. Guests must stay in the room of a person of the same sex and can only visit for no more than two consecutive nights, with permission of staff and roommates. Guests must check-in at the area office with a picture ID, and the resident must confirm their guest. Resident students assume all responsibility for the conduct of their guest (s) while on campus or at SHU sponsored events. If a guest has a vehicle, a visitor-parking permit should be obtained from Public Safety after receiving their overnight pass from the Hall Staff. The permit should be displayed on the vehicle while on campus, or it is subject to ticketing. During mid-terms and finals, there are NO overnight guests permitted. 

*Please forward all details regarding guest and/or visitation policy to Public Safety.

Health & Safety Guidelines

The only appliances allowed in the residence halls need to be equipped with automatic shut-off and are only permitted in the kitchens. Such appliances allowed include coffee-makers and popcorn poppers. Open coil heating devices are not permitted.

Microwave-refrigerators are provided by the university in each room of Roncalli Hall, Merton Hall, Seton Hall, and Christian Witness Commons. All areas are provided common kitchen-sized refrigerators. No student in any residence hall or apartment may bring another refrigerator or use their own personal refrigerator unless they have received a special permission
approved by Residential Life.

University operated residence halls and apartments may decorate apartments/rooms to their liking, but must adhere to the established fire safety codes. While decorating, residents must not damage the rooms and furniture. Tape, tacks, and nails cause damage to walls and are unacceptable. "Fun tac" is encouraged as an adhesive, but must be completely removed upon move-out. Some decorations that pose fire hazards (tapestries, candles, incense, etc.) are not permitted in the residence halls, as well as no items are to be attached to the ceilings or heaters.

The furniture in each room belongs to SHU and is not to be removed from any room or defaced in any way. Missing/damaged furniture will result in charges to those responsible. Common area furniture MAY NOT be removed from the common areas. Removal of lounge furniture will be considered theft and can result in a student conduct hearing and/or fine. All furniture provided by the University for use in student rooms and apartments must remain in the apartment. There is no storage of unwanted furniture available. There will be fines for all furniture pushed into common areas and areas of egress. In addition, no upholstered furniture with a length and/or width of greater than 24” is permitted in any on-campus residence hall or Off- campus apartment. This includes the removal of furniture of common room furniture for personal room use.

The residence halls are designed with minimal storage space; therefore, residents are expected to store all personal items in their hall room/apartment. No storage is available to students over the summer months and breaks.

The only pets permitted in the halls are fish contained in tanks/bowls less than 10 gallons.

Approved vs. Non-approved Materials

Extension Cords
Extension cords are not permitted! Only authorized Underwriter Laboratories (UL) listed surge protectors with built-in circuit breakers are allowed. Surge protectors must not be plugged into each other, hang from the ceiling, laid across the floor (over or under a rug), and have exposed wires. Only one surge protector may be used in one outlet.

Any fuel, including kerosene, propane, gasoline, and charcoal lighter fluid are prohibited in any residential area.

The possession or use of any open flame devices, such as candles (burned or unburned), incense and oil burning lamps are prohibited and will be confiscated, resulting in a student conduct hearing.

Ceiling/Wall Coverings
Nothing may be hung from or affixed to the ceiling, smoke detector, sprinkler head and exposed pipe. This includes decorations, lights, posters, flags and towels. All objects placed on the wall must be at least six inches below the ceiling line. All draperies and tapestries must be flame resistant and labeled as such by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA). Excessive amount of objects are prohibited from being placed on the wall. There must be at least eighty percent of available wall space (subtracting doors and other openings) in resident rooms and hallways.

Holiday Decorations
Natural trees and wreaths (both highly flammable) are prohibited. All holiday lighting must be Underwriter Laboratories (UL) listed. Holiday light strings are permitted as long as two strings are not plugged into each other. Each holiday light string must be plugged into an outlet. 

Prohibited Items

  • Extension Cords
  • Microwave
  • Refrigerator of any size
  • Halogen Lamps
  • Toaster Oven or Open Burner
  • Cooking Items
  • Alcohol & Alcohol Paraphernalia (bottle/can collection, boxes, shot glasses, etc.)
  • Drugs & Drug Paraphernalia (Hookahs, Bongs, Smoking Bowls, Blunt Wraps, e-Cigs, etc)
  • Pets other than Fish
  • Candles and Incense, Firearms, Fireworks, Weapons (including but not limited to: guns, knives, martial arts implements, paintball equipment, air pellet guns), Explosives, etc.
  • First-Year Students CANNOT Have Cars on Campus

Room Inspection & Room Searches

Since a university is viewed as an educational community with special behavioral requirements, the courts have upheld the university’s right to enter and search student rooms and apartments with probable cause. However, the entry and search must not be done in an arbitrary and capricious manner, which unnecessarily deprives a student of fundamental
constitutional protection. The intent of this policy is to provide protection for the rights of each Sacred Heart University student while at the same time providing staff members and university officials the means to maintain and protect the educational environment necessary for the university to fulfill its primary purpose.

Room Gatherings
Social gatherings of more than three times the number of designated residents for that living space is prohibited. All attending gatherings which exceed allowed capacity will be responsible for violating policy.

Room Entry
Sacred Heart University reserves the right to enter a room/apartment for the following reasons:

  • To perform routine safety/maintenance inspection
  • To verify room occupancy
  • To perform a wellness check of a resident
  • To respond to an emergency/crisis situation
  • To investigate probable violations of SHU policy, and to conduct a search when appropriate

SHU staff members must respect the privacy of the resident when entering a room/apartment. Before entering, staff members should always knock on the door and announce their presence and identify themselves appropriately. Residents need not be present to permit entry, but are expected to comply with the requests of staff members when they are present; failure to do so constitutes a “failure to comply” violation. If a resident is not present or does not respond within a reasonable amount of time to the staff member, the staff member has the authority to use a key to enter the room/apartment, and must announce that he/ she is “keying in.”

Room Search
The University reserves the right to search a room/apartment and/or the belongings of any resident upon reasonable belief that violations of federal, state or local laws, or SHU policy are occurring. Such searches may occur only with the approval of one of the following University Official Search Coordinators:

  • Residence Hall Director (RHD)
  • Director of Residential Life
  • Assistant Director of Residential Life
  • Dean of Students
  • Assistant Dean for Student Conduct & Community Standards
  • Other administrator(s) designated by the Dean of Students

The Search Coordinator needs to ensure that the search is conducted for the appropriate reasons and in the correct manner. Reasons for conducting the search must be specific in nature and the manner of the search must be consistent with such reasons. SHU staff members must inform any resident who is present of the intent to search, as well as the reasons for, and nature of the search. Staff members must allow a resident the opportunity to observe the search, provided that the resident continues to comply with the requests of the staff members. If a resident is not present, staff members must notify the resident of the room entry and search, as well as any documented violations resulting from the search, within a reasonable time after the conclusion of the search.

Confiscation / Seizure
Residential Hall Staff and Public Safety Officers are authorized to confiscate items that are not permitted in University Housing units. Items not permitted include (but are not limited to) appliances, alcohol, empty alcohol containers, kegs, beer balls, taps, illegal drugs, weapons, martial arts implements, pets, incense, candles, explosives and drug paraphernalia. Confiscated items may not be returned to students. 

Maintenance & Housekeeping

Garbage Removal
Residents are responsible for bringing trash from their rooms or apartments to the designated collection area on a regular basis. At no time should garbage/trash be left in hallways, common areas, or on patios/decks. Trash left incommon areas in or around the halls will result in fines and disciplinary action for those responsible. Excess garbage must be cleaned immediately to avoid health risks for the community.

Washers/dryers are installed in all halls for student use. Some machines operate through card use while others are coin operated. SHU card operated machines can be found in the Merton Hall, Seton Hall, Roncalli Hall, Christian Witness Commons, Scholars Commons, Pioneer Gardens and The Ridge. Coin operated machines are utilized in Oakwood Gardens and Taft Commons at the expense of the student. Inoperative machines should be reported to the RA or RHD immediately. Payment for the laundry services is the student’s responsibility. Students will not be reimbursed for unused laundry funds.

Maintenance Requests (MOPS)
Residents are responsible for completing a MOPS (work order) request form found online at the Campus Operations website. Residents should complete their own work order so they can track the progress. Furniture concerns or requests should be directed to the RA/RHD of the particular area.

Residents are expected to maintain and clean their room/apartment on a regular basis. Regular, announced and unannounced inspections will be conducted by the Hall Staff to identify health, safety, and maintenance concerns. Residents are obligated to make the necessary corrections as directed. Common areas in the underclassmen areas are attended to daily
by the cleaning staff; however, custodians are directed to refuse service to common areas that are excessively dirty until addressed by the residents of the area, their primary function is maintaining the integrity of the buildings.

Residents are responsible for the repair costs for all damages (accidental or malicious) they cause in the halls. If the responsible resident(s) cannot be identified in an individual room/apartment, the damage charge will be shared by all residents of that room/apartment. If the responsible resident(s) cannot be identified for a common area, the damage charge will be shared by all residents of that floor/hall. Residents will be directly billed damages. Damage charges are placed on a student's account. Residents are asked to report all vandalism and identify individuals responsible to the Hall Staff. Anyone responsible for extensive and/or malicious damage will be subject to disciplinary action, including removal from residency, in addition to the payment of damage charges.

SHU does not take responsibility for the theft of any personal property. Unauthorized possession of property belonging to SHU or other residents is considered theft, and students involved in such behavior will face disciplinary action. Any missing or stolen property should be reported to Public Safety as soon as possible.