Residence Hall Policies

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About Residence Hall Policies

Community living provides a great deal of freedom based upon personal responsibility.  However, please know living on campus is also a priveledge.  Certain regulations and policies do restrict behavior; however, a great deal of freedom based on personal responsibility is available. In any case, certain regulations are necessary to protect your health, safety and comfort. Others are imposed by fire laws or health regulations or are based on common sense and courtesy.

The primary purpose of the following general provisions for student occupancy is to safeguard the rights of all residents and to prevent any abridgement of those rights by the careless or malicious acts of others.

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Alcohol Policy

The University follows the laws of Pennsylvania. Consistent with Pennsylvania State Law, Arcadia University:

  • permits the responsible and low-risk use of alcohol by students who are 21 years old or older;
  • does not permit individuals under 21 to use alcohol;
  • does not permit the use of illegal drugs*

* As applied throughout this document, “illegal drugs” are controlled substances as defined by federal, state and local laws. Only those drugs which are properly prescribed, in the original container, for the person prescribed, and used in the manner prescribed are permitted.

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Building Security

For the protection of all residents of each building and their personal property, you are expected to cooperate with the security program. The following are security regulations enforced by Public Safety and Residence & Commuter Life. It is our expectation that all residential students follow these regulations:

  1. Keep exit doors closed and locked at all times.
  2. Refrain from lending out or duplicating your key.
  3. Do not give your Knight Card to anyone for building access.
  4. Register guests with the Desk Receptionist and escort all guests at all times.
  5. Show your Arcadia University Knight Card to the Desk Receptionist upon entry into a Residence Hall.
  6. Keep your room door locked at all times (even while inside the room).
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Common Areas

Each residence hall offers students spaces to gather, cook, or study. These spaces are referred to as common areas. Examples of common areas are lounges, hallways, and bathrooms. In apartment and suite-style residence halls, there are additional common areas like living rooms and bathrooms contained within an apartment or suite. Additionally, patios, balconies, enclosed breezeways, and courtyards in Oak Summit are considered common areas.

Amenities available in a given common area vary among residence halls. University-provided common area furniture and microwave ovens in lounges and common areas are for the use of all residents. Furniture may not be taken into your room. There is a $100 fine for private use of common area furniture. When direct responsibility cannot be determined for damage to common areas, lounges, hallways, bathrooms, etc., the cost of the repair and replacement of damaged items is shared on a prorated basis by all students living in and using these areas.

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Fire Regulations

Tampering with fire-fighting equipment or alarm systems is considered a serious offense. Offenses such as the reckless discharging of a fire extinguisher or not vacating the building when the alarm sounds, even though an offender may have playful rather than malicious motives, will not be tolerated and will result in disciplinary action and fines.

To ensure the safety and protection of the entire University community, the following precautions and standards must be observed:

  1. Candles, incense, and candle warmers/wax melters are prohibited in students’ rooms.
  2. Smoking is not permitted in any residence hall room or public area within University housing.
  3. Fire doors are doors that close automatically within the residence halls (including suite doors of Knight Hall and hallway doors in Oak Summit). These doors may not be propped open.
  4. Materials may not be placed over exit signs, fire doors, or any electrical light fixture, including those in student rooms.
  5. Displays and/or decorations of paper, dried vegetation, corrugated cardboard, or light plastics are prohibited.
  6. Stairwell and exit lights must be on at all times.
  7. Decorations for various holidays must meet the standards of safety published by Residence & Commuter Life.
  8. When the fire alarm sounds, EVERYONE must evacuate the building. Residence & Commuter Life and Public Safety coordinate fire drills each semester. Fire alarm boxes are located on each corridor.
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Fire Safety Alarm Procedures

All residence halls are equipped with a fire alarm system. Fire Drills are conducted to practice Emergency Preparedness such as escape routes & evacuation plans. Announced and unannounced Fire Drills are conducted various times throughout the fall and spring semesters. This joint effort involves Residence Life, Public Safety, and Facilities Management departments.

Process:

  1. Public Safety officers will activate the alarm.
  2. Evacuation assistance and movement to designated assembly area by Public Safety;
  3. Facilities and Public Safety representatives check for proper operation of alarm horns, exit and stairwell lights, fire doors and presence of fire extinguishers;
  4. Public Safety Command Center will ensure that alarm relays are in working order;
  5. Residence Life Coordinator and Public Safety selects random block of rooms to insure evacuation occurred; fire safety violations and other violations in plain view are documented;
  6. Evacuation maintained until Public Safety, Residence Life and Facilities sounds "all clear";
  7. Public Safety, Facilities and Residence Life Staff follow-up as required.

Emergency Evacuation Procedures 

Before a fire:

  • Students should know the location and route for their first and second means of egress.
  • Students should keep fire doors closed.
  • Students should know the location of all fire extinguishers in their area. (Note: Do not attempt to extinguish a fire unless you have been trained or the fire is between you and the exit.)

Whether you sense a fire or the building fire alarm system is activated, put the evacuation procedures into action. Never Ignore A Fire Alarm! When a fire alarm sounds, you must evacuate the building. If you are not in the vicinity of your room when the alarm sounds, do not return to your room, but leave the building immediately. In the event of a fire alarm or if a student suspects a fire, you are to follow these steps before evacuating the building:

  1. Activate the building alarm. (Pull the alarm on your way out of the building if the alarm horn is not already suspended.)
  2. Call Public Safety at (215) 572-2999 and give as much information as possible. Your first action should be to grab your room keys and proceed to the nearest exit. Be sure to alert any other occupants in the room.
  3. Close the door behind you and lock the door.
  4. If the hallway is clear of smoke, walk to the nearest fire exit and evacuate the building.
    • Never use the elevators! Elevators will stop during a fire.
    • Follow the evacuation plan established for this building.
    • Do not re-enter this building until instructed by Public Safety and/or Fire Department.
    • Report to the gathering location for your building as designated by Residence & Commuter Life and Public Safety.  Upon instructions, report to your assigned Emergency Evacuation Location and await further instructions from Public Safety.  
    • Return to the building quietly when a University official gives permission.
    • Tampering with or misuse of fire safety equipment is illegal. Violators are subject to appropriate sanctions and prosecution.

Leave the firefighting to the professionals.

  1. Feel the door from top to bottom-if it is hot, do not open. Keep calm. If trapped in a room, do the following if possible.
    • Place towels or clothing, preferably wet under the door to keep smoke out.
    • Clear the window of blinds, attract attention. If you have a phone available contact Public Safety at 2999 or 215-572-2999 and tell the dispatcher that you are trapped, give your name and room number.
    • Stay low; breathe fresh air near the ground.
    • Stay calm and await help.
  2. If the door is cool, crouch low and open door slowly. Close door quickly if smoke or fire is present.
  3. If it is clear, exit via nearest stairwell. Stay low if smoke conditions exist. Report to your designated evacuation area.
  4. If you encounter heavy smoke in a stairwell, go back and use an alternate route.

All persons present in the residence hall are to evacuate the building whenever the alarm sounds. If you fail to participate in fire drills, you will be subject to disciplinary action, including but not limited to, a $50 fine. Students shall be subject to other disciplinary action for any violation of Fire Safety. Specific procedures to follow in case of fire are posted on public bulletin boards in each residence hall. Please make sure to take note of these regulations and familiarize yourself with the emergency exits in every building. 

Prevention and Educational Efforts

  • Residents are told NOT to bring: hot plates, toaster ovens, space heaters, any appliance with open heating element, candles, incense and potpourri burners.
  • All appliances and cords must be UL approved.
  • The Department of Public Safety provides information and safety brochures for Campus Fire Safety.
  • Floor plans, evacuation routes, evacuation assembly locations, drill procedures and fire safety policies are reviewed by RAs at floor meetings.
  • Floor plans with exit locations are publicly posted on each floor of each residence hall.
  • The University celebrates Fire Prevention Week to promote Campus Fire Safety
  • Hands on fire extinguish training is offered each semester where employees and students are offered an opportunity to extinguish a fire.

Equipment

  • Comprehensive alarm system installed in every building.
  • Facilities Management checks and tests fire alarm systems, smoke detectors, sprinkler systems and fire extinguishers.
  • Buildings are zoned with smoke detectors that sound alarm for smoke or fumes.
  • Alarms sound within the building and at the Public Safety department headquarters which are monitored 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
  • Annunciator panel within the buildings identify the locations of tripped detector or pull box.
  • Strobe light at top of each building alerts fire department to correct building.
  • Sprinklers are an important part of the fire protection system. All residential living areas are equipped with sprinkler systems in student rooms and common areas.
  • All Arcadia residence halls are equipped with fast-acting smoke detectors that sound fire alarm when triggered.
  • All hallways are equipped with fire extinguishers
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Guest Policy

Guests of resident students are welcome on campus providing they conduct themselves in the same manner expected of all Arcadia University students. It is the responsibility of the resident host or hostess to familiarize guests with the University's expectations and regulations.
Resident students are responsible for:

  • the conduct of their visitors
  • any charge that may result from their visitor’s stay on campus
  • assuring that guests are properly registered at the main desk in the residence halls
  • escorting their guests at all times
  • assuring the housing of a guest does not infringe upon the rights of others, including residents of the floor, and particularly roommate(s).

In the event a resident hosts a guest, it is the responsibility of the resident to monitor their guest’s behavior. Staff reserves the right to ask guests to leave if the guest is disruptive to the community. The host student will be held disciplinarily responsible for his/her guest’s behavior, including violations of the Code of Conduct.

Residents may not host more than three (3) guests at any one time in University housing. The University reserves the right to deny access to any guest if it is reasonably determined that such person has disturbed, or is likely to disturb or disrupt other students residing in campus housing. Guests may not utilize campus-housing facilities for more than two nights in any seven-day period without the permission of the appropriate Area Coordinator and other residents of the space.

Children under the age of 12 years old may visit University housing for up to three (3) hours. For overnight visits or longer visits, the appropriate Area Coordinator must be given advance notice and authorize access for the child. This includes identifying the person who is responsible for the child.

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Guidelines for Gatherings

As the Guest Policy states, each resident of a room or apartment may host up to three guests at a time. For example, a three-person apartment in Oak Summit may host nine guests (for a total occupancy of 12 people if all residents are present). If you choose to host a gathering, you do not need to inform the Area Coordinator, but you must follow residence hall regulations and be considerate of the other residents living on the floor. Individuals who are not 21 years of age or older are not permitted to consume, possess, or transport alcohol on campus.

Gatherings must end by the beginning of Quiet Hours, but, with cause, gatherings may be ended prior to quiet hours by the University staff. No gatherings are permitted during final exam periods.

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Interim Felony Conviction Policy

DISCLOSURE OF CRIMINAL CONVICTION

The Student must notify the Office of Residence and Commuter Life in writing if they have been convicted of a felony, (the term conviction will be interpreted broadly and will include pleas of no contest, deferred adjudications, withheld judgments and similar dispositions). The Student must provide the Office of Residence and Commuter Life a statement with a complete description of their actions and full details of the charges/conviction/sanctions against them. Failure to notify the Office of Residence and Commuter Life of a felony conviction, prior to University housing occupancy or immediately upon conviction of a felony during University housing occupancy may be grounds for denial of, or immediate removal from, University housing.  For new students it is the student's responsibility to inform the Office of Residence and Commuter Life, separately from the admissions application.  Once the Office of Residence and Commuter Life has been notified by a student that they have been convicted of a felony, the matter will be reviewed. The University shall at all times have the right to determine residency eligibility.

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Liability

The University shall not be liable, either directly or indirectly, for any loss by theft of property belonging to you or your guests, or for any damage or destruction of such property by fire, water or any other cause. You are urged to ensure that you are covered under a homeowner’s insurance policy and to make arrangements for additional insurance coverage if necessary.

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Lock Out Procedures

  1. Attempt to locate your roommates.
  2. Try to locate your RA.
  3. Try to locate another RA in your area. Students should contact the RA on duty between 5:00 p.m. and 8:00 a.m. 
  4. Contact Public Safety at 215-572-2900 between 8:00 a.m. and 5 p.m.

* RAs and Public Safety should only be contacted after you have exhausted other means.

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Quiet Hours

Whatever other functions a university or residence hall may serve, its essential role is to provide an atmosphere conducive to study. The University requires that students demonstrate the mutual respect and consideration that neighbors or members of any community owe to one another. It is important to remember that a residence hall, by its very nature, breeds noise to a certain extent. No one expects residents to remain silent in their own “home” at Arcadia University. However, standards of common courtesy and respect for the rights of others are more essential here, perhaps, than anywhere else. Residents are asked to refrain from yelling out of windows and down hallways, blasting stereos or having loud gatherings in their rooms. The playing of sports or activities in the hallway that disturb others is not permitted.

Minimum Quiet Hours, established by the University, are 11 p.m. to 8 a.m. Sunday through Thursday; and 1 a.m. to 9 a.m. Friday and Saturday. There will be a 24-hour quiet period during the week preceding and throughout finals week. Quiet Hours means no loud talking in the hallways and lounges, and no sound to be heard outside your room during the entire time period. It is the responsibility of all residents to hold one another accountable for maintaining quiet hours.

In addition, although Quiet Hours have been established, it does not mean that you may ignore your neighbors’ rights during other hours, which are commonly referred to as courtesy hours.

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Room Assignments

While an effort will be made to comply with a resident’s personal preferences, the University reserves the exclusive right to make assignments and reassignments of a room. Change in room assignments may be made only with the written permission of the Assistant Director of Residence and Commuter Life, or his or her designee, and on recommendation of the appropriate Area Coordinator. If a resident permanently vacates his/her room during the academic year, the remaining resident(s) agrees to accept another roommate as assigned, or if required by Residence and Commuter Life, to transfer to another room.

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Search and/or Inspection of Student Rooms

Residents have the right to be secure in regard to their person and possessions. Residents’ right to privacy will be respected. However, the University’s responsibility to protect its buildings and property necessitates a right to enter your room. The University may conduct a search of your room in a residence hall for, among other things, the purpose of inspection or repair; and to ensure compliance with federal, state, local criminal law and University policies, where there is cause to believe that a violation has occurred or is taking place.

Note: Health and Safety Inspections will be conducted mid-way through the first semester, at the beginning of each holiday break, and before the termination of your period of occupancy.

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University Housing Agreement

If you live in University housing, you are required to sign the University Housing Agreement which sets forth the terms and conditions under which you may occupy a room. In taking occupancy and/or signing a statement of agreement, you agree to abide by all regulations have been or may be established by the University  and/or local, state and federal authorities. If your conduct does not meet the standards established by the University, you may be denied the privilege of campus housing. Take special note of the following procedures and policies. If you need a copy of the University Housing Agreement, please go to the RCL office in Oak Summit. A copy is also available on the Residence and Commuter Life Canvas Community. 

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Vacation Periods

Traditional residence hall rooms may not be occupied during vacation periods. Only students living in apartment-style housing may request an exception to this policy. The University reserves the right to assign students who need special permission to stay to other rooms during scheduled vacation periods.

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