Housing and Residential Life Community Policies Addendum

The following Policies Addendum apply to all residential communities at the University of Rhode Island (University) including Housing and Residential Life and department- managed residential living communities.  

Although living on campus proves to be beneficial and enriching to the majority of students, living on campus may not be suitable for all student needs. Sharing space with others requires patience, civility, and a certain amount of give and take.  For those who are willing to make the necessary adjustments, living on campus can make the college experience much more memorable.  

An important mission of the Department of Housing and Residential Life (HRL) is to maintain an environment conducive to community living and academic pursuits, in which the needs and rights of individual residents and those of the community as a whole are equally protected.  HRL is aware of the importance of a diverse community and therefore, encourages an environment which respects all students.  All residents will be responsible for abiding by all regulations and stipulations contained within the Student Handbook, this Policies Addendum, and the applicable HRL housing contract.  All residents and their guests are expected to cooperate with HRL staff. 

Within our on-campus living communities, residents are afforded certain rights and responsibilities.  Personal rights will be balanced with responsibilities to the community.  Each resident is entitled to sleep, study, and pursue interests without the undue influence of others. 

Eligibility to Live in University Residential Living Communities 

Any currently accepted and/or currently registered University student is eligible to apply for Residential Living housing located on the Kingston Campus. Some residential living communities require membership in a specific group or affiliation with a department or major, enrollment in a program of study, and/or minimum credit requirements. Certain deposit and billing requirements may exist.  Housing accommodations are based upon availability of bed spaces or apartment vacancies. 

Residential Living Community residents, and their guests, living in or visiting are expected to abide by all Residential Living Communities policies.  

Student Residence 

A room, suite, or apartment occupied by a student or students, and owned by the University or located on University property or contractually related to the University. 

Period of Occupancy   

The period of time during which a student has been permitted to reside in a student residence by written agreement with the University, specifically excluding designated University holidays or between semester breaks during which student residences may be officially closed. 


All students, and their guests, in residential living communities are responsible for taking reasonable measures to protect their own person and property and also that of their roommate(s) by routinely locking the door to their student residence, by exclusively retaining their assigned entry mechanism (e.g., key, lock combination, key card), and by supporting and cooperating with efforts of University security personnel to provide a safe and secure residential living community. 

Guests and Room Use Policy  

Individuals in a student residence in a residential living community who are not residents and are not the guests of a resident will be considered a trespasser. 

Residents are responsible for their guests’ conduct  and should be escorting and present with their guests at all times. Students will also be held accountable for any violations of University rules and regulations, damages and/or loss of property caused by their guests.  Whether or not they are present, students are responsible for the use of their room by guests or others. 

Overnight Guests  

Residents may have an overnight guest in a residential living community provided permission from the roommate(s), suitemate(s), and/or apartment mate(s) is received and the laws of the state of Rhode Island and all University regulations are observed in all cases.  Any one guest cannot stay in a residential living community longer than 4 nights within a month without the explicit written consent of the roommate(s), suitemates, and/or apartment mates as well as approval from the Hall Director.  Any documented guest visitations beyond 4 nights within a month that do not meet the above consent/approval requirements shall be determined as unauthorized residency and may result in eviction and/or student conduct action against the visitor and the host. 


The University has established guidelines, which allows all students to live on campus without being subjected to disturbing sounds. A disturbing sound is defined as noise that interferes with study, sleep, or any other legitimate educational or residential activity regardless of the time.  If, in the judgment of a University staff member, the noise level has the potential to interfere with any educational or residential activity and/or is inconsistent with stated noise policies established for the residential living community, those community members responsible for the noise will be held in violation of the noise policy.  This includes any noise outside of a residential building that may be heard inside of the building.  

Illegal consumption and possession of alcohol  

Possession and/or consumption of alcoholic beverages is limited to individuals who are 21 years of age or older.  Students under 21 cannot transport alcohol in their cars nor have it in their possession while on campus. Empty alcohol containers located in a room of someone under 21 may result in charges.  

Excessive Quantities (Students over 21 years of age) 

Residents of legal age are asked to act responsibly and not to have excessive amounts of alcohol in their rooms. If a student over 21 years of age has excessive quantities of alcohol in their room or on their person, the student may be asked to remove it from the residence or dispose of it.  Excessive shall be defined as a quantity greater than twelve 12-oz. cans or bottles of malted alcoholic beverage or one liter of distilled alcohol beverage. Individuals 21 years and older may not bring alcohol into a University residence unless it is to the room of a student who is 21 or older and, in that case, no more than one six-pack or its equivalent may be brought. 


All exits and methods of egress must be always kept clear and unobstructed. This includes stairways, corridors, and doors. Objects of any type, including but not limited to bicycles and scooters, left in these areas in residential living communities will be confiscated at the owner’s risk and expense.  

Doors exiting to the exterior must also remain unobstructed on the exterior of the building.

All doors in/between corridors, stairwells, common rooms, and the exterior cannot be propped/chocked open.

Combustible Materials 

The burning of all substances is prohibited.


All gas and charcoal grills, fluids, charcoal, and propane cylinders/tanks are not permitted in residential living communities.  This includes personal use camp stoves/heaters. 

Fueled machinery

Gasoline operated machinery, such as motorcycles or mopeds, and any other combustible items including combustible engines (regardless of their state of dismantlement), non-electric lanterns are not permitted in residential living communities.  These items must be stored a minimum of 10’ from the building and not under a balcony/structure.


Smoking, including the use of electronic cigarettes and vaporizers, is prohibited in all University owned and operated residences including all resident rooms and common areas. Smoking is prohibited within 20 feet of all University residences and buildings.

Candles & Incense 

Candles (except for electric/battery-operated) including decorative and/or incense are prohibited from residential living communities.  The burning of all substances is prohibited. Any such materials discovered will be confiscated by HRL or University officials.  

Posting of flammable materials  

The posting of any paper, cardboard, poster, or other flammable material is prohibited in all common areas in residential living communities, except as otherwise designated by appropriate University officials.  Posting in specific residential living communities can be done only with the approval of University Officials (e.g., Hall Director designated to approve postings.) URI Fire/Life Safety is available upon request for consultation on such matters.

Memo boards, pads and pictures on interior student residence doors are also prohibited.

Other Decorations

Large combustible decorations including live Christmas trees or any part of them, are not permitted in residential living communities. Large decorations that appear noncombustible must be evaluated by University Officials (e.g., Hall Director and Fire/Life Safety) for compliance prior to posting.

Combustible Debris (e.g. cardboard/packing materials) must be disposed of promptly.

Violation of these policies may result in the confiscation of such materials and referral to the Office of Community Standards, as well as possible prosecution under the Rhode Island General Laws


An electric blanket, curling iron, clock, computer, small fan, hair dryer, printer, game systems, razor, stereo, television (27” or smaller), are the only appliances allowed in residential living communities.  Each room may also have one refrigerator not to exceed three (3) cu. ft. capacity, as well as single-serve Keurig (or similar appliance with automatic turn-off).  Air conditioners are prohibited.  Any appliance with a rating of 1,000 watts or higher and all cooking appliances except approved microwave ovens are prohibited.  All quartz halogen lights are prohibited. Space heaters provided by HRL must not be left plugged in unattended. 

Prohibited items for University Graduate Village Apartments: Dishwashers, washers & dryers, air conditioners, space heaters, hot pots/plates.  

Extension Cords 

Extension cords & multi-plug adaptors without surge-protection are not allowed. A power-strip with a long enough cord (20’) is recommended. The practice of daisy-chaining (plugging power-strips into each other) is also prohibited. Approved power-strips & adaptors must be plugged directly into electrical outlets.

Window, Wall, and Carpet Coverings   

Regulation window coverings have been provided in all student residences and all common areas.  These may not be replaced except by HRL.  All carpets, flags, etc. provided by students must have a “fire spread” rating below 25 and a “low smoke generation.” Due to their potential heavy-smoke nature, tapestries are prohibited.

A certificate from the manufacturer, adhering to the above, must be available to HRL on request.

Combustible items used as wall coverings must not exceed 20% of the cumulative wall surface within residential rooms.


The tampering/obstruction of fire/life safety devices (smoke detectors, sprinklers, fire horns, etc.) is strictly prohibited. This includes but is not limited to the covering and/or removal of smoke detectors. Anyone discovered in violation will be referred to the Office of Community Standards and may be removed from HRL.


Students are not allowed on roofs of any building on University owned, managed, or affiliated property. 

Waterbeds and Lofts   

Waterbeds are not permitted in residential living communities.  Lofts or any bed support systems of any kind are prohibited in residential living communities except those provided by the appropriate University staff and which meet fire safety guidelines. 


Bicycles may not be kept in rooms or apartments where bicycle racks are available. 


Animals are not allowed in residential living communities with the exception of fish, and animals trained and used as service animals, and emotional support animals approved by the Office of Disability, Access, and Inclusion.  Fish are permitted in properly maintained aquariums of 20 gallons or less which must have noise-free compressors for the filters.  Any and all damage caused by the fish or the aquarium is the financial responsibility of the owner of the fish or aquarium. 

Cleanliness Standards

Residents are required to regularly clean their rooms, remove trash and recyclable materials, and maintain sanitation, health and safety standards. Residents of connected, tower, suite and apartment residences are also required to regularly clean their bathrooms and common areas including their kitchen, where applicable. Residents are required to cooperate with hall staff members who will routinely conduct inspections of resident rooms, bathrooms, apartments, and kitchens. A resident or a group of residents may be charged for additional cleaning or maintenance of residential spaces that is excessive and inconsistent with normal use of that space, as determined by HRL.

Recycling and Trash Disposal

Residents are required to dispose of recyclable items through the University’s single-stream recycling system; recycling containers are provided in each resident’s room and must be brought by the resident to the recycling collection bins. Residents are also required to dispose of their trash in the dumpsters provided by the University. No items or substances are allowed to be discarded from windows, doors, or balconies. In accordance with health regulations, residents may not place trash in lounges, hallways, stairwells, closets, suite areas, or bathrooms. Failure to comply with this policy may be referred to the Office of Community Standards or URI Campus Police.

Bathrooms: Respect for Privacy and Human Dignity 

Residents and guests are expected to respect an individual’s right to privacy, dignity, and safety in a bathroom setting.  Any action that can be interpreted as a conscious effort to breach privacy or disrespect one’s right to dignity is prohibited. 

Gender Identity and Bathroom Use 

Residents and guests should utilize bathrooms in accordance with their gender identity.  Entering a bathroom facility designated for people other than your gender identity is prohibited. 

Social Events in Residential Living Communities 

To ensure that all social events do not infringe upon the rights of others, and comply with state laws, students must adhere to the following guidelines and regulations and to those appearing elsewhere in this addendum. 

While impromptu socializing in student residences is encouraged, at any given time, occupancy may not exceed more than 7 individuals per room or 10 visitors per apartment or suite. Larger gatherings should use the common areas in residential living communities. 

Unauthorized Occupancy 

Students must observe University guidelines and policies regarding the occupancy and use of University property and facilities.  Unauthorized occupancy of or trespassing on University property or University facilities is prohibited. 

Unauthorized Entry  

Unauthorized entry by any means into a residential living community is strictly prohibited.  Allowing anyone entry during those hours when the exit doors, where applicable, are locked for security purposes, either directly or through negligence (including propping doors), is strictly prohibited.   

Damage Billing  

Students who are identified as being responsible for damages to residential living community property, structures or equipment will be charged by the appropriate University official (in residence halls or apartments by Housing and Residential Life, or through the Dean of Students office and Office of Community Standards) for the labor, materials, and administrative costs necessary to complete the repair.   

When the damage or loss is caused by a student(s) within the residential living community but specific student(s) cannot be identified, as a last resort, the cost of repair will be charged to all members of the appropriate residential living unit (building, floor, or suite).  The students in question will be notified in writing when community billing is to occur and may appeal that billing through the established grievance process.  In cases of malicious damage or other violations of community standards within a residential living community, student conduct action may be taken against the student(s) in addition to their being billed. For residents of University Graduate Village Apartments, damage assessment will be applied to the Housing Agreement holder.

Bills must be paid promptly, and excessive or repeated damages will result in warnings and/or termination of the student(s) residential living community contract.  While repairs will be made as soon as possible, the damage billing process operates separately from the repair/replacement process.  In most cases, the students should contact the Student Conduct Administrator to find out the cost of the damages. 

Administrative Searches  

University officials and employees are not permitted to enter or search a private student residence during the period of occupancy except in accordance with the following procedures. 

Entry and Search with Consent of the Student 

Any authorized University employee may enter a student residence if a student who is a resident gives voluntary consent.  The student’s consent must be freely given and must not be based on coercion, false pretenses, or threats, and must not be occasioned by the student’s fear of reprisal for failure to give consentIn situations where the student refuses consent, the search procedures described below may be implemented.  

University employees shall not seek consent to search without concrete information that the search will produce information of a violation of community standards or of local, state or federal law. 

The intrusion by the employee must be limited to the scope of the consent given by the student.  For example, if the student consents to entry by the employee, the employee is not entitled to search the student’s belongings without obtaining further consent to do so.  

A resident student can give consent to an authorized University employee to enter the room, apartment, or shared bathroom. The resident student can give consent only to the search of belongings, and of shared areas that are not under the primary control of another student. For example, a student may give consent to a search of a shared refrigerator but not to any closed containers therein that are the property of another student. No student may consent to the search of another student’s bedroom, closets, locker, suitcases, backpacks, or other areas under the primary control of another student.  

Entry Without Consent in a Health or Safety Emergency 

The Director of Public Safety, Major of University Police, Assistant Director of Public 

Safety/Risk Management or designee, Dean of Students, the Director or Associate Director of Housing and Residential Life, Assistant Director, Coordinator, or a Hall Director or Graduate Hall Director may enter a student residence without consent when the employee believes such entry is necessary on an emergency basis (e.g., when time is not afforded to make alternative arrangements, assault, fire, building damage) to protect the health and/or safety of persons or to make emergency repairs to University facilities to avoid damage to University or student property. 

Entry for Routine Inspections and Scheduled Repairs 

The Director of Housing and Residential Life and the Assistant Director of Public Safety/Risk Management or their designees may enter residence hall rooms or on campus apartments and the Dean of Students, Assistant Director of Public Safety/Risk Management or their designees may enter other resident living communities without student consent to conduct general and requested inspections/repairs for health, safety, and building maintenance purposes.  Such inspections/repairs may be conducted only after the University has posted a notice indicating the purpose of inspection/repairs and stating that the inspection/repairs will take place no sooner than 24 and no later than 72 hours after the notice is posted.  The employee authorized to conduct the inspection/repairs may enter whether or not the resident is present; however, the authorized employee may not enter the room without first knocking on the door and announcing the purpose for entry.    

Scheduled renovation projects in living communities sometimes require quick access to student rooms.  Any renovation project requiring room access will be posted no less than 24 hours in advance. 

Building repairs and/or custodial services, as requested by an on-campus resident or by a University staff member on behalf of a resident, shall signal resident consent to enter the student room for the specific and sole purpose of conducting said requested repair.  Repair personnel may not enter the room without first knocking on the door and announcing the purpose for entry. 

Verification of Vacancy   

Staff responsible for the residential living communities (e.g., Housing and Residential Life) including their designees through delegated authority, may enter a specific student room and/or apartment for the purpose of conducting an official verification of a student bed space vacancy.  When conducting vacancy verification, the staff member will first knock on the room door and announce the purpose for entry.  If there is no response, notice will be left that there will be an entry in 24 hours for vacancy verification. 

Entry Without Consent on Suspicion of Violation of University Regulations or Federal or State Law 

“Concrete information” is something known from direct observation or information from a reliable source and would cause entry without consent on suspicion of violations.  Concrete information can apply to a variety of circumstances. For example, a University representative (e.g. resident assistant, house director, staff member) reports hearing a drinking game, sees alcohol being brought into the room of an underage student, the smell of marijuana, a towel under the door, the window is open and a fan is blowing or a credible message is received about a suicide threat. 

A University representative (e.g., Hall Director or Graduate Hall Director or HRL staff) may use master keys for entry only under the following circumstances: 

  • health and safety crisis  
  • search warrant from court  
  • verbal permission has been given for a limited administrative search  
  • suspicion of violation of University regulation or state law 
  • written permission has been given for a full administrative search  

Limited Administrative Search  

A University representative (e.g., Hall Director or Graduate Hall Director or other HRL staff) who has concrete information of a violation of community standards must get verbal permission from a senior leader of their unit (e.g., Director or Associate/Assistant Director of Housing and Residential Life, Dean of Students) to open the door of an unresponsive/ nonresponsive student.  The resulting search will be hands-off and limited to what is in plain sight, refrigerator contents and a quick look under and around surfaces.  Any information found in a limited administrative search may be used for campus conduct procedures. 

Full Administrative Search 

If federal, state, or local law enforcement officers (including University police) are not involved in an investigation of possible criminal activity, and if a staff or student provides concrete information that the search of a particular room will yield information of a serious violation of community standards by a particular student or student group, the Dean of Students, Director of Housing and Residential Life, or the Vice President for Student Affairs or their designees may issue a written administrative search warrant.   

Once the administrative warrant has been granted, the Dean of Students, Director of Housing and Residential Life, or their designees will conduct the search.  Any information found in the administrative search may be used only for student conduct procedures. University police, if not involved in an active criminal investigation, may participate in a full administrative search in cases of health and safety.  

Other Searches 

When federal, state, or local law enforcement officers, including University police, are involved in an investigation of a possible violation of state or federal law, any search of a student residence will be conducted only in accordance with legal standards applicable to police searches of private residences.  While law enforcement officers are conducting an authorized search, University staff may accompany them. Information found may be used in criminal proceedings and/or in campus conduct proceedings. 

Removal and Re-Assignment  

Emergency Removal from On-Campus Residence 

Pending final student conduct action on violation of University regulations, or a criminal investigation or prosecution by a state or federal law enforcement authority, the privilege of a student to be a member of the University’s residential living communities (e.g., live in or visit residence halls, on-campus apartments, fraternities, or sororities, themed living community) may be withdrawn for reasons of imminent danger due to physical or emotional safety or well-being, or for reasons which seriously jeopardize the safety, well-being, or rights of other residents or staff.   

The decision to remove a student from residence halls or on-campus apartments will be made only by the Director of Housing and Residential Life or designee who may consult with the Dean of Students Office and the Vice President of Student Affairs as necessary.   

The decision to remove a student from all other residential living communities will be made by the Dean of Students Office in consultation with the Vice President of Student 


When a student is removed from on-campus housing under these circumstances and is subsequently charged in writing with violation of University regulations, the rights and responsibilities of the University Student Conduct System will apply.  A Hearing or Administrative Action must be scheduled within 15 workdays of the emergency removal. The student may request a hearing delay in writing.  If a student is separated from campus by this authority, the student must remain separated until the hearing is held. 

Enforced Reassignment and Removal 

If, in the judgment of the Director of Housing and Residential Life or designee for residence halls and on-campus apartments or the Dean of Students in all other residential living communities, reassignment is necessary to protect the community, to ensure the rights of other residents, or for reasons of health and safety, enforced reassignment may be initiated prior to formal action through the University Student Conduct System. 

Additionally, the Director of Housing and Residential Life or designee may deny access to or remove from HRL operated housing any individual who has violated the URI Student Code of Conduct, any other University policy or procedure, or local, State, or federal law.

Any student removed from a University residential living community for conduct reasons may not live in another on-campus living community without advance permission from the Dean of Students.  This includes, but is not limited to, fraternities, sororities, on-campus apartments, residence halls, academic themed living and learning communities. 

Bathroom and Kitchen Cleanliness 

Students living in residence halls with suites and/or in apartments are responsible for the regular cleaning of their semi-private and private bathrooms, as well as their semiprivate, private and/or community kitchens.  Residents will refrain from using community bathrooms while scheduled cleaning is being performed by University custodial personnel. 

Athletic Equipment and Activities   

Athletic equipment is to be used only in areas specifically designed for that equipment.  

Examples of unacceptable activities inside the residence halls are: Frisbee, ball-playing, darts, hockey, rollerblading, racquetball, tennis, skateboarding, squash, weight-lifting, bicycling or other disruptive behaviors in corridors, lounges, rooms and/or apartments. 

Use of Residential Building Lounges, Study and Recreation Rooms 

These areas are designed for use by residents, and their related functions will have priority.  Any request for use of these areas beyond their intended function must be cleared through the Hall Director (HD).

Access Cards 

All residents must use their access card to unlock the main entrances of buildings equipped with the card access system.  If students do not have their room key or access card on their person, they must go to the Campus Dining and ID Office in the Memorial Union to obtain a new ID if they cannot locate a staff member to grant them access.  Residents of University Village Apartment complexes must contact their Site Manager to gain access. No student may enter or exit a magnetically locked door. 

Keys and Combinations   

Only residents and authorized staff are permitted to have access cards, room combinations (combos) and keys to their student residence/residential building.  Altering a door lock, unauthorized use of access cards and room and room combinations (combos), having additional keys made or installing locks is prohibited.  Due to safety and security needs, any missing, lost or stolen keys will require a lock change at the resident’s expense. 

Check-In and Check-Out   

Each resident must complete the check-in process as described in their Move-In Guide, New Assignment letter, and/or Room Change letter. Housing will routinely verify that each resident is occupying their assigned space.

Each resident must complete the check-out process as described in their Room Change letter, Housing Cancellation Request form and/or End-of-Term communication. Upon check-out, a student residence must be left in the same condition as at the time of check-in.  If a student residence is left in unsatisfactory condition, the resident will be billed for restoration charges.  If a semi-private or private bathroom, or semi-private, private or community kitchen is left in unsatisfactory condition, the assigned resident(s) will be billed for any related restoration charges for the facility. 

Modification of Student’s Room or Furnishings 

Occupants may not dismantle, refinish, paint, dye, or alter in any way the furniture or furnishings in the student residence without permission from HRL.  Lofts or any bed support systems of any kind (except those provided by HRL) are prohibited.  Repair or renovations of a student residence by any external source is not permitted without the expressed approval of HRL.  Residents are not allowed to have any University furnishings in their student residence except those present at check-in. With the exclusion of beds, students may add their own furnishings to the student residence.  Undergraduate residents are not allowed to relocate their beds to any room other than that to which the student is registered without the Hall Director’s approval.  Residents must never block the egress from their rooms at any time.  Room doors must be allowed to open to full swing of the door.  Egress from the door to the inside of the room must be kept clear at all times.  This area must not be blocked with baskets, furniture, beds or bed frames encroaching in this area. Bidets may be allowed only if approved by HRL and installed by the University or it’s agent.

Room/Apartment Painting   

Students are not allowed to paint their rooms or apartments. If a student’s room needs to be painted, a work order must be submitted so that appropriate university personnel may paint the room. 

Room Changes  

Undergraduate students will not be allowed to initiate any room changes during the first three weeks of the start of a semester unless there is a problem of a serious nature that can only be alleviated by changing rooms.  Prospective roommates are not subject to any preconditions or approval that would deny them access to any room, and students may not refuse prospective roommates.  If, at the end of the fall semester, a student wishes to move, then that move must occur before the intercession, or by the date and time specified by HRL during the spring semester opening period.  


Resident students may not hang, drape, or display any banner or object from or on the outside of balconies or windows at any time except for the purposes of official University business with prior approval from HRL. 

Balconies and Porches  

Balconies and porches may not be used as storage areas for personal and/or University belongings.  Only furniture designed for outdoor use is permitted.  University issued furniture is not permitted on balconies and porches.  Climbing between and throwing items from balconies and porches is strictly prohibited.