Housing Policies and Procedures
Students are expected to be acquainted with and abide by University regulations regarding the use of alcoholic beverages. These regulations are designed to be consistent with the laws of the State of New Jersey, and, in general, prohibit the consumption and serving of alcohol beverages by and to persons under 21 years of age. (A complete statement of policy appears in Rights, Rules, Responsibilities.) Students are in violation of the alcohol policy under any of the following circumstances:
- Possession of an open container of alcohol, by any student, in common spaces (lounges, game rooms, hallways, entryways, dining areas, courtyards, etc.);
- Possession of any container of alcohol (open or sealed) in common spaces by students under the age of 21;
- Possession of a keg or a keg tap;
- Serving, providing, or making available alcohol to persons under 21.
The aforementioned violations are regarded more seriously if property is damaged or the privacy of others is infringed upon.
The University respects the right to privacy, and its representatives do not enter dormitory rooms in order to enforce this policy without reasonable suspicion that University policies or regulations have been violated. If a violation is determined, all alcohol and equipment used to dispense it are confiscated and not returned.
Undergraduate men and women cannot be assigned to the same rooms or the same suite of rooms except in pre-designated gender neutral rooms where mixed genders are permitted to live together.
Charges for excessive damages in the common areas of dormitories may be prorated by entry, floor or building in cases where individual responsibility cannot be ascertained. The determination of what constitutes “excessive damages” are the judgment of the Office of the Dean of Undergraduate Students and the Housing and Real Estate Services Department. These charges are assessed as a group billing and cannot be individually reduced.
Suites are assigned to a group of roommates, and all decisions about the division of space should be made by consensus. No one student has any more right to a space than any other student; this includes single spaces within suites. Decisions on the use of space should include plans for switching rooms during the year to allow each student a chance to live in their preferred space. Roommates who were not part of the original membership should also be given this opportunity and are not to be automatically relegated to the least desirable space within a suite. In the event that no consensus can be reached, a lottery can be devised and administered by the Housing and Real Estate Services Department and/or residential college staff representative. In the case of a lottery, residents of the suite must comply with the results. When considering division of space, any space without a smoke detector in it may not be used for sleeping purposes.
Students are expected to minimize energy use whenever possible. Room lights and other electric equipment should be turned off when not needed. Shower and other water usage should be of a reasonable duration. In units with separate thermostats, heat should not be set at an excessive level. Any problems affecting the above systems should be reported to the Facilities Customer Service Center at firstname.lastname@example.org. In general, students are asked to be aware of and reasonable in their use of all consumable energy resources.
Fines from governmental bodies to Princeton University will be charged to students who are the cause of the fines being issued. The University will give students notice of this possibility including the upper limits of applicable fines. The University will continue to appeal any fines assessed.
Possession of or cooking with grills or other portable cookers is prohibited, except under the guidelines established by the Dining Services Cookout Policy. Any grills discovered on the exterior of any building will be confiscated and disposed of immediately.
Space in University dormitories is made available to regularly enrolled undergraduate students of Princeton for their personal use, and use of such space cannot be transferred to any other individual. Visitors are allowed in housing throughout the 24-hour day, yet the presence of guests or visitors must not interfere with other residents’ normal activities. Roommates are expected to be sensitive to each other’s need for privacy as well as reasonable about the need for occasional guests or visitors to the room. The University strongly encourages that residents get 48 hours advance consent from and give advance notice to all other roommates before having guests or visitors. In the case of overnight guests or visitors, 48-hour advance consent from all roommates is encouraged. Additionally, extended visits, greater than three days and two nights, are not permitted. Overnight sleeping in common areas of the building is prohibited. Disputes or concerns regarding guests should be brought to the attention of the Director of Student Life or the Manager for Undergraduate Housing for resolution. The University may deny guest privileges and impose disciplinary action if this policy is abused.
It is expected that guests and/or visitors will show consideration for the property of their peers and of the University. Residents are encouraged to inform guests and/or visitors of all University regulations. Residents are personally responsible for the actions of their guests, including any damages to University property or the property of other residents. Residents are encouraged to accompany their guests at all times in the dormitory. If the guests are other Princeton University students, then the resident and the guests and/or visitors concurrently accept responsibility for their actions.
The following excerpts are from “Guidelines for Students Regarding HIV Infection.”
Fundamental to Princeton’s response to HIV infection and other chronic illness is the commitment to respect the rights and reasonable concerns of everyone, including those individuals living with these conditions.
Accommodations for Students Living with HIV
The Rehabilitation Act of 1973, the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, and the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination protect students with disabilities. Under these acts and University policy, HIV infection is considered to be a disability. As with all disabilities, Princeton University will make reasonable accommodations for students living with HIV.
Peers of Students with HIV
Peers of those students who are HIV infected are expected to continue to carry out their academic responsibilities in a normal fashion. Should a student experience fear or anxiety with regard to interacting with a fellow student who is known or perceived to have HIV disease, he or she should contact a member of the Princeton University Health Services staff for information on HIV disease, or the Office of the Dean of Undergraduate Students for information about accommodating other requests. Students who wish to transfer to another residence to avoid contact with a fellow student who is HIV infected or perceived to be living with HIV do not have a right to such reassignment.
For further information, please refer to the “Princeton University Policy on HIV Infection” and the complete “Guidelines for Students Regarding HIV Infection” available through the Office of the Associate Provost for Administration, 3 Nassau Hall, or the Office of the Director of Clinical Services, Princeton University Health Services.
Infants and children may not reside in an Undergraduate Housing unit.
An undergraduate who is to be married during the academic year must inform the Housing and Real Estate Services Department and provide his or her marriage license before the agreement is terminated. Married couples may not reside in regular dormitory rooms or suites. Refunds are given on a semester-basis only.
Every Princeton dormitory resident has the right to a reasonably quiet environment, one conducive to study and to the pursuit of his or her other interests.
The University expects all students to respect this right and to be aware of the impact their activities may have on their neighbors. Stereo speakers, for instance, should not be placed in a way that interferes with the activities of others. Normally, audio equipment should be placed away from doors and open windows.
While social gatherings are an essential part of campus life, students who host parties are urged to be considerate of their neighbors. If the Department of Public Safety receives complaints about a loud party, or other noisemaking, prior to midnight on weeknights, or 2:00am on weekends (Friday to Saturday and Saturday to Sunday nights only), Public Safety will ask the hosts to reduce the noise level. After the curfew hour, Public Safety is authorized to end the activity in question.
Residents concerned about excessive noise should themselves contact the person(s) responsible for the noise. If a satisfactory solution is not reached, they should call Public Safety for assistance. All noise complaints are noted by the Department of Public Safety. Especially flagrant and/or repeated violations of this noise policy may result in disciplinary action by the Office of the Dean of Undergraduate Students.
Students may not contract with or permit any outside provider to perform any maintenance, alteration, or repairs to the University's facilities. Other personal service providers may only enter dormitories as guests while their resident hosts are present.
Posters or notices of any kind may only be affixed to bulletin boards in dorm entryways, dining service units, academic and administrative buildings and outdoor kiosks. All materials placed elsewhere (that is, stairwells, hallways, entry walls or doors) are removed.
Please remember that recycling is mandatory at Princeton University. Students are responsible for recycling mixed paper, bottles, cans, plastic containers, and batteries. Recycling containers are made available through the Department of Building Services. Trash and recycling containers should be kept in the rooms or suites. It is a violation of fire and safety regulations to store these containers in hallways. Full containers may be placed in the hallways for disposal by Building Services employees. Your active cooperation in this program is necessary if it is to succeed. Repeated violation of the recycling policy may result in disciplinary action through the Office of the Dean of Undergraduate Students and/or the Housing and Real Estate Services Department. Posters with recycling information are located in all dormitory bathrooms. Students are asked to recycle the following items:
Glass, metal, and plastic containers. Place these items in the re-cycling barrels located in dormitory bathrooms where provided or in the barrels in the dumpster areas.
Mixed paper. All mixed paper should be placed in the containers labeled “recycled paper only.” The label contains information about what is acceptable as mixed paper. Full containers may be placed in the hallway for disposal but should otherwise not be kept in the hallway because of fire and safety concerns.
The University has a strong commitment to the conservation of our natural resources. It is expected that all occupants of University housing will do their best to forward that commitment. University residents are thus expected to be aware of the policies in this guide and to adhere to them (see Recycling).
Respect for the rights, privileges, and sensibilities of others is essential to preserving the spirit of the community at Princeton. Actions that make the atmosphere intimidating, threatening, or hostile to individuals are therefore regarded as serious offenses. In particular, abusive or harassing behavior, verbal or physical, that demeans, intimidates, threatens, or injures another person because of his or her sex, race, national origin, or personal characteristics or beliefs is subject to University disciplinary sanctions. Examples of personal characteristics or beliefs include but are not limited to sex, sexual orientation, race, national origin, religion, and disability (Rights, Rules, Responsibilities). Dormitory residents should respect the desire of all members of the community for a reasonable degree of privacy. It is expected that residents show consideration for the property of their peers and of the University.
Rollerblades and skateboards may only be used on paved pedestrian paths. Rollerblading or skateboarding is not permitted inside the dormitories at any time. Rollerblades and skateboards shall not be ridden upon or used on any ramp, stairs, wall, bench, handrail, fountain or other building features.
Princeton University is committed to providing a healthy, smoke-free living environment for all its students. Further, New Jersey law prohibits smoking in all dormitories/Annexes, including private student rooms and common areas. Accordingly, smoking is not permitted anywhere in Princeton University dormitories/Annexes. Failure to follow the policy will result in disciplinary action.
The student is reponsible for loss or damage of University property provided for the use of the student, including the furniture and the accommodations. All University property located in the accommodation at the commencement of the agreement period must be located in the same accommodation and in good condition upon the termination of the agreement. The student may also be held liable for damage done to public areas and furniture or equipment located therein. The University is not responsible for loss, damage or injury to the student's property or person. It is recommended that the student carry personal property ("renters") insurance while living in University housing. No alterations, painting or construction may be done in the accommodation. Students may not contract with or permit any outside provider to perform any maintenance, alteration or repairs to the University's facilities. Any cost incurred by the University to restore the accommodation or contents to the condition that they were in when made available to the student will be billed to the student. The student will be held liable for any fine or charge from a governmental agency accruing to the University through the student's act or omission.
Tents, igloos or similar enclosures may not be present inside or on the grounds of any dormitory, without the written permission of the Office of the Dean of Undergraduate Students and the Housing and Real Estate Services Office. Hanging seats or hammocks of any kind are prohibited inside and on the grounds of all dormitories. Outdoor furniture may be placed on the grounds only while it is actively being used, as long as it presents not other hazard.
Entering upon exterior elevated surfaces is prohibited except in emergencies. This policy specifically prohibits entering any exterior area above the first floor. The practice of "buildering" and climbing on any exterior or elevated wall is prohibited. Exterior elevated areas (fire escapes, roofs, parapets, etc.) of dormitories were not designed for foot traffic or gatherings and are designed to be used as a second means of egress in case of fire.
No items may be placed on a fire escape at any time, under any circumstances. No items, including antennas and wire, lights, banners, etc. may be placed on or affixed to the outside of any building with the exception of the flag of a country..
Violations of this policy result in a fine for the first offense as well as additional fines for subsequent offense
New Jersey state law prohibits the possession, storage, or use of knives, firearms, ammunition, dry explosives, incendiary devices, or other dangerous weapons that might threaten human life. This includes BB guns, CO2 guns, or anything that can be perceived as a firearm. In addition, the law states that any item that could be perceived as a firearm on a university campus is also against the law.
Dorm Room Regulations
Air conditioners are not permitted in the dormitories. Since medical authorities have determined that air conditioners do not reduce allergens and do not, therefore, significantly alleviate discomfort so as to merit their installation, air-conditioning units are not available to students with asthma or severe allergies. Physicians do, however, recommend the use of an electrostatic precipitator that withdraws particulate matter from the air and is generally helpful to those suffering from allergies. Students interested in purchasing an air filter may check with Assistant Dean of Student Life in the Office of the Dean of Undergraduate Students, at 8-3061, to make certain that the equipment they plan to purchase may be safely accommodated in their assigned room.
Antennae and/or satellite dishes may not be placed on or near or affixed to the outside of any building. Violations result in a fine of $25 for the first offense and $50 for subsequent offenses.
The housing and maintenance departments will provide each room with a framed white board adjacent to its entrance. This will be done to a few buildings each year, completing as many as funds allow. In any building that the University has installed white boards no personal bulletin or white boards may be installed.
Until that time, those who wish to install one may install a white board that measures 10"x12" or less. No cork, foam, rubber, etc. is permitted on or around any message/white board. Bulletin boards, which substantially increase fire loads, are prohibited except where installed by the University. Where possible, the University will install an appropriate bulletin board adjacent to every permanent RCA and Dormitory Assistant room as well as one board per entry, at entry level.
Dormitory residents who have University bunk beds in their room or suite may request safety rails for the top bunk. Students should contact the Facilities Customer Service Center at 8-8000 in order to make a request.
The following guidelines must be observed:
• Carpets must not interfere with the free and full opening of any regular door or second-egress door. No door may be cut or shaved to allow movement over a carpet.
• Carpets must not be attached to floors. Use of nails, tacks, or glues, or any other method, is prohibited.
Violation of this policy results in charges for damage and/or fines for violations of safety standards.
Chin-up bars may not be installed in any doorway and or/closet doorway.
Doors and screens may not be removed from their frames. If removed, the occupants will be charged for their reinstallation, replacement or repair.
Nothing may be attached to either side of the room entrance door. As the primary means of egress, it must be recognizable as such at all times. A standard message board may be mounted on the wall to either side of the entry door.
The room entry door is a fire-rated door (required per NJ State Building Code). The room entry door must close and automatically latch so the door does not stay in a partially open position. Propping and/or wedging of the door, or disabling the latching mechanism, is prohibited and a fine will be issued on first offense.
On the interior side of the room entry door is an evacuation route placard. Anyone found altering, defacing, destroying, removing or covering the placard will be charged for the cost to replace the placard.
Every room comes with 6 standard pieces of furniture - a bed frame, mattress, desk, desk chair, dresser and bookcase. In spaces without a built in closet a wardrobe has been provided. These must remain secured to the wall. University issued furniture may not be misappropriated in any way. No student may accept furniture from another dormitory room and no furniture may be removed from a dormitory room. This excludes the mattress which a student can request to be removed by contacting Building Services at 8-3490, however the bed frame must remain in the room.
Students are responsible of the loss of or damage to University property provided for their use, including the furniture in their accommodations. All University property originally in the room must be left in good order.
While loft inspections are conducted to ensure compliance with University regulations, there may be unsafe conditions that are not discovered by a Housing Inspector. The University is not responsible for undisclosed violations or for any future violations.
The following guidelines must be met:
- Lofts must be freestanding, which means they may not be attached to the walls, floor, or ceiling. The owner is liable for all damages.
- Lofts may not exceed the floor area of the beds they replace (maximum size 4 ft. x 8 ft.). A minimum of one third of the room area air space must be kept clear.
- The occupant must be able to get out of the loft quickly.
- Lofts may not obstruct the functioning of windows and must be placed in such a way as to allow rapid egress from the room.
- No wiring may be attached to a loft.
- Lofts may not interfere with the functioning of smoke detectors/sprinklers. There must be a minimum of a 24 inch clear space between the device and loft.
- Flammable materials such as paneling, tapestries, curtains, posters, and fishnet may not be attached to or enclose the loft.
- Lofts may not be placed near any heat-producing source.
- Protruding objects such as coat hooks and nails are hazardous and prohibited.
- When constructing a loft, students should use caution and discretion.
- There must be a minimum of two feet between parallel lofts.
Lofts that do not conform to the above loft regulations are considered to be in violation, and a student is allowed seven days to make alterations for compliance. The loft is then re-evaluated, and if it is still found to be unacceptable, it is then removed at the student’s expense.
Any alterations after the initial inspection must be discussed with the Housing Inspection Office before any revisions are made.
All lofts must be removed at the end of each academic year. Those lofts not removed are considered abandoned and are removed at the student’s expense.
Please read the following carefully before renting your MicroFridge.
MicroFridges must be rented thru the Princeton Dorm Furnishings Agency. If a room/suite has a MicroFridge that has not been rented thru the Agency, the occupant(s) will be asked to remove it by a given date. If not removed, that MicroFridge will be confiscated and a fine issued.
Only one MicroFridge per room/suite. Others will be noted and the residents will be asked to remove them by a given date. If not, the MicroFridge will be removed and a fine issued. In addition to one MicroFridge per suite, each resident is permitted either one refrigerator or one freezer.
The MicroFridge must be plugged directly into a wall electrical outlet. If not, the occupant(s) will receive a warning and on subsequent violations, fines will be issued per the fine schedule.
In a room/suite that has a MicroFridge, the room/suite may not have authorized tea kettles and/or authorized popcorn makers. When discovered, the room/suite will receive a warning. On subsequent violations, the appliance will be confiscated and a fine issued per the fine schedule.
If there are multiple occurrences of an electrical circuit tripped due to the MicroFridge, the MicroFridge will be removed and the student may exchange the MicroFridge for a standard refrigerator rental and be reimbursed for the pro-rated difference in the rental cost.
If there are occurrences of nuisance fire alarms activated due to negligent use of the MicroFridge, the occupants of the room will be fined on the second offense. The fine increases with subsequent offenses. On the fifth offense, the room occupant(s) are subject to disciplinary action which could include the confiscation of the MicroFridge and/or loss of housing. If the MicroFridge is confiscated, the student may exchange the MicroFridge for a standard refrigerator rental and be reimbursed for the difference in the rental cost.
- Please remember to practice good housekeeping to limit infestation. Keep all food in sealed containers and immediately clean up after food preparation. Any room that requires extermination attributed to poor housekeeping will be charged for this service.
In accordance with a long standing University policy, painting and or spackling of dormitory rooms is not permitted. Students who violate this policy and paint their own rooms will be fined and charged for repainting (by University painters). Students may not attempt to restore their rooms to the original color.
- Immediately upon discovery that any portion of any wall has been painted, a $500 fine per student will be issued to each student account. If one occupant accepts sole responsibility for a fine, that occupant will be fined the single fine amount (not the multiplied amount)
- Students will be financially responsible for restoration of the room. Students will not be permitted to repaint their rooms or contract with anyone to paint their room. The total charge will be divided among the occupants and issued to each student account. If one student accepts sole responsibility that individual will be charged the entire amount.
- Affected areas will be restored after all occupants have vacated.
Students whose rooms were not painted in the normal painting cycle may request that they be painted through the standard work request procedure by contacting Facilities Customer Service at 8-8000 or email@example.com. The room is inspected and if painting is necessary, the room is normally painted within two weeks.
Only fish, in tanks that do not exceed 10 gallons, can be kept in the dormitories. Students violating this policy are automatically fined $25 and must remove the pet immediately. The room/suite will be re-inspected within 7 days of the citation date. If the pet or evidence of (food, cage, toys, etc) are discovered upon subsequent inspections, an increased fine is issued with the possibility of losing housing priveleges.
- Students are permitted only one refrigerator or only one freezer per occupant.
- Refrigerators/freezers must not exceed 5.2 cu. ft.
- Refrigerators/freezers may not impede the flow of traffic to exits.
- Damaged or spliced cords and any form of improper wiring are unacceptable. All refrigerator/freezer cords must be of adequate size and capacity. They must be plugged directly into a wall outlet, or a heavy-duty extension cord must be used.
- Refrigerators/freezers must be maintained in a safe, clean and sanitary condition.
- Refrigerators/freezers must be located where free air circulation is not restricted. They may not be placed in closets.
- The condenser should be reasonably clean to allow heat dissipation, and the unit should have an underwriter’s label.
- Refrigerators/freezers must have functional gaskets and closing mechanisms.
- Refrigerators/freezers must be capable of maintaining safe temperatures (32˚F to 45˚F for refrigeration and -10˚F to 0˚F for freezing).
- Refrigerators/freezers may not be placed in public areas (such as corridors, lounges, kitchens).
- All refrigerators/freezers are inspected throughout the academic year. Repeated violations result in fines and removal at the owner’s expense.
- Microfridges may only be rented through Student Agencies. (Refer to Micro-Fridge Policy)
- Kegerators are prohibited.
NOTE: If you decide to discard your refrigerator/freezer, you must remove the door.
Pictures, calendars, posters, wall hangings, and other decorations may be placed on walls if they are hung vertically and are at least 18 inches from any heat source. Nothing may be hung from the ceiling. Tapestries, posters, fabric items, or light strings may not be draped from walls but must be installed fast to them. Unframed paper, tapestries, fabric items, plastic, or other easily ignitable materials may not be hung near operating fireplaces. At least six inches of space must be left between wall hangings.
All posters must be mounted firmly; however, tape and two-sided adhesives may not be used. Only approved poster mounts may be used. The use of any adhesive that is not fully removed results in a charge for its removal and the painting of the entire affected wall. Heavy objects damage walls, so we ask that students please consult the Housing Inspector before attempting to hang a heavy object. If wall damage occurs, the cost of the repair and repainting is charged to the resident(s) responsible. If no one resident claims responsibility for the damage, the entire suite is held financially responsible.
- Nothing may be attached to ceilings.
- Alcohol lamps, oil lamps, fireworks, flammable or combustible materials such as gasoline, kerosene, propane, lighter fluid, charcoal products, or similar substances are not permitted in any student housing unit. Candles/incense are not permitted in any undergraduate housing unit. These items will be confiscated and disposed of immediately on the first violation. If a candle cannot be easily removed from its holder/ container/receptacle, all parts will be confiscated and disposed of.
- Furniture should not be placed near any heat source and/or light fixture.
Note: For further information on regulations students should consult the Fire Safety Policy.
The physical configuration of dormitories may not be altered. Many room modifications are prohibited because of fire safety regulations (see Fire Safety section). Students should familiarize themselves with the following before they begin to personalize their rooms.
Walls may not be paneled or wallpapered.
Use only approved poster mount when attaching anything on the walls. The use of any adhesive that is not fully removed results in a charge for its removal and for the painting of the entire wall. Fun-tack adhesive is no longer permitted. Spackling, patching, and/or painting is not permitted. If used, the student is liable to be charged for the complete painting/repairing of the affected wall area.
Cork panels, mirror tiles, and two-sided stickums are specifically prohibited.
Dartboards must be mounted and backed properly so that errant darts do not damage walls. Dartboards may not be hung on doors.
Nothing may be attached to either side of any door. Message boards may be mounted on the wall to either side of the entry door.
Beds and lofts may not be located near windows leading to a second egress or near any heat-producing source such as wall-mounted light fixtures.
Waterbeds are permitted in dormitories, however, the owner is liable for all damages resulting from them, including leaks or bursts. If the inspectors see one in a building where safety may be an issue, they will contact maintenance and the situation will be studied. If it is found to be dangerous, the bed must be removed.
Any University furniture not in place at the end of the year will be billed as missing (see Student Liability section).
Ceiling fans, ceiling light fixtures, track lighting, dimmer switches, and modified wall receptacles are not permitted.
Hot tubs may not be present in dormitories, nor is any form of portable swimming or soaking pool permitted.
Break-glass enclosures on second-egress doors provide security for adjoining rooms. They may be removed by University carpenters only, and the mutual consent of the occupants of any adjoining rooms is required. The maintenance labor charge for removal and reinstallation is $50. Students should call Housing Inspection for authorization at 8-3435.