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Residence Life Policies & Community Standards

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Administrative Searches

The College reserves the right for officials to enter and search individual rooms, suites, halls, buildings or
any area when there is reasonable suspicion that a policy violation or illegal activity is taking place, or that
a student is concealing substances, property, contraband items or participating in behaviors that are in
violation of policies.
The Departments of Residence Life, Campus Housing, and Public Safety have the authority
to search or check book bags, boxes, suitcases, etc. for unauthorized/illegal items or substances upon
entering any residence hall. UNAUTHORIZED ITEMS WILL BE CONFISCATED AND MAY NOT BE RETURNED.
Violations discovered as a result of any search (routine maintenance, mid-semester check, fire alarm
check, etc.) are subject to Residence Life and Student Affairs adjudication procedures. Public Safety may
obtain a search warrant and criminally prosecute violations. (back to top)

Alcohol

Please refer to the College of Charleston Code of Conduct for full reference on Alcohol and complete
Policies.
Residents of legal age (21 years old or older) are allowed a 12 pack of beer or 1 liter of wine. Residents are
responsible for their own trash removal; if alcohol containers/refuse in excess of the alcohol limit is
present, residents of the suite may be held accountable for an alcohol violation. Liquor and caffeinated
alcoholic beverages are prohibited.

Non-residents are not permitted to bring their own alcohol into the residential facility. All persons
consuming alcohol must be of legal drinking age. Residents are responsible for the actions of their guests. If a guest violates the alcohol policy, the resident may be subject to the conduct process and sanctions.

Residents and their guests of legal drinking age may consume alcohol only in the presence of others of
legal drinking age, including assigned roommates. Residents under the legal age of 21 are not permitted
to possess, consume, be in the presence of alcohol, or possess alcohol beverage containers in the
residence halls/houses. (back to top)

  • Alcohol Storage:Residents 21 or older must store alcohol and alcohol containers outside of plain view and in their assigned portion of the room. Residents under 21 may not have empty alcohol containers for decorative purposes, including shot glasses and flasks.
  • Alcohol Common Source Containers and Paraphernalia: The use or possession of common source containers (e.g., a keg) or devices to promote rapid alcohol consumption (e.g., a beer bong) is prohibited in residence halls/houses. Drinking games are not permitted in residence halls/houses.
  • Intoxication/ Drunkenness: This is a violation of College of Charleston policy as well as South Carolina state law. Residents perceived to be intoxicated are subject to undergo evaluation by CofC First Responders and/or Charleston County EMS. This evaluation will determine whether a resident is admitted to the building or transported to a local emergency room. If transported, a medical professional will evaluate the resident. Parents/guardians will be notified according to our parental notification policy. Students should note that alcohol violations are handled in coordination with Student Affairs. If a student is adjudicated by Student Affairs for an alcohol violation not in the residence halls, any alcohol violation within the halls will be considered a second alcohol violation and forwarded accordingly. Likewise, if a student with an alcohol violation from within the halls is later adjudicated through Student Affairs for an alcohol violation outside the halls, it will be considered a second alcohol violation and forwarded to the appropriate individuals.
    Please Note: Alcohol violations are cumulative throughout a student’s enrollment at The College of Charleston. An additional alcohol violation, even a year or more after a first alcohol violation, will be considered a second offense and forwarded to the appropriate campus authorities.

Balconies, Porches, Piazzas, Roofs, Windows

Porches, piazzas, balconies, rails and windows of the residence halls and houses must be kept clear of
items including hanging articles and furniture. No items may be thrown over the balconies, porches or
piazzas. Students caught throwing things may be subject to removal from the residential facility with no
refund of fees and full payment of contract required.
Residents are prohibited from removing window screens – all screens provided by the college must
remain intact and in the window. Damaged or missing screens should be reported through an online
work order in your MyCharleston account.
No resident is permitted on the roof at any time. (back to top)

Bicycles

For fire and life safety reasons, bicycles are not allowed inside the residence halls/houses at any time
except in the designated bicycle storage areas inside Kelly House and McAlister Hall. Bicycles may not be
chained to porches or rails of historic houses. (back to top)

Children in Halls

Babysitting in the residence halls/houses is not allowed. Children may not be left unattended. Actions of a
minor guest are the responsibility of the host. (back to top)

Commercial Activities 

Students may not use Residence Life or Campus Housing property or equipment for personal businesses. This includes
running businesses from residence hall/house rooms as well as using Residence Life or Campus Housing facilities to solicit or
maintain businesses. (back to top)

Confiscated Property

Unauthorized items will be confiscated and may not be returned. (back to top)

Cooking Appliances

Certain cooking appliances are prohibited in the residence halls due to the fire hazard threat they pose.
These include coffee makers without an automatic shut off switch, any open-coil heating appliance (such
as a toaster), electric griddles, Foreman-type grills and waffle makers.
Residents in housing with a full kitchen* may have a toaster or Foreman-type grill provided
the item remains in the kitchen.
Please see a Residence Life staff member if you have questions regarding whether a certain appliance is
authorized. *Warren, Kelly, George, Rutledge, and Historic Houses are the only locations with full kitchens. (back to top)

Drugs/Drug Paraphernalia

Please refer to the College of Charleston Code of Conduct for full reference on Drug and Drug
Paraphernalia. Any paraphernalia found will be confiscated and not returned. Hookahs are considered
paraphernalia and not allowed in residence halls or houses.
If there is suspicion of the presence of illegal drugs, particularly due to smell indicative of marijuana,
Residence Life staff members will be authorized to enter the suite to further assess the situation.
Residents are responsible for the actions of their guests. If a guest violates the drug/drug paraphernalia
policy, the resident may be subject to the conduct process and sanctions.
If perceived to be under the influence of any substance that may put one at risk of harm to self or others,
residents and/or guests will be evaluated by medical professionals to determine whether transport to a
local emergency room is necessary. Parents/guardians will be notified according to our parental
notification policy. (back to top)

Desk Services

Most residence halls have an information desk. You may obtain trash bags and toilet paper from the desk.
If your RA or DA is not available and you need assistance, you may contact any residence hall information
desk and they will help you contact a staff member on-call. Residents in historic houses should utilize the
residence hall associated with that area.
Please note that Residence Life does not accept deliveries or personal items for residents of a specific
building at any information desk. For delivery information, please contact Mail Services at 953-5534. (back to top)

Fire and Life Safety 

Fire safety equipment, including smoke alarms, are provided in each room and are maintained regularly
by Fire & EMS. If special accommodations need to be made to comply with ADA regulations, please
contact the Housing Administrative Services Office. If you hear an intermittent beep from the smoke
detector, report this through an online work order in your MyCharleston account. Fire & EMS can be
reached at 953-5499 between 8:30 am and 5:00 pm Monday through Friday, as well as, the Public Safety
dispatch at 953-5611 after hours and on weekends. DO NOT REMOVE BATTERIES OR ATTEMPT TO
CHANGE BATTERIES! Additionally, no items shall be hung from or placed over smoke detectors, sprinkler
heads, or over building lighting (in rooms, common rooms, bathrooms, hallways, etc.).
Each time a fire alarm sounds, it is MANDATORY FOR ALL STUDENTS AND GUESTS to IMMEDIATELY
evacuate the building. Residents who remain in the building during a fire alarm shall be subject to
disciplinary action. Once evacuated, residents must remain outside until the College of Charleston Fire &
EMS and/or the Charleston Fire Department have cleared the building. (back to top)

  • Assembly Sites: These locations are provided for your safety and to allow the Fire Department personnel
    adequate access to the building. When an alarm sounds, students must assemble in the following areas:

  • Berry: Across St. Philip Street in the WA parking lot adjacent the Bell Building.
  • Buist/Rutledge Rivers: Robert Scott Small building side exit: Intersection of College Promenade and
    Greenway. Coming Street side exit: In the grassy area of the horseshoe parking lot near Coming Street.
    Hawkins Lounge side exit: Intersection of College Promenade and Greenway.

  • College Lodge: Parking lot adjacent to Market 159 – towards King St. 
  • Craig: Exit the hall and walk down the sidewalk to the front of the education center
  • George Street: Across George Street to the parking lot.
  • Historic Houses: Across the street from the house
  • Kelly House: Across St. Philip Street in the Charleston Water Systems parking lot.
  • Liberty Street: Across Liberty Street, down St. Philip St. toward the Education Building.
  • McAlister: Across St. Philip Street in front of the parking garage.
  • McConnell: “P” Parking Lot behind Fraternity Row. 
  • 1 Warren Place: Across the street in front of 10 Warren Place. 
  • 10 and 20 Warren Place: At the far side of the parking lot.

Students are prohibited from tampering with any barrier (including but not limited to all locks, gates,
doors, barricades, chains, enclosures, signs, tags or seals) installed by or under direction of fire officials.
Students found in violation of this policy will be subject to disciplinary action.

Furniture

Furniture placed in the lounges and other public areas is for the use of all residents. Do not remove
furniture from these areas.
Furniture in your room is not to be removed at any time. You are responsible for having all College
furniture in place and in good condition. Additional furniture may be brought in providing all residents of
the room/suite agree and the item does not block egress or otherwise violate fire and life safety codes.
For questions about authorized furniture, contact Fire & EMS at 953-5499. (back to top)

Health and Safety Inspections

For health and safety reasons, the Residence Life staff will conduct room inspections at the mid-point and
end of each semester.
Courtesy notices will be emailed in each hall/house in advance of room checks. On the designated day,
Residence Hall staff members will check the room for cleanliness, maintenance needs, and item(s) that
are prohibited. Residents who wish to be present during the inspection should contact their Residence
Hall Director in writing prior to the scheduled week of inspections. (back to top)

ID Cards

College of Charleston residential students are expected to carry their CofC ID card with them at all times.
Students living in residence halls with an electronic scanner are required to scan their ID and present it to the staff member working the desk before they enter the building or check in visitors. Lost IDs can be replaced at Cougar Card Services during business hours or Public Safety after business hours. (back to top)

Mandatory Meetings

Residence Life reserves the right to call mandatory meetings as deemed necessary by appropriate staff. If
you are unable to attend a mandatory meeting due to a class conflict, you must contact your RHD or the
staff member you are to meet with at least 24 hours prior to the meeting. (back to top)

Noise

Noise can be disruptive in community living and can interfere with residents’ sleep, study and socialization
periods. Between 8:00 p.m. and 8:00 a.m., “quiet hours” are enforced in all residence halls and houses.
During these hours, keep noise to a minimum to allow residents to study and sleep. “Courtesy hours” are
in effect 24 hours a day. During these times, reasonable quiet should be maintained. Loud music or other
disturbances are not allowed. During exams “Quiet Hours” will be in effect 24 hours a day until the halls
officially close. (back to top)

Pets

For health reasons, sanitary concerns and space constraints, pets (except fish) are not permitted in the
residence halls/houses. Fish aquariums must not exceed 10 gallons and must be cleaned on a regular basis to prevent odor. Students will be financially responsible for cleaning/damage repair costs should the tank leak, break or cause any damage to College property. (back to top)

Room Changes

Students are allowed to request a room change (2) weeks after fall semester move-in until November 15 for fall and (2) weeks after spring semester move-in until April 15. To request a room change, you must complete the Room Change Request form in the Housing Portal. Campus Housing will notify you when your request has been received and will instruct you on further procedures. Do not move until you have been contacted by Campus Housing and have permission to change rooms. Unauthorized room changes will result in a $50 fine.
Residence Life and Campus Housing reserves the right to make a room change any time it is deemed to be in the best interest of the students involved.  (back to top)

Roommate Agreements

Roommate Agreements are resources designed to help residents map out “ground rules” for community
living in their room and/or suite. An RA will meet with all residents of a suite to complete the Roommate
Agreement during the first six weeks of the fall semester, and will review the agreement with all residents
during the year. When roommate conflicts occur, the Roommate Agreement is used to facilitate a
conversation to resolve the conflict.
Mediation:
Roommates agree to discuss unresolved roommate problems with RA or RHD. All roommates agree to
make a good faith effort to discuss/obtain a resolution prior to taking any action. If you and your
roommate/suitemates need assistance regarding any issues in your room/suite, please contact a
Residence Life staff member. Repeated disregard for agreed upon standards in the Roommate Agreement
may result in a mandatory room change. (back to top)

Severe Weather

It is a priority of the College of Charleston and Residence Life to keep our students and residents safe. Should severe weather threaten the Charleston area, refer to the College emergency website emergency.cofc.edu for the most up-to-date severe weather information. We encourage students to act responsibly, remain informed, and have an evacuation plan in place. You must keep your cougar alert information in MyCharleston current. (back to top)

Smoking

Tobacco Free Campus Policy 6.1.5

Policy Implimentation Date: July 1, 2014

  • 3.0 STATEMENT OF POLICY
    Use of all tobacco products is prohibited in all College-owned or leased buildings; in all buildings on College-owned
    or leased land; on all College-owned or leased property, including outdoor seating areas; and in all College-owned,
    leased, and rented vehicles. Use of tobacco products is prohibited in all those places here identified, including but
    not limited to, offices (including private offices), classrooms, laboratories, stairwells, elevators, restrooms,
    hallways, porches and piazzas, rooftops, indoor and outdoor athletic facilities, residence halls and historic
    properties, shuttle buses, shuttle bus stops, parking structures and parking areas on College-owned or Collegeleased
    property, sidewalks on College-owned or College-leased property, lobbies and waiting areas, outdoor
    benches, green spaces on campus, and other common areas. Use of tobacco products is permitted in personal
    vehicles parked or being driven on College-owned or leased property, provided that the windows and doors of
    such personal vehicles are closed (i.e., tobacco products are used in an enclosed vehicle space) and tobacco waste
    products are stored in the vehicle and disposed of at off campus locations. This policy does not restrict or prohibit
    the lawful possession of tobacco products on the College of Charleston campus.

  • 2.0 DEFINITION
    Except as otherwise specified in this Policy, “tobacco products” include, but are not limited to, cigarettes; cigars;
    pipes; chewing tobacco; snuff; electronic cigarettes; water pipes (hookahs); bidis; kreteks; and all other
    technologies or devices allowing for the ingestion, combustion, inhalation, or other use of tobacco.

  • 7.0 POLICY VIOLATION AND DISCIPLINE
    Students of the College may be disciplined for violations of this policy, consistent with the Student Code of
    Conduct.
    Other individuals who violate Policy 6.1.5 and are not covered by the terms of Policy 9.1.2 or the Student Code of
    Conduct may be warned by the Department for Public Safety. Visitors or members of the general public who refuse
    to comply with the Policy may be asked to leave campus by the Department of Public Safety. (back to top)

Space Heaters

Space heaters of any kind are prohibited within the residential system. (back to top)

Sports-like Activities

Sports-like activities are not allowed inside the residence halls/houses or on balconies or porches as they
are a safety hazard to all and may cause damage to the facilities. (back to top)

Unauthorized Entry

Entering or attempting to gain access to a residence hall by any manner other than the established
visitation procedures (including but not limited to: climbing walls or fences, using another resident’s ID
card, entering a building after being banned from that hall, entering without signing in, etc). (back to top)

Unauthorized Guest

Any person not signed in following established protocols or staying in excess of the prescribed visitation
limits (see Visitation below). (back to top)

Vandalism

Deliberate destruction of property, including bulletin boards, will not be tolerated. Students will be held
responsible individually or as a group. If the responsible party is identified, the student will be sanctioned
according to the nature of the vandalism. If the responsible party is not identified, Collective
Accountability will be assessed and all members of the suite/floor/hall will be sanctioned. (back to top)

Visitation 

All on-campus residential facilities have 24/7 visitation privileges and all visitation polices apply.
Residence halls and historical houses without front desk shall be self-regulated and regulated by
Residence Life Staff. (back to top)

Residents are responsible for their actions and the actions of their guests. If guests violate the visitation policy, the
resident may be subject to conduct sanctions.

24/7 Guest Visitation

With 24/7 Visitation, residents can host guests at any time in public areas of his/her residential facility. All
guests must sign-in at the front desk.
The parameters for the hosting of guests in a student apartment/suite/room are subject to the provisions set
forth by the Roommate/Suitemate Agreement developed by the particular residents. If a Roommate/Suitemate
Agreement is not followed, the wishes of the roommate(s)/suitemate(s) objecting to a guest visitation may
prevail upon mediation.
Each resident host of an apartment/suite/room are allowed to have three (3) guest checked in per visit.
During the resident's hosting, the occupancy of an apartment/suite/ room should not exceed the allowed
amount of the hosting resident(s) and their guest.
The overnight guest policy, as written in this document, is superseded by any and all agreements entered into
by the residents of a student apartment, student suite, or student room. (back to top)

Overnight Guest Policy

Overnight guests are permitted to stay in a resident’s room/suite/apartment under the following provisions:

  1. Each resident host of a room/suite/apartment is allowed to check in two (2) overnight guests per visit.
    Any resident host wanting to host more than two overnights must have prior permission by a Residence
    Life RHD or Coordinator.
  2. Persons under 16 years of age may not be overnight guests at anytime without the written permission of
    the appropriate RHD or Coordinator.
  3. The resident host must be with his/her guest at all times during the stay. The host will assume all
    responsibility for his/her guest’s actions. Guests will be expected to adhere to the same policies as
    resident students. Failure to do so may result in disciplinary action against either/or both the host and
    the guest. In any event, until a determination has been made as to the status and outcome of an alleged
    violation, a host’s and/or guest’s visitation privileges may be suspended.
  4. All roommates MUST mutually agree to have overnight guests/visitors in the apartment/suite/room.
  5. Unless a resident seeks prior written permission from the appropriate Coordinator, overnight hosting
    privileges, within his/her apartment/suite/room, extend to no more than two consecutive nights.
  6. Unless otherwise approved, a guest’s visitation privileges, regardless of the host, extend to no more than
    two consecutive nights.
  7. A resident’s overnight hosting privileges, within his/her apartment/suite/room, as well as any guest’s
    overnight visitation privileges, within a residential facility, extend to no more than six (6) nights in any
    calendar month.
  8. Students are reminded that lounges may not be used as sleeping areas and that a guest may be required
    to leave if his/her behavior is deemed inappropriate by the Residence Life staff or Public Safety. Violations
    of the Visitation/Guest Policy may result in the termination of guest privileges. 

Sign-in Procedures

All residential facilities with Information Desks staffed 24 hours a day are subject to the following procedures: 

  1. All guests must be registered at the front desk. Guests must show a picture ID: CofC ID, military ID, passport, or state issued license or ID are the only IDs
    accepted; forms of identification from other Colleges and Universities must have a picture of the student in order to be
    accepted. The Desk Assistant will record the necessary information.
  2. Only residents of the building are allowed to check guests in. 

  3. The host must escort guests at all times. 
  4. Guests must be signed in/out of the residence hall each time he/she enters or leaves.

NOTE: While residents in facilities without 24 hour front desks are not subject to signing-in, residents and their guests in those facilities must adhere to all other visitation policies and the roommate/suitemate agreement. (back to top)

Weapons

Weapons of any kind are prohibited within the residential system. (back to top)