Residence Hall Rules and Regulations

Berea College is a residential college with particular educational objectives which are, in part, realized through its residential life program. Accordingly, all full-time students are required to live in one of the College’s residential facilities unless they are age 23 or older, a 5th year senior (eight full terms attended at Berea College), married, or a parent. International students are required to live on campus regardless of age. This practice results from the fact that the College’s commitment to serving international students recognizes their important contribution to diversifying and enriching the educational experience for all.

Residence hall students wishing to live off-campus must have permission from the Residential Life Collegium Office. Any student who moves off campus after the beginning of the term is not eligible to receive a room and/or board refund.

Any student who has a room in a residence hall, but is found to be living off-campus, i.e. not sleeping in his or her room, or using the room only as storage, may be required to move back on to campus and may face judicial action to set conditions for continued enrollment. A student who does not comply is subject to dismissal.

Early Returns to Residence Halls

Students who are requested to return to campus for labor or orientation prior to the official date of return must get permission from the Residential Life Collegium Office before arrival so that room arrangements can be made. Others who return to Berea early must find accommodations off campus until the scheduled date for their arrival.

Residence Hall Cancellations

Continuing or returning students holding residence hall reservations who wish to cancel must do so at least 15 days before the opening of a term. Cancellations must be made in writing directly to the Residential Life Collegium Office.

Clearances from Campus

End of Spring Term Clearance

Before leaving Berea College at the end of the Spring term, it is the continuing student’s responsibility to turn in a completed clearance form to the Residential Life Collegium Office. This form serves as official notification of the student’s summer plans and contact information. A $20 charge is issued for students who do not return these on or before the deadline. All rental equipment, books, locks, and keys should be returned to the proper departments. These forms are to be picked up from Hutchins Library near the end of the Spring Term.

Summer Clearance

It is the responsibility of any student taking a class during the Summer Term to turn in a completed clearance form to the Residential Life Collegium Office. A $20 charge is issued for students who do not return these forms on or before the established deadline. All rental equipment, books, locks, and keys should be returned to the proper departments. These forms are to be picked up in the Hutchins Library near the end of the Summer Term.

Absence from Campus Notification

In addition to notifying supervisors and instructors, any time students will be off campus more than two consecutive weekdays (except during official school breaks)—out of the residence hall and/or the classroom—they must inform the Residential Life Collegium Office of their plans, in advance, giving the date of return. Off-campus students who will not be attending classes or labor assignment for more than two consecutive weekdays also must inform the Residential Life Collegium Office.

Residence Hall Safety and Security

Residence hall exterior doors are locked around the clock. Residents have key or card access and visitors must page residents via an outdoor telephone to gain entrance. Fines are levied for propping doors and for use of alarmed doors. Afterhours building access is limited to one guest per resident, signed in and accompanied by the resident. Upper-classification halls allow in-room visitors during limited periods, and in-room visitors are permitted during hall-sponsored open houses. While the College respects the personal privacy of students in its residence hall rooms, provisions are made for staff to enter rooms in the event of a clear and present danger and, under certain conditions, when a search for prohibited items has been authorized. Residence halls can be entered for routine maintenance or safety inspections. (Also see Campus Safety and Security Emergency Evacuation, and other policies outlined in this section and the Student Conduct Regulations and Community Judicial Code sections of this site for more detailed information.)

Charging for Residence Hall Damages

A successful residence hall community requires a shared sense of positive interdependence. Each resident must realize his or her responsibility to every other resident because individual choices in a residence-hall environment have the potential to impact the entire community. Likewise, each resident has an important role to play in establishing and maintaining the standards by which the community will live. Therefore, in instances where the standards are not met by a member or members of the community, it is the responsibility of any member of the community to report such behavior. Any community member who fails to take advantage of any reasonable opportunity to do so therefore assumes a portion of the responsibility, as well as consequences for such action.

Smoking Regulations

Smoking is prohibited in the residence halls. Designated smoking areas are conveniently located throughout campus in proximity to the residence halls. (See Smoking and Smoking-on-Campus Policy.)

Co-Ed Visitation Policy

Residence halls have the privilege of co-ed visitation under the conditions specified by the Visitation Policy approved by the General Faculty in May 2008. First-year residence halls have no room visitation in the Fall term. The Residential Life Collegium Office will make a reasonable effort to identify residential areas that will permit no visitation for those students who express such a preference during room choosing.

Additional rules applying specifically to residence halls are published on the Residential Life Collegium site, and print copies of the Visitation Policy are provided to each student living in a residence hall.

Search Policy

Official searches must be authorized by the Vice President for Labor and Student Life (Gail Wolford), the Assistant Vice President for Student Life (Gus Gerassimides), or the Director of the Residential Life Collegium (Virgil Burnside). In the absence of these persons the College President or the Provost may authorize a search.

Two staff members of the College must be present during a search. One of these two people should be a member of the Student Life staff. If these staff members are not available, others, such as a security officer or College Faculty member may be present. In the case of a search for weapons, both of the two required persons must be of non-student status.

In the event of a clear and present danger, the student should be present if available. If the student is not present, a note will be left giving the date and names of the persons involved in the room search and a description of any item that has been confiscated.

A signed receipt will be left describing any item taken. If nothing is taken, a signed note will be left indicating a search was conducted. Either statement will indicate that a written report on the search will be available in the Student Life Office.

In the event of a search for prohibited objects presenting no immediate danger, the person conducting the search has the responsibility for attempting to locate the student on campus in order for the student to be present during the search. At least one of the following students must be present if the occupant cannot be located: a House Council member, a student residence hall staff member, or a Student Government Association officer.

In the search for specified objects, any additional item that is prohibited under College regulations may be confiscated and used in separate campus judicial procedures. If necessary, the student may be required to open personal baggage and other personal material that is sealed. If the student cannot be immediately located, baggage and other personal material may be retained by those conducting the search until the student is present to open it.

When searching for weapons, nothing but the weapon(s) may be used as evidence against the student in campus judicial procedures. However, additional items that are discovered during a room search could result in separate charges and a separate hearing through the campus judicial procedures.

After any search, a report will be written by the person conducting the search. The report will include name of complainant (unless the search was for weapons or involved intimidation or a clear and present danger situation), the administrator who authorized the search, the reasonable cause that was established, the persons present during the search, and the events and procedures of the search. A copy of the report of any search will be made available, upon request, to the student, to the judicial body hearing charges related to the search, and to any person authorized to review search incidents.

In the event of a danger involving health or safety of students, possible presence of weapons or any items that may have been used for intimidation, rooms or vehicles may be searched on the basis of information supplied in person by any individual without revealing the identity of the individual.