Student Residences Policies
Many students will call the student residences home during their time at Boston University. Students living in University residence facilities should keep this in mind and both understand their rights and responsibilities as residents of the halls and work to uphold these rights and
responsibilities for themselves and others. Residents’ conduct, in and out of the residence facility, must be safe, considerate of others’ rights, and in accord with the University’s other policies, the Residence License Agreement, and applicable law.
Smoking is prohibited in all University student residences. Additionally, any device such as hookah pipes, shisha pipes, bongs, e-cigarettes or any type of water pipe, or any object filled with water through which smoke is drawn is also prohibited.
Noise Policy/Quiet Hours
An atmosphere conducive to study and sleep is necessary in the residences. The general expectation is that the residences will be quiet at all times. The residences will observe specific quiet hours from 6 p.m. to 8 a.m., seven days a week, other than during reading and final examination periods, when twenty-four-hour quiet hours will be observed. During the quiet hours, there may be no amplified music (or other sounds) emanating from a room, apartment, or suite within the residences, including noise from televisions, computers, or other electronic devices. At no time may music (or other sounds) be played from windows or in halls of residences.
Noise is a very serious problem in an academic environment, and residents who are careless in their responsibility toward others will be dealt with appropriately. A particular problem is stereos played at loud volume. Students who bring stereos must also bring headphones. Speakers may not exceed twelve inches by twenty inches. Under no circumstances may speakers be placed and played in windows or halls of residences. Students disturbing others will be subject to disciplinary actions, including, but not limited to, expulsion from the residential system. In addition, sound reproduction equipment utilized in a manner that disturbs others is subject to immediate impoundment, pending its removal from campus by its owner.
During reading and final examination periods, twenty-four-hour quiet hours will be enforced in and around the residences.
Throwing objects from windows or roofs and at University buildings is extremely dangerous and violates both University regulations and an ordinance of the City of Boston. Students throwing objects from windows or at University buildings will be subject to expulsion from the residential system, as well as to other University disciplinary proceedings.
Hall Sports/Sports and Recreational Equipment
The use of sports and recreational equipment (such as Frisbees, balls, Rollerblades, skateboards, hockey sticks, and the like) is not permitted in University residences.
Respecting the Privacy of Others
Video recording or photographing students in the residences without their permission is prohibited. In addition, unauthorized or inappropriate use of such photographs or video of other students is prohibited.
Physical Violence, Threats and Other Disruptions
Using violence or threatening violence to others, damaging or destroying property, stealing or looting, setting fires, throwing bottles or other projectiles, impeding or impairing emergency personnel services or equipment, obstructing traffic, refusing to leave when asked by an authorized person, or otherwise engaging in any action that might lead to intentionally or recklessly harming or endangering the physical safety or property of another is prohibited.
Violation of the law or the University’s policies concerning sexual misconduct or discrimination or any other repeated use of written, verbal, or electronic expression or physical act or gesture, or any combination thereof, directed at a person that places that person in reasonable fear for their physical safety or prevents them from conducting their customary or usual affairs, or substantially interferes with their educational experience is prohibited.
Gambling is not permitted.
Commercial solicitation, sale, or promotion of goods or services by any person or company is prohibited within University student residences, except as approved in writing by the Director of Housing. A student may not use a University student residence address or office telephone number for business purposes. Solicitation by non-University parties, commercial enterprises, commercial salesmen, agents, or peddlers is not permitted, and the presence of commercial solicitors within a residence should be reported to the residence director immediately.
Residence directors may designate time(s) and place(s) for student groups or University units to solicit memberships, obtain petition signatures, distribute literature and otherwise disseminate information to residents, such as before and after mealtimes, at the front entrance of the residence, or outside the residence dining room. Such activities should not interrupt or interfere with quiet lounges and other multiple-user study spaces in each residence.
In cases in which a student or group wishes to conduct a survey or distribute a questionnaire within the residences, a University department should sponsor the activity. Prior to conducting any survey or distributing questionnaires, Residence Life’s (25 Buick Street, first floor) approval must be obtained.
No door-to-door solicitation or distribution of literature is permitted within the residences. Residents will be held accountable for their guests who are found soliciting.
All student journals of opinion must operate independently of the University and without University financial support.
Various academic departments and administrative offices of Boston University are responsible for a variety of University publications, including information bulletins, newsletters, handbooks,
and journals of opinion. Each such publication is the responsibility of a member of the Boston University faculty or administrative staff of a particular office or department. Students may be
involved with such publications under the direction of the faculty and staff.
Various locations on campus have been designated for distribution of club cards, leaflets, handbills, circulars (other than those for a commercial purpose), and newspapers such as the
basement of the George Sherman Union and certain lounges of the schools and colleges.
The distribution of such material cannot impede the flow of traffic in these areas. The distribution of these materials cannot take place in an academic class or at a program or activity of the University (such as a concert or basketball game) unless the faculty member or organizer of the program or activity approves in advance. Distribution may take place in the public areas outside of such activities.
Posting signs, posters, and fliers is permitted only on authorized bulletin boards. Materials may not be placed on walls, doors, windows, or trees, and may not be attached with permanent
Because of the special environment of the residences, specific policies exist regarding soliciting and distribution of literature in the residences. (Please see Solicitation in Residential Policies or visit your hall/area residence office.)
The University has put up “free-expression boards” around campus, including in most large residence halls and the George Sherman Union. These are boards on which any person may post
without any requirement of prior approval. The boards will be cleaned off at regular intervals, but otherwise the University will not remove posted materials unless they are threatening to a
specific person or persons, offers for sale a good or service that may not be legally offered for sale, constitutes harassment under University policy or applicable law, or otherwise violates applicable law or University policy
Moving Into/Out of Residence Halls
Each residence hall/area has a main Residence Life office. When you arrive at Boston University, check in at the office for your particular residence, or designated check-in area. Students will be asked to complete an Electronic Emergency Contact Card prior to their arrival to campus. If not completed, one will be completed during the check in process.
When you check in, you will be given, and asked to sign for, the keys to your residence. Always make sure you lock your room when you leave and take your key. If you lose your key or it is stolen, you should immediately report it to your hall/area residence office or to the RA on call. If you are locked out of your room or apartment, you should contact your hall/area Residence Life office or your RA. The RA or staff assistant will explain the lock-out procedure for your residence. It is not advisable to carry your keys and Terrier Card on the same key ring or holder.
Unauthorized possession, duplication, or use of keys that permit access to University facilities, including residences, is prohibited.
Keys for Temporary Use
If you are locked out of your room, suite or apartment, you should contact your hall/area Residence Life office, your resident assistant, or the resident assistant on call. The RA or staff assistant will explain the lock-out procedure and may provide you with a temporary key to be used for access to your room. If a temporary key is provided for your use, please note that you will be charged for a lock change if you do not return the temporary key within twenty-four hours.
You are responsible for turning in your keys to your hall/area residence office whenever you move out of a residence, or if you move from one residence to another during the year. It is advised that you return your keys in person and get a key receipt. Hall/area Residence Life office hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekdays and 7 p.m. to midnight each day. Do not give your keys to another resident or resident assistant to return for you. You may be billed for additional room, board, and lock/key charges.
If you move out of your residence at any time during the year, for example, to change rooms or withdraw, it is your responsibility to complete the check-out process at your main Residence Life office. Please remove all of your belongings, and leave the room or apartment in a clean and habitable condition. If you fail to properly check out and turn in your key, you may be charged additional residence, board, and lock/key fees. When moving, always remember to complete a change-of-address card at the residence mail room where you receive your mail, or through USPS forwarding mail service, if you receive mail via street delivery, so that your mail can be forwarded.
Unauthorized Residence Moves Policy/Direct Swap Policy
Unauthorized moves are defined as those moves made without official permission of BU Housing and/or Residence Life.
Direct swaps (student-to-student) will be allowed during designated room-change periods and under the following conditions:
- 1. The swaps occur within a residence, within an area, or between areas.
- 2. The swaps must not affect the number or location of vacancies (i.e., no trades of an open space in one room for an open space in another).
- 3. The students who are participating in the direct swap must personally return their old keys and pick up their new keys from the appropriate hall/area Residence Life office.
- 5. Swaps will only be allowed through the approval of the Housing office.
Sanctions for students who move without adhering to the above policy are the following:
- 1. Residence Life staff will record the names of those people and notify them of the sanctions.
- 2. The students will lose their same room selection rights and internal room selection rights, and can participate only in community room selection, choosing at the end of their class years.
- 3. Students may be required to return to their original assignments.
- 4. Unauthorized moves may also incur judicial action.
The University may reassign a resident to a different accommodation if the University, in its sole discretion, deems such reassignment necessary or advisable as a sanction for a resident’s failure to comply with any University provisions, policies, rules, or regulations. Reassignment may also take place if the University deems such relocation necessary or advisable in the interests of health, safety, the more prudent use of resources, or the efficient conduct of the residential system. Such a reassignment is an administrative decision, not a judicial sanction; therefore, the decision may not be appealed as part of the judicial process. However, if the situation that warrants an administrative reassignment involves infractions of University rules and regulations, an appropriate recommendation to the Dean of Students may follow as part of the judicial process. Please see the “Reassignment or Termination of Residence Privileges” section of the Terms and Conditions of the Residence License Agreement.
Please note: For the Fall 2021 semester, students failing to meet the expectations described in Testing Protocols and Expectations and their Residential License Agreements may be subject to additional, administrative actions. Those administrative actions are described in the Lifebook’s COVID-19 Policies.
Hall Terms, Withdrawals, and Closings
The Residence License Agreement is for the entire academic year.
For students who wish to continue their academic program during the summer months, Boston University offers housing in a limited number of residences on campus. Further information is available at BU Housing, 617-353-3511.
Withdrawals from On-Campus Housing
The student and guarantor will be held responsible for all residence and board fees for both semesters of the academic year or the summer session for which it is signed, except under the conditions outlined in the “Term/ Cancellation” and “Credits of Residence and Board Fees upon Withdrawal” sections of the Terms and Conditions of the Residence License Agreement. Students who withdraw, or who are separated from the University residential system, will no longer be guaranteed an on-campus accommodation in the current or subsequent semesters.
During vacation periods, some Residence Life facilities will be closed, and the dining facilities will be limited. Upon application, and depending on space availability, certain residents (including graduate students in programs with different recess schedules) may, at the discretion of the Director of Housing, be granted permission to remain in residence during these vacation periods. In that event, they may be subject to additional charges and/or temporary assignment. Apartment-style residences generally remain open during Thanksgiving/fall and spring recesses.
At the end of the semester, it is expected that you leave your residence within twenty-four hours of your last final examination, unless you have received permission from your hall/area residence office to remain in residence beyond that time. Before you leave for any vacation periods, please make sure to unplug appliances and other major items and empty any trash (this includes unplugging items like your refrigerator). Doing this helps to decrease safety and health risks.
Most of the large residences have a uniformed residential security assistant on duty 24 hours a day, seven days a week, to ensure that only authorized residents and their guests or visitors enter the residences.
A resident is expected to show his or her Terrier Card to the security assistant upon entering the residences, without exception. Security Assistants are there for the benefit of the residents, who are expected to cooperate fully with the staff by following security procedures.
Construction of partitions or wood additions to student rooms and apartments is prohibited.
Students are permitted to decorate the exterior portion of their room doors with posters, banners, flyers, brochures, and other materials. However, posts must comply with the law and all Lifebook. Students should also keep in mind they share their home, the residence halls, with other residents, and that all residents have a right against unreasonable, substantial, or serious interference with their privacy.
Please contact Residence Life or your resident assistant if you have any questions regarding the University’s policy.
Posters, Fliers, and Banners
While students may put up posters, pictures, and other decorative and expressive items in their rooms and apartments, students are reminded that they are responsible for any damage caused by putting up such material.
Students may not affix posters, banners, fliers, brochures, or other material to the common interior or exterior walls, common doors, exterior of windows, fire escapes, or other common portions of the interior or exterior of the building or otherwise outside of their rooms or apartments, except for designated bulletin boards and other specified areas and as follows:
- In large residences, certain bulletin boards and other specific locations are designated for posting of informational and expressive material by students and student organizations (see, e.g., the section on Free Expression Boards). To maximize opportunity for expression and to promote timeliness of notices, each residence may establish a maximum period for posting after which material must be removed.
- Students may not affix posters, banners, fliers, brochures, or other material to the common interior or exterior walls, common doors, windows, fire escapes, or other common portions of the interior or exterior of the building, except for designated bulletin boards and other specified areas.
- At certain times during the year, the Dean of Students or Director of Residence Life may designate periods during which banners and posters may be affixed to the residence on interior or exterior walls. For example, such periods may be designated during Parents/Family Weekend, the period immediately preceding student elections, and other times. Any banners or posters affixed during such periods must not interfere with fire and other safety requirements, and the students responsible for them must remove them at the expiration of the permitted period or be liable for the costs of removal.
If a student wishes to paint a mural in a common area, the proposed design must be submitted to the hall/area director, who will review it. An approved proposal is submitted to the directors of Residence Life, Housing, and Facilities Management for final approval.
Mattresses and Beds
Only Boston University mattresses, which have been tested and approved by the Boston Fire Department, may be used in campus residences. Students are not permitted to bring cinder blocks into campus residences for any reason, including to elevate beds. Use of cinder blocks is prohibited for this and any other purpose.
Students are not permitted to bring or construct their own lofted beds in campus residences.
Doors (External and Vestibule)
For safety and security reasons, the external and vestibule doors of residences, particularly in dormitory-style and apartment-style brownstones, may not be propped open at any time.
Windows, Window Screens, and Locks
Window screens and locks are provided on windows for protection, safety, and convenience. They are not to be removed. Window screens and locks may not be raised or moved. Students removing screens or locks from windows are subject to University disciplinary procedures and/or financial penalty.
For your convenience, there are elevators in all of the large dormitory-style residences and in several of the apartment-style residences. Tampering with the elevators can pose serious safety problems for all residents. If an elevator is not functioning correctly, you should report it immediately to the hall/area residence office or resident assistant.
If you are in an elevator and the doors do not open or the car comes to a stop between floors, do not try to force open the doors or climb through the elevator shaft. Use the emergency stop button to stabilize the elevator and ring the alarm bell until a resident assistant or other assistance arrives. Even with the stop button in place, do not try to exit the elevator; wait for assistance to ensure your safety. When the assistance arrives, let only one person in the elevator communicate with him or her in order to avoid confusion. Above all, remain calm.
If a fire alarm sounds in your residence, do not use the elevators. To exit the residence, find the nearest stairway.
Anyone who damages or defaces the residence elevators will be subject to disciplinary action and will be held financially responsible for any damages incurred. Smoking is prohibited by law in elevators.
Please do not hang anything from the sprinkler heads. It may activate the sprinkler and cause severe water damage to your belongings.
Roofs and Fire Escapes
Roofs and fire escapes are not to be used for any purpose other than for escape from fire or threat of fire. Students are also not permitted on ledges, balconies, or any other exterior means of egress.
Most residences do not have storage facilities. However, in those residences that have storage facilities, the University takes no responsibility for any items stored, lost, or stolen from the premises.
The University does not provide summer storage. For summer storage information, please consult the UPS store.
You may be charged for any damage to or loss of University property in your residence, in both common areas and your room.
Assignments and Selection
If you wish to secure on-campus housing for the next academic year, you must complete a Fall Housing Reservation and submit a housing guarantee payment by a specified date. You are then eligible to choose a room or apartment within a specified residence, as well as a roommate, on a space-available basis in the spring room selection process. Information on the room selection process is available at the Housing Office’s website.
If you have any questions about room changes, you should contact Residence Life or Housing staff.
The Assignments Area of Housing offers three general room-change periods during the year. Changes are processed during the summer, fall, and spring. Room-change request forms are made available through the Housing portal, for the fall room-change period with the opening of on-campus residences in September; for a limited time before and during the spring room-change period; and following the spring room selection process until the end of the spring semester. Priority for room changes offered during the fall and spring semesters is determined by date of receipt of the room-change request, class year, and documented medical needs.
It is important to note that changes between dormitory-style and apartment-style residences will result in a change in dining plan status. All students assigned to dormitory-style residences must choose one of the five dining plans available. When a student moves from an apartment-style residence to a dormitory-style residence, the dining program becomes mandatory, effective the date of the room change. The student should indicate on their room-change request acceptance form or direct swap student form their mandatory dining plan choice. Students changing from apartment-style residences to dormitory-style residences will also be required to select a dining plan. If the student chooses not to select a dining plan, those who were Convenience Points Plan participants and those who were not dining plan participants will be assigned the 14-Plus Plan. Those who were participants in the Unlimited, 14-Plus Plan, 330 Plan, Kosher or 250 Plan will remain on the same plan.
Participation in the dining program is optional for students assigned to a University-owned apartment-style residence. When a student moves from a dormitory-style residence to an apartment-style residence, participation in the dining program becomes optional beginning with breakfast on the Friday following the effective date of the room change (the dining week begins with Friday breakfast). If the student is interested in continuing their participation in the dining program, they must sign an Optional Dining Plan Agreement at the Terrier Card Office, 775 Commonwealth Avenue. The student should bring a copy of his or her room status report to the Terrier Card Office. If this agreement is not executed, the student’s dining entitlement will be terminated.
Room Condition Reports
Students are required to complete the Room Condition Report through the Housing portal, the report must be detailed and thorough. The room condition report and the room/apartment inspections done by the Housing Office and Facilities Management at the end of the academic year are the primary references used when assessing damage charges to student accounts.
Safety and Inspection
Doors should be locked even when rooms, suites, and apartments are left for only a few minutes. Valuables should not be left where they can be easily stolen, and should be taken home during vacations and recess periods. Common sense—more than anything else—determines safety.
A student who loses or misplaces his or her key should check with the resident assistant or hall/area residence office. You are expected to keep your room or apartment reasonably clean and safe, and to assist in maintaining the cleanliness and order of public areas and lavatories. Due regard for the rights of roommates and for University property is expected. Vacuum cleaners are generally available from your hall/area residence office.
The University reserves the right for its designees to enter and inspect a residence accommodation in the interest of health, safety, and proper conduct of the residents, or the orderly and efficient administration and operation of the residential system, or to maintain or repair the premises. Entry may be made at any time, whether or not the resident is present, and without prior notice to the resident, if emergency, health, or safety circumstances warrant such entry, or if there are reasonable grounds to believe that any substance, material, or item is being kept or used on the premises in any manner prohibited by law, by the Residence License Agreement, or by the policies, rules, and regulations of the University. Any such substance or item may be impounded by the University’s representative without prior notice. Entry may also be made without prior notice, during normal hours, for the purpose of conducting nonemergency inspections and repairs, or the purpose of showing the premises. Rooms and apartments are inspected before and during vacation and recess periods to ensure that windows are closed, electrical equipment is unplugged, the heat is turned down, and the room or apartment is secure.
Each room and apartment is designated with an appropriate design capacity. The design capacity is the number of people, designated by BU Housing, that may share a room or apartment. Please keep in mind that your room should always remain at design capacity. This means that if one of the persons in your room, suite, or apartment moves, you should expect that the University will show the room to another prospective student and may assign them to the vacant space without notifying you prior to the assignment. The University expects you to remain courteous to anyone who may view or seek to live in the vacant space in your room, apartment, or suite by ensuring the designated space, area, and issued items for a prospective new roommate or suite mate are left free (for example, bureau is empty, bed is free from clutter, closet space is available).
You are provided with a desk; a chair; a bed (usually 80 inches in length); a dresser; window shades, miniblinds, or curtains. Apartment-style residences also have a kitchen table, chairs, lounge seating, refrigerator, range, and shower curtain.
You are responsible for the furniture that is provided to you, and furniture may not be removed from any room, apartment, or common area (unless authorized and moved by BU Housing staff). You are liable for the replacement of any furniture that is removed for whatever reason.
The University will also levy moving fees to remove any non-University furniture that is left in your room, apartment, or common area at the end of the year. If any furniture is missing or damaged, report it to your hall/area Residence Life office. A furniture repair/request form may be completed.
Furniture in the common areas of residence facilities is for the use of the students of the floor or house and cannot be moved from that common area. Occupants of a residence will be charged accordingly if common-area furniture is found in a student’s room, suite or apartment, the occupants of the residence will be charged accordingly.
Waterbeds are not permitted in residences under any circumstances.
The University cannot assume responsibility for personal property in the residences and strongly advises parents to extend the coverage of their household insurance to protect the student’s property from any form of loss or damage. Every resident is encouraged to obtain/carry adequate personal property insurance and health insurance, as the University’s insurance program is limited to coverage of University-owned property. Subject to the provisions of applicable law, the University shall not be liable directly and/or indirectly for personal injury, loss, or damage to personal property of a resident, his or her family, guarantor, legal guardian, relatives, friends, visitors, or guests caused by fire, theft, or any other cause whether such personal injury, loss, or damage occurs in a residence facility, or elsewhere, on or off the University campus. Ask the Residence Life staff or the Boston University Police Department for details.
Animals are permitted on Boston University outdoor property, only if they are on a leash or otherwise under physical restraint so that the rights and safety of pedestrians are safeguarded.
In accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act, service dogs are permitted in University facilities for persons with documented disabilities. In University residences, we adhere to a strict no pet policy. Emotional Support Animals (ESA), if formally approved through the Office of Disability and Access Services, are permitted in specified student dorm rooms, but not allowed in common spaces.
Students who bring pets or animals into the residences are subject to disciplinary action.
Learn more about the accommodation process via the Disability and Access Services website under: Forms and Policies > Housing and Dining Accommodations. You can also access the informational PDF here: “Service and Emotional Support Animals Policies & Procedures”
The following appliances are allowed in dormitory-style residences:
- Television and Monitors
- Reading lamps
- Hair dryers
- Refrigerators (one per dormitory-style room or suite, up to a maximum of four cubic feet)
- Popcorn poppers
- Rental MicroFridge units
- Fans (no larger than twelve inches in diameter)
Because of safety and health concerns, use of electrical appliances other than those listed above is prohibited.
The following appliances are prohibited in dormitory-style residences:
- Microwave ovens
- Coffee makers
- Hot plates
- Hot pots
- Appliances for the preparation of food other than University rental program MicroFridge units and hot-air popcorn poppers.
The following appliances are permitted in apartment style residences:
- Coffee makers
Not permitted in any University residence:
- Torchère-style halogen lamps
- Electric blankets
- Air conditioners
- Any items/appliances which have a source of heat or flame
Barbecues are not permitted unless the event is planned under the auspices of a University office and/or recognized student organization (e.g., Residence Hall Association) and has appropriate staff supervision.
Bicycles, Mopeds, and Motorcycles
You may keep your bicycle in your room or apartment as long as it does not interfere with other students’ space. Mopeds and motorcycles are not allowed in any residences, because they contain gasoline and constitute a fire hazard.
At no time may any vehicle be placed on a fire escape or stairwell. Bicycles, motorcycles, and mopeds may be chained to designated racks only, and not to railings, banisters, fences, or next to any University buildings. Vehicles parked or locked in inappropriate locations may be removed at the owner’s expense. Anyone who parks a motor vehicle, including mopeds and motorcycles, in University parking without the proper sticker will be subject to ticketing and towing. To prevent theft, lock your vehicle when it is not in use.
While resident students are allowed to utilize select University parking facilities, the University strongly discourages resident students from bringing and parking motor vehicles on campus. Resident and commuter students are permitted to purchase permits for on-campus parking. On-street parking is at one’s own risk. Anyone who parks in University parking without the proper permit will be subject to ticketing and towing at the owner’s risk and expense. This applies to automobiles, motorcycles, and mopeds. Out-of-state residents must register cars and motorcycles within thirty days of arrival with the Registry of Motor Vehicles of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Questions related to parking and registration should be referred to BU Parking & Transportation Services, 1019 Commonwealth Ave., (617) 353-2160.
Candles and Incense
Due to potential fire hazards, open flames, candles, and incense (including unlit candles and incense) are not permitted in any residence. The use of non-electrical items/appliances is also not permitted in the residences.
Clove/Herbal Cigarettes and Tobacco
The use of non-tobacco and aromatic smoking products is prohibited in University residences; this includes but is not limited to fruit-like tobacco materials, bidis, etc.
Smoking Pipes and Other Non-Tobacco Equipment
Bongs, water pipes, hookahs, shisha pipes, “hubble-bubbles,” electronic vaporizers, or any object filled with water through which tobacco, non-tobacco, or aromatic smoke is drawn are prohibited in the residences. Such items have caused fires in residences and will be impounded if found. Judicial sanctions may also be imposed upon anyone who possesses such equipment.
In the residences, possession of drug paraphernalia or items that may be utilized for illegal drug use (i.e., hookah pipes and shisha pipes) is prohibited. Drug paraphernalia includes but is not limited to items such as roach clips, bongs, any type of water pipe, or any object filled with water through which smoke is drawn.
Weapons of any kind are strictly prohibited in residences. Included in this category are studded wrist bands, nunchakus, all firearms, mace, pepper spray, replica weapons, paintball guns, and blades. Also included is any object which normally would not be considered a weapon, but by alteration, modification, or redesign would be readily recognized or considered as such by any reasonable and prudent person. Students will face severe disciplinary consequences for violations of this policy. Firearms, fireworks, explosives, chemicals, and dangerous weapons are not permitted in University residences.
Boston University grants students the privilege of hosting guests in the student residences. In addition, a resident’s ability to host guests is, in fact, a courtesy extended by a roommate or roommates. A foundation of this guest policy is that guests are only permitted with the consent of a resident’s roommate(s). Students are expected to communicate with each other to work out arrangements for guests within a shared room, suite, or apartment. Members of the Residence Life staff are available to assist students who may require support or guidance in working with a roommate about the presence of guests in their shared accommodations, and especially in cases where a roommate displays a lack of consideration for others or abuses the privilege of hosting guests.
For the purposes of this policy, a resident is a student who is assigned to a room, suite, or apartment in the Boston University residence system. A guest is an individual who is not assigned to said resident’s room, suite, or apartment. A resident host is a resident student who signs a guest into the residence to which they are assigned. An overnight guest is a guest who visits between the hours of 2 a.m. and 7 a.m. (or any fraction thereof).
Generally, residents must accompany their guests at all times. A resident may have no more than three (3) guests at a time, and guests may stay in a room, suite, or apartment no more than three consecutive nights. Residents are able to have guests stay overnight for no more than seven (7) such visits each semester.
Guests are expected to respect and comply with all rules and regulations while in or around the residences. At all times, residents are responsible for the conduct and activity of their guests, including any damage caused to University property and violations of policies for student residences.
Resident (on-campus) students who wish to visit one of the larger residences can use their Terrier Card (BU ID) to gain access between the hours of 7 a.m. and 2 a.m., each day.
During dining service hours, any resident student with a dining plan may sign in a non-resident where access through a security station is required to enter a dining room. A non-resident BU (off-campus) student with a dining plan can use his or her Terrier Card to access the residences with dining rooms during dining service hours, where access through a security station is required to enter a dining room.
No overnight guests are permitted during the first week of the academic year, and during study and final examination periods.
In addition to the preceding terms, which apply to all students in residence, this guest policy includes terms that apply to specific campus residences:
Guests within 575 Commonwealth Avenue, 1019 Commonwealth Avenue, Danielsen Hall, Myles Standish Hall, Kilachand Hall, The Towers, Warren Towers, and West Campus residences
- For the purposes of a one-night visit only, between 2 a.m. and 7 a.m., guests must check-in at the security station. A resident must meet guests in the lobby and must escort them into the residence. Prior to entering the residence, the resident host’s Terrier Card must be scanned at the security station, and the guest must leave a photo identification card with the residential safety officer.
- Between 7 a.m. and 2 a.m., a building resident must sign in all non-residents, whether they are BU students or not. Prior to entering the residence, the resident host’s Terrier Card must be scanned at the security station, and the guest must leave a photo identification card with the residential safety officer.
- A resident who wishes to have a guest visit for up to three consecutive nights must request these overnight privileges by submitting an overnight guest pass to the residential safety officer before 2 a.m., of the first night of the intended overnight period. The resident’s roommate(s) or suitemates must provide written consent.
Guests within the Student Residence at 10 Buick Street and 33 Harry Agganis Way
- A resident must meet guests in the lobby and must escort them into the building. Residents must obtain verbal authorization from all other students within the apartment and/or suite to host an overnight guest. Prior to entering the residence, the resident host’s Terrier Card must be scanned at the security station, and the guest must leave a photo identification card with the residential safety officer. Guests are permitted within the residence at any time, as long as they are accompanied by a building resident.
- Guests within the smaller dormitory-style and apartment-style residences, including Bay State Road brownstones, Beacon Street, Commonwealth Avenue, and South Campus residences
- A resident must meet guests in the building’s vestibule and must escort them into the building. Residents must obtain verbal authorization from all other students within the room, suite, or apartment to host an overnight guest. Guests are permitted within the residence at any time, as long as they are accompanied by a building resident.
Fire safety is taken very seriously at Boston University, and all residents are expected to cooperate in keeping the residences as safe as possible. For this reason, the following activities are forbidden, and those engaging in them should expect serious consequences:
- setting fires of any kind for any reason;
- tampering with any fire safety equipment, including fire extinguishers, fire alarm boxes, smoke detectors, and sprinkler heads, covering or disassembling smoke detectors, and so forth);
- the false activation of a fire alarm;
- accidental activation of a smoke detector or fire alarm resulting from hall sports, water fights, and so on;
- using space heaters or other types of heating coils.
- careless use of approved items/appliances that creates a fire hazard.
Other notes regarding fire safety:
- Open flames, candles, and incense are not permitted in any residence.
- City of Boston fire regulations prohibit Christmas trees and similar decorations in rooms or apartments because they present fire hazards.
- Fabric of any kind may not be attached to a ceiling or ceiling fixture.
- In recent years the use of electrical appliances has increased in the residences, often requiring more outlets than are available in a standard dormitory-style room. This situation may result in the excessive use of extension cords and multiple socket outlets, which can overload the electrical capacity of the room and create a fire hazard. Please be careful.
- Roofs and fire escapes should only be propped and utilized for fire evacuation only. Under no other circumstances should roofs or fire escapes be used or propped open.
Activating a fire alarm system without proper cause endangers the safety of all residents, as well as the security of the greater community and the fire department. A false alarm is not a prank; it is a criminal offense that endangers the safety of others.
A student who, without reasonable cause, activates a fire alarm system or tampers with fire safety equipment, should expect to be expelled from the residential system and to be referred to Judicial Affairs for further action (possibly including imposition of fines and suspension from the University); these cases may also be referred for criminal prosecution. Students are also subject to being charged for all costs incurred as a result of tampering with any life safety equipment, including charges for the services of fire departments. The Dean of Students, 617-353-4126, offers a reward for information leading to the identification of persons illegally activating fire alarms at Boston University.
Although the University has excellent fire detection systems in all of its residences, it is important for each resident to assume the responsibility for his or her own fire safety. Responsible behavior on the part of the students, combined with the efforts of the Residence Life and Facilities Management staff to ensure that all fire equipment and procedures are current and operational, will enable all students to enjoy a safe year in Boston University’s residences.
If You Spot a Fire
If you spot a fire, you must first sound the alarm. Do not delay sounding the alarm and try to fight the fire; the smoke will get to you very quickly.
If an Alarm Sounds
All residents are required to evacuate the building immediately when a fire alarm sounds. Fire drills are rarely scheduled; therefore, you must assume that whenever a fire alarm sounds, an emergency situation exists.
If you are in your room, feel the door before trying to open it. If it is hot, do not open it. If it is not hot, open it slowly. If there is smoke or heat in the hall, stay in your room and wait for help. Put a towel (preferably wet) under the door to keep the smoke out. Hang a sheet out of your window to attract attention. If you can safely leave your room, close your windows and door on your way out. Closed windows and closed doors limit the spread of smoke and fire. On your way out, knock loudly on the doors on your floor to alert your neighbors. Exit down the nearest stairway. Do not waste time. Do not use the elevators. Elevators are unsafe in a fire emergency.
Vacate the residence immediately and follow the direction of the Residence Life staff, police, and fire department. You may not reenter the residence until the fire alarm is reset. Failure to follow this instruction could result in serious disciplinary action.
Alcohol, Cannabis and Drugs
Boston University, as a responsible segment of the society in which it exists and as an educational institution chartered within the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, neither permits nor condones the possession, use, transfer, distribution, dealing, or sale of illegal drugs and narcotics. Violators are subject to University disciplinary procedures, as well as to criminal prosecution under state and federal laws.
Because of health hazards involved, students are strongly discouraged from all experimentation with drugs and narcotics of any kind. They are also strongly discouraged from the distribution or misuse of prescription drugs.
In the residences, possession of drug paraphernalia (such as bongs, roach clips, shisha pipes, or hookah pipes) is prohibited.
Students who possess, procure, consume, transfer, or use illegal drugs in or around the residences will be subject to disciplinary action ranging from expulsion from the residence system to expulsion from the University. Students will be held accountable for cannabis in any form. Students will be held accountable for cannabis being in the presence of the odor of cannabis and/or for the presence of the odor of cannabis in student accommodations, if the odor is detected by two members of the University staff.
Dealing in narcotics or illegal drugs in or around the residences, or anywhere else on campus, will result in expulsion from the residence system and in further disciplinary action by the University, up to and including University expulsion. State and federal laws carry heavy sanctions for the sale of drugs in a school zone, which encompasses the entirety of Boston University.
Following are the sanctions and education and counseling programs typically imposed for underage alcohol possession and use violations that take place in University residence halls. More serious sanctions may be imposed in appropriate circumstances, including when the quantity of alcohol is excessive (e.g., exceeds one case of beer or one liter of liquor) and when an individual provides alcohol to persons who are under 21. If other unacceptable behavior – such as fighting, sexual assault, or property damage – occurs in conjunction with the alcohol violation, additional sanctions may be imposed for that behavior. Sanctions for a third violation will include, among other things, separation from University housing.
Disciplinary Sanction: Letter of reprimand and warning and $25 fine
Education/Counseling: alcohol and cannabis education
Disciplinary Sanction: Residence Probation
Education/Counseling: Alcohol and cannabis education class
The University permits students who are over 21 to possess and consume alcohol within the residence halls. However, when an excessive quantity of alcohol is present, members of the residence hall staff contact the Boston University Police Department (BUPD). BUPD determines whether to take action against an individual, including whether to refer the matter to local authorities. (Under Massachusetts law, a minor in possession of alcohol may be arrested and fined and his or her driver’s license may be suspended. An individual who buys alcohol for a minor may be fined up to $2,000 and sentenced to up to six months in jail.)
If you are speaking about ordering bottled water, you are okay to order water to the mailroom.
I recall that AC units were prohibited but was wondering if space coolers were also included under that umbrella considering it’s more so like a humidifier and fan then your typical AC system.
Space coolers are not allowed by BU Housing.
I am wondering, is there any possible way to get into Danielsen Hall during the winter intersession? If I forgot something very important in the dorm building and I normally live there during the semester, but went home for the break.
I’m sorry for the delay – something like this would need to be asked of Residence Life (bu.edu/reslife.)
Are any plants allowed for decoration?
Yes they are. Thank you for asking.
How will I be able to vacuum the carpeting in my room on a regular basis? Am I supposed to bring a vacuum cleaner?
Hi Ali – Each residence hall office will have a vacuum cleaner you can borrow on a regular basis.
Hi ,can I stay for 2 nights at my daughters single room dorm during her move in, Aug 28?
Our policies say that no guests are permitted during move-in; however, since it is a single room, you may want to speak to the Residence Life staff for your daughter’s residence hall directly to see if any arrangements can be made. You can find their contact information at http://www.bu.edu/reslife/directory
Are we allowed to use bed risers in Warren Towers? If so, how high are they allowed to be?
Yes, you are. Let me find out the height limitation and comment back.
What materials are allowed for hanging decorations? For instance my school only allowed command hooks and painter’s tape. Tacks, scotch tape, and sticky tack were not allowed.
You just don’t want to damage the wall. So no tacks or nails. Your safest bet is to go with command strips or hooks.
Are students allowed to bring vacuum cleaners? What kind if vacuum cleaners are allowed .
Are students allowed to have black out curtains as long as they don’t cover the heat unit?
Yes they are. However it is not needed, as every residence hall office has one they can borrow for an hour at a time.
As long as you don’t remove the curtains already in the room (if there are any.)
Hello how would I send mail – large packages to a student that lives at the dorms?
You can find out how to mail packages to a student in residences here: http://www.bu.edu/housing/services/mail/
When does the heating system on in the dorm rooms ?
When does the heat turn on in dorms? It’s been and seems like it will stay consistently cold so I’m just wondering because the dorm rooms are colder than outside sometimes.
This is something that can vary by residence hall. You will want to ask your RA or other residence hall staff directly.
This varies by residence hall, and you will want to ask your RA or other residence hall staff regarding when yours will be turned on.
If I have someone wanting to visit over a break period and stay overnight, but my roommate is leaving over that break, how can I sign my friend in if my roommate agrees to let them stay during the break, but they’re gone?
You will need to ask the residential life office in your building for the protocol in that situation.
Are kettles for boiling water allowed in dorms?
Wondering where I can find inspection records for university residences concerning the standard of housing? Cleaning policies for air ventilation systems?
I believe our Environmental Health and Safety department would be the best contact for that. Their department website is http://www.bu.edu/ehs/
Hi, I was wording if it was okay to bring outside furniture into my room? I have a bookshelf which isn’t enormous or anything that I wanted to bring for extra storage.
Can I bring a guitar to my dorm?
Where can I report a student who have his pet inside the residence?