Housing
Substance Free Housing Option
Substance Free Housing Option at UMD

UMD's substance free housing option is an intentional community where residents are engaged in creating a supportive space for those who choose to live in an environment free from alcohol and illegal drugs.


Residents choosing to live in the substance-free community have the:
  • Right to live in a space free from alcohol and illegal drugs
  • Right to be free from disturbances caused by others under the influence
  • Right and Responsibility to participate in the community accountability process
  • Responsibility to keep their personal space free from alcohol and illegal drugs
  • Responsibility to not be present under the influence
  • Responsibility to hold their guests accountable for the community standards
Questions to Consider about Living in the Substance-Free Housing Community

Why are you interested in this option? Students choose substance-free housing for a myriad of reasons: to support academic achievement, for religious or cultural beliefs, for health and wellness needs, and the list goes on. It is important to understand your motivation for choosing this housing option in order to be fully invested in the community.

Who is making the decision to request this housing option? It is important that residents in the substance-free community are committed to the community expectations and make this choice freely for themselves. You may want to ask yourself who is making this decision: You? A parent or guardian? A potential roommate?

Why Carroll Hall?
Carroll Hall at UMD Carroll Hall is the ideal location for the substance-free community pilot program. It is a small building that houses 121 residents, so the entire building can be dedicated to the community. The third floor is all single rooms, which are appealing to upper-class students. The other floors offer bunked double rooms for residents. Carroll Hall is centrally located on campus, close to many campus services and amenities. It is also on the lower end of the differentiated rate structure for residence halls, which allows accessibility to the greatest number of students. Carroll Hall also supports community connections through the increased use of the air-conditioned floor lounges by residents during the early weeks of the semester.

FACT:

1 in 4 Terps choose not to drink alcohol (National College Health Assessment, 2014).


Frequently Asked Questions
What is Substance-Free Housing?

It is an intentional community where residents are engaged in creating a supportive space for those who choose to live in an environment free from alcohol and illegal drugs. It is located in Carroll Hall, in the North Hill Community.

Why is the Department of Resident Life offering this housing option?

Resident Life has seen an increase in the number of requests for substance-free housing in recent years, and the Residence Hall Association has expressed support for a housing option like this. In response to the growing interest, Resident Life conducted a survey of current residents in Fall 2015 to gauge interest in a substance-free housing option. Of the survey respondents, 18% indicated they were “Interested” or “Very Interested” in living in a substance free community. Additionally, a benchmarking study among Big 10 schools and other University System of Maryland institutions showed that a majority of peer institutions offer this type of housing option for their residents. Given the level of interest among University of Maryland residents, Resident Life decided to move ahead with the development of a substance-free housing option pilot program.

How do I request this option?

It is important for residents to make this choice for themselves, rather than having a parent or guardian, or potential roommate, make the request. To indicate your interest in living here, you can log into your Resident Life Profile and answer the Substance-Free Housing question.

What are the community expectations?

All residents, regardless of residence hall assignment, are expected to abide by the Residence Hall Rules and Code of Student Conduct. Residence Hall rules state that the following are prohibited in University residence halls:

  • Possession, use, sale, or provision of any controlled substance, illegal drug, or related paraphernalia
  • Possession or use of alcohol by a minor; sale or provision of alcohol to a minor; possession of alcohol in public areas or common sources of alcohol

In substance-free housing, residents are also expected to not be present under the influence, to hold their guests accountable to the same community standards, and to participate in the community accountability process when a disruption occurs. The residents of the community will have the opportunity to develop additional community expectations together during their first building meeting at the start of the semester. Community expectations apply to all residents of Carroll Hall, including those 21 years of age and older.

What is the Community Accountability Process?

Community Accountability is an opportunity to hold your peers accountable to the community expectations. The process is rooted in restorative justice practices through community conversations involving residents who were impacted by a disruption in the community. The Community Accountability Process may occur in tandem with the judicial process if residence hall policies have been violated.

My student is under 21. Isn’t that already prohibited in the residence halls?

All residents, regardless of residence hall assignment, are expected to abide by the Residence Hall Rules and Code of Student Conduct. Residence Hall rules state that the following are prohibited in University residence halls:

  • Possession, use, sale, or provision of any controlled substance, illegal drug, or related paraphernalia
  • Possession or use of alcohol by a minor; sale or provision of alcohol to a minor; possession of alcohol in public areas or common sources of alcohol

However, some students may choose to violate University policy and state laws by deciding to drink or use other substances. This behavior can often have a negative impact on the community. Students living in substance-free housing make a commitment to avoid affecting the community in this way. Students suspected of violating the Residence Hall Rules or Code of Student Conduct will be subject to the judicial process and, if found responsible, sanctioned as appropriate, regardless of their building assignment. Residents in Carroll Hall are also expected to engage in the Community Accountability Process along with the judicial process, as appropriate.

Are there additional programming or academic requirements to live here?

The only requirements are that you choose to live here and abide by the community expectations. There are no other programmatic or academic requirements.

What if I am not assigned to Carroll Hall but I want to live in a substance-free environment?

Resident Life will use the Profile information about who is interested in substance-free housing to help with roommate matching. In the event you are not assigned to live in Carroll Hall, we will do our best to match you with roommate(s) who also indicated this interest. There may be additional opportunities to move into Carroll Hall during the semester or at mid-year, as vacancies occur. The Resident Life Assignments Office will work with community staff to fill vacancies with interested students.

Is support provided for students in recovery?

The University does not yet have housing explicitly for students in recovery from addiction. However, Carroll Hall may represent a lower risk option for some students in recovery, ideally those with a year or more of sober/abstinent time. Although students are welcome to engage with Terps for Recovery, Substance Use Intervention and Treatment groups, and other on and off campus recovery supports, no explicit treatment or recovery support will be included as part of this housing option. Please visit the University Health Center website for additional information about campus recovery support and resources. The University strongly recommends that students in recovery develop a comprehensive plan of personalized supports prior to the beginning of the semester.

What options will I have if I no longer want to live in Carroll Hall once classes start?

If you decide that Carroll Hall is not for you, you will have the opportunity to work with community staff and staff from the Resident Life Assignments Office to move to a new space. Moves out of Carroll Hall will depend on space availability in other locations and may take well into the semester to identify. Students will be expected to continue to abide by the community expectations while they live in Carroll Hall awaiting reassignment. You may be asked to fill out a voluntary survey upon reassignment out of Carroll Hall.