Rights and Responsibilities
Residence Hall Rules

The Residence Hall Rules state prohibitions that apply to all residence halls (including South Campus Commons), buildings, and surrounding grounds. These rules are enforced by the Department of Resident Life in conjunction with the Office of Student Conduct. The Rights and Responsibilities section of Community Living is designed to be used in conjunction with the University Code of Student Conduct. Definitions of specific terms, interpretations of regulation, the adjudication process, etc., found in the Code of Student Conduct shall be applicable.

Should you be found responsible for a violation of one or more of the following rules, your intent will be considered in the course of fact-finding and sanction decisions. Intent will be defined by one of the following:

Willful: The violation found was the direct result of the respondent's deliberate intent.
Reckless: The violation found was not intended by the respondent, but was the direct result of other willful violations on the respondent's part.
Negligent: The violation found was not intended by the respondent, but its potential in the respondent's act, or failure to act, could be foreseen by a reasonable person.

Attempts to commit acts prohibited by any of the Residence Hall Rules shall incur sanctions to the same extent as completed violations.

The burden of proving that a violation was committed, and where it was committed, always rests with presenting officials. However, once a violation is proven to have occurred in a resident's room/apartment/suite, the resident(s) and/or any individual(s) present at the time will be presumed responsible for having committed the violation unless the respondent can prove otherwise.

For more information about the Residence Hall Rules and the Office of Rights and Responsibilities, download the Rights and Responsibilities section (.pdf), of the Community Living Handbook.


The following are prohibited conduct in the University of Maryland residence halls:

  1. Setting or fueling a fire of any size. [1]
  2. False report of any emergency; damage or misuse of fire safety equipment. [1]
  3. Possession, use, or manufacture of explosive, flammable, or harmful materials. [2]
  4. Possession or use of any weapon. [a] [3]
  5. Causing any object which could cause physical harm to fall from a residence hall.
  6. Causing physical harm or a reasonable expectation of physical harm to any person. [4]
  7. Harassing or threatening any person so as to interfere with that person's ability to sleep, study, or be present in one's own room or residence hall. [5]
  8. Possession, use, sale, or provision of any controlled substance, illegal drug, or related paraphernalia.
  9. Theft of property or services; knowing possession of stolen property; unauthorized removal or possession of property or furnishings from common areas.
  10. Possession or use of alcohol by a minor [b]; sale or provision of alcohol to a minor; possession of alcohol in public areas or common sources of alcohol. [6]
  11. Interference with or obstruction of Resident Life or University officials in the performance of their duties; provision of false information to officials; failure to comply with directives from officials. [7]
  12. Engaging in noisy, disorderly, or disruptive behavior, which interferes with others' abilities to sleep, study, or be present in one's own room or residence hall; or creates an avoidable urgent situation to which University officials are required to respond. [8]
  13. Destroying, damaging, or defacing the property of others. [9]
  14. Violation of conditions of Administrative Housing Probation; failure to complete assigned administrative sanctions. [10]
  15. Misuse of identification; possession, presentation, sale, distribution, or manufacture of false identification.
  16. Failure to monitor guests' behavior in order to assure adherence to the Residence Hall Rules. [11]
  17. Unauthorized entry into any secured, or restricted residence hall space. [12]
  18. Misuse or unauthorized possession of room keys, building keys, or access cards. [13]
  19. Misuse of University-owned and/or personal computers, phones, telecommunications or network systems. [14]
  20. Violation of a written agreement with roommates, apartment/suitemates or other residents developed under the supervision of a Resident Life staff member. [15]
  21. Bringing or housing an animal inside a residence hall. [16]
  22. Obstructing or impeding entrance to or egress from a residence hall. [17]
  23. Renting, subleasing, or loaning of a residence hall space. [18]
  24. Creating risks or hazards in or around a residence hall through violations of the Safety and Security Prohibitions.
  25. Violations of Resident Life policies and procedures published in the Residence Halls/Dining Services Agreement, the Community Living Handbook, and/or policies posted within the residence halls. [19]

Safety and Security Prohibitions

The safety and security of students in the residence halls is the first and most fundamental concern of the staff; it should also be your first and most fundamental concern. Your individual actions can have a direct impact on your safety and that of each student who lives in your residence hall.

There is a need to prevent a number of potential risks and dangers for residence hall students. In order to reduce such risks, it is necessary to prohibit those actions and behaviors which create hazards or dangers. Certain behaviors are prohibited in order to help prevent or minimize the following:

  • risk of fire hazard
  • risk of intruders, assault, or theft
  • risk of injury
  • risk of electrocution
  • damage or overload to electrical circuits
  • damage to physical facilities or furnishings
  • hindrance of staff response to emergency situations
  • pest, insect, or sanitation problems
  • risk of exposure to hazardous materials

Your choices for behavior are limited in some areas with the above risks in mind. In order to promote the safety and security for you and your fellow residents, specific behaviors identified in the following chart are prohibited within the residence halls.

Prohibited Behaviors Associated Risk(s)
Using any device that creates an open flame, has an exposed heating element or a torchiere lamp with a halogen bulb; using any substance/device which can smolder and/or create smoke, including gooseneck lamp with plastic shades a, f
Bringing or storing flammable material in a residence hall a, f
Cooking (except in designated areas) and use or possession of an open-flame or open element appliance, including toaster, skillet, and hotplates a, e, f
Use or possession of microwave ovens or refrigerators larger than 3.6 cubic feet (except in designated areas*) e
Remaining in a Residence Hall during a fire alarm c, g, i
Removing or unlocking security grates or any window screen b, c, f, h
Propping entrance doors open b, f
Allowing strangers to follow you into a residence hall through an entrance door b
Entering or exiting a residence hall through a window b, f, h
Hanging any objects out of windows c, f, h
Climbing or scaling the exterior wall of a residence hall c
Installing a satellite dish, antenna, or any hardware which protrudes from a window or attaches to the exterior of a residence hall c, f, h
Altering electrical outlets or circuits in a residence hall room a, d, e, f
Tampering with entry door buzzers in suite and apartment units b, f
Tampering with, obstructing, or affixing objects to hardware for fire alarms, exit signs, fire sprinklers, fire hydrant valves, or building systems pipes a, f, g
Tampering with or disabling electronic door security devices such as card access readers, horns, locks, and prop monitors b, f
Installing ceiling fans or air conditioners c, d, e, f
Installing locks or chains on room doors f, g
Installing lofts other than those provided by the Department of Residential Facilities or Bedloft a, c, f
Tampering with or covering smoke detectors in residence hall rooms a, f
Drilling into window sill surfaces, ceiling or floor tiles, or puncturing insulation on pipes f, i
Unauthorized modifications, including painting of a residence hall room or space a, c, e, f, i
Stacking/arranging furniture in an unsafe manner a, c, f
Using any sporting or recreational equipment in areas where damage or injury may result c, f

Violation of any of the above prohibitions constitutes a violation of your Residence Halls/Dining Services Agreement and the Residence Hall Rules, and may result in referral for disciplinary and/or administrative action.

*For designated areas please contact your community office.

In addition to the previously listed Residence Hall Rules listed, as a resident and a student, you will be held accountable for:

  1. Resident Life policies and procedures (published throughout Community Living), the Space Reservation Policy, Unit Agreements, and visitation and security policies specified in each community.
  2. The terms and conditions presented within the Residence Halls/Dining Services Agreement published by Resident Life and signed by each resident prior to moving into a residence hall.
  3. University Regulations published in the Code of Student Conduct and enforced by the Office of Student Conduct in conjunction with Resident Life.  The Code of Student can be found in the online Undergraduate Catalog and Schedule of Classes, and here: http://www.president.umd.edu/policies/docs/v100b.pdf.
  4. Federal, state, and local laws, enforced by University Police and officials outside the University.
  5. South Campus Commons leases include additional rules and regulations for residents of those buildings.

Some forms of misconduct (e.g.: use/possession of illegal drugs) violate not only Residence Hall Rules and the Code of Student Conduct, but also state and federal laws, for which students may also be held accountable. Such violations are referred to the University Police for possible investigation.

  1. See also the “Safety and Security Prohibitions” section of the Community Living handbook.
  2. This includes gasoline, gas tank (whether containing fuel or empty), gas-powered vehicles, kerosene, fireworks.
    See also the “Safety and Security Prohibitions” section of the Community Living handbook.
  3. This includes any airgun where the manufacturer recommends eye protection.
  4. This also includes engaging in or provoking physical fights or altercations.
  5. This also includes malicious pranks.
  6. See also the “Alcohol Policy” and “Parties and Group Events” sections of the Community Living Handbook.
    Common sources of alcohol include, but are not limited to, kegs, punch bowls, etc.
  7. This includes forgery or unauthorized alteration of Department or University documents, lying in any conduct proceeding, preventing staff from conducting their normal duties in handling administrative and/or disciplinary matters, or failure to comply with conditions specified in a written agreement with professional staff. 
    See also the “Noncompliance and Staff Entry” section of the Community Living Handbook.
  8. See also the “Parties and Group Events” and “Quiet Hours” sections of the Community Living handbook.
  9. This includes improperly disposing of trash in or around the residence halls.
  10. This includes committing a rule violation while on Housing Probation.
  11. Residents will be held financially responsible for damage caused by their guests. 
    See also the “Visitors and Guests” section of the Community Living handbook.
  12. This includes, but is not limited to, housekeepers’ closets, roofs, another resident’s room/apartment/suite, computer labs, or any residence hall building.  This also includes, failure to comply with building access policy.
    See also the “Safety and Security Prohibitions” section of the Community Living handbook.
  13. This includes duplication, lending/borrowing or repeated loss of keys or access cards.
    See also the “Safety and Security Prohibitions” and “Spare Key and Spare Swipe Check-out Policy” sections of the Community Living handbook.
  14. See also the “University of Maryland Policy on the Acceptable Use of Information Technology Resources.”
  15. See also the “Roommates,” “Resolving Conflict Through Mediation,” and “Unit Agreements” sections of the Community Living handbook.
  16. Only fish in aquariums no larger than 10 gallons are permitted.
  17. See also the “Safety and Security Prohibitions” and “Bicycle Security Precautions” sections of the Community Living handbook.
  18. This includes allowing guests to stay in your room/apartment/suite in your absence for an extended period of time.  Additionally, individuals who have not signed an On-Campus Housing/Dining Services Agreement or South Campus Commons lease are not permitted to reside in the residence halls.  This includes failure to comply with South Campus Commons re-leasing and lease transfer procedures..
  19. See also the “Smoking Policy,” “Selling/Conducting a Business,” and “Soliciting” sections of the Community Living handbook.
  • As defined by the Code of Student Conduct, the term "weapon" means any object or substance designed to inflict a wound, cause injury, or incapacitate, including, but not limited to, all firearms, pellet guns, switchblade knives, knives with blades 5 or more inches in length.
  • Minor is defined as any individual under 21 years of age.