Grinnell College students are guaranteed certain rights by the College. With rights, come responsibilities.
The following student rights are recognized by the College and help guarantee equal and fair procedural practices by the College student conduct system in response to complaints of student’s rights violations.
The Use of Residence Hall Rooms
- Each student has the right to use the room assigned to her/him/hir by the Department of Residence Life and Orientation for studying or sleeping at any time during the academic year while the halls are open.
- Each student is entitled to a reasonably quiet atmosphere for academic success and peace of mind. When necessary, official quiet hours and penalties for violation are determined through a hall or floor majority vote. Even when quiet hours are not in effect, courtesy hours remain in place. Enforcement is largely the responsibility of each student. A student who is disturbed by the violation of quiet or courtesy hours and the resulting discomfort should inform the individual causing the problem. If the problem continues, the student should consult the Student Adviser, or Residence Life Coordinator. Judicial Council may hear cases involving the violation of mediated agreements.
- Provided that the rights of roommate(s) and/or hallmates to study or sleep are not violated, students may use their rooms for social or recreational purposes.
- Each student has the right of assigned occupancy. Students cannot exert pressure on roommate(s) to move. Students who exert pressure on a particular student to seek a new room assignment may be reassigned to another room by the Dean of Students and/or the Assistant Dean of Students & Director of Residence Life and Orientation. The College reserves the right to make essential changes in room assignments at any time during the academic year.
- Each resident has the right to require that no person, other than those assigned by the Department of Residence Life and Orientation, take up residence in his/her/hir room.
- Each resident has the right to expect general cooperation from his/her/hir roommate(s) including cooperation from roommate(s) regarding the use of the room for recreational and social purposes.
- Each resident, in cooperation with her/his/hir roommate, has the right to visitation by someone of a different gender in the room during those hours determined by the hall government in accordance with the procedures stipulated in this on-line Student Handbook.
- Non-students are not allowed to stay in College-owned housing for more than eight days per semester and need to be registered as guests of the student host.
- Students living in rooms with vacancies should expect that the vacancy will be filled. Staff from the Department of Residence Life and Orientation reserve the right to assign students to any open spaces in the residence halls and houses at any time during the semester or College break periods.
The Right to Privacy
Each student has a right to privacy in his/her/hir room and to bathroom use.
Privacy of Student Rooms
Each resident has the right of privacy within her/his/hir own room. But, under certain circumstances, the right to privacy is waived.
Exceptions To Privacy
- Grinnell College is required to follow all state, federal, and local laws. Adhering to these laws may supersede a student’s right to privacy in his/her/hir room.
- When College staff reasonably fear harm to life, safety, health, or property, a student’s room may be entered without notice.
- While school is in session students will be notified at least 24 hours in advance when College staff or representatives seek access to a student’s room. The resident(s) will be permitted to be present. The 24-hour notice may be waived by the resident. A request for repairs (by FM or contracted services) waives this right.
- During break periods College staff have the right, without advance notice, to enter a student’s room for routine maintenance and inspection.
- When College staff have entered student rooms and find items that violate state, federal, or local laws, the items (including but not limited to firearms, fireworks, weapons, drug paraphernalia, illegal drugs, etc.) will be confiscated and given to the Grinnell Police Department. Campus conduct and/or civil charges may be filed by College officials.
- When there are sufficient grounds* to believe that a theft of personal, College, or organizational property has occurred, the injured party or representatives--in the case of College or organizational--in lieu of contacting the civil authorities, may access the student’s room, locker, or automobile with prior notice.
*Sufficient grounds exist when, in a signed and dated statement, it is shown that: The signer saw in another person’s room an item of identical description to that stolen and had strong reason to believe that it either wasn’t there before the theft or that the item stolen was unique. Or the signer saw a person carrying an item of identical description at about the same time the theft purportedly took place. The search may be of a third party’s room only if the signer saw the alleged thief taking the item into another room. Or the signer saw a person, in the immediate vicinity where the theft took place, carrying a wrapped or covered item of the same size and bulk as that of the stolen property. The search may be of a third party’s room only if the signer saw the alleged thief taking the item into another room. Or there is other evidence submitted by the signer(s) that, in the eyes of the Judicial Council members, is equally as strong as those cited above.
Privacy in Regard to Bathrooms
Each resident also has the right to bathroom use at any time without being intruded upon by someone whose gender is different than his/her/hir own. Bathrooms on gender-neutral floor(s) are considered gender-neutral. One bathroom vote per floor is taken within the first two weeks of classes each semester. Residence Life and Orientation staff distributes ballots to the floor through the Residence Life Coordinator. Student Advisers administer the voting and return the votes to the Residence Life Coordinator for counting. Student Advisers post the outcome of each floor vote. Three options are recognized for floor bathroom facilities: gender-neutral, single-sex, and bathrooms that can be designated by each entering occupant. The entering occupant designated options include the following designations: male (don’t care who enters), male only, female (don’t care who enters), female only, gender-neutral, and empty. The most restrictive vote (i.e., single-sex, entering occupant designated options) determines the use of bathroom facilities on any given floor.
|Author: Residence Life and Orientation|
|Self-Governance Tenets: Responsibility , Accountability, Trust|
Student Housing Responsibilities
Individual Room Responsibilities
- Each student is responsible for the cleanliness and upkeep of her/his/hir own room and the college furnishings that belong in the room.
- Each student who lives in College-owned housing is assigned to a clean, inventoried room, with furniture arranged in an orderly manner. Each room is equipped with a study desk and chair, chest of drawers, or combination desk and chest, mirror, bed with innerspring mattress (36” by 81”), and mattress cover. The floors are made of either wood, linoleum, or tile. Rugs or carpeting and additional small furniture items may be used in the student room. Each window in student rooms is equipped with draperies hung from traverse rods. When moving from the room, the student should leave the room in the same condition in which the student received the room. Students not leaving a clean and orderly room with all inventoried furniture will be billed/charged/fined accordingly.
- Report damage to the room and/or furnishings to the RLC immediately.
- Limitations placed on the room:
- Wall decorations - Pictures, posters, and other decorations may be mounted on the walls from the molding or with small tacks, picture hangers, or double stick tape. Nails are prohibited.
- Painting Student Rooms and Public Areas in the Residence Halls and College-Owned Houses - Students may not paint their own rooms. Students who paint their rooms will be charged a minimum $100 fine plus labor and materials costs. This can easily total $500+.
- College furnishings - Students may not move College furnishings from one student room to another, or from lounges, recreation areas, and dining halls, without permission from appropriate Student Affairs staff members. College-owned furniture may not be taken to the sun decks, loggia, porches, or any outside areas.
- Stacking of college furniture - Stacking of furniture, except beds, is not permissible. Students are encouraged to use beds in assembled condition. The College does not store inventoried furniture.
- Lofting of beds - A limited number of bed extenders are available for lofting beds on north and south campus. They may be obtained through your Residence Life Coordinator. College-owned bed frames and extenders are not designed to support lofted beds without the lower bed spring being secured in place. The College advises against lofting beds. Students lofting their beds using equipment other than what is provided by the College assume all responsibility for injuries and/or damages. Prior to moving out of a room with a lofted bed, the student must dismantle the lofted bed and restore the room to its original condition.
- Electrical Equipment - Electrical appliances, including but not limited to: electric blankets, cooking and heating equipment, heat lamps, halogen lamps, microwave ovens (with the exception of microfridges offered by Huskie Rental), and window air conditioners are not allowed in the residence halls. Students with a medical condition requiring air conditioning may use their own free standing air conditioner. Students are not permitted to alter existing wiring.
- Radio aerials - Permission to install radio aerials must be obtained from the Director of Facilities Management (or designee).
Floor/Hall/House Responsibilities of Each Student
Floor, hall, and house members are collectively responsible for the cleanliness and upkeep of the common areas. Common areas are considered to be those areas generally accessed by the residents of a floor, hall, or house.
- Common areas are clean and orderly when students arrive on campus. Students are responsible for leaving common areas in their original clean and orderly condition when leaving campus.
- Report damages to common areas and furnishings to the Residence Life Coordinator. Depending upon the common area in question, charges and appropriate fines are divided equally among the members listed officially for the particular floor, hall, or house.
- Stairwells and hallways must remain completely clear at all times. No personal items (or College-owned furniture)may be placed in the hallways, stairway, or other common areas.
- Individuals who are identified/responsible for violating these expectations are billed for damages, charges and fines. Residents are released of community damage charges when individuals take responsibility.
- The Dean of Students and/or the Assistant Dean of Students & Director of Residence Life and Orientation may directly charge the students who deny responsibility for damages. Depending on the circumstances, the incident may be taken to Judicial Council.
- Electrical appliances may be used in kitchenettes where adequate wiring is provided.
- With the exception of chalk boards and dry erase boards, College property is not an appropriate medium for drawing, painting, or writing. The use of College property for such purposes without permission from appropriate Student Affairs staff members is considered vandalism.
- Residence halls may require a damage deposit from students using the lounge for activities.