Section 3: Residential Living

All of the policies and codes outlined in the Campus Policies (Section 7) and Code of Conduct (Section 8) sections outline the standards and behaviors expected of all University of the Arts students.  There are additional standards and policies that apply to students living on-campus in University housing.  The policies described below are not meant to serve as a comprehensive list and are subject to review and modification by the Director of Student Life, as deemed necessary for the safety and security of the community.  For more information regarding residential living, please refer to the Student Life website.

All residents are expected to exercise caution when completing art projects or collecting materials to complete projects while in the residence halls.  Paint should be used in an appropriate manner and in well ventilated areas.  Students are not permitted to use paint, including spray paint on any balconies or in stairwells.  Students may not use spray paint in their rooms or in lounge space.  Students may not store hazardous or unsafe materials in their residence hall room.

All residents and guests may be asked to open their bag by Public Safety Officers and Student Life Staff if circumstances warrant.  Residents or guests who are non-compliant with bag check requests may not be permitted to enter the building and/or be subject to disciplinary action.  

Residents may be required to adhere to behavioral agreements should circumstances warrant such an agreement.  Behavioral agreements are developed by the Resident Assistant, Coordinator/HD (HD), the Director of Student Life and/or Associate Dean or Dean of Students, based on the nature of the concern.  These agreements may require students to meet regularly with staff members in the Division of Student Affairs and/or follow behavioral expectations while living in residence.  Failure to adhere to the terms of the agreement may result in the termination of the housing contract without refund.  

The Office of Student Life reserves the right to remove any item from the residential facilities, including students’ apartments that are either prohibited by university policy or compromises student health or safety.  Residents will be held accountable through the conduct process and the item in question may or may not be returned to the student.

In the event that University housing is not at capacity, the University may require students to consolidate rooms. This may require students to move to another room as deemed necessary by the Director of Student Life (or his/her designee). Students who have not contracted or paid for a designated single room, do not have a roommate, and have been requested to consolidate may select another roommate, have a roommate assigned to them, or change rooms.

Students have the following consolidation options:

  1. Consolidate with another student in the same residence hall who is without a roommate, or voluntarily move to a space in another residence hall. The Office of Student Life will supply a list of available spaces and try to match students accordingly or introduce students.
  2. Request the Housing Coordinator reassign them to another room with a roommate.
  3. Opt to pay the single room rate, if space is available and housing is not overbooked, and remain alone in the room for that semester only. This option is available at the discretion of the Office of Student Life and is not available for multiple occupancy (3 or more) rooms. Students have five business days to opt to pay for a single room once they receive notification from Office of Student Life. If students decide not to secure a room as a single, they will not be given an opportunity to do so later.
  4. Stay in their room by themselves without paying the rate. Students must understand that they are not in a single room. If option four is chosen, a roommate could be assigned at any time. Students should only occupy half of the room and leave the other side unused. Once a student is notified that they will be receiving a roommate they cannot opt out and must provide a healthy living environment for everyone in the room. Failure to do so could result in removal from housing.

The resident is individually responsible for any damage to the residence hall room/apartment or University-owned furniture beyond reasonable wear and tear. Damage that results from excess negligence or intentional act may also result in disciplinary action.  The resident may not make material alterations or additions to the apartment, residence hall or University-owned furniture. This prohibition includes, but is not limited to, the use of nails, screws, bolts, or permanent adhesives. Removable or double-sided tapes or adhesives may be used and will not damage walls.   

All residents are equally responsible for damage to common areas in the residence halls in the event that the individual(s) directly responsible is not identified.  The Office of Student Life will notify students by email when and if there will be common space charges placed on their account.

Residents assigned to a space that has unoccupied beds or bedrooms should expect another student to be assigned to these spaces at any time.  Notification of a new roommate will be sent to students when possible; however, this is not always the case.  Residents should not utilize unoccupied beds, furniture or space so that it will be available to an incoming student at any time.  All unoccupied spaces should be kept accessible and clean.  

The resident is required to exit the residence hall immediately in the case of a fire alarm and may not return to the residence hall until instructed to do so by the University.  The resident may not:

  1. intentionally cause a false fire alarm;
  2. interfere with the proper functioning of the fire safety system;
  3. tamper with the sprinkler, smoke detector or fire hose system;
  4. misuse the chemical fire extinguishers;
  5. place items on an active heating device.

The following items and/or acts are prohibited:

  1. items that involve or could involve an open flame. These items include, but are not limited to candles, incense, sterno lamps and kerosene lamps.  
  2. any electrical device that the University deems a fire hazard. These include but are not limited to, hot plates, string lights, halogen lamps, extension cords and live Christmas trees. Students must use power strips in lieu of extension cords.
  3. the hanging of tapestries, cloths or carpeting from the ceiling or walls of the apartment.
  4. smoking, polluting or lingering on the fire escapes or stairwells as they provide an egress to the ground level in case of fire.
  5. obstructed path from the bed to the front door.

Failure to abide by the above fire safety guidelines may result in disciplinary action.

All of the furniture and appliances provided by the University remain the property of the University throughout the resident’s occupancy. The resident may not remove any University-owned furniture or appliances from the apartment. The resident may not remove any University-owned items from the common spaces within the residence hall. Residents are not permitted to build lofts or adjust university furniture into an unsafe position. Failure to abide by the above restrictions may result in disciplinary action. Any furniture brought into the halls that is deemed a health hazard, as defined by the Director of Student Life, is subject to removal.

A guest is defined as any person not assigned to the resident host’s room. Resident hosts must sign in their guest(s) following proper procedure at the front desk of the residence hall.  Resident hosts may not have more than three (3) guests signed in at any given time. Each guest is required to leave a photo identification card at the front desk while in the building.  The guest(s) ID card(s) must remain at the desk until the guest(s) vacate the building. It is the responsibility of the host to inform the guest of the photo ID requirement. Acceptable forms of photo ID include: driver’s license, non-driver’s ID, school ID, or passport. No other forms of ID will be accepted. Guests without ID will not be allowed access into the residence hall, except in emergencies. (See emergency ID section.) Resident hosts must escort their guest(s) at all times within the building, including when they exit the building.

The host is responsible for signing their guests in and out of the residence hall. Resident hosts are responsible for their guest’s actions. A guest may not occupy a resident host’s room when the host is not present. A resident may not pressure a roommate to tolerate the presence of a guest. All guests to a room are subject to the agreement of all room residents. The presence of guests must not restrict free access for assigned residents to all common spaces and any private space they may have or create any situation that infringes on the need of roommates to remain undisturbed. Any student wishing to visit a hall other than the hall to which she/he is assigned must be signed in as a guest by a resident of that hall. Students may not sign in or sign out guest(s) for other residential students. UArts students, in the role of guest or host, are responsible for properly following sign in procedures.

Residents are permitted to have overnight guests in accordance with the above-mentioned policy. However, cohabitation is not permitted and is defined at the discretion of the Director of Student Life. Residents who have guests that are deemed to be cohabitating, or are causing a disruption to the community, will be asked to have their guest leave immediately. Follow-up through the UArts conduct system may apply.

No guest, under the age of 12 years old, is permitted to stay overnight in the residence hall space.

Verified immediate family members who come to visit a resident student and do not have proper ID can be issued an emergency ID by the Student Life On-Call (SLOC) staff member.  Students should contact the Public Safety Officer at the front desk of the residence hall for assistance contacting the SLOC. Requests from non-family members without ID who request building access will be handled on a case-by-case basis by the Public Safety Officer at the desk and residence hall staff on duty. Emergency IDs will only be issued when non-admittance to the residence halls could impact a person’s safety. Emergency IDs will not be issued to guests simply because they forget proper identification.

No guest, regardless of age, may bring alcoholic beverages into the residence halls.  

Residents are responsible for keeping their apartment in a safe and healthy condition.  The Office of Student Life will perform regular inspections of the resident’s apartment to ensure compliance with University standards of health and safe living practices.  The dates and approximate times of these inspections will be communicated to residents at least 48 hours in advance and will be conducted by two (2) staff members from Student Life.  Violation of policies found will be documented and addressed through the conduct review process.  

Students sign an electronic Housing Agreement for the current academic year and are provided with an assignment for a space on campus, not a particular apartment or room. Students who leave the University due to withdrawal, leave of absence (medical or personal), dismissal, or termination of the housing agreement must contact the Office of Student Life and are responsible for officially checking out of their housing assignment.  Similarly, students who are notified during Winter Break that they are being academically dismissed or who choose not to return to the University during the break, must also contact the Office of Student Life and check-out of their assignment as indicated. This check out process must occur no later than 72 hours prior to the Spring Semester opening of the Residence Halls.  If a student is mandated by the Office of Student Life and/or Dean of Students Office to relocate to a new apartment or out of the residence halls, they must do so according to the timeline outlined in the sanction.  Upon departure, a student’s personal items that remain in an apartment more than 48 hours after the student has been re-assigned or removed from residence become the property of the University and will be removed and disposed of accordingly. Failure to adhere to this policy and timelines may result in a fine for improper or late checkout.

The Housing Agreement is a binding document and cannot be broken without documented hardship and approval from the Director of Student Life (or his/her designee). Students who wish to break the agreement must apply to the Office of Student Life by completing the Residence Hall Agreement Cancellation Request Form available on the 3rd Floor of the Gershman Y, Suite 309. If granted, the student will be required to pay a $500 administrative fee.  Additional specific fees and terms apply to international students and are stated clearly in the Housing Agreement.

All residents must display a valid, University-issued ID card with the appropriate residential building and academic term to gain access to the residence halls. The resident must enter the residence halls only through the main entrance at which the Public Safety security station is located. The resident may not intentionally provide another person his/her ID card for the purpose of that other individual gaining access to the residence hall. Failure to abide by the above policies may result in disciplinary action.

In the case that the resident is no longer in possession of the apartment key, the lock mechanism for the apartment door will be replaced for security reasons. The resident will be charged $65.00 for this replacement. A $10.00 charge will be assessed for replacing the mail key.   Failure to return the apartment key upon check-out will require the lock mechanism for the apartment door to be replaced for security reasons. The resident will be charged $65.00 for this replacement. A $15.00 fine will be charged to any resident student account who requires a member of the University staff to open the door to that resident’s apartment. When a resident switches apartments they must return their old key within 72 hours or they will be charged $65 for the lock replacement.

The lounges are for use by residential students and their guests only.  Students are not permitted to sleep or conduct inappropriate behavior in the lounges, nor should they complete projects whose materials have a potential for property damage

Residents are responsible for submitting online work order requests for repairs needed to their apartment at the following address:  In emergency situations, residents should notify the emergency maintenance hotline at 215-717-6011 or ask the Public Safety Officer at their residence hall front desk to contact Maintenance on their behalf.  Residents are responsible for reporting pest concerns online through the website above.  Pest Control services are on site once a week to address reported concerns.

All noise must be kept at a moderate level. Use of percussion instruments is not permitted in the residence halls. Courtesy Hours are in effect at all times, when a resident must lower the level of noise being created upon another resident’s request. Quiet Hours are in effect 24 hours a day during Final Examination, Critiques and Juries Weeks. All residents are expected to act in a conscientious fashion regarding noise levels that respects others including neighbors of the University. Failure to abide by the above guidelines will result in disciplinary action.

If a resident’s eligibility status changes during the length of the Housing Agreement, the resident is expected to move out of the residence halls within forty-eight (48) hours.  If an extension is required, the resident must submit the request in writing to the Office of Student Life. Graduating seniors participating in the University commencement ceremonies will be allowed to remain in the residence halls until the date of commencement.

The Room Condition Report (RCR) is a preliminary assessment of the condition of the assigned apartment verified by both the resident and the University. In order to officially check-in to University housing, the resident must complete a RCR. Failure to properly complete and return the RCR will result in the forfeiture of the right to contest damage assessments made by the University.

In order to checkout of an assigned space in University housing, the resident must complete the following procedure. Failure to complete these steps properly may result in charges against the Residence Hall Damage Deposit. The resident must remove all personal belongings and trash as well as make a reasonable attempt to clean the apartment. Personal belongings remaining in the apartment following check-out will be removed and discarded by the University at a cost to the resident. The resident must return the key for the apartment door and mailbox, if applicable, to the Office of Student Life.  The resident must remove the on-campus student identification sticker on his/her University ID. The resident must sign the Resident Checkout Form or Express Checkout Form, acknowledging responsibility for the present condition of the apartment.

The University is not responsible for loss or damage of personal property in the residence halls. Students are encouraged to purchase private insurance and/or to obtain personal lockboxes.  In addition, students should refrain from keeping cash and/or expensive items in their residence hall apartment. Students should keep their apartment doors locked whenever they are not present.

Pets of any kind are not permitted in the residence halls, except for fish. The maximum size for an aquarium is 15 gallons.  Failure to abide by the above restriction will result in a $25.00 fine for each day the pet remains in the residence hall. Students requesting exceptions to this policy under the auspices of the Americans with Disabilities (ADA) Act, must do so through the Office of Educational Accessibility.

Students may not participate in any physical activity or recreation inside the residence halls that poses a threat to the safety of other students or to the facility itself. These activities include, but are not limited to, hall ball, skateboarding, roller-blading, roller-skating, bike riding, and throwing objects. Failure to abide by the above prohibitions may result in disciplinary action.

All signs, either from students or from outside vendors, must have prior approval from the Office of Student Life to be posted and/or hung in or around residential facilities. Approved signs, posters and advertisements will be given to RAs to be hung throughout the building accordingly. Students who do not live in a respective building are not permitted to roam freely hanging up posters. Signs that have not been approved or are placed in an inappropriate location may be moved or taken down. Please use ONLY transparent tape or poster putty to post signs. Signs and posters may not be hung on interior and exterior entrances and exits, in stairwells, or in elevators.  

For safety and security reasons, residents may not access the following areas of any residence hall:

  1. Roof and/or terraces;
  2. Balconies;
  3. Fire-escapes and/or stairwell except for exit due to fire or other emergency.

The following are prohibited for use and/or possession in the residence halls.  This is not a comprehensive list.  Any other item that is deemed unsafe or inappropriate for residential living may be considered prohibited, at the discretion of the Director of Student Life.

  1. Air Conditioners (not issued and installed by the University)
  2. Candles
  3. Extension cords
  4. Fireworks
  5. Flammable decorations
  6. Halogen lamps
  7. Holiday lights
  8. Hookahs
  9. Incense
  10. Live Christmas trees
  11. Microwave ovens (except for those provided by the University)
  12. Open flames of any kind
  13. Refrigerators (except for those provided by the University)
  14. Rope lights
  15. Space Heaters
  16. String lights
  17. Tattoo equipment
  18. Waterbeds
  19. Weapons

Residents may not be involved in defenestration, the act of causing an object to fall out of a window.  This includes, but is not limited to trash, ashes, cigarette butts or other items or fluids.  Students found responsible for violating this policy may be relocated to another residence hall, or removed from campus housing, immediately. Students will be responsible for any damage caused to University or private property damaged in the act of defenestrating.  Other sanctions may apply as well, based on the nature of the incident.

Room Entry/Search Policy
The University respects each student's right to privacy and is committed to protecting this right. However, University officials (Student Life, Public Safety, Facilities, etc.) may enter a student room when they have reason to believe that the health or safety of residents and/or residential space is in jeopardy or a University policy is being violated. Generally, all residence hall rooms will be entered and inspected by hall staff for safety, security and health concerns twice per semester and before hall closings prior to breaks. While Student Life staff will not conduct a room search, they may open cabinets or closets to find fire equipment and/or locate safety hazards.  If, in the course of doing so, they locate an item or items that are banned via this Handbook or Student Life policies, that item will be confiscated via Public Safety and the issue will be addressed as outlined in the Student Code of Conduct.  Maintenance may also enter rooms to perform necessary repairs, as needed. 

Permission of the resident to enter a room is suggested by procedure but NOT required and, while University personnel will attempt to have the room resident(s) present when entering a room, this may not always be possible.
If the staff person has reason to believe that some condition exists that constitutes a threat to the safety or well-being of the occupants of the building or the campus, or that a probable violation of University policy or State or Federal Law is occurring or has occurred, a cursory search of student rooms may be done. A cursory search of a room includes viewing everything that is in plain sight.  At the discretion of the Office of Student Affairs and Dean of Students, or his/her designee, a student’s room may be searched thoroughly.

A room search will only be conducted when authorized by one of the following people:

  1. Associate Vice President for Student Affairs & Dean of Students
  2. Associate Dean of Students
  3. Director of Student Life
  4. Assistant Director for Student Conduct

Students do not have to be present for the search, but University personnel will make a good faith effort to contact the student and provide them with written documentation of search authorization either at the time of the search or the next business day. During the search, the student may be required to open any locked trunks, suitcases, etc. If the student is not present, any item in the room, including purses, trunks, etc., may be searched. The University will take due care to ensure proper handling of student’s belongings, but are not liable for damage or clean up as a result of a room search. Any paraphernalia confiscated during the search that violates State or Federal law will be turned over to Philadelphia Police Department to address according to law.

No solicitation is permitted in or around the residence halls.

The University of the Arts maintains a smoke-free environment. Smoking is prohibited in all areas of the residence halls. Students found smoking in their apartments, hallways, roofs, stairwells, catwalks, and/or balconies will be in violation of the smoking policy and will be subject to disciplinary action. Any used cigarettes, ashtrays, smoking paraphernalia, and/or ashes will be considered a violation of the smoking policy. Smoking is, in part, defined as carrying or holding of any lit or ignited pipe, cigar, cigarette, electronic cigarette, or any other lit or battery operated smoking equipment or device. Smoking is permitted only out of doors and 20 feet from building entrances and exits.

Students who wish to request housing accommodations or adjustments due to a disability must contact the Office of Educational Accessibility at 215-717-6616. For more information, please refer to the following website:

Students who are assigned to temporary or overflow spaces will be required to relocate to a permanent space once one is available. Students will be kept informed of their status and be given instructions with regards to moving and vacating temporary spaces.

Students are not permitted to have weapons on campus including, but not limited to, firearms of any kind, kung fu sticks, shuriken, knives (other than eating utensils), cap guns, ammunition and explosives (or explosive chemicals), among other dangerous weapons or substances. Students found to be in possession of such weapons or substances are subject to sanctions ranging up to expulsion from the University. Weapons used as props, whether real or otherwise, are not permitted in the residence halls.