Residence halls and related policies

All students are required to live on campus. Exceptions may be approved by the Dean of Student Affairs due to a personal circumstance (e.g., married students).

Policies governing behavior within the residence halls are based on the principle that the exercise of one person’s rights must not infringe upon the exercise of another’s rights in the ordinary course of daily living. Each student is expected to behave in a manner that respects and considers the rights of others in the college community.

Alcohol and other drugs: No student under the legal drinking age is allowed to possess or consume alcoholic beverages in college residence halls or on college property.

The on-campus possession, use, sale or distribution of illegal narcotics, stimulants, depressants, hallucinogens, or marijuana or its derivatives is prohibited. Possession of drug paraphernalia is prohibited. Misuse of prescription drugs is also prohibited.

All new students receive certified training about appropriate responses to alcohol-related emergencies. Alcohol education programs and alcohol counseling are available throughout the academic year.

Cooking equipment: For reasons of safety, other than the microwave provided by the college, cooking equipment of any other kind is not allowed in individual student rooms. This includes hot plates, toaster ovens, hot pots, immersion heaters, fry pans, etc.

Copyrighted media: In compliance with copyright laws, video cassettes and DVDs intended for home/private use may be shown in public areas within the residence halls only if no admission is charged, no advertising is associated with the viewing and no college funds are used to rent or purchase the videotape.

Damage: Damage to property in a college residence hall is the responsibility of the residents. Each student is responsible for reimbursing the college for any damages caused by her/himself and her or his guests.

Reimbursement for damages to individual rooms are billed to the student(s) living in that room. Damages to common spaces in suits are billed in equal parts to all residents in the suite. When damage occurs in a corridor but cannot be attributed to a specific individual, the costs are billed in equal parts to all residents of that corridor. Reimbursements for damages to public spaces (lounges, team rooms and antelounges) are billed in equal parts to all residents of that floor. Exceptions to public areas include the two residence hall kitchens, trash rooms, exercise rooms, Admission guest rooms, club storage areas, stairwells, custodial closets, elevators and public restrooms.

Each student must complete and return to Facilities Services a Room and Floor Assessment Form at the beginning of the year to avoid being assessed unwarranted charges. Students should also file workorders to report damages during the year. All rooms, corridors and public spaces must be left clean, neat and in order. All furniture must be intact and returned to their original location. Students should not try to repair damages themselves.

Doors: Outside and hallway doors are secured for the safety of residents and their belongings. Tampering with doors or locks to prevent them from closing securely is prohibited. The outside of a room door is considered part of the hallway or common area and, as such, subject to the posting regulations for residence halls as displayed in each residence hall.

Emergency reassignment of housing: Pending final action on violation of college regulations, the Student Affairs reserves the rights to reassign a student to another location or remove a student outright from college housing. The decision to reassign or remove a student shall be made by the Associate Dean of Student Affairs for Programs after consultation with the Dean of Student Affairs. If a student is reassigned or removed outright, the relevant procedures of the student disciplinary system will be initiated within 10 class days after the reassignment/removal.

Fire drills: Periodic fire drills may be conducted in the residence halls during the academic year. When the alarm is sounded, all students must vacate the building. Students may not return until instructed to do so by a college official.

Guests: Overnight guests are permitted in the residence halls, provided that consideration is given to the rights of all permanent occupants. In particular, roommates must give explicit approval. Any guest who remains within the residence hall for more than two consecutive days must be registered with the Associate Dean of Student Affairs for Programs. Four days is the maximum length of time normally permitted for each guest. Special permission from the Associate Dean of Student Affairs for Programs is required for guest stays of longer than four days. Residents assume responsibility for the actions of their guests.

Guest rooms: Students wishing to reserve a guest room for an overnight guest must contact the student head of OVAL or the Associate Dean of Student Affairs for Programs to check on availability. If the guest will be staying for more than two consecutive days, the host student must also notify the Associate Dean of Student Affairs for Programs (as per the policy on overnight guests). Because guest rooms are officially for Admission use, Admission guests take priority over all other guests. Reservations for non-Admission guests may be revoked at any time if a guest room is needed for Admission purposes. As the host, you are responsible for:

  • Providing bedding;
  • Making sure the room is left as clean as or cleaner than you found it (toilet paper and cleaning);
  • Reporting any damages to the person from whom you received the key; and
  • Any costs associated with damage to the room, lost keys/prox cards, etc.

Keys and prox cards must be returned to the person from whom you received them on the date of your guest’s departure. By accepting the key to the guest room you agree to the above rules and responsibilities.

Keys: Cards for hall entrances and keys for rooms are distributed by the Facilities Services staff. An entrance card provides access to all residence halls. If you lose your card or key, you must report the loss to Facilities Services immediately. If it is your room key that is lost, your lock will be changed and you will receive a key for the new lock. There is a fee for each key that is lost. If it is only your entrance card that is lost, there is a replacement fee. Failure to return your key at the end of the year or upon departure from the campus will result in a charge even if the key is subsequently returned.

Lock-outs: If you are locked out of your room, you may come to the Student Affairs office (CC 319 suite) between 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, and temporarily check out a key with proper identification. On holidays, weekends and after 5:00 p.m. on weekdays, contact either the Resident Resource (R2) on duty or the Public Safety Department. An R2 or Babson College Police Officer may check your ID and let you in. Only Students Affairs, R2s and Babson College Public Safety Department staff will let you in; custodians are instructed not to open locked doors for students.

Medical Housing Accommodations: Olin recognizes that some students have special housing needs due to medical and/or psychological conditions. All students who would like to request a housing assignment based on a medical recommendation must follow the process as outlined in the Medical Accommodations Housing Request Form that can be obtained from the Office of Student Affairs and Resources. This form includes a section for students to complete as well as a section for their healthcare provider to complete. Generally, new students must make this request by July 15th for the fall semester and returning students must make this request by March 31st in order for the request to be considered for fall housing room draw. However, requests at any time will be considered on a case by case basis.

Non-college furniture: In an effort to avoid the health and financial issues associated with a bedbug or other pest infestation, the college prohibits upholstered furniture from unaccountable places such as craigslist, town dumps and second-hand shops. New furniture and furniture of confirmed quality (e.g., from family or close friends) is acceptable. Students are expected to comply with this ban under the college’s core values and Honor Code. In addition, the often significant costs associated with addressing any such infestation will be billed to the student(s) responsible for bringing that piece of furniture into the residence halls.

Pets, Assistance Animals and Service Animals: No pets are allowed on campus with the exception of fish. Policies and procedures regarding fish are available from the Associate Dean of Student Affairs for programs. The college does consider requests for Service or Assistance Animals for individuals with disabilities.

Olin College is committed to providing reasonable accommodations to qualified students with disabilities. Students with disabilities who require the use of Service or Assistance Animals as a reasonable accommodation may be permitted to bring such animals on campus provided that they comply with the college’s policies regarding such animals. Students who seek to bring a Service or Assistance Animal to campus must first contact the Office of Student Affairs and Resources (StAR). The Office of Student Affairs staff will determine, on a case-by-case basis, and in collaboration with other offices on campus, whether to approve the student’s request for a Service or Assistance Animal. In making this determination, StAR will consider the needs of the student, as well as the impact of the animal on the campus community. Students seeking to have a Service or Assistance Animal in housing must submit a request for review each academic year.

The animal must not be in residence prior to approval by the Office of Student Affairs. The approval of a request is animal-specific and is not transferable to another animal.

Peddling, canvassing and soliciting: Students may not use or permit the use of their room for peddling or canvassing except as approved by Student Affairs. All peddlers must have written permission from the Student Affairs office. Soliciting in the buildings or on the grounds is prohibited.

Resident Resources: The Resident Resource or R2’s primary responsibility is to demonstrate leadership and initiative in attending to the individual, personal, social and academic needs of students at Olin, including first-year students during their transition from high school to college. In addition, R2s act on a commitment to diversity and pluralism providing leadership within the residence halls to facilitate the development of community while fulfilling the responsibilities described below:

  • Serves as a role model by demonstrating concern and compassion for fellow students, an appreciation for academic pursuits and a responsible and mature social life;
  • Provides emergency on-call coverage for Olin students;
  • Understands and respects confidentiality;
  • Makes referrals to the appropriate person or office, if the student problem appears too severe for R2s to handle effectively, especially with issues such as depression, suicide, eating disorders, etc.;
  • Supports and assists other R2s in evaluating or handling student issues;
  • Serves as a resource for the administration and faculty on matters pertaining to residence life;
  • Provides opportunities for social, cultural and educational programs (e.g., study breaks, co-host events with clubs and organizations, community discussions);
  • Oversees the use of common spaces (team rooms, lounges) and organizes cleaning activities as needed;
  • Serves as first-year student Orientation program staff;
  • Supports fellow R2s and respects the unique challenge of being a R2 on a college campus; and
  • Facilitates the resolution of conflicts and problems when they arise in the residence halls.

Right of entry: The college reserves the right to inspect rooms and perform maintenance at reasonable times, and to enter rooms/suites at any time in case of emergency, in response to a complaint of a disturbance, or when there is reason to believe that a violation of college policy is occurring within the room/suite. Email notice will be provided to students at least 24-hours in advance of non-emergency inspections. Residents are not permitted to change or add private locks or security devices to their rooms/suites or to any part of the building. College personnel are not to enter a room/suite without knocking and, if asked, should identify themselves and their reason(s) for entering the room/suite.

Room alterations: Any physical alterations to a students room without permission from the Student Affairs are strictly prohibited. Student Affairs will consult the Director of Facilities Services before permission is granted.

Room transfers: The Student Affairs office recognizes that not all roommates are compatible and at times a room change may be the only solution to a persistently difficult situation. For administrative purposes, room changes are not allowed during the first two weeks of a semester. For your convenience, the Student Affairs office maintains an available space list. In order to visit rooms with vacancies, contact the Associate Dean of Student Affairs for Programs and she or he will provide the name(s) of the current resident(s) so that you may contact her or him. In order to move into a new space, you must complete a Room Transfer Form available in Student Affairs.

Room vacancies: If a vacancy occurs during the academic year, the remaining occupant has three class days in which to inform Student Affairs, in writing, of the desired new occupant of the room. After this time, Student Affairs reserves the right to assign a new roommate without prior notification. If a bedroom space is needed for the assignment of a student, Student Affairs will assign a new occupant to empty beds or empty rooms as needed. Students are prohibited from subleasing or renting college rooms or beds to protect residence and the community from exposure to safety and security risks.

Social gatherings and parties: Student Affairs encourages social gatherings within the residence halls. Parties or events with alcoholic beverages must be registered with the Associate Dean of Student Affairs for Programs. Large gatherings may require staff and/or Babson College Public Safety coverage at a cost to the event sponsor(s). College staff members may enter to inspect an event at any time. Event sponsors are responsible for assuring that guests adhere to college policies.

Storage of items: Bicycles, motorbikes, furniture, or other items may not be stored in corridors, stairwells, or entryways. The college strongly recommends that all valuable belongings be taken home for intersession and summer vacations. Limited storage is available through Student Affairs. Personal items in storage must be clearly labeled and stored in plastic bins, suitcases, or boxes that are in good condition. Personal items may be stored in designated areas, such as class penthouses. Private storage facilities are also available in the Needham area.

Limited bicycle storage is also available in designated bicycle storage areas. Liquids and hazardous materials may not be kept in storage areas at any time. Unclaimed items in storage will be removed and donated to charitable organizations at the end of the spring semester.

The college insures only its own property against loss. It does not insure against nor reimburse against the loss, from any cause, of student property including student laptops. It is strongly suggested that students who possess property of value insure against loss through their own insurance company.

Strictly prohibited: The following are prohibited in college residence halls:

  • Overloading of electrical outlets;
  • Torchiere-style halogen lamps that use tubular halogen bulbs;
  • Extension cords (use multiple UL power strips instead);
  • Tampering with electrical or lighting fixtures;
  • Open and enclosed flames;
  • Storage or use of flammable fluids that present a fire hazard;
  • Ceiling hangings or furniture that obstruct fire or smoke detectors;
  • Items attached to or hanging from windows;
  • Decorations that present a fire hazard;
  • Access to roofs;
  • Refrigerators not provided by the college and other major kitchen appliances;
  • Water beds, hot tubs and Jacuzzis;
  • Installation of outside antennae or other exterior devices;
  • Throwing items from windows, stairwells, etc.;
  • Relocation of lounge furniture to individual student rooms;
  • Pets (fish are the only exception);
  • Smoking;
  • The use or storage of power tools (electric saws, sanders, drills, routers, etc.) or motorized vehicles; and
  • Painting rooms or suites.