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Residence Hall and Room Visitation Policy

Students living in University owned residence hall rooms and suites may have visitors twenty-four hours, seven days per week. It is assumed that all visitors are invited and/or welcome. The terms guest and visitor are used interchangeably, defined according to the following categories:

  • Those individuals not officially assigned by the University to a particular residence hall room.
  • Those individuals not officially assigned by the University to a specific residence hall.


General Parameters

Roommates are expected to discuss with each other the general parameters for hosting visitors within the confines of the room (e.g., advance notice, acceptable visitation hours, visitor behavior, etc.). It is the responsibility of the host to ensure that the presence of a guest does not infringe upon the rights of their roommates. Any resident planning to host an overnight visitor is expected to secure prior permission from all their roommates before inviting a guest to stay. Cohabitation is not allowed. No visitor will be allowed to stay within a room for more than two consecutive days.

Bathroom facilities located on residence hall floors are designated for usage according to gender. Use is thus restricted to persons of the same gender as those individuals assigned to the rooms on the floor. Visitors of the opposite gender are required to use bathroom facilities designated for them in other locations throughout the residence hall.

Visitors are expected to follow the rules and regulations of the University, with hosts required to assume full responsibility and accountability for the behavior of visitors. Visitors who are Shippensburg University students will also be held accountable for violations of the Student Code of Conduct. Any resident negatively affected by another student’s guest is encouraged to contact the residence life staff for assistance.

Guests of residential students are required to register their motor vehicle with the University Police upon arrival. There is no charge for this service. The University Police Station is open twenty-four hours per day, seven days per week. Failure to register a vehicle may result in the issuance of a parking citation.

Residents of campus residence halls may, by secret ballot and after at least two weeks of classes, choose to restrict the visitation on their particular floor. If residents desire to limit visitation hours on their floor only, a meeting must be called that allows open debate regarding the proposed restrictions. Within three class days following the meeting, a secret ballot will occur. Only floor members are eligible to vote. Residence life staff will administer the election and tally the results. Seventy-five percent of the total floor residents must vote in favor of the proposed visitation restrictions in order to implement them. If passed, restricted visitation hours go into effect immediately, subject to enforcement by both the residents and the residence life staff.


Residence Hall Sign-In Procedures (Out-of-Hall Visitors)

Nonresident visitors must be met in the main lobby by a host who resides within that particular residence hall. The host and guests are expected to proceed directly to the lobby desk and complete the registration process. Note: During periods when the hall desk is staffed by a desk assistant, he or she will assist in the registration process. During periods when the desk is closed, residents are expected to register guests by completing the card and placing it in the registration box which is available at each residence hall desk. It is a violation of this policy to host visitors without registering them at the hall desk. Violators are subject to University judicial action.


Residence Hall Escort Policy (Out-of-Hall Visitors)

Any visitor, regardless of gender, must be escorted by their host if not a resident of the hall he or she is visiting. Any situation involving an unescorted visitor will be considered a violation of this policy and will subject the host and visitor to judicial action by the University.


Overnight Guest Policy Specific to Minors

Housing and Residence Life welcomes all visitors in residence halls provided that they are in accordance with all university rules and regulations. However, because of the significant responsibility and level of care required for children, siblings or individuals under the age of 18 that are not currently enrolled at Shippensburg University, they are not permitted to stay in residence as an overnight visitor unless taking part in a recognized university special event, i.e. Siblings Weekend or are on-campus at the behest of the University. All overnight guests must have and provide a photo ID.


Residence Hall Room Entry Policy

Shippensburg University is committed to the protection of students’ right to privacy within the confines of their assigned residence hall rooms. This right to privacy is balanced by a responsibility to ensure the health and safety of the University community. The University also has an obligation to protect its property, service functions, and educational mission from damage or disruption. It is within this context that the following guidelines were established:

University staff members shall generally enter a residence hall room within the following parameters:

  • Under conditions of serious threat to the safety or well-being of persons or property. Such conditions must be above and beyond the routine responsibilities of the staff members.
  • To eliminate disturbing noise emanating from an electronic device (e.g., alarm clocks, stereos) in a room with no occupants present. The staff members may enter the room, disable the device, and immediately leave.
  • To perform routine maintenance, complete repairs, or to conduct regular room inspections. Room inspections are generally for assessing compliance with fire safety regulations, damage, health conditions, maintenance needs, and cleanliness. Such inspections are generally announced at least twenty-four hours in advance. Residents need not be present during the room inspection.
  • When instructed to by an authorized police officer.
  • With the permission of an assigned resident.
  • Upon the issuance of an administrative search warrant.

Upon entering a room according the aforementioned guidelines, staff members may confiscate and document items that constitute violations of law or University rules, regulations, and policies. These items must be in plain, unobstructed view of the staff member. Police personnel may also be called when appropriate. Confiscated items (e.g., cooking appliances) not in violation of local, state, and federal laws will be returned to the owner when appropriate. Additionally, University staff members will not routinely admit a third party to another person’s assigned room without the consent of the occupant.

State and federal law governs the protocol for entry into and/or search of campus rooms when enforcing criminal statutes. Such entry is normally the responsibility of police personnel.

The issuance of an administrative search warrant is typically based on probable cause. Probable or reasonable cause is less than certainty and more than mere suspicion that the search of a particular dwelling will disclose specific evidence. Absent exigent circumstances, administrative searches must have the advance approval of the President, or the Vice President for Student Affairs, or the Dean of Students, or a designee. Once approval is received, persons entering a dwelling should announce themselves and their purpose. A lack of response from within the dwelling in a reasonable amount of time may justify the use of a master key to enter the premises. The search for evidence justifies intrusion only into the areas of the dwelling where such items may be found. Violations discovered during this administrative action will be subject to resolution within the University student conduct system.