Designated College staff members, including but not limited to, public safety officers, residential life staff and facilities management personnel have the authority to enter and inspect rooms for health and safety purposes, conduct repairs or investigate any suspicion of student endangerment or policy infractions at any time without permission or consent of the student occupant(s). Students are expected to cooperate with reasonable requests for entry. College staff will never enter a student’s room without probable cause. College staff will respect students’ privacy in their rooms; however, representatives of the College will enter a student’s room under the following conditions:
- In circumstances when there is the possibility of danger to life, health, safety or property.
- When there is evidence that the College or residence hall policies (in Section C or Section D of the Blue Book) have been violated. (Examples of “evidence” may include, but not limited to, observing alcohol bottles or drug paraphernalia; smelling smoke or odors that might indicate cigarette or drug use; attempts to obscure evidence such as towels wedged under doors, vents covered or fans “unnecessarily” blowing air out open windows.)
- As needed for the inspection of general physical conditions and/or damage of the room, inspection of fire safety/evacuation or health standards or when the student has requested inspection or repair work.
- In conjunction with the hall closings, Thanksgiving, semester and spring breaks, for inspection of all rooms after they are vacated to ensure proper closing of all residence halls. If during these checks, there is visible evidence of a violation of College policy, local, state or federal regulations, a College official will document the situation and may confiscate any prohibited items. If items are confiscated, a confiscation report will be submitted and the students will be notified. Confiscated items will be stored in a secure location until a follow up meeting is had with the student(s).
Designated College staff members, including but not limited to, public safety officers, residential life staff or facilities management personnel who are in a student’s room may react to or report any violation of the law or College policies based on visible evidence or suspicious odors (for example, stolen property, weapons, illegal drugs or drug paraphernalia, alcohol and health hazards).
A search can be conducted if the student is present and gives consent to the search. A physical search can also be authorized by court authority (if police are involved) or by permission of the executive director of residential life and campus safety or associate dean of student success and director of student development. A reasonable effort will be made to have the student occupant(s) in question present during the search which would be conducted by a member of the department of public safety and/or a professional member of the residential life staff.
Resident assistants (RAs) are often first responders and may conduct a visual scan or assessment to verify the presence of evidence that resulted in a later need to enter. RAs will never conduct a physical search of property.
Note: Most routine maintenance and inspections occur when classes are not in session. If students are on campus and inspections are needed, every attempt is made to notify the student 24 hours in advance. Occasionally, an emergency arises or unscheduled maintenance is needed and notification cannot occur. In these situations (water damage or flood, electrical issues, fire, etc.), facilities management personnel will enter the room to observe damage and make necessary repairs. Facilities management personnel staff will not be observing or reporting campus violations to other staff unless it is extreme or life threatening. Their goal is to address a reported repair or address an emergency. In these circumstances, rooms may be entered without the resident being present.
If room entry is required by a resident assistant, every attempt will be made for the RA to be of the same gender as the resident. However, students residing on a coed floor should understand that this may not always be possible.