Policies

The following policies were developed to ensure the safety and well-being of all Bryn Mawr residents and are grouped into the following categories: General Housing Policies, Fire and Safety Policies and Residence Living Policies. Read all policies carefully and contact the Residential Life Office with any questions.

GENERAL HOUSING POLICIES

Emergencies: In an emergency, call Campus Safety at 911 from on campus. If calling from off campus or from a cell phone, call 610-526-7911. For dorm or facilities problems that occur Monday through Friday between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m., call Facilities Services at 610-526-7930. After hours, call Campus Safety at 610-526-7911.

Damaged or Missing College Property: Students are expected to take responsibility for any damage they cause to individual rooms or common areas of the hall and to hold one another accountable for such damage through the Social Honor Code. Anyone causing damage, whether intentionally or by accident, should report the situation to the Department of Facilities Services and pay the costs of repair or replacement. The College accepts no responsibility for damages to student belongings. Damages to common areas that are not reported to the College will be considered the joint responsibility of all residents of the hall. The repair/replacement costs will be charged to all hall residents by dividing the total cost by the number of residents.

Repairs or replacement of room damages, beyond normal wear and tear, and missing furniture are fined according to cost. The College reserves the right to charge the residents of the hall to replace missing items and prorate the cost to all residents. It is the responsibility of the hall residents to demonstrate to the College that no member of the hall is at fault if this sort of charge is to be avoided. Fall-semester fines will be reviewed after March 1. Spring-semester fines will be reviewed after July 1. Questions about fines should be directed to Facilities Services.

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Entering Student Rooms: Residential Life staff (including Hall Advisors), Campus Safety officers, Facilities Services staff and other College personnel may enter student rooms only:

  • At the request of the resident (e.g., if locked out)
  • In case of emergency
  • At the start of winter vacation so that rooms may be checked for security or conservation risks
  • In order to enforce Housing Policy violations
  • In case of physical-plant difficulties with the building or room. Usually, such entries are at the request of the resident. However, College personnel may be required to enter a room to solve a physical-plant problem that affects all or part of the building.

In all cases, students' right to privacy and the College's rights and responsibilities must be respected. If a room must be entered without advance knowledge of the resident, a note will be left on that student's door. The note will state that the room was entered, by whom and for what reason. If rooms must be entered as part of some planned project or for another purpose, written notice will be posted in the hall in advance.

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Opening of Residence Halls/Early Return: There are three ways you may return to campus in the fall:

  • on or after the official opening of dorms, for no charge
  • early return for personal reasons, for a fee
  • as a member of a College-sponsored program, as described below

The official first day for all upperclass (non-frosh) student move-in is the Friday before classes begin. There will be no charge for students moving in on or after this day. Dorms will open at 9 a.m.

If a student must return before that date for personal reasons, she must make arrangements with the Office of Residential Life to return as early as the Wednesday before classes begin. No personal early returns will be allowed before this day. There is a charge of $50 per day for a personal early return.

A student may return as a part of a College-sponsored program, such as Athletics, Customs, Hall Advising, or working in a campus office. The sponsoring office must make arrangements for the early return of these students no later than July 15 to avoid charges. After this date, an office may request new or additional early returns, but will be charged a fee per request. After August 1, an additional fee will be applied. Either the student or the office must be prepared to cover this charge.

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Vacation Closing: During vacation breaks, campus services including transportation, dining services and health services will not be provided. Dorms will remain open during fall, Thanksgiving, and spring breaks, but not during winter break. Winter break housing is in Rhoads, and arrangements for winter break housing must be made in advance through the Office of Residential Life.

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Summer Housing: Summer residence is a privilege made available by College programs and the Office of Conferences and Events on a space-available basis. Students residing at Bryn Mawr during the summer are expected to abide by all College policies, as well as local and state laws, without exception. As during the academic year, summer residents are encouraged to resolve disputes via individual confrontation and communication, as well as through community dialogue. Should these attempts fail, residents should contact the Campus Safety to report concerns involving policy violations. These reports will be investigated and reported to the Residential Life Office. On the first report of violation, a notice will be issued to the resident. Ordinarily, on the second report of violation, the individual will be evicted from housing.

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Residential Status:

Cancellation of Housing Agreement: If you would like to cancel your room, written notification must be received in the Office of Residential Life by June 15th before the beginning of the academic year. Once written notice is received, you will be charged a $100 cancellation fee. If notification is not received until after June 15, you will be charged a $500 fee.

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Bi-College Safety: Due to the Bi-College nature of Bryn Mawr and Haverford Colleges, if either College determines that the presence of an individual poses a safety risk to the campus community, that individual will be deemed a safety risk on both campuses, and if either College determines that a student must be barred from residence on its campus, either pending investigation or after final resolution of that investigation, the student also will be barred from residence on the other campus.

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Leaving in Mid-Semester: Students who leave residence after classes have begun must remove all belongings from the residence halls and return keys to Facilities Services. For more information, contact the Residential Life Office or your dean.

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Summer Residency: Summer housing arrangements must be made through the Office of Conferences and Events.

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Off-campus to On-campus: Moving from off-campus to on-campus residence halls is subject to availability, and arrangements must be made with the Residential Life Office.

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On-campus to Off-campus:  Any student wishing to live off campus must request permission to do so by submitting an Off Campus Housing Petition to the Office of Residential Life or by choosing the off campus option in Room Draw. First-year students are not permitted to live off campus unless they are planning to live with nearby relatives. Students considering living off campus should be aware of local zoning regulations that apply to student houses. Lower Merion Township regulations define a “student home” as: “A living arrangement for students unrelated by blood, marriage or legal adoption attending or about to attend a college or university, or who are on a semester or summer break from studies at a college or university, or any combination of such persons. Student homes shall not include fraternities, sororities or community residential programs."

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Accommodations for persons with disabilities: Students with disabilities or chronic medical conditions who require modifications in housing arrangements should contact Access Services for procedures and documentation requirements.

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FIRE AND SAFETY POLICIES

In order to provide maximum safety and security for resident students, buildings and property, students must abide by the following safety policies. Students who violate these policies will be subject to disciplinary action including but not limited to fines, relocation, denial of College housing and exclusion from the College, as well as civil and criminal liability.  In addition to the following policies, students are expected to keep all their belongings inside their dorm rooms.  Hallways must be clear of clutter to provide clear pathways for egress in the event of an emergency.

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Cooking Appliances:  Coffee makers and electric water kettles with automatic shutoff are permitted in dorm rooms.
Cooking appliances, including, but not limited to, toasters, toaster ovens, rice cookers, hot plates, panini makers, grills, and microwaves are not permitted. The cooking of raw foods is not permitted in residence halls, as this poses fire and food safety risks.
If any appliances not adhering to this policy should be brought to the attention of the college administration, the student will be responsible for the immediate removal of the prohibited appliance and incur a $250 fine. The Residence Council advises all students to limit the number of energy-consuming appliances in their rooms.

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Air Conditioning: Air conditioning is not available in Bryn Mawr dorms. Housing accommodations for room air conditioners will only be provided for those students with documented disabilities through the Access Services Office.  If an accommodation for air conditioning is approved, Facilities Services will install the air conditioner unit.  Students may not install their own units.  Due to the nature and design of our residence halls, all dorms and rooms do not accommodate air conditioning units.  Students are encouraged to request modifications in housing and to provide the required documentation as early as possible to allow sufficient time for consideration and planning.  Otherwise, housing options may be limited.   

Bryn Mawr College is committed to providing equal access for all qualified students with disabilities in compliance with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990.  Reasonable accommodations are provided for qualified students who disclose a disability that causes substantial limitations in a college environment.  Accordingly, the College will consider modifying housing arrangements, when appropriate, to help a student compensate for a disability or chronic medical condition that has a significant impact in a residential setting.

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Space Heaters: For fire safety reasons, students are not permitted to bring space heaters for their dorm rooms.  Any concerns about room temperature or heating should be directed to Facilities Services. 

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Dangerous Articles, Substances and Activities: The items and activities specified below are prohibited on the College campus. Violators will be subject to disciplinary action, including but not limited to fines, relocation, denial of College housing and exclusion from the College, as well as civil and criminal liability. If dangerous articles or substances are discovered in a room, they will be impounded.

  • Possession or use of weapons, including but not limited to air rifles, pellet guns, pistols, firearms, ammunition, hunting equipment, knives and swords, is expressly prohibited.
  • Possession or use of dangerous substances, including but not limited to gunpowder, fireworks, explosives, gasoline and kerosene, is expressly prohibited.
  • Possession or use of illegal or controlled substances, including but not limited to illegal or controlled drugs, is expressly prohibited.


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Fire Emergency: In the event of a fire alarm (real or drill), evacuate the building immediately until given clearance to return by Campus Safety officers or the Fire Department. Be familiar with fire evacuation routes, fire alarms and fire extinguishers. Information is available through Campus Safety. Report all fires or fire hazards to Campus Safety immediately 610-526-7911.

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Fire Safety: No open flames, including candles and incense, are permitted in the residence halls. No fires are permitted in the fireplaces. Extension cords under rugs are serious fire hazards. Take special care in using electrical outlets. Do not overload outlets; do not use more than two electrical appliances per outlet. No fire extinguisher may be discharged except to fight a fire. There is a charge of $50 for each improper use of a fire extinguisher. Such improper use of a fire extinguisher poses an extreme danger to life and property. Halogen lamps are potential fire hazards. Do not place one near flammable items and never leave a burning lamp unattended.

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Roofs: Students are not permitted on the roofs of College buildings for any reason. Terraces, balconies, and other structures accessible by windows are defined as roofs under this policy. Violators are subject to action by the dean and will be fined.

Smoking: Smoking is prohibited in all residence halls and at the main entrances to all campus buildings.

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Smoke Detectors:Under no circumstances may students cover, disable, or otherwise tamper with room smoke detectors.. A student who engages in such behavior will be subject to disciplinary action including but not limited to fines, relocation, denial of College housing and exclusion from the College, as well as civil and criminal liability.

Sprinklers: Under no circumstances may students hang objects from or otherwise tamper with room sprinklers. A student who activates a sprinkler will be subject to disciplinary action including but not limited to fines, relocation, denial of College housing and exclusion from the College, as well as civil and criminal liability.

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Tea Pantries: Tea pantries are equipped with refrigerators, microwave ovens, and toasters and are available for student use. The pantries are designed for heating already prepared foods such as frozen meals, canned or dried foods, soups, and hot beverages. Preparation and cooking of raw foods is strictly prohibited in the tea pantries, as well as all other dorm spaces, due to fire and food safety risks. Additional cooking appliances may not be brought to the tea pantries, including personal microwaves and toasters.

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RESIDENCE LIVING POLICIES

Cleaning: Housekeeping will clean common areas and bathrooms. Students clean their own rooms.

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Decorating: Only student rooms and bedroom doors may be decorated, not hallways or common areas. Students may decorate their doors using appropriate adhesives that do not damage paint or other surfaces. Residents are responsible for damage to walls, ceilings and doors. Damages will be charged to student accounts. The College reserves the right to remove without warning any decorations that violate these rules.

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Flashlights: To comply with a Lower Merion Township ordinance, all students who reside at the College must have flashlights in their rooms. Bring one flashlight with you.

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Furniture: All furniture should remain in student rooms. Please do not leave furniture in hallways; it constitutes a fire hazard. Any furniture-related problems should be reported to Housekeeping at 610-526-7945. On final inspection, a replacement charge will be assessed for each item missing from student rooms.

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Guests:   Residence spaces are not available to accommodate spouses, partners, family members, children or other dependents of College resident students. Overnight guests are permitted only with the consent of all roommates and for a maximum stay of three nights. Hosts are responsible for assuring that their guests comply with all College policies and the Honor Code. In fairness to all residential students and their hallmates, repeated and/or frequent guests (including other students) are strongly discouraged. This includes guests who visit frequently who do not necessarily stay overnight. Guests, whether fellow Bryn Mawr students or off-campus visitors, are not permitted to sleep or stay overnight in dorm common spaces for any reason. The spirit of the guest policy applies to all residential students, including those who live in single rooms. Violations of the spirit of the guest policy could result in administrative action that may result in loss of guest, as well as campus housing privileges.

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Heating: The optimum room temperature during the winter months is between 68 and 70 degrees Fahrenheit. Should you feel that there is a problem with the heating unit in your room, contact Facilities Services, 610-526-7930.

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Insurance: The College does not insure the contents of student rooms or storage areas. The College assumes no responsibility for loss due to fire, theft or any other cause. Students are therefore urged to obtain a rider to their family homeowner’s insurance or a separate policy to protect against loss through theft and other risks.

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KEYS

Moving In: Keys must be picked up at the Facilities Services office in the Ward building between the hours of 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday. If you are moving in after 5 p.m. on weekdays or on the weekend, you must go to the Public Safety Office to be let into your room.

During your stay: If you are locked out of your room, you may contact Campus Safety, which will respond in as timely a manner as possible.However, they may be delayed by other circumstances on campus. Lockout calls do not have priority status.

Lost Keys: Students who lose their keys or whose keys do not work properly should promptly request replacements at Facilities Services. There is a charge of $50 for each replacement key.

One Cards: One cards are used for campus building access, library services, photo ID, meal plan authorization, and access to declining balance accounts.  Lost one cards must be reported to the One Card Office as soon as possible. A replacement fee will be charged.

Moving Out: Room keys must either be returned to the Facilities Services office in the Ward Building or left in the Facilities Services drop box in the Campus Center. Keys may not be returned to the offices of Campus Safety or Residential Life.

Laundry: Cashless laundry machines are located in each dorm. For repair, call Facilities Services.

Lofts: Students are not permitted to construct lofts in their rooms because they are fire and safety hazards and cause structural damage. Violators are subject to administrative action.

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Meal Plan: All resident students except those in Batten House and Mermont apartments are required to participate in the board plan. Please see the section on Dining Services for further information.

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Painting: Note that student room painting is chargeable damage. Residents will be charged for repainting and for tape, paint, poster putty, decals, and/or nails in/on room (including doors) and/or corridor walls.

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Pets: Because of the College’s concern for the health and well being of all, pets are not allowed in the residence halls. Violations of the pet policy may result in administrative action that may include, but is not limited to, charges for cleaning and/or pet removal or boarding costs, as well as loss of on-campus housing privileges. An appropriately trained Service Animal, as defined by the American with Disabilities Act as amended in 2008, will be permitted if necessary to ensure access for a student with a disability.  For additional information, please contact the coordinator of Access Services at 610-526-7351.

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Room Assessment Procedure: Facilities Services conducts room-condition checks at the beginning and end of each academic year. Students complete a form and return it to the College on each occasion. College staff verify these reports and charge residents for any damage to the room or its furnishings. You should complete an assessment form to protect yourself from charges for damage that you did not cause.

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Room Assignments: Residence on campus is required of all undergraduates except those who live with their families in the immediate vicinity, and those who live in houses or apartments off campus after having received permission from the College and their parents to do so. A Room Draw system based on class priority and computer-assigned random numbers has been established by the Residence Council. Room Draw takes place in April. Single rooms are not guaranteed. Room Draw merely provides an opportunity to select a room. Residence selections, once made, remain in effect for the entire academic year. Students may not unofficially trade one room or space for another. Rooms and places in specific halls are not automatically retained from year to year. Room Draw rules are posted online in mid-March. Make sure to read and understand them.

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Room Changes: One of the practical results of Bryn Mawr’s principle of individual responsibility is the Residence Council’s policy on room changes. The main premise of this policy is that a change in room assignment is a special case based on unusually problematic circumstances. Roommates are expected to do their best to make a success of their placement. We encourage the resolution of problems and of difficult situations according to the principles of the Honor Code and through consultation with resource people in the halls. Students who have not demonstrated this effort will not be granted room changes.

The Residence Council’s Special Cases Committee meets to consider confidentially those requests submitted by persons who feel that they need room changes.  Forms are available from the Residential Life Office. Please note that no room changes are acted upon until Oct. 1.

No change may be made without talking to one’s roommate and going through the application process of the Residence Council Special Cases Committee. Students must try to work out conflicts or problems before requesting a room change. Trading of rooms is not allowed in any case. Confidentiality is strictly observed by the Special Cases Committee and by the Residential Life staff who work with the group.

There is a $30 charge to be shared by all roommates for all room changes. Unauthorized moves result in a $50 charge and the students involved must return to their original rooms.

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