Policies

Room Entry

Room Entry

Entering a student room

Policy: All due respect is given to the privacy that residents enjoy in their rooms.  Occasionally circumstances present themselves which necessitate authorized college personnel to enter a student’s room for the purpose of (1) health and safety, college property inventory, (2) repair and maintenance, (3) active pursuit of college, state or federal policy violation, or (4) emergencies where imminent danger to life, safety, health, or property is reasonably suspected. When possible, advance notice will be given to students.  In the event of a room entry, any items in plain view that violate college policies will be confiscated and handled through the student conduct process.

General Procedure:  Whenever a room is to be entered, the authorized college staff will knock, announce themselves, and wait for permission to enter. If no response by a resident or room occupant is made after a reasonable length of time, the staff member will announce the intention to “key in” and then enter.  If a room is entered without a resident being present, the staff member(s) will notify the resident(s) stating the room was entered, by whom, and detailing the purpose for the entry.

Health, safety, and college property inventory

A review of the condition of residence rooms occurs at the beginning of fall semester by both a residence life staff member and the resident(s).  A room inspection will, also, occur by residence life staff at either the termination of the resident’s agreement or the end of each semester, whichever is earlier.  Common living areas in residence units and non-individually owned contents of the area, such as lounges, stairwells and kitchenettes, are not subject to the following procedures as they are not considered the private living area of the resident(s) as they are open to all members of the community.

A room evaluation will determine the condition of the living environment in light of health, safety and/or living rule expectations, and/or damage to college property.

Procedure:

Beginning of fall semester: Central College staff members enter each room prior to residence hall opening for first-year students to visually inspect the room.  Upon arrival, each resident is required to complete a room condition report form to establish the agreed upon conditions of the room prior to occupancy.  Accurate and thorough completion of the room condition report form is strongly encouraged as it is used upon the resident’s check-out to compare the condition of the room for assessment of damages.

End of semester:  Central College staff members enter each room at the end of each semester to do a visual survey of the room, closet, and bath under the following guidelines.

Reminder notices of intent to enter resident rooms will be posted at least one week before the end of each semester.

Residents’ personal possessions are not moved or examined unless there is a visible violation of college policy.  If any resident possessions are removed from the room due to policy/safety violation, the resident will be notified.

When possible, two staff members participate in the inspection.

College personnel inspecting the room will follow the general procedure outlined above.

Repair and maintenance

Resident rooms may be accessed to address maintenance concerns or repairs either due to resident request (maintenance request form) or due to college personnel (residence life or facilities, planning, and management) determination of needed repair using the general procedure identified above.

Active pursuit of college, state, or federal policy violation(s)

Entry into and inspection of a room may be authorized by the dean of students or designee when college staff has reasonably determined a college, state, or federal policy is currently being violated within a room and that such entry would result in evidence of that violation.  In the event of a room entry, any items that violate policies, whether or not the original target of the search, will be confiscated and handled through the student conduct process.

Procedure:  The following procedure is generally used in the active pursuit of a college, state, or federal policy violation.

Residence life and/or student safety staff members will, initially, request cooperation from the resident and/or room occupant(s) to address the alleged policy violation.  The resident and/or room occupant(s) will be asked for assistance in identifying and resolving the policy violation(s).

If cooperation is not obtained, residence life and/or student safety staff members will contact the dean of students (or designee) to request that a search be permitted.  Permission for such searches will only be given when there is substantial reason to believe that a violation of college policy is currently occurring and that such a search will reveal evidence of that violation.  The dean of students (or designee) will search all areas potentially containing the policy violation including refrigerators, closets/wardrobes, dressers, desks, bathrooms, bedrooms, etc.

The dean of students (or designee) will document all items confiscated with the list provided to the resident or room occupants during the student conduct process.

Emergencies where imminent danger to life, safety, health, or property is reasonably suspected.

Entry into a resident’s room may be authorized by the dean of students (or designee) when college staff has reasonably determined there is an imminent danger to the life, safety, and/or health of a person in the room or that college property is actively being damaged.

The procedure for entry will follow the guidelines outlined in the “Active Pursuit” section above.

Legal searches by police officers

No college official may consent to the search of a student's room by police or other government officials. Such searches must be conducted with a warrant or with written consent of the resident(s).