Residential Life Policies & Procedures

To ensure all residents have the best experience possible, the College maintains policies and procedures for residential living.

These policies are determined each year, in part, by hall residents who devise their own floor rules and regulations based on mutual consensus. Roommates, too, will be required to create and agree to live by shared standards. In all cases, these agreements stem from certain basic rights, as outlined below.

Basic Rights of All Whittier College Residents

  • The right to study free from undue interference in one's room.
  • The right to have one's personal belongings respected.
  • The right to live in a clean, safe and healthy environment.
  • The right to free access to one's room.
  • The right to privacy.
  • The right to host guests with the expectation that guests are to respect the rights of the host's roommate and other residents in the community.
  • The right to settle conflicts.
  • The right to be free from intimidation, physical and emotional harm.
  • The right to expect reasonable cooperation in the use of "room shared" appliances (telephone, refrigerator, etc.) and a commitment to honor agreed-upon payment procedures.

Please consult the Whittier College Student Code of Conduct for full text on policies pertaining to the residence halls and student conduct. Resident students are responsible for knowing all College policies.

Facilities

Alterations to Room

The College does not assume responsibility for any claims for damages or injuries sustained by residents or others in their rooms as a result of modifications made to their furnishings such as, but not limited to, bunk beds, bookshelves, lofts, partitions or other structures. Residents may not attach structures to walls, closets, or cabinets in the residence hall rooms. The Residential Life staff reserves the right to request residents to dismantle such structures.

  • You may not paint your room. A minimum fine of $300 will be assessed if the room is painted.
  • Your room is furnished with a bed frame, mattress, dresser, closet, desk and chair.

Room Furnishings

You may decorate your room with other pieces of furniture, however, all college-owned furniture must remain in the room and cannot be stored or moved off campus. There will be a $50.00 fine and a replacement cost assessed if furniture is removed. Triple room assignments will have the option to remove a dresser or desk. Please contact your Area Director (AD) for details. A $25.00 fine will be assessed if screens are removed from the windows. A $125 replacement fine will be assessed if screens are lost or broken.

The following items are prohibited in the residence hall rooms: air conditioners, oil lamps, halogen lamps, sunlamps; electric skillets, hot plates, toaster ovens, ovens; incense, candles; waterbeds, and fish tanks larger than 15 gallons.

Lounge and Community Areas

Residents are encouraged to use the residence hall lounges for studying, relaxing and watching television. Students may schedule events such as speakers, meetings and other activities by contacting the AD.

Removal of furniture is prohibited and will result in disciplinary action. A minimum fine of $50.00 will be assessed for each piece of lounge furniture found in a student's room. Please remember, lounge furniture is for everyone's use and enjoyment.

As a member of the community, each resident is responsible for the condition of their floor and residence hall. Common area damages incurred during the year which cannot be individually assessed or accounted for will be absorbed equally among members of the floor and residence hall. Common area damages detract from our communities and raise the cost of maintenance and upkeep. These costs are passed on to students through increased housing rates. We strongly encourage you to take pride in your residence hall and to report those who damage residence hall property.

Quiet Hours

Quiet hours are in effect between the hours of 10:00 p.m. and 8:00 a.m., Sunday through Thursday, and midnight to 8:00 a.m., Friday and Saturday. Courtesy hours are 24-hours a day, seven days a week. If you have a concern regarding noise, you are encouraged to first approach those responsible and resolve the matter amongst yourselves before seeking the support of a staff member. However, on-duty Resident Advisors and Campus Safety officers can always be called on with any concerns including noise issues. The number for Campus Safety is 562.907.4211.

Personal Property

Though theft is uncommon in the residence halls, you can never be too careful. Make sure any valuable personal items are insured. Whittier College assumes no responsibility for loss of property due to theft. Therefore, you are encouraged to purchase your own personal property insurance or check to see if you are insured through your parent, guardian, or other party's homeowners' insurance. If you are interested in insuring your personal property, check out College Plus, the premier personal property insurance plan specifically designed for College Students. Remember to keep your room door locked at all times. Campus Safety provides engravings for personal items.

Posting Signs and Banners

All signs, fliers, banners, etc. posted in share spaces in the residence halls must be pre-approved by your Area Director.

Bulletin boards are available for posting, but must first be approved by a Housing & Residential Life staff member.

Policies Regarding Resident Conduct

Guests

Residents are responsible for the behavior of their guests and must inform them of housing policies. Members of each residence hall floor vote annually to establish visitation hours for each residence hall floor.

Only the assigned number of students plus two guests may occupy a room at one time. Guest visitation is limited to three consecutive days.

All guests must be respectful of the rights and comfort of roommates at all times. Roommates must all approve of a guest in order for them to be authorized in the shared spaces of the Housing & Residential Life room space (individual room/Arbor Ridge apartment). The College does not condone cohabitation. If the behavior or frequency of overnight guests becomes a concern for a roommate, the problem will be addressed by Residential Life staff. The staff reserves the right to request that a guest leave a residence hall.

Only persons of the same gender may use bathrooms located on residence hall floors designated for use by their respective gender. Some floors may vote to offer gender-inclusive restrooms, but otherwise this policy must be respected. The campus map displays the location of gender-inclusive restrooms across campus.

Musical Instruments

Drums, guitars, horns, etc. are not to be played in the residence halls.

Pets/Animals

Health regulations prevent Whittier College from permitting pets in the residence halls, with the exception of fish or turtles, unless you live within the pet-friendly community or are approved by Student Disability Services. Fish tanks may not be larger than 15 gallons. No animals may be allowed in any residence hall unless they are approved through Housing & Residential Life and/or Student Disability Services. If you are found to have a pet, or feeding an animal in or around the building, you will be subject to disciplinary action and fees ranging from $25.00 to $50.00 for every day the animal is in your room. All students with approved animals on campus must sign an addendum agreement prior to being authorized to have the animal on campus.

Recreational Activities

All recreational activities including, but not limited to, bouncing balls, lacrosse, hackey sack, skateboarding, roller skating, roller blading, frisbee, running and bicycling, are not permitted in the hallways and lounge areas of the residence halls due to damages and/or possible injury.

Residential Property

Misuse, abuse, theft or destruction of College property is not permitted. Violators of this policy are subject to disciplinary action which may result in restitution and loss of housing privileges. In addition, actions of residents that result in excessive cleaning by our housekeeping staff will not be tolerated. Please do not sweep room remnants into the hallway or leave hair cuttings in the bathroom. Fines and charges will be assessed in these situations.

Roofs, Windows, and Balconies

Residents are not permitted on the roof, balcony or fire escape of any building. A minimum charge of $100.00 will be assessed and used to pay for damages to the structure. Residents may not throw or dispose of objects from windows or stairwells at any height. Residents may not access rooms through windows.

Smoking

As of September 2, 2018, Whittier College is a tobacco-free campus. Smoking and tobacco use are prohibited in all areas of the College. As outlined in the Tobacco-Free Policy, this includes the use of electronic devices such as vape pens, and all other tobacco products, such as chewing tobacco.

Soliciting

In an effort to ensure the safety of students and prevent interruption of study, Housing & Residential Life prohibits solicitation and door-to-door sales. Distribution of posters, newsletters, flyers, etc. is prohibited in the residence halls. Special exceptions may be granted by the AD or the Director of Residential Life for administrative or programmatic purposes.

Theft

Students may develope a tendency to leave their rooms unlocked and valuables unattended. However, petty theft does occur from time to time in residence halls. Always lock your room door, carry your keys, and keep valuables locked up or hidden (even when you're just down the hallway or on your way to the bathroom).

Vandalism

Please refer to the Student Code of Conduct.

Procedures

Campus-Wide Emergencies

In the event of a campus-wide emergency, residents will receive direction from the RA, Area Director, or residential life staff. If asked to evacuate a building, you should go to your hall's designated meeting place in one of the four campus zones. In the event you are in a different part of the campus at the time an emergency occurs, you should proceed to your nearest evacuation zone and notify your residential community (when appropriate) of your status.

After arriving at the designated meeting area, please check in with your Resident Advisor. Please do not leave the campus until you have checked in with your Resident Advisor. Remember to leave contact information with the Resident Advisor should you choose to leave campus during or immediately following a campus emergency.

Each student should put together an emergency kit that contains a flashlight, emergency phone numbers, a copy of your driver license or identification, a 5-day supply of any prescription medications you take, a change of clothes, and personal care items.

Changing Rooms/Roommates

Room changes may only take place during the third week of each semester and it is your responsibility to find another resident with whom to switch rooms. All room changes must be registered and approved by your Area Director. Room changes will not be permitted outside the open room change period.

Attempting to force a roommate out of the room or preventing a roommate from moving into the room are grounds for immediate termination of the housing contract and will result in further disciplinary action.

Keep in mind that good relationships don't happen overnight. It is a gradual process that takes time and is achieved through continued communication and honest feedback.

Check-in/Check-out Process

A check-in/check-out process has been established to ensure that each student room and its furnishings are maintained in good condition. When you check into your room, a residential life staff member will complete a Room Condition Inventory Form (RCI) for you. You are requested to verify that all the information on the inventory form is accurate. When you check out of the room, any damages to the room or furnishings will be charged to you if they have not been noted on the inventory form.

The check-in/check-out process is very important and there is a $50.00 - $125.00 fine for improper check-in or check-out of a room. You must make arrangements with your RA at least 24 hours in advance to check out of your room.

Keys and Lockouts

Should you happen to lock yourself out of your room, your RA or the RA on duty, will unlock your door between the hours of 8:00 p.m. and midnight, Sunday through Thursday, and until 2:00 a.m. on Friday and Saturday. Students must contact Campus Safety during the all other hours. 

Staff members are not permitted to unlock a door for anyone other than the resident of the room. Illegal entry into a student's room may result in loss of housing privileges. A lost key will result in a charge of $125 (core charge plus necessary keys) to your Business Office account.

Maintenance Requests

Emergency Requests

All emergency requests should be made by contacting the Department of Facilities Services directly at 562.907.4261. For emergencies during off-hours or weekends, contact Campus Safety at 562.907.4211.

Any maintenance requests not taken care of within a week should be brought to your Area Director's attention.

Non-Emergency Maintenance Requests

All non-emergency maintenance requests should be reported to your Resident Advisor, who will place a work order request with the Department of Facilities Services. Remember, the sooner a problem is reported, the quicker the request can be addressed.

Vacation Housing

All halls remain open during Thanksgiving Break. Halls remain open for athletes and international students during Winter and Spring Breaks. Please speak with your RA to obtain appropriate paperwork. The residence halls are closed during the summer.