Guide to Living on Campus
Guide to Living on Campus
Residential Life provides living environments which supports Washington College’s mission through programming, leadership development, community standards, facilities management, and support of the professional staff. Residential Life’s efforts aim to prepare students with foundational living skills for a successful transition to life beyond college.
Residential Life will utilize programming to teach life skills, promote the value
of “play”, support the arts, local sports and business, and the lifelong value of
strong connections to the local community.
Residential Life will provide training and development for student staff in leadership. Qualities such as moral courage, ethical sensitivity, and integrity are fostered in our student leaders where unhurried conversations and the close connections created are valued. In trainings, supervisory meetings and the course of position duties, critical skills will be taught and reinforced, such as time management, goal setting, budget management, connecting to people, how to challenge themselves by pushing out of their comfort zone and deepen their leadership skills.
Residential Life will use its management of the residence halls to provide a safe living environment and educate residents in critical skills such as living and working in a diverse, global community, effective communication skills, community transparency, and responsible management of personal and community spaces. Residential Life staff will be advocates for the residence halls with Buildings & Grounds and coordinate between resident and facilities staff when necessary.
Residential Life will set and uphold community standards encouraging students to act with integrity, civility, civic responsibility and moral courage.
Residential Life will provide training and development for the professional staff. Professional staff efforts are fundamental to the mission: advocating for students needs and growth both behind scenes, furthering our own education and understanding, and challenging norms and conventions to create a better, more inclusive experience and environment for students. Professional staff will collaborate closely with other staff and offices in addition to leveraging outside resources for the benefit of students
All personal belongings must be removed when a student checks out of the residence halls either for mid-semester withdrawals or the end of academic year. December transfers and graduates must remove all personal belongings as well. The College is not responsible for any personal property left in the residence halls. If a student leaves personal items in the room after halls close or mid-semester check out, the student will be assessed a fine for property removal and the items disposed of or donated within 24 hours of move out.
Students seeking medical accommodations for housing must register with, and be approved by, the Disability Access Coordinator, located in the Office of Academic Skills.
If a student's medical accommodation (not requiring a single) can be accommodated in base rate housing double, the student is assigned a base rate double and charged the base double rate. If the student requests a higher rate double, they pay the higher rate double price.
If a medical accommodation requires a single and can be accommodated in a standard rate single, they are charged the base double rate. If a student requests a higher rate single, they pay the higher rate single price.
If a student's medical accommodation can only be accommodated in a higher rate housing, they are charged the base rate double price.
Students wishing to bring in non-College issued furniture as part of a medical accommodation must have be approved by the Disability Access Coordinator. Any approved furnishing (mattress, bed, etc.) is required to meet fire code and TB 117-2013 standard. The standards set forth in TB 117-2013 for flammability for furniture in public spaces include smolder tests for fabric, filling, decking and barriers.
The walls, doors, and ceilings of the rooms are not to be damaged. Nails, tacks, and adhesives (tape, glue, etc.) may not be used on walls, and students may not paint walls or furnishings.
Pets are not allowed in any residence hall. Students violating this policy, either by having a pet or where there is evidence of a pet, may be subject to the Student Code of Conduct in addition to necessary repair, cleaning and/or fumigating charges where applicable. Exceptions are made for aquarium fish (in tanks of 5 gallons or less) and approved service or therapy animals. If a non-approved animal is discovered, the animal needs to be removed immediately by the student or staff will remove it to the Kent County Humane Society.
Emotional support animals must be approved by the Office of Disability Services and Academic Skills prior to coming to campus or risk immediate removal. For the safety of all residents and staff, students approved to have a service or therapy animal must provide proof of Maryland required vaccinations pertinent to the breed in question prior to arrival. Failure to provide such will require immediate removal of the animal until documentation of current vaccinations is provided to Residential Life.
ESAs are not permitted in any campus building other than their assigned residence hall room and hallway for entering/exiting purposes.
Students approved for an ESA or bringing a service dog must comply with all provisions of the animal agreement, published university policies, and the terms of the housing contract.
Although service animals do not need to be approved by the Office of Disability Services and Academic Skills, students bringing certified service animal to campus do need to notify Residential Life and provide information as to what task/service the dog is trained to do. Staff are then made aware of this in order to understand what the dog “is saying” when there is an issue with its person. For the safety of all residents and staff, students approved to have a service or therapy animal must provide proof of Maryland required vaccinations prior to arrival. Although service animals are allowed in all buildings in order to provide their trained purpose, students should contact faculty prior to starting classes to discuss any safety concerns. Ex. laboratory settings.
Residential Life provides a list of service animals and what service they provide to the student and ESAs to Public Safety for their use when responding to emergencies and to Buildings and Grounds so they are aware of any potential issues before entering a room. A photo of the animal is also required for identification and is attached to the student’s housing record, with the animal listed as the student’s dependent.
Students approved for an ESA or bringing a service dog must comply with all provisions of the animal agreement, published university policies, and the terms of the housing contract.
Residents must check in to their room on the designated date and time. Residents are required to complete a Room Condition Report (RCR) with their RA upon checking into their room or suite. Students should check the RCR carefully to ensure accuracy. Any discrepancies should be brought to the attention of a staff member before accepting the RCR. This same information will be used at check out to determine any change in condition to the rooms’/suites’ furnishings and/or condition. Students are allowed to move in only if their bill is paid or a payment plan is in place with the Business Office and all requirements from the Health Center have been met. Please see “Unpaid Bills” section of the Guide for more information.
Additional charges may be assessed for reassembling furniture, removal of a resident’s belongings or trash, and cleaning. All keys must be turned in to the area RA office. Any keys that are NOT turned in to the RA office will be documented as a lost key and the student charged accordingly. This includes any key left behind in the room or suite.
A bias incident is any act directed against a person or property that includes the
use of slurs or epithets expressing bias on the basis of race, color, national or ethnic origin, age, religion, disability,
gender, sexual orientation, or gender identity and expression. A bias incident can
occur whether the act is intentional or unintentional and may or may not warrant legal
action. In identifying a bias incident, the focus is on the impact on an individual
or group, not the intention or motivation of the actor.
The following provides an overview of different forms of bias incidents that could be reported:
Contained Bias Incident: a comment, activity, or event that is seen or heard by a
small number of people, does not violate a College policy or law, or is of no interest
to media or larger investigative bodies.
Community Bias Incident: a comment, activity, or event that is seen or heard by many, violates College policies or laws, or garners interest from the media or larger investigative bodies.
Washington College does not discriminate on the basis of race, sex, color, national or ethnic origin, age, religion, marital status, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, genetic information, or any other legally protected classification in the administration of any of its educational programs and activities or with respect to admission and employment.
A hate crime is a criminal offense expressing those same biases.
Such speech refers to speech, gestures, conduct, writing, text, images or displays (written and/or spoken) that are designed to incite hatred, violence, contempt, prejudicial actions or which disparage or intimidate members of a group or individuals on the basis of their membership in the group, racial, religious, or other groups. Hate speech intends to intimidate or incite fear or terror among the College community. Incidents of hate speech will be subject to a violation of the Student Code of Conduct.
Incidents can be reported by any of the following:
- Contact Public Safety at 410-778-7810
- Submit an anonymous tip online on the Public Safety website, Anonymous Tips.
- Contact the Bias Incident Response Team Chair, Carese Bates, at email@example.com.
Residents are allowed to remain in the residence halls for Fall Break, Thanksgiving
Break and Spring Break however, services are limited and dining may not be available
during those times. For winter break, all residence halls are closed between the end
of the fall semester and the beginning of the spring semester. Residents typically
take essential items with them for winter break but are not required to move out all
of their belongings.
All rooms are inspected prior to breaks to ensure lights and electronics are turned off, windows closed, heating/cooling set to an appropriate temperature, and health or safety concerns. Any animal left behind will result in documentation and possible loss of animal accommodation privileges. If unapproved, the animal will be turned over to the Humane Society.
Students receive a Washington College Student ID Card that employs multiple technologies, one of which allows the ID to be used to access certain residence halls and other facilities (when requested by members of the faculty or staff). A resident’s id card allows access to their assigned residence hall and several Residential Life community spaces, Sassafras, Corsica, and Caroline main lobby areas. When cared for properly, the ID card should last for the entire period that an individual attends Washington College. The ID card should not be folded, bent, or punctured in any fashion. Replacement of a lost or broken ID card will be charged to the student.
When accepting an ID card, students will comply with the following rules and regulations:
- ID/Access Cards issued by the College are the property of Washington College.
- When an ID card is lost or stolen, it must be reported to the Department of Public Safety immediately.
- ID cards are assigned to students individually and are not to be given or loaned to anyone else.
- College keys and ID cards must be surrendered to Public Safety officials upon request.
The Department of Public Safety is responsible for issuing ID/access cards. Students should contact the Department of Public Safety with questions or concerns regarding obtaining a new ID card or replacing a lost ID card.
Residents are assigned keys for their bedrooms and, if applicable, suites. If a student has lost a key, it should be reported immediately to your Area Coordinator. Keys are not permitted to be replicated by any non-Washington College entity. One room key will be issued to each student residing on campus. Residents should safeguard residence hall keys at all times. Keys should never be loaned to another individual for any reason. There is a fee involved for replacing a lost or broken ID Card.
It is the student’s responsibility to turn in a key at the end of occupancy. When a student moves out for either a room change or upon leaving the campus, all keys must be turned in to the area RA office. Any keys that are NOT turned in to the area RA office will be documented as a lost key and the student charged accordingly. This includes any key left behind in the room or suite.
Keys lost or not returned in accordance with this policy will result in a replacement charge for a room key. When necessary, they key core may need to be changed at the student’s expense. This charge is in addition to the charges for replacing the key and/or lock.
Students who are locked out need to contact the RA office phone for their areas.
If you do not get a response during the day, please reach out to your RA to see if
they can assist you. All lockouts are recorded. It is the responsibility of the student
to carry their key and ID card at all times. If locked out, students should be prepared
to wait until an RA becomes available. For emergency situations only, students may
call the Department of Public Safety. Students with multiple lockouts may be assessed
a fine and/or be referred through the conduct process as a safety, facilities or other
Sassafras Office: serves Western Shore, Harford, Sassafras, Chester, Corsica
Cullen Office: serves Cecil, Talbot, Dorchester, Cullen, Kent, East, Middle, West
Caroline Office: serves Minta Martin, Reid, Caroline, Queen Anne’s
At Washington College, we encourage students to take an active role in promoting a safe, respectful, and healthy community. During your time at Washington College, you may witness or hear about situations that bother or concern you. These situations can include racist remarks, homophobic jokes, harassment, potential sexual assault, unhealthy relationship behaviors, or stalking. You can do something by being a courageous bystander. More information is available here.
Students who live in college housing are expected to remain actively engaged in activities
that lead to satisfactory academic progress. Such activities may include but are not
limited to, regular class attendance and the completion of assigned work. Satisfactory
engagement and academic progress is determined by faculty and academic deans and may
be evaluated at any time. If Student does not attend class, does not complete assignments
or otherwise disengages from academic activities and after intervention from faculty
and academic personnel the student remains disengaged, the Director of Residence Life,
in consultation with faculty and academic personnel, reserves the right to remove
the student from campus housing.
The College provides health services to students who are not feeling well. Since students live in a community with a high degree of interaction, students need to protect themselves and others from communicable diseases or illnesses. Residents are required to have certain vaccines in order to move onto campus. Students who arrive for move in but do not have clearance from Health Services due to vaccinations will not be allowed to check in, enter into the residence halls, or participate in any orientation activity. Diseases such as measles, mumps, mono, etc. can spread quickly in a college environment.
All residence halls are wireless. Abuse of this service through harassing messages, or any other violation of College policy, may result in disciplinary action through the conduct process. Please note that wireless access points are not permitted in the halls nor is it permitted to utilize 3rd party vendors existing access points. Students can contact the Help Desk for assistance with computer related issues.
Items, such as banned appliances, substances, items, and paraphernalia, which represent a policy, health, or safety violation will be immediately removed, and either destroyed or discarded by staff. Students can request a confiscated item not be discarded only on condition that it is immediately removed from campus. Confiscated paraphernalia will not be returned. Should a confiscated item (same or new) re-appear, it will be discarded or destroyed with no option to remove it from campus. Any unclaimed items at hall closing will be discarded or destroyed.
All students living in the residence halls accept the housing contract with the College. Any student who has checked into a room in the residence halls without signing the contract will be considered to have agreed to the housing contract. Students requesting accommodations in the College residence halls assume the responsibility to abide by all College regulations. Students whose relationship with the College is terminated by withdrawal, suspension, or expulsion shall vacate the residence hall within 48 hours.
All students residing on campus must select a residential meal plan option. Dining Services offers numerous meal plans to meet individual needs and should be contacted for any meal plan accommodation requests. Please check the Dining Services webpage on the website for more specific information.
Students must select a meal plan when completing their individual housing contracts. Any student who has not done so by June 1 will automatically be assigned the 19 Meal plan. Students may change their meal plan until the end of the second week of each semester via the housing portal (THD).
Resident students are responsible for their bedroom and the common areas of their residence hall and any shared common areas in suites or apartments. The repair or replacement cost of any items of room, suite, or residence hall furnishings that are removed, damaged, or lost will be charged to the assigned occupants.
Room and common area damages, including cleaning charges, will be assessed to the responsible student whenever possible; however, when the responsible person or persons are not identified, the cost for repair or cleaning will be divided among all occupants of the suite, floor or building (whichever is appropriate). Students should report damage to their RA or Public Safety immediately. Students reporting all damages that they or others have been involved in helps with prompt replacement or repairs and appropriate billing. Students may not make their own repairs.
Although the inside of a student’s room and the exterior of a student’s door is a
forum for personal expression, room decorations must abide by policies below nor be
a violation of the Student Code of Conduct.
Nothing flammable can be hung, attached, or displayed by any means on the outside of residence halls nor in windows.
Residential Life staff reserve the right to remove anything that is incompatible with the College’s Mission, Honor Code, or Diversity statement.
- No items can be hung from the ceilings or sprinkler heads and must not touch the floor.
- Rugs, wall hangings, and/or furniture may not hinder any door from opening or closing.
- Nothing can block the seal of the door and must be 3 inches away from the edges of the door.
- Nothing can hang from the frame of the door.
- Dried or cut vegetation is prohibited except for small flower arrangements. This prohibition includes cut trees, branches, shrubs.
- No more than half of each room wall can be covered with paper/combustible items
- Tapestries should be no larger than twin size (85 x 55 inches)
- Decorations must be flush against the wall
- Pumpkins or similar items that decompose cannot be in rooms longer than 2 weeks. Due to the high heat environment, pumpkins and similar items decompose and mold very quickly.
- Candles and any item requiring or producing a flame are prohibited and subject to immediate seizure and disposal.
- Although rooms have a ceiling or wall light fixture, residents typically bring either a desk lamp or other decorative lighting. Anything requiring mounting must not damage the walls nor create a fire hazard.
- Only LED indoor string lights allowed. If string lights are leaving burn marks on the wall, they must be removed.
- Multi-arm lamps must have glass or metal shades with the designated wattage light bulb.
- Torchiere style lamps are highly discouraged.
- If staff find anything covering a torchiere lamp (or any kind of lamp), the lamp will be confiscated as a fire hazard.
Some residence halls have alarms on their exit doors for fire safety purposes. Fire safety concerns are a priority over all other concerns, including convenience. Doors will alarm either immediately upon opening or will sound after a brief delay of the door being held open. Any tampering of the door alarms are a violation of fire safety code and may result in expulsion from the residence halls with no refund of housing in addition to any sanctions from the Honor Board, possibly including the recommended sanction of suspension.
Pending space availability, if a student in a double room does not have a roommate, Residential Life will offer the student the option to buyout the room for an additional cost, thus preventing a roommate from being assigned to the room. If a student does not choose to buyout the room, they remain assigned to a double room and should expect a roommate at any time. A double room means double occupancy. Any student in a double should expect to have a roommate.
Power strips must have GFI overload protection. Cords/plug units must be in good condition, and not bent, stripped, frayed, altered, or burnt/scorched. Extension cords are not permitted.
Connecting extension cords or power strips together is prohibited. A 6ft long cord is the suggested minimum for the typical residence hall room.
Kent County is impacted directly by conditions inherent in its geographical location on the Eastern Shore of Maryland. Students should familiarize themselves with basic emergency preparation, sign up for WAC alerts from the College and alerts from a weather app and, if bringing a vehicle to campus, have emergency kits in the vehicle. For information particular to Kent County, go to Maryland Emergency Management Agency website.
For weather information, go to NOAA and type in zip code 21620 for Kent County weather information.
- Have flashlights and fresh batteries ready. Remember no candles are permitted in the residence halls.
- Obtain a battery-operated radio. Tune to a local TV/radio station or check on-line for the latest information on the storm’s progress.
- Collect some bottled water and non-perishable food.
- Make sure your cell phones, laptop computers and other electronic devices are fully charged.
- If you live in an off-campus residence, bring any patio furniture and other outdoor accessories inside so that they do not blow into glass doors and windows.
- Stay in your residence hall. Do not go outside. Downed electrical lines, flying debris, and flash flooding can be life threatening.
- Keep away from windows, glass doors and skylights. Breaking glass can cause severe injuries.
- Keep your blinds and/or curtains drawn and your windows tightly shut.
- Follow directions from your RAs and College employees.
- Use your flashlights -DO NOT USE OPEN FLAMES such as candles or kerosene lamps.
- If an injury of a life-threatening nature should occur, call 911 immediately.
- Remain calm and stay inside.
- A “watch” indicates that conditions are favorable for the formation of a tornado in the area and a “warning” indicates that a tornado is imminent or has touched down in the area. If a tornado watch is announced for Kent or Queen Anne’s County, pay careful attention to radio, TV or Internet reports in case it is upgraded to a warning. If the power is out, listen to your battery-operated radios and heed the advice of your RAs. If a tornado warning is announced
If you are inside:
- Remain calm and stay inside.
- A “warning” indicates that spotters have actually sighted a tornado or indicated on radar and is occurring or imminent in the warning area.
- Seek immediate shelter.
- Go to a basement or lowest level of the building.
- If there is no basement, go to an interior hallway away from exterior windows.
- Close all doors to rooms with exterior windows.
- Stay away from all windows and other glassed areas.
- Use arms to protect head and neck.•Avoid auditoriums and gymnasiums or other structures with wide, free-span roofs like the JFC.
If you are outdoors
- If possible, get inside a building.
- If shelter is not available, lie in a ditch or low-lying area.
- Use arms to protect head and neck.
For a short-term disruption there is typically no need to do anything more than remain where you are unless doing so presents a safety hazard.
- Do not light candles, use flashlights only. If the power outage is expected to be of extended duration you will be notified where to go by either posted flyers on bulletin boards and first floor entryways of major campus buildings or by email/text or WAC alert.
- Unplug all expensive electronics, computers, and peripherals to protect them from damage due to power surges.
- Move your electronic equipment and computers to a protected location in your room or office away from a window and cover them with plastic. Lower window blinds to deter possible broken glass.
Should a student or employee require an escort at any time, please contact Public Safety at 410-778-7810 and an Officer will assist you. Students can also contact Safe Ride at 410-810-7433 when they are operating
Students are asked to keep their rooms reasonably clean and orderly. Rooms are expected to be cleaned weekly and any issues reported to either staff or via the work order system quickly. Students need to provide their own blankets, pillows, desk lamps, towels, sheets, etc. The College reserves the right to make announced periodic room inspections in order to assess safety and damage.
Members of the college community should become familiar with at least two evacuation routes from each building in which they study, work or reside as well as the location of fire alarm stations, emergency exits, and fire extinguishers in the area. In the event that a building needs to be evacuated for any reason, a fire alarm will be activated. All residents must leave the building when the alarm sounds.
- If you have been trained and it is safe to do so, attempt to extinguish the fire with a portable fire extinguisher only if fire is small. If you have not been trained, you must evacuate the area immediately.
- Keep yourself between the fire and an exit.
- As you vacate fire area, close all doors behind you and activate the nearest fire alarm pull station.
- Warn people in the vicinity. (Although an alarm will alert Public Safety automatically for most major campus facilities, that is not the case for a small number of buildings. Please call Public Safety at 410-778-7810 or local authorities at 911 from a campus phone to let them know the alarm has been activated and the nature of the emergency.)
- Evacuate the building via the nearest safe exit.
- Elevators are not to be used as a means of exit during a fire emergency.
- Once outside, stay clear of the building. Do not re-enter the building until authorized by the Fire Department or Public Safety.
- Once outside, stay clear of the building. Do not re-enter the building until authorized by fire department or Public Safety personnel.
Any fires that were quickly extinguished or any evidence of recent fires must be reported immediately to a member of the Public Safety Department at 410-778-7810. They will then document the incident as required. Public Safety personnel will assist fire department personnel and the Fire Marshal (as warranted) in the investigation of each fire incident.
Each semester, Public Safety will hold unannounced fire drills for all residence hall students. Students are expected to vacate their residence hall when they hear a fire alarm or are directed to do so by appropriate College staff. Failure to do so may be considered a violation of College policy.
Any student or group wishing to use the fire pit near Dorchester Hall needs to register first with Student Engagement, if a student organization activity, or, if non-organization, request permission via Public Safety. Only fire wood is allowed. Students cannot use wood that has been purposed into something else such as crates, furniture, etc. All fuel sources must be stored outside of residence halls, including liquids for fire starting, charcoal, wood, etc. All fuels sources stored outside need to be at least 20 feet from any building. Excess fuel sources (such as wood) can be left at the fire pit.
The Quad has outdoor patios and certain kinds of grills are permitted, only 1 grill per patio resulting in a total of 3 grills for the entire Quad. All grills must be the furthest point away from the building while remaining on the patio. Overhanging branches above the patio require the grill to be moved. Any grill using a propane tank is not allowed. All grills must use charcoal or wood. No grill is allowed to be stored inside any residence hall.
Students may use the built in grills between Western Shore/Harford and the baseball field without registering.
Per state code, students are not permitted to store their bicycles or any personal property in building stairwells. Bicycles or property left in stairwells may be removed. Bicycle racks are provided outside most residence halls.
Tampering with fire extinguishers or detectors is a violation of College policy that may result in suspension.
Delivery persons are not allowed to enter into residence halls. Students who order a delivery of food must wait for the delivery at the agreed upon entrance.
Rooms contain beds, desks, chairs, dressers, closets, window blinds, and screens on the windows. Students may not move furniture from lounges or floor common areas to their rooms. Students may not remove furniture from their rooms, and the College is unable to store room furniture.
Any type of game or outcome of an activity played for money, or anything of any type of value, is deemed an illegal activity and is prohibited in the residence halls. This includes any similar acts of gambling or betting as identified under Maryland or federal law.
Gender inclusive housing is a housing option offered in all suite style halls in which any students, regardless of gender, may choose to share the same room or suite. The Hills offers traditional style housing with mixed gender floors. It is up to the student to notify their parents or guardian of the preference to live in gender inclusive housing.
Returning students may choose a gender inclusive housing arrangement during room selection. When possible, incoming students are assigned according to their answer to the preferred roommate gender question on their housing application. If a roommate assignment is unsuccessful, the Area Coordinator can facilitate a room change.
No student will be assigned to a gender inclusive living situation without their consent. Due to the nature of the room selection, genders might be mixed unplanned. Residential Life staff swap those assignments to meet the gender requirements of the residents after room selection to ensure all students are housed in a suite of their gender preference.
Working with their Area Coordinator, students can dissolve the roommate group and make room or hall changes.
Although staff are not concerned why students wish to live together, it is strongly discouraged for any student of any sexual orientation to live with someone they are in a close personal relationship with (i.e. dating). Experience consistently shows a negative outcome and it is highly inadvisable.
- Students in the suite have 3 business days to notify their Area Coordinator of a new roommate to fill that vacancy.
- If the suite residents cannot provide a new roommate, depending on the configuration of the remaining suite resident’s gender, the suite may:
- Revert to single gender,
- Be assigned a student seeking gender inclusive housing (who may be unknown to the suite residents),
- Suite may be consolidated with another gender inclusive suite with vacancies
Residents who allow non-residents into the building put themselves and others at risk. Allowing non-residents into the building means that person becomes the resident’s visitor and the resident’s responsibility. This includes a resident holding the door open for a non-resident behind them, allowing them to follow him or her into the building.
For afterhours emergencies, contact Public Safety at 410-778-7810 or 911. If you contact 911, they will also contact Public Safety because our officers are needed to help responders to locations and in many cases, will be able to respond more quickly to a scene.
There is also the emergency room at the University of Maryland, Chester River Hospital. It is located right behind Minta Martin/Queen Anne Halls.
There are common kitchens located in Reid, East, Middle, West, Chester, Sassafras, and Corsica for the residents assigned to those halls. Residents who use them must clean up after every use. Personal cooking items cannot be left in the kitchen. Some kitchens may be unavailable for a semester or two due to a medical accommodation requiring an allergen free space.
COVID Update: During COVID response, all common kitchens will be closed.
Due to closely scheduled program, conference commitments and facility projects, late departures are not allowed. Residents must completely vacate their rooms/suites by the designated hall closing dates.
- Laundry machines are available in each residence hall.
- The cost of laundry is included in the room rate. Students do not need coins nor a laundry card to utilize the machines.
- If a machine is not working, students should alert the Area Coordinator in charge of their area. If students are not accustomed to measuring for the correct amount of laundry detergent, it is recommended they use laundry pods.
- Clothing left unattended at the end of a cycle can be removed by someone waiting for a machine. No resident can block others from using a machine by leaving their laundry in there after the cycle has finished. Students are expected to return to the machine when the cycle is finished and remove items promptly.
- If clothing is left in the laundry room for more than 48 hours, it will be considered abandoned property and disposed of in the trash.
- Residents are expected to respect other’s property by not damaging or taking items belonging to another.
- Laundry machines are for residents of the hall only.
Most residence halls have common lounges where residents can gather to socialize. Residents are expected to clean up after themselves and can reserve a lounge ahead of time through their Area Coordinator.
COVID Update: All common lounges will be closed for the duration of COVID.
Items found throughout campus can be turned into Public Safety. Abandoned property is donated to various local charities.
Mail and packages to students should be addressed as follows:
Student First and Last Name
300 Washington Avenue
Chestertown, MD 21620-1197
Mail for students is sorted in house by the WC Central Services staff. Students will receive an email to come pick up when mail is checked in.
Incoming USPS mail typically arrives at Central Services around 10:45 am. This mail is generally sorted by noon. Students will be notified via email when they have received a package AND any mail.
Deliveries are not allowed in residence halls, including flowers or food baskets. Flowers and fruit or food baskets are delivered to Student Affairs at the Casey Academic Center. Students are notified then to pick up the item. If a student does not pick up flowers in time before Friday closing, the next available time for pick up is Monday morning. It is recommended therefore to schedule flower deliveries only Monday through Thursday morning to ensure pick up. Fruit or food baskets cannot be kept refrigerated while waiting for pick up and are not recommended.
Residents can report maintenance issues either through their Area Coordinator, RA, or directly in the maintenance request system. A link is located on the Buildings and Grounds website, at the bottom of the page.
Reporting a maintenance issue will result in a Buildings and Grounds staff person responding and entering the room according to the Buildings and Grounds schedule. Students cannot schedule times.
Residence Hall quiet hours are 11 p.m.–10 a.m. Sunday through Thursday and 1 a.m.–10 a.m. Friday and Saturday. “Courtesy hours” are in effect at all times. A student should expect to be asked to reduce noise that is audible beyond their room (especially if it can be heard in rooms two or three doors away).
Students expected to comply with any such request from either staff or other residents. Excessive noise is unacceptable at all times. Residents are responsible for ensuring noise levels do not disturb other students. A student who fails to respond to reasonable requests to lower or eliminate noise may face the student conduct process. During exam week, quiet hours are extended to 24 hours per day.
Students who need to practice their music are encouraged to use the Gibson Center for the Performing Arts. However, playing live music together is an excellent community builder and some residence hall lounges structurally allow for the playing of live music with minimal disruption depending on the time, location, and instrument(s). Students wanting to play live music solo or with others need to talk with their Area Coordinator to determine good locations and time frames and be approved by the Area Coordinator.
24 hour quiet hours are in effect the days preceding and of finals week. Students who are disruptive during finals week may be asked to vacate the premises for the remainder of the term.
Residents are expected to maintain their room and/or suite area by cleaning on a regular basis, launder clothing regularly enough to prevent odor in the room and/or suite/hallway, and removal of trash and recycling. If an odor becomes strongly apparent to other students living nearby and staff, the residents responsible for the odor will eliminate the source of the odor.
All vehicles on campus must be registered with the Department of Public Safety. Student and Guest passes are available. If you wish to park on campus for any amount of time, at any time of day, you must register your vehicle. Failure to register a vehicle could result in a ticket and fines and possible loss of motor vehicle parking privileges on campus.
Students should not expect to be able to park next to their residence hall nor should they use their vehicle to commute short distances on campus to classes or the JFC/Cain.
Visitors to the campus can be banned or deemed “Persona Non Grata” for violations to federal, state, local or campus policies or community standards. This status is determined by the College. Students who host a person who has been banned may be held accountable.
The College is not liable for damage or loss of personal property, failure or interruption of utilities, or injury to persons. Students are encouraged to provide their own personal property loss insurance.
Students need to practice basic personal safety measures on campus:
- Always lock your bedroom and/or suite door when you exit. Even if you are just going down the hall, lock your door.
- Always have your key and id card with you. They should never be loaned to anyone or left on a table in any public space such as the dining hall, library or classroom.
- Record identification numbers of valuable items and equipment.
- Ensure your property is covered either by your family’s homeowner/renter’s insurance or purchase renter’s insurance.
- Do not keep valuables in your room. There should never be more than a $100 cash in your room. Anything valuable or precious should not be brought to college.
- Vehicles need to be locked at all times and valuable items kept out of sight.
- Bikes need strong locks and should be locked up in a bike rack when not in use.
If a student sees a pest that can be handled by an exterminator (cockroach, mice, bedbugs, ants, bee nests), they should report it to their Area Coordinator. Response will include joint efforts on the part of the student, Residential Life, Custodial Services, Buildings and Grounds, and the exterminator. It is critical that a student follow all instructions to eradicate pests, especially bed bugs.
There are bugs that an exterminator can do little about, including stink bugs, spiders, ladybugs. Students are expected to have basic home skills in addressing bugs such as those listed, in addtion to cleaning and room hygiene protocols to prevent insects such as ants.
Nothing can be hung or posted on fire exit doors, emergency doors, or inside stairwells except approved required emergency signs.
Any items that are not allowed by the College wil be removed and disposed of, if necessary, at the student’s expense.
- Halogen lamps and multi-arm lamps with plastic shades
- Wireless only printers (see OIT’s website for updates)
- Toaster ovens, toasters, grills, sandwich makers, open coil appliances are prohibited in all bedrooms. The following items are only allowed in Western Shore kitchen areas or designated hall kitchens: toaster ovens, toasters, and sandwich makers.
- Air Conditioners, portable heaters
- Electrical cords (only surge protectors please!)
- Personal furniture
- Candles, incense, or potpourri/scent pots utilizing a candle or flame
- Permanent adhesives, nails, duct tape cannot be used
- All weapons including firearms, knives, bb guns, swords, fake guns, bows, etc.
- Fireworks or explosives
- Nothing with an engine or classified as a motor vehicle can be stored inside any residence halls
- Charcoal, briquettes, propane tanks for grills, lighter fluid or any substance that aids in starting a fire is not allowed in the residence halls. Personal lighters for smoking are allowed however, since smoking is not allowed in the residence halls, lighters can only be used outdoors.
Many areas of campus are equipped with surveillance equipment. Residence hall lobbies, exterior exit areas and other locations are equipped with surveillance equipment at all times. Footage from surveillance is used by Public Safety and Residential Life to address incidents.
The State of Maryland does not allow audio or video recording without the express consent of the person(s) being recorded. Residents, by agreeing to the housing contract, have consented to the surveillance features on campus to be used by the College.
All matriculating, full-time students are required to live on campus during their enrollment. Fourth-year students with senior credit standing, a minimum 3.0 cumulative GPA, and good social and academic standing, both on and off campus, are eligible to apply for an exemption to this requirement. Students with probation or more severe judicial sanctions are not considered in good social standing. The number of students exempted from the requirement will be dependent upon projected occupancy levels of the residence halls. Permanent local resident students and students over the age of 22 will receive priority if they request an exemption to the residency requirement. Requests to waive the residency requirement will be reviewed by the Off-Campus Review Committee and the decisions of that committee are final.
Students requesting an exemption from the residency requirement should do so by the deadlines as detailed on the Residential Life website and follow the instructions on the Housing Requirement Exemption Form. Once the deadline for such requests has passed, only current students with exceptional and unexpected circumstances occurring after the deadline will be considered for off-campus residency. Exemptions to any of these deadlines will be reviewed at the discretion of the Chair of the Off-Campus Review Committee.
Students who live off campus without an approved exemption will be billed for on-campus housing and a meal plan. Local resident students must live in a permanent or family-owned residence. If it is determined that they are living elsewhere, the student will be billed for on campus housing and a meal plan. Once the academic year has started, the housing contract is in effect for the academic year. Students wishing to cancel a current housing contract due to exceptional, unforeseeable circumstances during the academic year must apply to break the housing contract in a separate application available from Residential Life.
Students approved to live off campus are required to provide the Office of Residential Life with current information about their residence, including local street address, phone number, and landlord contact information. Students who have previously lived off campus may apply to return to on-campus housing through the Office of Residential Life. Space may be limited, and housing will be offered to students based upon availability.
A committee of students (including student staff) is periodically formed to investigate, discuss, and recommend solutions to a pressing issue when appropriate. Students interested in participating should contact the Director of Residential Life.
Students and/or guests are prohibited from entering into marked restricted areas and areas such as, but not limited to, roofs, mechanical rooms, computer equipment rooms, bell towers, porch roofs or overhangs, etc.
Retaliation against staff for documenting and/or adjudicating incidents or against students reporting incidents to College staff is unacceptable. Students who engage in retaliation will be referred through the student conduct process. Sanctions may include re-location, ban from location(s), and/or no-contact orders.
Dates and times that residents may occupy the residence halls are determined by the Office of Residential Life. The published dates and times for both move-in and move-out will be communicated to all residents. The residence period for each semester normally begins one day prior to the first day of classes and normally ends 24 hours after the individual student’s last final or on the last day of final exams, whichever comes first. For graduating seniors, the residence halls will close on graduation day after commencement ceremonies.
For winter break, all residence halls are closed between the end of the fall semester and the beginning of the spring semester. Residents typically take home essential items for winter break but are not required to move out all of their belongings. Requests to arrive before or stay after the published dates and times are only considered by Residential Life if circumstances are unexpected or unavoidable. Scheduling conflicts and personal preferences are generally not considered acceptable. Students are expected to schedule travel in accordance with published dates.
Occasionally, students encounter difficulties with roommates. While a room change may be desired, and depending on the circumstances not always, students are first encouraged (but not required) to resolve the conflict themselves by having a conversation with their roommate(s) or suitemates. If no resolution is reached or a student needs assistance on how to talk with their roommate about issues, the resident should talk to a RA. The RA will discuss the situation with all roommates and explore options. If a room change seems warranted after this step, the resident will be asked to discuss the matter with their Area Coordinator, who will determine whether a room change is approved.
- All room changes are based on space availability or willingness of all participants to exchange rooms.
- Room changes can only occur at certain times during the academic year.
- Room changes will not be made during the first two weeks of each semester. At the end of fall semester, room changes must be completed before closing of the halls.
- Depending on the complexity of the move and the need to have all spaces correctly vacated at closing, students may need to remain after exams to complete room changes, be prepared to move very quickly, or store items in a friend’s room until spring semester.
- Room changes academic year must be approved and arranged through the Area Coordinator. This includes in suite room changes. If a student moves without permission from the Area Coordinator, the student remains responsible for all charges and damages for the room that they are assigned to by the College in addition to disciplinary action. Charges includes the room rate, keys, and any room damages.
In preparation for the Spring semester, consolidation of students in doubles with a vacancy is necessary. With permission from the Area Coordinator, students can voluntarily consolidate by moving into another room where there is a vacant bed space in a room with another person already assigned there if, for example, they know someone who has a vacancy in their double room. Or students can be consolidated by staff re-assigning them to a vacant bed space in a room with another person in the room to achieve full occupancy of a room. Depending upon availability, students can be re-assigned to any other similar rate housing.
While Washington College recognizes and respects student’s privacy, the College reserves the right to enter rooms for inspection, cleaning, security or safety concerns, reasonable belief that an unapproved animal is in the room, or maintenance at reasonable times. Residential Life staff may enter rooms for health and safety inspections before breaks to ensure the room is prepared for the break: ex. appliances are unplugged, windows closed, etc. Due to concerns for personal protection and privacy of students, College staff will not grant entry to friends, family, guests, or other students without express permission from the student and only in emergency situations.
Residential Life staff may search a student’s room if there is reasonable cause to believe that a violation has occurred or is occurring and the student is in violation of College policies, and/or federal, state, or local laws. Students are expected to comply with the directives of Residential Life staff during a room search and must remain immediately outside of the location until the search is completed. Failure to comply with directives of Residential Staff will be documented. Residential Life staff have the authority to search all personal belongings that are contained within the residence hall. Residents or their guests may be asked to empty their pockets and are not permitted to use electronic devices during the search.
Items found while conducting a search may be used in student conduct proceedings. During a search, all items confiscated by Residential Life staff will be turned over to Public Safety and may be used later by law enforcement agencies in the prosecution of criminal behavior. Safes and other locked containers must be unlocked upon request or the entire unit will be confiscated. Residential Life staff reserve the right to cut any lock that may be an obstruction. At the conclusion of a room search, all students not assigned to that room will be asked to leave. Non-student guests must remove themselves from College premises and cannot return to College property until determined in student conduct proceedings.
Washington College cooperates fully with local, county, state police or FBI. Since the College and its residence halls are not sanctuaries, there may be an occasion when outside agencies (police, FBI, etc.) will require searching a room. When the agency is operating under a legal warrant, the College staff will cooperate fully. All searches will be treated as confidential.
Current students pick their rooms for the following academic year in a process known as room selection. Information is typically sent out in December to remind students to start planning for the following academic year. Housing applications are online via the housing portal and typically available February 1 until late March. The online process for picking a room begins in April.
Incoming students do not pick their rooms but fill out an application (the Housing Preference) online via the housing portal. Staff then match students as best as possible based on information provided in the Preference form and assign to locations where space is available. There is limited hall preference.
Pending space availability, if a student in a double room does not have a roommate, Residential Life will offer the student the option to buyout the room for an additional cost, thus preventing a roommate from being placed in with them. If a student does not choose to buyout the room, they remain assigned to a double room and should expect a roommate at any time. A double room means double occupancy. Any student in a double should expect to have a roommate.
If a room is vacant, a student can request a room change via their Area Coordinator. Pending space availability and needs on campus, the room may or may not be available for students to move into.
If a room or room type is unavailable, a student may place themselves on a room waiting list via the online Housing Portal.
Although roommate and suitemate agreements are not required, Residential Life staff will commonly use them as a tool to help teach residents the basics of living in a community and with another person. They are often, but not always, used when disagreements arise and residents do not have conflict resolution skills. The purpose of the roommate agreement is not that of a binding contract but rather to give residents sharing a bedroom, likely for the first time in their lives, the opportunity to understand each other’s living styles and preferences, while respecting individual rights.
Due to health risks and fire hazards caused by smoking or the passive inhalation of
tobacco and other smoke or vapors, ALL college buildings are designated as “smoke-free.”
Smoking/Vaping/Juuling of any substance is prohibited in College buildings and outdoors within 25 feet of entrances and exits of campus buildings. Smoking is allowed in designated areas located around campus. Violations of this policy will result in a fine and/or disciplinary action. Smoking includes but is not limited to use of cigarettes, cigars, pipes, e-cigarettes, juuls, and personal vaporizers or other devices associated with “vaping.”
The act of using any tobacco or inhalation product in any college facility or outdoor sporting area is prohibited, including but not limited to the following products:
- Cigarettes (e.g. cloves, bidis, lreteks)
- Hookah smoked tobacco products
- Pipes and oral tobacco (e.g. spit, spitless, smokeless, chew, snus, snuff)
- Nasal tobacco
- Electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes)
Vapes, Juuls, vaping devices
Any other product that contains tobacco flavoring or is intended to mimic tobacco products or deliver nicotine for any purpose other than that of cessation by nicotine patches or nicotine gum.
All residence halls, including entryways, are always smoke-free. Students who smoke any substance in their residence hall rooms can expect to be charged for cleaning or replacement of all furnishings, floor tiles, and paint in addition to facing student conduct action. Hookahs—single- or multi-stemmed water pipes used for smoking tobacco—are allowed to be used on campus grounds but, in accordance with the Smoking Policy, cannot be used with tobacco or other forbidden substance, nor can they be used inside residence halls or any other campus building. Furthermore, in accordance with the College’s drug laws and policies, hookahs should not be used to smoke marijuana or other illegal drugs.
“Smoking” is defined as the burning of tobacco or any other substance including, but not limited to, marijuana in any type of smoking equipment, cigarettes, e-cigarettes, cigars, or pipes. Vaping is defined as the act of inhaling and exhaling vapor produced by an electronic cigarette or an analogous device.
Selling, canvassing, or campaigning door to door in the residence halls is not permitted. Students are not permitted to operate a business or maintain property inventory for a business from a residence hall facility. This includes businesses operated via the internet (ex. Ebay, Etsy) or phone.
Students and guests are not permitted to engage in any kind of sport in the residence halls (e.g., dribbling basketballs, lacrosse, etc.). These activities can cause safety, noise, and damage concerns for all residents. Individual or group behavior that causes damage, harassment, accident, or injury to an individual or group or to College or personal property is not permitted. Students responsible for behavior that causes damage, harassment, etc. will face student conduct action. Damage caused in common areas will be charged to the students of that unit unless the person(s) responsible are identified to pay for the damage.
Residential Life is staffed with professional and paraprofessional student staff who provide supervision, guidance, and support to individual students and to floor and hall communities.
- Associate Dean of Students & Director of Residential Life: Ursula Herz
- Associate Director of Residential Life: Amy Sine
- Area Coordinators: Kailey Feuerstein & Nakia Johnson
Area Coordinators are professional, full-time staff with master’s-level education and a background in student learning and development who live in staff apartments in the residence halls. Area Coordinators provide direct oversight to two areas of the residential campus. Under the supervision of the Associate Dean of Students and the Director of Residential Life, each Area Coordinator supervises a Resident Assistant Director (RAD) Assistant Area Coordinator (AAC) and the Resident Assistant staff of that area. Area Coordinators address student well-being or behavior concerns, manage minor student conduct issues in their areas, and coordinate programming and events.
The Area Coordinators hold regular office hours and are available to provide individual student assistance.
Assistant Area Coordinators (AACs) are student assistants to the Area Coordinators and help with the administrative tasks of managing the residence halls such as work orders, key management, or publications.
Desk staff are hired to staff some RA offices during the day, particularly for the purpose of helping with lockouts and assisting with administrative tasks.
Resident Area Directors (RADs) are experienced, upper-class student leaders trained to provide additional support and supervision to RAs and supervision to a portion of the RA staff. RADs assist in major departmental programs and initiatives.
Resident Assistants (RAs) are assigned to a floor or a residence hall. The RAs help build a community within the residence halls by getting to know residents, upholding policies, and planning floor and hall activities. RAs understand the College’s mission, procedures, policies, and the Honor Code and are instrumental in working with residents to shape community standards and respectful behavior.
The College does not provide storage for any student property. Students must utilize the various commercial storage opportunities both locally and companies that utilize pick up/shipping.
STEM Housing is an excellent option for students interested or majoring in a related STEM field. This program is designed to help students achieve their academic potential through study groups, social programming, and close interaction with faculty.
Please refer to the Student Handbook for a complete description of College policies on alcohol and drugs.
The College prohibits the unlawful manufacture, distribution, dispensing, possession, and use of controlled substances. Controlled substances include (but are not limited to): narcotics, barbiturates, amphetamines, cocaine, marijuana, anabolic steroids, and misused prescription or legal drugs or alcohol. As used in this policy, the words “substance” and “controlled substance” include alcoholic beverages. Those who use controlled substances or illicitly use or abuse legal substances, including but not limited to alcohol, are in violation of the law and of Washington College policy. Compliance with this policy is a condition of enrollment at the College. All Washington College students are expected to be familiar with and abide by the principles and details of this policy.
The Washington College policy on alcohol and other drugs complies with and exists within the context of local, state, and federal laws.
It is illegal in the state of Maryland for anyone under the age of 21 to purchase, possess, or drink alcohol.
It is illegal for a person under 21 to falsify or misrepresent his or her age to obtain alcohol, or to possess alcoholic beverages with the intent to consume.
It is illegal to purchase or otherwise supply alcohol to individuals who are under the age of 21.
Penalties for the above violations are a $500 fine for the first offense, and up to a $1,000 fine for repeat offenses.
In the state of Maryland, a person may not drive or attempt to drive any vehicle while intoxicated or under the influence of alcohol. In Maryland, drivers are considered to be driving under the influence of alcohol when their blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is .08 or higher.
An underage drinker with a BAC of .02 (approximately one drink) may be charged with a violation of restricted license.
It is also unlawful to drive while under the influence of any Controlled Dangerous Substance, whether legal or illegal (prescribed or unlawfully obtained.) An individual can be charged with a violation despite possession of an out-of-state driver’s license. Violations may result in suspension of the driver’s license.
Federal law states that it is unlawful for any person, knowingly or intentionally, to manufacture, distribute, or dispense, or possess with intent to manufacture, distribute, or dispense, a controlled substance.
The penalties increase if the possession includes the intent to manufacture, distribute, or dispense a controlled substance, especially if done near a public or private elementary, vocational, or secondary school, or a public or private college or university. Any person who violates this law shall also be liable to the U.S. government for an amount up to $10,000 in civil penalties.
Simple energy conservation practices have a significant impact in a location of concentrated use and occupancy, such as a college.
Turn off lights when exiting a room
Plug electronics into easily reachable power strips to allow turning them off quickly and easily. If items plugged in won’t be used anymore that day, turn the strip off and eliminate the power drain.
When leaving for vacations or the weekend, unplug unnecessary items. Using a power strip as indicated above makes this simple.
For weeklong or longer vacations, fridges should be emptied and unplugged.
When leaving for vacations or the weekend, adjust the room temperature (where possible) to a medium range, i.e. don’t leave the heat blasting on full nor the AC on the coldest temp possible.
Theft of College, town or state property, or the personal property of others, is prohibited. “Borrowing” an item without the express consent of the owner is theft.
Students should report toilet stoppages immediately to the on call staff (if after hours) or to their Area Coordinator (if during office hours). Stoppages in suites are a higher priority since there is no alternative unlike in common bathrooms. If the stoppage is caused by vandalism, the residents of the suite are held accountable through suite damage charges and if in a common bathroom, the cost is split and a share of that charge billed to each resident assigned to that common bathroom.
Any item found in the toilet other than human waste and an appropriate amount of toilet paper is considered vandalism. Feminine products, “flushable” wipes, paper towels, clothing, etc. need to be thrown in trash receptacles.
Devices utilizing batteries known to cause fire safety issues are not allowed in the residence halls. Pedestrians on campus walkways have the right of way. Any use of a transportation device that is reckless, endangers pedestrians, creates a hostile environment for pedestrians, or is damaging to College property is prohibited.
Non-College vehicles (such as cars, motorcycles, mopeds, scooters) are prohibited on pedestrian walkways. For move out and move in, it is permissible for vehicles such as cars/trucks to temporarily use the Cater walk for residents of East, Middle, and West. Pedestrians on campus walkways have the right of way. Any use of a transportation device that is reckless, endangers pedestrians, creates a hostile environment for pedestrians, or is damaging to College property is prohibited
The intentional or reckless destruction, damage, vandalizing, tampering with or defacing College, town or state property, or the personal property of others, is prohibited.
The possession, storage, or use of fireworks, firearms, ammunition, explosives, weapon replicas, or other weapons, including any dangerous article or substance with the potential to injure or discomfort a person, including knives with blades of three inches or longer, is prohibited at any time for any purpose at any place on the campus or other property of Washington College. This includes weapons for display or religious purposes, such as swords or bows.
All Western Shore suites (including Sorority Houses) are limited to students with junior or senior status. If campus occupancy is low and there are spaces available in Western Shore after all interested juniors and seniors are assigned, priority is given to non-traditional students before being offered to students on the waitlist, ranked by highest credit.
Windows are not to be used for entrance or egress, removal of furniture or other items. Windows cannot be blocked by furniture, flammable objects, or made otherwise impassable in case of emergency.
Room window screens are not to be removed. Removing window screens or changing or altering a screen or window in any way may be considered vandalism and result in student conduct action.
Many residence halls have vending machines located in lobby areas. Issues with the vending machine need to be reported to the Area Coordinator who will contact the vending company or the vending contract manager (if a persistent problem).
Students who wish to withdraw from the College contact the Provost’s Office. Students first complete the required paperwork and attend exit counseling where appropriate. The Provost’s Office assists students with the process of withdrawal. Withdrawal has serious financial implications and timing impacts that greatly. Students contemplating withdrawal should assess both the academic and financial ramifications of withdrawal prior to starting the process.