Chatham University

Residence Life Snapshot
Terms and Conditions

Chatham University's residential philosophy is predicated upon the belief that residence hall living enhances a student's education by contributing to an individual's academic, social, and personal development. In order for such an environment to exist, residential students must accept responsibility for their own actions, as well as the actions of their guests, while acting in a manner which demonstrates respect for the rights and concerns of others and for the property of the University. Therefore, students are required: a) to respect the rights of all residents to cleanliness, security, privacy, space, quiet hours for study and sleep, and generally to an environment conducive to learning and University life; and b) to comply with the rules and regulations relating to appropriate conduct established by the University and/or the Residence Life staff. Violation of these terms and conditions or any other applicable rules, policies, or procedures incorporated by reference herein, or any other official University publication, such as the Student Handbook available in the Student Planner ), may subject the student to disciplinary action and/or fines, including but not limited to, termination of the students occupancy in a residence hall room/apartment and/or suspension or expulsion from the University. The Student Handbook is available upon request from the Office of Residence Life & Student Activities - Student Affairs.

The on campus living experience is vital to the growth and development of the whole student. All students who have completed less than four semesters of college/university are required to reside in on-campus housing for their first two years on campus. An exception to this is students may live with parent(s) and/or legal guardians in the greater Pittsburgh area (within 30 miles of campus.) Students choosing to live at home may register as a commuter by completing the Commuter Application found on the Forms section of my.chatham. Students found in violation will face disciplinary review and fines up to the cost of housing.

Gateway students may request an exception to the residency requirement by contacting the Office of Residence Life & Student Activities - Residence Life.

TERMS & CONDITIONS are an agreement between Chatham University and the student whose signature appears on the Housing Acknowledgement and Agreement that the occupancy of space. All students will be asked to read and sign the Terms and Conditions upon checking into their housing assignment.


Eligibility and Assignments

Eligibility for residence is limited to full-time Chatham students who have made all required deposits, payments, and are in good academic, conduct and financial standing.

Roommate preference based upon race, color, religion, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, physical characteristics, or national origin will not be accommodated. In addition, room changes will not be granted for any of the above reasons.

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Policies and Prohibited Items


As with any community, certain standards of behavior and living exist to assure the safety and welfare of all community members. As an educational institution, Chatham is committed to providing a learning environment that respects individuality as well as community purpose. Clearly, the primary purpose shared by all community members is the pursuit of knowledge through education in and out of the classroom.

Chatham University recognizes the value of the residential experience in a college education. Therefore, Chatham prides itself on providing students with an opportunity for personal, academic and professional development in an interesting living and learning environment. Membership in this community has many benefits, which you will come to know through your time at Chatham. One such benefit is the unique balance a residence environment allows for one to express individuality on the one hand while enjoying the camaraderie of a diverse community on the other. Such benefits can only be gained with the cooperation of all members of the community. As with any other community, certain customs, practices and norms have been adopted for the Chatham residence population to ensure a friendly, safe and secure environment, which is conducive to learning. All members of the Chatham community have a responsibility to themselves and to others for upholding the University's policies and procedures.

Below, you will find the outlined practices that are observed by all community members. Students must abide by any and all established Residence Life and University policies. Students will be held accountable for knowing and following the policies, regulations and guidelines of the Office of Residence Life & Student Activities - Student Affairs. Violation of these policies will result in either a disciplinary meeting with a professional Residence Life staff member. An appropriate sanction, may be assigned if the student is found responsible for violating Residence Life Policy.

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Contract Termination and Refunds

The University establishes room charges for the academic year and the housing contract cannot be broken at any point of the academic year, except if the student officially withdraws from the University, is granted a leave of absence, or is granted specific permission to do so from the Director of Student Affairs & Residence Life or Vice President of Student Affairs. A non-refundable housing reservation fee of $150.00 must be made to Student Accounts prior to room assignment.

If for any reason the student ceases to be eligible for residence, the student must promptly vacate the assigned space within 48 hours and cancel the housing contract with the Director of Student Affairs & Residence Life.

If a student gives the University written notice of withdrawal prior to the first day of the fall semester, the student will be refunded all advance payments of room and board except for the $150.00 housing reservation fee. In the event of a cancelled housing contract after the start of classes, a prorated refund for room and board will be made according to the terms listed in the University refund policy (available in the Course Catalogue).

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Visitation/Guest Policy

A residence hall guest is considered to be any person who is not a resident of that hall. Chatham students not residing in the residence area in question are still considered guests of that residence area.

Visitation hours are as follows:

Guests in the building past midnight Sunday through Thursday and 1:00 a.m. Friday and Saturday are considered overnight guests.

The following guidelines have been established to ensure a comfortable and safe community environment in the residence halls:

First-Year Student Guest Policy

Fall-term first-year students are not permitted to have overnight guests until the evening of the traditional Chatham Eggnog (the first Friday of December), including family members. This policy is firm unless there are unusual circumstances, which are approved by the building's Graduate Resident Director. This includes Chatham students sleeping over in other students' rooms.

Guests of fall term, first-year students must leave the residence hall by midnight on Sunday night through Thursday night and by 1:00 a.m. on Friday and Saturday nights. Guests may not return to campus until at least 8:00 a.m. the following day. All other visitation regulations apply to first-year students.

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Pet Policy

Students are not permitted to have pets in the residence halls or apartments with the exception of aquarium fish in an aquarium no larger than 25 gallons. Any pets besides fish are not permitted (this includes turtles, frogs, etc.).

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Fire Safety  & Fire Escape Policy

Unannounced fire evacuation drills will be held regularly throughout the school year in each residence hall. Students who fail to exit the halls, attempt to re-enter the building without the permission of proper authorities or fail to comply with University officials will be subject to disciplinary action and the assessment of fines.

Tampering with fire safety equipment or fire alarms is a violation of state law as well as residence hall policy. Persons found in violation will be subject to disciplinary action.

Fire detection units should not be covered or blocked at any time.

For reasons of fire safety, the following items are not permitted in student rooms:irons (may be used in laundry rooms), space heaters, halogen lamps, non UL rated lamps, any non UL rated decorations requiring electricity, sun lamps/tanning beds, toaster ovens, hot plates, candles with wicks, decorative candles, incense, candle warmers, tart burners, live/cut holiday trees and wreaths.

Unauthorized possession, storage or use of hazardous or dangerous weapons, explosive components or substances including, but not limited to, firearms, fireworks, and chemical materials such as gasoline/fuels, kerosene or compressed gasses/air in residence halls is forbidden and subject to disciplinary action.

The roofs and fire escapes of each building are for emergency purposes only. Under no other conditions should these be used. Failure to comply will lead to disciplinary action.

Do not hang anything from the sprinkler heads (Woodland Hall).This will cause damage to the system that will be charged to the occupant(s) of the room.

For reasons of safety, the maximum occupancy may not exceed five (5) guests per resident at any one time for a residence hall room or apartment.

Fire Safety Tips:

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Room Furniture Policies

Rooms are furnished with a single bed, dresser, desk, and desk chair for each occupant. Students may provide their own study lamp (note: halogen lamps are not allowed), wastebasket, and a bookcase if desired. Failure to adhere to the following Furnishings Policies will result in appropriate charges for missing furniture, repair, or replacement.

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Air Conditioner Policy

Students are not permitted to have window air conditioners. If a student requires air conditioning for a medical reason, the student must submit a letter to the Director of Student Affairs & Residence Life and documentation from a doctor explaining the medical need.  All requests must be approved by the Medical Accommodations Committee.  Please see Medical Accommodations for an overview of the policy and documentation needed.  Upon approval for the air conditioning unit, a student requiring an air conditioner for medical reasons must:

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No bicycles may be left in public areas (i.e. lounges, stairwells, etc.) in any residence hall at any time. Bicycles should be stored on bike racks that are available outside of the residence halls on a seasonal basis. If a bicycle is found in a public area it may be immediately confiscated.

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Alcohol Policy

All residents and guests are expected to comply with the alcohol policy as stated in the University Honor Code.

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For the reason of safety, exterior doors of the residence halls are locked 24 hours a day .They cannot be propped open at any time. Anyone propping a door is subject to disciplinary action. Students are expected to carry residence hall keys and their ID card at all times. All resident students are reminded that their ID cards will gain them access to the exterior hall doors and should be handled cautiously and responsibly to insure that easy access to the residence halls remains the privilege of resident students only. For reason of safety, lost keys and ID cards must be reported to the Office of Residence Life & Student Activities - Student Affairs immediately. Students may not lend their ID cards and their room keys to anyone.

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Email Communication

Chatham University email is the official communication for the Office of Residence Life & Student Activities - Student Affairs. Students are responsible for regularly accessing their account for messages. Residence Life relies on this communication as the official way to communicate with resident students.

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Health and Safety Inspections

Upon prior notice, the Office of Residence Life and Public Safety will conduct periodic health and safety inspections of rooms and apartments to help insure that all residents are in compliance with health, fire, and safety guidelines. General room/apartment inspections will indicate violations and will advise students on how to correct violations. Any violations which are found and/or not corrected may result in an applicable fine, confiscation of property, and/or disciplinary action.

Lounge Furniture

Furniture placed in all common areas in the residence halls must remain in the common areas. Students found in possession of common area furniture will be subject to disciplinary action.

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Personal Bathrooms & Kitchens

Rooms and apartments that have a private bathroom or kitchen are a privilege. Students are expected to maintain their own kitchen/ bathroom in an appropriate way throughout the year. Students will be notified during Health and Safety Inspections if the condition of these spaces is unacceptable, and be given the opportunity to rectify the situation. Students are subject to an excess cleaning charge if the kitchen and/or bath area is not maintained appropriately. Students with private kitchens or bathrooms need to provide their own soap/paper products and need to establish expectations for usage with all students with access to the kitchen/bathroom.

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Quiet Hours

As members of a living/learning community, resident students are asked to comply with requests by other residents and/or staff members to maintain reasonable levels of noise within the residence halls and apartments. Specific quiet hours have been established to create an atmosphere conducive to studying and/or sleeping in the residence halls. Each residence hall community with the leadership of the residential staff may elect to designate more restrictive quiet hours than those that have been established. During quiet hours, any noise (e.g., stereos, TVs, radios and verbal interactions) must be kept at a level such that it cannot be heard by neighboring residents. Continual violation of Quiet Hours or Courtesy Hours will result in disciplinary action, including residential fines.

  • Minimum Quiet Hours in all residences:
    Sunday-Thursday, 11:00 p.m.-8:00 a.m.
    Friday-Saturday, 1:00 a.m.-10:00 a.m.
  • Residents are permitted to agree to longer quiet hours through their community agreements, but may not agree to shorter quiet hours.
  • There will be 24-hour quiet hours during exam periods beginning at the end of the last class through the end of the last final exam.
  • Respectful interactions are expected within the residence hall communities regarding Quiet Hours. Any student who is not respectful to fellow residents and/or residence life staff will need to have a disciplinary meeting regarding the confrontation.

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Courtesy Hours

Courtesy Hours exist at all times. At all times, students are expected to be courteous and to conduct themselves in a way that does not intrude on the rights and privileges of others.

Respectful interactions are expected within the residence hall communities regarding Quiet Hours and Courtesy Hours. Any student who is not respectful to fellow residents and/or residence life staff will need to have a disciplinary meeting regarding the confrontation.

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Residence Life is committed to the Chatham University mission initiative of Sustain ability. There are recycling bins located in each residence hall for bottles, cans, and paper. Please dispose of all approved recycling contents in the appropriate containers.

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Residence Hall Meetings

Residence hall meetings provide opportunities for students to gather and learn about the latest happenings on campus or in the hall, to discuss residence hall concerns, etc. Specifically, students will receive information about openings, closings, room selection, etc. Each student is required to attend and may offer support, ideas, and suggestions to other residents and to the hall staff. Each student is responsible for the information introduced and/or decided at the meeting regarding community standards and other areas of student living. Failure to attend or notify the GRD that you cannot attend may result in a fine or disciplinary action.

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Room Changes

Residents who want to change their housing assignment must have already met with their RA in order for the request to be considered.  In the case of a roommate conflict, the RA and/or GRD will require mediation before a room change will be considered.  For upperclass students, room changes are offered two weeks after the beginning of each semester and ends on October 1st for the Fall semester and February 1st for the Spring semester. First year students will have the option to change room assignments only once during the first two weeks of the Spring semester.  The Office of Residence Life and Student Activities – Student Affairs reserves the right to move students as necessary.  If a student loses a roommate during the year, Residence Life reserves the right to assign another student to that space without prior notification.  The University also has the right to relocate students at any time for any reason.

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Room Keys

Upon arrival, each resident student will be given a room key. If a student should lose a key or fail to return it at the end of the year or other time of checkout, the student will be billed $75.00 for a core change and 2 replacement keys (one for resident and one for Residence Life office). Students may incur additional charges for each additional key needed for the room (i.e. cost for a double room would be $100.00).

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Fostering a positive relationship between roommates is an important piece of residential living. Not all roommates are best friends, but it is imperative that they establish a respectful relationship. The Residence Life staff is available to assist students every step of the way. A roommate relationship can bring out social, cultural, and values conflicts. Residents complete a roommate agreement with their RA in order to help establish communication and to create common guidelines for their room. It is important for roommates to know their expectations for each other.

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Trash Removal

Students are expected to assume responsibility for the disposal of all personal trash. Residents who reside in the traditional residence halls (Woodland, Fickes, Laughlin, and Rea) must put trash in the main bins located in the designated areas of each residence hall. Residents who reside in the apartments must place trash in the dumpsters located in the apartment parking lots.

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Electrical Equipment and Appliances

All electrical appliances must be UL approved and in good working condition. Electrical appliances are that are permitted in resident rooms include a radio, stereo, small portable television, personal computer, clock, portable hair dryer, curling iron or hot curlers, small microwave, a small refrigerator (no larger 4 cubic feet), and a small fan. Also permissible are appliances that have both automatic shut-off buttons and time to brew cycles and do not have warming plates. Such appliances include some brands of hot water dispensers and hot beverage machines new on the market.

Electrical appliances that are NOT permitted in the residence halls include:

  • Appliances that have exposed heating units or open flames
  • Halogen lamps
  • Hot plates
  • Toaster ovens
  • Electric blankets
  • Space heaters,
  • Sun or heat lamps
  • Toasters (only permitted in apartments)
  • Irons (only permitted in apartments - Residence Hall iron use is restricted to laundry rooms only)

Residence hall rooms shall not be used to prepare hot foods. The equipment and appliances used to prepare hot food are fire safety hazards because of the heat they generate. Heating coils, electric frying pans, broilers, griddles, standard coffee pots, and any other electrical cooking appliances are not allowed. This policy does not apply to apartments, as they are equipped with kitchen facilities.

Students should use surge protectors on electronics and appliances such as computers, microwaves, etc.

Refrigerators must be plugged directly into wall electrical sockets. The University has the right to limit use of appliances.

Residence Life staff has authority to prohibit and/or remove without prior notice all illegal or potentially dangerous appliances/devices for reasons of health and safety.

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Common Kitchen Facilities

Each residence hall contains at least one small kitchen area (some residence halls have a kitchen area on each floor) that contain a sink, microwave, and refrigerator. Laughlin House, Rea House, and Fickes Hall also have stove-tops and ovens in the house kitchens. Woodland Hall also has a stove-top available. The use of approved electrical appliances must be restricted to the kitchen area(s). As members of a community, students should remember the following when using a kitchen area:

  • Residents are responsible for cleaning appliances, dishes, etc. that they use. Dirty dishes left in the kitchen or bathrooms for more than 24 hours will be thrown out.
  • Refrigerators are for all residents to use. Residents should mark their food in some way and should remove old food appropriately. Refrigerators will be cleaned at the end of each term and unmarked and spoiled food will be thrown out.
  • The University does not accept responsibility for food left in refrigerators. Students should respect the personal property of others and refrain from using or taking food left by other resident students without their expressed consent to do so. Students will be subject to disciplinary action if they remove another student's personal belongings from the kitchen area(s).
  • When cooking, students must be present in the kitchen area. Students are not permitted to cook food in the microwave unless present. Disciplinary action, including fines, will be taken if these procedures are not followed.
  • A student failing to maintain the safety of the kitchen will be fined $25.00 and may face additional disciplinary action. This includes leaving an oven or cook top on or failing to clean up after use.

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Vandalism & Damage to University Property

All campus residents should be concerned with the safety and handling of University property-both in individual rooms and public areas. Residents should do their best to see that University property is not damaged or stolen. Respect for the residential environment is crucial to developing a residence hall community in which members can take pride in their environment.

You and your roommate(s) are responsible for any damage, misuse, or theft of University property that occurs in your room/apartment. You must pay replacement, reassembly, or repair cost for any missing or damaged property.

Individual Room Damage Policy

By taking occupancy of the space, you accept its condition at such time and assume responsibility to maintain the space and any common areas in which assigned space is located in a clean, safe, and undamaged condition at all times. At the beginning of each academic year, a Room Condition Report (RCR) is completed by the RA and given to the residents to review, edit, sign, and turn in.

Residents failing to return their signed RCR within a week of their move-in will be held responsible for any additional damages incurred during their residency. Upon vacating a room, the Residence Life staff will conduct an inspection using the original RCR as a basis for assessing any missing or damaged furnishings or property of the University. Once the inspection has been conducted, Residence Life Staff will forward the completed form to the Director of Student Affairs & Residence Life. If it is determined that fines for damages or missing property are to be issued, the resident(s) of the room will be billed accordingly. Damage costs will be split evenly among residents unless specified otherwise by the residents.

Billing for individual room damage is completed after residents move out of their room. Students are responsible for the damage costs that are listed in the Residence Life Terms and Conditions for each year. The Office of Residence Life & Student Activities - Student Affairs must receive any appeals to damage charges in writing within two weeks of the issuance of the bill. After that time, appeals will not be granted.

Common/Public Area Damage Policy

When individual responsibility for damage and loss in public areas (e.g., bathrooms, lounges, etc.) cannot be determined, a charge will be made to all students within a reasonably defined area (e.g., room, floor, building, etc.) If the individual(s) responsible for damaged or stolen property cannot be identified, the cost of damages to any common/public area of a residence hall or apartment will be assessed and divided among the residents as appropriate. The Graduate Resident Director will work with the students and staff in the residence hall or apartment to determine, if possible, who is responsible for the damage. If the bill is to be divided among residents, the Residence Life staff will notify those residents of the cost per person that will be charged to their student account. Common area damage may not be appealed.

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The University is not responsible for theft or destruction of personal property. It is highly recommended that valuables are covered by a homeowner's insurance policy or renter's insurance.

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Indoor Sports

Due to the potential harm to individuals and property, hall sports are not allowed in the residence halls and apartments. Indoor sports infringe on the rights of others, can lead to damage of University property, or may cause harm to oneself or others. Water fights and snowball fights are prohibited inside all residence halls and apartments. Students who violate this policy will be subject to disciplinary action. These behaviors include but are not limited to: riding bikes, roller blading, frisbee, any ball related sport, water balloons, and wrestling.

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Room & Holiday Decorations

While every person likes to personalize her space in order to feel at home, the residence halls are governed by certain local fire safety ordinances. Since your living space is intended to serve not only you and your roommates, but also the residents who live there in the future, certain guidelines for personalizing rooms or apartments are necessary. Additionally, certain adhesives and/or other hanging elements often damage walls and furnishings. It is necessary for resident students to be aware of the following guidelines in keeping with local fire safety ordinances and University policy:

  • Students are not authorized to paint (including washable paint), renovate, or modify their rooms in any way. Glow in the dark paint or markers are not permitted.
  • Furniture must not obstruct smoke detectors or sprinklers, block heating vents, damage pipe coverings, or impair quick exit from the room or window in case of emergency.
  • Decorative hangings are largely restricted to the inside of the residence hall room.
  • Students may hang minimal decorations on their room doors. If door hangings are determined to be a fire hazard by a Residence Life staff member, students will be required to remove the decorations. The Office of Residence Life reserves the right to deny any decoration/item that is deemed inappropriate or offensive to others.
  • Students are prohibited from hanging decorations of any kind on hallway walls, ceilings, etc.
  • Students are prohibited from leaving furniture in the hallway. If any room furniture is lost during the course of a student's stay in the room, the student will be charged a replacement fee.
  • Students are prohibited from hanging any items from sprinklers or near sprinklers that may interfere with function of the sprinkler.
  • When hanging pictures, posters, etc., do not use the following items on the wall: transparent tape, double-stick tape, adhesive stick-on corkboard, nails and screws. Adhesives or nails that damage the wall will be assessed during room inspection. Blue painters tape should be used to tape smaller items to walls in the residence areas. Adhesive poster putty that leaves no residue is also recommended to hang posters. Framed photos should not be hung on walls. Students are responsible for any damage done to walls after they move out.
  • Holiday candles are not permitted in University owned student residences. Students seeking to honor religious observations should contact the Director of Residence Life for approved locations and guidelines.
  • Live trees and wreaths are prohibited in student rooms/apartments. Non-UL approved lights are prohibited from being used. Only UL approved lights and small non-heat producing lights can be used. All decorations must be removed prior moving out for the December winter break.
  • Underage students are not permitted to display alcohol bottles in their room. Displays of drug paraphernalia are prohibited for all students.
  • While students may use their discretion in posting on the outside of their room/apartment door, any posting must be respectful of community members and cannot violate the Honor Code. (This includes items that may lead to mental and bodily harm to others or self and any items that may create a civil disturbance.)
  • Students in the Fifth Avenue Apartments are not allowed to renovate, or paint their apartments.

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Solicitation and Advertising Policy

The University prohibits solicitation, sales, or door-to-door canvassing by students or non-students on University property. Solicitation and sales of non-University items are prohibited in the residence halls without approval from the appropriate University official. Residents are not permitted to run private businesses from their campus residence.

Posters and signs which are not offensive to community members and approved through the Office of Student Affairs may be hung in public areas of the campus with the exception of front doors of buildings. The student government requires organizations advertising by chalking to notify the coordinator of student activities in advance of chalking sidewalks. The coordinator of student activities will provide for any group the guidelines for chalking. In addition, in order to keep a clean environment and to promote current events, each community member is asked to remove any signage from her/his event within 48 hours of the event. Failure to do so may result in loss of sign hanging privileges in the residence halls.

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Storage Policy and Procedure

Chatham University does not offer storage to students. The Office of Residence Life & Student Activities - Residence Life has a brochure with contact information for local storage companies available upon request. Any items left in University owned housing will be discarded after hall closing.

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Smoking Policy

It has been stipulated by Chapter 617 of the Smoking Pollution Control Ordinance that: The right of smokers to smoke ends where their actions affect the health, well-being, and comfort of others. Smoking is prohibited in all residence areas on campus, including rooms, hallways, lounges, and computer labs. Students and guests who smoke outside the residence areas must be at least twenty five (25) feet away from entry doors while smoking and properly dispose of cigarettes. Students found throwing their cigarette butts on the ground will be fined $25 and possibly face more serious disciplinary action. Cigarette butts contain fibers that are not biodegradable, toxins that are harmful to the environment, and can cause fires. If cigarette smoke drifts into students' rooms/apartment windows and cause a disturbance to residents, the smoker will need to smoke elsewhere to limit the disturbance.

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Work Order Requests

Guidelines for maintenance, housekeeping, and facilities requests for any residence hall area:

  • Students must contact their RA or GRD with a work order request as soon as the problem comes to their attention. Requests should be as specific as possible to ensure timely follow up.
  • All pertinent data must be given to the RA or GRD before submitting the request. Be specific in your request to ensure prompt response. GRDs will submit work order requests on a daily basis, Monday through Friday.

In case of a maintenance emergency (e.g. smell of gas, water leaks, or other immediate safety hazard) contact Facilities Management, 412.365.1273, 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.. For emergencies that occur during the evening or weekend hours, Residence Life On-Call at 412-951-0003.

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Articles and Activities Prohibited in the Residence Halls

The following activities and articles are prohibited in or around the residence halls. Failure to comply with these regulations is a violation of residence hall policies. An incident report will be filed against individuals found in violation of such regulations and a residence life disciplinary meeting will be held with a Residence Life staff member to discuss any necessary disciplinary action, including possible residential fines. Residence Life staff members will confiscate any item found to be in violation of these policies. Confiscated items will be returned at the end of the academic term when a student leaves campus upon the student's request. Failure of the student to claim a confiscated item by the end of the term will lead to disposal of the item.

Articles and activities prohibited in the residence halls include:

  • Bicycles, except when stored in students' rooms or in designated areas outside of the residence hall where they do not block exit routes. Bicycles cannot be stored in public entryways, hallways or lounges.
  • Waterbeds, lofts, or stacking of furniture. Bed lifts no higher than 12 inches can be used to elevate bed height but only when lifts are purchased at a store and mode for this specific purpose. Under no circumstances can bricks, blocks of wood, etc., be used to elevate furniture.
  • Possession of or use of explosives, ammunition, flares, or other dangerous weapons (i.e. pocket knives larger than 2 ½ inches in length) or substances.
  • Storage of any flammable liquids or gases.
  • Possession of halogen lamps, hot plates, toasters, toaster ovens, large refrigerators (larger than 4 cubic feet), and other expressly prohibited electrical appliances in residence hall rooms as outlined in the electrical appliance policy (see electrical equipment and appliance policy). Toasters, toaster ovens, and hot plates are permitted in Chatham Apartments and public residence hall kitchens only.
  • Possession and/or use of candles (decorative or otherwise), incense, potpourri burners, space heaters (unless provided by the University), or anything with an open flame.
  • Tampering with, or misuse of fire and safety equipment or elevators (e.g. fire alarms, fire extinguishers, exit signs, fire doors, smoke or heat sensors).
  • Failure to evacuate the residence hall area during fire alarms.
  • Propping open residence hall entrance and exit doors as well as fire doors. Building alarms will sound if residence hall entrance doors are propped.
  • Engaging in any other activity determined to be in violation of health, fire, safety and/or maintenance codes.
  • Damaging or misusing residence hall property and/or furniture including the removal, relocation, or disassembling of furniture from individual rooms and/or public areas. Under no circumstances are students permitted to remove University furniture from student rooms/apartments without approval from their GRD.
  • Throwing or suspension of articles, objects or persons from residence hall windows. This includes sitting on window ledges.
  • Presence on building roof areas, window ledges, fire escapes, or in other unauthorized areas.
  • Theft or unauthorized possession of University property or property that belongs to another individual or group. This includes moving public lounge furniture items to student rooms/apartments.
  • Sleeping in common areas of residence hall spaces is not allowed unless approved by the Office of Residence Life.
  • Watching pornography or other commonly offensive materials on University provided televisions or in common areas. This is not limited to multimedia played through a VCR or DVD player.
  • Failure to comply with the directions of any residence life staff member or University official performing her/his duties, including but not limited to the failure to provide proper identification to a staff member upon request or giving misleading or false information to a staff member performing her/his duties.

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Room Charges and Refunds

The University establishes room charges for the academic year and the housing contract cannot be broken at any point of the academic year, except if the student officially withdraws from the University or is granted a leave of absence. A housing fee of $150.00 must be made to Student Accounts prior to a room assignment, unless otherwise arranged by the student with the Director of Residence Life or Vice President of Student Affairs.

If a student gives the University written notice of withdrawal prior to the first day of classes or any time during the term, she will be refunded all advance payments of room and board except for the $150.00 housing fee. In the event of a leave of absence from the residence halls/apartments after the start of classes, a prorated refund for room and board will be made according to the terms listed in the Student Handbook.

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Contract Period Dates

The housing contract begins at the time the student takes occupancy of the assigned space and extends for the academic semesters only.

  • 2014 Fall Semester Housing opens to first year and transfer students at 10:00 a.m. on AUGUST 20, 2014 and to returning students at 9 a.m. on AUGUST 23, 2014. All residence halls and undergraduate apartments close for the fall semester at 8 p.m. on DECEMBER 11, 2014. Students are not allowed to enter or occupy the residence halls after this time.
  • 2015 Spring Semester Housing opens to all students at 9:00 a.m. on JANUARY 4, 2015. All residence halls and undergraduate apartments close for the academic year at 5:00 p.m. on APRIL 25, 2015 unless student is enrolled in a Maymester course.  Then the residence halls and undergraduate apartments close on MAY 16, 2015. Students are not allowed to enter or occupy the residence halls after this time.
  • Housing for the winter break, DECEMBER 11, 2015 to JANUARY 4, 2015 may be available via registration on an as needed basis.
  • The student will be billed $50 per day (or part thereof) for occupancy before or after these published contract dates unless prior arrangements have been made and approval received from the Director of Student Affairs & Residence Life or Vice President of Student Affairs.

*These dates are subject to change based on the academic calendar.

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Condition of Premises/Damage

By taking occupancy of the space, the student accepts its condition “as is” at such time and assume responsibility to maintain the space and any common areas in a clean and undamaged condition at all times. Each student will be required to complete a Room Condition Report (RCR) with a Residence Life Staff member at the beginning of the academic year. Any student who fails to complete the RCR within a week of taking occupancy will forfeit the right to document the condition of their room at the time of occupancy. The student further forfeits the right to appeal end of year damage or cleaning charges. At the end of occupancy, each room will be inspected and damage beyond normal wear and tear will be charged accordingly.

  • The student shall reimburse the University upon demand for all damages for expenses which the University may suffer or incur for repair or a room or facility in the residence, for the repair or replacement of University provided furniture, caused by misconduct or neglect of the student or of the student’s guest(s).
  • Common areas, such as kitchens, bathrooms, and lounges, are the responsibility of all residents in that area. If damages occur to common areas, all residents of that community will equally share damage costs if responsible party is not found.
  • When a student vacates the assigned space, the student must remove all personal property and leave the room, any common areas, and any furnishings clean and in the same condition they were in when she commenced occupancy. Any personal property left in the room or the common areas will be promptly removed at the student’s expense.
  • The student shall not alter the room or other facilities of the residence (including but not limited to painting walls and removal of University furnishings) therein in any way without the prior written consent of the Director of Residence Life.
  • Failure to pay any damage fees may be cause for refusal to permit registration or other such action as may be determined appropriate by the University until fees owed are paid in full.
  • Furniture in residence hall/apartment rooms may not be removed or altered without the prior permission of the Director of Student Affairs & Residence Life.
  • Costs of labor and repair or replacement of damaged items is determined in conjunction with the Director of Facilities and based on actual cost to replace, repair or clean the area or item(s). Any of the other occupants, furnishings, and features of the room shall be assigned and may be changed only by Chatham University at any time at its discretion.

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Personal Property: Indemnity

The University will not be liable, either directly or indirectly, for any loss by theft of personal property by residents or their guests or for any damage or destruction of such property by fire, water, or any other cause. The University advises that students insure personal property against loss, damage, or destruction arising from any cause.

Students shall indemnify, defend and save harmless the University from any claim, loss, damage, liability, or expense (including without limitation reasonable attorney’s fees and court costs) arising from a) any breach by student of the University’s terms, conditions, or rules, whether contained or otherwise incorporated by reference in these Terms and Conditions and b) any injury to the student or any other person, including but not limited to any guests of the student, or property occurring in, on or around the residence hall/apartment area.

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Compliance with Applicable Residence

Students are required to comply with federal, state, and local laws as well as all residential policies and procedures established by the University and the Residence Life staff included in this contract, in other official University publications such as the Student Handbook and assumed under this contract by reference. Such policies and procedures are available from the appropriate University offices. Students are responsible for informing themselves of such policies and procedures.


Alcohol and other Drugs

The University prohibits the use, possession or sale of illegal drugs and the possession or purchase of alcohol by any person less than 21 years of age.


The student is responsible for the conduct of any guest(s) at all times. All guests must comply with University policies and procedures.

No cohabitation is permitted; overnight guests are permitted no more than three consecutive nights (First year students may not have overnight guests until December 3rd, 2011). Visitation is only allowed with the consent of any/all roommates.

Fire Safety

No candles and/or incense, decorative, religious, or otherwise, are permitted in student’s residences

Failure to evacuate during a fire alarm and theft, tampering, or improper use of fire fighting, detection and/or alarm equipment is strictly prohibited.

The University prohibits the use or possession of firearms, fireworks, or any type of weapon.


No pets are permitted in student residences in the residence halls/apartments, with the exception of aquarium fish.

As every community is directed by changing needs, policies, and procedures are subject to periodic change. The student agrees that they will abide by all residence hall/apartment policies and regulations as they appear in the Student Handbook and any supplements to the handbook that may be issued.

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Responsibility of the Residence Life Staff

The University has delegated to the staff of each residence hall/apartment building the responsibility for maintaining a living-learning environment in the residence halls/apartments where the students may express individuality while acting as a responsible member of the community. Residence Life staff members will educate the community about residence hall/apartment policies and procedures and will be responsible for enforcing such policies and procedures.

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University Rights of Residence

The University reserves the right to take the necessary and appropriate action to protect the safety and well being of the residence hall/apartment community. This includes the right to terminate this contract or retake possession of a student’s room should the student fail to maintain themselves as a student in good standing with the University regulations, or fail to comply fully with the terms of this agreement.

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Abandoned Premises

The University will consider the room to be abandoned if the tenant does not reside in the residence hall room/apartment for more than two weeks without notifying the University. In such cases, the University may enter the room without liability and reassign the room for any portion of the term.

The University will make reasonable attempts to contact the student to arrange for the exchange of any possessions left in the room/apartment. In the event that the student cannot be contacted or does not cooperate, the University will treat any possessions left on the premises as abandoned goods and make arrangements to remove said possessions from the abandoned room. The University shall not be obliged to hold the resident’s property longer than 7 (seven) days after determining the room to be abandoned before disposing of it, with no liability to the resident. The resident shall assume the expenses for such removal of property.

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Right to Entry

The university reserves the right to enter any residence area, room or apartment for any of the following reasons: Maintenance; inspection; repair; in cases of clear emergency; to assume compliance with federal, state, and local laws and University policies; where there is cause to believe violation has occurred or is taking place; or, to aid in the responsibility of the University to maintain an educational atmosphere.

Keys and University Identification cards that have been coded for residence hall access may not be used in a negligent manner. Keys may not be duplicated or transferred to anyone other than the resident student who signs for them.

If the University has cause to believe a violation has occurred or is taking place, the University has the right to conduct a room search (most likely in the case of suspected illegal drug and/or alcohol possession and/or use).The University recognizes its responsibility to respect the right of the residential student not to have her privacy disturbed.

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Two Year Residency Policy

The on campus living experience is vital to the growth and development of the whole student.

All students who have completed less than four semesters of college/university are required to reside in on-campus housing for their first two years on campus. An exception to this is students may live with parent(s) and/or legal guardians in the greater Pittsburgh area (within 30 miles of campus.) Students choosing to live at home must register as a commuter and provide documentation to the Office of Residence Life. Students found in violation will face disciplinary review and fines up to the cost of housing. Gateway students may request an exception to the residency requirement by contacting the Office of Residence Life.

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Medical Accommodations

Chatham University students are encouraged to take full advantage of the residential experience by sharing rooms with other Chatham students and first-year students living on campus are required to live with a roommate. However, Chatham does recognize that rare occasions do exist in which students may be faced with extreme conditions in which accommodations are required. In these cases, students can request to be assigned or moved to a single room reserved on campus for students with unique needs, or for other accommodations (i.e. lower floor room, building with an elevator, or exemption from the residency requirement).

Because cases which warrant medical singles are rare and extreme, students will need to follow specific procedures to request a medical single and will need to plan well ahead of their arrival to Chatham University.

To receive housing that accommodates your disability or medical situation the Office of Residence Life and Student Activities – Student Affairs and Programs for Academic Confidence and Excellence (PACE Center) requires that you submit appropriate medical documentation that confirms you are an individual with a disability or specific medical condition.  The following information is an outline of factors that Residence Life and the PACE Center and/or an appropriate medical professional will consider when determining if your request for housing accommodation is reasonable due to a disability or medical issue.

Severity of the Disability

  1. Is the impact of the disability life threatening if the request is not met?
  2. Is there a negative health impact that may be permanent if the request is not met?
  3. Is the request a vital component of a treatment plan for the condition?
  4. What is the impact on the student’s level of comfort if the request is not met?
  5. Does the disability necessitate that the student lives in an on-campus residence hall?

Practicality, Availability, and Timing

  1. Is the space available that meets the student’s needs?
  2. Are there other effective methods or housing configurations that would achieve similar benefits as the requested accommodation?
  3. Does the requested accommodation create a safety hazard (i.e. electrical overload, emergency exit, etc.)?
  4. Was the request made within a reasonable time frame relative to the housing application deadline?

Requests for a need-based housing accommodation must be accompanied by supporting, professional medical documentation. Please note: We will not accept documentation from the student’s family member, regardless if they are a medical professional. The directors of the Office of Residence Life and Student Activities – Student Affairs and/or the PACE Center will make a recommendation based on the documentation received. Decisions regarding an appropriate housing assignment will be made in consultation with the Director of Student Health and Wellness, General Manager of Dining Services, Vice President of Student Affairs and Dean of Students, and the Assistant Dean of Students.

The following procedure is in place for students who are wanting to

  1. You will need to submit a letter to the Office of Residence Life and Student Activities – Student Affairs (ATTN: Director of Student Affairs and Residence Life) and the PACE Center (ATTN: Director of the PACE Center) detailing your medical request, along with medical documentation from a physician. Please note: We will not accept documentation from the student’s family member, regardless if they are a medical professional.
  2. The Director of Student Health & Wellness will consult with the PACE Center and other departments on campus about whether or not a student’s medical condition warrants the need for a medical single or other special housing.
  3. The Director of Student Health & Wellness will then contact the student to notify them regarding the decision.

Please note, need-based housing must be requested and approved annually.

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Early Arrivals

Students may not return to campus before published move-in dates in August or January without permission of the Office of Residence Life & Student Activities - Student Affairs. Students who arrive early without permission will not be issued a key, will not be given access to the room, and will be asked to vacate the premises by University officials. Students and their families are expected to plan work schedules, vacations, etc., around the University move-in dates and times.

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Late Stays

Students are required to vacate their rooms within 24 hours after their last final exam or by the time residence halls close. Failure to leave within this timeframe will result in disciplinary action, fines and being asked to vacate the premises by University officials. Travel plans should be made well in advance. Exceptions will not be made because of poor planning.

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University Break Periods

The University observes several break periods throughout the year. Please refer to the current year Terms and Conditions of Residency for occupancy dates.

Spring Break, Long Weekend, Thanksgiving

The residence halls remain open during these university break periods. Students will be asked to register to stay during this time for the office of residence life to ensure appropriate staffing.

Winter Break

Applications will be available to apply for Winter Break Housing each year in October and due in November.  Only students who are athletes participating in a winter sport, international students, students who live out of state more than 350 miles away, or participating in a university internship will be approved to stay.

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August 25, First-Year students move-in to fall housing
August 27, 2011 Upper-class students move-in to fall housing
August 28, 2011 All Residents Meeting, AFC,
October 10 - 14, 2011 Health and Safety Inspections
November 1, 2011 Winter Break Housing Request Forms Available on my.chatham
November 14, 2011 RA Applications Available on my.chatham
November 22, 2011 Winter Break Housing Request Form Due
November 30, 2011 RA Information Session Woodland Hall 8:30pm-9:15pm
December 16, 2011 RA Information Session Fickes Hall 8:00pm-9:15pm
December 17, 2011 Residence Halls close for Winter Break
December 18, 2011 Residence Halls close for graduating seniors
January 3, 2012 Residence Halls open for spring housing at 9:00am
January 11, 2012 RA Information Session Laughlin House 4:00-5:00pm
January 13, 2012 RA Information Session 10:00am-6:30pm Tables on Campus
January 17, 2012 RA Info Session Woodland Student Lounge by Res Life 4:00pm-5:00pm
January 19, 2012 RA Applications Due by 5:00pm to Residence Life
February 6, 2012 LLC/UG Apt. Applications/Graduate Housing Intent Forms Available
February 14-17, 2012 RA Individual Interviews
February 18, 2012 RA Group Process Day & Returning RA Interviews
February 20, 2012 LLC/UG Apt. Apps./Grad Housing Intent Forms Due to Res Life by 5:00pm
February 20, 2012 Room Selection Event Woodland Student Lounge by Res Life 4:00pm-5:00pm
February 27 -
March 1, 2012
Health and Safety Inspections
March 2, 2012 LLC Housing Decision Letters
March 12, 2012 Room Selection Event Woodland Student Lounge by Res Life 11:30am
March 12-15, 2012 Maymester Meetings - All Residence Halls
March 13, 2012 LLC Room Selection Woodland Student Lounge by Residence Life 5:00pm
March 16, 2012 Apartment Housing Decision Letters
March 19, 2012 Housing Deposits Accepted
March 23, 2012 Maymester Intent Forms Due/Summer Housing Applications Available
March 25 - 30th, 2012 Hall Olympics
March 28, 2012 Room Selection Information Session
March 30, 2012 Housing Deposits Due
April 3, 2012 Room Draw Srs. & Jrs. Woodland Student Lounge by Res Life 8:00pm
April 4, 2012 Room Draw Sophomores Woodland Student Lounge by Res Life 8:00pm
April 6, 2012 Summer Housing Applications Due
April 14, 2012 RA Pre-Service Training
April 25, 2012 Residence Halls close for student not enrolled in Maymester
May 16, 2012 Residence Halls close for Maymester students
May 20, 2012 Residence Halls close for graduating seniors

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