Community Standards and Policies

The following is a description of the general operating policies currently enforced in the residence halls.  They have been established by previous residents with the intention of supporting an environment that allows for individual expression while still maintaining a reasonable academic community atmosphere.  These policies are effective at the start of the academic year; however, as much as these policies need to reflect the needs of our campus residents, most may be subject to reasonable change upon the recommendation of the student governance such as the Student Government Association (SGA) and the approval of the Associate Vice President of Student Life. If changes are made, you will be informed of such changes prior to their enactment.

If you have any further questions about the enforcement or the purpose of the following policies, you are advised to discuss them with your Resident Assistant.

Alcoholic Beverages

Marymount University is concerned about students who improperly use alcohol and other drugs and the effects such use may have on their health, academic success, interpersonal relationships, and ultimately their future. The misuse of alcohol, the use of illicit drugs, and the misuse of prescription medications are discouraged, disciplined, and not tolerated. Our goal can be achieved by campus-wide involvement  in comprehensive and ongoing alcohol and drug education, and the enforcement of Marymount  University’s Alcohol and Drug Policy 

All Marymount University students are responsible for knowing and following the University’s Alcohol and Drug Policy which may be found in section 9 of the Student Community Conduct Code. This policy provides information specific to university housing and supplements the rules found in the Student  Community Conduct Code

General Provision

Students who are 21 years of age are permitted to possess and consume alcohol in Marymount University residence halls. Any time alcohol is being consumed a resident of the room who is at least 21 years of age must be present and is considered to be responsible for the alcohol-related activities in the room. Residents who are not 21 are expected to inform their guests that the guests, regardless of age, are not permitted to consume alcohol in the room. The possession of empty alcohol containers by persons under the age of 21 is also prohibited. Individuals who consume are expected to have control over their physical and mental faculties and behave in a respectful and orderly manner. Alcohol is only permitted to be possessed and consumed in student rooms or apartments of those that are 21 or older.  Drinking games, real or simulated, are not permitted to be played in the residence halls. No alcohol should be consumed in common areas such as lounges.

Limits to Quantity and Type of Alcohol  

The University believes that students of legal drinking age should be allowed to consume in moderation.  Students are not permitted to possess common sources of alcohol, which include alcoholic punch bowls,  kegs, or similar items. Alcohol is limited by room type regardless of the number of 21-year-old students present in the room. The limit in an Ostapenko Apartment is two 750ml bottles of hard liquor, two 750ml bottles of wine, or twenty-four 12oz beers. This amount is for the entire apartment. The limit in all other residential rooms is one 750ml bottle of hard liquor, one 750ml bottle of wine, or twelve 12oz beers. This amount is for the entire room. This limit only applies if at least one of the residents assigned to the room is 21 years of age or older. No alcohol is permitted in rooms where the residents assigned to the room are not at least 21 years of age.


Residents may store bicycles in their rooms if done in a fashion that does not cause damage to the room or its furnishings. Bike racks are provided in several locations throughout campus. Bicycles will be removed from bicycle racks after the close of the Spring Semester.

Candles, Incense, and Smoking

The Office of Student Living is committed to providing students the latitude to define their personal living environment; however, it is also concerned about potential fire safety hazards.

One of the most common causes of fire in residence halls is the use of candles and incense. Because of the threat, this poses to persons and property, we do not allow any possession of any fire or incendiary materials in the residence halls except for smoking materials.

No tobacco products may be used on campus. Additionally, e-cigarettes and e-hookahs are also  prohibited. Please see the University’s tobacco policy for more details. 

Cooking in Rooms

Microwave ovens are only permitted as part of a micro fridge rented through the university partnership with or as provided in Ostapenko residence hall rooms. Residents may operate electric hot pots, popcorn poppers, and coffee pots in their rooms provided that they operate with an enclosed heating element. Student rooms are not equipped to accommodate the electrical and sanitary demands of other forms of cooking, such as George Foreman grills, air fryers, toasters, or toaster ovens – thus they are NOT PERMITTED. It is difficult to provide a full list of permitted items. If you have a  question about a permitted item contact your Resident Assistant or the Office of Student Living. 

Corridors and Hallways

Games and other activities conducted in residence hall corridors present the potential for accidents. It is for  this purpose that the corridors cannot be used for any other purpose than a passageway. This includes riding bikes, skateboards, scooters, hoverboards, and means of transportation, other than devices that assist persons with disabilities. Any games in the hallways resulting in damages may be charged to person or person responsible. 


Halogen lamps pose a threat to the safety of the residence halls when cloth, paper, or other flammable items are placed in contact with the halogen bulb. It has been shown that such contact can result in rapid ignition and combustion. Halogen lamps are prohibited in residential areas.

Mechanical and Emergency Facilities

Residents are not permitted to have access to any custodial, supply, or mechanical equipment rooms.  Residents also are not permitted to be on rooftops, in building attics, or on the outside faces of buildings. Hallways, stairwells, and exits designated for emergency use may be used only for such and must not be blocked or obstructed. Use or misuse of any fire exits or egress will result in a student conduct process.

Musical Instruments

Musical instruments may be played quietly in residents’ rooms except during quiet hours (10:00 pm 9:00 am Sunday-Thursdays & 12:00 am-9:00 am Friday and Saturday). If at any time such activity results in a complaint, residents must stop playing.

Stereos, TVs and Radios

Residents with stereos, TVs, or radios should remember to be courteous to their neighbors. The volume  should be kept low enough that it does not disturb fellow members of the community. For the courtesy of a resident’s community & campus community, speakers are not to be placed in windows or doorways.

Room Cleanliness

The relative cleanliness of your room is largely a matter of your own disposition. Nevertheless,  reasonable sanitary and safety standards must be met. If a room’s condition presents a reasonable threat to the residents of that room or community, those residents will be given a prescribed period of time to correct the condition. If this is not done they may face disciplinary action and/or be required to pay the cost of correcting the problem.

Some specific guidelines that must be observed are the following:

  1. Rooms may not have an excessive odor that impacts other residents
  2. Food and other items that could attract pests and other nuisance animals (ie. mice, bugs) may not be left out for unreasonable periods of time
  3. Fish, game, or lab animals may not be stored, cleaned, or dismembered in the residence halls
  4. Mechanical or electrical equipment not intended for indoor residential use may not be cleaned,  disassembled, assembled, or stored in the residence halls
  5. Only non-hazardous, commercially sold cleaning products intended for residential use may be used in the residence halls
  6. Chemicals from university labs and other hazardous materials are prohibited in the residence halls.

 Room Changes

If you desire a room change, there are certain steps that must be completed before you can switch rooms.

  1. A Room Change Request Form must be completed online through eRezLife (Housing Portal). Most  room changes may not be initiated until after the third week of each semester. This time period allows for roommates to get to know one another and supports overall social development
  2. Within three business days, you will receive notification of whether your request to move has been  approved
  3. If it is approved, you should arrange a time for your Resident Assistant to check you into your new room and out of your old room
  4. Your room move must be completed within the time allotted by the Office of Student Living.  Additional charges may apply if your move is not completed within the allotted time
  5. Room changes to rooms at a higher room rate will result in a billing adjustment to your student account. Billing adjustments will also result in room changes to rooms of a lesser room rate are approved. Ask for your new room rate if it is not provided to you when you submit your Room  Change form.

Room Inspection and Right of Entry

Residents can expect a reasonable right to privacy in their rooms. This is not an absolute right but is  respected. Generally, the University may enter any student residential space when the student is given a notice of one calendar day. The typical reason for this type of entry is health and safety inspections which are described below, long-term maintenance projects, and space planning. Please be aware that any requests for maintenance of your room are considered permission to enter and the University will not provide additional notice.

Room inspections are conducted routinely each semester and during holiday breaks after students have left campus. The purpose of these inspections is to monitor student compliance with all safety & security precautions. All inquiries and concerns regarding this policy may be submitted to the Office of  Student Living at 703-284-1608 or to the Director of Residence Life.

Access to residents’ rooms is restricted to the assigned residents and authorized university personnel.  Other residents, guests, and the public are not permitted in a resident’s room unless invited by a resident of the room. As a general matter of practice, residence hall staff members will not open or enter a resident’s room without the approval of the Director of Residence Life, the Assistant Director of Campus Services, the Vice President of Student Life, or their designees.

Exceptions to the above room entry policy are made by staff members for the following reasons:

  1. To respond to apparent health, safety or mechanical emergencies
  2. To respond to a significant behavioral and/or student conduct concern
  3. To do facility inspections during university recesses
  4. To complete maintenance work and/or to perform safety inspections
  5. To respond to visually observed violations of policy. 
  6. If circumstances dictate the need, residence hall staff may conduct sanitation and/or safety inspections while the university is in session

Please note that occasionally persons will ask residence hall staff members to open another resident’s room (i.e. to retrieve articles left by a person who does not reside in the room). This is a request that cannot be honored under any circumstance.


This is a nuisance that you do not have to put up with! Soliciting is prohibited in the residence halls and  university property without prior authorization. If you see anyone violating this regulation, please report it to your Resident Assistant (RA), or Assistant Coordinator (AC).


  1. The right to read and study free from unreasonable interference in one’s room. Unreasonable noise and other distractions inhibit the exercise of this right.12
  2. The right to sleep without unreasonable disturbance from noise, guests of a roommate, etc.
  3. The right to expect that a roommate will respect one’s personal belongings
  4. The right to a clean living environment
  5. The right to free access to one’s room and facilities without pressure from a roommate
  6. The right to reasonable privacy within a shared living environment
  7. The right to host guests with the expectation that guests are respectful of the rights of the host’s  roommate and other hall residents
  8. The right to address grievances in a respectful and appropriate manner
  9. The right to expect reasonable cooperation in the use of “room shared” space
  10. The right to expect reasonable cooperation in the use of “room shared” appliances (microwave,  refrigerator, etc.)

The Residence Hall staff is available for assistance in settling conflicts and disagreements. The development of strong interpersonal communication and conflict resolution skills is an integral part of residential living environment based on the Catholic educational tradition. In most cases, conflict coaching and mediation are the appropriate means of resolution within a shared living environment. 

Quiet Hours/Quiet Areas

All residents should be able to sleep or study in the residence halls at any time. For this reason, priority is given to honoring these needs over other activities. Because there are times that quiet hours are seen  as a priority by most residents, certain hours each day are designated as “Quiet Hours.” Courtesy hours are in effect at all times not designated as quiet hours. Times designated as quiet hours on all floors are shared at the beginning of the year.

Quiet Hours

Sunday-Thursday: 10:00pm-9:00am

Friday & Saturday: Midnight-9:00am

NOTE: When situations arise where residents are repeatedly involved in quiet hour policy violations through the use of musical instruments, radios, stereos, or other sound-generating instruments, the resident may be required to remove the item from the residence hall, or the item may be confiscated and stored by Office of Student Living for a prescribed period of time.


The Office of Student Living enforces the following vandalism policy (not limited to the following).  Vandalism is defined as discharging fire extinguishers, activating the sprinkler system, purposefully, triggering or tampering with fire alarms, destruction of personal property, damaging the elevators, and  defacing or destroying the grounds, equipment, furnishings, and buildings of the residence halls (i.e.  breaking walls, breaking signs, writing on walls, etc.). Penalties that may be applicable include, but are not limited to the following:

  1. Activating the sprinkler system—paying for any damaged items and any clean-up costs
  2. Discharging fire extinguishers—paying for any damaged items and any clean-up costs
  3. Triggering or tampering with the fire alarms—paying for any repair costs
  4. Destruction of personal property—paying to repair or replace any damaged item
  5. Painting graffiti—paying for the paint and supplies to repaint and providing or paying for the labor to paint it
  6. Defacing or destroying the grounds, equipment, furnishings, or buildings—paying the cost to repair or replace any damaged items.

If damage in a common area cannot be attributed to an individual, each resident of the community will be financially responsible for a pro-rated share of the loss or damage. It is, therefore, in your best interest to immediately report to your Resident  Assistant all vandalism and damages.

Interpretations of this policy will be made by the Director of Residence Life and the Assistant Director of  Campus Services.


The residence halls have a visitation policy. During visitation hour, off-campus guests and guests of the  opposite gender are permitted when accompanied by their host. After visitation hours, off-campus guests must comply with the overnight guest policy, and guests of the opposite gender are not permitted. Visitation hours are:


10:00AM – 12:00AM



This policy does not allow cohabitation in the residence hall rooms. Cohabitation is defined as any behavior indicating that a room occupant is sharing their assigned space with any person not assigned to the room. Cohabitation is further defined as the use of the room as a living environment or engaging in behavior that infringes upon community members’ right to privacy, sleep, or study. Infractions of the cohabitation policy may result in the guest being immediately escorted from university property and/or sanctions on the host.

Reporting Fires

When a resident becomes aware of a fire in the residence halls they should immediately activate a fire alarm pull station; then, if possible, inform the building front desk of the exact location and nature of the fire. 

Fire Safety Equipment

In most cases, residents should not attempt to use fire safety equipment to extinguish fires. The hoses and extinguishers are designed to be used to either put out very small fires or to clear an exit through a fire. Any person who is found to be tampering with any residence hall fire safety equipment will be considered to be in violation of the conduct policy. These incidents will be resolved by using the procedures defined in the “Resident’s Behavior” section of this publication. Examples of tampering with fire safety equipment would include but not be limited to the following:

  • Activating a fire alarm when no fire emergency actually exists.
  • Using fire hoses or extinguishers at any time other than during a fire emergency
  • Opening a fire extinguisher cabinet at any time other than during a fire emergency
  • Vandalizing any fire safety-related
  • Tampering or rendering ineffective any smoke detector or fire alarm equipment
  • Knowingly acting as an accomplice with any person involved in the above-mentioned activities.

 Fire Alarm Procedures

Any time a fire alarm is activated, all residents are expected to immediately leave the building. The following are some procedures to follow during fire alarms:

  1. Once you hear an alarm, immediately prepare to leave the building. If possible first put on a pair of shoes, and if the weather is cold, take along a coat or a blanket
  2. Before opening any doors first use the backside of your hand to feel them for heat. Never open a door that is hot to touch
  3. If a hallway or corridor is partially filled with smoke, crawl with your head about three feet above the floor. Never proceed into a hallway that is entirely filled with smoke
  4. Never attempt to use the elevators. Always exit through the stairs. While using stairs, always stay next to the interior stairwell wall
  5. After you are out of the building, stay clear of all exits and stay at least 50 feet away from the building. If you are aware of any persons who were unable to get out of the building, report this to a residence hall or university staff member
  6. If you cannot leave the building because you are trapped by smoke or fire, you should then enter a resident room, and stuff a towel or cloth under the bottom of the door to prevent smoke from entering.  You should then drape a sheet or towel from the window as a signal, and close the window.
Student Life - Marymount University