Home : Student Life : Residence Life : Policies and Procedures

Policies and Procedures

The selected policies on this page are those that address the most common questions and concerns of residential students and parents. For a complete listing of Housing & Residence Life Policies, please see the current Student Handbook.

Residential students are expected to make travel plans according to the appropriate academic calendar, and leave by the designated closing days and times. With permission from the director of housing and residence life, space is available for all students during the Thanksgiving and Spring breaks (including international students). No housing is available during Winter Break under any circumstances. There are no meals served during these breaks.

Students requesting housing over breaks will be assessed a $25 per day charge and based on the number of students approved to stay, they may be required to move to a centralized housing location for safety, building maintenance, financial and/or liability concerns. Deadlines to submit break housing requests can be found in the current student handbook and on the HRL Important Dates page. Failure to submit your request by the due date will result in a late fee. The director of housing and residence life makes the final decision regarding approvals.

Any students who fail to make plans to leave by the designated day and time will be subject to a fine of $100 and additional $25 per day. Guests (including Hollins University students) are not permitted in the residence halls or apartments, under any circumstances, during break periods. Students are not to return early from break to the residence halls or apartments. If a student returns to their residence early, without prior approval, they will be billed for the whole break period ($25.00 per day), fined $100.00, and lose the privilege to stay in break housing for one year. The university also reserves the right to file judicial charges and assess break fees against students who enter residential areas without permission during break periods.

Room Check-In & Check-Out, and Room Condition Policies

  • Check-In:
    Upon check-in, each student will receive a Room Condition Report (RCR) or Apartment Condition Report (ACR). Students are responsible for assessing the condition of their assigned residential space and returning the completed RCR/ACR HRL (Upper Level, Moody Student Center) within 48 hours of check-in. Failure to complete the RCR/ACR within this time will result in the forfeiture of the right to contest any and all damage assessments upon check-out.
  • Check-Out:
    Prior to moving out of their assigned space, all students must properly check-out of the space. There are two check-out options:
    • In-Person: A student meets with an RA in person to review the RCR/ACR and returns all keys to the RA.
    • Express: A student may obtain an Express Check-Out Envelope from the HRL office. The envelope must to be completed and returned, sealed with keys inside, to the HRL office.

Students who fail to properly check-out are subject to a $50 improper check-out fee. Students who fail to checkout by their designated checkout deadline are subject to a $100 late check-out fee.

  • Room Condition: Students are responsible for the cleanliness and upkeep of their own rooms and the university furnishings provided in those rooms. After a student checks-out of a space, HRL staff members assess the space for cleanliness and damages. If the room and its furnishing are not in the same condition upon check-out as documented on the RCR/ACR at check-in, the assistant dean of students/director of housing and residence life will work with the director of physical plant operations and services to assess the damages and subsequent charges.
    • All residents of a room/apartment are held equally responsible for the condition of their assigned space and furnishings. If one or more residents of a space take responsibility in writing, either on the RCR/ACR or to the assistant dean of students/director of housing and residence life, then only those responsible will be charged for applicable damages.
    • If parts of a room/apartment or its furnishings become damaged during the year, students should make arrangements through HRL staff to have the damage repaired. HRL staff will discuss any associated charges with the student(s) as needed.
    • Pictures, posters, and other decorations may be mounted on the walls with small tacks or picture hangers. Nails and double stick tape are prohibited. Items used to mount pictures or posters must be removed at departure or a fine will be issued.
    • Students may not paint their rooms/apartments or the fences around the apartment yards. Fines for unauthorized painting are assessed on the basis of damage and repainting costs.
    • Damage assessments may be appealed in writing to the director of housing and residence life no later than February 1 for the preceding fall semester charges and August 1 for the preceding spring semester charges.
  • University Furniture Policy: Student rooms are equipped with a desk, desk chair, chest of drawers, a bed with a twin mattress, a mattress cover, and mini-blinds. University furniture must stay in the room in which it has been placed by the university. If unassigned, university property is discovered in a student room/apartment, the residents of that space will be assessed a $50 fine and expected to return the property. Students who fail to return university property to its appropriate location will be billed replacement costs as determined by the director of plant operations and services and will be subject to judicial action.
  • Lofts and Other Structural Devices: Lofts and other structural devices may be installed only if they conform to the following guidelines:
    • All residents of the room/apartment must agree to the construction.
    • The construction of the loft/structural device may not alter the original condition of the room in any way. Residents are responsible for any damage caused by construction, installation, use, or removal of these structures.
    • Only battery-operated power tools may be used inside residence halls.
    • No part of any loft/structural device may be under a sprinkler head. Any access to a loft must be a minimum of three feet from any sprinkler head or pipe. The top of the loft mattress must be a minimum of 3 feet from the ceiling.
    • No loft/structural device may obstruct any part of a window or door at any time. Windows and doors must be operable at all times and usable as a means of exit or entry to the room in case of emergency.
    • Lofts/structural devices must be constructed such that smoke detectors, electrical outlets, and HVAC sources are clearly accessible.

Any student, or representative, who installs any loft/structural device, assumes full responsibility for any damages to the building or injury to persons as a result of defective equipment and/or improper installations. The university does not install and/or repair any personal electrical, mechanical, or structural devices owned by or in the possession of a student. University personnel will not assist in the construction, dismantling, storing, moving, or disposal of any such device.

    Custodial and Maintenance Services
  • Custodial Services: The custodial staff cleans the lounges, corridors, and bathrooms of each residence hall. Students are expected to keep their rooms and community kitchen(s) clean. Apartment residents are responsible for cleaning of all spaces within the apartment and for maintaining their front and back yard spaces. Students are expected to provide their own cleaning products. Vacuum cleaners are located in residence halls for student use. Trash must be deposited in designated trash areas of the building and may not be deposited outside doors, in corridors, or in bathrooms.
  • Maintenance Requests: To request minor repairs, please use one of following procedures:
    • Send an electronic Maintenance Request From through the my.hollins site. The Maintenance Request From can be found under Quick Links on the Home tab. Fill in all fields on the form as completely as possible, including preferred contact information, and submit the form. A confirmation of your request will be sent back to you via Hollins email.
    • Handwrite the request on a service request form available in the Botetourt lobby. Please use this option only if you are unable to make the request online.
    • Students who wish to be present when a service call is made should indicate the preferred hour, date, and contact information on the service request. Please note that students do not have to be present for maintenance staff to complete the call, as a maintenance request waives a student’s right to privacy.
  • In case of emergency, please call the Physical Plant Office at (540) 362-6485 during regular business hours (8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday-Friday). After hours and on weekends, please contact Campus Security at (540) 362-6419. Examples of emergencies include: no heat, no water, lock-ins/lock-outs due to mechanical failure, and any situation that could cause personal injury or damage.

Procedures for Maintenance Calls: Maintenance staff will conduct service calls between 8:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m., Monday-Friday. Buildings and maintenance personnel will announce themselves when entering student residences. All personnel will knock on a door before entering in such a manner as to be clearly audible to someone inside. Only one service call will be made in response to a maintenance request. If the repair cannot be completed at that time, a brief explanation will be written on a hangtag and left on the outside door handle

Enrollment Deposits for Returning Students

All residential undergraduate students (including adult Horizon students who choose to live on campus) are required to pay a $400 non-refundable deposit by April 1 to secure on-campus housing. Residential graduate students must pay a $200 nonrefundable housing deposit when they turn in their Graduate Housing Application. Graduate students may pick up applications from the manager of graduate services and turn them in to the director of housing and residence life. For additional information about the deposit, call the Business Office at (540) 362-6471. For more information about the Room Assignment Process, also known as the housing lottery, see the Housing Assignments policy.

Fire Prevention and Safety

  • Fire Safety Equipment: Destruction or misuse of fire safety alarms or equipment (extinguishers, smoke detectors, or pull stations, etc.) represents a serious hazard to the Hollins community by limiting or interfering with Hollins’ ability to respond to actual emergencies. Misuse and unnecessary or unauthorized use of such equipment and any damage resulting from such use will be punishable by the administration, judicial system, and/or criminal charges.
  • Fireworks and Smoke Devices: Hollins prohibits the possession or use of fireworks, ammunition, fire or smoke devices (including candles and incense), or any explosives in any university residence or on any university property. Setting fires on university property is prohibited, except those scheduled and approved for the Forest of Arden fire pit.
  • Smoking: Smoking is prohibited in all student housing. When smoking outside of residence halls and apartments please ensure smoke does not go into student windows. If asked to relocate please do so respectfully.

Prohibited Items:

    • Appliances: Because of the limitations of the electrical wiring systems in the residence halls and university-owned houses, and because of the dangers of fire, damage to wiring, and blackouts resulting from circuit overload, the following electrical appliances are prohibited: electric blankets, cooking and heating equipment, heat lamps, halogen lamps, microwaves, air conditioners, hot plates, immersion heaters, portable heaters, irons, and any other appliances with open heating elements are prohibited. University-provided irons are available for student use in laundry areas. Only grounded extension cords are permitted. Under no condition are students permitted to alter existing wiring.
    • Cooking: Cooking is not permitted in student rooms. Food preparation utensils and appliances (popcorn poppers, toaster ovens, frying pans, hot pots, microwaves, teapots, and coffeepots) may be used and stored only in the kitchens where adequate wiring is provided.
    • Open Flames and Pressurized Containers: Candles, incense, and similar open flame producing devices as well as pressurized combustible gas containers are prohibited in student housing.
    • Limitations on Room Decoration: Items are prohibited to hang from ceilings and exposed pipes. Live trees are prohibited.

Corridors and stairwells: Trash, luggage, and other items are not allowed in the corridors and/or stairwells of residence halls or outside of the apartments. Unclaimed trash, luggage, and other items will be held under the responsibility of the hall/house/row as a whole, and fines for removal will be billed accordingly. Items left in the halls may be discarded with permission from the director of housing and residence life (regardless of student permission) after 48 hours. Nothing may be put directly on the walls or on the ceiling of corridors or stairwells.

Disregarding these policies constitutes a potential fire hazard. Any student who violates these policies may be fined $25 per incident. Repeated violations will be referred to the Student Conduct Council. For additional fire safety information, see Emergency Procedures and Response section of the current Student Handbook.

Guest Policy
A guest is defined as any person who is present at the invitation of a student, received by a student, or accompanied by a student (whether invited or not). A visitor is defined as a person who is attending a public event on campus, who is neither invited nor received by a student. Students are responsible for informing their guests of university policies and community standards and may be held judicially responsible for the behavior of their guests.

Guests must be escorted at all times while in the residence halls. Unescorted guests will be approached and asked who they are visiting and may be escorted to the Moody Student Center to wait for their hostess, depending on their behavior. Unescorted guests whose behavior toward any member of the Hollins community is uncivil or uncooperative will be immediately removed from campus. Guests without escorts are welcome in the Moody Center but may be asked to leave campus if their behavior becomes inappropriate or there is a complaint about them from a member of the Hollins community.

With the approval of all residents of the room/apartment, upperclass residents may have overnight guests up to three days out of any consecutive seven-day period. After three nights, there is to be a seven-day period without overnight guests. Any stay over three nights must be approved by the assistant dean of students/director of housing and residence life. With the approval of all residents of the room, first-year residents may have overnight guests up to three weekends (Friday noon to Monday 8:00 a.m.) during the fall term, and follow the upper-class policy starting in short term. If deemed necessary by HRL, the entire first-year class may have their upper-class guest privileges revoked for the short and spring terms.

Lightweight folding cots may be requested on first-come, first-served basis from the Buildings Office through the submission of a maintenance request on my.hollins. Requests must be submitted at least 2 business days before guest arrival. Linens are not provided with the cot. Student should submit a maintenance request to have the cot picked up within three days of the guest’s departure. Students who do not make appropriate arrangements for cot pick-up are subject to an $80 replacement fee.

Personal Property
The university does not insure students’ personal property against fire, theft, water damage, or other such catastrophes. It is wise for students to maintain their own insurance. Students should always lock their doors when not in their rooms and should never let another person, aside from their own guest(s), into the residence hall.

No pets other than fish (defined as animals with fins and gills, living under water, 24 hours a day) are permitted in student housing. The maximum tank size is 10 gallons. Infractions of this policy will result in an initial fine of $50, and $10 per day until the pet is removed. If, after one week, the responsible party has not provided proof of the removal of the pet, the responsible party may be referred to the student judicial process. All room/apartment residents may be held equally responsible for violations of the pet policy, regardless of pet ownership. In cases of violations beyond a first offense, the responsible party may be immediately referred to the student judicial process.

Should part or all of the residence need special cleaning or fumigation, the cost of the service will be billed equally to all room/apartment residents, unless one or more students accept responsibility in writing to the assistant dean of students/director of housing and residence life. In such cases, the responsible student(s) will be billed.

Complaints regarding pets in student housing should be filed with an HRL staff member. All other pet-related complaints should be directed to Campus Security which enforces the university’s animal control policy.

Quiet Hours
Students set quiet hours during community standards discussions on each hall. During quiet hours, no one should have to tell any student to turn music down, turn the bass down, talk quietly, not to run in the halls, or not to slam doors. At all times students are expected to be courteous of their neighbors and the surrounding university community. During courtesy hours, if noise from a student’s room can be heard two doors down, it is too loud. Additionally, please review the Roanoke County noise ordinance policy in the student handbook. There will be a 24-hour quiet period starting at midnight (12:00 a.m.) on Reading Day and continuing through the last final exam period during finals week posted each semester.

Students who are being disturbed by noise are expected to ask the person(s) to be quiet in a respectful, courteous manner. The person(s) is then expected to respond in an equally respectful and courteous manner and reduce the noise to the level appropriate for quiet or courtesy hours. If the noise persists, students should contact an HRL staff member. Students who disregard quiet or courtesy hours may be referred to the student conduct process.

Housing Assignments
HRL will distribute information on the assignments process each spring semester. Students are responsible for the distributed information and must meet all deadlines in order to participate in the housing assignments process. Students are reminded that signed housing agreements secure a space in university student housing, not a specific room. Additionally, the assistant dean of students/director of housing and residence life has final authority over all housing assignments and may make essential changes in room assignments at any time.

  • Occupancy: Each student has the right of assigned occupancy at any time during the academic year while University housing is open. Residents have the right to require that no other person, other than those assigned by HRL, take up residence in their room. Residents have the right to guest visitation in individual rooms/apartments in accordance with the university guest policy and the community standards of their particular community.
  • Assignment Processes:
    • Returning students: Returning students select rooms in the spring of each year for the following academic year. All returning students are required to pay an enrollment deposit of $400 by 4:30 p.m. EST, April 1 and clear all holds on their student accounts in order to secure first-round housing for the upcoming year. Students have two housing process options:
    • Specialty Housing: In addition to the traditional housing experience, Hollins offers eight specialty housing options. Membership in each house is determined by an application process conducted by current house members in conjunction with their faculty/staff advisors and the HRL. For more information on the application processes of each house, please contact current house members, their faculty/staff advisor, or HRL. Students who accept placement in a specialty house will not be given a Housing Lottery number. Students in specialty housing are still required to pay their Enrollment Deposit, and are subject to removal from house rosters for non-payment.
    • Housing Lottery: The Housing Lottery is the process by which students not living in specialty housing determine their housing for the upcoming year. In order to be eligible to select a room in the first round of housing lottery, students must pay their enrollment deposit by 4:30 p.m. EST, April 1 and clear their account of all holds. Students whose payments are received or holds are cleared after the first round deadline will not be eligible to sign up for housing during the first round, even if their prospective roommate(s) are eligible for the first round. Lottery numbers are based on class year as determined by the Registrar. More detailed information about the Housing Lottery will be distributed in the Spring by HRL.

New Students: New student assignments are made during the summer months. In order to receive a housing assignment, students must have paid their enrollment deposits and have completed the New Student Housing Preference Form. More detailed information about the timeline and preference form will be distributed to new students in the spring semester.

  • Assignment Policies:
    • Single Rooms: Students in rooms designated as singles pay an additional cost per semester. Please see the current fee schedule for more information.
    • Doubles-As-Singles: Double rooms are only available to be used as singles on a space-available basis as determined by the assistant dean of students/director of housing & residence life. Students granted a double-as-single pay an additional cost per semester. Please see the current fee schedule for more information. Due to a lack of storage space, all room furniture, including the second bed, must remain in any double-as-single room.
    • Housing Accommodations: Housing accommodations are determined on a case by case basis by the assistant dean of students/director of housing and residence life, the deans of student affairs and academic services, and Health and Counseling services and are assigned only in response to appropriate documentation of the student’s condition(s). Reasonable accommodations will be made to meet the documented need; specific housing requests cannot be guaranteed. Students requesting housing accommodations must complete the "Request for Housing Accommodations" and have a licensed clinical professional or health care provider complete the "Verification Form for Housing Accommodations." To obtain the "Request for Housing Accommodations" or "Verification Form for Housing Accommodations" please consult the assistant dean of students/director of housing and residence life. Students requesting housing accommodations should be aware of the following:
      • The dean of academic services reviews housing accommodation requests related to learning disabilities. Students requesting housing accommodations due to learning disabilities must submit all testing results, as well as recommendations from their treating licensed clinical professional or health care provider. The dean of academic services, in conjunction with the assistant dean of students/director of housing and residence life will make the determination if housing accommodations are necessary and appropriate. Students receiving accommodations related to learning disabilities will meet with the dean of academic services as deemed necessary by the dean.
    • Housing accommodation requests must be accompanied by current and adequate documentation of the disability and/or medical health issue and its projected impact on the residential experience. Housing accommodations are approved only for appropriately documented disabilities and/or medical health issues that substantially limit or compromise the residential experience at Hollins University.
    • Students requesting accommodation for service and/or emotional support animals must review the "Service and Support Animal Policy" and complete all steps of the process outlined therein before a service and/or emotional support animal may be brought into University housing. To obtain the "Service and Support Animal Policy" please consult the assistant dean of students/director of housing and residence life.
    • Accommodations are not granted when roommate conflict issues are the problem. Roommate conflict issues should be resolved through a RA and/or HRL professional staff member. Use of counseling services may be helpful to learn conflict resolution and communication skills.
    • Accommodations for single rooms are limited to designated single rooms, of which the university has a limited number. The assistant dean of students/director of housing and residence life has the final authority regarding a room’s designation and availability. Students choosing to live in a designated double room must have a roommate or pay the double room as single room fee. This includes students choosing to live in the apartments. If a student has been granted an accommodation and leaves Hollins, a new request must be submitted prior to returning to Hollins University.

  • Room Changes: To help facilitate communication and mutual understanding regarding shared spaces, all students in multiple occupancy spaces are required to complete a Roommate Agreement, which will be distributed by HRL staff. It is the philosophy of HRL that roommates should first attempt to resolve conflicts through the use of the Roommate Agreement and assistance of HRL staff. If the conflict resolution process is not successful, students who wish to change rooms will need to meet with their RLC in order to initiate the room change process. Students should keep the following in mind:
    • Generally, room changes will not be granted during the first two weeks of a semester, or in the months of December and May.
    • Students must return a completed room change request form and receive keys from an HRL staff member before beginning their move.
    • Any student who changes rooms without authorization will be subject to a $100 charge to the student’s account, and the student may be referred to the student conduct system.
    • Students may not exert pressure on roommates to move. Students who exert pressure on a roommate to seek a new room assignment may themselves be reassigned to another room by the assistant dean of students/director of housing and residence life.
  • Room Consolidation: In cases where one occupant moves out of a multiple occupancy space, the remaining resident(s) have the following options:
    • Move to another room with a resident who is also without a roommate.
    • Invite another resident without a roommate to move into the space.
    • Move to a single room, if available (additional single charge applies).
    • If available, pay to keep the room as a double-as-single (additional charge applies).
    • Choose to have the space remain open with the understanding that at any time, and at the discretion of HRL, a student may be placed in the open space. If, at that time, the current occupant informs the new resident they do not want a roommate, the current occupant will automatically be billed for a double-as-single.

If necessary, the HRL staff will facilitate a consolidation process during the academic year and is happy to assist students in trying to find a roommate at any time.

Room Key Replacement and Lock-out Policies

  • Room Keys: HRL distributes room keys to students as they check-in to the university. All keys must be returned upon check-out. Recognizing that it is important to maintain a safe and secure living environment, the following fees are charged for lost/unreturned keys:
  • Residence Hall Room Keys: $75
  • Apartments:
    • Front Door Keys: $150 (cost to change both front and back door locks)
    • Bedroom Key: $75
    • Laundry Room Key: $300

  • Lock-outs: Residential students are expected to carry their residential keys and ID cards with them at all times and may not loan university keys or ID cards to any person for any reason. Students are allowed three "free'" lock-outs each academic year. After the third lock-out, students will be billed $20 per lock-out. Continued abuse of the lock-out process may result in referral to the student judicial process for failure to comply with university policies. Students who are locked-out of their room/apartment should follow the following procedure:
    • Call a roommate to let them into the room.
    • If a roommate is unavailable, call for assistance:
      • Between 8:30 a.m. and 6:30 p.m. each day, contact Campus Safety at (540) 362-6419.
      • Between 6:30 p.m. and 8:30 a.m. each day, contact an RA on-duty. The RAs may be reached by either calling the RA Office (Upper Level of Moody, Office #12) at (540) 362-6312 or by calling the RA duty cell phone at (540) 556-5747.
    • Please note that RAs are not issued master keys.

Security Violations
Security violations jeopardize students’ safety and the safety of their neighbors. These include:

  • Propping open a door to any residence hall, house, or apartment after it has been locked;
  • Giving the key or key card of any university residence to another individual;
  • Letting an assigned room be used by another individual while the occupant of that room is out.

A Hollins student must have written permission from the resident(s) of the room and the director of housing and residence life to use the room. The director of housing and residence life must have written or verbal permission from the resident(s) of the room before granting entry permission to an individual not assigned to the room (including parents).

Due to limited space, storage is provided on a first-come, first serve basis for international students, students participating in abroad trips, and RAs. If space is available, students living more than 550 miles away may seek approval to place items in storage. Storage is done at the owner’s risk and the university does not take responsibility for items lost or damaged while in storage. Items left longer than one academic year will be discarded unless prior arrangements are made with the director of housing and residence life. Items found stored in other areas of the campus may be removed and discarded.

Guidelines for on-campus storage include:

  • Storage is limited to five boxes per student. Boxes may be no larger than 18"x18"x18 inches.
  • Items must be secured in boxes and clearly labeled with an HRL identification sticker.
  • Furniture, bikes, electronics, valuables, or flammable items cannot be stored.
  • Students are only allowed to remove items that belong to themselves and are clearly labeled as such.
  • Students must be escorted by a member of the HRL staff at all times when in the storage area.
  • Storage access is granted during RA Office Hours only (6:30 - 8:30 p.m., nightly) and students should plan accordingly.