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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.

Check-In & Check-Out Procedures

  • Check-In:
    Before students arrive, each residence hall room is inventoried by HRL staff for furnishings and the physical condition of the room. Students must review the Room Condition Report (RCR)/Apartment Condition Report (ACR) with their RA and sign off on the condition of the room/apartment no later than one week after receiving room keys. Failure to complete the proper RCR/ACR process will result in forfeiting the right to contest any damage assessments upon move-out.

  • Check-Out: Prior to ending the occupancy of their assigned housing space at the end of the academic year, students are required to properly check-out of the space. If a student chooses not to check-out, a $50 improper check-out fee will be assessed. If a resident has not checked-out of their room by the official closing of the residential buildings, a $100 fine will be assessed. Students are expected to leave their room in the same condition as when they moved into the space. Additional charges may be assessed in situations where damages have been incurred over and above normal wear and tear and/or furniture is missing. If a student makes a room change or leaves the university during the semester, their room may be checked for damages and furniture before vacating the room. The student is responsible for completing a proper check-out prior to leaving campus. Damages and/or fines for missing furniture will be determined in the same manner as described above.

  • Check-Out Options:
  • Traditional Check-Out—A student meets with an RA in person to review the RCR and turn in keys.
  • Express check-Out—A student may obtain Express Check-Out envelopes from the HRL office (Upper Level Moody). The front of the envelope should be completed, and the envelope should be returned, sealed, with keys inside to the drop-box outside the HRL offices before leaving campus.

Custodial Service
The custodial staff cleans the lounges, corridors, and bathrooms of each hall. Students are expected to keep their rooms clean and in order during the semester. Trash must be deposited in trash containers located in specific areas of the building. Trash must not be deposited outside doors or in corridors. Hallways must be completely cleared of furniture and other items at all times. A vacuum cleaner is located in each residence hall and may be checked out from a custodial staff member. Students should provide their own cleaning products.

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 Room Assignments policy.

Fire Hazards
For fire safety reasons, appliances such as hot plates, immersion heaters, portable heaters, and any other appliances with open heating elements are prohibited. University-provided irons are available for student use in residence halls. Personal irons and halogen lamps are not permitted. 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. Candles, incense, and live trees are also prohibited. Tampering with and/or obstructing fire alarm devices are strictly prohibited and will be referred to Campus Security for further action (may result in legal charges and/or student conduct council charges).

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. Additionally, based on fire safety code, items are prohibited to hang from ceilings and exposed pipes.

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.

Guest Policy
It is the responsibility of the Hollins community to keep the community safe. Rules concerning guests at Hollins exist for the protection of the residence hall community. A guest is defined as:

  • Any person who is present at the invitation of a student; or
  • Any person who is received by a student; or
  • Any invited or uninvited non-student who is accompanied by a student.

General Guidelines:

  • All guests must be escorted at all times.
  • Students are responsible for informing their guests of university policies and community standards and are held accountable for the behavior of their guests.
  • If the guest does not have a Hollins meal plan, students must pay for their guests’ meals in the dining room. Students may pay in cash or use Hollins Dollars on their student ID card.
  • The university discourages entertaining guests during reading days and exam periods.
  • Unescorted guests should never be admitted into the residence halls under any circumstances.

Students are allowed three “free” lock-outs each academic year. Every lock out after the third will have a $20 charge, billed to the student’s account. Continued abuse of the system may result in referral to Student Conduct Council for failure to comply with university policies. Please note that RAs are not given master keys. Residential students are expected to carry their room and building keys with them at all times. For the purpose of safety and security, students must not loan their keys to any person for any reason. Students are expected to follow these procedures to gain entry if they get locked out of their building and/or room:

  • Call a roommate for access to the residence hall and/or room.
  • Between 6:30 pm and 12 midnight, contact the RA on duty if a roommate is not available. The RA on duty can be contacted through the RA Office (x6312) or through the RA duty cell phone (540-556-5747).
  • If unable to reach a Housing and Residence Life staff member, contact Campus Security if a roommate is not available.

Lofts & Other Structural Devices
Lofts and other structural devices may be installed according to the following guidelines set forth by the university:

  • Lofts or other structural devices must be constructed in such a manner as not to alter the original condition of the room in any way (i.e., bolting supports to the floors/walls). Residents of the room are responsible for any damage caused by the construction, installation, use or removal of these structures. Residents remain responsible for all original furniture in their room.
  • No loft or other structural device shall be constructed where any part will be under a sprinkler head. Any access to a loft shall be a minimum of three feet from a sprinkler head or pipe.
  • No loft or other structural device shall obstruct the window at any time. A window must be operable at all times and must be usable as a means of exit or entry to the room.
  • No loft or other structural device will obstruct the doors at any time. The door must be fully operable at all times and must be usable as a mean of exit or entry to the room.
  • Lofts or other structural devices must be constructed in such a manner as to allow clear access to smoke detectors, electrical outlets and heat/AC sources.
  • No power tools may be used inside the residence halls.
  • All residents of the room must agree to the construction.
  • There must be a minimum of 36 inches between the top of the mattress and the ceiling.

Any student, or her representative, who installs any personal, electrical, mechanical, or structural devices will assume full responsibility for any damage to the building or injury to persons as a result of defective equipment and/or improper installations. Hollins University does not install and/or repair any personal electrical, mechanical or structural devices owned by or in possession of a student. University personnel will not be responsible for assembling, dismantling, storing, or disposing of any personal electrical, mechanical or structural device. These devices must be dismantled, disposed of, and the room returned to its move-in condition before the student's departure.

Maintenance Requests
To request minor repairs, either in residence hall rooms or for the buildings and grounds, please use one of the following procedures.

  • Send an electronic Maintenance Request Form found on my.hollins. Fill in the information as completely as possible and submit the form. A confirmation of your request will be sent back to you.
  • Handwrite the request on a service request form available in the Botetourt lobby. Use this alternative option only if you are unable to make the request on line.

In cases of emergency, call the Physical Plant Office at x6485 during normal working hours. After hours and on weekends, call Campus Safety at x6419. 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.

Procedure for buildings and maintenance calls:

  • Buildings and maintenance calls in residence halls are conducted only between 8:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m.
  • All buildings and maintenance personnel will announce themselves with “maintenance on the hall” when entering student residence halls. All buildings and maintenance personnel will knock on a room door before entering in such a manner as to be clearly audible to someone inside.
  • When a service request is received for room maintenance, only one call will be made. The problem will be attended to, and if the student is not present, a tag will be left on the outside door handle indicating the problem has been handled. If the problem cannot be corrected or finished at that time, and a return visit is necessary at a later date, a brief explanation will be written on the tag.
  • To be present when a service call is made, indicate the preferred hour and date on the service request.

Overnight Guests
For overnight guests staying in a residence hall, lightweight folding cots are available on a first-come, first-served basis from the Buildings Office in Botetourt Hall. Cots may be requested by submitting a “service/maintenance request” at least 48 hours prior to guest arrival. Please advise your guest to bring their own linens and/or sleeping bag. Upper-class residents may have overnight guests up to three days out of any consecutive 7 day period. All overnight guests are required to have the approval of all residents of the room/apartment. Any stay over that amount of time needs to be approved and registered by the director of housing and residence life.

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 visitation policy during the spring term. If the RLC, in collaboration with the director of housing and residence life, deems necessary, the entire first-year class may have their upperclass guest privileges revoked for the spring term. Upper-class students may have overnight guests visit at any time of the week, not exceeding three consecutive nights per week. After three consecutive nights, there is to be a seven day period without overnight guests.

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.

Fish (defined as animals with fins and gills, living under water, 24 hours a day) are the only pets permitted in the residence halls. The maximum tank size is 10 gallons. No other pets are permitted in student housing. 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 will be charged with violations of the pet policy and failure to comply with a reasonable request (through the student conduct council). All room/apartment residents are held equally responsible for violations of the pet policy, regardless of pet ownership. In cases of violations beyond a first offense, the responsible party will be immediately referred to the student conduct council and will not be given one week to provide proof of pet removal.

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

Any university community member may file a complaint about unapproved pets in university-owned student housing, pets that are causing a nuisance, or pets that are being abused. Complaints regarding pets in the residence halls should be filed with the director of housing and residence life. All other pet-related complaints should be directed to Campus Safety which enforces the university’s pet policy.

Quiet Hours
Students set quiet hours during community standard discussions on each hall. Effectively, this means that no one should have to tell any student to turn music down, turn down the bass, talk quietly, not to run in the halls, or not to slam doors during quiet hours because everyone already knows that these behaviors are inappropriate in a community living space. Students are reminded to be courteous of their neighbors and the surrounding university community at all times. There will be a 24-hour quiet period during finals posted each semester. During non-quiet or courtesy hours, if noise from a student’s room can be heard two doors down, it is too loud.

Students who are being disturbed by someone else’s 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 the resident assistant on duty. Students who disregard quiet or courtesy hours will face judicial charges through the student conduct council.

Room Assignments (Traditional Undergraduates)
In March of each year, the Housing and Residence Life Office distributes housing sign-up information to each student room that explains the housing assignment process for students. Students are responsible for reading the information and directing questions to the Housing and Residence Life Office as needed. Students must meet deadlines in order to be eligible for all housing processes. A signed student agreement is for a space, not a specific room. The director of housing and residence life has the authority to assign and reassign all housing spaces.

Returning students draw their rooms through a lottery that is held in the spring of each year for the following year. Numbers are drawn according to class standing (as established by the Registrar’s Office) — rising seniors, juniors, and sophomores. In order to participate in the first round of housing lottery, a student’s account must not be delinquent, and a housing deposit of $400 must be paid to the Business Office by April 1st of that year. Deposits may not be paid at room draw. Students whose deposits are made after April 1st are not eligible to select or be signed up for a room in the first round of housing lottery. Any student who cannot be present at the room draw needs to notify the Housing and Residence Life Office and make arrangements for her room to be drawn by HRL staff or another student. Juniors and seniors are given priority for apartment housing based on the lottery process. No traditional aged first-year students are permitted to live in the apartments.

New student rooms are reserved for assignments during the summer months. Individual requests are honored when possible.

Room Change Policy
As a residential campus, Hollins University affords each student with the opportunity to make their own decisions regarding their living situations and selected roommate. With this opportunity comes certain responsibilities. All students are required to fill out a Roommate Agreement. The Roommate Agreement helps to facilitate open lines of communication between roommates. Members of the housing and residence life team will be available to help initiate this process.

On the whole, room changes will not be granted during the first two weeks of a semester, or in the months of December and May. It is the philosophy of housing and residence life to work with students on positive confrontation and communication skills. If we are able to begin to teach our students this set of skills, their ability to work with others in the community will be greatly enhanced. We believe strongly in the value of diversity and allowing students the opportunity to learn to work through their differences. We know that students will make friends within their communities, and do not believe that a student has to live with their best friend(s) to have a rewarding residential experience. Changes may be implemented after both roommates participate in the conflict resolution process with their RA and/or RLC, which may result in a renegotiation of the Roommate Agreement.

If the resolution process is not successful, any student who still desires to change rooms will need to obtain a Room Change Request Form from their RLC or the director of housing and residence life. Before a student is able to physically change rooms and accept their new space, they are required to fully complete the Room Change process. The Room Change process is as follows:

  • Conflict resolution or consultation with a housing and residence life (HRL) staff member.
  • A Room Change Request form must be fully completed with all necessary signatures and returned to HRL.
  • Once completed, an HRL staff member will give you the new room keys. You will then be authorized to move in.

Any student who changes rooms without authorization will result in a $100 charge to the student’s account, and the student may face possible judicial sanctions.

Room Inventories & Condition Policy
The student occupants of a room are held responsible for the furniture in the room and for the room’s physical condition. All occupants are held equally responsible. If there is damage or missing furniture, all occupants are equally assessed. If all student occupants of a room agree before the school year’s end that one or more of the occupants should be held liable for damages or missing furniture, then that student is assessed. All room occupants must agree to this, and a written agreement must be signed by them and delivered to the director of housing and residence life.

At the end of the second semester, after the university has closed, the HRL staff assesses the condition of each room on campus. They check rooms for cleanliness, physical damage, and furnishings. If there are any problems, the director of housing and residence life in conjunction with the director of plant operations and services will assess the damage and determine the amount that will be charged to the students account. Students may appeal this assessment to the director of housing and residence life no later than February 1st for Fall Semester bills and no later than August 1st for Spring Semester bills.

Room Consolidation
In cases where one of the occupants moves from the assigned space the student(s) who remains will have the following options:

  • Invite another resident without a roommate to move in.
  • Move to another room with a resident who is also without a roommate.
  • Move to a single room, if available.
  • If available, pay to keep the double-as-single on a space-available basis only.
  • Choose to have the space remain open, but at any time and at the discretion of the Office of Housing and Residence Life, a student may be placed in the open space. If, at the time a student is placed in the open space, the resident of the room informs the new resident that she does not want a roommate, the original resident of the room will automatically be billed the double-as-single rate.

If necessary, the consolidation process will occur in October and March of each academic year. Juniors and seniors are given priority for apartment housing. At any time, the Office of Housing and Residence Life will be happy to assist students in trying to find a roommate.

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).

Single Rooms
Students who are assigned to predetermined single rooms will pay an additional fee per semester — please see the student handbook for this year's fee. Traditional-age, first-semester, first-year students, based on special circumstances, may be eligible to move to a single room during the semester. Contact the director of housing and residence life for more information. Prior to the semester beginning, exceptions are made for students who must live in single rooms due to a medical condition. For more information about medical accommodations, please contact the Director of Housing & Residence Life.

Other than predetermined single rooms, double-as-single rooms are offered in residence halls, on a space-available basis only. The Office of Housing and Residence Life cannot guarantee a double-as-single room to any student. Students may apply for a double-as-single room during housing sign-ups, but double-as-single rooms will not be assigned until after new students are assigned over the summer. A student living in a double-as-single room pays an additional fee for this privilege. If a student is granted a double-as-single room, all the room furniture must remain in the room, including the second bed. The authority to grant double-as-single room requests rests with the director of housing and residence life.

Due to very limited space, storage is provided for international students, students participating in abroad trips, and RAs. If space is available, students living more than 550 miles away (as determined by MapQuest) may seek approval from the Director of Housing & Residence Life 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 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."
  • Items must be secured in boxes and clearly labeled with a Housing and Residence Life 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 housing and residence life staff at all times when in the storage area.
  • Storage access is granted during RA Office Hours only (6:30 - 8:30 p.m.) and students should plan accordingly.

University Furniture Policy
Students are prohibited from moving university-owned furniture from their rooms or from one room to another. We are unable to store furniture due to lack of space. If unassigned, university-owned property is discovered in a student room, the residents of that room will share a $50 fine and the students will be expected to return the furniture. The furniture must be returned to its original location and checked in with the custodial supervisor within 48 hours, or another $50 fine will be assessed. Unreturned furniture will be billed to student accounts at furniture replacement cost. Room furnishings are never to be placed in hallways, stairwells, or common areas. Policy violation results in a $25 fine each day, for each piece of furniture. It is the students’ responsibility to ensure that all furniture originally assigned to their rooms is present in the room before moving out. Students will be billed for all missing room furniture during the check-out process.