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Residence Life Policies


Salem State University Students and Guests Must Follow All Residence Life Policies

The following outlines residence life policies by which students are expected to abide while living in the residence halls.

As a resident, you are expected to abide by the student conduct code. Failure to abide by any of these policies will result in a student conduct referral. Based on the severity of the situation, residents will either meet with the area’s resident director, another member of the residence life professional staff or an individual in the dean of students office. You are responsible for any behavior that occurs within your room and should talk with your roommate(s) about staying in compliance with both residence life and university policies.

The Student Conduct Process

All resident students should review and be familiar with the Student Conduct Code. Please direct any questions regarding policies outlined in this guide—or the Student Conduct Code—to a resident assistant, assistant resident director, resident director, residence life or dean of students.

Please Note: Filing a complaint with University Police does not automatically ensure that student conduct action will be taken. You may choose one of several options, should you find yourself in a situation where you wish to file a complaint against another member or non-member of the campus community. These four options are as follows:

University Student Conduct Charges 

Students may choose to proceed with on-campus action against another student through the university student conduct system. Resident students may file a complaint with a Residence Life staff member or with the Coordinator for Student Conduct and Mediation Programs. Staff members will investigate the complaint and, if appropriate, the university will levy charges against the student(s) and process the complaint through the university student conduct system. The accused student(s) will be called into the office to resolve the matter or appear before the student conduct board. If the matter goes to a hearing, you will be asked to testify. Complaints filed through the university student conduct system are not forwarded automatically to University Police.

Criminal Charges

Students may file a criminal complaint against a student or non-student with University Police (located on Central Campus) to pursue criminal charges. The officers will investigate your complaint and, if founded, will assist you in bringing the matter forward to the local district attorney’s office. Should the district attorney’s office decide to pursue this matter, the student defendant will then be summonsed to court to deal with the charges. You may be called to testify if the matter proceeds to a trial level. You may also pursue civil charges through your own attorney. Filing a complaint does not guarantee that criminal charges will be pursued.

Please be advised that in many circumstances, campus police may not share information with student conduct affairs because of privacy laws. If a student wishes to use the information provided to campus police as part of the university’s student conduct process, s/he may request a copy of the report and hand deliver it to the assistant director of student life.

Note: Students may also pursue civil charges through an attorney.

Protective Order/Restraining Order

If a student believes another is intimidating or harassing them, the student can seek a protective order from the university through the Salem State University police department or through a representative of Help for Abused Women and Children (HAWC). A restraining order (a 209-A) is a court-issued order that notifies the individual accused of harassment, threats or intimidation to stay away from their accuser. The order also informs the accused that criminal charges will be filed if the restraining order is violated. Because several criteria must be met to receive a restraining order, and because each case is different and must be examined on its individual merits and facts, students considering obtaining one should speak to a

University Police officer before proceeding. Students may also seek assistance through their attorneys.

Non-Action/Other Options

Students who choose not to file an official complaint against someone do have other options in cases of sexual assault, domestic violence, stalking, and dating violence. They should document the incident by reporting it to University Police, the residence hall staff or the coordinator of Student Conduct and Mediation Programs as soon as possible after it occurs. Although a student may later change their mind about

filing an official complaint, having complete and accurate documentation is still important.

The university may also be able to resolve the situation through mediation (not applicable in cases of sexual assault, domestic violence, stalking, or dating violence), which is a facilitated conversation between individuals, mediated by a third party), or by meeting with a student for a counseling or education intervention.

A student’s rights and responsibilities under local, state and national law are neither abridged nor extended by their status as a student at Salem State. However, as members of the academic community, students are expected to fulfill the behavioral responsibilities that accompany their membership, and that are necessitated by the university’s pursuit of its stated goals. Students are expected to conduct themselves in a manner that is consistent with the educational purposes of the institution, and not interfere with the functions of the university as it seeks to fulfill its purpose. Consequently, individual and group behavior that prevents members of the community, including students, faculty, and administrators, from carrying out their respective educational tasks and duties is unacceptable.

Policy violations committed by students will be handled through the university student conduct process which has been established to resolve complaints of student misconduct.The student conduct process is designed to protect due process rights and to reach decisions that are in the best interest of both the students and the university.

Alcohol Possession/Consumption Guidelines in the Residence Halls

The University expects that all of its students abide by the law and abide by University regulations concerning alcohol use. Students who fail to comply with this policy will be subject to possible disciplinary action for violation of the Alcohol and Drugs Policy here and in the Student Conduct Code.

Who can consume alcohol? Who can bring alcohol into the residence halls?

Those who are over 21 years old may consume alcohol in the residence halls. Only residents are permitted to bring alcohol into the hall they live in. See below for the limit of what individuals may possess at any given time.

Room Categories

Wet – a room or apartment is considered “wet” if every person assigned to the room, or every person present in the room is at least 21 years old.  Consumption of alcohol would be allowed provided students adhere to limitations based on amount (*see below).

Dry – a room is considered “dry” if any person assigned to the room or present in the room is under 21.  Consumption of alcohol would not be permitted by any persons regardless of age.

Where can you consume alcohol?

  • If you are 21, you may have alcohol in your residential space provided everyone in the space (i.e., room/suite/apartment) is 21 years old or older.  Students are permitted to have alcohol in their room/suite/apartment, however, if a student under the age of 21 enters a space where alcohol would normally be permitted, that space then becomes a “dry” space (see above for definition).
  • Potential Conflicts with the Student Conduct Code
    • If a 21-year-old student consumes alcohol where underage students are present – the 21-year-old student could face policy violations related to providing to underage persons, or hosting a party. 
    • If an underage student is present where 21-year-old students are consuming alcohol, the underage student could face policy violations related to being in the presence of alcohol or for consuming alcohol.
  • Prohibited locations include, but are not limited to: campus buildings, common area lounges, hallways, stairwells, bathrooms, lobbies, parking lots, and outside grounds.  Exceptions will be made under license conditions and approval by the University for specific locations. 

What alcohol can be consumed?

Residents who are 21 years old or older may individually have in their possession no more than the following amounts of alcohol at any time:

  • 72 oz. of beer including wine coolers, hard ciders, twisted teas, and other 12 oz. bottles; OR
  • 750 milliliters of wine; OR
  • 200 milliliters of hard liquor
  • No alcohol stronger than 80 proof is permitted. Limits apply to full, partially full, or empty alcoholic beverage containers.

What about alcohol paraphernalia?

The university prohibits drinking paraphernalia, including but not limited to, drinking funnels, ice luges, and other items that encourage binge drinking. Furthermore, possession of a keg, beerball, and other central sources of alcoholic beverages are not permitted. 

Can I host a party?

The maximum number of people allowed in a space at any time is two guests per resident of the room that is present (i.e., in a six (6) person apartment, there can be no more than 18 people present). Large parties are not permitted and students who host parties, with or without alcohol, will be held accountable for any violations.

Am I responsible for my guests?

Yes, any resident who invites a guest onto campus or into their room assumes the responsibility of ensuring that their guest will act in an appropriate manner, as well as abide by all university policies. Should the guest of a Salem State resident violate the alcohol and other drugs policy, the host student will also be subject to disciplinary action.

What other information do I need to know?

The purchase or delivery of alcoholic beverages in the residence halls, gratuitously or for sale, to a person under the age of 21 is prohibited and shall constitute a major infraction of University regulations. Commercial deliveries of alcoholic beverages to the residence halls are prohibited.

Empty alcohol containers are considered a health violation and will be subject to possible disciplinary action. All students are asked not to store empty alcohol containers in their rooms, and are expected to dispose of them in the designated recycling or trash areas.

Appliances and Electronics

Because many appliances are considered fire hazards and the use of too many appliances at one time may overload a building’s electrical capacity, the following appliances are not permitted in any of the residence halls:

  • Air conditioners
  • Electrical extension cords
  • Halogen lamps
  • Hot plates
  • Hot pots without automatic on/off switches
  • “Medusa lamps” (with multiple plastic shades)
  • Televisionslargerthan40”
  • Watercoolers
  • Deep fryers

The following items are not permitted in Bowditch or Peabody Halls, but are allowed at the Atlantic, Bates, Marsh, and Viking Residence Halls, as long as they remain in the kitchen area:

  • Sandwich makers
  • Toaster ovens and toasters
  • Waffle irons and griddles

Coffee makers and irons with automatic shut-off switches are allowed in all residential areas. Microwaves are allowed in Peabody and Bowditch Halls if the microwave is under 700 watts/10 amps. 

Individual refrigerators must have a capacity of less than four cubic feet. Micro-fridge units may be rented by calling 1.800.637.7567. At the end of the year, all residents are responsible for cleaning the units and returning them per posted information. Residents may be billed for failing to return a unit, or for not following the proper cleaning and return procedures. Please Note: individual refrigerators and microwaves are not permitted. In Viking Hall, each suite has a Micro-fridge unit.

Stereo speakers should be of a reasonable size; sub-woofers and amplifiers are strongly discouraged. If a resident does use these items, s/he may be asked to lower the volume if it disturbs other residents, or the noise level is deemed inappropriate.

Candles and Incense

Candles and incense are strictly prohibited from the residence halls, as they pose a significant fire risk. Residents are not allowed to possess any candles, including those of a decorative nature. This also includes candles that have not been burned. Possession of candles and incense on campus could result in loss of housing!

Residents found in violation will be directed to correct the violation and remove the item immediately. Residence

life will hold illegal items for residents for a maximum of two weeks, and then dispose of them if residents do not remove them from the building.

Repeat violations will result in administrative or student conduct action.


State criminal laws on the possession, distribution and

illicit use of prescription drugs and drug paraphernalia are in effect on Salem State property. This includes the Horace Mann elementary school on North Campus, the preschool on South Campus and one adjacent to Central Campus. Students violating state law, and university regulations, face serious student conduct and legal action. No one may possess, use, sell, distribute, or manufacture illegal drugs or drug paraphernalia on university property. This policy also applies to any legal drugs for which the possessor does not have a legal prescription.

Attention All Residents:

Per Chapter 94C, Section 32J (controlled substances violation in, on or near school property) of the General Laws of Massachusetts:

Any individual who engages in the unlawful manufacture, distribution, dispensing, or possession of a controlled substance (drugs)...while in, on or within one thousand feet of the real property comprising a public or private accredited preschool, accredited Head-Start facility, elementary, vocational, or secondary school, whether or not in session, or within one hundred feet of a public park or playground shall be punished by a term of imprisonment in the state prison for not less than two-and-one-half nor more than 15 years, or by imprisonment in a jail or house

of correction for not less than two, nor more than two-and- one-half years. No sentence imposed under the provisions of this section shall be for less than a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment of two years.

A fine of not less than $1,000 nor more than $10,000 may be imposed, but not in lieu of the mandatory minimum two-year term of imprisonment as established herein.

Lack of knowledge of school boundaries shall not be a defense for any person who violates the provisions of this section. See for further details.

Entering Your Room

The university respects residents’ privacy. It is also responsible, however, for providing safe and secure facilities at a reasonable cost. Therefore, residence life staff members reserve the right to enter resident rooms at any time in a health or safety emergency. Staff may also enter rooms to conduct health and safety inspections. For any non-emergency entry, staff will notify residents 24 hours in advance of their intent to enter a room or apartment by posting signs on floors or in entryways.

If the university has reason to believe a student is violating regulations, it can authorize a room search. The university, campus police and Salem police officers may seek a search warrant at any time if there is probable cause that a crime has been committed.

Fire Safety

Because of fire risk, residence life has strict guidelines about what is and is not allowed on campus. Violations of this policy will result in student conduct action, up to and including loss of housing. The following items and/or conditions are not permitted in any of the residential areas:

  • Live Christmas trees, menorahs with candles, Kwanzaa candles, and similar decorations
  • Heating coils, coffee pots without auto shut-off, hot pots and hot plates, and electrical space heaters
  • Flammable decorations placed near light fixtures or in enclosed areas
  • Popcorn poppers, toasters and toaster ovens and similar heating devices outside of the kitchen areas at Bates, Marsh and Atlantic Residence Halls
  • Stairwells and exit doors propped open
  • Bicycles in hallways, lounges or blocking the doorways of rooms, apartments and stairwells
  • Tapestries and similar hangings covering a door or significant portion of the wall or any lights and lamps, or hung from the ceiling
  • Electrical devices and appliances such as halogen lamps, lanterns and sun lamps
  • Gasoline, lighter fluid, flammable cleaning fluid, turpentine, and paint solvents
  • Motorcycles, mopeds and automotive equipment in hallways or rooms
  • Desks, chairs, dressers, closets, or beds that block any part of doorways, or one’s ability to move
  • Disconnected or altered smoke detectors


Salem State University is tobacco-free. The health and safety of students, employees and visitors is a top priority for Salem State University. To promote a safe and healthful work environment, Salem State has adopted new standards to encourage smokers to reduce or eliminate their use of tobacco and to protect non-smokers from exposure to tobacco smoke. There is no smoking, or the use of other related tobacco products, allowed on university property.

Fire Equipment

Anyone who tampers with fire equipment, smoke detectors or the sprinkler system, or who sets a fire, sets off fire alarms or fireworks or makes bomb threats will be suspended from the residential areas immediately, pending the outcome of a hearing. He or she may face both legal and student conduct action by the university, including loss of housing.


The only furniture allowed in a room or apartment is the furniture provided by the university. Altering furniture (such as removing closet doors or bed frame legs), stacking furniture, placing a mattress directly on the floor, moving furniture off the floor, or blocking entrances is strictly prohibited. In addition, lounge furniture may not be removed from the lounges or common areas, as these items are intended for everyone’s use. A $50 removal fine will be levied on all occupants of a room each time a piece of lounge furniture is found in the room or apartment. Room furniture may never be removed. Should a roommate move out, his or her university-issued furniture must remain in the room. Students will be charged for any furniture that is lost, missing, damaged, or that needs to be reassembled.

The following items are considered furniture, and are prohibited from rooms and apartments:

  • Bookshelves
  • Concrete blocks and bricks
  • Futons and couches
  • Inflatable and bean bag chairs • Trunks
  • Waterbeds

Guests And Visitation

Students are responsible for the behavior of their guests while they are on campus. If a guest violates state law or university policy, the host student may be subject to civil, criminal or student conduct action. Students should never sign someone they do not know into a building. A person is considered a guest if they do not live in the host’s room. Only those guests who do not live in a host’s building must be signed in.

Guest Policy:

  • Each resident may have no more than two guests at one time.
  • Guests must be signed in at the front desk upon entering the building. The only exceptions are family members visiting for less than 10-15 minutes. In these situations, they must still be accompanied by the resident and must sign the family log. At Bates Complex, where there is not a 24-hour front desk, students are responsible for keeping track of their guests.
  • Guests 16 and 17 years old must have a signed note from a parent or guardian in order to be signed into the residence hall. Outside of the family log, no one under 16 will be allowed to sign into the residence hall.
  • Guests must provide a valid picture ID (license, state ID card or school ID) which will be held at the front desk in exchange for a guest pass until the guest leaves the hall; temporary non-picture IDs are not valid forms of identification.
  • Residents must escort their guest at all times.

If a guest wishes to use the bed or room of another resident, he or she must get permission from the resident in advance; if the resident’s roommate objects to having a guest in his or her room or apartment, the guest may not stay.

In all residential areas, guests are only allowed to stay overnight for a total of:

  • Four nights a month
  • No more than two consecutive nights on two occasions

Failure to follow the guest policy may result in a student’s loss of guest privileges, and the guest being banned from the area. Residence life reserves the right to limit the number of people in a room or apartment for reasons of safety and behavior.

Bag Inspection

Residence life staff reserves the right to inspect all bags and containers brought into the residence halls. Residents are expected to comply with staff requests to open bags, suitcases and boxes. Students who fail to comply will not be allowed to enter the building.

Keys and Swipe Cards

The keys and swipe cards issued to each resident are the responsibility of that student. Students should not share their keys or swipe cards, give them to another individual or duplicate them. Lost keys and swipe cards should be reported to a resident director immediately. The resident director will determine if the lost item can be replaced, or if an entire core change is needed. (See the residence life webpages for details about the charge to the student).

Noise: Courtesy and Quiet Hours

Students are expected to abide by prescribed quiet hours

in the residential areas and should ensure that no sounds from their rooms or apartments can be heard by students in other areas. Quiet hours are:

  • Sunday–Thursday: 9 pm–9 am
  • Friday–Saturday: 12 am–10 am
  • Please note that during final exam periods, quiet hours are in effect 24-hours a day

Courtesy hours are in effect 24-hours a day. Residents are expected to comply with other student or staff requests to lower noise levels when requested at any point during the day. Residents should use good judgment, and be considerate of neighbors, including the people living above and below them. The city of Salem noise ordinance is in effect daily from 11 pm–7 am, and applies to music heard both in and outside of buildings. Campus police officers must enforce the ordinance, and may fine students up to $200 for violations. This includes equipment that amplifies music and musical instruments.

Disruptive Behavior

Students may not engage in behavior that disturbs or disrupts life in the residential areas, including hall sports, riding bikes or carts, bouncing or throwing balls in the building, or participating in water fights or other activities that produce excessive or unnecessary noise, or could harm an individual or the physical aspects of the building(s).


Students may not possess weapons in the residence halls and are prohibited from using toy guns or weapons.


Individuals must have permission from both the director of the campus center and the resident director of an individual residential area to sell or solicit outside or inside a building. Students who see an individual selling something, or soliciting inside or outside the residential areas should contact a resident director, assistant resident director, resident assistant, or front desk staff member immediately. Individuals soliciting within a residential area will be asked to leave or will be escorted off the grounds by campus police. Anyone wishing to post materials in a residence hall must obtain permission from the individual resident director or have their materials distributed through the residence life office.

Trespassing in Construction Zones

Students are prohibited from entering any construction zone in or around the residence halls, and tampering with equipment or signage in construction areas, as both are dangerous and jeopardize both student safety, and the safety of others.

Community Behavior

Students are expected to demonstrate respect for one another, as well as the community in which they live. Students and their guests are expected to respect the privacy of individuals in the Bowditch and Peabody Hall community bathrooms, as well as in the apartment and public bathrooms in Marsh and Atlantic Residence Halls and at the Bates Complex. Students may be asked to remove offensive images, materials or language from doors, windows and other public areas. Those who violate the privacy of other members of the community may be subject to the immediate termination of their housing license. Students will also be held responsible for their guests’ actions.

The residential areas on campus do not run themselves. As a member of the Salem State community, you are expected to respect all residential areas and report any damage or acts of vandalism you encounter.

Trash and Recycling

Residents of Peabody and Bowditch Halls may put small bags of trash in the trash chutes. Cardboard, newspaper, hangers, glass, boxes, and large items should be taken to the dumpster. Excessive trash left in hallways, lounges or stairwells will result in charges to those on your floor or

in your entryway. Bates residents must bring trash to the dumpsters. Residents at the Atlantic, Marsh and Viking Residence Halls, must put trash in bins within designated trash rooms. All rooms/apartments are provided recycling bins to utilize in collecting recyclable materials and should empty these bins into the larger bins located on each floor or in each entryway. Putting garbage in recycling bins could result in damage charges to your community.


Each residential area on campus is staffed by a group of dedicated and committed maintainers. These individuals spend significant amounts of time cleaning the common areas (stairwells, lounges, bathrooms, and so on), and ensuring that the buildings are comfortable places for residents to live in. Get to know the maintainers in your area, and assist them by properly disposing of your trash, picking up after yourself and encouraging your fellow community members to respect the residence halls.

Animal Policy

Pets are not permitted within the residence halls, with the only exception is for fish that are kept in an aquarium (not larger than 10 gallons). Service and Assistance animals are permitted with proper documentation.

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