UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN River Falls

Living in the Halls

Community Standards

Community

The mission of Residence Life is to create residential communities where students can live civilly, learn effectively and discover success. To help foster this environment and ensure the rights of all students are upheld, both Residence Life and the university have expectations about student behavior in terms of how they manage their own lives and how they interact with other members of the community.

Each member of the UW-River Falls community is responsible for knowing and abiding by these policies. Residents are also expected to play an active role in enforcing community standards for behavior by addressing others who are violating residence hall policies and reporting any actions that are not in keeping with acceptable standards of student behavior. Violations of Residence Life and university policies can be confronted and documented by staff and other residents both inside and outside the residence halls. To submit a report about a potential violation of policy please visit the UWRF Student Referral Form.

Residence Life has the responsibility for developing and enforcing policies in the residence halls and works with the Residence Hall Association to establish these policies. These policies, together with those mandated by the university and state/federal laws, constitute the expectations of the residence hall community. Failure to abide by these policies will result in disciplinary action.

Alcohol and Other Drugs Policies 

Possession or consumption of alcoholic beverages by persons under age 21. Wisconsin’s legal drinking age is 21. Persons under 21 years of age are not permitted to consume alcohol or possess alcohol, empty alcohol containers or paraphernalia (such as a beer bong). Guests of an individual, who is under the legal drinking age, are not permitted to possess alcohol, regardless of the guest’s age.

Distribution/manufacture/sale of alcoholic beverages. Distribution of alcoholic beverages to an underage person is prohibited. No person is permitted to brew, distill, or sell alcoholic beverages in the residence halls.

Possession or consumption of alcoholic beverages by persons over age 21. Persons who are the legal drinking age are permitted to possess and consume alcohol under the following conditions:

  • Alcohol must be consumed in a residence hall room, in which the resident of the room is over the age of 21, with the room door closed.
  • Alcohol must be transported to and from residence hall rooms in sealed containers.
  • Any behaviors associated with the allowable consumption of alcohol, but results in endangering the safety of self or others, incapacitation, and/or the need for medical attention as a result of overconsumption of alcohol is considered a violation of policy.
  • The following actions are prohibited in the residence halls:
    • Possession and/or consumption of alcoholic beverages in hall lounges, basements, stairwells or other common areas.
    • Participating in drinking games such as, but not limited to, beer pong, flip cup, drinking card games.
    • Possession of or consumption from large alcohol containers such as kegs, party balls, half-kegs, etc.
    • Paraphernalia used to deliver large quantities of alcohol or rapid intake of alcohol (e.g. funnels, beer bongs) are not permitted in the residence halls.

The following actions and/or behaviors are prohibited:

  • Being under the influence of a controlled substance while in the residence halls.
  • The possession, use, distribution, manufacturing or dispensing of illicit drugs.
  • The possession or use of drug paraphernalia (e.g., bongs, bowls, onehitters, dugouts, and grinders).
  • The misuse of prescription medication (e.g., improper possession, sales or distribution).
  • The misuse of over-the-counter medication.

Assault and Harassment Policies

For more information about sexual assault, bias/hate, harassment or the university's guidelines such as how to report, please visit the Reporting Concerns webpage.

No person may intentionally strike, shove, hit, punch, kick or otherwise subject another person to physical contact or cause bodily harm without the consent of the person.

If an assault occurs between roommates and the police are called, the State of Wisconsin domestic violence laws require the police to arrest the resident who committed the physical assault.

Behavior to anyone in our community that might be deemed hostile or harassing or which intimidates, degrades, demeans, or threatens, contradicts the community standards of the residence hall; this includes words or acts which cause or result in harm, either physical or emotional. Residents are expected to live in such a way that their actions do not have the purpose or effect of interfering with an individual’s academic or work performance and/or create an intimidating or offensive academic, living, or work environment.

Examples of bias/hate can include, but are not limited to: vandalism to public posters by defacing them with bias-related symbols or slogans, targeted vandalism on a resident’s door directed at their protected status by writing homophobic, ethnic, or racial epithets on dry-erase boards, directing slurs at a group or
individual (whether in person or electronically), telling derogatory jokes, making insulting comments about an individual’s traditional manner of dress or geographic origin, harassment that interferes with a person’s educational experience by displaying sexually suggestive objects.

Residence hall communities have both the right and the responsibility to regulate the “public” side of room doors, windows, and common areas. Residence halls are considered a non-public forum related to the first amendment. The department mission is to build safe, inclusive environments. If the actions in question are incompatible with this mission, Residence Life reserves the right to limit those actions.

No person may intentionally make verbal threats, intimidate, or engage in conduct which tends to cause or incite a breach of the peace, or is severe or pervasive enough to substantially interfere with a reasonable student’s educational performance, opportunities or benefits, or mental, emotional or physical wellbeing. The presentation of any idea, regardless of the idea’s nature or perceived value, may not be considered harassment unless it is accompanied with a verbal threat, intimidation or conduct as previously defined.

Behaviors and actions as outlined above, exhibited via electronic media including email, text messaging or social networking websites may be in violation of the harassment policy.

Sexual assault is defined as sexual contact perpetrated against another person without their consent. Consent is defined as words or overt actions by a person who is competent to give consent indicating a freely given agreement to have sexual intercourse or sexual contact. Sexual assault is a crime and is taken very seriously at UW-River Falls.

Sexual harassment is prohibited. It is defined as unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature when:

  • Submission to such conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of an individual’s employment or academic achievement.
  • Submission to or rejection of such conduct by an individual is used as the basis for employment decisions or academic decisions affecting such individual.
  • Such conduct has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual’s work or academic performance or creating an intimidating, hostile or offensive environment.

Verbal or written abuse that involves an expressed or implied threat to interfere with an individual’s personal safety, safety of property, academic efforts, employment, or participation in the university-sponsored extracurricular activities is prohibited.

Making unauthorized audio or video recordings or photographic images of a person in a location in which that person has a reasonable expectation of privacy, including, but not limited to, shower/locker rooms, residence hall rooms, and restrooms, is prohibited.

Community Standard Policies

Personally-owned air conditioners are not allowed in the residence halls. Window air conditioning units may be requested only for verified medical conditions. Approved window units are university property and must be installed by Residence Life staff.

Residents are not permitted to bring any animal, except harmless fish, into the residence halls. To protect health and safety, fish tanks may be 10 gallons or less. Residents are responsible for any damage to the facility.

Riding or storing bicycles in a residence hall building is prohibited. Residents are encouraged to register their bicycle with University Police. For more information, visit the Bicycle Registration web page.

Commercial activities, excluding charitable fundraising, may be conducted by an individual from their room provided that:

  • Written permission is obtained from roommate(s) when applicable. The consenting parties may withdraw permission at any time.
  • Written permission is obtained from Residence Life, permission may be revoked at any time.
  • Advertising conforms to limits established by Residence Life.
  • No responsibility for or guarantee of commercial activity is implied or assumed by UWRF or Residence Life.
  • The commercial activity will not cause the resident to take unfair advantage of personal mail as determined by Residence Life.
  • The resident operating the business shall only use their fair share of the room for storage and may not use any other facilities for storage or sale.

Disposal of Garbage: Leaving garbage in bathrooms or containers other than the dumpsters located outside the residence halls is prohibited. Hallways should be kept free of furniture, garbage, or other personal items.  

Shared Spaces: Residents are expected to clean spaces such as study lounges, kitchens, and laundry rooms after each use. Trash should be removed from the space and any items touched should be cleaned.  

Room/Pod/Suite Cleaning: Residents are expected to clean their living environments on a regular basis. Residents living in Ames or South Fork Suites, where living spaces is shared, are expected to coordinate cleaning responsibilities for common areas within pod or suite. 

Bodily Fluids: Depositing bodily fluids (e.g., saliva, vomit, urine, and feces) in public areas or other inappropriate locations is prohibited.  

Community bathrooms designated “men” can only be used by males or individuals who have a male gender identity or expression. Community bathrooms designated “women” can only be used by females or individuals who have a female gender identity or expression. Only one person can be in a bathroom stall or shower at a time, except in the case of caregivers providing assistance. Residence hall bathrooms will have signs posted on bathroom doors stating the cleaning time of the bathroom. Residents are not permitted to be in the bathroom during the posted cleaning times.

Residents are expected to comply with the reasonable request(s), written or verbal, of a university official (e.g. Residence Life staff, faculty/staff, University Police) acting in accordance with their job duties. Individuals who are concerned about the validity of a request, should ask to speak with the hall director immediately. Failing to cooperate with an investigation by providing false or misleading information (lying) to a staff member or fleeing an incident is prohibited. Creating a hostile environment by engaging in verbal or written abuse, physical contact, intimidation or menacing behavior directed at a staff member is prohibited.

All residents are expected to comply with disciplinary sanctions issued through conduct conferences and hearings. Intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly obstructing or delaying university proceedings is prohibited.

Being present during any policy violation in such a way as to condone, support or encourage a violation of university/Residence Life policy is prohibited. Residents who anticipate or observe a violation of policy are expected to remove themselves from the situation and are encouraged to report the violation to the appropriate UW-River Falls personnel. If the violation is occurring in one’s own room, they must either stop the violation or bring the violation to the attention of Residence Life staff to not be complicit.

Fire safety and sanitation requirements prohibit cooking in the residence hall rooms, excluding microwave use. Each hall has kitchen facilities available for resident use.

Courtesy Hours: Courtesy hours are in effect from 8 a.m.–9:59 p.m., Sunday through Thursday, and 8 a.m.-12:59 a.m., Friday and Saturday. During courtesy hours it is expected that behavior and noise levels are respectful to the community and conducive to studying and learning.

Quiet Hours: Quiet hours are in effect between 10 p.m.-7:59 a.m., Sunday through Thursday, and 1 a.m.-7:59 a.m., Friday and Saturday. During quiet hours, it is expected that noise should not be loud enough to disrupt residents of the community, including students on floors above and below.

Exam Week Quiet Hours: The Sunday before finals week each semester, Exam Week Quiet Hours are in effect starting at 12:59 a.m. and run until 7 p.m. the last day of finals. During this time, it is expected that noise should not disrupt residents of the community, including residents on floors above and below. Between the hours of 5 and 6 p.m. daily courtesy hours will be in effect.

Musical Instruments, Stereos, Amplification or Bass Systems: Guidelines for playing musical instruments in residents’ rooms follow the same guidelines as for noise, however, some musical instruments, by their nature, are virtually impossible to play at a level that does not disturb others and should not be used in the residence halls. These instruments include, but are not limited to, amplified musical instruments (e.g. electric guitars, keyboards, and subwoofers), drums and brass instruments. Playing music from residence hall room windows to the outside is not permitted.

Residents are not allowed to bring their own microwave, refrigerator or freezer.

Toaster, toaster ovens, George Foreman-type grills, electronic pressure cookers (Insta-Pot, Multi-Pot, Etc.) are permitted to be stored in a resident’s room under the condition they are only used in a designed kitchen space such as Hall kitchen, Ames suite kitchen, or South Fork Suites Kitchenette. 

For fire safety reasons space heaters, halogen lamps/lights, hotplates, etc. are not permitted in the residence halls. 

Residence Life reserves the right to remove any electrical appliances that is unauthorized or used inappropriately. 

University-owned furniture must be left in rooms and common areas to which it has been allocated. Residents are prohibited from removing furniture items from their room. Lobby, lounge, study room or basement furniture, or other university-owned property is not allowed in resident rooms. Residents may be held responsible for damage incurred and daily charges for possession of university property.

The exchange of money in gambling ventures is prohibited within the residence halls. This includes, but is not limited to, penny poker, games of chance, betting on athletic events and online gambling.

"Guest" is defined as any person in a residence hall student room who is not assigned by Residence Life to live in the room, or, any person who is not assigned to live in the building.

It is the hosting resident's responsibility to inform guests of the policies and procedures of UW-River Falls. Guests must always have a valid photo ID on them and are expected to abide by all residence hall policies. The host resident is responsible for and will be held accountable for the behavior of their guest(s). Guests must always be escorted by a resident of that residence hall (preferably the host) and not be left unattended in the residence halls.

The number of people in a double room should not exceed eight during the day and four overnight (including residents of the room). In George R. Field South Fork Suites, the number of people should not exceed 10 during the day and eight overnight (including residents of the suite). For extended housing study lounges, the number of people should not exceed 10 (including residents of the space).

Overnight guests may be allowed to stay a maximum of three nights in a row, no more than eight nights per month. All overnight guests under the age of 18 years old must possess written permission from a parent of guardian to stay on campus. The written permission must specifically name the host, host's address, and parent or guardian contact information.

University personnel reserve the right to direct guests to leave the residence hall if they are creating a disturbance within the community. Guests who are violating the law will be required to leave immediately.

The playing of sports in the residence halls is prohibited. No games or equipment designed for outdoor use (e.g. bicycle riding, footballs, frisbees, rollerblading, skateboards, scooters or wheeled shoes) are permitted to be used in any residence hall facility. Radio or remote controlled aerial devices, including drones, are not allowed to be used in the residence hall. Hover boards are not permitted to be used or stored in the residence hall.

Failure to produce either a university identification card or a government issued ID upon request by any university staff member, in the performance of their duties, is prohibited. Residents are prohibited from lending their university identification card to another individual. Impersonating a university staff member, including a Resident Assistant, is not permitted.

The following behaviors are considered inappropriate conduct for a residence hall community and are prohibited:

  • Conduct that disrupts or interferes with the performance of duties by university personnel.
  • Behavior that is obscene, lewd, or indecent including, but not limited to voyeurism, public urination/defecation, or public exposure of private body parts.
  • Conduct that is violent, abusive, profane, boisterous, unreasonably loud or otherwise disorderly.
  • Horseplay, pranks, the making of unnecessary messes, or any other action which damages property or unreasonably disturbs others.
 Tampering with locks is not permitted.

Residents are prohibited from admitting unauthorized people into the residence halls.

Under no circumstances is any resident permitted to have duplicate keys made for any university lock. Keys assigned to residents should not be loaned to others. Residents should not be in possession of university keys that do not belong to them. Tampering with locks is not permitted.

Residents who use the kitchen are expected to: 

  • Remain in the kitchen while food is being cooked. 
  • Wash dishes in kitchen sinks, then dry and store dishes in their room. Washing dishes in bathroom sinks, mop closets, or drinking fountains is prohibited. 
  • Remove remaining food from sinks. Do not put food/food waste/grease down the drain. Sinks are not equipped for these items.
  • Clean all surfaces used. 
  • Remove all personal items and trash from kitchen after use. 

Residents are expected to carry their room key and access card (UWRF ID) with them at all times.

Tampering with official mailboxes and the intentional possession or disposal of mail other than a resident’s own is prohibited. 

Non-university affiliated businesses and organizations will not be approved to have posters, brochures or other advertisements displayed in the residence halls.

University-sponsored organizations/departments requesting to have promotional materials posted in the residence halls must get approval from Residence Life. All approved posters, flyers or announcements must include the name of the organization and contact information, and will be posted by Residence Life staff on a space-available basis.

Materials promoting the use of alcohol or other drugs, using profanity or implying sexual, racial, or other harassment will not be posted.

Residents are permitted to decorate their living space (room, room door, and room window) within the following guidelines:

  • Items should not be attached with scotch or duct tape. No items may be attached from the ceiling, archway/door frame, pipes, university equipment, or window blinds.
  • Room doors cannot be more than 33% covered with decorations.
  • Barn wood, paneling, enclosed multi-level structures, natural holiday trees or wreaths, and any construction which creates a fire, safety or health hazard is not permitted.
  • Running electrical cords under room doors or mattresses is prohibited.
  • Construction, decoration or arrangement of furniture in a manner which hinders exit from the room door or window is not permitted.
  • Foam back carpeting or foam padding underneath carpeting is prohibited.
  • Waterbeds are prohibited.
  • Residents posting items in a public manner that target specific individuals in a harmful, harassing, or intimidating manner or that are considered as hate/bias by UWRF will be required to remove these items.

Removal of screens or windows is prohibited. Residents are prohibited from hanging or throwing objects or discarding liquids from open windows.

Smoking, vaping or the use of other tobacco products (see list below) is prohibited on and within all campus residence halls; campus grounds (college owned, controlled, and/or leased); university-owned or leased properties; and rented vehicles. This includes but is not limited to all university streets and sidewalks, parking lots, landscaped areas, outdoor athletic facilities and recreational areas and at lectures, conferences, meetings and social and cultural events held on campus property or campus grounds.

For the purpose of this policy, “tobacco” includes:

  • Any lighted cigarette (e.g. cloves, bidis, kreteks);
  • Cigars;
  • Pipes and hookah products;
  • Any other smoking products (e.g. e-cigarettes, vaporizers); and
  • Any smokeless, spit or spitless, dissolvable, or inhaled tobacco products (e.g. dip, chew, snuff or snus) in any form (e.g. orbs, sticks, pellet).

Door-to-door solicitations are never allowed in the residence halls.

Designated members of approved campus organizations, service organizations or political campaigns can utilize public lounge or lobby areas on first floors and basements of residence halls to present their viewpoints by discussion or materials following approval of the area, method, and time by Residence Life. The manner of presentation must not interfere with the flow of traffic, not constitute harassment to residents and must be done in a responsible fashion so the information/discussion is conducted on a voluntary basis to residents.

Unauthorized posting of advertising materials on a resident's room door (e.g. door hangers and slipping materials under doors is prohibited.

Non-Residence LIfe organizations are not permitted to use the residence hall in any capacity.

Possession of another person’s or the university’s property, without prior consent, is prohibited. This includes property from resident rooms and all common spaces in the residence halls. Possession of illegally obtained road or campus signs is prohibited.

No person, unless authorized, may be present in the residence halls. Individuals who are present in residence hall facilities after they have been restricted from or asked to leave any residence hall facility may be arrested by University Police.

Residents are prohibited from giving access to the residence halls to individual(s) who have been restricted from residence hall facilities.

Utilizing residence hall space for any activity other than intended use is prohibited.

No person may climb onto or walk upon the roof of a university building, except when emergency access to a fire escape is necessary.

No person may enter a resident’s room without the consent of the resident or authorization by the university.

Damage to any residence hall furniture, fixtures, or facilities or damage to property of residents living in the residence halls is prohibited. Tampering with vending machines is prohibited.

The possession of dangerous weapons of any kind (including, but not limited to firearms of any type, illegal chemical sprays, swords, sling shots, paintball guns, BB guns, Airsoft guns, toy guns that appear to be real firearms, bow and arrows, illegal knives, and knives used to threaten and/or cause harm or whose primary purpose is that of a weapon), and ammunition are not permitted. 

No person may display or portray as real any object that resembles a weapon. Using any object to threaten or cause harm is prohibited. Weapon storage is not provided on campus.

Fire Safety Policies

The possession and/or use of candles, including decorative candles and candle warmers, is prohibited. “Scentsies” or similar products that use a non-halogen light bulb are permitted.

The burning of incense and/or sage for religious/spiritual purposes is only permitted given that:

  • Resident(s) obtain approval from Residence Life before burning incense/ sage.
  • Residence hall fire safety equipment must not be tampered with.
  • A fire extinguisher must be easily accessible.
  • Resident(s) must take responsibility for the event, be present at all times, and assume liability for any damages caused, accidental or otherwise.
  • Flames and other open heat elements must be kept away from combustible materials.
  • A designated Residence Life staff member must be contacted at the conclusion of use to determine that any potential hazard of fire has been eliminated.

Requests are not approved or denied on the basis of religion, but requests may be denied based on space availability, resident reputation of prior use, staff availability, or substantial safety concerns.

Residents and guests must leave the building by the designated exit during a fire alarm. It is prohibited to tamper with or misuse any fire alarm system, including fire pull stations and smoke detectors, or any firefighting equipment, including but not limited to fire extinguishers.

Lighting fires or using items requiring an open or smoldering flame to operate within a residence hall facility is not permitted. 

The storage, possession, or use of fireworks, propane, gasoline, lighter fluid, charcoal and explosives is strictly prohibited in the residence halls.

Grilling is permitted in designated outdoor areas in accordance with the following policies:

  • Residents must only use the outdoor grills provided. Additional grills cannot be brought into the grilling/fire pit areas.
  • Charcoal and a fire source is the responsibility of the resident.
  • Residents must properly dispose of ashes in ash cans located near grills.
  • Residents are responsible for cleaning the grilling area and disposing of all trash appropriately.
  • Due to close proximity to the residence halls, residents should be considerate of others and keep noise to a minimum, especially during quiet hours.

Technology

All residents must abide by the Division of Technology Services (DoTS) Acceptable Use Policies regarding acceptable use of university computers and campus networks. Residents can get more information about the computer policy at https://www.wisconsin.edu/regents/policies/acceptable-use-of-information-technology-resources/.

The unauthorized distribution of copyrighted materials is prohibited. This includes peer-to-peer file sharing, violating copyright laws on published works, music, graphics or software; and obtaining or making available to others commercial software via the internet in violation of the licensing agreements on such software and on university networks.

Contact Us

Department of Residence Life
reslife@uwrf.edu
715-425-4555
M-F, 7:45 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
B3 East Hathorn Hall
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