Living in the Halls

Community Standards

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.

Students can report general incidents here

Submit a Residence Life Information Report

Conduct Procedures

Residence Hall Conduct Procedures

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.

Face Covering Policy

Face coverings are required in all indoor spaces. Face coverings must be worn while in hallways and common areas such as basements, kitchens, restrooms and in the lobby.

Face coverings are not required in the residence halls when the student is in their own room, and when it is not conducive to performing a task (i.e. brushing teeth, showering, eating, drinking, etc.). However, individuals are expected to utilize good judgment and take additional safeguards such as using physical distancing and promptly replacing face coverings.

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 manufacture 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 student 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 student rooms in sealed containers.
  • Possession and/or consumption of alcoholic beverages in hall lounges, basements, stairwells or other common areas is prohibited.
  • Participating in drinking games such as, but not limited to, beer pong, flip cup, drinking card games, is prohibited.
  • Consuming or providing large amounts of alcohol (e.g. kegs, party balls, half-kegs) is prohibited.
  • 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.
  • 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 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 Student Conduct and Communities Standards web page.

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. Students 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 student’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. 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.

Computer Policy

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

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.

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.

Students 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. Students are responsible for any damage to the facility.

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

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 sanitized.  

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. Students 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. Students 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 students 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 student room windows to the outside is not permitted.

The university furnishes every room (except South Fork Suites) with a Micro Fridge unit that includes a microwave and refrigerator/freezer. South Fork Suites kitchenettes contain a full-size refrigerator and a microwave. Students 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 student’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, and pizza ovens 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. Students 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 student rooms. Students 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.

Revised March 2021

Guests – After careful consideration changes have been made to the guest policy to allow residents to share their space with others while still taking measures to reduce the risk of COVID-19 spread. Specifically, the new guest policy states:

Only residence hall students, authorized and escorted Admissions visitors, and University employees and contracted service personnel performing necessary job-related junctions are allowed in the residence halls. Everyone must wear a face mask in spaces other than resident rooms and adhere to all University COVID-19 guidelines. Specific exceptions to this policy will be communicated to residents for move-in and move-out purposes. 

Residence hall students will have access only to their assigned residence hall and may enter other residence halls only when met at the entrance and hosted by a resident of that hall.

Each residence hall student may have one other resident in their room/suite if the following conditions are met:

  • The hosting resident is present in the room.
  • None of those present in the room/suite are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms such as coughing, shortness of breath, or fever.
  • Roommate/Suitemates have completed a new Roommate/Suitemate Agreement outlining their decisions on guests.
  • The residence hall population maintains an 80% COVID testing compliance rate each week.
  • Face coverings are strongly encouraged to be worn in the room when guests are present.

Any residence hall student who hosts a non-resident guest in their residence hall will be held accountable for violating this guest policy. Any residence hall student in another hall without a host from that residence hall will be held accountable for violating this policy.

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. Weight lifting equipment (such as dumbbells) may not be kept or used in student rooms. 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 student staff, 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.
  • Conduct that is considered a violation of university policy such as not abiding by the face covering policy.
 Tampering with locks is not permitted.

Residents have 24-hour access to their residence hall with their student ID. Residents are prohibited from admitting unauthorized people into the residence halls.

Under no circumstances is any student 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.

Kitchens/kitchenettes are available in every hall for resident use. 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.
  • Sanitize 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. Ongoing need for staff assistance because of not having your room key and UWRF ID will result in disciplinary action.

If a resident is temporarily locked out of their room (e.g. key is inside locked room) the resident should look for an RA who would be able to let them into their room (any RA in the building can assist the resident). If no RAs are available at the time, the resident should contact their hall director. Residence hall staff will assist you as time permits but may not be immediately available. Custodians and maintenance staff cannot allow a student back into their room.

Tampering with official mailboxes and the intentional possession or disposal of mail other than a student’s own is prohibited. Mail/packages can only be picked up by the person to whom it is addressed.

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.

Students 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 will be asked to remove these items.

Removal of screens or windows is prohibited. Students 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).

Commercial activities or door-to-door solicitations are never allowed in the residence halls. Unauthorized posting of advertising materials on student 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. 

Residents living in our Healthy Living community have agreed to observe a standard that prohibits the use and possession of alcohol and illegal drugs as defined by Wisconsin law and university policy. In addition, residents have agreed and have made a commitment that the use of any of these substances outside the community that influences the environment in the community (e.g. consuming alcohol off-campus and disturbing others while intoxicated is prohibited). Residents who fail to live up to these standards may be move and restricted from the community. 

Possession of another person’s or the university’s property, without prior consent, is prohibited. This includes property from student 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 student’s room without the consent of the student or authorization by the university.

Damage to any residence hall furniture, fixtures, or facilities or damage to property of students 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.

It is prohibited to tamper with or misuse any fire alarm system, including fire pull stations and smoke detectors.

It is prohibited to tamper with or misuse any firefighting equipment, including but not limited to fire extinguishers.

Residents and guests must leave the building by the designated exit during a fire alarm. Emergency Alert System tests are announced and happen frequently. During the Emergency Alert System testing, residents may remain in the residence halls.

Lighting fires within a residence hall facility is not permitted. Items requiring an open or smoldering flame to operate are not allowed in resident rooms or anywhere else in the residence halls. Residents and guests are expected to leave the building by the designated exit whenever the fire alarm sounds.

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 student.
  • 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.

Contact Us

Department of Residence Life
M-F, 7:45 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
B3 East Hathorn Hall