Student Handbook - Housing & Life Safety


Life Safety Policies

When a student violates any of the life safety policies below, a Life Safety Violation charge may be levied. Students will be notified of these charges in writing. This notice may be delivered by an RA, placed under a student's door if they are not home, deposited in their room during health and safety inspections, or delivered via their campus mailbox or email. All students have the opportunity to address the situation with a Residential Life professional staff member. If a student does not contact the Office of Residential Life within ten days of delivery of the notification, the charges will be final. Depending upon the situation (severity, repeated offense, etc.), conduct charges may also be brought against a student in violation of these policies.

 

Life Safety Violations

Level One Offense
(inappropriate appliance/furniture/loft, smoking, halogen/lava lamps, octopus cords, multi-plug adapters, excessive electrical cords, candles/incense, decorative string lighting)

• First Offense - Warning

• Further Offenses - $100 fine and possible judicial action

Level Two Offense
(possession of flammable materials or fireworks, removal of life safety devices, tampering with life safety devices, discharging a fire extinguisher inappropriately, failure to evacuate during fire alarm, negligent actions which cause activation of the fire alarm system)

• Any Offense - $200 fine and possible judicial action

Level Three Offense
Malicious activation of fire alarm system, arson, false reporting of a fire or other life safety condition

• Any Offense - $750 fine and possible judicial action and/or arrest by police

Appliances
The following appliances ARE NOT allowed in residence hall rooms:  non-approved microwaves, non-approved air conditioners, electric heaters, toaster ovens, toasters, “George Foreman”-style grills, waffle irons, sandwich makers, or any other heat-producing electrical devices or appliances.  Students may use coffee pots, hot pots, and popcorn makers in their rooms as long as there are no exposed heating elements or coils and they are used responsibly. Students found in possession of unauthorized appliances will be charged a Life Safety fine in addition to the confiscation of the item.  For information about renting a Microfridge, please see the Refrigerators section. 

Air Conditioners
Air conditioners are not permitted in the residence hall due to excessive energy demand caused by large numbers of such appliances. Students with severe medical conditions that may require an air conditioner may request a Special Accommodations form. If approved, it must be installed by Facilities Services.  Arrangements for installation must be made by the students. Contacting Facilities at X6181 or

http://www.union.edu/offices/facilities/index.php

Bed in Common Rooms
In compliance with the building and fire codes, all beds and lofts must remain in designated bedrooms only and not in the common rooms of residence hall suites.

Candles and Incense
Candles, incense, and any other open-flame items (burned or unburned) are prohibited in student residences.  Only one type of incense is allowed on campus in the residence halls.  These incense are electric slow fragrance warmers that do not result in heat emission.  This type of incense can be found in the College Bookstore.  Be advised that in accordance with New York State Law, all candles, lit or unlit, will be confiscated and destroyed.

Decorations and Tapestries
Tapestries and posters may not be hung over the smoke detectors, heat detectors, overhead lights, or above the bed. Tapestries may not be draped from lofts or used as room partitions. Decorations must not cover more than 50% of the ceiling or wall space.

Entry Doors
All residence hall entry doors must be locked and secure at all times. Propping doors for any reason is not permitted.

Excessive Cleaning
It is the responsibility of all residents to maintain a healthy living space for both themselves and fellow students. Additionally, it is the expectation that all residential students practice proper hygiene. Students with excessive trash or garbage in their living space are creating both health and fire hazards and may be subject to student conduct violations as well as life safety fines.

Fire Alarms
Evacuation compliance is mandatory for all students whenever fire alarms are activated, regardless of cause. Campus Safety and residence hall staff may check every room to ensure that all residents evacuate the building.

Fire Equipment
Tampering with fire safety equipment, including fire doors, exit signs, fire extinguishers, smoke detectors, heat detectors, or fire alarms is prohibited. Fire safety equipment that is malfunctioning should be reported to Campus Safety immediately. Do not dismantle, remove, or attempt to repair any fire equipment.

Fireworks
Fireworks and other explosives (in their many and varied forms) are prohibited in and around all College-owned housing.

Lights and Lamps
Halogen lamps, paper lanterns, string lighting, and lava lamps are not permitted in the residence halls due to their proven fire hazard potential.

Octopus Cord/Multiple Outlet Plugs
The use of extension cords beyond their recommended use and the use of multiple outlet plug adapters, “octopus cords,” are prohibited. Power strips with surge protectors must be used to protect electrical equipment.

Noxious Odors
Activities producing odors considered offensive to members of the residence hall community must be curtailed upon request. In the event of such odors, a Residential Life or Campus Safety staff member may check common areas and individual rooms for the source.

Refrigerators
Each room is only allowed one refrigerator or Micro-fridge unit, and each suite is allowed only a total of two units.  Small refrigerators measuring five cubic feet or less and drawing three amps or less to start, or one and one half amps or less to run, may be used.  Students may rent the Microfridge unit, a combination refrigerator/freezer/ microwave unit, from a vendor who will contract directly with the student.  The Refrigerator Leasing Company, Inc. can be reached at 607.431.9525 or www.refrigeratorleasing.com.

Security Screens
First floor windows have been provided with a security screen designed to prevent theft and inappropriate access to first floor rooms and common areas. The security screens must remain closed at all times. Tampering with the security screens is prohibited.

Smoking
In accordance with New York State Law, smoking is prohibited in all indoor areas.  Smoking within twenty-five (25) feet of any residential building exit, entrance, or operable window is also prohibited in an effort to provide a safe and healthy environment for those members of the community who do not wish to smoke.

Fine Appeals Process
The Director of Residential Life is available to listen if a student wishes to challenge a housing or life safety violation.. If the decision by the professional staff member appears inaccurate based upon evidence and College policy, you may appeal the decision in writing to the Director of Residential Life within 10 days of notification of the violation., The director will determine whether or not to reverse the charge.