Housing Policies and Procedures

Residents are held accountable to the Housing and Residential Services Policies and Procedures for any space owned/reserved/under the oversight of the department. Questions about this document should be directed to the Housing and Residential Services before purchasing: 978.665.3219. The university’s response to students found in violation of the policies will be held accountable and sanctions may apply as found on the Student Conduct website.

Abandoned Property

When a student’s personal items remain after they vacate their assigned space, the items are immediately considered abandoned. All items are considered trash no matter their value. Any attempts the department may make to a resident is a courtesy and is not a required component of the department’s process.

Alcohol and Drug Sanctions

Alcohol and/or Drugs Recommended Sanctions are recommended by the Massachusetts Board of Higher Education. It is the established practice of the Office of Student Conduct to disclose the result of a disciplinary proceeding to a parent or guardian as long as the student is under the age of 21 at the time of the incident and the proceeding has resulted in a violation of University drug or alcohol policies, or any federal, state, or local law (affiliated with drugs and/ or alcohol). Such notification is standard practice. Requests that the results not be released should be submitted to the Office of Community Standards and shall be considered at the discretion of the Director of Community Standards.

In compliance with the Drug Free Schools and Communities Act Amendments of 1989 [20 U.S.C. § 1011i; 34 C.F.R. § 86.1 et seq.; 55 Fed. Reg. 33,580 (Aug. 16, 1990)] the Office of Community Standards publishes minimum recommended sanctions to violations of the drug and alcohol policy in the sanctioning guide. The hearing body may at their discretion deviate from the recommended sanctions in considering all of the factors presented.

Alcohol possession and usage

All students are subject to Massachusetts law, city ordinances and university regulations. The current Massachusetts drinking age is 21. Residents 21 years of age or older may possess and consume alcoholic beverages within their assigned living space given no one under 21 is present in the apartment/suite at time of 21+ consumption and all containers are not left in the suite/area. The university set reasonable limits to the amount of alcohol that an individual who is 21 years or older may possess in the residence halls at any given time.

Underage residents and their visitors may not possess or consume alcohol. Underage residents and their guests (regardless of age) may not be present in any residence hall living space where alcohol is present.

Residents who are occupants of the space and who are of age to consume alcohol are permitted to do so within reason. To consume alcohol in your assigned space within the residence halls is a privilege, not a right, and may be removed at any time. At all times the quantity of alcohol is limited to amounts deemed appropriate for personal consumption and shall not exceed the amounts provided below. Residents are expected to establish community guidelines with roommates within assigned spaces about alcohol within the space.

Residents are permitted multiple types of alcohol as long as it does not exceed the occupant count for residents who meet the alcohol consumption of age.

Guests in your space do not increase the amount of alcohol permitted. Guests who are of age (21+) are permitted to consume.

Six-occupant apartment is permitted the following:

  • Two 12-packs of beer
  • Four standard bottles of wine (750 mL each)
  • Two 375 mL bottles (“pint”) of liquor/One 750 mL bottle (“fifth”) of liquor (no more than 100 proof)

Limits apply to full, partially full, or empty containers. 

Per Occupant of Alcohol Consumption of Age Type of Alcohol - Bed Space can select one Maximum Alcohol Amount Permitted
One Occupant Beer/Seltzer/Malt Beverages One 6-pack (limit 72 oz.)
Allowed two of the following Wine 750 mL - one bottle of wine
  Liquor 375 mL of liquor (100 proof or less, one pint of liquor)
Eight Occupants Beer/Seltzer/Malt Beverages Eight 12-packs (no more than 1,152 oz.)
Maximum amount allowed per alcohol type Wine 12,000 mL - 16 bottles of wine
  Liquor 3,000 mL of liquor (100 proof or less, eight pints of liquor)

The possession or consumption of alcoholic beverages in non-assigned living space (i.e. lounges, hallways, kitchens, game rooms, etc.) is not permitted. This does not include their assigned living space (i.e. apartment/suite/room). Public intoxication is prohibited while on university property or at university sponsored activities or events. The sale, distribution or furnishing of alcoholic beverages to minors is prohibited.

Residents who choose to consume alcoholic beverages are responsible for their actions and should such behavior detract from the living environment, they will be held accountable through the student conduct process. Residents will be held accountable for their guests’ inappropriate behavior and are responsible for informing guests of all policies.   

Containers of alcohol that exceed the limit allowed, any items that aid drinking games, i.e. funnels are prohibited. Participation in drinking games is prohibited. Drinking games include any activity which promotes the binge consumption of alcohol and/or encourages alcohol consumption based on sets of rules, strategies, guidelines, instructions, and etc. Alcohol does not have to be present for an environment to be considered to host a drinking game. 

Drugs

The use, possession, or distribution of any federally illegal stimulant, depressant, hallucinogenic, or narcotic drugs. It is prohibited for anyone to use, possess or distribute a prescription medication that is not in their name. While Massachusetts state law permits the use of marijuana, federal law requires the university to prohibit marijuana use, possession, distribution, and/or cultivation at educational institutions. Therefore, the use, possession, distribution, or cultivation of marijuana for personal or medical purposes is not allowed in any Fitchburg State University residence hall or on any other Fitchburg State University premises; nor is it allowed at any university-sponsored event or activity off campus or any student organization event or activity. Anyone who possesses or uses marijuana at any university premises may be subject to civil citation, state or federal prosecution, and a referral to Community Standards. Possession and consumption of CBD products are permitted. However, possession and consumption of all THC products are prohibited.

Community Front Desks

Community Desk Assistants (CDA) are housing paraprofessionals who staff the front desks in buildings. Active front desks may vary year-to-year given occupancy demands. Residents are able to report concerns (facility or others) to the CDA. Each resident is required to show their valid Fitchburg State OneCard when they enter the building to which they reside. Even in buildings with an inactive front desk, residents need to have their OneCard on them when in there.

Any person(s) who are not assigned occupants of the building must be signed in as a guest. Please refer to the Visitation/Guest section in this handbook for additional information. The host needs to sign-in their guest by providing their valid Fitchburg State OneCard and the guest needs to provide a valid Fitchburg State OneCard or any form of photo identification. Guests without a photo ID will not be permitted entry. Buildings with an inactive front desk still have the expectation that guests/visitors have a form of photo ID on them and all other policies apply.

Bags (of any type) may be checked as students and guests enter the building. The owner of the bag is expected to open the bag for the CDA to look inside.

Kitchen/Cooking Appliances

Limited kitchen/cooking appliances are permitted within the residence halls to support safety and sustainability in the communal spaces. The list below is not exhaustive either for non-permitted or permitted appliances. The department has the right to ask for any appliance to be removed at any time whether listed below or not to support the residential environment.  

Appliances for traditional- and suite-style living

Permitted appliances include:

  • Small electrical appliances with enclosed heating elements and UL approved
  • Coffeemakers
  • Refrigerators
  • Maximum size, internal dimensions of less than 4.0 cubic feet
  • Maximum of 2 running amps
  • Microwaves
  • Maximum wattage, less than 1000 watts

Non-permitted appliances include:

  • Toaster ovens
  • Toasters
  • Hot plates
  • Any device being left unattended for a long period of time

Appliances for apartments only

In apartments, cooking appliances with open coils are not permitted except for a toaster. Other general cooking appliances are permitted as singular items (i.e. one crockpot for the apartment) as long as they have an automatic shut off. Appliances must be stored and used in the kitchen of the apartment.

Examples of general cooking appliances permitted:

  • Air fryer
  • Crock pot
  • Instant pot
  • Waffle makers
  • Two knives (maximum) designed for the purpose of cooking by which the individual blade cannot exceed 8 inches in length

Balconies and Roofs

For safety reasons, residents are not permitted on the balconies and roofs of any residence halls.

Bicycles

Residents are permitted to store bicycles within their room. Any damage to the room caused by storage of a bicycle will be assessed to the resident. They should not be mounted to the wall or ceiling. To ensure safety within the halls and to avoid damage to the carpet or hallway, bicycles are to be walked—not ridden— within the residence halls. Fire regulations prohibit storing bicycles in hallways, stairwells, or public areas; only  in designated areas.

Cleaning, Climate and Communication (3Cs) Expectations

Residents must support the concepts of the 3Cs to ensure that the on-campus living environment stays healthy and welcoming space for all residents. The residence halls building styles (traditional, suite and apartments) allow for the maturation of residence to take on additional responsibility as they move through their collegiate career. At all times, residents must inform a university representative should their space transition to a state of cleaning/maintenance concern.  

A few items to note are as follows:

  • Pest Control/Extermination (i.e. ants, bed bugs)

  • Heating/Cooling 

  • Substance: Mold and Mildew

After verbal communication, residents should always follow-up with a work order for written documentation. 

Bed Bug Information

All suspected bed bug cases are taken very seriously and given a high priority. Bed bugs are a common issue all across the United States as well as worldwide and can be found in high-end hotels, apartment complexes, hospitals and even college residence halls. 

If you suspect bed bugs

  1. You repeatedly wake up with unexplained bug bites on your body.
  2. You see dark brownish black stains appearing on your linens or mattress.
  3. Contact and speak directly with a housing staff member: 
    • Contact a staff member in your respective building.
    • Russell Front Desk: 978.665.4022
    • Housing & Residential Services: 978.665.3219
    • After making contact with a housing staff member, enter a School Dude Work Order.
  4. Capital Planning & Maintenance (CPM) will coordinate with the pest control provider and HRS for an onsite inspection as soon as possible.
    • It is important that a trained professional confirms the existence of bed bugs. 

What not to do before inspection

  1. Do not remove items from your room including throwing them away. You risk infecting other residents' rooms and potentially reinfecting your room.
  2. Do not try to control the problem on your own. Bed bugs can go a long time without food and most over the counter treatments are ineffective.
  3. Do not relocate to another room. You risk taking bugs with you in any belongings you take. This would spread the bugs and could quite easily lead to your room being reinfected after treatment.

Initial inspection 

  1. Residents will wash/dry all clothing.
    • All clothes placed in plastic bags and bags must be tied/closed up.
    • The resident covers the cost of wash, dry and bags.
    • We encourage all residents to acquire Renter's Insurance.
  2. Linens removed from the bed.
  3. Items pulled from under the bed.
  4. Bed pulled away from the wall.
  5. All clothing washed and dried and bagged.

During Inspection

  1. Residents:
    • Residents must vacate suite/apartment/assigned space for 4 hours.
  2. Pest Control Inspectors:
    1. Flip the mattresses, pulling the beds out. 
      • Leave the bedding on top of the bed. 
      • If the bedding is pulled by the inspector/university - the bed is not remade.
    2. Bed frames and other items that are up against the wall may be pulled away.
  3. Positive indicate of bed bugs found: 
    • All rooms within the suite/apartment will be inspected. 
    • A date will be scheduled for treatment and a 4 hour window will be needed with all residents (the entire suite/apartment) to vacate the space. 

Reinspection

  1. Additional inspections may be required after treatment. 
  2. Residents must vacate suite/apartment/assigned space for 4 hours.
    • Linens removed from the bed.
    • Items pulled from under the bed.
    • Bed pulled away from the wall.
    • Clothes DO NOT have to be washed/dried/bagged.
  3. Upon receiving inspection findings, CPM will work closely with Housing and Residential Services office who will provide residents with additional information and next steps if positive findings of bed bugs have been detected at that time. 

What Does Treatment include

  1. Initial treatment - takes place after a positive bedbug has been identified.
    • Inspect the entire perimeter of the room, suite, apartment.
    • Use a HEPA vacuum to remove any live bedbugs seen at the time of treatment.
    • Liquid treat the perimeter of the room, and microinject furniture cracks and crevices, including bed frames and surrounding furniture.
    • Dust wall voices behind outlets.
    • Cover the mattress with a bed bug encasement.
  2. Follow up inspection - 30 days after initial treatment.
  3. Inspect the perimeter of the room and mattress.
  4. If additional live bed bugs are found, repeat initial treatment steps above.

Compromising Security

Residents may not compromise the wellness of the residence halls and inhabitants by propping open exterior doors; lending their keys/ID cards out to anyone; granting access to others outside of the guidelines/expectations (guest, visitor, overnight guest, etc. )or tampering and/or damaging exterior doors, locks or security phones.

Darts and Dartboards

Because of the potential for personal injury and property damage, magnetic and non-magnetic darts and dartboards are not permitted in the residence halls. 

Decorations

Decorations are encouraged as long as they do not create health or fire hazards or damage to the room. Residents take responsibility if use of items such as masking tape, double stick tape, or poster putty may cause damage to surfaces.

Examples of prohibited items:

  • Candles are not permitted, even if unburned.
  • Alcohol bottles may not be used for decorations or storage. 
  • Fabric items (if not labeled as fireproof or proof that item has been fireproofed)
  • Hanging objects from the ceiling, sprinkler heads, pipes, and electrical conduit is strictly prohibited.
  • Nails, screws, and tacks on or in the walls, furniture or fixtures are prohibited.

Explosives, Fireworks, and Flammables

The possession and/or storage of fireworks, explosives, and gunpowder, ammunition, any flammables or material which may jeopardize the safety of others is strictly prohibited.

Exit Doors

Using an Emergency Exit in a non-emergency situation is strictly prohibited.

Electrical Cords

  • All extension cords are prohibited from the residence halls. 
  • Surge protectors are permitted
    • Remember that surge protectors are power strips but not all power strips are surge protectors
    • Surge Protectors can be purchased with lengths up to 25 feet which will often provide the length desired with extension cords
  • The connections of any electrical item to one another (daisy chaining) is not permitted
    • This is often seen with string lights. 

Fire Safety Equipment

Fire alarm systems and fire safety equipment are provided for the protection of the residents. The fire extinguishers, smoke detectors, fire alarm horns, pull stations, and emergency exit signs are critical safety equipment. Tampering with fire safety equipment can result in criminal prosecution, disciplinary action and/or housing occupancy agreement termination. Where fire sprinklers exist, all sprinkler heads must remain free of obstructions to allow them to operate properly. Nothing may be attached, or placed against any part of the sprinkler system. This includes both the sprinkler head and piping.

Residents are required to participate in fire drills. All occupants must evacuate when conducted.  Failure to participate can result in disciplinary action. 

Repeated accidental fire alarm activations: repeated fire alarm activations (even accidental in nature) which may indicate willingness not to change behavior will be addressed accordingly. This behavior is not conducive to a communal living environment and may include loss of housing and criminal prosecution. 

Gambling

Illegal gambling is not permitted at Fitchburg State University. Examples or prohibited conduct include, but are not limited to, the following activities:

  • Betting on or selling “pools” pertaining to athletic or other events
  • Card-playing, either “in person” or in an online environment, for money
  • The use of university property, including phones and internet servers, for illegal gambling activities
  • Involvement in bookmaking activities
  • Online gambling, which the United States Government has deemed to be illegal.

Hall Sports/Sports-like Activities

Due to the likelihood of property damage and the potential for personal injury, ball playing (which includes bouncing, throwing, pitching), squirt guns, water fights, and “horseplay” are not permitted inside the residence hall. Due to damage and safety concerns, rollerblading and skateboarding within the residence hall and porches is strictly prohibited.

Insurance

The university does not carry insurance to cover loss or damage to residents’ personal effects. Individuals desiring such protection must plan arrangements for the necessary coverage at their own expense. The university does not assume responsibility for loss of or damage to personal property.

Keys/OneCards

Access to assigned living space is structured through university issued OneCards and/or keys. The OneCard and/or key are not to be loaned or duplicated. Report all lost keys/ID cards immediately to a department staff member. In addition, submit a work order. You may be issued temporary access. Doors that require a hard key will have the lock changed after three (3) days if you do not return the temporary key. There is a charge for replacing a key and any associated locks.

Lockouts should be coordinated through the following process: 

  • If applicable, your roommate/suitemate
  • Russell Towers Front Desk
  • Resident Assistant on Duty (after 5:00 p.m./weekends)
  • Russell Towers Front Desk
  • Housing & Residential Services main office 978.665.3219 (Monday-Friday, 8 a.m. - 5 p.m.)

Residents who do not have access to a phone should report to the department main office during business hours if they can safely do so. During an emergency, residents may contact University Police at 978.665.3111.

Request for doors to be opened is restricted to the door of the room of the person who is making the request. 

Lounge/Public Furniture

Public area furniture is provided for the use of all residents and may not be taken to student rooms. A charge may be assessed and/or disciplinary action taken if public area furniture is found in student rooms.

Musical Instruments

Due to the disturbance that musical instruments create for other people, the playing of musical instruments without headphones in the residence halls is prohibited unless approved for a specific occasion/situation/event by the department. 

Open Flames

The burning of any material in the residence halls is prohibited. Open flames, and items that allow open flames; i.e. candles and incense may not be used in student rooms.

Pets

For health and sanitation reasons, only fish (no other animals are approved unless documented with the Office of Disability Services) in an aquarium of 20 gallons or less are permitted in the residence halls. If you decide to bring a fish tank, remember that you need to plan arrangements for your fish during break times. All electrical items must be unplugged during the semester break.

Physical Abuse and Harassment

Fitchburg State University provides an educational environment where adults must learn to settle their concerns in an appropriate manner. Any resident involved in abuse or harassment, including verbal abuse or threats, of another person will have their housing occupancy agreement reviewed for termination.

Prohibited Items

Examples of prohibited appliances/items that are not permitted include electric blankets, portable saunas, items with exposed heating elements, space heaters, air conditioners, and halogen lamps. Any item is considered prohibited when asked to be removed by university staff members and item is not removed at once or deadline given. 

Public/Communal Area Damages

We believe in the importance of the development of the community in each living unit and each resident’s responsibility for that community, any damages to the public areas for which the responsible individual(s) cannot be determined will be assessed equally amongst all members of that community. The process of community assessment is the final option should all attempts by the community to identify the responsible person(s) be unsuccessful. Residents may not alter, permanently alter, destroy or deface university property in or around the residence hall. 
Community assessment charges are due upon receipt. Community assessments can not be appealed. 

Quiet Hours - 24 Hour Courtesy Hours

Quiet hours are maintained to help provide an atmosphere that is conducive to good scholarship and to promote an environment where individuals can learn and study. The enforcement of quiet hours is the responsibility of each resident.

Quiet hours are in effect daily from 9 p.m. to 9 a.m. This is the usual time when most residents will sleep and study. However, courtesy hours are in effect at all times. You should expect to be able to study anytime. Please observe requests from your neighbor or roommate if they ask you not to disrupt their study time, regardless of the time of day. You would expect them to observe similar requests from you.

One purpose of the residence hall is to provide comfortable living accommodations for all students. Any action that interferes with a student’s right to study is a violation of this standard and may be subject to disciplinary action. Stereos, video games, televisions, voices and movement within the residence hall should be kept at a level which confines the noise within that room and it should not be disruptive to the community. If you wish to turn up the volume, you should use headphones; failure to do so could result in the removal of the item. If you are unsure about what is an acceptable level of noise, please see a department staff member.

During examination periods at the end of each semester, quiet hours are in effect 24 hours a day. In the event that a resident violates this regulation, the individual may be required to vacate the residence hall. Residents are expected to check-out of the residence hall within 24 hours of their last final examination or by closing time, whichever is earliest.

Room Changes

Room changes may take place as space is available and after occupancy has stabilized.  The resident seeking the room change should submit the respective form through Web4>THDV >Application. Your respective building manager will contact you and will provide you an update on your request. Do not move until you are notified that the change is approved. If you move without prior approval from your building manager, you may be assessed a fine, required to return to your original location and/or face disciplinary action.

Room Conditions

The condition of each room/suite is checked at the beginning and end of the year. To avoid being charged for damages for which you are not responsible, you should carefully complete the Room Condition Report provided by your Resident Assistant to make certain all existing damages are noted on the sheet. Room condition paperwork must be completed and submitted within five business days of moving into the space. 

Once you have occupied a space beyond five business days any condition that is not "good to excellent" will be your responsibility.  Any damages, which take place in your room/suite/apartment, will be assessed to you and your roommate/your suitemates and/or apartment mates. All persons assigned to the suite/apartment are responsible for the condition of the common rooms. 

Room Consolidation

Residents who find themselves in a room without a roommate may be required to either move in with another resident who also lacks a roommate, or have another resident move in with them. Relocation may include transitioning to another residence hall. At any time, Housing and Residential Services reserves the right to place someone immediately without notification to the current residents if warranted.            

The process: 

  • Continues through the seventh week of classes each semester when applicable. 
  • During the regular academic year, apartments will have 72 hours to pull – in/ fill a bed space when permissible. 
  • The 72 hours includes notification to Housing and Residential Services and residents being pulled in accepting and ensuring all eligibility requirements are met. 

Room Entry

The department respects the student’s rights for privacy within the group living-learning environment and will strive to protect and guarantee this privacy. This policy is designed to ensure only legal and appropriate entry into a resident’s room by specifically authorized staff, and to define the conditions under which authorized personnel may enter a student’s room.

Rooms may be entered under the following conditions:

  • To provide room maintenance inspections, repair service or perform a safety inspection.
  • When there is reasonable cause to believe that University regulations or laws are being violated.
  • For an emergency situation that requires that the room be entered.
  • When a resident vacates a room for a break period, authorized personnel may enter a room to provide room maintenance inspections, repair service or to perform safety inspections.

Illegal items or items in violation of the department and university policies in plain view will be removed if they are noticed in the course of a room maintenance or break inspection, or in response to a violation of university or departmental policy. The resident will receive written notification of this action if confiscation of property is required when the student is absent.

A student’s room will not be entered without knocking. A sufficient time lapse will be allowed to provide the residents ample opportunity to open the door. If no response is received, the room may be entered under the four conditions listed above. Before entering a room with the use of a key, staff members will identify themselves.

Authorized university staff members who may enter a student’s room are administrative representatives of Housing and Residential Services, Environmental Health and Safety and Risk Management, and Capital Planning and Maintenance. 

Room Furniture

Each student room is provided with one desk, chair, dresser and bed per student. All furniture provided by the institution must remain in the student room in which it has been placed. Under no circumstances can the furniture be removed from the premises. Unfortunately, there is insufficient storage space in the buildings to allow us to offer storage of furniture or other items.

Water beds are prohibited in student rooms. Personal mattresses need to be approved by disability services and then by Housing and Residential Services to ensure it meets requirements. 

Room Occupancy

Massachusetts State Housing Code restricts maximum occupancy within residence hall rooms. The limit is based on the designated capacity of the room. Two (2) guests are permitted per resident.  

  • Single rooms have a maximum capacity of three (3) persons.
  • Double occupancy rooms have a maximum capacity of six (6) persons. 
  • Triple occupancy rooms have a maximum capacity of nine (9) persons. 
  • Suites and Apartments are limited to capacity of two (2) guest per person assigned to the suite or apartment. For examples:
    • Aubuchon suite of eight (8) assigned persons are limited to capacity of twenty-four (24) persons
    • Townhouse Apartment of six (6) assigned person are limited to the capacity of eighteen (18) persons which includes the residence. 

Flyers, Pictures, Posters and Collections/Storming/Table Displays

All posting within the residence hall must be approved by Housing and Residential Services. All postings must follow the following: 

  • Email address (university issued)
  • Approval of the flyer by a designated staff member within the department. 
  • Contact email address listed on flyer (university issued)
  • A minimum of 45 flyers to cover all designated areas within the residence halls
  • Flyers must be provided a minimum of 3 business hours in advance to be placed in the residence halls

Collections, storming, table displays, etc. are welcomed but must be approved with a minimum of five business days in advance. The department will work with each request individually to ensure the specifications of the project meets the department’s expectations. All requests can be sent to housing@fitchburgstate.edu

Any considerations for your requests to be considered when they do not meet the guidelines above can be submitted to housing@fitchburgstate.edu. Phone calls (978.665.3219) are welcomed after submission of request in writing. 

Signs

Massachusetts State law prohibits the removal of traffic and/or street signs. Therefore, traffic or street signs are not permitted in the residence halls. 

All postings at the residence hall (interior, exterior and perimeter) must be approved by the department. Approval must be obtained before the individual/organization assumes any cost for the productions of their postings, etc. Approval to post is conditional on all other requests about posting. 

Smoking

The smoking/burning of any substance and use of electronic smoking devices (including, but not limited to e-cigarettes and vapes) is not permitted inside residence hall rooms or residence hall public areas, including: stairwells, hallways, suite baths, bathrooms, kitchens, lounges, etc.

Service/Emotional Support Animals

All service and emotional support animals on campus must be documented with the Disability Services. (3.07 code Title II). 

Solicitation and Selling

For reasons of resident privacy, safety and security, door-to-door solicitation of any type is prohibited. Report any solicitors to the staff or University Police immediately. Residents may not operate business/transactions of sale within the residence halls. 

Sustainability

All appliances in residents' rooms must be unplugged during the winter recess period and/or when requested by the department. 

Harassment

Harassment of any type toward another entity is not tolerated. The department reserves the right to prohibit any action/behavior which can reasonably create a space not conducive to a welcoming environment. 

Theft

Any resident found in the possession of another person's property will have their housing occupancy agreement reviewed for termination and processed through the Office of Community Standards. 

Overnight guests may stay any night of the week for a maximum of two (2) nights within a ten (10) day period, with the consent of the roommate. Consideration for room/suite mates and other floor residents dictates that guests do not infringe on the rights of housing occupancy residents with an agreement. Therefore, all guests, must be approved by all residents of the room or suite. Guest must abide by all policies of the residence halls and hosts are responsible for the conduct of their guests.

Visitation/Guest - Hosting

Residents who violate hosting procedures may face the loss of their hosting privilege. Guests who violate guest procedures may lose the privilege of entering a residence halls which is not assigned to them. Minor (under the age of 18 years of age) non-residents are not permitted in the residence hall without parental permission without providing written documentation. Documentation must be available/submitted in the following format:

  • Non-overnight: written documentation must be available upon request
  • Overnight: written documentation must accompany the overnight request form/approval.   

Guests

  • Guests are individuals who are not residents of the building that they are entering.  
  • All guests must have a resident of the hall as a host, be signed-in if required and must be escorted by the host at all times. Any person without a host will be removed from the building.

Overnight Guests

  • Overnight Guests are individuals who are not residents of the assigned living space (apartment, suite and/or bedroom) that you are entering.    
  • Overnight is considered midnight to 7 a.m.
  • Please fill out the attached form to have an overnight guest.

Visitors

  • Visitors are residential students who are assigned to the building in which you live, but are entering a private space that is not communal or assigned to them. 

Family Units

  • In traditional residential buildings (residential hall), a family unit is defined as all residential students assigned to the same restroom on their floor. 
  • In suite style living buildings, a family unit is defined as all residential students assigned to the same suite.
  • In apartment building living arrangements, a family unit is defined as all residential students assigned to the same apartment unit. 

Weapons

Weapons such as firearms, knives, bows and arrows, as well as any ammunition, are prohibited in the residence halls. Be aware that according to Massachusetts law it is a violation to possess a weapon on campus, except for University Police Officers. 

  • Residents are permitted to carry pepper-spray, as permitted by the Student Code of Conduct which requires pepper-spray to be registered with the University Police Department. Residents must also register a permit to carry pepper spray with University Police. 
  • Laser pens are permitted as long as they are being used for their designed purpose. Improper use of laser pens will result in disciplinary action.
  • A resident is not permitted no more than one knife by which the blade can not exceed 4 inches in length. Residents assigned to apartments are exempted to this policy and should review the apartment kitchen/cooking section for further details. 

Windows

Items may not be posted, displayed or attached to the window in a fashion such that they are visible through a window. This policy includes, but is not limited to, signs, cans, bottles and posters. Residents can bring additional furniture, but remember all additional furniture and decorations are subject to the approval of room/suitemates. Residents can still be held responsible if such an item causes any damage to the room/ university property.

Pictures and other material that may be considered objectionable should not be displayed in areas that may be visible outside the student room. Signs are not allowed as window displays. For safety reasons, ledges are not to be used for storage, nor are students allowed to walk or sit on ledges. Students will be held liable for damages to property or personal injury resulting from items being thrown from windows or falling from ledges.

Window Screens

Screens are not to be opened, removed or altered to any degree from residence hall windows.  

Trash/Disposal of Items

Proper disposal of trash within the residence halls must be done at all times. Residents should address their assigned living space expectations of their roommates/suitemates/apartments for trash through the Assigned Living Space Agreement form. Any unreasonable amount of trash found by university staff must be addressed immediately or within the timeframe provided. Continued misuse of common area trash cans may have them removed. 

Traditional/Suites

Traditional and suite spaces receive regular cleaning of bathrooms (assigned and building common area) and building common area spaces.  Any personal trash (non-recyclable items) are to be disposed of in the building’s designated external receptacle. Personal room trash should not be disposed of in receptacles designated for bathrooms, sitting rooms, study rooms, and other common area spaces. 

Bathrooms (assigned to you and building common area), kitchens, sitting rooms, study rooms, and all other common area spaces not assigned to you:

  • Trash disposed in these types of spaces must be trash that is aligned with the use of the space. 

Apartments

Residents living in apartments are responsible for removal of all trash in their spaces. 

Work Orders

Residents must submit a work order for all custodial and maintenance needs. Work orders are submitted through SchoolDude - Work Order Requests.  A few tips when submitting a work order:

  • Always select the Housing icon for all work orders in the residence hall
  • You will also select Housing & Residential Services at the Purpose entry box
  • The submittal password is fsc

Submitting a work order allows you to track the progress of your request. Whenever there is an emergency need. You should first utilize the numbers below and then enter a work order:

  • Monday - Friday 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. 
    • Housing & Residential Services: 978.665.3219
  • Afterhours, weekends, and holidays
    • University Police Department: 978.665.3111

Resources

Conduct Procedures

Policies for the residence halls have been developed in an attempt to establish an environment in which a large number of residents may live together with maximum freedom while recognizing the rights of fellow residents. Ideally, all residents accept the responsibility involved in the community living situation and make an effort to be aware of how their actions affect their neighbors. 

When a resident violates this basic standard of community living by endangering the safety of other residents or violating any of the policies outlined by the university, this handbook, or the Housing Occupancy Agreement, this behavior must be addressed.

Violations of university policies, including housing policies, are subject to disciplinary action through the student conduct process. The student conduct process is outlined in the Code of Conduct and Disciplinary Process Handbook.  Additional information regarding university policies may be found in the Student Handbook, and the EO/AA Plan. These documents may be found on the Student Conduct website.

Gambling Resources

Resources are available on campus to assist individuals that may be experiencing problems related to gambling. Counseling Services (978.665.3152) or the Massachusetts Council on Compulsive Gambling (1.800.426.1234) can provide such resources as appropriate.

Insuring Personal Property

Fitchburg State University and Housing and Residential Services do not assume responsibility for the loss of or damage to personal items through fire, water, theft, or any other cause. Residents and their families are encouraged to secure property insurance coverage through a homeowner policy or to purchase a separate plan, such as the type that is available from a personal property insurance program.

For more information about personal property insurance, contact an insurance agent or view the nationally available programs. For more information about personal property insurance, contact an insurance agent or the nationally available programs listed below:

Alcohol and Other Drugs

The Massachusetts Substance Use Helpline is the only statewide, public resource for finding substance use treatment, recovery, and problem gambling services. Helpline services are free and confidential. Caring, trained specialists will help you understand the treatment system and your options. 

COVID-19 Addendum

Purpose

This addendum explains the additional expectations that the university and Housing and Residential Services will have for residential students. These expectations may or may not have been communicated in your previous review and correspondence of the housing program at Fitchburg State. They are subject to change as guidance from local, state, and federal authorities changes.

Residential students are required to comply with all policies and procedures relative to the residential facilities on campus, including reduced occupancy necessitated in response to COVID-19. Consistent with these efforts, there may be instances in which relocation of all or some residential students to alternative housing arrangements may be necessary. Relocation does not constitute a termination of a residential student’s housing contract. Moreover, there may be circumstances that require a residential student to self-isolate away from campus for a specified period of time, precluding the residential student from access to their assigned residence on campus, as well as circumstances in which the university precludes the entire campus from continued residence.

Health Impacted/Exposure to COVID-19

Off-campus

As a residential student you shall not return to the university/residence hall if you have tested positive for COVID-19, show any cold and/or flu-like symptoms (consistent with COVID-19), have come in contact with an individual(s) with presumptive COVID-19 within the last 14 days, or traveled to states recommended by Massachusetts Public Health for quarantine after travel. If these conditions apply to you, DO NOT COME TO CAMPUS. Please call your primary care provider and follow their recommendations. If your primary care provider indicates that you are presumptive positive for COVID-19, please advise us at housing@fitchburgstate.edu.

On-campus

As a residential student you shall immediately contact Student Affairs studentaffairs@fitchburgstate.edu, if you show any cold and/or flu-like symptoms or have been notified that you have come into contact with an individual(s) with presumptive COVID-19. A university staff member will follow-up with you on next steps. If you feel that you need immediate medical attention, contact University Police at 978.665.3219.

Adherence to Policies and Procedures

Students are expected to adhere to all university and Housing and Residential Services policies and procedures communicated via methods including but not limited to, all verbal, electronic and hardcopy. Students are also expected to adhere to current and future administrative directives. Students in violation will be referred for student conduct action. The health and safety of the community is among the very highest priorities of the university. Students who put the community at risk by failing to adhere to all policies and procedures may be asked to leave immediately.

Residential Living

Adherence to health and safety policies, procedures and directives relative to the residential facilities on campus shall apply to all residents, staff and visitors, and extends to all aspects of residential life, including bedrooms, bathrooms, community kitchens, lounges, laundry rooms,
courtyards and other common residential spaces. All residents are required to adhere to the university’s social distancing guidelines as structured at any given time. In addition, high-quality face coverings must be worn when outside of your assigned bedroom space:

  • Residents in an apartment/suite must wear a high quality face covering for the first two weeks of residency when outside of their bedroom and utilizing the common area space within their assigned suite/apartment.
  • Continuing to wear face coverings after the first 2 weeks of residency is recommended.

COVID-19 Testing

Testing and contact tracing plans are being finalized as of this writing. Residents are expected to comply with all requirements and guidelines once provided.

Bathrooms (Traditional (or floor)/Suite)

  • Personal belongings should not be kept in shared bathrooms at any time, in order to prevent obstruction of required cleanings.
  • Cleaning supplies from Capital Planning and Maintenance will be accessible to supplement the required cleanings.
  • The Residence Life Staff will communicate with residents the specific expectations in terms of scheduled use and/or assignment of sinks if implemented.

Cleaning/Maintenance

Cleaning and maintenance protocols will be updated continually to address COVID-19 or other public health emergencies in the interest of minimizing the spread of disease. Residential students will be informed of the appropriate cleaning protocols within their assigned spaces to reduce the spread of COVID-19 within residence halls.

Dining

Dining Services may limit the occupancy of dining halls, the amount of time students may reside within dining halls, or expand dining sites and increase the opportunity to take out meals under the university’s meal plan program. The university reserves the right to make additional operational adjustments as needed to address ongoing health and safety concerns relative to reducing the spread of COVID-19.

Building/Floor/Suite Meetings

The building staff will hold periodic meetings applicable for the building style that residential students live in. These meetings may be conducted through in person or virtual format. Residential students are required to attend any and all community or 1-1 meetings scheduled by the Housing and Residential Services’ staff.

Residential students are required to obtain approval to be absent from mandatory meetings scheduled by the university’s staff. Procedures for requesting such absences will be provided to residential students. Residents who miss mandatory meetings (whether or not the absence is approved) shall be held accountable for all information discussed and disseminated during the meeting. Unexcused absence(s) will be addressed through the student conduct process.

Roommate/Suitemate/Apartment Mate Agreements

Each residential student will be issued a building agreement relative to the particular building style residence the student is assigned to. Residential students are required to sign and submit within 72 hours of checking into the residence an acknowledgement indicating that they have read the terms, understand the terms and will comply with the terms of the building agreement. Strict adherence to the terms of the building agreement is necessary to minimize the potential spread of COVID-19. The building agreement will be updated whenever there is a change in the residency requirements for the community, or if the protocols for a particular building style have been modified in any way. The building agreement may include information related to, among other things: cleaning bedroom space, cleaning communal seating and kitchen areas, and a bathroom assignment schedule.

Guest, Overnight Guest and Visitors within Assigned Room/Suite/Apartment

Guests

Guests are not allowed in any residential buildings until further notice/start date indicated by the department. Residents are only permitted to be in the building to which they are assigned.

Overnight Guests

No overnight guests are permitted in any residential buildings until the further notice/start date indicated by the department.

Visitors

Visitors are residential students who are assigned to the building in which you live, but are not members of a defined family unit for residential living purposes. Visitors are currently allowed amongst residents within their assigned residence hall. As with all COVID-19 expectations, this is subject to change.

When necessary visitation within the halls may be limited to family units, members of a family unit are permitted into each other’s rooms.
Family units are defined as follows:

  • In traditional residential buildings (residential hall), a family unit is defined as all residential students assigned to a room on the same floor, and tower, if applicable. Students who are on the same floor but not in the same tower are not in the same family unit.
  • In suite style living buildings, a family unit is defined as all residential students assigned to the same suite.
  • In apartment building, living arrangement, a family unit is defined as all residential students assigned to the same apartment unit.

Self-Isolation or Quarantine

Quarantine separates and restricts the movement of people who may have been exposed to a contagious disease to see if they become sick.

  • If the resident was exposed to COVID-19 through contact with a person who has or is presumed to have COVID-19 and is not vaccinated.

Self-isolation separates sick people with a contagious disease from people who are not sick. 

  • If the resident has tested positive for COVID-19.

If a residential student is instructed to self-isolate, that student will be expected to transition to an off-campus home/address. If an off-campus option is not viable, the residential student will then be considered for relocation to a space on campus where they can self-isolate. If provided quarantine/self-isolation on-campus the student can not leave the assigned building without the written permission from a university staff member which includes an authorization from a member of Housing and Residential Services.

For tips about quarantining or self-isolating, see this document from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts: 10 Tips for At-Home Quarantine or Self-Monitoring

Technology

Each resident is expected to be able to connect with building staff through such communications technology as a smartphone, tablet or laptop computer. If a resident does not possess such technology, the resident shall notify the Area Coordinator/Resident Director within 72 hours of assuming residency.

General Termination of the Housing Agreement

The housing occupancy agreement may be terminated with limited notice, due to public health emergency needs, including COVID-19.

Massachusetts is fighting the novel coronavirus, COVID-19, a highly infectious, life-threatening disease declared to be a global pandemic. The disease may be contracted through contact with infected persons who may be asymptomatic. In accordance with the recommendations and guidance of the Centers for Disease Control (“CDC”) and the Massachusetts Department of Health, as well as the guidance provided in Massachusetts’s Safe on Campus Guide, the university has taken steps to limit the spread of COVID-19, but the health and safety of the community depend upon all its members accepting the shared risk associated with the disease.

On-campus living presents an opportunity to enhance your collegiate experience, and in an effort to  continue to offer on-campus living, the university is issuing this addendum, as well as additional policies and procedures as referenced herein, consistent with the best practices prescribed by the Centers for Disease Control, Massachusetts Department of Public Health, and Massachusetts COVID-19 response.

 

Residence Hall Communal Engagements

We want each resident to enjoy their on-campus living experience. It is extremely important that all community members:

  • Wash hands and utilize hand sanitizer when washing hands is not feasible.
  • High quality face coverings fully covering nose and mouth are to be worn at all times when in the building common area spaces.
  • If experiencing symptoms, notify studentaffairs@fitchburg.edu immediately.

Community members’ adherence to these guidelines are necessary for the spaces to remain open. These guidelines may change as on-campus housing evolves. The residence hall communal spaces, including laundry rooms, elevators, bathrooms, kitchens and seating areas, will include additional guidelines to support best-practices including, but not limited to:

  • High quality face coverings must be worn at all times when outside of your assigned bedroom space.
    • Residents in an apartment/suite must wear a face covering for the first two weeks of residency when outside of their bedroom and utilizing the common area space within their assigned suite/apartment.

The engagements within the communal spaces are defined below as they currently stand:

  • Elevators
    • Residents will be able to utilize the residence hall elevators. Residents are required to have on high quality face coverings when utilizing the elevators.
  • Building Wide Common Area Lounges/Study Rooms/Conference Rooms/Lobbies
    • These identified spaces will be available for use. Residents are required to have on high quality face coverings when utilizing the elevators.
  • Kitchens
    • The kitchens will be open for use. Residents are to bring their own cooking supplies. Residents should clean all surface areas before and after use. No personal supplies can be left in the kitchen. Any personal items left will be considered abandoned property.
    • Residents in apartments/suites are recommended to not share utensils, dishes, etc.
  • Laundry Rooms
    • Laundry Rooms will be open for use. Residents must wipe the laundry code pad. Also, each resident should clean/disinfect the following on each laundry/dryer unit before and after use: buttons, knobs, handles, and any other shared laundry item.
  • Residents bathroom guidelines
    • Residents are not to leave any personal items in the bathrooms (traditional/suites) at any time. Residents are required to use their assigned bathroom in all building styles of housing: Traditional, Suites and Apartments.
    • Traditional style housing will have their bathroom assignment listed on the Room Condition Report (RCR). Residents are to only use their assigned bathroom.