Residence Hall Policies and University Rules
Students who reside in University-owned residence halls or apartments must abide by the University Code of Conduct and the Terms, Conditions, and Regulations of University Housing.
- University Policies and Rules (.pdf)
- Terms, Conditions, and Regulations of University Housing
- Residence Hall Policies (SEE BELOW)
- Community Standards Codes (.pdf)
Residence hall are governed by the Community Standards Program. Further information about this program can be found by clicking here.
The University Code of Conduct is managed by the Office of Student Conduct.
Student organizations conducting activities or other business in the residence halls or commons areas must abide by the Policies and Rules for Student Organizations (.pdf).
Additional information about community standards can be found by clicking on any of the following sites.
- Mission of Community Standards Program (.pdf)
- Overview of Community Standards Program (.pdf)
- Community Standards Sanctions (.pdf)
Residence Hall Policies
Residents of Penn State Altoona should read and familiarize themselves with the Policies for residence hall living. Questions should be directed to the Residence Life staff.
- Alcohol Policy
- Illegal Substance (Drug) Policy
- Decorations and Displays
- Quiet Policy
- Weapons, Firearms, and Paintball Devices
- Miscellaneous Information
Penn State Altoona is a dry campus. Regardless of age, alcohol is prohibited in any of the residence halls. Any student found in the presence of, possession, or consuming alcohol while on campus will be referred through the community standards discipline system.
- Residents will be held responsible for activities that occur in their rooms, and will be referred to Residence Life, the Office of Student Conduct, and University Police, if students or guests are in violation of the alcohol policies.
- It is the responsibility of students living in the residence halls to maintain the spirit and letter of the above policies. It is the responsibility of the residence hall staff to assist students in this regard and to deal with alleged violations when they occur.
- It is the responsibility of University Police to enforce the criminal laws of Pennsylvania, as well as University rules and regulations. In the event of involvement of University Police, civil or criminal prosecution, as well as University disciplinary action, may result.
- Failure to comply with the direction of or to present identification to University officials acting in the performance of their duties is a violation of the Code of Conduct.
- Supplying false information, such as name, age, etc., to University officials who are acting in the performance of their duties is a violation of the Code of Conduct.
Violation of the above policies will result in referral to Residence Life, the Office of Student Conduct, and University Police.
Illegal Substance (Drug) Policy
- It is a violation of state and University policy to illegally possess, use, distribute, manufacture, sell or be under the influence of other drugs. Students who violate this policy will be referred to the Office of Residence Life, the Office of Student Conduct and/or University Police.
- It is against residence hall policy for a student to be in a residential area (room, common area, common building, building entryway, or quad area immediately adjacent to the residence halls) and in the presence of an illegal substance. Students were are in the presence of an illegal substance in these areas will be referred to the Office of Residence Life, the Office of Student Conduct and/or University Police.
- Canvassing shall be defined as any effort to influence student opinions, gain support, or promote a particular cause or interest, specifically excluding any solicitation or fundraising as defined by current University policy. Surveys are not considered to be canvassing for purposes of this policy.
- Students, student organizations, residence hall association, and outside interests are eligible to canvass in the residence halls.
- Canvassing may occur door-to-door in individual residence hall buildings, unless restricted by a majority vote of the residents of that building, at the beginning of each academic year.
- Canvassing is permitted in all residence hall main lobbies.
- Canvassing may occur in the commons buildings. Students or student organizations who wish to canvass in a commons building must request permission to do so in the area Residence Life Office. Canvassing in dining hall rooms is prohibited.
- Canvassing shall be restricted to the hours of 11:00 a.m. through 11:00 p.m.
- Any canvasser must register with the assistant director of Residence Life, or the assistant director’s designate, no less than 24 hours prior to the canvass and clearly understand all provisions of canvassing regulations before canvassing may begin.
- When contacting residents in their rooms, canvassers must knock before entering, identify themselves, announce their specific purpose, enter an individual room only by the expressed consent of the resident, and leave immediately if the resident so requests. A canvasser who is not a resident of the building in which door-to-door canvassing is taking place must be escorted by a resident of the building at all times.
Canvassers must abide by all University rules and regulations. All violators will be subject to referral to Residence Life or the Office of Student Conduct and/or civil or criminal prosecution.
Decorations and Displays
Student Room Door Decorating and Display Policy
Students may decorate the surface of their room door facing the corridor, provided that it is done according to the guidelines that follow. Adhering to these guidelines will protect doors from unusually harsh wear, eliminate potential fire hazards, and ensure free movement/access in the corridor. No decorations may be placed on the exterior of the building.
- Decorations may be placed on the upper section of room doors above the lock mechanism. If the door has louvers, no materials may be placed on the louvers.
- Decorations may not project more than one-half inch from the surface of the door. Greeting cards are to be fastened shut.
- No decals or stickers are permitted.
- Bunting and streamers are permitted to celebrate special occasions, but must be removed within 24 hours.
- All memo boards, pictures, signs, and posters must be unframed.
- Only masking tape or "sticky tack" may be used. Painters tape is preferred.
- Nonflammable materials should be used whenever possible.
- All door decorations must be removed prior to the student being checked out of the room. Damages to the doors as well as any extra cleaning required will be the responsibility of the residents and may result in a charge to the student account. Housing staff will determine the nature and extent of all damages. Any materials found to be offensive or outside the boundaries of reasonable community expectations will be referred to the area Residence Life staff.
Student Room and Lounge Window Decorating and Display Policy
Students may decorate the window(s) in their individual residence hall room as well as the window(s) in their hall lounge provided that it is done according to the guidelines that follow. Adhering to these guidelines will prevent windows from being damaged and eliminate potential safety hazards.
- Decorations may only be on the inside window surfaces.
- Decorations must be removable (not permanent). Only water-based poster paint may be used for painted decorations.
- For emergency reasons, such as in the case of a fire, one-half of the total window space must be transparent.
- Decorations that present health hazards due to weight, possibility of breakage, degree of cleanliness, etc., must be modified and/or removed if deemed necessary by the Housing and Residence Life staff in consultation with Environmental Health and Safety staff.
- All decorations must be temporarily removed at the request of the Housing staff for regularly scheduled window cleaning purposes.
- All room window decorations must be removed prior to the resident being checked out of the room.
Damages to the windows and drapes and/or blinds—as well as any extra cleaning required—will be the responsibility of the residents and may result in a charge to the student account. Housing staff will determine the nature and extent of all damages. Any materials found to be offensive or outside of the boundaries of reasonable community expectations will be referred to the area Residence Life staff.
Questions related to the above policy should be referred to the area Housing and Residence Life staff.
Protocol for Dealing with Alleged Offensive Decorations
If any Housing and Residence Life staff member becomes aware of a decoration on a room door or window that may be offensive or outside the boundaries of reasonable community expectations, a professional staff member will meet with the resident(s) of the room where the decoration is located. The staff member will explain the concern, discuss the impact that such a decoration may have on the community, and request that the resident remove it. The staff member will be careful to explain that the resident does not have to abide by this request. However, if the student does not accede to the request, the staff member may choose to refer the situation to a special meeting of the Residence Hall Association.
The special meeting will consist of five voting members:
- a representative of the Residence Life staff
- a representative of the Housing staff
- two representatives of the Residence Hall Association
The assistant director of Residence Life in the area will convene and chair the committee, which will consist of the five members mentioned above. The resident(s) of the room and any student(s) who complained about the decoration may also choose to attend. The council will decide by a majority vote whether the decoration can be posted or must be removed. The council’s decision is final.
If the council decides that a decoration must be removed, the resident has 24 hours to do so, after receiving written notification of the council’s decision. The written notification will come from the assistant director of Residence Life. Any student who does not comply will be deemed to have violated an administrative directive.
Protocol for Dealing with Personally Threatening/Denigrating Decorations
If a decoration is found on a resident’s door or window that is threatening to a particular student, or denigrating to a particular student based on age, ancestry, color, disability or handicap, national origin, race, religious creed, gender, sexual orientation, or veteran status, a Residence Life staff member will inform the resident that the decoration must be removed. Additionally, the resident may be referred for a Community Standards violation depending on the nature of the decoration. If the resident does not comply with the directions of the Residence Life staff member, the resident will be deemed to have violated an administrative directive.
Guests of Residents in Residence Halls
- The residence halls are intended for use by residents of the building and their guests. A guest is defined as a person visiting a resident of the residence hall at the resident's invitation. Delivery persons are not considered to be guests for purposes of this policy.
- In order to ease the congestion of the move-in period and to allow roommates the opportunity to discuss what to do about overnight guests in the room, no overnight guests will be allowed in the residence halls until the first day of classes with the permission of the roommate.
- The following stipulations relate to all guests:
- It is the responsibility of host students to ensure that their guests are aware of University and residence hall policies. Guests are held responsible for their own actions and for knowledge of University regulations. However, hosts may be held accountable for damages committed by their guests, unless the guest can be identified and is a University student.
- Residents are permitted to have guests in their rooms only if there is no objection from their roommate(s).
- Neither room keys nor door access cards will be provided for guests. Residents are not to give their keys or Penn State id+ Cards to guests in order for them to gain entrance to the room or the building.
- Students may have an overnight guest in their room for a maximum of three consecutive nights. The University reserves the right to revoke this privilege. Guests may not move from one host's room to another in order to extend their stay in the residence halls.
- Only residents and their invited guests are permitted in the living areas of the building, i.e., locations other than the lobby, which includes individual rooms and floor lounges. Individuals found in the building who are not residents or guests of residents are considered to be trespassing.
- Guests are to use the appropriate restroom/shower facilities, i.e., male and female restrooms.
- All guests must be escorted by a resident of the building at all times. A staff member may confront individuals if they are not recognized as a resident of that building and/or a resident of the building is not escorting them.
- Residents of each building will vote on the hours when guests of the opposite gender may visit, according to the following stipulations:
- Hours when guests of the opposite gender may visit shall be adopted by a simple majority vote of all residents of each residence hall.
- A standard voting form will be utilized. The vote will be taken at the beginning of each academic year.
- The Office of Residence Life retains the right to review, modify, and for cause, suspend the hours voted upon by each building at any time.
- Students charged with violations of any of the above regulations will be subject to University disciplinary action. An unescorted guest who is a student of the University shall be subject to University discipline.
One of the goals of Housing, Food Services, and Residence Life is to provide an atmosphere within the residence halls that is conducive to study and rest. In order to meet this goal, it is necessary that all students understand that the right of students to study and sleep takes precedence over the right of students to make noise. Quiet hours and courtesy hours have been established and posted in every residence hall.
They are as follows:
At all times, a student's right to study and sleep will be respected. Residents and their guests will lower their voices or the volume of their equipment (music, TV, computer, musical instruments, etc.) if asked to do so at any time.
8 p.m. – 8 a.m., Sunday through Thursday
1 a.m. – 10 a.m., Friday and Saturday
It is expected that a proper study atmosphere will be maintained during these hours. Residents are also reminded that these hours may be extended if additional study conditions are required.
Residence Life may extend hours in consultation with Residence Hall Association, or by a floor, building, or area vote.
There will be 24-hour quiet hours during exam time, beginning at 8:00 a.m. the day before finals and continuing until the halls close at the end of the semester.
It is also expected that:
- Electronic sound equipment (radios, TVs, stereos, electronic games, computers, etc.), musical instruments, and room activities will not be heard outside the room. Such equipment should never be played so loudly so as to disturb other residents. Stereo owners are urged to use headphones to ensure that the noise does not carry beyond the room.
- At no time will amplified sound be directed out of windows by placing speakers in windows.
- It is important that residents take the initiative to discuss the noise with the offender. If a resident is bothered by someone else's noise, the resident should ask them to quiet down. The resident has every right to expect them to do so. Likewise, any resident who is requested to quiet down should do so—thus showing respect for a fellow student. RAs will continue to deal with excessive noise. However, they cannot always be aware of every problem.
- All students and guests will lower their voices when talking in corridors, bathrooms, study lounges, etc., in order to help maintain a quiet living environment for all residents.
- All students will refrain from participating in any sports-like activity within or immediately adjacent to the residence halls. The University has designated playing areas for these activities. Information can be obtained at the area Residence Life Office.
- Residents who persist in creating excessive noise will be subject to disciplinary action through Residence Life and/or the Office of Student Conduct.
RAs cannot be aware of every problem; a resident may want to contact them for assistance if he/she has addressed a noise issue with a fellow resident and that resident does not respond favorably.
Sanctions may include loss of the Housing Contract and/or separation from the University.
Items and Activities - Acceptable and Prohibited Usage
- Candles, incense, and other flame-emitting articles are prohibited in residence halls. Only potpourri burners with an enclosed heating element and automatic shut-off are permitted.
- The following electrical appliances are authorized for use in student rooms if an Underwriters Laboratories, Inc., label (UL label) is on the appliance: TVs, answering machines, stereo component systems, coffee makers (with enclosed heating element and automatic shut-off), clocks, fans, sun lamps (with enclosed lamp and automatic shut-off), hair dryers, hair setters, curling irons (with automatic shut-off), potpourri burners (with enclosed heating element and automatic shut-off), University-owned refrigerator / microwaves, corn poppers (with enclosed heating element and automatic shut-off), and personal computers.
The only cooking permitted in residence halls is that which can be done using the University-owned refrigerator/microwave provided in each room. The following appliances are also prohibited: hot plates, toasters, Torchere-style (floor-standing) halogen lamps and lights, immersion heaters, heating coils, ovens, grills (indoor and outdoor), personal microwave ovens, and personal refrigerators. Irons may be stored in student rooms but are to be used only in designated ironing areas. If the use of multiple outlets is needed, a grounded 15 amp surge-protected plug-in strip with built-in circuit breaker should be used. Students may not install air conditioners. Air conditioners are permitted for approved medical needs only.
If unapproved appliances are observed in a room, the student will be asked to remove them from the building. In case of noncompliance, the University reserves the right to have the items removed. The items will be returned to the student for removal from the hall upon request to Housing management.
- The use of or installation of wood, paneling, and/or tiles is prohibited unless approved by the University. Students should check with the Housing manager.
- Only bunk beds and loft beds specifically approved by the University may be used within resident rooms, and only the use of approved beds is permitted. All beds must be freestanding on the floor, supported by legs attached to a bed frame. Mattresses are to be used on bed frames provided and not on the floor.
- The following items or activities are prohibited in and around University-operated housing units:
- Alcoholic beverages, except as permitted by the Code of Conduct.
- Pet animals, birds, and reptiles. (One small tank of tropical fish or goldfish is permitted.)
- Radio and television masts and aerials; non-portable televisions and satellite dishes.
- Radio-transmitting equipment, unless it is part of an official University program; i.e., for a Special Living Option (SLO) in a Special Living Option common area space.
- Weightlifting equipment in individual rooms.
- Liquid-filled beds and other liquid-filled furniture in student rooms.
- Residence halls have exterior balconies as part of the architectural facade. Access to these balconies is prohibited.
- Nothing is to be strung across the room for the purpose of hanging decorations. Darts and dartboards are not permitted. No decorations may be hung from the exterior of the residence hall.
- No antennas are to be strung out of the windows and no food or beverages are to be stored between the windows and the screens on the outside ledges. Removal of window screens is prohibited.
- Because of incidents of chinaware and glassware breakage, wearing shoes or other protective footwear in the dining commons is mandatory. Acts of "horseplay" are not permitted because of the possible injury to others in the dining commons.
Fire Safety and Regulations
- To comply with state and local fire regulations, fire drills will be conducted in all residence halls once a month. Everyone present in the building during the emergency drills must participate by vacating the building according to instructions. Rooms may be checked during fire drills to ensure compliance. Failure to vacate the building will result in disciplinary action.
- Fire alarms and fire extinguishers are located on every floor in each building. All residence hall rooms are equipped with a smoke detector that is electronically operated. In rooms where sprinklers have been installed, the smoke detector is monitored by University Police. All other smoke detectors operate independently from the building fire alarm system. The detectors and sprinklers are for students’ safety and should not be tampered with. Tampering with equipment is a serious matter that could jeopardize the safety of a number of people. Tampering with any of this equipment can result in severe disciplinary and/or criminal action. Any student who experiences a problem should contact Housing management or an RA.
Students should refrain from the following behaviors when using an elevator:
- Tampering with or abusing any of the elevator equipment or controls
- Prying open elevator doors or holding them open by the safety edges
- Attempting to exit an elevator that is stuck between floors without directions and assistance from elevator technicians or emergency personnel
- Jumping up and down in the elevator
In addition, students should never use an elevator in a fire.
Engaging in any of the above behaviors may result in a referral to the community standards process or the Office of Student Conduct.
Routine room inspections of all residence hall rooms are done periodically to evaluate the condition of the room and furnishings, to identify required maintenance and repairs, and to check for fire and safety hazards.
Card Access System
Every residence hall is equipped with an electronic, computerized card access system that permits access to the hall by residents of the building only.
The system is operational 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Adjustments to access hours may be made during the fall arrival period and spring semester closing.
Students may enter their buildings by swiping their id+ cards in the card reader, located at the front lobby, and—in some halls—at other doors.
If the id+ card fails to unlock the student’s assigned residence hall, the student may gain entry with the assistance of a roommate, a member of the Residence Hall Security Unit who is acting as the area rover, or by contacting University Police.
If a student has pizza or other food delivered, the student must be in the lobby to meet the vendor at the front door. The delivery person will not be given access to the lobby.
Students who want to visit a resident who lives in another building will need to announce their planned arrival. The resident host must come to the entrance and escort the visiting student to the room, and later out of the residence hall.
If a student or guest leaves the hall through any of the regular building exits, they should be aware that exit doors are not to be held open for prolonged periods of time. An alarm at the door will sound and someone will be dispatched to determine if the door has been blocked open.
- Students should give their room telephone numbers to any guests or visitors.
- id+ cards should be kept in good condition and should never be let out of the owner’s possession.
- Students should immediately report any problems they experience.
If a student’s id+ card is lost or stolen, the student should follow the procedures below:
- Report the card lost at www.idcard.psu.edu. This service is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. It is the student’s responsibility to deactivate the lost id+ card. The University is not responsible for any loss or expense resulting from the loss, theft, or misuse of the card.
- Go to the id+ Office, Port Sky to obtain a replacement card. The student must present positive proof of identification to have a picture reprocessed. The replacement card will be active immediately for some services, such as meal plans and residence hall access. Other services may take up to 72 hours to reactivate. The student will be charged the current replacement card fee. This fee can be charged to the student’s account or can be paid by cash or check.
Note: Students whose id+ cards are reported lost, misplaced, or stolen will not be allowed access to any dining commons or cash operation using their A La Board meal plan until they have obtained a replacement card. The id+ card has monetary value and should be treated the same as cash. The University will not be responsible for any value loss due to misuse or fraud.
Safety and Security Tips
- Students should not allow strangers to enter the residence hall with them.
- Students should notify the staff member on duty if someone has insisted upon entering the hall with them. The student should try to get a good description of the offender and observe the direction in which he/she heads.
- Students should keep their rooms locked at all times, even when they are sleeping, and especially when they are gone.
- A malfunctioning card access reader or door should be reported immediately.
- Students should meet any guests/visitors at the lobby door.
- Students should not lend their id+ cards or room keys to others.
- Lost or stolen id+ cards should be reported immediately.
Report Suspicious Activity Immediately
Suspicious activity includes: persons going from room to room trying doorknobs; persons loitering at unusual hours and locations; persons running (especially if something of value is being carried); persons exhibiting unusual mental, emotional, or physical symptoms; persons carrying University property or other items not wrapped; open or broken doors or windows; unusual noises or screams, etc.
Some people fail to report suspicious activity because they are not aware of what seemingly innocent activities might be suspicious. Others may notice activity and may be hesitant to call for fear of seeming over-reactive or embarrassed. Still others take it for granted that someone else has called. Students should call immediately about any suspicious activity. There is no need to worry about bothering staff on duty because that is why we are here. Students should not be concerned about being embarrassed if their suspicions prove unfounded. They should think instead about what could happen if they do not act.
Students play a critical role in maintaining a safe and secure environment. No matter how many security assistants we employ or how sophisticated a mechanical system we install, the safety and security of the residents can be compromised by careless resident behavior. Students should think about this the next time they are tempted to prop a door open or not lock their room doors.
Solicitations or Sale of Products or Services
- A residence hall is a University-owned building that contains rooms assigned to students for sleeping, dressing, studying, and socializing, and that also contains common facilities and areas used by all students assigned to such residence halls, including common means of entering and exiting, common lavatories, common study lounges, common storage areas, and areas used in common for organized educational and social functions.
- The solicitation of a sale of products or services that are for sale.
- Except as hereinafter provided, no person (including a student), firm, business entity, charitable organization, religious organization, or other organization may solicit money or sell or solicit the sale of any product or service anywhere in a residence hall.
- A student assigned to a room in a residence hall may invite a person, firm, business entity, charitable organization, religious organization or other organization to that student's assigned room to solicit money or to sell, or to solicit the sale of products or services with that student only. Such solicitation or sale must occur only in the assigned room of the student-inviter. The solicitation of money or the sale or the solicitation of a sale of products or services to any other student is prohibited anywhere in the residence hall.
- Registered student organizations and residence hall house governments may solicit money or sell/solicit the sale of products or services in a residence hall in accordance with the regulations governing student organizations found in the Student Guide to General University Policies and Rules, found on the Web at www.sa.psu.edu/ja/pdf/PoliciesRules.pdf.
- Nothing in these regulations shall be deemed to preclude any solicitation or sale by mail, email, telephone, or other communication media.
Weapons, Firearms, and Paintball Devices
The possession, storing, carrying, or use of any weapon, ammunition, or explosive by any person is prohibited in all residence halls, commons buildings, and quad areas immediately adjacent to the residence halls. This includes pistols, rifles, shotguns, BB guns, paintball guns, air gun, spring gun, implement that propels a pellet of any kind with a force that could damage or cause bodily harm, starter pistols, flare guns, tranquilizer gun, stun gun, zip gun, spear gun, dart gun, sling shot ammunition or bows and arrows. Any knife, dagger, razor or other cutting instrument in which the blade is exposed automatically through a switch, pushbutton, or spring mechanism. Any striking instrument including clubs, truncheons, blackjacks, sandbags or metal knuckles. Any martial arts weapons including nunchakus, tonfas, staffs, and throwing stars. Any device which discharges chemical irritant or tear gas including smoke grenades and any incendiary device including flammable liquids enclosed in readily breakable containers that can be equipped with an igniter. Individuals that need any of these items for a recognized University –sponsored or supervised activity will need to store the item at Police Services until they are needed for the activity/event. See University Policy SY-12 for more information.
In addition, recreational/toy weapons including nerf guns, water guns, dart guns, or other toys replicating authentic weapons in any way are not permitted to be used in the residence halls or common buildings immediately adjacent to these buildings. Residence hall students may store the recreational/toy weapons listed in this paragraph in their residence room for use at University-sponsored or supervised activities/events.
|Monday-Friday||8 am- 5 pm||Please go the Housing office located in Port Sky.|
|Monday-Friday||5pm-8pm||Please go to the Spruce RA office or call 814-949-3302|
|Monday-Friday||8pm-8am||Contact the RA on duty (Posted in each lobby and outside EVERY RA Door)|
|Weekends||8am-8pm||Go to Port Sky, Contact any RA, or call University Police|
|Weekends||8pm-8am||Contact the RA on duty (Posted in each lobby and outside EVERY RA Door)|
Student mailboxes are located in the lobby area of Housing and Food Service in Port Sky Cafe. All correspondence should be addressed:
Penn State Altoona
3000 Ivyside Drive
Housing and Food Services
Altoona PA 16601-3760
There are parking lots located near each residence hall to accommodate the vehicles of campus residents. Included in this area are parking facilities for visiting guests. All resident vehicles must be registered with Police Services and have appropriate permits in plain view. All parking regulations are strictly enforced. Parking citations will be issued for failure to register your vehicle or for parking outside the designated areas. Loading and unloading behind residence halls is strictly limited to 15 minutes only with flashers on. Continued non-compliance with parking regulations may result in disciplinary action, including the loss of parking privileges.
- Residents of Oak/Maple may park in Larch parking lot
- Resident of Cedar/Spruce may park in Rider parking lot
Each residence hall is furnished with University telephones. Telephones are located in the lobby and 1 on each floor.
- On-campus calls - To make a call on-campus dial the last four digits of the phone number (this is also called an extension).
- Off-campus calls - If you are dialing a local number, you must dial a "9" followed by the number. Long distance calling will require a standard telephone calling card.
During the winter months, classes may be delayed or canceled due to snow. In order to find out the status of the campus due to weather sign up for PSUTXT or visit the Class Cancellation Web site.
AMTRAN provides regular bus service to all Penn State Altoona students with a current ID. Visit www.amtran.org/index.asp?pageId=9 for a complete list of bus schedules and pick up locations.