Residence Hall Policies
The following policies are designed to maximize the positive aspects of residence hall living by stating behavioral standards for all. Residents are expected to comply with all federal and state laws, city ordinances and University policies, including said laws, ordinances or policies regarding the possession or use of alcoholic beverages and illegal drugs, and to agree that your room will not be used for any purpose contrary to such laws, ordinances or policies.The University reserves the right to institute, delete, or modify such other regulations as it may deem necessary for the maximum comfort, convenience and safety of all concerned. It is agreed that such regulations, whether existing or hereafter created, shall be part of the contractual agreement and of the same force and effect as if repeated here verbatim. Residents are expected to comply with any Residential Life staff member acting in the performance of their duties. Violations of University regulations and/or policies may result in disciplinary action by the University according to the Student Conduct Code. In addition, violation of federal and state laws and/or city ordinances, on or off campus, may subject the student to state and federal action as well as University discipline. Each conduct case is looked at individually and each policy violation is sanctioned on a case by case basis.
USM recognizes that the use of alcohol is a potential obstacle for personal and professional growth. As a member of the University community, your alcohol use or the use of alcohol by others may have some impact on your life in the classroom, in the residence halls, or elsewhere. Therefore, USM strives to create a campus climate that promotes social interactions that do not rely on alcohol, but rather seeks to encourage responsible choices made with all members of the USM community in mind.
To assist us in creating a safer, more secure community that encourages responsible choices and positive social interactions, USM has created a "Three Strikes Alcohol Policy" for residential students; however the nature of certain violations may result in students losing their housing for a single violation. Generally, students will receive one Alcohol Strike per violation of the alcohol policy; however the student who provides the alcohol and/or furnishes a place for people who are under 21 to consume alcohol will receive a minimum of two Alcohol Strikes. An accumulation of three strikes in the same calendar year may result in the termination of the student's residence hall contract.
All students and their guests are required to adhere to federal, state and University policy regarding alcoholic beverages. Maine State Law requires that people be 21 years of age before purchasing, using, transporting, and/or possessing alcoholic beverages. Failure to comply with this Policy will result in disciplinary action and may also result in action by the University Public Safety, which may include civil or criminal summonses and/or arrest. Those allegedly violating the alcohol policy must immediately dispose of the alcohol when requested to do so by residence hall staff or other University officials.
Good Samaritan Policy
Abuse of alcohol and other drugs can create life-threatening situations that require an immediate response from emergency services personnel. In all instances, the University's main concern is that those in need receive prompt medical attention.
The University does not guarantee absolute immunity from sanctions associated with violations of the Student Conduct Code; however, efforts may be made to mitigate sanctions for alcohol and other drugs offenses for "Good Samaritans." These considerations apply to the person in need of medical attention and the individual who may have contributed or participated in the use and abuse of alcohol or other drugs. Only those individuals who have actively sought medical attention at the time of the incident for themselves or others as a "Good Samaritan" may receive consideration for mitigation of sanctions.
Alcohol Policy Violations: To help students clearly understand the University's alcohol policy and make responsible and informed choices, the following list delineates the behaviors that are considered violations.
For students UNDER THE AGE OF 21 the following behaviors are considered violations:
- Possession of alcohol on campus
- Exhibiting signs of alcohol consumption (such as alcohol on breath, slurred speech, bloodshot eyes, vomiting, difficulty standing, etc.) on or off campus or admitting to being intoxicated on or off campus.
- Selling, serving, giving away, or making alcohol available to people who are under 21 and/or people 21 or older who are exhibiting signs of intoxication (such as slurred speech, alcohol on breath, bloodshot eyes, vomiting, difficulty standing, etc.)
- Playing drinking games including, but not limited to, "pong", "Beirut", "Quarters", and "flip-cup" on-campus.
- Being in the presence of alcohol in the residence halls. However, if you live in Woodward, Philippi, or Upperclass Hall and your roommate(s) is 21 or older your roommate(s) may consume alcohol in the room so long as you (and your other underage roommates) are the only one present who is under 21.
- Possession of empty alcoholic beverage container(s), including carrying to recycling or possessing any empty container decoration on campus.
- Possession of tapping equipment and any other item whose purpose is deemed to be the consumption of large amounts of alcoholic beverages, such as "funnels".
- Permitting any person to violate the alcohol policy in your room.
- Possessing a false Identification Card or an Identification Card that does not belong to you.
For students 21 YEARS OF AGE OR OLDER the following behaviors are considered violations:
- Possession of an open alcoholic beverage in public places on campus, including hallways, stairways, lounges and lobbies of all residence halls (except at events where alcohol is available/served in compliance with the University Alcoholic Beverage Policy).
- Possession of an open alcoholic beverage and/or consumption of alcohol in any room in Philippi, Woodward, or Upperclass Hall where any of the other guests are under 21 or the occupant(s) who is 21 is not present. If one roommate is 21 and one is not, guests who are 21 may consume in the room so long as the resident who is 21 is present and there are no guests present who are under 21.
- Possession or consumption of alcoholic beverage or possession of an empty alcoholic beverage container in Anderson, Upton Hastings, and Robie Andrews.
- Selling, serving, giving away or making alcohol beverages available to, transporting alcohol for underage people anywhere on campus, or making alcohol available to people who are exhibiting signs of intoxication.
- Playing drinking games including, but not limited to "pong", "Beirut", "Quarters", and "flip-cup" on-campus.
- Possession of excessive amounts of alcohol and/or common sources of alcohol and other items whose purpose is deemed to be for the consumption of large amounts of alcohol such as, but not limited to, kegs, tapping equipment, and funnels.
- Permitting any person to violate the alcohol policy in your room.
- Being present when others are violating the policy.
- Individuals who bring alcohol on University property must produce a government issued identification card such as a driver’s license or passport upon request as proof of age. A University identification card is not acceptable for this purpose. Possessing a false Identification Card or an Identification Card that does not belong to you is prohibited.
In order to meet the academic and administrative needs of the University community, the University of Southern Maine has established email as an official and primary means of communication to all of its students, accepted and/or enrolled. In some cases, email may be the only form of communication. The expectation is that all students are checking their email daily.
Common Area Damages
On occasion, damages occur in areas that are not directly associated with a residence hall room, such as lounges, lobbies, hallways, bathrooms, and elevators. If this should occur, Residential Life will bill the cost of the repair of the damages to the student or students involved in the situation. In the event that staff members are unable to determine who damaged university property, the cost of the damage will be split between the residents on the residence hall floor or building in question. Thus, it is to your benefit to report the cause of any damages to a residence hall staff member.
The Student Conduct Code is available at https://usm.maine.edu/community-standards-mediation or you may request a hard copy from the Office of Community Standards and Mediation, located at 188 Upton Hall. The Code outlines the procedures for dealing with violations of acceptable behavioral standards on campus. It is expected that all residents of campus housing will abide by the Student Conduct Code.
It is the policy of the University of Maine System to comply with applicable laws prohibiting discrimination on the grounds of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, including transgender status or gender expression, national origin or citizenship status, genetic information, age, disability, or veterans status in employment, education and all other areas of the University System. The policy shall include, but shall not be limited to, the requirements of Executive order 11246 and 11375, as amended in Department of Labor, Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs, 41 CFR, Part 60-2, October 20, 1978; the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended; the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986; and Section 402 of the Vietnam Era Veterans Readjustment Assistance Act of 1974.
Marijuana and Other Drugs
Marijuana in all forms, products containing THC, and Illegal drugs are not allowed in any residence hall or elsewhere on campus at any time. The following behaviors are violations of the law or University policy, and will not be tolerated. These include, but are not limited to:
* The possession and/or use of marijuana, illegal drugs or drug paraphernalia (w/ drug residue) on or off campus.
* The possession and/or use of another person's prescription medicine.
* Exhibiting signs of/being under the influence of illegal drugs (such as smell of having used marijuana, bloodshot eyes, vomiting, difficulty standing, agitation, etc.) anywhere on campus, regardless of where the consumption occurred.
* Selling, serving, giving away, making available, or sharing marijuana, illegal drugs or prescription medicine with any person anywhere on campus.
* Permitting any person to violate the drug policy in your room.
* Supporting a violation of the drug policy by being present when other people are violating the policy.
* Admitting to using drugs anywhere on or off campus.
Failure to comply with the drug policy will result in disciplinary action and may also result in USM Public Safety conducting a criminal investigation with the possibility of arrest.
The following electrical appliances are permitted, as long as they draw less than 800 watts:
* Computers (desktops and laptops)
* Low Power Stereos and radios
* Televisions, and media systems (X-Boxes, Blu-ray players, etc).
This list is not all inclusive, so if there are any questions, please ask your Resident Director or the Residential Life staff.
One University owned Microfridge unit will be provided for each designed double or single. A second University owned Microfridge unit will be provided for designed triples or four person suites without kitchens. Only one University owned Microfridge will initially be provided for over-assigned rooms, but an additional Microfridge may be requested from the Resident Director. No other refrigerator, freezer, or microwave units will be allowed. Any damage to or parts missing from a Microfridge unit will be assessed to the appropriate occupant(s) of the room. Microfridge units must be left clean, unplugged and with the refrigerator and freezer doors open when all occupants check out of the room at the end of the fall and spring semesters. Any Microfridge unit that requires cleaning by custodial staff will cause the occupant(s) of that room to be billed a cleaning fee in addition to any other damage charges that might apply.
The use or possession of high wattage and/or dangerous electrical appliances such as high-powered stereo systems, subwoofers, air conditioners, coffee makers (exceptions made for Keurigs or similar makers without an exposed heating element), hot-pots, electric skillets, grills (including George Foreman grills, quesadilla makers, and sandwich makers), hot plates, heaters, popcorn poppers, toasters, waffle makers, medusa lamps is strictly prohibited. The discovery of any of these items may lead to disciplinary action and you will be requested to remove the item from the residence hall.
Electric Extension Cords
A UL-rated power strip (available at the University store) that has a switch, 15 amp circuit breaker, ground fault protection and surge protection must be used, and may not be plugged in to another power strip. For fire and safety reasons, extension cords are not allowed in residence hall rooms as a substitute for permanent wiring.
With the cost of electricity and natural gas at an all-time high, it is the policy of Residential Life that all students work to conserve energy through methods such as turning off lights, computers and other video equipment when not in use. Further, students are asked to use appliances which are environmentally friendly and leave all incandescent bulbs at home, replacing them with compact fluorescents (CFLs) or LEDs. Recycling is mandatory. Ask your RA about appropriate disposal of recyclable items. Information will be provided about recycling stations in your residence hall.
For your safety and protection, if there is the odor or appearance of smoke coming from any location on campus, including residential rooms, staff will enter those rooms to ensure that there is no danger of fire. Fire drills and inspections will also be conducted periodically throughout the academic year. The sole purpose of fire drills is to ensure the operation of the fire safety system and to practice evacuation procedures.
All residents must vacate the building by following emergency procedures and go to designated areas when the alarm sounds. Everyone must stand clear of entrances and walkways to permit passage of the Fire Department personnel and equipment.
After the building has been vacated, the Fire Department will communicate with residents of the building through staff members regarding the status of the fire call. Students will be permitted back into the building only when the Fire Department issues an approval for reoccupation. Should there be a lengthy period of time when remaining outside is probable, students will be temporarily relocated.
* The fire fighting equipment, the fire alarm system, and appropriate procedures are provided for the protection of life and property of residents. Tampering with or the misuse of fire alarms, smoke detectors, fire extinguishers, and/or failure to comply with related procedures is a serious infraction of University policy and will be dealt with appropriately.
* Because of the sensitive nature of fire protection equipment, items may not be hung from, nor cover, sprinklers, pipes, or smoke/heat detectors in residence hall rooms. For timely and safe evacuation, all hallways should be free from obstructions (sports equipment, shoes, trash bags, etc.)
All residence halls have heat/smoke detectors in the hallways and heat/smoke detectors mounted on the ceilings of individual student rooms. Each hall and all buildings on campus are equipped with fire extinguishers and pull boxes. Fire equipment is not to be used for any reason other than putting out fires. Tampering with fire equipment may be grounds for dismissal from the University.
To avoid fire hazards, smoking cigarettes, burning candles or incense or other similar open flame devices, and using space heaters, electric heaters and halogen lamps is not permitted in the residence halls. Ceiling hangings of any kind, including flags, drapes, tapestries, sheets, etc. are also prohibited. The storage of BBQ grills, charcoal, lighter fluid and propane is prohibited on university grounds and facilities. Use of BBQ grills is allowed outside ONLY with permission from USM Campus Police.
Furnishings in student rooms vary from hall to hall; however, general items include a bed, desk, bureau, desk chair and closets (or wardrobes). Apartments in Upperclass Hall have a kitchen table and four kitchen chairs, sofa and living room chair. Please do not remove furniture from rooms, or you will be billed. Talk to your Resident Assistant or Resident Director if there are problems with your furniture.
Students in enhanced occupancy rooms are initially supplied with a bed and desk per student, and can coordinate the sharing of closet and drawer space. The additional desk can be removed, and students in an enhanced occupancy room can request an additional Microfridge. Please contact your Resident Director to arrange these changes.
Residential Life provides and maintains lounge furniture for the residence halls. Due to the fact that lounge furniture is purchased for all students to use, the furniture must remain in the lounges ONLY, at all times. Any lounge furniture found in student rooms will be removed, the student will be billed for removal charges, and disciplinary action may occur.
Students sometimes opt to bring in additional items or furniture. Please ensure there is still enough space for egress or you will be asked to remove the items. Upholstered furniture can carry a number of pests, including bed bugs, lice, fleas, and other pests. If pests come in and can be traced to a specific piece of furniture, the cost of the pest control measures will be billed to the student(s) who brought it in.
FOR FALL 2021, subject to updates: No room/suite/apartment may have more than 2 guests at a time. Guests must be from the same residence hall or another USM residence hall. Off campus guests are not allowed at this time. Guest policies will be dependent on the vaccination levels on campus. Residential Life is currently reviewing guest policies and will post updates here once they are finalized.
Guests (defined as anyone who does not live in that room)
The presence in residence halls of persons who do not reside in that room is permitted under the following conditions:
- The host will be held responsible for their guests' behavior.
- At no time is a guest allowed to be in possession of a host's keys and/or U.S.M. I.D. card, for any reason, and may not be let into the host's room without the host present.
- Residents may have overnight guests from within the same or another residence hall. They may not stay, however, for more than three nights in a consecutive 14 day period.
- Guests are expected to observe and adhere to University rules and regulations.
- If more than one person resides in a room, all residents must agree to and feel comfortable with a guest(s) in order for the guest to be allowed to visit the room (in this case, guest refers to anyone who is not a resident of that particular room).
- Guests may be asked to leave at any time by University staff.
Running and athletic activities of any kind are prohibited in the residence hall rooms, hallways and public lounges of all residence halls for general safety reasons. The only exceptions are pool tables, foosball machines, and ping pong tables in designated areas, with proper use.
Health and Safety Inspections
Residential Life staff conduct health and safety room inspections three times during the academic year. You will be notified if there is a violation in your room. The staff will give 24 hours notice as a courtesy. You do not need to be present. If you’d like to request to be present, please contact your RA. A Health and Safety inspection can be performed at any time if there is a health and safety concern.
Leaving for Break
If you leave for break, we encourage you to:
- Lock windows and leave curtains/blinds open (for passive heating and security reasons).
- Remove ALL trash and recyclables from the room. Please ensure that the room is easily accessible in case maintenance staff must enter to make repairs or to perform routine maintenance work. Do not block heating/air conditioning units.
- Turn off all lights.
- Lock door(s).
- Unplug ALL appliances (clocks, microwaves, televisions, gaming systems, etc.) except for fish tanks. Microfridges may be left plugged in over short breaks, but must be unplugged during semester breaks and at the end of the academic year.
- Do not turn off the heat! This can result in pipes bursting and significant water damage. Residents who shut off their heat may be responsible for the damages incurred.
Due to potential fire hazards, the use of holiday decorations MUST adhere to the University guidelines. No live trees, treated or untreated, are permitted. It is against policy to leave electrical lights on when no one is present in the room to attend them. Holiday lights may not be hung from ceilings or pipes, nor may they obstruct doors or windows.
Wireless internet is provided in all student residence hall rooms and in the common lounges of our residence halls.
No routers, hubs, or routers are allowed in the residence halls, as they interfere with the wireless system. Contact Computing Help Desk if you have questions or problems with your internet access. See University Computers and Computer Network for more policy information.
Keys and Lockouts - DO NOT PROP YOUR DOOR OR LEAVE IT UNSECURE!
Each resident student (except those in Philippi, Upperclass, and Woodward) is given a room key at the time of check in. The USM ID Card acts as a front door key, giving the resident student access to their building's front door (see the USM Card section for more info.). Each resident is responsible for returning keys to a staff member at the time of check-out. If a key is not returned, a fee will be charged for parts and labor for the lock to be changed.
Other important information about keys:
* Each resident is responsible for possession of his/her University-issued keys; the only person who may possess these keys is the person to whom they are issued! The same policy pertains to the U.S.M. ID card, whether for access or for meals!
* Giving your keys or ID card to anyone to get into your building and/or room is a direct violation of University policy.
* If you are locked out of your room, first try to find your RA or another RA in the building. If you cannot locate any RA, try the RD of your building. After that, call the Residential Life office at 207-780-5240 during business hours. After hours, call the RA on duty, who is available 7pm-7am. If you cannot reach anyone, contact USM Public Safety at 207-780-5211. Please note that response times may vary - please have patience. Frequent lockouts could lead to sanctioning through the Student Conduct Code.
There is no cooking (as opposed to warming pre-cooked foods in a microwave) in any residence hall rooms due to fire regulations, with the exception of apartments with full kitchens.
Hall kitchens may be used by residents, contingent on the following:
- The kitchen will only be open during hours when the RA is on duty (Sun-Wed 7pm-11pm, Fri-Sat 7pm-1am).
- Residents will need to go to the RA office during office hours and the RA will collect the student ID and open the kitchen.
- After residents are done with the kitchen, they will return to collect their ID, making sure the kitchen is left in the same condition they found it.
- Residents must wear masks in the kitchens.
- Residents need to plan cooking time, as kitchens will be promptly locked when the RA is done with duty from the office. If cases start to spike or residents are not abiding by these policies for the kitchens, the kitchens may be shut down.
Although each student has his/her room available for studying, Residential Life recognizes the need for lounges as alternative study and social areas. Hall lounges are available for study and socializing. Please remember that at this time face coverings are required inside in all areas other than students' rooms or while showering. Other spaces have also been designated for study and socializing on campus where physical distancing can be maintained.
The University of Southern Maine Parking Services Office issues parking permits for students. Parking Services is located in the Parking Garage on the Portland campus. They can also be contacted by calling them at 207-780-4718 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. Their website has the most up-to-date information on parking permits and where to park at USM's campuses. Under no circumstances are vehicles allowed to be driven on any of the walkways. Anyone who violates this policy with their vehicle may be required to pay a fine.
All resident students who have needles, syringes and/or fingerstick apparatus for blood testing should have an approved, rigid plastic biohazard container in their room. These containers can be obtained from University Health Services and should be exchanged for a new container when full.
Quiet and Courtesy Hours
In order to respect the needs for all students, there are established quiet hours in all of the residence halls. Quiet hours start at 9:00pm and end at 9:00am, Sunday through Thursday, and start at 12:00 midnight and end at 9:00am Friday and Saturday. It is important to remember that there are always 24 hour consideration hours in effect. In order to create the best living environment for everyone, please be considerate of your fellow residents. An environment conducive to normal living and studying is expected 24 hours a day in the residence halls. Residents responsible for excessive noise may be subject to disciplinary action. Please remember that noise heard beyond the confines of an individual's room can be considered excessive, regardless of the posted quiet hours.
During finals periods, there are 23 hours quiet hours to support students studying. There is an hour an evening, 8pm to 9pm, allotted as a courtesy hour.
Students are responsible for maintaining reasonable noise levels in their rooms, and must avoid disturbing or disrupting other students. The use of amplified musical instruments and/or stereos that are disturbing to the community and that can not be turned down or used with headphones to prevent unnecessary noise issues are prohibited. (Also see Noise Issues.) Therefore, musical instruments of any type generally should not to be played in the residence halls. Practice rooms are available in Corthell Hall and Upperclass Hall on the Gorham campus.
This section gives a brief overview of some things you should not bring to campus. This list is not all inclusive, so if you have questions about any item, please contact your Resident Director. We reserve the right to determine if an item constitutes a health, safety, or environmental hazard.
PETS of any kind [except non-poisonous, non-walking fish in aquariums under 10 gallons]. For information on Service Animals and Emotional Support Animals see the section on “Pets.”
WEAPONS - including guns, rifles, hunting knives, BB guns, paint ball, Airsoft guns, handheld Tazers, etc. For more information please see the “Weapons” section.
HOVERBOARDS - Due to fire safety issues with the batteries, hoverboards are not allowed in the residence halls (in use or being stored).
HIGH-WATTAGE (OVER 800 WATTS) ELECTRICAL APPLIANCES - air conditioners, skillets, heaters, dehumidifiers, etc.
FIRE HAZARDS - Candles and incense, including decorative candles and oil burning lamps, blow torches including mini blow torches and torch lighters, hot pots, toasters, popcorn poppers, BBQ's, coffee makers, sunlamps, medusa lamps, halogen lamps, George Forman grills, extension cords, water pipes, bongs, hookahs, etc.
DANGEROUS DECORATIONS - live Christmas trees, non UL rated holiday lights
CEILING HANGINGS of any kind - please note wall hangings may only cover 25% of available wall space, and must not leave holes or damage
CINDER BLOCKS for raising furniture or for any other purpose
DANGEROUS GAMES - Paintball guns, metal-tipped darts (including dart boards)
WEIGHTLIFTING EQUIPMENT due to damage and noise that may occur
WADING POOLS - (Kiddie pools)
No pets or animals of any kind may be kept in the residence halls, with the exception of non-poisonous, non-walking fish in aquariums (limit 10 gallon tank size), service animals as defined by the Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments 2008, or approved assistance animals. Prior approval of an assistance animal is required by the Disability Services Center. For more information and request for documentation guidelines, please contact 207-780-4706. The University is not responsible for the loss or harm to any fish due to interruptions in power services.
- All flyers posted on "general use" bulletin boards on the Gorham or Portland campuses must be stamped by the Student Engagement and Leadership Office. The original may be stamped and then copies made. All postings must include name and contact information of the sponsoring individual or organization.
- Student Group Flyers: The student group posting the flyer must be an active group on campus, recognized by either the BSO or any administrative offices on campus (for those groups who have not achieved club/organization status as of yet). Flyers may not contain images or references to alcohol or other drugs unless educationally related to the event.
- Flyers may be posted for no longer than 1 month.
- Non-Student Group Flyers: Any flyers posted by off campus companies or organizations may have stamped flyers so long as their event/product is beneficial to or involves USM students. Restaurants are allowed to post flyers.
- Specific posting areas are marked for flyers. Any flyers posted on non-general use bulletin boards, windows, walls, or furniture are subject to removal.
- Only flyers generated from offices on campus will be allowed to remain on bulletin boards un-stamped.
- Any posting that violates the system sexual harassment or discriminatory harassment policies will not be approved. For definitions of sexual harassment and discriminatory harassment, see the University of Maine System Student Conduct Code.
- For best visibility, flyers should be posted at the following locations:
Gorham: Brooks Student Center, Bailey Hall. Flyers to be posted in residence halls should be taken to 125 Upton Hall to Residential Life. The flyers will be handed out to RAs.
Portland: Luther Bonney, Masterton Hall, Payson Smith stairway, Science Building, Woodbury Campus Center, Glickman Library, Sullivan Gym, and the Law School.
Individual or group behavior that leads to actual or potential harassment or injury, or damage to University property or personal possessions, is not permitted. Individual or group behavior that leads to abnormal or unnecessary cleaning of the halls is not permitted. Residents will be held accountable for and assessed costs for damages in participating in any act of misuse of, or violence toward University property, or violence toward another individual, and may face disciplinary action under the Student Conduct Code.
Pregnancy and Health
Pregnant students are protected from discrimination under federal Title IX guidance and are not excluded from living on campus while they are pregnant. At this time, infants and children are not allowed to live on campus in student housing.
Pregnant students are encouraged to make use of the University Health and Counseling Services to discuss plans and resources. If needed, Health and Counseling services can assist with prenatal care, help pregnant students make arrangements for labor and delivery, and assist with transportation to the hospital if needed.
It is University policy, that it is not permitted to photograph or record (audio and or video) another person on campus without their knowledge and consent. This includes the use of cell phones, video cameras, recording equipment and cameras in bathrooms.
When a resident or their guest(s) cause damage in a residence hall, they will be charged to replace the damaged item or to repair the item. When the person who causes damage cannot be identified, all residents of that living space may be charged. Therefore, it is always important if you see someone causing damage to a residence hall to notify a staff member to deal with the situation as soon as possible.This will help keep replacement costs as low as possible.
Roofs, Balconies and Ledges
Under no circumstances are residents or their guests permitted on residence hall roofs, balconies or ledges of any kind. Persons violating this policy will be subject to immediate disciplinary action, the termination of their housing contract and/or other disciplinary action.
Room assignments for incoming first year students are made based on a number of factors, including the date the housing application is received, COR 101 class registration, and more - visit First Year Housing Process for details. Transfer upperclass students are generally assigned with other sophomores, juniors, and seniors in upperclass residence halls. Room assignments take student preferences for room type and roommate matching information into account; however, specific preferences are not guaranteed and depend on available space. Students coming to USM for the International Exchange Program or the National Student Exchange Program are guaranteed housing on campus as long as space is available.
Every returning resident who wishes to continue living on campus must fill out a new housing contract every year by a deadline, which will be announced each year. The second part of the process is for returning students to participate in the annual online Housing Selection process, where students self-select their room and roommates for the following academic year. Returning students who do not participate in Housing Selection will either be manually assigned to a room by Residential Life after Housing Selection ends, or be placed on a wait list.
Room changes are considered once we’ve tried to problem solve in other ways (mediation, etc.). There is a room freeze on for the first two weeks of the semester and the last two weeks of the semester, during which no room moves will be made. Students should anticipate that if they have a vacancy in their room, students may be offered that space.
The Room Change Request form is now live on the student housing portal. Through this form, students may begin the process of requesting a room change. Room change requests will be reviewed by Residential Life staff, and moves will be dependent on available open spaces.
Students may not move to another space without prior approval from the Residential Life Housing Specialist or Resident Directors. Unauthorized moves will result in automatic fees and a follow up meeting with the Resident Director.
The University reserves the right to change residence hall or room assignments and to make reassignments for the benefit of the individual resident, or the University. The University reserves the right to consolidate vacancies.
Students living in suites or apartments with one or more vacanices need to keep the other side of a room or empty bedroom clean. Notification of a new roommate will be given as soon as possible. 24 hours notice is the goal, but it may be shorter if there is an urgent need to move a student in to housing.
Please note that different room types have different rates.
Each resident must sign a Residence Hall Room Condition Report (RCR) to confirm the condition of their room before moving into the residence hall. If a resident does not agree with the condition as noted on the RCR, they need to notify hall staff of any discrepancies on it before or within 48 hours of signing! When the resident moves out of a room, they must also sign this form to confirm the condition of their room according to the staff member who signed them out. If damage occurs in the room during the time a resident resided there, they will be billed for the appropriate damages. Resident Directors assess damage charges for their own hall(s) after the student has checked out. Resident Assistants cannot assess charges for cleaning or damages, only the Resident Director who oversess the building. Resident Assistants only document changes in condition, and cannot say whether or not a resident will be charged.
The University, its officers, and employees are not responsible for the loss or damage of residents' personal property caused by theft, water, smoke, or fire damage, or any other uncontrollable circumstances. The University encourages all residents to maintain personal property and/or renter's insurance.
Room Selection/Housing Selection
During annual spring Room/Housing Selection process, current residential students and currently enrolled, matriculated commuters may participate and choose their rooms for the following fall and spring. New and transfer students are assigned by Residential Life to housing after Room Selection and receive housing assignments in early summer, and cannot participate in Room/Housing Selection. For more information regarding this process, contact Residential Life.
Sales, Solicitation and Campaigning
To insure that the privacy of all students is maintained, salespeople, solicitors and/or political campaigners of any type, from recognized University organizations or from outside agencies, are not allowed to go door to door in the residence halls. Solicitation and political campaigning is allowed in pre-approved common areas and lounges only. Please contact the Resident Director for building specific locations. Those who violate this policy should be reported to a Residential Life staff member who will take the appropriate actions.
Any existing window screens should remain installed and closed at all times.
All residents are responsible for security in their building and should not prop any door open at any time. All exterior doors are locked 24 hours a day. Residents should not permit non-residents who are not their personal guests into the buildings. Personal guests must be signed in during security desk operating hours. Your cooperation improves the security for all residents. Further, as leaving your keys in your residence hall door may allow other people access to your room, we ask that you remove your keys from your door after unlocking it and keep your keys with you at all times.
All three campuses are tobacco-free. No smoking, vaping, or tobacco use of any kind is allowed on campus. This includes in buildings or on the campus grounds. As a reminder, if there is an odor or appearance of smoke coming from any room on campus, staff will enter the room to ensure there is no fire danger.
If classes are cancelled due to weather, announcements will be made on the USM website, via emergency alert notification, as well as via local radio and television stations. The USM Storm Line is 207-780-4800.
There is no student storage in any residence hall. This also includes bike storage. All University-issued furniture must remain in residence hall rooms. The storage of any motorized vehicle in the halls is also prohibited.
Trash removal and recycling services from common areas are provided in each residence hall; residence hall staff members can tell you where they are located. If the materials are recyclable, and not contaminated, they must be brought to the recycling area(s) located in the building. Bottles and cans may not be taken from the recycling bins. Please help maintain a healthy and pleasant living environment by disposing of all items appropriately. Disposing trash in inappropriate areas may result in a removal charge, assessed to the responsible party. Please don't put any trash from your room in the trash bins in the bathrooms.
University Computers and Computer Network
The University of Southern Maine provides students, faculty and staff with access to its networks and off-campus resources via the internet. This access is a privilege and comes with some responsibilities and, if inappropriate behavior is discovered, consequences. A major concern is with downloading or sharing copyrighted materials, which is prohibited, unless it is done under the terms specified by the holder of the copyright. Further information on copyright and the USM Acceptable Use of Information Resources Policy.
The following behaviors as cited in the Student Conduct Code are considered a violation and will be responded to by Computing Services and the Director of Community Standards and Mediation.
Misuse of the University computer network or computers including, but not limited to, theft of computer files, or data, e-mail, or other electronically stored information, probing or hacking into other computers or computer systems, spamming, sending out computer viruses, or uploading or downloading copyrighted material for personal use or distribution without authorization.
In particular, downloading or uploading music, movies, or software is considered a violation of copyright unless it is done under the terms specified by the holder of the copyright. Students who are found to have music, movies, or software on their personal computers without authorization will lose their network access privileges, including wireless privileges for at least two (2) weeks. Repeat violators may lose their network access privileges permanently.
Residents are encouraged to make themselves feel at home by personalizing their rooms. Due to fire regulations, no more than 25% of wall space should be covered at any one time, and there must never be any items hanging from the ceiling. Any damage done by hanging items on the walls using items such as nails and tacks will result in charges.
Dangerous weapons, including, but not limited to, firearms, ammunition, paintball guns, paintballs, BB guns, knives, bows, arrows, rockets, sling shots, air-guns, martial arts weapons and explosives of all types, including fireworks, are not permitted on the property owned by or under control of the University of Southern Maine. These items are dangerous and have no place in the residence halls. Any exception must be approved by the Director of USM Public Safety. If any exception is made, the weapon must be registered with and left at USM Public Safety and the person shall be subject to such terms and conditions the Director deems appropriate. Any member of the University community who violates this policy shall be subject to appropriate disciplinary action up to and including dismissal from the University.
Residents and their guests are absolutely prohibited from throwing objects out of, passing anything in or out through, sitting directly in, or exiting/entering through, any window. No TV antennas, citizen band antennas, or speakers are to be hung or placed in or on any windows. Disciplinary action and/or charges will be assessed to residents if any existing screens are removed. Residents should make sure their room windows are closed and locked when their rooms are unoccupied. Window stops are safety features, and their removal is a violation of residence hall policy, and constitutes a life safety concern.