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What are the basics of residential conduct and residential community standards?

If you live in college or university housing such as a dorm or university-owned or rented apartment, it is likely you signed a housing agreement obligating you to conduct yourself according to residential community standards defined by your college or university. Typically referred to as residential community conduct guidelines, these regulations prohibit behavior inconsistent with your college or university’s code of student conduct.

Common violations related to residential community standards include underage possession of alcohol, drug possession, possession of alcohol in a dry residence, and noise citations, especially in regard to disrespecting university “quiet hours.”  If you are accused of violating your university housing/residential life agreement, then a college student defense attorney with experience with university housing agreement violations may help you defend yourself against the possible loss of your university housing.

Do my college or university’s policies on residential conduct apply only if I live in a dorm?

No. The agreement you signed with your college or university applies to you as a student, whether you live off-campus or on-campus. For off-campus residential conduct, residential conduct policies apply to outdoor property maintenance and regulations, complying with D.C. noise policies and laws, and respecting your neighbor’s rights to a safe and peaceful residence.  If you are accused of violating local laws in your off-campus housing then you may need the help of an experienced noise ordinance violations attorney who is also familiar with criminal defense of college students.

What are the policies on parties and party hosting?

Often times, universities have policies regarding hosting a party which requires a student to not only be trained in how to host an appropriate party but also requires that at least one of the students in the residence be of legal drinking age (21 years old). In D.C. ― especially due to noise violation laws ― universities often determine in their codes of conduct how large a party can be. Complying with party hosting guidelines as stated in your university or college’s student code of conduct ensures that you are acting in accordance with residential community standards.  If you are in trouble with your school because of conduct that occurred at a party you should speak with an experienced university residential life conduct code violations attorney who understands how the university views these violations.  It is important to remember that you get in trouble even though the student conduct code violations that occurred at the party were not committed by you but by others at the party.

What am I prohibited from having in my dorm?

Universities and colleges put forth a list of items that a student is at no time allowed to possess in university owned housing. These items can include, but are not limited to, aquariums, pets, computer extension devices, hot tubs or spas, mercury thermometers, home alcohol brewing kits, etc. There may be room specific requirements for freshman housing such as no electrical cooking appliances, and requirements for alcohol free residences requiring possession of no more than two empty alcohol containers. To be sure you do not bring any of these prohibited items to campus housing, check your university or college’s list of prohibited items and items prohibited by the student code of conduct.  An experienced university residential conduct code violation defense attorney may help you defend yourself against even small violations that might result in the loss of your campus housing or more serious sanctions such as suspension or expulsion.

What are the consequences for violating my school or university’s residential conduct policies?

Sanctions may include temporary or permanent loss of campus housing and additional sanctions may result depending on the circumstances. If you find yourself facing disciplinary charges or a disciplinary hearing for violating residential community standards, contact an experienced college student defense attorney who understands residential conduct policies to help you protect your rights and education during the hearing process.  An experienced university residence conduct code violations defense attorney may help you defend yourself against the loss of campus housing or even suspension and expulsion.

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