Housing and Residence Life Policies

The Policies and Expectations contained within this section apply to residents and guests of all buildings operated by the Office of Housing and Residence Life.

a. Housing and Residence Life COVID-19 Mitigation Policies

Housing & Residence Life cares about the health and well-being of our students and staff and has developed the following policies to promote practices in the residential environment that are consistent with CDC and Spokane Regional Health District guidelines for risk reduction related to COVID-19. These policies are specific to academic year 2020-2021 in response to the pandemic and should be reviewed along with our existing university and department policy and procedure. These COVID-19 policies supersede all existing policies on the same topic. Failure to comply with these important measures may result in formal conduct action. Violations of these policies may result in disciplinary action, including but not limited to termination of your License Agreement, which will result in your removal from housing and being restricted from entering any campus residence for the remainder of the academic year.

i. Guests and Visitors: Gonzaga University students are not permitted to visit a residence hall or apartment they are not assigned to. Guests are limited to visiting others assigned to their residence hall. No guests who live outside said residence are allowed. Residents are also allowed to have up to (1) visitor or guest if the visitor or guest is a Gonzaga student of the same residence hall or apartment complex and all students are abiding by physical distancing guidelines and wearing masks. All occupants of the room/apartment must consent to visitation to the space. Staff may still need to enter these living spaces in performance of their job duties. Please plan to meet people who do not live in your residence hall or apartment complex elsewhere on campus. Overnight guests are not permitted.

Residents are responsible for the behavior of their guest(s) and, therefore, can be held accountable for their guest’s actions.

If you have been asked to isolate or quarantine yourself due to COVID-19 concerns, you are not permitted to host any guests in the residence hall or room/apartment.  

ii. Face Coverings: Cloth face coverings must be worn in hallways, common spaces, lounges, bathrooms, kitchens, student rooms/suites/apartments while guests are present, and when interacting with a Housing & Residence Life staff member. Students are exempt from this policy while in the bathroom attending to personal hygiene. 

iii. Signs: Maximum occupancy signs will be posted around the residence hall establishing a limit for the number of people permitted in common spaces at the same time. Signs stating behavioral expectations related to limiting the spread of COVID-19 will also be posted. Students must follow all expectations communicated in posted signs related to these behavioral expectations. Failure to follow these directives may result in disciplinary action.

b. Additional Housing and Residence Life Policies: 

i. Absences: Prolonged and unannounced absences from your room may be investigated to assure either that you are safe or that you are in compliance with your residency requirement or rental agreement. This may involve room entry, contacting emergency contacts or roommates, or even reporting the situation to the local police department. Please see the section on "Missing Students."

ii. Animals In Residential Facilities: Animals of any kind, except for harmless fish in an aquarium, not to exceed ten-gallon capacity per room are prohibited in any University residential facility. This includes off campus apartments and houses rented from Gonzaga. Service and assistance animals are restricted to students who have received prior accommodation for such through the Disability Access Office. The presence of animals within University Housing poses serious health, safety and maintenance concerns. In addition to direct damage incurred by animals, many students have allergic reactions to various animals. Further, damage and/or problems may become residual, posing difficulties for subsequent residents or tenants. Students owning or hosting unauthorized animals will be subjected to a $500.00 fine.

iii. Entry, Search, and Confiscation: The Entry, Search and Confiscation Procedures contained within this section apply to residents and guests of all buildings operated by the Office of Housing and Residence Life.

1. Entry, University Official – Entry by a University Official may occur for a number of reasons. Examples include: (a) to insure that health and/or safety standards are being met, including safety inspections during vacation periods/Christmas break; (b) for purposes of repair, construction, or inventory; or (c) when there exists reasonable suspicion that a violation of University policy or law is being committed, or has been committed; and/or that a delay in such entry would endanger the health and safety of the resident, residential community or property, or result in the probable destruction of material relating to the violation. Where possible, notice of intent to enter a room or property will be given to the resident in advance. However, advance notice of room entry may not be practical when emergencies arise.

2. Entry and Search, University Official – The entering of a room and a subsequent search of that room may occur when there exists a reasonable suspicion that a violation of student conduct expectations is being committed, or has been committed, and/or the delay would endanger the health and safety of the resident, residential community, and/or result in the probable destruction of material relating to the violation.

3. Confiscation of Items – Any item within a University residential facility which is prohibited or which reasonably indicates a violation of University policy is subject to removal and confiscation. This includes, but is not limited to, items within backpacks and storage containers not owned by the University. Removal of the item does not require express permission on the part of the room occupant(s). The University reserves the right to confiscate, retain, and dispose (at any time) of any and all illegal, dangerous, or prohibited items, regardless of value or ownership. Items confiscated under this policy are generally not available to be returned to a student. Residence and Security staff are not able to promise, guarantee or arrange for items to be returned. A written request must be made to the Student Affairs Office before the end of the current term for consideration of extraordinary situations.

iv. Fire Escapes: Students are prohibited from loitering upon, or conducting any activity on or from, a fire escape or fire escape platform.

v. Fire/Smoke Detection Equipment: All University residences are equipped with fire and/or smoke detectors, many of which operate using batteries as a primary or back-up source of power. Students are required to maintain their fire/smoke detectors in working order. If a fire/ smoke detector (a) does not operate when tested, or (b) alerts the student to a failing battery, the student must promptly contact the Plant Services department (extension 5656) to make a maintenance request for the repair of the unit.

vi. Hall Ball: Games that involve running, propelling or throwing objects back and forth in the indoor part of residence halls are not allowed. Please take such activity outside.

vii. Health and Safety Standards Policy: In the interests of individual and collective health, welfare and safety, students are required to keep their premises clean and litter-free. Litter, trash, garbage and food remnants foster rodent and insect infestation, which in turn can lead to contamination of food products, disease, decay, and disintegration of carpet and property. To this end, the following procedures have been enacted and will be enforced:

1. A University Official may direct students and/or occupants of any room or premise to clean that room or premise at any time under this policy, and the students so directed agree to clean that room or premise within a maximum of twelve (12) hours as a condition of their Living Agreement with the University. A University Official is entitled to require immediate cleanup if deemed necessary.

2. Any room or property that has a noxious odor emanating from it must be cleaned immediately.

3. Lower-division students living in apartment style facilities may be subjected to appropriate additional scrutiny regarding these standards.

vii. Joint Responsibility for Shared Spaces: In apartments and suites with shared living space such as bathrooms, living rooms, hallways, kitchens and jointly-held storage space, all residents with access to, and control over, the shared space will be held accountable for violations of University policies and for any damage or excessive cleaning charges.

viii. Personal Items – Prohibited and Allowed: One of the primary concerns of the University is student safety. In the residence halls, risks to student safety are often managed by what is allowed / not allowed in terms of personal items. While it is impossible to create a complete list of prohibited items, the following belongings are not allowed in student’s residence hall rooms on campus.

1. Barbecues: Gas or charcoal barbecue grills are prohibited in and around residence halls, including decks and patios of University owned apartment buildings, with the exception of University provided barbeques at individual residence halls and apartment facilities. Electrical BBQs/grills are permitted so long as they do not generate an open flame.

2. Fires and Open Flames (Candles, Fire Pits, etc.): The use of equipment that produces, contains, or conducts a continuous open flame – such as candles, potpourri burners, incense, sterno cans or other combustibles – is prohibited. In addition, ‘fire pits’ and campfires are prohibited in and on the property of all Gonzaga owned on and off campus residential facilities without pre-approval by the Residence Director.

3. Flammable Items and Materials: Examples of flammable items or materials which are specifically prohibited from any University property include, but are not limited to: gasoline containers (full or empty), gas-operated camping equipment (e.g., Coleman stoves), engines or engine parts, propane tanks and liquid oxygen containers. Other examples of commonly utilized flammable materials that are considered dangerous and therefore prohibited include chemical compounds and components, open-coil burners, open-coil space heaters and candles. In addition, natural Christmas trees are prohibited without the pre-approval of the Residence Director of the building.

4. Halogen Lamps: Halogen lamps are not allowed in Gonzaga University residence halls, apartments and properties. There is extreme hazard and fire danger associated with the high temperatures at which halogen lamps burn (750-1100 degrees Fahrenheit). These high temperatures can ignite bedding, paper, posters, curtains, etc., when they come in contact with the bulb.

5. Refrigerators: If a student chooses to furnish his/her own refrigerator, the refrigerator may not draw electricity in excess of 0.5 amps. For ventilation and sanitation purposes, all refrigerators must be located in an open space, outside closets. During the semester break, all refrigerators must be emptied of perishable items to prevent spoilage over the period of the break.

6. Small Appliances: Students may have small appliances, such as popcorn poppers, microwaves and irons in the residence halls. However, students may not cook in their rooms using equipment which either produces an open flame (e.g., camp stoves, Bunsen burners) or contains an open coil (e.g., stove burners).

ix. Possession of Common Area Property: The University procures and provides property for the common use of all students within specific areas. Examples include, but are not limited to: furniture, fixtures, games and recreation equipment, signage, and vacuums. Local residents and businesses also own property privately. Unauthorized possession of property is prohibited, regardless of whether it is owned by the University or a private entity. Examples include but are not limited to:

1. Taking common area couches, tables, chairs to your room

2. Taking common area recreation equipment

3. Street signs from on or off campus

4. Traffic equipment owned by campus, Spokane, State of Washington, contractors e. Advertising materials, banners, signs and display items

5. The furniture in common areas (e.g., lounges, study rooms, recreational areas) is there for the use of all persons within the University Residence. Privately owned property has its own uses which are important to the owner(s). These furnishings and property are not to be removed from their locations.

x. Quiet and Courtesy Hours: The Housing & Residence Life Department mission states that we are to "develop a living experience that compliments and enhances the academic life of our residents." One of the ways that this is accomplished is in creating an atmosphere in the residence halls that is conducive for students to study. We do this in a way that accommodates the needs of students with early morning class schedules. Additionally, the University recognizes that its location within a residential neighborhood demands respect for the permanent residents of Spokane.

Therefore, a 24-hour courtesy policy is in effect for all University Residences. Noise of all types is to be kept to a moderate level, and all students are required to immediately cease and desist from the generation or production of noise when requested to do so by any other individual, at any time of the day or night. All students are advised that within all Gonzaga-owned residential property and on the grounds of the University, a Quiet Hours Policy is in effect as follows: Seven days a week: 11:00 p.m. to 9:00 a.m. the following morning. Weekend prior to finals through hall closing: 20 hours a day, seven days a week.

During quiet hours, it is expected that:

1. Noise be confined to the individual living units (rooms in residence halls, apartment units in apartment facilities).

2. Doors be closed if television or music is being played inside.

3. The noise in a room should not disturb neighbors sharing common walls.

4. Noise in the common areas and external to residential areas be kept at a low enough level that it will not disturb others.

Preventing disturbances is the most assured way of creating the environment on campus and in the residence facilities that is conducive to our academic enterprise and thus in keeping with our most central mission as an institution. Therefore, Residence Life and Campus Security staff are empowered to make judgment calls regarding noise levels prior to receiving complaints. Finals weeks each semester are important times for GU students. The University recognizes this by calendaring a "Reading Day" each semester to allow students to prepare for finals. Similarly, the Housing and Residence Life Department expects all students to take this time seriously and focus on academics. We expect quiet in our facilities out of deference to fellow students. Residence hall staff will be empowered during this time to use judgment regarding disruptive behavior. They may elect to respond to such disruptions in any of the following ways:

  • Use the normal conduct process to adjudicate the issue and resolve the behavior
  • Place a conduct hold on the student’s registration and defer resolution until September (specific to spring term)
  • Any combination of the above

xi. Windows/Window Screens: Window screens are not to be loosened or removed under any condition. If your screen comes loose by itself, please place a work order to have it repaired. A missing screen at the year’s end will be charged to the resident(s) in damage charges. Endangering the safety or property of others by dropping/throwing objects from windows, endangering oneself by sitting on the window ledge or by climbing in or out windows will result in disciplinary action. Banners, flags, posters and other hangings are not allowed to be displayed outside of windows or from ledges.

Last updated: 9/1/20