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Residential Expectations: Behavioral Expectations & Regulations


Living on campus is a privilege.  It provides you with the ability to build relationships with faculty, staff, and classmates, take advantage of leadership opportunities and participate in many events and activities, and affords you many conveniences by living where you study.  In addition, the responsibilities of living on-campus are great and these responsibilities are expectations of residential students in good standing.  TCNJ provides many services to its residential students and good citizenship as defined below is expected.

Please note that you may be held responsible for being present during a policy violation based on a preponderance of evidence. You may also be held accountable for your guests’ behaviors and policy violations occurring in your room or the common areas of your apartment, suite or townhouse.  Residential Education staff and/or campus partners may deny a resident or guest’s entry to a hall based on the health and safety of the individual or potential harm to the community.  In addition, Residential Education reserves the right to ask questions pertaining to the health and safety of an individual.

Students living in residence are held to two standards, those identified in the Student Conduct Code and those identified by the Department of Residential Education’s behavioral expectations for residential students, listed below.  If a student is found in violation of one or more of these expectations for the first time, Residential Education staff may choose to have an educational conference with the student rather than referring the case through the student conduct process.  Should a student fail to participate in this process or neglect to complete the outcomes resulting from their meeting, and/or persistently engage in similar behavior after being addressed, their case may be referred to the Office of Student Conduct and Dispute Resolution Services.

Accidental damage. Residents are responsible for maintaining the condition of their rooms. If there is accidental damage, they should report it immediately so it can be properly repaired. Residents should understand they may be billed for this damage.

Air-conditioners. Individual air conditioners are not permitted in any residence facility. Due to the occupancy numbers of each building, allowing such appliances could overwhelm the electrical capacity and create a danger for all. Instead, you may use a fan. If you have a medical need for air-conditioned space, you must register with Disability Support Services. 

Alcohol & alcohol paraphernalia. Residents should comply with all alcohol policies noted in the Student Conduct Code ; however, Residential Education and Housing also prohibits students from consuming alcohol in the presence of those who are under 21 years of age. Additionally, residents under the age of 21 are prohibited from having alcohol paraphernalia in their rooms. That includes, but is not limited to: empty alcohol containers (even when used for decorative purposes), shot glasses, beer steins or other products that may facilitate alcohol consumption. 

Appliances. Appliances with exposed heating elements are not permitted to be in the on-campus residence halls. These devices include but are not limited to: broiler or toaster ovens, heating devices, hot plates, toasters, drip coffee makers, and space heaters (in emergencies, space heaters may be issued by the ResEd staff). 

The use of appliances with enclosed heating elements for cooking purposes such as rice cookers, crock pots, and foreman-type grills are only permitted in the common areas (kitchens and lounges). If found plugged into an outlet in your room, it will be assumed to be in use. There is an exception for pod-style brewing systems (e.g. Keurig) which may be used within a private room.  All cooking must be done in the designated kitchen area. Personal microwave ovens, ranging between .4 and .9 cubic feet, are permitted in all residence halls except the Townhouses, College Houses, and Apartments where one is already provided.

It is strongly recommended that all heat-producing items have an automatic shut-off device (e.g. irons, curling irons, etc.). One personal refrigerator per room, not to exceed 3.5 cubic feet, is permitted in all residence halls. The Off Campus Houses, Phelps, Hausdoerffer, and Townhouse residents are not permitted to possess refrigerators as one is already provided in their living area. Personal refrigerators are not to be kept in closets or bathrooms.

Bunkbeds and lofts. Bunkbeds are not permitted in New Residence Hall, Eickhoff Hall, or the Townhouses. Bunkable beds are provided in all other halls. Lofts and other bed lifting mechanisms are not permitted in any hall. To get your beds bunked in buildings that allow it, submit a workorder

Common area cleanliness and damage. The common areas (bathrooms, elevators, hallways, kitchens, laundry rooms, lobby, lounges) are for everyone’s use and should be left in the condition in which they were found. Residents will be held accountable for excessive cleaning charges. Bodily fluids spills may require specialized cleaning by building services; contact a staff member. Damage assessments for vandalism and missing property, including excessive cleaning fees due to damages, are a shared responsibility of the respective residents (apartment, floor, hall, room, townhouses).

Exterior doors. Leaving exit doors propped open or unlocked, or entering or exiting the residence hall through clearly marked exit doors which will only open during fire alarms, is a safety hazard. Residents are expected to properly secure their entry doors at all times. The State of New Jersey Uniform Fire Code strictly prohibits the propping open of all fire doors. Individuals found tampering with door closure or locking mechanisms may be subject to disciplinary action. 

Failure to comply. After 8pm, anyone entering the residence halls must show identification to night desk workers to verify residency. All guests, including students from other buildings, must be registered with the desk. If a non-resident is in the building prior to 8pm, the host and the guest must go to the front desk and register once the desk opens at 8pm. Failure to comply may result in conduct charges.

Fire Alarms and Drills. The College generally conducts two fire drills a semester to ensure that students know how to evacuate properly in the event of an emergency. (This may be waived during COVID to reduce student exposure to the virus.) Students should always evacuate when the alarm sounds and should not assume it us a drill. 

Fire Safety. Leaving fire doors propped open is a safety hazard. All fire doors are to remain closed at all times and under no circumstances may be propped open. The State of New Jersey Uniform Fire Code strictly prohibits the propping of all fire doors.

Upon hearing a fire alarm, all residents/occupants are required to immediately evacuate the building, and shall not re-enter the building until authorized by the Campus Police or a residence life staff member. Upon detection of a fire, immediately exit your residence and activate the nearest pull alarm station.  Upon hearing an individual smoke detector alarm, residents must immediately notify the hall office and evacuate the building. During an alarm, all rooms must be entered to ensure the safety of the building and all residents. This search does not include opening of closets or drawers. In situations in which the fire safety of a building is in question, authorized individuals of The College’s Department of Administrative and Environmental Services shall have the right to impose additional restrictions and policies changes as necessary to ensure the safety of all building occupants. Such restrictions or policy changes may be in addition to, but may not conflict with or detract from, the provisions established by the state of New Jersey Uniform Fire Code, as enforced by the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs, Division of Fire Safety.

In strict adherence to the State of New Jersey’s Uniform Fire Code, The College strictly prohibits the following: Tampering or misuse of all fire safety equipment (which includes, but is not limited to, fire extinguishers; pull alarm stations; sprinkler heads; smoke detectors; heat sensors; exit lights; elevator phones, fire doors and call boxes); blocking doorways; hanging articles from windows; hanging objects on/from fire safety equipment or ceiling; initiating bomb scares; and initiating false alarms. Additionally, tapestries, posters and other wall coverings are not permitted to exceed 10 percent of the surface area of the walls and ceilings.

Due to the extreme potential for fire hazard, candles (even for  decorative purposes), incense, halogen lamps,  fireworks, smoke/fog machines or other flame-producing devices, and personal furniture containing or constructed of urethane are strictly prohibited from all residences.

All fire safety violations are considered very serious and may result in removal from residence.

Furniture. Students are prohibited from moving College-owned and provided furniture from their rooms, nor does the College have storage space to keep furniture that residents do not want in their rooms. Due to safety concerns, students may not stack furniture. Additionally, any personal furniture brought into the building must be made of fire retardant materials. Finally, the furniture place in lounges and common area spaces is for community use in those rooms. They may not be relocated to other spaces (including student rooms). 

Grills. No charcoal or gas grills are permitted in the residence halls. Additionally, residents should not store charcoal, propane or lighter fluid in the halls due to fire risk.

Guest policy. Guests are limited to those that live in TCNJ-operated residence halls. Guests must be signed in at the front desk during times that the front desk is up and operational (generally, daily 8pm until midnight or 2am). Any residential student who is in quarantine or isolation may not have guests or be a guest and will be expected to abide by the health and safety expectations listed during their move to quarantine or isolation. Residential students will be permitted 2 move in helpers during move in and move out times. Please refer to opening and move out communications for additional information. Overnight guests are permitted for a maximum of three consecutive nights with the written approval of all roommate(s)/suitemates/apartment and floormates.

Hallway games. Because of the potential damage to the building and danger to residents, hallway games are not permitted. This includes but is not limited to throwing balls and frisbees, hockey, running, wrestling, roller blades, scooters, bikes, and water fights. 

Halogen lamps. Halogen lamps within all residence halls is not permitted. 

Keys. It is a resident’s responsibility to carry their room and building access key at all times and to report it, if the key goes missing. Residents are prohibited from lending their key to others. Residents who repeatedly misplace or lose their key may be required to meet with the Residence Director to develop strategies for safekeeping of keys. Students who either lose keys or have them stolen will be issued a spare key, and they will not be held accountable through the disciplinary system, but may be charged up to $50 for a lock change, depending on the key type. This is a direct cost of having a locksmith make all the necessary core changes and key cuts. If a spare key is not returned within seventy-two hours, a lock change will be administratively activated at the resident’s expense. Residence may not refuse a lock change; those who try will be charged for the locksmith’s visit and another lock change will be scheduled and also charged to the student’s account. 

Lounge Use. Lounges are for residential student use and ResEd programming needs. If you or your organization wishes to use a lounge for programs, events, practices or meetings, please follow the appropriate reservation process here. 

Multiplug adapters and extension cords. Effective June 1, 2001, The State of New Jersey Uniform Fire Code strictly prohibits the use of all non-fused multi-plug adapters from Residence Halls. Power-strips with a breaker or fuse are required for all applications and can be purchased with longer cords, if location of the outlet is a concern for residents. Extension cords are also prohibited from use. Connecting surge protectors together is prohibited.

Routers. Routers are strictly prohibited per the TCNJ Computing Access Agreement. For more detailed information please reference the Information Technology page Why Can’t I Bring My Own Wireless Router.

Pet and pet accessory policy. Fish, turtles, hamsters, mice, gerbils, iguanas, lizards, and hermit crabs are permitted in the residence halls, but must be agreed-upon by all those sharing the room, house, and/or apartment and documented on the Shared Living Agreement.  ALL animals must be confined to a glass tank that is no larger than ten gallons; wire cages are not permitted as they have been deemed unsanitary and easily escapable.  Heat lamps are not permitted due to fire safety concerns, but heated rocks are an acceptable alternative.  Animals may not be removed from their tanks at any time except for cleaning.  Animals which are specifically banned include:  cats, dogs, rabbits, ferrets, chinchillas, snakes, hedgehogs, guinea pigs, spiders, snakes and birds. 

If a student has a service animal or emotional support animal (ESA), they should seek approval through the Accessibility Resource Center per the policy documented here. ESAs need to be approved by ARC prior to being on campus. 

And while we can appreciate your love of your family pet, you cannot have family pets visit you on campus in the residence halls. They are restricted to outdoor spaces and must be accompanied by a caretaker. 

Finally, all students with animals on campus—whether it’s an approved pet, ESA, service animal or outdoor visit with a family pet—are expected to clean up properly after their animal. 

Posting Policy. All posters, fliers, and mailbox stuffers must be approved for posting and distribution by Student Involvement, located on the second floor of the student center. Posting must comply with the posting guidelines as published.

Quiet Hours and Courtesy Hours. To ensure an environment conducive to sleep and study, individuals are responsible for monitoring their personal noise level. Noise is considered a problem when it is deemed disruptive to others. Quiet hours are in effect from 11 p.m. to 8 a.m., Sunday through Thursday, and from midnight to 8 a.m., Friday and Saturday. During quiet hours, all noise must be confined to student rooms at a level that cannot be heard outside the room when the door is closed. Quiet hours are in effect twenty-four hours-a-day during reading periods and finals week at the end of each semester. 

All remaining hours of the day are considered courtesy hours. During courtesy hours, all noise must be kept to a level which is respectful to other residents in the building and residents are asked to comply with reasonable requests from their peers. If residence life staff deem appropriate, students can be documented for violating the noise policy during courtesy hours. Amplified music or bands are not allowed and all groups using common areas and/or lounges need to abide by quiet hours.

Room changes. Any changes in room assignment must be approved in writing by Residential Education and Housing professional staff. 

Room furnishings. At no time are students permitted to stack their furniture or remove college furniture from their rooms or common living areas. All personal furniture brought into the residence hall must be made of fire retardant materials. Please refer to the appliances and fire safety sections for additional information regarding room furnishings.

Shared Living Agreement. All residents are expected to complete a Shared Living Agreement with their roommate/suitemate/housemates. Additionally, individual floor or building communities may develop a Community Agreement, facilitated by the CA or HA.  While these documents are living documents and can be updated and edited as needed, failure to abide by the agreement may result in educational conversations and/or conduct charges. 

Smoking. All of our residence halls are smoke-free. Residents and their guests are prohibited from smoking in the building. This also applies to electronic cigarettes. 

 In accordance with N.J.S.A 26:3D-55 et seq. which is known as the New Jersey Smoke-Free Air Act and as adopted in N.J.A.C. 8:6   Smoke-Free Air Regulations, smoking of any tobacco product or use of any electronic smoking devices in any indoor public place or workplace is prohibited. Additionally, smoking is prohibited at an exterior area if smoking in the exterior area results in migration, seepage, or re-circulation of smoke to an indoor public place or a workplace at which smoking is prohibited.

The New Jersey Indoor Air Quality Standard (N.J.A.C. 12:100-13) does not allow any air contaminates to enter buildings and/or building systems.

Therefore, The College of New Jersey prohibits smoking of any tobacco product or use of any electronic smoking devices in all residential buildings.

The College of New Jersey also prohibits smoking a minimum of 10 feet from building entrances, openings, or air intakes.  This distance may be greater if indicated by additional no smoking signage or if requested by The College’s administration.

Anyone found smoking inside any facility or within designated no smoking areas outside a building are subject to a $250 fine from the health department for the first offense, and may be charged by law enforcement under any other applicable law, including N.J.S.A 2C:33-13.  Students are also subject to action through The College of New Jersey’s student conduct process.

Smokers are required to properly dispose of their smoking instruments using provided smoking receptacles located on the exterior of campus buildings.

Solicitation. Door-to-door solicitation is strictly prohibited in the residence halls.

Student ID cards. Your student ID card serves many purposes. In addition to verifying your status as a TCNJ student, the card hosts your meal account, serves as collateral for borrowing items from the hall office and provides access into buildings. Students are expected to carry their ID at all times; lending your ID card to someone else or failing to present it when requested by a college official is a violation of college regulations. You may report lost or stolen IDs to the On-Line Card Office at or The Office of Student Accounts at 609.771.3145 (24 hours a day). A nominal replacement fee will be charged. If your ID is lost, stolen or misplaced, you should deactivate it immediately to ensure anyone who has it does not have access to your residence hall, meal account or GetIt funds.

Throwing objects out windows. Throwing objects out of windows is dangerous to individuals, their property, and the surrounding areas. It is also prohibited to remove screens, enter or exit a building through a window and/or  to suspend objects outside of a window. Firefighters interpret objects hanging outside a window as a signal for an emergency. This is considered a serious violation and may result in removal from residence.

Vacant spaces. At times there are unoccupied spaces in the residence halls (including within a double room). At no point should a student use or access spaces that they are not assigned to.  

Vandalism and damages. Students may be referred to student conduct for vandalism and intentional damages. Additionally, students may be charged for related repairs and cleaning. If you observe someone vandalizing or damaging the halls, please report it immediately. 

Violations of the Annual Residence Hall and Dining Services Contract. Upon applying for housing, you signed a contract that indicates you will abide by a series of agreements. You should periodically review this document to ensure you are knowledgeable about those contractual obligations. 

Wall hangings, curtains, tapestries and other décor. While we want TCNJ to feel like your home away from home, there are additional restrictions and guidelines in place that are meant to ensure student safety, mitigate fire risk and comply with state fire code. 



COVID-19 Related Provisions 

As you know, we are living in unique and unprecedented times. The College of New Jersey holds as paramount the health, safety and welfare of our community. Yet, we all must acknowledge that we cannot guarantee a COVID-19 free environment and it would be disingenuous to suggest otherwise. Taking steps to reduce the risk of COVID-19 is the shared responsibility of every member of our community. Therefore, as The College of New Jersey prepares for the return of residential students for the upcoming academic year, we know changes will be required to follow health and safety standards and guidance for community living due to COVID-19. Acknowledging these changes to the traditional TCNJ residential experience, we are issuing these additional measures to provide students with greater detail about these shared obligations, what they may expect and how changes may impact their residential experience in the coming year. Please take the time to carefully review each item.



Health and Safety

When you applied for housing, you signed a contract agreeing to the following:

  • Residents have a shared obligation to prioritize health and safety for the benefit of the entire community. 
  • You agree to adhere to College expectations intended to minimize risk of exposure to COVID-19 consistent with health and safety guidance including, but not limited to, practicing social distancing as recommended by CDC and wearing appropriate face coverings in common spaces throughout the residence halls. Residents must wear face coverings in their apartment, Townhouse or College House common areas as well and whenever staff come to their room for repairs, to address policy or to check in with a student. 
  • You will keep personal living space in a sanitary condition and to adhere to sanitation standards in shared spaces. 
  • You may be required to submit to symptom checking, COVID-19 testing, or other health protocols as a condition of residing in the residential community. 
  • You will disclose to the appropriate College medical official immediately upon notification of positive COVID-19 test status or contact from New Jersey Department of Health (or other government health agency) about exposure and instruction to isolate. 
  • You will comply with the College’s direction requiring isolation/quarantine. Isolation/quarantine may require removal from assigned room and relocation to an isolation/quarantine building. Isolation/quarantine does not constitute cancellation of the Residence Hall and Dining Services Contract nor does it entitle the Student to a refund.  The College will attempt to provide students with a designated isolation/quarantine space and require students to follow College and CDC guidelines governing living in these areas.  Failure to comply may result in removal from housing.
  • You will comply with all health and safety laws, orders, ordinances, policies, regulations, and guidance adopted by the College or the New Jersey Department of Health (or other government health agency) as it relates to COVID-19. This guidance may evolve as circumstances warrant. The College may require the Student to leave College housing in the event the Student’s continued presence poses a health or safety risk to the housing community. 


General Terms and Provisions

  • The Student acknowledges the College may restrict the full use of spaces and amenities within the residential community including, but not limited to: 
    • No guests will be permitted in the residence halls as non-residential students , including, but not limited to, students from off campus, non-TCNJ students and family. 
    • For move in and move out, a student is permitted to bring two support persons. Exceptions may be reviewed by the Accessibility Resource Center. 
    • Access to residential spaces is restricted to residential students, College staff, and approved vendors.
    • Access to and use of amenities/space may be restricted or limited in capacity (community space, lounges, kitchen, laundry rooms, elevators, etc.). 
  • The Student acknowledges Student-initiated room change requests may be restricted or limited after occupancy. 


The protective measures you practice protect me.

The protective measures I practice protect you.

The protective measures we collectively practice protect the experience we can have during this pandemic.