Residence Hall Policies: ResLife Manual

Residents and visitors must abide by Commonwealth of Virginia laws referring to alcohol use and possession. It is unlawful for any person under the age of 21 to purchase, consume or possess any alcoholic beverage. The possession, consumption, or presence of alcohol is prohibited at all times in residence hall rooms if each of the residents assigned to live in the room is under the age of 21.  This restriction does not apply if at least one of the room's residents is of legal age; however students under the age of 21 may not consume, possess, or be in the presence of the illegal use of alcohol in residence halls. All residents and involved students may be subject to disciplinary follow up, including fines and/or referral to the Office of Student Accountability. If no one claims responsibility for alcohol found in a student room, suite or apartment, the residents of that unit will be held accountable for the alcohol.

Alcohol is permitted in the living rooms and kitchens of the Apartments on Grace as long as one member of the apartment is at least 21 years of age.  Apartment residents under the age of 21 may not consume, possess, or be in the presence of the illegal use of alcohol in residence halls.

Loud or disruptive behavior or drinking habits that otherwise interfere with the rights of others or lead to other violations of university policies are reasons for disciplinary action, regardless of age.

Alcoholic beverages may not be consumed or carried in open containers in hallways, lounges, courtyards, kitchens or other public areas. Kegs, distillation processes, as well as other large sources of alcohol such as, but not limited to, punches and grain alcohol are not permitted in or around the vicinity of JMU residence halls.

Students may not possess or use alcohol paraphernalia or devices (e.g. “beer bongs,” “funnels,” beer/water pong tables, etc.) which, by their nature, promote irresponsible consumption of alcohol.

Students are prohibited from storing or possessing empty alcohol containers in rooms, suites, or bathrooms.  If empty alcohol containers are found in residence halls, staff will assume that the residents of the room or suite and any students present in the space are or were in possession of alcohol and have a shared responsibility for the containers.  All residents and involved students may be subject to disciplinary or Student Accountability follow-up, including fines.

Alterations to residence hall rooms (including, but not limited to, electrical wiring, attaching hardware to walls, ceilings or doors, construction of loft beds, or painting rooms) are not permitted except in accordance with university policy as issued by Residence Life.

To protect the general health and safety of hall residents, pets are not allowed in any university-owned or university-operated buildings. The only exception to this policy is fish that are kept as pets. Students found with pets other than the exceptions in university-owned or university-operated housing will have 24 hours to remove the pets and may be subject to a fine of $50 per day if they do not remove the pets promptly. A follow-up inspection will occur to verify the removal.

Service animals are permitted in residence halls and other university buildings. Assistance animals approved by the Office of Disability Services are permitted in university-owned or university-operated housing only.

Under the federal Fair Housing rules, individuals have a right to have an Emotional Support Animal in their dwelling, even in buildings that prohibit pets. The US Department of Housing has determined that university housing is subject to the same regulations for Emotional Support Animals as other types of homes and apartments. Fair Housing rules and case law affirm that students living in university housing have rights as emotional support animal owners, just as they would if they were living in non-university housing. 

  • Students must be approved through the Housing Accommodation process to have an Emotional Support Animal.  For information about that process, please see here.
  • Students approved for an Emotional Support Animal are only allowed to have the animal in their room and to take the animal outside to relieve themselves if appropriate. Students can only bring their ESA to another student’s room with the permission of all residents of that room. ESAs are not the same as service animals, which are permitted to go anywhere with their owner.
  • If a student becomes aware of an Emotional Support Animal in areas where one should not be, they should inform Hall Staff so they can follow up on the concern.
  • Universities are not permitted to restrict where individuals with ESAs can live. Therefore, it is not possible to have some buildings reserved for students with ESAs and others without ESAs.
  • If a student has a severe allergy to animals and cannot reside near a student with an ESA, they should go through the Housing Accommodation process so the Housing staff can work with them on their room assignment. Information about that process can be found here.
  • If a student witnesses aggressive or disturbing behavior by an ESA, they should inform Hall Staff so this behavior can be appropriately addressed.

Students are not allowed on roofs, ledges or elevated balconies. Students may not sit in or hang out of open windows, nor remove or damage any residence hall window screens. Students may not store or display items, such as cans or bottles, on windowsills that may impede exit during a fire emergency.

Bicycles may not be kept anywhere inside academic or administrative buildings or in public areas of the residence halls not designated for bicycles.  If all of the residents of a living unit agree, bicycles may be stored in students' rooms, apartments, and suites.  Storage may only occur within the confines of the designated areas.  Bicycles may not be locked to stairwells, handrails, or handicap access ramps. 

All bicycles should be registered with the Campus Police and each bicycle should be numbered.  This system of registration is now required to help prevent vandalism or theft.  The Office of Residence Life is not responsible for lost or stolen bicycles. 

Students may not ride bicycles, skateboards, scooters (including electric/gas powered scooters), or other wheeled vehicles in residential facilities. The university will confiscate these items if improperly placed in any student housing. Students who are found to have caused damage inside of a residence hall as a result of riding any type of vehicle can be subject to disciplinary action including but not limited to referral to the Office of Student Accountability, paying restitution costs, fines, etc. Wall mountings to store bicycles are not permitted, and any damages caused by the storage or transportation of a bicycle/or other transportation device are the responsibility of the owner.  Residents and their guests are responsible for cleaning up any mess resulting from a bicycle or any wheeled vehicle being brought into or taken out of a residence hall. Electric scooters may be brought in to residential facilities, however the charging of “Bird” or any other commercial electric scooter batteries is prohibited within residential facilities. Electric scooters may not be stored in common areas and the roommate should agree before the device is stored in their room. Motorcycles, mopeds, gas powered scooters and other motorized vehicles may not be brought inside the residence halls and must be parked appropriately. Students who violate this policy may forfeit their privilege to store their bicycle(s) and/or electric scooters within the residential facility.

Students who violate this policy may forfeit their privilege to store their bicycle(s) within the residential facility. 

Due to concerns from the Consumer Product Safety Commission and guidance from the Virginia State Fire Marshal regarding the safety of hoverboards, James Madison University has decided to prohibit the devices and their chargers in all JMU-owned buildings including residence halls. Hoverboards may not be used, charged or stored in any JMU owned or leased building.

Bulletin boards are designated for posting residence hall information and other similar items. All off-campus agents must receive approval from both the Director of the Madison Unions and the Associate Director of Residence Life to post notices on residence hall bulletin boards.

All signs, except those regarding residence hall business or publicity for hall events, must have appropriate approval stamps from the Madison Unions or Residence Life. Unauthorized removal of postings or vandalism of bulletin boards is prohibited.

Candles, incense and other items producing an open flame or ember may not be burned in residence halls. Residents may not have candles of any kind in their hall. Wax burners and candle warmers are also prohibited. Violations may be subject to disciplinary action and/or fines.

There are two methods of checking out of a residence hall room – Standard or Express. The Standard method is to meet with an RA after having removed all of belongings from the room. Residents are expected to schedule, in advance, a check-out time with an RA.  Additional inspections by Residence Life staff will occur after checkout.  The second method of checking out of a residence hall room is the Express Check-out method. Express Check-out is only available at the end of the academic year. Express Check-Out is a quick way to check out of the hall; however, there are a several steps.  Students will need to make sure that the room is clean and that none of their belongings are left in the room. They then put their keys in the completed express check-out envelope and drop it in the slot in the hall office door. If a resident chooses to use the Express Check-Out option, they waive all right to appeal any charges found in the room upon staff inspections.

Failure to go through a scheduled checkout or use the Express Checkout process will result in a $50 fine. When checking out, a residence hall staff member will use the resident’s electronic Room Condition Form to note missing or damaged furniture; damage to floors, walls, doors, ceilings, electrical fixtures, windows and locks; and any other maintenance or custodial services required to return the room to its original condition. A second inspection conducted by Residence Life Business Operations staff will occur after student departure. Additional charges may be assessed at that time.

If warranted, the student will receive a bill after checkout for damages noted on the electronic Room Condition Form or found during a subsequent inspection. All room occupants will be held financially accountable for the condition of their private room. Unless specific individuals accept financial responsibility for damages, missing furniture or dirty conditions, each resident of the room/suite will be billed for an equal portion of the damage or cleaning assessment.

All rooms must be neat at checkout time.  Rooms must be swept and/or vacuumed. There will be a bill assessed per person for any room that requires excessive cleaning or trash removal. Residents are responsible for cleaning and removing trash from their room and surrounding hallways and stairwells.

Students and their guests will be held responsible for any damage, theft or act of vandalism of university property both in private and public areas of the residence halls. This includes extra housekeeping services required for the removal of blood-borne pathogens (vomit, blood, bodily fluids, etc.). Students may be held accountable for damage that happens to/from the exterior of doors, windows and screens. Bills for the cost of repair and/or clean up will go to the responsible students.

Deliveries made to JMU residence halls are to be accepted only by the addressee or by his or her designee. The university accepts no responsibility for the loss of such deliveries.

Students may not possess, use or distribute any illegal drug as defined by the Drug Control Act of the Commonwealth of Virginia. Such possession, use or distribution is prohibited in any building or on any property owned or operated by the university.

Possession applies to any area or property for which the student is responsible. University policy conforms to state law with regard to drug paraphernalia.

Tampering with or misusing elevators is prohibited; it can create safety concerns, damage costs and excessive wear and tear on elevators operating for the large number of residents within the halls.

Public Areas 

Residence hall students may reserve and use a designated public recreation area in their hall for a private party or social activity. Students should communicate with their hall director to obtain specific procedures on how to reserve a public area for an event.


Students may have small social gatherings in their room or suite in accordance with all applicable state laws and university policies. Residence Life aims to establish and maintain a positive educational environment in the residence halls. The policy for gatherings in the halls will be continued as long as this goal is not jeopardized.

Residents’ rights to study, sleep and have reasonable privacy within their room will be maintained. These rights supersede the right to socialize. Residents must consult their roommate and suitemates prior to an event to prevent disruptions in the room or suite. Loud or disruptive behavior, lack of cleanliness in the residence halls or drinking habits that interfere with the rights of others are reasons for disciplinary action. Room or suite events are discouraged during weeknights. 

Events in rooms or suites are intended to be small due to the space availability and safety and fire regulations. The number of people attending an event must be no more than the room can accommodate:  six (6) per bedroom, eight (8) in a permanent triple and/or twelve (12) per Village Suite room.  For the Apartments on Grace: six (6) per 1 bedroom double, and twelve (12) per 2 bedroom double. Residents are responsible for their guests’ behavior. Failure to control guests will result in immediate administrative or disciplinary action.

Students may receive fines for violations of residence hall policies including, but not limited to, the following:

Policies and Fines
Violated Policy  Fine
Alcohol/empty containers $75
$50 (per day per pet)
Balconies, roofs, windows and screens $50
Bicycles, wheeled vehicles and hoverboards $50
Bunk beds/improper bunking/unassembled beds $50
Candles and incense $75
Cleaning/housekeeping $50 (minimum)
Community Standards $75
Early arrival $100
Failure to evacuate in a fire emergency $75
Fire safety (including room inspection violations) $75
Furniture misappropriation $50 (per day per piece of furniture after a 24-hour grace period to return furniture)
Guests $75
Improper check-out $50
Lock Change $50 (Apartments on Grace - $75)
Lock-out violation
$50 (first two lockouts no charge, $50 for third and each additional lockout)
Loft bed improper storage $50 (immediate and additional charges of $25 per day for each day the materials remain improperly stored)
Loft bed inspection failure $50 (after failing second inspection: 72 hours after first inspection and $25 per day for each day the bed remains without inspection approval)
Loft bed up after deadline $50 (plus incidental charges for damage or improper checkout)
Non-compliance with official request $75
Quiet hours/noise $75
Smoking/vaping $75
Suite combination change $50 (first time no charge)
Temporary Access Card lost $25
$50 (minimum)
Unauthorized room change $50
Unwelcoming to potential roommate $75
Wireless Routers $75

Residence halls are completely evacuated for all fire alarms. Periodic fire drills are held to ensure the safety of all residents. Properly conducted fire drills can help minimize problems if an actual fire emergency occurs. Fire evacuation diagrams are posted on each residence hall door.

Each residence hall must hold a pre-announced, walk-through fire drill during the first two weeks of each semester. During each pre-announced fire drill, staff members will be required to open doors to all residence hall rooms to ensure evacuation. There must also be one announced fire drill during the last eight weeks of each semester.

All fire drills at James Madison University will be announced and preplanned.

If a fire alarm sounds and you have not been notified prior to the alarm that it is a drill, take immediate action, evacuate the building, and protect yourself.

Residence hall staff members may make a room-by-room check to ensure that all occupants leave the building in the event of any fire alarm (fire drill or unplanned alarm). Residents are not permitted to re-enter the building until authorized to do so by Campus Police or the fire department.


Failure to Evacuate

No student may disregard a fire alarm signal or refuse to evacuate a building or a section of a building where a fire alarm is sounding. This is a violation of commonwealth law and can result in disciplinary action and/or a fine.


Obstruction of Fire Evacuation Egress

  • Nothing in a residence hall should impede, obstruct, or obscure egress in the event of an emergency.  
  • Students may not store loft beds, furniture, boxes, trash, bicycles or other items in hallways or public areas.
  • No student shall purposefully prevent someone from swiftly and safely evacuating a building.
  • Doors (room and suite) should be able to open to a full 90 degrees without being blocked.
  • Bunk beds and loft beds blocking a window must be at least 12 inches away from the wall.


Tampering with Fire Safety Equipment or Devices

No student may activate any alarm or attempt to manipulate any electrical, mechanical, or firefighting device for the purpose of creating a false fire alarm. In addition, no student may tamper with or otherwise misuse any fire detection or early warning device, emergency lighting, evacuation systems, or emergency telephones. Tampering with or misusing such items is a violation of Commonwealth laws.

To prevent fire hazards, the State Fire Marshal’s office and the Office of Public Safety established the following policies to keep our residence halls safe at all times. The following items are prohibited in residence halls:

  • Air conditioners
  • Air Fryers
  • Any appliances with an open heating element
  • Bed risers with electrical outlets (Bed Risers with only USB ports are ok) 
  • Candles, incense & open flames
  • Ceiling fans
  • Coffee makers without automatic shut-off
  • Desk lamps with electrical outlets (Desk Lamps with only USB ports are ok)
  • Extension cords
  • Fireworks, explosives, and flammable substances (including charcoal & lighter fluid)
  • Fuel-powered equipment
  • Gasoline, propane, flammable liquids, or gases
  • Halogen lamps
  • Hot plates
  • Hoverboards and their chargers
  • Keg refrigeration devices
  • Live Christmas Trees
  • Microwave ovens (except at the Apartments on Grace or rented from Microfridge with necessary safety features)
  • Multi-plug/cube adapters
  • Refrigerators larger than 5 cubic feet total capacity*
  • Sandwich grills
  • Smoke/haze machines
  • Space heaters
  • Toasters/toaster ovens
  • Wax burners/candle warmers
  • Wireless routers

*One mini refrigerator is permitted PER STUDENT. If you live in the Village, one mini refrigerator is also permitted in the suite common area.

*Please see our specifications about our new partnership with MicroFridge.

Electrical Cords & Information

All appliances should be covered under the homeowner’s/renter’s insurance policies. The Office of Residence Life and James Madison University are not responsible for damages to students' personal property.

Any appliance with a heavy electrical draw, such as a refrigerator, hair dryer, or iron, must be plugged directly into a wall outlet, rather than a surge protector. All surge protectors must be UL approved, circuit protected, and have a reset/on and off switch. Surge Protectors must be plugged directly into a wall outlet.

  • Cords and wires with an electrical current should not be subjected to damage by being placed in a high-traffic area (ex: on the floor in front of a doorway) or be run under carpets/rugs.
  • Cords and wires should not pass through or in front of windows, or doors, or be affixed to walls or the ceiling. 
  • Cords and wires (whether an electrical current or not), should not be placed in a way that presents a trip hazard or an obstruction of egress in the event of an emergency.
  • Cords and wires should not come into contact with fire suppression equipment, such as sprinklers. 
  • Surge protectors should not be improperly supported and hanging by their cords.  They must lay flat on a surface. Surge protectors cannot be plugged into one another either.
  • Surge protectors with no kind of reset/on or off switch you press from one side to the other are not permitted.
    • These can come in all kinds of configurations.
  • Examples: Cube adapter, which looks more like a square with 6 plugs usually, but no on/off switch, a smaller looking power strip with 3 plugs and USB ports, but no on/off switch.
  • Surge protectors need to have circuit protection meaning they need to have reset/on side and off side.
    • “Reset” is another word for “on”, reset meaning the surge protector is reset/on and functioning normally with the electrical load plugged into it.
    • If the electrical load becomes too much, then the surge protector will switch to the off position and at that point needs to be turned back to the reset/on position.
  • Any kind of device with a USB-only plug-in with charging capability is permitted, per the state fire marshal.
  • Examples: lamps, alarm clocks
    • However, if there is an electrical outlet embedded within these types of items then it is not permitted; for example: bed risers.
  • No more than three strands of holiday lights should be connected together at one time and should follow all guidelines above.  Lights with paper or another flammable material surrounding the bulb are not allowed.
  • When leaving for any extended period of time, students must unplug all appliances.
  • Students may not tape over, tamper with, or disconnect a circuit breaker, fuse, telephone circuit box, smoke detector, electrical socket, light fixture, cable, or switch.

Fireworks, Explosives, and Flammable Substances

Possessing, storing, or using any fireworks, explosives, or flammable substances (including charcoal and lighter fluid) is strictly forbidden in and around residence halls. Use or possession of such materials may result in disciplinary action.

Unsanitary Conditions

Conditions in a room or suite that detract from the overall academic environment or attract pests to the residence hall are prohibited.  This includes trash accumulation, not disposing of trash in the proper location, and failing to clean properly.  Personal trash should be disposed of in the proper location, not in the hallways, bathrooms, study lounges, TV lounges, or other public areas.

Window/Wall Coverings & Decorations

Any curtains, drapes, or wall/window coverings in student rooms must be fire-treated or made from fabric that is fire retardant. Fire retardant spray is available in each residence hall office. If coverings are already fire-treated, students must have proof of treatment. This proof can be an attached manufacturer's tag, a receipt for professional treatment, or the can of spray treatment used. No curtains or draperies should be hung at or near doorways.

  • Excessive decorations on room walls can be hazardous.  The State Fire Marshal has set the following guidelines for residence hall rooms: wall coverage not to exceed 50% in buildings with sprinklers; wall coverage not to exceed 20% in buildings without sprinklers
  • The only items allowed on room doors in a residence hall are a name tag and whiteboard per resident of the room. 
  • Hanging or suspending any material or item from the ceiling, overhead lights, smoke detector, or sprinkler head is prohibited.
  • Holiday and temporary decorations (i.e. birthdays) should only remain on room/suite doors for 24 hours. 
  • Decorations should never be placed on fire doors throughout the hall or in stairwells.

Students may not remove university equipment or furniture from their assigned room, suite, lounge, or other area within a residence hall. Unauthorized removal of furniture within a building or from one building to another will be considered misappropriation, and a fine may be incurred.

Residents and visitors must abide by Commonwealth of Virginia laws referring to illegal gambling, including, but not limited to, poker, football pools, or any games of chance.

  1. Illegal gambling is legally defined as making, placing, or receiving any bet or wager of money or anything of value made in exchange for a chance to win a prize, stake, or other consideration or thing of value, dependent on the result of any game, contest or any other event, the outcome of which is uncertain or a matter of chance.
  2. In Virginia, there is an exception that makes gambling legal when such gambling occurs in a private residence which is not commonly used for such games of chance and where there is no operator of the game. When any form of wagering is involved, poker games or other games of chance may be played in student bedrooms, Village suites, and Grace Street Apartment living rooms only.  These games may not be played in the lobby, TV lounge, study lounge, or any other public area in the residence halls. There cannot be a regularly scheduled poker game or any other game of chance in any student bedroom or Village suite. There can be no operator of any such game.
  3. When students or visitors are playing poker or other games of chance in their room, no one may benefit from the game in any way other than as a result of the outcome of the game (i.e. students may not charge an entry fee or take a cut of the amount wagered).
  4. Poker or other games of chance may be organized by the staff and may occur in the public areas of the building (not including Village suites or apartment living rooms) only if there is no entrance fee, no wagering on the outcome, and no prize of any value awarded to the winner. Door prizes are allowed under the law, but these must be awarded on a purely random drawing. These games may not be used as fund-raisers by individuals or groups.
  5. Football pools or any other form of wagering on the outcome of an event may only occur between students within the bounds of their bedroom or suite. These may not be posted or advertised in public areas.

A room adequately accommodates the persons to whom it is contracted and a few guests. Overcrowding rooms is a safety concern and an issue of community welfare. Residents may have no more than one guest per resident per night; overnight capacity in the bedroom may not exceed one guest per resident.

  • If students plan to have overnight guests, they must obtain agreement from their roommate in advance. Roommates must have full use of their room at all times and must give consent to overnight guests. If roommates do not agree on having an overnight guest, the right of the student who does not want the guest takes priority.
  • Guests may stay overnight in student bedrooms only (residents and guests may not sleep in suite rooms, apartment living rooms, lounges, or other public areas) and must use gender-appropriate or gender-neutral bathrooms.
  • Guests may not stay on campus overnight for more than two consecutive nights without special permission from the hall director and may not prolong a visit by moving to another room.
  • Hosts are responsible at all times for the activities and actions of their guests. Guests who violate any residence hall or university policies may be required to leave and the host held accountable. Damages attributed to guests may be charged to the hosting students.
  • Hosts may not give their room key or JMU Access Card (JAC) to their guests. Guests are only allowed to visit their host and are not permitted to wander the halls or visit other residents or rooms unless they are explicitly invited and escorted by their host.
  • Students may not have overnight guests during final examination weeks.
  • Roommates or other hall residents who believe their rights are being violated or that they are being imposed upon should first discuss the matter with the other party. If this does not lead to a resolution of the problem, residents should contact their RA or residence hall director.

To ensure the safety of all residence hall occupants, residents, and staff should adhere to the following guidelines when decorating for holidays.

  • No open flames (candles, sterno-type products, etc.)
  • Utilize battery-powered lights inside jack-o-lanterns
  • Door decorations are limited to 24 hours
  • No decorations on fire doors
  • No decorations in stairwells
  • No smoke or haze machines
  • No disabling of exit signs or emergency lighting
  • All decorations must be flame retardant or otherwise non-combustible (acceptable products are crate paper/streamers, and spider webs that are not excessive in size or covered with flammable items.)
  • Do not block, impede, obstruct, or otherwise obscure any means of egress. Doors must be able to swing open a full 90 degrees.
  • Holiday lights may not be hung in public areas or from any ceiling or doorway. Lights should not pass through a doorway or window. No more than three strands of lights should be connected. Holiday lights must be unplugged/switched off when a room is unoccupied.
  • Live Christmas trees are not permitted in residence halls.

The JMU Residential Contract is a legally binding agreement between the student and the university. The contract commits a student to university-sponsored housing for one academic year consisting of both fall and spring semesters. Specific items and conditions are outlined in the contract, and students should review them carefully.

A student moving out of their assigned residence hall room prior to the end of the academic year does not constitute a cancellation of the JMU Residential Contract.

Students must submit requests for release from the contract to the Director of Residence Life or their designee. Students cannot make commitments for other living arrangements until Residence Life grants the contract release. Granting a release is not automatic. If a release is granted, charges may be assessed based on the refund schedule outlined in the JMU Residential Contract.

All residence halls have JAC-accessible exterior entrance doors. Students will have 24-hour card access to their residence hall when school is in session.

Lost or stolen JACs should be reported to Card Services, Student Success Center, 568-6446, Monday-Friday 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. During other hours, students should call Campus Police (Public Safety) at 540-568-6913 to have their card deactivated, or students can log on to and click on “Manage Your Accounts” to deactivate their JAC. Students can check out a temporary card from hall staff for use until the next regular working day if they lose their JAC or if their JAC stops working on weekdays after 5:00 p.m. or on weekends. Temporary access cards do not provide access to meal plans.

Each student living in a residence hall will be issued a room key, and some will be issued a suite combination during the hall check-in process. A student may not lend room keys or suite combinations to any other person. Residence hall keys are not to be duplicated except by a JMU locksmith, as authorized by the Office of Residence Life. Residents will be billed for each lock change if a key is lost.

All residence halls are locked 24 hours per day, seven days per week. A student who enters or leaves a residence hall is responsible for securing the door. Propping or otherwise preventing any door from being completely secure is a serious safety violation.

Security of each residence hall requires that students lock their room and/or suite doors and keep their keys with them when they leave their room. Lost keys should be reported to a Residence Life staff member immediately. Staff members are able to unlock doors for residents; however, abuse of this service or breach of hall security may result in disciplinary action.

Students are not to admit unauthorized or uninvited persons into their residence hall at any time.

Students who live in 2-room suites (rooms that share a bathroom with an adjoining room) are not permitted to enter the other room in the suite without the express permission of the suitemates. Additional locks may not be installed on these bathroom doors due to fire code restrictions.

Lock Change & Lost Key Replacement

To maintain security, a lock will be changed whenever a room key is lost or stolen. The student will be responsible for paying the appropriate charge. Room lock changes cost $50. There is a $50 charge to change a suite combination at the second request. If a key is lost, residents should contact their RA or hall director within 24 hours of the key being lost or stolen. The staff member will submit a lock change request on the student’s behalf.  The staff member will then issue a spare key from the key box to be used until the lock change can be completed. Lock changes at the Apartments on Grace are $75.


Students locked out of their room should contact a hall staff member for admittance to the room. Students must provide proof of residency (JAC or student ID number). Students will only be admitted to their assigned room. A $50 fine will be charged for each lockout after the second time a student is admitted to his or her room with a lockout key during the academic year. Lockouts carry over from the fall to spring semester and do not reset to zero.

Each residence hall has a laundry room with washing machines and dryers. All laundry equipment is coin-operated and also accessible by JACard. Students can call 1-800-927-9274 with concerns related to washers and dryers.

Residents must take full responsibility for the installation and construction of any personal loft beds. The university will not provide such services and assumes no responsibility for the safety of the loft bed. Loft bed construction must be in compliance with the following guidelines:

Temporary Triple rooms

In temporary triple rooms, a university-owned loft bed will already be installed.  Until that room has been de-tripled and the third set of furniture removed, personal loft beds will not be permitted.


The loft bed must be totally self-supporting with no attachments to walls, ceilings, or other furniture in the room. No nails, bolts, or screws will be permitted on room floors, walls, or ceilings.

  • Pressure-treated lumber is not allowed
  • All trash, including wood scraps and sawdust, must be taken directly to the dumpster and not left in hallways, public areas, or trash containers in the hall.
  • We recommend that the bed spring be incorporated into the design of the loft.
  • The resident is responsible for the storage of all bed parts not used in loft construction.
  • JMU furniture may not be stored in residence hall storage areas.


Lofts may not block doorways or windows and should not be in contact with room radiators. Loft construction must not interfere with either the location or operating efficiency of any smoke detector. Bunk beds and loft beds placed against a wall with an operable window may not extend past the center of the window. If the bed does block more than half the window opening, then the entire bed unit will need to be moved a minimum of 12 inches away from the wall.  This will allow residents to stand at a window to call for help or rescuers to enter the room from the exterior in the event of an emergency.

Size Limitations

The mattress support area must be no higher than 7 feet from the floor. Ceiling heights vary from hall to hall but the sleeping surface must be at least 30 inches from the ceiling. Sleeping surface dimensions must not exceed 89 inches long by 47 inches wide.

Any construction of loft beds is at the resident's own risk; however, Residence Life staff reserve the right to deem a loft bed unsafe or in violation of the fire code. Failure to remove or modify the loft may result in an immediate $50 fine and an additional charge of $50 per day for each day until compliance is met. All student-owned loft beds must be dismantled and original beds reassembled by the Thursday before exam week to prevent unnecessary noise during final exams. Loft beds may also be dismantled after 11:30 a.m. on the final day of exam week. University beds must be properly reassembled before residents check out. If the university bed is not assembled, residents will be assessed an improper checkout fine.

If you have any questions regarding this information, contact the Office of Residence Life, Business Operations at 540-568-7576 or

The university allows residents to paint their room or suite but does not provide materials to paint the room or suite. In order for a resident to paint/decorate a room or suite, a Paint Authorization Form must be completed and all guidelines followed. Forms are available in residence hall offices. Residents must receive advance approval of designs for public and suite areas. At the end of the academic year, or as required, the university will paint decorated areas in order to return the room/suite to its original condition. All students who signed the Paint Authorization Form will be billed to cover the costs of restoring the area to its original condition. Students will not be allowed to repaint the decorated areas.

Only areas designated as public spaces by the appropriate area director may be painted. Metal windows, doorjambs, doors, marble sills, built‑in or movable furniture, and floors, etc. may not be painted.  A graphic design and desired location must be submitted on a Paint Authorization form and approved by the Area Director, Hall Director, and residents of the floor before any work is to begin.

Students may not throw or cause the projection of any object or substance that could damage or deface university or private property or cause personal injury or disruption. This includes throwing objects or athletic equipment inside the residence halls, throwing snowballs or water balloons in or near halls, and using water guns in or near halls. Residents may be held responsible for damage to windows and doors of rooms or suites even if the source of damage is unknown.

Time periods have been designated in residence halls as courtesy hours and quiet hours to promote an environment conducive to living and learning. The university is committed to providing students with housing in which they may grow and develop both personally and academically. To achieve this environment, quiet hours must be established and maintained. The following guidelines have been established to promote an atmosphere conducive to studying.

  • Students are required to consider the needs of others at all times and to govern the noise level in their room. Courtesy hours are in effect 24 hours a day, seven days a week. This means that any noise or behavior that distracts a resident from sleeping or studying must cease at the request of another resident or staff member.
  • All residence halls will have quiet hours and these hours will be posted throughout the hall.
  • Quiet hours are 11:00 p.m. to 9:00 a.m. on weekdays starting on Sunday and 2:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. on weekends. Quiet hours will begin on the first evening that residence halls are open.
  • Starting at 10:00 p.m. the Friday before fall semester finals and the Thursday before spring semester finals, quiet hours are in effect 24 hours a day until the end of examinations. Hall staff members in each area may designate a stress-relief hour (9:00-10:00 p.m. each day) when the quiet hours are not enforced; courtesy hours remain in effect.
  • Radios, stereos, musical instruments, and sound amplification equipment may be used by students as long as the use of the equipment does not disturb other residents, faculty members, or neighbors. Sound equipment or musical instruments may be restricted from a room or confiscated if they are the cause of continuous complaints or disruption. The placement of speakers in room or suite windows is prohibited.
  • If students are bothered by noise in their hall during courtesy hours, it is their responsibility to ask the person making the noise to be quiet. If the person who has been asked to be quiet fails to reduce the noise to a reasonable level, the students should request assistance from a residence hall staff member.

Requests to have repairs completed in your room should be submitted online. Log on to Under Submit a Work Request, click  “maintenance request.” You’ll be prompted to enter your e-id and password, then you can submit the information specific to your request. If you have difficulty using this feature call 568-7576 or contact your RA for assistance.

Requests for room changes can be submitted as of the first business day of each semester. Residence Life may not process room change requests until after the first three weeks of each semester. For a smooth room change, students should take the following steps:

  1. Discuss plans with current roommate(s).
  2. Complete the Online Room Change Request form through the Online Housing System.  Residence Life will determine what spaces are available for a room change and will make you a Room Change Offer. Residence Life will communicate with you about how to see the space and meet the potential roommate.
  3. After accepting the Room Change Offer, schedule a meeting with the new hall director to complete the room change process.
  4. Move belongings into new room assignment.
  5. Schedule a meeting with the original hall director to complete the checkout process and return keys after the student removes all belongings from his or her original room assignment.


Direct Switches of Room Assignments

A direct switch involves two residents of the same hall exchanging room assignments. Hall Directors have the authority to approve direct switches and do not require an Online Room Change Form.   However, the Hall Director must authorize the direct switch before either student can move rooms.  Room changes into vacant spaces or any other hall must submit an Online Room Change Request form and follow the steps above.


First-Year Student Room Changes

To move to another first-year hall, students should follow the procedures outlined above in Room Changes. First-year students are rarely granted authorization to move to upper-class halls.


Unauthorized Room Changes

Room changes cannot be made without proper authorization. Students may be fined for unauthorized room changes and must return to their original room assignments.


End-of-Semester Room Changes

At the end of the fall semester, there are usually a substantial number of room changes. Students who would like to change rooms should complete the Online Room Change Request form through the Online Housing System.  If a student’s roommate is moving and the student does not notify Residence Life of his or her roommate preference, Residence Life will assign a new roommate to the student’s room.

Room inspections are conducted to ensure safe and healthy conditions in the halls. This process facilitates the identification of room damages and fire &safety violations for which residents may be accountable.

Each room will be inspected once every eight weeks. The time of the inspection will be designated by the staff in each building and will be announced at least 24 hours before the inspection. Periodic inspections by the State Fire Marshal Inspector may also be done. There is usually very little advance notice for these inspections.

A fine or student accountability action may result from damages, unsafe conditions, or policy violations.

Smoking is defined as the burning, lighting, or use of a tobacco product or marijuana and any other smoking device or equipment that includes, but is not limited to cigarettes, cigars, electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes), vaporizers, hookahs, and pipes. Smoking is not permitted in any residence hall room, suite, or floor. Students must go outside the building to smoke and stay away from hall doors and windows. Smoking is not permitted in the Village courtyard areas or on Bluestone Hall porches/patios. Smokers are required to use ash urns to dispose of their smoking material waste and are prohibited from littering state-owned property with smoking material waste. A student(s) will be billed the cost for tampering with fire safety equipment and/or any cost associated with damage to or maintenance of fire equipment or room caused by smoking.

Students or student organizations may not engage in advertising, selling, or distributing any goods, services, publications, flyers, tickets, or soliciting/requesting information or interviews. They may not solicit, for any purpose, using university telephones, property, or buildings. Door-to-door solicitation and/or distribution or collecting information, interviewing, or surveying residents in residence halls is prohibited. Exceptions related to residence halls for service programs and fund-raising projects must be approved in advance by the associate director of Residence Life.

All students or student organizations planning to conduct programs on or off campus requiring an agreement with non-university agencies must obtain the permission of the director of the University Unions and, in some cases, the vice president for University Advancement.

Non-student and non-university-related organizations may not sell, distribute, or solicit in the residence halls for any purpose.

Residents may not permit their guests to be involved with any type of solicitation of goods, services, or information in the halls.

Violations may be subject to disciplinary or student accountability action.

Storage rooms exist in residence halls to provide students with reasonable space for the temporary storage of personal belongings during the academic year.

The residence hall storage rooms are provided for the convenience of students who use them. No inventory of stored items is made. The university will take reasonable precautions to safeguard the items stored; however, students must understand that items placed in these areas are stored at their risk. The university will make no reimbursement for items lost, damaged, or stolen. Items stored during the school year must be picked up before the residence halls close for the summer. The university does not provide storage during the summer months. Check online for storage alternatives.

Arrangements for the use of the storage area can be made with the hall director or RA. (At no time may an open storage room be left unattended). Stored items must be identified with a storage tag provided by hall staff.

The following are important points to remember when using storage rooms provided by the university:

  • University-owned furniture may not be stored in storage rooms.
  • Only items with storage tags may be stored. Students are responsible for tagging their storage items.
  • Storage tags are available from the residence hall staff.
  • Storage items must not be left on the floor of the storage room. Shelves are available in most storage rooms and should be used to maintain a clear walkway into the storage room.
  • Storage during the summer is only available between spring and summer sessions and only for students residing in the summer residence hall.
  • Storage rooms may be cleared of abandoned property at the university’s discretion each summer.
  • The Office of Residence Life is not responsible for the items in the storage rooms. Residents store items at their risk.
  • Students should not keep the following items in the university storage rooms:
  • Gasoline, paint, and other flammable liquids and containers
  • Platform beds, couches, chairs, bars, and similar personal furniture items
  • Paper and plastic bags
  • University-owned furniture items such as bed parts, desks, or dressers
  • Loose carpets, rugs, curtains, etc.

Residence Life has designated and equipped areas in all residence halls to serve as study lounges. Study lounges are separate from TV and lobby lounges and should be treated as 24-hour quiet areas.

Tampering with or altering any data, voice, video, or other technology ports in bedrooms or public areas of residence halls is strictly prohibited. Installation of cable TV or Ethernet splitters is also prohibited.

Students may not use JMU Ethernet or JMU electronic addresses nor ResNet Ethernet and wireless access to conduct private business.  The equipment is for educational use only.

The installation of personal wireless routers and hubs is not allowed in Residence halls because of the high probability of interference and security issues.

The hall office computer is for the Resident Adviser and Hall Director's use only. The computer may not be used to conduct private business. It is for work and educational use only.

Students are responsible for placing their trash in trash rooms or designated dumpsters for their residence hall. Trash in non-designated areas can be considered a fire, safety, or health hazard. Students are subject to fines for inappropriate disposal of trash.

Residents who misrepresent the truth, do not respond to phone or e-mail messages, do not prepare their room for a new resident, intimidate assigned occupants or students wishing to move in, or otherwise attempt to manipulate the housing assignment process may be assessed a fine. Fines may also be issued to students who are deliberately unwelcoming to a new roommate or who do not prepare their room for a new roommate. This includes preparing the room before winter break.

Residence hall offices have vacuum cleaners for student use during office hours.

Aramark operates the university vending service for the convenience of hall residents. Students who lose money in vending machines should call 568-6363. Machines accept dollars, coins, and JACard.

Water beds are prohibited in university housing due to their excessive weight and the possibility of damage to personal and university property from water leakage.

No student may keep, use, possess, display, or carry any rifle, shotgun, handgun, knife, other edged weapon, or other lethal or dangerous instrument capable of maiming and/or casting a projectile by air, gas, explosion, or mechanical means on any property, in any building owned or operated by the university, or in any vehicle on campus. This includes but is not limited to, BB guns, bullets, paintball guns, and pocket knives. Reasonable facsimiles of weapons are not allowed. Students who need to store weapons used during hunting season may contact Campus Police for guidelines. See the JMU Student Handbook for additional information on the weapons policy.

JMU students are expected to maintain a high level of maturity, responsibility, and common sense regarding their behaviors and actions. In addition, students are responsible for understanding policies, rules, and regulations contained in the JMU Student Handbook, the Residence Life Manual, their JMU Residential Contract, the JMU Honor Code, and information from residence hall staff members. Students may contact their resident adviser or hall director if they have questions.

The following are possible disciplinary actions that might be taken after a student violates the residence hall policies, rules, or regulations:

  • Community Report to the Area Director
  • Follow-up discussion with a staff member
  • Behavior contracts or agreements
  • Educational assignments, special projects, or flexible sanctions
  • Referral to other campus agencies
  • Payment for damages/restitution
  • Restriction from a specific residence hall or building for a specified time period
  • The Office of Residence Life Official Letter of Warning
  • Fines
  • Referral to the Office of Student Accountability and Restorative Practices

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