Community Standards

Residential Education and Housing


Students living in College-owned facilities are expected to comply with the Terms and Conditions of the Union College Residence Hall Contract, on the Union College Residential Education website, and the Student Handbook. The Residence Hall Contract is binding for one academic year (Fall, Winter, and Spring Terms), excluding vacation periods. All students are required to live on campus during the course of their undergraduate years, if space is available.

Failure to check into halls, reside in the assigned room, or pay room charges will not release students from their financial liability to the College. Exceptions may be made for students graduating at the end of a term or entering residence for the winter and/or spring terms. Students who have signed a contract and participate in a Union College International Program or study away are still bound to the stipulations of the residence contract when they return from their program, and are financially responsible for the housing portion of their bill during the term.

All students, except those assigned to rooms previously designated for single occupancy, should expect a roommate. The Office of Residential Education reserves the right to re-assign and consolidate students when deemed necessary. In such cases, students without roommates will be contacted by the Office of Residential Education and will be required to relocate within one week.

The College takes no responsibility for losses due to fire, theft, water damage, or any other causes. Students are advised to obtain renter’s insurance to supplement family insurance coverage. The risk of having personal property in a Union College residence hall is borne entirely by the student. Students are advised and encouraged to keep their rooms locked at all times.

When a student violates any of the housing policies, a Housing Policy Violation may be levied with a fine and/or disciplinary sanctions. Students will be notified of these charges in writing via email from the administrator who met with the student. All students have the opportunity to address the situation with a Residential Education professional staff member.

Policies and Procedures

  • Fire Alarms & Sprinkler Systems

    Unless otherwise noted below, all Union College fire alarm systems within residential buildings contain smoke detection in each sleeping area, hallway, and common area. These devices are tied into a central fire alarm panel within the building and transmitted to a central monitoring station that is manned 24 hours a day by Union College Campus Safety.

    As per New York State Fire Code, Union College notifies the local Fire Department upon receiving a general building fire alarm. In addition to our 911 link, Union College has direct radio communication abilities with the Schenectady Fire Department.

    You can find the Campus Fire Safety Act reporting data as required by Federal law at this link.

    This data complies with New York State Law A.5715-A/S.4180-B; Kerry Rose Fire Sprinkler Notification Act 2013.

    Fire Alarm Coverage

    Fire Alarm Inspection Date: August 2023

    Sprinkler System Inspection Date: June 2023

    Sprinkler System Definitions

    • Full:
      • Coverage includes all egress areas as well as common and sleeping areas
    • Partial
      • Coverage is limited to stairwell protection and means of egress
    • Exposure
      • Coverage provides exposure protection to window areas in stairwells
  • Abandoned Personal Property

    Any personal property left in the residence halls 24 hours after checkout will become property of the College. Students will be held responsible for the labor costs to remove abandoned property from the residence halls, as well as any fines or fees for improper checkout. The fine for an improper checkout is $50.

    Hallways, stairwells, lounges, or other common spaces are not designated storage areas for personal items and may be removed without warning.

  • Access ID Cards/Keys/Locks
    • Residents are issued a picture identification card that also serves as their meal card, food debit card, and access card to the front door of their residence hall.
    • Residents are also issued one or two keys (depending on where they live), which opens their room door.
    • Giving or loaning a key or ID card to another person is not permitted because it jeopardizes the safety of the entire residence hall or house.
    • Students who loan their key or card, or students who are found in possession of keys or cards other than their own are subject to fines or disciplinary action.
    • The duplication of room keys is not permitted.
    • Students who are locked out of their residence may contact a member of the Residential Education staff or Campus Safety to access their space with no charge as long as it is their first lock-out.
      • For each subsequent lock out, students will be charged $5.
    • The cost of a lock change for lost keys is $50.
    • A lost ID card may be replaced at the Campus Safety Desk in College Park Hall at a cost of $25.

  • Alcohol in Residential Spaces

    Union is primarily a community of underage students, and experience teaches that the abuse of alcohol can often interfere with the productive pursuit of a College education. Students who are under the age of 21 may not possess or consume alcohol anywhere on campus including the residential spaces. Residential spaces are defined as all College-owned and administered living units. The following actions relating to alcohol are prohibited:

    • Possessing, consuming or distributing alcoholic beverages by student under the age of 21 years.
    • Furnishing or selling any alcohol beverages to any person under 21 years of age.
    • Possessing or consuming alcohol in any public area outside the residence halls.
    • Possessing or consuming alcohol outside individual bedrooms or suites within the residence halls.
    • Collecting, displaying or storing empty alcohol containers.
    • Being incapacitated by alcohol or drugs whether under or over the age of 21 years.
    • Possessing or consuming alcohol from common sources including, but not limited to kegs, beer balls, wine boxes, and punch bowls.
    • Possessing or using a tap system or “regulator.”
    • Possessing any binge-drinking device including, but not limited to, funnels or beer pong tables.
    • Participating in flip cup, beer pong or water pong, or any other organized games intended for rapid personal consumption.

    Students over the age of 21 are allowed alcohol in their residence. The amount of alcohol allowed for students over the age of 21 is listed as follows:

    • One 12-pack (twelve 12 oz. bottles/cans) of beer, hard cider or seltzer OR,
    • Two 750 ml bottles of wine OR,
    • One 750 ml bottle of hard alcohol.
  • Bicycles

    Bicycles must be stored in designated areas or in the student’s room. Bicycle racks are available outside many of the residence halls.

    Hallways, stairwells, and lounges, or other common spaces are not designated storage areas for personal items.

    Motorbikes and motor scooters are not permitted inside the residence halls.

  • Bottles and Cans

    Cans and/or bottles that contain or formerly contained alcohol may not be stored, collected, or used as decorations in student rooms, suites, or apartments regardless of resident age. The first violation of this housing policy will result in a warning and subsequent violations will result in conduct charges.

  • Cooking

    Cooking is permitted ONLY in those areas equipped with kitchenettes or microwaves. Students must be mindful of fire safety concerns while using the facilities. In apartments with kitchens, residents must clean the kitchen thoroughly after each use. Before the end of each term, the kitchen must be completely cleaned and all food disposed of properly. If the kitchen is not cleaned to acceptable standards, Facilities Services will clean the kitchen at the residents’ expense.

  • Damages and Vandalism

    As part of community living at Union College, students must respect the safety and security of all College property, including property found in individual rooms and public areas. Students must also encourage their fellow residents to be respectful in ensuring that property is not damaged or stolen, and must report any knowledge they have of someone responsible for damages to College property. Students aware of any person responsible for specific damages are expected to contact a member of Residential Education or Campus Safety.

    Individual Charges

    Students will be held responsible for any damage, misuse, or misappropriation of any College-owned property in their rooms. Occupants are required to pay any costs associated with replacement or repair of the furnishings (including labor, materials, and overhead costs). Where two or more students occupy the same room or suite, and where determination of specific responsibility for the damage or losses cannot be determined, an assessment will be made against both or all equally.

    Individuals responsible for damages within the common area of the residence halls will be assessed a bill to repair the damage and will also receive an additional fine of $100 for vandalism along with facing possible conduct charges for violating the Student Conduct Code.

    Group Charges

    When damage, misuse, or theft of College-owned property occurs within common areas of buildings and the responsible person(s) cannot be determined or the property is not returned, appropriate costs and/or fines will be assessed to a group of students. In such cases, a minimum of $5 will be charged to each student within the group.

  • Early Arrivals

    Students are not permitted to arrive on campus prior to the date set for either first year or upper-class student move-in unless participating in an administratively sanctioned event (fall sports, orientation leaders, CAs, etc.) All students moving in early must obtain permission from the Office of Residential Education.

    Students with extenuating circumstances who must arrive early who do not have a sanctioned reason to be on campus must submit an early arrival application (available through Residential Education) and/or pay a fee of $100 per day for each day prior to the actual move-in date.

  • Misuse or Removal of Furniture

    All College-owned furniture assigned to a room or suite must remain in that room or suite. Exit paths from the room or suite must remain clear and unobstructed at all times. Occupants will be billed for the replacement of any missing or damaged furniture. Furniture assigned to lounges or common area spaces is not allowed in individual student rooms.

    Students who violate this policy may receive a fine and possible conduct charges for the misuse or removal of common area furniture.

  • Guests & Visitors

    Students may have no more than two overnight guests/visitors in their rooms for no more than two consecutive nights and only if they obtain approval of all roommates. Guests/visitors may not sleep in lounges or hallways and are expected to follow all the rules and regulations of the College.

    The host assumes all responsibility for the guest/visitor’s conduct, both in the halls and/or on campus. Any conduct violation for which the guest/visitor is documented will result in the identical conduct change being brought against the host.

    Guests are defined as individuals, invited or not invited, who are not currently enrolled Union College students.

    Visitors are defined as currently enrolled Union College students who are not assigned to the room, suite, apartment, theme house, Minerva, residence hall, or Fraternity/Sorority house that they are visiting.

  • Hall Sports

    Sports are not permitted in common areas or hallways of the residence halls due to the potential for injury and damage. This includes, but is not limited to, activities such as rollerblading, throwing/hitting/bouncing balls or pucks, throwing Frisbees, wrestling, etc.

  • Laundry

    Washers and dryers are located in each residence hall and are free to operate to students living on-campus. A $20 laundry fee will be assessed to a student’s term bill each term they are on campus. Any problems with washers or dryers should be reported to the Facilities Services office. They can also be reached at (518) 388-6181.

  • Lofts

    All residents have the ability to choose the bed configuration they want. All beds are set to the standard configuration which consists of one headboard, one footboard, and the bed springs, with the mattress on top. Residents may lower the bed springs, bunk the beds, or loft the beds. It is entirely up to the resident to determine what bed configuration suits them best. All beds must be returned back to their original “tall” state prior to moving out (either at end of year or when moving out due to room change). Failure to do so will result in a charge billed to the student. Beds may not be lofted in Garnet Commons, Minerva Houses, and College Park Hall. Students can request lofts during the first two weeks of the term via the Loft Request Form located on the Residential Education & Housing home pages. Facilities will begin implementing loft requests in the three week of the term. No requests will be granted at the end of the second week of each term. A work order is not necessary and will be rejected by Facilities Services if entered.

  • Maintenance and Repairs

    Students are responsible for cleaning their rooms and for cleaning floors and lounges after programs. Any maintenance emergency should be directed immediately to Facilities (or to Campus Safety Monday-Friday after 5:00 PM. and on weekends). If these areas are found unkempt, students will be charged for excessive cleaning. Students requiring repairs in their room can notify their Community Advisor, Community Director, House Coordinator, House Manager, or contact Facilities Services via their website at, or directly at (518) 388-6181.

    Any maintenance emergency should be directed immediately to Facilities (or to Campus Safety Monday - Friday after 5:00 PM and on weekends).

  • Off Campus Release

    All students are required to live on campus for their entire time at Union College, if space is available. When space is unavailable, a lottery will occur in the winter term for rising senior students wishing to be released from campus. Only a limited number of students will be released from campus and that number will change each year based on class size and on-campus beds available. If the number of rising seniors wishing to be released is not high enough, the process will be opened up to members of the rising junior class.

    Students are discouraged from signing a lease with a landlord off-campus until they are giving explicit permission to be released.

  • Painting

    Painting is not permitted in any residential, common area or hallway without permission to do so.

    Any residents found to have painted a residential area without permission will be subject to costs for repair and possible disciplinary action.

  • Pets

    All animals, including those used as lab specimens, are strictly prohibited inside or outside residential facilities, except as allowed under the Service Animal Policy. Visitors may not bring pets inside the residential facilities. Fish are permitted; however, tank size may not exceed 10 gallons. If an unauthorized pet is found in a residence hall, the student(s) will be charged a fine of $50 plus $10 per day until the pet is removed.

  • Porches, Lawn, and Yard Space
    • Some apartments, theme, and Greek houses on campus have front and back porch space, in addition to lawn space, that residents can utilize.
      • All of these spaces are considered open spaces on campus property and all college policies must be abided by.
    • Open container policies will be enforced and residents may face judicial action for excess and/or dangerous occupancy of porch spaces.
    • Residents are not allowed to install fire pits, swimming pools, or any other open element hazard.
    • Residents are allowed to have and use grills, as long as the grills are 25 feet away from the property while in use.
  • Quiet Hours

    Quiet hours are established to ensure the rights of students to study and sleep in the residence halls. Quiet hours are defined as those hours when noise, including music, must be contained within the room or suite with the door closed. Quiet hours are 10:00 PM - 8:00 AM, Sunday through Thursday and 1:00 AM - 10:00 AM, Friday and Saturday. Residents may collectively agree to extend or adjust the hours on their floor or building, but may not reduce the hours. Even though quiet hours begin in the late evening, courtesy is always expected by all students to maintain a living environment conducive to academic success.

  • Room Assignments & Room Changes
    • All students are required to live on campus during the course of their undergraduate years, provided housing is available.
    • All students must reside in their assigned rooms, and are prohibited from switching rooms, taking a roommate, or permitting any part of the room to be shared by persons not assigned by the Director of Residential Education or their designee.
    • Students experiencing problems with a living situation should first consult with their Community Advisor.
    • Room changes are not permitted during the first or last two (2) weeks of any term, unless it is an emergency situation.
    • All room changes (including those within a suite) must be authorized through the Office of Residential Education before any moves take place.
    • The Director of Residential Education or their designee may relocate a student for disruptive behavior whether or not disciplinary action has been taken or completed.

    The fine for an unauthorized room change is $100 and the student may be required to return to their assigned room and may be subject to disciplinary action.

  • Roommate Intimidation and/or Discouragement

    Residents may not intimidate or discourage potential or newly assigned occupants from living in a residence hall space. The intentional discouraging of a potential roommate through any means is a violation of our student conduct code and will not be tolerated.

  • Room Check-Out

    Students are responsible for checking out of their rooms when they leave campus for a term away, summer break, academic dismissal, leave of absence, room change, etc. Students need to be checked out of their rooms by a Residential Education staff member, or complete an “Express Checkout” form at the Office of Residential Education. Failure to check out via one of these two methods will result in a $50 charge for improper checkout. A student who uses the express check-out method waives their right to appeal any room damages. Rooms must be left clean with all the furniture intact, and the room key returned. The Residential Education staff will inspect rooms and assess appropriate charges and fines based on the comparison of the check-in and check-out Room Condition Report.

    Residents must vacate their room and check out properly within 24 hours after their last final exam or withdrawing from the College.

  • Room Searches

    The College reserves the right to inspect and/or search rooms for the purpose of furthering the educational mission of Union College or for safety, health, security and maintenance purposes.

    In all cases where the health, safety, or welfare of a person may be in danger or in cases where College property is in jeopardy, a College official may enter a suite or room immediately and without notice to, or consent from, the student.

    A room search can be conducted by a College Official at any time regardless of whether or not the student is present.

  • Roof Access

    The roofs of all residence halls, theme houses, apartments, and Greek houses are unprotected areas and are not designed for recreational use. Students must not climb onto a roof or congregate on any roof for any purpose.

    Students found to be in violation of this may be subject to disciplinary action.

  • Storage

    The College does not provide storage for students’ personal belongings at any point throughout the year, including break periods. Students wishing to store belongings some place other than their room may wish to contact a local storage company to make arrangements. All College provided furnishings must remain in the room. Students interested in storage for the summer may contact the Office of Residential Education for information about storage companies in the area.

  • Solicitation

    Soliciting in the residence halls is prohibited. Students are advised to contact Campus Safety or notify a Community Advisor/Community Director/Office of Residential Education if there are solicitors in the building.

  • Summer Housing

    Summer Housing space is very limited, and is not guaranteed. In order to be considered for summer housing, students must be affiliated with the College for the summer. Preference will be given to students involved in research with professors and those attending summer session classes offered at the College. All requests for summer housing must be made to the Office of Residential Education by the posted deadline during spring term. Students are billed a designated rate per week during the summer for the number of weeks they reside in the halls.

  • Waterbeds

    Waterbeds are not permitted in residence halls because of excessive weight and potential for water damage.

  • Windows

    Windows must remain unobstructed. Furniture, bedding, fans, lights, etc. must not block windows. Items may not be hung from or in residence hall windows.

    It is strictly prohibited to hang, drop or throw items out of residence hall/house windows. Students must not remove the screens in the windows at any time.

  • Withdrawal from Housing

    Students who are granted on-campus housing and then decide to withdraw from the College must request to do so in accordance with the College's Leave Policy. The student will be held responsible for payment of their room charges in accordance with the refund schedule published by the Bursar.

    Students who withdraw from the College, are dismissed by the College, or are officially released from their residence contract, must vacate their residential area within 24 hours of confirmation.

Life Safety Policies

(Updated August 2023)

When a student violates any of the life safety policies below, a Life Safety Violation charge may be levied. Students will be notified of these charges in writing or via email. This notice may be delivered by a Community Advisor, placed under a student’s door if they are not present, deposited in their room during health and safety inspections, or delivered via their campus mailbox or email. All students have the opportunity to address the situation with a Residential Education professional staff member. If a student does not contact the Office of Residential Education within five days of delivery of the notification, the charges will be final. Depending upon the situation (severity, repeated offense, etc.), conduct charges may also be brought against a student in violation of these policies.


  • Appliances

    The following appliances ARE NOT allowed in residence hall rooms: non-approved microwaves, non-approved air conditioners, electric heaters, toaster ovens, toasters, “George Foreman”-style grills, waffle irons, sandwich makers, or any other heat-producing electrical devices or appliances, including 3D printers. Students may use coffee pots, hot pots, and popcorn makers in their rooms as long as there are no exposed heating elements or coils and they are used responsibly. Electric blankets with an automatic shutoff are allowed. Students found in possession of unauthorized appliances will be charged a Life Safety fine in addition to the confiscation of the item. For information about renting a Microfridge, please see the Refrigerators section.

    • Air conditioners are not permitted in residence halls due to excessive energy demand caused by large numbers of such appliances.
    • Students with severe medical conditions that may require an air conditioner may request a Special Accommodations Form from the Residential Education Office. You can find this form at this location. If approved, it must be installed by Facilities Services.
    • Arrangements for installation must be made by the students by contacting Facilities at (518) 388-6181 or
  • Bed in Common Rooms

    In compliance with the building and fire codes, all beds and lofts must remain in designated bedrooms only and not in the common rooms of residence hall/apartment suites.

  • Candles and Incense

    Candles, incense, and any other open-flame items (burned or unburned) are prohibited in student residences. Only one type of incense is allowed on campus in the residence halls. These incense are electric, slow fragrance-warmers that do not result in heat emission. This type of incense can be found in the College Bookstore.

    Be advised that in accordance with New York State Law, all candles, lit or unlit, will be confiscated and destroyed.

  • Decorations and Tapestries

    Tapestries (flags, cloth banners, and all other cloth decorations) are permitted in residential areas but cannot cover more than fifty-percent of a given wall/surface. Other decorations and posters may not be hung over the smoke detectors, heat detectors, fire sprinkler heads, alarm notification devices, overhead lights.

  • Entry Doors

    All residence hall entry doors must be locked and secure at all times.

    Propping doors for any reason is not permitted.

  • Excessive Cleaning

    It is the responsibility of all residents to maintain a healthy living space for both themselves and fellow students. Additionally, it is the expectation that all residential students practice proper hygiene.

    Students with excessive trash or garbage in their living space are creating both health and fire hazards and may be subject to student conduct violations.

    Students may incur fines or the cost of cleaning their space or the repair of any damage.

  • Fire Alarms

    Evacuation compliance is mandatory for all students whenever fire alarms are activated, regardless of cause. Campus Safety and residence hall staff may check every room to ensure that all residents evacuate the building.

  • Fire Equipment and Sensors

    Tampering with fire safety equipment, including fire doors, exit signs, fire extinguishers, smoke detectors, heat detectors, or fire alarms is prohibited. The act of covering a smoke detector is considered tampering with fire safety equipment, and will be addressed via conduct charges and possible fines. Fire safety equipment that is malfunctioning should be reported to Campus Safety immediately.

    Do not dismantle, remove, or attempt to repair any fire equipment. This includes intentionally covering a fire alarm, smoke detector, or sensor.

  • Fireworks

    Fireworks and other explosives (in their many and varied forms) are prohibited in and around all College-owned housing.

  • Lights and Lamps

    Halogen lamps, paper lanterns, string lighting, and lava lamps are not permitted in the residence halls due to their proven fire hazard potential.

  • Octopus Cords and Multiple Outlet Plugs

    The use of extension cords beyond their recommended use and the use of multiple outlet plug adapters, “octopus cords,” are prohibited.

    UL approved power strips that contain both surge and circuit protection may be used instead of adapter plugs and extension cords. The power strip must have a circuit reset button.

  • Noxious Odor

    Activities producing odors considered offensive to members of the residence hall community must be curtailed upon request. In the event of such odors, a Residential Life or Campus Safety staff member may check common areas and individual rooms for the source.

  • Refrigerators

    Each room is only allowed one refrigerator or Microfridge unit, and each suite is allowed only a total of two units. Small refrigerators measuring five cubic feet or less and drawing three amps or less to start, or one and one half amps or less to run, may be used. Students may rent the Microfridge unit, a combination refrigerator/freezer/microwave unit, from a vendor who will contract directly with the student. The Refrigerator Leasing Company, Inc. can be reached at (607) 431-9525 or

  • Security Screens

    First floor windows have been provided with a security screen designed to prevent theft and inappropriate access to first floor rooms and common areas. The security screens must remain closed at all times. Tampering with the security screens, including but not limited to removing the screen to install an air conditioner, is prohibited.

  • Smoking

    Effective July 1, 2016, the Union College campus was officially designated tobacco/smoke free. Individuals needing to smoke must go off campus property to the public sidewalks or streets. This policy includes e-cigarettes and vaporizers of any kind.

    In an effort to maintain a healthy environment for all its students, faculty, staff and visitors, Union College is a tobacco/smoke-free environment. The initiative, which bans tobacco use within the buildings and/or on the ground owned or leased by the College, is the product of a combined student, faculty and staff task force.

    Union College recognizes that smoking, breathing second hand smoke, or using tobacco products constitutes a significant health, safety, and environmental hazard for students, employees, visitors and campus facilities. The College is committed to promoting health, wellness, and prevention within its community, as well as providing a healthy learning and working environment for administration, faculty, staff, students, visitors, contractors, and vendors.

    All areas of the College campus, all campus properties, and all campus vehicles are designated as smoke/tobacco free.

    For the purpose of this policy, smoking and tobacco use is defined as using any type of tobacco product including, but not limited to, cigarettes (commercial, handmade, or electronic), cigars, cigarillos, pipes, hookahs, vape pens, oral tobacco (spit and spitless, smokeless, chew, snuff), or any other similar smoking material or delivery device including anything that simulates smoking.

    The Smoke/Tobacco Free Policy strictly prohibits:

    1. Smoking or the use of any other tobacco product in all College campus buildings, on the College grounds, and on properties owned, leased, or rented by the College.
    2. Smoking and the use of any tobacco product in all College owned, leased, or rented vehicles.
    3. The sale of tobacco products on campus.
    4. The free distribution of tobacco products on campus.
    5. Tobacco advertisements in College-produced (run) publications.

    Organizers and attendees at events, such as conferences, meetings, public lectures, social and sporting events, using College facilities, will be required to abide by the College’s Smoke/Tobacco Free Policy. Organizers of such events are responsible for communicating and enforcing this policy.