Office of Residential Life

Community Living Policies

IWU Community Expectations

Whenever a large group of people live together, there is a need to develop expectations for behavior which promote an environment that enhances the achievement of community goals. These expectations provide for the protection of everyone's rights so that community members can pursue their educational objectives without interference. The Illinois Wesleyan community has identified expectations and is committed to the concept of shared responsibility for maintaining the quality of life in the community.

Therefore, as a member of my residential community...


Care of Student Rooms and Common Areas

Students are responsible for the rooms to which they are assigned. Simple health habits and respect for roommates and neighbors will promote good living conditions for all.  Students are expected to recycle paper and mixed containers in the appropriate containers on their residence hall floor or other designated collection area. Wastebaskets are to be emptied into trash containers on each floor. All large objects must be taken to the designated trash pick-up area. Equipment (brooms, mops and vacuums) is available at the hall desk to help keep rooms clean. Trash, dirt and lint are not to be swept into the hallways. Students whose rooms seem to be inconsistent with health and community standards will be confronted and expected to comply with requests concerning cleanliness.

In addition to the care of their own rooms, students are responsible for the condition of the hallways and common areas and are held accountable for any damages done to them. Hallways, stairwells, elevators, recreation areas, lobbies, laundry facilities, study rooms and bathrooms are to be kept clean and orderly at all times. Although the custodial staff is responsible for the regular upkeep of these areas, student cooperation is necessary. Personal items should only be stored in the student's room. Hallways and stairwell should be clear and free from personal items - this includes shoes, boots, clothing, bicycles, etc. Sporting activities and the throwing of balls and other projectiles are not allowed. The bulletin boards on each floor are to be used for signs, pamphlets and other literature. Such items should not be posted on the walls by anyone except a Residential Life staff member.


Guests

UPDATED 09/11/2020: Due to COVID-19, non-IWU  guests are not allowed in any residence hall on campus, this includes the Gates and the East Street Apartments, until Friday, November 20. This date can be extended at any point.

The guest policy will be re-evaluated at the beginning of the spring 2021 semester.


Quiet Hours

First and foremost, the residence halls are places where students must be able to sleep and study. Therefore, students are expected to respect the rights of others to live in an environment free from disturbances caused by loud stereos, shouting and similar disruptive behavior. Residence hall quiet hours are:

 

Everyday: 12:00AM - 10:00AM

Courtesy hours are always in effect.  Upon request of a fellow resident, individuals are expected to moderate their noise levels to reduce distractions that limit others from sleep or study.

In cases of persistent, excessive noise emanating from a room and causing disturbance to the community, all possible and reasonable attempts to contact the residents of the room will be made (i.e., staff will knock on the room door and call the room by phone; friends and associates will be queried about roommates’ whereabouts; cell phones will be called and residents will be IM’d, as contact information is available).  If, after such efforts, the residents of the room are still unreachable, a pair of staff members will be permitted to enter the room with verbal approval of the AD-on-Duty to end the noise disturbance.  A note indicating that an entry was made will be left on the device for the residents, and any policy violations in plain sight will be documented. 

Weight lifting equipment and musical devices or instruments whose sound carries may be used only with approval of one's roommate(s) and without disrupting others. Radios, televisions and stereo equipment should be used in a manner that does not disturb the study or community environment on the floor/wing/suite or in the residence hall. Students are encouraged to use the practice facilities provided by the School of Music. Improper use of sound-making equipment may result in the student being required to remove such equipment from the residence hall.


Kitchen Facilities

UPDATED 07/08/2020: Kitchen facilities including a refrigerator, sink, microwave and/or oven are available in each hall for the preparation of food. Students should remain in or near the kitchen facilities when food is cooking and make sure that the facilities have been cleaned after each use. While students are allowed to keep food in common area kitchens, the risk of doing so is entirely theirs; moreover, students are expected to consume only that food which belongs to them. You must label your food that you keep in the communal fridge. The fridge will be cleaned out every Friday night by the RA on duty in each hall. Food that is not labeled will be thrown out.


Laundry, Facilities and Vending Machines

Vending machines, washers and dryers are installed for the convenience of students in all residence halls. Mechanical devices of this sort are subject to occasional breakdown. Malfunctions of the machine should be reported to the residence hall staff immediately. An outside vendor services this equipment. Please be patient when waiting for repairs to occur. 


Residence Hall Security

Residence halls are locked 24 hours a day. All residence hall students are given access on their IWU ID for gaining entry to their residence hall and share responsibility for maintaining the security of the hall. Students who come across security risks should take appropriate steps to eliminate or report those risks. For example, students who become aware of a propped door are expected to un-prop the door. Students who observe suspicious behavior are expected to report it to Campus Safety or appropriate hall staff. Due to COVID-19, you are not allowed to let anyone into the residence hall. 


Safety and Maintenance Inspection

The University reserves the right to enter students' rooms for the purpose of showing the room, inspecting the room, or for responding to maintenance needs. In addition, the University reserves the right to make appropriate inspections as necessary to help guarantee that state laws and University policies are being followed and that the health, safety and welfare of its students are ensured. Such inspections will be made at least as often as the residence halls close for a break period. Illegal materials, drugs or items that pose an immediate danger to the health or safety of the residents, will be removed if they are noticed in the course of a room inspection. The student will be notified of this action immediately.

A student's room will not be entered without knocking. A sufficient time lapse will be allowed to provide the resident ample opportunity to open the door. If no response is received, the room may be entered to make appropriate inspections as necessary.


University Provided Furniture

For reasons of life and fire safety, students are not permitted to alter or modify university provided furniture or the basic layout of the furniture in the room. It is recommended that students keep in mind the size limitations of residence hall rooms when bringing belongings to the residence halls. Student construction of furniture, makeshift or unsafe furniture arrangements, lofts, platforms or other apparatus is not permitted.

Students may not remove University furniture from public, floor or hall lounges for their private use in their rooms. All furniture in student rooms, including beds, dressers, etc., should never be removed. Such an occurrence could result in disciplinary action.


Bathroom Usage Policy

As per local and state building codes and city ordinances that govern public accommodations and facilities, most bathrooms at Illinois Wesleyan University are designated for use according to the male/female gender binary and signage is posted across campus indicating bathrooms for men and bathrooms for women. To create a campus environment more inclusive of transgender and gender non-conforming (TGNC) people, a number of bathrooms have been established as all gender or gender inclusive. A list of gender inclusive bathrooms is provided here: https://www.iwu.edu/lgbt/resources/bathroom.html

Even so, the literature recognizes the undue physical and emotional stress that decision making around bathroom use can create for people who identify as TGNC (see rationale below). Thus, in accordance with Illinois Wesleyan’s Statement on non-discrimination, transgender and gender non-conforming individuals should use bathrooms that correspond to their sex or gender identity, depending on which option they feel is safer, or utilize bathrooms that are designated gender inclusive. This policy does not imply that presently gendered bathrooms are defacto all gender; cisgender persons are expected to continue using bathrooms that correspond with their lived and expressed gender identities.

See also Housing for Transgender and Gender Non-Conforming (TGNC) Students, and Institutional Supports for TGNC Students

Rationale: The Williams Institute on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Law and Public Policy at UCLA reports that 58% of transgender people report that they have avoided going out in public due to a lack of safe public restroom facilities, and 54% of respondents report having some sort of physical problem from trying to avoid using public restrooms, such as dehydration, kidney infections and urinary tract infections (Herman, 2013).  Additionally, the Department of Labor requires that employers provide sanitary and available toilet facilities to employees (OSHA, 2015) and Illinois Wesleyan University prohibits discrimination on the basis of gender identity and expression

Herman, J. L. (2013). Gendered restrooms and minority stress: The public regulation of gender and its impact on Transgender people’s lives. Journal of Public Management and Social Policy19(1), 65-80.

Department of Labor, Occupational and Safety Health Administration (2015). Best practices: A guide to restroom access for transgender workers. Retrieved June 15, 2015 from http://www.dol.gov/asp/policy-development/TransgenderBathroomAccessBestPractices.pdf