Chatham University

Student Housing Policies


Two Year Residency Policy

The on-campus living experience is vital to the growth and development of the whole student.

All students who have completed less than four semesters of colleg/university are required to reside in on-campus housing for their first two years at Chatham University. As an exception, students may live with parent(s) and/or legal guardians in the greater Pittsburgh area (within 30 miles of campus). Students choosing to live at home must register as a commuter and provide documentation to the Office of Residence Life & Student Activities - Student Affairs. Students found in violation will face disciplinary review and fines up to the cost of housing. Gateway students may request an exception to the residency requirement by contacting the Office of Residence Life & Student Activities - Student Affairs.


Alcohol & Drugs

Alcohol Policy

Chatham University supports the Pennsylvania State Laws concerning drinking and acknowledges the responsibility to inform each student of her/his obligation to abide by these laws; any infraction makes her/him liable to punitive action from the State. The University is not responsible for, and will offer no protection for violators of these laws.

Drinking in excess is dangerous to one's health and may be detrimental to one's academic endeavors. Chatham University prohibits excessive drinking and disturbing behaviors that result from excessive alcohol use and has developed guidelines to promote responsible alcohol use.

In brief, the law prohibits the purchase, consumption, possession, or transportation of intoxicating liquors or malt or brewed beverages by a minor (under age 21), and prohibits any other person to sell, furnish or give such beverages, or to permit any of these beverages to be sold, furnished, or given to any minor. The law also prohibits any person or group from selling alcoholic beverages without an appropriate license from the State of Pennsylvania.

All alleged violations of the alcohol policy will be processed through the Student Honor Code. The following regulations govern the campus community both at large and specifically in the residence areas:

  1. Chatham University adheres to the Pennsylvania State laws regarding the purchase, possession, consumption, or transportation of alcoholic beverages by minors.
  2. Resident students, 21 years or older, are permitted to transport, possess, and consume alcoholic beverages in their private rooms in the residence halls or in the apartments. Resident students, 21 years or older, are not permitted to serve alcohol in their rooms to residents under the legal age.
  3. Alcohol is prohibited in public areas including bathrooms, hallways, student lounges, TV rooms, kitchens, public University grounds, etc.
  4. Kegs, party balls, and any other similar sources of large quantities of alcohol are prohibited in all residence areas, including private rooms.
  5. Residents are responsible for the behavior of their guests. Guests must adhere to all residence hall policies that pertain to their host. For example, if the Resident student is not 21 years of age, their guest (regardless of age) may not consume alcohol in Chatham Residence communities. Also, if a guest of a Chatham student violates the campus alcohol policy or other policies while intoxicated, their Chatham student host will also be charged with the policy violation.
  6. Alcoholic beverages are not permitted at any student function sponsored by an undergraduate student group or organization. Unless specifically authorized by the Office of the President of the University, no University funds, including student activities fees, are to be spent for alcohol by groups, organizations or their representatives.
  7. Students, as members of the college community, represent Chatham by their actions. Therefore, students shall not attend College events (on or off campus) while intoxicated and a student's behavior shall not be disruptive to the community. Students who return to the residence intoxicated, whether 21 years of age or not, and violate other polices (including but not limited to quiet hours, escort policy, etc.) will be receive an Honor Code Violation on charges of alcohol and/or other violations.
  8. An underage student who is in the presence of alcohol with underage students who are found to be drinking or with a significant quantity of alcohol that is out of proportion with the number of students over the age of 21 can be found in violation of the alcohol policy. Students should use their best judgment and not partake in situations that involve underage drinking of any sort or large quantities of alcohol.

Drug Policy

Chatham University supports the Federal, State and municipal laws governing the illegal use, possession or transferring of any narcotic drug, such as, but not limited to, marijuana or heroin, or other drugs such as LSD, barbiturates, or amphetamines. The University will not be responsible for, nor offer protection to, any student violating these laws. In addition, the University requires students to refrain from involving themselves and other students in any violation of these laws.

Students are not permitted to use, possess, distribute, sell or be under the influence of narcotics, hallucinogens, dangerous drugs, or other controlled substances. All violations of the drug policy will be processed through the Student Conduct Board and also through the local court system if appropriate.

As part of the Higher Education Opportunity Act, students should understand how any drug-related offenses could impact their eligibility for federal student aid (Title IV). Federal student aid includes the following:

  • Federal Pell Grant
  • Federal SEOG (Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant) Grant
  • Federal Perkins Loan
  • Direct Stafford Loan
  • Direct Parent PLUS Loan
  • Direct Graduate PLUS Loan

A conviction for any drug offense during a period of enrollment, in which a student was receiving Title IV aid, HEA program funds, under any federal or state law involving the possession or sale of illegal drugs, will result in the loss of eligibility for any Title IV, HEA program funds, loans, or work-study assistance.

This information would be obtained from the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) from question 23, that asks if "students have been convicted for the possession or sale of illegal drugs." Upon receiving this information from the Federal Processor, the Office of Financial Aid will notify students in a timely manner if they have lost eligibility and will then also be advised upon how they can regain eligibility.


Quiet Hours

As members of a community, resident students are asked to comply with requests by other residents and/or staff members to maintain reasonable levels of noise within the residence halls and apartments. Specific quiet hours have been established to create an atmosphere conducive to studying and/or sleeping in the residence halls. Each residence hall community with the leadership of the residential staff may elect to designate more restrictive quiet hours than those that have been established. During quiet hours, any noise (e.g., stereos, TVs, radios and verbal interactions) must be kept at a level such that it cannot be heard by neighboring residents. Continual violation of Quiet Hours or Courtesy Hours will result in disciplinary action, including residential fines.

  • Minimum Quiet Hours in all residences:
    Sunday-Thursday, 11:00 p.m.-8:00 a.m.
    Friday-Saturday, 1:00 a.m.-10:00 a.m.
  • Residents are permitted to agree to longer quiet hours through their community agreements, but may not agree to shorter quiet hours.
  • There will be 24-hour quiet hours during exam periods beginning at the end of the last class through the end of the last final exam.

Courtesy Hours

Courtesy Hours exist at all times. At all times, students are expected to be courteous and to conduct themselves in a way that does not intrude on the rights and privileges of others.

Please note: Respectful interactions are expected within the residence hall communities regarding Quiet Hours and Courtesy Hours. Any student who is not respectful to fellow residents and/or Residence Life staff will need to have a disciplinary meeting regarding the confrontation.


Visitation & Guest Policy

A residence hall guest is considered to be any person who is not a resident of that hall. Chatham students not residing in the residence area in question are still considered guests of that residence area.

Visitation hours are as follows:

  • Sunday through Thursday: 8:00 a.m. to Midnight
  • Friday and Saturday: 8:00 a.m. to 1:00 a.m.

Guests in the building past midnight Sunday through Thursday and 1:00 a.m. Friday and Saturday are considered overnight guests.

The following guidelines have been established to ensure a comfortable and safe community environment in the residence halls:

  • Visitation must always be with the mutual consent of all roommates. RA staff is available to assist roommates with establishing a room/apartment visitation agreement upon request or need.
  • All guests must be signed in and signed out of the residence halls, including Chatham students not residing in the hall they are visiting. Guest must show picture ID when signing in and should be able to produce picture ID on request of a university staff member.
  • Residents are responsible for signing in and signing out their non-Chatham guest. All guests must be signed in with a first and last name. Residents failing to sign in guests are subject to disciplinary action, including a residential fine. Residents shall not sign in guest(s) for other Chatham residents. Guests visiting apartments located on Fifth Avenue are not required to sign in and out. Nonetheless, guests on these premises must be escorted at all times while inside the apartment building and should carry picture ID.
  • A Chatham residential student guest may sign into any residence hall as long as he/she is a guest of a member of that community or restricts his/her activities to the first floor common area. This privilege will be revoked if the student displays disruptive behavior in the residence areas.
  • Guests must be escorted at all times by their host. This includes Chatham students who do not reside in campus housing. No exceptions.
  • Guests must abide by all residence hall regulations and community standards. Failure to do so will result in disciplinary action against their host and also the guests(s).
  • Residents are responsible for the action of their guest(s), including policy violations.
  • Resident students may have no more than five guests at any given time.
  • Resident students may have overnight guests, but only with roommate consent. (Except for fall term first-year students who cannot host overnight guest(s) until the evening of Chatham Eggnog). Please see First-Year Guest Policy.
  • Overnight guests may stay no more than three consecutive nights in the residence halls and for no more than two weekends each month. Residence Life staff will use disciplinary action if a guest has been in the residence hall beyond the stipulated three consecutive nights and visits overnight for more than two weekends each month.
  • Cohabitation is not permitted. Visitation is a privilege that can be taken away if abused.
  • Guests are not permitted individual access to the University's facilities, including laundry machine and kitchens. They may only use these facilities in conjunction with their student host but never for their personal use.
  • Guests cannot be left alone in their host's room or apartment while their host is away for an extended time (this includes while the host are in class). Such action leaves guests unescorted.
  • Resident students must have permission from the Director of Residence Life & Student Affairs to have a guest under the age of ten.
  • Residence halls or apartments shall not be used for baby-sitting.
  • Paid entertainment is not permitted in residence hall rooms unless approved by the Director of Residence Life & Student Activities.
  • Exceptions to the Guest Policy can be made through the Residence Life professional staff.

First-Year Student Guest Policy

Fall-term First-Year students are not permitted to have overnight guests until the evening of the traditional Chatham Eggnog (the first Friday of December), including family members. This policy is firm unless there are unusual circumstances, which are approved by the building's Graduate Resident Director of Residence Life professional staff. This includes Chatham students sleeping over in other students' rooms.

Guests of fall term, first-year students must leave the residence hall by midnight on Sunday night through Thursday night and by 1:00 a.m. on Friday and Saturday nights. Guests may not return to campus until at least 8:00 a.m. the following day. All other visitation regulations apply to First-Year students.


Articles and Activities Prohibited in the Residence Halls

The following activities and articles are prohibited in or around the residence halls. Failure to comply with these regulations is a violation of residence hall policies. An incident report will be filed against individuals found in violation of such regulations and a residence life disciplinary meeting will be held with a Residence Life professional staff member to discuss any necessary disciplinary action, including possible residential fines. Residence Life staff members will confiscate any item found to be in violation of these policies. Confiscated items will be returned at the end of the academic term when a student leaves campus upon the student's request. Failure of the student to claim a confiscated item by the end of the term will lead to disposal of the item.

Prohibited Items:

  • Bicycles, except when stored in students' rooms or in designated areas outside of the residence hall where they do not block exit routes. Bicycles cannot be stored in public entryways, hallways, or lounges.
  • Waterbeds, lofts, or stacking of furniture. Bed lifts no higher than 12 inches can be used to elevate bed height but only when lifts are purchased at a store and made for this specific purpose. Under no circumstances can bricks, blocks of wood, etc., be used to elevate furniture.
  • Possession of or use of explosives, ammunition, flares, or other dangerous weapons (i.e. pocket knives larger than 2 ½ inches in length) or substances.
  • Storage of any flammable liquids or gases.
  • Possession of halogen lamps, hot plates, toasters, toaster ovens, large refrigerators (larger than 4 cubic feet), and other expressly prohibited electrical appliances in residence hall rooms as outlined in the electrical appliance policy (see electrical equipment and appliance policy). Toasters and toaster ovens are permitted in lower campus apartments and public residence hall kitchens only.
  • Possession and/or use of candles (decorative or otherwise), incense, potpourri burners, space heaters (unless provided by the University), or anything with an open flame.
  • Tampering with or misuse of fire and safety equipment or elevators (e.g. fire alarms, fire extinguishers, exit signs, fire doors, smoke, or heat sensors).
  • Failure to evacuate the residence hall area during fire alarms.
  • Propping open residence hall entrance and exit doors as well as fire doors. Building alarms will sound if residence hall entrance doors are propped.
  • Engaging in any other activity determined to be in violation of health, fire, safety, and/or maintenance codes.
  • Damaging or misusing residence hall property and/or furniture including the removal, relocation, or disassembling of furniture from individual rooms and/or public areas. Under no circumstances are students permitted to remove University furniture from student rooms/apartments.
  • Throwing or suspension of articles, objects, or persons from residence hall windows. This includes sitting on window ledges.
  • Presence on building roof areas, window ledges, fire escapes, or in other unauthorized areas.
  • Theft or unauthorized possession of University property or property that belongs to another individual or group. This includes moving public lounge furniture items to student rooms/apartments.
  • Sleeping in common areas of residence hall spaces is not allowed unless approved by the Office of Residence Life & Student Activities - Student Affairs.
  • Watching pornography or other commonly offensive materials on University provided televisions or in common areas. This is not limited to multimedia played through a VCR or DVD player.
  • Failure to comply with the directions of any residence life staff member or University officials performing her/his duties, including but not limited to the failure to provide proper identification to a staff member upon request or giving misleading or false information to a staff member performing their duties.