Rules, Policies, & Regulations

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Residential Services

Office of Residential Services

Rules, Policies, & Regulations


Residents will be in default of this Contract if they, their affiliates, their guests or their pets violate any policies and regulations listed in section IX, in the Teachers College Student Conduct Code, or any local, state, or federal laws in any of the College’s Residence Halls.

Residents found in default of this Contract are subject to applicable legal proceedings and/or the appropriate College judicial proceedings. Outcomes from residential services judicial proceedings can include, but not limited to, written warnings, fines, loss of privileges, educational sanctions, and/or termination of this Housing Contract.

  1. Access
  1. Residents are required to provide access to their units for the purpose of insuring proper maintenance of health, sanitation and safety standards; inventory; making repairs; enforcement of College and/or Residence Hall Rules, Policies and Regulations; and emergencies.
  1. Air Conditioners
  1. Residents residing in Bancroft, Grant, Sarasota and Whittier Halls must purchase their air conditioners from Teachers College.
  2. Air conditioners must be installed and removed by Teachers College Office of Facilities staff.
  1. Alcohol
  1. Alcohol, including possession of open containers, may only be consumed in private residential units, residential lounges and residential courtyards.
  2. Persons under the age of 21 are prohibited from possessing and consuming any alcoholic beverages in any location of any residence hall.
  3. Resident is responsible for ensuring any guests, including family members and other students, are over the age of 21 before allowing them to possess or consume any alcoholic beverages.
  4. Resident who is hosting parties/events is responsible for ensuring that all consuming guests are doing so responsibly and are over the age of 21.
  5. Selling any alcoholic beverage at any time in any location in any residence hall is strictly prohibited.
  6. Participating in activities that facilitate or promote the rapid, dangerous, and/or forced consumption of alcohol (i.e. drinking games) is prohibited.
  7. Kegs, whether empty or containing any alcohol, are prohibited from all suites and individual residential units.
  8. Resident must comply with medical or psychological evaluation when found to be excessively intoxicated in a residence hall.
  1. Children
  1. Children under the age of 18 must be under adult supervision at all times, including in any community spaces.
  1. Computer / Network Usage
  1. Resident must comply with Columbia University usage policy as found at
  2. Resident must comply with Teachers College  usage policy as found at
  3. Resident must meet the directives of the personnel of Teachers College's Department of Computing Information Services.
  1. Disorderly Conduct
  1. Resident is legally and contractually responsible for his/her actions regardless of cause or circumstances.
  2. Resident is strictly prohibited from the following:
    1. engaging in loud or excessive noise: including music, voice, musical instruments, unattended alarm clocks, etc.;
    2. throwing objects from windows, roof tops, window ledges, fire escapes, or any other protrusions or surfaces;
    3. throwing glass, wire hangers, large objects or any hazardous materials down trash chutes;
    4. standing or sitting on roof tops, window ledges, fire escapes, or any other protrusions or exterior surfaces;
  3. Resident must comply with any directive(s) from an official agent/staff member of the College.
  1. Drugs / Controlled Substances
  1. The unlawful manufacture, possession, use or distribution of non-prescription controlled substances on or about the campus or any site of a College-sponsored or sanctioned activity is strictly prohibited and will not be tolerated.
  2. Water pipes, bongs, hookahs and other drug paraphernalia are not permitted in the Residence Halls. 
  1. Emergency Contacts
  1. Resident is required to complete an Emergency Contact Form to provide contact information which may be used by College officials in the event of an emergency.
  2. Resident is required to elect whether to provide or not to provide contact information for an individual that can be contacted no later than 24 hours after said Resident is determined to be missing. The contact will be made in compliance with the College's Missing Student procedures.
  3. Resident agrees and understands that it is his/her responsibility to update, in writing, any changes in emergency contact information to the Office of Residential Services as changes occur.
  1. Facilities and Furnishings
  1. Furnishing, appliances & equipment provided by the College, as indicated on the Unit Condition Report may not be altered or removed from the unit or common areas, without written approval by the Office of Residential Services.
  2. Resident may not paint the Unit or make any alterations or repairs to the Unit.
  3. Resident is responsible for maintaining the Unit and its surroundings, removing and disposing of refuse materials regularly and properly, and maintaining sanitation and safety standards determined by the College.  Resident may be charged and agrees to pay a cleaning fee for failure to comply.
  4. Resident is responsible for notifying College of deteriorating condition of his/her unit and/or furnishing.  Resident shall pay the College for any expenses necessary to repair or replace college-owned property damaged by Resident, their guests, affiliates and/or pets.
  1. Fire Safety
  1. Tampering with and/or removal of fire safety equipment is prohibited.
  2. Propping suite entrance doors, common kitchen doors and hallway corridor doors is prohibited.
  3. Cooking, other than via microwave, is prohibited in small efficiency rooms in 517 West 121st and single and suite bedrooms in Whittier Hall.
  4. Resident is required to stay in the kitchen area at all times while cooking.
  5. Resident must ensure all cooking appliances are turned off after use.
  6. Resident must refrain from opening suite doors or common kitchen doors to eliminate smoke as this creates building alarms.
  7. Overloading circuits or running extension cords under carpets/rugs is prohibited.
  8. The following items are prohibited in the residence halls (common spaces or private residences) and will be confiscated: flammable decorations, hot plate burners, candles, incense, outdoor grills or any other open coil device, combustible items (e.g. gas, oily rags, paints, etc.) explosives, fireworks, firearms or ammunition, halogen lamps and non-UL rated appliances.
  9. Resident, his/her guests and family members must evacuate the building via the stairs when fire bells sound, utilizing the safest exit.
  10. Resident must not distract or impede staff from performing building evacuation procedures.
  11. Resident understands that violation of any fire safety policy may result in, but not limited to, removal of stoves, loss of cooking privileges, fines, fire safety educational sanctions, confiscation of prohibited items, and/or removal from Teachers College housing.
  1. Guest Policy
  1. All guests must have a government issued photo ID to enter residence halls, and the photo ID will be held by the Office of Public Safety for the duration of the visit unless the guest has a Residential Services Guest Pass.
  2. Guests are not permitted to stay in Unit overnight without Resident being present.
  3. Resident understands that Representatives of the Office of Residential Services or Office of Public Safety may refuse to permit a guest entry to the premises for any reason or no reason.
  4. Resident may not ever give their TC ID card to his/her guest as it is a serious breach of security.  Resident found in violation of this policy will minimally have guest privileges revoked for the semester of violation.
  5. Guest Passes:
    1. Residential Services Guest Passes allow guests to visit the building without having to sign in at residential front desk.
    2. Residential Services Guest Passes are available for 2 or more days with a maximum of 7 consecutive days. Resident and guest must be present to obtain a Residential Services Guest Pass.
    3. Any guest who has been issued a guest pass for a total of 14 days in a given semester will be required to sign in at the desk for any subsequent visits to any resident.
    4. Failure to return guest pass by the designated date will result in an automatic $20 replacement charge.
    5. Guest passes are issued by the Office of Residential Services, in its sole discretion and may be revoked at any time.
  6. Resident and/or guest found in violation of this policy will minimally have guest privileges revoked for the semester of violation.
  1. Harassment
  1. Teachers College does not tolerate harassment in any form.  Please refer to the College’s policy found in the Student Handbook. 
  1. ID Cards
  1. Resident is prohibited from giving his/her TC or CU ID Card to any other individual, and Resident understands that College reserves the right to immediately terminate this Contract if Resident is found in violation of this policy.
  2. Resident is required to have his/her TC or CU ID card in his/her possession each time he/she enters a TC residence hall.
  1. Keys and Locks
  1. Resident may not add or replace locks on any residential door that is associated with the College.
  2. Resident keys will not be made available to anyone other than the assigned resident and unit occupants listed in III-A.
  3. Resident agrees to pay applicable lock change fee for lost, stolen or broken keys.
  4. Resident understands that a $50 fee will be assessed to a Resident's Student Account if a Resident has a double lockout (has locked spare key inside of unit) or Resident's Guest is locked out and needs to be escorted to the Unit.
  1. Noise
  1. Courtesy Hours are in effect at all times. Resident must comply with any reasonable request to reduce the noise level.
  2. Quiet Hours are designated times that residents need to maintain a noise level that is conducive to sleep and study. On weekdays (Sunday night - Thursday night), the designated times are 11:00 pm - 7:00 am. On weekends (Friday night and Saturday night), the designated times are 12:00 am - 8:00 am.
  1. Pets
  1. All pets are prohibited in 517 West 121st, Whittier Hall, Bancroft Hall, and single-student designated units in Grant Hall.
  2. Pets (dogs, cats, fish, turtles and birds only) are only permitted in family-designated units in Grant Hall and Sarasota Hall. Resident must comply with:
    1. registering any pets (type and description) that will reside in said unit during this contract period,
    2. updating above pet registration within 30 days of any additions or removals
    3. caring for pets properly, including vaccinating as required by law, cleaning up excrement, noise control, and avoiding interfering or disrupting the lives of other residents,
    4. preventing pets from releasing excrement on any Teachers College property, which includes sidewalks and courtyards,
    5. keeping pets on a leash, no longer than six feet, when taken outside of apartment,
    6. not permitting pets in any lounges, study rooms, meeting rooms or laundry rooms.
  3. The Office of Residential Services may revoke pet privileges at any time without notice and without cause.
  1. Postings
  1. Residents may not affix any signage, handbill, sticker, advertisement, decoration, or other covering on any common walls, the exterior of the room/apartment door (building corridor side) or on the interior of the room/apartment window(s) with wording or designs facing the outside.
  2. A clip is affixed to every room/apartment door for Office of Residential Services staff and/or resident usage.
  1. Prohibited Items
  1. Resident may not possess or use dishwashers, halogen lamps, non-UL rated appliances, washing machines, clothes dryers, or waterbeds in the assigned Unit.
  2. Resident may not ride nor store gasoline-powered or electric-powered bikes (mopeds) and motorcycles inside buildings.
  3. Resident may not possess, use nor store other prohibited items as outlined in other sections of this Housing Contract.
  1. Recycling
  1. Resident is responsible for knowing and following recycling guidelines as indicated in the Guide to Campus Living which follows NYC guidelines.
  1. Renters Insurance
  1. Resident should obtain Renters Insurance as the College is not responsible for any damages to Resident's personal property.
  1. Security
  1. All residents, affiliates, and guests are required to present their College Identification upon every entry into 517 West 121st, Bancroft, Grant, Sarasota and Whittier Halls and upon request by an agent or employee of Teachers College.
  2. Exiting via an Emergency Exit during a non-emergency situation is prohibited.
  3. Permitting entry to individuals that do not reside in or are not registered guests in Teachers College Housing is prohibited.
  1. Smoking
  1. Any form of smoking, including use of cigarettes, cigars, pipes, hookahs, or devices such as an electronic cigarette or a vaporizer, is prohibited in all Teachers College residence halls and associated courtyards.
  2. Smoking is prohibited within 50 feet of any Teachers College buildings.
  1. Solicitation
  1. Solicitors or tradesmen, including those who may be Teachers College residents, affiliates, faculty or staff, are prohibited from entering the residence halls for the purpose of conducting business.
  2. Residents and their guests are prohibited from conducting any type of business transactions in the residence halls.
  1. Storage
  1. Resident may not store or attach any items in any residential common space including hallways, corridors, stairways, exit/entry ways, bathrooms, kitchens, lounges, roofs, suites, balconies, window ledges and fire escapes.
  2. The College reserves the right to dispose of all items left in room/apartment after a resident has vacated the contracted Unit. 
  1. Student Health Insurance
  1. All students in Teachers College housing are automatically enrolled in the Columbia Health Fee and coverage is valid until August 14, 2018. This fee cannot be waived.
  2. All students in Teachers College housing are automatically enrolled in the Columbia Student Gold Medical Insurance and coverage is valid until August 14, 2018. Students may request to waive the Columbia Student Medical Insurance with proof of comparable medical insurance coverage.
  3. Information concerning fees, deadlines, and the request to waive process for the Health Service Program and the Columbia Student Medical Insurance is available online at
  4. The Columbia Health Fee and the Columbia Student Medical Insurance are separate fees listed accordingly on Resident's bill each semester and are in addition to any other fees/deposits provided for herein.
  1. Subleasing
  1. Resident may not sublet assigned Unit.
  2. Resident may not allow a guest to utilize his/her Unit for overnight accommodations while resident is not staying in said unit.
  1. Theft
  1. Violations of this policy include the theft of services or theft of property owned by either an individual or the College as well as the transportation of College property from its authorized location.
  2. The College is not responsible for the personal belongings of residents.
  1. Weapons
  1. Any weapon or object that may be considered a weapon by the College in its sole and absolute discretion, or any object that may cause bodily harm to the bearer or another individual is strictly prohibited. In unclear cases of definition, the context in which a particular object is used shall determine whether it is a weapon, such determination to be made by the College in its sole and absolute discretion. Objects that are included in this category, but not limited to, are firearms, stun guns, pellet guns, explosives, dangerous chemicals, ammunition, bows & arrows, knives, slingshots, swords, etc.
  1. Window Guards
  1. Window guards are required in all Bancroft, Grant, and Sarasota units in all windows except designated fire escape.
  2. Window guards may only be removed by Facilities personnel for the purpose of air conditioner installation.
  3. Resident is required to notify Office of Residential Services should the air conditioner ever be removed.