Policies & procedures

When you sign the residence hall contract, you agree to live by the Residence Life and UWL policies and procedures. It is important to read these policies and procedures.

2020-21 Residence Life Student Code of Conduct expanding section

UWL Residence Life has high expectations for what it means to live on campus.  Students are responsible for their behavior and how they interact with other members of their community. Our students thrive, in part, because of the strong sense of community in the residence halls.  To assist with student success we have established rules and policies that constitute the expectations to live in our residence hall community. By signing a UWL Residence Life Housing Contract and Application students accept responsibility for knowing and adhering to these policies.

2020-21 Residence Life policies expanding section
1. Alcohol expanding section

The following activities are not permitted:

Under 21 years of age:

a) Possessing and/or consuming alcoholic beverages

  • State law prohibits the possession or consumption of alcohol by persons under the age of 21.

b) Possessing or displaying empty alcohol containers

  • Students are not allowed to have empty alcohol containers, defined as: cans, bottles, caps, boxes used for transportation, or items with alcohol residue.

21 years of age and older:

c) Providing alcoholic beverages to students under the age of 21

d) Transporting unconcealed alcoholic beverages and/or consuming alcoholic beverages in public areas within the residence halls

e) Having more than one open standard alcoholic beverage per of age occupant

f) Consuming alcohol in the presence of minors

  • In the event one roommate is 21 years old or older while the other is not, the student who is of legal drinking age may consume alcohol in their room, but may not furnish alcoholic beverages to those under the age of 21. Guests who are of legal drinking age may consume alcohol only if the student who is 21 years of age or older is present and if each individual of legal drinking age possesses only one alcoholic beverage (UWL enforces the Wisconsin law of underage drinking).

Alcohol Policies Regardless of Age:

g) Hosting a gathering where alcohol is consumed by minors

h) Participating in high-risk alcohol consumption. Examples include, but are not limited to:

  • Kegs or significant amounts of alcohol.
  • Beer pong, flip cup, and/or other drinking games.
  • Inability to function without assistance, incoherent, disoriented, unconsciousness.
  • Loss of control of bodily functions.
  • Community disruption or endangering others.

i) Possessing devices to rapidly consume alcohol

  • Students are not allowed to have devices used to rapidly consume alcohol (beer bongs, funnels, etc.).

Residence Life does honor UWL’s Responsible Action Policy which encourages students to report medical emergencies.

The Responsible Action Policy can be found at this address.

2. Assault expanding section

Striking, shoving, hitting, punching, kicking, biting, or otherwise subjecting another person to physical contact or causing bodily harm is prohibited.

3. Disorderly Behavior expanding section

The following activities are not permitted:

a) Engaging in disorderly conduct

  • Engaging in harmful, indecent, or otherwise disorderly communication.
  • Displaying behavior that disrupts or interferes with the orderly functions of the University community or its members.
  • Displaying obscene, lewd, or indecent conduct. Examples include, but are not limited to: voyeurism, public urination/defecation, public exposure of private body parts, or sexual acts in public spaces.

b) Treatment of Residence Life Staff or University personnel

Residence Life Staff or University personnel must be able to perform their assigned duties free from harassment, intimidation, or obstruction. Behavior that prevents or inhibits Residence Life Staff and University personnel from completing job-related responsibilities is prohibited. Examples include, but are not limited to: providing false or misleading information, or failing to comply with a reasonable request. 

4. Drugs expanding section

The following statements outline activities that are not permitted:

a) Possessing, using or distributing drugs and/or controlled substances on or off campus

b) Possessing drug paraphernalia

c) Misusing over-the-counter medications and/or prescriptions

d) Hosting a gathering where drugs and/or controlled substances are consumed

5. Facility Restrictions expanding section

a) Causing damage to University facilities or furnishings is prohibited.

b) Ceilings and Doors Frames

At no time should anything be affixed to the ceiling or door frames. This includes, but is not limited to bottle caps, stickers, banners, posters, flags, holiday décor, etc.

c) Doors, Walls and Ceilings

  • Personal items can be attached to doors and walls, however blue or green painter’s tape is the only allowed adhesive. Other adhesives such as duct tape, double sided tape, 3M strips, scotch tape, masking tape, hooks, tacks, push pins, nails, screws and putty leave residue and/or cause damage to university property and therefore are prohibited.
  • Charges will be assessed for any damages to University Property.
  • If damage occurs, do not attempt to fix it, as this will result in additional repair charges.
  • Your room number and peephole must remain uncovered at all times.

d) Windows/Screen removal

No object of any kind may be thrown, dropped, or pushed out of any residence hall window. Tampering with or removing window screens is prohibited and will result in a $50 fine. Due to fire safety considerations and the possibility of damage to residence hall room windows, residents are prohibited from posting or hanging material on either side of residence hall windows. This includes but is not limited to signs, posters, flags, banners, paint, lights, post-its, or anything that partially obstructs windows. 

e) Removing furniture

Removing furniture from rooms or apartments, as well as public areas is prohibited. 

f) Common Area Damage

If there is damage done in a common area within a residence hall and no one takes responsibility or is found to be responsible; charges will be divided among each student living in the impacted area.

g) Disposing of garbage

Students are responsible for the disposal of personal garbage. Personal garbage may not be put in public trash cans in the residence halls.  Garbage and recycling must be properly sorted and taken to the appropriate receptacles near the residence halls.

h) Negatively impacting community cleanliness

Any action or inaction that compromises the cleanliness of the residence hall environment is prohibited, such as: failing to clean up after personal grooming, misusing drinking fountains, sinks, toilets, and showers, or not cleaning up after using public spaces.

i) Sleeping in Public

Sleeping in common areas is prohibited. (lounges, hallways, stairwells, lobbies, kitchen areas, recreation rooms, laundry rooms, and restrooms).

j) Indoor recreational activities

Engaging in activities that have the potential to injure others or damage residence hall facilities is prohibited. Examples of recreational activities include, but are not limited to: throwing, dribbling, running, acrobatics, using outdoor sports equipment, roller blading, and wrestling. Organized events that may include recreational activities must be approved by the Hall Director.

k) Roof Access

Accessing any residence hall roof is prohibited.

l) Murals                                                                                              

Murals are permitted in hallways and common areas, but must have prior approval by the Hall Director and the Assistant Director of Residence Life for Facilities.

m) Cleaning game

Skinning, cleaning, butchering or storing dead animals is strictly prohibited anywhere in the residence halls or in the immediate vicinity outside the residence halls.

n) Additional Prohibited Items

In addition to items listed throughout Residence Life policies, the following items are also prohibited:

  • Air conditioners (unless provided by the University for medical purposes)
  • Bed lofts not provided by UWL Residence Life
  • Multiple light lamps or lamps with plastic shades
  • Halogen lamps
  • Non-LED lights
  • Non UL - Approved electronics
  • Non-fused or multi-plug outlets
  • Microwaves exceeding 1000 watts
  • Air fryers and panini/sandwich grills
  • Toasters (acceptable in Reuter apartments)
  • Items that produce wireless signals (routers, printers, etc.)
  • Live trees and wreaths
  • Pools, of any size
  • Hoverboards
  • “Food Board” (Boards resting between both built-in bookshelves)
6. Fire Safety expanding section

All residence halls are equipped with fire detection and notification devices in student rooms and common areas. To ensure the safety of the community, immediately report malfunctioning fire equipment to a staff member.

The following statements outline activities that are not permitted:

a) Pulling a false fire alarm

b) Failing to evacuate a residence hall

All occupants must immediately evacuate residence halls when a fire alarm sounds.



c) Tampering with fire safety equipment

Tampering with, covering, removing, or inappropriately using fire safety equipment including smoke detectors, fire extinguishers, fire doors, sprinklers, pull stations, and emergency exit signs.

d) Open flames and burning

Open flames are strictly prohibited. Burning incense and potpourri is also prohibited. Candles are allowed for decorative use, if wicks are removed. Candles warmers are allowed. 

e) Obstructing hallways

No personal items are allowed to be left in hallways as they create a fire hazard and make vacuuming hallways difficult.  Examples include shoes, shower caddies, and door mats.

f) Space heaters are prohibited

g) Possessing or using fireworks and/or firecrackers

7. Fish, service animals and emotional support animals expanding section

Only fish are allowed by students in the residence halls.  All other types of animals are prohibited. 

Service Animals, as well as guests with Service Animals, are allowed. 

Approved Emotional Support Animals (ESAs) are also allowed. ESAs must be approved by the ACCESS Center and Residence Life.  ESAs are only allowed in the student’s room or apartment. Guests who are also owners of ESAs are not permitted to bring their ESA animal into the residence halls. If permitted animals cause disruption, students are encouraged to contact their Hall Director.

The approval process to have an Emotional Support Animal (ESA) takes time and is not guaranteed. For additional information, check the following website: Emotional Support Animals.

8. Guests expanding section
  • Students are only allowed access to their assigned residence hall. No guests, including other UWL students are permitted.
  • Students and those hosting guests will be held accountable for violating this guest policy.
  • Students may host up to two (2) other students from the same residence hall in their room/apartment IF agreed upon by the other roommate(s).
  • University employees and contracted service personnel are allowed in the building to perform necessary job-related functions and must wear a face mask and adhere to all university COVID-19 guidelines.
9. Harassment expanding section

Causing repeated, severe, or pervasive intimidation, invasion of privacy, or any threat to the well-being of a person or group which is communicated by any means is prohibited. This includes but is not limited to: verbal, non-verbal, in writing, through technology, through a third party, on whiteboards, or by any other means of communication.


10. Passive Participation expanding section

Being present in a location where a policy violation is occurring, indicates acceptance of this behavior, and is prohibited. Students are expected to remove themselves from these situations. Report policy violations to Residence Life staff or make an effort to stop the behavior.

11. Photography and recording expanding section

Undisclosed and/or unauthorized photography or recording of individuals within the University community is prohibited. Students are expected to respect the reasonable standards of privacy of other individuals. The recording of private, non-public conversations and/or meetings on University premises without the knowledge and consent of all participants is prohibited. This provision does not extend to the recording of public events or discussions.

12. Quiet hours expanding section

A student’s right to sleep and study takes precedence over someone else’s desire to generate excessive noise. Students and their guests are expected to be courteous of others at all times, by monitoring their noise level and by responding politely when asked to be quiet. Courtesy hours are in effect 24 hours a day.

Quiet hours are in effect:

  • Sunday – Thursday: 10:00pm to 9:00am.
  • Friday – Saturday: Midnight to 9:00am.

During quiet hours:

  • Noise is to be contained within a student’s room or apartment. Noise levels should not be heard through ceilings, walls, floors, or windows.
  • Conversations need to be moved from hallways into private spaces, lobbies, or basement common areas.

The following statements outline activities that are not permitted:

a) Causing excessive or repeated noise and/or disruption

b) Misusing speakers or stereo systems by playing loud music or facing speakers out windows.

13. Solicitation, sales and/or collections expanding section

Solicitation, sales and/or collections of goods and services (monetary or material) by individuals as well as nonprofit organizations or outside student organizations is prohibited in the residence halls.  This includes door-to-door solicitation/sales/collections, as well as miracle minutes, tabling in common areas/lobbies and leaving unattended collection boxes.   

Students should immediately contact Residence Life Staff and/or University Police if solicitors are present in the residence hall.

14. Smoking Tobacco and electronic cigarettes expanding section

All residence halls are smoke free, including a 25-foot perimeter around the buildings. Smoking tobacco products, using electronic cigarettes, or vaping is strictly prohibited in these areas.

15. Student ID/University identification expanding section

Students living in the residence halls are required to have their Student ID on them at all times.  Students must present their ID when requested by Residence Life Staff or University personnel. Providing a false identification is prohibited.


16. Unmanned Aerial Vehicles expanding section

Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs), also known as a drone, may not be operated within 100 feet of the residence halls. Any audio/video recordings or photographs taken from an otherwise permitted use of a UAV shall fall under the Photography and Recording Policy.

17. Weapons expanding section

The following statements outline items or activities that are not permitted:

a) Possessing weapons

Prohibited weapons include, but are not limited to: firearms of any type, ammunition, hunting knives, switch blades, swords, sling shots, BB guns, airsoft guns, paintball guns, tasers, bows and arrows, and other weapons as defined in the State of Wisconsin Statutes. These items should never be brought into a residence halls.  University Police will work with students to store most of these items upon request at the University Police Station. 

b) Using weapons/objects as weapons

Using any object (including weapons, laser pointers, imitation weapons, and non-weapons) to threaten or cause harm is prohibited.

2020-21 Residence Life procedures expanding section
Adjudication process expanding section

In the event that a student violates Residence Life policy, a student will be asked to meet with their Residence Hall Director or Assistant Hall Director to discuss the policy violation(s).  If found responsible the student will be assigned sanctions (consequences) as a result of their behavior. In severe situations, or if there is a pattern of policy violations, an Assistant Director of Residence Life will meet with the student and determine sanctions (consequences).  Common sanctions include assigning one or more of the following: alcohol or drug education, restorative justice circles, reflection papers, community service, restitution, residence hall probation, parental notification, relocation to another residence hall, cancellation of housing contract, and/or referral to the Student Life Office for University disciplinary action.

Through this process, students have an opportunity to appeal a conduct decision.  Appeals must be on the grounds of at least one of the following criteria in order to be considered:    

(a) A sanction is excessively severe.

(b) New evidence is available that would have substantially affected the outcome of your conduct meeting.

(c) There was a procedural error which substantially affected the outcome of your conduct meeting.

All appeal decisions are final.

Campaigning expanding section

As a safety measure due to COVID-19, no guests are allowed in the residence halls and no face-to-face campaigning is allowed inside residence halls for the 2020-21 academic year.

Contractual conditions/contract cancellation expanding section

Students must fulfill and comply with all terms and conditions of their housing contract.  Any student who wishes to cancel a contract must submit a cancellation request through the housing application portal.  Requests will be reviewed and decided by the Director of Residence Life or their designee.

Fire procedures expanding section

Know and follow fire evacuation and safety information posted on the back of student room doors and in designated locations throughout the residence hall. Note the location of fire extinguishers in your community.

In case of fire alarm or fire evacuation:

  • If the door is hot or the hallway is full of smoke:
    • Remain in the room.
    • Put towels at the base of the door and seal all cracks.
    • Call University Police (608-789-9999) or Emergency Dispatch (911).
    • Hang or wave a sheet or towel from the window to signal for help.
  • If it is safe to leave:
    • Close the door when leaving.
    • Follow evacuation information posted on the back of room doors.
    • Exit building and stand far away from the building and wait for the signal to re-enter.

If evacuation for an extended time is required, going to the basement of another building becomes necessary. The following evacuation plan will be used:

  • Angell Hall to Hutchison Hall
  • Coate Hall to Eagle Hall
  • Drake Hall to Wentz Hall
  • Eagle Hall to Coate Hall
  • Hutchison Hall to Angell Hall
  • Laux Hall to Reuter Hall
  • Reuter Hall to Sanford Hall
  • Sanford Hall to White Hall
  • Wentz Hall to Drake Hall
  • White Hall to Sanford Hall
Freedom of Speech expanding section

Residence Life values freedom of thought and expression and seeks to provide a constructive environment for residents to express themselves and to listen to and learn from their peers. Residence Halls are not a "public forum" in which any and all forms of expression are permitted, however. Behaviors which disrupt the living, learning, and working environment for other residents and staff members is not permitted. All residents are expected to conduct themselves in a manner which is respectful of the rights of others in a shared community.  For additional information on UWL’s guidelines for public forum see the following link:  The Campus as a Public Forum.


Hate/bias incidents expanding section

Residence Life and UW-La Crosse view hate incidents and all manifestations of prejudice and intolerance as contradictory to our mission as a University and a community, and as a threat to each individual's right to a safe living and learning environment. Any non-criminal act motivated, in whole or in part, by the victim's actual or perceived race, religion, ethnic background, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, or disability is considered a hate incident. Residence Life, in conjunction with campus partners, will intervene in all such incidents.

In order to prevent hate/bias incidents from creating a hostile environment for any individual or group on campus and interfering with UW-La Crosse’s educational mission, we believe the University and all people of conscience within the campus community must raise their voices in opposition to messages of hate and intolerance, and in support of inclusiveness for all. If students experience or witness a hate incident, please notify a Residence Life staff member immediately and complete a Hate Incident Report Form through the Campus Climate Office. To learn more about the response to hate/bias incident reports, visit the Campus Climate website.

Posters, signs and materials expanding section

Residence Life Staff have both the right and the responsibility to regulate the hallway-facing side of room doors. The hallway-facing side of room doors affects the community of the residence hall, and not solely the students in the room. Therefore, students are prohibited from posting messages, signs or materials:

  • That create fear, threaten, or intimidate a particular individual or group with racist, sexist, or homophobic message such that they have a concern for their personal safety.
  • That present obscene, lewd or profane language.
  • That incite violence within the residence hall community.
  • That disrupt the mission of Residence Life to provide a living environment that is safe, inclusive and supports the educational development of students living on campus.
Personal refrigerators expanding section

In Reuter Hall, each apartment kitchen has a full-sized refrigerator. All other residence hall rooms have a 3.5 cubic foot refrigerator provided by Residence Life. Students may bring an additional refrigerator, but only one additional personal refrigerator (3.5 cubic feet) is allowed per bedroom. There is no charge for having an additional refrigerator.

Publicity/advertising expanding section

Posters and fliers must follow the Campus Publicity Guidelines on the University Centers website. Each residence hall has 1 or 2 Registered Bulletin Boards designed for postings by entities outside of Residence Life.

Residence hall exterior door access expanding section

All outside entrance doors are locked at all times (lobby, side and back doors). Students have access to their residence hall via their Student ID/University identification card. Students living in the residence halls are required to have their Student ID on them at all times. Contact the Campus Card Office (608.785.8891) immediately if you lose your student identification card.

Residence Life University break procedures expanding section

Residence Halls remain open to students during University Breaks.  Any student living on campus is permitted to stay in their room for all or part of the break period.  For safety reasons, students must sign up indicating when they will be in the residence halls. Break information will be distributed to all on campus students prior to University Breaks.

Room changes and consolidation expanding section

Students who desire to move to another room or move to another residence hall, can request a room change with their Hall Director.  Space is limited and moves may not be available until the end of fall semester.  Moves must be approved before any belongings are moved. Anyone moving without approval is subject to an improper check out charge, and may be asked to return to their original housing assignment. Residence Life reserves the right to change or restrict room assignments. 

Starting spring semester, or when overcrowding is no longer a factor, students without roommates will be offered the opportunity to "buy out" their room as a single (pending space availability) for the remainder of the academic year. If the room is not purchased as a single, the student will participate in the consolidation process within the Residence Hall. Individuals will be given 3 days (72 hours) to either (1) find a roommate, or (2) move in with someone else. These moves must be completed within one week. If none of these options are taken, the student will be informed that they may get a new roommate at any time and that they will be expected to accept this new roommate.

Room entry by Residence Life staff expanding section

Residence Life Staff reserve the right to enter residence hall rooms for safety and security purposes. In such cases, effort will be made to notify students in advance, and to have the student present at the time of entry; however some situations warrant immediate entry if there is concern for the safety of individuals or the residence hall community.

Room inventories expanding section

When students move in to their residence hall room or apartment, they will be asked to complete an electronic inventory form. This form is available through the housing application via WINGS.  It is recommended that students check the room carefully and note the condition of all items listed on the inventory form. Students will be charged for any damages that occur to their student room or apartment or if found responsible for damages caused in public areas within the residence hall.  The University does not assume responsibility for personal property.

Room keys expanding section

Each student is issued a key for their room and mailbox.  Students who are locked out of their room should contact residence hall staff to assist them. For security reasons, a lost room key should be reported immediately to the Hall Director.  Students will be charged for the replacement cost of a lost key and the lock change. 

Students are responsible for the security of their rooms. Students should lock their rooms when they are sleeping or not present. The University does not assume responsibility for individual property. Students who experience damage or theft of their personal property should report the damage to residence hall staff and/or University Police. Students are encouraged to have renter’s insurance or work with their parents/guardians homeowners insurance to see if their belongings are covered.

Severe weather/tornado procedures expanding section

Every individual has a responsibility to be attentive to weather conditions, and be prepared to react as necessary. Students will be alerted of severe weather through university police (CodeRed), La Crosse siren or a PA announcement).

In case of severe weather/tornado:

  • Go to the basement or move to an interior area of the building
  • Close and lock room doors upon exiting
  • Protect head and face
  • Stay away from windows
  • In the event there is not time to evacuate, crawl under a desk or use a mattress for protection