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Policies & procedures

A page within Residence Life

Photo of Front of Residence Life Office Building

When you sign the residence hall contract, you agree to live by the Residence Life and UWL policies and procedures. 

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  students accept responsibility for knowing and adhering to these policies.

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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.
  • Rapid consumption of alcohol.
  • Inability to function without assistance, incoherent, disoriented, unconsciousness.
  • Loss of control of bodily functions.

i) Participating in alcohol consumption that leads to community disruption or endangering others.

j) Students are not allowed to possess the following devices: beer bongs, funnels, beer/water pong, and/or other devices used for drinking games or simulating drinking games.

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.

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

The following activities are not permitted:

a) Engaging in disorderly conduct that is harmful, indecent, or otherwise disorderly communication.

b) Displaying behavior that disrupts or interferes with the orderly functions of the University community or its members. Examples include providing false reports or allegations as well as providing false or misleading information (lying).

c) Displaying obscene, lewd, or indecent conduct. Examples include, but are not limited to: public urination/defecation, public exposure of private body parts, sexual acts in public spaces, voyeurism.

d) Maltreatment 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. This includes failing to comply with a reasonable request. 

The following activities 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

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 university property
Removing university property 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)Door Propping

For safety and security, propping exterior doors is prohibited.

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) Electric Vehicle Charging: Charging non-university electric vehicles from residence hall outlets (outside or inside) is prohibited

o) 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
Instant Pots (acceptable in Reuter apartment kitchens)
• Air fryers and panini/sandwich grills (acceptable in Reuter apartment kitchens)
• Toasters (acceptable in Reuter apartment kitchens)
• 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)

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

h) Actions that create a fire or attempting to start a fire.

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.

Students are responsible for the behavior of their guests, and are responsible for informing their guests of residence hall policies. Students must accompany their guests throughout their visit.
Overnight guests are not permitted until the roommate/apartment agreement form has been completed and turned in to a Resident Assistant. In situations where roommates cannot agree about guests, the right of the person not to have guests in the room takes precedence over the privilege of hosting a guest.
The following statements outline activities that are not permitted:
a) Guests who violate policy
Hosts will be held accountable for guests who violate policy. If a guest is involved in a policy violation they may be prohibited from remaining in the residence hall and/or may have a restriction against future visits.
University Police will be called when guests under the age of 18 violate state law.
b) Misusing keys and University IDs that provide access to a residence hall
Students are not permitted to give room keys or their Student ID cards to guests or other students.
c) Hosting overnight guests
Each room may be occupied by a maximum of two overnight guests per night. Overnight guests may stay a maximum of two nights in any residence hall within a seven-day period. Exceptions must be approved by the Hall Director prior to the guest’s arrival.
d) Exceeding maximum room occupancy
A maximum of ten people are permitted in any student room at one time including quad rooms and Reuter apartments.
e) Guests are not allowed during Oktoberfest weekend

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.


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.

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.

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.

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 private businesses or retail options, 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.

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.

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.


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.

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.

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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.

If a student requires any accommodation to navigate the conduct process, they should contact Residence Life ( Residence Life will partner with the campus ACCESS Center to provide reasonable accommodations.

Residence Life and UW-La Crosse view bias 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 bias incident. Residence Life, in conjunction with campus partners, will intervene in all such incidents.

In order to prevent 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 bias and intolerance, and in support of inclusiveness for all. If students experience or witness a bias incident, please notify a Residence Life staff member immediately and complete a Bias Incident Report through the Center for Transformative Justice. To learn more about the response to bias incident reports, visit the Center for Transformative Justice website.

The policy and procedures regarding political campaigning are designed to allow candidates or their representatives the opportunity to discuss issues, distribute literature, and provide students opportunities to talk with candidates. In addition, this policy and these procedures are designed to protect student rights to privacy in their residential setting. Candidates or their representatives in elections pertinent to residence hall students, hold open meetings in a designated meeting place, and distribute literature following the procedures below: 

  • Campaigning may only be done between 3-6 p.m.  
  • Candidates or their representatives must check in at the residence hall front desk, show identification, and wear a visible name badge (sticker, button, lanyard) while campaigning. 
  • No more than two people can campaign at a time, in one residence hall.   
  • Candidates or their representatives may talk to and/or distribute literature to interested students.  
  • Campaigning needs to be conducted in a considerate manner that minimizes disruption to the community or its members. Candidates or their representatives must honor the wishes of students who choose not to speak with them. 
  • Candidates may reserve common area space in advance through the Resident Director, by email.  
  • Campaign materials may be posted on the registered bulletin board in each residence hall.   
  • Placing campaign materials under doors or posting them anywhere else in the residence hall is prohibited.   
  • Candidates or their representatives who choose not to follow the above procedures will be asked to leave the residence hall and will not be allowed to return for the duration of the election.

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 portal.  Requests will be reviewed and decided by the Director of Residence Life or their designee.

If evacuation from a Residence Hall for an Extended Period of Time is determined by emergency personnel and Residence Life Professional Staff alternative options will be made available to shelter-in-place.  Those locations include the Recreational Eagle Center (The REC) and the Student Union (The U).  Both locations can be used if needed based on total number of students who must evacuate.

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

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.


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 Center for Transformative Justice website.

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.

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.

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.

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, or 608.785.8891 immediately if you lose your student identification card.

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 Halls remain open to students during University Breaks.  Any student living on campus during the fall semester is permitted to stay in their room for all or part of the break period.  Break housing costs are not included in the fall or spring semester housing billing and will be billed to student accounts separated at the preestablished rate. 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.

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. 


In circumstances where residence hall occupancy is lower students without roommates may 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 may be required to participate in a room consolidation process within the Residence Hall. Individuals will be given the choice  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.


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, the residence hall community or university property. 


When students move in to their residence hall room or apartment they will receive an email through their UWL email account directing them to complete an electronic room inventory form.  The condition of the residence hall room is deemed to be good unless otherwise noted by the student on the room inventory form. 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.

Each student is issued a key for their room. Students who are locked out of their room can check out a temporary key from the residence hall from desk. Outside of Desk Hours, students should contact staff in their residence hall to assist them. For security reasons, a lost room key should be reported immediately to Residence Life staff. 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.

The only reservable spaces in the residence halls are the Eagle Hall Conference Room and the Eagle Hall Wilder Room (basement). There is a fee associated with utilizing these spaces. To reserve these spaces, contact the Office of Residence Life at Other common rooms throughout the residence halls are intended for students that live in that particular residence hall and are not reservable. Requests to reserve outside spaces such as volleyball and basketball courts as well as open field spaces near Coate, Eagle, Drake, and Wentz are done through University Reservations.

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

The Director of Residence Life maintains the ability to alter Residence Life policies and procedures as needed.  The needs of public safety, local/state/federal laws, and other circumstances may warrant policies to change at any time.

Residence Life Professional Staff annually review our policies and procedures for adjustments.  If a student living on campus would like to propose a policy or procedure change, they should follow these steps:

  1. Draft language in writing that reflects the proposed change.
  2. Provide written rationale for the requested change.  Rationale must include an explanation of how the proposed change remains in line with the UW System Code of Conduct, and stated values of the University of Wisconsin – La Crosse. 
  3. Send the proposed policy or procedure change and rationale to the Director of Residence Life.

The Director of Residence Life will then review and determine next steps, which may include meeting to discuss the proposal or presenting the proposal.  The Director of Residence Life makes final decisions on proposed Residence Life policy or procedure changes.