HRL Community Living Standards

The Grand Valley State University (GVSU) Office of Housing and Residence Life (HRL) upholds all state, local, and federal laws as well as the GVSU Student Code and all documented University Policies. Housing policies are designed to support the mission and goals of HRL. Violation of the housing specific policies and procedures outlined below may result in referral through the HRL Conduct Process and/or referred to the Office of Student Conduct.

View a printable copy of the HRL Community Living Standards. (formerly HRL Policies A-Z and HRL Policy Guide)

Section 1: Introduction

Housing and Residence Life (HRL) is an integral part of the GVSU community, committed to supporting the development of students in their efforts to achieve personal and academic success. The residential student experience provides the opportunity for students to practice problem solving, conflict resolution, personal responsibility, and accountability. The HRL Community Living Standards serve as the foundational threshold for how residents conduct themselves to meet the safety needs of their residential communities. We acknowledge that when students are navigating freedom and responsibility within a new community atmosphere, difficulties arise. To address potential harm done within the community, the HRL conduct process is designed to center education through restorative practices. Restorative practices encourage the growth and development of the individual student around relationship building, identifying harm done, recognizing personal responsibility and designing restorative measures to repair harm.

As representatives of the values and mission of GVSU, residents should strive to exemplify integrity, community care, and accountability. A residential community requires collaboration between residents, GVSU non-residents, staff, and visitors to foster safe and meaningful on-campus communities. Residents are expected to be familiar with the Community Living Standards and unfamiliarity does not absolve a resident from accountability for potential violations. Residents are expected to report violations of the HRL Community Living Standards, whenever and wherever they may occur.

HRL upholds all state, local, and federal laws as well as the GVSU Student Code and all documented University Policies. The HRL Community Living Standards and associated HRL Conduct Process is designed to support the mission and goals of HRL and the values of the Division of Student Affairs. Failure to abide by the standards outlined below may result in referral through the HRL Conduct Process and/or the Office of Student Conduct and Conflict Resolution in addition to any civil or criminal proceeding related to the reported incident. Non-resident GVSU students who are involved in the possible violation of the HRL Community Living Standards may be subject to referral to the Office of Student Conduct and Conflict Resolution. Non-GVSU students who are involved in the possible violation of the HRL Community Living Standards may be subject to their institution’s conduct process.

Section 2: Resident Rights and Responsibilities

Under the HRL Community Living Standards, GVSU students residing in on-campus housing have the following rights:

  • Right to a safe living environment
  • Right to participate in involvement and engagement opportunities
  • Right to a clean room upon move-in
  • Right to clean shared living spaces such as community kitchens, game rooms, lobbies, laundry rooms, hallways, etc.
  • Right to safely functioning fire safety tools such as fire extinguisher and fire alarm
  • Right to all existing furniture and appliances in clean and working order
  • Right to seek support via Housing and Residence Life staff to access any other campus resources relevant to the residential student’s needs and interests
  • Right to report any violation of the Community Living Standards or other University policies
  • Right to report to CARE concerns related to student well-being, student lack of resources concerns
  • Right to report Campus Climate Concerns any instance where someone felt belittled, disrespected, or isolated based on their identity.
  • Right to report to the University incidents of harassment, discrimination, retaliation, and/or sexual misconduct (including sexual assault, dating/domestic violence, intimate partner violence, stalking, and sexual exploitation)
  • Right to report to Campus Security Authority crimes including murder/non-negligent manslaughter, Manslaughter by negligence, robbery, aggravated assault (non-domestic), burglary, motor vehicle theft, arson, liquor law violations, drug violations, illegal weapons possession, hate crimes
  • Right to call 9-1-1 in any situation or scenario where the safety of yourself or others is threatened in any way
  • Right to request a meeting via phone call or zoom with a Resident Assistant, Assistant Living Center Director or Living Center Director to address any of the above Residential Student Rights

Under the HRL Community Living Standards, GVSU students residing in on-campus housing have the following responsibilities:

  • Read and respond to Housing and Residence Life email and phone communications as requested
  • Notify Housing and Residence Life staff of concerns regarding roommate conflicts, housing accessibility concerns, etc.
  • Notify facilities/maintenance staff of concerns regarding facilities/maintenance issues anywhere within the residential community
  • Collaborate on the completion of a roommate agreement within the first three weeks of the academic year with assigned Resident Assistant
  • Adhere to the agreed upon regulations represented in the roommate agreement and remain open to adaptations of regulations according to changing needs of each roommate throughout the duration of the roommate relationship
  • Completion of the Room Condition Report
  • Completion of Roommate Agreement
  • Completion of the mySuccessCheck survey (first year GVSU students only)
  • Regular trash removal to proper trash disposal areas
  • Cleaning of shared spaces within residential unit
  • Prevent mold and mildew by keeping bathroom clean, dry, and ventilated by assuring the use of exhaust fan, opening the bathroom door post shower, etc.
  • General upkeep of residential unit- cleaning surfaces, sweeping, mopping, vacuuming, keeping drains clear of debris
  • Reporting a facilities or maintenance emergency at the point of notice by filing a facilities work order
    • i.e. issues that jeopardize a person’s safety involving power loss, broken door lock, stuck or malfunctioning elevator, plumbing malfunctions, heating loss

Section 3: HRL Conduct Process

The HRL Conduct Process is grounded in the foundation of Restorative Justice, a philosophy that acknowledges that when a person does harm, it affects the person(s) they hurt, the community and themselves. The HRL Conduct Process is an administrative function and it is not subject to the same rules of civil or criminal proceedings. Because some of the violations of HRL Community Living Standards are also violations of the law, students may be accountable to both the legal system and the University. The HRL Conduct Process and University processes will often proceed notwithstanding any civil or criminal proceeding. The HRL Conduct Process uses a preponderance of evidence as the standard of proof.


  1. Documentation. HRL staff members are obligated to report any Student Code, HRL policy, State, Federal, and local law violations to appropriate authorities. Reports may also be submitted by general members of the HRL or GVSU community. Residents documented for an alleged violation will be contacted by HRL or Office of Student Conduct and Conflict Resolution staff. Timely response and compliance are expected.
  2. Review of Incident. Reports received by HRL staff are reviewed by the HRL Assistant Director/Residence Life Coordinator of Conduct/CARE and referred or closed as appropriate. A case may be referred to a Living Center Director (LCD), Assistant Living Center Director (ALCD), Office of Student Conduct and Conflict Resolution, or dismissed without further action based on the findings of the report.
  3. Case Disposition. After the initial review is conducted, and notwithstanding any emergency measures needed, the resident will be notified on next steps concerning the HRL Conduct Process. Every effort will be made to notify the residents reported for alleged violation within 10 business days of receipt of the incident report. Following notification, if the matter is retained within HRL for disposition, HRL staff will contact the student to schedule a meeting as described below. A resident’s failure to participate in or respond to the HRL Conduct Process will not prevent the process from moving forward. In those situations, the case may be resolved in the resident's absence.
  4. Meeting with Staff Member. If the case is retained in HRL, the LCD/ALCD will conduct a meeting with the resident(s) involved. Additional individuals with relevant information may be interviewed as necessary. The meeting should include the following:
  • Written notification to the resident of the nature of the alleged violation(s);
  • Review of the resident's rights and responsibilities in the HRL Conduct Process;
  • Review of the standard(s) directly related to the possible violation(s);
  • An opportunity for the resident to respond to the report;
  • Review of the HRL Conduct Process.

The resident will have the opportunity to ask questions, respond to the report of the alleged violation(s) and give the professional staff member additional information and insight, accept or deny responsibility for the violation(s) and participate in reaching a solution. Based on the meeting, and after reviewing the available information and meeting with involved persons, the staff member can make a finding regarding responsibility and assign restorative measures to repair the harm caused if the resident is found responsible. The resident will be provided with the finding(s) and restorative measure(s), if any, in writing.

  1. Outcomes of Meeting. Possible outcomes of the meeting may include dismissal of the charges or the assignment of Restorative Measures.
  • Case Dismissed. If the staff member determines that it is not likely that a violation has occurred, the accused resident and the complainant, as appropriate, will be notified that the complaint has been dismissed and charges dropped.
  • Restorative Measures. If a resident is found responsible for violating the HRL Community Living Standards, restorative measures may be issued. The restorative measures are determined based on the meeting conversations between the resident and the LCD/ALCD and any additional interviewers or witnesses. The restorative measures are meant to be educational, and to provide the resident with the opportunity to repair harm to the affected community. Restorative measures are geared toward helping the resident understand the consequences of the behavior, and to assist the resident in making more responsible decisions in the future. Given the individual nature of each situation, restorative measures are assigned on a case-by-case basis. Repeated violations may result in progressive outcomes. Possible restorative measures include, but are not limited to:
  1. HRL Warning. A warning advising the resident that the behavior exhibited was unacceptable and that future behavior that violates the HRL Community Living Standards may result in further action.
  2. Community Building/Restoration Plan. An opportunity for the resident to create a written action plan for repairing the harm done to individuals and the community.
  3. Educational/Community Service Time. An educational or community service assignment that is to be completed within a specified period of time.
  4. Restitution. Repayment for actual loss in the case of property damage, theft or lost revenue.
  5. Removal of Prohibited Items. An instruction to remove items that are listed as prohibited according to this document. Failure to do so will result in further action.
  6. HRL Probation. Probationary status whereby any further violations during a specified period of time may result in termination of the Housing Contract. During housing probation, the resident is expected to maintain model behavior.
  7. Restriction of Privileges. Limitation of the resident's options (e.g., participation in activities or use of services) or withholding of services (e.g., computer network or cable services), in a way related to the specific violations of the HRL Community Living Standards.
  8. Prohibition of Entry into University Housing Facilities. Residents, guests or others who violate HRL Community Living Standards may be prohibited from entering GVSU owned and operated housing units in the future. In the event that a trespass restriction is issued, the violator becomes ineligible to return to on-campus housing units even as the guest of a resident. Violation of this restriction may subject the violator to the provisions of the Michigan Trespass Statute.
  9. Housing Reassignment. Reassignment to a different room or building occurs in order to remove the resident from the environment that facilitates or allows the unacceptable behavior. This removal is for the benefit of both the resident and the community.
  10. Review, Amendment or Termination of the Housing Contract. If a resident has violated the standards and values of the housing community, the resident’s Housing Contract may be subject to review, amendment or termination. It’s also possible that a student’s violation of the HRL Community Living Standards may be such that repeat violations will result in the termination of their current and/or future Housing Contract. If a resident has violated the HRL Community Living Standards to the extent of no longer being able to be a successful member of that community, the contract will be terminated.

Note: HRL reserves the right to change the locking devices on residence room doors and/or outer doors in order to enforce restorative measure of restriction of privileges, prohibition of entry into on-campus housing units, reassignment or termination of the Housing Contract. HRL reserves the right to file a complaint under the HRL Community Living Standards against a resident who departs on-campus housing before the completion of the HRL Conduct Process, including fulfillment of any restorative measures.


Resident's rights under the HRL Conduct Process include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • The right to be informed in writing of the alleged violation(s), with time, and with enough detail, to ensure the resident the opportunity to adequately prepare for the meeting;
  • The right to decline to appear at or participate in the meeting. Such action will not be interpreted as an indication of responsibility for the alleged violation; however, the process and the meeting will continue;
  • The right to present information on the resident's own behalf;
  • The right to request any supporting information related to the incident.
  • The right to be accompanied by a support person who will be permitted to attend the meeting, but not allowed to participate. Residents must notify the HRL staff member within 24 hours of the meeting if a support person will be accompanying them and provide the required documentation as requested;
  • The right to challenge the objectivity of the HRL staff member;
  • The right to receive a timely written decision;
  • The right to an appeal within five (5) business days after the receipt of the decision letter

It is the resident's responsibility to abide by the HRL Conduct Process. This includes, but is not limited to:

  • Timely response to communications
  • The providing of thorough and truthful information
  • Complying with restorative measures determined

The following actions misuse the process and may result in additional violations of the HRL Community Living Standards:

  • Failure to provide, destroying or concealing information during an investigation of an alleged policy violation;
  • Attempting to discourage an individual’s proper participation in, or use of, the HRL Conduct Process
  • Attempting to influence the impartiality of any HRL staff member prior to and/or during the course of the meeting;
  • Obstructing or disrupting the orderly function of the meeting
  • Harassment and/or intimidation of any complainant, any member of HRL or of any witness prior to, during and/or after the meeting;
  • Influencing or attempting to influence another person to present false information, file a false complaint, or otherwise abuse the HRL Conduct Process;


How to Appeal a Decision. If the accused resident or the complainant disputes the finding(s) or restorative measure(s) resulting from the HRL Conduct Process, the decision may be appealed. Appeals are heard by an HRL Assistant Director or designee. They must be submitted in writing via email at within five business days after the receipt of the decision from the HRL staff member. If an extension is requested before the expiration of the allotted time, this deadline may be extended at the discretion of the Assistant Director. The appeal statement should specify the grounds for the appeal. The response to an appeal will be based only on an interview with the resident and/or complainant, review of the records of the case, review of the arbitration (if applicable), and/or review of any new evidence that was not reasonably available at the time of the arbitration. Residents must write and submit an appeal on their own behalf. Generally, restorative measures will not be enforced until a decision has been made regarding an appeal. However, situations involving behavior that is disruptive to the community or that poses a threat to the safety of the resident or others may dictate that a restorative measure, including contract termination, be enforced immediately, regardless of the appeal status.

Grounds for Appeal. Grounds for filing an appeal are limited to the following:

  1. A procedural error has resulted in violation of the resident's rights as defined in this policy;
  2. The decision is clearly not supported by the information presented at the arbitration;
  3. The restorative measure was not appropriate for the violation;
  4. Significant and relevant new information is available that was not reasonably available at the time of the arbitration.

Response to Appeal. The Assistant Director or designee will make every effort to return a decision within 10 business days of receiving a written appeal. Response to the appeal is limited to the following:

  • Affirming the original decision concerning the violation(s) of the HRL Community Living Standards;
  • Affirming the original decision concerning the restorative measures(s) issued;
  • Reversing the original decision concerning the violation and directing that the complaint be dismissed;
  • Reversing the original decision concerning the violation and directing that a new arbitration be held before a new arbitration body;
  • Changing the original decision concerning the restorative measure, and imposing a different restorative measure not greater than the restorative measure set by the administrative arbitration officer.
  • Adding to, changing or retracting the original alleged violation(s) and decision, and modifying any restorative measure(s) accordingly.

The outcome of the appeal is final.

Resolution of possible violations before term ends. Possible violations of the HRL Community Living Standards must be addressed before residents depart from on-campus housing at the end of the contract period. Residents who fail to respond to outstanding requests may be denied the opportunity to return for the next contract period and the case will be reviewed and heard in their absence. Residents involved in such incidents, and who are not planning to return to on-campus housing, may have their cases referred to the Office of Student Conduct and Conflict Resolution.

Records. HRL conduct records will be maintained by HRL. Confidentiality of the records will be maintained to the extent required by law, including the federal Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act [FERPA] and the University’s FERPA policy. HRL conduct records are maintained for 7 years following the closure date of the incident.

Interpretation. Any question or interpretation regarding the HRL Community Living Standards or the HRL Conduct Process shall be referred to the Director of Housing & Residence Life or designee for final determination.

Section 4: Health & Safety


The importance of providing a safe, clean and healthy environment for residents is the responsibility of all members of housing communities including, but not limited to, bathrooms, community kitchens and lounges. Residents are forbidden to possess potentially hazardous materials, to conspire to damage the sanitary and safe environment, or to engage in activities that do so. Leaving biohazards (e.g., urine/feces/vomit) in trash cans/trash closets/recycle bins/shower stalls or a bottle is a serious community health hazard and is prohibited. Biohazards must be disposed of in appropriate methods such as the toilet or sharps container. All residents are expected to maintain clean residential bathroom and living spacing.

Residents may not intentionally or recklessly cause physical harm or endanger the health or safety of any person. For example, propping open outside doors or tampering with locking mechanisms allows a potential unauthorized entry, and is prohibited. Tampering with elevator equipment, prying open or propping open elevator doors, jumping up and down in an elevator or jumping from a stairwell is prohibited.


Residents are expected to follow the prescribed emergency procedures or the directions of a Grand Valley staff member in case of accidents, threats, fire/explosions, tornado warning, unauthorized group action, or utilities failure. For more information on the University’s Emergency Preparedness plan and to sign up for the GV alert system, please visit


All members of the community are expected to be conscious of the welfare of others at all times and may not intentionally or recklessly cause a fire, falsely report a fire (e.g. activate a false fire alarm), or fail to report a fire. Immediate evacuation when a fire alarm sounds is mandatory and re-entry into a building before an all-clear signal is prohibited. Tampering or inappropriate use of University fire safety equipment is prohibited. Tampering with or improperly engaging a fire alarm or fire detection/control equipment, including, but not limited to, fire alarms, fire extinguishers, fire hoses, exit lights, smoke detectors, and sprinkler systems, is prohibited. This includes covering or removing of smoke detectors, carbon monoxide detectors, unauthorized use of fire extinguishers, or hanging items on sprinkler heads. Grills and fireplaces in approved areas must be attended to at all times.

Section 5: Access and Credentials

EXTERIOR DOORS                                                                  

The propping open of any locked entrance or exit door is prohibited. In the case that an exterior building door is found to be propped open and the individual responsible is not found, a public area charge will be billed and distributed among all building residents. Additionally, residents may not allow building access to individuals who are not residents of the community.


HRL keys and access cards are University property, issued to students with an active housing contract. Keys and access credentials (access cards, Student IDs) may not be loaned or transferred to other residents, students, or guests. Unauthorized use, possession or duplication of HRL-issued credentials is strictly prohibited.

Students are required to carry their University issued identification card while on University grounds. Students must present this ID card in a cooperative manner when requested by University staff including HRL staff and GVPD.


Misuse of access privileges is prohibited, including trespassing, propping or unauthorized use of alarmed doors. This includes entry to any place that is officially closed, or only to designated persons, or where the safety and welfare of residents could be endangered. On-campus housing units are to be occupied only by those assigned to the unit by HRL and are not to be occupied by or loaned to other residents or nonresidents.

Section 6: Alcohol and Drugs


All on-campus residents are required to comply with state and local laws regarding alcohol. HRL complies with the GVSU Alcohol and Other Drugs (AOD) Policy. Unauthorized possession, consumption, or providing of alcohol to others contrary to law or University policy is prohibited.

Residents of age who use alcohol legally are expected to do so in a responsible manner. Distributing alcohol to minors is illegal and in violation of University policy. Irresponsible and inappropriate behavior, where alcohol is a contributing factor, will not be tolerated.

Traditional, Suite, Cluster, and Apartment-style Living Centers are alcohol free environments. Possession, consumption, being under the influence, or providing alcohol to others is prohibited. Alcohol in any form is not permitted in these buildings, regardless of the age of the resident or guest. Residents and guests may not store or possess alcohol or empty alcohol containers.

Residents and guests who are 21 years of age or older may consume and store alcohol in the privacy of their room/apartment in Calder Apartments, Grand Valley Apartments, Laker Village Apartments, Murray Living Center, Niemeyer Living Center, Secchia Hall, South Apartments C, D, E, VanSteeland Living Center, and Winter Hall with other students who are 21 years of age or older. No more than one open container (cup, bottle, or can) may be present for any individual of legal drinking age when in the company of minors. Alcohol may not be stored in common areas (kitchen, living room) unless all assigned occupants are of legal drinking age. Residents under 21 may not store or possess alcohol or empty containers.


Alcohol or drug paraphernalia of any kind, including but not limited to bongs, pipes, and other paraphernalia commonly associated with drug use is prohibited in on-campus housing units. This includes containers used as decoration. Individuals in violation will forfeit any cans or bottles confiscated from their possession. This includes empty alcohol containers used as decoration. Open containers of alcohol are not permitted in any public areas. Kegs, bongs, and open parties are prohibited.


All federal, state and local laws regarding illegal drugs will be strictly enforced. Possession, use, manufacturing, production, or distribution of unauthorized controlled substances is prohibited. Aiding in the use, manufacture, production, or distribution of any controlled substance is prohibited. This includes misuse of prescription medications. The possession or use of marijuana in any form, including medical marijuana, is strictly prohibited.


Deliberate misuse of any chemicals, substance or other product that has mood-altering capabilities, outside of its singular and legally intended use, is prohibited.


Prescription drugs must be taken by persons prescribed only for the intended use and in the prescribed manner as directed by their doctor. Medicinal marijuana is not permitted in on-campus housing even if the resident is an authorized user.

Section 7: Animals


GVSU is committed to providing reasonable accommodations to persons with disabilities and fulfilling obligations under State and Federal laws. GVSU shall not allow an animal that poses a threat to the health or safety of others that cannot be reduced or eliminated by another reasonable accommodation; would cause substantial physical damage to the property of others that cannot be reduced or eliminated by another reasonable accommodation; poses an undue financial and administrative burden; or would fundamentally alter the nature of housing operations. Assistance animals must be approved by Disability Support Resources (DSR) and the owner must possess a memorandum “memo” for approval verification. All animals approved via DSR will be required to have a badge to be worn on the collar, or must be available upon demand.  Please view the full DSR Guidelines for Assistance Animals.


The only approved pet allowed in campus housing are non-predatory aquarium fish in a 10-gallon tank or smaller. Residents are permitted to keep fish in their room under the following conditions: 1. All residents of the room/apartment need to agree to have a fish tank in the room; 2. Fish tank size cannot exceed 10 U.S. gallons. 3. Flesh-eating species (e.g., piranha) are not permitted. 4. All appropriate precautions must be taken to ensure that the electrical connection to the fish tank is safe, and that other potential hazards have been properly addressed. 5. You must ensure the maintenance of the fish and tank, including over break periods.


The presence of animals, including birds, cats, dogs, reptiles or other animals in on-campus housing units is not permitted. Unauthorized animals must be removed immediately and will result in referral via the HRL Conduct Process.


Service Animals are permitted within all University facilities subject to the additional requirements of this policy. Individuals who wish to bring a service animal into a University housing facility may do so without prior approval.  However, students are strongly encouraged to register with Disability Support Resources (DSR) to ensure that their experience bringing the animal to campus is a positive one. Advance notice of a service animal in housing facilities will enable the University to appropriately plan for the animals’ presence and will allow more flexibility in meeting the student’s needs. Service animals are permitted to accompany the resident to all areas of housing where residents are normally permitted to go. Please note that service animals are required to be at least 12 months of age unless an exception to this requirement has been approved by DSR. Please review the full GVSU animal policy and Guidelines for Assistance Animals.


Students may not feed, taunt, or attempt to capture wild animals (cats, raccoons, etc.) in the areas surrounding living centers or elsewhere on campus.

Section 8: Community Living


Residents are responsible for the cleanliness of the assigned living space and shall reimburse the University for all cleaning costs in excess of normal cleaning expenses. Trash and recyclables must be removed and deposited in the appropriate receptacles. Residents are requested to conscientiously participate in all energy conservation and recycling efforts and to refrain from unnecessarily polluting the environment. This includes, but is not limited to, depositing garbage anywhere other than in dumpsters, depositing recyclable items anywhere but in the appropriate containers; no disposing of oil, grease, gasoline, or other automotive fluids on the grounds, in storm drains, or in plumbing receptacles. Toilets, sinks, and other plumbing fixtures may not be used for any purpose other than those which they were designed for.


A guest is defined as any individual not contractually assigned to a particular on-campus living space.

  • The only guests permitted into GVSU housing Living Centers and Apartments are other GVSU on-campus housing residents, with the exception of move-in and move-out.
  • During move-in and move-out, all guests (parent or supporter) including the resident will be required to complete a self-assessment the day of the visit, prior to entering any residential building.
  • Overnight guests are not permitted at any time.
  • GVSU residential guests must be approved by roommate(s) prior to being invited into the building or unit.
  • No more than double the current assigned occupancy of the unit will be allowed. The exception to this limit is in place for single occupancy units only including Kistler, Copeland, Robinson, and Calder in which residents may host up to two guests at a time.
  • All guests must adhere to social distancing, face covering protocols and all other GVSU policies.
  • When a guest enters a residential unit, the unit becomes a “common space” where face coverings and social distancing are required by all occupants.
  • Guests must be escorted (e.g., to and from restrooms and lounges) by resident host at all times. Guests are permitted to use lounges only while accompanied by their resident host.
  • Guests who obstruct or disrupt the orderly function of on-campus housing may also be asked to leave by HRL staff members or GVPD.
  • Resident hosts are responsible for any violations or damage caused by their guests.

This policy is subject to modifications at any time based on additional guidance from the Governor, CDC recommendations, or the institution for the safety of the community


HRL is committed to the creation of residential communities that support an academic environment. Therefore, noise level in any unit may not negatively impact other community members. HRL staff may request residents to cease an activity in order to limit noise that could adversely affect the community. Courtesy is expected 24 hours a day. Residents have the right to ask others to refrain from making noise when that noise interferes with study, sleep, or general use of the housing unit. If a resident requests another resident to lower the volume or reduce the amount of noise, the expectation is a prompt and positive response to that request.


Beyond courtesy hours, residents are required to restrict the noise level to allow for studying and sleeping during the following hours:

10:00 p.m.- 10:00 a.m. Sunday-Thursday Nights

12:00 a.m.-10:00 a.m. Friday-Saturday Nights

During quiet hours, spaces should be free from excessive noise. Residents participating in noise producing activities, such as conversation, listening to music or watching television, are expected to keep their doors closed. Sounds from these and any activities should not be audible outside the space. Any noise made in lounges or other common areas should not be audible inside resident spaces that have their doors closed. Quiet hours also apply to noise made outside the building or in nearby parking lots. 24-hour quiet hours are in effect during final exam periods.


Public areas in the housing units constitute any area, aside from the individual room/apartment, to which all residents have access. Furniture in public areas is intended for community use and is not to be moved into student rooms or apartments. Public area furniture must be utilized safely, as designed, and re-configured appropriately after use. Sleeping is not permitted in any public area. Items left in the hallway, public area, great rooms, etc. are the responsibility of the resident. Personal belongings in these areas may not impede safe evacuation by residents or disrupt cleaning by University personnel.

Section 9: Compliance


Students are expected to provide accurate and truthful information and to comply with the reasonable directives of University officials or agents (which include HRL staff, GVPD, or other law enforcement entities) who are acting in good faith and in the performance of their duties.

This includes compliance with verbal, written, and published instructions by HRL staff members, when they are working within the appropriate performance of their duties. Written instructions include those directed to an individual student, such as a letter or e-mail message, as well as published instructions and policies in print or online, such as the Housing Contract and/or HRL Community Living Standards. Residents are expected to comply with sanctions and restorative measures agreed upon with HRL.

Residents are expected to make contact with HRL staff upon request within three business days of receiving a notification. Requests for responses will most likely come in the form of an e-mail message, but may come in the form of a phone call or a voice mail message.

Residents are expected to participate in scheduled meetings with HRL staff. Failure to meet does not preclude the continuation of the HRL Conduct Process.


Residents should act in good faith to remove themselves from situations in which violations of the HRL Community Living Standards are occurring and to report such violations to HRL staff. It is prohibited to facilitate a violation or to remain present while a violation occurs (e.g., stay in a space where alcohol is being consumed against University policy; be a spectator to an act of vandalism).


Residents must comply with all federal, state, local, and University laws, ordinances, and regulations on conduct, health, safety, and other matters concerning activities on or conditions of the premises and common areas.

Section 10: Facilities


HRL staff will assess individual room/apartment damages related to Health & Safety Inspections and residential departure/check-out. Damages within shared living spaces within a unit are the combined responsibility of all residents assigned. It is the responsibility of the occupant(s) to pay for the replacement or repair of damaged property within a resident’s unit or in areas adjacent to it (i.e., windows, doors, and suite study areas). If responsible parties cannot be identified fees may also be assessed within the community for actions including, but not limited to, leaving bags of trash in the hallway or propping open exterior building doors. Public area damage remaining after final check out will be divided and charged to each resident’s billing account. Please view the full listing of HRL Fines and Damage Charges.


Residents are not permitted to paint or structurally alter their rooms/apartments in any way. Residents may not remove, modify or tamper with any room fixture or component including doors, walls, ceilings, floors, windows, electrical systems, pipe systems, and safety systems. Drilling, sawing, or attaching items to walls, floors, or ceilings with screws, nails, glue, or other devices is not allowed. Residents may not permanently alter walls, ceilings, or floors. Window furnishings may not be replaced or added in any way. Students may not tamper with locking mechanisms. No locks, bolts, chains or other locking devices, besides those installed by HRL, may be attached to the door or wall. Nothing may be attached to or hung over any part of the outside of the building or hallway walls.

Interior unit wall and door decorations may be affixed using painters’ tape only. The means of adhering decorations must not cause any damage to the finish of the door or wall. Message boards/decorations are permitted to hang on the outside of residential units, using appropriate methods (i.e. removable tape) to affix them.  Message boards may not be hung on hallway walls, block the keyhole, or hinder the door from closing properly. No materials may cover the door’s peephole, the door lock/knob assembly, the room number, or emergency procedure signs. Decorations/message boards, may not be hung on hallway walls, block the keyhole, or hinder the door from closing properly. Exceptions include townhouse style units and University-sanctioned events only (i.e. Laker Village, RHA Haunted Halls)


All University-provided furniture and equipment must remain in the room or apartment as inventoried upon check-in. The removal of public area furniture is strictly prohibited. All roommates must be in agreement about the furniture arrangement. The following guidelines also apply to furniture within campus housing:

  • Furniture may be lofted or bunked using University instructions and University provided bed pins only.
  • Mattresses are provided and must remain in the residential unit. Non-University mattresses are prohibited.
  • The removal of window blinds and the addition of any window treatment or accessory is prohibited.
  • Furniture may not block vents, thermostats, or means of egress.
  • Furnishings belonging to the University may not be removed from the unit.
  • Upon move-out, all University-provided furniture must be present and set up to match the University layout standards.
  • All personal furniture and other belongings must be removed at move-out or will be subject to removal at the owner’s expense and forfeited. 
  • Residents will be charged for any damages to furniture not noted on the Room Condition Report.


Residents may not tamper with IT equipment or connections. Information Technology policies may be found online at:


Access to rooftops or balconies is prohibited. The presence of individuals or objects on a roof, roof deck or ledge is strictly prohibited at all times. Residents may not access these areas or throw items on rooftops or balconies. Use of doors and windows that lead to roofs, decks and ledges for purposes other than maintenance or University staff entry is prohibited.


Some Grand Valley Apartment units include solariums. Solariums are enclosed porches and may not be used as bedrooms; therefore, sleeping in this area is not permitted.


The throwing, dropping, propelling, pouring or hanging of anything from doors, windows, interior pipes, balconies, ledges and landings is prohibited.


Tampering with or removing any window screens, latches, stops or apparatus is prohibited. Windows may not be used as exits or entrances.  Screens in all rooms and apartments must remain on the window at all times, except in cases of emergency. When temperatures are below freezing, residents are required to keep unit windows closed. Residents are liable for any damages caused by open windows resulting in frozen pipes. 

Section 11: Occupancy and Contract Terms

Please review the full terms of the Fall 2020-Winter 2021 Housing Contract. Failure to abide by the terms of the Housing Contract may result in referral to the HRL Conduct Process.


Enrollment status for residential students is monitored. Only currently enrolled students of the University may reside in University Housing. Preference is given to full time students with documented evidence of progression toward graduation. 


Residents are not required to depart their assigned unit during Thanksgiving Break, Winter Break, or Spring Break; however, residents remaining over break periods are obligated to notify HRL in advance as instructed.


Unauthorized room changes are prohibited and will result in referral to the HRL Conduct Process. Refusing to accept a roommate or impeding an effort by HRL to make an assignment to a vacant space is prohibited. No resident may pressure another resident to participate in the room change process.


The accommodations granted by the University Housing contract may be used only by the assigned student. The contract and housing assignment is made to a single individual and may not be assigned or otherwise transferred to others, nor may the space be sublet or otherwise placed in the occupancy, control, or care of another person or entity.

Section 12: Prohibited Behavior


Chalking at the University is permitted in certain designated sidewalk locations and only for the purpose of announcing campus activities, events, or meetings of registered student organizations or University sponsorships. Read more information on chalking


Residents are prohibited from vandalizing, damaging, defacing, tampering with, or destroying University property or property of others.  Intentional, reckless and/or unauthorized damage to or destruction of University property or the personal property of another is prohibited. Any damages to the community will be charged to the individual(s) who caused the damage, or may be charged to all residents who live in that community.


Conduct which interferes with the orderly administration or functioning of the University or any of its activities is prohibited. This includes, but is not limited to; throwing items in the hallways, bouncing balls, engaging in horseplay or creating a health or safety hazard. Riding a bike or scooter, skateboarding, rollerblading and other sports are prohibited indoors. Possessing, storing or using any motor-driven or electric vehicle inside residential buildings is also prohibited, except for assistive devices utilized by a person with a disability. The use of devices such as laser pointers with the purpose or result of causing irritation, injury or anger is not permitted. Additional prohibited behavior includes, but is not limited to, public nudity, urinating in public, screaming or yelling, and sexual activity in common areas. Common areas include, but are not limited to, bathrooms, lounges and kitchens.


Furnishing or possessing, or attempting to furnish or possess, false or misleading information (e.g., give a false name or use fake identification) is prohibited.


Failure to promptly meet financial responsibilities to the institution, including, but not limited to, knowingly passing a worthless check or money order in payment to the institution or to an official of the institution acting in an official capacity is prohibited.


Deliberately and publicly exposing one’s intimate body parts, public urination, defecation, and public sex acts are prohibited in community and public areas within on-campus housing buildings.


HRL abides by the restrictions and laws of the State of Michigan related to gambling, which may include raffles, lotteries, sports pools, and online betting activities.


GVSU is committed to providing an educational environment, a workplace, programs, and activities that are free from all forms of harassment, discrimination, and sexual misconduct. GVSU’s Policy Prohibiting Harassment, Discrimination, Retaliation, and Sexual Misconduct prohibits a broad continuum of behaviors, including those under laws like Title IX, and some which are not prohibited by law but reflect GVSU’s standards and expectations for a positive working and learning environment. This policy prohibits all forms of harassment, discrimination, retaliation, and sexual misconduct including sexual assault, intimate partner violence (dating violence & domestic violence), stalking, sexual exploitation, and sexual or gender-based harassment.

When an alleged violation of this policy is reported, it is subject to resolution under procedures implemented by the Office for Title IX and Institutional Equity. 


Retaliation, including threatening, intimidating, harassing, or coercing, is prohibited.


The viewing of prerecorded content (VHS, DVD, Blu-Ray, Netflix, Hulu, etc.) in public areas including community centers, great rooms, lounges, and lobbies is considered licensed intellectual property and is prohibited by federal law.


Posting on community bulletin boards or in any public area including hallways is prohibited by anyone other than HRL staff members. Unauthorized postings will be removed.


For the safety of all residents, playing sports within any living area is prohibited. Such activities must be confined to the outdoor areas, away from all buildings. Any damage caused by flying objects, equipment, or recreational activity will be charged to the resident(s) involved.


Residents may not use University property, including housing units and public areas, for soliciting, or for commercial or business purposes. Please see the Commercial Activity Policy for more information. University Housing residents may use their room/apartment to engage in political activities as long as the room is not used for political fundraising. Individuals or organizations wishing to conduct survey and/or research activities in on-campus housing facilities must have prior approval from the University's Institutional Review Board, as well as from HRL. HRL mail services are for personal mail and packages and not for commercial use.


All buildings at all GVSU locations are designated as smoke free. Smoking is prohibited within 25 feet of all University buildings, including living centers and apartments. While GVSU permits smoking in designated areas, it is the responsibility of smokers to be conscientious of non-smokers in choosing a location in which to smoke so as to minimize non-smokers’ contact with second-hand smoke. Smokers are responsible for properly disposing of all smoking related litter, which includes cigarette and cigar butts, tobacco, etc. Disposal of any smoking litter is not permitted on University grounds except in the provided ash receptacles.


It is prohibited to take the property of any other person (including other residents, students, visitors or staff) or of the University without permission (e.g., others’ laundry from laundry room, lounge furnishings). Unauthorized use of a resident’s/roommate’s items without permission (such as clothing, bathroom and laundering supplies, or electronic devices) is not permitted. Maintaining possession of and/or using stolen property, or the property of another, without authorization is prohibited. Stolen property includes furnishings, fixtures and signs that have been removed from lounges, halls, and other common areas.


Abusive or threatening language (written or verbal) and behavior toward any member of the University community or staff is prohibited. A threat is defined as written or verbal conduct that causes a reasonable expectation of injury to the health or safety of any person or damage to any property. Intimidation is defined as implied threats or acts that cause a reasonable amount of fear of harm in another.


In accordance with State of Michigan Law, residents may not install or use a photo, sound, or video recorder of any nature in a private place without the consent of all other persons entitled to privacy in that place.


Violence of any type is prohibited, whether against family members, visitors or other residents and whether conducted in person, via forms of electronic communications or by other means.

Section 13: Prohibited and Regulated Items


The following items are prohibited in on-campus housing. If any of these articles is found to be in a resident space, the resident(s) will be requested to remove it from the building immediately. Residents will be held responsible for damages incurred as a result of possession or use of prohibited items. HRL reserves the right to prohibit or request the removal of additional items on a case-by-case basis. Prohibited items include:

  • Air conditioners not owned and installed by the University
  • Bicycles are prohibited from entering all housing buildings. Bicycles are not to be walked through the hallways, stored in public areas, or brought into rooms/apartments/units. Bicycles must be properly stored in designated bike racks. Bicycles should be secured with a bike lock and registered with GVPD.  Any bicycles left behind by residents will be confiscated and stored by the Grand Valley Police Department
  • Candles and incense
  • Charcoal grills
  • Curtains and additional window decor not provided by the University
  • Deep fryers
  • Dishwashers
  • Drug-related paraphernalia (e.g., bong, pipe, vaporizers)
  • Electric blankets or fireplaces
  • Electronics without a “UL Certified” label
  • Electric Scooters
  • Firearms and weapons including, but not limited to any firearm; any device from which an electrical current, impulse, wave, or beam may be directed that is designed to incapacitate temporarily, injure or kill; any other instrument or device of any kind that operates based on spring, gas or air, contains explosive materials, or; any instrument or device that has a sharp blade greater than three inches (outside of specifications related to restricted items); chemical, biological, radioactive, or other dangerous substances, except for a self-defense spray or foam for protection of a person or property under the circumstances that would justify the person’s use of physical force. 
  • Firepits
  • Fireworks, explosives, and toxic or dangerous chemicals
  • Gasoline and highly flammable substances
  • Halogen bulbs or lamps (all types, including clip-on, torchiere and desk styles)
  • Heating pads without an automatic shutoff
  • Hoverboards
  • De-humidifiers (unless approved as an accommodation by DSR or HRL)
  • Locks, latches, or similar devices (for interior or exterior doors) beyond what is provided by the University
  • Mattresses not provided by the University or approved as an accommodate by DSR
  • Mercury thermometers
  • Multi-light lamps with plastic shades
  • Natural, cut trees, branches and/or greens (such as holiday trees, wreaths and garlands)
  • Pesticides (such as commercially available bug bombs, bug spray, or poison bait)
  • Pianos and organs
  • Space heaters
  • Strobe lights, lava lamps, black lights, and fog machines
  • Tanning beds
  • Trampolines
  • Vent covers
  • Oil and wax warmers that utilize a flame, or oil and wax warmers without an automatic shutoff
  • Waterbeds/water chairs
  • Weapons including Airsoft and paintball guns, and any used for decorative or collecting purposes
  • Wireless routers
  • Major appliances (freezers, dishwashers, washers, dryers, etc.)
  • Extension cords, outlet adapters, or multiple plugs — except for power strips with built-in circuit breakers (limit of one power strip per resident)


All items on the Regulated Items list must, where applicable, be UL certified. Residents will be held responsible for damages incurred as a result of unsafe or inappropriate use of permitted and regulated items.

  • Air fryers, pressure cookers, waffle irons, and toaster ovens are allowed only in apartment areas equipped with full size kitchens (Murray, Vansteeland, GVA, South Apartments, Laker Village, Niemeyer, Winter, and Secchia)
  • Toasters, slow cookers, and rice cookers are permitted in apartment style and apartment areas only and are prohibited in cluster, traditional, and suite style units.
  • Decorative string lights are allowed with the following limitations: decorations and string lights must be affixed with approved adhesive and may not obstruct hallways, fire exits, exit signs or access to fire safety equipment. Residents must ensure that light bulbs and light strings do not come into contact with any combustible material. All lights must be labeled UL Certified.  No more than two strands may be plugged into an outlet or surge protector.  Strand lights may not exceed more than 25 feet in length.  Cords may not be run under doorways, carpets, rugs, or out of windows. Decorative lights must be turned off when the area is unattended. Use of string lights outside of the unit is prohibited in all buildings other than Laker Village.
  • Drones may be stored but not utilized in on-campus housing buildings or on University property. Refer to the GVSU Unmanned Aircraft System/Drone Policy for more information.
  • Electric griddles, fry pans, and sandwich makers with exposed heating elements ovens are allowed only in apartment areas equipped with full size kitchens (Murray, Vansteeland, GVA, South Apartments, Laker Village, Niemeyer, Winter, and Secchia)
  • Gas grills are provided in various housing communities. Residents of Laker Village may store and utilize gas grills outside. Gas grills may only be used in open areas with no overhead obstructions (i.e. awnings or balconies). Gas grills must be attended at all times while in use. Gas grills and propane tanks must be stored outside at all times. No charcoal grills are permitted.
  • Hookahs may be stored but not used within on-campus housing buildings.
  • Microwaves may not exceed 1,000 watts
  • One refrigerator of 4.6 cubic feet or less is allowed per unit in cluster, traditional, and suite style.
  • Additional refrigerators are prohibited in units where the University provides a refrigerator (unless approved as an accommodation by DSR or HRL)
  • Rollerblades, non-electric scooters, and skateboards and similar wheeled devices may be stored in but not used within on-campus housing units.
  • Vape pens, e-cigarettes may be stored but not used within on-campus housing buildings.
  • Kitchen knives with blades more than three inches in length permitted in apartment style and apartment areas with kitchens and are prohibited in cluster, traditional, and suite style units.
  • Thumb tacks may be used to adhere items to the walls in Holton Hooker only.