Procedures for Entry and Search of University-Operated Housing

The University respects the student’s desire for privacy within the realm of the group-living experience on state property and will make every effort to protect that privacy. Campus premises occupied by students and the personal possessions of students shall not be searched unless appropriate authorization has been obtained. Campus living quarters may be entered for the purposes and under the restrictions listed:

A. Procedures for Entry

  1. Maintenance – Premises may be entered after knocking, to give attention to health, sanitation, maintenance, and safety requirements.
  2. Inspections – Housing personnel and any other appropriate University official or staff may enter any room/ house/ apartment for inspection purposes, with appropriate written notice. Twenty-four hours notice will be given whenever possible. Housing personnel or any other appropriate University official conducting the inspection shall report violations of University regulations and state or federal laws via established procedures.
  3. Other
    1. The University Housing staff may enter a room/ house/ apartment, after knocking, without written authorization when there exists immediate and compelling cause, i.e., loud noise, complaints from other residents, emergency circumstances (such as fire evacuation), or similar overt occurrences. Evidence of regulatory or statutory violations that exists in plain and open view of the entering staff members may be used in initiating disciplinary procedures.
    2. In instances where immediate and compelling cause does not exist, written authorization from the individual in charge of the residential area or his superior must be obtained prior to entry. Such authorization must show reasonable cause, i.e., there must exist a reason to believe, other than mere suspicion, that violations of federal and state statutes or University regulations are occurring. If the occupant of the room/house/apartment is absent, a staff member of the residential area must be present during the entry. Evidence of regulatory or statutory violations that exist in plain and open view of the entering staff member may be used in initiating disciplinary procedures.
    3. Police agency entry – Police entrance shall be governed by the requirements of customary legal investigative practice.

B. Procedures for Search

Administrative Search – Upon presentation of reasonable cause, the Director of Housing and Residential Life or his/her superior may issue written authorization for the search of a designated room/house/apartment and the contents thereof. The authorization stating the reason(s), cause(s), or condition(s) necessitating the search shall be presented to the designated occupant(s) prior to the search. In execution of the search, the Director of Housing and Residential Life or his/her designee, the Coordinator for Residential Communities or his/her designee and the occupant should be present; however, it is not imperative that the occupant be present.

C. Appeal and Grievance Redress

  1. Entry and Search Authorization Appeals – In cases where disciplinary procedures arise from evidence obtained on the basis of entry or search authorizations, the cause for, validity, or scope of the authorization may be challenged by the student-defendant and such challenge must be adjudicated by the University disciplinary system before any further action is taken.
  2. Grievance Allegations – In such case that a student believes his guaranteed rights have been violated by an act of entrance or search, he/she may present written allegation of this belief to the Vice President for Student Affairs and Enrollment Management, who shall thereupon require an investigation of the allegation. Should this investigation demonstrate that a University employee has intentionally erred and violated a student’s rights, this employee shall be subject to disciplinary action, including possible termination.