Policies & Procedures

Fire Safety

At the start of the academic year every student is emailed the fire safety and evacuation memo specific for their particular residence hall. Each student should carefully review the memo and become familiar with the locations of the fire alarm pull stations, fire extinguishers, and fire exits in their residence hall.

When a fire alarm sounds in the building, all occupants of the building are required to evacuate the building in a swift but orderly manner. Biannual fire drills are conducted to assist students in learning what the fire alarms sound like and how to safely execute the information within the memo in the case of an actual emergency.

What to do if I cannot exit my room in the case of a fire?

If a resident is in their room when an alarm sounds they should feel the door to the corridor before opening it. If the door is hot, keep it closed. Cover or stuff clothing in the cracks around the door. Take no unnecessary chances to get out of the room. Unless there is an immediate danger, it may be safer to remain where you are. Residents should hang a sheet out of their window to alert the Fire Department to their location.

If a resident must leave in heavy smoke, they should stay as close to the floor as possible. A wet cloth over their face may aid breathing.

Elevator usage

Residents should never use the elevator when evacuating the building; they should proceed down the stairwells in as orderly a manner as possible, keeping calm. 

What to do if you see fire or smell smoke

If a student discovers a fire or a strong smell of smoke, they are to immediately pull the nearest fire alarm pull station. The Chicago Fire Department will respond immediately to all alarms. Upon exiting the building, the resident should find a staff member to report what they observed. This will help the Chicago Fire Department upon arrival.


An automatic fire sprinkler system is one of the most effective methods of controlling or suppressing a fire. Sprinkler systems are made up of a network of pipes in the walls and ceilings that have sprinkler heads providing protection to hallways, rooms, stairways and other areas of a building.  Sometimes sprinklers are concealed behind small metal plates in the wall and ceiling. In most cases only one or two sprinkler heads open up in the case of an actual fire.

While sprinklers are very substantial devices, they should not be tampered with, misused, or vandalized.  For example, coat hangers should not be hung from a sprinkler head because the hanger may accidentally strike the fusible link element or glass tube and cause the sprinkler head to open.  In addition, if a sprinkler head is covered with clothing, this may reduce heat reaching the sprinkler and delay its opening.  Throwing items in the air in the vicinity of sprinklers is also problematic as a frisbee or football knocking a head can cause the sprinkler head to open. A sprinkler head will generally flow up to 55 gallons of stagnant water per minute once triggered. Even if there is not a fire, the response time to turn off the flow of water could be 20 minutes or more.  In cases, where a student has activated a sprinkler head through vandalism or carelessness, the student will be held financially responsible for the losses suffered by surrounding students and the repair work needed for the building.


Student storage areas, known as trunk rooms, are available in most residence hall.  These are shared spaces for the building.  Although these spaces are available to returning students, they often fill to capacity during peak periods, such as late spring quarter through early fall quarter. Once capacity for these rooms has been reached, residents will be unable to store any [more] items.

To accommodate as many students as possible, only returning residents are permitted to store items. Storage is limited to five boxes per resident. Residents storing items for the summer months, or prior to leaving to study abroad, must have a housing contract on file for the next quarter/academic year.

When transporting items to trunk rooms, use care, so as not to damage walls, doors, or stairways. Residents store at their own risk and must be able to lift items placed in storage on their own. Housing & Residence Life nor Facilities Services will provide assistance with moving items to trunk rooms.


What can be stored in Trunk Rooms?

Residents approved to store in trunk rooms are limited to five trunk room tags. The trunk room tag color changes annually and must be updated by the resident each year. Each item must be clearly labeled with a University-provided tags prior to being stored. Tags may be obtained at each hall’s front desk anytime after the first three weeks of the Fall quarter. Items without the current years’ tag and items left outside of trunk rooms will be discarded. 

Individuals are limited to any combination of five boxes, bins, or luggage. 

One of the five “boxes” may be exchanged for a micro-fridge unit/cubic refrigerator. The unit must be completely defrosted, clean, and dry before being stored.

Stony Island & Campus North Residential Commons have individual storage cages. All items must fit within the cage. Residents must secure their items with a lock, which is not provided. Vue53 does not offer summer trunk room storage.

Students are strongly advised to secure property insurance that covers items in storage – the University assumes no responsibility for items stored on-campus.

Bicycle Storage

You are not allowed to store bicycles in your own room/apartment. Limited indoor bicycle storage is available in every residence hall.

All bicycles left in storage during residence hall closings must display a luggage tag (this does not count toward the 5 tags for trunk rooms). Bikes which are left outside or around the building, after the halls close, that are not registered or tagged will be considered abandoned and will be removed.

Bicycles which are locked to trees, handrails, fencing, or other inappropriate areas, will be cut off and removed.

We STRONGLY encourage students to register their bicycles with the University Police (UCPD) in case of theft.

What is not allowed in Trunk Rooms?

No items are allowed in trunk rooms from opening day through the first three weeks of classes in the Fall quarter. Only items with the current academic year’s trunk room tag will be permitted in storage each year.

Residents may not store furniture in trunk rooms, this includes tall lamps, rugs, bikes, etc.

Fire code regulations prohibit the storage of motorcycles or other gas or fuel-powered vehicles in residential buildings at any time.

Trunk Room Hours

In most halls, trunk rooms are accessible Monday-Friday, 9 AM – 4 PM by requesting access from building’s front desk.

Expanded hours during the end of spring quarter will be posted at each front desk.

Trunk room storage is not available for the first three weeks of the academic year to allow the spaces to be cleaned. 

Posting Policies

The only posters/flyers authorized to be posted on in-House bulletin boards or elsewhere within a House (other than those posted for House or Hall business) are those approved for a Recognized Student Organization (RSO). Each House has at least one bulletin board that is reserved for the Residence Life staff of the House. Postings may not be placed inside stairwells, inside elevators, on elevator doors, or on student room doors unless approved by the residents of that room. A posting will not be restricted unless it violates the law, falsely defames a specific individual, constitutes a genuine threat or harassment, unjustifiably invades substantial privacy or confidentiality interests, or is otherwise directly incompatible with the functioning of the University. Postings may neither advertise nor refer to the availability of alcohol at an event.

Outside Office Posting Requests

  •  Visit our main office, 5500 S University Ave, with 39 copies of your flyer by Thursday at 4:00pm.
  • Allot time to stuff house envelopes.
  • House envelopes are distributed to House mailboxes every Friday morning.

Since many residents wish to be informed of fraternity and sorority events, these organizations may post one flyer/announcement per event, per House. Resident Staff are authorized to remove fraternity/sorority posters that are used to “wallpaper” House bulletin boards and walls, or are distributed directly to student rooms.  Resident Staff will use their best judgment in determining which fraternity/sorority posters are suitable for posting in their House.

Door to door solicitation is not allowed. If resident staff members become aware of anyone going door to door to solicit students or to push commercial or other advertising materials under students’ doors, they will ask the individual(s) to leave, escorting those involved out of the building, and report the incident to their Assistant Director of Residence Life.

Associate Membership

Associate Membership in the Houses is a privilege that is available to currently enrolled College students (may not be on a leave of absence, studying abroad, or a recent graduate) who have previously lived in the Houses. The purpose of the program is to encourage students to maintain a continuing affiliation with the House in which they originally lived and to participate in the House programs and activities around which so much of College life revolves. Associate Members privileges vary from House to House but primarily include invitation to take part in House programs and to be admitted to the House without a host if the Member has a current Associate Member card (Associate Members must still show their UChicago ID to Desk Clerks, along with their Associate Member card and sign in – the difference is that they do not require a host.). Associate Members are not permitted use of building services and facilities such as the computer rooms, laundry facilities, mail services, kitchens, or storage areas since these services are maintained by the room charges paid by resident students. Associate Members may not sign in their own guests. Associate Members are permitted to participate on the official House intramural athletic teams.

Associate Members must be registered with Housing & Residence Life in order to take advantage of privileges and must have their Associate Member card with them when wanting to exercise those privileges.

Qualifications for Associate Members 

The student must be someone who previously lived in the House. A student may not be an Associate Member of one House if he or she is living in another House. Procedures for selection and approval vary from House to House although in most cases Associate Members are selected by the House. Final approval is always given by the Resident Heads.

Associate Membership Registration Process 

Resident Heads have to submit a list of approved Associate Members to Housing & Residence Life which includes the Associate Member’s first and last name, student ID number, and current off-campus address. Housing & Residence Life will prepare Associate Member cards and will distribute the card to the appropriate Resident Head. A copy of the list will be sent to the Residence Hall Manager to be kept on record by the hall desk staff. Qualified students may be added once a quarter during the academic year.

Associate Membership needs to be renewed each academic year in order to have current Associate Member privileges and the correct membership card.

Associate Membership may be revoked at any time should the Associate Member violate Housing & Residence Life or University policies.  

Discipline & Removal

The University safeguards the House communities through policies and procedures. Residents of the Houses are subject to all rules and regulations of the University, College, and Housing & Residence Life.

Housing & Residence Life seeks to serve the educational objectives of the University by providing communities which further and enhance individual study. The Housing rules and regulations are intended to establish reasonable limits within which the greatest number of residents can work effectively and live pleasantly. These limits help to guarantee the basic rights of all residents to protection from behavior that creates excessive noise, endangers or disturbs other residents, or invites the intrusion of public authorities into Housing. At the time you apply to live in The Houses, you agree to abide by all University rules and regulations, which include the Housing & Residence Life rules and regulations. Please review the Housing & Residence Life Discipline Policy.