Specifics Regarding Your Residency in University Housing

Housing Policies apply to all students, including graduate students, students living in Fraternities and Sororities, and any guests in the halls. These policies are in addition to Tufts' Student Code of Conduct. Alleged violations of these policies are resolved via the Student Conduct Resolution Procedure.

For more information on particular policies related to COVID-19, please visit the Tufts COVID-19 website.

Residency Requirements

Entering first-year students are required to live on campus per the University’s Two-Year Residency Requirement for AS&E undergraduate students.

Students may request an accommodations or exception to the Two-Year Residency Requirement for medical or religious reasons. Students should contact residentiallife@tufts.edu to inquire about an accommodation or exception. The Office of Residential Life and Learning will work with the StAAR Center and/or the University Chaplaincy as appropriate to review such requests. If approved, students who are granted an accommodations or exception to the Two-Year Residency Requirement will be permitted to live off campus during their first and sophomore years.

We encourage all students who will be living off campus to make use of the resources available through Residential Life, including our Off-Campus Housing website.

Please note the following:

  • Incoming students should request an accommodations or exception to the Two-Year Residency Requirement for the Fall and/or Spring Semester of their first year as soon as possible after they have confirmed their intention to enroll at Tufts. At the latest, incoming students should request an accommodation or exception by the date the Housing Survey is due (early-to-mid June, posted as part of incoming students’ New Student Checklist). Current first-year students should request an accommodations or exception to the Two-Year Residency Requirement by November 1 for the Fall Semester of their sophomore year and by July 1 for the Spring Semester of  their sophomore year.
  • Once a student has been approved for an accommodations or exception to the Two-Year Residency Requirement, they will be automatically removed from consideration for on-campus housing for all subsequent semesters.
  • Once a student has been approved for an accommodations or exception to the Two-Year Residency Requirement, Residential Life is unable to revert a student’s status as an off-campus resident for the upcoming semester.
  • Students may revert their status as an off-campus resident for a subsequent semester or semesters. They may do so without re-initiating the standard Two-Year Residency Requirement.
  • Students should contact residentiallife@tufts.edu at the earliest possible date to revert their status as an off-campus resident, and they must do so by November 1 for the following Fall Semester and July 1 for the following Spring Semester.

Housing License Agreement

Living in campus housing requires that each student agree to the Housing Agreement which confirms residency dates and housing costs for the academic year.

Requests for Room Changes

Detailed instructions on the process for changing rooms can be found here.

Changing, swapping, or switching rooms without prior approved and written permission from the Assistant Director for Housing Services is a violation of Residential Life policy, and will likely result in student conduct charges.

Unauthorized Residents

In the event a space in your multiple occupancy room becomes available, you may not allow another person (Tufts or non-Tufts- affiliated) to reside in the space.

  • For both single and multiple occupancy rooms, you may not rent, list, or advertise their rooms for use by Tufts or non-Tufts-affiliated persons.
  • For the well-being of all on-campus students we must have accurate information of housing occupancy at all times and all viable open spaces must be accounted for.
  • Students who are found in violation may be subject to the student conduct process.

Residential Housing Expectations & Policies

Your Room and Roommate(s)

You are expected to create a healthy relationship with your roommate based on respect and civility.

Here are some options for achieving a positive relationship:

  • Open communication: Often, roommate conflicts occur due to a lack of communication between those involved. You should discuss concerns as they arise.
  • If you find that you cannot resolve the issue in your room talk to an in-hall staff member for assistance, so the problem doesn’t get dragged out.
  • You and your roommate will have the following options:
  1. You can engage in a conversation with your roommate mediated by staff where you create a new roommate agreement.
  2. If you are interested in changing rooms with another student, you may do so once you have followed the following processes: (1) All parties including any and all roommates, must agree to the change. (2) You must discuss this with your Residence Life Coordinator (RLC) and Assistant Residence Life Coordinator (ARLC). Room changes cannot be made without authorized written permission from ORLL.
  3. You could choose another available space in a multiple-occupancy room on campus.    

It is an expectation that you and your roommate will work together to resolve the conflict. It is also expected that roommates will fully cooperate with the attempts from in-hall residential staff to assist in resolving the conflict. We will not decide the outcome of a roommate conflict unless one of the roommates is in violation of a residential/university policy or is endangering the safety and well-being of their roommate(s). For more information pertaining to roommate conflict resolution within residence halls, please contact your Residence Life Coordinator.


If you live on campus you are allowed to host guests in your room, either short-term or overnight. It is your responsibility to maintain safety in the halls when you host a guest.

Host Responsibilities

If hosting a guest for any period of time, you will need to do the following:

  • Speak to your roommate(s), if applicable, about their comfort level with hosting a guest.
  • You will need to be in the presence of your guests at all times.
  • You are responsible for the actions and behaviors of your guest.
  • You may not tell your roommate to stay out of the room at any time or engage in sexual activity when your roommate is present.

Guest Responsibilities

  • Guests are expected to adhere to all university and residential policies and Massachusetts state laws.
  • Guests must be accompanied by their host resident at all times.
  • Guests are not permitted to sleep in the residence hall lounges.
  • Guests must carry a form of picture identification (i.e., state license, college student ID, passport) at all times.
  • Guests are expected to comply with requests of university officials.      

If a guest creates a disturbance in the hall or stays longer than the guest policy allows, the guest may be asked to leave and not return to the university residence hall. Any in-hall staff member or other university official may ask a guest to leave and not return at any time.

Overnight Guests

  • With your roommate’s permission, you can host a guest overnight.
  • Your guest should not deprive a roommate of privacy, study time, or sleep.
  • You may not host more than 2 overnight guests at a time
  • A guest’s visit, whether Tufts student or not, may not exceed three (3) consecutive nights in any 7-day period from Sunday–Saturday
  • You may not host overnight guests more than 9 nights in any 30-day period
  • If under special circumstances, a guest’s stay must exceed 3 consecutive nights, you will need to submit a written request to your Residence Director (RD) at least 10 business days prior to the arrival of the guest to campus.
  • Guests, whether Tufts student or not, may not live permanently or for any length of time in your room.
  • Students with Tufts-affiliated significant others are expected to adhere to the residential guest policy.

During reading period and final exams, we ask that residents refrain from hosting overnight guests so that all residents can focus solely on their academic commitments.

What's Not Allowed in Your Room

The following items are not allowed within your student room:

  • Air conditioning units (unless approved via the StAAR Center)
  • Bean Bags & Bean Bag Chairs
  • Bed risers
  • Candles, incense, or any other item that produces an open flame (even if unlit)
  • Cooking appliances including microwaves*, hot pots, rice cookers, self-heating grills, or any other appliances with open heating elements.
  • Microwave-Refrigerator combined units are approved via University approved vendors. 
  • Dartboards (with metal-tipped darts)
  • Excessively loud speakers or amplifiers
  • Explosives, including fireworks or incendiary devices
  • Grills (both indoor and outdoor)
  • Charcoal and lighter fluid
  • Halogen or multi-armed floor/desk lamps
  • Installed satellite systems
  • Misuse of University Owned furniture (including but not limited to common area furniture repurposed for student rooms, alterations made to room furniture, etc.)
  • Outside Furniture (includes couches, futons, upholstered chairs, ottomans, tables, etc.)
  • Pets/animals (except animals approved in writing through Student Accessibility Services or fish tanks no larger than 10 gallons)
  • Space heaters
  • Trees
  • Waterbeds, jacuzzis, and/or hot tubs
  • Weapons/firearms/knives (including martial arts equipment, replica or practice, or decorative in nature. Also includes paintball equipment)

External Spaces Connected to Your Room

While students do have the freedom to be creative within their room, please note the following regarding exterior displays:

  • The University assigns only the interior of student rooms for student use.
  • The University does not grant students permission to decorate, or in any way modify, the exterior of university buildings.
  • Students may not hang any banners or items outside their university residence windows.
  • Displays inside the window of a student room are permissible provided they do not interfere with egress in case of an emergency.
  • Room decorations must be directed toward the inside of the room.
  • The use of marking chalk or aerosol spray cans to mark/paint any surface of the residence halls is strictly prohibited.      

The outside of the residence room door (not the surrounding wall or doorframe) is also considered to be the interior space for purpose of decoration. Students may decorate their door with items such as a message board and other materials that they choose. All displays and messages must adhere to established university policies as outlined on the Student Affairs website. While others cannot dictate how a resident decorates his or her own door, short of a violation of community standards, all residents are encouraged to be sensitive to the values and beliefs of other residents when choosing what is displayed.

Keys and Access

Under no circumstances should students lend their room key or student ID card to anyone including their guests. Students found in violation of this policy will be referred to the student conduct process.

All students are provided with room keys and a mailbox combination or key (and a suite key when applicable). All residents use their student ID cards to gain electronic access into the front door of their assigned residence hall. Some residence halls have ID operated room doors as well. Key and/or lock problems should be reported directly to Residential Life (617-627-3248).

Students changing rooms or vacating housing must pick up their new keys and return their assigned key.

Changing, swapping, or switching rooms without prior approved and written permission from the Assistant Director for Housing Services is a violation of Residential Life policy, and will likely result in student conduct charges. 


During the week (Monday through Friday) between the hours of 9 a.m. and 9 p.m., contact our staff assigned to manage lockouts by phone (857-523-2958). Outside of these hours, students should contact their neighborhood RA on Duty to assist. Contact information for staff is located throughout the residence halls in hallways, entryways, etc.

A charge of $20.00 will be placed on the student’s bursar account for this service each time a student is locked out. Students must show their ID either before the lockout is completed or immediately upon re-entering their room.

As per the room change policy, students who are not assigned to a particular room will not be granted access to a neighboring room, or room within the suite/apartment.

Lost Keys & Key Replacement Charges

It is imperative that students maintain control of their keys for their own safety as well as the safety of others in their community. Please note that if keys are lost, stolen, or not returned on time a lock change will occur. Students are responsible for the replacement fees of each key that is lost, stolen, or not returned on time. The following is a list of approximate key costs:

  • Mailbox Key: $15
  • Room Key: $75
  • Suite Key (Latin Way/Hillsides): $75
  • Room Key (Latin Way/Hillsides): $75
  • Student ID Card: $30

Duplicating Keys   

Duplicating or loaning out of Tufts University keys is strictly prohibited and will result in a lock change, financial charges, and University student conduct action.

Access over Break

Student ID access to the residence halls is shut off during winter recess and summer break. If emergency access is needed during these periods, students should contact Residential Life to schedule an appointment.

Mail Services

Medford Campus

Mail Services Located in the basement of Hill Hall at 389 Boston Avenue next to the Dowling Hall parking garage. The regular hours of operation are Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Due to the space constraints within the residence hall mailboxes, it is very important that you check your mailbox and remove its contents on a daily basis. Please report any damage to mailbox or difficulty with your mailbox key/combination code by calling Residential Life at 617-627-3248.

The following is how to properly address mail sent to a residential student:

Student’s Full Name
Residence Hall and room #
Tufts University

Medford, MA 02155

(packages should include “c/o 389 Boston Avenue”)

If you are sending “pre-paid” outgoing packages via carriers such as UPS or FedEx, please bring them to the Mail Services Department. For security reasons, non-university persons are not allowed to enter residence halls. You may also use the Federal Express drop box (pickup by Federal Express is 6:30 p.m.) located on Packard Avenue next to West Hall or you may call 1-800-GoFedEx to schedule a pickup from Mail Services.

For further assistance please contact Mail Services at 617-627-3495 or visit their website.

Fenway Campus

Residential SMFA students made receive mail at the Fenway campus by using the following address:

Student’s Full Name
School of the Museum of Fine Arts at Tufts University
230 Fenway
Boston, MA 02115

Only students living in the residence halls may have mail delivered to the SMFA.  

To send letters, SMFA students may use the mailbox located just outside 230 Fenway. To send packages, SMFA students may use the mailroom at 230 Fenway for pick-up if their package is labeled with USPS postage pre-purchased online. If packages need a mailing label, paid postage, insurance, etc., SMFA students may drop them off at the Post Office at 1575 Tremont Street.

Building Security & Tufts University Police (TUPD)

  • 419 Boston Avenue, 617-627-3030
  • Emergency Line x6-6911 from a campus phone OR 617-627-6911 from an off-campus or wireless phone
  • To report a Fire, call 9-1-1.
  • TUPD is headquartered on the Medford/Somerville campus with stations also on the Boston and Grafton campuses.
  • To learn more about TUPD visit their website

Panic Buttons

Panic buttons are located in all of the residence halls. They are clearly marked “Emergency” and should only be used when access to a telephone is impossible, impractical or unsafe. If students are found responsible for activating a panic button for reasons other than stated above, they may be subject to residential or university student conduct processes.

Panic Buttons are not used to alert TUPD for room lockouts.

Student Room Security

Doors to residential areas always remain locked.

Door Propping and Unlocked Doors

Propped doors invite entry by non-residents along with criminal activity within the communities. If you see a door propped, close it immediately.

Never lend your keys or student ID to anyone, and do not allow someone into the building, suite, or room who does not belong there. Lock doors while sleeping or out of the room because this is the single most effective action in preventing crime/theft.

This information also pertains to taped locks. Any staff who comes across this situation will remove the tape and lock the door properly as per our safety and security processes. Any associated lockout charges will be billed to the student of the space.

Personal Property Liability

The University is not responsible directly or indirectly for negligence of others, resulting in the loss and/or damage of personal property.

The University is also not responsible for occurrences that are beyond its control. Students are encouraged to review their family’s personal property insurance policy to ensure that property and belongings are covered for theft and loss at Tufts University. Residents whose family policy does not provide coverage should consider a low-cost personal property insurance program offered through the university.

Residence Hall Policies

In addition to all information noted in the Tufts Student Code of Conduct, as well as in the Fire Safety policies section below, the following items are policies to be followed by all students living in Tufts University Housing Facilities:

Alcohol and Other Drugs

Students who are under the age of twenty-one (21) may not be in possession of or consume alcoholic beverages within the residence halls or on college property.

  • Regardless of age, students may not possess or use illegal substances (including marijuana) or misuse prescription drugs.
  • Please see a full description of the Alcohol and Other Drugs Policy

Bodily Fluids in Student Rooms and Common Areas

Due to serious health risks of blood-borne pathogens; vomiting, defecating, and urinating in student rooms and in hallways/stairwells is strictly prohibited.

  • If a student is found in violation of this policy, they will be required to meet with a member of the ORLL professional staff through the student conduct process and, depending on the circumstances surrounding the violation, may be subject to relocation to another residence hall. If relocation occurs, the new room will be selected for the student based upon availability.
  • If the roommate’s belongings are damaged in any way as a result of this behavior, the responsible student will be expected to replace damaged items or reimburse their roommate for damaged items.
  • If a student’s guest is found responsible for this behavior, we will hold the host student accountable as it is expected that students are responsible for their guests at all times. However, the responsible guest will not be welcome in the residence hall where the violation occurred for a specified amount of time.

If, as a result of this behavior, the university’s cleaning service is needed to properly sanitize the room/area, the responsible student’s bursar account will be assessed the cleaning charge.

Building Security

Outside doors of the residence halls are locked 24 hours a day except for some residence halls, which have an entry door to the building that is unlocked during business hours to allow access to the public areas of the building. Doors to residential areas always remain locked.

Propped doors invite entry by non-residents along with criminal activity within the communities. If you see a door propped, close it immediately.

Never lend your keys or student ID to anyone, and do not allow someone into the building, suite or room who does not belong there. Lock doors while sleeping or out of the room because this is the single most effective action in preventing crime/theft.

Campus Green Living Guide

Tufts University prides itself on its environmental commitments and has taken many steps to reduce its energy and water use, greenhouse gas emissions, and waste production and to increase waste diversion (including reuse, recycling, and composting) and environmentally preferable purchasing practices. Tufts University has an environmental policy and has committed to several greenhouse gas reduction goals, including Second Nature’s Climate Leadership Commitment which commits the university to reach carbon neutrality by 2050 and create a plan for climate resiliency. As a student you are a key player in helping Tufts meet its emissions reduction goals and be an environmentally friendly campus. The following list details ways in which your actions play an important role in this effort. As an active citizen of Tufts we encourage you to not only follow these tips but remind your friends and hallmates to do so as well. To learn more about sustainability at Tufts, visit here.

Heating Control – Many rooms have control valves that let you control the heat in each room. A lower number on the control valve is lower heat, and the “snowflake” setting is the coolest. When you leave for winter break, please turn the dial to “1” (not snowflake). The target heating temperature is 68 degrees. If a room is very often too hot or too cold, please report the problem by visiting this link and clicking on Facilities Service Requests.

Windows – Please do not leave your windows open during the winter months. It is impossible to deliver target temperatures when windows are left open, and because of the location of thermostats, open windows can inadvertently disrupt temperatures in other spaces. If you would like to air out your room, open all windows for about 5–10 minutes to create a cross-breeze and then shut them. The longer windows are kept open during the winter, the more energy is wasted. In addition to wasting heat, leaving windows open in the winter may cause pipes to freeze and break, causing water damage to your room. Do not forget that windows must be shut completely when you leave campus. Report any temperature concerns (even if they have been reported before) and stuck windows to Facilities Services through the link above.

Refrigerators/Microfridges – Please keep refrigerators clean and de-iced. Be sure to empty and clean them when away for winter/spring breaks. In order to conserve energy students are encouraged to share fridges with roommate(s), use EnergyStar certified models, or use common fridges in the residence halls.

Leaks – Leaks, constant drips, or running toilets can be a significant waste of water. If you find a leak in the residence hall bathrooms or kitchens, please report it to Facilities Services immediately at 617-627-3496 during business hours, and to TUPD at 617-627-3030 after hours.

Lights – Halogen lamps are not allowed. Please use compact fluorescent (CFL) bulbs or LEDs in all student-occupied areas. If you would like to exchange your regular incandescent bulb for an LED, bring your old bulb to the Office of Sustainability at 550 Boston Ave or talk to your Eco-Rep. Please shut off lights when not in your room. Hallway lights must remain on for safety.

Appliances and Electronics – Please remember to turn off all appliances when not in use.
Use a power strip to plug in electronics, such as TVs, printers, gaming systems, and radios, and turn off the power strip when you are out of the room or use a “smart power strip.” If buying new electronics or appliances, choose ones that are EnergyStar certified.

Computers – Please enable the Power Management feature on your computer, and turn it off when not in use. Do not use a screen saver – they save neither the screen nor energy. If purchasing a new computer, select an EPEAT Gold certified laptop.

Recycling – It is expected that students will recycle all appropriate materials: all rigid plastic and mixed paper, along with metal, glass, cardboard, batteries, CFL light bulbs, and electronics. If you are not sure if something is recyclable, visit here. It is against the law in Massachusetts to dispose of any recyclable material in the trash.
Students living in apartment-style residence hall rooms are responsible for taking their trash and recycling to the nearest dumpster (find one close to you on the Eco-Map). Please note that plastic trash bags are not allowed in the recycling so you must empty out any bags into the recycling dumpster and reuse or throw the bag in the trash dumpster.

Other Energy and Resource-Saving Tips – Use natural light when possible, wash your clothes in cold water with laundry detergent designed for it, use reusable utensils, dishes and water bottles, print double-sided, and read documents electronically.

For more information about sustainability on campus, please visit the Office of Sustainability website. You may also seek out your building’s Eco-Rep. Eco-Reps are students who live in the residence halls and are available to help you navigate the path to sustainable living. They can answer your questions about any of the above topics and help you compost vegetable scraps in your residence hall. They also regularly run sustainability-focused events in the residence halls. Find out more about the Eco-Reps.

Disposal of Medical Waste

To ensure the safety of all students in our residence halls as well as all university staff, residents who use any kind of sharp medical supplies (hypodermic needles, lancets, infusion needles, etc.) are required to dispose of them in an approved “sharps” container.

Students who use sharp medical supplies are expected to adhere to the following protocol:

  • Obtain an approved sharps container from Health Services (free of charge) during regular business hours. Health Services is located at 124 Professors Row (across from Fletcher Field).
  • All sharp medical waste (contaminated or not) should be placed in this container. This container can be stored in the resident’s room.
  • When the container is ⅔ full or once the contents rise to the full level marker on the container, it should be returned to Health Services who will properly dispose of the container and issue a new one (also free of charge).     

It is imperative that students do not dispose of sharp medical supplies in regular trash or recycling containers within the residence halls (or elsewhere on campus). It is also imperative that students do not flush used needles or other sharp medical supplies down the toilet or place in glass containers. This behavior exposes members of the community to a potential health hazard.

If students are found responsible for failing to adhere to the above sharps disposal protocol, they may be subject to university student conduct action.

Hall Sports

Prohibited activities played within the residence hall rooms, hallways, stairwells, and lounges include, but are not limited to:

  • Biking
  • Rollerblading
  • Hockey
  • Football
  • Frisbee

The activities stated above present a risk of injury to the individuals participating, along with those living in the community. Students who participate in these activities risk damaging any fire safety equipment within the residence hall.

Misuse of University-Owned Furniture

Removing university-owned lounge furniture to decorate your room is prohibited. If members of the in-hall residential staff or other university officials find lounge furniture in your room, you are expected to return it to its respective lounge immediately.

No-Smoking Policy

It is a violation of the Massachusetts State Fire Prevention Regulations to smoke (tobacco, etc.) inside schools, colleges, universities, public buildings, and institutions.

  • The No-Smoking policy affects all indoor spaces of the campus, including all university facilities, residences, fraternities and sororities.
  • The use of smoking materials, including, but not limited to: cigarettes, cigars, pipes, e-cigarettes, vape pens, and hookahs inside any university building or residence hall is strictly prohibited.
  • Students found in violation of this policy will be documented by in-hall staff, TUPD or members of the Fire Safety office and will be referred to the student conduct process.
  • You are always financially responsible for any damage caused by smoking within the residence halls, whether intentional or not.
  • If your careless behavior from smoking results in a fire, severe conduct sanctions may result.

We request that students who do smoke tobacco outside the residence halls do so at least 20 feet away from the building. This ensures smoke traveling through the windows closest to the building entrances is minimized. Students are also encouraged to dispose of their tobacco products in the appropriate receptacles.

Noise Policy

Designated Quiet Hours

  • Sunday evening through Friday morning, 11:00 p.m. to 8:00 a.m.
  • Saturday morning through Sunday morning, 1:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m.

Consideration Hours

  • All the time!

Out of respect for others, at no time should noise interfere with a student’s right to sleep or study. If a person’s noise is disturbing to you, we recommend that you ask the individual(s) to quiet down. If the noise persists, seek help from a Residential Life staff member or the Tufts Police.

Continuous Quiet Hours During Exams

  • Begin at 11:00 p.m. the last day of classes
  • End the last day of Final Exams

Pets and Animals

Health and safety concerns prohibit students from keeping animals in all University residences.

Exceptions Include:

  • Fish in tanks no larger than ten gallons. Arrange to take them when you leave for winter recess and at the end of the academic year. We are not responsible for the care of your fish in your absence from the room.
  • University-approved service animals when needed. According to Title III (28 C.F.R./36.104) of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), a service animal is defined as follows: “Service animal means any guide dog, signal dog or other animal individually trained to work or perform tasks for the benefit of any individual with a disability, including but not limited to: guiding individuals with impaired vision, alerting individuals with impaired hearing to intruders or sounds, providing minimal protection or rescue work, pulling a wheelchair or fetching dropped items.” University-approved emotional support animals, request through Accessibility Services.

Possession of any unauthorized pet or animal is a violation of community standards. Students who are found in possession of any such animal will be expected to remove it from their residence immediately.

Social Event Registration Policy

We are committed to providing the opportunity for you to host safe, enjoyable, and successful social events. All social events within the residence halls, including theme, special interest, and fraternity/sorority houses, must be registered with us anytime alcohol will be served (to those 21 years of age or older) or if the event/gathering could be perceived as social in nature. See the University's full Social Event Registration Policy.

Follow these steps to register your event:

  1. The host (or house manager for Small Wood-Frame Houses) of the event needs to contact our office to schedule a meeting at least seven business days before the event.
  2. The host should complete the ORLL Social Registration Form prior to the scheduled pre-event meeting.
  3. If alcohol will be served during the event (to those 21 years of age or older), the host must be at least 21 years old. Alcohol may never be served at an event held in the common area of a larger, traditional residence hall. Please note that the host of the event must always be a resident of the building/suite/house where the event will be held. Student organizations or groups of students may not utilize these spaces for their events.
  4. During the pre-event meeting we will talk about:        
  • Date, time, and location of event:  In accordance with the campus quiet hours, all events must end by 11:00 P.M. on weeknights and 1:00 A.M. on weekends.
  • Approximate attendance:  Who will be keeping track and what methods used.
  • Theme of event: If the theme of the event is not appropriate or does not align with our mission, it will need to be modified before the event is approved. If the inappropriate theme is not modified, the event will be canceled.
  • Advertising the event: i.e., Facebook, other social media, flyers, etc. Absolutely no advertisement can be posted (online or otherwise) until all content is approved by ORLL. If the event is prematurely advertised, the event will automatically be canceled.
  • Alcohol service: Who will be serving alcohol? (All alcohol servers must be at least 21 years of age or older.) In what form will the alcohol be served and where will it be served from? Kegs and other bulk quantity alcohol containers are not allowed in all residence halls, including small wood-frame houses and fraternities/sororities.
  • What food and alternative non-alcoholic beverages will be served?
  • Safety concerns within the house and a review of fire safety policies.
  • Guest list: A list of all invited guests (as well as all house residents attending) must submitted to ORLL at least three business days prior to the event.

Once the event has received full approval, ORLL will send all pertinent information to the Tufts Police.

When deemed appropriate, a pre-event consultation may be scheduled with the host of the event and the a member of the ORLL professional staff team at the location of the event. The purpose of the consultation is to further discuss safety concerns, access to the event, noise control, etc.

During the Event: TUPD may conduct a site visit to check on how the event is running and to address any issues. Hosts and/or other residents are strongly encouraged to call TUPD/TEMS at any time during the event if assistance is needed.
Disregard for university/residential policies, state laws, or unsafe conditions may result in immediate closure at the time of TUPD arrival and appropriate documentation will be submitted to both the Dean of Student Affairs Office as well as ORLL. If this occurs, residents of the residence hall/house may lose the privilege to host another event for a specified amount of time designated by ORLL.

Unregistered events are subject to immediate closure upon discovery.
After the Event: The host(s) is responsible for the cleanup of the event and it is expected to take place by the following day. ORLL staff will conduct a post-event walk-through to note the condition of the event location. This walk-through will take place on the next business day after the event.
Students who wish to inquire about the social event registration process may contact the Director of Fraternity and Sorority Life, who is responsible for social event management for the department, at 617-627-3248.

Substance-Free Housing

Substance-Free housing refers to spaces designated by the Office of Residential Life & Learning in which substances (alcohol, tobacco, drugs, etc) are not permitted. Students opt to live in substance free housing for a variety of reasons, and as such, it is important for all occupants of substance free residential spaces to maintain the community as free of substances or the effects of substances (which includes coming back to the hall intoxicated or otherwise impaired, etc.). Students are responsible for the actions of their guests and should ensure guests adhere to the substance free policies. Those who violate the expectations of living in a substance free community may be relocated to another housing assignment. 

Throwing Objects

Throwing objects or liquid (of any nature) out of any university residence hall windows or doors is extremely dangerous and not allowed. Violations will result in a referral to the student conduct process.


With or without malice, damage or vandalism to University or personal property is a violation of University community standards. Any major documented incident where a student is/are found in violation of this policy will be referred to the student conduct process.

  • Minor acts of vandalism within the residential community will be handled by the Residence Director (RD) or Assistant Director (AD) in the Office of Residential Life and Learning.
  • On-campus residents involved in acts of vandalism in a building other than their own may forfeit their privilege to visit the building where the vandalism occurred.
  • Any damage incurred within a residence hall room, as a result of negligent or malicious student behavior is the responsibility of the owners of the room. If a roommate is away from the room at the time of the damage, the remaining roommate will be held responsible and subject to appropriate disciplinary consequences.

Fire Safety Specific Policies

Fire Safety Equipment in the Residence Halls

All campus residences (including fraternities and sororities) are equipped with smoke, heat, and carbon monoxide detectors as well as fire suppression sprinkler systems. You will also find manual fire alarm pull-stations and fire extinguishers on all of the floors of the buildings. Bedroom smoke detectors (local device) are designed to alert the occupants if the origin of the smoke is in your room only. The detection devices (system devices) in the common areas (i.e., kitchens, living rooms, hallways, stairways, and basements), sprinkler head activation, or the activation of a manual alarm pull-station will sound a building-wide evacuation alarm that will also sound in all of the individual student rooms.

Fire safety equipment within the residence halls is provided for the protection of our students. Any disabling of or damage to fire safety equipment will not be tolerated.

It is a violation of Massachusetts State Law to disable, disconnect, obstruct, remove, or destroy fire protection equipment including tampering with smoke or carbon monoxide detectors, fire extinguishers, sprinkler heads, and horn/ strobe warning devices. Students found in violation of this policy will be subject to the student code of conduct.

Fire Prevention Policies

The following is a list of prohibited behavior within the residence halls, fraternities, sororities and other university buildings:

Any Act Causing or Contributing to a Fire Safety Hazard

  • Tampering with wiring, exit signs, emergency lights, overloading of electrical outlets, hanging items from the ceiling or leaving food/beverages unattended while cooking/heating
  • Placing clothing, fabrics or other easily combustible materials over lights or electrical fixtures
  • Possessing and/or using any heat-producing cooking appliances outside of designated kitchen areas (with the exception of coffee makers with automatic shut-offs and Micro-Fridges provided by MicroFridge through the official ORLL partnership.)

Any Act Causing or Contributing to a Fire

  • If fire investigators find that a fire was caused by a malicious act or prohibited item, student conduct action may be pursued.
  • A fire caused by a careless, but non-prohibited act (i.e., the use of an oven, Micro-Fridge, iron, etc.) would result in a student conduct referral.
  • You are always financially responsible for damage that you cause even if your behavior is not intentional.

The following items are flammable and prohibited from University buildings:

  • Candles (If you are seeking to light a candle for religious reasons, please contact John Walsh, Tufts Fire Marshal, at john.walsh@tufts.edu.)
  • Incense
  • Camp-stove fuel
  • Containers of butane (other than individual lighters)
  • Lighter fluid
  • Fireworks
  • Flammable holiday decorations including real trees and wreaths
  • Gasoline
  • Paint thinner

Storage (or use) of a motorcycle, moped, or other gasoline powered vehicles or machinery within ten feet of any university residence is not allowed. Possession of hoverboards or similarly powered skateboard devices are banned from campus entirely due to recurring fire incidents associated with their design.

To Cause the False Activation of a Fire Alarm

It is against Massachusetts State Law to falsely activate the building fire alarm system. Violations will be handled through the student conduct process.

Failing to Evacuate during a Fire Alarm

Residents and their guests should never assume that an alarm is false, or that a fire drill is being conducted. During any fire alarm, all residents and their guests are expected to cooperate with official personnel (university officials as well as municipal fire and police departments). Those who fail to evacuate or are uncooperative during a fire alarm are subject to student conduct action.

Hanging Items from the Fire Sprinkler System and Sprinkler Heads

If the fusible link in the sprinkler head breaks, gallons of water will flow uninterrupted through the sprinkler head and into the room. Hanging or attaching any item(s) from the pipes or sprinkler heads creates an obstruction to the water discharge pattern and impedes the control and extinguishment of the fire.

Access to the Roof of Any University Building

You are not allowed to access any university building roofs (including residence halls), window ledges, balconies or fire escapes for any reason (except in the case of an emergency). Violations of this policy will result in student conduct action.

Propping Open Fire Doors

These doors are your protection from fire, heat and deadly gases during the evacuation from the building in the event of an emergency situation and they should never be left propped open.

Blocking Hallways, Stairways, Suite/Apartment Lounges, or Fire Escapes

This includes leaving personal belongings like shoes, suitcases, boxes, room furniture, athletic equipment duffle bags, bicycles, etc. in these areas. In an emergency situation, hallways, stairways, lounges and fire escapes must be kept clear to aide in quick and efficient exit from the residence halls. Under no circumstances should exits marked “emergency” be blocked.

The Possession of Non-University Upholstered Furniture

You can only use approved furniture in University buildings. Please refer to the Tufts University Department of Public Safety/Fire Safety website for Furniture and Mattress Policies. This includes non-university provided mattresses as well, unless otherwise approved for a medical condition that rises to the level of a disability through the Housing Accommodations Request Process.

The Possession of Halogen Lamps and Multi-Light (“Octopus”) Floor or Desk Lamps

National Fire Investigation Reports have determined that possession of such lights have been the cause of numerous fires on campuses across the country.

Excessive Covering of Wall Space and the Exterior Room Doors with Easily Combustible Materials

The doors and corridors are part of the emergency egress pathway. Any combustible material will contribute to the spread of fire and prevent the safe evacuation from the building.

Running Wires (of any kind) through or across Egress Pathways

When Internet or cable wires are run from a student room out into a nearby lounge or suite, this creates a hazard. In an emergency situation all paths of egress must be clear to ensure safe exit from the suite or building.

The Possession of Space Heaters with Open Electrical Coils

Such coils are an ignition source when located too close to combustible material. If a space cannot be adequately heated via the installed building and heating system, contact Facilities Services at 617-627-3496.

The Use of an Outdoor Barbecue Grill Closer Than 10 Feet from Any Residence Hall

Those wishing to use an outdoor grill must obtain a permit (at no charge) from the Fire Safety Office.

Students who fail to comply with the above stated university policies will be subject to judicial consequences ranging from warning to losing the ability to reside in university housing and/or university disciplinary action depending on the magnitude of each violation. As a resident of Tufts University, you are responsible for what occurs in your residence hall room. It is imperative that you educate your guests on campus fire safety policies as you will be held accountable for any violation that may occur.

Fire Alarm Evacuation Procedure

As soon as the fire alarm sounds, EXIT the building immediately. Upon exiting your room, look for the nearest stairwell or emergency exit door and leave the building. Once outside you should move to the designated gathering spot, which is most often across from the building.

It is important for you to familiarize yourself with at least two EXITS in case of an emergency. If, during a fire alarm, you are aware that there are fellow hallmates remaining in the building (due to illness or injury, etc.), please call TUPD for assistance: 617-627-6911.
Once the local fire department is on-site, they will handle the situation. The building is not safe to reenter until the situation has been properly addressed and the fire alarm system has been reset. You may not enter the building until you have been given instructions to do so.

No-Smoking Policy

As noted in general residence hall policies:

It is a violation of the Massachusetts State Fire Prevention Regulations to smoke (tobacco, etc.) inside schools, colleges, universities, public buildings and institutions.

  • The No-Smoking policy affects all indoor spaces of the campus, including all university facilities, residences, fraternities and sororities.
  • The use of smoking materials, including, but not limited to: cigarettes, cigars, pipes, e-cigarettes, vape pens, and hookahs inside any university building or residence hall is strictly prohibited.
  • Students found in violation of this policy will be documented by in-hall staff, TUPD or members of the Fire Safety office and will be referred to the student conduct process.
  • You are always financially responsible for any damage caused by smoking within the residence halls, whether intentional or not.
  • If your careless behavior from smoking results in a fire, severe conduct sanctions may result.

We request that students who do smoke tobacco outside the residence halls do so at least 20 feet away from the building. This ensures smoke traveling through the windows closest to the building entrances is minimized. Students are also encouraged to dispose of their tobacco products in the appropriate receptacles.

Your Residential Community / Common Spaces

We are committed to providing residents with a healthy, comfortable and safe living environment. Residents and in-hall staff work collaboratively to create a safe and enjoyable place to live. You have the responsibility to know, follow residential policies and cooperate fully when asked to refrain from behavior that violates policy.

Statement of Diversity and Inclusion

Bicycles, Cars, and Other Vehicles

Resident freshman, resident sophomores and students with revoked parking privileges are prohibited from (a) registering a vehicle with Tufts and (b) parking in Tufts parking facilities or Tufts roadways. Resident juniors, resident seniors, commuters, and exemptions authorized by the Dean of Student’s Office may register a vehicle with Tufts and purchase a parking permit. Students with vehicles registered out-of-state are required to complete and electronically submit a copy of the Massachusetts Nonresident Driver Statement to Administrative Services at the beginning of each academic year.

The Tufts University Police Department (TUPD) is authorized to remove, impound, or immobilize any vehicle on university property at the owner/operator’s risk and expense when:

  • A vehicle is left under circumstances that indicate that it has been abandoned; i.e. expired or missing license plates.
  • A vehicle is parked in a handicap space without a handicap pass or placard.
  • A vehicle is in violation of snow removal operations or within restricted posted areas for construction.
  • A vehicle constitutes an impediment to vehicular traffic flow or pedestrian travel.
  • A vehicle is parked in a fire lane, a crosswalk, blocking a fire hydrant, or blocking building ingress or egress.
  • A vehicle is blocking emergency response vehicles, whether or not an emergency is in progress.
  • A vehicle that is not registered with the University and has received two or more citations.

In order to release a tow, the violator must obtain a release form issued by Administrative Services, present this to the tow company, along with a current and valid driver’s license, and pay all associated fees to the company. Impounded vehicles not claimed by the owner/operator within 30 days will be considered abandoned and disposed of by the tow company in accordance with the law set forth by Medford, MA. Section 78-263 Law.

The University is not responsible for damages to vehicles towed from university property or streets. Claims for damages due to towing must be submitted to the towing company. Tow companies can lawfully assess a drop charge where a properly summoned tow truck arrives, but due to owner/operator intervention, the vehicle is not towed. All towed vehicles are subject to being fully inventoried by university police prior to towing.

For more information on cars and parking, please visit the Public Safety Transportation and Parking site.

Common Areas within Your Hall

All spaces within the residences are categorized as either “private” or “common.”

Private spaces include:

  • Student bedrooms
  • Living room and kitchen areas within an on-campus apartment

Common spaces include:

  • Building entries
  • Lobbies
  • Bathrooms
  • Corridors
  • Kitchens
  • Lounges (including those within Wren and Haskell suites)
  • Porches
  • Stairways
  • Study rooms
  • Any other university residence hall areas accessible to all residents, including the common spaces in the Wren and Haskell Hall suites.

Common Area Maintenance

A regular schedule for the cleaning of residence hall common areas including: open lounges, bathrooms, hallways, and other common spaces is maintained by C&W Services, the university’s cleaning company.

C&W Services employees do not maintain a cleaning schedule of apartments (including Sophia Gordon, Hillside Apartments, Latin Way, CoHo, etc.) Residents living in these areas of campus are responsible for their own apartment upkeep including cleaning bathroom and kitchen spaces.

Building Security

Outside doors of the residence halls are locked 24 hours a day except for some residence halls, which have an entry door to the building that is unlocked during business hours to allow access to the public areas of the building.

Door Propping and Unlocked doors

Propped doors invite entry by non-residents along with criminal activity within the communities. If you see a door propped, close it immediately.

Residential Hall Posting Policy

Student organizations and University departments may provide ORLL with posters advertising events, programs, meetings, etc. Note that only ORLL staff can post within the residential community, and all other posters or materials must go through the Residential Posting Policy.

As noted in our policy, we will immediately remove any posters displayed on glass, painted surfaces, floors, outside specified bulletin boards or on the exterior surfaces of the buildings (including doors and windows). Students or staff from clubs, organizations, departments or offices may not hang posters in the residence halls themselves or slide them under student room doors.

All unauthorized posters/flyers will immediately be removed and recycled as appropriate. For more information, visit the Student Handbook.

Reservation of Residence Hall Lounge Spaces

Any Tufts-recognized group (i.e., residential staff, student organizations, etc.) can reserve lounge space in residence halls across campus.

  • Only main lounges in residence halls may be reserved. Small study, corner, or basement lounges are not available for student groups to reserve.
  • The following residence hall main lounge spaces are available for reservation: Carmichael Hall, Hill Hall, Hodgdon Hall, Lewis Hall, Harleston Hall (Basement Lounge)

All requests must be submitted through Tufts University EMS room reservation system.

When using a residence hall lounge space, it is important to adhere to the following policies:

  • All events must end (including breakdown) by no later than 2:00 a.m., Friday - Sunday.
  • No events are permitted to be held in the lounge spaces during Reading Period and Final Exams at the end of each academic semester.
  • Student organizations may reserve lounge space on weekends only. Preference for residence hall space is given to the residents and in-hall staff of the given building to use for studying, meetings, programming, etc.
  • All participants must adhere to all residential and university policies throughout the duration of the event.
  • At the end of the event, please remove all property belonging to the sponsoring organization to ensure that no personal belongings get left behind.
  • Please dispose of all trash in the appropriate receptacles provided in the space. Organizations that leave excessive trash/belongings, damage the floors, furniture, or other university equipment may forfeit their ability to reserve a residence hall lounge space in the future.

Sophia Gordon Multipurpose Room (MPR)

Tufts-recognized organizations wishing to reserve the Sophia Gordon MPR may do so through Reserve Tufts.

Once the request has been made online, a representative from the organization must attend an Event Registration Meeting before their event can be formally approved. The meetings are usually held on Fridays during each academic semester at 10:00 a.m. in the Campus Center. More information regarding this meeting will be sent via email to the requesting party. Failure to attend this meeting may result in the automatic cancellation of the event.

Move-In / Move-Out Specifics


Residents will be required to complete an online Room Condition Inventory.

  • Students should be thorough in noting any existing damage to the room or university furnishings in order to be released from financial responsibility for repairs at the time of check-out.


For students to properly move out of their assigned rooms during or at the end of the year the following must occur:

  • Contact a residence life staff member to complete your room check-out. (This is not the person who will make final decisions regarding any charges for the room. A Residential Life and Learning professional staff member will make the final decision.)
  • Remove all personal belongings from the room. Empty and clean all closets, dressers, desks and drawers.
  • Make sure all university-owned furniture is accounted for in your room.
  • Clean the room. Sweep the floor and please do not sweep the dirt from room into the hallway.
  • Throw away/take home all food stored in your room.
  • Close and lock the windows.
  • Place all garbage in the large dumpsters outside the building.
  • Donate unwanted items to the recycling locations in your building. For information on where to leave items, please visit the Tufts University Office of Sustainability site with access to the Eco-Map.
  • Complete the room check-out with an ORLL staff member. The condition of your room will be documented in our online housing portal.
  • Return room keys     

If students fail to properly check out of their rooms, their student accounts will be assessed a fee of $200.

Departing the Residence Hall Prior to the end of the Occupancy Period

If you leave the University, for any reason, you need to complete the room check-out process.

  • If you take a leave of absence, you will need to remove all personal items from your assigned room within 10 days of the effective date of leave. If you don’t remove personal items by the deadline, we will hire professional movers to pack and ship items to your permanent address at your expense.

We do not assume responsibility for any personal items left in your residential assignment, or for the safety and security of personal belongings being packed or shipped.

Damage Billing and Associated Fees

Residents are responsible for the care of university property in their rooms and in the common areas of the residence halls.

  • Any damage or loss will be assessed to the person(s) responsible.
  • Occupants are jointly responsible for the condition of the furniture, walls, ceiling, etc.
  • Damage that occurs beyond normal wear and tear is charged to the occupants of each room.
  • Residents are responsible for keeping their own room clean.
  • On-campus apartment residents are also responsible for keeping their common areas cleaned (bedrooms, kitchen, and bathrooms).

Additional associated fees are related to any damaged, missing, or lost keys not turned in at the end of your occupancy.


There is no storage for your belongings on campus during the academic year or over the summer.

  • Storage and shipping options are available through UPS.
  • Additionally, if you are living in small wood-framed houses you may not utilize the basement of your house for storage of any kind. Items located in these spaces will donated or discarded.

In accordance with state fire code, access to electrical panels, fire alarms systems, building heating/hot water systems, and other utilities must be kept free and clear at all times in case of emergency or repair. If it is reported to us that personal items are being stored in the basement of a wood-framed house, you will be given the opportunity to remove your items. If you fail to remove your items, they will be removed and discarded by university officials. If students continue to store items in the basement of the house in which they reside, they will be subject to appropriate residential and/or University consequences.

Your Health and Safety

Maintenance and Repairs

It is expected that students will take ownership of their residential living space. If you run into any issues with maintenance concerns, we ask that you submit a work order on the Residential Facilities system. You will need to be attached to the Tufts Secured network.

For Emergencies

If a loss of service (i.e., loss of hot water, electricity to room, etc.) occurs during regular business hours, Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m., students should contact the Facilities Department at 617-627-3496.

Outside regular business hours, contact TUPD: 617-627-3030.

In the event of a complete loss of heat, electricity or hot water, an emergency situation is declared if the problem cannot be resolved within a reasonable amount of time. If this occurs, the student affected will be temporarily reassigned.

For Extermination Needs/Services

Extermination services should be submitted in a facilities work order and by calling 617-627-3496.

Bed Bugs Protocol

During Regular Business Hours (Monday – Friday, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.)

  • The student should immediately contact Residential Facilities by calling 617-627-3992.
  • Residential Facilities will contact Extermination Services to have the room inspected for a possible bed bug infestation.
  • You will be contacted and cleared by our office if there are no bed-bugs found.

Outside Regular Business Hours (after 5 p.m., Monday – Friday and weekends)

  • Immediately contact Tufts University Police at 617-627-3030 and submit an online work order
  • Plan to contact Residential Facilities on the morning of the next business day.
  • In the majority of cases, students with a possible issue will be required to stay in the room until an inspection is done. 
  • If relocated to an available space on campus please do the following:
  1. Don’t remove any items from the room in question
  2. Clothing that needs to be removed from the room should be washed in hot water and dried on high heat
  3. Bathe prior to putting on the freshly laundered clothing.

In the case an actual infestation is identified by the exterminator, the following protocol should be carefully followed:

  • Strip all bed linens (i.e., sheets, pillowcases, blankets, spreads, etc.) and place into plastic bags to be washed in hot water and dried on high heat.   
  • All clothes in the room (whether clean or dirty) should be washed in hot water and dried on high heat.
  • All items in the room must be placed in plastic bags and sealed with tape. All bags should be placed in the center of the room.
  • All wall hangings and posters should be removed and placed on top of plastic bags in the center of the room.
  • Leave travel bags/luggage in plain view for the exterminator to inspect.
  • Move all large items (i.e., dressers, desks, etc.) one foot away from the perimeter of each wall.
  • Mattresses – Due to the construction of the mattresses in all student rooms, they DO NOT need to be removed from the room and replaced once the room has been inspected and treated. Mattress replacement will only occur upon student request.
  • Once the room has been treated, we will notify you.     

If you have any questions regarding the protocol involving bed bugs, please feel free to contact ORLL at 617-627-3248 or Residential Facilities at 617-627-3992.

Health and Safety Inspections

Once a semester, staff from the Office of Residential Life and Learning will complete health and safety inspections in student rooms to ensure that there are no needed maintenance concerns and that the general health and safety of our students in our halls is sound.

Students are notified approximately 1 week prior to the inspection date. Students are given one of two outcomes:

PASS – All items are good within the residential space

FAIL – There are one or more issue within the space that will require follow up by the student and staff. For students who receive a “fail,” they will be notified by staff of the issue and given 24 hours to resolve the issue before a reinspection is made. Some items that may result in a failure of a health and safety inspection may result in a documentation by a staff member for follow up through the Student Conduct process (i.e. Candles, unapproved furniture, alcohol, etc.)

Fire Safety and Security

The Fire Safety Office conducts fire prevention inspections in the common areas (lobby, lounge, hallways, stairways, laundry rooms, utility rooms, and storage rooms) of all residence halls (including fraternities and sororities) multiple times each year. The inspections are performed to ensure the following:

  1. Fire detection and fire sprinkler systems are operational
  2. Fire extinguishers are in their proper locations, are not obstructed and are ready for use
  3. Doorways, lobbies, corridors, stairways, and fire escapes are clear and unobstructed of any items (bicycles, furniture, duffle bags, footwear, luggage, etc.) that could cause tripping or congestion during an emergency evacuation of the building
  4. Trash receptacles are emptied regularly to prevent the accumulation of potentially combustible material
  5. Evidence of smoking within the halls is not present

Safety violations are reported to the Residence Director (RD) or Assistant Director (AD). A member of the ORLL professional staff team will follow up with the resident. When notified of a violation, you are expected to correct the situation immediately. Failure to do so may result in residential or University student conduct action.

Prohibited Items

The following items are flammable and prohibited from University buildings:

  • Candles
  • Incense
  • Camp-stove fuel
  • Containers of butane (other than individual lighters)
  • Lighter fluid
  • Fireworks
  • Flammable holiday decorations including real trees and wreaths
  • Gasoline
  • Paint thinner

Storage (or use) of a motorcycle, moped, or other gasoline powered vehicles or machinery within ten feet of any university residence is not allowed. Possession of hoverboards or similarly powered skateboard devices are banned from campus entirely due to recurring fire incidents associated with their design.

Information about University Officials Entering Student Rooms

Your room is considered to be a private space, however, it is stated in the Housing Agreement that officials of the university may enter your room in the state of an emergency, when a student or staff member has requested service, or with a 24-hour notice via email or posting.

  • We conduct periodic inspections of the residence halls, including student rooms and all woodframe, theme, and fraternity/sorority houses. You will be informed of the dates and times of these inspections via email, postings in the residence halls, or by the in-hall residential staff.