Living at RISD requires adhering to policies that have been developed to help students to manage their lives on the campus. View all student policies » 

  • About RISD's Residence Life Policies

    Please note that some of these regulations pertain only to particular areas of housing. In such cases, the applicable areas (the Quad, Hill Houses, 15 West, etc.) will be specified. If not specifically delineated, the content of these regulations apply to all residential facilities. The terms “residence hall,” “housing,” and “residential facility” apply to all types of housing. In addition to the following policies, resident students must abide by the contents of the Housing & Dining Contract. These policies may be amended as necessary.

    Charles Landing residents must adhere to both these policies and the policies and regulations detailed in the Mount Vernon Company Resident Handbook. All of the requirements of the RISD Student Conduct Code also apply to residents of Charles Landing.

    General Expectations

    It is essential that each student respect the privileges of all other community members. Any behavior that interferes with the educational process, disrupts, or otherwise infringes upon others’ ability to exercise the privileges to which they are entitled will not be tolerated. Students who behave in a consistently inconsiderate or immature manner can be as disruptive as those who commit major violations of school policy. Please note that failure to comply with the reasonable request of any RISD official is a serious offense and will be treated as such.

    In short, we expect all students to conduct themselves in a manner supportive of community living and within the limits set by institutional policies. In light of the number of resident students and staffing limitations, please understand that students bear the responsibility to comply with these and other guidelines, rules and regulations. While rules and regulations seek to guide behavior and establish safe and harmonious environments, the primary responsibility for safe behavior rests with individual students.

  • Controlled Substances


    The use, possession or distribution of any controlled substance or prescription drug not accompanied by a proper prescription is forbidden within the residence halls. Additionally, we do not permit any paraphernalia that could reasonably be expected to be used in relation to non-prescribed drug use. Violations of this regulation will result in confiscation, disciplinary action and, if appropriate, civil/criminal action. All items confiscated are destroyed. RISD offers no safe environment for, nor protection of, any individual subject to criminal investigation, and cooperates fully with local authorities.


    Rhode Island state law and college policy forbid the possession or consumption of alcohol by individuals under the age of 21. It also prohibits individuals of legal age from supplying alcohol to minors. For students who are 21 years of age or older, alcohol consumption in the residence halls is permitted within certain guidelines and stipulations as outlined below.

    The spirit of the alcohol policy strives to permit acceptable, responsible use of alcohol by students of legal age who choose to do so. Students are reminded that consistent or excessive use of alcohol, even without contributing to other behavioral problems, is not acceptable. In support of this position, collections or displays of empty alcohol containers are not allowed.

    No alcohol is permitted in any of the First-Year Residence Halls (Homer, Nickerson, East and South Halls, Carpenter and Pardon Miller Houses). Also, containers that could reasonably be expected to contain alcohol, such as kegs, or alcohol bottles or cans, are not permitted, even if empty.

    Guidelines for Alcohol Use in Upperclass Housing

    • Students of legal drinking age may possess and consume alcohol subject to other guidelines contained herein. Alcohol may only be consumed within the private room, apartment, suite or loft of the student who is of legal drinking age. Alcohol may not be consumed in any lounges, hallways or other areas accessible to all residents of the building.

    • No alcohol may be sold in a residence hall at any time. Also, no brewing, fermenting or distillation to produce any type of alcohol is permissible.

    • No student may possess more than two liters of wine, or one liter of spirits, or a dozen 16 oz. bottles or cans of beer, cider, or similar alcoholic beverage. No kegs, beer balls or similar items are allowed.

    • Parties for “of age” students where alcohol is served may be permitted with prior approval from the Director of Residence Life. If students younger than 21 will be present, no alcohol is allowed under any circumstances. A party is defined as any gathering of more than six people.

    Violations of Policy

    In instances when misconduct occurs, being under the influence of controlled substances is not a mitigating factor or excuse when judging responsibility and determining consequences. Consequences for residents who violate RISD’s controlled substance policies include parental notification when deemed appropriate. Serious or repeated violations may also result in relocation within, or removal from, RISD housing or suspension or dismissal from the college.

    As provided in RISD’s Good Samaritan Policy, students who voluntarily and proactively seek help for their own use of such substances or for that of others ordinarily will not be charged for such use under the controlled substances provision of the Code of Student Conduct.

  • Damage and Vandalism

    Please note that a great deal of extra time and paperwork is required to repair unnecessary damage, so there is a minimum charge of $50 for each damage-related incident. In addition, damage, vandalism or misuse of any life safety, security or emergency egress equipment carries a minimum fine of $250.  

    Private Rooms: Each student is responsible for the condition of his/her room and furnishings, including the inside and outside of the room door. When a student moves into a room, a room condition report is provided to document any room issues. Please review this form carefully and make sure that it is accurate before you sign it. It will be used when you check out of your room to determine any damages, beyond reasonable wear and tear (see “Room Condition Reports” for more info). Students are financially responsible for any damage and may also face disciplinary action.

    Apartment and Suite Common Areas: In multiple occupancy apartments or suites, the cost for repairs or replacements, or cleaning of living rooms, kitchens, bathrooms or other commonly shared areas is divided among all students assigned to the suite or apartment. Please note that cleaning of these areas is the responsibility of the residents. Failure to maintain acceptable cleanliness levels may result in mandated cleaning by the college. Periodic Health and Safety inspections are conducted to ensure compliance.

    Public Areas: We expect some “wear and tear” to buildings where a large number of students live and work. However, repairs necessitated by damage or theft will result in associated charges being prorated among the students in the adjacent housing area. When and how repair or replacement is subsequently made is the prerogative of the college, regardless of damage billing procedure and practice.

  • Domestic Partners

    In certain circumstances, a student’s domestic partner may be permitted to live in RISD housing, at the discretion of the Director of Residence Life. Such domestic partners must abide by all RISD rules and policies. Please refer to the housing contract for complete details.

  • Fees and Refunds for Housing

    In order to reserve a room, upperlevel students are required to submit a housing deposit, which is credited towards room charges. Once a housing contract is signed (physically or by electronic agreement), the deposit is not refundable and will be forfeited if the student subsequently does not live in RISD housing. Housing and Dining contracts are binding for the full academic year or summer term. Students in the residence halls who, after agreeing to the contract, voluntarily withdraw from RISD or housing, or are removed from housing by the college, are liable for payments as specified by the contract. Board refund policy is determined by Dining Services.

  • Fire Drills and Evacuation Procedures

    In accordance with state laws, RISD conducts fire drills on a periodic basis. When the alarm sounds, everyone must evacuate the building as quickly as possible. During an alarm students should cooperate with any requests from RISD or Fire Department officials. Failure to evacuate a building during an alarm results in consequences that could include fines and/or dismissal.

    It is very important that you familiarize yourself with evacuation procedures and multiple routes prior to an emergency. In the case of a fire, seconds may mean life or death. When the alarm sounds, get out of the building as quickly as possible. Never assume that the alarm is false! Exit charts are posted on the back of each room door.

  • Gender-Inclusive Housing

    We do not restrict roommate pairings based on sex, gender identity or gender expression. This means that any student can choose to live with any other student, regardless of sex, gender identity or gender expression in a shared room. However, the Residence Life office will only honor a request made mutually by all parties. Roommates of different genders are never randomly assigned. If you are interested in gender-inclusive housing options we can provide you with a personal and confidential assessment of the available options. Please email Associate Director of Residence Life Josh Peipock at

  • Guest Policy

    A guest is defined as someone who is not a currently enrolled RISD student. The intent of guest privileges is to allow for reasonable visitation by a resident’s friends – not long-term or live-in visitors. In fairness to those paying the room fee, repeated visits by the same guest are strongly discouraged and may be denied. Residents may not admit or utilize contractors or other individuals whose purpose is to perform work or services for them under this guest policy.

    Resident students who host non-RISD individuals as guests must abide by the following:

    • Guest registration forms must be completed any time a guest is staying in the residential areas between the hours of midnight and 7 AM.
    • No guests under 16 years of age are permitted.
    • Students may host guests for a maximum of three nights in a seven-day period.
    • No student may host more than two guests at any one time.
    • Students may host guests for a maximum of 12 nights per semester (eight per Wintersession).
    • Hosts must seek permission from all roommates before hosting an overnight guest.
    • Each guest must present a photo ID at the time of registration.
    • Guests must keep a copy of the guest registration form on them at all times and must present it to any RISD campus official when asked to do so.
    • Guests must adhere to, and abide by, all RISD policies.
    • A guest’s behavior is the responsibility of the host student.
    • Guests should not enter other residential areas without being escorted by the host student.
    • The host student is subject to fines, disciplinary action and financial responsibility for any of his/her guest’s actions.
    • Public areas may not be used for guest accommodations.
    • Guest privileges may be revoked at any time.

    Guest registration forms should be completed at Quad Public Safety or the Public Safety Desk at 15 West for residents of that building. Hosts are not permitted to loan their ID/access card to others.

  • Health and Safety Inspections

    Responsibility for enforcing safety regulations and health standards is shared by the departments of Public Safety, Facilities, Environmental Health & Safety and Residence Life. Regular, periodic inspections of student rooms take place during the course of the school year. These inspections may or may not be announced in advance.

    Rooms and other areas dedicated for resident use must be maintained to a minimum level of cleanliness to protect everyone’s health. Note that residents of the Benefit Street Apartments, Charles Landing Apartments and 15 West maintain each living unit’s common space, including kitchen areas and bathrooms. Conditions that jeopardize the general health or well-being of residents are not allowed. Students who repeatedly fail to maintain their space will be required to contract cleaning services through the college, at the student’s expense. If more than one student is responsible for an area, cleaning costs will be shared by all residents of the area.

  • Insurance

    RISD does not assume responsibility nor carry insurance for loss of, or damage to, personal/rented property of residents due to theft, fire, wind, flood or any other reason. Therefore, the college advises students to maintain their own insurance for coverage of personal/rented possessions.

    We have more information on getting this type of insurance here.

  • Keys, Locks and Access Cards

    College-issued keys or access cards must not be loaned to anyone. Duplication is prohibited.

    Doors that open to the outside or into building corridors remain locked at all times and should never be blocked open. Do not allow nonresidents into a building. If a nonresident gains entry to your building without your permission, report this to Public Safety immediately. Students are responsible for keeping their room doors locked at all times, even when leaving the room for brief periods of time.

    All students accessing 15 West must present their ID card to the building monitor every time they enter the building.

    If you lose a key or access card, report it to Public Safety as soon as possible, so that you may obtain a temporary replacement. If you are accidentally locked out of your room, you can borrow a temporary lockout key/card at the Quad Public Safety Office or at 15 West Public Safety for residents of that building. These key/cards must be returned within 24 hours or fines and fees will be imposed.

  • Maintenance or Work Requests

    All requests for routine maintenance to your room should be directed to the Facilities Department at Emergency maintenance needs (broken windows, broken door locks, burst pipes, no heat, etc.) should be reported immediately to Public Safety at 401 454-6666.

  • Painting or Alterations to a Room

    Students may not paint their rooms or any of its contents. Any construction projects or alterations within student rooms that are attached to the room or its contents are expressly forbidden. Small projects, constructed independent of the room’s structure, may be allowed. Contact your Area Coordinator with any questions.

  • Parking for Students

    Students may rent parking spaces at Charles Landing Apartments by the semester, or on a short-term basis, if needed. Anyone parking in the lots at Charles Landing is required to display a valid parking permit in the lower left corner of the rear window of the vehicle. Permits may be purchased at the Residence Life Office. When parking near RISD please remember to secure your vehicle and never leave valuable items inside. Failure to register your vehicle or abide by the regulations will result in removal of the vehicle at the owner’s expense.

  • Pet Policy

    With the exception of Charles Landing, RISD residential facilities do not permit pets other than fish (not lizards, turtles, etc.) in aquariums of 10 gallons or less. Pets at Charles Landing are subject to Mount Vernon Tenant rules and regulations and must be approved and registered before being brought into the building.

  • Quiet Hours and Noise

    Noise, including music, should be confined to an individual’s room. Quiet hours for purposes of study and/or sleep are from 11 PM to 9 AM Sunday-Thursday; midnight to 10 AM Friday/Saturday. We expect students who are bothered by noise to ask the individual(s) causing it to be quieter. We also expect all residents to honor such requests. When a personal request is not successful, residents may ask Residence Life staff or Public Safety for assistance.

  • Room Changes

    Sometimes changes of room assignment are necessary. Generally, room changes are not allowed during the first two weeks of any semester. If you wish to initiate a room change, contact your RA or your Area Coordinator for information on the procedures. All students who are part of any proposed move must freely agree to do so. Students who change rooms without approval are required to return to their original assignments. RISD reserves the right to change a student's room assignment at any time, for any reason. Students in shared rooms who find themselves without a roommate are contractually obligated to accept a new roommate at any time. Behavior on the part of the original occupant that discriminates against a newly assigned occupant of the room may result in the reassignment or removal of the original occupant.

  • Room Condition Reports, Check-Out & Closings

    Each time you check into a new room at RISD you will be provided with a room condition report that describes any damages or deficiencies in your room. We assume that all rooms are provided to you in clean condition, good repair and appropriately furnished. Please check the form for accuracy, notify your RA of any discrepancies and sign the form. It will remain on file until you vacate your room.

    When you vacate a housing assignment, your room and its contents are inspected by a member of the Residence Life staff to compare current conditions to those at the time you checked into the room. Necessary charges for damaged or missing items will be assessed. RISD reserves the right to charge for any damages that are not detected until after you have vacated the room. Public area damage charges are not finalized until each building has been vacated. Detailed closing and check-out instructions are distributed to residents at the end of each semester.

    All housing except Charles Landing closes during the December recess. No residents may remain during that time and must vacate by the deadline specified. Charles Landing remains open 12 months of the year.

  • Room Entry, Inspection or Search

    Room Entry

    As stated in your housing contract, the college, at its discretion, may enter and search any room and its contents, including personal possessions, to:

    1. verify occupancy

    2. perform housekeeping and maintenance functions

    3. investigate and/or seize evidence of potential illegal activity or violations of college regulations

    4. conduct health and fire safety inspections

    5. or, for any other reason and in any other situation in which the college, in its discretion, deems it necessary to do so in order to protect the interests of the college or the general welfare of one or more of its students.

    Administrative Entry and Search

    College staff members may also be authorized to enter and/or conduct an administrative search of a student’s room and its contents. Administrative entries and searches are authorized based upon a reasonable suspicion that evidence of a violation of college policy or law or a threat to health or safety may be present. For example, credible information that there may be weapons, stolen property, illicit drugs/paraphernalia or other items posing a threat of harm to a student (including the individual him/herself) would warrant an administrative entry and search.

    Authorization for an administrative entry and/or search is normally given by the Associate Provost for Student Affairs, or his/her designee, to the staff member requesting the search. Public Safety officers who determine that there may be a danger to an individual's well-being, such as a medical emergency, may enter a student's room and/or conduct administrative searches without prior approval, but must notify supervisors and appropriate Student Affairs staff as soon as is reasonably possible.

    An administrative search will seek materials related to the justification for the administrative search, though other items discovered during the conduct of the search that also violate college policy or law or present a threat to health or safety may be noted and/or seized for future disciplinary action.

    Administrative searches will not be conducted under the direction of police or on their behalf. This in no way limits the jurisdiction or authority of police acting within their legally defined powers. RISD Public Safety officers may accompany law enforcement agents but do not hold police powers. However, they will often participate in administrative searches as defined above.

    Room Inspection and Plain Sight Searches

    When an authorized staff member enters a student room for any of the reasons noted above, the staff member may conduct a visual inspection of the room. If evidence in plain sight suggests a violation of college policy or law or a threat to health or safety, full-time professional Residence Life staff may conduct or authorize more extensive searches. “Plain sight” is meant to include evidence that is readily apparent through sight, sound, smell, touch or similar means. Items discovered during such a search that violate college policies or law or present a threat to health or safety, such as controlled substances without an appropriate medical prescription, weapons, open flame sources, etc., may be disposed of or confiscated.

  • Room Furnishings and College Property

    All furnishings provided must stay in the room and/or apartment. No storage is available for furniture. Upon checkout, if all of the original furniture is not inside the room, a charge will be assessed for the full cost of each replacement item.

    Furniture and accessories in common areas may not be relocated or removed. College property (including signs, furniture, etc.) found in a student’s room will be removed and a conduct complaint will be filed.

  • Safety Equipment and False Fire Alarms

    For your own and others’ safety, do not tolerate anyone who tampers with fire or fire safety equipment and report any damage to, or malfunction of, equipment to the Office of Public Safety immediately. All of the residence halls at RISD have fire detection systems that connect directly to the Providence Fire Department. When a system alarm is triggered the fire department will respond. Any student who tampers with fire safety equipment or causes a false alarm, or a fire, either willfully or by negligence, faces a fine of at least $250 and further action that could result in dismissal from RISD. The Providence Fire Department is empowered to file criminal charges when warranted.

  • Safety Guidelines and Restrictions

    RISD strives to ensure that the residential environment is safe, but the primary responsibility for safe behavior rests with students. This becomes increasingly important in areas such as apartments, where staff supervision is minimal. The following guidelines have been developed to safeguard you and your friends. Please read them carefully and follow them closely.

    To min­imize the risk of fire, please adhere to the following:

    • Fire ignition sources (halogen lamps, hot glue guns, hair dryers, etc.) should be kept away from any combustible material. Additionally, the room’s heating unit or radiator must be kept clear of combustible material.
    • If you use posters, wall hangings or other items to decorate your room, wall coverings should not exceed about 30% of your wall's surface area. All such decorations must be affixed flat against the walls so that flames cannot reach both sides.
    • Nothing should be placed covering or impeding the efficacy of sprinkler heads, smoke detectors, or light fixtures. Nothing should ever be hung from a sprinkler pipe.
    • Absolutely no cloth, paper or other flammable material (including lamp shades) can be hung from the ceiling. Small “window treatments” are permitted, but curtains may only be used if they are verifiably fire retardant.
    • Candles, oil lamps, incense, fireworks and explosives, melting paraffin or wax, blow torches or any other sources of open flame are not allowed in residence halls.
    • Student rooms should be kept reasonably free of clutter. Do not allow flammable supplies such as twigs, newspaper, cardboard, etc. to accu­mulate. Student-supplied furniture must be in good condition. Upholstered pieces are limited to one additional seat per resident.
    • Corrosive or flammable solvents and other such materials should not be used in student rooms (see Chemical Handling for additional information).

    Electrical Appliances

    • Cooking is permitted only in designated kitchen areas. When cooking, never leave food unattended. Avoid broiling and beware of smoke and vapors caused while frying as either may trigger the living unit’s smoke detectors. Cooking appliances are not allowed in student sleeping rooms with the excep­tion of one coffee maker or one small, enclosed water heater per room (if the appliance is U.L.-listed). Microwaves are allowed in kitchen areas or, in the Hill Houses or the Quad, only as part of the combination refrigerator/microwave units available for rent through the school.
    • Any electrical appliances or extension cords used in a residence hall must be Underwriter Laboratories (U.L.)-listed and in good working order. Neon lights, halogen and sun lamps are not allowed under any circumstance.
    • Residents may not add heating or cooling units to their living area, except in the Quad and Hill Houses, where one compact refrigerator of 4 cubic feet or less is allowed per room. Additional refrigerators are not allowed in the apartments or suites.
    • Any appliance or combination of appliances that overloads circuits is not allowed. Multi-outlet plugs and overloaded extension cords should not be used. No extension cords should ever be run under a rug or over a door or window. You may not plug one extension cord into another extension cord. We require the use of extension cords with built-in circuit breakers (power strips).
    • Tampering with or altering circuit breakers, smoke detectors or any part of the electrical system in a residence hall is strictly forbidden, and will automatically incur the minimum life safety fine of $250.

    Additional Safety Guidelines

    • Nothing may be stored in the hallways, stairwells or entrances of any of the buildings. At no time should posters, paper or other flammable materials be hung from the ceilings of the hallways or workrooms. Projects or other student work left in a hallway or stairway will be removed and discarded. If you wish to create an installation in a public area, you must obtain prior permission by completing a Crit Application Form available from Public Safety.
    • Bicycles should be stored in designated areas or your room, not public areas of the residence halls. Never lock your bike to stair railings or anywhere that blocks a means of egress during emergencies. All bicycles should be registered with the Department of Public Safety.
    • No one should be on any roof or fire escape of any building, at any time, except in an emergency.
    • Nothing should be dumped, poured, thrown or otherwise disposed of from the windows of any residence hall. To comply with Providence ordinances, residents may not display signs or other objects in windows of residences.
    • Water pistols or any similar device that sprays water should not be used in a residence hall.
    • The hallways and interior public areas of the residence halls, as well as the courtyards in the Quad are not to be used for skateboarding, scooters, other wheeled devices or playing sports.
    • Please contact the Residence Life Office before hosting an organized activity in the upper or lower Quads, the Amphitheater, the Charles Landing pool area or Nickerson Green.
    • Residence hall lounges and hallways may not be used as work areas. Designated workrooms should be used for such purpose.
    • Where kitchens are provided, use is restricted to food preparation. Please clean up after yourself
  • Solvents and Chemical Handling

    Corrosive or flammable materials should be used only in designated work areas or studios. Gamsol is the only solvent approved for use in the residence halls. Disposal of corrosive, flammable or other chemicals (in containers or on cloth, brushes, etc.) must follow the guidelines posted in each work area and incorporated herein by reference. Leftover or used combustible or flammable liquid waste should be poured into the liquid waste containers in each work area or studio. Under no circumstances should any of these substances be poured down drains or mixed in with regular trash. Should you have any questions about proper disposal methods, contact the Office of Environmental Health and Safety at 401 454-6780.

  • Tobacco Policy

    Smoking is not permitted in any RISD building, in any place that allows smoke to migrate back into any building or anywhere that impedes the smoke-free entrance and exit from buildings. Violators may receive fines, other sanctions and/or be reassigned or removed from housing.

    If smoking occurs in a student residence, the occupant(s) assigned to the particular room, suite or apartment are financially responsible for any and all repairs, replacements or cleaning necessary, as determined at the sole discretion of RISD staff members, required to remove all traces of smoking from the living quarters and its contents.

  • Trash Disposal and Recycling

    Each residence hall has designated areas for residents to dispose of trash and recyclable materials. Trash must not be left in halls, bathrooms or other public areas. A list of items that should be recycled is available through the Office of Environmental Health & Safety.

  • Weapons

    Weapons are not allowed in residence halls. The RISD Code of Conduct lists the following as an example of unacceptable behavior: “Using, displaying, or possessing objects or substances whose primary purpose is to cause or threaten harm, such as firearms, pellet guns, ammunition, slingshots, switchblade knives, explosives, or any realistic toy or model such items, even if otherwise permitted by law; or using any other objects or substances to cause or threaten harm.”

  • Workrooms

    Workroom use policies have been developed by the Office of Environmental Health & Safety and are posted in each work area. Projects that are messy or work involving solvents, corrosive substances or flammable materials should be done in these areas or in academic studio areas. Custodial staff clean the work areas each Tuesday morning. Anything remaining and not clearly labeled as in-progress and with the student’s name and room number is removed. Deliberate graffiti or other painting is not permitted in these or any other areas. Spray painting or other work resulting in noxious fumes should be conducted only in workrooms equipped with a spray booth. Spray painting directly on the ground or pavement outside of buildings is not permitted.

Biking is big at RISD – despite the killer hill.