Residence Life Policies and Procedures

The quality and nature of residential living at St. Olaf is recognized as an intrinsic part of the college experience. Community living that is conducive to healthy social interaction, recreation, and educational/cultural opportunities will greatly enhance the unique college experience St. Olaf offers.

Residence Life Staff
The residence life staff is given the responsibility to assist residents in establishing respectful, cooperative communities. Through a variety of activities and services, they work toward developing a community atmosphere that is conducive to study and socializing.

At times they also are called upon to enforce college policies and regulations. The cooperation of all residents and guests is expected when college staff is carrying out this responsibility. Non-cooperation with residence life staff, public safety officers, hall receptionists, or other members of the college staff acting in the course of their duties will result in disciplinary action through the dean of students office.

Policies, Responsibilities, and Expectations
Sharing a room and living in close quarters with other students on a residence hall floor require compromise and consideration 24 hours a day. It is unfair for one roommate to monopolize the room, regardless of the acceptance of this arrangement by the other roommate(s). Roommates and corridormates must develop a clear understanding which assures fairness and consideration.

When situations causing disturbance in community living, such as disrespect for others, noise or abuse of physical surroundings arise, students are encouraged to work together as a corridor, floor, hall or house to achieve a healthy balance in their shared living environment.  If interpersonal frictions arise which are not amenable to a workable solution, advice and counsel should be sought from the junior counselors, resident assistants, student hall coordinators, area coordinators or the residence life office staff. In extreme cases where students are unwilling to participate in mediation and compromise the Director of Residence Life has the discretion to change housing assignments in situations. When appropriate, referrals will be made for judicial action.

Rights and Responsibilities

The St. Olaf College Academic Catalog states the following aim and objective:

“St. Olaf aims to offer an education that prepares students for self-understanding, vocational usefulness and responsible citizenship.”

As a community devoted to facilitating a living/learning environment, these aims and objectives imply specific rights and responsibilities which must be held in high regard. Mutual respect and consideration, together with an awareness of and sensitivity to the needs of other individuals, must be the standard for group living.

The following rights and responsibilities are intended to define minimal expectations for all residents to ensure the enjoyment of their freedom without placing constraints upon the rights of other residents:

The right: To read, study or sleep free from undue interference in or around one’s room.
The responsibility: To control noise and other distractions that inhibits the exercise of study or sleep by another person.
The right: To recreate in or around the residence hall.
The responsibility: To modify recreation so that it does not interfere with the rights of others in or around the residence hall.
The right: To personal privacy.
The responsibility: For the college to maintain such an environment and for students to assist in this effort.
The right: To recourse, according to prescribed judicial procedures, against anyone who unduly infringes on one’s rights or property.
The responsibility: To conduct oneself in a manner that does not infringe on the rights of others. To initiate action should the circumstances warrant.
The right: To participate in the process of self-governance.
The responsibility: To be active in the process to insure voicing of one’s opinion or ideas.

Policies and Procedures

The following is a partial list of activities/actions which, under current contract guidelines, are considered policy violations by St. Olaf College and will result in disciplinary action. The rules and regulations include, but are not limited to those enumerated below:

All students should abide by local, state, and federal laws and should abide by St. Olaf College policies and regulations.

Policy List and Dictionary (A-Z)

A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z |

Alcohol and Drug Policy

For a copy of the full and complete statement of the St. Olaf College Alcohol and Illicit Drug policy, see

Possessing, distributing, and consuming illicit drugs and alcoholic beverages is prohibited on the St. Olaf campus, on land or vehicles owned by the college, and in college owned honor houses.  The consumption of alcoholic beverages and illicit drugs is prohibited at all college-sponsored functions that include students, no matter the location.  In addition, all employees of the College, including student employees, are prohibited from being under the influence of illicit drugs and alcohol while working, whether that work occurs on or off campus.

Rationale:  St. Olaf College desires to have a campus free of alcohol and illicit drugs and to operate all of its academic and co-curricular programs accordingly.  It does so out of the conviction that this freedom will:

  • enhance the atmosphere for study, learning, growth, work, and wellness;
  • respect the decisions of those who choose not to use alcohol or illicit drugs;
  • promote a caring environment.

St. Olaf Educational Responsibilities Regarding Alcohol Use

Since we recognize that members of the community may, within applicable national, state, and local law, choose to use alcohol, St. Olaf College actively educates the members of the campus community about alcohol and drugs and provides help for those affected by substance abuse problems.  In addition, the college will provide social activities which do not rely on alcohol or illicit drugs and will maintain a supportive climate for those who choose not to use these substances.

The Drug-Free Schools and Communities Act Amendments of 1989 (PL 101-22) requires colleges and universities to adopt a program to prevent the use of illicit drugs and the abuse of alcohol by students and employees.  Failure to comply with these amendments could result in the loss of federal funding to the college.

Alcoholic Beverages, Advertising of

The guidelines listed below are the result of St. Olaf College’s concern for college-aged adults acquiring healthy and responsible behaviors relating to alcohol use.  Due to the fact that the College appreciates outside vendors support, a broad based approach to advertising that promotes college-aged patronage of businesses for non-drinkers by equal advertising of food and alternative beverages is most desirable.

  1. Advertising by Northfield area merchants is permitted in campus residence halls on designated bulletin boards located near each building’s main entrance.  The Residence Life Office must approve all advertising relating to alcohol.  Such approval will be noted on the advertisement.  It is suggested that merchants contact the Area Coordinator in each building prior to posting any promotional materials.  No advertising is permitted in Buntrock.
  2. The College will not permit the disclosure of prices for alcoholic beverages on advertising materials.
  3. Name brand advertising of alcoholic beverages for the purpose of generating local sales is prohibited (example: major beer manufacturer’s posters with a local business’s promotion).
  4. Establishments selling alcohol may provide posters which advertise entertainment events, food specials, cover prices, ID requirements, etc., but may not advertise alcohol or drink prices.  Such establishments may advertise:
    • alternative non-alcoholic beverages that reflect equal and/or comparable values.
    • opportunity to purchase meals and/or other food items along with beverages.
    • opportunity to enjoy entertainment such as music and dancing along with beverages.

Amplified Music

Amplified music may not be played in student rooms.  Stereo speakers may not be placed in residents’ windows, pointed outside.  Students do not have the right to impose their musical tastes on others by playing their music out their windows. Students wishing to practice with non-amplified musical instruments are encouraged to use designated music practice rooms in the residence halls, classroom buildings, or in the Lion’s Pause. Those practicing in their rooms or public areas of residence halls are subject to guidelines specified as quiet and courtesy hours.

The use of amplifiers for music practice is not permitted in residence halls. Bands wishing to practice are encouraged to contact the Lion’s Pause to schedule practice time.


Bicycles should be stored in designated bicycle stands located outside of each residence hall, all campus bicycle storage during the designated storage period, or in student rooms.  Safety considerations as well as concerns for damage to public property and the general appearance of our buildings prohibit the storage of bicycles in public indoor areas, including areas such as entryways, stairwells, lounges, suite lounges, utility rooms, etc.

Bicycles stored in public indoor areas may be subject to a fine of $10 per day, administered by the Area Coordinator or Public Safety.  After four violations, the bicycle will be impounded until the fines are paid and an alternative settlement is reached with the Area Coordinator.

For complete information on bicycle registration, please see


Groups interested in holding a bonfire at the campus bonfire site behind Thorson Hall need to fill out a Bonfire Request Form available on line at During the academic year, submit the form to the Public Safety Office. During the summer months (June-August), submit the form to the Conferences & Events Office. This form includes a space for the group’s campus account number which is charged a minimum of $30.00 for firewood provided by the Physical Plant staff.  It is then the group’s responsibility to notify the Thorson Area Coordinator of the contact person, date, time, and length of the event (at least 24 hours in advance).


Due to personal health and safety concerns, camping is prohibited on St. Olaf College property without the express permission of the Dean of Students.

Campus Band/DJ Non-Payment Policy

Student Activities asks hall councils to work cooperatively with them on the no-payment policy for campus bands and DJs.  Bands comprised of any current Olaf students are not to be paid for their performances on campus.  Campus bands/DJs receive benefits which are much more difficult to come by for beginning groups: venues to hone their craft, experience in performance, and the opportunity to use free practice space through the Lion’s Pause.  Hall Councils can pay for rental of equipment needed for the performance.  Campus bands are not allowed to “pass the hat” when performing on campus.

Candles and Incense

Due to the significant risk of fire, the burning of candles and incense or other open flames and embers is not permitted in residence hall rooms.  With continuous monitoring, and with the permission of the Area Coordinator, lit candles and incense are permitted in public areas for programs, dinners, and other special events.  Please refer to the smoking policy.

Check-in and Check-out Procedures

Students residing in a residence hall must check in with the Area Coordinator or their designate and in honor houses with the house president upon arrival. Each student will complete a room inventory form at this time, indicating the condition of the room and its furnishings. The room inventory form system for checking in and checking out of college housing has been designed to protect the student, as well as St. Olaf College property. Students are encouraged to be accurate when completing the room inventory form, since charges can be levied for damages, missing items or lack of cleanliness. Students have one week from the date of their check-in to return the room inventory form. After this time, a $25 fee will be assessed for improper check-in.

Furniture and other items may not be left in hallways, utility rooms and public areas. Any such items left will be removed by college staff, and residents will be held accountable for appropriate replacement costs.

Students are responsible for checking out of their rooms through the Area Coordinator or their designate before vacating the premises. The student and the staff member will compare the current room condition with the original inventory form. Students will be held responsible for the condition and cleanliness of their rooms and furnishings and any loss or damage other than normal wear that might occur during their occupancy. A charge may be assessed for improper check-in/check-out when students fail to complete any of the above.

Common Area Furnishings

Students may not use common area furniture for their personal rooms. Furniture placed in lounges and other public areas are for the benefit of all residents. Taking common area furniture denies others the use of it. Fines may be assessed for removal of the furniture.


Computers are provided in all the halls to meet the academic needs of students.  Any problems with the operation of the computers should be referred to IIT at x3830.

Use of St. Olaf computers is a privilege granted only to those students who use them responsibly.  Any student suspected of abusing the computer system is to be referred to the appropriate Associate Dean for disciplinary action.  Misuse of the computer system includes unauthorized copying of software, tampering with others’ accounts, wasting or damaging computer resources, breaking system security, using a computer to harass others, and degrading computer performance.  Students should be aware that some types of computer abuse (notably intentional damage, alteration, or access to computer systems) are violations of Minnesota and Federal criminal codes.

For more information regarding proper computer usage, see the IIT Computing Policies.


Students who place orders from local businesses and request delivery to a residence hall are to receive the item(s) at the front desk.

Disabilities Act

St. Olaf College is subject to the disability discrimination rules of the Americans With Disabilities Act and the Minnesota Human Rights Act.  These laws prohibit discrimination against employees and students on the basis of their disabilities, and additionally requires that the College provide certain extra helps and assistance to employees and students with disabilities.

Among the requirements imposed on the College by these laws are to:

  • remove certain architectural and communications barriers (or provide alternatives);
  • reasonably modify its policies, practices, or procedures to avoid discrimination against students with disabilities; and
  • provide certain auxiliary aids and services to students with communications-related disabilities.

Examples of auxiliary aids for students with communications-related disabilities may include interpreters, note takers, telephone handset amplifiers, telephones compatible with hearing aids, TDD’s, tape texts, audio recordings, Braille materials, and large print materials.

If you are aware of a student with a disability who may benefit from auxiliary aids and services that he or she is not currently receiving or who otherwise needs assistance because of disability, encourage the student to speak with Pamela McDowell, Associate Dean of Students for Residence Life, or Disability and Access in the Academic Support Center.  You may also contact them if you receive a request from a student who desires some type of assistance in the residence hall because of disability or if you need help responding to a request appropriately.

Door Unlocking Charges Guidelines

Staffs may decide to assess residents a minimal charge (no more than $1.00) for unlocking doors after a beginning-of-the-year grace period (September 21).  Money may be used for hall programmatic purposes, including purchasing hall supplies.  It is not intended for retreats or food for the staff.  Any money not used at the end of the year will be used for program supplies for the Residence Life Staff Programming Room in Ytterboe Hall.

Drugs (Defined as marijuana or non-prescribed drugs)

St. Olaf prohibits possessing, distributing, using or being under the influence of illicit drugs on any property owned by the college, any college vehicle, or in any program or activity sponsored by the college at any location.

For a copy of the full and complete statement of the St. Olaf College Alcohol and Illicit Drug policy, see

Electrical Appliances

Because of fire safety (and sanitation) concerns, the following guidelines are to be followed.  Electrical appliances are permitted in student rooms provided their use does not disturb other residents and that its state of repair is not a fire hazard.  Safety, insurance, and health code standards require certain restrictions be placed on the use of some electrical appliances in the halls.  Appliances with an open coil or burner, air conditioners, hot plates, grills, skillets, halogen lamps, gas appliances, microwave ovens, toasters, toaster ovens, and ceiling fans are not allowed in student rooms.  Only heat producing electrical appliances that are UL (Underwriters’ Laboratories) approved and have enclosed heating elements are permitted in student rooms.  Kitchen cooking must be confined to designated cooking areas. No student-owned microwaves, toasters, toaster ovens or hot plates are allowed in residence hall rooms.

Residence life staff will ask students to remove dangerous or prohibited items from their rooms.  Should a resident fail to do so, the student will be asked to remove and store the appliance.


Tampering with or the improper use of an elevator, which could endanger the operator or other individuals, will result in disciplinary action and a $500 fine. Additionally, any person who damages an elevator must pay for the repair and inspection of the elevator and face disciplinary action. A second violation will result in additional disciplinary sanctions which may include dismissal from the college.

Exterior Doors

All residence hall main entrance doors locked beginning at 8:00 p.m. and remain locked until 7 a.m. Emergency phones are located at the main entrance of each residence hall and at several other locations for personal safety and security reasons. All registered St. Olaf students may access any residence hall between 8:00-11:00 p.m. using their student ID. Between 11:00 p.m.-7:00 a.m. students may only access the residence hall they are assigned by using their student ID.

During break periods when residence halls are occupied, the halls are locked 24-hours a day. Students may access their hall with their St. Olaf student ID. During Christmas and Spring Breaks students do not have access to their room or residence hall.

Firearms and Explosives

St. Olaf is committed to maintaining a safe and secure environment for students, faculty, staff, and visitors.  In support of this commitment, St. Olaf expressly prohibits the possession, manufacture, transfer, sale or use of firearms, weapons and explosives on campus.  This prohibition applies to all students, employees, independent contractors, and visitors, including those who have a valid permit to carry a concealed weapon.

With regard to off-campus activities, faculty, staff and students are also prohibited from possessing firearms or other weapons while operating college vehicles, while engaging in college business, or while participating in a St. Olaf event.  This weapons prohibition does not apply to authorized security or law enforcement personnel.

The possession, manufacture, transfer, sale or use of firearms, weapons or explosives (including fireworks), will be subject to confiscation and disciplinary action.

If you are aware that another student or other individual possesses a firearm or other weapon in violation of this policy, you should immediately report the conduct at issue to Public Safety (507-786-3666) or call 911.

Fire Safety

The safety of every student is of paramount importance to the college. As such, residence halls have been equipped with various emergency systems and equipment to help ensure student safety. As such, the tampering with and/or misuse of fire and safety equipment, including fire alarms, fire doors, fire extinguishers, smoke alarms, exit signs, heat sensors, and any other safety equipment, poses a serious threat to life and property and will result in a $500 fine. The starting of any fire on college property without written authorization is strictly prohibited. St. Olaf reserves the right to take disciplinary action through the appropriate college channels and/or local law enforcement agencies.

Only heat-producing electrical appliances that are UL (Underwriters Laboratories) approved and that have enclosed heating elements (e.g. electric coffee pots, electric blankets, etc.) are permitted in student rooms. All electrical appliances brought to the campus by students are subject to inspection and approval by the college.
The hallways must be kept free of debris and personal items. Students assume financial responsibility for having these items removed after the first week of classes.
For safety purposes, observe the following:

  • Due to the significant risk of fire, the burning of candles or other open flames (this includes incense) are not permitted in residence hall rooms. With continuous monitoring, and with the permission of the area coordinator, lit candles are permitted in public areas for programs, dinners and other special events.
  • No materials may be draped or affixed overhead (i.e. on the ceiling or over light bulbs).
  • Flammable substances, such as gasoline and cleaning fluids, are not to be used or stored in college residences.
  • No storage of flammable materials, such as wood (including sheets of wood), empty boxes, excessive amounts of paper or cardboard.
  • Do not overload the electrical outlets. The college recommends only one appliance per outlet. Also, multiple outlet ‘octopus’ plugs are not allowed, as they can be a fire hazard.
  • If an extension cord is needed, use a heavy duty extension cord, preferably one equipped with a circuit breaker. Use them in a manner that will not create a fire hazard (i.e. running them under carpet, overloading outlets).
  • Splicing of electrical wires or removal of any outlet plates or light switches is prohibited.
  • All holiday decorations (Christmas greenery) must be fireproofed. A fireproofing service is provided by the physical plant. Greenery should be taken to the physical plant. The physical plant will then fireproof the greenery and deliver it to the student’s room within 24 hours. All greenery should be tagged, indicating that it has been officially fireproofed.
  • Fire doors are to remain closed at all times. Residents of the corridor/hall are responsible for patrolling.
  • ‘Pennying in’ residents is strictly prohibited, as it prevents residents from evacuating in the event of an emergency. Violations of this policy are subject to disciplinary action.
  • Electrical appliances should not be left unattended. Once an appliance has been used, be sure to unplug it.
  • Refrigerators may not be placed in closets. There must be proper circulation behind the unit to allow the heat that is displaced to be circulated.
  • Items stored too close to heating units are extremely dangerous. Keep a three-foot clearing.Waste should be disposed as soon as possible.

Fireproofing Christmas/Holiday Greenery

All Christmas/Holiday greenery brought into the building must be fire-proofed.  Free fire-proofing is provided by the Physical Plant staff.  The student should take the greenery to the Physical Plant before noon.  The Physical Plant staff will then fire-proof the greenery and will deliver it to the student’s room within 24 hours with a tag that identifies the greenery as having been fireproofed.

First Aid Kits

A first aid kit is kept at the front desk in every hall.  The Area Coordinator is responsible to be sure the kit is kept stocked throughout the academic year.

Students may also contact the St. Olaf Student EMT on call by calling Public Safety at x3666.

Furniture Removal, Common Areas

Moving of common area furniture into individual rooms is not permitted.  Furniture placed in lounges and other public areas is for use by all residents.  Moving into individual rooms denies its use to others.  Hall Council may assess a fine (typically $10) to residents found with common area furniture in their room.  If a fine is accessed, this money goes into the Hall Council Account.


Residents are expected to inform guests of college policies and residence hall regulations. Hosts are responsible for the actions of their guests. Those guests not in compliance with college policy may be asked to leave campus, and their hosts may face disciplinary action.  Guests should not stay longer than three (3) nights – and may be asked to leave if staying longer.  Before a student has a guest stay over night they should communicate with their roommate(s) to get their thoughts about someone staying over and make sure they are aware of a guest staying overnight and for how long.


Area Coordinators are responsible for keeping hallways clear of student belongings.  After written notice to remove the objects, the items may be removed by the Area Coordinator, the Custodial staff, or Physical Plant staff.

Hall Sports

Sports and physical games are not allowed in the residence halls; this includes common areas and individual student rooms. Balls, pucks, bats, and other sporting equipment may do serious damage to walls, ceilings and floors as well as cause a noise disruption to other students. People who need to walk down the hall should not worry about getting hit or hurt while walking in a public space. Any damage that occurs will be charges to the resident(s) responsible.

Halogen Lamps

For safety reasons, halogen lamps are not allowed in residence halls or honor houses.  If you come across someone with a halogen lamp, have the person put it in residence hall storage until they are able to bring it home.

Harassment, General

St. Olaf College is committed to creating and maintaining an environment in which all members of the St. Olaf community – students, faculty, staff, and administration – are treated with respect and dignity, free from verbal or physical harassment by students, College employees, or others.  Faculty, administration, staff, and students are responsible for maintaining an educational and working environment that is harmonious with the college’s mission of teaching, learning, research, and service.  Verbal or physical harassment of any member of the St. Olaf community destroys that harmony, and is therefore a violation of college policy, and cause for disciplinary action, up to and including expulsion or termination.  Harassment on the basis of a person’s protected class, such as race, sex, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, or disability can be unlawful.  If you encounter harassment contact Roger Loftus, Director of Human Resources or the appropriate Associate Dean in the Dean of Students Office.

Harassment, Sexual and Sexual Assault

Sexual harassment takes a variety of forms. It  may include, but is not limited to, the following: unwelcome sexual advances or requests for sexual favors or verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature when submission to such conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of an individual’s employment or education; submission to or rejection of such conduct is used as the basis for employment, educational or academic decisions affecting an individual; or such conduct has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual’s work or academic performance, or of creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive working or educational environment. Repeated or unwanted sexual attention or sexual advances are forms of sexual harassment. Students, faculty, or staff members should not be penalized in the evaluation of their academic or employment performance for refusing to accept unwanted sexual attention or advances as a condition for receiving awards. Sexual harassment occurs when acceptance of such attention is made a condition of reward, or of penalty, for employment or academic performance or educational opportunity. Sexual harassment may occur when there is a power difference between the persons involved.

Examples of verbal or physical conduct that are prohibited include but are not limited to:

  • physical assault, including rape;
  • direct or implied threats or insinuations that submission to sexual advances will be a condition of employment, work status, promotions, grades, or letters of recommendation;
  • direct or subtle pressure for sexual activity;
  • a pattern of conduct intended to humiliate or cause discomfort, or both, including unwelcome comments of a sexual nature; unwelcome sexually explicit statements, questions, jokes, gestures, or anecdotes; unwelcome propositions of a sexual nature; unwelcome touching, patting, hugging, or brushing against a person’s body or clothing;
  • unwelcome remarks of a sexual nature, including remarks about a person’s body or clothing; unwelcome remarks about sexual activity; showing, exposing to, or subjecting others to materials or media of a sexual nature.

If you encounter harassment contact Roger Loftus, Director of Human Resources or the appropriate Associate Dean in the Dean of Students Office.

For a copy of the full and complete statement of the St. Olaf College Sexual Assault and Sexual Harassment policy, see

For more information regarding sexual assault and sexual harassment, see

Key Usage

Master Keys

Maintenance personnel, residence life staff and public safety officers on duty are the only persons authorized to obtain and use master keys. Unauthorized possession or use of a master key subjects students to disciplinary action.

Room Keys

Each resident will be given a room key upon check-in. The key number is to be noted in the appropriate space on the Room Inventory Form that the student completes.  In the event a student loses his/her room key or does not return it at check-out, he/she will pay a charge of $100 (2012-13 price) for a key core replacement. This will provide a new lock core and key(s) to the room. There is no reimbursement on key cores should the old key be found.

Students who need their door opened by a staff member may be charged a fine. Proceeds from the fines go to local charities such as the Food Shelf, Habitat for Humanity or to hall programs. It is very important for students to always carry their key.
Students may not make duplicate copies of their room and/or house key. When duplicates are found, they will be confiscated, the key core will be changed and the student will be charged the key core replacement cost. Disciplinary action may result as well.

Kitchen Usage

Kitchens are available for student use in every hall.  Kitchen users are responsible for cleaning the kitchen after each use.  Hall Council is responsible for the upkeep of kitchen cookware, utensils, and appliances, such as microwaves.  It is the responsibility of the person(s) using the kitchen to clean and return the area to an acceptable condition.

Laundry Facilities

Each residence hall is equipped with laundry facilities.  Calls for repairs of these machines go to Coinmach at 1-877-COINMACH (1-877-264-6622). Have a machine number and location as well as a problem description ready to report.  Students may also report a service request at

Damage to or tampering with any machines may result in disciplinary action to the students involved and rate increases for the campus.

Lofts and Construction

There is no loft construction of any kind in any residence hall. False walls, partitions, or platforms are not allowed in any of the residence halls.  The college has loft kits available for students and in some cases, beds are already lofted with loft kits.

Lost And Found Policy for Residence Halls

All items of great value (i.e. watches, billfolds, purses, rings, money, keys) should be given to the Area Coordinator, who will attempt to locate the owner.  They should be tagged with the date, location found, and any information pertinent in helping locate the owner.  Other items of lesser value are left in the lost and found boxes at the front desk.  These boxes should be kept secure at all times.  All items turned into the desk should be logged on the Lost and Found form.

Lounges, Chapels, and Recreation Rooms

The following guidelines have been established to provide appropriate meeting spaces for the College community while also assuring that hall residents have optimum use of their building’s facilities:

  • The Area Coordinator or Building Assistant schedule events in residence hall lounges and recreation rooms.
  • The residents of a residence hall will have priority when scheduling hall or corridor functions in their own lounge or recreation room up to 24-hours in advance of the activity.
  • Both residence hall lounges and recreation rooms will not be scheduled for the same time in any one residence hall. This is to assure residents of each building the use of one or the other of these facilities at all times.
  • The Area Coordinator is not obligated to grant space if it is felt that the request may infringe upon the space needs of the residents.
  • Groups or using a residence hall facility is expected to cooperate with the Area Coordinator of that particular hall are responsible for the satisfactory clean-up of that facility immediately following the function.  Groups that abuse the privilege of using residence hall facilities may be denied permission to use such facilities in the future.
  • A request for occasional use of these facilities for classes by faculty should be directed to the Director of Residence Life.
  • Political speakers are only allowed to speak in the residence halls when sponsored by a recognized student organization.
  • Groups that abuse the privilege of using residence hall facilities may be denied permission to use such facilities in the future and may be asked to leave if space is not properly reserved.

Maintenance and Housekeeping Services

All public areas and public bathrooms are serviced daily, Monday through Friday. Limited cleaning services are provided on Saturdays and Sundays by a student hall receptionist. Students are encouraged to promptly report maintenance concerns as they occur to custodial staff.

Housekeeping services are not provided for student rooms, suites or private/semiprivate baths.  Limited cleaning supplies are available from the custodians Monday through Friday, 8 a.m.-3 p.m.

Students residing in rooms with private baths are responsible for regular cleaning of their bathrooms. Bowl/tub/sink cleaner and equipment is provided by the college for each bath. Private baths and sinks will be checked for cleanliness during regular safety inspections. Improper care of these facilities may be subject to a cleaning charge.

The life of a carpet is directly related to its care. Residents of Rand, Thorson, Ytterboe and carpeted rooms in Larson are to vacuum routinely. Vacuum cleaners are available in all residence halls and may be checked out from the hall receptionist. Students are responsible for reporting any problems with this equipment to the hall receptionist. Any large spills should be reported so that the carpet damage can be assessed.

Damage and Repair

In order to be responsible stewards of college resources, charges are sometimes assessed to cover actual costs of damage and replacement. Charges are assessed to the room occupant(s) for missing and damaged furnishings, failure to clean rooms properly, and/or removal of any property left in room when vacated. In rare instances, fines are levied for improper or incomplete check-out.

Students are responsible for public areas in all college-owned housing. A charge for damages in a given residence area (including furnishings, vending equipment, etc.) may be distributed among the residents in that area when it cannot be determined which individuals are responsible for the incident.

All student damages will be normally assessed at replacement and labor cost. If appropriate, the student may also be liable for appropriate disciplinary action.

All students are expected to report promptly to their Area Coordinators any damages, malfunction, destruction or loss of college property. Every effort will be made for repairs to be done in a timely manner.

Missing Students Residing in On-Campus Housing

If a member of the College community has reason to believe that a student who resides in on-campus housing is missing, he or she should immediately contact Public Safety at 507-786-3666. Public Safety will respond to the caller and initiate an investigation. After assessing the missing person information,
should Public Safety determine the student appears to be missing, St. Olaf College will notify the Northfield Police Department, provide them with a report and notify the student’s emergency contact person (if one is provided) no later than 24 hours after the student is determined to be missing. If the  missing student is under 18 years of age and is not an emancipated individual, St. Olaf College will notify the student’s parent or legal guardian immediately after Public Safety has determined that the student is missing. In addition to registering an emergency contact, students residing in on-campus housing have the option to identify confidentially an individual to be contacted by St. Olaf College in the event the student is determined to be missing for more than 24 hours. Only college officials and law enforcement will have access to the confidential contact person information. This policy does not preclude St. Olaf College from initiating internal missing person procedures in less than 24 hours if
circumstances warrant faster implementation.f

Music Practice In Student Rooms, Non-Amplified

Students wishing to practice musical instruments are encouraged to use designated music practice rooms in the residence halls, classroom buildings, or in the Lion’s Pause.  Those practicing in their rooms or public areas of residence halls are subject to guidelines specified as Quiet and Courtesy Hours.

Painting Guidelines

Students may not paint their own residence hall room.  Rooms in need of paint are painted during the summer by Physical Plant personnel.  Students will be held financially responsible for costs incurred for unscheduled repainting of rooms.

Personal Property, Care of

St. Olaf College does not insure and is not responsible for loss or damage from any cause to the personal property of employees or students (including items placed in storage rooms). It is strongly suggested that students check the coverage provided through family insurance policies and, if necessary, purchase private personal property insurance from a reliable insurance company.

Property remaining in student rooms upon termination of lease immediately becomes the property of the college.  The safekeeping of student property is the responsibility of each individual student. Rooms should be locked at all times and valuable property secured.

Any crime and/or suspicious occurrence observed in the St. Olaf community should be reported immediately to campus security.  Thefts or vandalism should be reported to the appropriate Area Coordinator and Public Safety.

Pet Policy

Pets, except fish in aquariums, are not allowed in the residence halls.  Aquariums may not be larger than 15-gallons.  The residence hall environment is not designed for the proper care of animals.  The presence of animals (even ones just visiting) affects the health of other residents and could result in property damage and inconvenience to other residents.

Political Campaigning

Political candidates and members from political parties and organizations are allowed to campaign in the residence halls and may knock on individual student rooms as long as they adhere to the following conditions:

  • May only be in the hall between 10:00 a.m. – 9:00 p.m.
  • Must be escorted at all times by a resident of that residence hall
  • Will not knock on room doors that display a “No political solicitation” sign.

People not adhering to the conditions above will be escorted from the building by residence life staff or Public Safety and will be trespassed from campaigning in the residence halls.

Posting Policy

In order to provide an organized and aesthetically pleasing environment for notifying students of campus and community events and services, as well as to work toward keeping public areas of residence halls neat and orderly, the following guidelines have been drafted for the posting and/or distribution of advertising materials in residence halls.  All groups and individuals wishing to publicize events, services, or sales in residence halls must follow these established guidelines. Inquiries into this policy may be directed to the Director of Residence Life.

  1. All signs and posters which you would like posted in residence halls must be left at the front desk for approval.  Staff will post all approved materials in appropriate places within 24 hours.
  2. Groups and individuals may not post anything on public walls, doors, bulletin boards, glass partitions, wood paneling, or other areas of residence halls.  Only designated hall staff may post materials.
    • No posters may be larger than 11″ x 17″ without the express permission of the Area Coordinator.
    • We strongly encourage those wishing to have posters placed in residence halls to save resources by putting multiple announcements on one poster, such as schedules of upcoming events, programs, and performances.  Staff reserves the right to limit the number of posters for a given establishment or organization to be posted in the residence halls.
  3. Those with special requests to do creative advertising or poster campaigns which are not addressed by this policy must see the Area Coordinator for guidance and permission prior to posting materials.  Area Coordinators have the final say in granting special requests for advertising in residence halls.
  4. Staff will put up a limited number of posters for each event in each hall.  The maximum number of posters allowed for each hall is listed below:
    • Ellingson Hall – 5
    • Hilleboe Hall – 5
    • Hoyme Hall –5
    • Kildahl Hall – 4
    • Kittelsby Hall – 6
    • Larson Hall – 13
    • Mellby Hall –5
    • Mohn Hall – 11
    • Rand Hall – 8
    • Thorson – 5
    • Ytterboe Hall – 8
  5. Establishments selling alcohol may provide posters which advertise entertainment events, food specials, cover prices, ID requirements, etc., but may not advertise alcohol or drink prices.
  6. Any posters for Honor Houses must come to the Residence Life Office.  We will distribute no more than 2 posters for each house.

Posters not meeting these guidelines will be removed immediately by residence hall staff.  The residence life staff will be responsible for taking down signs after the date of the event or after 3 weeks.

Public Area Decoration

Because St. Olaf is a safe space for all students; any material that can be deemed offensive, demeaning, or derogatory to others may not be posted in common areas. These areas include: the front of any room doors, on the hallway or spaces around it, as well as restrooms. If such material is posted, The Area Coordinator may ask to have it removed. If it is not removed, other disciplinary actions may result.

Quiet Hours

Quiet hours are set at the following times:

Sunday-Thursday: 11:00 p.m.-9:00 a.m.

Friday-Saturday: 12:00 midnight-9:00 a.m.

The Hall Council of each residence hall has the authority to designate additional quiet hours within this time frame.
Times not designated specifically as quiet hours are considered courtesy hours, and residents are expected to act in a manner that demonstrates respect for the rights of others not to be disturbed by excessive noise.
Quiet hours shall be characterized by the following conditions:

  • Whenever sound is being generated within a room, whether by stereo, television, conversation or other means or devices, the door to that room shall be closed.
  • Any sound being generated from within a room shall be held down to such levels that, with the room door closed, sound may not be heard by fellow residents in their rooms with their room doors closed; nor shall that sound reach such levels as to be a nuisance to occupants of adjoining rooms.
  • Creation of noise disturbances in the corridors, bathrooms, lounges and other public areas (i.e., loud conversations, yelling, slamming doors, rowdy behavior) is unacceptable.

Courtesy Hours

All times not designated as quiet hours shall be considered courtesy hours. Behavioral expectations for courtesy hours are not as meticulously defined as those for quiet hours.

However, during courtesy hours, residents engaging in normal day-to-day behavior are still expected to act in a manner which demonstrates respect for the rights of others to study and sleep in their rooms.

Finals Week Quiet Hours

During final examination week of each semester and/or period of time just prior to the beginning of finals week, quiet hours will be implemented on a 24-hour-per-day basis. An optional 23-hour-per-day basis with a specified relaxed hour set by the hall council and approved by the Area Coordinator may be established instead. Courtesy hours are still in effect during this relaxed hour.

The time of implementation of these hours shall be determined by the hall council for the residence hall, with the understanding that they must be implemented by the first day of final examinations.

Quiet Floors: Times and Expectations

A few floors have been designated as quiet floors to meet the needs of students who choose to live in an environment that assures more quiet than might be found on the average residence hall floor. Students who sign up to live on these particular floors agree to abide by the following terms and conditions.

Minimum quiet hours for a quiet floor will begin at 10 p.m. and end at 9 a.m. each day. Residents may vote for additional quiet hours if they wish. If residents would prefer additional quiet hours, 75 percent of the floor residents must vote in favor of such changes before they can be implemented.

A resident who is warned more than once about his/her behavior must meet with the Area Coordinator to discuss his/her status as a resident of a quiet floor.


Privately owned refrigerators are permitted in residence halls under the following conditions:

  • Maximum size of 4.6 cubic feet, one unit per every three residents in a room.
  • Unit must be kept in an open area, not in confined areas such as closets.
  • If refrigerators do not meet the above conditions students, will need to remove them.

Students may rent refrigerators from a commercial firm which has a contract with the college and delivers to the campus by visiting this website:

Residence Hall Rooms


Students are encouraged to decorate their rooms to provide a comfortable and personal atmosphere.  At the same time consideration for safety and respect for college property must be regarded.  Please follow these guidelines to insure that you do not damage St. Olaf property and so you don’t have any damages charges when you move out in May.

In most rooms, a picture molding is provided to facilitate the hanging of pictures, bulletin boards, and posters.  Hooks and sticky tack are available in the St. Olaf Bookstore for use on this molding and walls.  Nails, adhesive stickers, decals, and other devices or materials which cause damage may not be used on room interior, woodwork, or doors.  The two-sided adhesive pads are particularly damaging to woodwork and paint.  All room furnishings and accessories such as built in closets and storage units, beds, desks, light fixtures are to be incorporated into any decorating design.

No storage of flammable materials, such as wood (including sheets of wood), empty boxes, excessive amounts of paper or cardboard.

No St. Olaf furniture may be removed from a student room – you must incorporate the furniture in your room into your decorating design (this includes curtains).

Room Interior

In most rooms, a picture molding is provided to facilitate the hanging of pictures, bulletin boards and posters. Hooks are available in the St. Olaf Bookstore for use on this molding.

Nails, adhesive stickers, decals, and other devices or materials which cause damage may not be used on room interiors, woodwork or doors. The two-sided adhesive pads are particularly damaging to woodwork and paint. Charges will be assessed for damages.

Painting of Student Rooms

Students may not paint their own residence hall/house room. If a student feels his/her room is in need of paint, he/she should contact the Area Coordinator to request a room inspection by physical plant staff. The physical plant staff will determine the need and, if necessary, establish a timeline for painting.  Students will be held financially responsible for costs incurred for unscheduled repainting of rooms.

Fixed Furnishings

All fixed room furnishings and accessories, such as built-in closets and storage units, lights and other permanent structures, may not be removed or altered by residents.  If such alterations occur, the physical plant will be asked to return it to its original condition and residents will be charged.

Lofts and Construction

Lofts in student rooms have helped greatly to accommodate the growing need for individual and creative living space. To that end, the college offers bunks and lofted beds in all residence halls.

No loft construction of any kind is permitted in all residence halls. In addition, construction that alters or damages any existing room appointments, such as closets, desks and walls, is not allowed in any residence hall.

Other types of unacceptable construction (this is not an all inclusive list) included in this policy are false walls, partitions, platforms, bars, and storing sheets of plywood or wood. These structures may prevent safe egress from the room and are a hazard in the event of fire or other emergency.


Only authorized, and trained, maintenance personnel should go on a roof.  Students are not permitted to climb on the walls, roof or deck of any buildings (including the honor houses). If it becomes necessary to retrieve footballs, baseballs, Frisbees, etc. from a roof; report it to the custodial staff.  Students caught on a roof are subject to a fine and disciplinary action.

Room Entry and Search

The college has instituted the following regulations to govern entry and search of college-owned student rooms.


Entry may take place by a college staff member without prior notification for repair, maintenance or its assessment, or when there is imminent danger to the health and welfare of the students.

Persons explicitly authorized by the Dean of Students may enter a room when there is reasonable suspicion to think a college policy is being violated. Such persons shall knock and, if requested, identify themselves before entering.

The Dean of Students has given authority to the area coordinators, public safety and associate deans to inspect refrigerators when policy violation is suspected. Residents will be asked to voluntarily open suspect refrigerators first, but if such requests are not followed, the units may be searched by designated staff.

Persons authorized by the dean of students may also enter a room to check lofts, refrigerators, and/or recovery of stolen college property. If an occupant is not present during a room check, authorized persons will be accompanied by another individual.

Whenever entry is obtained by use of a pass key except for repair, maintenance or its assessment, or for health and welfare reasons, a written report shall be submitted to the dean of students (or person designated by the dean) indicating such entry, the reasons for it, and its results.


Except in extreme emergency situations, the premises occupied by students shall not be searched unless written or verbal authorization for each search has been obtained from the dean of students (or persons designated by the dean) to provide such authorization.  If students are in the room prior to a search they will be asked to leave.  They may not taking anything with them other than a coat, wallet, and cell phone.  Any items they take with will be searched prior to their leaving and a student will be asked to turn out all pockets.

Reasons for the search, and the objects or information sought, shall be clearly stated, and at least two individuals shall be present during the search. Any items found in violation of this section will be removed. After a search, a written report indicating rooms searched, results of the search and a list of items removed (if any) will be submitted to the dean of students.

Evidence obtained under conditions which violate these regulations shall be inadmissible in student judicial hearings.

Break Safety Inspections

At the beginning of each break, the residence hall staff enters each room to check for potential safety and energy concerns. With decreased occupancy during breaks, there is greater potential for fires to remain undetected until severe damage has occurred.

Inspections include checking for potential fire hazards and electrical problems and observing energy conservation concerns (such as broken or open windows, heat regulation, insulation around windows). Students are expected to meet with area coordinators promptly concerning problems found during break inspections.

At Christmas and spring breaks, refrigerators must be emptied, cleaned, defrosted, unplugged and propped open prior to leaving.

Signs, Possession of

Regulation traffic signs, street signs or road markers are not permitted in any residence hall room and possession of the aforementioned signs are a violation of Minnesota law. If found, signs will be removed by the residence hall staff or Public Safety and returned to proper owners. Any sign that is in conflict with the above guidelines will be referred to the Area Coordinator.

Smoking Policy

Smoking is not permitted in the residence halls.  Students who wish to smoke must do so outside at least 10 feet away from the building.  Students found responsible for violating this policy are held financially responsible for replacing the room mattresses, carpet cleaning, curtain cleaning (if applicable) and painting of room  – as well as any other damage done.

Solicitation, Commercial

Commercial solicitation is not allowed in the residence halls.


A limited amount of storage space is available on-campus for students willing to accept the responsibilities and risks involved with storage room use. St. Olaf does not accept responsibility for damages to or loss of items in storage (see Personal Property section). The college is not able to guarantee storage space. We encourage students to be selective about what they bring.

Items that may not be placed in storage rooms include bricks, furniture, paper bags, shelving, unsecured boxes, boxes less than half-full, aerosol cans or other combustible materials and other bulky items. Carpets, furniture and bicycles may only be stored in designated locations.

Telephone Usage

All residence hall rooms are equipped with a telephone.  Upon check-in, arrangements for long distance service can be made through The Telephone Office. Each student will be issued an authorization code granting access to long distance lines. Students accepting this authorization code will be held responsible for charges incurred by its use. There will be a $100 fine for the unauthorized use of another person’s authorization code. Please check your telephone brochure for more complete telephone information. If repairs to telephone equipment are needed, contact The Telephone Office at x3041.

For more information regarding telephone usage, please see

Television Sets and Stereos

St. Olaf provides satellite TV to each residence hall, and each has a television set in one of its lounges. Some students prefer to bring a personal set as well as a stereo for their room. If a student chooses to bring either a TV or stereo, they should bring ones that have a self-contained antenna, since the college does not provide cable TV service, a satellite connection or a central antenna connection to each residence hall room. Antennas, satellite dishes or wiring may not leave the confines of the student room.


All incidents involving theft and vandalism should be reported immediately to Public Safety and the Area Coordinator.  Insurance companies require these events reported in order to receive coverage where applicable.  We are responsible for informing Public Safety of thefts in the halls.

Video License

At the beginning of the year, the Student Activities Committee, Lion’s Pause, and each residence hall council work cooperatively to buy a blanket video license.  Because it is illegal to exhibit “home use only” rental or purchased tapes beyond the scope of family and close friends, the license allows student groups to show a limited number of rented videos in the public spaces on campus.  Rules of the license include that all videos shown in public spaces must be chosen off the approved list distributed by the Director of Student Activities.

The following are other legalities that you should be aware of regarding movies/videos on campus:

  • Personal copies of videos/DVDs, no matter where they were obtained (recored from TV, purchased at Target, etc.), may only be shown in individual rooms of the residence halls.  Do not show these in residence hall lounges.
  • The videos/movies housed in Media Services are for educational purposes only.  The Copyright Remedy Clarification Act of 1990 states that educational purposes means the instructor is present at the showing and the showing occurs in a classroom at a regularly scheduled class time.
  • You are not allowed to charge for videos shown that are rented under the license agreement.  Only St. Olaf students may receive publicity about videos rented under the license.

If you would like to program movies/videos that do not appear on the license, please contact the Student Activities Office for cost and ordering information.

For safety reasons and possible damage resulting from removal and storage, screens on residence hall windows must not be removed. Infractions of this policy may result in a fine.

Open Windows

Throwing, dropping, hanging, or passing objects in or out of an open window is strictly prohibited.

Violations of this policy may result in charges or other disciplinary action.


The draperies presently hanging must remain on windows. If students choose to provide their own, they must be hung over the present draperies.


Out of consideration for free expression and the rights of viewers, the following guidelines are to be followed when displaying signs in residence hall windows: political signs and signs commemorating special events are permitted. Window signs will not be permitted when the content is offensive, the main intent is the advertising of alcoholic products, or when they are unusually distracting (lighted signs, etc.).

Regulation traffic signs, street signs or road markers are not permitted in any residence hall room, and possession of the aforementioned signs are a violation of Minnesota law. If found, the signs will be removed by the residence hall staff or public safety and returned to proper owners. Any sign that is in conflict with the above guidelines will be referred to the Area Coordinator.

Honor house residents are expected to follow the same sign guidelines as outlined for residence hall students. In addition, the posting of signs, lights and/or other objects on the outside of the houses is not permitted. Posting such items on the house may damage the appearance and require repairs.

Window Seats in Ellingson and Hoyme

To permit proper heating of rooms and avoid breakage of window glass, it is necessary to allow air circulation from the heating unit along the inside of the window surface. Any platform or furniture that blocks this airflow will result in the trapping of heat against the glass, possibly causing it to break. A space of at least eight inches must be allowed between the window and any object placed in the window bay. Residents will be required to pay replacement fees for broken glass resulting from the trapping of heat against the window.