Residence Hall Room & Damage Policies

All students in the residence halls are held responsible to all policies outlined in the UHDS Residence Hall Handbook and the Western Illinois University Student Code of Conduct. Residence hall staff will enforce these policies and document any violations of policy.

Student Room Guidelines

Room Damages: You and your roommate jointly share the responsibility for your room. You are responsible for the condition of furniture, walls, woodwork, and floors. Damage that occurs beyond the limits of normal wear and tear is your responsibility and will be charged accordingly to you and/or your roommate. UHDS will determine normal wear and tear. You and/or your roommate may be held accountable for misconduct that occurs within your room. You are also responsible for the behavior of your guests, who must also follow all Western Illinois University policies.

Painting and Decorating Your Room: We encourage you to use your creativity to make your room more like home. However, we do not allow students to paint their rooms or hang any type of wallpaper.  The hanging of items from the sprinkler pipes is not allowed. While you may decorate the inside of your room to suit your tastes, the outside of your door and window are considered available to public view. The University will not allow the posting of items which are deemed to be racist, sexist, indecent, scandalous, illegal, inciting, or in any way oppressive in nature. These items may be removed, and disciplinary action may be taken.

Proper Use of Room Furniture: Mattresses must remain on bed frames and may not be taken outdoors or placed in common areas on the floor. Mattresses will not be stored in luggage storage rooms. Mattresses must stay in the residence hall room. All furniture other than metal bed frames must remain in the student’s room at all times. This includes any: closets, desks, dressers, shelves, bunk beds, over sized chairs, desk chairs and mattresses. Students will be held responsible for the condition of all furniture for their room. The unauthorized removal of furniture will result in the pieces being replaced by Physical Plant personnel and an appropriate charge being assessed. Cinderblocks may not be used in residence hall rooms, including being used to raise beds, or build furniture.

After receiving approval from hall staff, students in Thompson, Higgins and Tanner may construct their own beds if such beds are free-standing—they must not be wedged against or resting upon the desk, bolster, dresser, wall, ceiling, or any other part of the room. It should be noted that the University is not in any way responsible for such beds or any damages or injuries caused by their use. Buildings with stackable furniture (Bayliss, Henninger and Grote) may not use lofts.

Holiday Decoration Safety Regulations

  • Only artificial trees shall be permitted in student rooms, lounges, apartments, and food service areas.
  • No lights are to be used on aluminum trees. Spotlights may be used.
  • Only UL-approved or UL-listed electrical light sets may be used for decoration. The power line must not pass through the doorway or window frame to an outlet. 
  • Hanging lights or any other objects are not allowed on sprinkler piping or heads.
  • Trees or decorations are not to be placed in any corridor or area which might obstruct an exit. 
  • All decorations used on the inside of any University building must be flameproof or made of a material that is flame retardant.
  • No open flames are permitted.
  • At no time should hallway or exit lights be painted or covered.


Common Area Damages

Whenever possible, damages caused by vandalism are assessed to the individual(s) responsible. If the damages cannot be assigned to the responsible party, they are assessed to the smallest logical group, normally the floor or wing. Each floor or wing is viewed as a community, and the assessment for damages due to vandalism is similar to the taxes paid by citizens to cover damages to public property (e.g., schools, streets, and signs).

The only alternative to this assessment policy is to increase room and board for all students to cover damages. Although this latter process would be less objectionable, the cost of damage would be hidden to the public. It is our feeling that students should be aware of the cost of damages done in residence halls in the hope that this will help them better understand the high cost of vandalism. Damages due to vandalism are costly and unnecessary. Reducing this sort of damage begins with students accepting responsibility for their actions and the actions of their guests.

In addition, a fee of $75 will be assessed for the cleaning by the janitorial staff of any unsafe or unsanitary mess such as blood, vomit, or other potentially hazardous unsafe substance.

Appeals to damage assessments should be initiated in writing to your CD.