Policies (A-Z)

The Office of Housing and Residence Life helps students become productive and contributing citizens by fostering respect for self, others, and community.

We are here to support student personal and professional growth and make every effort to help residents feels at home; however, we do expect students to abide by the policies and procedures outlined (in alphabetical order) below.

A - B - C - D - E - F - G - H - K - L - M - N - O - P - R - S - V - W



Traditional, Suite, Apartment-style Living Centers

These buildings are designated as "alcohol free environments." This means, regardless of age, alcohol is not permitted in these buildings. Residents and guests may not store or possess alcohol, empty containers, or alcohol paraphernalia (such as shot glasses, beer steins, etc). This includes containers used as decoration.

Calder Apartments, Grand Valley Apartments, Laker Village Apartments, Murray Living Center, Niemeyer Living Center, Ravine Apartments, Secchia Hall, South Apartments C, D, E, VanSteeland Living Center, and Winter Hall

Residents and guests who are 21 years of age or older may consume and store alcohol in the privacy of their room/apartment. Underage residents and guests may not store or possess alcohol, empty containers, or alcohol paraphernalia (such as shot glasses, beer steins, etc). This includes containers used as decoration.

Underage residents or guests are not to be present when alcohol is being consumed.

Kegs, bongs, open parties, and mass quantities are prohibited. Open containers of alcohol are not permitted in any public areas in or outside the on-campus housing system. Underage residents will forfeit any cans or bottles confiscated from their possession.

Please refer to the Student Code of Conduct. 

Assistance Animals

Grand Valley State University (GVSU) is committed to providing reasonable accommodations to persons with disabilities and fulfilling obligations under State and Federal laws.  Click here to view the full policy that governs the use of Assistance animals in campus housing by persons with disabilities

Students are required to register each year they are residing in on campus housing with an Assistance Animal.  Please note that it may not be possible to accommodate requests made after the school year begins.

Please see additional information in the Student Code of Conduct. 


Bicycles/Bike Racks

Bicycles are a great way to get around campus. If a resident has a bike, they must park it in bike racks around the residence halls. Bicycles are prohibited from entering all housing buildings. Bicycles are not to be walked through the hallways, stored in public areas, or brought into rooms/apartments/units. 

All bicycles should be legally parked, secured with a bike lock, and registered with the Department of Public Safety. To register a bike, go to www.gvsu.edu/publicsafety and click on “bike registration.” The permit will be mailed to the resident’s on-campus mailing address. 

Remember, there is an air compressor on the east side of The Connection (near the patio) for students to fill bike tires.



Chalking at the university is permitted in certain designated sidewalk locations and only for the purpose of announcing campus activities, events, or meetings of registered student organizations or university sponsorships. Click here for more information on chalking


Charges are used by the Office of Housing and Residence Life to reduce damage, protect residents, and to stabilize housing costs. These charges are billed directly to the students account by the Office of Housing and Residence Life. Bills/charges may be paid online or at the service windows at the Student Services Building in Allendale or the DeVos Center Building C downtown. 

Professional staff members will assess individual room/apartment damages after departure/check-out. It is the responsibility of the occupant(s) to pay for the replacement or repair of damaged property within a resident’s room or in areas adjacent to it (i.e., windows, doors, and suite study areas). If a resident has any questions about this policy, they should see their Apartment Director, Living Center Director, Assistant AD, or Assistant LCD.

If responsible parties cannot be identified fees may also be assessed within the community for actions including, but not limited to, leaving bags of trash in the hallway or propping open exterior building doors. Public area damage remaining after final check out will be divided and charged to each resident’s billing account. 

Cold Weather

In order to avoid frozen pipes when temperatures are below freezing residents must keep unit windows closed and thermostats (where applicable) set at a minimum of 55°. Residents are liable for any damages caused by open windows resulting in frozen pipes. 


The University reserves the right to assign or reassign space in the best interest of the University. In instances in which a unit is at 50% or less capacity, the Office of Housing and Residence Life may assign a resident to the open space or ask the remaining resident(s) to consolidate to rooms/apartments with other residents within the community who are in under-occupied spaces. Residents may also be given the option of paying for the empty space (at a reduced occupancy rate) in place of gaining a roommate, if space becomes available. Unless a resident is paying for an empty space, it should not be utilized by remaining resident(s) for storage, guests, etc. Current occupants will take another roommate(s) or move to another available space should they choose not to buy out the unit.

Contract Release

The contract for Housing is a legal document that encompasses the entire academic year. Students are contracted from the day they sign the contract until the end of the winter semester in April. A student interested in canceling their contract must contact their Living Center Director to obtain more information and a Contract Release Request Form. Certain fees apply when canceling the contract. There are specific dates by which a student can cancel and corresponding fees depending on the date the student cancels the contract. Click here for more details on contract releases


Cooking other than in a microwave within traditional- and suite-style student rooms is a fire hazard and prohibited. Cooking is permitted in the community kitchens provided in traditional- and suite-style living centers, as well as in the kitchenettes provided in apartment-style living centers and on-campus apartments. 

Microwaves are provided in the common areas of most traditional- and suite-style living centers. Food must be attended at all times. Guides for cooking microwave popcorn are available near each microwave unit. Microwaves are permitted in individual rooms. There is a limit of one microwave per room or apartment, and it may not exceed 1,000 watts.

The limit for refrigerators per unit is one. In traditional and suite-style units, this means that only one refrigerator can be kept in the unit, regardless of number of roommates. The refrigerators brought to campus must be 4.4 cubic feet or less. Some units on campus come with refrigerators (apartment-style and on-campus apartments), and no additional refrigerators may be added to the room or apartment in these cases.

Check out the Public Service Announcement (PSA) entitled Fireman Frank that our own Grand Valley students created for YouTube. It is an educational lesson on cooking, and how leaving food on an unattended stove can lead to a fire. Visit www.gvsu.edu/firemanfrank for a collection of Fireman Frank PSAs.



Residents are encouraged to personalize their living spaces. However, there are guidelines that must be followed when decorating university spaces. Residents may not paint their unit or make other alterations that impact the current condition of the walls, ceiling, window coverings, or flooring. If they wish to post items, they may only use blue painter’s tape. All other forms of adhesive are not allowed. Altering, decorating, or tampering with fire safety equipment is strictly prohibited. 

In order to preserve the appearance of all doors, posting or applying any items on the doors (either interior or exterior) should not cover more than 75% of the door and should be applied with blue painter’s tape. For safety and security, postings or applied items should not cover peepholes or emergency procedure signs. 


Each resident has a $150 deposit on file with the Office of Housing and Residence Life. This deposit will remain on file with the office until the resident moves off-campus and/or departs from the university. All fees assessed throughout the year will be added to their student account. It is the resident’s responsibility to dispute any of these charges in writing to the Office of Housing and Residence Life at housing@gvsu.edu within 30 days of receipt.

Disruptive Behavior & Destruction of Property

Please see information in the Student Code of Conduct. 


Operation of an Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) is prohibited over University Property by students, employees, vendors, contractors and other members of the public. 

Any University employee or student wishing to operate an unmanned aircraft system (UAS) as part of their university employment or as part of a University program must first obtain a 333 exemption or certificate of waiver of Authorization (COA) issued by the FAA as well as authorization  in writing from an Executive Officer of the University. Drones are strictly prohibited in the Residential Areas and must be thirty (30) feet or more away from any office building. 



Please see information in the Student Code of Conduct. 


Emergency Information

Residents are expected to follow the prescribed emergency procedures or the directions of a Grand Valley staff member in case of accidents, threats, fire/explosions, tornado warning, unauthorized group action, or utilities failure. 

Please go to www.gvsu.edu/emergencycontact to sign up for Grand Valley’s urgent notification system. Examples of possible messages include inclement weather closing information or possible crises. For more information on the university’s Emergency Preparedness plan visit www.gvsu.edu/emergency/.

Entering Rooms

The university reserves the right to make periodic inspections of student rooms/apartments. Housing and Residence Life staff members may enter rooms/apartments whether or not student occupants are present. Housing and Residence Life staff members will do health and safety inspections on a regular basis and during break closings. Facilities Services personnel may also enter rooms to make needed repairs. The university also reserves the right to inspect a particular room/apartment when staff members have a reasonable cause to believe that established health, safety, or university rules and regulations are being violated.

Extended and Break Stay Requests

Students wishing to remain in their units during break periods (Thanksgiving, winter break, spring break) may do so. Residents who wish to stay over a break period must sign up through MyHousing.

Students who are graduating and/or remaining on campus for the spring/summer sessions will be permitted to remain on campus after the winter semester closing. Students must contact their Living Center/Apartment Director prior to the date provided in the closing information. Other students should make arrangements to vacate their unit by the Friday of finals week.


Fire Alarms

Please see information in the Student Code of Conduct. Click here for designated assembly areas

Firearms, Weapons, and Explosives

Please refer to the Student Code. Only small pocketknives (with blades less than two inches) and kitchen knives are permitted in the residential communities.


All university-provided furniture and equipment must remain in the room or apartment as inventoried upon check-in. The removal of public area furniture is strictly prohibited. Residents are permitted to bring personal furniture and accessories to their unit and to move/set up university-provided or personal furniture within their unit (rearranging furniture is the responsibility of residents and assistance from housing staff members cannot be guaranteed). All roommates must be in agreement about the furniture arrangement. The following guidelines also apply to furniture within on-campus housing:

• Any non-university mattresses are strictly prohibited due to fire safety standards.

• Furniture should not block vents, thermostats, or means of egress.

• Upon move-out, all university-provided furniture must be present and set up to match the university layout standards (building specific instructions will be provided prior).

• All furniture/accessories belonging to residents must be removed from campus prior to move-out or else the furniture left will be subject to removal at the owner’s expense and forfeited. 

• Residents will be charged for any damages to furniture not noted on the Housing Condition Summary.

• All window treatments (blinds) must remain in unit. Residents are not permitted to install or hang other window treatments. 

• Furniture can be lofted using university instructions and provided bed pins only. 



Please see information in the Student Code of Conduct. 


Residents residing in apartment housing areas are permitted to use gas grills. Permission must be given by an Apartment Director/Living Center Director/Assistant AD/Assistant LCD for the use of any grill within communities that have them. Grills should only be used in open areas with no overhead obstructions (i.e. awnings or balconies). The grills must be attended at all times. Grills and propane tanks must be stored outside at all times. No charcoal grills are permitted.

Gender Inclusive Housing

Gender Inclusive Housing is open to all students whose needs are not met by our traditional housing options and supports the University's non-discrimination policy that includes sexual orientation and gender identity/expression. Gender Inclusive Housing is defined as a housing option in which two or more students may share a multiple-occupancy apartment regardless of the students' sex or gender. If you have any questions about this process or would like to discuss your interest or preferences, please contact Marla Wick in the Milton E. Ford LGBT Resource Center (616.331.2530) or Dena Willis in Housing and Residence Life (616.331.2120).

Guest Policy

Students may have guests visit their room, provided they have made prior arrangements with their roommate(s) and have received their permission. Visitation does not mean cohabitation and a guest’s stay should never exceed two nights in a given week. The university reserves the right to limit the frequency of guest visits. 

Guests must observe all university regulations and must be accompanied by their host at all times. The student with whom the guest is staying is responsible for any infractions or damage caused by their guest. Guests who obstruct or disrupt the orderly function of the residence facilities may also be asked to leave by Housing and Residence Life staff members or the Campus Police. Failure to comply with established building rules and regulations will result in forfeiture of building visitation privileges.


Harassment and Intimidation

Please visit University Policies

Health Insurance

The Campus Health Center, operated by Metro Health, accepts all major health insurance plans and will bill students directly. Rates are discounted for patients without health insurance coverage. 


Though Grand Valley staff members keep all public areas of the residential communities clean, residents are expected to pick up after themselves. Residents are responsible for the cleaning and care of their own units.   


Due to the potential risk of becoming a fire hazard, hover boards cannot be used or stored in on campus housing at any time.  Any student caught with using or storing a hoverboard in University Housing will be asked to remove the item immediately from the building.  Failure to do so may result in a Conduct Referral.   


Keys and Access Cards

Residents are responsible for carrying their keys and access cards and keeping their room/apartment door locked at all times. Unit keys/cards should not be transferred to other individuals. If a key is lost, the resident should report it immediately to their assigned community desk. There is a fee to be let into their room, have a loaner key/card, and get a replacement key/card. Spare key/cards must be returned within seven days to avoid being charged. Keys are required to be turned in when the residents moves out.

For safety and security, each resident must use their own card for access into residential buildings. “Tailgating” or “hitchhiking” is not permitted. Courtesy phones are located on the outside of each building for guests to call to the room they are visiting and wait for their residential host to allow them in. All residents are responsible for the actions of their guests.

Please also refer to the Student Code


Laundry Cards

Information about laundry cards available on the Amenities webpage.


Meal Plans

Available at www.gvsu.edu/campusdine/.

Medical Marijuana

Please see information in the Student Code of Conduct. 

Message Boards

Message boards/decorations are permitted to hang on the outside of residential units, using appropriate methods to affix them and not interfering with safety policies. Blue painter’s tape is the only approved option for affixing message boards/decorations. Message boards/decorations shouldn’t block the keyhole or hinder the door from closing properly.

Students should use message boards to share inclusive messages to individual students and the Grand Valley community. Words of bias, hate, and intolerance are not welcomed. Should a student view inappropriate messages, they are encouraged to contact a staff member of the Office of Housing and Residence Life. Information/protocol about acts of intolerance and how to report them can also be obtained by visiting www.gvsu.edu/affirmative/. Continued disrespectful use of message boards may lead to loss of message board privileges. 

Missing Persons

If the Office of Housing and Residence Life is notified that a student has been missing for 24 hours or more, staff members will complete a “Wellness Check” in an attempt to find the student. If staff members are unable to make contact with the student, they will immediately contact the Department of Public Safety.

Movie Viewing

Due to copyright laws, the viewing of prerecorded movies (VHS, DVD, Blu-Ray, Netflix, etc.) in public areas is prohibited. This includes community centers, great rooms, and lounge areas. The rental or purchase of movies does not carry with them licenses for non-home showings. A student’s individual residential unit is considered to be their home and thus they can view movies within the confines of their residential unit.


Noise/Quiet Hours

A goal of the Office of Housing and Residence Life is to create residential communities that support an academic environment. Therefore, noise in any room should never impact other community members. Stereo equipment, including subwoofers, should not disturb others. When a resident’s activity disturbs neighbors, a prompt and positive response to another resident’s request to stop disruptive behavior is required. If a staff member receives information regarding excessive noise level in any room, the staff member will ask the student to cease participation in the event. Failure to comply with the request to reduce noise will result in disciplinary action.

Residents are required to restrict the noise level to allow for studying and sleeping during the following hours:

  • Sunday–Thursday from 10 p.m.–10 a.m.
  • Friday–Saturday from 12 a.m.–10 a.m.

Quiet hours also apply to noise made outside the building or in nearby parking lots. During finals weeks, quiet hours are in effect 24 hours a day.


Open flames (including candles and incense) are prohibited within all on-campus housing units. Please note that the housing staff has zero tolerance for flammable items and will remove items on sight if they pose a safety risk. 

Check out the Fireman Frank PSA that our own Grand Valley students created at www.gvsu.edu/firemanfrank/



Parking permits for Grand Valley students are available through the Grand Valley Police Department, to purchase a permit or learn more about them, please visit GVPD.

Personal Property and Liability

All personal property brought to Grand Valley is at the resident’s risk. Residents are advised to secure their own property protection through renters or homeowners insurance. 

Grand Valley is not liable for any unforeseen occurrences or acts of negligence by residents, guests, or other persons. This includes damage or loss of property, injury to others, or inconvenience to residents, guests, or other persons.

Pets/Wild Animals

Pets are not allowed in any of Grand Valley’s housing areas. The only exception to this would be non-predatory aquarium fish in a 10-gallon tank or smaller in a resident’s room. If found to have a pet, the resident will be charged a cleaning fee, and will be required to remove the pet from the unit at their expense immediately. For the safety of residents, please do not feed wild animals (cats, raccoons, etc.) that may linger around the living areas, doing so only results in them staying around. For information on assistance or therapy animals, please see "Assistance Animals" in section "A". 


Each residence hall has bulletin boards containing important information. Posting on community bulletin boards or in any public area is prohibited by anyone other than Housing and Residence Life staff members. Unauthorized postings will be removed. Be respectful of official postings as their information is beneficial to all residents.

Prohibited Items

For fire safety reasons and to prevent electrical overloading, the following items are prohibited in all on-campus housing units:

• Air conditioners (window/portable)

• Sandwich makers/grills, hot plates, rice cookers, Crock-Pots, waffle makers, toaster ovens, and toasters (toasters, Crock-Pots and rice cookers are only permitted in apartments and apartment-style living centers)

• Refrigerators that are 4.4 cubic feet or more (only residents of traditional and suite-style living centers are permitted to bring a refrigerator to campus)

• Halogen bulbs or lamps, multi-light lamps with plastic shades

• Candles/incense, with or without wicks, and candle warmers

• Strobe lights, lava lamps, and black lights

• Major appliances (freezers, dishwashers, washers, dryers, etc.)

• Microwaves that are greater than 1,000 watts (limit of one microwave per unit)

• Extension cords, outlet adapters, or multiple plugs — except for power strips with built-in circuit breakers (limit of one power strip per resident)

• Electrical appliances without a “UL Certified” label

Propped Doors

To further promote building safety, the propping open of any locked entrance or exit door is prohibited at all times. A public area fee may be charged each time a staff member has to shut a propped door. Residents are encouraged, for their own safety and security, to lock their room doors. Residents should not provide building access to nonresidents, unless they are their personal guest.

Public Areas

Public areas in the housing units constitute any area, aside from the individual room/apartment, to which all residents have access. These areas are for resident/guest use only and are not for recreational use (i.e. sports). Furniture in public areas is intended for community use and is not to be moved into student rooms or apartments. Removing public area furniture will result in a fee. 

In addition, sleeping overnight is not permitted in the following areas:

• Hallways

• Elevators

• Lobbies and great rooms

• Study lounges

• Computer rooms 

• Laundry rooms

• Kitchens

• TV rooms

• Classrooms

• Community centers

Items left in the hallway, public area, great rooms, etc. are the responsibility of the student. Items in these areas belonging to students should never impede safe evacuation by residents or disrupt cleaning by university personnel. Any fires in fireplaces must be attended to at all times. 


Recreation in Hallways and Public Areas

For the safety of all residents, playing sports within any living area is prohibited. Such activities must be confined to the outdoor areas, away from all buildings. Within a unit, any damage caused by flying objects or equipment will be billed to the resident(s) involved.

In addition, students are not permitted to climb on campus housing facilities. Approved programs sponsored via the Office of Housing and Residence Life that are “sport centered” are permitted in the great rooms and community centers only.

Residency Requirements

As stated in the housing contract, students may be removed from on-campus housing for enrollment that is less than full-time. Requests to remain on campus with less than a full course load must be sent in writing to the Office of Housing and Residence Life in 103 Student Services or by email at gv_housing@gvsu.edu. Enrollment status for residential students is monitored by the university. Students in violation of this policy may be removed from their on-campus housing.

Rollerblades, Scooters, Skateboards, and Hoverboards

For the safety of all residents, the use of rollerblades, skateboards, hoverboards, or scooters are prohibited inside of all buildings on campus. Students wishing to rollerblade must put on and remove their skates outside of the buildings. Such equipment harms floor surfacing and damages will be charged to the residents.

Rooftops and Balconies

Access to rooftops or balconies is prohibited. Residents should not access these areas or throw items on rooftops or balconies. Students found on a balcony or rooftop of any housing unit will be referred for disciplinary action. Grand Valley Apartment balconies (including solariums) cannot contain grills or indoor furniture. Please see additional information in the Student Code of Conduct. 

Room and Apartment Changes

Room Change requests are reviewed on a case by case basis, processed on an individual basis pending space availability and are not guaranteed. Students interested a room change may submit a request at their assigned Community Desk. It is the student’s responsibility to be aware of any billing implications related to a room change. There is a $25 administrative fee associated with repeated room changes. Unauthorized room changes will result in disciplinary action and a $75 improper room change fee will be charged to students who do not follow the proper procedures. Students moving without authorization must also move back to their original room assignment.

Room Modifications

Residents are welcome to make their rooms comfortable. However, due to facility restrictions and health and safety issues, there are guidelines. Drilling, sawing, or attaching items to walls, floors, or ceilings with screws, nails, glue, or other devices is not allowed. Students may not permanently alter walls, ceilings, or floors. Window furnishings may not be replaced or added in any way. 



The Housing and Residence Life staff considers the safety and security of residents a top priority. To encourage a safe environment, we utilize a number of security measures. Maintaining a safe environment is everyone’s responsibility. 

Actions that jeopardize the safety of other residents include, but are not limited to, the following:

• Consumption of alcohol or illicit drugs

• Possession of a weapon 

• Discharging fire extinguishers when there is no fire

• Propping doors open that should be closed or locked

• Removing screens from windows

• Any form of vandalism

Any of the above actions will result in disciplinary action. 


Residents should not enter or vacate a room through the window. Screens in all rooms and apartments must remain on the window at all times, except in cases of emergency. Removal of screens will result in a $25 charge.


Please see information in the Student Code of Conduct. 


Some Grand Valley Apartment units include solariums. Solariums are enclosed porches and should not be used as bedrooms; therefore sleeping in this area is not permitted. Doing so is a threat to a resident’s health and safety.


Please see information in the Student Code of Conduct. 

String Lights (Holiday Lights)

String lights are allowed on campus with the following limitations: decorations and string lights must not obstruct hallways, fire exits, exit signs or access to fire safety equipment. Residents must ensure that light bulbs and light strings do not come into contact with any combustible material. All lights must be UL approved.  No more than two strands can be plugged into an outlet or surge protector.  Strand lights cannot exceed more than 25 feet in length.  For student safety cords cannot be run under doorways, carpets, rugs, or out of windows. Lights must be turned off when the area is unattended.

Laker Village exterior doors may be decorated with string lights while observing all lighting policies, all other buildings prohibited. 

Student Identification Card (Student ID)

A student’s identification card is a means for using their student meal plan, riding the RAPID, admission into the Fieldhouse, admission for Grand Valley athletics events, picking up packages at the front desk, and more. Please see additional information in the Student Code of Conduct. 


Only the assigned resident in their capacity as a registered student may use the accommodations granted by the Housing contract. Space cannot be transferred or sublet to another individual(s). For example, if a resident moves off campus, he or she cannot find somebody to replace his/her place to be released from the contract. See “Contract Release” policy.


Voluntary Compliance

Students are expected to follow reasonable requests by Housing and Residence Life staff members, or other university officials acting in their official capacity. Please see additional information in the Student Code of Conduct. 


Page last modified April 2, 2018