Residence Life

Policies & Procedures

The Living Factor is the ultimate guide to living on campus. This useful document will provide answers to all of your questions about living on campus, including services provided by the Office of Residence Life, campus policies and procedures, and information regarding emergency services and security. Every resident is responsible for becoming familiar with the information shared in the Living Factor.

Per the Office of Residence Life Living Agreement, the housing agreement is a one-year contractual agreement, and failure to remain in housing for the full academic year without prior written approval for cancellation will result in a $1,500 cancellation fee. If you are checking out of a residence hall at a non-traditional time of year, please communicate with your Resident Director to ensure that you have completed all requirements and determine how your checkouts may impact your Residential Living Agreement. 

A signed Residential Living Agreement is a binding obligation between the student and Hofstra University. The student is responsible for satisfying the full financial obligation of the contract in a timely manner consistent with published University payment schedules. Failure to meet the financial obligations to the University may result in the student's required vacancy of their residential housing space. The student is obligated to reside in the facility stipulated in the contract and abide by the rules of conduct established for the residence hall system. Failure to do so will result in a fine and/or University sanction.

In addition to these regulations, all students are required to abide by University policies and principles set forth in the Code of Community Standards.

Community Damage Assessment

Please note that a Hofstra University union employee must fix any damage done to your residence hall room. No outside worker can be brought in, and you may not fix any damage yourself. 

In the event that an individual floor or other clearly delineated area of the building suffers disparate damage, the Office of Residence Life has the option to limit the liability to the residents of that area. Itemized damage reports will be available periodically upon request in the Office of Residence Life. Excessive damage may lead to students of an area being reassigned or removed from the residence halls.

To prevent a "see no evil" approach to damages perpetrated against University property, we must offer some incentive toward responsible action. The damage and vandalism deposit used for the repair of major damages to common areas serves to increase each student's investment in the residence halls and promotes a feeling of community pride. It gives each resident the right to object actively to destructive acts by fellow students and increases the probability that the community of students will become self-monitoring and insist on individual responsibility for behavior. This policy is our best attempt to create a system that emphasizes the importance of citizenship and active participation. We make every attempt to administer this policy as fairly as possible. Good citizenship and responsibility by all residents will remove the need to invoke this policy.

All residents of the building will share costs for damage done to community areas (such as lounges, hallways, bathrooms, living rooms, and plate glass), which cannot be assessed to the individual responsible for the damage. When dealing with damages to common areas, the Office of Residence Life considers each building an individual community. Residents will share equally in the cost of repairs that cannot be ascribed to those liable for the damage. It is up to you to let the Office of Residential Life know who has caused the damage in order to avoid everyone in your building sharing the cost. 

In order to maintain our high standards of cleanliness and personal safety, maintenance and safety inspections are conducted on a regular basis. The University Residential Living Agreement reserves the right to inspect students' rooms at any time regardless of whether or not the rooms are occupied at the time of inspection. These health and safety inspections are conducted periodically during each semester by the Resident Director, Graduate Assistants, Assistant Directors and the Director of Operations in conjunction with the building staff and Plant Department personnel. Possession of a prohibited item in a residence hall may result in a violation of the Student Code of Conduct. Although fines are generally the sanction for health and safety violations, any violation could be grounds for student conduct action. The prohibited item will also be confiscated and an automatic fine will be issued. All residents are expected to maintain an appropriate level of cleanliness at all times. If an appropriate level of cleanliness is not found, a student could be issued a warning and given a specific amount of time to clean their space. Should additional concerns be raised the Office of Residence Life reserves the right to pursue student conduct action and/or reassignment or removal from the residence halls.

In addition, consistent violation of any Residence Life policy may result in removal from the residence halls and/or additional disciplinary action from the Office of Community Standards. All prohibited items found in any residential living environment will be confiscated by University personnel. Confiscated health and safety items must be retrieved from the Resident Director on a day when you can show you will be taking the item off campus. Unclaimed items will be disposed of or donated to charity on the last day of the semester. The use of extension cords is prohibited by Nassau County fire codes. A list of prohibited items can be found in the Living Factor. Should you have questions regarding prohibited items, you can always contact a member of the Office of Residence Life.

Health and Safety Appeals

Appeals of all fines must be made in writing by the deadline to the Health and Safety Committee. If you receive a Health and Safety fine, specific instructions on the appeal process will be provided to you at that time. The Health and Safety Appeals Committee will review and respond in writing to the student(s).

When it cannot be determined who is responsible for a violation, all occupants of the room, suite, or apartment will be fined the listed amount. Students assuming responsibility for the violation can do so in writing to the Health and Safety Committee through the appeals process and have the charges against their fellow suitemates/roommates rescinded, but must do so by the scheduled deadline. Dropping charges against suitemates/roommates rests with the discretion of the Office of Residence Life. 

It is the policy of the Office of Residence Life at Hofstra University to investigate any report of a missing student living in one of the University’s residence halls. All students are requested to provide an Emergency Contact. The residential student is asked to identify the name and contact number of the individual(s) to be contacted in the event of an emergency.

Hofstra understands that students may decide to stay outside of the residence halls, and as such the location of students in the halls is not monitored by resident assistants or other University staff. If a student intends to leave their residence hall for an extended period, the student is strongly encouraged to advise the residence hall staff before leaving, to avoid the student being reported “missing.” If, however, there is reason to believe a residential student is missing, all reasonable efforts will be made to locate the student to determine the student’s state of health and well-being. These efforts, which are done in conjunction with Public Safety, include, but are not limited to, checking the student’s room, speaking with friends and/or roommates, checking ID access, locating the residential student’s vehicle, and calling the student’s cell phone number or other known contact information.

Where a residential student has been missing for 24 hours, students, employees, or other individuals should make a report to Residence Life, the Dean of Students Office, or the Department of Public Safety. All missing student reports will be referred immediately to the Department of Public Safety. If upon investigation by Public Safety, the residential student is determined missing, staff from Public Safety will contact the resident’s designated Emergency Contact within 24 hours. For any residential student under the age of 18, Hofstra will notify a custodial parent or guardian, in addition to any other individual designated on the Emergency Contact, within 24 hours of the time the residential student is determined to be missing by the Department of Public Safety. Public Safety will continue to investigate, utilizing established investigative procedures in collaboration with staff from Residence Life, other campus offices, and local law enforcement agencies. When an Emergency Contact cannot be located or has not been assigned, Public Safety will inform the appropriate law enforcement agency and/ or make contact with the residential student’s parent or legal guardian.

In all cases where the Department of Public Safety determines that a residential student is missing, Public Safety will notify the appropriate law enforcement agency within 24 hours of that determination.

Medical waste is any biological waste that is capable of releasing or exposing potentially infectious communicable disease to another person during handling of items, such as sharps or needles,that are contaminated with any bodily fluids. All medical waste must be disposed of in the appropriate container according to University policy.

What are Sharps?

Sharps are any device capable of cutting or piercing such as: hypodermic, intravenous, or other medical needles, hypodermic or intravenous syringes to which a needle or other sharp is still attached, broken glass items that have come in contact with biological waste.

Sharps shall not include those parts of syringes from which sharps are specifically designed to be easily removed and from which sharps have actually been removed, and which are intended for recycling or other disposal, so long as such syringes have not come in contact with potentially infectious communicable materials.

Management of Sharps and Sharps Containers

All sharps must be placed into specialized sharps containers that you have supplied or is provided in your residence hall for disposal. Sharps containers must be made of a rigid material (i.e. plastic). Sharps containers must be puncture resistant, leak proof on the sides and bottom, properly labeled and closable. Each sharps container must either be labeled with the universal biohazard symbol and the word “biohazard” or be color-coded red. Sharps containers must be maintained upright throughout use, replaced routinely, and not be allowed to overfill.

Need to dispose of a full Sharps Container?

Bring your secured sharps container to Student Health and Counseling Center for disposal located in the Wellness and Campus Living Center.

The Office of Residence Life does its best to place students with compatible roommates and suitemates. Unfortunately, sometimes the living situation is not always ideal. Before considering a room change, we hope that you take these steps:

  1. Speak with your roommate(s)/suitemate(s) regarding any conflicts and expectations,
  2. Meet with your Resident Assistant for a roommate/suitemate mediation,
  3. If necessary, arrange a meeting with your Resident Director (or Graduate Resident Director) to discuss room change options.

For additional information on tips for living successfully with a roommate/suitemate see the "Living with a Roommate" section below.

  • Living with a Roommate

    The key to getting to know your roommate is communication. You cannot discover who he/she is unless you talk to each other. While we hope all roommates have a positive experience together, it is not guaranteed that you will become best friends, nor is that necessarily expected. When roommates don't get along, it can make for a challenging year. How do you work through problems with your roommate? Here are some tips:

    1. Communication is the key. Talk to each other and tell your roommate when you are upset about something he/she did.
    2. Be tactful when sharing your feelings with your roommate.
    3. Be a good listener. Try to see each other's viewpoint.
    4. Remain pleasant and control your emotions.
    5. Discuss little problems as they arise to prevent them from escalating into bigger conflicts.
    6. Be assertive in asking for what you want or need.
    7. If you need a mediator, contact your RA.

    After you begin to get to know each other, you may be able to prevent problems by making an agreement about what will and will not occur in your room. Many people have great success with informal conversations, while others like to write an actual contract. If you and your roommate think that negotiating a formal contract is a good idea, you will want to consider the following issues:

    1. Study time in the room/apartment.
    2. Visitation and guest policy.
    3. Bathroom use schedule for suite living.
    4. Cleaning the room, suite, bathroom and/or apartment.
    5. How you will handle any problems or conflicts.
    6. Sharing of food and cost of groceries.
    7. Use of one another's property, including use of stereo, TV, computer, etc.
    8. Space for clothes, luggage and storage.
    9. Use of phone and relaying messages.

The staff members of the Office of Residence Life are trained mediators who can help roommates and/or suitemates in conflict express their concerns and find acceptable compromises. Residents can contact any staff member within their complex for advice on how to approach and discuss concerns in a way that will help foster a good relationship and strengthen communication skills.

Staff members are also able to formally facilitate a suite and/or room mediation that includes a formal contract outlined by the members of the suite and/or room during the conversation. Failure to negotiate or abide by the agreed upon roommate contract may result in a fine and/or judicial action.

Room  changes are made pursuant to the Hofstra University Nondiscrimination Policy. Any conflict you may have with a roommate can usually be resolved through open, honest communication and the help of your resident assistant (RA)/resident director (RD). If this is not possible, room changes generally begin after the second week of each academic semester or as soon as our fall and spring occupancy have been confirmed.

Room change requests can be made via the Hofstra portal.

To submit a room change request:

  1. Log in to the Hofstra portal at
  2. Go to My Apps in the top right corner.
  3. Click on the Room Change icon.
  4. Complete the Room Change Request Form and click on Submit.

Once the Room Change Request Form is submitted, an email confirming receipt of your submission will be sent to your Hofstra pride account. You will receive another email once our office has processed your room change request with instructions on how to properly check into your new room.

When submitting a Room Change Request, it important to note the following:

  • Students can update their request at any time up until the moment the office of residence life processes that request.
  • Submitting a room change request does not guarantee the request can be accommodated as room changes are based on building and room availability.
  • The office of residence life will process room change requests for students requesting to reside with preferred roommate and/or suitemates once all students looking to live together submit a room change request form online. Include requested roommate and/or suitemates name and Hofstra ID number.
  • Once a student’s room change request has been processed, the student has 48 hours from the effective date of the room change to formally check out of their current room assignment, return their keys and check into their new room assignment and obtain the keys to their new room.
  • Students moving to a room of a higher cost must clear up all outstanding balance with the office of student financial services.

Fall Semester
During the fall semester, students will have the opportunity to request a room change if needed at the start of the third week of the fall semester. Room changes are on-going at the discretion of the Resident Director up until the week prior to Thanksgiving, after which, only emergency room changes will be permitted.

Spring Semester
Two weeks into the spring semester, the room change period begins. Room changes are on-going at the discretion of the Resident Director up until the end of February, after which, only emergency room changes will be permitted.