Residence Life

Residence Life Policies and Procedures

The Living Factor is the ultimate guide to living on campus. This useful calendar will provide answers to all of your questions from services our department can provide and policies and procedures to information on emergency services and security. Every resident is responsible for becoming familiar with the information shared in the Living Factor.

  • The Living Agreement

    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 contact 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.

    Damage and Vandalism Deposit

    All resident students pay a housing deposit when they apply to live on campus. Once a student occupies a residence hall space, the housing deposit is then held for the academic year as a damage and vandalism deposit. This deposit is held in an account by the University and is credited to the student's account when room inventories have been made and damages have been assessed at the end of the academic year. Costs to repair damage to the room, suite, and/or residence hall common areas will be deducted from the damage and vandalism deposit. If it should occur that the damage and vandalism does not cover the damage charges incurred, the residents will be responsible for the outstanding balance. Residential Operations and the custodial staff make every effort to determine the person(s) who caused the damage. If the University is unable to determine the specific individual(s) responsible, then the costs will be deducted from all residents of the room, suite, floor, or building, as appropriate. It is the responsibility of each resident to remain vigilant with regard to the actions of fellow residents and guests. Should a resident observe vandalism being perpetrated, the resident should notify a Residential Operations staff member and/or contact Public Safety, so the responsible person(s) can be held accountable. At the end of the academic year, if a student has incurred any additional charges (tuition, housing, etc.), any credit from the damage and vandalism deposit will be applied toward these charges.

    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 very 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. 

  • Maintenance and Safety Inspections

    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. 

  • Missing Student Policy

    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 residing in a campus residence hall are requested to complete a Confidential Contact Information Form, available upon check-in to their residence hall. The resident student is asked to identify the name and contact number of the individual(s) to be contacted in the event the student is determined to be missing, as set forth below. This contact information will be registered confidentially and may not be disclosed, except to law enforcement personnel in furtherance of a missing person investigation and authorized Hofstra University officials, including Public Safety officers.

    Hofstra understands that students may make arrangements to stay outside of the residential halls, and as such the location of students in the halls is not monitored by residential assistants or other University staff. If a student intends to leave his or her residence hall for an extended period of time, 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 resident student is missing, all reasonable efforts will be made to locate the student to determine his or her 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 resident student’s vehicle and calling the student’s cell phone number or other known contact information.

    Where a resident 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 resident student is determined missing, staff from Public Safety and/or Student Affairs will contact the resident’s designated “Confidential Contact” within 24 hours. For any resident student under the age of 18, Hofstra will notify a custodial parent or guardian, in addition to any other individual designated on the Confidential Contact Information Form, within 24 hours after the time the resident 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 Residential Programs, other campus offices and local law enforcement agencies. When a “Confidential Contact” cannot be located or has not been assigned, Public Safety will inform the appropriate law enforcement agency and/or make contact with the resident student’s parent or legal guardian. In all cases where the Department of Public Safety determines that a resident student is missing, Public Safety will notify the appropriate law enforcement agency within 24 hours of that determination.

  • Medical Waste Disposal

    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.

  • Room Changes

    Room Changes

    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.
    • Roommate Mediations

      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.

    • Processes for Room Changes

      Single Rooms
      Single rooms are highly sought after and any student looking for a room change into a single room will need to visit the Office of Residence Life (126 Wellness and Campus Living Center, North Campus) to be placed on the single room wait list. Single room changes are conducted on a first come, first served basis once a single room becomes available. At the start of the fall semester on the first day of classes, the single room wait list first becomes available to Grad/Law/Medical students, the following day to seniors, then juniors, sophomores, and finally first-year students. The single room wait list carries over from the fall semester to spring semester.

      Summer for Fall Semester
      During the summer, you can submit any room change requests by sending an email to reslife[at]hofstra.edu.  You will need to provide the following information in your email:

      1. Detailed description of your request, your current room assignment, and Hofstra ID
      2. If applicable, list of requested roommate(s) and suitemate(s), their current room assignment, and Hofstra ID

      Once your request has been read, you will receive a confirmation email and will be contacted when a new assignment is available.

      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.

  • Housing Policy Changes

    Students should be aware that University housing policies may change at any time in the University’s discretion and in accordance with applicable New York State and federal requirements and the recommendations of health care professionals. Students residing in campus housing may be required to comply with public health requirements, including those relating to testing, tracing, isolation/quarantine, and removal from residence halls. If the closing of all residence halls is necessary for health and safety reasons, students may be required to leave campus housing entirely.  If appropriate, the University in its sole discretion may adjust housing charges in such situations. The health and safety of the Hofstra community will guide all decisions.