Residential Life

Residential Life Policies and Rules

Learn about Brown's policies regarding restricted items, damage billing, room change requests, room entry and withdrawal from Brown.

The Housing Agreement

2024 - 2025 Housing Agreement

University Housing is governed by a written agreement. Signing the agreement defines the obligations for both the student and the University. Every student living on campus must sign the agreement. No person may reside in a dormitory room who has not agreed to its use. Individuals who are not Brown students may not reside in Brown's residence halls.


Subletting of rooms is not permitted. Residential Life provides housing only for actively-enrolled Brown undergraduate students who have signed the Housing Agreement. 

The right to live in reasonable privacy takes precedence over the right to entertain guests in the room/suite/apartment. In determining when guests should be invited to the room, common sense and mutual respect should prevail. Having an overnight guest should be discussed and agreed upon with one's roommate(s) ahead of time. Guest stays should be limited to a reasonable amount of time.

Guests are expected to abide by all campus rules and regulations, and hosts are responsible for the behavior of their guests. Brown student hosts may be held responsible through the University's Non-Academic Disciplinary Procedures for alleged violations of University rules by their guests. This responsibility extends to guest conduct that occurs anywhere on University property.

Students also need to abide by occupancy limits for residential common spaces and individual rooms/suites. Within a multi-occupancy room there should be no more than 3x the assigned occupancy; in a suite or apartment there should be no more than 15 people total. In determining whether and when guests should be invited to the room, common sense and mutual respect should prevail, and roommates should communicate with each other about the presence and behavior of guests.

Brown University enjoys certain tax exemptions as an educational institution which can be jeopardized when individuals in the campus community operate a business enterprise on University premises.

Please read the complete "Policy Concerning Student Enterprise (Student-Run Businesses)" described in Student Rights and Responsibilities. Any questions should be directed to Brown Student Conduct and Community Standards.

Soliciting (i.e., selling items or asking for donations or support) is prohibited in University residence halls. Students are urged to immediately report outsiders soliciting in University buildings by calling Public Safety (401-863-4111). This information should also be relayed to Residential Life (401-863-3500).

The University does not sell or share the University phone directory or its contents with solicitors.

Substance Use and Building Etiquette

The Brown University Policy on Drugs may be found in the Student Rights and Responsibilities document. More information regarding the use of alcohol in social events can be found on the Student Activities website

Smoking is prohibited in all University buildings.  Students are permitted to smoke outside, at a distance of at least 35 feet from the entrance to any University building, provided that there will be no migration of smoke into a University building .  E-Cigarettes are included in this definition.

Evidence of smoking within the residence hall will result in a $100 fine and tampering with any fire equipment within a residence hall will result in a $300 fine. 

The occupants of residence hall rooms are responsible for gatherings and parties in their room. Gatherings in rooms which create a disturbance for other residents or create a hazardous situation will be dealt with as prescribed by the Code of Student Conduct regulations and/or Security. All such functions are subject to the University regulations governing Alcohol Use and Social Functions. Students are required to adhere to all University guidelines and requirements regarding COVID-19 and social distancing. More information here.

The service of alcohol in glass bottles, as well as the use of kegs and other large scale alcoholic containers is strictly prohibited in the residence halls and adjacent areas.

The use of lounges and other common areas is restricted. Written permission is required to hold any gathering in a residence hall lounge. Students seeking permission should contact the Office of Residential Life 863-3500.

The following special lounges require additional clearance:

  • Arnold and Bigelow (contact Residential Life for more information)
  • Fraternity/Sorority Lounges (contact the House President or Social Chair)

Any outside group which uses a lounge in a student area must be invited by a resident of the building.

In addition, groups should remain respectful of the fact that they are in the home of the residents of the building. Security should be maintained. The building doors should not be propped open, excessive noise should not be tolerated, and no damage to property or harassment of residents should occur. The University regulations on damage, noise, and alcohol use are to be understood and will be enforced. The sponsors of a party will be held responsible for the conduct of their invited guests, as well as for cleaning up afterwards. Excessive "trashing" from parties or activities will be billed at $25.00/person-hour for clean up required.

All members of the University Community have a right to reasonable peace and quiet during normal hours of rest. Creating undue noise or disturbance in or adjacent to residential units is prohibited between 12 midnight and 7 AM on weekdays and between 2 AM and 9 AM on Saturdays and Sundays. Also, undue noises or disturbances at other times of the day or other actions that violate the rights of members of the University Community to reasonable peace and quiet are prohibited.

These prohibitions include the use of audio and music equipment, televisions and video equipment, and other devices in a manner to disturb any member of the Community. They also include other noise- making such as singing, dancing, shouting, running, moving furniture, etc. at a disturbing level.

Violations of this rule reported by any member of the University Community will be reviewed for discipline.

Local rules regarding quiet hours may also be established by consensus of the residence hall members.