Residential Life

The entry or search of the personal living quarters of a student may be conducted by the following people for the purposes and under the procedures detailed below including fire evacuation policies.

  • By authorized University personnel to ensure that health, fire, and safety regulations are maintained

  • By authorized personnel or agents to make improvements or repairs and to provide routine maintenance services. A request for maintenance by the student or University personnel is sufficient notice to permit room entry by service personnel.

  • By law enforcement officers in the performance of statutory duties and in accordance with legally defined procedures governing search and seizure.

  • By authorized University and law enforcement personnel in exigent circumstances, emergency or potential emergency situations to protect the health, safety and welfare of an individual, or to prevent damage to the property of the student and the University.

  • By authorized University officials where there is probable cause to believe a violation of University or civil regulations is being committed and when there is the belief that the delay required in procuring a warrant would endanger the health and safety of the residents or result in the probable destruction of the evidence of the violation. Probable cause means that a reasonable ground of suspicion supported by circumstances is sufficiently strong to warrant a cautious person’s belief that a party is committing an illegal act and/or violation of University policies.

When it is necessary for authorized University personnel or their agents to enter a student room when the occupant(s) is not in, entry will be made by two individuals if possible. The student will be notified of the entry and the reason for the entry upon their return. In all instances entry shall be made only for the purposes set forth.

  1. Under normal and non-emergency circumstances, no student room shall be entered without knocking. This is true whether the door is locked, unlocked or ajar
  2. The University official will then identify themselves as such and state the purpose for which they desires entry.
  3. The official will then request that the door be opened and/or that entry be permitted.

If after following this procedure the door is not opened or the official is refused entry, the official should:

  1. Knock again and re-identify themselves and restate the reason they desire entry.
  2.  State their intention to enter through the use of their passkey if the door is not opened.
  3. Wait a sufficient amount of time to allow the occupant(s) to open the door. This sufficient amount of time should include the period a student might require to awake or clothe themselves, or to rationally decide whether they wish to voluntarily admit the official. Then, using a passkey, the University official may enter the room.

Maintenance Inspections and Room Repair Work

The University reserves the right to enter and to inspect any student room at any time without permission or consent of the room occupant(s) to provide emergency service or general maintenance work. Whenever possible the University staff will complete this work at reasonable times. In some circumstances, residents may be required to move possessions to allow complete access to the work area. You will be notified in advance when possible.

Repairs and Improvements

The University staff will conduct inspections to make repairs, to correct anticipated or unanticipated building or mechanical issues, to make any improvement deemed appropriate or required by law (including inspection for and abatement of lead paint, making unit alterations to address life safety or sustainability issues, or to exterminate insects, rodents, and other pests, and otherwise perform pest control measures).

If a room is entered to perform maintenance or repairs when an occupant is not present, a note will be left in the room stating that a University employee was in the room for an official reason and will give a telephone number that the student may call for information about the maintenance repair.

Vacancy Inspection

An inspection will be completed whenever a vacancy has occurred within a room or suite/apartment to confirm the vacancy and condition of the room.

Room Search by University Administrators

Under certain circumstances including but not limited to cause for community safety concern, such as presence/possession of drugs, weapons, etc., and reasonable suspicion that a violation of University policy is occurring or has occurred, on-campus residence hall rooms and the personal possessions of students in such rooms will be searched when appropriate written authorization as specified below has been obtained. (This policy is separate from Health and Safety Inspection, which is outlined in your housing contract).

Approved Search Procedure

For on-campus residence hall rooms (including university-issued room safes), room searches by University administrators may be conducted with approval from the Vice President for Campus Life or designee. The administrator(s) of Brown University conducting the room search will use reasonable efforts to ensure that the student(s) who occupies the room is present at the time of the search and is presented with the room search approval issued by the Vice President for Campus Life. In the event that a student(s) cannot be present (i.e., imminent threat or risk to self or the community), the student(s) will be notified of the search as soon as possible and presented with the room search approval issued by the Vice President for Campus Life.

Room searches will be conducted by an administrator(s) from the division of Campus Life in the presence of Brown Public Safety.

During a room search:

  • The University administrator(s) will be opening drawers, closets, luggage, safes, etc.

  • If, during the room search, a student’s belongings are damaged by the University administrator, the University will review the damage and correct or compensate the damaged item(s) as appropriate.

  • The University reserves the right to take action, including notification to law enforcement and/or action under the Code of Student Conduct, against a student(s) based on results of the room search.