Safety and Security

Access to Residences
Endangering Behavior
Fire and Emergency Safety
Guests and Visitors
Hall Sports and Roughhousing
Prohibited Items – Firearms, Weapons, and Volatile Substances
Prohibited Items – Appliances and Equipment
Prohibited Items – Candles and Open Flames
Thrown Objects

Access to Residences

The security of our communities is central to the comfort and academic success of our residents. Security, however, is a shared responsibility.  Residents must play their part by observing security procedures and practices, in consideration of their neighbors and classmates and in order to minimize personal harm or loss.   Abuse of security staff, vandalism of security equipment, and misuse of exterior building doors and locks will not be tolerated. Back to top

Endangering Behavior

Any action of a Penn student, resident or guest that may lead to physical harm to oneself or others is considered endangering behavior and will typically result in removal from housing, disciplinary action (including cost of repair and/or cleaning) and/or criminal charges.  This includes the careless use of appliances or materials, tampering with internet hard wired or wireless devices, and installation of partitions or lofts.  Throwing any object from windows, roofs, ledges, etc. is dangerous and also prohibited.  

In situations when an individual or group poses an immediate threat to the health, safety or property of others or of oneself the individual or group may be relocated or removed from housing prior to a hearing to address the specific behaviors.  Back to top

Fire and Emergency Safety

Residents are expected to comply and familiarize themselves with the Fire and Emergency Safety procedures of the University. Compliance includes properly evacuating, following the instructions of emergency personnel, and not damaging, tampering with, or blocking fire safety equipment or signs. Banners, flags, nets, holiday lighting, cable wire, and hangers cannot be installed in such a way as to interfere with the operation of any fire safety equipment (i.e. sprinkler heads or smoke detectors). No items may be installed on or suspended from the ceilings nor should non-flame-resistant decorations be hung on room/suite doors or hallway bulletin boards. Additionally, residents should not place furniture or items in any halls, fire exits, or otherwise block any other means of egress. Residents who fail to comply with any of the above are subject to fines and disciplinary action.

For more information, residents should consult the sign on the back of their room/apartment door or visit the Fire and Emergency Services website. Back to top

Guests and Visitors

Guests are defined as individuals who are not currently enrolled University of Pennsylvania students.  Visitors are defined as currently enrolled University of Pennsylvania students who are not assigned to the room, suite, or apartment that they are visiting.
  • Hosts must check with their roommates, suitemates, or apartment mates for approval before inviting a guest or visitor to the room.  If the other occupants of the space do not approve the guest or visitor cannot stay in the room.
  • Hosts are responsible for the actions of their guests or visitors and will face disciplinary action if their guest or visitor violates College House, Residential Services, or University policies.  Hosts should familiarize their guests or visitors with community expectations, Visitors are also responsible for their actions and are subject to disciplinary action.
  • Guests and visitors are allowed to visit in a student room, suite, or apartment for a period not to exceed three days and two nights during a two-week period.
  • Visitors are unable to sign into residential buildings between the hours of 2:00 a.m. and 8 a.m.  Hosts will need to sign in all visitors during this time period.
  • A guest or visitor may not occupy a student’s room when the student is not present and a resident may not supply a room key to gain access to the room or their PennCard to gain access to the building.
  • Guests must sign-in with a photo ID and must be accompanied by a host at all times.  This host must carry a valid PennCard and guests must keep their ID with them at all times.
  • Each visitor must present their own valid PennCard.  Visitors may not sign in other visitors or guests at any time, except for the purpose of using the Dining Halls at Hill College House, Kings Court English College House, or New College House
  • Visitors may sign-in guests in Hill College House, Kings Court English College House, and New College House for the purpose of dining together in the Penn Dining Halls of those buildings.  Visitors cannot sign in guests to those buildings outside of the open hours of those Dining facilities.
  • At no time may guest or visitors sleep in a common area within a College House. Back to top

Hall Sports and Roughhousing

Indoor sports or recreational activities that may cause damage to property as well as disruption or injury to others are not permitted.  Activities include (but are not limited to) tossing, bouncing or kicking of balls or objects, and the use of water guns or water balloons.  Back to top


Residents are required to carry their University of Pennsylvania ID Cards (PennCard) at all times per University policy.  PennCards are used to access College Houses and also serve as electronic key access to assigned rooms.  A PennCard should not be transferred to anyone other than the owner.  Residents should be aware of the whereabouts of their PennCard at all times.  A PennCard used by anyone other than the owner will be confiscated.

Confiscated PennCards may be picked up at the PennCard Center, located in the University of Pennsylvania Bookstore, during business hours of 8:30am to 5:00pm, Monday through Friday.   Lost Penn Cards must be promptly reported to the PennCard Center as well.  For more information and policies on PennCards, please visit the PennCard website. Back to top

Prohibited Items - Firearms, Weapons, and Volatile Substances

Possession, storage, and/or use of the items below are prohibited in all rooms/apartments:
  • Firearms (including but not limited to: air rifles, air soft guns, paint ball guns, pellet guns, pistols, ammunition, gunpowder)
  • Dangerous Weapons (including but limited to:  clubs, knives not intended for kitchen use, swords, martial arts weapons, etc.)
  • Explosives of any kind.
  • Hazardous or volatile substances (including but not limited to:  solvents, accelerants, degreasers, certain lab chemicals, etc.)
  • Other highly flammable materials or other lethal weapons  Back to top

Prohibited Items - Appliances and Equipment

Possession, storage, and/or use of the items below are prohibited in all rooms/apartments:
  • Extension Cords.  Note that surge protectors are allowed and encouraged.
  • Unprotected or unshielded Halogen Bulbs and Blacklights
  • Air Conditioners except where provided by Residential Services
  • All large appliances (including but not limited to: non-University stoves, washer and dryers, dish washers, refrigerators over 4.1 cubic feet, etc.)
  • Space Heaters except in situations where they’ve been installed by Facilities
  • Power tools such as saws, drills, drill presses, and jack hammers (unless used by Facilities staff)
  • Hoverboards
These items are prohibited in all non-kitchen units:
  • Toasters
  • Toaster Ovens
  • Crock Pots
  • Panini Makers/George Foreman Grills
  • Electric Skillets
  • Hot Plates
  • Waffle Irons
  • Popcorn Poppers

All appliances must have a manufacturer’s label that shows the electrical ratings and listing by a nationally recognized testing laboratory (e.g., ETL, UL, etc.).  The use of surge protectors is strongly recommended to prevent circuit overload. Back to top

Prohibited Items - Candles and Open Flames

Possession, storage, and/or use of candles, incense, incendiary devices, and fire producing items (including but not limited to:  fuel burning stoves, fuel burning lamps, heaters, and grills) are prohibited and may result in the student being billed for the cost of any repairs associated with any damage caused.  Residents are allowed, however, to possess matches and small cigarette lighters.

The only exception to the open flame prohibition is for religious observance. Locations have been identified in each House for candle lighting. Consult the House Dean for more information on the use of candles for religious observance. Back to top

Thrown Objects 

Throwing any object from windows, roofs, ledges, etc. is dangerous and prohibited. Back to top