The responsible administrator for this section is the Office of Community Living. The Office of Student Affairs has approval authority.

In addition to the information below, each student is expected to follow the expectations shared in their Housing Agreement.

7.0. Introduction

The Office of Community Living aims to facilitate the development of safe, informed, inclusive, and engaged residence hall communities. Our communities foster an environment of support, the provision of peer advice, conflict resolution, and referrals to individuals and groups. We champion the Student Code of Conduct towards the cultivation of a neighborly residential experience.

7.1. Occupancy

Students enrolled in both fall and spring semester may remain in College housing during Winter Recess but must notify the Housing & Operations Team of their intention to remain. Students who are assigned to fall semester housing only must vacate their assigned room immediately after the final examination period in December.

7.2. Room Assignment and Room Change Requests

The College reserves the right to assign a resident to another room or residence hall. Prior to reassignment, Residential Engagement & Wellbeing staff will attempt to consult with the student and/or explain to the student the reasons for the move. In the event of an emergency, the College reserves the right to increase occupancy, so long as such a measure conforms to health and safety regulations.

Students who wish to consider changing their room assignment must contact Residential Engagement & Wellbeing via their locally-assigned Community Development Coordinator or other professional staff member to inquire about the possibility of a move. All moves must be approved and coordinated by the Residential Engagement & Wellbeing and the Housing & Operations Team. These teams reserve the right to assign a resident to another room or residence hall. Prior to reassignment, staff will attempt to consult with the student and/or explain to the student the reasons for the move. In the event of an emergency, the College reserves the right to increase occupancy, so long as such a measure conforms to health and safety regulations.

7.3. Room Condition Inventory

Room Condition Inventory is conducted by staff for every space prior to move-in each August. Students assigned to each room are held accountable for leaving rooms in the written condition when moving out. Students agree to reimburse Amherst College for damages and defacement of the space they occupy during the term of their contract exclusive of normal wear. If there are any discrepancies or concerns with the room inventory, they should be reported to the Housing & Operations Team (

7.4. Student Room Furniture

Student rooms are equipped with essential furniture. An inventory of this furniture and its physical condition will be made at the beginning and end of each school year or when a student vacates a room. The College may require personal furniture and furnishings to be removed, at the student’s expense, from any residence where, in the judgment of Environmental Health and Safety staff, there is a potential fire, health, or housekeeping hazard. 

Waterbeds, inflatable pools, and similar furniture are not permitted, because of the strain imposed on the building structure and the danger of water damage. All personally owned furniture and furnishings must be removed from student residences at the time they are vacated at the end of the school year. Any items remaining after that date will be disposed of by the College at the student’s expense.

7.5. Inspections

College officials retain the right of access to students’ rooms at all times.

College officials may periodically inspect students’ rooms to check the condition of safety systems, structure, and furnishings.

During vacations, efforts are made under the authority of the Director of Residential Engagement & Wellbeing to recover from residence hall rooms misappropriated College property. 

During the academic year, Facilities and members of the College community make periodic room inspections to determine hall or furniture damage. When reasonably practical prior notification of entry will be given to students. At all times a note will be left if a Facilities professional entered a student’s assigned room for maintenance work.

7.6. Energy Conservation

Facilities are actively involved in energy conservation. Energy problems should be reported to the Service Center at (413) 542–2254 or Students should call (413) 542–2644 for answers to questions pertaining to energy conservation. The following is a general outline of energy conservation procedures.

7.6.1. Heating

The standard room temperatures on campus are 68 degrees Fahrenheit during occupied times and 64 degrees during unoccupied times. Students should first try to control the temperatures of their rooms by adjusting thermostats, rather than opening windows. If you do not know how to adjust the thermostat, please call the Service Center at (413) 542–2254 for assistance. If your room is too hot even with the thermostat turned all the way down, please call to have the system repaired. Opening your window to compensate for a radiator that won’t shut off wastes a tremendous amount of energy and can cause damage to pipes.

If/When you leave for Winter Recess, please make sure your windows are shut tightly and your curtains drawn and leave your radiator turned on to the setting that was most comfortable for you during the year. Every residence hall has a central thermostat that will allow the building to be set to a lower temperature, allowing the College significant energy cost savings for the few vacation weeks.

7.6.2. Windows
Students are asked to report broken, loose, or drafty windows. Storm windows are designed as an extra layer of insulation. The concept of additional insulation works only if exterior and interior windows are closed and tightly fitted. Locking windows helps ensure tight fitting. Window shades can be used as additional insulators during colder months. Keep shades down as much as possible during the day and at all times during the night. Closed shades can prevent up to 25 percent of the energy loss. If windows are loose or leaking, call (413) 542–2254.

7.6.3. Electricity
Common sense applies very directly to the conservation of electricity. Students should use the smallest appliance that will perform the requisite function and turn off electrical appliances when they are not in use or when leaving an area for more than five minutes. Refrigerator doors should remain shut. When doing laundry, students should not overload dryers.

7.6.4. Water
As with electricity, the first rule of water conservation is, “If you aren’t using it, turn it off!” Leaving the water faucet running while you brush your teeth or shave can waste up to 10 gallons of clean water per person daily. Along the same line, turning showers down or off while applying soap can save many gallons of water daily. Dripping faucets and toilets that run continuously can waste hundreds to thousands of gallons of water per day and should be reported immediately to the Service Center at (413) 542–2254. Remember, even a few gallons of water saved per person per day add up to a lot of water in a town of 35,000 people—or in a country of 318 million!

7.7. Gender-inclusive Housing
Residential Engagement & Wellbeing and the Housing & Operations Team are committed to providing inclusive residential communities. The following assist our office in creating better-informed first-year assignments.

When making room assignments, we carefully consider the preferences you indicate on your First-Year Housing Questionnaire. Because assignments are guided by many factors, we may not be able to meet all preferences you indicate in your Questionnaire. We expect that all students will respectfully share residence halls and contribute to a residential living community that fosters a welcoming and inclusive environment.

Gender-Inclusive Restrooms: 

In each first-year residence hall, there are single gender as well as gender-inclusive restrooms. The restrooms are distributed such that a student would have to travel a limited distance, (such as one floor level) depending on the restroom preference. To learn more about gender-inclusive restrooms, please visit the Queer Resource Center’s website. 

Floor Preference:

Students may indicate whether they prefer to live in an all-women, all-men, or gender-inclusive community or may indicate that they have no preference. While Housing & Operations endeavors to place as many students as possible in communities that meet their preference, physical hall limitations prevent a guarantee that all requests can be fulfilled.

LGBTQ+ Affirming Space Preference:

Students who value maintaining space in their rooms that is welcoming and affirming to LGBTQ+ students (i.e. persons who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, pansexual, asexual, transgender, non-binary, or genderqueer, queer, or questioning, etc.) may be considered as roommates for others with the same or similar values.

7.8. Laundry 

There is no laundry service provided directly by the College, though there is a preferred outside vendor that offers a wash, dry, and folding service. Within residence halls and houses, washers and dryers are available for use by any student. There are also several laundromats and dry cleaners in town. The College does not provide linens; students must provide their own.

7.9. Vending
Dining Services and Residential Engagement & Wellbeing work together to bring you vending options in each of our residence halls and many academic buildings. Students can use cash, or AC$ in all the vending machines. We work directly with our vendor to offer a variety of snacks, beverages and other items.  If you have any questions about vending, concerns about the machines, or would like to make suggestions, please reach out to

7.10. Storage

Information about Amherst College student storage can be found at Storage | General Housing Information (

7.11. Bicycle Storage

Information about Amherst College student bicycle storage can be found at the Bike Registration Program.

7.12. Guests

Students enjoy the privilege to invite guests to their assigned bedroom or suite to which they are assigned, as well as the common areas in the host’s assigned residence hall or other common areas in other halls to which the host has authorized access. A guest is any person who is not assigned to the bedroom or suite in which they are present. Therefore, a guest may be an Amherst College student who lives in another room or off-campus, or any non-student. All guests are limited to a maximum stay of three consecutive nights. The host must receive unambiguous approval for  any guest’s stay with all roommate(s) or suite-mates as appropriate. Guests who drive to campus must register their vehicles with Amherst College Police Department. Abuse of this policy may result in the abridgment of this privilege to host guests for a specified period of time, or indefinitely.

7.13. Courtesy and Quiet Hours

The right to reasonable peace and quiet in the residence halls generally supersedes the right to make noise.

Courtesy hours are observed 24-hours a day throughout all residence halls. When asked by another resident or staff member to reduce the noise level, residents are expected to immediately comply as a courtesy to other community members.

Quiet hours are in effect Sunday through Thursday from midnight to 8:00 am, and Friday and Saturday from 2:00 am until 10:00 am. During these times, noise should not be heard outside of a resident’s room when their door is closed. Some changes to quiet hours may be made to a resident’s individual community by working with Residential Engagement & Wellbeing.

Gatherings in common spaces should also follow quiet and courtesy hour expectations.

7.14. Move-out Deadline

First-year students, sophomores, and juniors are required to vacate the day after spring semester examinations end. Graduating seniors may stay until 5:00 pm on the day of Commencement but may be asked to move from their rooms to a consolidated area and make rooms available for parents and families during Commencement week. Note: The dates and times in the section are subject to change and, if changed, will be posted with as much advance notice as possible.

7.15. Commencement/Reunion Housing

Commencement and Reunion workers and other students authorized by Student Affairs to remain on campus will be relocated—they will not remain in the rooms to which they were assigned during the spring semester. Questions about housing during Commencement week should be directed to

It is important that students comply with deadlines so that rooms can be cleaned and prepared in time for Commencement and Reunion use. If necessary, the College will pack and clean those rooms not vacated in time at the student’s expense.

7.16. Personal Liability Insurance

The College assumes and accepts absolutely no responsibility for the loss or damage to personal property of any occupant of College housing. Each individual assumes responsibility for insurance of personal property as well as its safe storage and maintenance.

7.17. Damage Accountability

Students are held responsible for damage to their rooms and to any College property therein. Students are expected to report all damages to their rooms, common rooms, hallways, bathrooms, and other areas of the residence, whether accidental or otherwise, to their Community Advisor, so that repairs can be made.  Damages may also be reported directly to the College’s Service Center at

In case of reckless or intentional damage, the person(s) responsible may be subject to sanctions that include financial restitution. Students will also be held accountable for damage caused by their guests (see Section 7.12, Guests). In addition, costs associated with discharged fire extinguishers and items damaged in, or missing from, the lounges or common areas may be charged to the responsible student.

7.18. College-Owned Furniture

The assigned residents of each room will be held accountable for missing or damaged furniture, for the condition of the room, and for any College property that was relocated to a room without permission.

7.18.1. A fee will be assessed to the assigned residents of a room for any/every item of misappropriated or damaged College property.

7.18.2. Removed furniture must be stored in accordance with College storage policies and returned to the room before the student moves out. Failure to return any College furniture will result in a replacement fee per item. Students are not permitted to remove College-issued furniture without prior written approval by Accessibility Services or other relevant College authority. No student, except those with prior written approval by Accessibility Services or other relevant College authority, may remove or store outside the student’s assigned room, any College-issued furniture.

7.18.3. In the event that common-area furniture is moved and left outside a student residence, a $50-per-item moving fee, plus the cost of repairing any damage to the furniture, will be assessed to responsible members of the community or shared evenly among all students who live in the affected community.

7.18.4. Students are not permitted to use cinder block bed risers. 

7.18.5. Common Area Lounge Furniture

Furniture not authorized for the room in question is considered stolen property. Students found in possession of it will be adjudicated. Room inspections for stolen or missing furniture will be conducted periodically.

7.19. Keys

Concerns with keys should be reported to the Locksmith at (413) 542–2254. When leaving (i.e., taking a leave, leaving for the summer or study away period, or other status change) the College for any reason, your room key MUST be returned unless otherwise directed. Students responsible for lost key(s) or who do not return a key at checkout, will be assessed a lock charge:

  • Single Room - $75
  • Double-Occupancy Room - $77
  • Triple-Occupancy Room - $79
  • Any Suite Configuration - $150

For fire safety, maintenance, and security reasons, private locks may not be installed or used in College residences. Students who install private locks on their doors will be assessed a $75 charge for removal.

7.20. Billing 

Students who wish to receive more information about items on their bills should telephone the Office of the Controller at (413) 542–2101 or contact Housing & Operations (413) 542-2161 or

7.21. Solicitation

Non-student vendors are prohibited from selling, soliciting, or making deliveries in College residences without prior authorization from the Office of Residential Engagement & Wellbeing and the Amherst College Police Department. Students are expected to verify if a non-student vendor is authorized to be present on-campus by contacting the Student Engagement and Leadership Office.

Students may not operate a business, profit-making enterprise, nor sell in College residences (see Section 11).

7.22. Ceilings and Walls

In general, pictures, tack boards, and other decorative items may not be fastened directly to the walls or woodwork of the residence rooms, as this causes costly damage to the surface material. Most rooms contain picture moldings from which such items can be hung, and others are equipped with built-in tack boards. For additional information see Section 9.3., Ceilings and Walls. The following guidelines have been prepared by Facilities:

7.22.1. Students should not hang anything on doors, wood-paneled walls, or woodwork.

7.22.2. Students may use push-pins (not thumbtacks), in reasonable numbers, to affix items to the walls. When a student moves out of a room, they should pull out the push-pins. Push-pins will work on walls unless there is very hard plaster underneath.

7.22.3. If a room has painted wallpaper over very hard plaster, there is no recommended way of affixing items to the wall that is guaranteed not to cause damage.

7.22.4. Students are not permitted to use nails to affix anything to the walls for any reason.

7.22.5. Students are not permitted to paint the walls or ceilings of their rooms. Financial restitution will be assigned to a student’s account if this subsection is violated.

7.22.6. Curtains must not be used as bedroom, common room, or hallway dividers under any circumstances, whether the curtains are fire-safe or not.

7.22.7. Students who use dart boards may not place them near doorways or hallways where a dart may strike someone. Students are also encouraged to avoid charges for dart holes in walls by investing in a 4-foot by 8-foot piece of Homasote (costing around $12) on which to mount the dartboard.

7.23. Satellite Dishes and Antennae

Satellite dishes and antennae are not permitted and may be removed by Facilities. A fee for removal will be incurred by the student.

7.24. Defenestration

No objects may be dropped, thrown, or propelled from windows, as serious injury may occur to persons below. College adjudication may be initiated against any person or residence community involved in defenestration.

7.25 Abandonment of Personal Belongings

College staff invest significant planning and person-hours in the transition between academic sessions and summer session. Many offices collaborate to set student departure dates in order to balance students' academic and logistical needs with other College functions (cleaning, repairs, and general preparations for new residents). 

For any period of residency, students will be informed, well in advance, of their departure deadline.  If a student faces unexpected or exceptional circumstances that pose a clear challenge to respecting the departure deadline, that student should contact Housing and Operations ( for assistance in advance of the departure deadline, and with as much notice as possible.

Should a student leave their room by the departure deadline (including mid-semester leaves), but fail to plan for the removal of some or all of their personal belongings from their room or other portions of the residence hall, these items will immediately be considered abandoned. College staff will not store personal belongings (including those that might belong to other persons). College staff will not initiate logistical arrangements to mail, ship, or otherwise relocate abandoned belongings. The College will not reimburse nor compensate in any other manner, a student who abandons items in their assigned room or in any other portion of a residence hall.