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Hilltopics Handbook for Residence Hall Living

Definitions of Residence Hall Terms


Abandoned Property

Any personal items abandoned after the student moves out will be disposed of after 10 business days or by the close of each semester, whichever occurs first.



Adhesives including but not limited to double sided tape, contact paper, carpet tape, duct tape, etc. may not be used on University walls, furniture, windows or floors. Students will be charged for any damage caused by adhesives or residue.


Alcoholic Beverages

Alcoholic containers and items used for consumption are not permitted in the residence halls, including items displayed or used as decoration. Items in violation will be confiscated by hall staff and disposed of unless the student makes arrangements to collect the items and remove them from the hall within 72 hours. 


Alcohol Containers

Alcoholic containers and items used for consumption are not permitted in the residence halls and this includes items used as decoration or displayed. Items in violation will be confiscated by hall staff and disposed of unless the student makes arrangements to collect the items and remove them from the hall within 72 hours.



Appliances used in the residence halls must be UL listed. No cooking is permitted in a resident's room with the exception of approved microwave ovens (cannot exceed 1 cubic foot and 1000 watts) and coffee pots. All other cooking appliances must be used in the kitchens (George Foreman grills, hot plates, toasters, toaster ovens, etc). Halogen lamps, sun lamps, lava lamps, space heaters and gas appliances are not permitted for safety reasons. Irons should not be left unattended. Ironing boards need to be used for all ironing. Ironing on mattresses, carpet or university furniture may result in a charge for damage. Dehumidifiers are permitted if they have an auto-off feature.

Residents are permitted to bring a refrigerator, provided it does not exceed 5.0 cubic feet. We recommend Energy Star Appliances. 


Bicycles/Bicycle Racks

Bicycle racks are located around the residence halls. You may choose to store your bicycle in your room as long as it does not interfere with entrance or exit to your room and does not inconvenience your roommate. Care should be taken to not cause damage when entering or exiting the residence hall with a bicycle. Bicycles may not be stored in hallways, stairwells, kitchens, or any other common area. Gas powered vehicles cannot be stored in the residence halls. 


Bomb Threat

If a bomb threat is announced in your residence hall, follow the directions provided by your hall staff and/or the Police. It is important that you remain calm and that you cooperate fully.


Bulletin Boards/Postings

There is a public bulletin board in the lobby of each residence hall, which can be used for posting information. Non-hall related information needs to be approved by the hall director. Staff members use other bulletin boards throughout the hall for programming and informational purposes.


Cable Television

WesternCable is provided in each residence hall room at no additional charge. The channel lineup provides a variety of entertainment, educational, and informational channels. Residents need to supply a connector cable to connect their TV to the wall outlet.  If the TV does not have a QAM tuner, a converter box will be necessary to receive any channels. The converter box needed is the Iview – 3500STBII and may be purchased from local retailers and online.  If the resident is not sure if the TV has a QAM tuner, refer them to their TV manual. Residents should report problems with their cable to (270) 745-6819.  

View Cable Listings

View List of Known Incompatible Televisions with the Digital Cable


Cancellation of the Housing Agreement

A contract termination fee of $750, any applicable housing fees, and forfeiture of the housing deposit will be assessed to residents who officially withdraw from the residence hall and continues full-time enrollment at any time during the academic year.



Items should not be hung from or attached to ceilings. Ceiling tiles should not be tampered with or moved for any reason including running cables or data cords, hanging objects or decorations, or storing items.


Circuit Breaker-Fuses

Contact your hall staff if you experience a power loss in your room due to a tripped circuit breaker. Under no circumstance are students permitted to reset circuit breakers. Upon determination of the problem, you may be asked to make adjustments in the use of appliances or electrical equipment.



The Department of Housing & Residence Life prohibits cohabitation of guests within a residence hall room. Residents should always work out an agreement with a roommate for overnight guests. Any guest spending the night more than three consecutive nights within the residence halls may be seen as a violator of cohabitation.


Computer Equipment/TopperTech

Each residence hall room is equipped with both hard wired and wireless internet. For more information or for troubleshooting, call the Helpdesk at (270) 745-7000 between the hours of 8AM-4:30PM Monday through Friday. 


Concrete Blocks

Concrete blocks are not permitted in the residence halls.



Students are assigned accommodations assuming double occupancy of rooms unless alternative arrangements are made. If a vacancy occurs in a room due to the withdrawal of one of the residents the remaining resident has the following options:

  • Pay the additional fee necessary to occupy the room for the remainder of the semester as a private.
  • Request a room change with someone who currently has no roommate
  • Allow the hall director to assign a new resident to the room or agree to move to another room that has only one occupant.



Coupon tables are located in the lobby of each residence hall and are used by businesses to offer discounts to students. Only items offering discounts can be put on these tables.


Darts and Dart Boards

Darts and Dart Boards are not permitted in the residence halls.



Illegal use, possession, or distribution of drugs, controlled substances or drug paraphernalia may be cause for dismissal from the residence hall, as well as other disciplinary and police action. The University has adopted a Parental Notification Policy for students found in violation of the drug policy.


Electrical Outlets

The following policies concerning the use of electrical outlets must be followed:

  • In each duplex electrical wall outlet, no more than four appliances can be plugged in at any one time.

  • All major appliances (refrigerator, microwave) must be either plugged directly into the wall outlet or into a heavy duty extension cord plugged directly into the wall outlet. Multi-outlet extension cords are prohibited.

  • Six-way adapters, power taps, and electrical bars are prohibited and will be removed by the HRL staff.

  • Use of surge protectors for computer equipment, TVs, game consoles, and sound equipment is permitted. Surge protectors must be UL listed to qualify.  

Students are encouraged to remove appliances from the outlets when finished (eg: hair dryers and curling irons). All appliances draw energy even if not on and this will protect your appliances in the event of a surge.


Elevator Safety

Elevators are provided for your convenience. Anyone found tampering with or vandalizing elevators may be subject to restitution, disciplinary sanctions, and/or criminal prosecution. Misuse or abuse of the elevators will be considered criminal mischief. Only authorized personnel are allowed in the elevator shaft. Students who drop keys, IDs or other items down the elevator shaft may be billed for their retrieval.


Extended Living

This option is offered in Barnes Campbell, Bates-RunnerBemis Lawrence, and Northeast Halls and and allows students to live in their rooms when other halls close throughout the Thanksgiving, semester and spring break periods. The cost to stay in an extended living building is included in the room rate for that building.



Fighting or any physical altercations is prohibited in the residence halls. 


Fire Alarms

All fire alarms should be regarded as actual fires. The university and state law requires all residents and their guests to adhere to the fire safety regulations of the campus. Failure to evacuate is not only a safety hazard, but is a violation of University policy and state law, and may result in legal or disciplinary action.


Fire Safety

  • The sounding of false fire alarms and tampering with fire-fighting or safety equipment including extinguishers, smoke detectors, sprinklers, exit signs, extinguishing powder, door and fire alarms is prohibited.

  • Tampering with or removal of posted fire evacuation signs will result in disciplinary procedures as well as restitution for the replacement signs.

  • The use of open-coil, open plate devices, open flames, ember devices, oil lamps and incense is prohibited.

  • Candles and candle warmers are not permitted in residence halls.


Fire Safety Regulations

When the alarm, shouted warning, or the sensation of smoke or fire has alerted you, adhere to the following:

  • If there is smoke in the room, keep low to the floor.

  • Before passing through any door, feel the door knob. If it is hot, do not open the door. Before opening a door, brace yourself against the door and open it slightly. If heat and smoke are present, close the door and stay in the room.

  • If you cannot leave the room, open the window. If trapped, attract the fire department by hanging an object out the window. If there is a phone in your room, call WKU Police 745-2548 or 911 and give the room number and specific location.

  • If you can leave a room, close the door behind you.

  • Go to the nearest exit or stairwell. Do not use the elevator.

  • If the nearest exit is blocked by fire, heat or smoke, go to an alternate exit.

  • If all exits are blocked, go back to your room, open the windows, and attract the fire department.

  • After evacuating a building, move to the designated meeting location. Emergency personnel and equipment will be maneuvering around the building.

  • Follow the directions of fire, police, and hall personnel.

  • You may reenter the building only after fire and police officials have given their approval.



Douglas Keen, Gilbert, McCormack, PFT and Rodes Harlin halls have furniture that can be locked. One of the dresser drawers has a clasp on it and students can supply their own lock to secure personal possessions. The student is responsible for keeping up with the key or combination. If a lock needs to be removed by maintenance, there will be a charge assessed and proof of contents will be required.



Gambling, in any form, is prohibited on campus.


ID Card

Students are expected to carry their valid student identification card at all times and to present it upon request by University officials including, but not limited to University Police, faculty, Housing & Residence Life staff, and other staff of the institution. The University may confiscate any ID card that has been misused, duplicated, or altered. Cards may be retained temporarily while their validity is checked. A student may possess only one ID card. Use of the ID card by any person other than the person to whom it was issued or use of the card under false pretenses is a violation of the Code of Conduct.



Kitchens are provided on each floor of the residence halls. For safety and sanitation reasons, food cannot be left unattended when cooking, personal trash is not to be left in the kitchens, and dishes and cooking supplies cannot be left or stored in the kitchens. Items left for an extended period of time may be discarded.



Laundry facilities are available in all residence halls and residents may use either cash or Big Red Dollars. There are washers, dryers and change machines in each facility. The cost per machine is $1.50 cash ($1.25 with card) per load. 



The lobby area is available to the residents and their guests 24 hours a day when the building is open. If residents or guests in the lobby become loud and unruly, they will be asked to leave the building.



Lofts are not permitted in the residence halls. The beds provided can be raised up to 36". If residents are interested in bunking their beds, bunking pins may be picked up from the front desk. 



USPS and campus mail is picked up and delivered to the halls daily except for Sundays and holidays. Campus mail may be used for University business and does not require postage. Mailboxes for the residents are located on the first floor of each hall. View residence hall addresses.



Maintenance requests may be reported by residents and staff using the InSite online work request system. First time users may access the setup link by clicking on "Current Students" on www.wku.edu/housing and clicking "Maintenance Request." Follow InSite instructions to create a user ID. After the account is set-up, you may access InSite at any time for routine maintenance requests. For repairs concerning the data connection, see Computer Equipment/TopperTech. For repairs to the cable, see Cable Television and for repairs to the telephone line, see Telephone Repair.


Motorized/Electronic Vehicles

Motorized vehicles and electronic skateboards, including hover boards, self-balancing scooters, and other similar equipment are prohibited from being used, stored and/or charged in all university-managed residence halls and apartments. View the University Drone policy


No Shows

Residents who do not check into their room by midnight of the first day of classes will be declared a "no-show." Their room assignment will be cancelled and deposit forfeited, unless HRL has been notified in advance.


Official Withdrawal

To properly and officially check-out/withdraw from the residence hall, residents must:

  • Remove personal property from their side of the room.

  • Remove trash and/or unwanted materials (i.e. coat hangers, cardboard boxes, etc.).

  • Sweep, vacuum, and/or mop floor and wipe furniture off on their side of the room.

  • Place furniture in the location it was in when you moved in.

  • Have room inspected by a member of the HRL staff.

  • Turn in the room key to the person who inspected the room.

  • Sign the Room Condition Report

Residents who do not officially check-out/withdraw will be charged $150.


Online Gaming

If a resident wishes to participate in online gaming, the video game console must be registered through TopperTech. To register a console, call TopperTech at (270)745-7000.


Overnight Guests - See Visitation

Part-Time Students

Residents, who may need to drop to part-time status, must get approval from HRL to remain in residence halls. Residents who are only enrolled part-time may be asked to leave the halls at any time if they are involved in violations of University Policy.


Pest Control

The residence halls are treated for most pests and insects on a regular basis, but if your room needs to be sprayed, submit a maintenance request and it will be taken care of on an individual basis. To minimize the chance of pests, keep your room and kitchens clean and store food in closed containers.



Pets, with the exception of fish, are not allowed in residence halls. Professionally trained service dogs and emotional support animals are not considered pets.


Quiet Hours

  • 24 Hour Courtesy Hours - courtesy hours are in effect at all times. If someone asks you to decrease the noise level in your room, you should comply with that request.

  • Quiet Hours are observed from 10:00pm to 8:00am Sunday-Thursday and Midnight-8:00am Friday-Saturday. Quiet hours mean that there should be no noise heard outside your room with the door closed.

  • During finals week, 24 hour quiet hours are in effect.

  • Unruly guests may be asked to leave the building by hall staff if they refuse to comply with the request of staff or residents to decrease the noise level.

  • Stereo equipment, amplifiers, and/or speakers may be required to be removed from a room as a conduct outcome.


Radio Transmissions

Radio transmission is not permitted in the residence halls.



Each residence hall recycles aluminum cans, #1 and #2 plastics, and paper. Single-stream recycling bins are located in each residence hall lobby, and residents are provided one recycling bin per room.


Renters Insurance

Western Kentucky University Housing & Residence Life urges each student to purchase some form of insurance, whether it be renters insurance or a rider on their parent's homeowner's insurance. The University is not liable for theft, damage or loss of personal belongings from any part of the residence hall.National Student Services is a company that provides student insurance, or compare reviews for top renters insurance companies from consumeraffairs.com.


Required Housing Policy

The live-on experience that the Department of Housing & Residence Life is committed to providing, is an essential part of the educational experience at Western Kentucky University. All Students (unless otherwise exempted or who have chosen a different on-campus living accommodation) who have less than 60 credit hours earned, will be charged the lowest community style residence hall rate that HRL offers.

Exemptions to this policy include students who are: 

  • Veterans of Military service (181 days or more)
  • Married
  • Primary care giver for dependent children
  • 21 years of age or older
  • Sophomore members of fraternities or sororities living in the chapter house
  • Commuting fifty miles or less from their parents' permanent home and primary residence.

Requests for exemption based upon special circumstances (defined as unique and unusual) will also be considered.

Approved exemptions apply to the academic year or semester for which the request is made. Student should submit a request for exemption for each academic year or semester they are required to live on campus.

The burden of providing necessary documentation and evidence to support an exemption request rests with the student. Students, who have provided false information in an exemption request or fail to apply for housing per required housing policy, will be charged for housing each semester. Students may also be adjudicated for violating the student code of conduct for providing false information. 


Residence Hall Association (RHA)

The Residence Hall Association is composed of representatives from each hall. The primary functions of RHA are to review policy recommendations from students concerning residence hall living and to built a community atmosphere on campus by working with individual hall governments on campus wide programs. See your hall director for meeting times and location. Learn more about the Residence Hall Association


Room Assignment Process

Room assignments are made based upon date of receipt, indicated preferences and priority status. Returning residents who renew by the deadline are reassigned first. Incoming freshmen and transfer students are assigned next. Roommate assignments are based upon mutual requests. Assignments are made without regard to race, national origin, sexual orientation and HRL will not accept requests made for these reasons.


Room Changes

Room changes occur September 6th through February 1st. Residents can apply for a room change in Topnet. A resident must be granted approval by the hall director before moving. Unapproved moves or unauthorized room changes will result in a move to the resident's original assignment and possible disciplinary action.


Roommate Agreement

The Roommate Lifestyle Agreement is a contract drafted by and agreed to by a roommate pair. Roommate Lifestyle Agreements outline the standards roommates will work to uphold throughout the duration of their roommate relationship. Roommate Lifestyle Agreements help roommates determine their expectations of one another, encourage communication between roommate pairs, and can help resolve conflicts through a process called mediation. Roommate Lifestyle Agreements are introduced to roommate pairs during the first floor meeting of the semester and are required for all new students. Roommate pairs who experience conflict are encouraged to try to resolve the conflict by openly and calmly communicating. Roommate Lifestyle Agreements can be renegotiated and updated at any time by roommate pairs.  Roommate pairs unable to negotiate conflict on their own are encouraged to seek out the assistance of their Resident Assistants and/or Hall Directors.


Safety Check

Safety checks are to ensure the safety and sanitation conditions of each room. They are conducted by members of the hall staff and take place the first Wednesday of every month with the exception of January, when it takes place the Wednesday after classes begin. These inspections take place between the hours of 10:00 am and 10:00 pm on the scheduled days. It is not necessary for you to be present during these checks.



Each residence hall desk is staffed 24 hours a day and closed-circuit cameras are used to monitor entrances and exits to each building. Any attempt to circumvent the security measures is a violation of policy and may result in disciplinary action up to and including removal from the residence halls.


Smoke Detector Checks

Every month, each resident is required to check the smoke detector in their room and sign a checklist provided by the staff. This requirement is outlined in the State Fire Code.


Smoking Policy

All residence halls are smoke free. Students, who choose to smoke outside, must go to the designated areas. Any device that is used to simulate smoking is also prohibited. View the designated smoking areas


Solicitation/Commercial Activity

Commercial solicitation is prohibited. It is prohibited for vendors and organizations seeking funds, services or memberships to solicit or attempt to sell products in the halls. However, solicitation for certain worthy causes or those in the best interest of the university community may be authorized to take place in the main lobby area with approval. No one is allowed to solicit door-to-door. Residents are not permitted to operate any type of business out of their room.


Tornado Procedures

If a tornado warning or alarm is issued, it is important for you to move from your room to a designated safe area, away from the top floors of the residence halls and any areas having exterior windows or glass. Your hall staff will direct you to the designated safe area in your hall. Timeliness and cooperation is of utmost importance. Ask members of your hall staff for more information regarding tornado procedures.


Trash Removal

You are responsible for the removal of all personal trash from the building. Trash can liners may be obtained at your lobby desk. All halls have a compactor located outside. All room trash should be taken to the compactor. Dispose of carpet and other large items in the designated areas. Failure to properly dispose of trash will result in disciplinary sanctions and/or community service.


Unauthorized Guest

For any WKU student to be considered an authorized guest, they must adhere to all visitation procedures of the hall in which they are visiting including visitation hours, check-in/out procedures and being properly escorted. Residents are responsible for the actions of their guests.


Underage Guests

Visits by underage guests need to be authorized by the hall director. The following policies exist concerning underage guests:

  • No overnight guests under the age of 18 are allowed.

  • No guests of the opposite gender under the age of 18 will be checked in unless they are a WKU student with a valid WKU ID.

  • Babysitting is not permitted. Infants and minor children should be accompanied by their parents and may visit for short periods of time.



Anyone caught damaging university or residence hall property will be subject to disciplinary sanction, possible legal prosecution, restitution, and may be subject to removal from campus housing.


Vending Machines

Vending machines are located in every hall and are equipped to accept both cash and Big Red Dollars. If a refund is needed, take a refund request form to one of the refund locations on campus: Cashier’s Office in Potter Hall, Post Office in Downing Student Union, Dean’s Office in College High Hall, and the Dean’s Office in Tate Page Hall. 



Single Gender Halls (Douglas Keen, Gilbert, Hugh Poland, McCormack, Meredith, Pearce Ford Tower and Rodes Harlin Halls): Visitors of the opposite gender may visit residents during the following hours:

  • Sunday-Thursday 10:00 am - midnight
  • Friday at 10am - Sunday at midnight

Guests of the same gender may visit at any time. All guests must check in at the desk with a WKU ID or valid driver's license. They must be escorted by a resident when in the building and must use the designated restrooms. Guests should not be left in the building while the resident is not there. The resident must check out each guest as they leave the building. Residents are responsible for the actions of their guests.

Co-Ed Halls (Barnes-Campbell, Bates-Runner, Bemis-Lawrence, Hilltopper, McLean, Minton, Northeast, Southwest and Zacharias Halls): Co-ed halls have 24 hour visitation. All guests must check in at the desk with a WKU ID or valid driver's license. They must be escorted by a resident when in the building and must use the designated restroom. Guests should not be left in the building while the resident is not there. The resident must check out each guest as they leave the building.  Residents are responsible for the actions of their guests.

Overnight Guests:  Student recruits (athletic, admissions, or other University programs) need to register with HRL at least 48 hours prior to the visit.  There is not a charge for a prospective student to stay overnight in WKU on-campus housing, so long as the prospective student (or someone on the behalf of the prospective student) has scheduled an WKU campus visit with HRL ahead of time.  See visitation policy for overnight guests with respect to specific halls.



Waterbeds are not allowed in residence halls.



Possession or use of firearms, explosives (including fireworks), dangerous chemicals or other dangerous weapons or brandishing of any weapon or any other object in a menacing or threatening manner on institutionally controlled property is prohibited. Weapons may be defined as any object or substance designed to inflict a wound, cause injury or incapacitate. Weapons may include but are not limited to: all firearms, pellet guns, stun guns, paintball guns, slingshots, martial arts devices, switchblades, swords, decorative knives and clubs. Weapons will be confiscated by HRL staff. 



Objects are not to be thrown out of windows and screens are not to be tampered with. Lights and other items should not be displayed in windows. 

Tampering or removal of window safety equipment may result in disciplinary sanctions and a $40.00 charge to replace the damaged equipment.

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 Last Modified 12/6/18