Roommates and Suitemates

Roommate Rights

Living successfully with a roommate requires flexibility, respect and the willingness to openly and honestly communicate. The following are basic levels of respect roommates should show each other:

  1. the right to undisturbed sleep,
  2. the ability to study in your room free of unreasonable noise and distraction,
  3. the ability to get into your room at all times,
  4. security against physical or emotional harm,
  5. a clean and safe environment,
  6. privacy in the room, and
  7. security and respect for your belongings.

Roommate Conflicts

If residents are having roommate problems, they should first have a frank discussion with their roommate to express their feelings and seek a solution that is workable for both people. If communication and compromise have been unsuccessful, they should consider involving a third person who can listen objectively to each roommate and assist in reaching a satisfactory solution. A proctor is a good person to consider for this mediation. Michael Edwards, or any member of the DOS staff, is also available to help negotiate a solution.

Room Changes

First-year students may change rooms after the second week of class (beginning Monday, Sept. 16, 2013). The reason for this “freeze” is to allow time to work through initial impressions and difficulties before deciding that the pairing simply won’t work. Upperclass students may change rooms at any time. The major restriction for upperclass moves is on changes that provide an advantage that the person would have been unable to gain during room draw. Intra-suite room swaps and moves to open spaces are fine, as long as they are cleared with the CLC as noted below. Mutually agreeable, inter-suite swaps need to be reviewed by DAC, but are possible. Room changes that create gender- neutral rooms are possible, but must be agreeable to everyone in the suite.

Students wanting to change rooms should contact Michael Edwards, the Campus Life Coordinator (CLC). The CLC will show the person all available spaces on campus. Any unfilled space is available for any HMC student to move into. The person wanting to move will then need to contact the potential roommates (and/or suitemates, if appropriate) to inform them of his/her interest in moving to the open space. If everyone is agreeable, then the CLC will make the move official and authorize the exchange of keys with F&M.

People with single doubles or any open space should anticipate that someone may move into the empty space in their room at any time. They may not reject potential roommates to preserve the extra space for themselves. If they feel that a potential roommate is someone they would truly not be able to live with, they should honestly tell the person why living with them will not work. In any case, the advantage for room selection will go to the person seeking to move into an empty space. Given our ongoing tight housing situation and equal room pricing, people with single doubles may not buy out the extra space for themselves. Additionally, the College retains the option to consolidate people living in single doubles when necessary.

Also, students must not switch rooms without consulting with the CLC first. Room changes that contradict DAC-established room draw regulations or College policies will not be approved by the CLC. Unauthorized room changes will be referred to the DAC for resolution. Possible outcomes include, but are not limited to, a $50 fine, restoring the original assignment and/or referral to the Disciplinary or Judiciary Board (DB/JB). Under extraordinary circumstances, the College may change room assignments in the interest of health or general welfare of the residents or community.

Five-College Living Exchange

Residents may live at CMC, Pitzer, Pomona or Scripps (women only) if they find a student who wants to swap rooms. The exchange process occurs in April for the following academic year. Residents must find a resident on another campus who wants to live at HMC, agree to live for the entire year at the host college and abide by the regulations of the host and home campus.

Gender-Neutral Housing Policy

Approved by DAC, DOS and F&M, October 31, 2008
Approved by HMC Cabinet, November 3, 2008

Students may live together in a double, triple or quad room regardless of gender identity, gender expression or biological sex. Gender-neutral rooms are decided based on gender expression. They may pull a room together in room draw and can request a room change that creates a coed room as long as everyone who lives in that suite is agreeable. Gender-neutral housing will generally not be offered to incoming students.

Housing Contract

All students residing in College housing must sign a housing contract every year.

Policies and Regulations


No chalk or other penetrating substance is allowed on interior surfaces nor shall any chalk or other penetrating substance remain on any exterior walls after the end of each semester. Should this occur, the College will charge the resident or dorm the cost of returning the area to its original, unblemished state.


Many residents bring or purchase couches for their rooms and outdoors (please refer to the outdoor furniture policy on page 37). According to the Los Angeles County Fire Inspector, couches must be in good condition (no rips in fabric) so they don’t accelerate burning in case of fire. Also, residents must remove their couches from their rooms, suites and lounges at the end of the academic year, unless they are staying as summer residents. All non-College furniture left unclaimed at the end of the year will be discarded, unless tagged and stored according to regulations established by F&M and DAC.

Damage Charge Appeal Policy

Approved by DAC, DOS and F&M, September 16, 2005
Revised by DAC, DOS and F&M, October 6, 2006

All students are responsible for maintaining their room and the furniture in it in good condition. Significant damages to the room or furniture will result in the student being billed for the damage caused to the room. If the student does not feel that he/she is responsible for paying this charge or the damage has not been repaired by the beginning of the following academic year, then the student should send an email to damage@hmc.edu.

In the event that a mutually suitable agreement cannot be made between the student and F&M, the student may appeal the room charge to the Dormitory Affairs Committee (DAC) via the DAC chair. The DAC will hear the appeal and will issue a recommendation to F&M. F&M will take the DAC’s recommendation into account and may either reverse the charge or let it stand. If the reversed charge also applies to the student’s roommates or suitemates then the charge will be reversed on their accounts as well. The DAC chair will notify the person who made the appeal of the outcome of the appeal.

Students may not appeal charges of less than $100 to the DAC. A charge to the dorm of $100 or more may be appealed to the DAC by only the dorm president, who will have no vote in the recommendation issued to F&M by the DAC.

Excessive Cleaning Policy

Approved by DAC, DOS and F&M on May 2, 2003
Revised by DAC, DOS and F&M on October 30, 2009

Students are expected to clean up after their use of public areas of dorms so that everyone may enjoy the use of the space. Building attendants are employed to conduct normal cleaning and maintenance of the buildings. Sometimes, though, areas require extra cleaning that is beyond what is considered normal. Excessive clean up will be considered, but not limited to: vomit and/or other bodily fluids; large quantities of beverage and food debris; floors covered in sticky residue; broken furniture; and other damage.

Cleaning kits that include brooms, cleaning solution and other cleaning equipment are available for checkout from F&M.

The Facilities and Maintenance Office (F&M) shall, upon observation of an area in need of excessive clean up, adhere to the following guidelines:

  • College staff observe an area in need of excessive cleanup upon arrival at approximately 7:00 AM and notify the main F&M office by 8:00 AM.
  • F&M sends a message to the dorm email list before noon informing them that a cleanup must occur.
  • The dorm has until 4:00 PM the same day to accept or deny responsibility.
  • The dorm may only deny responsibility if no one in the dorm claims responsibility.
  • If the dorm accepts responsibility, it is the duty of the dorm to clean the area before the next business day. Otherwise, dorm attendants will be asked to stay overtime to perform the necessary cleaning. Overtime charges and any necessary supplies will be charged to the dorm.
  • If the dorm denies responsibility, dorm presidents must inform F&M of the people involved (if known).
  • F&M informs the people involved of the necessary cleaning. Cleaning must occur before the next business day.
  • F&M will photograph and maintain a log of the affected areas.

Suite lounges in South, Atwood, Linde, and Sontag will not be considered public areas for the purpose of this policy. F&M, though, will try to warn residents of a suite lounge problem that could incur additional costs at the end of the year if not cleaned soon.

F&M must immediately clean up safety hazards. Examples include, but are not limited to: broken glass and other sharp objects, areas that are slippery or impede entrance and exit paths and biohazards such as blood, vomit, or rotting food. In addition, areas that will adversely affect visitors to a public event on campus will be immediately cleaned up. For both safety hazards and public events, the determination will be left to F&M and the cost of the cleaning will go to the dorm. Cleaning that requires specialized equipment (e.g. sticky floors) will be done for no charge by F&M, if residents of the dorm clean all other aspects of the area.

F&M will have seven days from the date the clean up occurred to inform the dorm presidents of the circumstances of the clean up, its cost, and photographs of the area or lose the capacity to bill for the clean up. The dormitory presidents shall, upon receiving the email from F&M, attempt to determine the responsible person(s) and shall report their findings to F&M via facilities@hmc.edu within two weeks. Students responsible for the mess may self-report to F&M. The students will be charged no more than the cleanup cost.

If no responsible person is determined the charges will be distributed equally among the dormitory residents.

Disputes regarding charges must be presented in writing/email to facilities@hmc.edu prior to the two-week reporting deadline. F&M staff will respond to the dispute in writing/email within three business days.

If further resolution is necessary, a written/email request must be submitted to the Chair of the Dormitory Affairs Committee within one week of the final outcome of the original dispute. The Dormitory Affairs Committee, Facilities and Maintenance Representative, and Dean of Students Office Representative will review the dispute request and their determination will be final.


Intentionally breaking glass in a dorm courtyard or other area on campus is a safety hazard. Students who break glass must self-report or be reported to the DB chair.


Students are not allowed to bunk or loft their beds; however, on a first come, first served basis (considering limited equipment available) the College will take requests from students for bed lofting and bunking at the beginning of each semester. You can adjust the height of your bed (different from lofting/bunking) by yourself, but keep in mind your personal safety in doing so. You may also request facilities to adjust your bed for you during the bed adjustment period of each semester. To request bed lofting or a bed adjustment, enter a work order.


The primary mission of Harvey Mudd College is education. In pursuit of that goal, residents have the right to quiet time in which to study, rest and sleep. In the close quarters of college dorms, it is important to have respect and consideration for others at all hours. If a resident is disturbed by noise at any time, he or she should approach the disturbing people and ask them to quiet down. If residents are disturbed by noise emitted by a dorm’s speakers, they can email the dorm speakers’ mailing lists and request for them to turn it down. If cooperation is not achieved, or the resident is intimidated by confronting the disturbing people, proctors are available to assist and mediate any problems. As a last resort, residents may phone Campus Safety to respond to the problem. Evening quiet hours are established by each residence hall at the beginning of the year and generally run between midnight and 9 a.m. (later on weekends). Dorms may not establish quiet hours that begin after 1 a.m. on weekdays. During final exam weeks, 23.75-hour quiet hours are in effect beginning at 12 noon on the Sunday before finals and continuing until after the last exam is finished. Noisy minutes guidelines will be reviewed and distributed through DAC.


Approved by DAC, DOS and F&M, Nov. 16, 2012

Many dorms have speakers that play music in the courtyards. Sometimes these speakers may become too loud and interfere with the sleep or studying of other students. To deal with such noise issues, each dorm on campus must have a speaker mailing list of the form [dorm name]-speakers-l@hmc.edu. This mailing list should have at least one current member of the dorm on it, and these people will be responsible for the speakers in the dorm. These lists are meant to foster inter-dorm communication about noise issues. For instance, students should be able to email these lists to request that music be turned down.

Outdoor Furniture Policy

Approved by DAC, DOS and F&M, Nov. 7, 1997
Revised by DAC, DOS and F&M, Oct. 12, 2001

  1. No indoor College furniture may be stored outside. Students are responsible for labeling the furniture that they will not be using and placing it in designated storage areas. At the end of the year, students are responsible for setting up their rooms in the same condition they found them in when they arrived. If rooms are not set up properly at the end of the year, charges will apply.
  2. In the four quad dorms, students may have personal possessions in the courtyards provided that no doors or breezeways are blocked. No furniture may be placed on second-floor walkways or back halls in accordance with aisle width requirements as dictated by the Fire Code. Couches and chairs may be placed behind the dorms provided that they be “presentable” and have no open holes, tears or rips such that they abide by the Fire Code. The “presentable” nature of couches and chairs shall be at the discretion of the owner. However, should members of the HMC Community (including students, faculty, administration and F&M) have any complaints as to the aesthetics of any furniture, they may bring their complaints to DAC, who will deal with them on a case-by-case basis.In Atwood, couches and chairs may be placed on the second- and third-floor landings wherever there are no bike racks such that no walkways or exits are blocked in accordance with the Fire Code.In Case, no furniture is permitted on the second floor bridge, unless it falls within the limitations of the Fire Code. Furniture may be placed in the courtyard provided that no doorways or walkways are blocked. No furniture or stored items may be kept in the interior hallways.

    In Linde, couches and chairs may be placed behind the dorm, facing Linde field, such that they are presentable. This furniture falls under the same guidelines as furniture behind the quad dorms. Furniture may be placed in the courtyard, but may not be placed in the walkways or alcoves in accordance with the Fire Code. No furniture is allowed on the second-floor walkway.

    In Sontag, furniture may be placed in the courtyard, but may not be placed in the walkways or alcoves in accordance with the Fire Code. No furniture is allowed on the second-floor walkway.

  3. After the residence hall storage rooms have been cleaned, students may put all empty boxes that they wish to keep in the storage rooms. Once the storage rooms have been cleaned in September, F&M will publish a clean-up deadline and post it for students (via students-l). After the deadline, any boxes remaining outside the dorm rooms, suites and apartments will be discarded by F&M.
  4. Students may place some personal possessions in the common lounges at the discretion of the dorm as a whole. However, if the common lounges fill up with too many personal possessions which renders them unusable by members of the dorm or becomes an evacuation concern, F&M will contact members of the dorm or bring concerns to DAC to discuss the lounge furnishings.
  5. This policy applies to both student-owned furniture and College-provided outdoor furniture.

In response to student concerns that insufficient notice was given before items left outdoors were removed, F&M, in consultation with the DAC, puts pink tags on items that are targeted for disposal. Residents now have a clear warning of which items will be removed and when the removal will take place. Alternately, summer residents can put green tags on items to indicate to F&M that the items belong to summer residents and are to not be thrown away.

Painting and Mural Policy

Students shall be able to paint their rooms and some common areas of their dorms as long as they adhere to the DAC guidelines. Students may not paint until their submitted proposal is approved by the DAC and F&M. Any resident painting her/his walls without authorization will assume full financial responsibility for the College returning the room to its original state.


Cats and dogs are not allowed in the residence halls. Residents may keep small, caged pets such as fish or hamsters with the approval of their roommate and/or suitemates and completion of the pet registration form. Damage to dormitory rooms or furnishings that result from pets will be billed to the resident responsible for the pet. All pets must be kept clean, healthy and in well-maintained living spaces.


Residents are not allowed to access any of the campus buildings’ roofs or to temporarily/permanently place items on roofs. Because of the threat to individual safety and the potential damage to the integrity of the roof, violators will be held financially responsible for any damage and must self-report or be reported to the DB Chair.

Room Condition Reports

On campus residents will have a room condition report completed by F&M for their room. Students in Brighton Park will have their room condition reports completed by the apartment complex management. You should carefully check the form to be sure it is accurate and add any changes. When F&M or the complex manager goes through rooms at the end of the year to assess damages, they will check the room condition report to see if a damage was reported when the student moved into the room. If it is, then a charge will likely not be deducted from the damage deposit. It is worthwhile to put as much detail as you can into the form. If you do not sign or return a form, you must accept the damage charges assessed after you move out.


The College does not allow solicitors, such as magazine salespeople, to enter the residence halls. The Dean of Students Office can make exceptions to this policy in the case of nonprofit organizations, which must meet with the Dean of Students prior to soliciting. Students should immediately report solicitors to Campus Safety. Advertising for pizza delivery or other services may only be posted on bulletin boards in public areas of dorms and only when making an HMC student-initiated delivery to campus.

Wall Hangings

Residents are encouraged to use non-damaging wall-hanging devices, i.e. Poster Mounts or non-abrasive putty. Poster Mounts are available for free from proctors and F&M. Nails are not permitted. Residents are liable for damages caused to walls, i.e. chipped or discolored paint or holes in the walls. Duct taping things to walls will cause damage requiring repair charges. Also, for fire safety, flammable cloth should not be hung over the center of a ceiling where it can light and fall on people. Similarly, cloth or other flammable materials should not be hung near lights, heat or spark sources.

Work Orders

Residents may report a facility problems to the staff member working in their dorm. If the repair requires immediate attention (i.e. overflowing toilet), call the F&M Office directly at 909.621.8226. If a resident wants to report a problem directly to F&M, complete a work order.

The system will generate an automatic copy of your work order for tracking purposes and reply via email to your account. Using this system will allow you to track the progress of your work order. At any time you may check the status of your work order by supplying the ID number provided.

Fire Policy

Approved by DAC and DOS on Oct. 22, 2004

When fire alarms sound in the residence halls, residents must evacuate immediately. Candles, incense, open flames and flammable liquids or gases are not allowed in the residence halls due to the hazards of fires. (Birthday and Hanukkah candles are OK if safely lit, constantly monitored and quickly extinguished.) Tampering with the fire safety equipment in the residence halls is a felony in the State of California (i.e. fire extinguishers, smoke detectors or fire alarm boxes). Covering or disabling smoke or heat detectors is dangerous and unlawful and will result in DB/JB charges.

People who start a fire or participate in the burning of something outside the guidelines below, particularly of furniture or other items near the dorms, will be referred to DB/JB.

Campus Safety and College officials will use these guidelines to determine if a courtyard fire is safe and non-damaging. The fire:

  1. is fully contained (nothing hanging over the sides) in a barbecue grill that is elevated more than 6 inches off the ground and that is a maximum of 9 square feet in area and a minimum of 12 inches deep.
  2. doesn’t throw sparks or threaten anything nearby,
  3. doesn’t burn anything that gives off toxic gases, such as plastics or couches, or can explode, such as aerosol cans,
  4. doesn’t have wood or fuel for the fire that exceeds two feet tall,
  5. is constantly monitored with the building’s fire extinguisher nearby,
  6. is completely extinguished by the last person to leave the fire, and
  7. is in compliance with the Fire Code, as determined by the Los Angeles County Fire Inspector.

Excessive clean-up of fires will follow normal DAC-F&M excessive clean-up procedures. According to the Fire Inspector, only one container of lighter fluid per barbecue may be stored in a dorm. College-owned wood palettes or other materials may only be used with permission from F&M.

Termination of Residence Hall Privileges

Living in the residence halls is a privilege. The decision to terminate residence hall privileges is made by DOS and/or the DB or JB. Residents may be asked to leave the residence halls for one or more of the following reasons:

  1. indications that the student’s behavior could result in harm to her/himself or others,
  2. failure of the student to make a required payment for room and/or board (after receiving written notice),
  3. failure of the student to maintain full-time enrollment with the College, or
  4. violation of any state or federal law, the Residence Hall Agreement or policies as stated in this Student Handbook.