Regulations, Guidelines, and Conduct Process

Here is a PDF of our Regulations, Guidelines, and Conduct Process, updated for 2021

It is a privilege to live in the Residential Community and we strive to maintain an environment that is conducive for residents to live, study and sleep in the community.   Residential Education and Campus Housing (REACH) Regulations are designed to support this environment and the Seawolf Commitment which states that as a Seawolf, you will commit yourself to the highest ethical standards of:

  • Integrity- I will conduct myself with integrity in my dealings with students, staff, and faculty.
  • Excellence- I will strive for excellence in my academic work and relationships.
  • Respect- I will respect the rights and dignity of others.
  • Responsibility- I will accept the responsibility to conduct myself as an ethical member of my community.

The Residential Community consists of all suites and apartments, meeting rooms, sidewalks, recreational and common use areas, and designated housing parking lots within the community. By living in the Residential Community, you are expected to adhere to:

  • REACH Regulations and Guidelines
  • Student Housing License Agreement conditions
  • Applicable State and Federal Laws
  • Sonoma State University Policies and Regulations
  • CSU Executive Orders

Students will be held accountable for violations within the Residential Community. The REACH conduct process is separate from the University Conduct process and is in support of the Student Housing License Agreement. Students who violate regulations in the Residential Community may also be held accountable for their actions by the SSU Office of Student Conduct and Sonoma State University Police. If a student has violated University policy, local, state, or federal laws, they could go through one or more of the processes, including legal prosecution. The University reserves the right to contact parent(s), guardian(s), and/or emergency contact(s) when the actions of a community member threaten their individual health, safety, or ability to care for themselves. If you have questions regarding regulations or the conduct process, please contact the REACH Office at (707) 664-2541. 

General Regulations

Abandoned Property

Items left in a resident’s room after they vacate will be considered abandoned property and a fee will be imposed to the resident’s account for disposal. The fee will depend upon the quantity and size of items. In compliance with Title 5 Sections, 42375 and 42376 and California Civil Code, personal possessions abandoned on state property may be donated to another public institution or not-for-profit organization or otherwise disposed of if the item(s) is valued under three hundred dollars ($300). If the item(s) are valued at or above three hundred dollars ($300), the items may be held by the campus for a period of at least three months and if unclaimed after that time period, may be sold at the University’s public auction.

Alcohol

The following regulations are in support of a safe environment regarding alcohol use within the Residential Community: 

If you are under the age of 21

You and your guest(s), even if they are over the age of 21, may not possess alcohol in the Residential Community. No alcohol or alcohol containers are allowed in any apartment/suite in which all residents of that apartment/suite are under the age of 21 (designated under-21 space). 

If you are age 21 or over 

You may only possess and use alcohol in your own residential space or a space where other of-age persons reside (designated 21+ space). There should only be one legal drink serving open per of-age person at any given time. Alcohol and/or alcohol containers should not be visible from the outside of the apartment or living space. All empty alcohol containers should be disposed of in recycling bins. 

Alcohol Violations

The following are considered alcohol violations for a resident of any age.

  • Hosting or presence at a gathering in the Residential Community where alcohol violations occur.
  • Alcohol possession, consumption, or distribution that contributes to a potentially high-risk situation. A high-risk situation is defined as any action, behavior, or conduct which poses detrimental consequences to an individual, community member, or University property as a result of alcohol.
  • Possession of mass consumption or common source containers or devices such as kegs, beer bongs, or funnels.
  • Possession or consumption of alcohol by any persons under the age of 21. 
  • Provision of alcohol to a person under the age of 21.
  • Display of empty alcohol containers, including empty boxes. 
  • Possession of any empty alcohol containers by any persons under the age of 21.
  • Use or possession of alcohol in any public area including outdoors, a pool area, common areas, balconies, patios, stairwells, and residential parking lots.
  • Display of items that can be viewed from outside that promote or advertise alcohol.
  • Being unable to care for self or others as a result of alcohol consumption.
  • Exceeding the number of allowable drink servings for those 21 or older.
  • Participation in drinking games, simulated drinking games, or possession of drinking game equipment/paraphernalia.

Civil and Responsible Behavior

Residents are expected to act with integrity and in a manner that positively contributes to the Residential Community. All members of the Residential Community and University staff should be treated with respect and dignity. Being lewd, disorderly, disruptive, uncooperative, failing to comply with administrative moves or sanctions, or providing false information/identification to University Staff in performance of their duties are violations of REACH Regulations.

Computing and Network Usage

By signing the Student Housing License Agreement, you are agreeing to adhere to the allowed use of your network connection as defined in the SSU Network Connection Policies and the California Penal Code, Section 502, regarding the unlawful use of computers. Unlawful use of computers includes, but is not limited to, downloading entertainment files, file sharing, and inappropriate use of campus computer systems. If you do not have access to the Internet, please contact Network Policies Request, Information Technology, 1801 E. Cotati Avenue, Rohnert Park, CA 94928 and information will be sent to you. For more information, please visit Information Security - Policies and Standards.

Cooking

Due to health and safety concerns, residents may only cook in apartment kitchens. Cooking is prohibited inside residential suites. Microwaves and coffee pots with auto shut-off systems are the only cooking appliances allowed in residential suites. All other exposed coil and electrical cooking appliances (for example hot plates, rice makers, panini presses, small grills, pressure or slow cookers, etc) are prohibited. 

Damage or Misuse of Property

It is a violation to damage, misuse, alter, or vandalize University property. University property includes all furnishings and structures in the residential living spaces and public areas. Violations include, but are not limited to, removing public area furniture from the intended location, tampering with television, telephone, or computer connections, chalking or marking on sidewalks or buildings, unauthorized removal of items from bulletin boards, hanging items or coverings from exterior surfaces, and removal of window screens. Residents found responsible for violations may be assessed an administrative charge for the replacement, repair, or removal of items or damage.

Drugs (for Marijuana see that section)

Except as legally prescribed, use or possession of dangerous drugs, restricted drugs, narcotics, and drug paraphernalia is prohibited. Drugs are defined as, but not limited to any stimulant, intoxicant other than alcohol, nervous system depressant, hallucinogen, an opiate painkiller, other chemical substance/compound, or combination of the aforementioned when used to induce an altered state. Additionally, the unlawful manufacturing, distribution, dispensing, possession, sale, or use of any controlled substance other than for the intended use of the individual is prohibited. Residents will be held responsible for behavior or actions that may result from being under the influence of drugs.

Electrical Appliances/Equipment/Space Heaters

In order to maintain a safe environment within the Residential Community, refrigerators 3 cubic feet or smaller, microwaves, and coffee pots are the only kitchen appliances allowed in residential suites. All other exposed coils and other electrical cooking appliances are prohibited. Space heaters, 3-D printers, portable air conditioners, clothes washers and dryers, Halogen lamps, and additional full-size refrigerators are prohibited. All other electrical equipment must be UL approved and in safe operating condition. CSU Chancellor’s Office Executive Order 785, Provision Nine – Operations & Maintenance – prohibits the use of space heaters in campus buildings including the Residential Community.

Environmental Provisions and Waste disposal

The following are important standards and expectations that help preserve and maintain a safe, clean, and sustainable community.

Garbage Disposal

  • Garbage is to be disposed of in the dumpsters located in each village. 
  • Recycling is to be deposited in designated areas. 
  • The bins provided for trash and recycling are the property of REACH.
  • Placing garbage in an undesignated area is a violation of REACH Regulations and may result in appropriate sanctions and a disposal fee.

Hazardous Substance or Materials Disposal:

  • Releasing hazardous substances or materials to campus storm drains, water, sanitary sewers, roads, green space, or University property is prohibited. 
  • Substances include, but are not limited to, motor oil, antifreeze, battery acid, paint, and pesticides. 
  • A resident shall be liable for the cost of cleanup determined by the SSU Director of Environmental Health and Safety and may be subject to fines or imprisonment [Penal Code 374.8]. 
    • Eviction, cleanup cost, the imposition of fines, or imprisonment shall not apply under circumstances where the hazardous materials release occurred as a result of an accident or emergency and the person promptly reported the release to University Police at 911. All cleanup costs for hazardous materials releases remain with the responsible party. Cleanup costs include, but are not limited to, spill response equipment, hazardous waste disposal fees, personnel time, and all other items of expense necessary to restore the environment to its original condition.

Disposal of Biomedical Sharps

Biomedical sharps, defined as any device with acute rigid corners, edges, or protrusions for cutting or piercing, usually in the form of a hypodermic needle, cannot be disposed of in the standard garbage and must be disposed of using the following procedure:

  • Place used sharp into an approved sharps container available from the Student Health Center or pharmacy.
  • Bring the full container to the Student Health Center for disposal free of charge for residential students only. If it is the end of the semester or you are moving off-campus, you may bring a container that is not full.

Use of Reclaimed Water

In an effort to maintain environmental and financial responsibility, Sonoma State University uses reclaimed non-potable water with elevated nitrate levels and trace contaminants for irrigation. Please avoid drinking, bathing, or another direct contact. The areas that use reclaimed water are often designated with signs or purple-colored caps, covers, or fixtures. The entire water system has been thoroughly tested to ensure no cross-connections exist between domestic and reclaimed water.

Fire Safety

Residents are expected to be responsible regarding fire safety and the prevention of harm to the community. Residents and guests must follow procedures and immediately evacuate a building upon the sound of an alarm. Fire safety violations may be subject to local, state, and federal laws. Violations of the Fire Safety REACH Regulations include, but are not limited to:

  • Starting, or attempting to start, fires or creating a high-risk fire situation.
  • Jeopardizing the ability of University or local officials to respond to a fire situation; or the ability for individuals to evacuate a building. 
  • Activating a false alarm.
  • Misusing, tampering with, disabling, covering, or removing any fire safety devices including fire extinguishers, exit signs, smoke detectors, and door self-closing mechanisms.
  • Possession of laboratory burners, butane torches, tiki torches, or other similar items.
  • Having an open flame in the Residential Community, including lit candles or incense. Residents may possess decorative candles, as long as the wick remains whole and unburnt.
  • Cooking in any residential space other than a kitchen. 
  • Possession of flammable or dangerous materials such as lighter fluid, gasoline, solvents, and caustic chemicals other than household cleaning agents. 
  • Possession of, discharging, or attempting to discharge firecrackers or fireworks of any kind within or adjacent to the Residential Community.
  • Failure to follow evacuation instructions and procedures. Residents should evacuate promptly upon becoming aware of a fire alarm in the building. If the alarm has ceased sounding, it does not mean the building is cleared for re-entry; wait for instruction from REACH staff and/or authorized personnel. 

 

Please be advised that local emergency agencies, when responding to fires, medical assists, and other emergency situations in the Residential Community can legally charge the responsible student(s) reimbursement fees or fines. 

Grills/BBQs

Only charcoal grills with lids and legs are allowed in the Residential Community. Gas grills of any kind are prohibited. Charcoal lighter fluid is prohibited; pre-soaked briquettes or a chimney style paper charcoal lighter should be used. Grills may only be used outside and at least 10 feet away from building walls. Grills may not be used on balconies or in corridors.

Briquettes and ashes must be completely cold before being properly disposed of in a dumpster, and may not be thrown on the lawns or any other grounds locations.

Guests*

A guest is defined as any person who is visiting a suite or apartment where they do not live. This includes other SSU students and residents of other campus residential suites or apartments. *Due to the COVID-19 Pandemic, the only guests permitted inside any building within the residential community are Sonoma State University, residential students.

The following information governs the presence and behavior of guests:

  • Residents may be held accountable for violation(s) committed by their guests. 
  • During normal REACH operations, the following regulations are in place:
    • Guests in common spaces are a privilege and must be mutually agreed upon by the residents of the apartment/suite. Barring a lack of “agreement,” there must be no concerns and/or objections.
    • Residents may have up to 4 guests at any time. There may be no more than 20 persons total in a suite at any time, residents and guests.
    • Guests may stay up to two nights in any given two-week period. Exceptions may be requested from a resident’s Area Coordinator, but are not guaranteed. Residents may be subject to a $50 charge per night for unapproved guests who exceed the length of stay allowed.
    • No overnight guests are allowed during finals week. Exceptions may be requested from a resident’s Area Coordinator, but are not guaranteed. 
    • Guests should not be left unattended in any residential building, room, or apartment. 
  • Based on prior behavior, REACH may designate any guest as a non-approved guest, and restrict them from being present in all or part of the residential community. University Police will also be notified when individuals are declared non-approved guests.
  • It is a violation to knowingly have a guest in the Residential Community who is non-approved.

*Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the guest regulations will be determined by the latest safety guidelines and policies that will supersede the current published regulation. 

 

Identification

Students and their guests are required to possess identification while in the Residential Community and show it when reasonably requested by a staff member. Failing to possess, refusing to provide, or providing false identification to a University staff member performing their duty is a violation of REACH Regulations.

Jeopardizing the Academic Success, Health, and/or Safety of Self/Others

Residential Education and Campus Housing acknowledges that civility, understanding, and mutual respect are responsibilities of all members of the university community and its visitors. These tenets are intrinsic to excellence in teaching and learning and to the existence of a safe and healthy community/workplace. Threats of violence or acts of violence not only impact the individuals concerned but also the mission of the university to foster higher education through open dialogue and the free exchange of ideas. Each member of the university community has the obligation to report threats or acts of violence to the appropriate university authority. The following items describe the REACH Regulations relating to jeopardizing the academic success, health, and/or safety of self/others:

  • Any activity which can be reasonably interpreted as endangering to or harming any community member or guest thereof, including oneself, is prohibited. REACH reserves the right to remove any individual exhibiting behavior deemed by the REACH Staff as a threat to themselves or others.
  • Behavior that endangers or disturbs others' or one's own personal safety is prohibited. This includes intentionally, recklessly, or negligently causing physical harm. Creating undue mental or emotional harm to any person such that it limits their ability to access the essential services of the university and/or REACH is prohibited.
  • During times of campus, local, and/or state emergency, it is expected that all residents will comply with the appropriate directions and instructions of REACH staff, emergency personnel, and university officials. Failure to do so could jeopardize the student’s ability to remain a member of the residential community. 
  • The health and safety of our residents is paramount. In accordance with the Good Samaritan Policy/Save a Seawolf found on the Student Conduct website, REACH will consider the fact that a person made a call for assistance a mitigating factor in determining any sanction(s). Failing to call for emergency or medical assistance (including when alcohol or other drugs are involved) will be considered an aggravating circumstance and result in more serious sanctions.
  • Any threat or action of physical or emotional harm in any form (including, but not limited to online postings, written statements, verbal interactions, assault/battery, physical fights, malicious pranks, etc.) to any community member or guest is prohibited.
  • Any action that has the reasonable potential to cause harm, injury, or damage to another person, their room, or their possessions is prohibited. This includes acts perceived as “pranks” against members of the Residential Community.
  • The placing of telephone calls, emails, text messages, Direct Messages (DMs), and/or posts to social networking websites that are harassing in nature or that negatively impact another’s success are prohibited. Social media posts and visible photographs may be used as evidence of alleged violations.
  • Students are expected to practice appropriate personal hygiene and to maintain an environment within their room and community which is sanitary.
  • Residents shall abide by the California Code of Regulations Title 5 Standards for Student Conduct. 
  • Rewiring, the placing of attachments, or attaching unauthorized devices on a telephone or computer is prohibited. 

Laundry Rooms

Laundry rooms are available for current residents only in each village within the Residential Community. Residents have access to the laundry rooms by using their Seawolf ID card. The right to use the wash machines and dryers is included in a resident’s rental rate. Providing access for non-residents to the laundry rooms is a violation of REACH Regulations.

Marijuana

Although recreational marijuana is legal for individuals 21+ years old or may be prescribed for medicinal purposes in California, due to the Federal Drug-Free Schools Act, possession of marijuana on the SSU campus is a violation of REACH Regulations and University Policy.

The following are considered violations of the marijuana regulations:

  • Marijuana possession, use, sale, or distribution in any form, including live or dried plant material, edibles, tinctures, topicals, ingestible oils, and/or synthetic marijuana.
  • Any action, behavior, or conduct which poses detrimental consequences to an individual, community member, or University property as a result of marijuana.
  • Possession of marijuana storage and preparation equipment, such as canisters, scales, bud grinders, butane torches, etc. All such items will be confiscated and disposed of.
  • Possession of marijuana paraphernalia, smoking devices, vaporizers, pipes (all materials), bongs, filters, one-time-use devices, hookahs, and dab rigs. All such items will be confiscated and disposed of.
  • Hosting or attending a gathering where marijuana is present or being used.
  • Individual behavior where one is in such a condition that they are unable to exercise care for their own safety or the safety of others while under the influence of marijuana.
  • Posters, signs, or any insignia relating to marijuana that can be viewed from outside of the apartment/suite.
  • The smell of marijuana on one’s person or belongings, or in their residential space. 

Noise and Quiet Hours

The Residential Community is committed to developing a community built on respect and civility toward all members. In supporting the mission and purpose of the University, REACH, and the Seawolf Commitment, noise in the Residential Community should be kept to a level that is not disruptive. 24-hour courtesy noise levels are expected by residents and their guests at all times, including music, gaming, movies, etc. The Residential Community observes official quiet hours during which the noise level inside a respective suite/apartment should not be so loud that it can be heard outside of the apartment/suite.

Quiet Hours

Quiet Hours are in place during the following days and times: 

  • Sunday through Thursday, any night preceding an instructional day (class day) 
    • 10 PM to 8 AM
  • Weekend nights, and any night preceding a university holiday or non-instructional day
    • 2 AM to 10 AM
  • Final Exam periods - 24-hour Quiet Hours are effective from 11:59 PM the Friday prior until the community closes
    • Exception - 5:00 PM - 5:15 PM daily for the Seawolf Howl

Community of Courtesy Expectations

Any member of the community has the right to ask any person(s) in a room, apartment, or suite to minimize or stop the noise if they believe it has become a disturbance. All members of the community have the responsibility to comply with such a request to minimize or stop the noise that has become a disturbance or interferes with the ability to study, rest, or quietly enjoy the community. Failure to comply with a reasonable request to lower or stop a disturbing noise may result in a violation of REACH Regulations.

Additional Violations

  • Playing instruments or utilizing amplified sound or stereo equipment that create a community disturbance
  • Bouncing balls or objects against any surface or structure in the Residential Community
  • Skateboarding through the Residential Community during Quiet Hours
  • Any noise, not specified, that is considered a disturbance

Patio/Patio Furnishings

Enclosed patios may be furnished with furniture designed for outdoor use subject to approval by REACH. Apartment furniture provided by REACH must remain indoors at all times. Non-enclosed first floor patios in Zinfandel are considered community space and all furniture must be removed each night at the discretion of REACH Staff. Furniture, bikes, and other items blocking walkways, hallways, and breezeways in the Villages are not permitted. Items may not be attached to, cover, or hang from balconies, patios, or any exterior surface. The addition of stepping stones or other walkway materials is prohibited. Patios should not be used as routes into and out of your apartment due to potential damage to landscaping and irrigation systems, and concerns of personal safety. 

Pets/Animals

Due to concerns for health, safety, sanitation, property, noise, and animal welfare, animals that are not registered Service Animals or Emotional Support Animals are not allowed within the Residential Community, except fish in an aquarium no larger than 10 gallons. Residents who are found responsible for a violation are subject to a room inspection from REACH and will be assessed appropriate charges for any damages, cleaning, or fumigation services. Residents must adhere to the Sonoma State Animals on Campus Policy. Questions about service animals or support animals should be directed to Disability Services for Students.

Postings and Signage

The posting of general flyers and advertisements must abide by University signage policies prior to placement. Placement is the responsibility of REACH, and non-approved postings may be removed. Please see the Time, Place, Manner Policy for complete details.

Windows in the Residential Community

Windows are to be kept clear of any signage or displays. This includes but is not limited to stickers, gel clings, flags, posters, and sticky notes. 

Public Area Furniture

Furnishings provided in the Residential Community public areas are provided for the entire community to use. Residents who remove furniture from the public areas may be assessed an administrative charge for removal of or damage to items and will be subject to the REACH conduct process.

Residential Room Policies

Room Cleaning Requirements

Residents are expected to maintain their living space (room, apartment, patio, and balcony) in a reasonable, clean and sanitary condition throughout the occupancy period. At the end of each semester, residents are required to thoroughly clean and restore their living space to the original move-in condition. If your living space is found to be unsafe or poses a health risk due to uncleanliness, excessive trash, or damage, you will be asked to restore your space to a healthy and safe condition. Failure to comply with this request may result in administrative charges for cleaning and sanctions that may have an impact on your current and future ability to live in the Residential Community. If uncleanliness has led to a pest infestation, such as cockroaches or rodents, the individual or individuals may be charged for the cost of having a pest management company treat the issue and replace appliances if needed.

Room Decorations

Push pins, thumbtacks, and Command Strips may be used to attach decorations to walls. Nails, screws, toggle, and molly bolts are not allowed. Double-sided glue or adhesive type stickers are not allowed, since both damage sheetrock and paint when removed. Residents are not allowed to install hooks, shelving on any wall, or any other modification attached to walls or ceilings. 

Windows are to be kept clear of any signage or displays. This includes but is not limited to stickers, gel clings, flags, posters, and sticky notes.

Room Entry and Search

Sonoma State will respect residents’ right to be free from unreasonable searches and intrusions into residential living areas. However, authorized University staff may enter a residence with or without notice under certain limited circumstances as stated in the Student Housing License Agreement. Right of Entry includes any emergency, health, safety, safety inspections, maintenance, management of applicable regulations, or other lawful purposes. It is standard for University staff to inspect each unit at the conclusion of the fall semester or when a bed space becomes vacant. Facilities Management may conduct spot checks for quality control or enter a space when a maintenance issue has been discovered. While the staff will announce themselves before entering, these entries may be unscheduled. Violations discovered while staff is performing their duty will be subject to the Residential or University conduct processes.

Room Furnishings

All university-provided furniture (bed frames, mattresses, desks, chairs, couches, etc.) must remain in the suite and may not be placed outside. Bedroom furniture must remain in the assigned bedroom space, not in common living areas or other bedrooms.

  • Lofts are not permitted to be built in rooms because of Uniform Building Code regulations.
  • Waterbeds are not permitted because of the potential for damage if they leak, the cost to heat them, and the lack of space to store existing beds.
  • Window screens must not be removed at any time. The Facilities Management staff is required to reinstall any screen or screen door that has been removed, at a cost to the resident(s) of that space.

Room Inspections and Charges

When a resident has been approved to vacate a room during the contractual period, a room inspection is performed to identify any excessive damage or cleaning needed to restore the room back to move-in condition. Residents remaining in the bedroom or unit will be notified of the required inspection by REACH, either by phone or email. If REACH is unable to reach a resident of the unit, they are permitted to enter the space to perform the inspection as stated in the Student Housing License Agreement per Section XV Right of Entry. All residential spaces are inspected at the end of the fall semester and academic year. Findings from the room inspection are reconciled with the Room Condition Form provided to residents and encouraged to complete it at the start of occupancy. Charges are equally divided by the occupants unless someone claims responsibility for specific damage or cleaning by completing a Damage Responsibility Form. Students will receive notification if they have been charged any damage or cleaning charges and may further inquire with the REACH Office about specifics. Disputes of damage charges can be directed to housing@sonoma.edu and a response will typically be sent back within two weeks. 

Room Maintenance & Repairs

Residents are responsible for monitoring and maintaining their living space in good condition. The resident is responsible for notifying the University in a timely manner for any maintenance repairs to the unit.  Maintenance and repairs may only be performed by authorized personnel.  Failure to keep the residence in good condition because of abuse, neglect to clean, or lack of reporting maintenance needs will result in resident(s) covering the cost to bring the unit back to good order. The request form for maintenance can be found online at SSU Fixit. 

Condensation/Water Intrusion/Mildew

Condensation, water intrusion or mildew growth can occur in “wet areas” of the unit. Residents are expected to maintain the areas in reasonable, clean, and sanitary conditions, and assure all visible surfaces with condensation or standing water dry properly before discontinuing exhaust vent use. Promptly remove any standing water on floors, window sills, window wells, or other similar locations. Residents shall take all reasonable and pertinent steps to prevent conditions that may cause mildew/moisture build-up in the units and are expected to report to the University any evidence of water intrusion, leaks, moisture accumulation, or mildew in any location of the residence.

Room Thermostats and Temperature

Thermostats are set to achieve optimum comfort levels and energy conservation and may not be tampered with.

Room Vacancies and Restoration Requirements

During the year you may have a vacant space in your unit. The Student Housing License Agreement is for a bed space; therefore you are not entitled to decide who will occupy the vacant space. You are required to maintain the bedroom/unit so that a potential roommate will be able to move in at any time. This means you must:

  • Keep vacant furniture assembled and accessible, and all storage and surface areas clean and empty, ready for a new resident to be assigned to the space. This is especially important at the end of the fall semester when new roommates will likely be moving in for the spring. Failure to comply with this regulation will result in potential sanctions and administrative charges for cleaning and/or labor to restore the space to move-in condition.
  • Welcome a potential or new resident into the vacant space without harassing, threatening, or intimidating them. Any residents or suitemates that behave in this manner or discourage the resident, may be subject to the conduct process, which may have an impact on their ability to live on campus.

Safety and Security

Residents are expected to be proactive and responsible regarding safety and security within the Residential Community. In order to provide an environment that encourages safety and security, violations of this regulation include but are not limited to:

  • Jeopardizing or interfering with any safety or security devices, locking systems, emergency phones, or security lights within the Residential Community.
  • Providing your apartment or suite access card/code to any other person, resident or non-resident.
  • Playing sports in the Residential Community other than in designated areas. Designated areas are limited to Laura Gale Field located in Zinfandel Village; swimming pool areas; grass area in Verdot Village directly behind Meritage and Chenin Blanc and next to the basketball court; Sauvignon Village Green, grass area next to the Cooperage; and Hillside quad grass area located near the Beaujolais Meeting Room.
  • Unauthorized presence on rooftops, attics, or other spaces designated for authorized personnel only. This includes hanging, climbing, or scaling on rooftops; balancing from balconies; or entering and using the attic or crawl space. Facilities will retrieve any items on or in these spaces.
  • Throwing, propelling, dropping, or causing objects/substances to fall from structures in the Residential Community.

Skateboarding/Rollerblading/Scooters/Hoverboards/Bicycles

Bicycling, skateboarding, rollerblading, roller skating and the use of foot pedaled scooters are allowed within the Residential Community for transportation purposes and only in a manner that does not cause injury to pedestrians. Tricks or maneuvers that have the potential to damage university property are not allowed. During quiet hours, skateboarding or other noise-making transportation is prohibited within the Residential Community. Electrically motorized boards and devices are not permitted to be stored in the Residential Community, which includes suites and apartments, parking lots, patios, and community spaces.

Smoking/Tobacco Use

Sonoma State University is a smoke and tobacco-free campus. The smoking policy defines “smoking” as lighting, burning, carrying, inhaling, exhaling, or holding a lit cigarette, cigar, bidi, pipe, or other smoking or recreational vapor delivery apparatus containing tobacco or another substance. To view the full smoking and tobacco use policy, please visit the Smoking and Tobacco-Free Policy

Social Media/Internet Posts/Visible Photographs

Social Media posts, information shared on the internet, Direct messages, text messages or through apps, and visible photographs that show violations of these regulations may be used as evidence in the conduct process.

Solicitation/Operating a Business

Commercial solicitation or operating a private business, whether in person, by phone, or by distribution through mailboxes or the University network is prohibited within the Residential Community. Businesses that violate this policy will be referred to the University Police.

Door-to-door solicitation is not permitted within the Residential Community, except when authorized by REACH staff. Examples include, but are not limited to the Residential Housing Association, related Residential Community organizations, and the Associated Students. These groups may contact residents on a door-to-door basis in order to fulfill their governmental responsibilities, with prior approval. Written materials shall not be left in front of residents' doors or laying around in public areas. Other student organizations that are found in violation of this policy will be referred to the Director of Student Involvement, which could affect their campus charter.

Swimming Pools and Spas

During normal REACH operations, the following regulations are in place:

The swimming pool and spa areas are available for current residents and their guests and can be accessed using the Seawolf ID card. Residents found violating this regulation by giving non-residents access to these areas will be subject to the conduct process.

POOL and SPA HOURS 

Open Daily 8 a.m. to 12 Midnight

Pool users must also abide by the Quiet Hours and Community of Courtesy Expectations

 

Below are the regulations regarding the use of pool and spa areas: 

  • Alcohol is prohibited, regardless of age.
  • Glass bottles are prohibited in the pool areas.
  • Animals are prohibited in the pool areas.
  • Swimming pools and spas are for the use of residents and their guests only. Guests must be accompanied by their host at all times. Residents may host up to four (4) guests at a time at the pool for capacity reasons and in consideration of other students.
  • The life ring and safety pole are not for recreational use and must remain in position ready for an emergency
  • If, through heavy use or pump/filter failure, the drain in the bottom of the pool cannot be seen through the turbid water, the pool areas must be evacuated and the gate locked.
  • Roughhousing, pushing, or throwing people into the pool or spa is prohibited.
  • Pool users will be required to follow Residential Community Quiet Hours and the Community of Courtesy Expectations.

Theft

Theft of others’ personal property or of campus property is prohibited. Possession of stolen property is also prohibited.

Vehicles and Parking Lot Use

It is a violation to drive, park, or store a car (or parts), motorcycle, moped, or other motorized vehicles within the Residential Community including bedrooms, suites, apartments, or patios. Residents must adhere to the Sonoma State University Parking Regulations and exercise safe driving behavior at all times within the posted speed limits in all residential parking lots. Residents must have their current residential parking decal visible at all times.

Video and Audio Recordings

The following guidelines govern the use of any equipment, including cell phones, to record persons and events in the residential community: 

  • Making, attempting to make, transmitting, or attempting to transmit audio or video in the residential community for commercial purposes is prohibited. 
  • Residents may not audio record any REACH staff member in the performance of their duties without their consent. 
  • Residents may not audio record any fellow residents without their consent. 
  • Video recording in bathrooms, showers, bedrooms, or other premises where there is an explicit expectation of privacy, without the knowledge and consent of all participants subject to such recordings, is prohibited. 

Weapons

Possession of firearms or other deadly weapons is prohibited. Firearms include, but are not limited to, rifles, handguns, BB guns, paintball guns, air guns, stun guns, tasers, or any object that replicates or resembles a firearm. Weapons include any device deemed a "deadly weapon" by the California Penal Code 626.10 or other devices or replicas used in a manner intended to harm.  Blackjacks, slingshots, clubs, metal knuckles, dirks, daggers, ice picks, unguarded razor blades, metal pipes or bars intended for harm are also prohibited under the weapons regulation. See Weapon Regulations at SSU FAQ for further information. 

Knives

Any non-culinary knife with a blade that exceeds 2 ½ inches is prohibited in the Residential Community. Pocket knives are permissible if the following conditions are met: Only one edge of the knife is sharpened; it has a folding rather than fixed blade, and the length of the blade does not exceed 2 ½ inches. Switchblade, spring-blade, or gravity knives are not permitted. 

Pepper Spray

Pepper spray may be possessed by a civilian on the SSU campus if all of the following conditions are met: The person in possession of pepper spray is 18 years or older, with no past conviction of a felony or any crime involving an assault; the pepper spray is in an aerosol canister of 2.5oz or less net weight; it is only carried for self-defense.

REACH Conduct Information and Process

The residential conduct process has been developed to address incidents involving behavior that does not align with the values and expectations of the Residential Community. The goal of the REACH Conduct Process is to maintain a safe environment that supports the University, develop and sustain a community that demonstrates the Seawolf Commitment, and provide an educational opportunity for residents to reflect upon their actions and the effects of such actions can have on the community. Through the process, residents should additionally gain new insight and skills to help them make better choices in the future.

When it has been reported that there has been an alleged violation of REACH Regulations, residents may be subject to the REACH conduct process. In addition, residents may also be subject to action by University Police or University Conduct. Residents may go through one or more processes concurrently or separately.

Rights

The conduct process adheres to due process and affords residents with the following rights:

  • Residents have the right and responsibility to inform REACH staff members if they notice alleged violations of these Regulations and Guidelines; and document situations when requested.
  • Residents have the right to be notified of the regulations which they have allegedly violated.
  • Residents are presumed not responsible for a violation until proven otherwise by a preponderance of information.
  • Residents may choose to respond to the allegations or present relevant information.
  • Residents may choose not to respond to the allegations or present relevant information.
  • Residents have the right to privacy of their student conduct information. The conduct officer/board’s decision shall constitute the written record of the hearing. These records will be subject to all applicable privacy acts. All proceedings shall be closed.
  • Residents who participate in the REACH conduct process have the right to an appeal. This appeal should be submitted in writing within three (3) business days of the date of the decision letter. The resident’s written statement must cite specific reasons for requesting the appeal.

Process

The REACH conduct process includes:

  • Receipt of incident report
  • Notification of alleged violations and request to meet
  • REACH conduct meeting
  • Notification of outcome
  • An opportunity to appeal if you chose to participate in the conduct process *Students who choose not to participate in the conduct process by meeting with a conduct officer or fail to respond to a conduct meeting request are not eligible to appeal a conduct process outcome.

Residential Conduct Frequently Asked Questions

Why is my name included in an incident report?

It is common for an information or incident report to be submitted with the name of everyone present during the time of the incident, persons who live in the apartment/suite that may not have been present at the time of the incident, or any person who is reported as having information about an incident. Having your name in an incident report does not necessarily mean that you are responsible for violating a regulation or policy.

What happens after an incident is documented?

Once a Conduct Officer (Area Coordinator, Community Conduct Officer, or other REACH Professional Staff) has received a report, they will decide upon a course of action. Generally, the incident will be investigated by speaking to those who may have knowledge about the particular incident. It is the goal of the Conduct Officer to have the most accurate understanding of an incident before determining an outcome.

When will I hear from a staff member after an incident? 

Conduct Officers will typically contact you within three business days* after receipt of the information report in which alleged violations occurred. This contact will usually be an emailed letter to your SSU email account with the meeting date, time, location, and person with whom you will be meeting.

*It is our desire to provide a timely resolution for all conduct matters, there are factors that may delay the process, including but not limited to new information learned in the investigative process, number of individuals involved in the conduct process, other University conduct or investigative processes that need to be resolved prior to investigating the REACH conduct process, etc.

What should I expect in a conduct meeting? 

Conduct Officers will focus on the behavior and actions of the individual(s) involved in the incident. The purpose of the conduct meeting is to determine responsibility and, if necessary, to provide the appropriate sanction(s) and/or educational opportunities. You can generally expect to answer questions about the details of the incident. We value Integrity, Respect, Excellence, and Responsibility and the role of each in the Residential Community. Because we care about the holistic development of individuals and the community, you may be engaged in a dialogue about the impact the incident or behaviors had on you, your neighbors, or your academic and career goals, etc.

What should I expect after the conduct meeting?

After your meeting, the Conduct Officer will evaluate the totality of the information gathered from their investigation of the incident and determine if there is sufficient information to find you responsible for a violation of the REACH Regulations. If you are found responsible for a violation based on the preponderance of information, then appropriate sanctions and/or educational opportunities will be assigned. At the conclusion of the investigation, whether found not responsible or responsible, you will receive an email notification with the outcome of your case. A finding of responsibility will include any applicable sanctions and instructions for completion.

Note: If you do not show up for the scheduled meeting, the Conduct Officer may make a decision based on the preponderance of information without the benefit of your input, at the time of the scheduled meeting.

Possible Sanctions

Administrative Warning

An Administrative Warning is the lowest level outcome given when found responsible for a violation of housing regulations. A record shall be made of any administrative warning.

Judicial Educator/Educational or other Appropriate Sanctions

An online Judicial Educator Module is a directed educational experience regarding the expectations and responsibilities of living on campus. Other appropriate sanctions may include alcohol and or drug education workshops ($65.00 Fee), research projects, educational programs, community involvement, administrative move, restriction of privileges, or other appropriate learning experiences.

Housing Probation

Housing Probation is given when severe or repeated violations occur, and signifies that student choices are in conflict with the values of the Residential Community. Factors determining Housing Probation may include but are not limited to type and severity of the incident, the role of the student, and/or previous violations. Housing Probation is in effect for 1  calendar year from the date of the outcome decision. During this period of time any additional violation of University policy, REACH Regulations, or conditions of Housing Probation may result in more significant sanctioning including the possibility of Loss of Housing or Termination of Housing License Agreement.

*If a student is responsible for a violation after the Housing Probation period has expired, the nature of the violation, the role of the student, and the amount of time that has passed since the previous incident will be taken into consideration when determining the outcome of the new incident.

Loss of Housing

Loss of Housing is given when severe or repeated violations occur, and signifies that student choices are in conflict with the values of the Residential Community. Students with Loss of Housing are ineligible to re-contract for Campus Housing for the following academic year, and any existing offer for the upcoming academic year will be revoked once this sanction becomes final.

Termination of License Agreement

The Student Housing License Agreement is terminated when severe, egregious, or repeated violations of housing regulations occur. The resident will be given a notice to vacate within a specified time and will not be able to re- contract for the next academic year. Additionally, the student is not permitted to be a guest in the Residential Community for one (1) calendar year. This includes suites and apartments, parking lots, recreational areas, sidewalks in residential areas, or other public areas within the Residential Community. Permission for privileges to re-contract or visit within the community requires approval from the Associate Director of Residential Student Conduct or designee.

Failure to comply with sanctions or complete assigned sanctions in the specified time in the specified manner will subject a resident to a registration hold being placed on a student account and additional conduct processes and may have an impact on the ability to live on campus or apply for future Housing.

Appeal Process

Students found responsible for violations of REACH Regulations and received any sanction(s) may appeal* the decision within 3 business days of the date of the outcome letter if you meet at least one of the following conditions:

  • Due process error(s) occurred which affected the outcome of the case.
  • Compelling new evidence relevant to the outcome of the case was discovered and demonstrably not available at the time of the meeting with the Conduct Officer.
  • Specific conditions exist that provide good cause for reconsidering the case. This can include unduly harsh sanctions or demonstrated bias against the resident during the conduct process.
  • The decision is not based on the preponderance of information.

The appeal process exists to review whether the decision of responsibility was appropriate. All appeals must be submitted in writing to the REACH Office by the student. Residents appealing their decision must have a clearly articulated rationale that goes beyond not liking the outcome. Appeals that do not meet the criteria may be denied. Generally, residents should note that assigned sanctions will not be initiated prior to the completion of the appeal process. The appeal is the final step afforded the resident under the REACH conduct process.

The Associate Director of Residential Student Conduct or designee will review the incident and information, the outcome, and appeal statement to make a decision. A meeting may be requested to discuss the appeal further.

Submitting an appeal may result in additional or higher level sanctions, if appropriate, based upon review of the case information.

Appeals for Termination of a Student Housing License Agreement 

Appeals for Termination of a Student Housing License Agreement are heard by a 3-person board if the criteria are met. The Associate Director for Residential Conduct & Leadership or designee will coordinate the hearing which will usually occur within 2 weeks after the appeal has been submitted. The resident has the right to have a support person present during the hearing that they may consult with but the person may not speak on behalf or for the resident. Residents may also have a witness or witnesses speak at the hearing. The name(s) of any witnesses must be provided to the Associate Director for Residential Education and Leadership prior to the hearing. If a student appeals a termination of the Student Housing License Agreement the original move-out date is not enforced. If the result of the appeal is to uphold the termination decision a new move-out date will be determined and provided in the appeal outcome letter.

*Students who choose not to participate in the conduct process by meeting with a conduct officer or fail to respond to a conduct meeting request are not eligible to appeal a conduct process outcome.

Other Administrative Actions

In some instances, other administrative actions may be taken in addition to or apart from the REACH conduct process. A REACH professional staff member may require residents to move to another apartment/suite. Reasonable notice under the circumstances shall be given. As these are separate from the REACH conduct process, these actions do not constitute sanctions and cannot be appealed.

University Conduct and Title 5

University Conduct Process

Residents who have allegedly violated University Conduct Regulations (California Code of Regulations) or serious REACH Regulations may be referred to the University Conduct Office and participate in the University Conduct Process.

Non-Discrimination Policy

Students are responsible for conducting themselves on the campus or at any University sponsored off-campus activity in a way that ensures that their actions do not discriminate against any other individual. Actions constituting sexual harassment are forms of discrimination.

Discrimination, including Harassment, because of any Protected Status: i.e., Age, Disability (physical and mental), Gender (or sex), Gender Identity (including Transgender), Gender Expression, Genetic Information, Marital Status, Medical Condition, Nationality, Race or Ethnicity (including color or ancestry), Religion (or Religious Creed), Sexual Orientation, sex stereotype, and Veteran or Military Status, is prohibited at SSU.

Discrimination means Adverse Action taken against a Student by the CSU, a CSU employee, or another Student because of a Protected Status.

Bias

Complaints of discrimination will be investigated promptly and thoroughly. The University recognizes that under certain circumstances, it has an independent duty to ascertain where discrimination exists irrespective of whether a complaint is actually filed (for example, recurrent or systematic patterns of discrimination). The University will act vigorously to prevent any retaliation being taken against individuals filing a complaint, and/or participating in a complaint investigation.

Sexual Misconduct

All sexual activity between members of the CSU community must be based on Affirmative Consent. Engaging in any sexual activity without first obtaining Affirmative Consent to the specific activity constitutes Sexual Misconduct and is a violation of this policy, whether or not the conduct violates any civil or criminal law.

Sexual Misconduct is a form of Sexual Harassment and may create a sexually hostile environment that affects access to or participation in CSU programs and activities. SSU prohibits all such conduct whether or not it also amounts to Sexual Harassment.

Temporary Interventions

For cases in which a resident files a charge of discrimination against another resident, the following immediate actions may be taken:

  • During the time of the investigation, the alleged offender(s) may be physically moved to a temporary living arrangement which may be on or off-campus. This is to comply with legal and ethical regulations that the alleged offender(s) be separated from the alleged victim(s).
  • During the investigation, the alleged offender(s) may be denied access to certain areas of the Residential Community, including recreational, public, or common use areas.

Students are expected to adhere to the CSU System wide Non-Discrimination Policies.

General Guidelines

Break Periods

The academic year Student Housing License Agreement includes the Thanksgiving/fall, winter, and spring break periods. Only residents continuing from Fall to Spring semester have permission to occupy their space while Winter break is in session. The time between December 24 - January 1 are not included due to scheduled University construction and need.  A resident is not permitted to be on campus during this time and must vacate the residential community. Residents may leave their belongings in their rooms over semester break. We do advise residents to take home valuable items for the break. The Kitchens are closed during these break periods; however, other venues on campus may be available when the University is open for business.

During the semester break, University staff will perform safety and security checks. Documented violations may be confiscated/destroyed and the case may be processed over the break.

Communication with Students

Sonoma State University uses student email accounts for distribution of official university communications. Students are responsible for reading messages regularly and managing their sonoma.edu email account.

REACH provides a variety of information via email, such as monthly newsletters, contracting updates, needed maintenance repairs, scheduled meetings, and other business matters. For assistance accessing e-mail, contact the Information Technology Department

Lost ID Card and Temporary Keys

It’s the responsibility of the resident to report lost ID card to the Seawolf Service Center. There is a non-refundable fee for replacing your Seawolf ID card. If students misplace their ID card or lock themselves out of their units, they will be able to gain access by use of a temporary access card good for three days. The resident must get their Seawolf card re-encoded before their temp card expires. If the resident fails to re-encode their Seawolf card by the expiration date and is locked out after hours, they will need to contact the RA on-call for a lockout. The first lockout service is free; second, third, and fourth are $25, and fifth and beyond are $50 each. Educational intervention for misuse of lockout services may be implemented for repeat offenders.

Missing Persons

Federal law requires that the University report both to local law enforcement and to the student's designated contact person, when campus residents are determined missing for 24 hour (i.e., no one can identify where they are). If the missing student is less than 18 years of age and not emancipated, the University is also required to notify their parent or guardian. Campus residents have the opportunity to provide a confidential contact person, (separate from emergency contact information) if they are determined missing, along with other emergency contact information at their building meetings with the REACH staff. Only authorized campus officials and law enforcement officers will have access to this contact person information in the furtherance of an official missing person investigation. Even if a student has not registered a confidential contact, local law enforcement will be notified when the student is determined missing.

When a campus resident is believed missing, the situation should be reported immediately to any member of the REACH staff or University Police. After investigation of the missing person report, and the person is determined missing for 24 hours, The Dean of Students or designee will notify the student's missing student contact, if provided, and the SSU Police will notify Sonoma County law enforcement agencies - no later than 24 hours after the student is determined to be missing.

Requesting a Room Change

There are opportunities throughout the year to change rooms. Prior to moving to a different room on campus or even within your own suite, a resident must receive authorization from Residential Education and Campus Housing professional staff. A student can request a room change by taking the following steps:

  1. The Room Change process begins with the student submitting a room change request online.
  2. Residential Education and Campus Housing will review the room change request and either contact the student directly or forward the request to the professional staff.
  3. In some instances, room changes may not be automatic and will require intervention from Residential Education and Campus Housing staff with potential agreements being established. Some behaviors may be identified as needing to change. After all avenues have been exhausted, the Residential Education and Campus Housing professional staff may approve the room change.

If a room change is approved, the following will happen:

  1. The resident will be given a few choices of rooms to visit.
  2. Resident will meet roommates and notify Housing of the desired room no later than Thursday of that week.
  3. The resident will then come in Friday afternoon for their SSU ID to be encoded with the new room so they can move over the weekend. They will be issued a temporary card for the old room which must be returned to Housing that following Monday.

Residency Limit

Campus housing is not guaranteed for multiple years of residency. Priority for returning is determined on a lottery basis with consideration given to current residents who have lived on-campus the least amount of time.