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Hilltopics: Handbook for Residence Hall Living



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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.


The University prohibits the possession, furnishing, or use of alcoholic beverages by residents or guests in the residence halls. The University has adopted a Parental Notification Policy for students found in violation of the alcohol or drug policies, who are under 21 years of age. Residents must comply with all federal, state, and local laws governing the use and possession of alcoholic beverages.


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. 


Beds cannot be bunked in residence hall rooms. Most residence halls have beds that can be lofted using the furniture provided. 


Students with adjustable-height beds capable of being raised more than 36 inches off the ground have been provided with one guardrail. Guardrails have been installed by Western Kentucky University Housing and Residence Life at no cost to the student and are required to remain installed when beds are raised more than 36 inches (from the bottom of the frame) off the ground. Guardrails are considered university property and are not to be removed from student rooms.


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. 


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.


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.


Residents can access local television channels through a coaxial cable cord, connecting 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, they should refer to their TV manual. For more information, visit www.wku.edu/housing/resources/tv.php.


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.


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.


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.

ITS Service Desk


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 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.


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.


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.


The Extended Living option 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.

View Residence Hall Options


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


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.


  • 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.

  • Hallways should be clear of obstructions including, but not limited to, welcome mats, decorations, moving boxes, etc.


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, Hilltopper, 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.


Each room comes equipped with its own Heating and Air Conditioning (HVAC) unit. To ensure the units operate properly, residents are prohibited from placing any items/furniture directly in front of the unit that would block the air intake. Additionally, residents are also prohibited from placing anything inside of the unit, including the vents, as this may block air coming from the unit.

View HVAC Best Practices


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.

Possession of false identification (fake ID) is prohibited. False identification cards may be confiscated by WKU staff. In addition, the misrepresentation of any person in any WKU residence hall through false identification may be referred to the WKU Police Department for investigation and possible criminal charges

WKU ID Center


Each student is issued one key at check-in. Keys are to be returned at the end of the academic year, and/or when the student moves out. Failure to return the key is considered a lost key and the student will be charged $40.

If a student loses their key, they should immediately report the lost key to the front desk. One spare key to each room is immediately available for checkout, and a student has three days to return the spare key if the original key is found.

For security, if a key is permanently lost or key is stolen, a key core change can be requested immediately. A charge of $40 will be billed to the student through Housing. Payment is due at the time of billing, and failure to pay will incur a transcript hold.

WKU Apartment keys will be billed at actual cost to the student. 


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 with washers and dryers are available in all residence halls. Laundry machines are available to use at any time, with no additional cost. 

Learn More


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.


Homemade lofts are not permitted in the residence halls. Most residence halls have beds that can be lofted safely using the furniture provided. 


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 students and staff at any time. 

Submit a Maintenance Request


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


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. 


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. 


Most devices can get access to the internet by just connecting to WKU-WIRELESS or by plugging in an ethernet cable into the device and wall port.

The ITS Service Desk provides instructions for common devices on campus in the Knowledge Base. 

Access the Knowledge Base


If you are unable to find instructions for your device, or get it connected to the internet, please contact the ITS Service Desk online or by calling (270)745-7000. 

ITS Service Desk 


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.


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.

Submit a Maintenance Request


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


  • 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 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. 

WKU Recycling


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. 


View the Full Required Housing Policy 


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 build 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 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.


View the Room Change Process 


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 checks are to ensure the safety and sanitation conditions of each room. They are conducted by members of the residence hall staff and take place the first Wednesday of every month, except for December and January*. Safety check 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. 

*Rooms are checked during the week of winter break closedown in December and during spring semester opening in January, including the extended living halls.


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. 


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. 


Western Kentucky University is a 100% smoke & tobacco-free campus. 

Tobacco products include, but are not limited to, cigarettes (traditional, e-cigarettes and vaping mechanisms) chew, pipes, cigars, hookah and water pipes.

WKU Smoke & Tobacco Free Policy


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. 


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.


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. 


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. 


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 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. 

WKU Vending Services


Residents are not permitted to install any camera systems to capture activity inside or outside of their residence hall room. This includes cameras in your private or shared living space, as well as doorbell or peephole cameras placed to view activity outside your residence hall door.  For questions, please see the WKU ITS Video Surveillance Systems policy.


WKU Residence Halls have 24-hour visitation.

  • All guests must check in at the desk with a WKU ID or valid driver's license.

  • Guests 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 and are highly encouraged to talk to their roommate about guests and visitors.  


Prospective Student Visitation 

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.


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 must be accompanied by their parents and may visit for short periods of time.

Learn More | Visitation


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 1/3/24