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Policies. Procedures. Expectations.

Some might say this is the boring part, however, this information is necessary and will make your transition to college life easier. University policies and procedures set boundaries and expectations and offer guidance to assist in your day-to-day decision-making. For a full list of housing policies and procedures, please refer to the Resident Handbook.


Owning an animal is a luxury. Animal ownership requires a considerable time commitment and financial responsibility. Residents should carefully consider if the campus environment will provide a positive experience for their individual animal. Students unsure they are ready to take on the care and expense of an animal along with academic responsibilities are encouraged to volunteer for a local animal rescue to gain experience in the care of animals.

Only students approved for Animal Friendly Housing, emotional support animal or service animal may have an animal live with them on campus. (Small fish are allowed in both the residence halls and apartments without approval. Aquariums must be 20 gallons or less.)

Housing and Residence Life is piloting an Animal Friendly Policy for the 2023-2024 academic year. This new policy is separate from the Emotional Support Animal/Service Animal process and guidelines.

Service animals and emotional support animals are permitted in campus housing. Students seeking either a service animal or emotional support animal to live in their assigned campus housing space must begin the process with Disability ResourcesStudents cannot bring an animal to their living space until they have been approved by Disability Resources, met with Housing and signed the Service and Emotional Support Animal Guidelines and Agreement. Residents will have 24 hours to remove any unapproved animal.

For additional information, please email Living.

Pet Sitting/Visiting
Animals (including approved ESAs) are not allowed to visit campus apartments or residence hall suites.

Residents are not allowed to pet sit in their apartment or residence hall suite.

Do I have to clean my own room?

Residents must provide their own cleaning supplies and are responsible for cleaning their own space as well as common areas in suites and apartments. Residents are encouraged to develop a cleaning schedule with their roommate/suitemates they can utilize throughout the academic year. Not cleaning regularly can lead to pest control and air quality issues.

What can I put on the walls?

Residents are allowed to hang pictures and posters in their apartments and residence hall suites. Housing and Residence Life strongly encourages residents to use Command Strips or small picture nails only. Large nails, staples, screws, wall anchors, poster putty, or tape on walls or doors inside or outside the apartment/residence halls are prohibited. TV wall mounts are not allowed. Residents may be subject to damage charges regardless of what is used to hang items and/or if they attempt to repair the damage.

The full exterior and interior decorations policy can be found in the Resident Handbook.

Guest Policy
Guests in University housing is a privilege and must be respected in order to maintain an environment conducive to student learning, growth and safety. Housing and Residence Life may revoke guest privileges if necessary to ensure the safety and privacy of the community. Permission must be given by the roommate(s) for a guest (housing resident or non-resident) to be present in an apartment or residence hall suite.


  • Residents are responsible for the behavior of their guests. Residents will be charged for any and all violations caused by their guests.
  • Guests are prohibited from staying in the apartments or residence halls without the resident. These individuals will be asked to leave by Public Safety officers or Housing and Residence Life staff if found unescorted or unaccompanied in or around University housing property. Residents who leave guests unattended will be held responsible.
  • Number of Guests - The maximum capacity of any two-bedroom apartment or residence hall suite is eight (8) persons, including both residents and guests. A one-bedroom apartment or residence hall suite has a maximum capacity of four (4) persons, including both residents and guests.

Overnight Guests

  • Overnight guests can stay up to two consecutive nights (no more than once per month).
  • No more than two guests per resident are allowed to stay overnight in a room and total number of occupants in a room cannot exceed the capacity listed in Number of Guests above.
  • Permission must be given by roommate(s) prior to any guest staying overnight.
  • Any guest staying overnight in University housing must have registered with Housing and Residence Life. Housing residents also must be registered as guests if staying overnight in another on-campus apartment or residence hall suite. The guest registration form is on the Housing Portal. Unregistered guests will be asked to leave University housing. Guests must be at least 16 years of age.
  • Overnight guests must register their vehicle with Parking, display a temporary parking permit and park only in designated non-resident visitor parking.

Is there a cohabitation policy?

Living or staying for any pattern of time in an apartment or suite without an official current USI housing contract for that particular space will be considered cohabitation. Cohabitation is defined as a person (housing resident or non-resident) staying in an apartment or suite for more than two (2) consecutive nights, or other patterned behavior that is intended to allow an individual to stay beyond guest hours. Non-registered guests can be considered as an instance of cohabitation. The resident who allows cohabitation to occur can be held accountable. Students found responsible for a violation of the cohabitation policy may be charged a conduct fine of $50, charged for use of the facility or charged for each night the non-contracted person spent in residence.

Living with Roommates

Students come from varying backgrounds and our expectation is that residents will be open to learning to live with someone who is different from themselves. One of the first tasks residents will do after moving in is sitting down together and completing the roommate agreement. This is when they can be honest and share their expectations for cleaning, guests, communication and more. Residents are encouraged to be respectful and friendly with their roommates, but they don’t necessarily have to become best friends. We hope that in room situations where two or three residents already know each other that they would choose to be open and welcoming to the others that are random roommates. If after moving in, residents have concerns with a roommate, then they should seek out their RA as a resource to help work through the issue.


Housing and Residence Life believes in building a strong community that embraces a culture of civility. On the most basic level civility is the act of being civil to all members of the human race, regardless of any personal definable characteristics. For one to be civil, it takes a conscious effort to be aware of differences and show respect in all interactions with others in the community. Whether it is your roommates, a professor, classroom peers, or a university staff member, it is expected that you always communicate in a civil manner. Practicing civility requires thoughtful behavior and continuous refinement of our perceptions of what matters to us and to others.

View the USI Creed and Roommate Bill of Rights.

USI strongly advises that personal renter's insurance be purchased by students living in housing. USI shall not be directly or indirectly liable for loss or theft of personal property, or for damage or destruction of such property by fire, water, or other causes. Check your family's homeowner's insurance policy; college students living on campus may be covered.

Fall Break
Housing is open and residents do not have to leave during fall break.

Thanksgiving Break
Housing is open and residents do not have to leave during Thanksgiving break.

Winter Break
University housing is closed to residents from 6 p.m. December 15, 2023 through January 4, 2024. Residents may return to housing on or after January 5, 2024.

Mail service is held from December 23, 2023 through January 4, 2024.

Students wishing to stay during the winter break period must sign up online by December 8, 2023 and provide a compelling reason for needing to remain in housing during the break period. Approvals have included requests such as involvement in University-sponsored events and international residency.

Students who are discovered living on campus without authorization may face disciplinary action along with an additional $300 fine.  

Residents with permanent addresses in Vanderburgh (IN), Warrick (IN), Henderson (KY), White (IL), Gallatin (IL), Posey (IN), or Gibson (IN) counties are not eligible to stay for the winter break period.

Spring Break
Housing is open and residents do not have to leave during spring break.

Summer Break
There is not a summer class enrollment requirement. To be eligible for summer 2024, students must have been enrolled at USI during spring 2024 and be enrolled in classes for fall 2024. 

Can I leave my belongings during breaks?

Leaving belongings in your room is allowed for all breaks except summer break. However, it is recommended that residents not leave valuables in their apartments or residence halls during winter break since the campus is closed and there is limited staff.

The Student Rights and Responsibilities: A Code of Student Behavior outlines expectations established by the University to foster an environment that is conducive to learning, on—and beyond—the University campus. Also visit HRL's Student Conduct website.

Can I smoke in my room?

USI is a tobacco free campus and residents cannot smoke in their rooms. For more information, refer to the University Handbook.