October, 2005 (revised)
inform resident students and
University staff of the limitations upon authority of University
employees to enter, or to grant to other persons permission to enter,
residence hall rooms, suites and apartments under the control of URI
during the period of occupancy by students. University officials and
employees are not permitted to enter or to search student residences
during the period of occupancy except in accord with these procedures.
students and University
Residence: The residence hall
room, suite, or apartment occupied by a student or students, and owned
by the University.
Period of Occupancy: The period of
time during which a student has been permitted to reside in a student
residence by written agreement with URI, specifically excluding
designated University holidays or between semester breaks during which
the residence hall, apartment, or suite is officially closed and not
available for residency by students.
1. Entry and
Search by Consent of the Student
University employee may enter a student, residence if a student who is
a resident gives voluntary consent. The student's consent must be
freely given and must not be based on coercion or threats by the
University, and must not be occasioned by a student's fear of reprisal
for failure to give consent. In situations where the student refuses
consent search procedures described below may be implemented.
b. The intrusion
by the employee must be limited to scope of the consent given by the
student; for example, if the student consents to entry by the employee,
the employee is not entitled to search the student's belongings without
obtaining further consent to do so.
c. A resident
student can give consent to an authorized University employee to enter
his/her room, apartment or shared bathroom. The resident student can give consent only to the
search of his/her belongings, and of shared areas that are not under
the primary control of another student. For example a student may give
consent to a search of a shared refrigerator but not to any closed
containers therein that are the property of another student. No student
may consent to the search of another student’s bedroom, closets,
locker, suitcases, backpacks, or other areas under the primary control
of another student.
Consent in a Health or Safety Emergency
Director of Security, Director of
Safety and Risk Management or his/her designee, the Director or
Assistant Director of Residential Life, a Hall Director or Assistant
Hall Director or Security Officer may enter a student room without
consent when the employee has a reasonable cause to believe that such
entry is necessary on an emergency basis to protect the health or
safety of persons or to make emergency repairs to University facilities
to avoid damage to University or student property.
3. Entry For
The Director of Residential Life or
his/her designee may enter student rooms without student consent to
conduct general and routine inspections for health, safety, and
building maintenance purposes. In the case of fraternity or sorority
rooms, the Vice President for Student Affairs or his/her designee may
enter for such inspections and maintenance. Such inspections may
be conducted only after the University has posted a notice indicating
the purpose of inspection and stating the inspection will take place no
sooner than 24 and no later than 72 hours after the notice is posted.
During the indicated time period, the employee authorized to conduct
the inspection may not enter the room without first knocking on the
door and announcing the purpose for entry.
Consent on Suspicion of Violation of University Regulations or Federal
or State Law
In the following section, “concrete
information” is something known from direct observation or information
from a reliable source. For example, a resident assistant reports
hearing a drinking game; a resident assistant sees alcohol being
brought into the room of an underage student; there is the smell of
marijuana, a towel under the door, the window is open and a fan is on;
a credible message is received about a suicide threat.
A Hall Director or
Assistant Hall Director or someone of higher authority may use master
keys for entry only under the following circumstances.
-health and safety crisis
-search warrant from court
-verbal permission has been given for
a limited administrative search
-written permission has been given
for a full administrative search
Search. A Hall Director or Assistant Hall Director who has
concrete information of a violation of community standards must get
verbal permission from a Director or Assistant Director of Housing and
Residential Life to open the door of a non-responsive student.
The resulting search will be
hands-off and limited to what is in plain sight, and refrigerator
contents and a quick look under and around surfaces. Any evidence
found in a limited administrative search may be used for campus
Administrative Search. If
federal, state, or local law enforcement officers (including URI campus
police) are not involved in an investigation of possible criminal
activity, and if a staff or student provides concrete information that
the search of a particular room will yield evidence of a serious
violation of community standards by a particular student, the Director
of Housing and Residential Life, the Dean of Students, or the Vice
President for Student Affairs or his/her designee may issue a written
administrative search warrant. Once the administrative warrant
has been granted, the Director of Housing and Residential Life, Vice
President for Student Affairs or their designee will conduct the
search. Any evidence found in the administrative search may be
used for campus disciplinary procedures.
c. Where federal, state, or local law
officers, including URI campus police, are involved in an investigation
of possible violation of state or federal law, any search of a student
residence shall be conducted only by such law enforcement officers and
only in accord with legal standards applicable to police searches of
private residences. Only law enforcement officers are authorized to
conduct a search of a student residence. University staff may accompany
officers. Evidence found may be used in criminal proceedings
and/or in campus disciplinary proceedings.