Housing and Residence Life Policies

All Western Michigan University residents and their guests are responsible for conducting themselves in a manner that does not infringe on the rights of others or interfere with the educational functions of the University. The Community Living Expectations specifies the community and behavioral standards that are expected and also identifies the rights and responsibilities of residents. Students deserve to live in an environment free from harassment, intimidation or emotional distress. The Community Living Expectations policies balance the rights of the individual and the rights of the community.

Anyone violating the Community Living Expectations or WMU Student Code or abusing the facilities is subject to disciplinary actions, prosecution, conduct review and replacement fees as deemed appropriate by University officials. Residents may also be subject to disciplinary action due to the misconduct of their guests.

Residence life policy book

Important policy highlights

The following highlights do not cover all policies and information in the Community Living Expectations. Residents are expected to review the publication.


You are not allowed to possess or consume alcohol, unless you are 21 years of age or older. In addition, this means you cannot have empty alcohol containers as decorations if you are under 21 years old. Those who are of age may not have alcohol out in public areas.


Use, possession, exchange, manufacturing, or distribution of marijuana (including medical marijuana), heroin, narcotics, other controlled substances or paraphernalia is illegal, except as permitted by law.

Fire safety and appliances

You may not have candles or incense in your room, even if they are only for decoration. Spider lamps are not permitted. Coffee makers and electrical tea pots must be equipped with an automatic shut-off feature and fully enclosed heating element (eg. Keurig-style) to be allowed in your room. Irons must have an automatic shut-off feature. Other appliances like George Foreman grills, toaster ovens, hot plates and so on are not permitted in your room due to fire safety reasons.


Guests, defined as anyone not living in your current residence hall or WMU apartment, are not allowed. Students may have one visitor, meaning someone who lives in your current residence hall or WMU apartment, in their room or apartment. Visitors may not spend the night. Roommates and suitemates should consent to a visitor prior to them coming into the room or apartment. Hosts and visitors are encouraged to wear a mask when in the room or WMU apartment. Click here to see the full guest rule.

Masks/Face Coverings

Masks or face coverings are required in all public areas in university housing and dining. This includes, but is not limited to, lobbies, lounges, hallways, house commons, Western Heights bathrooms, laundry rooms, elevators and stairwells. You do not need to wear a mask in your room, but you are encouraged to do so if you have a visitor. Click here to see the full mask policy.


The only pets permitted are aquarium fish, whose tanks may not exceed 20 gallons. (This policy does not apply to service animals approved by Disability Services for Students.)

Quiet and courtesy hours

Quiet hours are in effect Sunday through Thursday 10 p.m. to 8 a.m. and Friday and Saturday 1 to 8 a.m. Courtesy hours are in effect 24 hours a day. Please be respectful of your neighbors; keep noise levels to a minimum at all times.


All halls are smoke free. The use of tobacco products is not permitted indoors or outdoors on any University property.


The possession, use or storage of any type of weapon is prohibited on campus. For more detailed information, please view the WMU weapons policy.

Guest Rule


In the wake of the COVID – 19 -Pandemic, health organizations, including the Center for Disease Control (CDC), recommend social distancing and limited gatherings to limit community-based transmission.  This rule addresses guest limitations.

In the event the CDC and/or government officials change the expectations for social distancing and limited gatherings, this rule may be modified or rescinded.

Key Definitions:

Guest: Any person who does not reside within a specific residence hall or WMU Apartment complex (eg. family members and friends who reside in other locations or buildings, regardless of their student status).

Resident: The student who resides in any residence hall room or WMU Apartment, regardless of single, double, or triple occupancy status (residence halls) or number of bedroom spaces (WMU Apartments).

In-hall/In-complex visitor:  A student who is visiting another room within the same hall where they reside (eg. An Ackley/Shilling resident visiting other Ackley/Shilling rooms), or is visiting another apartment within the same complex where they reside (eg. A Western View resident visiting another Western View apartment).

Maximum occupancy: The allowable number of people in a resident’s living space, including residence hall room or WMU Apartment.  This is determined by each resident having a maximum of one in-hall (residence halls) or in-complex (WMU Apartments) visitor at a time (eg. A double room has two residents, making the maximum occupancy four people).

Full rule details

  • Guests are not permitted in residence halls or WMU Apartments at any time. 
  • Each resident is permitted a maximum of one (1) in-hall/in-complex visitor in their room at a time to ensure compliance with maximum occupancy expectations.  As documented in the Face Covering Policy, residents should wear masks when in-hall/in-complex visitors are present in their room/apartment and encourage their in-hall/in-complex visitors to do so.
  • No overnight in-hall/in-complex visitors are permitted. 
  • Residents must have the approval of all roommates and/or suitemates before allowing any in-hall/in-complex visitors into their shared space(s).
  • Residents who fail to report another resident’s violation of this rule are also in violation of this rule (eg. if a resident is aware their roommate has a resident from another hall in their room).


  • During a resident’s assigned Fall 2020 move in time, 2 guests per resident are permitted to assist with move in.  They must comply with the University’s Face Covering Policy.
  • During an official room change process, 1 guest per resident is permitted to assist with moving, pending Housing and Residence Life approval.  This person must comply with the University’s Face Covering Policy.
  • When a resident moves out of campus housing, 2 guests per resident are permitted to assist. They must comply with the University's Face Covering policy.
  • Western Michigan University employees on official business, as determined by Housing and Residence Life and/or their designee, are permitted in the residence halls and WMU Apartments.
  • Residents with children who are residing in family housing are permitted to have 1 guest, as needed, to provide child care.  Child care guests must have their information entered into the housing system.


Violations of this rule are subject to the process and sanctions outlined in the Student Code.

Additional Information

Visitation privileges may be further limited as determined by Housing and Residence Life staff.