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Behavioral Policies

BP 01 Alcohol: The university condones the responsible use of alcohol by those 21 or older; however, any student found misusing alcohol will be held accountable.

  1. Persons under age 21 may not buy, possess, consume or otherwise acquire any alcoholic beverage. If you are under age 21 it is unlawful to possess any amount of alcohol in any container, whether a bottle, can, cup or your body.
  2. Your body is considered a container; therefore, consuming alcohol (regardless of location) and then returning to your residence hall constitutes possession of alcohol.
  3. Any student who remains in the presence of someone violating this alcohol policy may be subject to conduct sanctions.
  4. No person may sell, serve or otherwise furnish alcoholic beverages to any person under age 21.
  5. UC Merced students of any age may not be in a room with someone who is violating these alcohol policies.
  6. Residents and their guests who are age 21 or older may possess and consume alcoholic beverages within their own rooms, suites, apartments and balconies with railings. However, the following activities are prohibited in the halls even among persons of legal drinking age:
    1. Possession or consumption of alcohol as a guest in room where one or more of the assigned residents are under age 21.
    2. Possession of an open container of alcohol in a public place such as hallway, lounge, lobby, street or sidewalk.
    3. Playing or facilitating drinking games of any kind, including drinking games in which water is substituted for alcohol, such as water pong.
    4. Possession of a common-source container intended for alcohol, full or empty. Common-source containers include full size kegs, pony kegs, mini kegs, party balls and beer bongs.

Please be advised that hosting an event that violates the alcohol policy may result in removal from residence/contract termination. For more details, please refer to the UC Merced Alcohol and Other Drug Policy found in the UC Merced Student Handbook: Policies Applying to Campus Activities, Organizations and Students.

BP 02 Ban on Business: No business or commercial enterprise of any kind may be conducted nor operated within university housing. The university network is provided to support the educational mission of the university and may not be used for commercial purposes.

BP 03 Cooperation with University Officials: Residents and their guests are expected to comply with the directions of university officials and/or other public officials acting in the performance of their duties.

  1. Residents and their guests are required to show identification to university personnel upon request. This includes but is not limited to interactions with all UCMPD and Residence Education professional and student staff while on university property or at official university functions.
  2. Interfering with university and public officials performing their duties, such as withholding and/or, providing false information, refusing to show identification is prohibited.
  3. Verbal abuse of university officials is prohibited.

BP 04 Dining Facilities: The Yablokoff-Wallace Dining Center, the Pavilion and the Summits Marketplace are open to all university affiliates and as such everyone is expected to conduct themselves in a respectful manner so as not to infringe on the rights and comfort of others.

  1. Food fights, theft and leaving dirty trays and items on the tables for others to address is contrary to this goal and is therefore not permitted.
  2. Removal of dining property such as dishes and silverware are considered theft.
  3. All patrons are expected to walk within these facilities. The use of scooters, bicycles, skates or other similar devices is prohibited.

BP 05 Disruptive Behavior: Residents and their guests are expected to consider the impact of their behavior on others and conduct themselves accordingly. Disruptive behavior constitutes any behavior that negatively impacts another’s right to study, sleep or feel safe in their living environment. Examples include but are not limited to food and water fights, throwing objects, yelling outside windows, cause litter or damage property. Residents may be held responsible for pranks resulting in damage or disruption to the community.

BP 06 Drugs: UC Merced is a drug-free campus. The possession, use, manufacture and/or sale of unlawful drugs or controlled substances under either federal or state law, or misuse of legal drugs, are prohibited and are grounds for contract termination and referral to Student Conduct and the Department of Public Safety for follow-up.

  1. Unauthorized possession, use, distribution, sale or consumption of prescription medications is prohibited.
  2. Paraphernalia containing marijuana or other prohibited drug residue is not permitted in university housing facilities.
  3. Being in the presence of controlled substances, with or without objective signs of being under the influence, is prohibited.
  4. Marijuana is prohibited on campus and within the residence halls. Requests for the use of medical marijuana must be directed to Student Accessibility Services. For more details, please also consult the university Alcohol and Drug policy found in the UC Merced Student Handbook: Policies Applying to Campus Activities, Organizations and Students.

BP 07 Firearms and Weapons: Possession, use, storage and/or manufacture of firearms, firebombs, explosives, weapons and destructive devices are prohibited and are grounds for contract termination and referral to Student Conduct and the UC Merced Department of Public Safety.

  1. Prohibited weapons include, but are not limited to, stun guns, tasers, retractable bladed knives, knives with a fixed blade over 2.5 inches, nun chuck, sling shot, bows and arrows, air guns (paint, nerf gun, BB, etc.) or any device which closely resembles a firearm.
  2. Any item used aggressively or for violent purposes may be deemed a weapon.
  3. Mace and pepper spray may not be misused.
  4. Exceptions may be granted for athletic equipment such as bows and arrows on pre-arrangement with the Residence Education Coordinator.

BP 08 Fire Safety: Residents are expected to be aware of fire safety at all times. All fire safety violations are considered very serious and may result in contract termination. The tampering with or misuse of any fire equipment or fire alarm, including activation of the fire alarm system in a nonemergency situation, could result in a $1,000 fine and/or criminal charges.

  1. Tampering with fire detection or safety equipment, including disabling smoke detectors, falsely activating the fire alarm pull stations, misusing fire extinguishers and elevators is prohibited.
  2. Hanging anything from the fire sprinkler heads, pipes or obstructing a smoke detector is prohibited.
  3. All persons must evacuate the premises when the fire alarm is activated, reporting to the assigned meeting area immediately. Re-entry is no permitted without approval by a university official or campus police.
  4. The use of candles, incense, fireworks, smoke/fog machines, hookah or other flame producing devices is strictly prohibited.
  5. The storage of flammable explosives such as propane tanks, gas cans, lighter fluid, etc. is not permitted in the residence halls or adjacent areas.
  6. Grills may not be stored or used in the residence halls. Charcoal grills are available to residents in the courtyard near the dining center and a gas grill in the Summits.

BP 09 Harassment: UC Merced's policies and codes of conduct spell out the rights and responsibilities of students and employees in ensuring that UC Merced is a safe environment, and how the University addresses reports of sexual violence and sexual harassment. (http://sexualviolence.ucmerced.edu/Policies)

For Students

Sexual, racial and other forms of harassment, defined as follows: Harassment is defined as conduct that is so severe and/or pervasive, and objectively offensive, and that so substantially impairs a person’s access to university programs, activities, and services that the person is effectively denied equal access to the university’s resources and opportunities on the basis of his or her race, color, national or ethnic origin, lineage, sex, religion, age, sexual orientation, gender identity, marital status, veterans status, physical or mental disability, or perceived membership in any of these classifications. Feel free to consult the most updated policy at https://policy.ucop.edu/doc/4000385/SVSH. For additional questions, please seek out UC Merced Office of Compliance, your RA or Residence Education Coordinator. Please feel free to submit a complaint on line: https://ucmerced-gme-advocate.symplicity.com/public_report/index.php/pid767031?.

BP 10 Hazing: Participation in hazing or any method of initiation or pre-initiation into a campus organization or other activity engaged in by the organization or members of the organization at any time that causes, or is likely to cause, physical injury or personal degradation or disgrace resulting in psychological harm to any student or other person is not permitted. “Campus Organizations” includes sports teams.

BP 11 Noise: Residence Education strives to create an environment conducive to study and sleep. As such, residents shall cooperate immediately with all requests for quiet. If there are repeated infractions of this policy, in addition to other sanctions, the university may require the removal of disruptive instruments, stereos and/or other amplified sound equipment or reassign residents to another room/suite as appropriate.

  1. Quiet hours are in effect as follows:
    1. Sunday–Thursday 11 p.m. to 8 a.m.
    2. Friday and Saturday 1 a.m. to 8 a.m.
  2. Quiet hours may be increased by a community’s consensus and must be adhered to by community members and guests.
  3. During final exams, quiet hours will be extended up to 24 hours a day. Infractions during finals exams will be treated more severely and may result in contract termination.
  4. Courtesy hours are in effect 24 hours a day, including times not designated as quiet hours. Residents are expected to be respectful of community members’ ability to study and sleep by not participating in activities with excessive noise. Residents have the right to confront others regarding unreasonable noise level, and residents confronted for noise must comply with the request for quiet.
  5. The use of musical instruments in housing is considered a privilege and as such residents are expected to be sensitive and respectful to others need for quiet.
  6. Excessive outdoor noise including noise in the courtyard will be addressed by university staff.
  7. The use of equipment – such as speakers with or without bass, radios, amplifiers, video game equipment, car engines or musical instruments including car sound systems – in a manner that violates a standard of quite conducive to study or sleep is not permitted. Sound equipment or speakers may not be placed facing out of an open window.
  8. (INTERIM): Residence Halls will operate on 20-hour quiet hours, effective immediately through May 17, 2020. Courtesy hours will be from 5pm-9pm daily. Vacuuming, cleaning or other noise-producing activities should be performed during courtesy hours

BP 12 Animals in Housing: Residence Education is committed to supporting the University's educational purpose and mission in partnership with the Student Accessibility Services providing students access to all levels of the residential experience. While pets are not allowed in Housing and Residence Education facilities, animals classified as service animals (per the Americans with Disabilities Act as Amended) or emotional support animals (per the Fair Housing Act and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973) are permitted. Campus residents with a service animal or emotional support animal must adhere to the following:

Definitions

Service Animal: Under the Americans with Disabilities Act (Titles I and II), a service animal is any animal individually trained to perform tasks for an individual with a disability, and the tasks performed must be directly related to the disability. The law allows service animals into all campus buildings, including campus housing facilities (UC Merced), dining venues, libraries, classrooms, etc.

Assistance Animal (AA): Includes comfort or therapy animal (emotional support animals), an AA is any lawful animal providing a therapeutic benefit to a person with a verifiable disability. Unlike service animals, AAs are limited to their owner's residential building; entry into dining venues and other campus buildings is prohibited.

Pets: Pets are prohibited, but fish in tanks under 10 gallons are allowed. Service animals and AAs are not considered pets; however, they do require approval and documentation from the Student Accessibility Services (SAS).

Requesting Accommodation - Three Part Process

Part one: Residents with service animals are not required to request accommodation but are responsible for following the expectations outlined for animals in housing. Incoming or current residents requiring an AA will review this policy for information about having an animal on campus and will follow standard procedure for requesting reasonable accommodation through the appropriate office.

Undergraduate, graduate students, and live-in partners: Student Accessibility Services

Faculty, staff and live-in partners: Disability Management Services

Part two: If an AA request has been approved, Residence Education will contact the student to review the expectations for animals in housing and to answer questions. Residence Education must be allowed a reasonable amount of time to respond to requests for an assistance animal accommodation.

Note: Requests may be subject to additional administrative review and documentation if there is reason to believe the animal may pose a substantial or direct threat to the health or safety of the community.

Expectations

  • All animal owners must adhere to the following guidelines; failure to comply with these guidelines or the UC Merced Housing Agreement, could result in conduct action, damage or cleaning fees, removal of animal from Residence Education and/or eviction of the owner.
  • The animal must not pose a threat to the health or safety of others, and the owner is responsible for any financial or contractual liability occurring as a result of animal's behavior.
  • The owner must be in compliance with Merced Municipal Code as it relates to the care and control of the animal.
  • The owner must ensure animal has proper immunizations, licenses and any required veterinary documentation. Residence Education has the right to request documentation relevant to these health and safety records at any time at which point documents must be produced in three business days.
  • The owner must be in compliance with the Residence Hall Handbook and housing policies and will be held accountable for how the animal impacts residents, staff, other animals and the facilities.
  • The owner must have the animal under control at all times by means of a harness, leash or tether, unless it interferes with the animal's work or it is not compatible with the owner's disability.
  • The owner may not leave the animal in the care of another resident.
  • The owner may not leave the animal unattended in their assigned room overnight; it’s recommended the owner’s designated emergency contact in Banner is someone prepared to take possession of the animal in the event the owner is incapacitated or unable to care for the animal.
  • The owner is responsible for providing a safe and secure barrier between the animal and others who may enter the room when the owner is not present. The barrier is to be appropriately sized for both the animal and the room, and not restrict the animal from healthy movement, access to nourishment, or expose the animal to harm. Residence Education recommends the owner consult with a veterinarian when choosing an appropriate barrier for animal.
  • The owner is responsible for understanding University personnel reserve the right to enter any residential room, with or without notice, for the purpose of health and safety, maintenance repair, facilities inspection, or other official business.
  • The owner of an AA may only take the animal into residential buildings, limited to areas where their Housing keys / CatCard gives them access. Only service animals, as defined in this policy, are permitted in dining, retail, or other non-residential areas.
  • The animal must be housebroken; otherwise it must be caged at all times. The owner is responsible for the proper bagged disposal of animal waste in appropriate outside containers. If the owner is physically unable to dispose of the animal's waste, they must make arrangements with someone who is capable.
  • The owner is responsible for keeping their animal free from pests such as fleas, ticks, mites, etc..., and for any charges resulting from damage, cleaning, or pest infestation.
  • Keeping, raising or using live feed of any kind (crickets, mice, etc.) is strictly prohibited.
  • Bathing animals in any sink, shower or tub located in Residence Education facilities is prohibited.

In the event approved accommodations for residents in the same assigned area are in conflict and can’t be resolved through voluntary relocation or mediation, required moves will be based upon the standard policy of using earliest housing application complete date to determine who will be moved.

Students who are adversely affected by the presence of a Service Animal or Assistance Animal (for example, allergies; fear of dogs) should contact the SAS and engage in the interactive process so that reasonable accommodations may be determined. Faculty and staff should contact UC Merced Disability Management Services to engage in the interactive process. Allergies or fear of certain animals may not be valid reasons for denying access to individuals with Service or Assistance animals, without attempting to accommodate the parties through a separation or other arrangements. An individualized assessment is required for each situation.

Complaints or concerns about this policy, and/or its enforcement, can be directed to Director of Residence Education or the campus Ombuds Office.

BP 13 Propping Doors: Propping interior and exterior doors, tampering with door locking mechanisms, unhinging hydraulic door closures or engaging the deadbolt to prop open a door inhibits fire safety protections and jeopardizes the safety of community members and their property. Staff will close and lock all propped doors. Please take the initiative to properly close all propped doors and report any repeated occurrences to your RA or the Valley Housing Office.

BP 14 Safety: Safety and well-being is of utmost importance to us therefore we ask residents and their guests to use common sense and be mindful of their actions. Behaviors that jeopardize the safety of residents or guests are not permitted.

  1. Conduct all sports outside and at a safe distance away from the buildings. Residents are responsible for broken windows, screens or other property damage resulting from personal conduct of themselves and guests.
  2. Removing window screens, accessing rooftops, climbing in or out of windows or on ledges is prohibited. Parkour, free-running, skateboarding, in-line skating or the use of motorized vehicles on University housing grounds or facilities in a manner that endangers others is prohibited.
  3. Hanging and/or throwing objects from windows is not permitted.
  4. Please report any dangerous behaviors or concerns for a person’s well-being to your RA or University Police immediately.

BP 15 Smoking: Smoking and the use of tobacco, marijuana or any other products are prohibited inside and outside university housing facilities. This policy prohibits all tobacco products such as smoking, chewing and dipping products and restricts cigars, cigarettes, shisha pipes, pipes, water pipes (hookahs), electronic cigarettes, electronic hookah pens and vaporizers and all forms of smokeless tobacco, such as chew, snus, snuff, sticks, strips and orbs. The sale and advertising of tobacco products are also prohibited in University housing owned, leased or operated properties except for advertising in non-university newspapers, magazines or other written materials sold, bought or distributed on campus.

BP 16 Solicitation: To honor the privacy rights and safety of our residents, solicitation and door to door canvassing is not permitted. This includes door-to-door soliciting for class academic assignments. Residents should direct solicitors to leave the premises and take the initiative to notify their RA or University Police.

BP 17 Theft: Theft of another’s property, including University property, is prohibited. Violators may also be referred to the UC Merced Department of Public Safety. Residents found in violation may be sanctioned to pay restitution for stolen property.

BP 18 Unauthorized Entry: Residents are not allowed in any other bedroom, suite, common area or residence hall unless escorted by the assigned occupant of that specific bedroom or suite.

  1. Residents may only access their buildings and rooms outlined in the Housing and Residence Education contract and addendum.
  2. Residents are not permitted in mechanical rooms, on roofs or ledges of any university housing property.
  3. Residents are also prohibited from entering constructions sites and must adhere to safety instructions and signs.
  4. (INTERIM) All individuals must follow all University directions regarding the availability of space on campus and may not use space that has been designated as closed by the University.

BP 19 University Property: The defacement and misuse of University property is strictly prohibited.

BP 20: Interim Policies on COVID-19: Residents are required to know and comply with local and state health orders, as well as all interim policies adopted by the University in response to the pandemic. These include, but are not limited to, the “Interim Policy—Universal Requirements for Physical Mitigation and Reduction of the Transmission of COVID-19.”

http://policies.ucmerced.edu/sites/policies.ucmerced.edu/files/documents/policies/interim_policy_on_physical_mitigation_and_reduction.pdf

BP 21 Threatening Behavior: Participation in activities or behavior that threaten or impact the health and safety of individuals or the community is prohibited. This policy includes, but is not limited to, physical, electronic, written and verbal interactions that are either direct or indirect which are prohibited within housing communities and on the campus at large.

BP 22 Stalking: Stalking behavior is prohibited at UC Merced. Stalking includes, but is not limited to, behavior in which a student repeatedly engages in a course of conduct directed at another person and makes a credible threat with the intent to place that person in reasonable fear for his or her safety. The full policy can be found in the UC Student Code of Conduct, 702.10.

http://studentconduct.ucmerced.edu/sites/studentconduct.ucmerced.edu/files/page/documents/code_of_conduct_600_and_700.pdf