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Building Safe and Inclusive Learning Communities

Occupancy Policies (Administrative Policies)

AP 01 Administrative Agreement: Upon signing the Housing and Residence Education contract, you agree to abide by all university policies and information as contained in the UC Merced Student Handbook: Policies Applying to Campus Activities, Organizations and Students, The Housing and Residence Education contract and addendum and the Housing Handbook published online at

AP 02 Roommate/ Suitemate Agreements: To help facilitate a respectful and harmonious living arrangement, roommates/suitemates are expected to meet to discuss and document some basic living agreements using the roommate/suitemate agreement by the end of the fifth week after move in. A new roommate agreement form is available from your RA, should it need revised or replaced.

Residents must abide by the agreement unless and until it is revised and agreed upon by all parties. Residence Education staff reserves the right to facilitate revisions of the agreements. Violations of this agreement may result in conduct action.

AP 03 Appliances: For safety and sanitation reasons, the use and storage of electrical cooking appliances is not permitted in the residence halls.

  1. One Energy Star rated micro-fridge no larger than 4.2 cubic feet is permitted OR
  2. One 900 watt-or-less microwave over AND one compact refrigerator not to exceed 4.2 cubic feet per room is permitted.
  3. Non-permitted appliances include, but are not limited to, toasters, electric grills, toaster ovens, hot plates, rice cookers, hot water kettles, space heaters and coffee makers.
  4. Single-serve coffee brewers (Keurig or similar) are permitted. For questions regarding appliances, please contact your RA or Residence Education Coordinator.

AP 04 Assignments and Room Changes: Housing Services and Residence Education are responsible for making room assignments and reserve the right to reassign residents to another room/suite during the term of the contract. Residents may be reassigned through an elective room change request or through administrative reassignment by Residence Education.

  1. Residents will only occupy their designated space in their assigned room.
  2. A resident may not sublet their space.
  3. Roommates/suitemates are expected to be prepared to welcome new room/suitemates at any time after a vacancy occurs. Creating an unwelcoming environment for a current, new or potentially new resident is considered unacceptable behavior. Examples of unwelcoming behavior include, but are not limited to, pushing beds together, storing personal items in dressers or closets that would require their removal for a new assignee to use or making statements discouraging a new resident from occupying the space. If the actions of one or more residents causes all or part of an assignment to be unavailable to a new resident, residents may be charged for bed spaces retroactive to the last date of full occupancy
  4. Anyone considering a room change must first discuss their situation with their Resident Assistant. Resident Assistants will make themselves available for mediation and problem-solving assistance according to their schedule.
  5. Residents moving without approval jeopardizes the possibility of the request being granted and may be required to move back into their original room. Residents must complete appropriate documentation and have Residence Education professional staff approval prior to moving.
  6. Community lounge spaces are not to be used for sleeping.

AP 05 Bicycles, Motorized Bikes, Scooters, Hover Boards, Skateboards and Drones: Bicycles and motorized bikes must be stored outside of the buildings using the bike racks provided throughout the community or the bike barns located outside Half Dome, Glacier Point and El Portal.

  1. No gasoline or other combustion-powered devices are permitted inside buildings at any time.
  2. Bicycles may be stored indoors during winter intersession and spring break. Electric-powered items can be stored indoors during these periods if stored unplugged.
  3. Bikes may not be secured or stored on railings, near doorways, under stairs or anywhere that may impede the safe egress of individuals from the building.
  4. Riding scooters, bicycles, skateboards and other devices within residence halls, courtyards and sidewalks near campus housing is prohibited.
  5. All bicycles and motorized vehicles must be removed from campus following the conclusion of the resident’s housing agreement. All bicycles and motorized vehicles bikes found in the bike racks and/or bike barn after spring closing will be removed in accordance with University policies on abandoned property.
  6. Drones are prohibited within the residence halls, courtyards and sidewalks near campus housing.
  7. The possession and storage of hover boards and associated charging devices are prohibited in the residence halls.

AP 06 Bunk Beds/Lofts: There are specific code and safety requirements necessary to bunk or loft beds. For safety reasons, bunking beds, lofting or the use of bed lifting mechanisms (e.g. bricks, wooden structures) is prohibited.

  1. The insufficient ceiling height in the Valley Terraces bedrooms makes is not possible to bunk or loft beds.
  2. Due to space limitations requiring proper egress, debunking beds in the Sierra Terraces (Mariposa and Tuolumne) is not allowed.
  3. The Summits (Cathedral, Half Dome, Tenaya) are the only locations where bunk/lofting configurations may be modified. To request an evaluation, please submit a work order. Requests of this nature are a low priority and may take several weeks, particularly after move-in.

AP 07 Community Bathrooms: Residents must use bathrooms as assigned or utilize bathrooms designated gender neutral. Residents are expected to use the shower facilities in their assigned floor or community. Residents may be temporarily assigned to use other shower facilities in the event their community showers are not operational.

  1. Except in the case of caregivers providing assistance, there is a limit of one person at a time per toilet and shower stall.
  2. Residents in buildings with community restrooms are expected to do their part to keep the restrooms clean, including cleaning up excessive mess made by grooming or personal hygiene.
  3. Residents in buildings with community restrooms are to store personal items in cubbies or in their room, not on countertops or in shower stalls.
  4. All residents are responsible for removing personal trash from the bathroom and must take their room trash to the trash chutes or dumpsters. Ask your RA for the location of trash and recycling areas.
  5. All residents are expected to be responsible and use the areas of the restrooms only for their designated purpose.
  6. No furniture may be removed from any lounge or common space.
  7. (INTERIM): Individuals may not remove/rearrange furniture/equipment in any University space unless it has been approved by Residence Education professional staff. Doing so may impact the capacity and physical distancing achieved in the space.

AP 08 Contract Termination Initiated by the University: The University, at its own discretion, may serve a three-day notice to pay room and board, comply with the terms of this contract, or quit, whichever is applicable, for any of the following:

  1. The UNIVERSITY may terminate this contract upon 15 days written notice.
  2. UNIVERSITY may terminate this contract without fault of the RESIDENT and without notice when the UNIVERSITY reasonably determines that termination is necessary for safe operation of its housing program, including but not limited to the need to take preventative or mitigatory action regarding the spread of infectious disease.
  3. The UNIVERSITY, at its own discretion, may serve a three-day notice to pay room and board, comply with the terms of this contract or quit, whichever is applicable, for any of the following:
    1. Any breach of this contract, including but not limited to failure to pay room and board fees when due; or
    2. A change in RESIDENT’s admissions status or a failure of RESIDENT to remain a full-time, regularly enrolled student at the UNIVERSITY; or
    3. Any failure by RESIDENT to abide by the regulations and/or policies outlined in the UC Merced Housing and Residence Education Handbook and UC Merced Conduct Standards, which is incorporated herein by reference, Section 16 below and/or RESIDENT engaging in conduct detrimental to himself or herself or the welfare of others; or
    4. Any violation of state or federal law; or
    5. Any other reason allowed by law; or
    6. UNIVERSITY’s inability to provide RESIDENT a room due to a lack of space availability (full refund granted at the daily room and board rate during the period when the RESIDENT’s room is not made available by the UNIVERSITY).
    7. The RESIDENT is found by the UNIVERSITY to not be abiding by the rules set forward in the policy Universal Requirements for Mitigation of transmission of COVID-19 found here:

AP 09 Cleanliness, Damage and Room Condition: Residents are expected to respect their environment and maintain their room, suite, common bathroom and public areas (e.g. kitchens, lounges, lobbies) in a clean orderly condition. To avoid unnecessary damage billing, please report all incidents of damage and vandalism to your RA immediately.

  1. Cleanliness: Regularly remove all trash and recycling items from your assigned space (room, suite and bathroom) into the appropriate dumpsters located outside of the buildings or chutes within the community.
  2. Damage and Destruction: Residents will be held financially accountable for damage and destruction to university property. Unless the individual responsible for the damage is identified, damages will be divided equally among roommates for bedroom damage and suitemates for suite common area damages. Damages in the common areas will be divided amongst the appropriate floor-mates or by all the residents of the building.
  3. Room/Suite Condition: To document the original condition of your assigned space, residents will have the opportunity to review their Room Condition Report (RCR) on the housing portal within 72 hours of move in to document any concerns. Please review the form carefully and add any additional damages you may find prior to submitting the form. As part of the check-out process, this form will be used as the basis for comparison and any new damage will be billed to the assigned resident(s). Residents may also be billed for removal of trash or cleaning. A list of common charges can be found on our website,
  4. (INTERIM): All individuals must follow any guidance provided by the University regarding cleaning and disinfection of their personal workspace and/or dorm room.

AP 10 Community Living Standards: Members of this community agree to respect the rights of other residents and to conduct themselves in a manner conducive to a respectful living environment. As a contributing member of this community, you are encouraged to report all safety concerns, dangerous activities, and policy violations to the Residence Education staff.

  1. (INTERIM) Face Covering:
    1. All individuals must wear face coverings, except when located alone in a private office, when eating and physically distanced by at least six feet, in the individual’s assigned residence hall room or when outside and located more than six feet away from any other individual.
  2. (INTERIM) Gatherings:
    1. Individuals should not congregate on University property or in University facilities, including indoor and outdoor common areas and private rooms and offices, except when attending University sponsored and controlled events, such as classes and lectures, and must maintain physical distancing of six feet or more at all times. This includes when seated or standing in classrooms, dining facilities, in private spaces such as offices and conference rooms, and in all other common areas. Individuals are allowed to stand in organized lines while waiting for service at University facilities; however, individuals must remain six feet or more from any other individual and may not remain in an area after they have received service.
    2. Residents should maintain six feet of distance at all times from other persons in the all public and private areas of the residence halls, except those individuals with whom they share their assigned room.
  3. (INTERIM) Kitchens:
    1. Only one resident can use a kitchen at a time.
  4. (INTERIM) Illness:
    1. Any resident who begins experiencing COVID-like symptoms, including coughing, fever and shortness of breath, is expected to contact the Student Health Center by phone at (209) 228-2273 to report these symptoms and self-isolate until otherwise directed.
    2. All residents must participate in the campus personal health screenings and/or self-screening process, and any facility access screening, including any symptomatic and asymptomatic testing, in order to enter UC Merced facilities and physical spaces.
    3. Residents directed by the university to self-isolate must follow any staff directions related to self-isolation, including staying in their assigned space, relocating to a temporary assignment, using Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to minimize the risk of transmission, and any other guidance given by staff or health professionals.
  5. (INTERM) Travel:
    1. Campus residents and guests must follow university, state, Merced county health department orders governing travel. Residents returning from travel may be reassigned or directed to follow self-isolation guidelines from the University, state or local officials.
    2. Residents who depart for campus for any reason and are unable to return must notify Residence Education at as soon as possible.

AP 11 Decorating and Personalizing your Room/Suite: We encourage students to decorate and personalize their space with materials that will not cause permanent damage to the property. All the decorations must abide by fire safety code, which includes but is not limited to not covering or blocking any entrances, exits, lights, smoke detectors, fire control panels and /or fire extinguishers. Residence Education staff may direct the removal of any decorations or property deemed unsafe.

  1. Residents are not allowed to paint their rooms or furniture.
  2. Use adhesives that are designed to be removed without residue such as painter’s tape, non-oil-based wall putty, 3M Command strips, tension rods and small picture hooks or nails no larger than #18. Some examples of unacceptable materials include but are not limited to double-sided tape, large nails and screws.
  3. Postings on doors, windows and/or bedroom walls that create a hostile and intimidating living environment are not permitted.
  4. Small synthetic plants or trees are permitted. For a resident to have a faux tree, it must be a flame-retardant synthetic tree. Live plants are permitted in a room with the approval of all room/suitemates. Live trees are not permitted.
  5. The usage of exterior lighting is permitted if the item is UL approved. Extension cords used outdoors must be heavy duty and exterior use rated. Exterior lighting may not be strung from building to building or across walkways. Exterior lights may only be hung at arm’s reach; residents are prohibited from using ladders, chairs or other apparatus that may increase your height. All electric lights used inside the suites must be UL approved. The display of lights inside or outside should not be strung or placed in a manner that could be considered a trip hazard.
  6. The hanging of anything from fire devices, including sprinkler heads and pipes, is strictly prohibited.
  7. No decorations may be attached to a ceiling.
  8. The use of candles, incense or other flame producing devices is strictly prohibited. LED candles and flameless candles are permitted.
  9. The usage of window paints or markers are permitted, provided the resident(s) clean the window thoroughly at the end of their housing contract.
  10. Feel free to consult with your RA or Residence Education Coordinator if you have any questions decorating or acceptable materials.

AP 12 Electrical Safety: Only UL approved electrical devices are permitted in university housing facilities. Residents must use power strips with surge protectors.

  1. All extension cords must be heavy duty, single plug and be UL approved.
  2. Altering or adapting electrical outlets and equipment and overloading circuits jeopardizes human safety and thus is not permitted.
  3. Cords must be used in a safe manner and should never be covered by rugs or stretched across the main walking path of a floor causing a trip hazard.

AP 13 Entering Student Rooms: Residence Education will make reasonable effort to provide written notice by email 24 hours in advance of entering an occupied room or suite.

  1. The University reserves the right to enter a room/suite for any reason including: allowed by law, in case of an emergency; to make necessary or agreed upon inspections, repairs, alterations or improvement, or supply services required to maintain the building; when a resident has abandoned or surrendered the room; to show a vacancy to a prospective resident and/or pursuant to court order.
  2. By submitting a maintenance work request you are authorizing university personnel to enter the room/suite to make necessary repairs.
  3. University staff will enter rooms and suites to conduct safety and occupancy inspections periodically and at semester closings.

AP 14 Furniture: Each resident is provided a bed, desk, chair, drawers, closet space, and window coverings. Suite living room furniture is the shared responsibility of suitemates and is furnished with soft seating, a table, and chairs.

  1. All university furniture must remain in the assigned room/suite/lounge and is the responsibility of the assigned resident(s).
  2. Waterbeds are not permitted
  3. All other personal furniture brought into Housing and Residence Education must be made of fire-retardant material and must be removed at the end of the contract term.
  4. Any personal furniture must be agreed upon by all roommates/suitemates.
  5. Residence Education staff may direct the removal of any personal furniture deemed unsafe.
  6. Charges will be assessed for missing or damaged furniture or personal furniture left behind.
  7. Special needs accommodations will be determined in conjunction with Disability Services.
  8. (INTERIM): Individuals may not remove/rearrange furniture/equipment in any University space unless it has been approved by Physical Operations, Planning and Development (POPD) or the unit responsible for management of the space. Doing so may impact the capacity and physical distancing achieved in the space.

AP 15 Guests: Residents are responsible for their guests’ behavior and; therefore, agree to inform their guests of University policies and expectations. Residents are accountable for all policies violated by your guest. A guest is any person who is not assigned to the room or building in which they are present.

Overnight guests may stay for up to three  nights within a two-week period and a maximum of six nights per semester but only with the written approval of roommate/suitemates. Residents who feel their roommates/suitemates are violating this policy should first inform their roommate/suitemate. If the response is not satisfactory, the Resident Assistant should be notified. (See Interim policy updates below.)

  1. The needs of roommates/suitemates to sleep, study and otherwise be free from interference and disruption, as well as the right to privacy are paramount and supersede the right to host a guest. Any roommate or suitemate has the right to reasonably refuse guests at any time.
  2. For safety and security reasons, guests must be escorted at all times and in all areas of the residence by his/her host of the building.
  3. During their visit, guests are expected to behave in a way that positively contributes to the residence community, showing respect and consideration for others and for property.
  4. Residence Education or other University staff may direct guests behaving inappropriately to leave the residence halls.
  5. (INTERIM): Guests without a UC Merced housing contract are not permitted inside any residential space. Individuals with UC Merced housing contracts are only permitted to enter their assigned buildings. This does not include persons who are actively assisting in the move-in or move-out of a resident. All guests are expected to abide by state and local health board orders in addition to university policies.
  6. (INTERIM): To reduce the risk of COVID transmission, residents are not permitted to host guests in their assigned room.

AP 16 Identification: Residents and guests are expected to carry official identification such as a Driver’s License, State ID or UC Merced CatCard on them at all times and to show it to university personnel upon request. For security purposes, do not loan your CatCard to others. Report a lost or stolen CatCard to the CatCard Office immediately. The use of another student’s identification card is prohibited.

AP 17 Keys: You will be issued a key for your room. Your CatCard will give you access rights to your assigned residence hall and certain common spaces.

  1. Your CatCard and/or key may not be loaned or given to another person.
  2. Residents must report lost or stolen keys, or lost or stolen CatCards, to the Valley Housing Office or their RA immediately. Residents must also report lost or stolen CatCards to the CatCard office immediately.
  3. A replacement fee will be assessed for any lost key, temporary key or temporary access card issued to a resident.
  4. Any damage to key and/or lock may result in replacement fees.

AP 18 Network and Internet Access: The network is provided to facilitate the sharing of knowledge and information. Residents shall abide by all university, state and federal laws and regulations regarding the network and will be held accountable for any inappropriate activity originating from their computer.

  1. Illegal downloading and file sharing and the use of the network for commercial purposes are not permitted under this policy. For more specific details about this policy, please refer to
  2. Serious violations (including repeated minor violations) may result in the temporary or permanent loss of access privileges or the modification of those privileges and/or referral to University Student Conduct for further action.

AP 19 Personal Property: Resident should maintain personal property insurance available through private companies. The University, its employees and agents assume no liability for the loss, theft, damage or destruction to personal property kept in the resident’s room/suite or any other location on the premises.

AP 20 Posting Policy: Registered campus organizations are welcome to post in designated posting areas outside Residence Education facilities. All postings must be approved by the Office of Student Involvement prior to posting. Expired postings must be removed by the sponsoring group within 24 hours after the event. Only RAs, Residence Education staff, the Residence Hall Association and Community Councils may post flyers within the residence halls.