On Wednesday, September 18th, Representatives from Traveler’s Insurance, some of who were UConn alu
Published: Wednesday, September 18, 2013
Updated: Wednesday, September 18, 2013 23:09
Dorm privacy can be a controversial subject¬– the Fourth Amendment protects against unreasonable search and seizure in a persons home, but a question arises over whether a dorm can be considered a student’s “home.”
The National Association of College and University Attorneys describes a student’s university residence as their “home away from home,” but also raises the point that all dorms are owned by the university or college attended by the student.
Pamela Schipani, director of Residential Life, corroborates this point.
“The dorms on campus are owned by the state of Connecticut and managed by the Department of Residential Life. Students and the University have an agreement about the rights and responsibilities of each party,” she said.
The University has drawn a line between the rights of the resident and the rights of the property owners, which in this case is UConn. These rights are outlined in the On-Campus Housing Contract, specifically in section three, which states that a student has the right to be notified before any staff members enter his or her room. The contract also states that staff members will not enter a student’s room without consent of the student; however, there are exceptions to this policy.
Staff members can enter a student’s room without permission for facility improvements (this includes repairs or maintenance), recovery of University or state owned property, health inspections, during an emergency or when there is “reliable information” that a University policy is being violated.
“Students must agree to the On-Campus Housing Contract with they apply for housing or the online application cannot be submitted. In addition, Resident Assistant, Assistant Residence Hall Directors, Hall Directors and other staff who work with students living in the residence halls educate students about various topics covered in the contract,” said Schipani.
Yet some incoming freshmen are still working to get a handle on these rights and responsibilities.
Joe Greenwald, a 1st semester student in ACES, admitted to a lack of expertise on the subject. “I am not informed on my dorm privacy rights, but as a freshman, I’d like to be,” he said.
Jordan Ginsberg, a 1st semester biology major, who is used to dorm-style living after four years of boarding school, said that while she knew there were rights, she didn’t read them.
“I have never felt like my space or personal business was intruded upon, but I went to boarding school which had regular room checks so this feels like I have more than enough privacy,” she said.
The 2013-2014 On-Campus Housing Contract can be found on the Department of Residential Life’s website, reslife.uconn.edu.