Community Living

The residence halls are home to many students, and it is important to create a welcoming environment for all. Living in a new community offers many opportunities to meet new people and learn from a variety of experiences.

Health and Safety during COVID-19 Recovery

Northern Illinois University is committed to the safety and wellness of all our community members. This includes managing the complexity of public health concerns and the spread of diseases like the COVID-19 virus. 

We expect that all members of the NIU Housing community—residents, staff and visitors—act in a manner that demonstrates respect and consideration for those around them, including respect and consideration for the health and safety of all community members. All residential students are prohibited from creating a health or safety hazard that puts other members of the community at risk.  Housing and Residential Services and other university staff may request or require a resident to leave an area if their continued presence and/or activities present a hazard to others. Persistent or reckless behavior that threatens the health and safety could be considered a violation of Housing Policy. 

Residential students are required to comply with health and safety laws, orders, ordinances, regulations and health and safety guidance adopted by the University as it relates to public health crises, including COVID-19. This guidance will evolve as the public health crisis evolves and may include, but is not limited to, social distancing, limitations on mass gatherings, wearing a face covering, COVID-19 diagnostic and surveillance testing (including before or upon arrival to campus), contact tracing, disinfection protocols, limitations on guests into residence halls and apartments, and quarantine / isolation requirements (including before or upon arrival to campus). 

Adherence to health and safety requirements applies to all residents, staff and visitors and extends to all aspects of university housing facilities, including bedrooms, living rooms, bathrooms, community kitchens, lounges, computer areas, game rooms, courtyards, and other common spaces. Students should not congregate in hallways, elevator landings, stairwells, lounges, or other areas where safe physical distancing cannot be maintained. 

Any students who have COVID-19, been tested for COVID-19, are showing symptoms associated with COVID-19 or have been exposed to someone with COVID-19 must complete the COVID-19 screening checklist immediately to answer a series of screening questions. This information will be shared with the DeKalb County Health Department (DCHD).  They should also contact their health care providers.  Students whose health care provider is the Northwestern Medicine Student Health Center at NIU (815-306-2777) should not go to the health center without first calling. The students should self-quarantine until further guidance is given by their health care providers or the DCHD.

For the safety of our community, it is the expectation that students who have COVID-19, been tested for COVID-19, are showing symptoms associated with COVID-19 or have been exposed to someone with COVID-19 will follow the guidelines listed above.  The Dean of Students will email those students who fail to do so to reiterate their role in maintaining a healthy community.  If the behavior is pervasive or the student is combative, the university will respond through the conduct process as it is a disruption or a failure to comply with rules/directive of a university official.  The hope is that the conduct process will not be utilized but is available if needed. 

Face Masks during COVID-19 Recovery

Face masks are required to be worn in all public spaces of the residence halls and NIU apartments. This includes shared living rooms in New Hall and Stevenson, elevator landings, hallways, lobbies, stairwells, and lounges. Face masks should always be worn when physical distancing cannot be followed. Face masks are not required while in a student’s room, or restroom area.  Persons who may need an accommodation for this requirement may reach out to the Disability Resource Center.  While visiting residents from your community in their room students should practice safe distancing and are encouraged to wear face masks.

Residence Hall Grounds and Public Areas Protocol

Hall public areas and grounds surrounding the halls are for the enjoyment of all residents. Behavior that endangers others or detracts from a welcoming community environment is not acceptable.

  1. Disruptive residents will be asked to leave public areas. Disruptive guests will be required to leave the building and/or campus.
  2. Loitering by nonresidents in residence hall public areas is prohibited. Violators are subject to arrest for trespassing.
  3. Housing and Residential Services staff reserve the right to secure or clear any and all hall public areas, including the main lobby.
  4. Furniture assigned to public areas, lounges, hallways, study rooms, computer labs, bathrooms, etc. of a floor or hall should stay in designated areas. They should not be moved into individual rooms or moved from one public area to another public area.
  5. Students are expected to refrain from a level of noise that disrupts operations in administrative areas of the hall.
  6. Ball playing; throwing water balloons or snow; use of paintball, pellet or water guns, skateboarding; and all other activity which may potentially block hall entrances or impede pedestrians are prohibited on residence hall grounds, porches, entranceways, and directly adjacent areas.
  7. Individual or group participation in an activity inside a residence hall that would be identified as sports recreation suitable for outdoor (or recreational facility) settings, which includes, but is not limited to, Frisbee throwing, dribbling, golfing, hockey playing, skating, skateboarding, and running, are prohibited. Roller blades, bicycles, skateboards, and scooters may not be used inside a residence hall.
  8. A prohibited “party atmosphere,” which includes but is not limited to, excessive gatherings of people in a student room or common area and significant noise disruption or other disturbances. These situations may occur despite the absence of alcoholic beverages.
  9. As of July 1, 2015, and in accord with the Smoke Free Campus Act (Public Act 098-0985), smoking is prohibited on all campus property. This policy applies to all individuals, including but not limited to students, faculty, staff, visitors, guests, and members of the public. The policy is applicable 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The prohibition includes using and/or carrying any kind of lighted smoking materials. Prohibited materials include but are not limited to any kind of pipe, cigar, cigarette, cigarillo, bidi, kretek, hookah, atomizer, vaporizer, marijuana, weed, herb, and electronic cigarette.
  10. The state's concealed carry legislation allows Northern Illinois University to continue its practice of prohibiting guns on campus. The possession and carrying of weapons on NIU property remains illegal and prohibited.


We encourage residents to use a bicycle to travel around campus. Residents can optionally register their personal bicycle with the Department of Public Safety.


  1. Bicycle racks are available outside of residence halls. Bicycles may not be parked anywhere inside a residence hall except in your room with the agreement of the your roommate.
  2. Bicycles may only be locked to university-provided bike racks.
    1. Bicycles attached to anything other than university-provided bike racks, including but not limited to light poles, ramps, and exterior signage, will be removed and stored for 30 days at the owner's expense.
    2. There is a $50 fine for removal of the bike.
    3. After 30 days, the bicycle will be donated to a registered 501(c)(3) recognized charity.
    4. Residents looking for a bicycle that has been removed from non-approved bike racks may initiate the reclamation process with NIU Police and Public Safety.

Solicitation in the Halls

Vendors or sales representatives may not sell items or take orders for items inside a residence hall or on residence hall grounds.

Residents may not conduct business inside the residence hall, sell or distribute products, permit rooms to be used for sales by any outside vendor, exchange money or personally use the residence hall as a base of a commercial enterprise.

Political Canvassing

Political canvassing (including door-to-door canvassing) is prohibited on the residential floors. However, political canvassing is allowed in the common lobbies of the residence halls. Students can reserve a room or table online. Reserved tables and political canvassing in the lobby of a residence hall must not impede the traffic flow in the residence hall.

Hosting Guests Not Permitted

While NIU is in COVID-19 Recovery, guests and visitors are not permitted in the residence halls and Northern View Community Apartments. Exceptions are made for building that have dining services open for campus community members during their operational hours.

Residents who live in the same residence hall may visit other residents in that hall if they are following safety guidelines, including wearing a face mask in public spaces.

Expectations for Hosts

  1. A person is defined as a guest in any of the following situations:
    1. An individual who is invited by you to a residence hall.
    2. An individual who is escorted by you into the building.
    3. An individual who is allowed to remain in your room.
  2. A roommate may not be denied access to his or her room during a visitation period.
  3. A roommate may declare the room off-limits to visitors for a specific time period, and may withdraw consent for a guest to be permitted in the room.
  4. You must inform guests of university policies and procedures, including the need for required forms of identification.
  5. You are responsible for your guests’ conduct including their adherence to university and residence hall policies and procedures, and financially for any damage caused.
  6. Each resident may host no more than two (2) guests at a time.
  7. Residents who do not follow the visitation guidelines may be subject to Student Conduct and/or administrative sanctions.
  8. Gilbert, Grant, Neptune, New Hall and Stevenson: If an unregistered guest is found in your room after 11 p.m., disciplinary action will be taken against the host, and the guest will be directed to leave the premises immediately and will forfeit the opportunity to return for a 24-hour period.

Courtesy and Quiet Hours

Courtesy hours are in effect 24 hours a day. During courtesy hours, music, voices, or noise should not be disruptive to your community. You are expected to comply immediately with the requests of others to lessen or eliminate noise. You are expected to demonstrate courtesy and consideration toward others at all times.

Courtesy hours should also be observed in public areas where students are trying to study, such as in computer labs.

Quiet hours are specified periods of time on a residence hall floor when it is expected that noise will not interrupt the required atmosphere for living and learning. You and your guests are expected to refrain from generating any noise that transfers from room to room, room to hallway, public areas to rooms/hallways, or carries down the hallway. This includes speaking in the hallway and having TVs/stereos at an excessive volume. Residents and guests who violate this requirement may be administratively removed from the community at any time.

Musical instruments equipped with amplifiers, and other instruments that carry sound beyond the confines of resident rooms, may be used only in designated areas of residence halls.

Quiet Hours on General Floors Sunday – Thursday: 9 p.m. – 10 a.m.
Friday and Saturday: 12 a.m. – 12 p.m.
Quiet Hours on Living-learning Community Floors Sunday – Thursday: 7 p.m. – 10 a.m.
Friday and Saturday: 12 a.m. – 12 p.m.
Quiet Hours on Intensive Study Floors Sunday – Thursday: 24 hours daily
Friday and Saturday: Quiet hours are not in effect 4 p.m. - 12 a.m.

Residents who live on LLC or Intensive Study floors, where extended quiet hours are in effect, may be administratively removed from those floors and not permitted to live on any other floor with extended quiet hours, should they engage in multiple violations of those quiet hours.

Trash Removal

In order to maintain a clean, healthy atmosphere for all residents and to keep pests out of our buildings, residents must deposit trash in the garbage cans located on each floor in Gilbert, Grant, Neptune, New Hall and Stevenson, or in dumpsters located in parking lots adjacent to each building in Northern View Community. Residents should ensure all garbage is bagged and put directly into the garbage cans or dumpster. Under no circumstances is trash or garbage to be left outside room/apartment doors, in the hallways or beside dumpsters.

Students are required to dispose of all medical waste (needles, syringes, etc.) in a medical waste container provided at no charge by Environmental Health and Safety. It will be their responsibility to contact Environmental Health and Safety to obtain a container. The medical waste container must be returned to Environmental Health and Safety when it becomes full. Students should never dispose of needles in regular trash.

Damages and Excessive Cleaning

  1. All residents of the floor or hall community may be charged for common area items that are missing, damaged, or require extra cleaning when the individual(s) responsible cannot be determined.
  2. When you acknowledge that you are responsible for a specific damage, you accept responsibility for the repairs and the floor is not charged.
  3. Any and all costs associated with activation and/or damage caused from the activation of a sprinkler head or smoke detectors will be the responsibility of the resident(s) involved. Damage and cleaning costs may not necessarily be limited to a single room, hallway, or floor.
  4. Residents who wish to appeal may do so within 20 days of receiving the charge on their Bursar’s account.

Alcohol and Other Drugs

  1. Persons 21 years of age or over may bring sealed alcoholic beverages, completely covered from open view, into the residence halls and may subsequently possess or consume such only in the privacy of student rooms with the door closed and in an atmosphere that does not create significant noise or other disturbances.
  2. Persons 21 years of age or over are prohibited by law from providing, delivering to, or hosting the serving of alcoholic beverages in residence halls to persons under 21 years of age.
  3. Persons under 21 years of age may not possess or consume alcoholic beverages (or display alcoholic beverage containers) in the residence halls or Northern View Community.
  4. Persons under 21 may not be present in any room/apartment where alcohol is being consumed.
  5. Possession of kegs or bulk alcoholic beverage containers (i.e., exceeding two gallons) and selling alcoholic beverages are prohibited regardless of the resident’s age.
  6. Possession, use, manufacture, sale or distribution of any dangerous narcotic, hallucinogenic, cannabis (marijuana), and/or look-alike drug in any form except under the direction of a licensed physician or as expressly permitted by law is prohibited on all University property.
  7. In a double occupancy room where one resident is 21 years of age or older while the other is not. The resident who is of legal drinking age may consume alcohol in their room but may not furnish alcoholic beverages to those under the age of 21. Guests who are of legal drinking age may consume alcohol if, and only if, the host who is 21 years of age or older is present and if each individual of legal drinking age possesses no more than one open alcoholic beverage per person.

Posting Signs in Residence Halls

Students, staff and student organizations may not hang their own signs in the residence halls (including dining centers). All signs to be posted should be given to the main desk in the desired location and staff will hang the signs for the individual or group, provided they have the official university poster stamp available through Student Involvement Leadership Development.

Signs will be taken down the day after the SILD stamp expires. Any signs not posted by authorized staff will be removed immediately.

Contact Us

Housing and Residential Services
Neptune East 101
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