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.

Table of Contents

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.


You are encouraged to use a bicycle to travel around campus. If you do not own a bike, NIU's Borrow-a-Bike Program lets you borrow one at no cost. You can optionally register your 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.

You may not conduct business inside the residence hall, sell or distribute products, permit your rooms to be used for sales by any outside vendor, 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. Tables can be reserved through the respective Chief Clerk of each residence hall. Reserved tables and political canvassing in the lobby of a residence hall must not impede the traffic flow in the residence hall.

Hosting Guests

  1. Residents must have the advance permission of their roommate(s) or suitemate to have a guest stay overnight in their room.
  2. Guests must be hosted by a resident of the hall and accompanied by that host at all times while in the hall. Residents are considered guests in halls in which they do not have permanent residence.
  3. Gilbert, Grant, Neptune, New Hall and Stevenson: All guests who enter and/or remain in a residence hall after 11 p.m. must be registered and hosted by a resident who has a valid room contract in the hall the guest is visiting. Unregistered visitors found in a hall after 11 p.m. will be required to vacate the building immediately and forfeit the privilege of returning for a 24-hour period. Guests may be registered before 11 p.m. at your residence hall main desk.
  4. Gilbert, Grant, Neptune, New Hall and Stevenson: Guests are required to show one of the specified types of picture identification to residence hall staff upon request. Accepted forms of guest IDs include driver’s license, military ID card, state ID card, passport, or a current NIU OneCard for current students living off campus. Current residence hall residents visiting from a different hall or Personal Care Assistants (PCAs) with a OneCard may present their hall access card.
  5. Guests who do not have or do not show the necessary picture identification will be required to leave the hall immediately and will not be given the opportunity to return as hosted guests for at least 24 hours.
  6. Guests who disrupt the hall environment or otherwise violate university policy will be asked to leave and may be denied the privilege of returning. Guests who repeatedly violate university policy may be banned from future visitation in that residence hall, all residence halls, or the NIU campus.
  7. Students living in the residence halls cannot be signed in as a guest in the hall in which they live.
  8. A guest may stay in the residence halls a maximum of 72 hours within in a 7-day period. Residents hosting guests in violation of this policy may have their hosting privileges revoked.
  9. Gilbert, Grant, Neptune, New Hall and Stevenson: On coed floors, residents and guests should only use the floor bathrooms of the corresponding gender.
  10. Gilbert, Grant, Neptune, New Hall and Stevenson: Guests are permitted in bathrooms designated for the opposite gender on single gender floors when escorted to the bathroom by their host. The host must stay at the door of the bathroom to inform other residents it is currently occupied by a guest of the opposite gender.

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, please 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. Please be sure that 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 your 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. Never dispose of needles in your regular trash.

Maintaining a Pest-free Environment

To maintain a pest-free environment:

  • Wipe up any spilled food immediately.
  • Wash all dishes and utensils used for food preparation after each meal.
  • Do not let garbage accumulate. Dispose of all garbage on a regular basis.
  • Do not accumulate piles of papers or paper bags.

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.

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.

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