Dorm Room Policies


A room key or code is issued to each student upon checking in. Students must pick up keys or codes in person—keys may not be picked up by friends or other acquaintances. When not in their rooms, students should lock their doors and carry their room keys with them. If a room key is lost, the Facilities Office should be contacted for a replacement and a lock change. A charge of $25.00, billed to a student’s account, will be assessed. Student identification cards will be requested to confirm identity and room assignment. Students who do not return keys when they vacate their rooms will be charged $75.00 for the unreturned key. This charge is not refundable. Dorms with locknetics coding system also carry a $25.00 charge if codes are forgotten or given out to friends and then requested to be changed.

Students should carry their room keys with them. When requested by a student, the Campus Safety and Security Office will open an inadvertently locked room or lock a room inadvertently left open once during the academic year, but will charge $10.00 for each subsequent request for room opening or locking by the same student. Students whose rooms are locked or unlocked by Campus Safety and cannot produce a key within 24 hours will be charged for a lock change.


The creation of persistent and excessive noise is a violation of good conduct. Since student rooms are appropriate places to study as well as sleep, noise should be kept to a minimum at all times.


Other than fish, no student–owned pets are permitted in College housing. Students who are advised to remove a pet and continue to house a pet will be fined $100 per day for each day the pet remains after notification.


Town ordinance requires all residents to recycle clean paper products, cardboard, glass, metal, and plastic containers. Student rooms contain separate receptacles for recyclable paper and trash. Since houses can have different approaches to handling recyclables, students should take note of any communications directed to them on how recycling works for their building. Students who have questions about the recycling program should consult their Junior Advisor, Baxter Fellow, or custodial team.

Responsibility for Loss of Personal Property

Care is taken to protect personal property in College buildings, but the College cannot assume responsibility for loss or damage to such property through fire, theft, or any other cause. Students are therefore advised to keep their rooms locked when absent from them and to investigate personal property coverage through their parents’ “Home Owners” policy or other ways of obtaining such coverage.

Room Decoration, Construction, and Furniture

Students must be careful when hanging posters, framed prints, mirrors, bulletin boards, etc. as all costs associated with the repair of wall or ceiling damage are billed to room occupants.

Do not use nails. For hanging posters, photos, and calendars, use “fun–tack” which is available at local school and business supply stores. An exception to this policy occurs in Tyler Annex and the Greylock Quad, which have masonry walls. Masking tape should be used instead.

Large expanses of flammable fabric, such as burlap or parachute silk, must not be hung as wall coverings or room dividers; this sort of decoration violates state fire codes and will be removed.

Construction by students of built–in furniture or room dividers is not allowed within dormitories or residential houses.

Waterbeds, lofts and cinder blocks are strictly prohibited from all student residence areas. Trampolines, swimming pools, and hot tubs are also prohibited on student residential premises.

Students are responsible for the College furniture provided in their rooms. If students choose not to use their College furniture and wish to remove it, they must move it to the storage area designated by the building custodial team; it is also the students’ responsibility to return such furniture before they vacate the room. They will be charged the cost of replacement if they fail to return it. Bookshelves, record cabinets, or other free–standing furniture may be moved into College buildings provided they do not interfere with the normal maintenance and cleaning of the room. Such furniture must not be affixed to or wedged against floor, wall, or ceiling surfaces. Students will be asked to remove unacceptable furniture or the College will remove it at the occupant’s expense.

The furniture supplied to students in Morgan, Mission Park, Williams, Tyler Annex, East College, Fayerweather, Tyler and Sage does not lend itself to easy movement through the building. Therefore, to avoid unnecessary damage, furniture may not be moved from rooms in these buildings. Furniture in Tyler Annex must remain in rooms as there is not adequate storage.

Violations of construction and decoration regulations will result in a note being left in the room advising the occupant to correct the violation. If violations are not corrected promptly, the College will make the correction at the occupant’s expense.

Room Entry and Inspection

The College reserves the right to enter and inspect students’ rooms and the contents thereof at any time. The reasons for such entry and inspection may include, but are not limited to, conducting health and safety inspections, insuring compliance with the College’s housing policies or other rules, investigating suspected violations of those policies or rules, or acting in the interests of the safety or well–being of the occupant or others.

Room Occupancy and College Vacations

The College will hold a student’s room until September 15th. If a student has not checked in to campus by then, the room may be assigned to another student.

Changes from one room to another are permitted, with some restrictions and facilitated through processes which will be advertised by the Office of Student Life. Students must obtain permission the Office of Student Life prior to any room change. This is especially important since the student officially registered for a particular room is responsible for any damages which are noted when the room is vacated. Seniors with permission to live off campus must keep their addresses on file with the Office of Student Life.

Students may have guests and visitors, with the consent of their roommates or suitemates, for a maximum of three (3) consecutive days. Students are responsible for the behavior of their guests. Questions or disputes concerning guests should be brought to the attention of the Office of Student Life.

Students who withdraw, who are dismissed, or who are required to resign for academic reasons are expected to vacate their rooms within 48 hours. A charge of $100.00 per day will be billed to the account of any student who fails to meet this deadline. A fine of $150.00 will be imposed when a student does not vacate his or her room by the day and time of the dorm closing, and for each day a student remains beyond the deadline.

Break Periods

During Thanksgiving Break, student residences remain open.

During Winter Break, students are required to leave campus by 12 noon on the Tuesday after finals end.

During Spring Break, students are required to leave campus by 12 noon on the first Saturday of the break, and may return as of 8 a.m. on the Saturday prior to the restart of classes.

The College recognizes that certain students who demonstrate extreme need cannot leave campus and is committed to providing assistance for these students. Any College owned building might be used as temporary housing over a break period for students who are unable to leave campus. Students whose rooms will be used for temporary housing will be given reasonable notification prior to the break and are asked to make all reasonable accommodations

End of Spring Semester Move–Out

At the end of the Spring Semester, students must leave their rooms by 12 noon of the day following the last day of final examinations. Seniors must leave by 5:00 p.m. on Commencement Day. A fine of $150 is imposed for each day a student remains in his or her room beyond the deadlines.

Shortly before the end of the academic year students will be advised of procedures for vacating. These include, but are not limited to, bagging and removing trash in their rooms and removing personal furniture, wood, area rugs, etc. from individual rooms and common areas. These procedures must be followed or a $200.00 fine will appear on student accounts. Likewise, if a student moves out of a room at another time during the year, the room should be left clean and in its original setup or charges may result.

Summer Housing

On–campus housing is available on a very–limited basis during the summer, for students who are working with Williams faculty doing research or who are employed by a campus office for the summer. Information about Summer Housing will be sent to students and to departments during the spring semester.


Smoking is not permitted in any College building or College vehicle (see details under Smoking Policy)
Fire Safety Regulations


During the academic year, storage space is available in most residence areas. However, furniture (such as beds, couches, chairs, etc.) is not permitted in campus storage, due to lack of space. With the exception of co–ops, where residents monitor their own storage areas, arrangements for storage or removal should be made through the building custodian. (If the custodian has responsibility for more than one building and can’t be located, Security may be contacted for access.)

Due to the limited space available, storage rooms are routinely cleaned out at the end of the academic year to provide storage for the following year’s class. Any items left in storage at the end of the academic year shall be deemed transferred to the College and will be disposed of at the discretion of the College. It is further expressly acknowledged and agreed by all persons using the storage areas that the proceeds, if any, of such disposal likewise shall be the property of the College.

Storage of items on campus over the summer will be allowed only for financial aid students with exceptionally high need and who live a great distance from the campus, including all international aided students as determined by the Office of Financial Aid.

The College assumes no responsibility for personal items placed in storage and it is strongly recommended that valuable items such as skis, stereos, personal computers, etc., not be placed in the storage rooms.

There are some local companies which provide storage options for students off–campus. It is entirely the student’s responsibility to contact and contract with any local company for storage. Students have typically used Connors Brothers (413–458–8141) and Mullen (413–458–2580). There are others in the area; students should consult the local yellow pages for more information.


All student rooms are equipped with modular telephone jacks. Although most students prefer to use cell phones for more convenient communication with friends and family, one can bring a landline phone to use in one’s room. These should be touch–tone telephones with standard modular connections. The service is for local and incoming calls only and you must sign up with a private carrier for a long distance calling card if you want long distance service. To activate the landline telephone jack in your room, log into PeopleSoft and go to Self Service > Campus Life > Dorm Phone Activation. You may activate your telephone jack at any time, however it is best to do this before the beginning of the fall term so it will be available when you arrive. It will take up 3 business days to activate.

It is imperative that Campus Safety and Security has access to your cell phone number, if you have one, to reach you in case of an emergency. Further, the College subscribes to an off–premises emergency contact system which can be used to quickly notify all campus members by phone or text message in the event of an emergency situation. If you have no cell phone, the dorm phone will be called if you have activated it. Emergency messages are also sent out via email. Please ensure that your phone information is up to date in the Peoplesoft student system by checking Self Service > Campus Personal Information > Phone Numbers.

A full explanation of student telephone services can be found on the OIT web site.


The College provides a television set to most residential buildings with a common area. Most student rooms have a cable outlet which can be activated by contacting the local cable company. In rooms without a cable outlet, cable hook–ups are not permitted. Do not splice cable wires. It is against Federal Law to do so and large fines from the cable company may result. If you misuse cable wiring, Time Warner will remove all cable, including the primary cable coming into the building, at your expense. No antennae or satellite dishes are allowed at student residential buildings.

Housing Selection

Incoming first–year students are assigned housing by the Office of Student Life. Questionnaires are sent via email to incoming first–year students and placements are made once the questionnaires have been received. Notifications of first–year housing assignments are typically mailed to students by late July or early August.

Most upperclass students select their rooms through the annual room draw processes. These processes are communicated to students electronically as they come up throughout the academic year.

A limited number of rising seniors are eligible to live in co–ops. Co–op housing gives students a bit more of an off–campus feel while still living in College–owned property. There is a lottery process for this option—information about it will be sent out by the Office of Student Life to rising seniors (typically during Winter Study and/or early Spring Semester).

A limited number of rising seniors are allowed to live off–campus, in non–College owned housing, which they secure on their own. The process for being released to live off–campus occurs during the fall semester of a student’s junior year, for housing during the student’s senior year. Students and/or parents are strongly discouraged from signing leases with landlords until the College has officially released the student to live off–campus for his/her senior year—should the number of students requesting to live off–campus exceed the off–campus release limit, a lottery will be held, and signing a lease in advance of being released by the College to live off–campus could result in the student and/or parent being responsible for housing charges both on– and off–campus depending upon the outcome of the lottery process.

Any action interpreted as abuse of the housing selection system will result in the loss of the student’s (or students’) housing preference and possible disciplinary action.

Housing for Families

Williams is a residential college that requires undergraduate students to live in housing provided by the school. Exceptions are allowed for a limited number of seniors and non–traditional students. The College does not provide housing for married couples or families. Inquiries should be directed to the Student Housing Coordinator in the Office of Student Life.