GW Residential Community Standards

The purpose of the residential community at the George Washington University is to enhance the academic environment and provide students with a well-maintained, safe, and positive living experience. Students have the right to expect an environment that is conducive to study, sleep, and socialization.

The following communities contributed to the development of the GW Residential Community Standards: Student leaders in the Residence Hall Association, Student Association, and the Center for Student Engagement; Members of the Parents’ Association Advisory Council; Staff in the Office of Student Rights and Responsibilities; Division of Student Affairs; Division of External Relations; and Office of General Counsel.

Intellectual Environment

We are all responsible for creating an environment that promotes the academic mission of the university, including being held responsible for your actions and those of your visitors’ and guests’.

Visitors, Visitation, and Cohabitation

Residents will be held responsible for the behavior of their visitors and for their visitors’ adherence to residential facility and University regulations. A primary obligation of GW Housing and GW CSE is to attempt to ensure adequate study and sleep conditions for residents. These priorities take precedence over residents' social activities.

Visitation within student rooms is determined by mutual agreement among roommates at the beginning of the year and whenever occupancy of the room changes. The roommate's rights to privacy, sleep and study take precedence over the rights of a host to have a guest. The host must have approval from their roommate(s) to have a guest.

Cohabitation is not allowed in the residence halls. Cohabitation is defined as a person using a residence hall room as if that person were living in the room but not actually being assigned as a resident of that room/suite.

Noise and Quiet Hours

All residents will be considerate of others within their community with respect to noise level. All residents have the right to sleep and study without undue interference. Noise that interferes with or has the potential to interfere with those rights is considered a violation. In general, a resident's right to quiet supersedes any other resident's right to make noise.

The times listed below are the Quiet Hours that residents are expected to follow in all residence halls:

●       Sunday – Thursday: 10 p.m. – 7 a.m.

●       Friday– Saturday: 2 a.m. – 10 a.m.

Additionally, during reading days and final exams, all residents are expected to comply with 24 ­hour quiet hours.

Rooms and Common Spaces

Residents are responsible for the cleanliness of their own rooms and common rooms including no less than: routine cleaning of bathroom and kitchen areas to prevent the growth of mildew, mold, and bacteria; routine disposal of food/beverage remnants and used packaging; the storage of perishable food in sealed containers; the regular cleaning of post-meal plates and utensils.

Residents assume responsibility for the care and cleaning of their rooms, and to uphold the standards of cleanliness as set between roommates in the Roommate Agreement in a discussion facilitated by the Resident Advisor.

Common rooms are considered public areas. Common rooms have been provided so that residents may study, work on class assignments, watch TV, hold community events, and visit with friends. Common rooms are not intended for sleeping, storing personal belongings, or other such activities that prevent use by the greater community. Please properly dispose of trash in these common rooms.

Common room furnishings, wall treatments, and equipment must remain in their designated areas. If common room furniture is damaged or missing and attempts to locate it fail, the University reserves the right to hold all residents of the floor or residence hall responsible for the cost of replacement of damaged or missing items. If common room furniture is found in a residential room, the resident(s) will be responsible for moving it back to the common room, or be charged for the furniture if it is damaged. A diagram and inventory of the common room furniture will be provided for each common room. Please maintain the room’s original configuration. Please do not move common room furniture.

Civility and Conduct

We are all responsible for developing and maintaining an atmosphere that promotes social awareness, social appreciation and respect of those who may be different from ourselves.

All residents are subject to the following conduct guidelines that are particularly applicable to conduct within university residential facilities. A resident or visitor's conduct at the university should always be governed by respect for the rights of others. The following types of conduct are unacceptable:

Depriving Others of Their Rights & Privacy. Residents are free to express themselves in a responsible manner. Such expression is unacceptable when the expression impinges on the rights of others, or when it disrupts educational activities or approved programs or events.

1.      A roommate who subjects others in the room to systematic stress and harassment will be subject to administrative and/or disciplinary action.

2.      Taking photographs or making audio or video recordings of another person without his or her permission in any context in which that person has a reasonable expectation of privacy is prohibited.

3.      In a situation in which it is not acceptable to take a photograph or make a recording, it is also not acceptable to publish it. Transmission, in print, by phone, via email, via social media, or any other means of technology constitutes publication.

Abuse. Abuse, threats, intimidation of others, and language used or action taken on a discriminatory basis, through the use of electronic, written, verbal or physical means, are unacceptable and are subject to administrative and/or disciplinary action.

Imposition on Community

Residents have the right to live within a peaceful and educational environment conducive to each student’s success. Any action or disruption by any resident which violates this right of community members is prohibited.

Residents are expected to act with civility and show respect for themselves and others in person and online. If a student is troubled by the activity of a fellow resident and does not feel comfortable confronting the resident, in-hall residential staff should be asked for assistance. If the student decides to address the situation him/herself, it should be done in an open, non-threatening manner.

The Residential Community Conduct Guidelines can be found at

The Code of Student Conduct can be found at

Thank you for being a positive member of the GW Residential Community!


District of Columbia Official Code

Division IV. Criminal Law and Procedure and Prisoners

Title 22. Criminal Offenses

Chapter 13. Disturbances of the Public Place

§ 22-1321. Disorderly conduct

   (a) In any place open to the general public, and in the communal areas of multi-unit housing, it is unlawful for a person to:

      (1) Intentionally or recklessly act in such a manner as to cause another person to be in reasonable fear that a person or property in a person's immediate possession is likely to be harmed or taken;

      (2) Incite or provoke violence where there is a likelihood that such violence will ensue; or

      (3) Direct abusive or offensive language or gestures at another person (other than a law enforcement officer while acting in his or her official capacity) in a manner likely to provoke immediate physical retaliation or violence by that person or another person.

   (b) It is unlawful for a person to engage in loud, threatening, or abusive language, or disruptive conduct, with the intent and effect of impeding or disrupting the orderly conduct of a lawful public gathering, or of a congregation of people engaged in any religious service or in worship, a funeral, or similar proceeding.

   (c) It is unlawful for a person to engage in loud, threatening, or abusive language, or disruptive conduct with the intent and effect of impeding or disrupting the lawful use of a public conveyance by one or more other persons.

   (c-1) It is unlawful for a person to engage in loud, threatening, or abusive language, or disruptive conduct in a public building with the intent and effect of impeding or disrupting the orderly conduct of business in that public building.

   (d) It is unlawful for a person to make an unreasonably loud noise between 10:00 p.m. and 7:00 a.m. that is likely to annoy or disturb one or more other persons in their residences.

   (e) It is unlawful for a person to urinate or defecate in public, other than in a urinal or toilet.

    (f) It is unlawful for a person to stealthily look into a window or other opening of a dwelling, as defined in § 6-101.07, under circumstances in which an occupant would have a reasonable expectation of privacy. It is not necessary that the dwelling be occupied at the time the person looks into the window or other opening.

   (g) It is unlawful, under circumstances whereby a breach of the peace may be occasioned, to interfere with any person in any public place by jostling against the person, unnecessarily crowding the person, or placing a hand in the proximity of the person's handbag, pocketbook, or wallet.

   (h) A person who violates any provision of this section shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction, shall be fined not more than the amount set forth in § 22-3571.01, imprisoned not more than 90 days, or both.