All students have the right to expect that residence halls will be reasonably quiet and well maintained. The College recognizes that a student’s residence hall is his/her “home away from home” and should be treated as such. The College assumes the responsibility for maintaining the buildings, and students must assume responsibility for reasonable use of these facilities and for establishing a positive atmosphere where all students may study, sleep and live. Students who violate the spirit of the residence hall system or violate the rights of other students are subject to disciplinary action.
Residential Students need to refer to the Guide to Living on Campus for all policies relating to living in the residence halls https://www.washcoll.edu/campus-community/housing-and-dining/guide-to-living-on-campus.php.
Residential Life Staff
Residential Life is staffed with professional and paraprofessional student staff who provide supervision, guidance, and support to individual students and to floor and hall communities.
Director of Residential Life: Ursula Herz
Area Coordinators are professional, full-time staff with master’s-level education and a background in student learning and development who live in staff apartments in the residence halls. Area Coordinators provide direct oversight to two areas of the residential campus. Under the supervision of the Associate Dean of Students and the Director of Residential Life, each Area Coordinator supervises a Resident Assistant Director (RAD) and the Resident Assistant staff of that area. Area Coordinators address student well-being or behavior concerns, manage minor student conduct issues in their areas, and coordinate programming and events. The Area Coordinators hold regular office hours and are available to provide individual student assistance.
Resident Area Directors (RADs) are experienced, upper-class student leaders trained to provide additional support and supervision to RAs and supervision to a portion of the RA staff. RADs assist in major departmental programs and initiatives.
Resident Assistants (RAs) are assigned to a floor or a residence hall. The RAs help build a community within the residence halls by getting to know residents, upholding policies, and planning floor and hall activities. RAs understand the College’s mission, procedures, policies, and the Honor Code and are instrumental in working with residents to shape community standards and respectful behavior.
Assistant Area Coordinators (AACs) are student assistants to the Area Coordinators and help with the administrative tasks of managing the residence halls such as work orders, key management, or publications.
Desk Staff are student staff who assist Residential Life in the RA Offices, in particular lockouts and administrative support.
Expectations for Off Campus Behavior
Washington College students can contribute greatly to the Chestertown community when engaged in positive activities and respectful relationships with neighbors.
As members of the Chestertown community, Washington College students are expected to comply with all local ordinances and town, state and federal laws. Students are also expected to demonstrate responsible citizenship off campus and behave in a manner that is considerate of their neighbors. Neighbors have a right to the peaceful enjoyment of their property and to protect their property investment. Any student who engages in disruptive, disorderly, or destructive behavior off campus will be held accountable by Washington College.
If a citation is issued or a nuisance call/complaint is made regarding an off-campus house owned, rented or leased by Washington College students, the tenants of the residence will be held accountable by the Washington College Honor Code in addition to the civic authority. All tenants, whether present or not at the incident resulting in a neighbor complaint or a police or Public Safety response, are responsible for behavior that takes place at their dwelling.
Individual Student Behavior
Any off-campus student who repeatedly violates community standards or is involved in a single serious incident may be required to move into on-campus housing with all associated costs being the student’s responsibility. Students who already reside on campus will be held accountable for behavior off campus.
Maryland Social Host Liability Law
As of July 5, 2016, the Maryland Court of Appeals has ruled that adults (18 and over) who knowingly and willingly furnish alcohol to someone under 21 will be held culpable. “Alex and Calvin’s Law”, a bill that has stiffened the fines and jail time for adults who provide alcohol for underage guests, was also passed.
All students hosting a party, gathering, or individuals - either on campus or off - should be aware of the presence of alcohol when guests under 21 are present, control access to alcohol provided by host, and take steps to ensure safety of underage students.
Hosts are strongly encouraged by Washington College to monitor the behavior of all guests and take appropriate action to minimize behavior that will impact the host, the guest in question, other guests, and the neighborhood.
Chronic Nuisance Properties
Any off campus student who is a tenant of a house deemed a chronic nuisance property by the town or College will be required to move into on-campus housing with all associated costs being the student's responsibility.
In accordance with Chestertown Ordnance:
59-4, Conditions Constituting a Nuisance
a) A disorderly house nuisance is a dwelling, as defined in this chapter, where any of the following has occurred within a 365-day period.
b) Two or more calls for police service that result in criminal arrests, criminal citations, criminal indictments, criminal warrants, criminal summonses, civil citations or civil summonses arising out of separate and distinct facts and disturbances (as defined by the statutes of the state and/or the ordinances of the town or of the county) which occur at a dwelling or on property in close proximity to a dwelling:
c) Two or more violations of Chapter 45 of the Town Code relating to alcoholic beverages arising of separate and distinct facts and circumstances;
d) Two or more violations of Chapter 68 or Chapter 117 of the Town Code relating to nuisances, arising out of separate and distinct facts and circumstances;
e) Two or more violations of Chapter 54, Chapter 135 or 159 of the Town Code relating to property maintenance, arising out of separate and distinct facts and circumstances;
f) Two or more violations of Chapter 170 of the Town Code relating to zoning, arising out of separate and distinct facts and circumstances; or
g) A combination of two incidents from any of the above categories, arising out of separate and distinct facts and circumstances.
Policy and Expectations:
A. General care and upkeep of the residence
Care and maintenance of a rental property is expected to be consistent with and blend in with owner-occupied homes in the neighborhood. Since many student-rented houses are in the historic district, this is particularly important.
B. Behaviors that may be illegal, disruptive, and/or disrespectful. Students should be particularly aware of the following behaviors:
1. Use and misuse of alcohol
a. Use or possession of alcohol by underage students
b. Providing or distributing alcohol to underage students and non-students
c. Carrying open containers of alcohol on sidewalks and streets
d. Possession or use of fake IDs
e. Excessive noise associated with the service of alcohol to large groups
2. Noise and/or disruption while traveling in and through a neighborhood
Chestertown is a pedestrian-friendly town, and the proximity of the college to the center of town and other amenities encourages walking. As students travel through the various neighborhoods in town, they should conduct themselves in a manner that does not disrupt the area. Noise, littering, public intoxication and urination, etc. disturb and create an unsafe environment for residents.
The following behaviors may be disruptive and/or illegal:
a. When people travel in large groups, they typically become louder. Excessive noise associated with travel in large groups adds to the nuisance level. Conversing with raised voices, yelling, and screaming at any time of day or night is disruptive.
b. Public urination
3. Parties at student owned or rented houses
Students hosting parties at off-campus houses are responsible for the size of the party, the activities occurring at and associated with the location, and the impact on the neighborhood, particularly in regard to noise, trash and vandalism.
Parties at student houses can generate disturbances in the neighborhood and surrounding areas. In particular, excessive noise is often generated by people on the porch and/or an outside area of the house, and by large groups traveling to and leaving from the party.
“Progressive” or “around the world”-type parties involving alcohol can, by their nature, be especially disruptive to neighborhoods. Any housing location participating as a host “stop” can be held accountable for planned excessive disruption to the neighborhood and surrounding area.
Students who reside off campus, as well as those who reside on campus but are traveling through a neighborhood, must abide by all Chestertown ordinances regarding noise. Specifically:
117-5: Noise generated from sources used for entertainment purposes or group noise purposes…
a. Prohibited noise:
The noise created by groups or individuals in a building or other structure or outside a building or other structure on public or private property and the sound can be heard more than 50 feet away from the building or structure beyond the boundaries of the property surrounding such building or structure, whichever is greater or measuring above 65 decibels in the daytime or 55 decibels at night. Noise generated by altercations, parties, social events, rallies, meetings or other celebrations are included in this section to the disturbance of the citizens residing in the area.
Where the source of the prohibited noise, as set forth in division (4-A) of this section, is located in a building or other structure, the owner, occupant, resident, manager or other person in possession of the premises shall, if present, be presumed to have permitted the noise in violation of this section in the absence of evidence to the contrary.
Students, either living off campus or passing through residential neighborhoods, are expected to follow town ordinances regarding garbage and litter. For off-campus student rental or student-owned properties, it is expected that residents will collect and dispose of garbage as required by the town and maintain a property free of loose garbage, recyclables, or litter. This includes storage of items on porches, yards or driveways.
Ordinance 85-1, Trash: Waste material or objects, including bulk trash and garbage, that has been discarded or apparently discarded by its owner and its existence on public and private property is subject to penalties prescribed in this and other town ordinances”.
a. Cans, bottles, cups, food containers and food should be disposed of in trashcans or recycled as appropriate. Improper disposal of food waste, including pizza, wings and their containers, invites pest animals to infest that home, yard and surrounding areas.
b. Residents should not store trash on porches, including household trash and indoor furniture such as couches and recliners.
a. Vandalism to public and private property: Students who engage in vandalism of public or private property off campus will be held accountable.
b. Vehicles: Students living in or visiting need to follow all parking restrictions. Students should be aware that parking in some neighborhood streets is for residents only. Even on streets without such restrictions, students should be aware that the vehicles of their guests regularly parked on the street may be problematic for their neighbors. Also, at no time can one or multiple vehicles impede traffic or be parked in such a manner as to block the passage of another vehicle, including emergency vehicles.
Ordinance 160-5 (A) All vehicles within the town shall be driven and parked on the right-hand side of the street, unless a street or avenue is designated by a sign to be for one-way traffic. At any time that it shall become necessary, the Mayor and Council may mark and designate areas which may become congested for parking restrictions, banning parking altogether if necessary. No automobile or other vehicle shall stop in any street, avenue, or highway in a manner so as to hinder or delay traffic or passage, and the Police Department is empowered to enforce this provision by impounding the vehicle.