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Housing Information & Policies

Whitworth Residency Requirement

Research on the residence experience indicates that students living on campus tend to earn higher grades and express more satisfaction with their university experience, are less likely to drop out, are more involved in campus activities and experience greater personal growth. In short, the residence experience contributes significantly to a student's education.

For this reason, Whitworth has made living on campus part of its educational design. Students are required to live on campus for the first two years after their high school graduation.

Students beyond the two years of high school graduation do not need to complete a Residency Requirement Waiver Request. Students whose high school graduation took place fewer than two years ago but who are married or have dependent children living with them are exempt from this requirement, but a waiver must still be completed and approved. For waiver requests based on physical, medical and/or psychological needs, please see the Whitworth Educational Support Services Office or visit Violation of this policy could result in a student being charged the double-room rate. A Residency Requirement Waiver Request can be found at Please allow at least two weeks for your request to be processed.

All students who live on campus must purchase a meal plan each term. Students who live on campus and do not sign up for a meal plan will be assigned the Pirate Platinum meal plan. Changes to meal plans may be made at before the 10th day of class each term.

Should a student cancel their meal plan, a refund (when applicable; see below) will be issued based on the refund schedule for a traditional semester.

Flex Dollars and Block Meals are subject to full charge depending on usage above the published overage for length of stay at the university. Flex Dollars are charged at actual amount while Block Meals are calculated at the current “cash” rate for entering the dining hall. Overage is defined as any amount of spending over the accumulated average weekly spending of a particular meal plan based on a 15-week semester.

Note: Students who voluntarily select a meal plan (as opposed to those who are required to have one) will not receive 100% refund within the first two weeks as noted in the school’s refund schedule. Instead, students who voluntary select a meal plan and then cancel it within the first two weeks of classes but also continue their enrollment at Whitworth will be billed for each of their Block Meals used at the current “cash” rate for entering the dining hall, as well as for any Flex Dollars used. (Contact Sodexo for the current “cash” rate.) Cancellations after the first two weeks will be processed based on the school’s refund schedule. Block Meal usage and/or Flex Dollar spending will be directly billed to the student

Residence Hall Fire Safety

Students should:

  • Become acquainted with the location of fire alarms, fire extinguishers and hoses, and building exits
  • Leave the building when a fire alarm sounds (typical consequence for not leaving is a $100 fine)
  • Know the fire-drill procedures for their residences
  • Avoid using extension cords and should dispose of appliances and other electrical units with defective or damaged cords
  • Unplug all appliances if they are planning to leave for the weekend

Students should not:

  • Tamper with fire equipment; it is against state law, it renders our residences less safe, and those who tamper with fire equipment will be fined up to $250 plus the cost to repair or replace the compromised equipment
  • Block hallways, stairs or entries with such items as shoes, bikes, boxes or furniture
  • Overload the electrical circuits in their rooms with an excessive number of electrical items

For fire safety reasons, the following items are not allowed in campus housing (typical consequence is a $50 fine or five hours of community service and removal of the item):

  • Halogen lamps
  • Lit candles/open flames
  • Electric hot plates, woks, toasters, toaster ovens, immersion coils, electric skillets or appliances with open heating elements

Residence Hall Safety & Building Security

Access Cards: Each student will be issued an I.D./access card. Students are responsible for caring for their I.D./access cards and reporting problems with cards to the student life office in the HUB. The cost to replace a lost or damaged I.D./access card is $35; a student's account will be charged the replacement fee. Temporary cards will not be issued to students. Students will have up to three working days to obtain a replacement card from the student life office, and a replacement card must then be purchased. In the meantime, security personnel can assist students in accessing residence halls in the event of a lost I.D. card.

Residence Hall Security: While the outside doors of each residence are locked 24/7 and can be accessed only with a student I.D. card, students are strongly urged to keep room doors locked at all times for an extra measure of security. There is a fine for propping residence exterior doors open, for improper use of fire doors, for using windows to exit or enter residence halls, and for gaining access to roof areas of any campus buildings.

Residence Hall Rooms

Checkout: A student who has checked into a room and who then decides to leave the university and/or campus housing must complete the checkout process, work with the resident assistant to complete a change-of-residence form and a room-inventory form, and turn in the room key. Students who fail to check out properly will be charged for room and board until the above process is completed; they will also be assessed an improper checkout fee.

Decorating and Personalizing Rooms: Rooms are typically furnished with beds, desks, dressers, chairs and mirrors. In addition to bringing other necessities – such as linens and wastebaskets – students may want to furnish their rooms with items that add comfort, function and personality to the living environment (e.g. posters, area rugs, shelves, personal computers).

Residents may:

  • Bunk or stack designated university-issued beds that are designed for such use
  • Use pushpins (except on wood or wallpapered surfaces)
  • Use blue painters' tape
  • Use sticky-tac/plasti-tac to attach items to the wall

Even though an item may be approved for use to hang posters, pictures, etc., any damage done will be the student's responsibility.

Residents may not:

  • Use any size/type of nail or screw, foam tape or mounting squares, Scotch tape, masking tape, or electrical, duct, filament, packaging or double-sided tape, hot glue, star stickers or any other type of sticker or staples
  • Have a waterbed
  • Structurally change or permanently alter a room (e.g. paneling, suspended ceilings, installed carpeting and construction such as room dividers)
  • Paint, glue, screw or bolt anything to the ceiling, walls, floor or furnishings in the room

Students must remove all the items listed above from their rooms before they will be allowed to check out. Students will not be allowed at any time to repair the damage done to the room unless they are instructed to do so by the university. All room furniture must remain in the room.

Jan Term: Only students who are enrolled in on-campus Jan Term classes, who are student- teaching, who have internships for which they are receiving Whitworth credit, or who are participating in a Whitworth associated program (e.g. WSU College of Nursing) that has classes in the Spokane area but not on the Whitworth campus may use their on-campus room and board during Jan Term. Students returning from a Jan Term trip are asked not to return to their residence halls until Jan Term Break begins. This date is listed on the academic calendar.

Keys: Residents are responsible for all keys issued to them. There is a $50 charge for each unreturned key. This charge will be billed to a student's account before a new key will be issued.

Lockouts: Residence life staff will provide free assistance twice, and will charge $2 on the third and $4 on the fourth and subsequent occurrences.

Personal-Property Insurance: Whitworth University is unable to insure the personal property of students and will not reimburse students for losses associated with their personal property. We simply cannot define in advance the limits on the value of student property. If items are stolen from a student's room, student storage or vehicles, or if items are damaged because of a ruptured water pipe, vandalism, etc., the university will not pay to replace those items.

Personal property insurance may be purchased for residence hall room contents through numerous insurance companies. We also encourage students and parents to check their homeowners' insurance policies, as many include coverage for on-campus belongings when students are away at school. If you have questions regarding this option, please contact the student life program assistant at 509.777.4532.

The university shall have no legal obligation to pay for the loss of or damage to student's personal property occurring in university buildings or on university property prior to, during or subsequent to the period of the agreement. Students and parents are encouraged to carry appropriate insurance to cover such losses. Students are responsible for the rented premises assigned and shall reimburse the university for all damages within or to the rented premises. Charges for damages and/or necessary cleaning will be assessed to the student, or students, by the university and must be paid promptly. Failure to pay assessments will result in a hold on a student's registration, graduation and/or transcript.

See for more information.

Occupancy: If Whitworth is unable to provide a first-year student with a double room and a roommate, or if a roommate leaves during the first semester and the school is unable to provide a new roommate, the first-year student will be charged at the double-room rate. After the first semester, it is the responsibility of each student to find another person to share their room. The housing office reserves the right to reassign individuals to new rooms/halls at any time during any semester, to cancel a student's housing contract, and to use space in any residence hall that is not paid accommodation space, with billing adjusted accordingly.

Room Entry, Room Search: A residence hall is a home, and, as such, it provides students who live in the hall with certain rights of privacy. All members of the community, including students, should respect these rights. Entry by a university official may occur for a number of reasons. Examples include: (a) to ensure that health and/or safety standards are being met, including safety inspections during vacation periods (i.e. Christmas and spring breaks); (b) for purposes of repair, construction or inventory; or (c) when there exists reasonable suspicion that a violation of university policy or law is being committed or has been committed and/or that a delay in such entry would endanger the health and safety of the resident, residential community or property, or result in the probable destruction of material relating to the violation. Where possible, notice of intent to enter a room or property will be given to the resident in advance. However, advance notice of impending room entry may not be practical when emergencies arise.

Confiscation of Items: Any item within a university residential facility that is prohibited or that reasonably indicates a violation of university policy is subject to removal and confiscation. This includes, but is not limited to, items within backpacks and storage containers not owned by the university. Removal of the item does not require express permission on the part of the room occupant(s). The university reserves the right to confiscate, retain and dispose (at any time) of any and all illegal, dangerous or prohibited items, regardless of value and of who owns them. Items confiscated under this policy are generally not available to be returned to a student. University officials are not able to promise, guarantee or arrange for items to be returned. A written request must be made to the director of residence life or campus security before the end of the current term to ask for consideration of extraordinary situations.

Reservation of Rooms: A returning student may cancel their room reservation before June 1 by contacting the Whitworth Housing Office, but all roommates will lose their room assignments and will be reassigned at the discretion of the housing office. If a returning student cancels their reservation on or after June 1, the student will be charged $250, but their roommates will not lose their room assignments. First-year students may cancel their room reservations at any time before Orientation Week without penalty. A cancellation after Orientation Week may incur a $250 charge. Room assignments for new students are made by the end of July. Residence halls and rooms are assigned on a first-come, first-served basis, depending upon the date the student completed the Whitworth Housing Preference Form. Access to this form is given only to confirmed students.

Room Changes: Room changes are generally not allowed during the semester unless there is an immediate danger or safety concern to a student. A resident is required to go through a conflict- resolution process with his or her resident assistant or director prior to changing rooms. Making room changes without approval will result in a fine and in possible double charges. Also, students should be aware that any room change could affect their account balances and payment plans.

Storage: Limited storage space is available for student use in each residence hall. All items placed in storage must be in sealed boxes, clearly labeled with the student's name, address and date. Students store items at their own risk. Items left in storage for more than one year will be removed. Once the residence halls close at the end of each semester, students are not allowed access to storage or to rooms to retrieve personal items.

Vacations: Residence halls close for winter, spring and summer breaks. All residents are required to leave the residences during these closures. Students may re-enter the halls at the published times of opening. These times are found at In an emergency situation, a student may make an appointment with the housing office to enter a locked residence hall; the student will be assessed a fee.

Residence Hall Courtesy

Community Behavior Standards (CBS): Polices for each residence hall are set by residents at the beginning of the year and are reviewed at the beginning of the second semester. Some topics covered by CBS policies include visitation, noise and ways in which conflict will be resolved within the community.

Alcohol Containers: Students under 21 years of age are not to have any type of alcohol containers on campus. Students 21 years and over must register containers with their area coordinator.

Common-Area Cleanliness: Out of respect for the community and the Whitworth Facilities staff, students are expected to clean up after themselves. Cleaning supplies, a vacuum cleaner and a broom/dustpan are available in each living area. Contact an RA or student leader to gain access to these supplies. If common areas are left in a mess and it is not apparent who created that mess, the entire floor/hall may be charged a cleaning fee. If items are left in common areas, RAs will collect items and owners will need to pay $1 per item to retrieve them; if collected items are not picked up, they will be donated or sold at the end of each month.

Community Areas, Lounges and Furnishings: Furniture and decorations placed in common areas are for everyone's enjoyment and should not be moved to a place where the community cannot freely enjoy.

Damages: Residents are responsible for damages and/or losses that occur in and to their assigned rooms. A student may also share financial responsibility for damages that occur to their hall's common areas and furnishings. These charges may be assessed against a student's damage deposit (or, if the charges exceed the damage deposit, to the student's account).

Guests: The housing office has established a policy and guidelines regarding overnight guests of Whitworth students. Any on-campus student host of an overnight guest must register their guest within 12 hours of the guest's arrival. To register a guest, use the form found at The right of a student to live in reasonable privacy takes precedence over the privilege of his or her roommate to entertain a guest. Additionally, the university provides and maintains its residences for the use of legitimate rent-paying students.

The housing office has established the following policy regarding guests and overnight visitors:

Having a guest is a privilege, not a right. Whitworth University reserves the right to remove any guest from campus at any time.

Anyone visiting a student in the student's room is considered a guest of that student.

As a host, a Whitworth student is responsible for their guest's compliance with the community behavioral standards and with all Whitworth policies outlined in the student handbook, whether or not the host is present in a situation where concern arises. This includes individual bedrooms, suites, apartments, houses and common areas within the residence halls. Additionally, students who have been found to frequent living areas will be presumed to be guests of the resident(s).

Examples of guests can be, but are not limited to, any of the following: family members, students from other residence halls or Whitworth students who live off campus, friends who live off campus and are not associated with Whitworth University, and “friends of friends” who accompany a guest into a residence hall, regardless of the relationship to the hosting student.

All overnight guests (1) are limited to two nights on campus in any given month (regardless of whether or not various rooms were used), and (2) must be of the same gender as the host, in compliance with the university's cohabitation policy. Significant others of the same gender must, however, stay in a separate room.

Incense: Because so many hall residents have allergies, burning incense is prohibited in the halls.

Kitchen Cleanliness: Out of respect for the community and the Whitworth facilities staff, students are expected to clean up after themselves. At the end of PrimeTime each evening, RAs will collect dishes left on the counters or in the sink. Dish owners will pay $1 per dish to retrieve their items; if collected items are not picked up, they will be donated or sold at the end of each month. Please use the cupboard spaces available in the community kitchens for storing clean personal dishes and pots and pans. Keeping the counters and sinks free of food waste and dirty dishes helps facilities staff clean and disinfect the kitchens, which benefits the health of the community.

Pets: For reasons of health, sanitation and the consideration of other residents, no pets (other than fish in a tank of not more than 1 gallon) are allowed in residence halls.

Service/Emotional Support Animals: Students who seek to bring a service dog or emotional support animal to campus for disability-related need should contact the Educational Support Services office to discuss their request. ESS will determine, on a case-by-case basis, whether bringing the animal to campus is a reasonable accommodation for the student. In making this determination, ESS will consider the needs of the student as well as the impact of the animal on the campus community. In no way is a service dog or emotional support animal to be in the residence halls prior to receiving ESS’s approval.

Tobacco (cigarettes, e-cigarettes, chew, any tobacco product, etc.): Because we recognize the hazards caused by exposure to environmental tobacco smoke as mentioned in the 2010 and 2014 U.S. Surgeon General’s reports, as well as the life-threatening diseases linked to the use of all forms of tobacco and secondhand smoke, it shall be the policy of Whitworth University, effective Jan. 1, 2019, to provide a smoke- and tobacco-free environment for all students, employees and visitors. This policy covers the smoking of any tobacco product and the use of oral tobacco products. The Whitworth University Student Health Center and the Health Education Action Team (HEAT), in collaboration with other university officials, will develop and maintain a plan for communicating the policy to their constituents including, but not limited to, the following:

  • Students
  • Employees
  • Guests
  • Contractors
  • Vendors
  • Trustees

Whitworth University is committed to providing its students, staff and faculty a safe and healthy working and learning environment. Therefore, beginning Jan. 1, 2019, Whitworth University will implement the following policy:

  1. Smoking and use of other tobacco products are prohibited on university premises. This applies to students, staff, faculty and visitors.
  2. Definitions - For the purposes of this policy, these terms are defined as but not limited to:
    • Tobacco use: all forms of consumption, whether chewed, smoked, absorbed, dissolved, inhaled, snorted, sniffed or ingested by any other means.
      • Includes cigarettes, cigars, pipes, hookah, vaporizers, all forms of smokeless tobacco, electronic cigarettes, clove cigarettes and other alternative products.
      • Does not include nicotine-replacement products designed to aid in smoking cessation and used for that purpose.
    • Tobacco product: any type of product containing, made or derived from tobacco that is intended for human consumption.
  3. Premises – The policy will be enforced:
    • In all campus buildings, facilities and property owned, leased or operated by Whitworth University.
    • This includes outside areas on campus grounds and facilities or vehicles that are the property of the university.
      • Occupants of personal vehicles on property owned, leased or operated by Whitworth University are also subject to this policy.
      • Athletic facilities owned or used by Whitworth University are included, and this policy will be enforced at all athletic events.
      • This policy will be enforced at all lectures, conferences, meetings and social/cultural events held on university property or campus grounds.
      • Designated smoking areas will not be provided.
      • Smoking waste management products such as ashtrays and outdoor smoking receptacles shall be removed. 
  4. Compliance
    • Consequences for students engaging in prohibited behavior will be in accordance with the institution’s student conduct policies. Students who violate the tobacco-use policy will be processed through established disciplinary protocol. If students have acquired an addiction to tobacco/nicotine, they may contact the student health center for smoking cessation resources.
    • Consequences for employees who violate the tobacco-use policy will be in accordance with personnel policies of Whitworth University. If employees have acquired an addiction to tobacco/nicotine, they may contact human resources for smoking cessation resources.
    • Visitors using tobacco products will be asked to refrain while on Whitworth University’s property or leave the premises. University security officers may be contacted to escort the person off the premises.

Telephones: There are courtesy phones around campus and in the HUB.