5.4 Room Entry & Search Procedures

Housing and Residence Life and Facilities/Maintenance staff reserve the right to enter a student’s room/living unit to ensure, among other things, health, safety, and maintenance in residence halls/living units. This includes regular inspections for health, safety and cleanliness, as well as performing regular maintenance. Room searches will be conducted in accordance with the guidelines listed in the Room Search Section below and the terms and conditions of the Housing Contract. The Department of Housing and Residence will not facilitate entry for a non-resident, including family members, into a student’s room without the explicit (verbal or written) consent of that student. If a non-resident is permitted entry into a student’s room, they will be accompanied by Housing and Residence Life staff.

Room Responsibility

You are responsible for your room/apartment/living unit. Regardless of your presence, you can be held responsible for all activities that occur there and may be processed through the Office of Student Responsibility and Community Standards.

Room Search

Saint Louis University reserves the right to enter and search a residence hall room/living unit if any of its authorized personnel (e.g. Residence Hall Coordinator, DPS Officer) has reason to believe the following:

  • That there is a possibility of imminent hazard to persons or property;
  • That there is a violation of public law or University Policy, including the University Community Standards;
  • That contraband items are present but concealed from view.

If entry becomes necessary under these conditions, University personnel will knock and identify themselves. If there is no response, a key or ID access will be used to enter the room. Prohibited items like alcohol may be confiscated, but if University personnel observe illegal drugs or paraphernalia, or believe such items to be present in the space, SLU’s Department of Public Safety (DPS) will be contacted and will conduct a room/unit search.

If a room search is necessary, it will be conducted by DPS with Housing and Residence Life staff being present when possible. If possible, Residence Life Professional Staff will be present during the room search. When practical, the resident(s) whose room is to be searched will be allowed to be present during the search and will be informed of the reason for the search. The resident(s) need not give permission to search. At the discretion of University personnel, the resident(s) will typically be asked to open drawers, closets, locked boxes, etc. However, refusal to comply will not impede the search.

St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department (SLMPD) and/or other law enforcement entities with proper authority may initiate a search within normal legal guidelines. These procedures may supersede the above guidelines. The information gathered during this process may be processed through both the criminal system and the University’s Community Standards processes.

During a search, University personnel shall make a reasonable attempt not to unnecessarily disrupt belongings, and an effort shall be made to leave the room in the condition that it was found. A receipt shall be given for any seized items by Housing and Residence Life staff. If no resident is present, University personnel shall leave a notice of entry/search and a receipt for any seized items in a prominent location.

A resident who believes their room has been wrongfully entered should report the matter to the Residence Hall Coordinator and submit a written complaint to the Director of Housing and Residence Life.