Personal Safety and Residential Life

Personal Safety

Security and Access to Student Residences

Middlebury College residence halls are secured by the enhanced card access system. Students, faculty, and staff need to carry their access identification card with them at all times. Residence halls are not open to the public but may be accessed by members of the College community on official College business. Students, faculty, and staff are issued keys to their rooms and should keep their doors and windows locked when going to sleep and when leaving the room. All students are issued an access identification card that allows them to gain access to buildings that have been designated as part of the Language School program, dining area, or laundry facility. The enhanced access system is monitored 24 hours a day by the Department of Public Safety. The system will display alarms when a door is propped open, the components of the system are tampered with, forced entry occurs, or if unauthorized person(s) attempt to access a building with an invalid access card. When an alarm is displayed at Public Safety, the telecommunicator will acknowledge the alarm and dispatch an officer to investigate. Public Safety Officers patrol campus regularly. Students, faculty, and staff are encouraged to report all unauthorized persons and suspicious activities to Public Safety. College officials are authorized to enter a student's room under certain circumstances (see Entry into Residential Rooms policy).


Public Safety can provide escort service for personal safety on campus after dark. Call x5133 to request assistance or x5911 to report an emergency.

Residential Life

Total immersion in the Language Schools is based on being in residence seven days a week. Classes are held Monday through Friday, but students should come prepared to remain on campus and work several hours each day, including weekends, and to interact with other students outside of class as a vital part of the curriculum. The Language Schools' co-curricular program is an integral part of the total immersion approach. Students need to participate as fully as possible in the cultural activities planned by each School and are encouraged to make use of the athletic and cultural facilities on campus.

If a student absolutely must be away from the campus overnight, the student needs to consult the school office and leave information in case of an emergency.

The College cannot provide housing for members of a student's family nor may guests be housed on campus.

Student Responsibilities and Expectations

Residential Living Spaces are provided for Middlebury students only.

Students are responsible for what takes place in their rooms and common suite space, including parties and other activities, whether or not they are present. It is the student's responsibility to maintain clean and sanitary conditions in dormitory rooms, and must clear common space after personal use.

Students cannot switch rooms and keys or change residences without proper permission.
Students are not expected to be in areas that are not regular living spaces. They should not use areas outside of their living spaces for storage unless authorized. The list of spaces excluded from student use includes any roof or outer surface of any Middlebury building. Accessing a roof in any manner or climbing on a building is considered dangerous behavior and is prohibited; fines will be assessed. Unauthorized access to prohibited areas of Middlebury buildings (e. g. basements, closets, crawlspaces and/or attics) will incur fines (see section on fines and fees).

Students are expected to be considerate of others with respect to noise in the residence halls; see Noise Regulations for more information. Conduct that creates a public disturbance in a residence hall or interferes with another student's ability to study is prohibited.

Students are expected to be responsible for their personal valuables and belongings. Middlebury does not accept responsibility for loss of money or other personal property or damage thereto which may occur in residence halls and elsewhere on campus. Students may wish to insure their property against such loss.

Students may not remove Middlebury-provided furniture from their bedroom for any reason, including but not limited to bedframes, mattresses, dressers, bookcases, chairs, desks and wardrobes. Removal of any College furniture without proper permission will result in a fine. Limited medical or ADA exceptions may be granted with appropriate approval. For a list of furniture that are not allowed on campus, please read here.

Fire Safety Regulations

Any violation of fire safety regulations will result in a fine. Students found responsible will have to pay the additional cost(s) of repair or replacement of damaged equipment or property. Students will be subject to disciplinary actions as well.

Room entries, exits and hallways must be kept clear and free of potential obstructions.

Nothing may be hung from a sprinkler apparatus or sprinkler piping.

Only two walls of any room may be draped. Ceilings may not be covered with tapestries or other materials. Other wall hangings and posters may be prohibited if a fire or egress hazard is created.

Nothing may be built or placed over or around a room radiator that will interfere with the free flow of air around the radiator or prevent easy access to service it.

The following items are prohibited: halogen lamps, portable heaters, fuel, dangerous chemicals, fireworks, hazardous materials, new or burned candles, incense, oil lamps, oil/wax diffusers that sit on lightbulbs or other items with the capability of an open flame or burning embers.

String lights are prohibited, with the exception of LED lights in good working condition (no frayed or bare wires, cracked sockets, loose connections or damaged insulation). LED lights are acceptable ONLY if they are labeled with Underwriters Laboratory (UL) approval. Tags with this information are required to be on each string of lights. LED string lights may not be placed over doorways, on ceilings or wrapped around any sprinkler piping, furniture or other cloth items such as curtains or wall hangings. LED lights may not be attached with nails or staples. LED lights must be plugged directly into an outlet or surge protector and may not be strung together. If it cannot be verified that the lights are LED, the College has the right to remove them.

Smoking is prohibited in all campus buildings, including the small residential houses. This includes porches, balconies, decks, or within 25 feet of any part of the building structure. E-cigarette smoking is also prohibited in campus buildings. (No Smoking Policy)

The use of portable fire pits is prohibited.

Use of fire, or lighting a fire without an authorized fire permit, inside or outside of buildings, other than smoking in authorized outdoor spaces, is prohibited. The use of outdoor grills is limited to authorized locations at small houses and must be approved before use.

Several College residence halls and lounges have working fireplaces. Before using a fireplace, permission is required from the Commons office associated with the residence. Fires in fireplaces should never be unattended and there should always be a fire extinguisher present in the vicinity when there is any fire in the fireplace. The use of chemical fire starters is prohibited.

Tampering with fire- or life-safety equipment is prohibited and subject to fines. These charges will be borne collectively by the residence hall if the responsible individual(s) cannot be identified. "Fire- and life-safety equipment" includes fire alarms, fire doors, pull stations, extinguishers, hydrants, smoke detectors, smoke detector batteries, carbon monoxide detectors, and sprinklers.

Students must exit a building when a fire alarm sounds; fines may be assessed for failure to do so. Fire escapes may only be accessed during fire drills or a fire emergency.

Appliances that have exposed heating elements, including but not limited to toasters, toaster ovens, hot plates, sandwich makers, electric frying pans or grills, electric woks, deep fryers, popcorn poppers (other than hot air poppers) and irons without automatic shutoffs may not be used in student rooms. Small cooking appliances without exposed heating elements, such as rice cookers, steamers, and crockpots may be used in residential kitchen spaces. These items must be attended while in use. Such appliances may not be used in student rooms. Storage of these appliances should be discussed with your Commons office. Please also see a list of allowable items on the Residential Life webpage.

The use of fog and smoke machines in campus residential buildings is prohibited.

Possession of flammable decorations including wreaths, sawn trees, corn stalks and shucks, tree branches, dry leaves, hay straw, paper streamers, saw dust or wood shaving is prohibited.

Possession of large appliances such as refrigerators in excess of 3.8 cubic feet, freezers, washers, or dryers is prohibited.

Construction of partitions, subdividing rooms, construction of additions, installation or modification or electrical wiring or plumbing, or altering means of egress is prohibited.

Fire Safety inspections will be organized and conducted on an on-going basis as deemed appropriate. Students will be reminded that inspections will occur at the beginning of each semester, and will be advised of the conditions following the inspections. Any material in violation of the fire safety regulations will be confiscated at the time of the inspection, and the student fined.

Housekeeping and Maintenance

Occupants must maintain clean and sanitary conditions in dormitory rooms and must clear common space after personal use. Damages to common areas or hallways may be billed to the residents of the entire dormitory unless the individual(s) responsible can be identified. Cleaning equipment is readily available, and students are responsible for keeping their rooms in order. The custodial staff cleans and maintains common areas, such as kitchens, bathrooms, and lounges daily (unless the facility in which students reside has less than 19 people and then the facility is on a reduced cleaning schedule), with the exception of Sundays.

Charges are imposed for damage to rooms or furniture, for removal of furniture, and for rooms not left in neat condition at the end of the occupancy period.

Students should report all problems related to housekeeping and maintenance in their dormitory to their School office for referral to the appropriate College department.


Residents should expect to share communal bathrooms in the residence halls.


Students, faculty, and staff using bicycles on campus are required to register their bicycles at the Department of Public Safety. Bicycles should be kept in designated storage rooms or racks provided for their storage. They should not be in residence halls, other buildings, or chained to other objects on campus. There is a charge of $25 for bicycles removed from unauthorized locations.


The Bookstore sells small refrigerators for student dorm rooms. The store will buy back at a discount refrigerators purchased there if the item is in good condition and with the original receipt.


Pets are strictly prohibited on campus. There is a fine of $25 plus the cost of impoundment for any pets brought to campus. Service animals are permitted but must be registered with the Office of Public Safety.

Carbon Neutrality

Middlebury College is committed to achieving its sustainability goals through how and what it teaches, how it operates, open dialogue, carefully considered risk, and learning from its successes and failures. Middlebury College encourages everyone to conserve energy and water resources. Faculty, staff, and students should turn off lights and appliances when leaving a room, and keep the use of appliances and water to a minimum.

The use of personal air conditioning units is not permitted.

The College's efforts are intended to assess and improve the environmental, economic, and social performance with tools that provide a useful measure of progress toward ecological resilience, economic prosperity, and social equity. The College appreciates everyone's consideration of this mutual effort in environmental awareness and change.


The College provides faculty, staff, and students with personal-size blue recycling bins for temporary storage of recyclable materials. Individuals are responsible for sorting these materials into the appropriate bins at the centralized recycling locations in each building. English language guides to what can be recycled are provided in the arrival packet, and bins are color-coded and labeled in all languages. Cardboard boxes should be broken down and left near recycling bins on the first floor of each building. Batteries are hazardous waste and must not go into the trash. They should be separated and placed in the recycling areas. Fluorescent light bulbs are regulated as well and should be given to the custodian for proper disposal. Please visit for more information.

Sharp objects can pose a serious risk to staff when placed in the trash. Do not put needles in the trash! Parton Health Center provide students with a sharps container. Sharps containers should be returned to the Health Center when full or when no longer in use for proper disposal.