Common area spaces in suite style living spaces such as Berkus Hall Suites, Norris floor suites, and spaces in our "off-campus" residential houses may be decorated by the residents of that space. However, there are some restrictions and guidelines that must be followed.
Permanent modifications to residence hall facilities are prohibited.  No drilling, cutting, nailing or any other type of change to the permanent structure of the facility is allowed.  This includes hanging of items (unless using blue painters tape), installation of equipment and all other types of activities which alter the physical structure of the facility.  Decorations are not permitted to the external-facing sides of exterior walls or edifices.  Students violating these restrictions will be charged for any repairs, replacements, and cleaning necessary to restore the area or objects to the original condition. If a responsible party cannot be identified the damage charge will be split evenly between all residents living in the space.
Residents do have the option to paint a mural on walls within the common area of Norris floor suites. Interested residents must first submit a detailed drawing of the proposed artwork and the materials to be used to the Office of Residential Education and Housing Services for approval.  Approval is based on the discretion of the Director of Residential Education, or designee, and must meet the guidelines outlined in this policy. Damage charges will be assessed for any unauthorized painting of a common area.
When decorating a common space, residents should keep in mind that Occidental College has always striven to create an environment conducive to raising challenging questions and discussing significant issues.  There is perhaps none more significant than the challenge and issue of free speech.  Our residence halls exist to complement the educational mission of an institution of higher learning, and our expectations and standards of acceptable behavior are reflective of this. 
With this in mind, the following guidelines will apply to decorations in suite style common spaces:
  1. Posting of signs, decorations, or other material may be prohibited if they constitute or threaten to constitute a violation of law or an incitement to imminent violence or other illegal acts. 
  2. Posting of signs, decorations, or other material may be prohibited if they violate or threaten to violate the College’s Code of Student Conduct, Sexual Misconduct Policy, protected privacy rights, or other policies of the College.
Last reviewed: July, 2020
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