It is the intent of the University to maintain safety for all students as well as to provide residents the opportunity to enhance the function of residence hall rooms. The following guidelines represent the latest collaboration between the Fire Marshal of Longview and the LETU Residence Life staff, all with the intent to protect our residents, the emergency responders, and the facilities. Given these purposes, the guidelines are not intended to be all-inclusive: the ResLife staff may provide other specific instructions based on individual circumstances.
The University provides each room with two desk chairs. Additional seating in each room is limited to 1 sofa/loveseat/futon or 2 chairs/recliners provided such items fit without violating other safety considerations outlined below.
Furniture in residents’ rooms and in floor lounges/lobbies must be resting on the floor as intended with the following exceptions:
- Standard beds may be bunked or lofted with provided loft kits only two high; that is, bed ends (whether bunked or extended with a loft kit) may only be two pieces high. Taller bed ends, such as those found in South Hall, may not be bunked or lofted.
- Two dressers may be stacked on each other.
- Standard University bookcases may be stacked on each other, on the desks, or on the dressers.
There is a limit regarding the distance individuals and personal belongings must be from the ceiling. In Tyler, Penn, and Mabee Halls (Residence Halls without fire sprinklers), nothing may be within 24” of the ceiling. In ELH, Gilbert, Thomas, Davis, and South Halls, the Village Apartments, the Quads, and the Societies, nothing may be within 18” of the ceiling. (This policy excludes permanent University fixtures, bunked bed-ends, or built-in furniture that might extend into this area.)
OPEN VIEW OF BEDS
Due to specific procedures of the fire department and the limitations of thermal imaging, at least 50% of each bed (or mattress on the floor) must remain unobstructed by large furniture. For example, sofas, bookcases or shelving may not be situated in front of a mattress in a way that blocks more than half the view of a sleeping individual. Hanging blankets or sheets that cover a sleeping area to minimize light are acceptable.
INGRESS AND EGRESS
There must be a clear pathway from the window to the hallway door (though not necessarily in a straight line). No furniture or appliances—including shelving or constructed items—may be situated within 48” of the window, from floor to ceiling, since those items can become obstacles for residents exiting or firefighters entering a room. In Mabee and Pennsylvania Halls, this applies to the center two windows. In Evelyn LeTourneau Hall, this applies to the window that opens and one of the adjacent windows. In all areas, window coverings and small decorative items on the windows or in the window sills are acceptable. Also, caution should be taken not to build or purchase items which could fall and obstruct the door or window during an emergency. Door stops must be removed from doors when the room is unoccupied or residents are asleep.
Placing all 4 beds in one room and using the other room as a study space/living room is available in ELH, Thomas, Davis, and South Halls; however, no infrastructure (physical or technological) will be altered to accommodate these power suites. Those choosing to power suite, must comply with all other regulations.
- The only approved extenders of electrical outlets are UL-certified surge protectors. Surge protectors may not be connected to themselves—there may be only one surge protector used per outlet.
- No extension cords of any kind may be used inside the residence hall rooms. For questions regarding temporary use in the residence hall, please contact your Resident Director.
- All electrical components must be used according to the manufacturer’s specifications. Residents may not alter the electrical wiring in the residence hall in any way, nor may a purchased or home-made product’s wiring be altered for use in the rooms. (This does not include low-voltage wires like speaker wires.)
- Stringed lights - including rope lights in the incandescent or LED variations (i.e. Christmas lights) - may only be in place and used from November 1 through the end of the Fall semester. Any other time, such lights may be used as lighting for a specific event, and must be removed and stored away immediately following the event. When used, they must be installed according to the manufacturer’s specifications. No more than three strands may be connected, and no nails or staples or other metal objects may be used to secure them.
- LED light strips may be used throughout the year, but must be unplugged when the room is unoccupied or residents are asleep. When used, such lights must be installed according to the manufacturer’s specifications. No more than three strands may be connected, and no nails or staples or other metal objects may be used to secure them.
- Lamps with halogen bulbs are not allowed in the residence halls.
- Care should be taken not to have electrical wiring on or near combustible items (for example, do not run electrical wires under carpet; do not stack papers near an outlet; etc.)
- Soldering irons may be used, but with extreme caution. Soldering must not take place near or under any fire detection units, near any combustable materials, and care must be used to avoid damage to room furnishings. Students will be held responsible for any damage or fire alarms.
CONSTRUCTION OF SHELVES AND FURNITURE
Bookshelves and small tables (such as coffee tables or end tables) are the only personally constructed furniture permitted in the residence halls (desks, lofts, and raised beds are not permitted). DO NOT BEGIN CONSTRUCTION, ASSEMBLY, OR INSTALLATION UNTIL YOU HAVE RECEIVED APPROVAL FROM THE RESIDENT DIRECTOR. You are subject to a fine and removal of construction if you begin construction without approval or build contrary to the approved design.
- Any additional furniture and shelving must also comply with all other regulations in this document.
- All additional furniture and shelves must be free-standing and not attached (i.e. by bolt, nail, screw, glue, adhesive tape or hooks, etc.) to any permanent surface or piece of University furniture.
- No (University-owned) furniture or furnishing may be altered.
- Only non-treated lumber may be used in your construction.
- The air conditioning unit must be fully accessible for maintenance and airflow.
- The total combined length of all constructed shelves must not exceed 32 feet in length and 18 inches in depth. For example, a 6’ wide bookcase with 5 shelves totals 30’ of shelving, allowing 2’ to use elsewhere in the room.
- In the Residence Halls with cinderblock construction (Tyler, Penn, ELH, & Mabee Halls) shelving unit construction is also permitted with additional restrictions.
- In Penn and Mabee Halls, shelving placement is limited to the side walls (from the back wall by the window, over the beds, to the end of the desks). It is acceptable for the shelves along the wall to cover a portion of the outer two windows; the two middle windows must remain unobstructed.
- No cross room support may be used.
- All sides and corners of the shelving that touch the walls must be padded with carpet or a similar material. No wood may touch the walls or University furniture/furnishing.
All construction (sawing, drilling, sanding, finishing, painting, etc.) must be completed outside the residence halls. You may connect or attach shelves with screws inside the building. No construction may be done in buildings or in courtyards, and you must thoroughly clean your work area immediately as you finish each work session.
During the installation or removal of your furniture/shelving, DO NOT STORE ANY WOOD OR OTHER MATERIALS IN THE HALLWAY. Hallway and stairwell congestion of any kind is considered a high risk safety hazard. Furthermore, any and all furniture and materials must be brought into the building through one of the main doors, not through a window. The ResLife Staff will inspect furniture/shelving during and/or after construction to ensure that the structure adheres to these guidelines. Failure to comply with this policy may result in fines and/or the need to modify or remove the furniture/shelving.
Storage and Responsibility
All personal items, including furniture and shelving cannot remain in the room/building over the summer and must be removed before checkout. All materials must be stored off campus, and the student is responsible for storage. The student is also financially responsible for all damage caused by the construction, presence, and/or removal of personally constructed furniture and shelving. Any charges will be assessed to the student’s account by the ResLife staff.