Student Handbook

Room Entry and Search

The college holds the student's right to privacy as a high value. The college will abide by the following procedures pursuant to entering college property leased by students with the understanding that this procedure in no way limits bona fide law enforcement officials from lawful search. The Vice President for Student Affairs or Dean of Students must authorize any search of a room.
Macalester College or its agent shall have the right to enter a student's dwelling unit under the following stipulations and understandings. The college, in turn, agrees not to enter or allow anyone under their charge to enter the room in cases other than those mentioned below.

  1. To make necessary repairs or maintenance at any time between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. unless otherwise arranged by the student at a time convenient to both the college and the student.
  2. In emergency circumstances when imminent danger to life, health, safety or property is reasonably feared or where emergency entrance is permitted by law.
  3. In circumstances when it is believed that a violation(s) of Residential Life and College policy are taking place.
  4. The college will make a general check of all rooms during scheduled breaks. This will take place in the halls and all college-owned dwellings closed over the breaks by hall staff.

Illegal materials or items in plain view may be addressed with the resident(s) of the room if they are noticed in the course of room maintenance, room inspections or in response to violation of College or Residential Life policy. Disciplinary action may be taken.
In all cases involving suspected violation of college policies where the student is not present, rooms will be entered by at least two staff persons. The student, if present, will be asked to open drawers, luggage, closets, etc. If the student chooses not to assist in this manner, authorized college representatives will carry out the search. Students will be given a receipt for all belongings removed. These belongings will be returned after disposition of the case by appropriate College or civil authorities when it is lawful to do so.
(Also See Community Responsibilities - Student Rights, Freedoms and Responsibilities)