Alcohol & Drug Policy
Firearms, Knives, Pellet Guns and Other Weapons
Life Safety Inspections
Fire Alarms
Emergency Building Evacuation
Fire Safety Equipment
Apartment Extinguishers
Security Services, Guidelines and Regulations
Prohibited Conduct
Prohibited Items


If your behavior does not meet College community expectations or is in violation of the policies outlined in your Residence Hall Housing License Agreement, this Guidebook or the Handbook of Student Rights and Responsibilities, you may expect disciplinary action. Gettysburg College expects you, as an adult, to maintain a standard of personal discipline that is in harmony with the educational goals of the institution, federal, state and local laws, and to respect the rights, privileges, and property of fellow students, faculty, staff, and administrators. Students are responsible for the items contained in their rooms and the events that occur in their rooms. Special surveillance resources may be utilized by the College when disciplinary issues become chronic or disruptive.

Alcohol & Drug Policy
In compliance with Pennsylvania laws, students under the age of 21 (or their guests) are not permitted to purchase, possess, or consume alcoholic beverages. ALL students, regardless of age, are prohibited from manufacturing alcohol. In addition, students who are of legal drinking age cannot possess open alcohol containers in common areas (halls, lounges, bathrooms). If students living in a room are both under 21, then alcohol cannot be present in that room. Alcohol is not permitted in any first-year Residence Halls, with the exception of upperclass students who are of legal drinking age. Possession of alcoholic beverage containers, either full or empty, will be taken as a presumption of use and possession, and as such may be considered policy violations. Open source alcohol such as kegs/beer balls and grain alcohol punch are prohibited from all residence hall facilities (including apartments). All drinking games and drinking game paraphernalia (Beirut tables, beer funnels, etc.) are also prohibited.

Students must register parties where alcohol will be served. Illegal drugs are prohibited. Violation of these policies will result in disciplinary action. See the Handbook of Student Rights and Responsibilities for further information on the alcohol/drug policy.

Firearms, Knives, Pellet Guns and Other Weapons
Possession of firearms, explosives, or dangerous chemicals on College premises, including personal vehicles, or use of any such item, even if legally possessed, is prohibited. A firearm is any weapon from which a projectile is fired by gunpowder. Possession of firearms and other weapons is inconsistent with the goals and mission of a learning community such as Gettysburg College. Students found in possession of a firearm are subject to an Interim Suspension during the investigation and pre-hearing process. For students who are found responsible at a hearing for possession of a firearm, the standard sanction is expulsion.

Other weapons or devices that are capable of inflicting a wound, injuring or incapacitating a person or persons are also prohibited. This includes, but is not limited to, archery equipment, fireworks, BB guns, airsoft guns, pellet guns, paintball guns, slingshots, martial arts devices, switchblade/open-assist knives, knives with blades exceeding 3 inches in length, swords, and clubs. For students found responsible for possession of a knife, pellet gun, or similar weapon, the standard sanction is suspension for the remainder of the current semester.

Martial arts and fencing devices are permitted if they are intended for use in College recognized martial arts or fencing teams, clubs or organizations. The College will continue to provide storage for period appropriate civil war long guns and related materials (percussion caps and powder). The College will not store any type of ammunition. For the purposes of storage, a Civil War era firearm is described as follows: any original or reproduction smoothbore or rifled barreled rifle model year 1863 or older that is fired by way of flint and pan or percussion cap, or any model year 1863 or older rifle that holds and fires one brass encased bullet at a time. Other Civil War era weapons that must be stored include bayonets and sabers. All items that are stored must belong to members of the Pennsylvania College Guard who are identified by the Director of the Civil War Institute. Black powder and percussion caps that were purchased by Pennsylvania College Guard (PCG) with PCG funds may also be stored in the safe in the Department of Public Safety. Access to powder and percussion caps will be limited to the Director of the Civil War Institute and student(s) authorized by the Director of the Civil War Institute to have access. The Director will provide a student list to the Department of Public Safety on an annual basis.

Life Safety Inspections
The Department of Public Safety conducts monthly life safety inspections in apartments.  They inspect the rest of the residence halls during winter and spring breaks.   Public Safety may assess fines for life safety violations they find during the inspections (including, but not limited to, the prohibited conduct and items listed below). Certain types of violations have more serious consequences and, therefore, a higher punitive penalty due to the risk of endangering health and life safety.

Fire Alarms
Any person discovering any fire, regardless of magnitude should activate the fire alarm system by pulling a manual station located near every exit and then report it to either the Department of Public Safety at 717-337-6911 or Adams County 911 Center by dialing 911.

Public Safety has direct communications with the 911 Center and can report any information within seconds. A Public Safety Officer will respond to the location and determine what action and resources are required.

No person shall deliberately or maliciously turn in an alarm of fire when in fact that person knows that no fire exists. It shall be a violation for any person to willingly make any false, fraudulent, misleading, or unfounded report or statement or to willingly misrepresent any fact for the purpose of interfering with any investigation or inspection.

Emergency Building Evacuation
Emergency Building Evacuations are necessary to ensure the safety of the occupants to a variety of threats to include fires, bomb threats, and acts of violence, chemical releases or other hazardous substances. The fire alarm system serves as the main notification to building occupants that there is an emergency situation that requires an evacuation.

In some cases the fire alarm may not be used if information indicates that the alarm system may cause a threat, in such cases as a bomb threat. In these cases, the word of mouth and room-to-room notification system may be conducted by the Department of Public Safety. Public Safety may assign certain college personnel to help with the room-to-room evacuation.

During an Emergency Building Evacuation every occupant must exit the building immediately after hearing the alarm or being advised by Public Safety. Occupants who exit the building should remain outside until advised by a Public Safety Officer that it is safe to return. Public Safety will coordinate fire, police, medical and rescue assistance.

If conditions exist that prevent occupants to reenter then Public Safety will provide occupants with a relocation site nearby. If occupants are relocated to a nearby site, then those occupants will be provided with up to date information and needed resources to maintain their quality of life needs such as restrooms, water, food, clothing, and shelter from elements.

Any person failing to leave a building when the fire alarm sounds, when directed to leave by a Public Safety Officer, or as a result of a known or perceived emergency is subject to disciplinary sanctions and/or prosecution.

Emergency Evacuation Drills are conducted to familiarize occupants with emergency egress from a building and to establish conduct of the drill to a matter of routine. Drills will include suitable procedures, such as room-to-room checks, to ensure that all persons subject to the drill participate. Any person who fails to participate in a drill will be subject to disciplinary action by the appropriate authority. In the conduct of drills, emphasis shall be placed on orderly evacuation rather than speed. Drills shall be held at expected and unexpected times, and under varying conditions to simulate the unusual conditions that can occur in an actual emergency. Participants shall relocate to a safe location outside the building and remain at such location until a recall signal is given or further instruction and information are provided.

Fire Safety Equipment
Fire extinguishers, fire alarms, pull boxes, smoke detectors, emergency lighting fixtures and exit lights are located in each building. This equipment should only be used in emergency situations. No person shall render any portable or fixed fire extinguishing system or device or any fire warning system inoperative or inaccessible. No person shall remove, unlock, destroy, or tamper with in any manner any locked gate, door, barricade, chain, enclosure, sign, tag, or seal that has been required to be in place for the purpose of public safety.

Any person involved with tampering of fire safety equipment is subject to disciplinary sanctions and/or prosecution. If you use a fire alarm or extinguisher for an actual emergency or fire, please notify College Security or Residence Life personnel.

Apartment Extinguishers
The college has many residential apartments where kitchens are provided with fire extinguishers. These fire extinguishers must be inspected monthly to ensure it is in good working order and mounted properly. There is no extra charge for this service, but the residents are responsible for the condition of the fire extinguisher. The charge for a discharged fire extinguisher is $100.00 and if the extinguisher is lost or damaged beyond repair, the charge is $200.00. Any fire within an apartment must be reported, especially a fire that is extinguished with a fire extinguisher. Residents will not be fined for using a fire extinguisher to extinguish an actual accidental fire. The following protocol will be used: 

  • The officer assigned and a supervisor will knock on the apartment door.
  • When answered by a resident, explain the purpose of the visit and check the extinguisher.
  • If no answer to the knock then officer will open door and loudly and clearly make an announcement that an inspection of the fire extinguisher is being completed. If no answer to the announcement then officer and supervisor shall enter the apartment and inspect the fire extinguisher. 

These inspections will be conducted on Mondays through Fridays only and from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Security Services, Guidelines and Regulations 
The Department of Public Safety is located at 51 W. Stevens Street and online at /about/offices/college_life/safety. They are open 24 hours a day 7 days a week and can be reached by dialing 6911 from any campus phone or 717-337-6911 from cell or off campus phones. Officers patrol on foot, bicycle and cruiser. Although we strive to provide a safe and secure environment on campus, responsibility for safety lies with the individual; no amount of service can offset irresponsible behavior.

The Department of Public Safety provides numerous services to the community, such as: First Responder medical services, escorts, battery jumps, crime prevention training, fire safety training, National Bike Registry, Operation ID, weapons storage, and criminal investigations.

We offer the following guidelines to assist you with your safety: 

  • Keep your room locked whenever it is unoccupied and at night when you are sleeping.
  • Never prop open outside doors. Propping doors allows unauthorized individuals to access the building, making your living environment unsecured!!
  • Walk in well lit traveled areas. Do not walk in alleys.
  • Call for an escort if you have a concern for your safety.

    Prohibited Conduct
    The following activities and actions are prohibited in residence halls and may result in judicial action:

    • Violation of College's Code of Conduct
    • Starting or fueling a fire of any size
    • Tampering with fire extinguishers, fire alarm systems or safety equipment
    • Possessing and/or burning candles, sterno, kerosene, candle lit potpourri burners, incense, or any other open flame item
    • Smoking in ANY residence hall space
    • Draping or placing objects-including fabric-over lighting fixtures, smoke detectors, or fire sprinkler systems
    • Hanging cardboard, plastic or fabric (e.g. tapestries, banners, and flags) on walls, ceilings, light fixtures, or fire sprinkler apparatus. Posters on walls can't exceed 25% of the total wall surface.
    • Hanging window treatments (curtains) that are not made of fabric that resists or retards the spreading of flames and has either a UL fire rating #723 or NFPA 225. Use of flags, tapestries or non-rated fabric is prohibited from being used as a window treatment.
    • Hanging of stringed lights on the exterior of buildings without the advanced, expressed, written consent of the Office of Residence Life. Inside residence halls, students are prohibited to hang excessive strands of stringed lights (must not exceed three strands per room).  All stringed lights must be UL Approved.
    • Wrapping or placing wires or stringed lights in the area of beds
    • Lending keys to others; copying keys; possession of keys that are not authorized for your use
    • Water fights, ball playing, bike riding, or similar activities which may cause harm to persons or property
    • Storage of bicycles in stairwells, halls or rooms
    • Storage of personal items such as sports bags, sports equipment, furniture, suitcases, cartons, etc. in stairwells or halls
    • Throwing any items into or out of windows
    • Altering, tampering, or dismantling any door closure; propping open any exterior door
    • Cooking food in individual rooms (other than in MicroFridges)
    • Solicitation of goods or services, except by Gettysburg College students who have received prior approval from the Office of College Life
    • Painting, wallpapering, or similarly decorating individual rooms or common areas unless prior approval is given by the Office of Residence Life and Facilities Services
    • Repairing any damages or the removal or replacement of light bulbs in ceiling fixtures that have not been provided by the College Staff
    • Applying any articles directly to walls, closets, doors, furnishings or from the ceiling with tape, any adhesive material, screws, hooks, tacks, nails, etc. or any other way that causes damage. Poster putty is recommended, but needs to be completely removed from walls at check out
    • Removal, destruction, disassembling or altering of any furniture in a room
    • Using furniture for other than its intended use
    • Removing screens from windows
    • Installing wall partitions or paneling
    • Modifying electrical system by splicing electrical wires, hooking up additional electrical equipment, removal of outlet plates or light switches, tampering with circuit breakers or any part of the electrical system
    • Installing and subscribing to a cable or satellite TV provider (students may only use the cable system provided to them in their rooms/apartments)
    • Installing personal locks or chains on doors or windows
    • Sleeping in public areas of the residence halls by residents and/or guests
    • Public showing of commercially-produced, pre-recorded video cassettes and/or disks not covered by a College viewing license in public areas (purchased or rented video tapes are included)
    • Outside wiring-including hanging lights outside of windows and buildings
    • Entering the Quarry pond-this includes wading, swimming, and ice skating
    • Operating charcoal and gas grills

    Prohibited Items
    The following items are prohibited in residence halls:  

    • Guns, firearms, knives or weapons of any type, including BB and pellet guns which are all cause for suspension (see above for specific policy)
    • Candles and/or incense (lit or unlit)
    • Tapestries, banners and flags. These items cannot be hung on walls or ceilings. Use of flags, tapestries or non rated fabric is also prohibited from being used as a window treatment. Window treatments such as curtains must be made of a fabric that resists or retards the spreading of flames and has either a UL fire rating #723 or NFPA 225.
    • Room-heating devices, including all space heaters, kerosene or oil lamps, alcohol burners, and candles
    • Gasoline-powered items, such as motorcycles, mopeds, or parts thereof
    • Pressurized tanks (e.g. helium tanks)
    • Flammable and/or combustible liquids and/or chemicals including gasoline and charcoal
    • Grills of any type (except Foreman-style counter-top grills in kitchens, which must be UL Listed)
    • Fireworks, smoke bombs, sparklers, etc.
    • Drug paraphernalia and illegal drugs
    • Loose plywood, tables longer than 3 feet
    • Animals or pets of any kind (please see Pet Policy)
    • Light "dimmers," ceiling fans, or any other device that replaces, adds to, or interferes with any room/apartment/ building apparatus
    • Cinder blocks
    • Excessive furniture that blocks or restricts egress from sleeping areas
    • Barbells or physical training equipment
    • Three section couches
    • Waterbeds and beds other than twin size
    • Dart boards/darts
    • Nails, hooks, double-faced adhesive tape, or other items that will damage walls (use white poster putty/stick tack instead)
    • Live trees (pine/Christmas)
    • Personal lofts

    In addition, the following electrical appliances and corded items are prohibited in residence halls:

    (Note: all cords and permitted appliances must be UL Listed)

    • Halogen lamps
    • Electrical appliances including, but not limited to, candle warmers, broilers, toasters and toaster ovens, electrical skillets, hot plates, electric woks/frying pans, crock pots, pressure cookers, microwave ovens, hotdog and hamburger cookers, Panini presses/sandwich makers, waffle irons, and heating/immersion coils are prohibited in bedrooms (NOTE: popcorn poppers, hotpots, and coffee makers with automatic shut-off are permitted)
    • Overloaded electrical receptacles (more than three appliances connected to one outlet and multiple-plug adapters with more than two cords attached)
    • Faulty or old extension cords
    • Portable washers, dryers and dish washers
    • Personal room refrigerators (unless you live in an apartment).  Gettysburg College provides a Microfridge unit for each room not in an apartment.
    • Air conditioners unless approved for special needs housing accommodations.  Documentation is required for approval.  The required forms can be found on Residence Life's website.  Accommodations are limited to people with a need due to a disability.
    • Microwaves other than a Microfridge (microwaves are permitted in apartments, limit one)
    • 2.4 GHz cordless phones (due to interference with campus wireless network)

    ***NOTE: The preceding list is not all inclusive; any item that is a threat to public safety may be removed. The College will continually monitor all areas through staff visits and unannounced inspections by College staff. Prohibited items found will be confiscated and not returned until the student leaves the residence. In addition to confiscation, violators may pay a monetary fine and may be subject to disciplinary action, including possible expulsion from the residence hall. ****