Laws and court precedent on student residence or dorm rights
Right to have visitors in dorm rooms Good v. Associated Students Univ. of Washington (1975) found students have the right to have visitors and solicitors in their dorm rooms. Right to sex equality in housing standards Students are entitled to housing of equal quality and cost and to equal housing policies. Right to protection from gender segregation in residence Until the nineteen nineties gender segregation was permissible so long as institutional rational for doing so was narrowly defined and justifiable. This precedent was officially reversed, however, after the Supreme Court in United States v. Commonwealth of Virginia (1992), found that a woman mistakenly admitted to a men’s military college was entitled to remain enrolled. Right to disability accommodation in residence facilities Students with disabilities are also entitled to equal quality dormitories with living accommodations (Section 504 Rehabilitation Act, 1973; Kaplan & Lee, 2011. All accommodations are currently free to the student even if the student has the financial means to pay for them. Right to protection from age discrimination in residence Students are entitled to equal treatment in housing regardless of age unless there is a narrowly defined goal which requires unequal treatment and policy is neutrally applied. Prostrollo v. University of South Dakota (1974), for instance, found that the institution may require all single freshmen and sophomores to live on campus. They did not discriminate between age groups. Right to protection from dorm search and seizure Piazzola v. Watkins (1971), established that students are not required to waive search and seizure rights as a condition of dormitory residence. Random door sweeps are impermissible. Right to clearly defined terms of dorm search and seizure Institutions may enter rooms in times of emergency, if they have proof of illegal activity or a threat to the educational environment. Both these terms must be clearly stipulated in advance. Otherwise institutions must as for permission to enter. When dorms rooms are legally searched for narrowly defined reasons or officials are legally permitted to enter student rooms, students are not protected from property damage incurred in the search process or action taken when evidence is in plain sight. Right to protection from illegal police search and seizure Evidence found in student dorm rooms by institutional employees cannot be used in a court of law and institutions cannot allow police to conduct a search and seizure with out warrant. Students may not be punished for refusing a warrantless search from institutional authorities or police officers. When students freely allow institutional officials to enter institutions can hold students accountable for evidence in plain sight.