Dorm rooms are designed as a safe environment for all students and guest of WCU. There are certain rules and regulations that each hall has to abide by in order to make it a safe environment for the students. To ensure comfort and a safe environment while living in a dorm, students may chose between living in an all male/female or a co-ed dorm. The general rules are the same for all dorms but some may have extra regulations depending on gender. Guests are permitted in all dorms but they must always have a student escort, even parents. However, guest of the opposite gender are only permitted to visit during the times of Sun.-Thurs., noon to midnight; Fri.-Sat, noon to 2 am. This ensures that all residents are protected and that disruption is kept to a minimum. The resident will be held accountable for any disruption caused by the guest and the resident may have disciplinary action taken against them. Guests of the same gender are allowed to stay overnight but may not stay for more than three consecutive nights. Special permission must be issued before they are allowed to stay longer. Overnight guests of the opposite gender are not permitted and guests under the age of 18 are allowed but discouraged. Visitors may remain in the resident lobby after hours but are still required to have an escort. If a student has a guest, it is important for them to be informed of the rules of the dorm. Bathrooms are on each wing but depending on the quest they may not be able to use them. In dorms such as Helder and Leatherwood, which are single-gender dorms, a guest of the opposite gender are required to use the designated bathrooms on the first floor. They are not permitted to use the bathrooms on then upper wings. Some previous incidents with the bathrooms include students taking pictures of other students while they were in the shower. During each semester all dorms are required to have one planned fire drill. During this time all residents are made to leave the building while RA’s search each room. Searches are required to make sure that no students are hiding in their rooms. RA’s will not search through a resident’s belongings; instead, they look around the room to make sure that it is not occupied. Once an RA has finished searching a room they will lock the door so it is important that residents take their keys when leaving. Otherwise residents will have to contact their RA to reopen the door which can carry a fine. During the holidays students enjoy decorating their room or enjoy having decorations that make it feel more like home. Christmas trees are permitted, but must be either plastic or metal. No live trees are allowed due to the risk of fire. If a student is unsure whether or not they can use their tree, ask the RA if it is useable. Any decorations on the tree must be made from noncombustible material to reduce the risk of fire. To keep items from being stolen students are urged to lock their room doors when they are leaving. Students in the past have had computer and other electronics stolen because doors were not locked. Also do not allow any suspicious individual inside of a dorm and use the peephole in the door before opening it. Western’s insurance policy is not obligated to pay for stolen or damaged items so students are urged to protect their own belongings.