Rules of Harnwell

Rules in Harnwell are essentially dictated by issues stemming from safety and civility.   All students at Penn are obliged to follow the rules of the university as articulated in The PennBook.

In addition, as a resident in the college house system, you are bound by

1) the rules articulated by College Houses & Academic Services and Residential Services in the Residential Handbook and 2) the 2015-2016 Terms and Conditions that you signed electronically when you accepted your housing assignment.

Violations of the rules above and those specific to Harnwell may result in possible fines, probation, expulsion, or recommendation for prosecution within the University Judicial system. 

 Listed below are rules that are especially pertinent or specific to Harnwell:


Tampering with fire alarms or equipment is a serious offense and, in fact, a FELONY at Penn. When alarms go off in the building, pay attention and follow evacuation procedures.  Never assume an alarm is false.

Smoking is not permitted in college houses.  In Harnwell, that means no smoking in the rooms, in the stairwells, in the closets, or in the common rooms.  Heavy fines will levied for this offense.  Those Harnwellians who do smoke are required to do so at least 20 feet away from the building.  There are also programs at Penn to assist in breaking this habit.  

ALCOHOL POLICY:  According to state law, students under the age of 21 may not possess or consume alcohol.  Residents who are 21 or over must show an ID to any inquiring House Staff, including RAs or GAs, and such residents may only consume alcohol in their own room provided everyone present is age 21 or over.  If intemperate behavior becomes a nuisance or causes harm to persons or property, students will receive mandatory education/counseling and may be fined or reported to the Office of Student Conduct in the same manner as all dangerous sober behavior would be reported and/or fined.  If a student only incurs harm to himself or herself under the influence of alcohol or if he or she becomes ill, our staff will find necessary medical attention on that student’s behalf without disciplinary consequences.  Under all other circumstances, however, disciplinary measures will be taken.

Hanging items from the sprinkler heads or pipes in the rooms can actually be dangerous.  These sensitive devices are not designed to function as laundry hangers. If a pipe breaks, the consequence has often been a flood of water that can damage belongings, property, or even people.

Halogen lamps of all styles, models and wattage can pose a fire hazard.  They are, therefore, forbidden from use in Harnwell and in other Houses

Throwing ANYTHING out the window is prohibited and can be quite unsafe. Flicking ashes, dumping water, or even tossing cushions out the window is considered a serious offense that could result in permanent expulsion from living in University housing.

Horseplay” is highly discouraged in Harnwell.  Playing a sport, throwing objects, bouncing or rolling a ball have resulted in considerable harm—usually unintentionally.  Moreover, such activity has frequently triggered false fire alarms.

Additional locks may not be added to any door that did not originally have locks upon move in.  Residents will be fined for unauthorized additional locks, and the locks will be removed immediately.

One’s own PennCard must be presented upon entering the building.  When signing in any guests, PennCards must also be shown to staff at the front desk.  Using another student’s PennCard constitutes identity theft and will result in the confiscation of the PennCard by either security or staff.

Any guests signed into Harnwell are the responsibility of the hosting Harnwellian.  Residents are discouraged from signing in anyone whom they do not know.  A random person who says he or she wants to see a friend or simply a person who has lost a room key must find a true sponsor.  All Harnwell hosts are, in fact, required to stay with their guest.  Unfortunately, we have had some incidents of crime when students have signed in people at the front desk whom they don’t actually know.   Please be careful.  



All on-campus residences adhere to 24 Hour Courtesy hours.

Courtesy Hours serve as a reminder to all residents of the primary rights to sleep and study within residential communities.  Residents are expected to exercise courtesy when playing music or participating in other activity that may disrupt other residents and/or interfere with the attempts of others to study.

Quiet hours are in effect at the following times:  11:00 p.m until 9:00a.m. on weekdays (Sundays through Thursday) and 1:00 a.m. until 9:00 a.m. on weekends (Friday and Saturday).  Quiet hours are in effect at all times during reading days and finals

If three noise complaints are received about any one apartment, the residents of that apartment will be fined.  The fine is $50 per resident, unless all roommates agree that one particular roommate was NOT responsible for the noise.  The fine will be applied to bursar bills.  If the noise continues to be a problem, more serious measures will be considered.

Public furniture in the Rooftop, floor lounge, or anywhere outside of a room should remain in place.  Some public furniture may be moved temporarily WITH AND ONLY WITH permission from an RA, GA, or other House staff member.  Staff members cannot permit furniture FROM the lounges to be removed.  Moving anything within a lounge requires permission from the staff member in charge of the space. Suites found with stolen furniture will be both fined and held financially responsible for the replacement value of the item.

Furniture from a room or an apartment must remain in the suite.  Any furniture missing at the year’s end will be billed to residents of the room.

Defacing Harnwell, University, or another resident’s property constitutes vandalism.  Such acts of incivility will be referred immediately to the Office of Student Conduct.  Students may subsequently be removed from the House and be held personally liable for the repair or replacement of damaged property.

Solicitation in the House is forbidden.  Students are encouraged to report any violations to an RA or GA or to the House Office.  Students and student groups are also required to abide by poster/flyer rules of the House.

College House undergraduates are not allowed to keep pets other than fish or turtles that fit humanely in a 20-gallon or smaller aquarium.

Elevator etiquette at Harnwell is regarded as a thoughtful and polite gesture rather than a hard and fast rule. To maximize elevator service, residents in Harnwell are encouraged to minimize the number of selected floors when entering an elevator.  In other words, able-bodied and unencumbered residents and their guests should try to walk up or down at least one flight of stairs if a nearby floor has already been requested. The primary consequence of disregarding this exhortation is the ill-will of one’s fellow community members.

Harnwell subscribes to the Not-Raised-by Wolves Rule at all House events.  In short, residents are actively encouraged to stay and mingle for at least 10 to 15 minutes at an event that graciously offers food or refreshments.  Free food is not equivalent to take-out or grab-and-go.

Noteworthy Policies Pertinent to High Rises and Harnwell—extracted and paraphrased from Penn’s Residential Handbook

Guests and Associated Issues

Visitors to the residences must sign-in with a photo ID and be accompanied at all times by a host who carries a valid PennCard. A host is responsible for his/her guests at all times.

A resident may not pressure or force roommates or anyone to tolerate the presence of a guest.

Translation: Objections to guests should be articulated and subsequently honored by all roommates.  The designation of guests applies to friends and family.

The presence of guests must not restrict free access of legitimate occupants to all common spaces and to any private space they may have, or create any situation that infringes on the right of roommates or floormates to remain undisturbed in any residence.

Translation: One should not assume that the common room (i.e., living room) is equivalent to a guest room.  

The presence of a guest in any residence must not be constant or continuous beyond 3 days unless an exception is granted by the House Dean or Director.

Translation: If they’re not paying rent, they’re not an occupant of the suite.  Even with permission of roommates, a guest should not stay beyond his or her “welcome” by the university.  

A guest may not occupy a student's room when the student is not present; a resident may not give a guest his or her room key or PennCard to enter residences.

Translation: Do not take advantage of your absent roommate.  Also, don’t try to fool the staff or guards by giving a guest your PennCard.  This constitutes identity theft and could potentially put your guest in a very uncomfortable situation.  Please don’t be a lazy host. 

Guests may not sleep in public spaces or utilize the public spaces for personal activities during their stay.

Translation: No crashing in the lounges.  We are not a camping ground.