Room Search Protocol

As a private institution, Guilford College has the right to enter any residential room to address maintenance concerns, conduct routine health and safety checks, and initiate room searches, if warranted. Students are advised that the College also has the right to search any student vehicle or personal belongings if warranted. Please see the Residence Hall Information & Policies / Entry Into Residence Hall Areas section of the Student Handbook for information on reasons the College may choose to enter a student's living space (room, suite, apartment, etc.).

The College reserves the right to notify appropriate law enforcement authorities for any violation of local, state, or federal laws.

Individuals Involved in the Search

  • All searches must be authorized by a member of the on-call Student Affairs staff.
  • All searches must be conducted by Public Safety personnel. A member of the Student Affairs staff will be present as well when possible.

Responsibilities of those Conducting the Search

Public Safety officers and Student Affairs staff must announce their presence before entering the room to be searched and identify themselves for the students present.

  • If the residents of the room are present at the time of the search, they are permitted to remain and given notice of the reasons for the search however they may be asked to remain in a specific area so that they may witness but not interfere with the search. Non-residents present at the time of the search may be asked to leave the area.
  • Once a search has been concluded, no Public Safety Officer or Student Affairs staff member will re-search the area without again obtaining authorization.
  • All personal items and furniture will be returned to their original location following a search as best possible. Regardless of the originating reason for the search, any/all violations of the College policies found/witnessed during the course of the search/incident will be documented.
  • After the search has been conducted, a "Notice of Entry" form will be completed and copy left with the resident(s) or in a conspicuous place in the room, suite or apartment.

Evidence Collection

  • All areas of the room as well as personal belongings are subject to search. An opportunity may be given for the students present to turn over any items that may be in violation of the student conduct code or that may be illegal; doing so does not result in the cancellation of the room search but the students' cooperation may be included in the incident documentation.
  • A search may not be conducted of a person however compliance of reasonable requests is expected, including requests such as emptying pockets, removing a hat, or handing over a bag.
  • Illegal items or items in violation of the student conduct code will be confiscated, labeled and bagged by the Public Safety officers as evidence of violations. Alcohol and fire safety violations (e.g. candles, incense, string lights, etc.) may be disposed immediately.
  • Photographs may be taken during the search or after the items have been confiscated.
  • All confiscated items will be placed in the designated vault in the Public Safety Office.
  • The confiscated items will be reviewed after 30 days by the Director of Public Safety and then destroyed.
  • Confiscated items are not subject to be returned.

If you have questions about the search protocol, please contact the Office of Academic and Student Affairs at 336.316.2186 or the Public Safety office at 336.316.2909.