Prohibited Items

The following items are prohibited in all Columbia owned and operated residence halls and brownstones. Illegal items or ones considered dangerous will be confiscated immediately.

  • Air conditioners (both window and portable units)
  • Banners, flags, nets, holiday lighting, cable wire, and hangers installed on the ceiling in such a way as to interfere with the operation of any fire safety equipment (i.e. sprinkler heads or smoke detectors).
  • Candles, even if the item is strictly decorative
  • Cut trees, wreaths, and all other “live” decorations
  • Deep fryers
  • Electronic cigarettes
  • Extension cords (only surge protectors are allowed)
  • Fog Machines
  • Grills
  • Halogen lamps
  • Hookahs
  • Hot plates
  • Hover boards, self-propelled scooters, and similar devices
  • Illegal drugs and/or paraphernalia
  • Incense, even if item is strictly decorative
  • Immersion coils
  • Lofts
  • Non-flame-resistant decorations hung on room/suite doors or hallway bulletin boards.
  • Pets (only fish in a half-gallon or less tank are allowed)
  • Signs, posters, lights, or decorations on the exterior of buildings or attached to windowpanes.
  • Space heaters
  • Thermometers containing mercury*
  • Water beds
  • Weapons (see Weapons and Fireworks for more specific information)

The following items are only allowed in Suite/Apartment or corridor-style kitchens.  These items may not be used or stored in bedrooms or other common area lounges:

  • Coffeemakers/Electric kettles
  • Countertop Grills (George Foreman-style grills and/or panini makers)
  • Crockpots
  • Knives (bread knives, a cooking set)
  • Microwave ovens (Microfridge Rentals may be stored in an individual room)
  • Refrigerators (volume for refrigerators in individual rooms must not exceed 2.5 cubic feet)
  • Rice cookers
  • Toasters/Toaster ovens

Please note the University assumes no responsibility for items removed from common area and/or kitchen lounges.

*New York State Law prohibit the sale of mercury-containing fever thermometers. Accordingly, Columbia University Housing prohibits students from possessing these mercury-containing devices in their campus residence. To facilitate the removal of these hazardous, mercury-containing thermometer from University student residences, any student in possession of an intact mercury-containing temperature thermometer may exchange it for a digital thermometer, for free, at Student Health Services. The mercury thermometer must be transported in a sealed bag and preferably inside a rigid container.