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4 College Junior

Administration: They are pretty relaxed about most things and treat students like adults.

4 College Freshman

Administration: They understand that we are college students, and there are certain things we are going to do (drink, party, etc.)

2 people found this useful Report
5 College Senior

Administration: The University of Chicago uses its gigantic private police force to selectively enforce the laws that protect rather than inconvenience its students. Chicago police are far too busy to come on our campus much. The UCPD doesn't care at all about students drinking, partying, or using drugs, as long as they aren't also destroying property or committing some other more serious crime. UCPD officers see kids smoke marijuana all the time, for example. The neighborhood around campus is absolutely crawling with UCPD officers after about 9 or 10 PM, which is understandable given the campus is very close to Englewood and other rougher areas, but it's a little weird seeing a car parked on every block. The surveillance is extensive and a little unnerving, but again, they aren't in it to arrest students, just protect them.

In terms of alcohol use in the dorms, it's allowed under certain fairly lax conditions, and even if those aren't met, real consequences are few and far between. Some students have been kicked out of housing for dealing illegal drugs, but that's pretty understandable, and the policy within dorms is generally very easygoing. I've had drunk conversations with my RA and RH while I was underage, for example.

1 person found this useful Report
4 College Freshman

Administration: It's not particularly strict. CPD comes around to break up parties sometimes, and they usually give a hard time, but the UCPD is attentive and lenient.

4 College Freshman

Administration: Drinking in dorms is fine, just not in common areas. Not too strict about drugs either depending on the house you're in.


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Student Author OverviewWhat's this?

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There is a crazy amount of leniency at the University of Chicago with pretty much every aspect of life except academic integrity and the actual law. Other than cheating or committing a serious felony, you really can’t do anything wrong. Both the campus police and the city police are incredibly lenient with underage drinking. The most they’ll do is break up a party if there is some kind of noise complaint. There is no campus curfew, and you’re free to spend the night wherever you choose. You are not forced to attend any classes, although in some, your grade will be lowered if you are consistently absent. Every RSO (recognized student organization) has its own attendance rules, but as a whole, a majority of them is fairly lax. Some groups like Greek organizations and intramural teams work on a more restrictive schedule where attendance is required.

As far as administration, RAs, and the police go, it’s fairly simple: Take care of yourself, don’t break any major rules, and they won’t bother you. If you break the law or a major school policy, you’re obviously going to get in trouble. However, everyone understands the pressure that the students are under. They’re OK with people blowing off a little steam. As long as you don’t bring negative attention to the University, the administration will let you roam free. Everyone who studies at the University of Chicago is smart and responsible. Those qualities influence the students’ actions enough so that the general student population can sustain some anarchy and independence from both the administration and the campus police.

Facts & Statistics

Students Are Most Likely to Get Caught...
  • Cheating-mainly copying someone else's lab or problem set
  • Downloading copyrighted materials
  • Showing up to a discussion-based course without doing the reading
  • Talking loudly in the library
  • Trying to get into a dorm without being signed in by a resident
  • Trying to steal from Bart Mart
Visitation Policies
Visitors must sign in at the front desk of a hall, and the host must be present to let the visitor in.
Did You Know?
All incoming freshmen are required to pass an online alcohol education class called AlcoholEdu. The University wants its students to be fully aware of the effects of alcohol on the human body and the signs of dangerous alcohol consumption in both yourself and others around you.

Student Polls

Rate strictness of administration policies on the following topics    Based on 73 responses

Very strict
Very lenient
  • Alcohol use in dorms
  • Attendance
  • Creating new student organizations
  • Drug use
  • Honor code
  • Noise violations
  • Parking
  • Protests/demonstrations
  • Underage drinking
  • Visitation in dorms

How do the campus police or safety officers affect your campus experience?    Based on 77 responses

  • 65% Very positively. Officers are kind and helpful.
  • 35% Fairly positively. They're pretty easy to get along with if you respect them.
  • 0% Fairly negatively. They're only interested in breaking up the fun.
  • 0% Very negatively. They treat everyone like criminals.
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