Campus Visitor Policy

Welcome to Messiah University!

Our commitment to our visitors

Messiah University seeks to provide a safe campus environment for our visitors and others by instituting policies, procedures, and guidelines to further define the University’s roles as an 1) educational, residential, cultural, and recreational facility for students; 2) a place of employment; 3) a community resource; and 4) a client and business partner.

Visitors are an important aspect of the University’s daily operations. Visitors come to Messiah University for many reasons. For example, prospective students and their families visit and tour campus; students visit with friends; job applicants visit Human Resources or participate in scheduled interviews; vendors deliver essential products and supplies to appropriate offices; service and maintenance professionals make scheduled repairs and community members attend public events in campus facilities.

Visitor expectations

For the purpose of this policy, the term “visitor” refers to anyone who is not a currently enrolled Messiah University student or a currently employed member of the faculty, administration or staff.

Messiah University's campus is private property and a residential educational community. Accordingly, all visitors are expected to respect and abide by campus policies, posted regulations and instructions by authorized campus personnel. Visitors are expected to adhere to campus speed limits; to park in appropriately marked visitor spaces; to abstain from the use of drugs, alcohol and tobacco while on campus; and to refrain from uninvited visits to private areas such as residence halls, classrooms, and employee offices. Visitors are also expected to abide by the University’s policies regarding the prohibition of firearms and other potentially harmful weapons on University property—including the storage of these items in vehicles on campus.

The below visitor policy outlines the expectations for visitors in University-owned student housing; individuals engaged in solicitation; University vendors; individuals seeking to engage in public expression; members of the media; military recruiters and expectations for a weapons-free campus.

Minor Guests (i.e., children under age 18) Guests in University-Owned Student Housing


No baby-sitting is permitted by students in residence halls, apartments, or other University-owned student housing.

Unrelated Minors

A child who is unrelated to a student is allowed to visit a student’s room or stay overnight in University-owned housing if he/she meets all of the following conditions: the child (1) is 15 years of age or older, (2) is invited to do so by the host student, (3) is the same gender as the host student, and (4) the parent/guardian has filled out the online liability release and medical permission form found as a quicklink here: /info/20567/department_of_safety.

  • Any visitor staying overnight must sleep in a student’s room, and not in a public lounge or individual floor lounge.
  • A child who is unrelated to a student and is under the age of 15 years may visit University-owned housing if he/she is invited to do so by a host student. The child may not stay overnight, but may visit public lounges during approved visitation hours.

Family/Related Minors

A child who is related to a student may stay overnight in University-owned housing if he/she meets all of the following conditions: the child (1) is 12 years of age or older, (2) is invited to do so by the host student, (3) is the same gender as the host student, (4) is actually under the supervision of the student family member, and (5) the parent/guardian has filled out the online liability release and medical permission form found as a quicklink here: /info/20567/department_of_safety

Visitation Hours in Residence Halls

First Year Residences

Sunday, noon–10 p.m.
Wednesday, 4 p.m.–10 p.m.
Friday, 4 p.m.–1 a.m.
Saturday, Noon–1 a.m.

Traditional Residences

Sunday, Noon–10 p.m.
Monday, 4 p.m.–10 p.m.
Wednesday,4 p.m.–10 p.m.
Friday, 4 p.m.–1 a.m.
Saturday, Noon-1 a.m.

Behavior must be appropriate and lights must be kept on during visits from the opposite gender.

Visitors of the opposite gender are not permitted in bedroom areas of the apartments, special interest, and off-campus housing at any time. For the purposes of this policy, a room that was designed as a bedroom is considered a bedroom even if the furniture has been rearranged to use the room for other purposes.

Exceptions. This policy will not apply to summer conference groups, sports and other camps.

Adult Guests in University-Owned Student Housing

Adult guests (i.e. age 18 or older) are welcome in University residences subject to the following guidelines provided they are invited and accompanied by a Messiah University student.
Except as noted below, guests are permitted in individual living areas of the opposite gender only during scheduled visitation hours.

  • Peers. Student-aged guests may stay overnight for up to three nights ( with a maximum of six nights on campus per semester) with the approval of other residents of the room, apartment, or special interest house. Messiah University students may stay overnight in the rooms or apartments of other students of the same gender for up to three successive nights with the permission of the other residents. Current Messiah University students who do not pay for on-campus housing are expected to limit their stays anywhere on campus to six nights each semester.
  • Parents/Family. Adult immediate family members who are visiting from off campus may briefly visit the room or apartment of students during non-visitation hours. They may stay overnight in the rooms or apartments of students of the same gender for up to three successive nights (with a maximum of six nights anywhere on campus per semester) with the permission of the other residents.
  • Other Adult Guests. Any other adult guests who are not peers or immediate family may briefly visit the room or apartment of students, but only during visitation hours. At any other time they are to meet informally with students in public spaces or common areas (e.g. public residence hall lounges).

Any guest who fails to adhere to Messiah University rules is subject to removal from the University premises. The University reserves the right to limit guest privileges and asks visitors to limit the frequency and duration of campus appointments. Abuse of these privileges may lead to restriction or withdrawal of the visitor’s right to access campus.

Individuals Engaged in Solicitation

  • For the safety and privacy of all members of the University Community, in general, solicitors, peddlers and door-to-door solicitation are not permitted on campus, including in campus buildings.
  • On-campus solicitation of sales or purchases by any off-campus individual or organization is expressly forbidden unless authorized by the Student Involvement and Leadership Programs Office. Approval of on-campus sales will be granted only if there is a benefit to a recognized University function or student group and authorization may be denied or may be subject to limitations prescribed by the Student Involvement and Leadership Programs Office. An Outside Vendor Contract available from the Student Involvement and Leadership Programs Office must be completed and approved.
  • With particular regard,no one, including members of the campus community, is permitted to solicit, raise funds, or sell products in the residence halls unless the activity has been explicitly approved by the Student Involvement and Leadership Programs Office according to the University’s established fundraising protocols.
  • Persons purchasing textbooks from faculty or students must have pre-established appointments with specific faculty members or other campus employees and must register with Dispatch and receive a visitor tag and parking permit.

Note: The above solicitation policies do not apply to individuals or organizations who are invited to campus by authorized Messiah University administrative personnel as part of an approved University activity or event.

University Vendors

Persons visiting campus as representatives of vendors or potential vendors to Messiah University, contractors, service and maintenance personnel from off-campus organizations making scheduled visits to a University office, or other persons doing business with the University must check in at the Lenhart Building or Dispatch Services, located in Eisenhower Campus Center. Vendors will need to sign in and will receive the appropriate passes for access to campus.

Individuals Seeking to Engage in Public Expression

Definition of public expression

Freedom of expression is encouraged at Messiah University. However, in order to ensure an atmosphere in which open communication can occur without disrupting the academic mission or the daily functions of the University, this policy shall govern all forms of public expression activity on Messiah University property, defined for this purpose as including activities such as, but not limited to: campus meetings and forums; public assembly and demonstrations; public speeches; and the distribution and/or posting of written materials or other forms of communication carried out in connection with these activities.

Definition of members of the on‐campus University community

For the purpose of this policy, “members of the on‐campus University community” are defined as currently enrolled students and currently employed members of the faculty, administration and staff.

Definition of visitors

Individuals who do not belong to any of the above identified groups are considered campus visitors.

Public expression by members of the on‐campus University community

Messiah University affords all members of the on‐campus University community with substantial privileges with respect to freedom of public expression on Messiah University property. As a private University, this privilege, however, is subject to reasonable restrictions and regulations of time, place and manner as described below, so that the activities do not intrude upon or interfere with the academic mission and daily functions of the University, or with other rights of members of the on‐campus University community as defined by University policies.

Note: These policies and guidelines refer to non‐educational activities on University property and not to the conduct of academic or co‐curricular activities that are governed by their own University policies and standards. These policies do not refer to other officially approved University events that must follow established campus event protocols.

Procedures for public expression activities by members of the on‐campus University community

1. Members of the on-campus University community must apply to the Office of the Dean of Students at least five business days prior to their requested date of activity. Office hours are between the hours of 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. The application form is available online at

Once the form is received by the dean of students, she/he will process the application with the appropriate/relevant campus leadership, based on factors including, whether or not the application is from a student or employee, specifics of the public expression requested, etc.

2. The dean of students has two business days in which to act on a request and communicate a decision to the person or organization making the request. Decisions will take into account both any special circumstances that may relate to University activities and/or the burden the requested activity may place on the University’s safety and administrative staffs.

3. Public expression activities are authorized to occur only at one or more of the following locations as assigned by the dean of students (dependent on availability):

Outdoor locations

  • Larsen Student Union patio
  • Brick courtyard area outside of Kline, Jordan and Frey Halls

Indoor locations

  • Designated common area inside the Larsen Student Union
  • Eisenhower Campus Center Commons (lobby outside of the Falcon, Career Center and Campus Store)

Note: if an indoor location is approved by the Dean of Students Office, the event organizer must then reserve the space through the Office of Conference and Event Services.

4.The number of occasions on which specific individuals or groups will be permitted to engage in public expression activities will be limited to three times during an academic year.

5. The total number of people engaging in public expression activities at any one location on campus may be limited by the dean of students according to concerns related to space capacity, safety or potential disruption of the University’s other daily activities.

6. Any signs, placards or banners that are displayed must be respectful, may not use profanity or other defaming language, and in general must be in the spirit and meet the standards related to the treatment of others as described in the University’s Community Covenant.

7. No microphones, bullhorns or other amplification devices may be used.

8. No sidewalks or building accesses may be blocked, nor may normal University operations be impeded.

9. Physical or verbal harassment of members of the University community, or public expression activities outside of the hours or locations for which permission has been granted, will be cause for the immediate revocation of privilege for those involved.

10. Any act of disorderly conduct or the failure to respect any of the above procedures will result in appropriate intervention by authorized campus personnel.

Public expression activities by campus visitors

As a private University, Messiah University’s policy is that visitors do not share the same privileges and rights as members of the on‐campus University community to participate in public expression activities on Messiah University property. Thus, campus visitors who wish to engage in public expression activities are subject to the following restrictions.

  • Specifically, campus visitors are not permitted to be involved in public expression on University property except as invited participants at official, approved University events, and in a manner consistent with the intent of the event as determined by officials of the University. Furthermore, visitors’ presence on campus is not merely contingent upon their compliance with standards maintained by the University, and as such, visitors may be asked to leave the campus at any time by an authorized official of the University.
  • Visitors may not engage in activities which hinder or obstruct approved public expression or affect the University’s ability to provide an educational environment for its members.
  • Visitors acting in violation of this policy and/or the related guidelines or failing to accept the directions of authorized University authorities will be required to leave campus and may be referred to the local public authorities in the event of violations of applicable laws. Any police arrests and criminal charges are separate from judicial actions at Messiah University.

Questions regarding the public expression policy may be directed to the Office of the Dean of Students.

Members of the Media

Prior to coming to Messiah’s campus, all members of the media should coordinate the purpose and logistics of their visit by contacting:

  • During business hours: (Monday-Friday, 8 a.m-5 p.m.) the Office of Marketing and Communications at 717.691.6027.
  • During non-business hours: Campus Dispatch Office at 717.766.2511, who will contact the Director of Communications, or in her absence, the Executive Director of Marketing and Communications, to coordinate any necessary arrangements.
  • While on campus, all members of the media must be escorted by a member of the Office of Marketing and Communications or that office’s designee. (With the exception of journalists who are covering campus athletic events; athletics media relations are managed by the Office of Athletics Communications.)
  • Members of the media are not permitted in student residences, classrooms, indoor areas or other non-public areas of campus without explicit, prearranged permission from the Office of Marketing and Communications.
  • Media must display visible credential identification at all times and park in appropriate visitor parking areas or in areas designated by either the Office of Marketing and Communications or Campus Safety.
  • Questions regarding this policy should be referred to the Office of Marketing and Communications at 717. 691.6027.

Military Recruiters

The presence of military recruiters on campus is governed by the University’s existing Military Recruiters Access Policy.

Weapons-Free Workplace Policy

To ensure that Messiah University maintains a workplace safe and free of violence for all employees, the University prohibits the possession or use of weapons on University property. A license to carry the weapon does not supersede the University policy. Any employee in violation of this policy will be subject to prompt disciplinary action, up to and including termination. All members of the community are subject to this provision, including contract and temporary employees, and visitors on University Property. “University Property” is defined as all University - owned or leased buildings and surrounding areas such as sidewalks, walkways, driveways and parking lots under the University’s ownership or control. This policy applies to all vehicles that come onto University property. Weapons include, but are not limited to, firearms, explosives, knives, pellet or BB guns, tasers, stun guns, wooden or metal batons, bows and arrows (sharpened or hunting tips) and other weapons that might be considered dangerous or that could cause harm. In addition, sports equipment derived from or similar to weapons such as baseball bats, fencing swords, bows & arrows, javelins, paint ball guns should be confined to sports facilities for their use or kept locked in a personal vehicle. Messiah University reserves the right at any time to contact law enforcement authorities if there are reasonable grounds to believe that an employee or a visitor has a weapon on University property. This policy is administered and enforced by the Office of Human Resources. Anyone with questions or concerns specific to this policy should contact Human Resources at ext 5300.

(Last Reviewed: 19-OCT-2016; Last Updated: 19-OCT-2016)
This policy is administered and maintained by the Crisis Management Team.
The original policy, which predates these current revisions was approved by College Council September 25, 2007; The amended policy was approved by College Council on September 22, 2011. The public expression portion of this policy was last reviewed and revised by the Crisis Management Team in November 2018.