Guest Policies

The use of alcohol is permitted by those of legal drinking age (21 years) in their room/apartment/cottage/house or in the room/apartment/cottage/house of another person of legal drinking age. Drinking alcohol is not permitted in any public area on the MBL campus unless at an MBL sanctioned event.

The definition of public area includes:                         Jordi.Ortega.lillie.summer

  • lounges
  • laundry rooms
  • hallways
  • stairwells
  • lobbies
  • public restrooms
  • outside of any residence area including porches.

Cottage residents, residents of two-bedroom apartments, and residents of Crane House, 11 North Street, and Smith Cottage may use alcohol on their porches and in their immediate yards as long as those using alcohol are of legal drinking age. Kegs, beer balls, and wine boxes are prohibited. NOTE: Please see Party/Gathering Policy for related information.

The use of illegal drugs or the use of legal drugs for purposes other than intended is strictly prohibited and will be reported to the appropriate legal authorities.

Cancellation of a reservation (except for conference participants) must be made 15 days in advance of the arrival date. A $30 cancellation fee may be charged for the cancellation.

Cancellation of a reservation (except for conference participants) made less than 15 days in advance of arrival date will be charged in full.

There are no refunds of housing or meal plan charges for early departures or late arrivals.


The burning of candles or incense is prohibited in any MBL housing facility except in the case of religious observance and only with prior permission from the Housing Office.

Condition of room/apartment/cottage:
Except for normal wear and tear on facilities, occupants are responsible for losses and damages incurred. Occupants are prohibited from affixing materials to the walls, removing furniture, fixtures, or linens. Although a security deposit is required only for those cottage residents who have been approved to bring pets, housing units should be left in the condition in which they were found upon arrival. A fee will be charged if repairs or replacement are required.

Dangerous Weapons/Explosives:
Dangerous weapons are not permitted at the MBL or on any MBL property. Unregistered weapons or explosives will be reported to the proper authorities and result in immediate eviction from MBL housing. The following are illegal per MBL policy: “Possession, sale or distribution of firearms, pyrotechnics, explosives, dangerous chemicals, or other weapons on campus and the use of these items except as authorized and prescribed by MBL regulations and policy.” Dangerous weapons are defined as “Any explosive components, firearms, or martial arts implements.” Unregistered dangerous weapons will be reported to the proper authorities and result in immediate eviction from MBL housing.

Electrical Appliances:

The use of open coil cooking appliances such as toasters, toaster ovens, hot plates, etc. is permitted only in housekeeping units with kitchens or in the kitchenette area in Ebert Hall basement. Air conditioners and space heaters are prohibited in all MBL housing facilities.

The following electrical appliances are permitted:

  • Dormitory Size Refrigerators
  • Dormitory Size Microwave Ovens
  • Hot Pots for heating water only
  • Hot Air Popcorn Poppers
  • Fans.  (window AC units not allowed)
  • Irons (when used in designated laundry rooms)

Fire Safety:                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           The safety of all of our guests is of utmost importance to the MBL.  Smoke detectors have been installed and fire evacuation directions are posted in each hallway.  Fire extinguishers have been placed in all hallways and housekeeping units and are checked on a regular basis.  Tampering with any fire safety equipment is strictly prohibited and will be reported to the appropriate authorities.

  • Fire Alarms:
    If a fire alarm sounds you must evacuate the building immediately. First feel the back of your door with the back of your hand to determine if there is heat or electrical current. Then open your door and follow the escape route that is posted in the hallway of your building or go to the nearest exit. If there is smoke in the hallway, crouch down as smoke rises. If you see flames outside of your room, go back into your room and place a wet towel at the base of your door and call for help.

Furnishings provided by the MBL are to be kept in the room/apartment/house/cottage in which they were found upon arrival. The MBL does not store furniture for guests. Upon check out, furniture should be present, assembled, and in the same condition in which it was found at check in. For more information about specific furnishings, Please click here.


  • Dormitory/Apartment                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Prior approval from the Housing Office and the roommate is required prior to inviting any guest.  Guests must be approved and registered a minimum of 48 hours prior to arrival.  The guest must be of the same gender of all roommates as not to create an uncomfortable setting for all concerned.  The number of guests must not exceed the number of beds plus one and may stay no more than two consecutive nights in any week.  Residents will be charged an Administrative guest fee of $30 per night and must be paid prior to arrival.  The approved guest must be accompanied by their host and carry a MBL Guest Permit and a photo ID at all times.
  • Cottage                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          All cottage guests or visiting pets must be registered and approved by the Housing Office a minimum of 48 hours prior to arrival and must not exceed the number of beds plus one or a maximum of two pets.  Guests or pet may not exceed two nights in any week.  An approved pet fee in the amount of $250 musts be paid prior to arrival.  The resident holder of the cottage is responsible for their guest or visiting pet.

Residents of MBL housing must carry their MBL ID at all times.

Keys to the housing facility are distributed at check in and collected at check out. Residents are responsible for their keys. Please lock your door(s) and carry your keys whenever leaving your room/apartment/house/cottage. Failure to return your key at check out will result in a $60 charge.

Loss of personal items:
The MBL is not responsible for the loss of personal effects and recommends the use of lockable luggage. We recommend that you consult your Home Owners/Renters Insurance policy for coverage.

The MBL houses large numbers of people with varying schedules and needs in close quarters. The need for sleep, study, and research supercedes all other activity. While at the MBL please be a good neighbor to other MBL guests and our neighbors in the surrounding community. Please monitor your noise level at all times and lower your noise level when asked to do so by any member of the MBL or Woods Hole community.

Parking at the MBL and in Woods Hole is extremely limited and regulated. The MBL maintains an off-campus parking lot and provides scheduled shuttle service to the main campus.  The use of bicycles is encouraged. Occupants of MBL cottages are prohibited from using unregistered vehicles on the private roads in the area.  Each cottage is provided with one off-street parking space.  Additional cars at cottages must park at the Devil’s Lane parking lot, with proper permit.

  • A parking permit must be displayed to park in any MBL lot.  They are issued at the Swope Front Desk.  Permits do not guarantee a space.  In summer, a “Green” all campus sticker may be purchased for $50 per week or $300 per season.


  • Dormitories/Apartments: All parties/gatherings for dormitory or apartment residents must be scheduled in advance and must take place in designated MBL function space. Please call 508-289-7214 or to schedule a party.
  • Cottages: Gatherings of 15-50 people must be registered 7 days in advance with the Housing/Conference Office. All gatherings must conclude by midnight and must have a specific guest list. No fliers may be posted for cottage gatherings. No gatherings of more than 50 people will be permitted in the cottage areas but may be scheduled in designated MBL function space. Please call 508-289-7214 or to schedule a party in one of these spaces.

All housing fees must be paid 15 days prior to the date of occupancy. Payment must be made by cash, check, VISA, MasterCard, American Express or Discover.

Pets are not allowed in any dormitory, apartment, or house. However, a limited number of cottages have been designated as “pet” cottages. Pets are allowed in those cottages with prior approval by the Housing Office. There is a $250 per pet fee for those approved to have pets in their cottages. Applicants are limited to two pets. Should pets damage the cottage or disturb neighbors, the occupants may be asked to vacate the premises immediately and may jeopardize future housing privileges. Damage to cottages and/or furnishings from pets may result in additional charges, and charges may be levied if damages exceed $200.00. The presence of pets in “non-pet” cottages will result in immediate eviction from the premises.

Propping Outside Doors:
For the safety of all, the propping open of outside doors in the housing facility is strictly prohibited.

Reservation Changes:                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           A $25 reservation charge may be assessed.  As with all policies there may be mitigating circumstances that may override the policy. Any requests for exceptions to this policy must be submitted in writing to the Conference and Housing Manager.

Room Decorations:
You are encouraged to decorate your living area in ways that will make you comfortable during your stay however, we ask that you refrain from damaging the paint or plaster, displaying anything that may be offensive to your roommate or any member of the MBL community, or hanging any cloth material from the ceiling or walls.

Smoking is not permitted in any MBL facility including housing. Smoking outside of the buildings is permitted.

No off-season storage is provided. Storage is available at local storage facilities. Any personal items found in your room/suite/apartment/cottage/house after your departure will be kept in Lost and Found for a period of 30 days.

Suspicious Activity:
Please report any suspicious activity to the Campus Security Manager at ext. 7333 during business hours and to the Night Campus Security at ext. 7217 during evenings and weekends.

Trash removal:

  • Dormitories/Apartments/Wooden Houses: Trash is removed by the housekeeping staff daily. Occupants are asked to place their trash in plastic bags and put it outside of their rooms/apartments.
  • Cottages: Trash must be placed by the roadside by 7 AM on Mondays

The possession of weapons is strictly prohibited. The use of any material/instrument as a weapon is strictly prohibited and will be reported to the appropriate authority.

Window screens are not to be opened or removed at any time nor should any materials be hung or suspended on the outside of a window. Entering or exiting a building through a window is strictly prohibited. During the cooler months it is recommended that windows be shut and locked whenever leaving the room. Broken windowpanes and screens should be reported to the Housing Office immediately.