Do you own property in Harrisonburg? Curious about what we can do to help you? Here you will find information about advertising with OCL, housing fairs, and JMU solicitation policies.

Advertising with Off Campus Life

There are a few different options that you can take to advertise properties through the Off Campus Life office.

  • List the property on our partner site, Off Campus Housing. This option does have a $75 fee attached to it, but it could be well worth it to advertise somewhere that is tied to our office. Click here to access the site. From there, click on the Add/Manage Listings tab to begin posting your property.
  • Send a description of the available property to us, via email, and we can include it in our files for students to look at. This option is free, but we do not specifically advertise or promote just your property. It is placed with the other advertisements and available properties, but it is still available to students who are interested.
  • Attend our Housing Fairs. We usually have two fairs during the first semester.  If you are interested in attending this, please go to our Housing Fair Regristration page.

Housing Fair Registration

JMU Solicitation Policies

JMU Solicitation Policies

The following policies have been set forth and approved by James Madison University. Off Campus Life, an extension of James Madison University, is required to comply with all polices of the University. Therefore, we will uphold and enforce the following policies fairly and equally among all partner properties we work with. Off Campus Life will not endorse or sponsor one property over another, therefore we cannot support advertising on campus outside of our sponsored events in which registration is required. Please read the following policies for more information.

Policy #3104

Use of Bulletin Boards & Posting Public Notices

Date of Current Revision: March 2008

Responsible Office: University Unions

6.3 Solicitation

University facilities may not be used for solicitation of faculty, staff, or students by private enterprise for profit organizations, except for solicitations for instructional materials as permitted by the Student Handbook. This includes solicitation by individual contact, free advertising on campus through flyers, posters, or similar materials, and profit-oriented activities not officially sanctioned by the university.

J36-100 Soliciting, Petitioning, Selling, Surveying and Publicizing

  • J36-101.2

    No student, non-university-related organizations or individuals may sell or solicit on the campus for any purpose whatsoever without first obtaining the sponsorship of a recognized student organization. The sponsoring organization must obtain the written approval of the coordinator of student organization development, make all arrangements for space, acknowledge sponsorship in writing and delineate the financial arrangements between the sponsor and the non-university organization or individual.

  • J36-101.3

    Sales or solicitation involving food items require additional approval by the director of the dining services department. Sales or solicitation of merchandise require additional approval by the director of the university bookstore.


Soliciting, petitioning, selling, surveying, publicizing and distribution by students, university organizations, non-students and non-university related organizations are prohibited in the residence halls. Programs or demonstrations of approved products and/or topics may be presented in residence halls only under the following conditions:

  • J36-103.1

    The community council agrees to sponsor the program. Approval by a recorded majority vote of the community council shall constitute legitimate sponsorship, subject to the review and approval of the director of residence life.

  • J36-103.2

    Presentations by the sponsored persons or company shall be limited to demonstration or display of merchandise and appropriate promotion; it may not include solicitation or orders, signing of contracts, or exchange of money. The demonstration or promotion shall be such that it does not unreasonably disrupt other hall activities.

  • J36-103.3

    Solicitors may leave calling cards, catalogs or order blanks with students but may not transact business or seek promises for future transactions.

  • J36-103.4

    A member of the residence hall staff must be present to observe the program.

  • J36-103.5

    No resident of the hall, community council member or member of the hall staff may profit from presentation by virtue of his or her role in securing sponsorship for the solicitor. Free gifts, commissions or any other forms of remuneration are not allowed.

  • J36-103.6

    Door prizes, discounts or any other form of free gifts used to promote attendance or to encourage interest must be available to all on an equal basis.

  • J36-103.7

    No door-to-door solicitation or distribution is permitted.

  • J36-103.8

    All programs falling under the definition of this policy must be registered in advance with the director of residence life or his/her designee.


Posters, notices, announcements or other materials may only be displayed on general-purpose bulletin boards inside authorized university-operated buildings or on authorized university property. The director of the University Unions will define the authorized areas of display for such material. The exterior of academic and administrative buildings as well as all windows, doors and trash receptacles are specifically unauthorized display areas. Materials must be approved by University Information before being posted. Materials with dimensions exceeding 11 inches by 17 inches will not be approved for posting. Refer to the “University Unions” section for more information. Items posted in the residence hall must be submitted to the associate director of residence life in Huffman Hall for a second review. Approval for posting and posting guidelines will be determined and outlined by the associate director.


Using chalk to display messages or advertise events on campus may only be done on university sidewalks in pre-approved locations. All chalk messages or advertisements are prohibited without appropriate authorization from University Information.


Whether you are looking for an apartment, signing a lease, already moved in, or on your way out safety is a major concern!  Below is a list of tips on how to make your apartment a safe environment so that you can enjoy your time living Off Campus to its fullest!



  • JMU has created a Safety Task Force to analyze possible solutions and changes to be made to keep the community safe.
  • Public Safety has 4 officers assigned to off campus patrols, not including the 25 officers assigned to on campus patrol.
  • Safety escorts are available to any student on campus, free of charge.  Escorts are provided by carefully screened and trained student employees known as the Campus Police Cadets. Cadets are on duty 7pm – 2am Sunday-Wednesday, 9pm-2am Thursday, and 9pm-3am Friday and Saturday.  Police officers will provide any escorts outside of those time periods.
  • JMU SafeRides is a student run, non-profit organization whose mission is to create a safer community for the city of Harrisonburg. Members work to prevent drunk driving by educating JMU students, fundraising to help support our mission, and providing free rides home for JMU students. If you are a JMU student and need a ride home over the weekend, please feel free to call us at 540.JMU.RIDE (540.568.7433)! No matter where you are in Harrisonburg, we are here for you!
  • Public Safety offers educational crime prevention opportunities throughout the year.
  • Timely Notifications are issued by the James Madison University Police, giving notice of acts that could pose as a Possible Threat, that reportedly occurred on or near the campus of James Madison University, Harrisonburg, Virginia. Until the investigation of the specific act has been concluded, it can be assumed that conditions continue to exist that may pose a threat to members and guests of the community. It is the duty of the institution to warn of possible “dangerous conditions” on its property; an “affirmative duty” exists to warn of possible peril at the hands of some third party.



Secure your property

  • Utilize door locks whenever possible.  If you have lost a key, please contact your property manager to receive a replacement.
  • Close and lock all windows and sliding glass doors.  Place wooden dowel in sliding glass door track.  (You can purchase wooden dowels at a local hardware store.)
  • Utilize blinds and shades, especially at night.
  • Place all valuables out of site when parking your vehicle. Secure them in the trunk and lock your doors.  Try to leave vehicle parked under a light.
  • Call the police, if uninvited guests won’t leave.


Host a safe party

  • Report suspicious people or activity immediately to the police. Be a witness, don’t be a hero.
  • Register your party with the Harrisonburg Police Department – 540.434.4436.  Instead of sending an officer out for the first noise complaint, HPD will call the host to correct the problem.
  • Have a guest list – know who is in your home.
  • Call the police, if uninvited guests won’t leave.
  • Have a sober host on the premises at all times.
  • Keep it small. Be aware occupancy limits. Beware of overcrowding wooden decks.
  • Lock doors to private areas (i.e. bedrooms) and secure or hide valuables.
  • Limit the alcohol consumption of guests.
  • Provide non-alcoholic beverages and food.


When attending a party

    • Trust your instincts. If you feel uncomfortable, leave the area.
    • Report suspicious people or activity immediately to the police. Be a witness, don’t be a hero.
    • Stay with friends. Look out for each other.
    • Know the hosts of the party you are attending.
    • Drink responsibly.  Do not drink to excess.
    • Secure a safe way to get home, such as a bus, taxi or JMU SafeRides (540.568.7433).
    • Carry only the ID and money you’ll need for the night.
    • Be considerate of others and respectful of property.

Traveling by foot

      • Use well lit and well-traveled areas: Avoid dark and deserted areas, such as railroad tracks, or shortcuts.
      • Do not walk or jog alone.
      • Utilize the sidewalk at all times.  If there is no sidewalk and you must walk in the roadway, always walk facing traffic.
      • Do not approach an unknown car if it follows your, or the driver beckons you while you are walking. Instead, turn and quickly walk the opposite direction.
      • Do not resist or attempt to fool a robber.

Other tips

      • Do not make it easy for thieves. They are on the lookout for items left unattended. It takes only seconds to grab your property and get away.
      • Use common sense.  Trust your instincts and listen to that gut feeling.
      • Report all crimes: When reporting a crime or suspicious activity, give the dispatcher all the information you have. If the crime is occurring during your call, stay on the line until the officer arrives.


Report Suspicious Activity Immediately

      • Look out for your neighbors and call the local police immediately if you observe suspicious activity.

JMU Police 540.568.6913

Harrisonburg & Rockingham County Police (Emergency Communications Center)   540.434.4436

Call 911 for EMERGENCIES!


For additional public safety information visit JMU Public Safety’s Website.

To see a comprehensive list of JMU Timely Notifications visit Public Safety’s Incident Listing page.

To see reports on criminal activity throughout Harrisonburg visit the Crime Reports website.

Follow us on Facebook at JMU Off Campus Life for more tips.

Advertising Off-Campus Housing to Students

Do you own property in Harrisonburg?  Curious about what we can do to help you advertise to students needing off-campus housing?  Here you will find information about ways to advertise through the Off-Campus Life office while abiding by JMU solicitation policies.