Members of the University community are expected to act with respect for the safety, personal rights, and property of individuals and groups both within and outside the University, and in accordance with local, state, and federal laws. Some laws, such as those governing equal opportunity and nondiscrimination, underlie fundamental University policy and have been discussed previously in this document. Principles and laws of particular importance to our academic community are discussed below.
On-campus misconduct by members of the University will normally result in internal disciplinary action, although in some instances the University may deem it necessary to call upon external authorities and to file charges or claims in the courts. In particular, misconduct by members of the University or others that inflicts or threatens to inflict personal injury or serious damage to property, that severely impairs essential functions of the University, or that cannot be adequately handled by the University Department of Public Safety, may require the intervention of outside authorities. Outside authorities typically will be called only by a senior officer of the University or a specifically designated representative. In addition to the president and the provost, authorized senior officers include the dean of the faculty, the dean of the Graduate School, the dean of the college, the vice president for campus life, the executive vice president, the assistant vice president for the Department of Public Safety, and the general counsel.
Persons on Leave of Absence; Persons Who Are Not Members of the University
- Allegations of on-campus misconduct by persons who are, for whatever reason, withdrawn, suspended, whose degrees have been withheld, or on leave of absence from the University will be evaluated before these persons may resume their status as regular members of the University. In these instances, such persons will be granted the right to a full hearing or adjudication process by the appropriate University judicial body with respect to the allegations related to them. The results of such a hearing/process may have an effect upon their reinstatement as members of the University community or upon the granting of their degree.
- Incidents involving persons not subject to University discipline cannot always be handled by the University Department of Public Safety and may require the calling of outside authorities (under the conditions of the paragraph under On-Campus Misconduct and the Law). When persons who are not members of the University engage in serious misconduct on the campus, the University has no recourse but to press charges against them in the courts. (Members of the University involved in such cases, when their conduct is in violation of the law, cannot be guaranteed immunity either from arrest or prosecution.)
While the University does not impose disciplinary penalties for misconduct off campus beyond the local vicinity or unassociated with a University-sponsored program or activity there are exceptions (for example, where such misconduct may pose a safety risk on campus or may have a continuing adverse effect or create a hostile environment on campus). Judgments about these matters will depend on the facts of an individual case. Note: All actions by a member of the Princeton University community that involve the use of the University’s computing and network resources from a remote location, including but not limited to accessing email accounts, will be deemed to have occurred on campus.
Violations of local, state, or federal laws (or international laws, where applicable) by members of the University community may put the individual in personal legal jeopardy. Also, they may trigger University disciplinary action regardless of where such violations occur, particularly if they are of a serious nature and clearly violate University standards of conduct.
The University will not seek special immunity for its members if they come in conflict with the local, state, or federal laws (or international laws, where applicable). However, the University’s Office of General Counsel will, if asked, offer the names of attorneys in the event a community member desires to engage counsel upon being charged with a violation of the law. (Students should also consult section 2.2.13 “Legal Assistance.”)
Individuals who contemplate actions that may be deemed illegal should be aware that they risk harm both to their own reputations and to that of the University, and should deliberate seriously and seek to reach an informed decision before acting. Even in situations where members of the University community seek advice from University representatives, responsibility for individual actions rests with the person or persons involved.
When members of the University are faced with court proceedings for offenses committed either on or off the campus, and when University disciplinary proceedings are also appropriate, the University will normally make its own determinations promptly, whether or not court action has been brought to a conclusion.
- The University Department of Public Safety (DPS) serves to protect the rights, safety, and security of members of the University community. The department works in conjunction with the local municipal police departments, as well as state and federal law enforcement agencies, to provide general law enforcement services to the University community.
- The Department of Public Safety consists of uniformed, commissioned officers (University police officers) who have the powers of arrest, and noncommissioned uniformed security officers who provide general security services. The Department of Public Safety’s University police officers have the authority of commissioned police officers with full power of arrest deriving their law enforcement authority from New Jersey statutes and the Trustees of Princeton University. New Jersey statute Title 18A, Section 6-4.5 provides that the University police officers “shall possess all the powers of policemen and constables in criminal cases and offenses against the law anywhere in the State of New Jersey [including the powers of arrest], pursuant to any limitations as may be imposed by the governing body of the institution which appointed and commissioned the person.”
- University police officers have a major responsibility for ensuring that members of the University observe the basic standards of conduct and respect the specific University regulations and state and local laws. University police officers are also responsible for assisting members of the campus community in emergency situations, as well as in their routine community caretaking duties. In interactions with representatives of the Department of Public Safety, individuals are expected to comply with the requests and/or instructions of University police officers.
- In addition, the Department of Public Safety has a Communications Center with certified dispatchers responsible for emergency communications 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and the Fire Marshal’s Office responsible for enforcement of the New Jersey Fire Code and conducting fire inspections of all University-owned buildings in accordance with state code. Failure to cooperate or behave in a straightforward manner with a University police officer, fire marshal, or security officer may result in disciplinary action.
Official Scheduled Inspection
Public health, public safety, and fire officials may conduct routine safety inspections of residence hall rooms and storage areas. These inspections can result in University sanctions for any student who is found to be responsible for violations of Rights, Rules, Responsibilities policy.
The standard privacy rights set forth in University policies may be suspended in emergency situations where the safety of members of our campus community is at risk (e.g., serious criminal incidents; fires, floods, or similar disasters; and fire alarms).
Security measures taken at on-campus events must be adequate to provide for the maintenance of order and to ensure the safety of those attending or participating. Within the University, the dean of undergraduate students, the dean of the Graduate School, and the assistant vice president for the Department of Public Safety are primarily responsible for deciding whether security measures are necessary for a given event and for making appropriate arrangements. In consultation with sponsors of the event, they will make security arrangements which involve minimal interference with the scheduled event and with the privacy and freedom of those attending.
- Normal access to facilities of the University and normal activities within the University should be restricted only in circumstances that affect the health and well-being of persons, that seriously threaten physical safety, that impair or seriously threaten to impair the ability of the University to carry on its essential operations, or that threaten serious damage to University property. Except in circumstances of very grave dangers of these kinds, restraint will be invoked only by the president or a representative, or by a senior officer of the University authorized by the president.
- “Normal access” shall be construed in this context within the following conditions and limitations:
- Normal access to physical facilities is governed by existing practices and policies defining hours of operation, and categories and numbers of persons to be admitted in given circumstances.
- Any University organization has the right to restrict attendance at any of its meetings to members and their invited guests; nonmembers have no normal right of access to such activities.
- The imposition of a physical search of persons attending a University event as a condition for their entry to the event will be authorized only under the most extreme circumstances. A decision to authorize such a search will be taken only when the following conditions are met:
- Either the sponsors of the event, the Department of Public Safety, or other law enforcement authorities judge such a search to be essential to the safety of those participating or attending and request authorization from the president of the University.
- It is the judgment of the president, in consultation with the University’s legal counsel, that the search is legal as essential to the safety of those participating or attending.
When a search has been authorized, steps will be taken to ensure that those who do not wish to be searched have the opportunity to leave without being searched. Whenever possible, the fact that a search will be conducted will be publicized well in advance of the event. All such searches will be conducted by the Department of Public Safety or contractors hired by DPS unless others, similarly accountable to the University or legally authorized, are requested by the president to act on behalf of the University.
For further information concerning University security policy for persons who are not members of the University community, see section 3.3.
Members of the University community are expected to act with a considerate regard for the property of the University itself or individual persons. Examples of offenses that will be regarded as serious are:
- Willful or reckless damage, vandalism, or destruction of the property of others, or of the University, including the deliberate defacement of library materials, buildings, sidewalks (including chalking), walls, or trees. In addition to whatever disciplinary consequence is imposed, the penalty for willful or reckless damage or vandalism will ordinarily include restitution for replacement or repair.
- The deliberate setting of fires, unless approved, including bonfires, on University property, even in cases in which there is no deliberate endangerment of human life. Prior approval for bonfires must be granted by Grounds and Building Maintenance, the Department of Public Safety, and the local fire official acting in consultation with the Office of the Dean of Undergraduate Students or the Office of the Dean of the Graduate School, as may be appropriate.
- Theft, unauthorized borrowing or misappropriation of money, property or services, or attempt to commit theft or conspiracy to commit theft. Persons who find themselves in possession of property that is not their own should make every effort to return it to the owner or the Department of Public Safety, or return it to the location where it belongs.
- The unauthorized or fraudulent use of the University’s telephone system. Users of the limited-access telephone system are expected to be aware of, and to adhere to, the guidelines established by the Telecommunications Office.
- Unauthorized occupancy of University residential units or other University spaces.
Because the Library is uniquely important to the University, members of the University community are expected to act with particularly considerate regard for the security of the collections. Insofar as these collections play a crucial role in supporting the highest standards of academic excellence, the regulations governing Library use require special attention. The theft or defacement of Library materials runs counter to the Library’s mission to ensure continuing access to the world’s intellectual and cultural heritage, and will not be tolerated. Similarly, misuse of Library electronic resources is not acceptable. Such acts will be viewed as very serious offenses; students should understand that their status in the University may be jeopardized by infractions of this nature. For other information about the Library visit:
Princeton University makes available to its community members electronic and digital data and network resources, including shared information technology resources that use text, voice, images, and video to deliver information. These resources are to be used in a manner consistent with University policy and the law.
All uses of the University’s information technology and network resources, whether administered centrally by the Office of Information Technology (OIT) or by individual departments, are subject to the regulations and policies set forth in “Acceptable Use Policy for Princeton University Information Technology and Digital Resources” and its “Guidelines for Compliance” (www.princeton.edu/itpolicy) and the “Policy on Access to Accounts and Information” (www.princeton.edu/oit/policies/access-accounts). These policies provide information regarding appropriate, respectful and civil use of the resources in keeping with University standards, and regarding laws (including copyright law) that are potentially applicable to certain uses of the University’s IT and digital resources and network access, and also explain when the University can access, preserve, and review information created, transmitted, or stored in or with its IT systems by individuals. Members of the University community are expected to be familiar with and adhere to these policies.
The University anticipates that faculty and staff will conduct University businesses using the IT systems and resources provided by the University. To the extent faculty and staff conduct University business using personal devices or accounts, data stored in those devices and accounts may be subject to legal holds (i.e., a requirement to preserve relevant information) and the users may be legally obligated to produce such data under federal or state law or rules, or pursuant to subpoenas, court orders, or discovery obligations in a pending or reasonably anticipated legal proceeding.
Members of the University community who engage in any illegal or fraudulent use of the University’s information technology resources, including infringement of copyright-protected materials, or violate University policy or Information Security Office guidance in connection with such use, may be subject to disciplinary action, including the termination or suspension of network privileges.
Regulations governing use of the University’s name and property (see section 1.4.11), the tax-exempt status of the University and political activities (see section 1.5), and community use of University resources (see section 3.1) also apply to use of the University’s information technology resources.
Members of the University community may not use University IT and network resources for commercial (including consulting) purposes; rather, they should use information technology resources, internet service providers, and computer hosts outside the University.
The University’s policies concerning intellectual property are intended to further its central mission—the sustained production, preservation, and dissemination of knowledge—while exercising due care for its fiduciary responsibility for the resources it administers. To that end, faculty members grant to the Trustees of Princeton University a non-exclusive license in scholarly articles, provided the articles are not sold by the University for a profit. Moreover, the University may record and broadcast activities on campus and University-sponsored activities off campus, including public lectures as well as musical, dramatic, or other artistic performances, academic pursuits, campus life, and casual and portrait photography or film, and retain copies of such recordings for archival, academic, and other non-commercial purposes that advance the University’s mission. The University Research Board (URB) is responsible for the general oversight and administration of the University’s Patent and Copyright policies as regards the University, its faculty, employees, students, and outside sponsors. The dean for research is responsible for the implementation of the Patent Policy and Copyright Policy under general oversight of the URB. The Office of Technology Licensing is responsible for providing management of copyrights and licensing services for the University community. The Office of Technology Licensing is also responsible for the University’s Technology Transfer Program, providing management of inventions and patenting and licensing services for inventions developed by members of the University community. For information about the Patent Policy and the Copyright Policy, see Chapter VIII(D) (“Intellectual Property”) of the Rules & Procedures of the Faculty, available at https://dof.princeton.edu/rules-and-procedures. For information about the Open Access Policy, see https://dof.princeton.edu/policies-procedure/policies/open-access.
No individual or organization may use Princeton University’s name, seal, logos, restricted images, or other identifiers (“marks”), or any marks that suggest Princeton University or any Princeton University organization, except to the extent such individual or organization has been authorized by the proper University officials or as permitted under trademark law. The vice president for communications and government affairs is responsible for the general oversight and administration of the University’s trademark policies. The Office of Trademark Licensing is responsible for maintaining, managing, and licensing the University’s marks.
The use of the seal of the University on publications, manufactured articles, and the like is prohibited, except when specifically authorized by the University. Applications for such authorization must be made to the Secretary of the University.
Regulations relating to the tax-exempt status of the University and political activities (see section 1.5) also apply to the use of the name, marks, and seal of the University.