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3. The University and the Community


3.1 Community Use of University Resources

3.1.1 Introduction

The following guidelines describe the circumstances under which the general public may use the University’s nonacademic facilities. Use of the academic facilities by the public is not permitted except in the transaction of the University’s business or by permission of the dean of the faculty. These academic facilities include: faculty offices, research facilities, conference rooms, and classrooms (except where classrooms are used for public lectures or conferences as described in the guidelines).

Princeton University seeks to respond to community needs and the needs of the general public by sharing its resources and facilities when appropriate and possible. It encourages the participation of the community in activities of mutual benefit. However, it must protect the central educational purposes for which the University was established and must conserve its resources, both physical and financial. Accordingly, University functions have priority over community events in scheduling the use of facilities.

3.1.2 Administration

The following policies for the implementation of these guiding principles are administered by Conference and Event Services. It is the responsibility of that office to see that the policies are properly applied and, when necessary, to seek interpretations from appropriate University officials. It is recognized that these guidelines cannot cover every contingency. Questions about the use of facilities or about these guidelines should be directed to Conference and Event Services.

3.1.3 Types of Facility Use

Public participation in activities involving the use of University facilities takes place through five general kinds of invitation, each of which is discussed below.

By Explicit Invitation

Many activities in the University are unambiguously open to members of the general public. These are often listed on the University's Public Events Calendar, on departmental websites, on the University's main website, and in the Princeton University Bulletin, and most are an integral part of the University’s function as an educational institution. Examples are: public lectures, open houses (at Peyton Hall, FitzRandolph Observatory, Firestone Library, etc.); conducted tours of the art museum, the chapel, and other buildings; athletic events; concerts and plays at McCarter Theatre and Alexander Hall; public skating at Baker Rink; and chapel services.

By Implicit Invitation

The University makes its grounds, waters, walkways, and roads generally available to the public, while reserving the right to regulate or prohibit their use. Such regulations may be called for when unrestricted use of these facilities could impede the University’s educational mission, could be dangerous to the public, could become a nuisance to the community, or could place the University in a position of substantial liability. The University may therefore be compelled to place what it considers to be reasonable limits on the use of selected areas, such as Lake Carnegie, the Woodrow Wilson School’s reflecting pool, and the front campus.

By Participation in University-Sponsored or Sanctioned Programs

Many University facilities are available to members of the general public on a limited basis, sometimes involving a charge, for activities with official University sponsorship where it is specifically determined that access by the general public is in the best interest of the University. Examples include: the programs of the Student Volunteers Council; authorized participation in certain academic programs; specified programs of the Department of Athletics (outdoor tennis, squash privileges); Firestone Library privileges; the Program in Continuing Education; and the Program in Teacher Preparation.

By Renting University Facilities in Periods of Low Usage, Especially in the Summer

Organizations wishing to rent University facilities should apply to Conference and Event Services.

Requests for use of University facilities will be considered for the following types of activities, subject to the limitations stated elsewhere in these guidelines.

1. Activities of a broad educational or informational nature sponsored by professional societies and other nonprofit organizations, and educational and training programs of the tax-exempt educational components of profit-making organizations whose principal business is not education.

2. Programs with artistic, cultural, or entertainment content, which may appeal to the University community.

3. Charitable events on a limited basis.

4. Nonprofit summer camps and institutes in such areas as sports, music, and the arts under the aegis of Conference and Event Services and directed by a salaried University official.

5. Student-initiated events approved by the Office of the Dean of Undergraduate Students or the Office of the Dean of the Graduate School.

The following types of activities ordinarily will not have access to University facilities.

1. Activities sponsored by off-campus organizations for political purposes or for fund raising for political goals or for influencing public policy. (For campus-based organizations, see 2.1.3)

2. Other fund-raising activities (except for a limited number for charitable purposes).

3. Activities conducted primarily for the purpose of making a profit for the sponsoring organization which are not of general interest to the University community.

4. Activities which could be construed by the public to be educational courses or other activities sponsored by the University when, in fact, they are not so sponsored.

5. Activities that fall outside the guidelines.

The following additional considerations will be taken into account in considering requests for the use of University facilities.

1. The activity should not interfere with the schedule of normal activities of the University.

2. The sponsoring organization must show that it is fiscally sound and has the resources necessary to underwrite all risks associated with the event, and that it has demonstrated administrative capacity to organize and manage the event in a manner consistent with University traditions, standards, and requirements.

3. The content of the activity should be reasonably compatible with the primary activities and the mission of the University as an educational institution and should be carried out with the decorum appropriate to the academic environment.

4. Activities that might present problems for the local community, such as traffic congestion or noise, will be approved only after prior consultation and coordination with the local community.

5. Proposed activities will be reviewed to determine the extent to which they may disadvantage local business or University organizations through competition for patrons.

6. During the course of the academic year, when access to facilities must be limited due to extensive use for University purposes, preference will be given to outside groups hosted by campus organizations or departments and activities that are of interest to the University community.

The renting of University facilities will ordinarily be on a first-come-first-served basis for eligible organizations, except that campus-based groups or University-sponsored programs shall have priority insofar as administratively feasible in booking available space.

Charges for use of University facilities will be established in advance by Conference and Event Services for each activity.

By Private Invitation

Unless a member of the public uses University facilities through one of the avenues mentioned above, he or she must be the guest of a specific University person, who assumes responsibility for the guest’s activities and safety while the guest is on the University campus. This guest privilege shall not be construed to authorize members of the University community to make nonacademic facilities available to guests except for short visits, nor shall it be used to relieve non-University persons or groups of the responsibility for paying for the use of University facilities for which charges are made.

Any individual or group, including campus-based organizations, contemplating the use of University facilities should also consult the guidelines relating to political activities and those relating to University security for persons who are not members of the University (section 3.3).

3.2 Regulations Governing Solicitation, Distribution, and Peaceful Dissent, Protests, and Demonstrations by Off-Campus Individuals or Organizations

Except for approaches regarding products or services related to the administrative, research, or teaching functions of the University addressed to faculty and staff members in their workplaces and in regular business hours, no individual or organization may distribute literature, advertise, solicit customers, seek donations, or make sales on campus on behalf of an off-campus individual or organization without the express authorization of the Office of the Dean of Undergraduate Students or the Office of the Dean of the Graduate School.

3.2.1 Commercial Sales

The Office of the Dean of Undergraduate Students or the Office of the Dean of the Graduate School may grant permission for solicitations and sales by off-campus business concerns, on a case-by-case basis, only (1) when specifically requested to do so by a recognized University student organization or a University department or office, or (2) if they are entirely operated and originated by a member (or members) of the University community, they exist solely to serve the campus, and they are managed and operated independently of any other profit-making organization that does not exclusively serve the campus. Such permission, when granted, will be subject to such limitations as the dean of undergraduate students or the dean of the Graduate School may prescribe.

3.2.2 Charitable, Political, Religious, or Other Solicitation or Distribution

As a general rule, representatives of non-commercial off-campus organizations, such as political, religious, and charitable groups, will not be permitted to solicit on campus. However, individuals acting on behalf of candidates for public office or bona fide charitable, political, religious, or other organizations may seek permission to sell or distribute their literature under the following guidelines:

1. Nonmembers of the University community who wish to seek permission to distribute and/or sell such literature on the campus should apply to the Office of the Dean of Undergraduate Students during normal business hours, Monday through Friday.

2. In choosing among the sites where such literature may be sold or distributed, preference will be given to three locations: the area adjacent to Chancellor Green Center (on the Firestone Library side); the area in front of Frist Campus Center on the north side, by the Frist “gateway”; and the area in the vicinity of the east entrance to the University Store. Other locations include: the areas to the west and south of Alexander Hall, and to the east of Alexander Hall, between Stanhope Hall and West College; the area between Whig and Clio halls; the cobblestone area between Firestone Library and Washington Road; the area in the vicinity of the arch near the entrance to McCosh Hall, Room 50; Scudder Plaza at Robertson Hall; the area adjacent to Shapiro Walk between the Department of Computer Science and Mudd Manuscript Library; the walkway in front of Nassau Hall; and the area in the vicinity of the north entrance to Jadwin Gymnasium.

3. Permission for the sale or distribution of such literature may be granted only for the hours between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., seven days a week.

4. The number of persons who, at any one time, will be permitted to sell or distribute such literature for any particular candidate or group is limited to one or two at any given location, and to five or six on the campus as a whole.

5. The number of occasions in which candidates or groups will be permitted to sell or distribute such literature will be limited normally to six visits during a given month. In special situations, such as an approaching election, more frequent visits may be permitted.

6. The total number of individuals distributing or selling such literature at any one location on campus will be limited. When several groups wish to distribute literature at a particular location, in accordance with general University policy, preference in use of campus facilities will be given to members of the University community. In acting on requests from members of outside groups and representatives of candidates, individuals who are sponsored by members of the University community will be preferred.

7. Harassment of members of the University community by those selling or distributing literature, or sale or distribution outside of the hours or locations for which permission has been granted, will be cause for the immediate revocation of permission for the sale or distribution of literature by those involved.

8. Decisions regarding requests under these guidelines will need to take into account both any special circumstances that may relate to University activities and the burden that permission to sell or distribute such literature may place on the University’s public safety forces and administrative staffs.

3.2.3 Peaceful Dissent, Protests, and Demonstrations

Policies regarding peaceful dissent, protests, and demonstrations for nonmembers of the University community as well as members of the University community are found in the section on “Peaceful Dissent, Protests, and Demonstrations” (see section 1.2.4). Nonmembers of the University community should direct questions to and/or seek approval regarding schedule and location of protests and demonstrations from the Office of the Dean of Undergraduate Students, 313 West College, during normal business hours, Monday through Friday.

3.3 University Security Policy for Persons Who Are Not Members of the University

3.3.1 Overview

In accordance with the guidelines enumerated in this policy guide, the University campus is generally open to persons who are not members of the University community, that is, to persons who are not current University faculty, staff, or students. Access to specific buildings and areas may be reasonably restricted. While on the campus, individuals are responsible for obeying University rules of conduct as well as state and federal law. As outlined below, the University reserves the right to bar an individual from a specific area of campus or the campus in its entirety should the individual:

  • improperly access a restricted area;
  • violate a University policy; or
  • constitute: (i) a threat to the safety or property of University members; or (ii) a disruption to the regular and/or essential operations of University activities or facilities.

The administrative bar from campus is accomplished through a persona non grata (“PNG”) notice. Note that this policy is not meant to supersede the “Circumstances Affecting Health and Safety” policy or any other University policies that may apply to persons who are not members of the University.

3.3.2 Short-Term Persona Non Grata (“Short-Term Notice”)

A Short-Term Notice is issued by Public Safety officers on behalf of University administrators and is in effect for not more than 180 days.

Circumstances That May Lead to the Issuance of a Short-Term Notice

Occupying/Seeking Access to Restricted Areas. If a sworn Public Safety officer has reason to believe that an individual is in, or seeking access to, a building or area which the individual is not authorized to access, the sworn Public Safety officer may ascertain the status of that individual and ask the individual to explain his/her behavior. If the individual fails to provide an adequate explanation, the individual may be asked to cease what he/she is doing and leave the area. Depending on the circumstances, the Public Safety officer may, at that time, also issue a Short-Term Notice that bars the individual from returning to a specific area of the campus or the campus in its entirety for up to 90 days.

Violation of University Policy. If an individual is in an area of campus generally open to the public, and if a sworn Public Safety officer has a reasonable basis to believe that the individual is violating or has violated a University policy, the sworn Public Safety officer may ascertain the status of the individual and ask him/her to explain the behavior. If the individual fails to provide an adequate explanation, the individual may be asked to cease what he/she is doing and leave the area. Depending on the circumstances, the Public Safety officer may, at that time, also issue a Short-Term Notice that bars the individual from returning to a specific area of the campus or the campus in its entirety for up to 90 days.

Threat to Safety/Property or a Disruption to the Regular and/or Essential Operations. If an individual is in an area of campus generally open to the public, and if an individual’s presence on campus constitutes (i) a threat to the safety or property of University members or (ii) a disruption to the regular and/or essential operations of University activities or facilities, a sworn Public Safety officer may issue at that time a Short-Term Notice for up to 90 days that bars the individual from returning to a specific area of the campus or the campus in its entirety.

Short-Term Notice Review Process

A Short-Term Notice will be promptly reviewed by the executive director of Public Safety (or designee) who will determine whether the notice should be upheld. Additionally, the Short-Term Notice may be extended by the executive director of Public Safety (or designee), at his/her sole discretion, for no more than an additional 90 days. Notices exceeding 180 days will be handled in accordance with the Long-Term Notice section below. In those instances where an individual was in an area of campus generally open to the public and may have been engaging in an expressional activity, the executive director of Public Safety (or designee) will review the time, place, and manner of such activity.

The recipient of a Short-Term Notice may call the Department of Public Safety 72 hours after its issuance to determine whether it has been upheld. If the Short-Term Notice has not been upheld, it will expire immediately. The recipient may submit a written request to the Department of Public Safety to receive written notification if a decision is made not to uphold the PNG notice. If the individual seeks to request a review of the terms of the Short-Term Notice, he or she may submit such request in writing to the Office of the Executive Vice President.

3.3.3 Long-Term Persona Non Grata (“Long-Term Notice”)

A Long-Term Notice is issued by authorized University administrators and is in effect for more than 180 days.

Circumstances That May Lead to the Issuance of a Long-Term Notice

If an individual has engaged in conduct by way of repeated minor offenses, repeated trespasses, or a serious offense, such that his or her presence on campus constitutes (i) a threat to the safety or property of University members or (ii) a disruption to the regular and/or essential operations of University activities or facilities, the following officials (or their designees) may issue a Long-Term Notice declaring the individual Persona Non Grata (PNG) for a defined (or indefinite) period of time: the executive vice president, the dean of the faculty, the vice president for campus life, the dean of the Graduate School, or the vice president for human resources.

Long-Term Notice Review Process

The recipient of the Long-Term Notice may request a reconsideration of the decision by submitting a written request to the University official who issued the PNG notice. The University official may reconsider the case in consultation with the executive director of the Department of Public Safety and other University officials, as appropriate.

3.3.4 Information Included in a PNG Notice

All PNG notices, including Short-Term Notices, will be in writing and inform the individual:

  • that he/she is barred from a portion of campus (specifying the portion), or the entire campus;
  • of the period of time the individual is barred;
  • of the reason(s) for the issuance of the PNG notice; and
  • that if he/she returns to the prohibited area during this period, he or she will be subject to arrest for trespassing.

3.3.5 Criminal Violation

Regardless of whether a PNG notice is issued, anytime an individual is deemed to have violated a criminal law, the individual may be charged and referred to the criminal justice process. See section 1.3.1 “On-Campus Misconduct and the Law.”