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Policies, Procedures, and Guidelines

Procedures and guidelines

Take a closer look at Public Safety’s procedures and guidelines for a range of topics:

Bias crimes

We are committed to protecting the rights and safety of University community members regardless of race, ethnicity, gender, religion, sexual orientation, or disability. Incidents of harassment or assault will be responded to with seriousness and sensitivity. University policies direct faculty, staff, and students to treat all people with dignity and respect. New York State law also contains special provisions for acts of criminal misconduct “ . . . that manifest evidence of prejudice based on race, religion, sexual orientation, or ethnicity. . .”.

In general, classification as a hate crime increases the possible sentence that would be imposed on the specified offense if it did not otherwise meet the definition. For the full text of the statute, which defines special offenses and provides sentencing information, see Section 485 of the New York State Penal Law.

Free speech and peaceful protests

The University of Rochester values freedom of speech as essential to our academic community. Although, as a private institution, the University is not subject to the First Amendment, it is committed, as a matter of policy and academic tradition, to protecting speech and peaceful protest on its campus. Its buildings and grounds are frequently used for University-sponsored activities to which outside speakers and attendees are invited.

View the full guidelines

Disciplinary/judicial procedures


The Office of the Dean of Students is responsible for handling campus judicial procedures relating to sexual harassment, sexual assault, dating and domestic violence and stalking in all cases involving students who are accused of such conduct. The Standards of Student Conduct and the Graduate Bulletin outline policies, the disciplinary process, and the penalties. Should an accused student be found responsible for violating the University’s Policy against Discrimination, Harassment, and Discriminatory Employment/Service Practices, he/she is subject to the full range of disciplinary sanctions, up to and including expulsion.


Procedures for discipline of staff and faculty found to have violated University policies (such as the University’s Policy against Discrimination, Harassment, and Discriminatory Employment/Service Practices) are controlled by the Faculty Handbook and/or in various Human Resource policies. Corrective discipline for staff also is addressed generally in Human Resources Policy 154.

Entry into and search of premises

Search Guidelines

Searches other than plain view observations are to be conducted only after obtaining consent; at the direction of a senior University official having program authority for the area; in support to a proper search warrant being executed by a law enforcement officer; or, if an exigent circumstance affecting immediate health/life safety risk is noted.

Searches are intended to be limited to the purpose(s) for which entry was made or to resolve immediate health/life safety conditions.

Whenever possible, they will be conducted in conjunction with Residential Life and/or Dean of Students Office representative present, unless prohibited by exigent circumstances or for reasons articulated by a law enforcement officer. In cases where a representative is not available or cannot be contacted, other notifications will be made as soon as possible given the event circumstances.

Entry Guidelines

It is the intention of University Public Safety to provide proactive, preventive patrols in public spaces within University residential and leased housing. Public Safety foot patrols of residential areas should be conducted with the goal of promoting the health and safety of the residential community; to provide defense of personal and University property; to provide a visible deterrent and security omnipresence to help repress crime and other behavior deemed unacceptable by the University; to assure that building systems are functioning properly; to ensure adherence to University Policy/Procedures/Sanctions and to cultivate positive attitudes and open avenues of communication with those residing, working and visiting the housing areas.

It is the intention of University Public Safety to assure all reasonable privacy is extended to those residing in rooms and apartments leased from the University. When appropriate, advance notification should be given to housing occupants before security staff enter an individual room or apartment. However, there will be instances when it will become necessary for security staff to enter housing rooms and apartments without notice to carry out protective or personal safety duties. In addition, Residential Life Staff will often contact Public Safety for assistance in documenting and resolving alleged or observed violations of Student Conduct Standards, University Policy or NYS Laws occurring in and around their respective living areas, halls and buildings.


1. Knock loudly on the room or apartment door, clearly announce your identity, ask occupants to allow you to enter and state your intention (to enter) if occupants do not respond to your entry request.

2. Under all circumstances, Public Safety officers shall contact and obtain authorization from a Public Safety supervisor before entering a housing room or apartment when the occupant has not requested the door opening or invited the officer to enter.

3. When a decision is made to open a housing room without the occupant’s knowledge or permission, Public Safety staff shall, whenever possible, make contact with a housing staff representative from the list below. Housing staff will provide assistance in obtaining a key for the room (as needed) and act as a witness to the entry. Public Safety staff shall not enter a locked housing room without a witness unless entry is required to investigate an immediate personal safety concern, serious property concern, or fire/fire alarm investigation (with Public Safety supervisor knowledge and approval).

  • Building Manager
  • Property Management Representative
  • Resident Advisor
  • Community Assistants
  • Area Coordinator
  • Residential Life Director
  • Fraternity House Officer

4. All entries made to housing rooms without the occupant’s knowledge or permission must be appropriately documented (case report) outlining the incident in question, persons present, and reason for entry.


The Drug-free Schools and Communities Act Amendments of 1989 require an institution of higher education, as a condition of receiving funds or any other form of financial assistance under any federal program, to certify that it has adopted and implemented a drug prevention program to prevent the unlawful possession, use, or distribution of illicit drugs and alcohol by students and employees.

Any group, formal or informal, planning an event where alcohol is to be served must comply with regulations on each campus for host training, registering the event, controlling the service of alcohol, service hours, the sale of alcohol, attendance, food and beverage quantities, BYO events, and advertising.

Public Safety staff conduct checks of events to verify that University regulations are being followed.

Officers Will:

1. Conduct three or four random checks of each registered party

2. Complete an Alcohol Checklist for each party verifying and documenting the following:

Access Control

  • Are sponsors proofing/checking IDs at event entry points
  • Are proper wrist bands/hand stamps being applied
  • Are sponsors monitoring and maintaining occupancy limits of event location


  • Are servers actively checking wrist bands and hand stamps before serving patrons
  • Are servers drinking alcohol
  • Are servers being attentive to intoxicated condition of patrons
  • Are patrons passing alcohol to underage individuals after being served
  • Is alcohol being served from locations other than the bar
  • Is hard alcohol being served

Event Safety

  • Are fire exits clear, freely accessible and not obstructed in any manner
  • Are guests behaving in an appropriate manner

General Compliance

  • Is the event sponsor’s copy of the alcohol registration form posted behind the bar or at the location where alcohol is being served
  • Is the proper amount of alternative beverage (non-alcoholic soda, punch, etc.) available
  • Is the proper amount of food (cheese, crackers, potato chips, pretzels, etc.) available
  • Has a random ID check of five persons observed consuming alcohol been completed per check

Minor violation of the above listed items that can be corrected will be documented on the Alcohol Check List. Major or repeat violations must be documented on a Public Safety case report and the event shut down.

Alcohol event checklist

Open and view as a PDF

Please contact Public Safety if an alternative format is needed:


The University is committed to maintaining a safe and secure environment in which to conduct educational and research activities. This requires minimizing the risk of injury or death associated with intentional or accidental use of weapons.

Faculty and Staff

No weapons of any type (firearms, BB or pellet guns, double-edged knives, bows and arrows, stun guns, paintball guns and the like) are allowed on University property. If a weapon is discovered, Public Safety staff will confiscate it and turn the item over to the appropriate law enforcement agency.

Possession could result in arrest, suspension, or expulsion from school, and/or termination of employment.


Students are not permitted to possess or imply possession of a weapon anywhere on property owned, leased or controlled by the University of Rochester. A weapon is any instrument that is used to inflict physical harm, is intended to be used to inflict harm, or could reasonably cause fear of infliction of harm, including any item that may be deemed a weapon under applicable law.

Examples include, but are not limited to: pistols, revolvers, shotguns, rifles, firearms, stun guns, BB or pellet guns, tasers, bows and arrows, and other instruments that launch projectiles, including electric dart guns and paintball guns, as well as parts or ammunition relating to any of the above; martial arts tools, brass knuckles, daggers, swords, and knives (including Swiss Army knives); bombs, grenades, mines, explosives, or incendiary devices (which can include ignition devices and aerosols). A disarmed weapon still counts as a weapon.

The determination of whether an item is considered a weapon for the purposes of this policy will be made on the totality of the circumstances surrounding the item’s possession and use. For example, an ordinary kitchen knife used for food preparation would not be considered a weapon in connection with that use. If there are questions about whether a given item counts as a weapon, students should contact the Center for Student Conflict Management for clarification before bringing the item to campus.

Public Safety policies

Visit this external repository to explore and view policy documents.

View policies

Public Safety’s commitment to the highest ethical standards

A number of the University’s internal policies and procedures are directed to its maintenance of order, discipline, and safety on campus, and to the prevention of activities which impair or jeopardize University services or the legitimate privacy rights and freedoms of members of the University community.

A major part of the responsibility for implementing these policies is assigned to the University’s Department of Public Safety. The department, acting on its own observations or on a report or complaint from other members of the University community, is obliged to initiate inquiries, conduct investigations, give directions, and exercise certain controls.

Public Safety staff shall at all times perform those duties in a manner consistent with the highest ethical standards. University employees in general and Public Safety staff in particular will not interfere with or intrude upon private communications, intercept mail, make wire taps, or encourage any criminal act for purposes of entrapment.

As a part of its responsibility for liaison with public law enforcement agencies, University Public Safety must report to the appropriate government law enforcement authority unlawful acts or evidence thereof. Public Safety will also request that a public agency produce its warrant or other legal authority before undertaking a search or having access to private quarters, records, or communications.

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