Student Conduct

A-Z Policies

Duke University has high expectations for students’ scholarship and conduct. In accepting admission, students indicate their willingness to subscribe to and be governed by the rules and regulations of the university, which flow from the Duke Community Standard. These policies reflect the Duke Community Standard’s fundamental values—honesty, fairness, respect, and accountability.

Undergraduates acknowledge the right of the university to take disciplinary action, including suspension or expulsion, for failure to abide by the regulations or for other conduct adjudged unsatisfactory or detrimental to the university community.

Students and groups may be held accountable for any violation of university policy that may or may not be included on this site or published in The Duke Community Standard: A Guide for Undergraduates, whether on or off campus. In addition to local ordinances and state and federal laws, the following policies govern the undergraduate community. Note that other university policies that students are expected to abide by are published elsewhere, such as the Housing and Residence Life (HRL) housing license terms, and university parking regulations.

Click on the policy listed below to expand its definition. 


Lying is communicating untruths or misrepresentations in order to gain an unfair academic or employment advantage. [Wording adopted from the Duke Fuqua School of Business code.]
It includes, but is not limited to:

  • falsifying information on a résumé;
  • misrepresenting one’s own research;
  • providing false or misleading information in order to be excused from classes or assignments; or
  • intentionally underperforming on a placement exam.


Cheating is the act of wrongfully using or attempting to use unauthorized materials, information, study aids, or the ideas or work of another in order to gain an unfair advantage. It includes, but is not limited to:

  • plagiarism on any assignment;
  • giving unauthorized aid to another student or receiving unauthorized aid from another person on tests, quizzes, assignments, or examinations;
  • using or consulting unauthorized materials or using unauthorized equipment or devices on tests, quizzes, assignments, or examinations;
  • altering or falsifying any information on tests, quizzes, assignments, or examinations;
  • using any material portion of a paper or project to fulfill the requirements of more than one course unless the student has received prior faculty permission to do so;
  • working on any examination, test, quiz, or assignment outside of the time constraints imposed;
  • the unauthorized use of prescription medication to enhance academic performance;
  • submitting an altered examination or assignment to an instructor for re-grading; or
  • failing to adhere to an instructor’s specific directions with respect to the terms of academic integrity or academic honesty.

“Plagiarism” occurs when a student, with intent to deceive or with disregard for proper scholarly procedures, presents any information, ideas, or phrasing of another as if they were his/her own and/or does not give appropriate credit to the original source. Proper scholarly procedures require that all quoted material be identified by quotation marks or indentation on the page, and the source of information and ideas, if from another, must be identified and be attributed to that source. Students are responsible for learning proper scholarly procedures.

Plagiarism may include:

  • copying from published sources without adequate documentation ([1] use of quotation marks around verbatim text, or a block quote if verbatim text exceeds 40-50 words; and [2] in-text references or footnotes, both for verbatim text and paraphrased words/ideas);
  • citing an incorrect source for attributed work;
  • paraphrasing words or ideas of another without giving credit;
  • using the same logic/flow/sentence structure of another without giving credit;
  • submitting as your own someone else’s unpublished work, either with or without permission;
  • paying someone else to write a paper for you; or,
  • purchasing a pre-written paper.

The term “assignment” includes any work, required or volunteered, submitted for review, academic credit, and/or disciplinary sanction.

All academic work undertaken by a student must be completed independently unless the faculty member or other responsible authority expressly authorizes collaboration with another.


Stealing is the act of intentionally taking or appropriating the property of another, including academic work, without consent or permission and with the intent to keep or use the property without the permission of the owner or the rightful possessor.

Freedom of inquiry and the free exchange of ideas are essential for the fulfillment of the university’s mission. Academic freedom is a right and responsibility of students as well as faculty. Students who believe that their academic freedom has been abridged should submit a written complaint to their academic dean. The dean may enlist the faculty in establishing the merits or extent of the complaint by appointing a disinterested two-person subcommittee of the Faculty Hearing Committee to provide advice. Cases not resolved by the dean may be brought to the attention of the provost. Students may also seek advice of the student ombudsperson in resolving a complaint.


The Vice President for Student Affairs or designee may take administrative action(s) against an undergraduate student
(or, if pursuant to the Student Sexual Misconduct Policy or for an alleged violation of university policy which could be
bias-/hate-related, a graduate or professional student) and/or a student group to protect the health, safety, or welfare
of the university community or any member of it. Administrative action includes, but is not limited to, a “no contact”
directive, removal of privileges, removal from or relocation within the residential community, suspension of activity,
and/or suspension from the university. If administrative action is issued while a disciplinary action is pending, such
action may remain in effect until the disciplinary process is resolved.


  • Any member of the university community who has reason to believe that a student or student group may pose a threat to the health, safety, or welfare of the university community or any member of it should contact the Vice President for Student Affairs (VPSA) or other staff within Student Affairs as appropriate.
  • The VPSA or designee, in consultation as necessary with the Behavioral Assessment Team and/or other appropriate individuals/agencies, will conduct a review of available information and, where necessary and appropriate, gather additional information.
  • Based on the available information, the VPSA or designee shall determine whether administrative action is warranted based on the nature of the risk posed by the student, the probability of harm to the university community, and whether reasonable alternatives would significantly mitigate the risk. The VPSA or designee will prepare a written statement identifying and explaining the administrative action(s).
  • A student who is subject to an administrative action has three business days from receipt of the written statement to request a meeting with the VPSA or designee to contest the administrative action. Based on the information shared by the student in the meeting, the VPSA or designee shall consider whether any modification to the administrative action is warranted and communicate the decision to the student in writing no later than three days after the meeting. The administrative action may be, at the discretion of the VPSA or designee and subject to the risk determinations as noted above, in force through the period of requested reconsideration of the administrative decision.


Banners on the exterior or interior of the Brodhead Center, East Union Building, Bryan Center, and the Plaza are approved and installed by University Center Activities and Events. Housing and Residence Life approves banners on the exterior/interior of residence halls (contact the appropriate Residence Coordinator). Banners attached to residential buildings are limited to five feet by five feet in dimension (or smaller) and may not cover the windows of a room in a manner that impedes egress. Banners may not have objects hanging from them (normally used to weigh banner down). Only banners or flags can be hung outside of windows. Requests for hanging banners on all other university buildings and light poles must be approved by Facilities Management located at Smith Warehouse, Bay 1 (919-684-2122). Contact Facilities Management, University Center Activities and Events, or Housing and Residence Life for specific guidelines. All exterior banners (including flags) in residential areas must be removed by the last day of classes each semester.


Chalking is prohibited on any surface, including, but not limited to, sidewalks, archways, and benches.

Posters, Announcements, and Bulletin Boards

The following is a checklist of procedures with reference to the posting of notices on university bulletin boards, building doors, containers, light posts, trees, and sidewalks:

  • Posters/flyers must provide information regarding student activities, give information of an academic nature, make announcements pertinent to the business of the university, or supply information to members of the Duke community regarding available campus services or products.
  • Posters/flyers must state the name of the sponsoring organization, business, department, or person responsible.
  • As appropriate for the surface, staples, thumbtacks, magnets, masking tape, or transparent tape may be used to attach posters/flyers to approved bulletin boards or posting areas. The use of glue, nails, and duct tape or any other heavy-duty tape is prohibited.
  • Posters/flyers must never be attached to doors, windows, trashcans, entryways, exteriors of buildings, interior walls, stairway railings, floors, benches or ceilings, nor may they be placed on the windshields of parked automobiles or on sidewalks.
  • Posters/flyers may NOT be attached or affixed to any tree or utility pole.
  • Posters/flyers (and the fasteners used to attach them) must be removed within three days after the advertised event.
  • All posters/flyers may be periodically removed from bulletin boards as part of routine maintenance.

University-Wide Policy

As a community of scholars and learners, Duke University expects those within its community to be responsible with the use of alcohol. This policy shall guide the role of alcohol everywhere on the Duke campus and at all events sponsored by Duke organizations, schools, or administrative units. Students, staff, and faculty members are encouraged to learn about the social, physiological, and psychological consequences of drinking and alcohol abuse. Excessive and high-risk drinking can lead to negative consequences for the Duke community, including assault, illness, injury, litter, noise, property damage, and driving under the influence. All members of the Duke community share responsibility for creating an environment that limits dangerous drinking behaviors and, therefore, reduces the likelihood of these negative outcomes.

The following shall guide the role of alcohol in the Duke community:

  • All possession, consumption, and distribution of alcohol at Duke University shall be in accordance with applicable North Carolina state laws.
  • Members of the Duke community are responsible for behaving in a manner that is not disruptive or endangering to themselves or others. Being under the influence of alcohol shall not be a mitigating factor for an individual’s behavior.
  • When persons under 21 years of age can reasonably be expected to be present at an event, proper precautions must be taken to restrict distribution and consumption of alcohol to persons of legal drinking age. Student organizations shall also adhere to the specific guidelines for events outlined in The Duke Community Standard in Practice: A Guide for Undergraduates (for student organizations that cater primarily to undergraduates) or the Graduate and Professional Student Alcohol Policy (for student organizations that cater primarily to graduate/professional students).
  • Advertising or other communication that references the availability of alcohol at a function may neither promote alcohol as the focus of the event nor promote excessive drinking.
  • Each community (e.g., Undergraduate, Fuqua, Law) may establish additional guidelines and policies governing the possession, consumption, and distribution of alcohol that reach beyond these minimal expectations. Violations of policies shall be adjudicated using existing procedures within each segment of the university.

Undergraduate Policy

The remainder of this policy, specifically for undergraduates, augments Duke’s university-wide alcohol policy. For individuals as well as groups, whether on campus or off, prohibited behavior includes:

  • underage possession/consumption;
  • unsafe/irresponsible behavior;
  • violation of community expectations;
  • general provisions violation; and,
  • violation(s) of expectations for group-sponsored social functions.

Sanctions for violations of any of these prohibited behaviors are outlined here. Parents of students under the age of 21 may be notified of alcohol-related disciplinary violations when a student’s health or safety has been/is at risk.


Students under 21 years of age are not permitted to purchase, possess, or consume alcoholic beverages. Being under the influence of any amount of alcohol while underage is considered a violation of this provision. Groups are considered in violation of this provision if they facilitate the acquisition of alcohol by anyone under the age of 21.


Unsafe or irresponsible behavior is defined as actions that are harmful or potentially harmful to one’s self or others involving the use of alcohol. Such behavior includes, but is not limited to:

  • consuming an excessive quantity in a short amount of time, including, but not limited to, shotgunning, shots, and chugging;
  • participating in or facilitating drinking games or progressive parties;
  • consuming through beer bongs;
  • use or attempted use of fraudulent identification or another’s identification to obtain alcohol; and
  • making alcohol available to underage drinkers.

It shall be a violation of the alcohol policy to engage in an action while under the influence of alcohol that is disruptive to the community. Such behavior includes, but is not limited to:

  • driving;
  • exhibiting disorderly conduct, damaging property, and/or fighting;
  • littering;
  • running away or hiding from university or public officials, including law enforcement;
  • vomiting and/or urinating in public; and
  • cursing and/or shouting at others.

Duke University has established the following general provisions regarding alcohol on campus:

  • No kegs or other common-source containers are permitted on campus in private rooms, student apartments, commons rooms, or other public space. (University-approved bartenders, who will be responsible for carding, may distribute alcohol from kegs in public space at events.) Common-source containers, include, but are not limited to, trashcans, recycling bins, kiddie pools, cases of beer, and coolers.
  • Only university-approved bartenders are permitted to distribute alcohol on campus, including alcohol from common-source containers.
  • Alcohol may not be brought in glass containers to on-campus Bring Your Own Beverage (“BYOB”) events.
  • All student events at which alcohol will be present, whether there is a university-approved bartender or the party is BYOB, are required to have trained party monitors.
  • Except at events in a licensed facility providing a cash bar, no spirituous liquor or fortified wines may be served to undergraduates.
  • All students on university property consuming or possessing alcohol must carry a valid driver’s license, state identification card, military identification card, or passport.
  • No individual may possess more than six cans at a BYOB event. Each can may not exceed 12 ounces.
  • Containers holding more than 24 ounces are prohibited from BYOB events.
  • No alcoholic beverages are permitted in first-year houses (or the surrounding grounds) on East Campus.
  • No alcoholic beverages are permitted within the confines of campus athletic facilities during sporting events.
  • The use of alcoholic beverages as a prize is prohibited.
  • Flyers, banners, signs, and social media that advertise social events where alcohol will be served must not overtly or covertly state or imply an invitation to participate in excessive drinking.
  • Publicity on East Campus or targeted to first-year students may NOT include a reference to alcohol.

Recognized groups may be held accountable for violations of the alcohol policy that occur during a group-sponsored event on campus. To ensure that such violations do not occur, a group will be held accountable if the group failed to take appropriate precautions. Appropriate precautions must include:

  • a trained, sober party monitor for every 25 persons expected to attend the event;
  • adequate and accessible non-alcoholic beverages and food;
  • compliance with all fire safety regulations;
  • adequate control of access to event;
  • enforcing occupancy limits for the venue, including commons rooms, hallways, and stairwells;
  • calling for medical/police assistance as needed; and
  • serving of alcohol by university-approved bartenders only.

Expectations for and obligations of student party monitors are communicated online through DuWell. Duties of party monitors include, but are not limited to, prevention of alcohol policy violations, intervention and care of inebriated, at-risk individuals, elimination of safety hazards, and attention to group precautions. Checking identification will be the responsibility of university-approved bartenders. Groups may be held accountable for the actions of individual party monitors.

Party monitors and university officials may deny access to events to anyone who is visibly intoxicated and/or disruptive.

Social events that fail to meet any of these expectations may be shut down immediately.


Because health and safety of students are of primary importance, students are encouraged not only to look out for their own health and safety but also for that of their peers. When a person’s health and/or safety is/are threatened or appear(s) to be in jeopardy, immediate action should be taken to prevent injury/illness/danger. Dial 911 (or 919-684-2444 if you are on campus) for help. Whatever the particular need/problem, it is important to respond in a responsible and timely manner.

Formal disciplinary action for a violation of the alcohol policy will not be taken against students for whom medical assistance is sought, or against those who seek medical assistance for themselves or for others, provided that the student/group has not violated university policies that warrant formal disciplinary action.

A student who receives medical assistance may be required to meet with a substance abuse specialist in DuWell for education, assessment, and possible referral for treatment. The student may also be required to complete an educational assignment. Parents of such students under the legal drinking age may also be notified. A group that facilitates the acquisition of alcohol may also be required to notify its advisor, provide an educational program for members, and/or change its processes for hosting events.

In the event that a student fails to meet with the specialist, chooses not to participate in the outlined expectations, or exhibits a pattern of abusive behavior with alcohol, the student may be subject to formal disciplinary action.

A panel of the Undergraduate Conduct Board will be informed of a student who has received “amnesty” under this provision of the Alcohol Policy should the student be subsequently found responsible for a violation of policy related to substance use for purposes of effective sanctioning.

Any animal brought on campus by students or guests may not be unrestrained. With the exception of service animals, animals are prohibited inside any university facility, unless authorized by the space manager responsible for that facility/space. Any type of animal abuse is prohibited, including but not limited to abandonment of or failure to properly care for an animal. Animals, live or dead, may not be used in pranks or otherwise for amusement or ceremony in connection with any institutional or student group function or activity. For purposes of this policy, the term “animal” includes any wild or domesticated, warm-blooded or cold-blooded animal.

Animals may not be brought to campus for large-scale student events and activities including, but not limited to, Homecoming, Duke Reunions, Last Day of Classes, Springternational, Joe College Day, Old Duke Concert, etc. For more information, contact University Center Activities and Events at 919-684-4741.

The purpose of this policy is to ensure an aesthetically pleasing campus, protect university facilities, and allow for students to use the “Free Expression” bridge/tunnel without damaging neighboring property. Individuals and groups may express opinions within this area that are not restricted by content, except by legal standards.

The surface of the “Free Expression” bridge/tunnel (located on Campus Drive under Main Street) may be painted within the span of the ceiling of the tunnel (but not the ceiling itself), as well as on the outer edge of the Pettigrew Bridge facing Campus Drive and, the exterior (inner) face of the concrete Campus Drive tunnel walls. However, painting is not allowed on the sidewalks or roadways inside or outside the tunnel. Supplies are the responsibility of the painter(s) and are not provided by the university. Painter(s) may not impede the flow of traffic. Any ladders used may not exceed six feet.

There is no restriction regarding painting over the sections of the tunnel that other people or organizations have painted—no matter how recently they have been painted. However, animosity is often generated toward groups who paint over sections that are advertising events not yet held or sections painted very recently. Please use courtesy and common sense when selecting an area of the tunnel to paint.

Any person may remove non-conforming material. Policy violations resulting in the need for restoration should be reported to Duke University Police. Reimbursement for any restoration costs (i.e., paint removal, cleaning, removal of residual substances, and so on) will be the responsibility of the violating party.

No painting will be allowed at any other locations on the campus of Duke University, including these areas near the tunnel:

Main Street Bridge and Railroad Trestle
No painting is permitted on the Main Street bridge and the railroad trestle.

The Duke stone walls
Painting is not permitted on the Duke stone walls.

Pettigrew St. Bridge
Painting is not permitted on the Pettigrew Street bridge (side of the bridge on Pettigrew Street not overlooking Campus Drive).

light pole
Painting is not permitted on any light pole, sign, or sign posts.

Stairs and handrails
Painting is not permitted on the steps and handrails from Campus Drive to Pettigrew Street.

No painting is permitted on any any handrails, roadways or sidewalks, even if located inside the tunnel

Painting is also not permitted on the fencing along the Main Street bridge. 

Students who violate these expectations will be held accountable through the university’s disciplinary process and may also be arrested and/or cited for violation of NC law. Note that defacement of any public property (i.e., property not owned by Duke) is a violation of North Carolina law.

Students who behave in the classroom in such a way that the educational experiences of other students and/or the instructor’s course objectives are disrupted are subject to disciplinary action, including possible exclusion from a course. Such behavior impedes students’ ability to learn or an instructor’s ability to teach. Disruptive behavior may include, but is not limited to: non-approved use of electronic devices (including cellular telephones); cursing or shouting at others in such a way as to be disruptive; or, other violations of an instructor’s expectations for classroom conduct.


The purpose of this policy is to establish and promote the ethical, legal, and secure use of computing and electronic communications for all members of the university community.

The university cherishes freedom of expression, the diversity of values and perspectives inherent in an academic institution, the right to acknowledgment, and the value of privacy for all members of the Duke community. At the same time, the university may find it necessary to access and disclose information from computer and network users’ accounts to the extent required by law, to uphold contractual obligations or other applicable university policies, or to diagnose and correct technical problems. For this reason, the ultimate privacy of messages and files cannot be ensured. In addition, system failures may lead to loss of data, so users should not assume that their messages and files are secure.

Neither the university nor its agents restrict the content of material transported across its networks. While the university does not position itself as a censor, it reserves the right to limit access to its networks or to remove material stored or posted on university computers when applicable university policies, contractual obligations, or state or federal laws are violated. Alleged violations will receive the same academic due process as any other alleged violation of university policy, contractual obligations, or state or federal laws.


In making acceptable use of resources you must:

  • Use resources only for authorized purposes.
  • Protect your userid and system from unauthorized use. You are responsible for all activities on your userid or that originate from your system. Your userid and password act together as your electronic signature.
  • Access only information that is your own, that is publicly available, or to which you have been given authorized access.
  • Use only legal versions of copyrighted software in compliance with vendor license requirements.
  • Be considerate in your use of shared resources. Refrain from monopolizing systems, overloading networks with excessive data, degrading services, or wasting computer time, connection time, disk space, printer paper, manuals, or other resources.
  • Seek pre-approval from OIT before deploying/using code that potentially impacts server resources or automates processes (e.g., in registering for classes).

In making acceptable use of resources you must not:

  • Use another person’s system, files, or data without permission (note that permission from an individual user may not be sufficient—some systems may require additional authority).
  • Give your password to another person (including to your parents). Contact the OIT Help Desk if you need assistance with giving other people authority to access your files or e-mail.
  • Use computer programs to decode passwords or access-control information.
  • Attempt to circumvent or subvert system or network security measures.
  • Engage in any activity that might be purposefully harmful to systems or to any information stored thereon, such as creating or propagating viruses, worms, or “Trojan horse” programs; disrupting services; damaging files; or making unauthorized modifications to university data.
  • Make or use illegal copies of copyrighted software or other copyrighted works, store such copies on university systems, or transmit them over university networks.
  • Use mail or messaging services to harass another person.
  • Waste shared computing or network resources, for example, by intentionally placing a program in an endless loop, printing excessive amounts of paper, or by sending chain letters or unsolicited mass mailings.
  • Use the university’s systems or networks for commercial purposes; for example, by selling access to your userid or by performing work for profit with university resources in a manner not authorized by the university.

The above list only addresses some of the most common issues that arise with regard to computing. All prohibitions found in applicable law and other university policies also apply to the computer systems.


Large-scale e-mail communications within groups or units, including surveys, announcements, etc., require the implicit or explicit prior approval of that group or unit. In the case of such communications from outside the unit, the approval must always be explicit. Visit the OIT website for full information at

Note that the above computing policies are subject to change. For current policies, visit

Disorderly conduct is contrary to the mission of the university and will be addressed through the disciplinary process. Disorderly conduct is defined as:

  • any unreasonable or reckless conduct by an individual or group that is inherently or potentially unsafe to other persons or their real or personal property; and/or
  • any behavior by an individual or group that disrupts the peace or interferes with the normal operation of the university or university-sponsored activities.

Disorderly conduct includes, but is not limited to: reckless driving; interrupting or interfering with the carrying out of the duties of a university or public official, including law enforcement; vomiting and/or urinating in public; and, indecent exposure.

Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS), or “drones,” have emerged as a new technology of interest both for hobbyists, and more importantly for possible research, academic, and commercial uses at Duke. For the full and latest Duke policy on drones, visit

Duke University prohibits members of its community, both individuals and groups, from manufacturing, selling, delivering, possessing, using, or being under the influence of a controlled substance without legal authorization. A controlled substance includes any drug, substance, or immediate precursor covered under the North Carolina Controlled Substances Act, including but not limited to opiates, barbiturates, amphetamines, marijuana, and hallucinogens.

Duke University prohibits members of its community from breathing or inhaling any substance for the purpose of causing intoxication except pursuant to the directions of a licensed medical provider authorized by law. Prohibited substances include those specified under the North Carolina Toxic Vapors Act. Manufacturing, selling, delivering, possessing, and/or being under the influence of such inhalants for the intended purpose of causing intoxication is also prohibited.

The possession of drug paraphernalia is also prohibited under North Carolina state law and university policy. Drug paraphernalia includes all equipment, products and material of any kind that are used to facilitate, or intended or designed to facilitate, violations of the North Carolina Controlled Substances Act and/or the North Carolina Toxic Vapors Act.

In addition to disciplinary action, the conduct officer, or designee, may require a student to take a leave of absence, and return to campus may be conditional upon proof of completion of a substance abuse treatment program.

As stated on the back of the DukeCard, the card “should be carried at all times and presented upon request to any university official. [It] is not transferable. The transfer of an ID card to another person, or the possession of another person’s ID card, may result in confiscation of the card and [disciplinary] action.”

A student or group may be held accountable for failure to comply with:

  • directions, requests, or orders of any university representative or body acting in an official capacity, or impeding with the carrying out of such directives;
  • instructions of law enforcement officials acting in an official capacity;
  • specified protocols and policies for protected research data; and/or
  • sanctions rendered during the disciplinary process (including sanctions issued by a residential staff member).

Honesty and integrity are critical components of the Duke Community Standard. A student or group may be subject to disciplinary action for any of the following actions:

  • any intentional misrepresentation of fact (by action or concealment), including furnishing false information, to any university official;
  • any intentional misrepresentation of fact (by action or concealment) to obtain or attempt to induce another to surrender a right, benefit or property; and/or
  • forgery, alteration, or misuse of any official document, record, key, access code or instrument of identification, or possession of such forgery.

Open Flames. It is a violation of university policy to light any material on fire on campus. Candles, other open flame devices, and incense are strictly forbidden for use inside university facilities. Battery or electrically powered candles will be used except when a religious activity specifically requires the use of a live flame. Students and groups will be held financially accountable for any damage they cause as a result of violating this policy and will be referred to the disciplinary process. Additionally, students may be subject to revocation of their Housing License for any violation of this policy.

Those individuals wishing to utilize live flame candles in observance of a religious holiday should contact Religious Life at Duke or Jewish Life at Duke for guidance. OESO Fire & Life Safety (OESO F&LS) will not accept requests directly from students. OESO F&LS will provide information concerning fire prevention directly to Religious Life at Duke and Jewish Life at Duke. All personnel should know the location of building fire equipment to include fire extinguishers and manual fire alarm pull stations.

Open Fires on Campus. Open fires, including bonfires, are not permitted on Duke University property except as approved by the OESO Fire & Life Safety Division and the Durham Fire Marshal. Students who either provide or contribute materials to burn or who ignite or attempt to ignite flammable materials will be considered in violation of this policy. Students also should realize that such actions violate state law and may result in a citation for unlawful burning.

Electrical Wiring/Appliances. Tampering with electrical wiring, including, but not limited to, the installation of direct-wired ceiling fans and unauthorized entry into electrical panel boxes, is prohibited. Residents are responsible for any damages caused by electrical appliances that are not owned by Duke University.

All electrical appliances shall be UL approved and maintained in good condition. Numerous electrical devices plugged into one outlet through an outlet cube or extension cord may cause a circuit overload or may cause overheating of the electrical appliances, resulting in a fire. Therefore, the use of outlet cubes or extension cords is prohibited. Use a power strip with a built-in circuit breaker.

Heat-producing appliances (e.g., coffee pots, steam irons, hair curling irons, etc.) should never be plugged into multi-plug adaptors, extension cords, or power strips, and should never be left unattended.

Fire Alarms and Evacuation. In the event of a fire, the most important thing is for you to evacuate the building safely. Make sure you familiarize yourself with the evacuation routes in your area. Fire emergency response is defined by the acronym R.A.C.E. If you discover a fire or see a flame or smoke, follow the RACE procedures: Remove all persons in immediate danger to safety. Activate manual pull station and call or have someone call 911. Close doors and windows to prevent the spread of smoke and fire. Extinguish the fire (if you are able) and/or Evacuate.

Never assume that a fire alarm is a drill or false alarm. Remain calm and evacuate the facility. Evacuation is mandatory for all individuals when the fire alarm is sounding. Anyone who fails to evacuate may face disciplinary action. Remember to follow the instructions of the emergency responders. Do not re-enter the facility until authorized. If you have any information regarding the alarm, present that information immediately to the responding emergency personnel.

Persons evacuating the building should report to their assigned Emergency Assembly Point(s), as directed by their supervisor or Resident Assistant/Residence Coordinator.

Upon Discovery of a Fire. Report all fires and smoke to the Duke University Police Department by dialing 911 from any campus phone. If dialing from a personal cell phone or an off-campus telephone within Durham, the call will immediately reach the Durham Emergency Communications Center. The caller should first state they are on Duke Campus and then state the building name. In either case, each agency has instant communication with the other and calls can be immediately transferred from one to the other. Fires that have been extinguished should also be reported to Duke Police so that an investigation may be conducted. All residential building fires should also be subsequently reported to Housing and Residence Life (HRL): East, 919-684-5320, Central, 919-684-5813, and West, 919-684-5486. If you feel comfortable doing so, use a fire extinguisher to control or extinguish the fire while emergency personnel are en route to your location. Use the P.A.S.S. procedure: Pull the pin; Aim the nozzle at the base of the fire; Squeeze the handle; Sweep from side to side.

When the Fire Alarm Sounds. Close all windows and doors (leave the overhead light on). Before opening any door, feel the surface. If it is hot, do not open it. If it is not hot, brace yourself against the door, open it slightly, and if heat or heavy smoke are present, close the door and stay in your room. If conditions allow you to leave the room, close, but do not lock, the door and walk directly to the nearest exit and leave the building. If you are away from your room when the alarm sounds, do not return to your room, but leave the building via the nearest exit.

Do not use elevators. If hallways and/or exit stairwells are not accessible because of heavy smoke, return to your room and close the door. Open the window, hang a sheet or other light colored object out of the window to attract the attention of emergency personnel, and then close the window. If there is a phone in the room, call 911 (see above for specific instructions) and report that you are trapped. Remain calm and give your room number and building location. Stuff towels, sheets, or similar materials under all doors leading into corridors. Stay close to the floor if smoke enters the room.

If you have exited the facility, stand clear of the building and report to your designated Emergency Assembly Point. Emergency apparatus may be maneuvering around the building. Follow the directions of fire and police personnel and never re-enter the building until they give permission to do so.

Fire Drill Training. OESO Fire & Life Safety Division staff conducts four student housing fire drills per year (two each semester). They go on site to supervise all aspects of the drills, including observation, evaluation, and documentation. The standard procedure entails activating the fire alarm system, usually by engaging a student volunteer to use a manual pull station.

All students, faculty, staff, and visitors must exit the building and meet at the Emergency Assembly Point (EAP). Occupants are then briefed on their performance of evacuating the building, ways in which to improve said evacuation, how to activate a pull station, what to do in the event of a real fire, and how to use a fire extinguisher.

Damaging or Tampering with Fire Safety Equipment. Relocating, removing, tampering with, or destroying smoke detectors or fire safety equipment is strictly prohibited. Damage and/or theft of fire equipment are punishable under North Carolina state law. Intentional false alarms, damage, theft, and misuse of fire detection, alarm, and extinguishing equipment are punishable under the criminal law provision of the N.C.G.S. §14-286 and may result in the loss of housing privileges and/or disciplinary action. In addition, residents will be charged for fire damage resulting from neglect or intentional actions. If residents or staff members notice any damaged, missing, or malfunctioning equipment, they should immediately report the deficiency to the housing office or OESO Fire & Life Safety Division.

Fireworks/Pyrotechnics. Students or performers may not possess/use fireworks or pyrotechnics of any kind on campus. Anyone who sees a person with these materials should immediately report it to Duke Police.

Flammable/Combustible Materials. Flammable/combustible materials including but not limited to gasoline, lighter fluid, and propane tanks are not permitted in residential areas.

Grills. North Carolina state law prohibits the use of portable charcoal, gas, or electric grills within 10 feet of all residence halls/apartments. Cooking on balconies and/or porches of Central Campus apartments is prohibited. Storage of grills not in use, which are cool, is permitted on the exterior of the structure or in approved locations. Failure to abide by this ordinance may result in a fine as determined by the Durham Fire Marshal in addition to disciplinary action.

Halogen Lamps. OESO Fire & Life Safety Division and Housing and Residence Life (HRL) prohibit halogen lights in residential areas. The very high temperatures reached by their bulbs constitute a fire hazard and a potential source of burns. In addition, the geometry of the floor model lamp tends to make them very unstable and easily tipped over.

Obstruction of Hallways, Stairwells, Sidewalks, and Lawns. North Carolina fire safety codes prohibit the obstruction of hallways and stairwells. The Durham Fire Marshal mandates the immediate removal of all items obstructing hallways and stairwells. HRL, Facilities Management, Fire & Life Safety, or Duke Police will remove without warning or reimbursement furniture, bicycles, lumber, and all other items found obstructing hallways or stairwells. University furniture will be removed from hallways and stairwells and residents may be charged for missing furniture. Sidewalks, stairways, and entryways must not be used for purposes other than ingress or egress. Bicycles may not be left in these areas or other locations where they may cause harm to persons or grounds keeping equipment.

Motorcycles must be parked in parking lots. Delivery trucks, automobiles, motorcycles, scooters, and mini-bikes are not permitted on lawns and walkways, patios, or stairwells. These vehicles must be parked in legal parking spaces.

It is against North Carolina state law and Duke University policy to gamble, with the exception of the state lottery. A person/organization is gambling if he/she/it operates, plays, or bets at any game of chance at which any money, property, or other thing of value is bet. Raffles of any kind, including those sponsored by student groups, are also prohibited. A “raffle” is defined as “a game in which the prize is won by random drawing of the name or number of one or more persons purchasing chances” (N.C.G.S. §14-309.15). Poker nights and casino games are permitted only if no admission is charged, no buy-in is required, and no real money is wagered.

Students and groups are responsible for notifying their guests of university rules and regulations and may be held accountable for the conduct of their guests. Guests can be Duke University students or non-students. Guests on campus who do not abide by university policies are subject to being trespassed.

Students are responsible for the behavior of visitors to their room/apartment and may be found responsible for behavior that occurs there whether or not the occupant(s) is/are present.

Harassment of any individual for any reason is not acceptable at Duke University. Harassment is unwelcome verbal or physical conduct that, because of its severity, pervasiveness, and/or persistence, interferes significantly with an individual’s work or education, or adversely affects an individual’s living conditions. (See the “Student Sexual Misconduct Policy and Procedures” for the definition of and procedures related to sex/gender-based harassment by an undergraduate or graduate student.) The Office for Institutional Equity responds to allegations of harassment in which an accused is not an undergraduate student; see for the university’s full Harassment Policy.

Hazing is a serious infraction of university regulations. The potential for hazing typically arises as part of a student’s introduction to or initiation in an organization (fraternity, sorority, athletic team, or other group) in which there is often a perceived or real power differential between members of the organization and those newly joining it.

Hazing defined. Hazing is defined as any action taken or situation created, whether on or off university premises, that is harmful or potentially harmful to an individual’s physical, emotional, or psychological well-being, regardless of an individual’s willingness to participate or its bearing on his/her membership status. Such activities and situations include, but are not limited to:

  • marching in line
  • road trips
  • wearing apparel which is conspicuous and not normally in good taste, and/or inappropriate for the time of year
  • calisthenics
  • line-ups
  • pledge/signature books
  • periods of silence
  • standing for a length of time
  • personal servitude
  • activities that would not normally construe hazing but because of time, place, or manner make them inappropriate
  • sleep deprivation or interruption of consecutive sleep hours
  • expected or forced consumption of food, drink (including alcohol), or other substance
  • acts of humiliation or degradation (including streaking or wearing degrading or humiliating apparel)
  • restrictions on eating or bathing
  • acts that disrupt academic instruction or learning of others
  • interruption or interference of academic commitments
  • branding
  • paddling in any form
  • compromising (sexual) situations

Any individual or group found responsible for hazing will be subject to sanctions outlined in the disciplinary process, including, but not limited to: disciplinary probation, social suspension, suspension of charter, restrictions on member recruitment and/or group activity, removal of the individual from the group, loss of housing privileges, suspension, and/or expulsion. Sanctioning will increase with the level of violation and any previous hazing violations. (Levels of violation listed above are guidelines only and may change given particular circumstances of a violation.) Students should also be aware that hazing is a misdemeanor under North Carolina state law.

Acts or potential acts of hazing may be reported to the Office of Student Conduct (919-684-6938) or Duke Police (911 or 919-684-2444). In addition, concerns may be reported confidentially via voicemail to the university’s Hazing Hotline at 919-684-5766. Maintaining the confidentiality of the source is possible, but may limit the extent of action that can be taken.

In accordance with the Higher Education Opportunity Act of 2008, Duke University has developed a policy for notifying the designated emergency contact in DukeHub for a student who is determined to be missing.

A student may be deemed missing if it is reported to appropriate university officials (Duke Police, Residence Coordinator on-Call, or the Dean on-Call) that the student has been unreachable via personal contact, telephone, e-mail, or other means of electronic communication for 24 hours or more. If members of the Duke community believe that a student has been missing for 24 hours, it is critical that they report that information to the Duke University Police at (919) 684-2444. A Residence Coordinator on-Call or Dean on-Call who receives such a report will immediately report it to Duke University Police. Duke University will notify any missing student’s confidential contact(s), if provided, within 24 hours of the determination that the student is missing. In the event a student is under 18 years of age and not emancipated, Duke University must notify a custodial parent or guardian within 24 hours of the determination that the student is missing, in addition to notifying any additional contact person designated by the student. For all missing students, Duke University will notify the local law enforcement agency within 24 hours of the determination that the student is missing, unless the local law enforcement agency was the entity that made the determination that the student is missing.

Upon determination by Duke University Police that a student is missing, the designated missing person contact will be notified as soon as possible, but no later than 24 hours after that determination that the student has been missing for 24 hours. The student’s custodial parent or guardian will also be notified if that person is not the designated missing person contact and the student is under 18 years of age and not an emancipated individual. Regardless of whether the student has identified a contact person, is above the age of 18, or is an emancipated minor, Duke University Police will inform local law enforcement (or the local law enforcement with jurisdiction) that the student is missing within 24 hours.

Duke provides the option for each student living in an on-campus student housing facility to identify, separate from an emergency contact, a contact person or persons to whom Duke will make notification within 24 hours of the determination that the student is missing. Students are encouraged to periodically review and update their emergency contact information in DukeHub. When students enter a separate “Missing Person” emergency contact or contacts in DukeHub, that information will remain confidential and shared only with appropriate university personnel involved with a missing person investigation and law enforcement, and may not be disclosed outside of a missing person investigation.

Students and groups are expected to respect the rights of others at all times. During specified hours, higher noise levels are permitted but must remain at a level considerate of those students who wish to study or sleep:


Quiet hours are in effect at all times other than as noted below, when reasonable levels of noise will be permitted:

  • 5:00 p.m.-7:00 p.m. Monday-Thursday
  • 5:00 p.m.-2:00 a.m. Friday
  • 1:00 p.m.-2:00 a.m. Saturday
  • 1:00 p.m.-6:00 p.m. Sunday

Additionally, amplified sound is permitted on the Plaza between noon and 1 p.m. on weekdays.


Quiet hours are in effect at all times other than as noted below, when reasonable levels of noise will be permitted:

  • 5:00 p.m.-midnight Friday
  • Noon-midnight Saturday
  • Noon-6:00 p.m. Sunday


From reading day(s) through the end of finals, quiet hours are in effect 24 hours a day.

Students who are disturbed by noise should attempt to resolve the situation by contacting the other party(ies) involved; or, if needed, seek the assistance of living group officers, resident assistants, graduate residents, or residence coordinators. If necessary, persistent complaints may be registered by calling Duke Police at 919-684-2444. Students are responsible for the actions of their guests; cohesive units, as a whole, may be held responsible for violations of this policy by their individual members or their guests. Initial complaints will be referred to appropriate residential staff. Depending on the nature and severity of the violation, as well as the existence of prior violations, the complaint may be forwarded to the Office of Student Conduct for disciplinary action.

Any physical abuse, fighting, and/or endangerment to an individual or group is specifically prohibited. This behavior includes, but is not limited to:

  • physical violence (initiating or responding to) or attempted physical violence against a person or group. This includes fighting.
  • threat of physical violence against a person or group.
  • any action that endangers the health, safety, or welfare of a person or group.

[Wording adopted from Eastern Michigan Student Conduct Code.]

Statement of Policy. Duke University respects the right of all members of the academic community to explore and to discuss questions which interest them, to express opinions publicly and privately, and to join together to demonstrate their concern by orderly means. It is the policy of the university to protect the right of voluntary assembly, to make its facilities available for peaceful assembly, to welcome guest speakers, to protect the exercise of these rights from disruption or interference.

The university also respects the right of each member of the academic community to be free from coercion and harassment. It recognizes that academic freedom is no less dependent on ordered liberty than any other freedom, and it understands that the harassment of others is especially reprehensible in a community of scholars. The substitution of noise for speech and force for reason is a rejection and not an application of academic freedom. A determination to discourage conduct which is disruptive and disorderly does not threaten academic freedom; it is rather, a necessary condition of its very existence. Therefore, Duke University will not allow disruptive or disorderly conduct on its premises to interrupt its proper operation. Persons engaging in disruptive action or disorderly conduct shall be subject to disciplinary action, including expulsion or separation, and also charges of violations of law.

Students planning a picket, protest, or demonstration should contact University Center Activities and Events (919-684-4741) for guidance and further information.

Rule. Disruptive picketing, protesting, or demonstrating on Duke University property or at any place in use for an authorized university purpose is prohibited.

While Duke University recognizes the right to voluntary assembly, members of the university community must recognize that the Medical Center provides care for individuals needing uninterrupted medical services in tranquil surroundings. Accordingly, all pickets, demonstrations, mass assemblies, and protests shall be confined to campus areas and are strictly prohibited in or around any Medical Center building.

Hearing and Appeal. Cases arising out of violations of the Pickets and Protests Regulations will be heard by the University Judicial Board, in accordance with the procedures outlined herein. The University Judicial Board shall have jurisdiction over members of the student body, members of the faculty, and administrative personnel of the university not subject to the personnel policy handbook. Hearings will be conducted with regard for academic due process. The decision of the University Judicial Board shall be final if the accused is exonerated or if there is no appeal. In other cases, students may appeal to the president, or, in his/her absence, the provost, in which case such appeal shall be solely on the record of the proceedings before the Hearing Committee of the University Judicial Board. Argument on appeal shall be on written submission, but the president may, in addition, require oral argument.

A Hearing Committee will consist of two faculty members, one dean, and two students. These students will be selected from members of the judicial boards or governments in the undergraduate, graduate, or professional colleges or schools. The chair of the Hearing Committee will be designated by its members. The Hearing Committee will conduct its proceedings in accordance with academic due process.

Amendments. These regulations on pickets, protests, and demonstrations may be changed or amended by the university at any time but any such change or amendment shall be effective only after publication or other notice. These regulations supersede any regulations heretofore issued on the subject.

Students and groups are expected to respect the property of others (including that of the university) and may be subject to disciplinary action for the following:

  • theft of the property and/or services of another;
  • damage, destruction, or defacement of the property of another, including littering or chalking of university property;
  • wrongful appropriation of the property and/or services of another;
  • unauthorized possession and/or use of the property of another, including knowingly being in possession of stolen
  • goods (this includes unauthorized use of vehicles, equipment, services, the Duke University name and logo);
  • unauthorized access, entry, and/or use of university or non-university facilities or property, including but not limited to buildings, classrooms, residential rooms, athletic areas, Central Campus pool, parking areas, roofs, ledges, and tunnels; and/or
  • violation of any policy or guidelines pertaining to specific usage of a university facility.

[Wording adopted from Eastern Michigan Student Conduct Code.]

The Student Sexual Misconduct Policy, applicable to all students, is available here.

Duke University seeks to preserve a living and working environment supportive of behaviors that contribute to the physical health and well-being of all community members. Smoking any substance is not permitted in any university building, including residence halls and apartments. Examples of prohibited smoking devices include, but are not limited to, cigarettes, e-cigarettes, and vaporizers.

Smoking is neither permitted within 10 feet of residential buildings, academic buildings, and dining facilities, nor anywhere on the campus of the Medical Center. Smoking is prohibited in specifically designated outdoor areas as determined by the manager of those spaces (e.g., the Plaza).

Note: Effective beginning July 1, 2020, Duke University will become smoke-free on all property and grounds owned and leased by Duke.

Recognized student organizations may use the Plaza for the purpose of sales, distribution, or promotion of events (also known as “tabling”). Tabling is administered by University Center Activities and Events (UCAE). Contact UCAE at 919-684-4741, 036 Bryan Center, or visit for more information and detailed guidelines.

Solicitation is prohibited within a 200-foot radius of the West and East Campus bus stops.

Commercial or outside solicitors (including student employees of outside vendors) are prohibited without permission of the appropriate space manager.

Stalking is a course of conduct (including cyberstalking) directed at a specific person that would cause a reasonable person to fear for her, his, or others’ safety, or to offer substantial emotional distress. Sex/gender-based stalking falls under the Student Sexual Misconduct Policy.

Capturing or recording audio, video, or photographic images of an individual in a location or under circumstances in which that person has a reasonable expectation of privacy, including, but not limited to, shower/locker rooms, residence hall rooms, and restrooms, is prohibited. Also prohibited is the storing, sharing, and/or other distribution of such unauthorized surveillance/photography (no matter whether directly or indirectly obtained) by any means, electronic or non-electronic.

[Wording adopted from Rice University.]

Although North Carolina law permits weapons on public university campuses under certain parameters, Duke University policy has not changed and continues to prohibit weapons on campus.

It is against university policy to possess and/or use a gun, rifle, pistol, or other firearm of any kind, or any powerful explosive on university property. Additionally, other than when permitted by the Vice President for Student Affairs (or his/her designee) for legitimate educational purposes, students are not permitted to possess and/or use on campus any weapon, including but not limited to pepper spray, mace, BB gun, stun gun, paintball gun, potato gun, realistic-looking toy gun, air rifle, air pistol, sword, bowie knife, dagger, slingshot, switchblade knife, blackjack, and metallic knuckles.

Other violations for which students or groups may be subject to disciplinary action include, but are not limited to:

  • violating any other published or posted university regulation not specifically mentioned in this section, including the Housing License, Housing and Residence Life regulations, student activities regulations, guidelines for organizations, parking regulations, etc.;
  • acting as an accomplice through action or negligence to the commission of any prohibited act;
  • attempting or intending to commit any violation of laws and/or university policies; and
  • violating local ordinances or state or federal laws (as determined through the university’s disciplinary process), including those related to noise, housing occupancy, and/or the use or distribution of alcohol.