Carnegie Mellon University

University Policies & Guidelines

When planning events and initiatives, organizations should be aware and follow University Policies.

At the core, the standards, policies and regulations of the Carnegie Mellon community are designed with one or more of the following four purposes: to promote and protect the rights of members of, or visitors to, the community; to promote and protect the health and safety of members of, or visitors to, the community; to promote and protect the academic integrity of the community; and to promote the respect of and protect the property of the community members and University (excerpt from Community Standards, Policies, and Procedures section in The Word)

(The Alcohol & Drug Policy can be found online in the Community Standards, Policies, and Procedures section of The Word)

Policy Statement Regarding Alcohol

Carnegie Mellon faculty, administrators, staff and students recognize the responsibility and potential harm inherent in the use of alcoholic beverages. The following university policy will govern all university social activities on and off campus at which alcoholic beverages will be served.  University social activities are any social activities on university property or for which university funds or other resources are used.  All members of the university community have an individual and collective responsibility to adhere to the following policy:

  1. In all circumstances, the university expects its faculty, administrators, staff, students, alumni and their respective guests to conduct themselves, both individually and collectively, in a responsible manner. Illegal, abusive or excessive consumption of alcohol resulting in interference with the rights of other persons, personal injury or damage to property will result in severe disciplinary action, beginning with monetary sanctions, up to and including suspension or expulsion.
  2. In residential areas such as private residence hall rooms, campus apartments, fraternities or sororities, there exists an expectation of privacy; however, in these areas members of the university and their guests are still governed by the applicable law and will be responsible for their own behavior. In addition, any actions which violate the law and/or the rights of others, or in some way damage personal or public property, will result in the loss of the above-mentioned privacy rights and will be cause for university intervention and enforcement.
  3. Where lawful, permission to serve alcoholic beverages at a social activity where students will or may be in attendance can only be obtained through the dean of student affairs. Before permission is given, a dean, department head, faculty member or staff member who is on the exempt payroll must take personal responsibility for ensuring that alcoholic beverages are served only to those persons who are of legal age. Such responsibility may be assumed only after completing the Social Host Responsibility session offered through the University Police. This session will be offered periodically throughout the year. Please contact the University Police at 412-268-2323 for details.
  4. In addition, the following guidelines must be observed for all events:
  • Social activities at which alcoholic beverages are served must take place in an area that is private or semi-private. Privacy is determined by the ability to control access to the area of the social activity and limit attendance to invited guests only. Alcoholic beverages are not to be consumed anywhere outdoors on the grounds of Carnegie Mellon. Therefore, alcoholic beverages are prohibited at social activities on the Cut, on the Mall, on the fraternity area grounds, on housing grounds, on the athletic field or on any other similar outdoor area either owned or used by the university.
  • A fee must never be charged for the service of alcohol where prohibited by applicable law or without obtaining the appropriate license or meeting the appropriate legal requirements to do so.
  • Public advertising of events at which alcohol is to be served must not include any reference to alcohol, nor may such events be publicly posted outside of the university community.
Hosting an Event with Alcohol

The Dean of Student Affairs is responsible for registering and approving University social activities where alcohol is being served. University social activities are any social activities on University property or for which University funds or other University resources are used. Please review the complete university policy governing social activities with alcohol prior to submitting the registration form.

(The Policy on the Protection of Children in Carnegie Mellon Programs, Activities, & Facilities can be found online on the Child Protection Operations site)

Child Protection Operations

Carnegie Mellon is committed to providing a safe and secure environment for all minors involved in any programs or activities conducted on university premises, as well as any off-campus programs or activities sponsored by the university. Child Protection Operations is part of the Office of the Assistant Vice Provost for Educational Outreach.

Our Policy on the Protection of Children in Carnegie Mellon Programs, Activities & Facilities highlights the university's dedication to keeping kids safe.  This policy sets forth the university's requirements for and the expectations of faculty, staff, students, contractors, and volunteers who operate and/or participate in such programs. The purpose of this policy, and our Best Practices for Individuals and Program Requirements is to ensure the safety and well-being of minors while setting high standards to encourage the pursuit of excellence in our engagement, outreach, and service to the community.

All members of the Carnegie Mellon community, including faculty, staff, students, contractors, and volunteers, are expected to act in accordance with this policy.

registration form must be submitted for each program, course, or activity involving minors at least 30 days prior to the start date.  Programs, courses, or activities that operate periodically must register annually. All programs, activities and courses involving minors must register with Child Protection Operations before beginning interactions with minors.  Registration is required on an annual basis; however, the addition of new volunteers and/or university employees should be reported to Child Protection Operations as changes occur.   If you have questions about the registration process, please send a message to

(The Concessions, Solicitations, Lotteries & Raffles can be found online in the Community Standards, Policies, and Procedures section of The Word)


Any group or individual who wishes to sell merchandise or service of any description on the campus or in the buildings of the institution must present an application in writing to the dean of student affairs. Written permits will be issued for approved applications.

Solicitation of Funds

Student organizations may solicit funds for use by the organization from students, alumni, family or friends.  Funds solicited using the University’s name or for which the donor expects to receive a charitable income tax deduction as a gift to the University must be solicited and used in compliance with the University’s solicitation and accounting rules. To ensure compliance with tax laws, these rules require gifts designated to a specific organization be made through the University’s Annual Giving website or by deposit to the Student Activities or Student Life Offices.

Lotteries and Raffles

Lotteries, raffles or other devices of a like nature are governed by the laws of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and are therefore authorized on campus only when required permits are obtained by the appropriate governing authority. Approval to host an event deploying games of chance must receive approval from the director of student activities to ensure compliance with the law.

If you plan to show a movie or video on campus, please read the information below. It is taken with permission from the brochure “Film & Video Piracy” by the Motion Picture Association of America.

What are "Public Performances?"

Suppose you invite a few personal friends over for dinner and a movie. You purchase or rent a copy of a movie from the local video store and view the film in your home that night. Have you violated the copyright law by illegally “publicly performing” the movie? Probably not.

But suppose you took the same videocassette and showed it at a club or bar you happen to manage. In this case you have infringed the copyright of the movie. Simply put, media obtained through a video store are not licensed for exhibition. Home video means just that: viewing of a movie at home by family or a close circle of friends.

What the Law Says?

The Federal Copyright Act (Title 17 of the United Stated Code) governs how copyrighted materials, such as movies, may be used. Neither the rental nor the purchase of a video carries with it the right to show the tape outside the home.

In some instances no license is required to view a video, such as inside the home by family or social acquaintances and in certain narrowly defined face-to-face teaching activities.

Taverns, restaurants, private clubs, prisons, lodges, factories, summer camps, public libraries, day-care facilities, parks and recreation departments, churches and non-classroom use at schools and universities are all examples of situations where a public performance license must be obtained. This legal requirement applies regardless of whether an admission fee is charged, whether the institution or organization is commercial or non-profit, or whether a federal or state agency is involved.

The concept of “public performance” is central to copyright and the issue of protection of intellectual property. If a movie producer, author, computer programmer or musician does not retain ownership of his or her work, there would be little incentive for them to continue and little chance of recouping the enormous investment in research and development, much less profits for future endeavors.

Penalties for Copyright Infringement

“Willful” infringement for commercial or financial gain is a federal crime punishable as a misdemeanor, carrying a maximum sentence of up to one year in jail and/or a $100,000 fine. Even inadvertent infringers are subject to substantial civil damages, ranging from $500 to $20,000 for each illegal showing.

The MPAA and its member companies are dedicated to stopping film and video piracy in all its forms, including unauthorized public performances. The motion picture companies will go to court to ensure their copyrights are not violated. Lawsuits have been filed against cruise ships and bus companies for unauthorized on-board exhibitions.

How to Obtain a Public Performance License

Obtaining a public performance license is relatively easy and usually requires no more than a phone call. Fees are determined by such factors as the number of times a particular movie is going to be shown, how large the audience will be and so forth. While fees vary, they are generally inexpensive for smaller performances. Most licensing fees are based on a particular performance or set of performances for specified films. The major firms that handle these licenses include:

Films, Inc: 800-323-4222
Swank Motion Pictures, Inc: 800-876-5577
Motion Picture Licensing Corp (MPLC): 800-338-3870
Why is Hollywood Concerned about Such Performances?

Ask for Guidance

If you are uncertain about your responsibilities under the copyright law, contact the MPAA, that handle public performance licenses, or the studios directly. For additional guidance on how to obtain rights for video performances, please call AB Films at x8-2106.

For additional guidance on how to obtain rights for video performances, please call AB Films at x8-2106.

All student organizations planning an event involving the preparing, cooking, and/or serving of food in the Cohon University Center reserved spaces must adhere to the Food Safety Policy (located on the Cohon Center website in policies).

(previously titled Free Speech and Assembly and Controversial Speakers; excerpted from Carnegie Mellon Freedom of Expression Policy)

Carnegie Mellon University values the freedoms of speech, thought, expression and assembly—in themselves and as part of our core educational and intellectual mission.  If individuals are to cherish freedom, they must experience it. The very concept of freedom assumes that people usually choose wisely from a range of available ideas and that the range and implications of ideas cannot be fully understood unless we hold vital our rights to know, to express, and to choose. The university must be a place where all ideas may be expressed freely and where no alternative is withheld from consideration. The only limits on these freedoms are those dictated by law and those necessary to protect the rights of other members of the university community and to ensure the normal functioning of the university.

Student organizations are permitted to hang banners on Doherty Hall through the following procedure:

  • All banners must be approved by the Office of Student Leadership, Involvement, and Civic Engagement.
  • Banners posted on the outside wall of Doherty Hall must be removed within forty-eight (48) hours after the event advertised on the banner. If no event is advertised, the banner must be removed no later than thirty (30) days after its initial posting on Doherty Hall.

Banner Guidelines and Facilities Management and Campus Service (FMCS) Requests

If hanging a banner across the Doherty archway, the size of the banner must be no more than 22 feet long by 30 inches in height. Banners must have wind slots and reinforced grommets in order for FMS to hang the banner.

To hang the banner, submit a work order through the FMS website, that includes where the banner should be picked up (the Office of Student Activities: UC Suite 103) and the date the banner should be hung/posted on Doherty. Organizations will need to provide an oracle string for their organization before submitting request. Please follow the On Campus Purchase process.

To have the banner taken down, submit a work order through the FMCS website,, that includes the date the banner should be taken down from Doherty and where to return the banner (the first floor SLICE Office in the Cohon Center). Please make sure to retrieve your banner.

Please note, there is a limited number of banners that can be hung on Doherty and banners will be allocated space on the building by the date the work order was submitted.

The SLICE Office is the drop-off location for large posters to be hung by FMCS for student organizations. Other departments and non-recognized student organizations should arrange for pick-up within the department with which they are affiliated.

FMS will charge a fee to hang the banner.

SLICE staff must be notified PRIOR to making any hazardous material purchases even if buying out of pocket .

Students purchasing or using hazardous materials must complete the Student Affairs Hazmat Purchasing Training [PPT].

Hazardous materials include but are not limited to propane, epoxy, lighter fluid, acetone, aerosol sprays, paints and dyes,  etc.

For questions about hazardous materials, please contact SLICE.

(The Hazing Policy can be found online in the Community Standards, Policies, and Procedures section of The Word)

Students have a right to be treated with respect and dignity by and among their peers. Hazing is inconsistent with Carnegie Mellon University’s values and is strictly prohibited.  Consistent with Pennsylvania law, the university defines hazing as any action or situation on or off campus that recklessly or intentionally endangers the mental or physical health or safety of a student or that willfully destroys or removes public or private property for the purpose of initiation or admission to, affiliation with, or as a condition for continued membership in, any organization operating under the sanction of or recognized by the university. Any such activity shall be presumed to be forced regardless of the individual’s willingness to participate.

Students and/or recognized student organizations accused of hazing will be subject to investigation and review through our community standards process, which could result in disciplinary action up to and including suspension or expulsion from the university for students and loss of recognition for student organizations.

If you believe an organization is hazing, or have questions about hazing, please contact the SLICE Office immediately. Those who report will be assured confidentiality.

Consistent with the rights and responsibilities outlined in the university's policy on Freedom of Expression, university hosts must follow all applicable policies related to space reservation, use, safety and security, keeping in mind the responsibility to have campus police present for any event with 100 or more persons in attendance.

For more information on what hosts should consider in planning a campus event, please read the Freedom of Expression Policy.

(The Noise Policy can be found online in the Community Standards, Policies, and Procedures section of The Word.

Members of the university community have a right to work, study, practice and live in an environment free from disruptive noise. Acknowledging our desire to foster a vibrant campus culture, which will necessarily involve some noise associated with campus activities, the following expectations are intended to guide thoughtful planning and decision-making by students and student groups:

Activity occurring on Carnegie Mellon-owned or managed property that disrupts the normal course of business or is otherwise disruptive to the university or surrounding communities is restricted during the following hours:

  • Monday - Thursday: before 4:30 p.m. and after 6:30 p.m.
  • Friday: before 4:30 p.m. and after 10:00 p.m.
  • Saturday and Sunday: before 7:00 a.m. and after 10:00 p.m.

To fully support our vision for campus life, it is necessarily the case that some organized activities will merit consideration for exception to these articulated hours. Such requests are encouraged and should be submitted via this form to the Director of Student Leadership, Involvement, and Civic Engagement for review and approval.

Any time that excessive noise results in a reasonable complaint from individuals within or beyond the campus, the responsible party is expected to reduce the volume immediately. Failure to meet such a request from a university official will be referred for disciplinary review, separate and apart from any citations or other actions that may be taken by law enforcement authorities.

Any individual who would like to make a complaint about excessive noise is encouraged to immediately direct it to University Police, (412)268-2323, who will maintain a record of the complaint in connection with their response.

The Office of Residential Education serves as the hub for distributing fliers to the residential staff (RAs and CAs) for posting inside campus residence halls. Posting is limited to recognized student organizations only - no external solicitors or neighborhood businesses. Please review the Student Life Residence Hall Poster Distribution Policy and procedures before submitting posters to the Office of ResEd, located in Morewood.

The Student Government Graffiti and Poster Policy regulates the use of advertising space on Carnegie Mellon University's Pittsburgh campus. This policy covers what is permitted in regards to chalking, postering, and best practice for painting The Fence. The policy also outlines what is considred to be a violation and consequences for these violations.


It is only permitted on sidewalks. Chalking is not permitted in areas that are not directly exposed to rainfall, including covered sidewalks and vertical portions of outdoor stairs.

  • Posters do not exceed a size of 11” x 17”
  • Name and contact information of the sponsoring CMU recognized group, organization, department, or member of the campus community is clearly indicated on the poster
  • Maximum of one (1) active poster per event, per bulletin board location
  • New posters are not posted over other active posters
  • If advertised event/initiative poster is "funded in part by your Student Activities Fee" or "funded by your Student Activities Fee," then these phrases must be printed on the poster
  • 1st violation: a warning will be issued
  • 2nd violation: a $5 fine per violation will be charged
The Fence
  • Only paintbrushes are used
  • All painting materials must be kept within the gravel area surrounding the Fence
  • Painting anything other than the Fence is a form of graffiti
  • Paint dripped outside the gravel area will be considered vandalism
  • Please use Doherty Hall sink closet to clean brushes (do not use bathrooms and be careful of dripping paint along the way)
  • Paint cans (empty or otherwise) can be left by the trash can in the gravel area for proper disposal by FMCS
  • Clean-up all trash and belongings
Cohon University Center Reservation Policy

Learn more about who may reserve space, reservation policies and procedures, how to submit a request, adjustment of request, and cancellations by visiting the CUC Reservation Policy website. Send email to ucres@andrew.cmu for any questions or concerns.

University Registrar's Office Classroom Policy

Please visit the University Registrar's Office Classroom Policy for details regarding classroom requests and availability, classroom use for programs and events. Any misuse of classroom space could jeopardize the ability to request rooms in the future. Send email to for any questions or concerns.


Carnegie Mellon University’s SpaceQuest application, powered by 25Live, is the only acceptable and recognized method for scheduling events for University Registrar's classrooms, University Center, Tepper School of Business spaces, the Posner Center Telepresence Room, Heinz College, Computing Services Clusters, and Mellon Institute (affiliates only). Please visit 25Live for building specific policies regarding space reservations.

Please review the CUC Tabling Policy before reserving tables in the CUC or outside Doherty. Send email to for any questions or concerns.

(excerpted from the Trademark Licensing Office's guidelines,


A trademark (including a service mark) includes any word, name, symbol or device, or a combination of them, used to associate goods (or services) with a particular entity and to distinguish them from the goods (or services) of others. A trademark may only be used by or with the consent of the owner thereof. Use of another's trademark in a logo, in advertising services, or on a product in a way that could state or imply an endorsement is not permitted.

The University’s trademarks are not to be used in any way that will discriminate against any persons or groups based on age, ancestry, belief, color, creed, disability, national origin, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, or veteran status, or in any other way that would be a violation of the university’s anti-discrimination policies.
Official University Graphics

The University's brand guidelines can be found at Any merchandise that contains the official Carnegie Mellon logo needs to be approved by Jay Marano from the Trademark Licensing Office at 412-268-3904 or vis email at The use of University logos has specific restrictions and conditions associated with their use.  To obtain electronic files of Official University graphics, please visit the downloads section on the brand guidelines website.

Student Organization Graphics

Using Official Graphics

Student organizations using official university graphics on promotional products will need to follow the guidelines provided below and seek approval prior to production from the Trademark Licensing Office:

  • The official "CMU" graphic must be used with the official "Carnegie Mellon University" graphic;
  • The "Carnegie Mellon" and "Carnegie Mellon University" wordmarks can be combined with your group name or logo;
  • The "Carnegie Mellon" name is officially registered and should use the registration mark, aka “®.”;
  • All official logos must be used in official colors on merchandise in official colors.

Only the Trademark Licensing Office can waive the use of the registration mark with the "Carnegie Mellon University" graphic when the graphic is used on merchandise.

Using Unofficial Carnegie Mellon Graphics

Unofficial graphics applied to items produced by student organizations must follow the guidelines below.  These are new guidelines developed by the Trademark and Licensing Office that offer more flexibility and options when using the Carnegie Mellon name on items typically designed by student organizations.  For any questions surrounding permission to use a graphic or logo please direct all inquiries to the Trademark and Licensing Office.

  • "Carnegie Mellon" and "Carnegie Mellon University" may be included in a unofficial design or type-face on your item. "CMU" and "Carnegie Mellon University" may be included in a unofficial design or type-face on your item, but must be presented together.
  • When using the university name Carnegie Mellon, in either an official or unofficial graphic, you should always use the registration mark and a licensed vendor.
  • Your organization name or logo may be used without the official graphics, however "CMU" cannot be in the logo or part of your group name without inclusion of "Carnegie Mellon University" also on the item.
  • If organizations on campus use their own name or logo with unofficial marks or graphics, official colors are not required, but are recommended.
  • You may use a non-licensed supplier if the university name or official graphics are not included on the item. Please keep in mind that when referring to a location on campus, use the specific name of the location or refrain from using the name of the university if you are planning to use a non-licensed supplier.
Selecting Vendors (Suppliers)

The Trademark Licensing Office has established licensing agreements with a number of suppliers who provide a variety of products. A complete list of all current licensees can be obtained by contacting the Trademark Licensing Office or by visiting Individuals or groups seeking a supplier should first review this list to determine if the required items may be obtained from one of the current licensees. If it is necessary to use a supplier that is not licensed, consult the Trademark Licensing Office.


Individuals and suppliers who use Carnegie Mellon trademarks without permission from the Trademark Licensing Office are subject to actions including receiving a cease-and-desist notice, having merchandise confiscated, and legal proceedings.

Established in 1994, the Trademark Licensing Office welcomes any questions you have regarding this policy or the proper use of Carnegie Mellon trademarks. Please contact Jay Marano at x8-3904 or via email at