Standards of Behavior with Minors

These Standards were developed as part of the Minors policy initiative and must be followed pursuant to the Policy for Programs Involving Minors (the “Policy”). All capitalized terms are defined in the Policy.

I.    Purpose

Princeton University expects all faculty, staff, students and volunteers who interact with Minors and/or who are participating in Princeton programs to foster and maintain an appropriate and secure environment for Minors. These Standards of Behavior aim to promote a safe environment for any program or event organized by Princeton University that involves Minors, and especially Covered Programs.

II.    Standards of Behavior

In addition to understanding common protocols for emergency, first aid and other situations, Adults who interact with Minors on campus or as part of a Covered Program must abide by these Standards.

A.  Awareness of Responsibilities: Adults must be aware of the responsibilities that accompany their interactions with Minors, including their responsibilities under the Princeton University Policy for Programs Involving Minors, criminal and civil laws, Rights, Rules, Responsibilities, and, where applicable, the Requirements for Minors in Research Facilities and Roles and Responsibilities for Chaperones.
B.  Appropriate Boundaries: Adults must maintain appropriate physical boundaries at all times. Adults shall not, under any circumstances, engage in any physical, sexual, verbal or emotional abuse. Nor shall they engage in covert or overt sexual behaviors, including seductive speech, gestures, depictions or physical contact that exploits, abuses or harasses a Minor in any way, or exposes a Minor to such treatment by another individual. Adults must prohibit any and all of the above-stated conduct between or among Minors. Adults must not shower, bathe or undress with or in the presence of Minors. 
C.  Electronic Communication: Adults must restrict electronic or social media communication with Minors to Princeton University program-related business purposes, whether conducted through email, text message, social networking websites, internet chat rooms or any other form of electronic communication.
D.  Physical Contact: Adults shall not, under any circumstances, touch Minors in a manner that a reasonable person could interpret as inappropriate or allow inappropriate touching between or among Minors. 
E.  One-on-One Interactions:  Adults must only engage in one-on-one interactions with a Minor when necessary for the Covered Program. Adults must not engage in, nor have the appearance of engaging in, inappropriate one-on-one interactions. Adults shall not tell a Minor to keep secrets from other program personnel, participants, and/or their parent/guardian (e.g., use of language similar to "this is just between the two of us"). Adults must not meet with Minors outside of established times for program activities, and must not provide transportation for a Minor in any vehicle when no other Adults or participants are in the vehicle, except in the event of an emergency. 
F.  Drugs, Alcohol Use, and Other Prohibited Items: Adults should never, under any circumstances, discuss, use, possess, or be under the influence of illicit drugs or alcohol in the presence of Minors. Adults must not use any type of weapon or explosive device in the presence of Minors. Adults must never make available illicit drugs, alcohol, weapons or explosive devices to Minors.
G.  Adult to Minor Ratios:  Covered Programs must maintain a minimum ratio of one Adult to 10 Minors. 
H.  Gift Giving: Adults should never give a gift to an individual Minor without notice to the parent and institution. 
I.  Pictures: Adults should never take or use a photograph or a video of a Minor participating in a Covered Program, unless a parental/guardian consent form has been signed.
J.  When Traveling Away from Campus:

  • Adults must travel with the group.
  • Adults should never stay in the same room overnight with a Minor who is not their own child (unless the parent or guardian is also in the room).
  • Adults should not assign Minors of different genders to sleep in the same room overnight unless written permission is obtained from a parent or guardian of each Minor.
  • Adults and Minors should not use shower/bath facilities on trips simultaneously.  If there are not separate facilities, a trip leader must publish a schedule that allows individual privacy.

III.    Reporting

All faculty, staff, students and volunteers who have reasonable cause to believe that a Minor has been subjected to child abuse or acts of child abuse are required under New Jersey law to report the situation to the New Jersey Division of Youth and Family Services, and under the Policy, to the Princeton University Department of Public Safety (DPS). DPS will answer questions related to child abuse and the process for reporting suspected child abuse. For any other crimes or in emergencies contact 911 or 609-258-3333 for DPS

Contact: Please contact the Minors Policy Committee ([email protected]) with any questions regarding the Standards of Behavior with Minors, the Policy or Covered Programs. 

For emergencies, contact the Princeton University Department of Public Safety at 911 or 609-258-3333.

IV.    Update Log

– effective 9/3/2019