Yale Policies

While you are at Yale, you will be expected to abide by University policies, as well as local, state, and federal laws.  Even innocent violations could have serious consequences for your immigration status.

Rules & Policies

Academic Honesty, Cheating, and Plagiarism

Yale, like other educational institutions in the United States, has a strict zero-tolerance policy for infractions in the academic honesty code. Cheating or plagiarism of any sort is never tolerated. Cheating is when you have someone else write your papers, or take-home exams, or you get answers from others during exams.

Universities operate on the honor system, which makes trust a fundamental element of a U.S. education.  Take-home exams provide a good example of this.  For some international students, it may seem quite strange that a professor would give her students an exam to take home, complete and return to class at a later time.   But that is exactly what it is – an exam that you will, on your honor, complete at home.  It is expected that your answers will reflect your understanding and work, and yours alone.  A take-home exam is not to be shared with, or borrowed from another student, and is considered as being at the same level of seriousness as an in-class exam.  Remember too that aiding dishonesty by supplying answers for an exam is considered just as serious as obtaining them.

Plagiarism is the use of another’s work, words, or ideas without attribution. The word “plagiarism” comes from the Latin word for “kidnapper” and is considered a form of theft, a breach of honesty in the academic community. Plagiarizers suffer serious consequences including suspension or expulsion from school.

Like freedom of speech, academic honesty holds a special place in a community devoted to the creation, preservation, and dissemination of knowledge. For this reason, it is important for you to learn how to acknowledge the contributions of others in your own work and to document properly your reliance on their thinking.

You can learn more about the conventions of using sources by referring to the Yale College Writing Center. If ever you have doubts about when or how to cite, ask the course instructor, your writing tutor, or your residential college dean.

Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR)

Yale University is committed to the conduct of research and research training activities in a scientifically responsible and ethical manner.  The Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR) training is a part of funding requirements for both the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the National Science Foundations (NSF).  See this website for additional information on who must complete RCR required training.

Refer to the Template Language for Proposal Submissions for assistance in understanding the requirements and elements of RCR education and developing a RCR educational plan.

File Sharing and Copyright Infringement

ITS offers a number of facilities and services that enable secure collaboration and file transfers.

Due to the well-known security risks, ITS does NOT recommend that you routinely share files from your own computer with other computer users via the “File Sharing” options of the Macintosh or Windows operating systems. It is much more secure to leave the “File Sharing” option in your computer’s operating system off and use the standard Yale collaboration and file storage facilities.

Peer-to-peer (P2P) file-sharing technology allows users to make files available for other users to download and use. The hosts store files on their computers and the file-sharing software enables other users to download the files onto their computers. Examples of P2P file sharing networks include Bittorrent, Soulseek, DC++, RetroShare, and Freenet, among others.

How you use P2P software may violate federal copyright law and University Policy. If you use P2P software, you may receive notices of copyright infringement and or be subject to other legal action.  Once the University receives an infringement notice identifying a Yale network user by a Yale IP (Internet Protocol) address, Yale can identify the user. An identified Yale IP address can include any of your network registrations, the address of a computer in a department at Yale, or an IP address that you are assigned when you use the Yale VPN network.

Takedown or DMCA Notices are the most common type of copyright infringement notices that the University receives. Content owners such as the RIAA and MPAA send these notices to the ISP from which the file was made available and request that Yale forward them to the alleged infringers. When as ISP receives a takedown notice, it is obligated to takedown or disable the infringing content on the network.  Consult the ITS Frequently Asked Questions about illegal file sharing for more information.

Smoke-Free Yale

Yale is going tobacco-free on all campus properties to improve the health of our campus community. Yale is offering several resources for those who want to quit.

Alcohol and Drug Use

Alcoholic beverages, such as beer, wine and hard liquors (gin, rum, vodka, etc.) will be served in the U.S. at many types of social gatherings — parties, sporting events, receptions, etc. You must be 21 or older to consume alcoholic beverages in the state of Connecticut. It is against Connecticut state law to buy or serve alcohol to anyone under 21.

To read Yale policies on alcohol, see the Alcohol and Other Drugs Harm Reductions Initiative (“Audrey”)

Sexual Misconduct

Sexual misconduct incorporates a range of behaviors including sexual assault, harassment, intimate partner violence, stalking, voyeurism, and any other conduct of a sexual nature that is nonconsensual, or has the purpose or effect of threatening, intimidating, or coercing a person.  For more details, including definitions, university policies and resources, please visit this page. Yale strives to be a community free of sexual misconduct, by promoting the essential values of respect and responsibility, providing education, and working with students, faculty, and staff to create a community that is safe and supportive for all. Yale takes all complaints and accusations of sexual misconduct seriously.  More information on resources is available here.

Sexual Consent

Review Yale’s Definition of Sexual Consent here.

Consent can only be accurately gauged through direct communication about the decision to engage in sexual activity.  Presumptions based upon contextual factors (such as clothing, alcohol consumption, or dancing) are unwarranted, and should not be considered as evidence for consent.  Although consent does not need to be verbal, verbal communication is the most reliable form of asking for and gauging consent.  Talking with sexual partners about desires and limits may seem awkward, but serves as the basis for positive sexual experiences shaped by mutual willingness and respect.  (Exerpted from Guidance Regarding Sexual Consent.)

Sexual Harassment and Assault Response & Education (SHARE)

SHARE is available to members of the Yale community who are dealing with sexual misconduct of any kind. SHARE responders are Yale University mental health professionals. All calls to SHARE are confidential, and can be anonymous if you wish. SHARE will offer information and support, and sometimes recommendations, but won’t tell you what to do — their goal is to help you make your own informed, empowered decisions. You can call SHARE at any time of night or day, any day of the year: (203) 432-2000.

Domestic Disputes

In the case of violent domestic disputes, call 911 immediately. Any physical assault, including by your spouse or partner, is a crime. Non-consensual intercourse (even in a married couple) is considered rape. These types of crimes are customarily handled by the police, not by others - not even family or close friends.