I. Policy Statement
The University of Puget Sound is committed to providing a campus environment free from violence, including strictly prohibiting the possession or use of Weapons as defined by this policy on the University Campus by anyone except law-enforcement officials, armored car couriers, or others specifically authorized by the university to support curricular or co-curricular programs and consistent with the university’s commitment to safety.
This policy applies to all University Community Members and Campus Visitors, as defined in Section III, below. It also applies to University Community Members attending or participating in a university-sponsored activity off-campus.
- Campus: See “University Campus.”
- Campus Visitor(s): All persons temporarily on Campus who are not enrolled or employed by the university. For example, contractors, vendors, service providers, prospective students and their families, conference attendees, and Tacoma community members are considered campus visitors.
- Possession: Includes, but is not limited to, storage of any Weapon in student residential facilities, faculty or staff housing, academic or administrative offices, lockers, desks, briefcases, bags, or personal vehicles parked on university property.
- University Building(s): All structures owned and controlled by the university, including university property used for the sole purpose of providing rental housing for faculty and staff or others.
- University Campus (or “Campus”): All University Buildings (permanent and temporary structures) and University Grounds (outdoor spaces including, but not limited to, athletic spaces, sidewalks, and fields) owned and controlled by the university.
- University Community Member(s): For purposes of this policy, these are the University of Puget Sound students, faculty, and staff members.
- University Grounds: Any outdoor space owned and controlled by the university, including but not limited to athletic spaces, sidewalks, and fields.
- Weapon(s): Any firearm, explosive, knife (with a blade longer than 3½ inches as defined by Tacoma Municipal Code), club, or other objects that have been designed with the intent to harm another person or property (or replica of such a firearm or object) or any object used to inflict harm to another person or property. “Weapons” also include, but are not limited to: a pellet or BB gun, paintball or airsoft gun, blackjack, slingshot, Billy club, or metal knuckles (including replica or facsimile weapons), toy weapons (including squirt guns and nerf guns or any device capable of launching a projectile or substance), electroshock devices, stun guns or any other devices which could reasonably be mistaken for a weapon or explosive.
EXCEPTIONS: This definition does not include objects that are authorized, designated, and used following departmental policies for operational, academic, and/or recreational purposes (e.g., cutlery used in dining services operations, tools used in facilities services operations, props used in the theatre department, fencing equipment used in athletics) unless used in a way that is intended to harm another person or property.
This definition also does not prohibit small quantity personal protection chemical spray devices (e.g., key chain sprays) intended for defensive purposes.
IV. Approval of Weapons on Campus
The university strictly prohibits the possession or use of Weapons as defined by this policy on the University Campus by anyone except law-enforcement officials, armored car couriers, or others specifically authorized by the university to support curricular or co-curricular programs.
University Community Members and Campus Visitors who wish to bring any Weapon (as defined by this policy) onto the University Campus must disclose in advance the intent and the intended use of such objects to the Director or Associate Director of Security Services. At its sole discretion, the university will grant or deny the authorization and use of any such Weapons on Campus. The authorization will be given or denied by the Director of Security Services, Associate Director of Security Services, or other approved designee, considering whether there are a curricular or co-curricular purpose and other safety considerations.
V. Reporting Weapons
The university expects all University Community Members and Campus Visitors to help maintain safety and security at the institution and university-sponsored activities off-campus. All students, faculty, and staff who know Weapons on Campus and/or at university-sponsored activities off-campus have an obligation to report that knowledge promptly to the Director of Security Services or, in the Director's absence, the Associate Director or an on-duty Security Officer. Any Campus Visitor with such knowledge is strongly encouraged to notify Security Services as well promptly.
VI. Authority and Process for Searches
In cases of suspected possession of weapons by University Community Members or Campus Visitors, the university reserves the right, as stipulated in the Privacy and Appropriate Use of Resources policy, to search personal belongings on the University Campus, including but not limited to articles of clothing, purses, briefcases, bags, and vehicles.
All such searches must be approved in advance by the Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer or the Associate Vice President for Human Resources in the case of staff, or the Provost in the case of faculty, or the Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students in the case of students, or the Associate Vice President for Business Services in the case of Campus Visitors. In the absence of the pertinent university officer, the President may approve the search.
Once approved, Security Services will proceed with conducting the search or request law enforcement officials' involvement. Persons may be asked to leave Campus or remain in the presence of Security Services or Tacoma Police until a search is conducted or until the situation is resolved safely and appropriately. Security staff may take weapons discovered in a search into temporary custody for safe-keeping.
VII. Accountability for Violations
Any student(s) found to have violated this policy by possession or use of weapons on Campus or while attending or participating in a university-sponsored activity off campus is subject to sanctions up to and including expulsion. Sanctions will be imposed in accordance with the procedures of the Student Integrity Code. Violators may be banned from Campus and/or referred to the Tacoma Police Department.
Any faculty, staff, and student staff member found to have violated this policy by possession or use of Weapons on Campus or while attending or participating in a university-sponsored activity off campus is subject to sanctions, up to and including termination of employment. Sanctions will be imposed according to the Faculty Code, Staff Corrective Action Policy, or the Student Integrity Code as appropriate. Violators may be banned from Campus and/or referred to the Tacoma Police Department.
Any Campus Visitor(s) found to have violated this policy by possession or use of weapons on Campus is subject to immediate expulsion from Campus by Security Services and may be banned from Campus and/or referred to the Tacoma Police Department.
VIII. Related Statutes, Regulations, and Policies
- Tacoma Municipal Code, Title 8, 8.66.010, Definition C
- Code of Conduct
- Residence Life Policy
- Student Integrity Code
- Faculty Code
- Staff Corrective Action Policy
- Private and Appropriate Use of Resources Policy
Policy Owner: Security Services
Date Adopted: November 2002
Revised: August 2009
Revised: July 9, 2019