Policy Governing the Operation of Unmanned Aircraft Systems, Drones, and Model Aircraft on Campus

1. Purpose

The operation of unmanned aircraft systems (UAS), including drones and model aircraft, is regulated by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and Massachusetts state law. Additionally, the inherent risks involved in the operation of UAS on campus require the establishment of a university policy governing the operation of UAS to reduce risks and ensure personal privacy.

2. Applicability

This policy applies to the operation by any person of UAS on or above Bridgewater State University property, except that Bridgewater State University employees operating UAS on campus as part of their University employment are exempt from the permitting requirements of this policy.

3. Policy

All members of the Bridgewater State University community and visitors to the campus are personally responsible for complying with FAA regulations, state and federal laws, and university policies.

Anyone seeking to operate UAS on or above university property must reserve space from the University Events office. Nonexempt persons and entities must also obtain a permit from the Bridgewater State University Police Department at least 48 hours prior to the planned operation, and a valid liability waiver must also be executed.

UAS may not be used to monitor or record areas where there is a reasonable expectation of privacy in accordance with accepted social norms. These areas include but are not limited to restrooms, locker rooms, individual residential rooms, changing or dressing rooms, and health treatment rooms. Additionally, UAS may not be used to monitor or record residential hallways, residential lounges, or the insides of campus daycare facilities. Also, UAS may not be used to monitor or record sensitive institutional or personal information which may be found, for example, on an individual's workspaces, on computer or other electronic displays.

UAS operation must not pose an unacceptable threat to safety or privacy. Approval, once given, may be rescinded regarding any UAS operation that is deemed to create a hazard or interference with any campus function or activity.

4. Definition

“Unmanned aircraft systems” – UAS: An aircraft without a human pilot aboard. For the purposes of this policy, includes drones, UAVs, and model aircraft.

“University property”: All buildings, grounds, and land that are owned by Bridgewater State University or controlled by the university via leases or other formal contractual arrangements to facilitate university operations

5. Sanctions

Any violations of university policies by an individual will be dealt with in accordance with applicable university policies and procedures, which may include student- or employee disciplinary action. Legal prohibitions regarding physical presence on campus/ trespassing and other legal action may also be pursued against third parties that operate UAS in violation of this policy.

Fines or damages incurred by individuals or units that do not comply with this policy will not be paid by Bridgewater State University and will be the responsibility of those persons involved.

6. Policy Questions or Concerns

Questions or concerns about this policy should be directed to the Bridgewater State University Police Department at 508-531-1212.

Reviewed 8/2023, by David Tillinghast, University Police