Terms of Service for Our Northwestern
Terms of Service: Effective April 1, 2013

Last update: July 6, 2016

The following terms and conditions govern all use of the our.northwestern.edu ("Our Northwestern") website and all content, services and products available at or through the website. Our Northwestern is owned and operated by Northwestern University, an Illinois corporation ("Northwestern University"). Our Northwestern is offered subject to your acceptance without modification of any and all of the terms and conditions contained herein and all other operating rules, policies (including, without limitation, Privacy Policy for Our Northwestern) and procedures that may be published from time to time on Our Northwestern by Northwestern University (collectively, the "Agreement").

Please read the Agreement carefully before accessing or using Our Northwestern. By accessing or using any part of Our Northwestern, you agree to become bound by the terms and conditions of the Agreement. If you do not agree to all the terms and conditions of the Agreement, then you may not access Our Northwestern or use any of its services. If these terms and conditions are considered an offer by Northwestern University, acceptance is expressly limited to the terms of the Agreement. Our Northwestern is available only to individuals who are at least 13 years old.

Your Our Northwestern account and profile

If you create or share any content on Our Northwestern, you are responsible for maintaining the security of your account and content, and you are fully responsible for all activities that occur under your account and any other actions taken in connection with the content. You must not describe or assign keywords to your content in a misleading or unlawful manner, including in a manner intended to trade on the name or reputation of others, and Northwestern University may change or remove any description or keyword that it considers inappropriate or unlawful, or otherwise likely to cause Northwestern University liability. You must immediately notify Northwestern University of any unauthorized uses of your content, your account or any other breaches of security. Northwestern University will not be liable for any acts or omissions by you, including any damages of any kind incurred as a result of such acts or omissions.

Responsibility of Contributors

If you create any content, comment on any content, post material to Our Northwestern, post links on Our Northwestern, or otherwise make (or allow any third party to make) material available by means of Our Northwestern (any such material, "Content"), you are entirely responsible for the content of, and any harm resulting from, that Content. That is the case regardless of whether the Content in question constitutes text, graphics, an audio file, or a video file. By making Content available, you represent and warrant that:

  • the downloading, copying and use of the Content will not infringe the proprietary rights, including but not limited to the copyright, patent, trademark or trade secret rights, of any third party;
  • if your employer has rights to intellectual property you create, you have either (i) received permission from your employer to post or make available the Content or (ii) secured from your employer a waiver as to all rights in or to the Content;
  • you have fully complied with any third-party licenses relating to the Content, and have done all things necessary to successfully pass through to end users any required terms;
  • the Content does not contain or install any viruses, worms, malware, Trojan horses, or other harmful or destructive content;
  • the Content is not spam, is not machine- or randomly-generated, and does not contain unethical or unwanted commercial content designed to drive traffic to third party sites or boost the search engine rankings of third party sites or sites in which you have an interest, or to further unlawful acts (such as phishing) or mislead recipients as to the source of the material (such as spoofing);
  • the Content is not pornographic, defamatory, harassing, or retaliatory, does not contain threats or incite violence, and does not violate the privacy or publicity rights of any third party;
  • the Content is not getting advertised via unwanted electronic messages such as spam links on newsgroups, email lists, other contents and web sites, and similar unsolicited promotional methods;
  • the Content is not named in a manner that misleads readers into thinking that you are another person or company. For example, your content’s URL or name is not the name of a person other than yourself or company other than your own; and
  • you have, in the case of Content that includes computer code, accurately categorized and/or described the type, nature, uses and effects of the materials, whether requested to do so by Northwestern University or otherwise.

By submitting Content to Northwestern University for inclusion on Our Northwestern, you grant Northwestern University a world-wide, royalty-free, and non-exclusive license to reproduce, modify, adapt and publish the Content solely for the purpose of displaying, distributing and promoting your content. If you delete Content, Northwestern University will use reasonable efforts to remove it from Our Northwestern, but you acknowledge that caching or references to the Content may not be made immediately unavailable.

Without limiting any of those representations or warranties, Northwestern University has the right (though not the obligation) to, in Northwestern University’s sole discretion (i) refuse or remove any Content that, in Northwestern University’s reasonable opinion, violates any Northwestern University policy or is in any way harmful or objectionable, or (ii) terminate or deny access to and use of Our Northwestern to any individual or entity for any reason.

Responsibility of Our Northwestern Visitors

Northwestern University has not reviewed, and cannot review, all of the material, including computer software, posted to Our Northwestern, and cannot therefore be responsible for that material’s content, use or effects. By operating Our Northwestern, Northwestern University does not represent or imply an endorsement of the material there posted, or that it believes such material to be accurate, useful or non-harmful. You are responsible for taking precautions as necessary to protect yourself and your computer systems from viruses, worms, Trojan horses, and other harmful or destructive content. Our Northwestern may contain content that is offensive, indecent, or otherwise objectionable, as well as content containing technical inaccuracies, typographical mistakes, and other errors. Our Northwestern may also contain material that violates the privacy or publicity rights, or infringes the intellectual property and other proprietary rights, of third parties, or the downloading, copying or use of which is subject to additional terms and conditions, stated or unstated. Northwestern University disclaims any responsibility for any harm resulting from the use by visitors of Our Northwestern, or from any downloading by those visitors of content there posted.

Content Posted on Other Websites

We have not reviewed, and cannot review, all of the material, including computer software, made available through the websites and webpages to which Our Northwestern links, and that link to Our Northwestern. Northwestern University does not have any control over those non-Northwestern University websites and webpages, and is not responsible for their content or their use. By linking to a non-Northwestern University website or webpage, Northwestern University does not represent or imply that it endorses such website or webpage. You are responsible for taking precautions as necessary to protect yourself and your computer systems from viruses, worms, Trojan horses, and other harmful or destructive content. Northwestern University disclaims any responsibility for any harm resulting from your use of non- Northwestern University websites and webpages.

Copyright Infringement

As Northwestern University asks others to respect its intellectual property rights, it respects the intellectual property rights of others. If you believe that material located on or linked to by Our Northwestern violates your copyright, you are encouraged to notify Northwestern University at helpcenter@our.northwestern.edu. Northwestern University will respond to all such notices, deemed as required or appropriate, by removing the infringing material or disabling all links to the infringing material. Northwestern University will terminate a visitor’s access to and use of Our Northwestern if, under appropriate circumstances, the visitor is determined to be a repeat infringer of the copyrights or other intellectual property rights of Northwestern University or others.

Intellectual Property

The Agreement does not transfer from Northwestern University to you any Northwestern University or third party intellectual property, and all right, title and interest in and to such property will remain (as between the parties) solely with Northwestern University. Northwestern University, Our Northwestern, our.northwestern.edu, the Northwestern University logo, and all other trademarks, service marks, graphics and logos used in connection with Northwestern University, or Our Northwestern are trademarks or registered trademarks of Northwestern University or Northwestern University ‘s licensors. Other trademarks, service marks, graphics and logos used in connection with Our Northwestern may be the trademarks of other third parties. Your use of Our Northwestern grants you no right or license to reproduce or otherwise use any Northwestern University or third-party trademarks.

Privacy Policy for the Northwestern Alumni Directory

Northwestern University maintains the Northwestern Alumni Directory (“the Directory”) for the purposes of facilitating interaction between alumni and allowing alumni to update their records in the University databases. The Our Northwestern system is user ID and password protected and may be accessed by authenticated alumni of Northwestern University, current students, approved University faculty and staff, and other authorized users. Users are responsible for all use of their name and password to gain access to the Northwestern Alumni Directory and for the use of information as a result of such access. Users acknowledge that responsibility and agree not to share their password with any other person. Northwestern has taken precautions to secure the personal information available through Our Northwestern. However, it is the users’ responsibility to restrict or hide personal information that they do not wish to be generally available in the Northwestern system.

Alumni may opt-out of Our Northwestern and the Northwestern Alumni Directory by registering and editing one’s profile: To hide profile information, select “Edit Profile & Privacy,” select “Yes” to the question “Hide your profile?” which can be found under “Search Preferences." All users may also restrict individual elements of profile information by selecting the “Privacy Settings” tab and changing to “Only Me.” If you opt-out of the Northwestern system (i.e. choose to hide your entire record), you may forfeit access to the Northwestern Alumni Directory.

By default, the search results summary view displays these fields:

  • Name
  • Preferred email address
  • Preferred phone number
  • Our Northwestern affiliation (student, alumnus/a, faculty/staff), school, and class year
  • Educational information: Northwestern degree(s) and major(s)
  • Employment information: Current and previous
  • Personal interests, including past/current activities and Northwestern alumni affiliations

At no time will Northwestern University rent or sell an individual's personal information to third parties. However, the methods of collecting information regarding visitors to the Northwestern University network of websites may also be utilized in connection with the Northwestern system of enterprise software platforms, and Northwestern may use the information for official Northwestern business.

NOTE: If you do not register for the Our Northwestern, and you have not otherwise designated your official University record as private, some of your personal information—including but not limited to your name, school, class year—may be published in the Alumni Directory.

The complete privacy policy for Our Northwestern can be found here:

Terms of Use for the Northwestern Alumni Directory

Alumni/User guidelines: In addition to the University's policies and guidelines, users of Northwestern University resources must abide by the following specific rules and regulations:

  • Unauthorized copying, reproduction, republishing, uploading, downloading, posting, transmitting, or duplicating any of the material is prohibited. Users may download or copy any downloadable materials displayed on the Northwestern University network of websites for personal, non-commercial use, provided that you maintain all copyright, trademarks, usage guidelines and other notices contained in such material.
  • Use of personal contact information made available through the Northwestern Alumni Directory—including but not limited to names, mailing addresses, phone numbers, email addresses, social media accounts, Northwestern affiliations and student information, employment information—for any commercial, advocacy-related, promotional, or political purpose is strictly prohibited. Prohibited activities include, but are not limited to, solicitations for commercial or personal services, fundraising, invitations to participate in research or surveys, cold-calling of any kind, mass-mailings, or broadcast e-mails
  • Alumni who have registered in Our Northwestern will have access to information in the directory but may not use the information they obtain for commercial or political purposes, promotions, advocacy, or any other purpose, business or otherwise except to facilitate individual personal communication or business of Northwestern University. However, Northwestern University will not be held liable for unauthorized use by alumni or other users who do not adhere to these policies.
  • Northwestern students, faculty, staff, authorized volunteers and guest users, and agents of Northwestern University may access Our Northwestern information for the exclusive purpose of carrying out Northwestern University business.

Neither Northwestern University nor the Our Northwestern system is responsible for screening communications in advance, and neither Northwestern University nor Our Northwestern will actively monitor the use of the online directory. For this reason, it is essential that users report abuse or misuse to helpcenter@our.northwestern.edu.

Northwestern University reserves the right to determine whether the use or misuse of information obtained through the Northwestern Alumni Directory (print or online) by any person or group is a violation of this policy or is otherwise abusive and further reserves the right to bar access to the Directory information and websites by any such person or group and to take appropriate action without notice.


Northwestern University reserves the right, at its sole discretion, to modify or replace any part of the Agreement. It is your responsibility to check the Agreement periodically for changes. Your continued use of or access to Our Northwestern following the posting of any changes to the Agreement constitutes acceptance of those changes. Northwestern University may also, in the future, offer new services and/or features through Our Northwestern (including the release of new tools and resources). Such new features and/or services shall be subject to the terms and conditions of the Agreement.


Northwestern University may terminate your access to all or any part of Our Northwestern at any time, with or without cause, with or without notice, effective immediately. All provisions of the Agreement which by their nature should survive termination shall survive termination, including, without limitation, ownership provisions, warranty disclaimers, indemnity, and limitations of liability.

Disclaimer of Warranties

Our Northwestern is provided “as is.” Northwestern University and its suppliers and licensors hereby disclaim all warranties of any kind, expressed or implied, including, without limitation, the warranties of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose and non-infringement. Neither Northwestern University nor its suppliers and licensors, makes any warranty that Our Northwestern will be error free or that access thereto will be continuous or uninterrupted. You understand that you download from, or otherwise obtain content or services through, Our Northwestern at your own discretion and risk.

Limitation of Liability

In no event will Northwestern University, or its suppliers or licensors, be liable with respect to any subject matter of the Agreement under any contract, negligence, strict liability or other legal or equitable theory for: (i) any special, incidental or consequential damages; (ii) the cost of procurement for substitute products or services; or (iii) for interruption of use or loss or corruption of data under the Agreement. Northwestern University shall have no liability for any failure or delay due to matters beyond their reasonable control. The foregoing shall not apply to the extent prohibited by applicable law.

General Representation and Warranty

You represent and warrant that (i) your use of Our Northwestern will be in strict accordance with the Privacy Policy for Our Northwestern, with the Agreement and with all applicable laws and regulations (including, without limitation, any local laws or regulations in your country, state, city, or other governmental area, regarding online conduct and acceptable content, and including all applicable laws regarding the transmission of technical data exported from the United States or the country in which you reside) and (ii) your use of Our Northwestern will not infringe or misappropriate the intellectual property rights of any third party.


You agree to indemnify, defend and hold harmless Northwestern University, its contractors, and its licensors, and their respective directors, officers, employees and agents from and against any and all claims and expenses, including attorneys’ fees, arising out of your use of Our Northwestern, including but not limited to your violation of the Agreement.


The Agreement constitutes the entire agreement between Northwestern University and you concerning the subject matter hereof, and it may be modified only by the posting of a revised version by Northwestern University. Except to the extent applicable law, if any, provides otherwise, the Agreement and any access to or use of Our Northwestern will be governed by the laws of the state of Illinois, U.S.A., excluding its conflict of law provisions, and the proper venue for any disputes arising out of or relating to any of the same will be the state and federal courts located in Cook County, Illinois. Except for claims for injunctive or equitable relief or claims regarding intellectual property rights (which may be brought in any competent court without the posting of a bond), any dispute arising under the Agreement shall be finally settled in accordance with the Comprehensive Arbitration Rules of the Judicial Arbitration and Mediation Service, Inc. ("JAMS") by three arbitrators appointed in accordance with such rules. The arbitration shall take place in Chicago, Illinois, in the English language and the arbitral decision may be enforced in any court. The prevailing party in any action or proceeding to enforce the Agreement shall be entitled to costs and attorneys’ fees. If any part of this Agreement is held invalid or unenforceable, that part will be construed to reflect the parties’ original intent, and the remaining portions will remain in full force and effect. A waiver by either party of any term or condition of the Agreement or any breach thereof, in any one instance, will not waive such term or condition or any subsequent breach thereof. You may assign your rights under the Agreement to any party that consents to, and agrees to be bound by, its terms and conditions; Northwestern University may assign its rights under the Agreement without condition. The Agreement will be binding upon and will inure to the benefit of the parties, their successors and permitted assigns.

Change log: Last updated July 6, 2016