Students walking on south campus

Parents Frequently Asked Questions

What happens if my student does not attend his/her scheduled meeting?

The meetings are scheduled based on the student’s academic schedule.  If there is a different type of conflict the student should contact their hearing officer (contact information included in initial letter) before the scheduled meeting to set a new time.  However, if your student does not attend his/her scheduled meeting a decision will be made on responsibility and sanctions if applicable, without their input.  Additionally, they lose their right to appeal the outcome.

Will I be notified if my student is documented for an incident?

Due to the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), you will only be notified of an incident if your student is under 21 and found responsible for a violation of the alcohol or drug policy. You will be contacted through letter or telephone call.  The office encourages students to speak with their parent/guardian about all Student Conduct Code violations.

Where can I find the Student Conduct Code?

The Student Conduct Code (pdf) can be found online.

What does it mean to be part of an incident that was documented?

When a student is documented, it means that the student’s name is included in a written Incident Report.

The Incident Report has information about the incident and the alleged violation that has occurred. Being documented for an incident does not mean the student has been found responsible.

A meeting will be held with the student, as well as other students involved, to determine if he or she is responsible for the violation. All outreach is conducted with the student via email, and all UMass Lowell students are expected by the university to check email regularly, as it is the official means of university communication.

Students who neglect to check their email or do not respond will potentially forfeit their opportunity to provide information related to the incident, and potentially their option to appeal the outcome, so it is important to encourage your student to always check their email, and to read the entirety of university communications.

What happens if a student is part of an incident? What will happen?

If a student is documented for a potential conduct code violation, they will receive a letter via their student email address with information about a conduct meeting, based on their class schedule.

The student will meet with a hearing officer or investigator to discuss the incident.

If they are found responsible for the violation, they will be issued appropriate charges and sanctions.

If they do not attend their meeting, a decision will be made in absentia, and they forfeit their ability to appeal that decision.

Can a parent or guardian attend a student’s conduct meeting?

A student can bring a support person to the hearing, if they would like. The support person can be any person of the student’s choosing, except an eyewitness to the incident, as they will be interviewed separately. The support person may not speak on behalf of the student, nor present information; as previously stated no support persons can be eyewitnesses, and thus the support person will not have information related to the facts of the incident. Please refer to page 14-15 of the Student Conduct Code for full details on advisors.

What is the standard of proof used to make a determination of responsibility?

The Student Conduct system is a not a court of law. The “beyond a reasonable doubt” is a criminal standard and is not used. The Student Conduct system uses the “Preponderance of the Evidence” standard, meaning that determinations will be made based on whether it is more likely or not that the violation occurred. Additionally, the Student Conduct Code encapsulates the rules of the university, which may or may not also align with laws, but often include violations which are in addition to the law. It is the responsibility of all students to review the Student Conduct Code as a student.

What are some of the possible sanctions a student could receive if found responsible for a violation?

The majority of cases result in low level sanctions such as written reprimand, probation, and/or various types of educational sanctions. Violations of the alcohol and drug policy have minimum sanctions. Those sanctions can be found on page 23 (Alcohol) and page 26 (Drug) of the Student Conduct Code. Higher-level violations may be investigated through the university investigation process, and may result in higher-level sanctions such as removal from housing or the university. Please refer to page 10 of the Student Conduct Code for a comprehensive list of sanctions.

What happens if a student does not complete their assigned sanctions?

If a student does not complete their assigned sanctions, a hold will be placed on their account until the sanctions are completed. This hold will prevent the student from being able to register for classes. The hold is lifted once notification has been received that all outstanding sanctions have been completed.

Can a student appeal an outcome?

A student is able to appeal the decision of their hearing officer under the following criteria:

  • If new information of significance has come to light which was not available at the time of the initial Campus Conduct Conference or Investigation, and would materially affect the outcome. 
  • If the student can demonstrate that unusual procedures were followed, or if the procedures outlined herein were not followed, and such unusual procedures or the failure to follow procedures materially affected the decision of the Conduct Officer or Investigation.

Instructions for appeals would be located at the bottom of the student’s outcome letter.

Students who do not attend their outcome meeting may forfeit their opportunity to appeal.

How does my student report a potential violation of which they become aware?

Any member of the university community can provide information which may result in a conduct or investigation process. No student charges another student with a violation of the Student Conduct Code; the university determines, on a preponderance standard, if a violation may have occurred. With the exception of sexual misconduct violations only as specified on pages 11-12 in the Student Conduct Code, no student will be given information about the conduct files of another student, even if they were the initial reporting party.

Can parents/guardians get information about their student’s conduct history?

FERPA is the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act. FERPA covers the rights of students to privacy over their own educational records. Schools must have a student’s consent prior to the disclosure of any educational records. FERPA includes students of any age enrolled in a post-secondary educational institution.  There are exceptions to FERPA, for example violations of the alcohol and drug policy if the student is under the age of 21. Due to the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), the parent or guardian will only be notified of an incident if the student is under 21 and found responsible for a violation of the alcohol or drug policy. The parents or guardians will be contacted through letter or telephone call.

In order to receive more information about their student’s conduct history (beside alcohol and drug violations), the student must sign a waiver giving us permission to share their information with their parents or guardians. The student can get a waiver by contacting the office by email at: studentconduct@uml.edu.

Will this remain on a student’s record?

Conduct incidents remain on a student’s record for seven years after the date of the incident, except for expulsion which is noted on the student’s transcript.

Who should I contact if I have any additional questions?

You may contact the office via our email at studentconduct@uml.edu. You may also call 978-934-2100. The Office of Student Conduct is open from 8:30 a.m. -5 p.m., Monday through Friday.