Cases of potential sexual misconduct must first be reported to the University’s Title IX Coordinator for evaluation under the University’s Sexual Harassment Grievance Procedure under Title IX. Cases which do not meet the Title IX jurisdiction, may be referred to other campus processes. Cases of this nature which involve student respondents will be referred to the Student Conduct Investigation and Hearing Panel process. In cases where the Title IX definition is not met, the following definitions will apply as violations of the Student Conduct Code related to sexual misconduct.
No student shall sexually abuse or assault any other person on or off campus, including a University or city official acting in the line of duty. These standards are separate from those encompassed by and prohibited under the University’s Sexual Harassment Grievance Procedure under Title IX, which will be processed via the procedure outlined in that document (see Appendix F). Any formal reports of Sexual Harassment must be reported to the University’s Title IX Coordinator. Information can be found through the University’s Equal Opportunity & Outreach Office. Reports made to the Title IX Coordinator may be dismissed under the Sexual Harassment Grievance Procedure, and referred for investigation of potential violations of the student conduct code, including those below, which will be processed through the student conduct process. This shall include but not be limited to:
Domestic/Dating Violence: Dating Violence is abusive behavior (including, but not limited to, physical, emotional, and/or sexual acts or conduct) committed by a person who is or has been in a social relationship of a romantic or intimate nature with the victim. The existence of such a relationship will be determined by factors such as the length of the relationship, the type of relationship, and the frequency of interaction between the persons involved. Domestic Violence is any abusive behavior (including, but not limited to, physical, emotional, and/or sexual acts or conduct) committed:
- against a person who is a current or former spouse;
- against a person with whom the abuser shares a child in common;
- against a person who is or has cohabitated with the abuser as a spouse;
- against a person similarly situated to a spouse;
- between a parent and child;
- between members of the same household in an intimate relationship; or
- against any other person similarly situated.
Non-Consensual Sexual Intercourse: The penetration, no matter how slight, of the vagina or anus with any body part or object, or oral penetration by a sex organ of another person, without the consent of the Reporting Person. The definition includes any gender of Reporting Person or Responding Person, and includes instances in which the Reporting Person is incapable of giving consent because of temporary or permanent mental or physical incapacity, including due to the influence of drugs or alcohol or because of youth.
Massachusetts law indicates that such acts are considered rape in any of these circumstances:
- when a person is compelled to submit by force against their will,
- compelled to submit by threat of bodily injury and if either such penetration results in or is committed with acts resulting in serious bodily injury, or
- is committed by a joint enterprise, or
- is committed during the commission or attempted commission of certain other crimes.
Non-Consensual Sexual Contact: The touching of the private parts of another person for the purposes of sexual gratification, without the consent of the Reporting Person, including instances where the Reporting Person is incapable of giving consent because of their age or because of his/her temporary or permanent mental incapacity.
Sexual Exploitation: occurs when a student takes non-consensual, unjust or abusive sexual advantage of another; for their own advantage, benefit, or gratification; or to benefit, gratify, or provide advantage to anyone other than the one being exploited; and that behavior does not otherwise constitute non-consensual sexual contact, non-consensual sexual intercourse or indecent exposure. Examples of Sexual Exploitation include, but are not limited to:
- Going beyond the boundaries of consent
- Knowingly exposing another to or transmission of HIV or STD, or causing one to believe they have been exposed to an STD or STI
- Inducing incapacitation for the purpose of having sex with the incapacitated person (this type of sexual exploitation occurs regardless of whether sexual activity actually takes place).
Indecent Exposure: Exposure of one’s genitals or other intimate body parts where they can be readily observed by individuals who have not consented to the exposure and would reasonably find the behavior lewd, offensive, or threatening. Furthermore, engagement in sexual acts in a public place or where other parties who haven’t consented are present or foreseeably likely to be present.
Sexual Misconduct: unwelcomed conduct of a sexual nature when:
- submission to or rejection of such conduct by a person or persons is used as a basis for employment or educational decisions affecting such person or persons, or participation in University programs or activities; or
- such conduct unreasonably:
- interferes with a person or person's work or academic performance;
- interferes with or limits a person or person's ability to participate in or benefit from a work or academic program or activity; or
- creates an intimidating, hostile, or offensive working or academic environment.
Stalking: Any pattern of unwelcome conduct directed specifically at another person that threatens or endangers the physical or mental safety or property of that person (or a member of that person’s family or household) or creates a reasonable fear or intimidation of such a threat or action.
Against property: No student shall take, possess, damage or deface any University or neighborhood property or any property not their own.
- Theft: Unauthorized possession or removal of property that can reasonably be determined to have been stolen from the University, another person, a business, or organization. Note: The university cannot mediate payment between two non-university entities for theft. To seek compensation for loss of money or property, civil court requests can be filed.
- Damage to Property: removal of, defacing, tampering with, damage to, or destruction of property that can reasonably be determined to be owned by the University or another person or business.
Health and Safety: No student shall refuse to observe any safety regulations or procedures. The following constitute a limited number of examples of this violation:
- No student shall tamper with or otherwise misuse fire extinguishers, fire safety systems or other safety equipment on or off-campus.
- No student shall cause a person or themselves to become at risk for falling from an unsafe height, such as by opening access to a rooftop or normally-restricted window.
- No student shall refuse to follow published campus expectations related to prevention or spread of communicable diseases, including but not limited to viral, bacterial, and fungal outbreaks.
- No student shall knowingly engage in disease-spreading behaviors within the campus community.
Dangerous Conditions: No student shall knowingly create a condition which unnecessarily endangers or threatens the safety of any student or other persons or of property on or off campus Examples of this include but are not limited to:
- Students are prohibited from throwing things from roofs or windows, sitting on windowsills.
- Students are prohibited from tampering with or damaging elevator equipment or other machinery.
- Students are prohibited from creating conditions which are unsafe for members of the community, such as hosting large in-person gatherings with close contact wherein students may be exposed to the existence of potential communicable diseases or wherein students may be harmed by being in the presence of such pathogens.
Disruptive Activities: No student shall interfere with freedom of speech or movement, or intentionally disrupt or obstruct of teaching, research, administration, activities, or other functions or the incite others to do any of the above on or off campus. This includes noise disturbances on or off campus. Student tenants in off-campus housing will be held responsible for activities such as noise, large parties, inappropriate behavior, fights and property damage in and around their homes which are reported to the University as disruptive of good community relations.
Weapons: No student shall possess or introduce, on or off campus, dangerous weapons including, but not limited to: knives, brass knuckles, pellet guns, paint ball guns, archery equipment, martial arts weapons, pepper spray, mace, firearms and/or fireworks or other explosives. Students should be aware of the negative consequences of introducing plastic or toy weapons on campus which may be mistaken for real weapons, if perceived by others in the community to be real weapons, the weapons policy may be applied. Additionally, objects that may not be perceived as weapons, when weaponized to harm others, attempt to cause harm, or which a reasonable person would deem may be used to harm others, may constitute a violation of the weapons policy. Objects intended for self-defense, including pepper spray, must be legal in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, and approved and registered with the UMass Lowell Police Department.
Discrimination: No student shall be denied or deny the rights or privileges of a member of the University Community or other individual on the basis of a protected class such as race, color, religion, gender, gender identity or expression, age, sex, sexual orientation, national origin, ancestry, disability, marital status, military status, or genetic information in the admission to and participation of the University’s academic programs, activities, services, or employment. This Code adheres to the University’s Affirmative Action Plan and Nondiscrimination Guidelines; more information is available on the Office of Equal Opportunity and Outreach website.
Hazing: A conduct or method of initiation into any student organization, whether on public or private property, which willfully or recklessly endangers the safety, the physical or mental health of any student or other persons. The implied or express consent of the victim will not be a defense. Apathy or acquiescence in the presence of hazing are not neutral acts; they are violations of this policy. Failure to report a potential violation of the hazing policy may result in action through the Student Conduct System. This applies to such behavior on or off campus. No student or organization shall be involved in any action which is considered hazing by this definition. The University has a Zero Tolerance Policy for any/all types of Hazing. See Appendix A, Policy Regarding the Practice of Hazing, as well as the Massachusetts General Law regarding Hazing.
Solicitation: No student or student organization may represent itself as acting for or on behalf of the University in any commercial enterprise or in the solicitation or collection of funds for any purpose whatsoever without approval in advance by the appropriate University authority. (This applies to all means of communication, including but not limited to mail, email, telephone, electronic devices, or other means.)
False Alarm: A false alarm is extremely dangerous as it may cause other students to ignore an actual fire. A violation of this policy, whether accidental or malicious, places the lives and safety of fellow students in danger. Activating an alarm unnecessarily may be subject to criminal prosecution or fines according to Massachusetts state law. Fire alarms caused by cooking and/or dirty ovens are avoidable and may warrant administrative hearings. Fire alarms caused by other careless behaviors or acts may warrant sanctions as high as termination of housing, suspension, or expulsion if found responsible.