There are multiple ways for faculty, staff, students and visitors to share concerns regarding inappropriate behavior or actions. You can do so online, by phone, in person or anonymously. For all your reporting options, visit the Report a Concern page. Our office reviews online and phone reports between 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday. If this is an emergency, please contact the UMass Lowell Police Department, 978-934-4911. Officials with Authority must report concern of which they learn, within 24 hours.
The Student Conduct Code provides the behavioral expectations for all University of Massachusetts Lowell students. The Student Conduct Code (alternately, Code or Conduct Code) has jurisdiction to address behavior that occurs both on University property and off campus. Additionally, the Conduct Code provides the procedures used to address alleged violations of the Conduct Code.
(Updated August 2020)
In order to read the Student Conduct Code please click on the bulleted list to jump to a certain section.
Questions regarding the Conduct Code should be directed to:
The Office of Student Conduct
Location: University Crossing
Resources are available for Reporting Sexual Harassment under the University’s Title IX Sexual Harassment Grievance Procedure on the Sexual Harassment Prevention & Education website.
Misconduct for which students are subject to disciplinary action, up to and including suspension or expulsion from the University will generally fall into the following categories. These standards are separate from those 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.
Respect for persons means acting to enhance the safety, well-being and freedom to allow all persons to pursue their legitimate aims. This is inclusive of all University Community Members and non-community members. Respect for property means recognizing not only the ownership rights of persons and of the University, but also the dependence of all on the availability and preservation of necessary facilities and equipment.
Students of the University may enter and use all campus buildings and areas for the purposes assigned to these facilities and places during established operating hours. Exceptions to this rule are made only in the interests of safety, personal use and privacy, protection of valuable materials and equipment or to regulate access according to the hours which are normal for their assigned functions. When buildings or spaces within them are officially closed or restricted, limited access applies to all students of the University unless specifically exempted. Students must adhere to all local, state, and federal regulations regarding trespassing on private property.
The University expects all students to be accurate in all information provided in official documents and correspondences with the University and/or on behalf of the University, both written and verbal.
Within the University and city, authority is delegated specifically to some individuals and some official bodies to direct the action of other members of the University and city/state officials in fulfillment of legitimate purposes and functions of the University and community.
All legitimate activities of the University/city and its members can contribute to the achievement of its purposes and ideals. No single activity is above legitimate challenge or question, but activities shall be protected from peremptory unauthorized interruption.
The University recognizes all local, federal and state laws and expects students to adhere to them. Specifically, the University puts students on notice that its campus offers no haven from applicable laws of personal behavior, and that students are specifically liable for any violation of local, state and/or federal laws.
Any violation of any University policies, including but not limited to the Residence Life Guidelines and any policies which are published in hardcopy, found on the website, or posted throughout campus, are considered violations of the Student Conduct Code. Any updates or modifications to these and other University rules, regulations, and policies may be found on the University policy portal.
Other Sanctions: Other sanctions may be imposed instead of or in addition to those specified above, such as work requirements, restriction of privileges, and educational sanctions.
Note that violations under the university’s Sexual Harassment Grievance Procedure will follow the process outlined in that document (see Appendix F).
Students involved in the Student Conduct Process have the right to:
Any member of the University community or persons unaffiliated with the University may notify the Office of Student Conduct of a student’s violation of the University’s Student Conduct Code. Notifications must be made within one year (365 days) of the alleged violation in order for charges to be brought. However, charges under the Interpersonal Misconduct and Sexual Misconduct subsections of this code may be brought at any time while the charged student is enrolled at the University. Any formal reports of sexual harassment or sexual misconduct, as defined in the Sexual Harassment Grievance Procedure (see Appendix F), must be reported to the University’s Title IX Coordinator. Information can be found through the University’s Equal Opportunity & Outreach Office, as well as in Appendix F. 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, which will be processed through the student conduct process. The University may independently investigate an allegation of student misconduct whether or not it has been submitted in writing and whether or not it is beyond the three hundred sixty-five days provided in this paragraph.
The University does not tolerate retaliation toward a University community member who has reported a potential conduct violation. Please see Retaliatory Harassment.
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. The below process is reserved for cases of student misconduct not processed through the Sexual Harassment Grievance Procedure (see Appendix F).
Upon receipt of a complaint or formal report, the Student Conduct Office will review the complaint and gather the necessary information to determine if further action is appropriate. If it is determined that there is sufficient information to charge a student with a violation of the Code, charges will be brought and the case must be heard through resolution.
It is the policy of the University to inform both the complainant and the responding student of the outcome of any campus disciplinary proceeding involving sexual misconduct, stalking, dating/domestic violence and, subject to FERPA, other violent crimes, as provided under the Rights of Students, provided above. The complainant and respondent shall be provided with a written list of the Rights of Students.
Disciplinary flags may be set on a student’s record if a student fails to respond to notification of an alleged violation of the University’s Student Conduct Code; fails to complete sanctions; when the University is concerned that a student’s conduct affects the safety and well-being of the University community; or when a student is suspended or expelled from the University. When a disciplinary flag has been set, the student cannot register for classes and may not be eligible for other academic services until meeting with a Conduct Officer.
Formal rules of process, procedure, and/or technical rules of evidence, such as are applied in criminal or civil court, are not used in the campus conduct process.
When the Student Conduct Office determines that a violation of the University’s Student Conduct Code is likely to have occurred, it will in a timely fashion complete the following actions:
Campus Conduct Conference Process: When the alleged violation(s) of the Student Conduct Code may result in written reprimand, university probation (of either level), housing relocation, and/or other lesser sanctions, the following will occur:
A student may elect to be accompanied at all student conduct processes by a support person of their choice. A student should select a support person whose schedule allows attendance at the scheduled date and time for the meeting(s) because delays will not normally be allowed due to the scheduling conflicts of a support person. If a student elects to have an attorney present as their support person, it will be at the sole cost and expense of the student. The student must notify the Student Conduct Office of who their support person is within one business day of any meeting or hearing panel. Student conduct processes will not be scheduled based on a support person’s availability. Note that support persons in the student conduct process are separate from the role of advisor under a formal complaint processed through the Sexual Harassment Grievance Procedure. In cases of formal complaints under the Sexual Harassment Grievance Procedure, that process will be followed (see Appendix F).
The role of the support person in all cases is limited to supporting the student during the conduct process. The support person may not testify on behalf of the student, answer questions directed to the student, and/or address or ask the other party questions directly. As noted above, advisors in the Sexual Harassment Grievance Procedure will be expected to adhere to the role in that process, and the support person role in the student conduct process is unique to the student conduct procedure. However, the support person may assist the student in providing questions to be considered by the panel in a live hearing. At no time may the support person be a firsthand witness to the incident(s) in question.
The student must direct all questions and/or concerns about any conduct investigative process to the Conduct Officer or Investigator.
The University is committed to providing appropriate accommodations to students with disabilities so that all students have meaningful access to all University programs and services, including the Student Conduct Process.
All students with disabilities who are involved in the Student Conduct Process, including complainants and responding students, support person(s), and witnesses may seek accommodations for any stage of the Student Conduct Process. Any student requesting an accommodation must do so far enough in advance to allow the request to be reviewed and an appropriate accommodation identified and implemented. Although there is no firm deadline beyond which an accommodation cannot be requested, the student will be held accountable for making any request in a timely fashion; the University may not be able to provide an accommodation which is not requested at least five (5) working days before the accommodation is needed. Accordingly, each student seeking an accommodation is strongly encouraged to do so as early as possible in the Student Discipline Process.
A request for accommodation shall be made to the Disability Services Office. The request will be reviewed by a member of the Disability Services Office, who will apply appropriate legal standards and University policies and procedures to determine what accommodation, if any, is appropriate. The student will be given an opportunity to have an interactive role in the review process—i.e., to discuss the request with the Disability Services Office—before the review is completed. The Disability Services Office may require the student to provide appropriate documentation from qualified health care professionals to support the request. In addition, the Disability Services Office, at their discretion, shall consult as appropriate with the Conduct Officer or the Associate Dean of Student Affairs or their designee, or other experts of the Disability Services Office staff member’s choosing. The Disability Services Office will make their determination in light of the student’s particular disabilities and the nature of the Conduct Process, as informed by any consultations, relevant documentation, and relevant previous accommodations provided to the student. The student will be given an explanation of the Disability Services Office’s determination.
If the student requesting accommodations disagrees with the Disability Services Office’s determination on reasonable accommodations, they may appeal the determination to the Office of Equal Opportunity and Outreach within five (5) working days of the Disability Services Office’s decision.
The University of Massachusetts Lowell has a Zero Tolerance Policy for any/all types of Hazing. Hazing is defined as the following: As conduct or method of initiation into any student organization, whether on public or private property, which willfully or recklessly endangers 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. To report a potential violation of the hazing policy you can use the following methods:
Hazing is a violation of the Laws of Massachusetts please refers to Chapter 269 (sections 17-19) of General Laws as Amended January 5, 1988:
Whoever is a principal organizer or participant in the crime of hazing, as defined herein, shall be punished by a fine of not more than three thousand dollars or by imprisonment in a house of correction for not more than one year, or both such fine and imprisonment.
The term “hazing” as used in this section and in sections eighteen and nineteen, shall mean any conduct or method of initiation into any student organization, whether on public or private property, which willfully or recklessly endangers the physical or mental health of any student or other person. Such conduct shall include whipping, beating, branding, forced calisthenics, exposure to the weather, forced consumption of any food, liquor, beverage, drug or other substance, or any other brutal treatment or forced physical activity which is likely to adversely affect the physical health or safety of any such student or other person, or which subjects such student or other person to extreme mental stress, including extended deprivation of sleep or rest or extended isolation.
Notwithstanding any other provisions of the section to the contrary, consent shall not be available as a defense to any prosecution under this action.
Whoever knows that another person is the victim of hazing as defined in section fifteen and in seventeen and is at the scene of such crime shall, to the extent that such person can do so without danger or peril to themselves or others, report such crime to an appropriate law enforcement official as soon as reasonable practicable. Whoever fails to report such crime shall be punished by a fine of not more than one thousand dollars.
Each institution of secondary education and each public and private institution of post-secondary education shall issue to every student group, student team or student organization which is part of such institution or is recognized by the institution to exist as an unaffiliated student group, student team or student organization, a copy of this section and sections seventeen and eighteen; provided however, that an institution’s compliance with this section’s requirements that an institution issue copies of this section and sections seventeen and eighteen to unaffiliated student groups, teams or organizations shall not constitute evidence of the institution’s recognition or endorsement of said unaffiliated student groups, teams or organizations.
Each such group, team or organization shall distribute a copy of this section and sections seventeen and eighteen to each of its members, plebes, pledges or applicants for membership. It shall be the duty of each such group, team or organization, acting through its designated officer, to deliver annually, to the institution an attested acknowledgement stating that such group, team or organization has received a copy of this section and said sections seventeen and eighteen, that each of its members, plebes, pledges, or applicants has received a copy of sections seventeen and eighteen, and that such group, team or organization understands and agrees to comply with the provisions of this section and sections seventeen and eighteen.
All students/employees at the University of Massachusetts Lowell are expected to abide by all Federal, State and local laws, including those regulating the use, possession, sale, distribution, manufacture and cultivation of illicit drugs and alcohol. In addition, Congress amended Title XII of the Higher Education Act of 1965 by adding a section pertaining to Drug Free Schools and Campuses. Under this new amendment any institution receiving federal funds, including federal student loan programs, must adopt and implement policies to prevent the use of illegal drugs and alcohol by students and employees.
Financial aid penalties for drug offenses: Beginning on July 1, 2000 the 1998 amendments to the Higher Education Act require the suspension of eligibility for financial aid for students convicted of drug related offenses. The length of suspension of eligibility is not less than one year and varies depending on the nature of the offense. Full details are available from the Office of Student Financial Assistance.
The University of Massachusetts Lowell is committed to promoting a climate which supports academic and personal growth and success and the well-being of all members of the academic community. To safeguard and promote a healthy academic and living environment, the University promulgates rules and regulations for the behavior of all members of the community. These are outlined in several major policy statements i.e., the student conduct code, the hazing policy, the alcohol and other drug policies, etc. Copies of these campus regulations are available on the web on Human Resources Policies webpage.
It is the responsibility of each member of this community to understand and comply with all campus rules and regulations. These regulations include all federal, state and local laws including the Drug Fee Schools and Community Act of 1989, the Drug Free Workplace Act of 1988 and the Higher Education Act (as amended in 1998). As a member of the university community, it is your responsibility to know and abide by all campus rules and regulations, to understand the risks associated with the use and abuse of alcohol and other drugs, and to assist in creating an environment that promotes health-enhancing attitudes and activities.
The following definitions apply to the Drug and Alcohol Policies for the University of Massachusetts Lowell community, including students and guests:
Federal, state, Local and University Sanctions for the unlawful use, possession, distribution, sale, manufacture, or production of alcohol except as may be provided in the University of Massachusetts Lowell Alcoholic Beverage Policy (Attachment A hereto):
The above listed general policy regulations should not be considered as an exhaustive restatement of the pertinent Federal, State and local laws regarding the use of alcohol. All members of the University of Massachusetts Lowell community are expected to acquaint themselves with and abide by all laws governing the acquisition, possession, transportation, consumption and sale of alcoholic beverages.
As in accordance with the laws of the Commonwealth, no alcoholic beverages shall be offered, gratuitously or for sale, to a person under the age of 21, either privately or at a group function, whether it is at an approved function or informal gathering in the residence halls. The possession, consumption or being in the presence, of alcoholic beverages in the residence halls by a person less than twenty-one years of age is prohibited.>
Alcohol consumption causes a number of marked changes in behavior. Even low doses significantly impair the judgment and coordination required to drive a car safely, increasing the likelihood of an accident. Low to moderate doses of alcohol also increases the incidence of a variety of aggressive acts, including domestic violence and physical altercations. Moderate to high doses of alcohol cause marked impairment in high mental functions, severely altering a person’s ability to learn and remember information. Very high doses cause respiratory depression and death. If combined with other depressants of the central nervous system, much lower doses of alcohol will produce the effects just described.
Repeated use of alcohol can lead to dependence. Sudden cessation of alcohol intake is likely to produce withdrawal symptoms, including severe anxiety, tremors, hallucinations and convulsions. Alcohol withdrawal can be life threatening. Long-term consumption of large quantities of alcohol, particularly when combined with poor nutrition, can also lead to permanent damage to vital organs such as the brain and liver. Mothers who drink alcohol during pregnancy may give birth to infants with fetal alcohol syndrome. These infants have irreversible physical abnormalities and mental retardation. In addition, research indicates that children of alcoholic parents are at greater risk than others of becoming alcoholics.
Alcohol Policy Violation Minimum Sanctions:
*Fines collected as sanctions are utilized for Wellness/Substance Education.
Services and resources are available to all members of the University community to provide accurate information relating to alcohol, to support individual needs and to assist at crisis points. Listings of resources on campus are available by calling the Counseling Center (at 978-934-4331), University Health Services (at 978-934-4991), Human Resources (at 978-934-3555) or Student Affairs (at 978-934-2100).
In addition, individuals who wish to enroll in an alcohol rehabilitation program should check the University’s insurance or their own insurance to verify if they are covered for these services.
Please see Appendix B for the University’s Alcohol Policies and Regulations.
No students shall knowingly sell, possess, manufacture, distribute or use on or off campus, substances defined by Federal or State law as illegal. Use/possession/sale/sharing of prescription medication that is not prescribed to a student is a violation of the Student Conduct Code, as well as a violation of the law. Additionally, the possession of drug paraphernalia is a violation of the Student Conduct Code. Paraphernalia is defined as any device used to use illegal drugs. This includes but not limited to: Bongs, Pipes, Rolling Papers, etc. It is the policy of the University of Massachusetts Lowell to maintain a drug free workplace. As a condition of employment, all University employees are required to follow this policy.
Although Massachusetts law permits the use of medical marijuana, federal laws prohibit the use, possession, and/or cultivation of marijuana at educational institutions. Federal laws also require any institution of higher education which receives federal funding to have policies prohibiting the possession and use of marijuana on campus. The use, possession, or cultivation of marijuana for medical purposes is therefore not allowed in any University housing or on any other University property. The University will continue to enforce its current policies regarding controlled substances, and any students, faculty or employees who violate University policy prohibiting the use or possession of illegal drugs on campus, may be subject to disciplinary action.
Illegal drugs and misuse of controlled prescription drugs pose short and long-term health risks to the user. Categories of drugs include narcotics, barbiturates, stimulants, and hallucinogens (not to be confused with classes of drugs according to Commonwealth of Massachusetts Drug Laws). Not only is the drug risky, the route of administration or the way the drugs is taken into the body is also correlated with certain health risks.
Some drugs are smoked (marijuana, “crack”, opium, “crank”). Smoking any substance, especially marijuana, is found to have a detrimental effect on the lungs and upper airway.
Other drugs are “snorted” or inhaled (cocaine, heroin, inhalants) leading to injury of the lining of the nose.
Many drugs are ingested and some drugs are injected under the skin (skin-popping). Drugs that are injected directly into a vein (main lining) include heroin, cocaine and morphine. Injecting drugs has severe risks of local infections, bacterial endocarditis, increased incidences of HIV and Hepatitis B and C. Permanent liver and kidney disease are possible outcomes of drug use. Scars or “track marks” are formed by repeated injections. Veins harden internally from repeated use.
Mind or mood altering drugs work in certain “pleasure” pathways of the brain by enhancing or altering chemicals called neurotransmitters. There can be permanent change in these pathways with heavy and prolonged use of cocaine. Street drugs are “cut” with often unknown and dangerous substances, which can make the user very ill or even cause death.
Short-term health risks of illegal drug use are: decreased judgment and perception, decreased mental alertness, reduced motor skill often leading to motor vehicle accidents and bodily injuries, increased risk taking and aberrant behavior.
Narcotics, especially heroin and morphine decrease the rate of respiration which may result in respiratory arrest then death, if not medically treated.
Stimulants (cocaine, amphetamines, methamphetamines) produce exhilaration. There is a surge of adrenaline resulting in an increase in blood pressure and pulse rate, causing blood vessels to constrict. These changes can cause strokes, paralysis, heart attacks and death. These events can occur with the first or any subsequent use. The myth is that sexual activity is increased with cocaine use. The fact is that sexual activity is decreased with increased use of cocaine.
Hallucinogens produce and increase in sensor perception (visual and or auditory). There may be flashbacks from prior use of LSD and STP. Use of these drugs can result in short and long-term psychotic events. Deaths and serious injuries often happen to those under the influence of certain hallucinogens (LSD, STP and PCP). Drinking alcohol with substances, produces and additive effects, making the alcohol and drugs more potent.
Certain tranquilizers, especially in high doses cause disturbances in cardiac conduction. Vomiting is always a threat in drug use. It can cause choking and ultimately death, because the person’s reflexes are diminished. “Roofies” and Liquid Ecstasy produce sedation and loss of memory. When put into drinks, an unknowing victim becomes sedated and could be raped with no memory of the event.
Use of drugs during pregnancy has effects on the baby. Women who use cocaine and heroin during pregnancy have an increase in miscarriages. They give birth to babies addicted and usually of low birth weight. The infant must go through a difficult withdrawal. Long term effects in these children are not yet known.
Addiction is a major risk of using illegal and controlled prescription drugs. Heroin, codeine, opiates, barbiturates, and morphine are strongly physically addicting. Cocaine procedures both physical and psychological addition. Withdrawal from narcotics, barbiturates and cocaine is difficult and painful. Drug users often return to using drugs. Over time, the drug user usually suffers from malnutrition and a lowered immune system. They often become seriously ill requiring hospitalization from multiple organ failure, overwhelming infections, psychotic events, injuries from accidents, or drug-related violence.
All students/employees at the University of Massachusetts Lowell are expected to abide by all federal, state and local laws, including those regulating the use, possession, sale, distribution, manufacture and cultivation of illicit or illegal drugs.
In addition, Congress amended Title XII of the Higher Education Act of 1965 by adding a section pertaining to Drug Free Schools and Campuses. Under this and other newer amendments any institution receiving federal funds, including federal student loan programs, must adopt and implement policies to prevent the use of illegal drugs and alcohol by students and employees.
Therefore, it is the University’s responsibility to ensure that every student/employee is aware of the following information:
Drug Policy Violation Minimum Sanctions:
The following options exist for Alcohol and Drug Offenses, and are used progressively, beginning with the program that is deemed to best meet the needs of the student, as determined by the Conduct Officer:
For unlawful use, possession, distribution, sale manufacture and cultivation of illicit drug. For specific sanctions please contact the authorities.
Services and resources are available to all members of the University community, to provide accurate information relating to drugs and alcohol, to support individual needs and to assist at crisis points. Listings of resources on campus are available by calling the Counseling Center (978-934-4331), Student Health Services (978-934-4991) and the Human Resources Office (978-934-3555).
The following definitions apply to the Drug and Alcohol Policies for the University of Massachusetts Lowell community, including students and guests: