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University Jurisdiction and Standards

University Jurisdiction

Students are subject to all local, state and federal laws. Conduct, whether on or off-campus which adversely affects the University’s mission and purpose and/or potentially violates the Student Conduct Code will be subject to an action through the University Student Discipline Process and, if warranted, careful consideration will be given to University disciplinary action in addition to whatever action civil authorities might pursue. The University may institute proceedings against students whose conduct is prohibited by state, federal, or local laws and which occurs on or off campus, when such conduct is also a violation of the Student Conduct Code, or University policies and regulations.

University Standards

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:

A. Respect and protection for persons and property— Respect for persons means acting so as 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.

  1. Against persons—No student shall assault, threaten, harass, stalk, haze or otherwise physically or psychologically abuse his or her self or any other person on or off campus including a University or city official acting in the line of duty. This shall include but not be limited to:
    • a. Physical assault including but not limited to physical attack upon or physical interference with a person, which prevents the person from conducting his or her customary or usual affairs, puts the person in fear for his or her physical safety, or causes the person to suffer actual physical injury. The University has special concern for incidents in which persons are subject to physical assault because of membership in a particular racial, religious, gender or sexual orientation group.
    • b. Conduct less than a physical attack or physical interference which interferes with a person in the conduct of his or her customary or usual affairs, such as the posting of threatening letters directed to the person, the use of threatening language directed at another, harassing or threatening telephone calls, email, voicemail, posting of materials in on-line communities, instant messaging (IM), or the vandalism of a person’s room (e.g. by graffiti). The University has special concern for incidents in which persons are subject to such conduct because of membership in a particular racial, religious, gender or sexual orientation group.
    • c. Retaliatory Harassment: An adverse action taken against a student for filing a complaint, or participation in the review of a complaint or disciplinary proceedings in any capacity. Retaliation includes taking action which may have an adverse impact on the student’s academic success or the learning environment of the student if such action is taken because of the student’s filing of, or participation in the review of a complaint, whether or not such complaint is determined to be valid. Retaliation by a student directly or indirectly may result in additional conduct code charges. Any student who believes that retaliation has taken place or is taking place, should immediately report the matter as provided herein.
    • d. 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.
    • e. Domestic and/or Dating Violence: Abuse, (including; but not limited to physical and/or sexual), or threats of such abusive violence committed by one intimate partner who is, or has been in, a romantic or intimate relationship with another intimate partner. Domestic violence and dating violence can occur between current or former intimate partners who have dated or lived together. Domestic violence can occur between current or former intimate partners who are married, or have been married, or have a child. Both Domestic and Dating violence can occur in opposite-sex and same-sex relationships. Dating violence and domestic violence may encompass one or more of the following behaviors directed toward a current or former intimate partner. This is not an exhaustive list:
      • Attempting to cause or causing bodily injury or offensive physical contact, e.g., slapping, pulling hair, punching, sexual assault;
      • Knowingly restricting the movements of another person, e.g., removing a person from residence or school, isolating or confining a person for a substantial period, monitoring phone calls or email, preventing a person from attending class or interfering with studying; or
      • Attempting to place or placing another person in fear through a course of conduct, e.g., threatening, manipulating, intimidating, verbally and/or emotionally abusive behaviors, or exhibiting extreme possessiveness or jealousy.
    • f. Sexual Misconduct or any other unwelcome behavior of a sexually explicit nature. Included Offenses:
      1. Non-Consensual Sexual Intercourse is: any sexual intercourse (anal, oral or vaginal); however slight; with any object or body part; by a person or persons upon a person; without consent.
      2. Non-Consensual Sexual Contact is: Any intentional sexual touching (buttocks, genitals, breasts); however slight; with any object or body part; by a person or persons upon a person; without consent.
      3. Sexual Exploitation: occurs when a student takes non-consensual, unjust or abusive sexual advantage of another; for his/her own advantage or benefit; or to benefit or advantage anyone other than the one being exploited; and that behavior does not otherwise constitute non-consensual sexual contact, non-consensual sexual intercourse or sexual harassment. Examples of Sexual Exploitation include, but are not limited to:
        • Prostitution
        • Videotaping
        • Going beyond the boundaries of consent
        • Voyeurism
        • Knowingly exposing another to or transmission of HIV or STD
        • 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).
    • Sexual harassment can occur between individuals of different sexes or of the same sex. Sexual harassment may occur in the form of sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other conduct of a sexual nature. Sexual harassment is unwelcomed conduct of a sexual nature when:
      1. submission to such conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of an individual's employment or academic admission or advancement, or participation in University programs or activities;
      2. submission to or rejection of such conduct by an individual is used as the basis for employment or academic decisions affecting such individual; or
      3. such conduct is sufficiently severe or pervasive to unreasonably interfere with an individual's work or academic performance, or creates an intimidating, hostile, or offensive working or academic environment. A single, unusually severe incident may constitute sexual harassment.
        The University prohibits retaliation against individuals who in good faith make a report, file a complaint, cooperate in a sexual harassment investigation or procedure, or intervene to prevent a violation of this policy. Any member of the University community who engages in sexual harassment, retaliation, or both in violation of this policy may be subject to disciplinary or other action.
    • g. Intrusion of Privacy: Intrusion of Privacy is photographing, videotaping, filming, digitally recording, or by any other means secretly viewing, with or without a device, another person without that person’s consent in any location where the person has a reasonable expectation of privacy, or in a manner that violates a reasonable expectation of privacy. Unauthorized storing, sharing, and/or distribution is also prohibited. This does not apply to lawful security or surveillance filming or recording that is authorized by law enforcement or authorized university officials. These provisions may not be utilized to impinge upon the lawful exercise of constitutionally protected rights of freedom of speech or assembly.

    Definition of Terms
    • Intercourse: Intercourse is not synonymous with penetration. If it were, non-consensual french kissing could meet the definition of oral rape. Intercourse is the physical sexual contact between individuals. Intercourse includes: vaginal penetration by a penis, object, tongue or finger; anal penetration by a penis, object, tongue or finger; and oral copulation (mouth to genital contact or genital to mouth contact).
    • Sexual Touching: any sexual contact with the breasts, buttocks, groin, genitals, mouth or other bodily orifice of another, or touching another with any of these body parts, or making another touch you or themselves with or on any of these body parts; any bodily contact in a sexual manner, though not involving contact with/of/by breasts, buttocks, groin, genitals, mouth or other orifice.
    • Consent:
      1. General Definition: Consent is knowingly given, informed; freely, willingly, and actively given; mutually understandable, unambiguous words or actions; which indicate a willingness to engage in mutually agreed upon sexual activity (or in more plain language--to agree to do the same thing, at the same time, in the same way, with each other). One may not engage in sexual activity with another who one knows or should reasonably know to be physically or mentally incapacitated (refer to 2d and 2e), including incapacitation by drug or alcohol use or under threat of violence (refer to 2f). Consent may be withdrawn at any time.
      2. It is the responsibility of the person seeking to initiate the sexual activity or conduct to affirmatively obtain consent, not the intended recipient of such contact or conduct to deny such consent. An affirmative, informed decision to engage in mutually acceptable sexual activity given by clear and unambiguous actions or words, it is an informed decision made freely and actively by all parties.
        • a. Relying solely upon nonverbal communication can lead to miscommunication. It is important not to make assumptions; if confusion or ambiguity on the issue of consent arises anytime during the sexual interaction, it is essential that each participant stop and clarify, verbally, the willingness to continue.
        • b. Students should understand that consent may not be inferred from silence, passivity, or lack of active resistance alone.
        • c. A current or previous dating or sexual relationship is not sufficient to constitute consent, and consent to one form of sexual activity does not imply consent to other forms of sexual activity.
        • d. When substance use is involved, a person is not considered able to give consent when the victim’s judgment is incapacitated such that that he or she would not be capable of making rational decisions about his or her welfare, based on understanding “who, what, where, when and how” analysis, and as such the person would not be able to give consent to engage in sexual activity.
        • e. When an individual is incapable of giving consent because of his/her temporary or permanent mental or physical incapacity.
        • f. An individual cannot consent if s/he is under the threat of violence, bodily injury or other forms of coercion.
        • g. Consent is not indefinite and may be withdrawn at any time. Once consent is withdrawn, all sexual activity must cease unless and until additional effective consent is given.

    Resources are available for Reporting Stalking, Dating/Domestic Violence and Sexual Misconduct on the Prevent website.

  2. Against property— No student shall take, possess, damage or deface any University or neighborhood property or any property not his/her own.
  3. Health and Safety— No student shall refuse to observe any safety regulations or procedures. No student shall tamper with or otherwise misuse fire extinguishers, fire safety systems or other safety equipment on or off-campus.
  4. 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. (e.g. students are prohibited from throwing things from roofs or windows, sitting on windowsills, tampering with or damaging elevator equipment or other machinery.)
  5. Disruptive Activities— Interference with freedom of speech or movement, or intentional disruption or obstruction of teaching, research, administration, activities, or other functions or the incitement of 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.
  6. Weapons— No student shall possess or introduce, on or off campus, dangerous weapons including, but not limited to: knives, nunchucks, 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.
  7. 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, 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. 
  8. 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 8 | P a g e 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.
  9. 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.)
  • B. Security of buildings and facilities— 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.
    1. Unauthorized access— No student shall use or possess any key to any building or area which she or he is not specially authorized to use or possess, or to trespass after notice on University owned or leased property or private or city owned property.
    2. Illegal entrance/Unauthorized presence— No student shall break into or without proper authority enter any University parking area, building or room, or city-owned or private property; nor shall any student enter or remain in any private room or office of any student, faculty member, administrative office or other person on or off campus without the express or implied permission of any person or persons authorized to use or live in that room or office; nor shall any unauthorized student enter or remain in any building or facility at a time when that facility is officially closed.
    3. Restricted areas— No unauthorized student shall enter into any restricted areas; nor shall any student assist or make possible the unauthorized entry of any person into any restricted area. Restricted areas may include tunnels, roofs, posted or enclosed construction sites, secured utility areas, posted or gated parking areas, etc.
    4. Unauthorized parking— No student shall park in any restricted area; nor shall any student assist or make possible the unauthorized entry of any person into any parking area.
  • C. Integrity of transactions and records— 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.
    1. False Information— No student shall furnish forged or false information or misrepresenting the truth to the University or official and especially as this relates to a University conduct process. No student shall provide false information to University personnel either written or verbal. No student shall give false or misleading information which could damage or discredit another person. No student shall perform the unauthorized alteration of University documents.
    2. Misrepresentation— No student shall represent himself or herself, as another person, in writing, in person or otherwise, with the intent to obtain benefit or to injure or defraud another.
    3. False Testimony— No student shall give false or misleading information during any part of a student disciplinary process or when completing documents issued by or used by the University or city for official functions or activities. Violations of this regulation will result in sanctions up to separation from the University for students and referral to the University Police Department for non-students.
    4. Misuse of records— No unauthorized student shall enter, search, copy, steal, alter, forge or possess University/city records, documents or other material including misuse or unauthorized use of computers.
    5. Unauthorized use of services— No student shall knowingly take or use any services without authorization.
    6. Unauthorized Representation by a Student— No student may represent the University or a registered organization without either the explicit prior consent of the officials of that organization or the appropriate University agency.
    7. Unauthorized Representation by a Student Organization — No 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 agency. (This applies to all means of communication including, but not limited to, mail, telephone, email, web-based programs or applications, or other means.)
    8. Electronic Resources— The rights and privacy concerning the electronic resources of others must be respected. Attempts to bypass network and/or computer security (including probing activities), providing unauthorized services, and/or disabling or interfering with network access are explicitly prohibited. The illegal or unauthorized downloading and/or sharing of copyrighted materials is explicitly prohibited. Students will be held responsible for violations of the University’s Network Usage Policy. For more information please refer to University policies regarding electronic resources.

    For more information please refer to University policies regarding electronic resources.

  • Official Directives— 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.
    1. Failure to Comply— No student shall refuse to comply with the directions of University/city/state officials, instructional or administrative, including University Police and Residence Life Staff, acting in performance of their duties.
    2. I.D. Cards— All students must carry their University I.D. card with them at all times and immediately surrender their University I.D. card upon request by an authorized University/city /state official. Altering, improperly possessing, or lending a University I.D. Card to another person for any reason not expressly authorized by the University is a violation of this Code. A University I.D. Card falling into any of these categories may be confiscated by any student, staff or faculty member in the course of his/her charged work responsibility.
  • University and Neighborhood Activities— 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.
    1. Individual Activities— No student shall obstruct or disrupt any educational, research, administrative, social or recreational activity of the University; nor shall any student create a nuisance to members or guests of the University/city.
    2. Organizational Activities— Actions/behaviors of recognized and unrecognized student organizations and other student groups will also be subject to disciplinary action.
  • Personal Activities— 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.
    1. Alcohol— The sale, giving, serving, or using of alcoholic beverages to or by those under the legal age is prohibited by Massachusetts Law. Possession of alcoholic beverages by those under the legal age is prohibited by Massachusetts Law. In addition, the University prohibits underage students from being in the presence of alcohol. See Appendix B, Alcohol Policy.
    2. Drugs— No student shall knowingly sell, possess, manufacture, cultivate, distribute or use, or be in the presence of, on or off campus, substances defined by Massachusetts or Federal 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. See Appendix C, Drug Policies and Regulations. Federal law imposes definite sanctions for drug use, sale, possession, distribution, manufacture and cultivation.
    3. Gambling/Fund Raising— No student shall host or participate in activities that violate the Laws of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts pertaining to gambling and/or City of Lowell regulations governing gambling and fund raising.
    4. Lewd/Indecent Conduct— Lewd or indecent conduct or expression, on or off campus/University property, or at University sponsored or supervised functions are a violation of the Student Conduct Code.
    5. Disorderly Conduct— Drunkenness and/or disorderly conduct is a violation of the Student Conduct Code.
  • Any violation of the Residence Life Guidelines or University 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 website.