Community Standards FAQs for Students


Conduct Process Flow Chart1. How will I know if I have been charged with violating the Community Standards?
If a student has been charged with violating the Residential Life Community Standards and/or Code of Student Conduct, they will receive a Notice of Charge (NOC) outlining the alleged violations and how to schedule a conduct conference. The conference is the student’s opportunity to share their account of the incident with a staff member.

2. Who will I meet with for my conduct conference? 
Students meet with a Community Standards and/or Residential Life staff member. The name of staff member will be included in the Notice of Charge. 

3. What happens if I chose not to attend the conduct conference?  
If a student fails to respond to the Notice of Charge, an administrative hold will be placed on their account preventing enrollment in classes. In addition, the case may be resolved in their absence, meaning the staff member will make a determination of responsibility without the student providing their account of the incident.

4. What are likely outcomes of the conference/meeting?
During the conference, the student is issued either a finding of Responsible or Not Responsible. A finding of Responsible is based on the preponderance of evidence standard, meaning that it is more likely than not that the student violated the Residential Life Community Standards and/or Code of Student Conduct. If the result of the conference is a Responsible finding, sanctions will be imposed.

5. What are sanctions?
When a student is found responsible for a violation of the Community Standards, staff may impose one or more sanctions. Sanctions impact a student’s status with the University and/or University housing (e.g., Housing Reprimand, Housing Probation, and Housing Removal). Staff will also assign educational sanctions that reflect the nature of the violation(s).

6. How are sanctions determined?
Since conduct cases are considered on an individual basis, there are no “typical sanctions” for specific violations. In determining sanction(s), staff consider the student’s present demeanor, past conduct record, the nature of the offense, the severity of any resulting damage, disruption, injury, or harm, indication that the student has learned from the experience, and opportunities to further the student’s learning.

7. Are there resources available to help me through the conduct process? 
Conduct Advisors, a subsidiary of the Student Government Association, are students trained on the Code of Student Conduct and conduct process/procedures. They can assist students in answering questions related to the conduct process and procedural rights. Conduct Advisors can help students prepare for conduct meetings and attend meetings in an advisory role. 

8. If I violate policy, will the University contact my parents/legal guardians?
Parents/legal guardians of dependent students are notified when a student is found responsible for an alcohol or drug violation. For more information on the conduct reporting policy, refer to the Code of Student Conduct. www.umass.edu/dean_students/codeofconduct 

9. Can I review the information prior to my conduct conference?
Yes, students can review the incident report prior to their meeting. Please contact the Community Standards Office at 413-577-7374.