Community Standards FAQs for Families


Conduct Process Flow Chart
1. What does it mean when my student is documented for an alleged violation of Community Standards?
If your student is documented they will be contacted by a staff member in the Community Standards office or a staff member of the hall where they were documented. They will receive a letter via their student email account requesting that they schedule to meet to discuss the incident.

2. Will I be notified if my student is documented for alleged violations of Community Standards?
If a student is found responsible for an alcohol or drug violation, the parents or legal guardians of dependent students under 21 will be notified. Please see the Student Code of Conduct for more information on Notice to Parents, Families or Third Parties. 

3. My student doesn't break the rules, why are they getting in trouble? 
Navigating a collegiate environment can be challenging for many students. There may be times when your student engages in behavior that is counter to our standards and expectations. A community standards violation isn’t an indictment of their character. Violations of expectations, however, are a choice and part of the developmental process is to help them understand that they are part of a larger community and that their choices have an effect on themselves and the community.

4. How can I help my student through this process?
Parents are encouraged to remain supportive of their students in the process. Speak with your student about expectations and the effect of violating those expectations. The goal of the Community Standards process is not to punish, but rather to educate on acceptable behavior while in the residence halls and surrounding community. 

5. If my student is involved in an incident that occurred off campus, will they meet with the Community Standards office?
Depending on the circumstances, if your student is involved in an off campus incident, they will be referred to either the Dean of Students Office or the Community Standards Office. Expectations of behavior go beyond the walls of their residence halls or the University.

6. How are outcomes/sanctions determined? 
Outcomes/sanctions are generally determined based on the circumstances of the case, and the student's conduct history. The University uses a preponderance of evidence standard (more likely than not) to determine responsibility.

7. What is a conduct record and do I have access to my student’s conduct record?
Any alleged violation of Community Standards or the Code of Student Conduct is kept on record for 7 years to comply with University record keeping policies. For more information on conduct records and reporting policies please see the Dean of Students website: www.umass.edu/dean_students/