General Campus Policies and Procedures

UMass Policies and Procedures are housed on the central, UMass Policies website.  Key policies as they relate to diversity, equity, and inclusion are summarized below.

Affirmative Action and Nondiscrimination Policy

The University of Massachusetts Amherst prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, creed, sex, age, marital status, national origin, mental or physical disability, political belief or affiliation, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, genetic information, and any other class of individuals protected from discrimination under state or federal law in any aspect of the access to, admission, or treatment of students in its programs and activities, or in employment and application for employment. Furthermore, university policy includes prohibitions of harassment of students and employees, i.e., racial harassment, sexual harassment, and retaliation for filing complaints of discrimination. The Office of Equal Opportunity is responsible for formally administering this policy and its grievance procedure. The full policy is available here.

Code of Student Conduct

The Code of Student Conduct defines expected student conduct and describes disciplinary procedures and sanctions for misconduct. Protection of the student’s rights, including appeal procedures and mandated time limits, is provided. It is administered by the Dean of Students Office.

Disabilities - Rights and Responsibilities of People with Disabilities

People with disabilities at the university have the right to: equal access to courses, programs, services, jobs, activities, and facilities offered through the university; an equal opportunity to work and to learn, and to receive reasonable accommodations; appropriate confidentiality of all information regarding their disability and to choose to whom, outside the university, information about their disability will be disclosed, except as disclosures are required or permitted by law; information, reasonably available in accessible formats. People with disabilities at the university have the responsibility to: meet qualifications and maintain essential institutional standards for courses, programs, services, jobs, activities, and facilities; identify as an individual with a disability when an accommodation is needed and to seek information, advice, and assistance as necessary; demonstrate and/or document (from an appropriate professional) how the disability limits their participation in courses, programs, services, jobs, activities, and facilities; follow published procedures for obtaining reasonable accommodations. The full statement is available at Disability Services.The Office of Equal Opportunity also maintains an FAQ about the ADA.

Disabilities - Procedures for Responding to Requests for Accommodations required under the Americans with Disabilities Act

The procedures for requesting and receiving accommodations are available for download from the Disabilities Services Office. The Office of Equal Opportunity also maintains an FAQ about the ADA

Diversity Mission Statement

The University of Massachusetts Amherst, as a public land-grant institution, has a responsibility to provide access and opportunities for all people, while demonstrating our commitment to inclusion of historically underrepresented groups. We believe that a culturally diverse campus is integral to academic excellence and that our students, faculty, and staff should reflect the diverse world in which we live. The university recognizes and values the wide range of voices and perspectives in all spheres of the academic enterprise. The University of Massachusetts Amherst is committed to policies that promote inclusiveness, social justice and respect for all, regardless of race, color, religion, creed, gender, sexual orientation, age, national or ethnic origin, physical or mental disability, political belief or affiliation, marital status, veteran status, immigration status, gender identity and expression, genetic information or any other characteristic or status protected by state or federal laws.

Graffiti Policy

UMass Physical Plant is in charge of removal of graffiti. Although it seeks to remove or cover graffiti quickly, in situations where a violation of civil rights may have occurred, the office must preserve the graffiti so that a proper investigation can occur. The full graffiti policy is available for download.

Grievance Resolution

The campus has comprehensive and well-established grievance systems in place. The Office of Equal Opportunity investigates grievances alleging discrimination and administers the Sexual Harassment Policy and Procedures and the Grievance Policy and Procedures. The Ombuds Office provides another avenue to ensure the fair and equitable resolution of concerns. Union contracts also contain grievance procedures that may be applicable. For additional information, refer to the Action Steps Flow Chart.

Hate Crimes

Hate crimes are against the law. It is the policy of the UMass Police Department to safeguard the state and federal rights of all individuals irrespective of their race, religion, ethnicity, handicap, sexual orientation, and gender and to treat seriously any acts or threats of violence, property damage, harassment, intimidation, or other crimes that infringe upon these rights. Hate crimes are viewed seriously by the UMass Police Department and will be given high priority. The UMass Police Department (UMPD) will use every necessary resource rapidly and decisively to ensure your safety, identify the perpetrators, arrest them, and take vigorous enforcement action. Visit the UMPD website for more information.   

Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA) 

UMass Amherst is committed to meeting its legal, moral and ethical obligations to consult with tribes across the United States and return all human remains, funerary objects, sacred objects and objects of cultural patrimony that tribes wish to repatriate. The University recognizes the importance of respecting the beliefs, cultural practices and history of this country’s Indigenous peoples and their rights to repatriate their ancestors and objects. UMass Amherst is committed to building respectful and lasting relationships with Native American tribes. The University’s policy on our mission, compliance standards and protocols regarding NAGPRA is available here.

Policy Against Intolerance

The Board of Trustees denounces intolerance which interferes with those rights guaranteed by law or policy, and insists that such conduct has no place in a community of learning. We also recognize the obligation of the University to protect the rights of free inquiry and expression, and nothing in the Resolution in Support of Pluralism or Policy Against Intolerance shall be construed or applied so as to abridge the exercise of rights under the Constitution of the United States and other Federal and State laws. See Board of Trustees T92-036.

Policy Against Discrimination, Harassment, & Related Interpersonal Violence

The University of Massachusetts Amherst is committed in policy, principle, and practice to maintaining an environment which prohibits discriminatory behavior and provides equal opportunity for all persons. The University affirms its commitment to provide a welcoming and respectful work and educational environment, in which all individuals within the University community may benefit from each other’s experiences and foster mutual respect and appreciation of divergent views. The University will not be tolerant of conduct which violates rights guaranteed by the law or University policies. The Office of Equal Opportunity is responsible for formally administering this policy and its grievance procedure. The full discrimination and harassment policy is available here.

Religious Symbols, Decorations and Displays

The First Amendment protects the rights of individuals to freedom of religion and the right to freely express their religious beliefs through speech and symbols. However, the First Amendment also prohibits public institutions like state universities from endorsing religion, or non-religion, or favoring one religion over another. As a result the University should protect the right of individuals to celebrate religious holidays by decorating their personal space (e.g., residence hall rooms, desk tops), but the University should not promote or appear to promote religious observance or encourage official use of public property to promote religious displays – except for educational purposes. The full policy on religious symbols and displays is available here.

Resolution in Support of Pluralism 

The Board of Trustees affirms its commitment to maintaining an academic environment which fosters pluralism, mutual respect, appreciation of divergent views, and awareness of the importance of individual rights. To this end, we reassert the importance of civility and the valuable contribution that diversity in race, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, and culture brings to the university community, and therefore we strongly encourage and support racial, ethnic, cultural, and religious pluralism. This resolution is maintained by Human Resources.

Restroom Policy

The University of Massachusetts Amherst strives to create and sustain a campus environment that supports and values all members of our community. One aspect of creating a supportive environment is providing safe, accessible, and convenient restroom facilities. Students, staff, faculty, and campus guests should use the restroom facilities that correspond to their sex or gender identity, or utilize singleuser facilities that are designated as a restroom or gender-inclusive restroom. Read the full restroom policy.

Trans Resource Guide

The University of Massachusetts Amherst includes gender identity and expression in its nondiscrimination policy. The Stonewall Center's Trans Resource Guide is a comprehensive resource on campus policies as they relate to transgender students, including the campus's Bathroom Policy.