Student Rights

Student Membership in the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts

When a person becomes a student at MCLA, that person is voluntarily assuming membership into a special community.  A student is any person enrolled in credit bearing courses or experiences.  The College, therefore, claims that students at MCLA, while retaining all of their rights as United States citizens or residents, are also acquiring special rights and responsibilities in exchange for the benefits gained because of becoming members of our community. For example, MCLA has an obligation to do its best to provide students with an environment, which supports learning and to protect the rights of all the members of its community. To achieve these ends, MCLA is expected to bring together people and resources, which will foster learning and growth, and to establish and support reasonable rules and fair procedures for the governance of the community. The students, on the other hand, are expected to:

  • be active participants in the learning opportunities, which exist at the College, including the governance system of the school;
  • become familiar with and abide by the rules and regulations of the community, and treat themselves and all other persons with respect.

What students will also find is that the MCLA community is defined, in part, by its physical borders and the fact that it is a State controlled institution primarily located on State land. This means that some of the rules, which govern student conduct in our community, include certain Federal and State laws as well as policies adopted for the school by the Department of Higher Education, the local Board of Trustees and the administration of the school. Students may change these standards, which govern their behaviors by becoming active citizens at all levels of governance, but most particularly in such on‑campus groups as the Student Government Association (SGA) and College Committees. As rules change, they will be announced to the community via First Class, the student newspaper and other forms of media. For now, the current rules and regulations governing student behavior are explained in the material, which follows in this handbook. MCLA urges each student to take the time to read this important material and contact the Student Affairs DIvision Office if he or she has any questions about the meaning of any of this information.