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Special Behavioral Standards for Students at MCLA

A.   Alcoholic Beverages - The College intends for its students to abide by State laws that prohibit those persons under the age of 21 from possessing, purchasing or transporting alcoholic beverages. Those students who are of legal drinking age may possess alcoholic beverages in specific residence areas and at certain times and places on campus such as specifically designated social events.  Students of legal age who choose to possess and use alcohol must do so responsibly. Students who are 21 years of age may not consume, possess or otherwise use alcohol when a minor is present. Conversely, minors may not be present when/where there is alcohol present unless specifically approved.  This standard applies both on and off campus.  At no time are students allowed to possess on campus (regardless of content) kegs, half kegs or similar "common" containers of beer such as "beer balls" and/or alcohol abuse apparatus such as funnels, beer pong or beirut set ups.  Students are expected to become familiar, where relevant, with policies established by such offices as Residential Programs & Services and Public Safety before becoming involved in any event where alcoholic beverages are to be present.  Behaviors resulting in violations of community standards as a result of improper use of alcohol will not be excused or mitigated.

B.   Assault and Battery - Students may not willfully threaten or injure another person.  Additionally, they may not endanger nor may students intentionally and unjustifiably use force upon a person or act in a negligent way that causes injury to another.  Behavior involving an expressed or implied threat, which interferes with an individual's personal safety, academic efforts, employment or participation in College sponsored programs and causes the person to have a reasonable apprehension that harm is about to occur is also prohibited.

C.   Complicity/Implied Consent - If a student is aware of or in the presence of a violation of College policy and the student remains in the presence of and/or fails to take reasonable actions to stop the violation, the student gives implied consent to the violation and becomes a party in the violation. A student present when/where one or more violations are occurring also chooses to accept the consequences of being in violation of College policy. Anyone who creates an opportunity or encourages another person to violate regulations may be deemed equally responsible as the actual perpetrator and may be subject to the same sanctions as the active offender.

D.   Disruptive Conduct - Students are considered to be acting in a disruptive fashion and against College standards whenever they shall make a disturbance or threat of violence which is sufficient to disrupt the normal and reasonable use of the buildings or property, owned or controlled by the College or elsewhere (even off campus). In the interpretation and application of this regulation, either a disturbance or a threat of violence, shall constitute a violation. A "disturbance," which is something less than threats of violence, is an interruption of peace and quiet, a violation of public order in decorum or an interference with or hindrance of facilities or occupation of a building or space.  Classroom disruption is behavior that is substantial and/or repeated behavior that reasonably interferes with the conduct of a class or related academic pursuits.  "Fighting," defined as engaging in and continuing when one has an opportunity to disengage from a physical struggle with another person or persons, is specifically prohibited under this regulation.  Lewd, obscene or otherwise indecent conduct is also prohibited under this code.

E.   Drugs and Narcotics - In accordance with the General Laws of Massachusetts, the College as an instrument of the State, is obliged to uphold and maintain standards in relation to illegal drugs and substances. Therefore, students alleged to be in violation of these standards can expect the College to pursue such matters through its regularly established conduct process.  The possession, use, distribution or sale of narcotics, hallucinogens or other dangerous and/or illegal drugs is prohibited. The possession or sale of drug related paraphernalia is also prohibited. The College embraces wellness and, therefore, prohibits the use of any substance in a harmful or abusive manner. This may include over-the-counter substances or prescription drugs. Behaviors resulting in violations of community standards as a result of improper use of drugs or other substances will not be excused or provide justification for the College to mitigate its response to associated behaviors and violations.

F.   False Information - Any student who knowingly withholds information or offers false information during either an investigation or College disciplinary process/hearing shall be considered to have violated College policy and standards of behavior.  Furnishing false information, alteration, destruction, misuse of documents, records or I.D. cards or signing or using another person's name is also prohibited.

G.   Fire Safety - Fire Alarms, Equipment and Drills - The use of fire equipment, such as smoke detectors, extinguishers, alarms and hoses, is strictly prohibited except in the case of an emergency or an organized fire safety drill approved by the Department of Public Safety. Likewise, failure to evacuate promptly and completely any campus building or facility is prohibited once a fire alarm is sounded or when directed under such circumstances to do so by a College staff member or official emergency personnel.  The setting of fires without a written permit is strictly prohibited.

H.   Gambling - Any gambling which is prohibited by Massachusetts law is also prohibited on College property.

I.    Harassment - The College has concern for incidents in which students are subject to harassment because of membership in a particular racial, ethnic, religious, gender, self-identification of gender or sexual orientation group or because of their disability. Conduct less than a physical attack or contact that is so severe or pervasive that it interferes with a person's employment, academic performance or participation in College programs or activities and creates a working, learning, program or activity environment that a reasonable person would find intimidating, hostile or offensive.

J.    Hazing - The term "hazing" as used in this section shall mean any conduct or method of initiation into a student organization whether on public or private property that willfully or recklessly endangers the physical or mental health of any student or other person. Such conduct shall include whipping; beating; branding; forced calisthenics; exposure to the weather; forced consumption of any food, liquor, beverage, drug or other substance; or any other treatment or forced physical activity that is likely to adversely affect the physical health or safety of any such student or other person or which subjects such student or other person to extreme mental stress including extended deprivation of sleep or rest or extended isolation. Notwithstanding any other provisions, consent shall not be available as a defense to any campus disciplinary action under this action. Principal organizers and/or participants are considered to be responsible for hazing.  Further, whoever knows that another person is the victim of hazing and is at the scene of such activity shall, to the extent that such person can do so without danger or peril to himself or herself or others, report such crime to an appropriate enforcement official as soon as reasonably practicable.

K.   Misappropriation, Theft, and/or Damage/Destruction of Property - Students are responsible for the proper utilization and preservation of all College furnishings, equipment, grounds, vehicles, services, and facilities. Prior to use, approval is also necessary for use of vehicles, facilities, and some equipment. Damages caused by students to College owned or operated property will provide the College with the basis for a claim against the responsible student(s) for the repair/replacement of the damaged item(s) and any associated costs incurred.  Further, students may not incur College expenses or consume College resources for the conduct of their personal lives, personal entertainment or livelihood.  Students are expected to acquire permission to use College resources, and resources or the personal belongings of fellow students.  If a student takes property or uses services without permission and/or is in possession of stolen property, the student is in violation of College policy.

L.   Noise - Students may not intentionally make or cause to be made any noise above the level of the activity commonly associated with the environment of the campus. In assessing whether a student behaved in accordance with this community standard, factors such as the time of day, day of the week, and place of the alleged violations will be taken into consideration; that is, greater care to control unwanted noise will be expected during weekdays, near the library and classroom buildings, and at examination times than on weekends or at athletic events. Generally, any intentionally created noise that inhibits the ability of others to study, teach, sleep and enjoy the intended use of the campus and its facilities will be presumed to be against this standard of behavior. Likewise, any noise, generated from within a building and travels within and/or beyond the building such as the sounds transmitted through a radio or stereo are also presumed to be against this standard of behavior.

M.   Sexual Assault and Sexual Harassment - Behaviors as defined by College policy constitute a violation of the College student conduct code. For further reference, please refer to the Discrimination and Sexual Harassment section in the handbook.

1.   Sexual Assault: If a person touches another individual in a sexual manner (making sexual contact) and the touching is offensive to that person, sexual assault has been committed.

  • Rape and Acquaintance Rape: Nonconsensual sexual intercourse, whether, vaginal, oral or anal. Using intimidation, threats or physical force to accomplish intercourse is rape. Penetration of the vagina, mouth or anus is necessary to call the act rape, but emission is not necessary. Penile penetration or penetration with any digit (finger) or foreign object is also considered rape.
  • Acquaintance rape is rape.
  • Intoxication is not a defense and cannot be used as an excuse or as a justification for the charge of sexual assault.
  • Consent (involving alcohol): If a person engages in sexual intercourse with or inappropriately touches another person when knowing that person is under the influence of alcohol or drugs, they may also be guilty of sexual assault. In this situation, sexual contact is considered to be against the person's will if they cannot use their judgment. Even if the person remains conscious, if they are under the influence of alcohol or drugs and does not object, sexual intercourse may be considered rape because the person's ability to resist or consent has been taken away by the use of alcohol or other drugs.
  • Statutory Rape is sexual intercourse with a person under the age of 16. Consent and/or reasonable mistake as to the identity of the victim are not considered defenses to this offense. Because of the age of the victim, the law presupposes that the individual is not able to consent and the individual's consent will not absolve the victim.

2.   Sexual Harassment consists of unwelcome verbal, non-verbal and/or physical behavior of a sexual nature which is so severe or pervasive that it has the effect of interfering with a person's employment, academic performance or participation in College programs or activities, and creates a working, learning, program or activity environment that a reasonable person would find intimidating, hostile or offensive. Sexual harassment incidents can involve a male harasser and a female victim, a female harasser and a male victim, and also same gender same sex harassment and harassment because of gender identity or orientation.

N.  Sponsorship of Events - Individuals or groups sponsoring events disruptive to the College or community or having disruptive consequences may be held responsible for such activity as if they had committed the offense. Examples of such activity would be parties or dances, which prevent study or classes in College buildings and/or disrupt relations with the community or result in other harmful effects.

O.  Stalking - Students are prohibited from willfully, maliciously and/or repeatedly following another person and/or making threats with the intent of placing that person in fear of imminent bodily injury or death.

P.  Weapons and Firearms - Except for authorized law enforcement purposes, no weapons of any kind are allowed on the MCLA campus.  No individual may possess, carry, store, use or have in the individual's custody or control, a firearm or other weapon on campus. State law prohibits the unauthorized possession, carrying or use of weapons or firearms on College property.

For the purposes of this policy, the term "weapons" includes, but is not limited to, firearms of any nature or description, including shotguns, rifles, pistols and revolvers, paint ball guns or BB/pellet guns; firearm replicas; ammunition; martial arts-type weapons; explosives (including fireworks); bows, crossbows or arrows; slingshots; switchblade knives, double-edged knives, hunting (fixed-blade-style) knives of any length, throwing knives or folding (pocket-style) knives with a blade length of three inches or greater; swords; pointed metal darts; mace, pepper gas/spray, and other dangerous chemicals; or any other destructive device or instrument that may be used to do bodily injury or damage to property.

The term "campus" includes but is not limited to:  College housing, other buildings, grounds, parking areas or any other facility owned, leased, managed or operated by the College.

The term "carrying" includes, but is not limited to:  possession, transporting, storing or having custody or control of firearms or other weapons within any part of a vehicle.

The policy applies to all persons, including but not limited to:  faculty, staff, students and visitors.

Temporary exemption to the portions of this policy not controlled by State law may be granted by the College's Director of Public Safety or designee for job related, educational or demonstration purposes.

Weapons will be confiscated by the College's Department of Public Safety and violators may be subject to criminal prosecution and/or referral for College disciplinary action.