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Student Rights

Student Membership in the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts

When a person becomes a student at MCLA, that person voluntarily assumes 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 is obliged to do our best to provide students with an environment that supports learning and to protect the rights of all the members of our community. To achieve these ends, MCLA is expected to bring together people and resources who 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 that 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.

Students will also find that the MCLA community is defined, in part, by our physical borders and the fact that we are a State controlled institution primarily located on State land. This means that some of the rules that govern student conduct in our community include certain Federal and State laws as well as policies adopted 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 College governance, particularly in the Student Government Association (SGA) and College Committees. As rules change, they are announced to the community via the MCLA email communication system, the student newspaper, and other forms of media. For now, the current rules and regulations governing student behavior are explained in the material that 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 any questions arise about the meaning of any of this information.