You are here
INTRODUCTION | STUDENT RIGHTS AND RESPONSIBILITIES | PHILOSOPHY AND LEARNING OUTCOMES | AUTHORITY OF THE COMMUNITY STANDARDS | VIOLATIONS OF THE LAW | DISCRIMINATION | MEDICAL AMNESTY | DEFINITIONS | DISCIPLINARY OFFENSES | ACADEMIC MISCONDUCT PROCEDURES | INTERIM ADMINISTRATIVE ACTION | DISCIPLINARY PROCESS
Massachusetts College of Art and Design (MassArt) is a public, independent institution that prepares artists, designers, and educators from diverse backgrounds to shape communities, economies, and cultures for the common good.
- We pursue a just, compassionate, and equitable learning environment
- We cultivate rigorous creative practices by observing, questioning, making and remaking
- We honor courage, honesty, mutual respect, and self-expression
- We believe in the power of art and design to transform our world
MassArt expects its students to be good citizens and conduct themselves in an appropriate manner at all times, whether on-campus or off-campus. MassArt students should act with integrity, demonstrate responsible behavior, and are encouraged to be active bystanders. The Community Standards are established to support students’ pursuit of education, uphold the educational mission of the College, and maintain the College’s relationship with the surrounding community and partner schools.
Under the terms of their enrollment, individual students and student organizations are bound by these Standards and acknowledge the right of the College to take disciplinary action for behavior that violates these Standards. The standards are applicable and shall be enforced with respect to behavior throughout enrollment at the college. The enforcement of these Community Standards is an educational endeavor that fosters students' educational, personal, and social development by actively engaging in the resolution process.
STUDENT RIGHTS AND RESPONSIBILITIES
Students have a RIGHT to:
- Fair and equitable treatment.
- Privacy and confidentiality in accordance with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA).
Students are RESPONSIBLE for:
- Being knowledgeable of and complying with federal, state, and local laws and ordinances.
- Being knowledgeable of and complying with all directives, policies, and procedures of Massachusetts College of Art and Design.
- Choosing behavior that does not interfere with the learning environment of others both on and off-campus.
- Checking their MassArt email and reviewing all information shared with them by College officials.
PHILOSOPHY AND LEARNING OUTCOMES
By actively engaging in the Community Standards resolution processes, students shall:
- Understand the impact of their choices on their academic and personal success;
- Accept personal responsibility for choices and decisions made and the impact of their behavior on others at the College;
- Recognize the role of the community standards as a part of the overall educational experience; and
- Identify ways to address their behavior so it does not negatively impact their long-term educational goals or the college community in the future.
AUTHORITY OF THE COMMUNITY STANDARDS
The Senior Student Affairs Officer (SSAO) has ultimate authority for administration of the Community Standards and may delegate day-to-day oversight to their designee. The SSAO, or designee, may appoint Community Standards Officers (CSO) or Hearing Board Members as necessary to effectively and efficiently administer these Community Standards. The SSAO, or designee, will conduct training sessions for those responsible for adjudicating cases following the process outlined by these Community Standards and will manage and maintain all records pertaining to the administration and enforcement of these Community Standards.
VIOLATIONS OF THE LAW
Alleged violations of federal, state, and local laws may be reviewed and addressed under the Code. When an offense occurs over which the College has jurisdiction, the College conduct process will go forward regardless of any civil or criminal complaint or process that may arise from the same incident.
The College reserves the right to exercise its authority of interim suspension upon notification that a student is facing a criminal investigation.
Incidents involving discrimination and discriminatory harassment will be addressed under the resolution procedures outlined in the Equal Opportunity, Diversity and Affirmative Action Plan. Those complaints shall be investigated according to the College’s Equal Opportunity, Diversity and Affirmative Action Plan.
Always call 911 or Public Safety at 617-879-7800 for help if someone:
- Passes out and cannot be awakened
- Vomits while passed out
- Stops breathing
- Has a seizure
- Or any other medical emergency
In situations of medical emergencies caused by alcohol and/or other drug use, the primary concern is the health and safety of the individual(s) involved. No student seeking medical assistance for an alcohol or other drug-related emergency will be subject to College disciplinary action for the violation of possession or consumption of alcohol or drugs. This policy shall extend to the referring student/organization who called for medical assistance so long as the referring student/organization remains with the student experiencing the medical emergency until medical assistance arrives.
Students may be hesitant to report sexual violence, sexual harassment, gender-based harassment, domestic violence, dating violence, stalking or retaliation out of concern that they, or witnesses, might be alleged to have violated the University’s alcohol and/or drug policies. While the College does not condone violations of policy, a priority is placed on the need to address sexual violence and misconduct. Accordingly, College officials may elect not to initiate the Community Standards process against a student who, in good faith, reports, witnesses, or possesses personal knowledge of sexual violence, sexual harassment, gender-based harassment, domestic violence, dating violence, stalking, or retaliation.
Students must meet with an administrator or counseling services upon return from medical treatment or within 24 hours of being evaluated. At the discretion of the College, students receiving medical amnesty from disciplinary action may be required to complete a mandatory alcohol and/or drug evaluation and educational sessions and, where indicated, may be required to seek further treatment. Failure to complete the assigned supportive actions may result in disciplinary action.
In situations where there are repeated uses of the Medical Amnesty provision within the Community Standards, the College reserves the right to take disciplinary action on a case-by-case basis regardless of the manner in which the incident was reported.
These definitions are meant to provide clarity of language and may not be all-encompassing explanations of the terms provided.
Administrative Resolution - A resolution of a complaint, which is mutually agreed upon by the CSO and the Student or Student Organization. An Administrative Resolution will be documented in writing and signed by the CSO and the Student or Student Organization. An Administrative Resolution shall result in a Student waiving their right to a Student Conduct Board hearing or Appeal.
Advisor - Advisor means any person who accompanies a respondent, a complainant, or a victim for
the limited purpose of providing support and guidance.
Appeals Officer - The College’s designated administrator responsible for reviewing appeals in accordance with the disciplinary processes outlined in the Community Standards. The College’s Appeals Officer is the Vice President for Student Development or designee. In cases of academic dishonesty, the Appeals Officer is the Provost or designee.
Business Day (Day): Shall mean any day, Monday through Friday, that the College is open. All reasonable efforts shall be made to expedite student conduct processes, but the SSAO, or designee, may extend time limits at their discretion with notice to all parties in writing, including for inclement weather and/or unplanned closures.
College Property: All land, buildings, facilities, and other property in the possession of or owned, used, or controlled by the College.
Community Standards file: The printed/written/electronic file that holds all materials related to conduct cases, which may include but is not limited to incident report(s), correspondence, witness statements, and disciplinary history. In limited circumstances, conduct information may be maintained in a student’s Educational Record.
Community Standards Officer (CSO) - A college staff member who is authorized by the Senior Student Affairs Officer, or designee, to administer any aspect of the Community Standards.
Complaint: An allegation of a violation of the Community Standards, which is filed with or by the SSAO or CSO.
Disciplinary Hold - means an administrative hold placed on a student’s record or on a Student Organization's activities or privileges. Students with a disciplinary hold may not register for classes or access official transcripts. Student Organizations may not host meetings, events, or otherwise be recognized.
Educational Records - are those records that are directly related to a student and maintained by Massachusetts College of Art and Design or by a party acting for the College. These include, but are not limited to, papers, examinations, grade information, transcripts, disciplinary information, billing and financial aid information.
Guests - means an individual who is not currently enrolled at Massachusetts College of Art and Design who is an associate or invitee of a student and/or Student Organization.
Policy - is any regulation of the College, including, but not limited to, those published in the Community Standards, the Student Handbook, the Equal Opportunity, Diversity and Affirmative Action Plan, Residence Hall Handbook, license occupancy agreements and the Academic Catalog.
Sanctions – An obligation that a student or student organization must abide by or complete when found responsible for violating the Student Community Standards. Sanctions are not required to be imposed progressively, but are based on the severity and/or frequency of the violation.
Sanctions under this policy shall include, but are not limited to:
- Written Warning – An official written notice to a student that their conduct is in violation of College rules or regulations.
- Restrictions/Loss of Privileges – Restriction or loss of privileges as a student for a specified period of time, including but not limited to: attending College classes, events and/or activities; accessing College property or specifically designated areas; or participating in College organizations.
- Educational Sanction – A project or developmental activity imposed with the goal of educating the student about personal responsibility and/or the impacts of their behavior.
- Restitution - The assessment of financial charges or other forms of reimbursement for any damage or loss incurred by the College or any members of the College community.
- Parental/Guardian Notification: Students must inform their parent and/or legal guardian of their involvement in and responsibility for violations of the Community Standards. The student's parent and/or legal guardian must call a designated administrator to inform them that the student has spoken to them regarding the incident and violation(s).
- Disciplinary Probation I: Disciplinary Probation I is a serious, documented warning that a student's behavior has breached the standards of the College community beyond the parameters of a standard verbal or written warning. Subsequent violations during the period of probation are likely to lead to more serious disciplinary action. Probation lasts for a predetermined amount of time based on the severity of the policy violation. Students on Disciplinary Probation I are still considered to be in good disciplinary standing at the College, but eligibility to participate in certain programs may be affected, including but not limited to representing the student body as a member of the SGA Executive Board and becoming or remaining a member of residence life staff.
- Disciplinary Probation II: Disciplinary Probation II results in a more serious, documented warning that a student’s behavior has breached the standards of the College community well beyond the parameters of a standard verbal or written warning. Further policy violations during the period of Disciplinary Probation II may lead to suspension from the College. Probation lasts for a predetermined amount of time based on the severity of the policy violation. Students on Disciplinary Probation II are not considered to be in good disciplinary standing at the College for the duration of probation and are ineligible to participate in College activities unless an exemption is made by the Senior Student Affairs Officer.
- Suspension – Separation from the College or a program, without financial reimbursement, for a specified period of time not to exceed four academic years. Conditions for readmission may be specified, including a reinstatement review and meeting with the SSAO or designee to demonstrate that the student is prepared to return to the college environment and abide by the expectations of behavior outlined in the Student Community Standards. During the suspension period, the student may not register or participate in classes, use College communication systems such as e-mail, or enter College property and loses all privileges to participate in any College functions, events, or activities without prior written approval from the SSAO or designee.
Any suspension may be “deferred” for a designated period of time, not to exceed one (1) semester. Deferred suspension will be utilized in unique circumstances where deferring the suspension would be in the best interest of the student as determined by the SSAO or designee. A student on deferred suspension who is found responsible for an additional violation of the Community Standards may be issued additional sanctions, up to and including Expulsion.
Any suspension may also be held “in Abeyance” for a designated period of time. Upon completion of the designated period of time, the sanction will be fulfilled. A student on suspension in abeyance who is found responsible for an additional violation of the Community Standards will be immediately suspended for the remainder of the designated time and may face additional sanctions, up to and including Expulsion.
- Expulsion – Permanent separation from the College or a program without financial reimbursement. An expelled student may not be readmitted to the College or a program and a notation of expulsion from the College shall be placed on the student’s official College transcript.
Residence Hall students may be subject to specific sanctions:
- Relocation of Residence - Required reassignment to another campus residence location.
- Residence Hall Suspension - Temporary separation of the student from the residence hall, without financial reimbursement, for a specified period of time. During the suspension period, the student may not access the residence halls as a guest without written permission from the Director of Housing and Residence Life.
- Residence Hall Expulsion - Permanent separation of the student from the residence hall, without financial reimbursement. The student may not enter the residence halls under any circumstances.
Senior Student Affairs Officer - This is the individual charged with overseeing student life at MassArt. The Senior Student Affairs Officer (SSAO) may designate others to administer the day-to-day functions of the Community Standards as necessary.
Standard of Proof - Preponderance of evidence is the evidentiary standard used in resolving a complaint filed under the College’s disciplinary process. The standard is met if the proposition is more likely to be true than not true (i.e.; more probable than not). Effectively, the standard is satisfied if there is greater than 50 percent likelihood that the proposition is true.
Student - is a term that includes all persons enrolled in a program at the College, both full-time and part-time, credit and non-credit. Persons who are not officially enrolled for a particular term but who have an academic relationship with the College are considered students.
Student Organization - refers to an association or group of persons, including, but not limited to, any student group, team or club, that has complied with the formal requirements for College recognition and/or is recognized by the College. In matters relating to allegations of misconduct, a representative shall be identified and act on behalf of and with the permission of the association or group.
Witness - means any person with knowledge pertaining to an alleged violation of the Community Standards by a student or Student Organization.
A student or Student Organization shall be subject to disciplinary action under these Standards for engaging in acts including, but not limited to:
- Acts of dishonesty including but not limited to: cheating, plagiarism (artistic or academic); furnishing false information to faculty, staff, department, or any College official; forgery, alteration or misuse of any College document, record, or instrument of identification (including all software and computer databases, systems or email); tampering with the election of any Student Organization; or misrepresenting oneself as another.
- Acting on or off campus in a manner that substantially interferes with or disrupts the normal and/or safe operation of the College, including but not limited to disrupting or interfering in the educational process, including teaching, advising, research, administration, public service or other College activities or functions.
- Harming and/or Endangering Behavior towards any person, self, or group, which includes, but is not limited to: the threat of or actual physical force or abuse; or, all conduct which threatens or endangers health or safety.
- Sexual or Gender-Based Misconduct, which includes but is not limited to nonconsensual conduct based on sex or gender, that does not meet the definition of sexual harassment under the College’s Title IX Sexual Harassment Policy, including off-campus or international conduct. Consent, incapacitation, force, and coercion have the meanings ascribed to them under the Title IX Sexual Harassment Policy.
- Hate crimes, as defined under state and/or federal law.
- Violation of federal, state, or local law while on or off College property.
- Failure to abide by the Alcohol Policy. Specific violations include but are not limited to:
a. Use, possession, manufacture or distribution of alcoholic beverages except as expressly permitted by state and/or federal law or College regulations, while on or off campus is prohibited.
b. Public intoxication while on or off campus is prohibited.
c. Common source containers of alcohol are prohibited.
d. Use of alcohol to render another person physically or emotionally incapacitated is prohibited.
e. Violation of the Alcohol Policy within the residence halls as outlined in the Residence Hall Handbook is prohibited.
f. Failure to complete any assigned mandatory alcohol assessment and/or additional treatment after receiving Medical Amnesty as described above is prohibited.
- Violation of the Drug and Controlled Substance Policy. Specific violations include:
a. Use, possession, cultivation, manufacture, distribution or being under the influence of drugs or other controlled substances except as expressly permitted by state and/or federal law or College regulations, while on or off campus is prohibited.
b. Use, possession, or sale of drug paraphernalia is prohibited.
c. Use of illegal drugs to render another person physically or emotionally incapacitated in prohibited.
d. Violation of the Drug and Controlled Substances Policy within the residence halls as outlined in the Residence Hall Handbook is prohibited.
e. Failure to complete any assigned mandatory drug assessment and/or additional treatment after receiving Medical Amnesty as described above is prohibited.
Although Massachusetts law permits the use of medical cannabis/marijuana and the possession, use, distribution and cultivation of cannabis in limited amounts, federal law, including the Federal Controlled Substances Act of 1970, the Drug Free Workplace Act of 1988 and the Drug Free Schools and Communities Act of 1989, prohibits the possession, use, distribution and/or cultivation of cannabis at educational institutions. Further, as cannabis remains classified as an illegal narcotic under federal law, institutions of higher education that receive federal funding are required to maintain policies prohibiting the possession and use of cannabis on their campuses. Accordingly, the possession, use, distribution or cultivation of cannabis, even for medical purposes, is prohibited on all College property or at College sponsored events and activities. Also prohibited is the operation of a motor vehicle while under the influence of cannabis on College property or at College sponsored events or activities. Further, this policy prohibits the possession, use, or distribution of all cannabis accessories and cannabis products. Cannabis accessories shall include, but are not limited to, any device or equipment used for ingesting, inhaling, or otherwise introducing cannabis into the human body. Cannabis products shall include, but are not limited to, products that are comprised of cannabis and other ingredients and are intended for use or consumption, such as, but not limited to, edible products.
In addition, no accommodations will be made for any student in possession of a medical cannabis registration card. Upon request, the College may release students from their Residence Hall License Agreement if approved as a reasonable accommodation for a documented disability requiring use or possession of cannabis for medical purposes.
- Being knowingly present where a violation of the Community Standards is occurring.
- Unauthorized possession, duplication, or misuse of College property or other personal or public property, including but not limited to: records, electronic files, network systems, forms of identification, keys, IDs, or entry codes.
- Attempted or actual theft, damage, and/or vandalism, by intent or negligence, to property or possession of stolen property.
- Uncooperative behavior, which includes but is not limited to: disregarding the request of, and/or failure to identify oneself to any College official, fire or law enforcement officers acting in performance of their duties.
- Creating a fire hazard or a situation that endangers others, including but not limited to: creating false reports of fire or bombs, possessing fireworks, failing to evacuate, throwing objects from windows, tampering with, covering, damaging, or removing fire safety equipment, burning candles or incense, intentionally burning or singeing College property such as posted signs, and smoking any substance indoors.
- Use, possession, creation, or carrying of firearms (for the purpose of this section, firearms shall mean any pistol, revolver, rifle, or smoothbore arm from which a shot, bullet, or pellet can be discharged by whatever means), incendiary devices, smoke devices, hunting or assault knives, explosives, or other dangerous weapons on College premises or at College-sponsored events.
- Forcible or unauthorized entry and/or presence on or in College premises, including but not limited to: galleries, classrooms, studios, offices, residence halls, residence hall apartments/suites/rooms, roofs, balconies, and/or courtyards.
- Any unauthorized use of electronic or other devices to make an audio or video recording of any person(s) while on College premises or participating in a College-related activity without the person’s prior knowledge or without the person’s effective consent due to intoxication, drug use, mental impairment or other conditions that may impair a person’s ability to convey effective consent. This includes, but is not limited to, surreptitiously taking pictures of another person in a locker room or restroom.
- Violation of the Residence Hall License Agreement or published residence hall policies outlined in the Residence Hall Handbook.
- Failure to abide by the Smoking Policy.
- Abuse of the procedures outlined in the Community Standards, including but not limited to:
a. Failure to provide, destroying, or concealing information during an investigation of an alleged policy violation.
b. Falsification, distortion, or misrepresentation of information to a Community Standards officer, Hearing Board members, or an Administrative Review Committee.
c. Disruption or interference with the orderly conduct of a Student Conduct proceeding.
d. Influencing or attempting to influence another person to commit an abuse of the Student Conduct procedures.
e. Attempting to harass, intimidate, or retaliate against a member of a review body, accused student, or witness, prior to, during, and/or after a Student Conduct proceeding.
f. Failure to comply with the sanction(s) imposed under the Community Standards.
- Failure to abide by the Hazing Policy
- Unauthorized solicitation.
- Unauthorized or illegal gambling.
- Failure to abide by any published College policies.
- Unauthorized use of the College's name, logo, or other symbol.
- Improper use of College vehicles, including rental and lease vehicles.
- Continued participation in any Student Organization activities, including but not limited to hosting meetings or accepting new members, during any period that a Student Organization is not recognized by the College.
ACADEMIC MISCONDUCT PROCEDURES
A faculty member who suspects cheating or plagiarism in work submitted in fulfillment of a class requirement should confer with the student submitting the work in an attempt to determine whether a violation has occurred.
The faculty member has the discretion to accept the work as academically and/or artistically honest, to resolve the issue as a classroom issue, or to refer the matter to the Department Chair. In the event the student does not concur with the disposition proposed by the faculty member, the student may refer the matter to the Provost or their designee. If the matter is referred to the Department Chair, the Chair and faculty member will meet with the student to pursue information that may be pertinent.
In the event that the Chair and faculty member determine that a violation has occurred, they will review the student's educational record to determine if a prior sanction for academic misconduct has been imposed and may impose one or more of the following sanctions:
- The student does the assignment over or retakes the test.
- The student receives no credit for the plagiarized assignment.
- The student fails (or receives no credit) for the class.
- The student is referred to the Provost or designee for further academic sanction.
The Chair will inform the student, in writing, of the finding and the sanction imposed. If the sanction imposed is failure (or no credit) for the class, the Chair's letter to the student constitutes a letter of reprimand. A copy of any letter of reprimand is retained by the College as a component of the student's educational record.
An academic sanction imposed or approved by the Provost or designee is not subject to further review or appeal.
If the Provost or designee, in consultation with the Department Chair and the faculty member, determines that just cause exists, the Provost or designee may refer the matter to the Senior Student Affairs Officer, or designee, to be dealt with as a conduct matter under the general provisions of these Community Standards.
INTERIM ADMINISTRATIVE ACTION
The College reserves the right to issue an interim measure when it reasonably concludes that a student or Student Organization:
- Poses a threat to the safety of any person;
- Poses a threat to College property or equipment;
- Substantially disrupts or interferes with the normal operations of the College;
- Engages in off-campus conduct that adversely affects the College community; and/or
- Is arrested and/or charged with a crime in violation of state or federal law.
These actions may include, but are not limited to: no-contact orders, restriction/loss of privileges, relocation or interim suspension from housing, loss of recognition or interim suspension.
Interim Administrative Actions are not sanctions. They are efforts to protect the safety and well-being of members of the College Community, the College, or property. Interim Administrative Actions are preliminary and temporary in nature. Failure to abide by an Interim Administrative Action is a violation of the Community Standards.
Where reasonably practical, within five (5) days of the issuance of an interim action, the SSAO or designee shall meet with the student or Student Organization to determine whether to continue or revoke the interim measure during the conduct process. A student or Student Organization shall be notified in writing of any determination made at that meeting.
Any person may file a report regarding any student or Student Organization alleging misconduct. To initiate the Conduct process, reports shall be prepared in writing and directed to the SSAO or designee. A report should be submitted as soon as possible after the alleged misconduct takes place. Community members may submit reports through this electronic form located at massart.edu/help.
STEP 1: Initiation of Student Conduct Process
The Student Conduct Process is initiated once a complaint of an alleged violation is received by the SSAO or designee. A complaint is defined as an allegation of a violation of the Community Standards, which is filed with or by the SSAO or designee. The SSAO or designee may act on a complaint of a potential violation whether a formal complaint form is completed or not.
STEP 2: Preliminary Inquiry
When the SSAO or designee files or receives a complaint alleging that a student has acted in a manner which may be in violation of the Community Standards, the SSAO or designee may conduct a preliminary inquiry into the nature of the complaint, the evidence available, and the parties involved. The preliminary inquiry leads to:
A determination that there is insufficient evidence to pursue the investigation because the behavior alleged, even if proven, would not violate the Community Standards and therefore the Conduct process ends; or
A determination that the alleged behavior constitutes a possible violation of the Community Standards, resulting in a request to schedule an Administrative Resolution meeting with a CSO within five (5) days; or
Further investigation is needed to make a determination. The SSAO or designee may assign a CSO to conduct the investigation if needed.
STEP 3: Administrative Resolution
After a Preliminary Inquiry, or when a Preliminary Inquiry is not necessary as determined by the SSAO or designee, a CSO will meet with the Student/Student Organization to review the complaint, and provide the Student/Student Organization an opportunity to respond to the allegations.
The Student/Student Organization has the right to be accompanied by any advisor of their own choosing and at their own expense. The advisor may be another student, faculty member, administrator, or an attorney. An advisor’s role is limited to advising the Student/Student Organization discretely and is not otherwise permitted to participate directly in the meeting. If the student elects to have an attorney as their advisor, the College requests notification three days prior to the scheduled meeting as the College's attorney may in such cases attend the hearing. Please note, requests to change proposed meetings to accommodate an Advisor’s schedule will be considered but may not always be granted.
The possible outcomes of an Administrative Resolution meeting include:
- A decision not to pursue the complaint based on insufficient information. The matter should be closed and the records should so indicate;
- The Student/Student Organization and the CSO reach a mutually agreed upon resolution to the complaint; or
- If no mutually agreed upon resolution is reached, the complaint is referred to a Student Conduct Board Hearing.
Under certain circumstances during the Community Standards process, interim measures may be imposed by the SSAO or Director of Residence Life in residential matters including, but not limited to: no-contact orders, restriction/loss of privileges, relocation or loss of housing, or interim suspension, in a manner consistent with the Community Standards.
An Administrative Resolution is reached only upon the mutual agreement of the CSO and the Student/Student Organization. By accepting an Administrative Resolution, the Student/Student Organization waives their right to a hearing before the Student Conduct Board Hearing or an appeal. An Administrative Resolution shall be put in writing by the CSO, copied to the Student/Student Organization and maintained in a Student/Student Organization’s disciplinary file. If the CSO and the Student/Student Organization cannot agree on an Administrative Resolution the matter proceeds to a Student Conduct Hearing Board.
Failure by the Student/Student Organization to appear for an Administrative Resolution meeting with the CSO will result in discipline of the Student/Student Organization by the CSO and a forfeiture of their rights to a hearing or appeal.
STEP 4: Student Conduct Hearing Board
1. Overview A hearing with the Student Conduct Board shall be scheduled by the SSAO or designee not later than thirty (30) days following a Student/Student Organization’s request for a hearing. If no hearing is requested, the hearing shall be scheduled by the SSAO or designee no later than thirty (30) days from the date of the Administrative Resolution meeting.
A written statement of charges shall be presented to the Student/Student Organization not less than five (5) days prior to the hearing. The statement of charges shall include a summary of the complaint, administrative or remedial steps taken, the Community Standards charges, and the documentary evidence and witnesses to be presented in support of the statement of charges. A Student Conduct Hearing Board is an administrative hearing. The rules of evidence do not apply.
In a matter involving more than one Student, the Student Conduct Board may, at its discretion, hold individual hearings for each Student. The Student has the right to be accompanied by any advisor of their own choosing and at their own expense. An advisor’s role is limited to advising the Student directly and discretely. An advisor is not otherwise permitted to participate directly in the hearing.
2. Make-Up of the Conduct Hearing Board
The Conduct Hearing Board shall consist of 3-5 members selected by the SSAO or designee. The SSAO or designee shall appoint from the members a Chair of the Conduct Hearing Board, who shall be responsible for administering the hearing. In cases involving academic dishonesty, the Conduct Board members may include faculty, although not from the department where the alleged conduct occurred.
3. Student Conduct Hearing Board Procedure
A hearing is normally conducted in private. There shall be a record created of all hearings. The record shall be the property of the College. All procedural questions are subject to the final decision of the Chair of the Student Conduct Hearing Board. Admission of any person(s) to the hearing shall be at the discretion of the Chair of the Student Conduct Hearing Board.
A hearing shall proceed as follows:
a. The CSO presents the Statement of Charges on behalf of the College. The CSO may present documents, materials and/or witnesses in support of the Statement of Charges.
b. Student responds to the Statement of Charges. The Student may present documents, materials and/or witnesses in response to the Statement of Charges.
c. Following the parties’ presentations, the Student Conduct Hearing Board may question each party, their witnesses and/or review all information presented. The Student Conduct Hearing Board has the discretion to request additional documents, materials or information from either party.
d. While direct cross-examination by the parties is not permitted, each party will be given the opportunity to question the other by presenting questions through the Chair of the Student Conduct Hearing Board. If the Chair determines a question is relevant, the other party will be asked to respond.
e. The Student Conduct Hearing Board shall have a final opportunity to question the parties.
f. After the hearing, the Student Conduct Hearing Board shall determine by majority vote whether the Statement of Charges has been proven.
g. A Student Conduct Hearing Board’s decision shall be based on a preponderance of evidence standard.
h. Within fifteen (15) days of the conclusion of a hearing, the Student Conduct Hearing Board shall issue a written decision that includes a summary of the hearing, findings on each charge contained in the Statement of Charges, the evidence supporting each finding, and disciplinary action taken, if any.
STEP 5: Sanctions
A student found in violation of the College’s Community Standards shall be subject to sanctions as defined herein.
A student who violates the Community Standards while serving an existing sanction shall be subject to further discipline, up to and including expulsion. The intent of the College is to impose sanctions in a progressive manner, beginning with the least punitive sanction. However, depending on factors, such as the nature and severity of a student’s violation and/or prior disciplinary history, the College reserves the right to impose any sanction at any time.
STEP 6: Appeal
Within five (5) days of receiving a written decision, the Student may file an appeal with the College’s Appeals Officer. In cases of academic dishonesty, the Appeals Officer shall be the College’s senior academic officer or designee.
An appeal must be submitted in writing and be based on a credible claim that:
- The hearing was not conducted in conformity with the Community Standards;
- The sanction imposed was not appropriate in light of the Student Conduct Board’s decision; or
- New evidence exists, which was not presented at hearing because it was not reasonably known to the Student at that time, and which is sufficiently relevant such that it could alter the Student Conduct Board’s decision.
The Appeals Officer shall issue a written decision within ten (10) days of receiving the appeal. The Appeals Officer may accept, reject, or modify the Student Conduct Hearing Board’s decision or sanction. The Appeals Officer’s decision shall be final
1MassArt reserves the right to modify the Community Standards when, in its discretion, such action will serve the best interests of the University or its students. The provisions of this Standards shall not be construed to replace or supersede any state, federal or local laws that also may apply to students or others.
This review is conducted in accordance with the University's governance procedures as dictated by the Board of Higher Education for Massachusetts. Currently reviews happen triennially.
Approved: Massachusetts College of Art and Design Board of Trustees: 10/2022
Revised: Massachusetts College of Art and Design: 08/2022
Approved: Massachusetts College of Art and Design Board of Trustees: 9/2019