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Student Code of Conduct


Clark University students are expected to behave in ways that demonstrate their care, respect, and responsibility for the personal dignity, rights, and freedoms of all community members. They should also respect University property and the property of others.

Adherence to the provisions of the Student Code of Conduct, along with other University policies and laws outside the University, will ensure an environment of academic and personal growth for all members of the University.

Because the University expects students to show good judgment and use common sense at all times, not all kinds of misconduct or behavioral standards are specifically identified in this handbook. In addition to meeting all academic requirements, a student’s disciplinary record must be in good standing to be eligible to receive a degree from the University. Clark may place a hold on the conferral of the degree, along with other student records, if any of the following exist about a student’s disciplinary record:

  • Any pending disciplinary proceeding;
  • Any pending appeals of a disciplinary proceeding or sanction; or
  • Any pending or active sanctions.

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Abuse of property may include damaging, destroying, misappropriating, misusing, or improperly accessing (including unauthorized entry) University buildings, grounds, equipment, computing resources, educational materials, or the personal belongings of others.

Clark University prohibits the use, sale, provision, and distribution of alcohol, except as permitted by law, on any college-owned property, at any college activity or activity offered by an organization recognized by the college, or during any college-sponsored event or travel. The following are also prohibited on any college-owned property, at any college activity or activity offered by an organization recognized by the college, or during any college-sponsored event or travel. This policy applies to any form of alcohol.

  • Underage persons: A person under the legal drinking age may not possess, consume, be under the influence of, or be in the presence of alcohol.
  • Drinking games: Any activity or game that promotes or encourages the consumption of large amounts of alcohol is prohibited, including, but not limited to, activities such as beer pong, quarters, and flip cup.
  • Alcohol paraphernalia: The possession of materials used in drinking games or activities that promote or encourage the consumption of large amounts of alcohol is prohibited, including, but not limited to, beer pong tables, beer funnels, and beer bongs. Paraphernalia may be confiscated by the University.
  • Underage possession: The possession of alcohol by a person under the legal drinking age
  • Underage consumption: The consumption of alcohol by a person under the legal drinking age
  • In the presence of Students under the legal drinking age are not allowed to knowingly be present in a space where alcohol is being consumed.
  • Open containers: Consumption and possession of open containers of alcohol are prohibited in common areas of residential buildings, inside academic and administrative facilities, and outdoors on University property unless alcohol is served legally and in accordance with guidelines as part of an approved University event.
  • Public intoxication: Committing an offense in a public place while intoxicated to the degree that the person may endanger themselves or others
  • Communal sources of alcohol: Communal sources of alcohol — e.g., beer balls, kegs, punches, and Jell-O shots — are prohibited.
  • Production of alcohol: Brewing or making alcohol is prohibited in all University buildings.
  • Other dangerous conduct: Consuming an amount of alcohol that interferes with a person’s participation in the college community and poses a risk to the health or safety of students or others is prohibited.

Clark has an Appropriate Use Policy (AUP) to protect the shared computing and information resources for all of campus. Students agree to the University’s AUP when using any Clark computing resource, including the Clark network.

Clark University values diversity, inclusion, and an environment free from biased or discriminatory behavior. The University embraces diversity of all kinds. It is committed to providing a safe, respectful, and equitable educational and work environment free of harassment and intimidation for all members of the Clark community. Further, the University is committed to identifying and implementing anti-racist policies, procedures, and training with all members of the Clark community as part of its ongoing commitment to advance its commitment to equity and inclusion.

Bias incidents are any behavior(s) or communication(s) motivated by hatred or prejudice that demean, degrade, harm, or harass an individual or group based upon perceived or actual identification in a protected category as recognized by law or Clark University policy, including race, color, national or ethnic origin, ancestry, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, age, genetics, physical or mental disability, and veteran or other protected status. Mistreatment could also be based on nonprotected categories, including, but not limited to, creed, marital status, political or social affiliation, or socioeconomic status.

Learn more about Bias Incidents

Report a Bias Incident

Censoring the press or broadcast media, which includes but is not limited to impeding the circulation of printed media, is prohibited.

Creating dangerous or unhealthy conditions (for yourself or others) threatens the community and is prohibited. Examples of such behavior include, but are not limited to:

  • Exposing others to biohazards such as bodily fluids or wastes
  • Drugging another person’s food or drink
  • Possession or unauthorized use of flammable, corrosive, or poisonous chemicals on University premises
  • Possession of firearms, explosives, or other weapons
  • Tampering with any fire or safety equipment or fixtures
  • Tampering with door locks, peepholes, or emergency doors (including propping doors open)
  • Inappropriate use of windows (e.g., as an entrance or exit, or throwing things from or out of)
  • Lending a Clark card or key to allow an unauthorized person(s) entry to a residence hall or house

Members of the community are expected to abide by established regulations. This includes the operating rules of academic or non-canon-academics, laboratories, and campus departments. Departmental policies are available in this document, on individual websites, and/or in specific offices.

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Students may not disrupt the orderly processes of the University that involve teaching, research, administration, disciplinary proceedings, or other activities. Disruptive actions include, but are not limited to, unauthorized entry into or blocking/obstructing access to private offices, work areas, teaching areas, libraries, social facilities, or the ingress and egress of traffic on Clark and neighboring community sidewalks and roadways.

It is also a violation to deprive anyone exhibiting freedom of expression of the opportunity to speak or be heard, physically obstruct their movement, or otherwise interfere with academic freedom.

Disruption includes conduct that is disorderly, annoying, disruptive, lewd, overly aggressive, obscene, or which causes alarm.

The University communicates essential information and business to students’ email addresses. Students are responsible for all information sent to this email address.

Clark students are responsible for their behavior outside the University’s confines. The University may invoke disciplinary action when notified of violations of federal, state, and local laws, whether violations occur on or off campus.

Off-campus students studying abroad or away from campus are expected to conduct themselves according to the policies and expectations outlined in the Student Code of Conduct, the Study Abroad “Statement of Responsibility and Release of Liability” contract, host institution conduct codes, and host country laws. In some cases, the Student Code of Conduct is more restrictive than the host country laws; for instance, if the drinking age in a host country is lower than 21, students are expected to adhere to the U.S. drinking age of 21. If a student chooses to drink, at no time should they misuse or abuse alcohol where they present a danger to themselves and to others. In some host countries, certain drugs are legal that are considered illegal on U.S. college campuses; in these cases, students are expected to adhere to the Clark University Student Code of Conduct regarding U.S. illegal drugs and improper usage of illegally obtained drugs. Please note that at no point should a student use the Student Code of Conduct to violate host country laws or host institutions’ conduct codes; for instance, even though it may be legal to drink at the

age of 21 in the U.S. and at Clark University, in some host countries and host institutions, the consumption of alcohol is illegal. In this case, the student is expected not to consume alcohol.

Students who are participating in an away or abroad program scheduled for disciplinary action by their host programs will be reviewed by the Dean of Students Office, where the student conduct process may be initiated. More specifically, university charges pertaining to academic integrity violations while away will be reviewed by the College Board, and Clark’s typical sanctions may apply. Students should note that study abroad disciplinary procedures are more compressed than campus procedures due to the short duration of Clark University programs, the need to address disciplinary matters more swiftly while traveling abroad, and the resources that are available in the host country to resolve disciplinary issues. In some cases, disciplinary actions could include dismissal from the Program and being returned to the United States. If dismissed from the Program, the student is responsible for all expenses incurred in returning to the United States and may need to return all or part of their financial aid, if applicable.

The forgery, alteration, or unauthorized possession or use of official documents, records, and identification instruments is prohibited (i.e., Clark credentials). This includes acts of personal misrepresentation and knowingly furnishing false information to the University. In addition, the duplication of University keys is not allowed.

According to Massachusetts General Law, gambling is any unsanctioned game of chance where currency or property are exchanged. Gambling, including taking or placing bets or payoffs, is prohibited.

Harassment includes conduct with the intent or effect of unreasonably interfering with a person’s life in the Clark community. Examples of harassment may include, but are not limited to, intimidation, threats, stalking, slurs, derogatory graffiti, internet posting, email, text or cellphone communication, or any conduct that endangers the health, safety, or well-being of an individual or group. This behavior is violated the Code of Student Conduct and will be subject to conduct sanctions.

Acts constituting hate crimes, as defined by Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 22C, Section 32, include “any criminal act coupled with overt actions motivated by bigotry and bias including, but not limited to, a threatened, attempted or completed overt act motivated at least in part by racial, religious, ethnic, handicap, gender or sexual orientation prejudice, or which otherwise deprives another person of his constitutional rights by threats, intimidation or coercion, or which seek to interfere with or disrupt a person’s exercise of constitutional rights through harassment or intimidation.” For this protocol, all hate crimes are considered a form of biased incident.

A Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 265, Section 39, Crimes Against the Person, states in relevant part that it is illegal to commit a crime against another person or their property with the intent to intimidate them because of their race, color, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, or disability.

Hazing is any conduct or method of initiation into any student organization, whether on public or private property, which endangers the physical or mental health of any student or participant. Such conduct includes, but is not limited to, whipping; beating; branding; forced calisthenics; exposure to weather; forced consumption of food, liquor, beverage, drug, or other substance; or any other treatment or forced activity that humiliates, abuses, degrades or endangers the health and safety of any of the involved participants, regardless of their willingness to participate.

Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 269, Section 18 also states that anyone with knowledge of a hazing incident is obligated to report that incident. Clark University complies with the MGL and National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) regulations prohibiting hazing. Copies of the Massachusetts law and NCAA restrictions on hazing are available in the Athletics Department, Dean of Students Office, Dean of Graduate Studies Office (Jonas Clark Hall, room 116), and the Office of Student Leadership and Programming.

Students and their guests are required to carry proper identification at all times while on University property and are expected to comply with any requests made by University student staff and University officials to show identification.

Clark does not tolerate the distribution, manufacturing, possession, sale, or use of illegal drugs or drug-related paraphernalia (e.g., bongs, pipes, etc.), including the improper use of prescription drugs. A student determined to have recently used, been under the influence, or been using illegal drugs may be found violating his code. Usage may be indicated by, for example, odor, fans, or towels under the door.

Infractions that involve the distribution of drugs may result in more severe sanctions. Clark retains the right to report all violations of this code to local, state, and federal authorities. Any student who is in the presence of illegal drugs will be held accountable for possession and/and, depending on the nature and circumstances of the incidents unless it s clear from the incident report and or information gathered during the hearing that the student was in no way aware of nor involved in a violation of the illegal drug policy.

Despite the adoption of marijuana legislation in Massachusetts, the possession, cultivation, and use of marijuana remains illegal under federal law, and permitting its use at Clark University would violate the Drug-Free Schools and Communities Act. Marijuana possession, uses, and services are not allowed on the Clark University campus, even with a valid prescription. Students with a documented medical reason and a valid prescription for the use of marijuana may seek accommodations according to the Americans with Disabilities Act.

To discuss the possibility of accommodation, students should contact Student Accessibility Services, Residential Life and Housing, the Dean of Students Office, or the Dean of Graduate Studies for more information. These accommodations, if applicable, may or may not include the use or storage of marijuana and/or related paraphernalia on campus or on University-owned property.

Any student who assists another person in the commission or attempted commission of violating the Code of Student Conduct or other University policy may be held jointly responsible. This includes hosting a nonstudent who commits an offense.

In cases of intoxication, alcohol poisoning, or suspected overdose, the primary concern is the health and safety of the person(s) involved. Individuals are strongly encouraged to call for medical assistance (508-793-7575 or x7575 from an on-campus phone, 911 if off-campus) for themselves or a friend/acquaintance who is dangerously intoxicated or under the influence. No student seeking medical treatment for an alcohol or other drug-related overdose will be subject to the University’s conduct action for the sole violation of using or possessing alcohol or drugs. This policy shall extend to other students seeking help for the intoxicated student.

The medical amnesty policy does not preclude University or Worcester police from addressing severe violations of the law should they present themselves during the medical intervention/or hospital transport.

Students who are transported and treated for acute drug or alcohol intoxication will be expected to follow up with a university administrator as defined by the conduct process.

Students found to have a significant substance abuse issue may be required to follow up with appropriate support services and take a leave of absence from the University to address this health concern. According to the Code of Student Conduct, students who choose not to attend these follow-up sessions may be held responsible for “noncompliance with University Officials.”

Clark University prides itself on building a healthy community and a sense of belonging for all students, staff, and faculty. Therefore, any community member who spreads falsified information physically or electrically, such as on social media platforms, violates the student code of conduct and may be subject to sanctioning. These include but are not limited to sharing information on an ongoing investigation or closed investigation of a community member, bullying, and cyberbullying. A good faith reporting of information that later proves to be false would not be considered a violation of this policy if the student made the report to an appropriate staff member based on a legitimately-held concern (as opposed to merely gossiping with other community members who lack the ability to investigate the concern or effectuate a remedy).

Students are required to comply with reasonable directives or requests from University student staff or University officials acting in the performance of their duties. Noncompliance also includes all acts of dishonesty, including but not limited to personal misrepresentation and knowingly furnishing false information to the University.

Physical assault or battery is any unwanted physical contact, or threat of communication, with harmful intent or result, by a Clark student against another individual. Physical assault includes, but is not limited to, attempting or committing an act that causes fear of injury; assault with a deadly weapon or with intent to murder, rape, or rob; physical harm against another person; insulting or provoking physical contact, or threatening to commit a crime of violence or to damage another person with harm, verbally or physically.

Hosts must be able to account for the whereabouts of their guests at all times, and hosts assume responsibility for their guest’s actions and behaviors. Guests must abide by the rules, regulations, and standards of the campus community. Guests may be asked to leave campus at the discretion of a University official.

The University will not tolerate retaliation in any form against any persons for their participation or involvement in the reporting, investigation, and/or resolution. The University will take appropriate steps to prevent and/or address retaliatory conduct immediately. Retaliation includes any acts or words that constitute intimidation, threats, or coercion because of that person’s:

  • Report of a Policy violation(s);
  • Assistance in reporting of a Policy violation(s);
  • Participation in any proceeding under the policy; or
  • Protest of Policy conduct, and that would also deter a reasonable person from reporting or assisting in reporting a violation of the policy, participating in any proceeding under the policy, or protesting of the Policy.

Clark University strives to create a community and atmosphere of mutual respect and wellness, as free from hazards as possible. Issues affecting the health, safety, and well-being of Clark University community members are essential to essential wherever possible. Research findings have clearly shown smoking, and exposing nonsmokers to secondhand smoke, constitutes a significant health hazard. Clark University recognizes its obligation to promote a healthy learning and working environment for the students, employees, and visitors on campus. This shared responsibility will ensure a healthy environment for all of us.

As of August 18, 2020, smoking of any kind, including any electronic nicotine-delivery system or smoking device, is prohibited for the entire campus community in or close proximity to all facilities, Clark-owned or -leased properties, and areas occupied or controlled by the University. This includes, but is not limited to, all common work areas, elevators, hallways, University-owned or -leased vehicles (including parked on campus grounds), garages, restrooms, cafeterias or dining areas, lounges, conference and meeting rooms, all enclosed areas in the workplace, parking lots, quads, the green, grounds, rooftops, plazas, courtyards, entrance and exit ways, athletic fields, the Athletic and recreation complex, bus stops, and any other areas of the university campus. This policy applies to all faculty, staff, students, alumni, guests, visitors, vendors, and contractors. In implementing and enforcing this policy, common courtesy and consideration toward others should be exercised.

Students are expected to respect property belonging to other people and the property of the University or its affiliates (e.g., Sodexo). Students must never take possession of another person’s property without the express owner’s express permission of this policy, including but not limited to theft of University property; larceny from a member of the University community or a campus visit, and intentionally, recklessly, or negligently causing damage to the property of the University or an individual. Students found responsible for theft will be expected to provide adequate restitution and will face appropriate conduct action.

Clark University commits itself to providing a campus environment where all students are safe from sexual violence, sexual harassment, and gender (identity or expression) discrimination. Clark believes in the power of a strong community. It is more robust when all students are engaged in relationships based on mutual care and respect in intimate and spiritual settings; Clark expects its community members to practice open communication and effective communication consent.


Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 requires all federally funded universities to prohibit sex/gender-based discrimination on campuses, including discrimination based on sex, gender identity, or expression. Title IX applies to all students, faculty, and staff. The language of the statute reads as follows:


No person in the United States shall, based on sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance.


Clark University complies with Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, 20 U.S.C. Sec. 1681, et seq., and subsequent regulations, which prohibit discrimination based on gender in all programs and activities receiving federal financial assistance. To ensure compliance with Title IX, the President of Clark University designates the Title IX Coordinator as the primary contact responsible for developing, adopting, and assuring the dissemination of the University’s





nondiscrimination policy and forcing the policy available to the University community.

Learn More About Title IX

Submit a Title IX Report