The policies and regulations included here — from Adherence to Academic Code, Civility and Conduct to Sexual Harassment — are only a portion of the official policies and regulations of Middlesex Community College. MCC has regulations in place regarding alcoholic beverages, drugs and animals on campus, bomb threats, posting items on campus bulletin boards, false fire alarms, gambling, hazing, solicitation, trespassing and campus visitors. The college also has policies regarding the MCC website and student conduct (including offenses of an academic and non-academic nature).
Consult the Student Handbook or the college website (www.middlesex.mass.edu) for complete listings of college policies and regulations. (For reader convenience, the subjects included here are listed in alphabetical order, followed by MCC’s Computer and Network Usage Policy, which is printed in full.)
Due process is accorded to students in the event of any alleged violation of college regulations.
Adherence to Academic Code
Students at Middlesex Community College are admitted with the understanding that they are sufficiently mature to assume individual responsibility for meeting the standards and requirements of their courses and programs. They are expected to complete assigned work, to participate satisfactorily in classroom activities and to refrain from distracting classroom behavior.
Cheating and Plagiarism
Adherence to ethical standards is obligatory. Cheating is a serious offense, whether it consists of taking credit for work done by another person, or doing work for which another person will receive credit. Taking and using the ideas or writings of another without clearly and fully crediting the source is plagiarism, a violation of the academic code. If it is proven that a student, in any course in which he or she is enrolled, has knowingly committed such a violation, suspension from the course and a failing grade in the course may result.
Middlesex prides itself in its ability to meet the diverse needs of its student population. We promote a campus culture that reflects the values of civil behavior – respect, responsibility, justice and civil discourse. Students, faculty and staff work cooperatively to create a learning environment that leads to student achievement and success.
Freedom to teach and freedom to learn are inseparable aspects of academic freedom. That freedom depends upon appropriate opportunities and conditions in the classroom, on the campus and in the community. The responsibility to secure and respect general conditions conducive to teaching and learning is shared by all members of the academic community: students, faculty, administrators and staff. The college respects and defends the right to lawful exercise of free speech and assembly, so long as such rights are properly exercised and due regard for the rights of others is assured. (For complete Student Conduct Rules and Regulations, refer to the MCC Student Handbook - see Student Services .)
Crime Awareness - Sexual Assault
Policies and procedures have been developed at the college to aid in the prevention of sexual assault. Copies of these procedures, along with campus security procedures and crime awareness statistics, are available in the Campus Managers’ Offices in Bedford and Lowell, various public locations throughout the campuses or on the college website at www.middlesex.mass.edu/disclosurestatements/SORI/crimestat.pdf.
Crime Awareness - Sex Offender Registry Information (SORI)
In accordance with federal law, the college is required to advise the campus community where information concerning registered sex offenders may be obtained. Information concerning Level 2 and Level 3 offenders is available to the general public by contacting your local police department or the Commonwealth of Massachusetts’ Sex Offender Registry Board, P.O. Box 4547, Salem, MA 01970-4547, 978-740-6400. Level 3 offender information is also available online at www.mass.gov/sorb. If you have any questions regarding access to sex offender information, please feel free to contact the Campus Managers on each campus.
Middlesex Community College’s audited financial information is included as part of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts Comprehensive Annual Financial Report. Requests for financial information should be addressed to the Office of the Chief Fiscal Officer, Middlesex Community College, 33 Kearney Square, Lowell, MA 01852.
It is the policy of Middlesex Community College to prohibit unauthorized firearms, knives or other weapons on campus.
Persons With Disabilities
Community Colleges recognize the multitude of barriers that confront disabled persons in employment and in access to education. Consistent with state and federal statutes, which affirm and protect the equal opportunity rights of disabled persons, the Community Colleges adopted a policy to ensure nondiscrimination and equal opportunity for disabled persons. In all matters of employment, disabled persons will receive full and fair consideration.
The Community Colleges will take constructive measures to ensure equal opportunity in all areas of employment including recruitment, selection, upgrading, opportunities for training and development, rate of compensation, benefits and all other terms and conditions of employment. The establishment of goals and timetables is not required.
Necessary reasonable accommodations will be afforded to any disabled employee to enable such otherwise qualified disabled employee to perform the essential functions of the job. Reasonable accommodations will also be afforded to disabled applicants for available positions. Any reasonable accommodations provided by the Colleges will be provided to the extent that such accommodations do not impose any undue hardship on the Colleges in the conduct of their operations.
Specific efforts to be undertaken by the Colleges to ensure equal opportunity for disabled persons may be outlined in individual College Affirmative Action Plans. It is recognized that all facilities may not be available and accessible at a particular time.
The Community Colleges will also continuously examine all policies and programs of the institution regarding students to ensure that such policies and programs do not operate in a manner discriminatory to disabled persons. Where such policies or programs are determined to have an adverse impact on disabled persons, appropriate remedial action will be mandated by the President. In addition, the Colleges will conduct monitoring activities to ensure that all divisions or departments within the College are in compliance with the policy of providing reasonable accommodation to disabled students.
Inquiries and requests related to 504/A.D.A. should be directed to Susan Woods, ADA Coordinator and Director of Disability Support Services, 781-280-3641, Bedford campus, Enrollment Center (Building 9), Room 204.
Pluralism, Affirmative Action, Sexual Harassment
Middlesex Community College is a contributing element to the emergence of our nation as one of the most technologically and economically advanced societies of the world. The important role that MCC can play is profoundly dependent upon the extent to which it may draw from the collective intellectual resources within its community of scholars, students and administrators. Any condition or force that impedes the fullest utilization of the human and intellectual resources available represents a force of destructive consequence for the development of our commonwealth and, ultimately, our nation.
Middlesex Community College students, faculty, staff and visitors must be free from conduct that has the purpose or effect of interfering with an individual’s academic or professional performance and creating an intimidating, hostile or demeaning educational or employment environment. Therefore, Middlesex Community College establishes a policy of unequivocal condemnation of all forms of ethnic, religious, cultural or racial intolerance.
This policy condemns all conditions and all actions or omissions, including all acts of verbal harassment or abuse, which deny or have the effect of denying to an individual his/her rights to equality, dignity and security in violation of his/her rights guaranteed under the law. The policy reaffirms the doctrine of civility, appreciation for pluralism and the pre-eminence of individual human dignity as preconditions to the achievement of an academic community that recognizes and utilizes the resources of all persons while recognizing and reaffirming the tenets of academic freedom. Middlesex Community College recognizes its obligation to protect the rights of free inquiry and expression, and nothing herein shall be construed or applied so as to abridge the exercise of rights under the Constitution of the United States and other federal and state laws.
Middlesex Community College will vigorously strive to achieve diversity sufficiently reflective of our society. However, diversity alone will not suffice. There must be a unity and cohesion in the diversity which we seek to achieve, thereby creating an environment of pluralism.
Middlesex Community College bears a responsibility by edict and an obligation by social morality to promote understanding and acceptance of ethnic, cultural, religious and racial diversity as we strive to create an atmosphere of dignity for all individuals and groups within our system of public higher education. The President will take reasonable measures to prevent and discourage harassment and will act positively to investigate alleged harassment and to effect a remedy or resolution when an allegation is determined to be valid.
When a student or employee feels his/her rights have been breached under this policy, the grievance process under the Affirmative Action Plan is a mechanism for resolution unless it is a student appeal (see the Student Grievance Procedure section in the Student Handbook). The Affirmative Action Plan is available in the College Libraries, Human Resources Office, on the college website (www.middlesex.mass.edu) or contact Darcy Orellana, Assistant Dean of Multicultural & Equity Affairs and Affirmative Action Officer, at 781-280-3559.
Middlesex Community College is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer in compliance with Title IX and does not discriminate on the basis of age, sex, race, color, national origin, ancestry, sexual orientation, veteran status, religion, or handicap status in its education programs or in admission to, access to, treatment in or employment in its programs or activities as required by Title VI, Civil Rights Act of 1964; Title IX, Education Amendments of 1972; Section 504, Rehabilitation Act of 1973, and regulations promulgated thereunder.
Middlesex Community College admits students of any age, sex, race, color, national and ethnic origin, veteran status or handicap status regardless of ancestry, religion, or sexual orientation to all programs and activities generally accorded or made available to students at the College. It does not discriminate on the basis of age, sex, race, color, national and ethnic origin, ancestry, sexual orientation, veteran status, religion or handicap status in the administration of its educational policies, scholarships, and loan programs.
All inquiries related to affirmative action, nondiscrimination and diversity, including Title VI and Title IX, should be directed to Darcy Orellana, Assistant Dean of Multicultural & Equity Affairs and Affirmative Action Officer, 781-280-3559, Bedford Campus Enrollment Center (Building 9), Room 220. For employment-related matters, you may also contact Judith Wong, Associate Director of Human Resources, 781-280-3536, Bedford campus, Cataldo Administration Building (Building 10), Room 118.
For purposes of filing federal level charges of discrimination under Title IX of the 1972 Education Amendments, Section 504 of the 1973 Rehabilitation Act or Title VI of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, students may contact the Federal Office for Civil Rights, U.S. Department of Education, 33 Arch St., Suite 900, Boston, MA 02110, or call 1-800-669-4000.
Sexual harassment of a student, an employee or any other person in the College is unlawful, unacceptable, impermissible and intolerable.
Sexual harassment is a form of sex discrimination. It occurs in a variety of situations which share a common element: the inappropriate introduction of sexual activities or comments into the work or learning environment. Often, sexual harassment involves relationships of unequal power and contains elements of coercion, as when compliance with requests for sexual favors becomes a criterion for granting work, study or grading benefits. However, sexual harassment may also involve relationships among equals, as when repeated sexual advances or demeaning verbal behaviors have a harmful effect on a person’s ability to study or work in the academic setting.
For general purposes, sexual harassment may be described as unwelcome advances, requests for sexual favors, and other physical conduct and expressive behavior of a sexual nature when (1) submission to such conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of an individual’s employment or education; (2) submission to or rejection of such conduct by an individual is used as the basis for academic or employment decisions affecting that individual; or (3) such conduct has the purpose or effect of substantially interfering with an individual’s academic or professional performance and creating an intimidating, hostile, or demeaning employment or educational environment. Examples of conduct which may, depending on the circumstances, constitute sexual harassment, include:
repeated offensive sexual flirtation, advances or propositions;
continued or repeated verbal abuse or innuendo of a sexual nature;
uninvited physical contact such as touching, hugging, patting or pinching;
display of sexually suggestive objects or pictures, jokes or remarks of a sexual nature in front of people who find them offensive;
making obscene gestures or suggestions or insulting sounds, indecent exposure;
the demand of sexual favors accompanied by an implied or overt threat concerning an individual’s employment or student status or promises of preferential treatment.
In addition to sexual harassment being unlawful, it is also unlawful to retaliate against a student, employee or any other person in the College for filing a complaint of sexual harassment or for cooperating in an investigation of sexual harassment.
A student, employee or any other person in the College who is found to have engaged in sexual harassment is subject to discipline up to and including, termination of employment or expulsion. All disciplinary proceedings will be conducted in accordance with applicable collective bargaining agreements and/or personnel policies.
When a student, employee or any other person in the College believes he/she has been subjected to sexual harassment, the grievance process is a mechanism for redress. A grievant may seek recourse through informal efforts and/or by filing a formal grievance in writing. In the latter case, a grievant may obtain an Affirmative Action Grievance Form from the College’s Affirmative Action Officer, Darcy Orellana, Assistant Dean of Multicultural & Equity Affairs, 781-280-3559 or 978-656-3200 ext. 3559. This form must be completed and returned to the Affirmative Action Office within thirty (30) days from when the grievant knew or should have known of the alleged discriminatory action. In either case, all grievants must contact the College’s Affirmative Action Officer before proceeding under the Affirmative Action Policy’s Grievance and Hearing Procedure. If, however, the Affirmative Action Officer is the subject of the sexual harassment complaint, the grievant may report his/her complaint to the supervisor of the Affirmative Action Officer, President Carole A. Cowan. All reasonable efforts will be made to maintain confidentiality during the grievance process.
The Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination (MCAD) is responsible for investigating and handling complaints of sexual harassment filed in the Commonwealth. The MCAD is located at 1 Ashburton Place, Boston, MA 02108-1518, and can be reached at 617-994-6000. At the federal level, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) is charged with investigating and handling complaints of sexual harassment filed under Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act and Title IX of the 1972 Educational Amendments. The EEOC is located at the J.F. Kennedy Federal Building, 475 Government Center, Boston, MA 02203, or call 1-800-669-6000. In keeping with these regulations, a concerted effort will be made to protect employees, students and others from sexual harassment as defined. The final authority and ultimate responsibility for the prevention of sexual harassment will rest with the President of the College. The President or his/her designee will take reasonable measures to prevent sexual harassment and will act positively to investigate alleged harassment and to effect a remedy when an allegation is determined to be valid, whether or not a formal grievance has been filed. However, the Affirmative Action Officer will have the responsibility for the overall development, administration and monitoring of all programs, policies, procedures and regulations related to sexual harassment.
The College’s policies and procedures on sexual harassment shall be distributed to all College community members. In addition to formal procedures, the College shall ensure that appropriate opportunities are available to students and employees to obtain counseling concerning their rights under the law and effective means of informally resolving grievances.
On Nov. 8, 1990, Congress enacted the Crime Awareness and Campus Security Act of 1990 under Public Law 101-542, Title II. This act requires that institutions of higher education receiving federal funding collect information with respect to crime statistics and campus security policies and, beginning September 1992, prepare, publish and distribute an annual security report.
Middlesex Community College, in accordance with legal mandates and its philosophy of establishing and maintaining an environment of learning and a supportive climate in which to conduct the business and mission of the college, provides this information to the college community through the Campus Managers’ Offices in Lowell and Bedford, and the MCC website: www.middlesex.mass.edu.
Middlesex college buildings are all smoke-free. Smoking is only allowed in designated areas away from building entrances. Smoking materials must be disposed of appropriately in containers provided.
Access to computer systems and networks owned or operated by Middlesex Community College imposes certain responsibilities and obligations, and is granted subject to College policies, and local, state and federal laws. Acceptable use always is ethical, reflects academic honesty, shows restraint in the consumption of shared resources, demonstrates respect for intellectual property, ownership of data, system security mechanisms, and individual rights to privacy.
The MCC website, www.middlesex.mass.edu, is an official electronic publication of the college. Details on policy, procedures and guidelines for website use are accessible online through the site directory.
General Principles and Guidelines
- Use resources only for College business, for purposes authorized by the College.
- Be responsible for all activities on your user ID or that originate from your system. You have the responsibility to protect your user ID from unauthorized use.
- Access only files and data that are your own, that are publicly available, or to which you have authorized access.
- Be sensitive to concerns of the taxpayers who support us. Obscene sites are off-limits; College resources may not be used to access them.
- Use only legal versions of copyrighted software in compliance with vendor license requirements.
- Be considerate in your use of shared resources. Refrain from monopolizing systems, overloading networks with excessive data, or wasting computer time, disk space, printer paper, manuals or other resources.
In making acceptable use of resources you must NOT:
- Use another person’s system, user ID, password, files or data without permission.
- Use computer programs to decode passwords or access control information.
- Download or display obscene material.
- Circumvent or subvert, or attempt to circumvent or subvert, system or network security measures.
- Engage in any activity that might be harmful to systems or to any information stored thereon, such as creating or propagating viruses, disrupting services, or damaging files.
- Use College systems for commercial or partisan political purposes, such as using electronic mail to circulate advertising for products, for political candidates or for any profit-making company or enterprise.
- Make or use illegal copies of copyrighted software, store such copies on College systems, or transmit them over College networks.
- Download any online software without authorization of the Director of Technology Support Services and the Dean of Academic Resources and Instructional Technology, or their designees.
- Use the network for purposes which place a heavy load on scarce resources.
- Waste computing resources, for example, by intentionally placing a program in an endless loop or by printing excessive amounts of paper.
- Use the College’s systems or networks for personal gain; for example, by selling access to your user ID or to College systems or networks, or by performing work for profit with College resources in a manner not authorized by the College.
- Use the College’s systems or networks to transmit any material in violation of United States or Massachusetts laws or regulations.
- Engage in any other activity that does not comply with the General Principles presented above.
- (No member of the College community may), under any circumstances, use Middlesex Community College’s computers or networks to libel, slander, or harass any other person. The following shall constitute Computer Harassment:
- Intentionally using the computer to annoy, harass, terrify, intimidate, threaten, offend or bother another person by conveying obscene language, pictures, or other materials or threats of bodily harm to the recipient or the recipient’s immediate family;
- Intentionally using the computer to contact another person repeatedly with the intent to annoy, harass, or bother, whether or not any actual message is communicated, and/or where no purpose of legitimate communication exists and where the recipient has expressed a desire for the communication to cease;
- Intentionally using the computer to contact another person repeatedly regarding a matter for which one does not have a legal right to communicate, once the recipient has provided reasonable notice that he or she desires such communication to cease (such as debt collection);
- Intentionally using the computer to disrupt or damage the academic research, administrative, or related pursuits of another;
- Intentionally using the computer to invade the privacy, academic or otherwise, of another or the threatened invasion of privacy of another.
While supporting the general principle of open and universal student access to College computers, eligibility for service will be determined by the following priorities if insufficient resources are available:
- The highest priority is given to students where network access is a mandatory requirement of a course in which they are currently enrolled.
- At the next level, access will be granted where there is a demonstrated, but nonmandatory requirement for network access as described in a course guide.
- The lowest or nonessential level of access will be based upon the general principle of universal access and support for academic pursuit while not directly stipulated within a prescribed course of study.
Computers owned by the College are provided for business and educational use only. Note that the College retains ownership of all communications as business records and these records may be subject to discovery in litigation. Any information on a College computer may be subject to the state’s public records law and may therefore be subject to disclosure upon request. By using computers on campus, employees and students are waiving their right to privacy and are consenting to College review and monitoring of communication and of their computer use. The College does not routinely monitor computer files or content unless it receives notice of possible misuse or violation of policy. But in the course of routine maintenance, the content of your computer files may become visible.
Private communications across the College’s data networks will have the same protections as private communications via telephone. Unauthorized interception, reading, copying or modifying of private electronic data by a student or an employee will be in breach of this code of practice and subject to disciplinary or legal proceedings. The College will not guarantee this privacy as a result of routine maintenance, technical fault or criminal activity. See also comments under the Electronic Mail Policy; note that any electronic mail message may be forwarded by the recipient or printed or distributed. The privacy of e-mail, therefore, cannot be guaranteed. Further:
- Except in the course of investigation of an alleged violation of policy, no College employee will be permitted to intercept, read, copy or modify private electronic data (either in transit across a network or stored within a computer system) without consent of the President or consent of the addressee or sender.
While the College will endeavor to maintain the privacy of personal communications, it will monitor traffic load, and where necessary, take action to protect the integrity and operation of its networks. Further, the College will:
- Collect utilization statistics based upon network protocol and application use.
- Progressively restrict nonessential use where network utilization results in performance degradation. Such restriction will be publicized to users through appropriate means.
The College does not permit the transfer of user ID and password between authorized and unauthorized persons. Such action is unacceptable and will be the subject of disciplinary action. Further:
- If it is necessary to allow an authorized third person to access a user’s files or data, as in the case of illness or changing of position, this information will be transferred by the system administrator rather than via the transfer of user ID and password.
- Staff user accounts and all data found in staff user accounts will be removed from all College facilities following the termination of employment for whatever reason.
- Student user accounts and all data found in student user accounts will be removed at the end of each academic year.
The following persons are eligible to hold accounts on the College computer network:
- Employees (full-time and part-time)
- Currently enrolled students
- Others as designated by the President
Middlesex Community College owns all computer accounts and grants to the user the privilege of using it. File space will be limited for all users. Students may access computer resources, including the Internet and the World Wide Web, at no charge, from campus-based machines. No dial-in access to the College network is provided.
Electronic Mail (E-mail)
Use of electronic mail (e-mail) is to be consistent with the Computer and Network Usage Policy of Middlesex Community College. Use of MCC computers for electronic mail that is not consistent with our Computer and Network Usage Policy may result in disciplinary action, including loss of network access. Electronic mail is to be used as a source of information and efficient communication by students, faculty and staff.
- Create single-subject messages whenever possible.
- Exercise caution. The confidentiality of your message cannot be guaranteed. Messages can be misdirected and/or be forwarded by recipients to other electronic mail addresses.
- Because messages can be saved on storage media or be forwarded to recipients at other electronic mail addresses, assume that any message you send is a public document.
- Identify yourself clearly.
- Be selective in sending messages to listservs, interest groups, bulletin boards, etc.
- If you receive a message intended for another person, notify the sender.
- If a message generates emotion, avoid responding until you are calm.
- Assume the honesty and competence of the sender.
College officials will review alleged violations of acceptable use policies on a case-by-case basis. Violations of policy will result in appropriate actions such as: loss of electronic mail privilege, loss of computer privilege, consideration of appropriate disciplinary measures and/or referral to appropriate authorities responsible for enforcing state and federal laws concerning computer use.
Users who breach this code of practice may, after due process, be refused access to the College’s computers and communications networks and may be subject to further disciplinary action. In an emergency, in order to prevent further possible unauthorized activity, the College may temporarily disconnect a user from the network. If this is deemed necessary by College staff, every effort will be made to inform the user prior to the disconnection, and every effort will be made to reestablish the connection as soon as the College determines it is appropriate.
Breaches of this Computer and Network Usage Policy will be referred to appropriate administrators for consideration of discipline in accordance with applicable disciplinary policy and procedures.
The College considers any violation of acceptable use of principles or guidelines to be a serious offense and reserves the right to copy and examine any files or information resident on College systems allegedly relating to unacceptable use. Violators are subject to disciplinary action as prescribed in student and employee policies, handbooks, or contracts. Offenders also may be prosecuted under laws including (but not limited to) the Privacy Protection Act of 1974, The Computer Fraud and Abuse Act of 1986, The Computer Virus Eradication Act of 1989, Interstate Transportation of Stolen Property, Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (20 U.S.C. Section 1223g), Massachusetts Wiretap Statute (G.L. c.272, Section 99), Massachusetts Privacy Statute (G.L. c 214, Section 1B), Copyright Infringement laws (17 U.S.C. Section 101 et seq.), the Communications Decency Act of 1996 [47 U.S.C. Section 223 (d) - (h)], and the Electronic Communications Privacy Act of 1986 (18 U.S.C. Sections 2510-21, 2701-10, 3121-27). Access to the text of these laws is available through the Reference Department of the Library of Middlesex Community College.