Faculty & Staff Disruptive Student Behavior Guide

Responding to Disruptive and/or Threatening Behavior

When improper student conduct obstructs or disrupts classes or other University activities or office operations, or when the safety of members of the campus community is endangered by threats of violence or violent acts, instructors and staff may take the following courses of actions:

  • if a student is disruptive to a University activity, class, or office, he/she should be asked to stop the disruptive behavior and warned that further disruption can result in student disciplinary action;
  • if a student continues to be disruptive, despite a warning, faculty/staff are authorized to ask the student to leave the class/area/office and may inform the student that the incident will be referred for disciplinary action;
  • if a student refuses to leave the class/area/office after being instructed to do so, faculty/staff should inform the student that refusal may be deemed a separate violation of the Code of Student Conduct. An additional violation would subject the student to a more severe judicial response;
  • if, in the faculty/staff member’s judgment, a disruptive student’s threats or refusal to leave creates a safety risk or makes it impossible to continue class or other University activity, the University Police should be contacted and/or class should be dismissed for that day.

A disruptive student cannot be removed permanently from a class in which he/she is enrolled without formal review.

The formal review may be a hearing through the student disciplinary process or through academic channels including the department and Dean’s office. The Code of Student Conduct prohibits students from inhibiting, interfering with, obstructing, or damaging either

  1. an academic activity (e.g., teaching, research, or University Administration) or organized student activity; or
  2. a campus resource relating to academic materials (e.g., library books, audiovisual materials and tapes).

Any intentional act substantially interfering with the freedom of expression of others on University property or at University sponsored activities; or activity which disrupts or interferes with normal University functions or operations, is also prohibited student conduct.

Non-students and students not enrolled in class may be removed permanently without formal review because they have no right to attend the class without the instructor’s permission. Non-students who disrupt University activities may be removed from campus and banned from returning. Both incidents should be referred to University Police and/or the Office of Student Conduct and Community Standards.

Violence, Harassment or Threats

Students can be disciplined for “behavior which jeopardizes the emotional or physical health or safety of self or others.” This includes, but is not limited to, possession of weapons on campus, acts or threats of assault or abuse, sexual assault, intimidation, harassment, sexual harassment, hazing, forcible detention, and threatening behavior.

If any person appears to threaten him/herself, immediately contact the University Police (911 or 410.455.5555). If any person appears to threaten others (e.g., if the person threatens physical harm to others, possesses a weapon, or behaves in a manner that causes you to fear for the safety of yourself or others), immediately contact the University Police. Even if police do not file criminal charges, the Police or faculty/staff member may refer the student to the Office of Student Conduct and Community Standards for disciplinary review of the incident.

In an emergency, a student can be suspended or restricted from University property, pending disciplinary proceedings or medical evaluation, when there is evidence that the continued presence of the student on campus, or in specific University facilities, poses a threat to him/herself, or to others.

Principles of The Student Conduct Review System

The Office of Student Conduct and Community Standards supports the University’s dedication to student success and its educational purposes and goals by publishing, enforcing, drafting and interpreting standards of student behavior and related policies and procedures; facilitating student and community developmental and ethical growth opportunities promoting personal integrity, civility, self-responsibility, citizenship and appreciation for diversity; working to maintain a safe and productive environment supporting the University’s educational purpose and the students’ educational goals; and promoting the privileges and responsibilities associated with a student’s affiliation with the University.

The purpose of this system is to protect the learning community and prevent educational disruption. The Student Conduct Review system strives to uphold the values of courtesy and integrity. The system also strives to uphold the accused student’s right to due process.

Members of the UMBC community, in responding to student misconduct, recognize the reality of human fallibility, as well as, the stresses associated with collegiate life, and must demonstrate compassion and understanding. In return, students must recognize their responsibilities as members of the UMBC community.

All students who are enrolled at UMBC are bound to abide by behavioral standards of conduct as outlined in the Code of Student Conduct. To remain a member of the UMBC community, students must accept the consequences of their actions, should they violate the Code.

The University places a high value on student self-governance. As a result, students operate some parts of the system with significant support from the Administration. The Office of Student Conduct and Community Standards, on behalf of the UMBC Administration, implements and assures completion of all sanctions.

The Student Conduct Review system is an administrative process designed to respond to allegations of student behavioral misconduct. While there are numerous similarities between the judicial system and a court of law, the UMBC system is not a criminal court.