Community Rights & Responsibilities The Student Code of Conduct

I. Introduction: What is Community Rights and Responsibilities?

Community Rights and Responsibilities is the official code of conduct for students outlining the expectations to which all our students are held The University has formulated this code of standards and expectations, consistent with its purpose as an educational institution. These regulations and the procedures for their enforcement apply to all student conduct and behavior. Students should become familiar with this document, as it is important to understand that the freedom that is afforded to you as a member of this community comes with an associated responsibility.

A copy of this document can be printed or you may request a hard copy from the Office of Conflict Resolution and Civic Responsibility in Campus Center 357, or by calling (518) 442-5501. Questions about the contents of the code of conduct can be referred to Clarence McNeill, Director of Conflict Resolution and Civic Responsibility. He can be reached at (518) 442-5501 or at

These specific regulations should not be viewed as a comprehensive code of desirable conduct; rather they describe the minimum standards needed to reconcile the principles of maximum freedom and necessary order to achieve the basic purposes and goals of the University. (See Appendix A for a statement concerning the authority for the University's disciplinary program.)

By forming a code of ethics, rules and regulations, the University does not absolve each student from accepting responsibility for his or her own behavior. Indeed, the University reaffirms the principle of student freedom coupled with an acceptance of full responsibility for individual action and the consequences of such action.

Students are considered notified that violations of these regulations may result in a referral to the Conflict Resolution system or to specific academic procedures. In addition, actions that violate the criminal code and local, state, or federal laws are sufficient cause for University judicial review or disciplinary action. In such cases, the University may proceed with disciplinary hearings regardless of whether the criminal or civil courts do so. The University publishes and makes available to all students its regulations and its procedures for enforcing them. Students are expected to become familiar with the regulations of the University and act accordingly.

II. Philosophical Approach to Standards of Conduct

While disciplinary actions must be commensurate with the seriousness of the offense and the total conduct record of the student, specific dispositions are not rigidly predetermined. Judicial procedures and subsequent disciplinary activities are designed as much for guidance and correction of behavior as they are for invoking a fair and appropriate sanction. The University at Albany has adopted a philosophy that inappropriate behavior is often caused by a student's inability to solve a problem, which thereby leads to socially unacceptable behavior. It is the University’s policy not only to enforce certain standards of conduct and to curtail inappropriate behavior, but also to provide whatever assistance is possible to enable a student to solve his/her problems in an institutionally acceptable manner.

III. General Regulations

All rules of the Board of Trustees of SUNY, and all the Local, State and Federal Laws apply on the campus. The State of New York laws include, but are not limited to, the New York State Penal Law, the New York State Vehicle and Traffic Law, the New York State Education Law, and the Alcohol Beverage Control Law. In certain cases in which off campus activities violate a stated University regulation, or are likely to create a danger to members of the University, the responsible University official may initiate disciplinary proceedings, whether or not criminal charges have been brought. Students may be held accountable for any off campus incident that constitutes a violation of any prohibited conduct with the exception of those that specifically apply to University buildings/property. Members of the University community are expected to act with respect for the safety, personal rights and property of individuals and groups outside the University, as well as to respect the proper authority of local, state and federal officers and officials. Violations of local ordinances, or of state or federal laws, by members of the University community, may entail University disciplinary actions regardless of where such actions occur, if they are of a serious nature affecting the interests of the University community and violate University standards of conduct as set forth herein.

All of the rules and regulations in Community Rights and Responsibilities shall be considered as supplementing and implementing the appropriate rules of the Board of Trustees and local, state and federal laws and shall apply to all students.

IV. Inherent Authority for the Student Disciplinary Program

Section 356 of the Education Law empowers the University Council of each State-operated campus of State University of New York to make regulations governing the conduct of students, subject to the general management, supervision, control and approval of the Board of Trustees of the State University of New York. Pursuant thereto and subject to guidelines established by the Board of Trustees (Guidelines Established by the Board of Trustees, as amended, 8 NYCRR Part 500, July 31, 1967), the Council of the University at Albany has promulgated Community Rights and Responsibilities. All programs for student welfare and conduct are entrusted to and administered by the University at Albany President on behalf of the University Council. In accordance with the Trustee Guidelines, the University Council promulgated Community Rights and Responsibilities after consultation with members of the University Community:

In order to encourage, maintain and assure adequate communication with and participation by the administration, faculty and students…the (University) Council shall act after consultation with the chief administrative head…and with representatives of faculty and students in promulgating or in reviewing and ratifying regulations on student conduct. In the regulations, the Council may confer upon student groups, faculty, committees, administrative officers or combinations thereof appropriate responsibilities concerning the student conduct and behavior. (8 NYCRR 500.2 (a))

The President has delegated administration of programs for student welfare and conduct to the Vice President for Student Success. Enforcement of standards of conduct, University regulations, recommendations for new policies, or modification of policies or regulations affecting student welfare and conduct are generally initiated through the Office of the Vice President for Student Success. In addition, the Vice President has jurisdiction over the student judicial system within the University disciplinary program, including the following specific responsibilities:

  1. Implementation of the disciplinary program.
  2. Coordination and initiation of investigations related to misconduct or violations of regulations.
  3. Consultation with adjudicatory bodies on disciplinary matters.
  4. Serving as a liaison with the Department of Public Safety and other officers concerned with student conduct. (Although University Police bear primary responsibility for law enforcement on the campus, disciplinary referrals may result from investigations conducted by others and reported to the University Police Department.)
  5. Implementation of programs and actions to ensure safety and welfare.


In addition to Community Rights and Responsibilities, the rules, regulations, and procedures for The Maintenance of Public Order on campuses of the State University of New York, as amended (see Appendix A), adopted by the Board of Trustees, pursuant to section 6450 of the Education Law, are in effect at the University at Albany, as well as all other campuses within the State University of New York.