Conduct and Safety
The University wants to ensure that all students have a positive, productive and safe experience while at Albany. For this reason, we hold all members of our community to a high level of conduct and responsibility. Please review and familiarize yourself with the information below regarding your rights, student conduct, and student safety. You may find some of these terms unfamiliar and new. It is important to note that if you don't understand something, you should ask ISSS or other campus offices for clarity.
Community Standards and Student Conduct
The Community Standards Office oversees student conduct. Students with questions about University policies and procedures related to conduct should ask this office. If a student is charged with violating part of the Student Code of Conduct, he or she will meet with Community Standards staff. Students found to have violated the Student Code of Conduct may face a variety of sanctions depending on the severity or frequency of the offense, including and up to expulsion (e.g. permanent suspension) from the University.
All students are responsible for knowing the Student Code of Conduct, which also includes their Rights and Responsibilities. Click here to view it.
"Title IX" refers to a federal civil rights law in the United States intended to prevent discrimination based on sex and/or gender. On University campuses, a "Title IX violation" may refer to any offense related to discrimination based on sex and/or gender, including but not limited to: sexual harassment; stalking; retaliation; sexual or domestic violence; sexual abuse or assault; and rape. For important definitions of these terms, please click here. Violations of the Title IX policies are very serious, and often can result in criminal charges as well.
The University is strongly committed to maintaining a healthy and safe community for all students. The Title IX office on campus plays an important role in this. Students can report sexual misconduct or seek help as a survivor of sexual misconduct through the Title IX Office.
Additionally, the University and NYS have laws and regulations requiring affirmative consent for any sexual activity. For a full definition of affirmative consent, please click here. Consent cannot be given when a person is incapacitated, including incapacitation due to consumption of drugs or alcohol.
Any student with questions about how sexual misconduct, consent, or discrimination are defined in the United States are encouraged to speak to an ISSS advisor or staff in the Title IX and/or Conduct Office. Please note that if you disclose certain information to an ISSS advisor or other University officials, that advisor is required to report that information to the Title IX office. All reporting is done discretely and with the intent of keeping information as confidential as possible.
Alcohol, Marijuana, and Other Drugs
In the United States, individuals must be at least 21 years of age to purchase or consume alcohol. Students under the age of 21 who purchase or consume alcohol may be at risk for conduct charges with the University and charges with law enforcement as well. Individuals over the age of 21 who purchase or provide alcohol to individuals under 21 may also be held responsible for these actions.
Marijuana possession consumption is illegal from a federal level and in New York State, and is prohibited from campus. Please note that as an international student you are expected to abide by all federal laws and regulations, including those pertaining to drug use, and failure to do so can result in a violation of status. While you may be aware that some states allow for consumption or marijuana in various forms, that consumption may still be viewed as a violation of federal law and therefore potentially as a violation of your status. Please review this with an immigration attorney if necessary.
To review the campus drug policy as outlined by the University Police Department, please click here.
Academic Integrity is considered to be a cornerstone of the American classroom. However, America's definitions of academic integrity may differ from what you are accustomed to. Regardless, as a student in an American classroom you will be held to the same standards for academic integrity, so it is important that you understand the policy, its terms and conditions and seek guidance if you do not understand. Violations of the academic integrity policy can have very serious consequences, up to and including expulsion from the University.
The complete Standards of Academic Integrity can be found here, and students should review them carefully.
Common examples of academic integrity violations include:
- Plagiarism: Presenting as one's own work the work of another person (for example, the words, ideas, information, data, evidence, organizing principles, or style of presentation of someone else.
- Cheating on Examinations: Giving or receiving unauthorized help before, during, or after an examination.
- Multiple Submission: Submitting substantial portions of the same work for credit more than once without receiving the prior explicit consent of the instructor to whom the material is being submitted the second or subsequent time.
- Forgery: Imitating another person's signature on academic or other official documents, including class material.
- Unauthorized Collaboration: Collaborating on projects, papers, or other academic exercises when this is forbidden by the instructor(s). The default faculty assumption is that work submitted for credit is entirely one's own. At the same time, standards on appropriate and inappropriate collaboration as well as the need for collaboration vary across courses and disciplines. Therefore, students who want to confer or collaborate with one another on work receiving academic credit should seek the instructor's permission to collaborate.
- Falsification: Misrepresenting material or fabricating information in an academic exercise or assignment (for example, the false or misleading citation of sources, the falsification of experimental or computer data, etc.).
Knowing Your Rights & Legal Help
While in the United States it is important to be aware of your rights while dealing with law enforcement agencies. Always stay calm and respectful, but also keep these resources accessible if you need them:
If you find yourself in legal trouble, undergraduate students may use the free Student Legal Services of the Student Assocation. However, please keep in mind that as an international student it is important to consult not just a criminal attorney, but also an immigration attorney, as any legal case could have impacts for your immigration status. ISSS can provide a list of local immigration attorneys upon request. Be aware that if you have a pending or past legal issue, it can impact your immigration status, including while travelling, applying for benefits, or renewing a visa. Students should consult an immigration attorney regarding these possible consequences.
If you are in need of emergency assistance (i.e. fire, medical emergency, life or death situation, or other immediate need) you can call 9-1-1 anywhere in the United States to reach help.
On campus, UPD (University Police Department) is here to assist. Their emergency number is 518-442-3131. Program this into your cell phone in case of emergency. Please review UPD's Safety and Crime Prevention page, here.
- On-Campus Safety: On-campus, the blue lights will immediately notify UPD if there is an emergency. If you are unable to stay at the location of the phone you can knock it off the receiver and UPD will arrive at the location quickly. Additionally, students on-campus should remember the following:
• Never let a stranger into your room.
• You can keep yourself, your entire suite, and your stuff safe if you ALWAYS lock your doors. Work out a plan with all your roommates to agree that the doors will be always be locked. It's a simple thing to do, but believe it or not, almost all thefts in the residence halls are from open rooms that create an opportunity for YOU to be a victim.
• Don't prop open doors and do not let anybody in a residence hall behind you who does not have a UAlbany ID card.
• If you see something that does not seem right to you "say something" to your RA or your RD.
• You should never feel that you have to tolerate unsafe or criminal behavior from your roommates. Seek out help from the residential life staff.
• Know your exits in case of an emergency. Practice exiting from your floor without the ability to see. ALWAYS leave the building when the fire alarm rings.
- Off-Campus Safety: The following resources can help you stay safe:
- On-line Safety: The following resources can help you stay safe online:
Mental Health and Wellness
Mental health and wellness are a vital part of your success personally and as a student. If you or a friend are experiencing stress, anxiety, depression, homesickness, or other mental health difficulties it is important to ask for help. The University is committed to providing confidential and discrete services to students in need of help.
In the United States, visiting a counselor, therapist, psychologist or psychiatrist is widely accepted if a person is dealing with a mental health issue. The University provides free and confidential counseling services to registered students. For more information, visit Counseling and Psychological Services, here. An ISSS advisor is also happy to help a student set up an appointment. The #4 Campus Shuttle will takes students from campus to Student Health Services, including Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS).
If you do not want to schedule a 1-on-1 appointment with a therapist, CAPS also provides group programming, including Let's Talk. If you would prefer peer assistance, the Middle Earth Peer Assistance Program provides a student-staffed and professionally supervised hotline, wellness coaching program, and ambassador service.
If you are in need or navigating personal or health-related issues, Student CARE Services is also available to help. Additionally, if you are concerned about a friend or peer, you can file a report with Student CARE Services.