Rights and Responsibilities

The Office of Rights and Responsibilities is a unit of the Department of Resident Life and administers rules and adjudicative processes that serve three necessary goals: (1) maintain the safety and necessary order for an academic residence community, (2) determine accountability for prohibited behavior and, (3) to foster among students an understanding of their accountability as community members. The office promotes the Department of Resident Life's Community Living Principles by balancing the needs of individual students with the needs of the community, and strives to educate students about each individual's obligation to help assure a safe, secure and nurturing academic environment.



The Department of Resident Life suggests that you give thought to the impact of your behavior before you have to answer for violating one of the Residence Hall Rules. In order to prompt your thinking about the impact of your behavior, your RA will speak with you about the Community Living Principles: Be Safe, Be Civil, Be Cooperative, and Be Involved. We use the principles to describe behaviors that have a positive impact on the community.

Failure to act in accordance with the Community Living Principles (CLP) will likely constitute a violation of one or more of the Residence Hall Rules. Consider each of the following principles as it applies to living in close proximity with others.

Be Safe

Any act that creates an immediate danger to oneself or others is the strongest possible threat to the community and the most serious violation one can commit. Violations of rules that create immediate danger are those for which the most serious sanctions are applied. Any student who commits such violations can expect to be removed from the community.

Be Civil

Uncivil behavior tears down the social structure of the community, damages the dignity of the person who displays it, and threatens others' sense of their rightful place in their homes on campus. Violations of rules that bring about abuse, harassment, or intended insult to others are taken seriously. Any student who commits such violations will be challenged through sanctioning to reconsider his or her behavior and engage constructively with others who were affected by it, and may be removed from the community.

Be Cooperative

Uncooperative behavior interferes with the sense of shared responsibility, the efforts to compromise, and the mutual obligations that members of the community have to one another in order to live, rest and study successfully in close quarters. Violations of rules that bring about disorder and disruption, or misuse or damage common facilities and resources will be confronted. Any student who commits such violations can expect that staff will make an effort to assist the student in revising behavior and if possible to repair or make up for what has been done, but will also be formally sanctioned. Multiple or aggravated instances of uncooperative behavior may result in removal from the community.

Be Involved

Direct involvement in the community provides rewards for the individual, brings about positive impacts and activities for self and others, and has been shown to enhance any students' total educational experience. As a result it is encouraged, but the Residence Hall Rules do not compel students to such involvement.

If you commit yourself to observe these principles, you will not need to worry about having to answer for a violation of the Residence Hall Rules, and in all likelihood you will find your experience living and learning in the residence halls on campus to be enhanced as a result. In addition, you will learn about the needs that any individual brings to any community in the future, as well as the expectations that future communities have for their members.


Hot Topics
New Code of Student Conduct Changes Responsible Action Policy Campus Smoking Ban
The Code of Student Conduct made new amendments as of May 2013. In response to updated University Jurisdiction, Part 9 covers the definition of the University’s Jurisdiction and Part 10 covers Prohibited Conduct (previously found in Part 9). The University of Maryland Policy on Promoting Responsible Action in Medical Emergencies updated in February 2013. The Responsible Action Policy states that if students call help for alcohol or drug related incident on behalf of another student or themselves they can be exempt from disciplinary sanctions. Read more information on this full policy. Approved, May 2013 the University is now a smoke-free campus. Smoking, including cigarettes, cigars, hookahs and pipes, is prohibited on all institutional grounds and in all institutional buildings. Read more on this policy here .