Clark University Student Athlete Code of Conduct

The privilege of participating in varsity athletics at Clark University includes high expectations.  As a representative of a varsity team and the university, student-athletes must agree to act in accordance with the principles of good citizenship, healthful living, academic integrity, responsible team membership, and good sportsmanship. This Athletics Code of Conduct emphasizes the standards to which all Clark student-athletes are expected to adhere.  Student-athletes who fail to abide by the Athletics Code of Conduct may be subject to Disciplinary Sanctions.  The Athletics Code of Conduct is in addition to the Code of Conduct that all Clark University students are subject to. 

It is appropriate for coaches and teams to set higher standards of conduct for student-athletes.  Student-athletes must, at all times, represent their respective teams, the Athletic Department, and the University, with the utmost maturity. For any violation of the Clark student code and/or Athletics Code of Conduct, the following steps and guidelines will be followed.

Violations

Examples of violations include but are not limited to:  Possession and/or use of illegal drugs; physical violence or threat of violence; on or off campus alcohol/civic violations; destruction of property; misrepresenting your intercollegiate team in a public forum, including online activity; interference with another ongoing judicial matter; engaging in conduct which reflects poorly on the individual athlete and members of Clark’s athletic department.  

Hearing

Prior to any determination of sanctions, a student-athlete will meet with the coach, and/or Athletic Administrator(s) to provide details surrounding the incident.  All subsequent actions will be in accordance to the university’s policies and by-laws as set forth by the Dean of Student Affairs and the senior University Judicial Affairs officer. 

This process will be separate and distinct from the University’s judicial process but it is possible that both processes will occur concurrently.  Depending on the timing of an offense, sanctions may carry through post-season competition and/or into a subsequent season of competition.

Disciplinary Sanctions

Sanctions include but are not limited to a warning, community service, loss of leadership opportunities within the team and/or department, game suspension, dismissal from team, or other potential sanctions that will be tailored to the conduct of the individual in question. 

Prior conduct will be considered when determining the appropriate sanctions. Severity of the sanctions may be determined by multiple factors including but not limited to previous misconduct or violations of the Athletics Code of Conduct.  The Athletic Department reserves the right to independently sanction a student for non-adherence to the policies. 

In addition, in the event that external sanctions are imposed by a third party including criminal justice professionals, the Athletic Department may consider that a factor in determining further sanctions.   

Academic Integrity

A student-athlete’s primary responsibility is academic course work. All Clark students are expected to uphold the highest level of integrity in their academic responsibilities. In agreement with College Board expectations, plagiarism, inappropriate classroom behavior and/or cheating of any kind, will not be tolerated.  The CU policy of Academic Integrity is outlined in the student-handbook (http://www2.clarku.edu/offices/aac/integrity.cfm).  Athletes found to be in violation of university policy may face additional sanctions relative to varsity athletics participation.

Alcohol Substance Use: All student-athletes must comply with the law and the University’s code of student conduct in regards to the use of alcoholic beverages and illegal drugs. Student-athletes of legal drinking age are asked not to consume alcohol during the time they are participating in intercollegiate athletics (non-traditional and traditional seasons combined). Alcohol may not be consumed at any time by student-athletes while on a training-trip or road-trip representing the University. Those of age who choose to drink will face sanctions should they be involved in other transgressions and alcohol use is evident.  These include providing, purchasing or distributing alcohol for under age individuals.

Hazing

Clark University has a zero tolerance for any form of hazing. Any student-athlete involved in perpetrating hazing or conduct which appears similar to hazing may be suspended or prohibited indefinitely from participation in athletics at Clark University.  This is in addition to the general Clark policy on hazing as listed here: 

Hazing is any conduct or method of initiation into any student organization, whether on public or private property, which endangers the physical or mental health of any student or participant. Such conduct includes but is not limited to whipping, beating, branding, forced calisthenics, exposure to weather, forced consumption of food, liquor, beverage, drug or other substance, or any other treatment or forced activity that humiliates, abuses, degrades or endangers the health and safety of anyone of the involved participants, regardless of their willingness to participate. Massachusetts General Law (M.G.L.) chapter 269, section 18 also states that anyone with knowledge that a hazing incident has occurred is obligated to report that incident. Clark University complies with the M.G.L. and National Collegiate Athletics Association (NCAA) regulations prohibiting hazing. Copies of the Massachusetts law and/or NCAA regulations on hazing are available in the Athletic Department, Dean of Students Office, Dean of Graduate Studies Office and the Office of Student Leadership and Programming.

Hosting of Recruits

All hosts of student-athlete recruits must abide by Clark conduct policies, as well as state and federal law. At no time may alcohol or drugs be used or made available to a visiting recruit. Any activity deemed inappropriate or dangerous by athletic department administrators, while hosting a recruit, may be subject to sanctions. 

Online Activity

As a member of an intercollegiate team, a student-athlete is considered a public figure. Your actions are visible in the public domain.   Anything posted online that may embarrass or depict the Athletic Department, Clark athletes, faculty, administrators or staff members, or any other Clark University students, members of the Clark community or other people, known or unknown to the individual student,  in a negative light will be required to remove offending and other related material as determined by Clark University personnel.  Sanctions including suspension or dismissal from intercollegiate athletics may be considered if comments, pictures, or texts are not removed. These include but are not limited to Snapchat, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and personal websites.  

Responsibility Cooperation

For this code of conduct to function with fairness for all student-athletes, it is essential that violations be brought to the attention of the head coach, the Athletic Director and/or senior Athletic Administrators.  Cooperation with the process is essential.  Offender student-athletes who do not acknowledge violations of the code may face additional sanctions.  Student-athletes are at all times and in all circumstances expected to treat university personnel and residence life staff respectfully and in accordance with the student handbook.  Failure to cooperate with university staff, including violent or disruptive behavior may result in additional sanctions.

In addition, if conduct may be construed as involving sexual or relationship violence, all members of the athletic department staff are considered responsible employees and are required to report to the Title IX Coordinator or his/her designee. 

Sportsmanship

Clark University student-athletes are expected to behave at all times—in games, practice, the classroom and other University activities with the utmost respect and sportsmanship.  Failure to uphold this standard, whether participating as a player or fan, may be subject to sanctions. The student-athlete may also be subject to sanctions in accordance with the rules governed by conference, league or national governing organizations.

In-Season vs. Out-of-Season

Conduct expectations of athletes in their competitive season are specifically targeted and addressed above. However, varsity athletes are highly visible and their actions reflect on the entire Department. Coaches and/or the administration may address out of season infractions as deemed warranted.