UC Conduct Standards

Students may be disciplined for violating or attempting to violate the following standards:

UC Standards of Conduct

102.01 Academic Misconduct

All forms of academic misconduct such as cheating, fabrication, plagiarism, or facilitating academic dishonesty (see UC Merced Academic Honesty Policy).

102.02 Other Dishonest Acts

Other forms of dishonesty such as fabricating information, furnishing false information, or reporting a false emergency to the University.

102.03 Forgery, Alteration, or Misuse

Forgery, alteration, or misuse of any University document, record, key, electronic device, or identification.

102.04 Theft, Misappropriation, Possession of Stolen Property, or Vandalism

Theft of, conversion of, destruction of, or damage to any property of the University of others, or possession of any property when the student knew or reasonably should have known that it was stolen.

102.05 Computer and/or Electronic Resource Theft, Misuse, or Abuse

Theft or abuse of University electronic communications resources such as computer and electronic communications facilities, systems, and services. Examples of abuses include unauthorized entry, use, transfer, or tampering with the communications or accounts of others, or interference with the work of others or with operation of computer/electronic communications facilities, systems, and services. Use of University computer and electronic communications facilities, systems, or services that violates other University policies or campus regulations (contact the UC Merced Information Technology department for further information regarding acceptable use of electronic communications).

102.06 Unauthorized Entry, Use, or Possession

Unauthorized entry to, possession of, receipt of, or use of any University services, equipment, resources, or properties, including the University's name, insignia, or seal. Violation of policies, regulations, or rules governing University housing facilities or other housing facilities located on University property.

102.08 Assault, threats of Violence, or Conduct Threatening Health or Safety

Physical assault including but not limited to sexual assault; threats of violence; or other conduct that threatens healthor safety of any person.

102.09 Harassment

Harassment, defined as conduct that is so severe and/or pervasive, and objectively offensive, and that so substantially impairs a person’s access to University programs or activities that the person is effectively denied equal access to the  University’s resources and opportunities.

Harassment includes, but is not limited to, conduct that is motivated on the basis of a person's race, color, national or ethnic origin, citizenship, sex, religion, age, sexual orientation, gender identify, pregnancy, marital status, ancestry, service in the uniformed services, physical or mental disability, medical condition, or perceived membership in any of these classifications. Pursuant to section 104.90, sanctions may be enhanced for conduct motivated on the basis of the above classifications.

For cases of harassment on the basis of sex, see also Policy on Sexual Harassment and the Procedures for Responding to Sexual Harassment.

102.10 Stalking

Stalking behavior in which a student repeatedly engages in conduct directed at another person and makes a credible threat with the intent to place that person in reasonable fear for his/her safety, or that of his/her family; where the threat is reasonably determined by the University to seriously alarm, torment, or terrorize the person and to serve no legitimate purpose.

102.12 Hazing

Participation in hazing or any method of initiation or pre-initiation into a campus organization or other activity engaged in by the organization or members of the organization at any time that causes, or is likely to cause, physical injury or personal degradation or disgrace resulting in psychological harm to any student or other person.

102.13 Obstruction or Disruption

Obstruction or disruption of teaching, research, administration, disciplinary procedures, or other University activities.

102.14 Disorderly or lewd conduct

102.15 Disturbing the Peace

Participation in a disturbance of the peace or unlawful assembly.

102.16 Failure to Comply with Directions of Official, or Resisting or Obstructing Official

Failure to identify oneself to, or comply with the directions of, a University official or other public official acting in the performance of his/her duties while on University property or at official University functions; or resisting or obstructing such officials in the performance of or the attempt to perform their duties.

102.17 Unlawful Possession, Use or Distribution of Controlled Substances

Unlawful manufacture, distribution, dispensing, possession, use, or sale of, or the attempted manufacture, distribution, dispensing, or sale of controlled substances, identified in federal and state law or regulations.

102.18 Possession, Use or Distribution of Alcohol in Violation of Policy

Manufacture, distribution, dispensing, possession, use, or sale of, or the attempted manufacture, distribution, dispensing, or sale of alcohol that is unlawful or otherwise prohibited by, or not in compliance with, University policy or campus regulations.

102.19 Possession, Use or Manufacture of Explosives or Destructive Devices

Possession, use, storage, or manufacture of explosives, firebombs, or other destructive devices.

102.20 Possession, Use, Storage, or Manufacture of Prohibited Weapons

Possession, use, storage, or manufacture of firearms, weapons and destructive devices are prohibited. Examples of prohibited weapons include but are not limited to stun guns, tasers, retractable bladed knives, knives with a fixed blade over 2.5 inches, nunchucks, sling shots, bows and arrows (except as permitted for departmental demonstrations or classes), air guns (paint, BB, etc), or any device which closely resembles a firearm. Any item or implement used aggressively or for violent purposes may be deemed a weapon. Mace and pepper spray may not be misused.

102.21 Violation of Disciplinary Action

Violation of the conditions contained in the terms of a disciplinary action imposed under these Policies or campus regulations.

102.22 Violation of Emergency Order or Suspension

Violation of the conditions contained in a written Notice of Emergency Suspension or violation of orders issued during a declared state of emergency (See University of California Policy on Campus Emergencies)

102.23 Unauthorized Preparation, Sale, or Distribution of Notes or Recordings of University Courses, or Copying of Course Materials

Selling, preparing, or distributing for any commercial purpose course lecture notes or video or audio recordings of any course unless authorized by the University in advance and explicitly permitted by the course instructor in writing. The unauthorized sale or commercial distribution of course notes or recordings by a student is a violation of these Policies whether or not it was the student or someone else who prepared the notes or recordings. 

Copying for any commercial purpose handouts, readers or other course materials provided by an instructor as part of a University of California course unless authorized by the University in advance and explicitly permitted by the course instructor or the copyright holder in writing (if the instructor is not the copyright holder).

102.24 Terrorizing Conduct

Conduct, where the actor means to communicate a serious expression of intent to terrorize, or acts in reckless disregard of the risk of terrorizing, one or more University students, faculty, or staff. 'Terrorize' means to cause a reasonable person to fear bodily harm or death, perpetrated by the actor or those acting under his/her control. 'Reckless disregard' means consciously disregarding a substantial risk. This section applies without regard to whether the conduct is motivated by race, ethnicity, personal animosity, or other reasons. This section does not apply to conduct that constitutes the lawful defense of oneself, of another, or of property.

102.25 Violation of Reasonable Expectations of Privacy

Making a video recording, audio recording, taking photographs, or streaming audio/video of any person in a location where the person has a reasonable expectation of privacy, without that person’s knowledge and express consent.

Looking through a hole or opening, into, or otherwise viewing, by means of any instrumentality, the interior of a private location without the subject’s knowledge and express consent. 

Photographs and recordings made in private locations of sexual activity or that contain nudity, may not be posted online or otherwise shared or distributed in any manner without the knowledge and express consent of all recorded parties, even if the photograph or recording was originally made with the knowledge and express consent of those parties.

Making a video recording, audio recording, or streaming audio/video of private, non-public conversations and/or meetings, without the knowledge and express consent of all recorded parties.

These provisions do not extend to public events or discussions, nor to lawful official law or policy enforcement activities.  These provisions may not be utilized to impinge upon the lawful exercise of constitutionally protected rights of freedom of speech or assembly.


Express consent is clear, unmistakable and voluntary consent that may be in written, oral or nonverbal form.

Private locations are settings where the person reasonably expected privacy.  For example, in most cases the following are considered private locations: residential living quarters, bathrooms, locker rooms, and personal offices.

Nudity means the absence of an opaque covering which covers the genitals, pubic hair, buttocks, perineum, anus or anal region of any person or any portion of the breast at or below the areola thereof of any female person.

Private, non-public conversations and/or meetings include any communication carried on in circumstances that reasonably indicate that any party wants the communication to be confined to the parties, but excludes a communication made in a public gathering, or in any other circumstance in which the parties to the communication may reasonably expect that the communication may be overheard or recorded.

Academic Honesty Policy

Academic integrity is the foundation of an academic community. Academic integrity applies to research as well as undergraduate and graduate coursework.


Academic misconduct includes, but is not limited to cheating, fabrication, plagiarism, altering graded examinations for additional credit, having another person take an examination for you, or facilitating academic dishonesty or as further specified in this policy or other campus regulations.

Cheating is the unauthorized use of information in any academic exercise, or other attempt to obtain credit for work or a more positive academic evaluation of work through deception or dishonesty. Cheating includes, but is not limited to: copying from others during an examination; sharing answers for a take-home examination without permission; using notes without permission during an examination; using notes stored on an electronic device without permission during an examination; using an electronic device to obtain information during an exam without permission; taking an examination for another student; asking or allowing another person to take an examination for you; tampering with an examination after it has been corrected, then returning it for more credit than deserved; submitting substantial portions of the same academic work for credit in more than one course without consulting the second instructor; preparing answers or writing notes in a blue book before an examination; falsifying laboratory, or other research, data or using another person’s data without proper attribution; allowing others to do the research and writing of an assigned paper (for example, using a commercial term paper service or downloading a paper from the internet); and working with another person on a project that is specified as an individual project.

Plagiarism refers to the use of another’s ideas or words without proper attribution or credit. This includes, but is not limited to: copying from the writings or works of others into one's academic assignment without attribution, or submitting such work as if it were one's own; using the views, opinions, or insights of another without acknowledgment; or paraphrasing the ideas of another without proper attribution. Credit must be given: for every direct quotation; when a work is paraphrased or summarized, in whole or in part (even if only brief passages), in your own words; and for information which is not common knowledge. The requirement to give credit applies to published sources, information obtained from electronic searches, and unpublished sources.

Collusion is when any student knowingly or intentionally helps another student to perform any of the above acts of cheating or plagiarism. Students who collude are subject to discipline for academic dishonesty. No distinction is made between those who cheat or plagiarize and those who willingly facilitate cheating or plagiarism.

For additional information and a full review of the Academic Honesty Policy, please refer to Chapter VIII of The Student Handbook.

Computer and/or Electronic Resource Theft, Misuse, or Abuse (Illegal downloading, copyright infringement, etc.)

The University fosters the use of information technology resources to store, process, and share information in support of the University's mission of teaching, research, and public service, and to conduct the University's business. To these ends, the University provides and supports facilities such as computers, networks, video and audio equipment, telecommunications devices, email, and the World Wide Web.

Incorporating the values affirmed by the UC Merced Principles of Community, this policy governs the use of information technology facilities at UC Merced. All UC Merced students, faculty, and staff, as well as others who may have been granted access to these resources, are responsible for adhering to this policy.

Enforcement of Laws and University Policies (specifically related to computer use)

Federal and state laws and University policies in some cases apply specifically to the use of information technology resources. In other cases they may apply generally to personal conduct in which the use of information technology resources is incidental.

Minor or accidental violations of the University of California Electronic Communications Policy, the UC Merced Acceptable Use Policy, or other related policies may be resolved informally by the department or unit administering the facilities involved. More serious violations (including repeated minor violations) may result in the temporary or permanent loss of access privileges or the modification of those privileges. Violators may be subject to disciplinary action up to and including dismissal or expulsion under applicable University policies and collective bargaining agreements. Violators may be referred to their sponsoring advisor, supervisor, manager, dean, vice chancellor, Student Affairs representative, or other appropriate authority for further action.

Unacceptable Conduct (specifically related to computer use)

Conduct deemed unacceptable includes, but is not limited to, violation or attempted violation of the following principles:

  • Copyrights and licenses:  Users shall respect copyrights and licensing agreements
  • Integrity of information technology resources:  Users shall not interfere with the normal operation of information technology resources
  • Unauthorized access:  Users shall not seek or enable unauthorized access.
  • Usage:  Users shall comply with applicable law and University policy.
  • Personal, political, religious, and commercial use:  The University is a not-for-profit, tax-exempt organization and, as such, is subject to applicable federal and state, laws and regulations on the use of University property. University users may use information technology resources for incidental personal purposes provided that such use does not: (a) directly or indirectly interfere with the University's operation of information technology resources, (b) interfere with the user's employment or other obligations to the University, (c) burden the University with noticeable incremental costs, or (d) violate the law or University policy.