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Office of Student Conduct

What Are the Expectations Pertaining to Off-Campus Behavior?


Maryland students are also members of the College Park community. As neighbors, students are expected to treat other College Park residents with respect, civility, and consideration. Students are also expected to comply with federal, state, and local laws and ordinances (in addition to University rules and policies). The most common off-campus behavior issues include:

1.    Parties
  • Student parties and social gatherings can create large disturbances throughout the neighborhood (often larger than students might assume)
  • Particularly disruptive are: stereos and amplified music, people being outside or on porches, and the noise created by groups coming and going from the party
2.     Being Loud and Disruptive while Moving through the Neighborhood (especially late at night)
  • Yelling & screaming (even loud talking), particularly after dark, is very disruptive
  • Traveling in packs and large groups often adds to the noise and nuisance level
  • Be mindful of the Noise Ordinance in College Park
3.     Use and Abuse of Alcohol
  • Use or possession of alcohol by underage students
  • Providing or distributing alcohol to underage students
  • Carrying open containers of alcohol on public property (side-walks, parks, beaches, etc.)
  • Possession or use of fake ID's
  • Also: Use of alcohol generally contributes to excessive noise and disruptions
4.     Other Inappropriate Behavior
  • Urinating in public
  • Vandalism and damage to public and private property

What Are the Implications of Off-Campus Misconduct?

Students who engage in off-campus misconduct may face both legal and University ramifications for their actions.
The University of Maryland Department of Public Safety and the Prince George's County Police Department each have concurrent jurisdiction both on campus and in the areas around campus. Both departments can issue citations or arrest students for violations of state laws or local ordinances. College Park Code Enforcement administers local laws (through fines and summons) regarding occupancy, trash, noise, and other health issues.

Students are now subject to the Code of Student Conduct  for incidents that occur off-campus.  Police reports from Prince George's County and the University DPS that pertain to students may be forwarded to the Office of Student Conduct . Thus, a student may be required to complete and satisfy both University actions and legal requirements as a result of off-campus misconduct.

What Can I Do to Avoid Engaging in Misconduct Off-Campus?

For all students:
  • Please be courteous and respectful at all times to all College Park residents, both students and longer-term residents.
    • This brochure (pdf) from the City of College Park outlines community expectations in the off-campus areas around UMD. 
  • College Park has a very strict noise ordinance, which is in effect 24 hours a day, with special quiet hours between 8:00 p.m. and 7:00 a.m. Violating this ordinance may result in a $500 fine.
    • This handout discusses more information on the noise in College Park.
  • Avoid engaging in actions that often result in police involvement: underage (or excessive) alcohol consumption, possession of open containers of alcohol in public, public urination, littering, and vandalizing/damaging the property of others.
For students visiting off-campus:
  • Please be quiet when journeying off-campus, particularly after dark.
    • Don't travel in large packs
    • Don't yell or scream
    • Use the Shuttle Service and NITE Ride to get to and from many off-campus locations (and be quiet while waiting for your ride)
  • Be mindful of your public image: don't urinate outside and don't carry open containers of alcohol (cups, cans, bottles, etc.).
  • Put garbage in trashcans or recycling bins; don't litter.
For students living off-campus:
  • Review this handbook (pdf), which was produced by the City of College Park for some good tips about living off-campus.
    • Be thoughtful and prepared when hosting parties and social gatherings (page 10 of the handbook covers this!)
    • Notify all your neighbors of the event, give them a start and end time (and adhere to them), and provide them with a contact number in case things get noisy
    • Keep the guest list to a manageable size, and make sure you monitor the door
    • Advise guests to be quiet and respectful when coming and going
    • Monitor your party (both inside and outside) for excessive noise
    • Clean up your yard and any other litter by 10 am the following morning
    • Don't be scared to contact the police for assistance if things begin to get out of hand
    • Note that in the Prince George's County code, it states no more than 5 unrelated people can live in a single family house.
  • Read the College Park Resident Guide cover to cover! It has a lot of information which will help you.
  • Carefully consider how you will deal with alcohol at your event
    • Will you provide alcohol? If so, how will you make sure only legal-aged individuals are drinking? How will you make sure no one drinks in excess?
    • Students need a liquor license to sell alcohol (or collect money for cups, even if for a "charitable" reason).
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ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

Thank you to the Northwestern University Office of Student Conduct and Conflict Resolution for providing the structure and wording on how to present the information on this page. Thank you also to the University of Maryland Off-Campus Housing Services for providing information shared on this page.