Jul 21, 2024  
Fitchburg State University 2016-2017 Undergraduate Catalog 
Fitchburg State University 2016-2017 Undergraduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Student Life: Beyond the Classroom

Fitchburg State University maintains that emotional, physical, social and spiritual growth extends beyond the classroom and into the total campus environment. The university offers individuals and groups a variety of avenues for self-discovery and expression. Fitchburg State students who choose to become active in campus life, by accepting new commitments and adding responsibilities, often find avenues which will direct them toward their career and other life goals. They develop significant, enduring relationships with faculty, administrators, and other students, thus establishing a support network for years to come.

New Student Orientation


The mission of Fitchburg State University’s incoming freshmen and transfer student orientation program is to facilitate the transition of new students by laying the foundation for a strong, compelling, and cohesive student culture. This foundation will support our students throughout their academic career by connecting them to the institution, by helping them succeed socially, in their academic programs, and eventually in their careers, and ultimately by encouraging them to return to share their success.

Goals of Student Orientation:

The orientation program has three goals. First, it will provide the prospective student a compelling reason to come to the University. A second goal is to facilitate the transition of students to rigorous academic work and active social engagement, all with an eye toward fostering student success. A final goal is to support the parents, partners, guardians, and children of new students.

The orientation program consists of four (4) overnight sessions during the month of June and a three (3) day program in September. All new students receive advance notification and information about the program and are expected to attend.

New Student Orientation, Graduate & Continuing Education

The orientation program for graduate and evening undergraduate students is designed to assist new and returning students in navigating the paths and processes of adult education at Fitchburg State. Held in August and January, the program covers all the information students need as they continue their studies including financial aid, placement testing and tutor center services, course registration, use of the library, OneCard, and parking permits. The program concludes with meetings with academic advisors for each program, so students can get the guidance they need to register for classes and plan their program of study.

Housing and Residential Services

On-Campus Housing

Fitchburg State University offers a variety of housing options within the seven residence halls/complexes. The halls range from traditional residence halls, high-rise buildings, suites and apartment style units. The residence halls at Fitchburg State provide more than just a roof over your head and three square meals a day. Each hall/complex has its own unique attributes but they all provide a place to socialize, interact with fellow students and, most importantly, a place to study.

Living on campus is also very affordable when considering all the amenities included in the housing agreement, such as utilities, maintenance, local telephone service that includes voice mail. All residence hall rooms are connected to the university computer network (one port per resident), and have wireless service, which provides students with access to the Internet and e-mail. Cable television, which includes more than 100 channels, is also included in every room. Housing and Residential Services also offers a number of additional services, such as a linen program, especially designed for the extra long beds in the residence hall rooms.

All residence halls are located conveniently on the perimeter of the main campus. The halls are grouped in two areas: East Campus, which consists of Mara Village, the Townhouses, and the Cedar Street House, and West Campus, which consists of Aubuchon Hall; Russell Towers, North Street Apartments, and Herlihy Hall. Each building is staffed with a building director and resident assistants (RAs). These individuals are available to assist students in working out living arrangements, guide residents in adjusting to campus life, and serve as educational and social programmers, building managers, and resource/referral aides.

Additional questions concerning on-campus housing should be directed to Housing and Residential Services, Aubuchon Hall, (978) 665-3219.

Student Development, Organizations, and Center for Community Service and Leadership

Student Development and Hammond Campus Center

The Office of Student Development and Campus Center coordinates co-curricular programs and activities, and the operations of the Hammond Campus Center. The offices are committed to enhancing students’ educational experiences through the development of, and participation in diverse programs and leadership activities. The Hammond Campus Center strives to serve as the focal point of the campus, bringing together members of the Fitchburg State community.

The Office of Student Development and Campus Center is the hub of extracurricular events on campus. The office is committed to the principles of leadership development, enhancing student life outside the classroom, and to providing cultural and social opportunities. The office maintains many resources regarding university student organizations and the numerous opportunities open to individual students.

Student Organizations

Student Government Association (SGA)

The Fitchburg State University Student Government Association (SGA) empowers the Student Body and represents their issues and concerns. SGA promotes greater civic and political involvement by being an active resource and partner to the Fitchburg State University community and beyond.

As the official voice of the students, the Student Government Association plays two important roles for the student body:

  • Participates in campuswide committees as well as state and national student organizations
  • Governs the many committees responsible for student affairs, activities, and clubs

The governing body of SGA is the Senate, which is comprised of ten (10) senators per graduation year. Elections for positions on these boards are held every spring for the upperclass members and in the fall for freshmen.

The SGA offers a number of services to its members, including governance, photocopying, and mail services. Student participation is welcomed and encouraged.

Clubs, Fraternities, Sororities, and Other Groups

The university is proud to support a wide variety of student organizations that encompass a broad spectrum of interests. Participation in student organizations is encouraged to round out the academic experience and develop skills which will last a lifetime.

Membership in university clubs and organizations is open to all full-time and part-time Fitchburg State University students who have paid the student activities fee. All executive board members (according to their constitution) of SGA and clubs and organizations must hold a minimum GPA of 2.0 for each semester and 2.5 overall. For meeting times and locations, contact the Office of Student Development and Campus Center.

A list of the organizations on campus includes:

Academic National Honor Societies
Alpha Lambda Delta (Freshmen)
Alpha Phi Sigma (Criminal Justice)
Alpha Sigma Lambda (Graduate and Continuing Education)
Delta Alpha Pi (Disability Services)
Epsilon Pi Tau, Inc. (Industrial Technology)
Kappa Delta Pi (Education)
Lambda Pi Eta (Communications)
National Residence Hall Honors (Resident Assistant Honors Society)
Phi Alpha Theta (History)
Pi Sigma Alpha (Political Science)
Psi Chi (Psychology)
Pi Mu Epsilon (Math)
Sigma Tau Delta (English)
Sigma Theta Tau, International Honor Society of Nursing

Academic Organizations

Accounting Club
American Institute of Architecture Students (AIAS)
Associated General Contractors (AGC)
Biology & Chemistry Club
Business Society
Criminal Justice Club
Economics Club
Education Club
English Club
Exercise and Sports Science Club
Game Design Club
Geo Club
Geographic Information Systems Club
Math Club
National Association of Homebuilders (NAHB)
North Central Massachusetts Entrepreneurship Association
Political Science Club
Psychological Science Club
Sociology Club
Student Education Association of Massachusetts (SEAM)
Student Nurses Association (SNA)
Technology Engineering Education Collegiate Association (TEECA)


Student Government Association (SGA)

Greek Organizations

Alpha Sigma Tau
Greek Council
Order of Omega
Phi Sigma Sigma
Sigma Pi
Sigma Sigma Sigma
Sigma Tau Gamma

Media Organizations


Special Interest Clubs

Active Minds
American Sign Language (ASL)
Anime Club
Asian Cultural Society (ACS)
Billiards Club
Black Student Union (BSU)
Campus Ambassadors/Christian Fellowship (CA/CF)
Dance Club
Falcon Friends
Fitchburg Activities Board (FAB)
Fitchburg Anti-Violence Education (FAVE)
Fitchburg Theatre Company
Focus on Faith
Gay Straight Alliance (GSA)
Habitat for Humanity
Harmonic Velocity A Capella Choir
Improv Club
Integrated Health and Wellness
Lacrosse Club
Latin American Student Organization (LASO)
Martial Arts Club
MASSPIRG (Massachusetts Public Research Group)
Model UN
National Society of Leadership and Success
Outdoor Adventure Club
Pokemon Society
Rescue Squad Club
Rugby Club
Ski & Snowboard Club
Society of Motion Pictures & TV Engineers (SMPTE)
Students for Sensible Drug Policy (SSDP)
US Green Building Council
Veterans Association
Volleyball Club
World Integrated Nations (WIN)

Musical Groups

Fitchburg State University offers a variety of musical ensembles for both students and community members.

  • The Concert Band performs music of all types, from transcriptions of classics to contemporary sounds.
  • The Jazz combo plays blues, jazz, and jazz-rock repertoire.
  • The Fitchburg State University Concert Choir and Chamber Choir perform a wide selection of mixed-voice choral pieces.
  • The Fitchburg State University Orchestra performs a wide range of classical music, as well as other eclectic instrumental music for orchestra.

Please see the music page on the Humanities Department website for additional information: www.fitchburgstate.edu/music

Religious Life

Many churches and other religious congregations are located within walking distance of the campus.

Catholic Campus Ministry

The Catholic Campus Ministry will hold Masses at 7:15 p.m. on Sunday and Tuesday evenings in the Presidents’ Hall in the Mazzaferro Center. The ministry can be reached at extension 3793.

Intercollegiate Athletics

The Department of Intercollegiate Athletics at Fitchburg State University offers a variety of programs that provide opportunities to pursue athletic interests on the intercollegiate level. These programs enhance the academic experience and provide competitive experiences to meet the needs of all student-athletes.

Intercollegiate Sports

The Fitchburg Falcons varsity teams have enjoyed national and regional recognition as highly competitive NCAA Division III teams. The 16 varsity teams represent men and women in both indoor and outdoor competition.

Fitchburg State is a member of 18 intercollegiate athletic associations, which entitles successful teams to participate in tournament and championship play. Fitchburg State University is a charter member of the Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference (MASCAC), which includes seven other state colleges.

The Student-Athlete Advisory Committee, composed of students and co-chaired by the assistant director of athletics, provides direction and insight to meet the interests, needs, and abilities of the student body in concert with Title IX and gender equity. The committee also develops community service opportunities for all student athletes.

The university offers three seasons of intercollegiate varsity competition as follows: 

Fall Season

Competition runs from early September through early November.

  • Men: football, soccer, cross-country
  • Women: soccer, field hockey, cross-country

Winter Season

Competition runs from November to early March; practice starts in late October or early November.

  • Men: hockey, basketball, indoor track
  • Women: basketball, indoor track

Spring Season

Competition runs from late March through early May. Baseball, softball, and lacrosse practices start in early February. Track and field practice starts once indoor track has finished its season.

  • Men: track and field, baseball
  • Women: track and field, softball, lacrosse

 Information regarding preseason tryouts and team meetings is available in the Athletic Department and on the Athletic Department Web site at www.fitchburgfalcons.com.

Athletic Eligibility

Students who wish to participate on intercollegiate teams must be full-time students and be making satisfactory progress toward a baccalaureate degree, defined as successful completion of:

  • 24 semester hours of course work prior to entering their third full-time semester
  • 48 semester hours of course work prior to entering their fifth full-time semester
  • 72 semester hours of course work prior to entering their seventh full-time semester

Full or part-time status shall be determined by the end of the add/drop period. Students are required to successfully complete 24 semester hours of course work during their previous two full-time semesters to remain eligible. See the Academic Policies and Procedures section for academic requirements. In addition to Fitchburg State University academic requirements, students must meet the requirements of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC), and Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference (MASCAC).

Recreation Services

The Recreation Services program offers structured and informal opportunities for recreation in a wide variety of activities. Intramural programs are offered throughout the year in volleyball, soccer, ultimate, dodgeball, racquetball, flag football, basketball, table tennis and several other areas. Registration is at www.imleagues.com/fitchburgstate.

Students who prefer something more informal may use the Recreation Center’s pool, fitness center, dance studio, jogging track, racquetball courts or gymnasium at their leisure. Group fitness classes are offered in the areas of aerobics, group cycling and others. Simply bring your One Card with you and check in at the front desk when you arrive.

Student Code of Conduct and Discipline System

Student Code of Conduct

Fitchburg State University recognizes that students or guests, as members of society and citizens of the United States of America, are entitled to respect, consideration, and guaranteed freedoms of speech, assembly, and association under the U.S. Constitution. The university further recognizes the students’ right within the institution to freedom of inquiry and the responsible use of the services and facilities of the university.

Students at Fitchburg State University have a responsibility to act in a manner that promotes the well-being, respect, safety, and security of all members of the university community. Behavior, whether on or off-campus, that calls into question a student’s suitability as a member of the academic community, or places university members at risk, will not be tolerated. Such behavior will result in disciplinary action ranging from a warning to dismissal.

The complete text of the Student Code of Conduct is available online and in print form at the Student and Academic Life Office.

Student Discipline System

The goal of the Student Discipline System is to support the educational mission of the university by insuring that an atmosphere of acceptance, curiosity, and integrity is maintained on the campus. By educating and enforcing mature and responsible behavior, the Student Discipline System promotes students’ respect for the rights of others, their receptivity to new and challenging ideas, and civil and courteous behavior. The complete text of the Student Discipline System is found in the Student Conduct Handbook, which is available at the Student and Academic Life Office and online.

Good Neighbor Policy

Students who reside in or visit the university neighborhood are expected to demonstrate respect and concern for all members of the local community. As such, Fitchburg State University expects students to demonstrate responsible citizenship in the local neighborhood by participating in any of the several community service opportunities available for students. Contact the Douglas and Isabella Crocker Center for Community Service for more information.

To support the goal of being good neighbors, the following conduct (and any other of a like sort) will not be tolerated and will constitute violations of university policy for which students are subject to being disciplined whether the conduct occurs on or off the campus:

  • Making excessive or unreasonable noise
  • Sponsoring parties for profit (the illegal sale or distribution of alcoholic beverages, which may include the use of tickets, T-shirts, mugs, cups and/or any other items as a price or condition of admission)
  • Sponsoring excessively large parties
  • Serving alcohol to minors
  • Disorderly conduct, harassment of neighbors, defacing or damaging property, throwing objects out windows
  • Public drinking, public urination
  • Using, selling, or distributing illegal drugs
  • Interfering with the city of Fitchburg Police Department or utility agencies in the performance of their duties
  • Using, selling, manufacturing, or distributing fake IDs

Students who violate university policy and/or federal, state, or local law and, by so doing, call into question their suitability as members of the university community, are subject to the ruling of the Student Discipline System in addition to the appropriate body of federal, state, or local law. If found responsible, students are subject to sanctions up to and including loss of residence or suspension or dismissal from the university.