Guide to Policy Violations
office of the dean of students
- An incident involving alcohol has occurred,
and I was documented. What happens next?
- What happens at this meeting?
- What are possible sanctions?
- How will these sanctions be determined?
- What are typical sanctions for an alcohol policy violation?
- What if my case was referred to a hearing board?
- Will my parents be notified?
- What happens if I am arrested?
- Will there be a record of this incident?
- Where can I go for more information?
You will be contacted by a professional staff member in Residential Life or by the Office of the Dean of Students. Depending on your involvement in the incident, you may be asked to set up a time to meet with a professional staff member to discuss the nature of the incident and to resolve the matter. Typically you will be contacted after a few business days. Thus, if an incident occurs on Friday night, you will be contacted the following Tuesday or Wednesday.
The purpose of the meeting is not to be punitive, but rather to process the incident, your decision making process, and Boston College community standards. The professional staff member will go over the report and listen to your perspective on the incident. Then he or she will make a determination on whether or not you violated a Boston College policy or community standard. If you are found responsible for a violation, the professional staff member will select appropriate sanctions.
Sanctions are intended to be educational in nature so that students learn from the experience and the behavior(s) are not repeated in the future. Sanctions may range from warnings, probations, attendance at an educational program or meeting, referral to a counseling program or therapist, work project or community restitution hours, or another sanction deemed appropriate for the violation. Please also visit the Community Standards Sanctions page.
Residential Life and the Dean of Students staff will use their discretion when deciding on sanctions. They will consider any past incidents, the facts detailed in the incident report(s), your perspective, and you as an individual student.
In most cases, alcohol sanctions will result in a probationary period and at least one educational referral. Other factors taken into consideration include the severity of the violation, previous history, and cooperation and attitude – they will depend on the unique nature of the incident, as well as the students involved. Sanctions will increase in severity as the nature of the incident increases in severity. Repeat violations will also be considered. Please visit the Community Standards Sanctions page.
There are two kinds of hearing boards. The Student Conduct Board is made up of students, and the Administrative Hearing Board is made up of 3 staff members, 1 faculty member, and 1 student. Typically cases are referred to a Board if the facts of the case are not clear or are contested. Cases heard before the Administrative Hearing Board are generally more severe, where students could face suspension or dismissal from the University. Please see the Student Guide for more information.
Parents are sent copies of sanction letters if a student is under the age of 21 and a controlled substance (including alcohol) is involved, or if you are or will be in jeopardy of losing your housing privileges, or being suspended or dismissed from the University. This is not to be punitive, but to involve your family in the educational process. We advise students to discuss an incident with parents prior to a letter being sent home – it may be better for them to hear it from you first.
If you have been arrested, Boston College may decide to wait until your criminal proceedings have come to a close to resolve the matter. Following an arrest, you may be subject to disciplinary action within the University. However, if you are arrested for a serious violation of the law (or University policy) that poses a threat to the BC community, you could be summarily suspended from the residence halls, the larger campus community, or issued a "stay away" order from others, pending a final resolution.
Conduct records will be kept on for seven years after graduation. Students should be aware that they may be asked to report disciplinary records to employers, study abroad programs, graduate schools, or other stakeholders. The Office of the Dean of Students will NOT release these records to external entities without your consent. See Boston College's record keeping policy.