Section 5. Student Conduct System
2012-2013 student guide
The Office of the Dean of Students coordinates the Student Conduct System and all matters relative to student conduct and behavior in order to maintain a community that is conducive to the overall mission of Boston College.
The Student Conduct System has been developed to ensure the existence of an environment that fosters the intellectual, personal, ethical, psychological, social, and spiritual potential of all students. In keeping with the mission of Boston College, a conduct system should be, first and foremost, educational in nature. However, there may be occasions when issues of community or personal safety and well-being require severe but appropriate responses that appear to supersede, but in actuality augment, learning. Such a system has among its goals personal development, moral and ethical enrichment, values formation, and citizenship.
See Section 4. Community Standards and Policies for more information.
Any case of alleged misconduct by any Boston College student is within the jurisdiction of the Student Conduct System. The Student Conduct System is administered by the Vice President for Student Affairs though the Dean of Students and his/her staff. The Office of the Dean of Students reserves the right to review the sanctions imposed at any conduct hearing to assure their appropriateness.
In addition, in consultation with other appropriate University administrators, the Dean or designee may separate a student from the University or from University housing if the student presents a substantial health or safety risk, or if the Dean determines that the student is unable to meet the community standards of Boston College.
The focus of inquiry in disciplinary proceedings shall be whether the accused is responsible or not responsible for violating disciplinary regulations or the community standards outlined in the University Code of Student Conduct. The function of the proceedings is to investigate the facts of the matter and to determine responsibility for alleged violations. The process is designed to enforce the University Code of Conduct, not criminal laws, though at times the two may coincide. Formal rules of evidence will not be applicable, and deviations from prescribed procedures will not necessarily invalidate a decision or proceeding unless significant prejudice to a student or the University may result. Determinations of "responsible" or "not responsible" within the Student Conduct System are based upon a preponderance of the evidence, ie. “more likely than not”, as presented to the hearing officer or board.
The following system exists to protect the rights of the Boston College community and assure fundamental fairness to complainants and to students accused of any breach of the University Code of Student Conduct.
1. A student will become involved with the conduct system as a result of alleged violations of the community standards of Boston College. Such violations will usually be documented through a complaint or report submitted by a residential life staff member, Boston College police officer, off-campus community liaison, neighbor, fellow student, University official, or local police department. The conduct system applies to residential or non-residential students, and governs the investigation and adjudication of violations regardless of where they occur.
2. Anyone who has grounds to initiate a complaint regarding any Boston College student may do so by submitting to the Office of the Dean of Students (Community Standards area) the following information:
a. the names of the accused;
b. a clear statement explaining the nature and circumstances of the complaint; and
c. the names, addresses, and telephone numbers of those filing the complaint.
3. A student who has had a complaint lodged against him or her will be called by the Dean of Students or designee to discuss the complaint. At the meeting, the case may be kept open for later resolution, dropped, resolved, or referred to an appropriate hearing board as determined by the Dean or designee.
4. The accused will also be given an opportunity to present a written statement in the matter.
5. Both the complainant and the accused will be given an equal opportunity to review any statements submitted, by each other, in the matter. Any additional documents related to the case must be submitted to the Dean's Office in advance of the hearing.
6. The Office of the Dean of Students reserves the right not to proceed with complaints that are not submitted within a reasonable time frame )e.g. after material witnesses are no longer in attendance at the University.)
7. The Office of the Dean of Students reserves the right to investigate and pursue all alleged violations of community standards that come to the Office’s attention, including cases in which the students or other community members affected by the violation choose not to file or pursue a complaint. In such cases, a University administrator with knowledge of the matter will usually act as the complainant if the matter proceeds to the Student Conduct Board or Administrative Hearing Board.
8. Most cases are resolved by administrative review as described below. However, at the discretion of the Office of the Dean of Students, cases may be referred to the Student Conduct Board or the Administrative Hearing Board for resolution.
9. Boston College prohibits retaliation of any kind against any individual filing a complaint or participating in a disciplinary hearing involving a Boston College student. Such retaliation will result in disciplinary action.
Administrative Review/Adjudication Hearing
The Dean or designee conducts the Administrative Review/Adjudication hearing. The Administrative Review/Adjudication is an informal hearing and fact finding process to discuss the report and the related incident The accused student will be sent a written, verbal, or electronic notice of an Administrative Review/Adjudication hearing in which his or her presence is required, a minimum of 24 hours in advance of the meeting, unless deemed an emergency. As a result of the hearing and the Dean’s review of the facts, the case may be closed, a resolution may be reached, or the matter may be referred for further review.
Determinations of "responsible" or "not responsible" within the Student Conduct System are based upon a preponderance of the evidence, ie. “more likely than not”, as determined by the hearing officer or board.
In certain cases of misconduct, the Dean may designate a member of the Residential Life staff to conduct the hearing. Once resolved, records of all cases will be maintained by the Office of the Dean of Students. At the Administrative Review/Adjudication hearing, the accused student will be present and the complainant may be present.
A student who does not respond to a request to schedule an Administrative Review/Adjudication hearing or fails to appear for such a scheduled meeting could have the case heard in his or her absence or have an administrative hold placed on their student status.
Decisions that can be reached at the Administrative Review/Adjudication hearing are:
1. A case may be held for further information as determined by the Dean.
2. A case may be dropped in circumstances where relevant information and evidence concerning the alleged misconduct is determined by the Dean to be inadequate for referral to a Student Conduct Board or Administrative Hearing Board, or if the dean determines that no further disciplinary action is required.
3. A case may be resolved by the Dean or designee or member of the Residential Life staff.
4. A student who is found responsible by the Dean or designee at the hearing, may request that the sanction be reviewed by another official. To initiate such action, the student must inform, in writing, the original adjudicator that he or she would like a review. The case then is referred to the appropriate official. The review is to determine whether or not the imposed sanctions are appropriate based on the facts, similar cases, prior record, and Student Conduct System guidelines. The case is not re-heard. The review can result in an upholding of the sanctions or a modification. The reviewing official's decision is final.
5. A case may be referred to either the Student Conduct Board or the Administrative Hearing Board.
Student Conduct Board/Administrative Hearing Board
A case may be referred directly to a Student Conduct Board or an Administrative Hearing Board if the Dean or Residential Life staff member feels that such a referral is appropriate, or may be referred to either Board at the close of the Administrative Review/Adjudication hearing. The Dean will determine which board will hear the case.
Board Referral: When a matter is referred to a board, the accused student will be sent a copy of the conduct procedures. Cases that receive direct referral typically involve substantial threats to the health, safety, or tranquility of the members of the community, such as assault and battery, larceny, sexual assault, major damages, major breaches of the University Code of Student Conduct or the Conditions for Residency, recidivism, or off-campus violations. A case in which two or more students are charged with having participated in the same incident will be heard by a single board. If a student is found to have committed an offense by any board, the chair of the hearing board will have access to the student's record of previous disciplinary infractions, if any. This information can then be used in deciding upon a sanction.
Student Conduct Board
The Student Conduct Board is composed of four students from each undergraduate class plus three non-voting chairpersons. Chairpersons, who must have at least one prior semester of service as a board member, are elected via ballot by the general membership.
A panel of five voting members of the Student Conduct Board will hear individual cases, but a panel of three may hear the case with the agreement of the complainant and the accused.
Board members must disclose any real or perceived conflict of interest between themselves and any party and may not hear a case if they are not able to be impartial in the hearing of the case.
The Office of the Dean of Students may fill any openings on the Student Conduct Board that occur during the academic year. If a simple majority of the chairpersons of the Student Conduct Board, in consultation with the Dean of Students or designee, feel that a member should be dismissed from the board for failure to support the regulations, non-completion of duties, breach of confidentiality, or being judged responsible of violating the University Code of Student Conduct, they may do so. The opening will be filled by a replacement. Chairpersons may be dismissed only by the Dean of Students. A replacement for a chairperson will be selected by the Student Conduct Board members from their numbers in an election.
Duties of Chairpersons
Chairpersons of boards convene them as necessary, make assignments as necessary, determine the order of hearing cases (e.g., witnesses, duration of testimony), determine appropriateness of questions and/or testimony, and serve as the principal liaison between the board and the Office of the Dean of Students. The chairperson has final procedural authority during the conduct of a hearing.
Decisions that can be reached by the Student Conduct Board are "responsible," "not responsible," "no finding," or "responsible for a lesser inclusive charge." A simple majority vote of the panel is required to render a decision.
If the decision is "responsible," the board may recommend sanctions up to and including suspension or dismissal from the University.
Administrative Hearing Board
The Administrative Hearing Board is composed of three administrators, one faculty member or academic administrator and one student. For a hearing, the three administrative members are chosen from a pool of individuals identified by the Dean of Students; the faculty member or academic administrator from a pool identified by the Provost; and the student from among the senior leadership of the Student Conduct Board. All board members are trained by the Office of the Dean of Students. Chairpersons for the Administrative Hearing Board are designated by the Dean of Students and receive additional training. Board members must disclose any real or perceived conflict of interest between themselves and any party and may not hear a case if they are not able to be impartial in the hearing of the case.
Decisions that can be reached by the Administrative Hearing Board are "responsible," "not responsible," "no finding," or "responsible for a lesser inclusive charge." A simple majority vote of the panel is required to render a decision.
If the decision is "responsible," the board may recommend sanctions up to and including suspension or dismissal from the University. In addition, the Board, where appropriate, may recommend other administrative measures designed to protect any party to the action from retaliation or harassment.
The Administrative Hearing Board has the authority to require students to appear as witnesses in cases where the board determines that additional testimony is necessary for a full and fair hearing of a case. A student who fails to cooperate with the board's request will be subject to sanction by the Dean of Students.
The Appeals Board is comprised of the Dean of Students or designee, the Director of Residential Life or designee, and an administrator appointed by the Vice President for Student Affairs. A simple majority vote is required to make a decision.
Board members must disclose any real or perceived conflict of interest between themselves and any party and may not hear a case if they are not able to be impartial in the hearing of the case.
Decisions that can be reached by the Appeals Board are "responsible" or "not responsible." If the decision is "responsible," the board may recommend sanctions up to and including suspension or dismissal from the University. In addition, the Board, where appropriate, may recommend other administrative measures designed protect any party to the original action from retaliation or harassment.
The decision of the Appeals Board is final.
Conduct Board Procedures
1. The accused student and the complainant will be sent written notification of a hearing a minimum of 72 hours in advance, indicating the type of board, time and location of hearing, the names of all parties charged in the complaint and the name(s) of complainant(s).
2. Either party has the right to request that a partition be put in place during the hearing so that the opposing parties will not be visible to each other. Both parties will, however, be visible by the board members. Final determination to use such a partition will be made by the Office of the Dean of Students.
3. Neither party at the hearing will be allowed to use any type of electronic device, including but not limited to laptop computers, tape or digital recorders, cell phones, or PDAs, without the advance written permission of the Dean.
4. At the hearing, the chairperson will convene the board, have all parties introduce themselves, explain the purposes of the board, address the issues of veracity and confidentiality, and explain the role of advisors if any are present. All witnesses will then be asked to leave the room.
The complainant and the accused student may be accompanied by an advisor at a conduct board hearing. The UGBC Student Rights Committee has advisors available who are trained to assist accused students. An attorney may be present and serve as an advisor to either party only in instances where the accused student has been arrested or has had a criminal complaint filed against him or her and the matter has not yet been concluded in court. Hearings will not be scheduled or postponed based upon the availability of a student's advisor.
The role of the advisor at the actual hearing is limited. He or she is not entitled to address the Board or act in any advocacy capacity at the hearing. The student and his or her advisor can confer at any point during the hearing, but the advisor may not formulate specific questions, responses, or statements for the student. Violations of the guidelines would result in a warning being issued to the advisor by the hearing official. Repeated violations may result in the advisor being asked to leave the hearing room.
If either the complainant or the accused wishes to be accompanied by an advisor to a conduct hearing, he or she must inform the Office of the Dean of Students, in writing, a minimum of 48 hours in advance of the hearing and indicate the name and phone number of the advisor.
The University reserves the right to have legal counsel at a hearing to serve as an advisor to the chairperson of the hearing board. The chairperson and legal counsel may consult anytime during the hearing.
Boston College officials involved in the Student Conduct System will only discuss procedural matters with attorneys serving as advisors; all other matters (written or verbal) will be referred directly to the Office of the General Counsel. All substantive questions, concerns, or comments concerning the matter as well as any written correspondence, including the filing of an appeal, must come directly from the student(s) involved.
Both the complainant and the accused are entitled to bring witnesses to the hearing or to present other related evidence (photos, medical records, etc.). Witnesses should be able to speak to the facts of the incident which they have witnessed. In general, character witnesses are not allowed to testify at conduct hearings; written character references may be submitted to the board. It is the responsibility of each party to notify their own witnesses of the date, time, and location of the hearing. The Dean of Students Office does not notify these witnesses. If either the complainant or the accused wishes to present witnesses at the conduct hearing, he or she must inform the Office of the Dean of Students, in writing, a minimum of 48 hours in advance of the hearing and indicate the name and phone number of the witness(es).
The hearing board has the authority to require individuals to appear as witnesses in cases where it is determined that their testimony is important and necessary for a full and fair hearing of a case.
7. If the complainant or accused student has evidence as to why a specific person should not be on the Board hearing the case due to a conflict of interest, theywill be given an opportunity to present this information to the chairperson of the board at the start of the hearing. If the chairperson determines that there is evidence of a conflict, the board member in question will be excused and another board member, if available, will be substituted. The decision of the chairperson is final.
8. The chairperson will introduce the complaint by reading the formal charges as determined by the Office of the Dean of Students. The complainant will then have an opportunity to read his/her incident report to the board and to elaborate on it. The accused will then have an opportunity to make a full and accountable response to the complainant. The accused may elect to remain silent, if he/she so chooses.
9. The board members may question both the complainant and the accused on all matters relevant to the complaint at any time during the hearing.
10. The accused and complainant will be given an opportunity to ask questions. All questions, however, must be directed to and through the chairperson.
11. Witnesses, upon request of either complainant or accused, will make a presentation concerning those facts that they are witness to, relevant to the complaint, and will then answer questions posed by the board and by the adversarial parties.
12. Both the complainant and the accused are then given an opportunity to make a final statement to the hearing board. The Chair may elect to give each party a few minutes to prepare these closing statements.
13. The Board will meet in private to determine whether the accused is responsible or not for the charge(s), based upon a preponderance of the evidence. If the finding is responsible, the board will decide upon appropriate sanctions to recommend to the Dean.
The Dean’s Office will send written notification of any decisions and/or sanctions reached as a result of a hearing within five business days of the conclusion of the hearing.
NOTE: Boston College reserves the right to amend the above procedures as necessary.
How to File an Appeal
If either a complainant or an accused student can demonstrate that he or she has been denied a fair hearing of the case due to procedural unfairness or can introduce evidence not previously available that would be likely to change the result of the prior hearing, an appeal can be made to the Dean of Students and the Vice President for Student Affairs. The appeal must be filed in writing by the party (not the advisor) with the Dean and the Vice President within five business days after notification of the sanctions. The Dean and the Vice President (or their delegated representatives) will review the case and determine if the new evidence or lack of a fair hearing requires consideration. The severity of a sanction is not legitimate grounds for an appeal.
A denial of a proper hearing would be a violation of the fairness rights listed in the Statement of Rights and Responsibilities. New evidence is evidence which was unknown to the party at the time of the original hearing and which could have a significant impact on the outcome of the case. It is the responsibility of the parties to make every effort to gather sufficient evidence and witnesses for the original hearing. Failure to do so will be an important factor in determining the appropriateness of a subsequent appeal based on new evidence.
An appeal must contain the following information:
1. The name, address, and telephone number of the party.
2. A clear statement explaining the nature and circumstances of the appeal, citing the new evidence and/or the explanation with specifics of the alleged lack of fairness in the prior hearing.
3. The names, addresses, telephone numbers, and written statements of new witnesses. Written statements should include the general nature of their testimony and their assent to appear at a board hearing.
4. The name of an advisor, if any.
At the discretion of the Dean of Students, sanctions may be deferred while a request for an appeal is being considered. If the Dean and the Vice President decide that the appeal has merit (i.e., a case in which there is evidence of improper procedures or where new evidence likely would change the previous result), they will refer the appeal to the Appeals Board to be reheard in its entirety or refer it back to the original hearing board for further adjudication.
Amending the Procedure
Proposals for amending the Student Conduct System should be submitted in writing to the Dean of Students.
All parties, including the accused student, the aggrieved party, and the hearing board, are required to respect the right of confidentiality of other participants. Any unauthorized disclosure of confidential information by participants to persons not involved in the hearing process as direct participants, advisors, or responsible administrators will be dealt with as a subsequent charge or as grounds for dismissal from the board.
In addition, all participants in the hearing process have a right to be free from intimidation and harassment. Students required to appear before a board, their advisors, and their witnesses must not communicate with any member of any disciplinary board or with the accusers and their witnesses prior to the hearing. Any implied or actual act of retaliation, intimidation or harassment is strictly prohibited and will be dealt with as a subsequent and serious charge.
As a general rule, all board hearings are closed.
An Administrative Referral to University Counseling Services may be made when, in the opinion of the Dean of Students or designee, a student has demonstrated indications of emotional distress and/or substance abuse that could affect his or her functioning as a member of the Boston College community. The referral requires that the student meet with a member of Counseling Services to undergo a general psychological and/or substance abuse evaluation, the general conclusions of which will be shared with the Dean as needed within the bounds of confidentiality.
Notification of Decisions
The accused student will be sent written notification of any decisions and/or sanctions reached as a result of a hearing within 10 business days after a hearing. Notification of whether or not the grounds for an appeal have merit will be sent within 10 business days after the receipt of the appeal. In cases involving allegations of sexual assault or of a crime of violence, the Office of the Dean of Students will notify both the accused and the complainant of the decision and the sanction imposed.
In the event a student is found responsible for committing a sexual assault or crime of violence, the Office of the Dean of Students reserves the right to disclose at its discretion the result and sanction to other parties. The Office of the Dean of Students may inform a student's parents of any finding of responsibility and related sanctions for violations of federal, state or local laws governing the possession or use of alcohol or controlled substances. All hearing results may be shared by the Dean with relevant academic deans and other university officials having a legitimate educational interest in such results.
The Dean of Students or a designee, at his or her discretion, will notify parents in writing of disciplinary matters to the full extent permitted by law.
Student Conduct Records: When a student is found responsible for violation(s) of the University Code of Student Conduct, a disciplinary record will be established and maintained in the Office of the Dean of Students.
Student disciplinary records will be maintained, per Federal regulations, for a minimum period of seven years.
When an individual is considered an imminent threat to persons or property, the Dean of Students, the Director of Residential Life, or their designated representatives may invoke an immediate suspension from housing and/or the University, to be followed within a reasonable period of time, under the particular circumstances, by a conduct hearing to resolve the incident.
In the case of summary suspensions imposed as a result of criminal charges, the suspension may remain in effect until the matter is resolved both off and on campus. Examples of behavior that may lead to immediate suspension are, without limitation, physical violence, sexual assault, disruption of the educational mission or civil living environment of the University, larceny, severe damage to property, and possession and distribution of controlled substances.
Summer Student Conduct Procedure
The Student Conduct Board will not be in session after the last class day of the academic year. All complaints received after the last day of classes will be resolved in an Administrative Review/Adjudication hearing unless referred to the Administrative Hearing Board by the Office of the Dean of Students. After the last day of classes, the Administrative Hearing Board may be comprised of three administrators and/or faculty members appointed by the Dean of Students. Students taking any type of summer course and individuals living in University housing during the summer are expected to conform to all regulations of the University Code of Student Conduct. However, due to the abbreviated nature of the summer term, summer students may be subject to disciplinary procedures and sanctions imposed at the reasonable discretion of the Office of the Dean of Students or the Office of Residential Life.
University Stay Away Order
In instances where a student seriously disturbs or presents a potential threat to another person, a University Stay Away Order may be imposed. The order, specific to a person and/or location, prohibits the subject of the order from having any further direct or indirect contact, such as email, mail, text messages, or telephone, with the offended individual. In addition, it prohibits contact by third parties on his or her behalf. This order could also result in the alleged perpetrator being removed from class, on-campus employment, co-curricular or other activities, and/or residential assignments as appropriate.
A Stay Away Order may be imposed summarily (e.g., prior to a hearing) or as a result of a hearing. Violation of a Stay Away Order would result in disciplinary action by the University.
An important objective of the University's Student Conduct System is the education of all participants through the process. Sanctions such as suspensions, probations, and community service projects should not be regarded as punishments or controls but rather as educational devices to assist the student in attaining the maturity required to live in society. Suspension may be one way of telling the student that he or she is not yet ready for the living environment and/or education a university offers, and this awareness itself may be a significant step in educating the student.
Please note that a record of disciplinary sanctions may impact a student's ability to be a Resident Assistant, student government officer, Orientation Leader, Student Conduct Board member, or other student leader position. Such a record must be reported on most law school applications, state bar examiner reports, medical school applications, graduate school forms, college transfer forms, and in some instances job applications, particularly for federal or state positions. In addition, any student suspended from housing or the University or who has been placed on University Probation could be prohibited from participating in international study programs.
Certain violations may result in a minimum mandatory sanction of a summary suspension from housing or the University. Please see below for more information.
In situations where the Dean or designee feels that the individual poses a potential threat to the safety of the University community, a determination may be made to issue a summary suspension from housing and/or the University. If implemented, the summary suspension remains in effect until the matter is resolved in a conduct hearing.
1. Fines: Certain offenses will result in monetary sanctions. Financial penalties will be applied to a student's account. Community restitution programs may be substituted for fines if approved by an appropriate administrator.
2. Restitution: Compensation to the injured party, payment for damages, and/or "court costs" for hearing appearances of the police when such appearances are key to a case and if the accused is found responsible.
3. Disciplinary Probation: A formal notification, followed by written or electronic confirmation that the activity in question is unacceptable and that if continued or other inappropriate behavior follows, more severe action may be taken.
4. Housing Probation: Any similar or more serious violation of the University Code of Student Conduct while on this status will result in either placement on University Probation, the imposition of a suspension or dismissal from University housing or an extension of the current probationary status.
5. Suspension from University Housing: Requires moving out of housing for the length of time specified at the hearing. Any student who receives a suspension from University Housing will lose eligibility to live in the Modular Apartment (Mods) area.
6. Housing Dismissal: Requires permanently moving out of housing. The student may not reapply for residency.
7. University Probation: A similar or more serious violation of the University Code of Student Conduct while on this status will result in the mandatory imposition of a suspension or dismissal from the University, the length being a minimum of the balance of the semester or one full semester.
8. Delay in Awarding Degrees: The University reserves the right to delay the awarding of any degree in instances where a complaint remains pending against a student.
9. University Suspension: Requires that the student no longer be present on any Boston College owned or leased property for the time specified at the hearing (minimum of one semester or the balance of the semester). Any student who receives a suspension from the University will lose eligibility to live in the Modular Apartment (Mods) area. In addition, in the case of graduating seniors, the University reserves the right to withhold, for a specified period of time, the awarding of their degree. While on suspension, a student may not take courses to advance his or her degree. Students cannot be readmitted until after the date their suspension ends, nor may they register or pre-register for the following semester's courses. The graduation date will be adjusted upon readmission according to the length of the suspension. Please contact your academic dean's office for additional information.
10. Dismissal from the University: Requires that the student completely sever any and all connection with Boston College.
1. Privilege Ban (e.g., Recreational Complex, social gatherings, parking, sound equipment)
2. Referral for Appropriate Counseling or Guidance
3. Community Restitution Project (i.e., work projects on or off campus)
4. Alcohol Education Program and associated fee
5. Mod Restriction or Administrative Placement (i.e., student loses the opportunity to live in the Modular Apartments or to participate in the Housing Room Selection Process)
6. Housing Relocation (i.e., mandatory move to a different residence hall or area)
7. Campus Ban (i.e., persona non grata, student is banned from being present on the entire campus or on specified areas of the campus)
8. Student Activity Ban (i.e., student is prohibited from participating in specified or all student clubs/organizations or from participating in intercollegiate activities/athletics)
9. Educational Project (i.e., student is required to conduct research or a project in an area relevant to the offense)
10. Stay Away Order (i.e., student is prohibited from having any contact—direct, indirect, or third party on his or her behalf—with a particular person, with violation resulting in possible University Suspension)
11. Revocation of Degree
12. Other Appropriate Alternatives
Sanctions may be combined for varying levels of misconduct. Non-compliance with or failure to meet the terms of a sanction imposed at any conduct hearing may result in housing and/or University Suspension. Housing and/or class registration may also be delayed pending completion of sanctions.
Community Standards Sanctions
The Student Conduct System exists to maintain an environment that is complementary to the mission of Boston College, and to foster student learning and development. In addition, it seeks to protect the rights of the Boston College students accused of a breach of the University Code of Student Conduct or the Conditions of Residency. The Student Conduct System takes an educationally proactive and integrative approach to address community standards violations. Sanctions are educational devices designed to assist students in attaining the maturity required to live in community.
In the interest of clarity and transparency, the University has established minimum, mandatory sanctions for policy violations. Please note that no sanctions are imposed without a meeting with a professional staff member. The incident or conflict may then be resolved administratively with the staff member or at an appearance before a conduct board. At the time of this meeting, students will have the opportunity to review an incident report and to offer their perspective on the alleged violation. In order for the sanctions below to be imposed, a student must be found “responsible” for a violation of the Code of Conduct at a hearing.
Violations of the Code of Conduct impact all members of the Boston College community. Depending on the nature, severity, and impact (both on the individual and on the community) sanctions are imposed with progressing levels. In addition, a student’s history of repeated violations will also be taken into consideration when arriving at a decision regarding the level of sanction.
Non-compliance with or failure to meet the terms of a sanction imposed at any conduct hearing may result in Housing and/or University Suspension. A student records freeze (Housing, Registration, Student Accounts) or a suspension from University housing may be involved pending completion of sanctions. The sanctions below are minimums only and may be increased by the hearing officer or conduct board.
*Seeking Help for Alcohol Related Medical Emergencies
The health and safety of Boston College students is of paramount concern. As a result, all students are expected to seek appropriate assistance for themselves or others in situations where help is needed to ensure proper care of a person who is significantly intoxicated or under the influence of drugs.
In situations where students seek medical attention due to alcohol intoxication or drug ingestion, Boston College will support and encourage this behavior by treating it as a health and safety matter, not as a disciplinary incident. This practice will also be extended to anyone seeking or calling for help on behalf of another student. Students who seek and receive medical attention will be required to complete certain educational and/or counseling initiatives which are intervention and prevention based and will also be subject to all fees related to their medical care. Students who demonstrate consistent and repeated patterns of such behavior may require further medical review and/or treatment up to, when necessary, mandated medical leaves of absence. Failure to complete these referrals would be treated as a disciplinary matter.
Students will be held accountable for misconduct accompanying or incidental to the use/abuse of alcohol or other substances. For example, disorderly behavior, violence, property damage, or distribution or intent to distribute will be treated as disciplinary violations and will be responded to accordingly. For medical assistance, please contact Health Services at (617) 552-3227; for an immediate response contact the BC Police at (617) 552-4444. For a list of possible referrals and programs, please visit www.bc.edu/ade.
Note: Examples of Drugs in Each Drug Class
Class A: Heroin
Class B: LSD, Cocaine
Class C: Mushrooms
Class D: Marijuana
Class E: Non-prescribed use of prescription drugs
Off-Campus Community Disturbance Violations
Note: In general, a “small” gathering is less than 30 students subject to circumstances and documented behavior
1. Menu items include but are not limited to: ADE Referrals, Formative Referrals, Reflection Papers, or Community Service
2. ADE Referral: For alcohol and other drug education/treatment (Choices, BASICS, or AIM)
3. AIM: 10-week mandatory group program with individual component
4. Roads Retreat: Off-campus retreat for students at risk
5. Substance Abuse Program: Drug education course (e-Toke)
6. Formative Referral: Conversation with a member of the student formation program
7. Community Restitution: Educational program that includes service, written reflection, and a concluding group discussion
8. Students placed on University Probation for a community disturbance violation may attend the Friday Night Heights program to reduce the sanction to Housing Probation (first time placed on University Probation only).
9. Students could opt to attend Friday Night Heights to remove the Mod Restriction and, reduce University Probation to Disciplinary Probation one time only.
Other Minimum Mandatory Sanctions
1. Central alcohol source (e.g., kegs, beerballs, punch bowls, trash cans) or excessive amounts of alcohol (beyond personal consumption): Over 21 Years of Age—Housing Probation; Under 21 Years of Age—Housing Suspension
2. Enabling underage consumption of alcohol: Housing Probation; Educational Sanction
3. False IDs:
a. Possession, conspiring to obtain, or use: $100 fine; Housing Probation; community restitution; University Suspension for repeat offense
b. Manufacturing: University Suspension for one year; $500 fine; Housing Dismissal
4. Drug violations:
a. Guest use/possession: Housing Probation
b. Drug paraphernalia possession: Housing Probation
c. Providing drugs to others (no monetary compensation): One year Housing Suspension; substance abuse education program
d. Sale of drugs or possession of drugs with intent to distribute: University Suspension (minimum one year); Housing Dismissal
5. False fire alarms/smoke detectors:
a. Deliberate: University Suspension (minimum one semester); reset cost
b. Negligence/accidental: Reset cost; community restitution program
6. Objects out window (that may cause injury): One semester Housing Suspension; community restitution program
7. Failure to evacuate for a fire alarm: Housing Probation, $100 fine, and community restitution
Proposals for amending the Student Conduct System should be submitted in writing to the Office of the Dean of Students.