Effective Date: June 20, 2023
Last Reviewed: June 20, 2023
Except for misconduct that is governed by S1.14 Sexual and Gender-Based Misconduct and Interpersonal Violence, this Policy sets forth in full the list of prohibited conduct and also explains the process by which the College adjudicates alleged violations of misconduct. If aspects of an allegation of misconduct are governed by both Policy S1.14 and this Policy, the College may, in its sole discretion, investigate and adjudicate all aspects of the misconduct pursuant to Policy S1.14.
Stonehill College, an academic community within the Catholic tradition, committed to its Holy Cross roots, holds high expectations for how its members live and interact with one another. At the heart of these expectations is a respect for self and others. Specifically, Stonehill is committed to developing the moral, spiritual, intellectual, and social competencies of our community. In search of this ideal, Stonehill endeavors to create an environment in which integrated learning is a shared responsibility, pursued in the classroom and laboratory, co- curricular and extra-curricular activities, athletic fields, residence halls, dining room, and chapels. These expectations and competencies are our Community Standards.
Students are accountable for their actions as a necessary part of community life. By voluntarily choosing to affiliate with Stonehill College, students agree to uphold these responsibilities.
As Stonehill is a community committed to Holy Cross and Catholic ideals and to the growth of each individual, the Community Standards established for student members of the Stonehill community are not always exactly the same as those within society at large. The College’s Community Standards go beyond what is simply required for public order. They ask what is good and developmental for the individual and for the Stonehill community.
To enter Stonehill College is to accept an invitation to participate in a learning environment that emphasizes “the education of the whole person” by promoting interdisciplinary inquiry and facilitating student learning and development. Choosing to become a member of this community requires a commitment to an open dialogue about the basic human questions fundamental to a liberal education in the Holy Cross tradition, as well as an individual responsibility to foster an environment in which this dialogue can occur.
Shared responsibility for the life and governance of the College should lead all its members to make the best of their own talents, to work together, to be sensitive to one another, to serve others, and to seek justice within and beyond the Stonehill community. As such, students are expected to inform College officials whenever they are concerned about a student’s physical or emotional health or safety or when they have knowledge regarding a dangerous or potentially violent situation.
The Stonehill College Community Standards and other policies are intended to contribute to the moral, intellectual, spiritual, and social growth of student members of the campus community. The College will call students to be accountable for their actions as a necessary part of community life.
Glossary of Terms
- Administrative Hearing: A review of statements and any relevant evidence from a respondent, complainant, and witnesses with knowledge of an incident for the purpose of determining the respondent’s responsibility for violating the Community Standards and to make recommendations for sanctions if the respondent is found responsible. Administrative hearings generally consist of a meeting or meetings with a single hearing officer.
- Advisor of Choice: A person who may accompany a respondent or complainant for the purpose of providing support and guidance. An advisor may not be a complainant, respondent, witness, or other party involved in the case being discussed. An advisor may not directly address the hearing officers, student board members, witnesses, or otherwise actively participate in the student conduct process.
- Appeals Board: A group comprised of the Vice President for Students Affairs, or designee, a student, and faculty or staff member authorized to consider a request for an appeal from a conduct hearing determination as to whether a student has violated the Community Standards.
- Associate Vice President for Student Affairs (AVPSA/Dean of Students), or designee: Person designated by the Vice President for Student Affairs to be responsible for the administration of the Community Standards and the Student Conduct Process.
- Community Standards: Expectations and competencies Stonehill College has established for its students.
- College: Stonehill College.
- College Official: Any person employed by the College (including student employees), performing assigned duties or actions on behalf of the College in an official (recognized) capacity.
- College Premises: All land, buildings, facilities, and other property in the possession of or owned, used, or controlled by the College.
- Complainant/Reporting Party: The College itself or any individual who believes they are a victim of another student’s misconduct.
- Coordinator of Community Standards: provides critical support to the Director of Community Standards with the overall management and administration of the Stonehill Community Standards, which communicates the mission and values of a Catholic institution in the Holy Cross tradition. The Coordinator of Community Standards will undertake a broad range of simultaneous responsibilities related to adjudicating alleged violations of college policy, while ensuring compliance with legislative, professional, and college regulations.
- Director of Community Standards: The College official who has the primary day-to-day oversight for the administration of the Stonehill Community Standards, which communicate the mission and values of a Catholic institution in the Holy Cross tradition. The Director will undertake a broad range of responsibilities including directing student conduct case management to ensure that all conduct referrals are addressed in a consistent and timely manner through appropriate campus procedures and serving as the College’s primary hearing officer for student conduct cases.
- Educational Conference: A meeting with a College official to discuss behavioral or educational concerns that do not necessarily rise to the level of a Community Standards violation. Such meetings are an opportunity to discuss an incident, lessons learned, and expectations for the future.
- Faculty: Any person hired by the College to conduct classroom or teaching activities or who is otherwise considered by the College to be a member of its faculty.
- Guest: A non-student who is an associate of a student, or another Stonehill student not assigned to a particular residence hall room.
- Hearing Officer: A College official authorized on a case-by-case basis to determine whether a student has violated the Community Standards and to impose a sanction when a violation of the Community Standards has been committed.
- Incident Report: A written summary of an incident.
- Interim Restrictions: Immediate action taken against a student when there is information to indicate that the student’s continued presence on the campus may endanger the physical safety or emotional state of a student or others or disrupt the educational process of the College.
- Exploratory Meeting: A meeting with a College official to obtain additional information regarding an incident. Such meetings allow for additional fact-finding and/or points of clarification from one or more individuals believed to have direct knowledge of the matter. Notice of an exploratory meeting does not constitute formal notice of charges and is not an indication that the interviewee is alleged to have violated the Community Standards.
- Member of the College Community: Any person who is a student, faculty, staff, or any other person employed by the College. The AVPSA/Dean of Students, or designee, will determine a person’s status.
- No Contact Restriction: Written notice informing a student(s) that they are prohibited from contacting another student(s) at any time. Such contact includes, but is not limited to, in person communication and/or communication through another party, by telephone, letter, email, text messages, social media, other electronic media, or by any other means. Failure to abide by this restriction may result in disciplinary action.
- Notice of Charges: Written notice informing a student that they are alleged to have violated the Community Standards and notice of the date, time, and place that the student must attend a conduct hearing, as well as the names of the witnesses called to provide information.
- Policy: The written regulations of the College. While the policies may be referenced or printed in College publications, the only official version of the current policies is located on the College’s website.
- Respondent/Responding Party: A student alleged to have violated the Community Standards who has been notified that they must attend a conduct meeting or hearing.
- Sanction: A requirement a student must abide by or complete when found responsible for violating the Community Standards.
- Staff: Individuals who develop, maintain, implement, and oversee the various programs of the College.
- Student: Any person taking courses at the College, either full-time or part-time, pursuing undergraduate, graduate, or professional studies; any person who withdraws from the College after allegedly violating the Community Standards; any person who is not officially enrolled for a particular term, but who has a continuing academic relationship with the College; or any person who has been notified of their acceptance for admission.
- Student Conduct Board (SCB): A group of students, faculty, and/or staff authorized to determine whether a student has violated the Community Standards and to recommend sanctions that may be imposed when a violation of the Community Standards has been committed.
- Student Conduct Hold: An administrative hold placed on a student’s record when they do not respond to the request of a College official to attend a conduct meeting or hearing, has not completed a conduct sanction, or has withdrawn from the College prior to the resolution of a conduct hearing.
- Student Conduct Process: The process and procedures for addressing alleged violations of Community Standards.
- Title IX Coordinator and Deputies: The individual(s) responsible for monitoring the overall implementation of Title IX for the College and coordinating compliance with Title IX in all areas covered by the implementing regulations.
- Title IX Investigator: The individual(s) who conducts investigations pursuant to Policy S1.14, prepares reports on Title IX compliance activities, and issues findings of fact to appropriate decision makers.
- Witness: Any person with direct knowledge of a student’s alleged violation of the Community Standards.
Violation of Law and College Policies
- Students are prohibited from violating the federal law, state law, local ordinances, and/or the Stonehill College Community Standards. Violations may be addressed through the Student Conduct Process, through the civil and/or criminal court systems, or through both. When student conduct may have violated federal or state law, Stonehill College may take action against a student through the Student Conduct Process prior to, simultaneously with, or following civil or criminal proceedings at the discretion of the AVPSA/Dean of Students, or designee. Determinations made or sanctions imposed under the Student Conduct Process will not be subject to change when criminal charges regarding the same incident are resolved in favor of or against the criminal law defendant.
- When a student is charged with a criminal violation of federal, state, or local law, the student is responsible for all costs associated with the criminal violation. The College will not request special treatment on the student’s behalf. Individual students and other members of the College community acting in their personal capacities may interact with federal, state, and local authorities as necessary.
- If the alleged offense is also being processed under the Student Conduct Process, the College may advise off-campus authorities of the existence of the Community Standards and Student Conduct Process and of how such matters are typically handled within the College community.
- The College cooperates with law enforcement or other agencies in the enforcement of criminal law on campus. The College also cooperates with the conditions imposed by criminal courts for the rehabilitation of student violators, provided the conditions do not conflict with campus rules or sanctions.
- The Stonehill College Community Standards and Student Conduct Process apply to the conduct:
a. Of any student or individual:
i. Enrolled in or accepted for an academic course or program regardless of credits carried
ii. Who withdraws from the College after allegedly violating the Community Standards but
before the violation is formally adjudicated
iii. Not officially enrolled for a particular term but who has continuing academic relationship
with the College
iv. Living on or off campus
b. Of any student organization
c. Which occurs:
i. On College premises
ii. At College-sponsored activities
iii. At all locations connected to the College such as internship and study abroad locations
iv. Off-campus or in the virtual environment that adversely impacts the mission, reputation, or operations of the
College, or is inconsistent with the expectations for behavior as outlined in the Community Standards. The
College reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to determine whether an off-campus incident shall be
subject to a review by the Student Conduct Process.
- Students will be held responsible for their conduct from the time they are notified of their acceptance for admission through the actual awarding of a degree, even though the conduct may occur before classes begin or after classes end, as well as during the academic year or during periods between terms of actual enrollment, even if the conduct is not discovered until after a degree is awarded.
- The Community Standards and Student Conduct Process apply to a student’s conduct even if the student withdraws from the College while a complaint is pending.
- The AVPSA/Dean of Students, or designee, will decide, on a case-by-case basis, whether an activity is College-sponsored or whether a location is on College premises or connected to the College, as set forth in paragraph (1)(c) of the Jurisdiction section above.
- Students are responsible for the consequences of their actions even when the conduct may have been influenced by their physical or emotional state (irrespective of any medical or clinical diagnoses).
- Students are responsible for the consequences of their actions even when the conduct may have been influenced by their use of alcohol or other drugs.
- A student conduct hold may be placed on a student’s educational record when a student does not respond to the request of a College official to attend a conduct meeting or hearing, does not comply with a conduct sanction, or withdraws from the College prior to the resolution of a complaint. Students with a student conduct hold may not be permitted to register for courses, receive transcripts, receive a diploma, add or drop courses, register for College housing, or participate in other College designated activities.
- Students are responsible for the contents of their room, car, locker, or person. Students may also be held responsible for shared common areas. Students need not be present or notified when an inspection is conducted. Refer to Policy S1.28 Inspection of Student Rooms and Personal Belongings for further information.
- Students are responsible for the conduct of their guests and should be with guests at all times.
- Prohibited items discovered by College personnel are subject to confiscation. Illegal items (such as controlled substances, drug paraphernalia, weapons, etc.) will not be returned. Refer to Policy S5.15 Confiscation for further information.
The following conduct will constitute violations of the Community Standards and will be subject to action and sanctions outlined in the Student Conduct Process.
1. ACTS OF DISHONESTY
1.1 Acts of dishonesty including, but not limited to, furnishing false information to any faculty member, College official,
or department; forgery, alteration, or misuse of any College document record, or instrument of identification; or
misrepresenting oneself as another. This may also include violations of the Academic Integrity Policy. Alleged
academic dishonesty violations will be addressed according to the provisions of the Academic Integrity Policy.
2. PERSONAL CONDUCT
2.1 Conduct that is in direct conflict with the values and expectations afforded by the Community Standards, and
therefore, may call into questions a student’s ability to remain a member of the Stonehill community.
2.2 Violation of any federal, state, or local law.
2.3 Participation in the disruption or obstruction of teaching, research, administration, living, or other College activities;
the free flow of pedestrian or vehicular traffic; the duties of law enforcement, fire, or other agencies; breaking the
peace or leading or inciting others in acts of disruption or obstruction.
2.5 Failure to comply with the request of a College official or law enforcement, fire, or other public officials acting in the
performance of their duties; or failure to identify oneself to these persons when requested to do so. Students are also
required to complete all sanctions issued as part of the conduct process.
2.6 Unauthorized possession, duplication, or use of keys or identification cards to any College premises.
2.7 Prohibited or unauthorized gambling.
2.8 Failure to abide by College Network Use Policy.
2.9 Failure to register an event.
2.10 Unauthorized solicitation.
2.11 Unauthorized posting or distribution of flyers, bulletins, or posters.
2.12 Abuse of the Student Conduct Process.
2.13 Failure to comply with any College Policy.
2.14 Conduct that is lewd or indecent
2.15 Failure to abide by Residence Life Policies and Procedures or the College Room and Board Contract.
2.16 Failure to abide by College Guest Policies.
2.17 Inappropriate communication with College personnel.
2.18 Failure to maintain a hygienic living and learning environment.
2.19 Assisting or encouraging another person to engage in a violation of College policy.
2.20 Attempted or actual theft to property of the College, others, public/private property, or identity and/or the
possession of stolen property.
2.21 Attempted or actual damage or vandalism to property of the College, others, or public/private property, whether
intentional, negligent, or careless.
2.22 Any threat of retaliation against a complainant, respondent, or witness, or other attempts to prevent the reporting
of an incident or cooperation with the student conduct process. Retaliation includes, but is not limited to,
intimidation, threats, coercion, and any adverse action. Adverse action includes, but is not limited to, hiring, firing,
promotions, demotions, compensation, benefits, grading, pressure to withdraw from a class or student
organization, ignoring, and refusing requests for assistance.
3. PERSONAL IDENTIFICATION AND REPRESENTATION
3.1 Failure to carry a Stonehill College I.D. card.
3.2 Unauthorized use of the Stonehill College name, logo, mascot, or other symbol.
3.3 Unauthorized use of Stonehill College directories.
4. PHYSICAL/EMOTIONAL HEALTH AND GENERAL SAFETY
4.1 Trespassing or unauthorized entry/access or attempted entry/access to or use of College premises including, but not
limited to, roofs, balconies, windows, ledges, roadways, ponds, or waterways.
4.2 Bias Related Acts. Any action that threatens, endangers, or subjects another person to physical harm, incites a person
by provocation, excludes a person from participation in or denies a person the benefits of College programs, or
otherwise subjects a person to discrimination on the basis of race, gender, disability, age, marital status, religion,
color, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, or other legally protected status.
4.4 Failure to abide by the College Policy and state law against Hazing.
4.5 Attempted use or actual use of electronic devices that invade a person’s privacy.
4.6 Failure to abide by the College Weapons Policy.
4.7 Creating a fire hazard or a situation that endangers others such as false reports of fire or bombs, possession of
fireworks, failing to evacuate, or tampering with, damaging, or removing fire safety equipment.
4.8 Improper use of College vehicles.
4.10 Physical Abuse/Violence. An attempted, intentional, and/or unjustified physical contact with a person, including but
not limited to fighting, hitting, pushing, punching, kicking, biting, and/or any behavior causing, or intending to
cause, physical harm.
4.11 General Harassment. Verbal abuse, bullying, threats, intimidation, harassment, coercion, or conduct that threatens or
endangers the health or safety of oneself or another person or any action that may subject oneself or another
person to emotional injury.
4.13 Endangering Behavior. Conduct or reckless actions that threaten or endanger the general health or safety of any
member of the community, oneself, or the community at-large. Such conduct includes but is not limited to reckless
operation of a motor vehicle, throwing objects from windows, or hosting a gathering that is overcrowded and/or
without safe or reasonable means of access and egress.
5. ALCOHOL AND OTHER DRUGS
For complete definitions, refer to E1.4 Substance Awareness Policy and Statement of Compliance with the Drug-Free Schools and Communities Act.
5.1 Failure to abide by the College Alcohol Policy.
5.2 Failure to abide by the College Smoking Policy.
5.3 Failure to abide by the College Drug Policy.
6. SEXUAL AND GENDER-BASED MISCONDUCT AND INTERPERSONAL VIOLENCE
6.01 Sexual Harassment. Unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature, including unwelcome sexual advances, requests for
sexual favors, and verbal, nonverbal, or physical conduct of a sexual nature.
6.02 Non-Consensual Sexual Intercourse. The penetration, no matter how slight, of the vagina or anus with any body
part or object, or oral penetration by a sex organ of another person, without the consent of the victim.
6.03 Non-Consensual Sexual Contact. Contact that includes but is not limited to, the touching of the private parts of
another person, without the consent of the victim, including instances where the victim is incapable of giving
consent because of their age or because of their temporary or permanent mental incapacity.
6.04 Intoxication and Sexual Activity. The use of drugs or alcohol to render another person physically or psychologically
incapacitated as a precursor to or part of sexual activity.
6.05 Sexual Exploitation. Taking advantage of another individual without that individual’s consent for one’s own
advantage or benefit, or for the benefit or advantage of anyone other than the individual being exploited
6.06 Stalking. Engaging in a course of conduct directed at a specific person that would cause a reasonable person to fear
for the person’s safety or the safety of others or to suffer substantial emotional distress.
6.07 Dating Violence. Violence committed by a person who is or has been in a social relationship of a romantic or
intimate nature with the victim.
6.08 Gender-Based Harassment: Acts of verbal, nonverbal, or physical aggression; intimidation; or hostility based on
gender or gender-stereotyping.
6.09 Domestic Violence. A felony or misdemeanor crime of violence committed: by a current or former spouse or
intimate partner of the victim; by a person with whom the victim shares a child in common; by a person who is
cohabitating with, or has cohabitated with, the victim as a spouse or intimate partner; by a person similarly situated
to a spouse of the victim under the domestic or family violence laws of the jurisdiction in which the crime of
violence occurred; or by any other person against an adult or youth victim who is protected from that person’s acts
under the domestic or family violence laws of the jurisdiction in which the crime of violence occurred.
6.10 Retaliation. Conduct that includes but is not limited to, intimidation, threats, coercion, and any adverse action
against a Complainant, Respondent, or witness, or other attempts to prevent the reporting of Sexual and Gender-
Based Harassment or interpersonal violence or cooperation with the investigation of such matters.
6.11 Complicity. Any act taken with the purpose of aiding, facilitating, promoting, or encouraging the commission of any
act listed above by another person or group of persons (such as a student organization).
The determination of whether sexual and gender-based misconduct or interpersonal violence is governed by Policy S1.14 Sexual and Gender-Based Misconduct and Interpersonal Violence or this policy is made on a case by case basis in accordance with the jurisdictional and definitional requirements set forth in Policy S1.14.
Student Conduct Process
1. The Vice President for Student Affairs is responsible for the overall administration of the Community Standards and
Student Conduct Process. Under the direction of the Vice President for Student Affairs, the AVPSA/Dean of Students,
or designee, is responsible for the administration of the Community Standards and Student Conduct Process. The
AVPSA/Dean of Students, or designee, is also a student advocate who ensures the protection of all students’ rights.
2. The AVPSA/Dean of Students, or designee, will appoint staff to conduct educational conferences, exploratory
meetings, administrative hearings, and student conduct board hearings.
3. The AVPSA/Dean of Students, or designee, will develop policies and procedural rules for the administration of the
Student Conduct Process consistent with the provisions of the Community Standards.
4. If an incident report involves more than one respondent, or if there is more than one incident involving the same
student, the AVPSA/Dean of Students, or designee, in their discretion, may determine whether conduct meetings or
hearings concerning each student and/or each incident will be conducted either separately or jointly.
5. Students are required to attend meetings and hearings related to the Student Conduct Process.
6. Administrative and Student Conduct Board hearings are not open to the public and are confidential in nature.
7. Conduct meetings and hearings may be held in person or virtually, in full or in part, at the discretion of the hearing
officer. Unless an accommodation has been made by the hearing officer, it is expected that all participating parties will
appear on camera.
8. Students will be held accountable for abuse of the Student Conduct Process such as:
- The failure to obey a notice from a College official to appear for a conduct meeting or hearing as part of the Student Conduct Process.
- Falsification, distortion, or misrepresentation in conjunction with the Student Conduct Process.
Submitting or corroborating a false incident report or withholding information.
- Attempting to discourage an individual’s proper participation in or use of the Student Conduct Process.
- Attempting to influence the impartiality of a staff member or member of the Student Conduct Board.
- Harassment or intimidation of a witness, staff member, or member of the Student Conduct Board, prior to, during, or after a conduct meeting or hearing.
- Failure to comply with a sanction imposed under the Student Conduct Process.
- Influencing or attempting to influence another person to commit an abuse of the Student Conduct Process.
- Using electronic devices, including but not limited to cell phones, cameras, and recording devices during any student conduct meeting or hearing.
9. Formal rules of process, procedure, or evidence such as those applied in criminal or civil courts are not used in the
Student Conduct Process.
10. Decisions resulting from an administrative or SCB hearing will be final, pending the normal appeal process.
11. Student conduct that warrants action within the Student Conduct Process may result in forfeiture of all Stonehill
scholarships, financial aid, or monies paid.
Initiation of Student Conduct Procedures
1. Any individual member of the College community may submit a report that a student allegedly violated the
2. The College may submit a complaint that a student allegedly violated the Community Standards. The College will be
listed as the complainant on the notice of the charges to the respondent.
3. The report will be prepared in writing and directed to the AVPSA/Dean of Students, or designee. A report should be
submitted as soon as possible to encourage the availability of witnesses or information about the incident.
4. The AVPSA/Dean of Students, or designee, will determine whether a student’s alleged violation of the Community
Standards will be addressed through an educational conference, administrative hearing, or Student Conduct Board
5. Upon receiving a report, the AVPSA/Dean of Students, or designee, may take one or more of the following steps
normally within 10 business days:
- Initiate an investigation to determine if further action is warranted
- Determine that the report does not warrant additional action
- Schedule an administrative or Student Conduct Board hearing
- Schedule an educational conference
- Impose interim restrictions when there is information to show that the student’s continued presence on the campus may endanger the physical safety or emotional state of the student or others or disrupt the educational process of the College.
1. The AVPSA/Dean of Students, or designee, may impose restriction(s) upon a student pending student conduct
proceedings. Interim restrictions become effective immediately without prior notice whenever the AVPSA/Dean of
Students, or designee, believes the student may pose a serious threat to self or others, property, or cause serious
disruption to the College community.
2. Interim restrictions may include but are not limited to: separation from the College or residence areas; relocation of
residence; restriction to or from designated College residence areas or other campus facilities by time or location;
restriction of contact/communication with named individuals or groups within the College community; or the
requirement to obtain advance authorization to engage in a specified activity.
3. Whenever reasonably possible, a meeting between the respondent and AVPSA/Dean of Students, or designee, will be
held prior to the imposition of interim restrictions.
4. The respondent will have the opportunity to meet with the AVPSA/Dean of Students, or designee, to present their
version of the facts and to indicate why interim restrictions should not be imposed. Following this meeting, the
decision of the AVPSA/Dean of Students, or designee, will be final.
5. Violations of interim restrictions may result in separation or dismissal from Stonehill College.
Administrative and Student Conduct Board Hearings
1. The purpose of a conduct hearing is to review statements from a respondent, complainant, or witnesses with direct
knowledge of the incident, as well as other relevant information and evidence. A determination will be made as to
whether or not the respondent violated the Community Standards. Recommendations for sanctions will be made if the
respondent is found responsible.
2. Conduct hearings will be conducted as soon as possible, but no sooner than 2 business days and no more than 10
business days after the respondent has been notified of the charges. Maximum time limits for scheduling a conduct
hearing may be extended at the discretion of the AVPSA/Dean of Students, or designee. Conduct hearings may be
recessed at any time provided they are reconvened within 5 business days.
3. A respondent will be considered notified of the charges once the notice of the charges has been mailed to the
student’s local or campus address on file with the College or emailed to the student’s Stonehill email address.
4. Notice of the charges for a conduct hearing will be in writing (via email) and will include the date, time, and place that
a student must attend the hearing, the name of the complainant, as well as the names of witnesses called to provide
information. When possible, the identities of the scheduled SCB members will also be shared prior to a SCB hearing.
5. If a respondent, with notice, does not appear for a conduct hearing, the hearing may proceed as scheduled and the
information in support of the charges may be presented and considered even if the respondent is not present.
6. A conduct hearing may accommodate concerns for the personal safety, well-being, or fears of confrontation with the
respondent, complainant, or witnesses during the hearing. This can be done by providing alternate means of
communication as determined by the AVPSA/Dean of Students, or designee, to be appropriate.
7. The respondent and complainant have the right to be accompanied by an advisor of choice for the purpose of
providing support and guidance. An advisor of choice may not directly address the hearing officers, student board
members, witnesses, or otherwise actively participate in the hearing. The name of the advisor of choice must be
submitted in writing to the AVPSA/Dean of Students, or designee, at least 24 hours prior to the conduct hearing.
8. The respondent and complainant and their advisor of choice, if any, will be permitted to attend the entire portion of a
conduct hearing at which information is received (excluding deliberations).
9. Admission and/or removal of any other person to a conduct hearing (including witnesses and advisors of choice) will
be at the discretion of the AVPSA/Dean of Students, or designee.
10. Generally, the respondent and complainant may present up to 4 witnesses with direct knowledge of the incident to
provide information to and answer questions from the hearing officer or chairperson of the SCB. Character witnesses
are not permitted. If the respondent and complainant wish to present more than 4 witnesses, they must submit a
written request to the AVPSA/Dean of Students, or designee, indicating the names of the additional witnesses and
why their testimony would be beneficial. The request must be submitted to the AVPSA/Dean of Students, or
designee, at least 24 hours prior to the formal conduct hearing. The College will try to arrange the attendance of
possible witnesses who are members of the College community, if reasonably possible. The name(s) of the
witness(es) of the respondent and complainant are to be submitted in writing to the AVPSA/Dean of Students, or
designee, at least 24 hours prior to the conduct hearing. During the hearing, the respondent and complainant may
submit questions to the hearing officer or chairperson of the SCB to be answered by each other or other witnesses.
This method is used to preserve the educational tone of the hearing and to avoid creation of an adversarial
environment. Questions of whether potential information will be received will be resolved at the discretion of the
hearing officer or chairperson of the SCB.
11. The hearing officer or chairperson of the SCB will determine the relevance of information and/or questions presented
during the hearing and will make decisions regarding all procedural questions. The procedural order may be altered
during a hearing should a hearing officer or chairperson deem it beneficial or to expedite the hearing process.
12. After the conduct hearing concludes, the hearing officer or SCB will determine whether the respondent violated each
section of the Community Standards that the student is alleged to have violated.
13. Decisions of the hearing officer or SCB will be made on the information presented during the hearing on the basis of
whether it is more likely than not (preponderance of the evidence) that the respondent violated the Community
14. In cases where information is received before or during the hearing that indicates an additional violation of the
Community Standards may have occurred, the hearing officer or SCB chairperson will determine if it will be
addressed during the hearing or in a separate meeting.
15. The College reserves the right to assign responsibility for violations to one or more individuals or groups (room,
floor, suite, townhouse, residence hall, or residence area) in situations where it is difficult to accurately determine
degrees of responsibility; responsible parties cannot be identified; or a student, while not actively involved in the
incident, possesses knowledge of violation(s).
16. Upon request, the hearing officer who conducted the hearing or chairperson of the SCB will provide a written
summary of the conduct hearing, including a brief statement of the facts, decision as to whether the respondent is
responsible or not responsible for violating the Community Standards, sanction, if any, and the rationale for the
decision and sanction, if any.
17. The AVPSA/Dean of Students, or designee, may consider the sanction recommended by the SCB and may impose
sanctions other than those recommended by the hearing officer or SCB.
18. The respondent and complainant (if applicable) will be informed of the decision and sanction imposed, if any, of the
hearing officer or SCB within 3 business days following an administrative or SCB hearing. In the event of a delay, the
hearing officer or SCB chairperson will inform the parties.
19. When appropriate, parents/guardians, athletics, and other relevant staff may also be informed of the outcome of a
20. The order of Administrative and Student Conduct Board (SCB) hearings will generally proceed as follows:
- Review of hearing process and expectations.
- Opportunity for the respondent and complainant to challenge the hearing officer, the chairperson, or members of the SCB for bias.
- Reading of the alleged violations.
- Respondent’s plea.
- Opportunity for the respondent and the complainant to make an opening statement.
- Opportunity to review hearing documents.
- Witness statement(s).
- Opportunity for the respondent and complainant to make a closing statement.
- Discussion and decision-making in closed session.
21. The hearing officer, chairperson, or SCB members may ask questions of the respondent, complainant, or witnesses at
any time during a conduct hearing.
Rights of All Parties in Administrative and Student Conduct Board Hearings
1. A respondent and complainant will be entitled to:
- Receive written notice of charges.
- Obtain the name of the individual complainant (if applicable).
- View reports in the Office of Community Standards in the presence of a Student Affairs staff member during normal business hours or request a copy of a redacted police report or a redacted copy of a Student Affairs incident report.
- Be notified of the date, time, and place of the conduct hearing, as well as the names of the witnesses called to provide information.
- Receive notice of the fact that failure to appear for a conduct hearing may result in the hearing being conducted in the absence of the respondent or complainant.
- Provide the names of up to 4 witnesses with direct knowledge of the incident who may appear at a conduct hearing on their behalf to the AVPSA/Dean of Students, or designee, within 24 hours of the hearing. If the respondent and complainant wish to present more than 4 witnesses, they must submit a written request to the AVPSA/Dean of Students, or designee, indicating the names of the additional witnesses and why their testimony would be beneficial. The request must be submitted in writing to the AVPSA/Dean of Students, or designee, at least 24 hours prior to the formal conduct hearing. Character witnesses are not permitted.
- Be notified of the fact that they may request additional information about the Community Standards and Student Conduct Process.
- Challenge their hearing officer or the composition of the SCB for bias.
- Present their case, including questioning witnesses and respondent/complainant through the hearing officer or chairperson of the SCB.
- Request additional accommodations, including, but not limited to, the use of technology, if either student wishes to be in a different location.
- Decline to answer any questions or make any statements during a conduct hearing. Such silence will not be used against the respondent or complainant. However, the outcome of the conduct hearing will be based upon the information or lack thereof presented at the hearing.
- Be accompanied by an advisor of choice for the purpose of providing support and guidance. An advisor of choice may not directly address the hearing officers, student board members, witness, or otherwise actively participate in the hearing. The name of the advisor of choice must be submitted in writing to the AVPSA/Dean of Students, or designee, at least 24 hours prior to the conduct hearing.
- Be informed in writing of the decision and sanction, if any, within 3 business days of a conduct hearing. The victim of any violent crime or non-forcible sex offense will receive, in writing, the final results of any institutional student conduct proceedings conducted against a respondent. If the victim is deceased as a result of such crime or offense, the final results will be sent to the next of kin.
- Request an appeal of the decision in accordance with the appeal process outlined within this policy.
Student Conduct Board (SCB)
1. The SCB will be comprised of a group of members of the College community representing students, faculty, and/or
2. A quorum of 3 SCB members must be present to conduct a SCB hearing.
3. Any member of the SCB may be removed for non-fulfillment of duties essential to the position.
4. Student members of the SCB must be full-time students in good academic and disciplinary standing. If a student
member does not maintain good academic or disciplinary standing, they will be removed from the SCB for that
5. The term for each member of the SCB will be one academic year and may be reappointed at the discretion of the
AVPSA/Dean of Students or designee.
6. All decisions by the SCB will be arrived at by a simple majority vote. The chairperson will vote only in case of a tie.
7. Members of the SCB will be impartial. In the absence of a functioning SCB, such as before the appointment of
members or at the end of an academic year, the AVPSA/Dean of Students, or designee, may assemble a Board
comprised of students, staff, and/or faculty.
1. In determining a sanction, the AVPSA/Dean of Students, or designee, may consider the student’s present demeanor,
past student conduct record, the nature of the misconduct, and the severity of any damage, injury, or harm resulting
from the misconduct or other factors.
2. The College has a special concern for incidents in which persons are mistreated on the basis of race, gender, disability,
age, marital status, religion, color, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, or other legally protected status.
Such incidents negatively impact not only individuals, but also the free and open academic environment of the
College. More severe sanctions are appropriate for such misconduct.
3. Sanctions do not become effective until the appeal process is completed.
4. The AVPSA/Dean of Students, or designee, may impose the following sanctions upon any student found to have
violated the Community Standards.
- Warning: A notice that the student is violating or has violated College regulations, must cease the conduct immediately, and that continuation or repetition of wrongful conduct may be cause for more severe disciplinary action.
- Parental Notification: The College may notify parents/guardians when students have been found responsible for violating the College’s drug policy, when students under the age of 21 have been found responsible for violating the alcohol policy, when there is a serious health or safety issue regarding a student, or if a student’s residency or student status is in jeopardy.
- Loss of Privileges: Denial of specified privileges for a designated period of time.
- Restriction: Denial of access to any campus facility, activity, class, or program. This includes no-contact orders.
- Fines: Financial sanction.
- Restitution: Compensation for loss, damage, or injury. This may take the form of appropriate service or monetary or material replacement.
- Community Restitution Project: Assignment of an appropriate service project that will benefit the College community, responsible student, or others.
- Educational Program/Project: Required attendance at an educational workshop or completion of an educational project that will benefit the College community, responsible student, or others.
- Assessment: A student may be referred to Counseling Services, Health Services, or other appropriate office or local agency for consultation or assessment.
- Relocation of Residence: Required assignment to another residence area.
- Deferred Suspension from Residency: Warning that if the student is found responsible for violating the Community Standards during a specific period of time, the student may be immediately removed from the residence halls for a specific period of time after which the student may reapply for housing. Reapplication for housing does not guarantee immediate placement. Conditions for returning to the residence halls may be specified.
- Suspension from Residency: Separation of the student from the residence halls for a specific period of time, after which the student may reapply for housing. Reapplication for housing does not guarantee immediate placement. Conditions for returning to the residence halls may be specified.
- Residence Hall Dismissal: Permanent separation of the student from the residence halls.
- Deferred College Separation: A warning that if the student is found responsible for violating the Community Standards during a specific period of time, the student may be immediately separated from the College for a specific period of time after which the student may reapply. Conditions for readmission may be specified.
- College Separation: Students who have been separated from the College for a period of time must meet with the Associate Vice President for Student Affairs/Dean of Students or designee at least two weeks prior to the readmission deadline to review any outstanding sanctions and the readmission process. Students who have completed all assigned sanctions or made sufficient progress, as determined by the Associate Vice President for Student Affairs/Dean of Students or designee, may be conditionally approved to register for the following semester; however, students must then meet all stated requirements in order to return to the College and officially resume residency and/or coursework.
- Deferred College Dismissal: Warning that if the student is found responsible for violating the Community Standards during a specific period of time, the student may be immediately dismissed from the College.
- College Dismissal: Permanent separation of the student from the College.
- Revocation of Admission or Degree: Admission to the College or a degree awarded from the College may be revoked for fraud, misrepresentation, or another violation of the Community Standards in obtaining the degree or for other serious violations committed by a student after admission or prior to graduation.
- Withholding Degree: The College may withhold awarding a degree otherwise earned until the completion of the student conduct process set forth in the Student Conduct Process, including the completion of all sanctions imposed, if any.
- Student Organization Recognition in Jeopardy: A delayed removal of recognition as a recognized student organization. Any proven violation during a specific period of time may result in the student organization’s immediate loss of recognition for a specified period of time.
- Loss of Recognition: During a specific period of time, a recognized student organization may not associate itself with the College by using the College name, facilities, or other rights and privileges of recognized student organizations after which the group may reapply for recognition. There is no guarantee re- recognition will be granted. If re-recognition is granted, conditions for re- recognition may be specified. Other sanctions may be imposed instead of or in addition to those specified above. In addition to the above sanctions, student conduct that warrants action within the Student Conduct Process may result in forfeiture of all Stonehill scholarships, financial aid or monies paid.
5. More than one of the sanctions listed above may be imposed for any single violation.
6. A campus department, separate from the Student Conduct Process, may place a restriction on a student found
responsible for violating the Community Standards such as an inability to participate in the housing selection process,
restrictions for athletes, or the denial of study abroad, campus parking, or other privileges.
Sanctions for Student Violations
Sanctions have been developed to educate students and ensure an environment that supports the academic mission of the College. Some sanctions have been developed to respond to repeated violations during a student’s career. Sanctions listed are possible outcomes. In determining a sanction, the AVPSA/Dean of Students, or designee, may consider the student’s present demeanor, past student conduct record, the nature of the misconduct, and the severity of any damage, injury, or harm resulting from the misconduct as well as any other factor.
First Alcohol Violation in Career
Second Alcohol Violation in Career
Third Alcohol Violation in Career
Fourth Alcohol Violation in Career
Common Source Violation
Excessive Amount of Alcohol Violation
Use or Distribution of False Identification
Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol or Other Drugs
Purchasing or Distributing Alcoholic Beverages for Students or Guests Under the Age of 21
Violation of the College Drug Policy
Presence of Illegal Drugs
Use of Alcohol or Drugs to Render Another Person Emotionally or Physically Incapacitated as a Precursor to or Part of Sexual Misconduct
The College may impose additional sanctions as appropriate. A complete list of sanctions can be found within this policy.
Additional Fines and Holds
Failure to complete sanctions on time or disregarding College requirements may result in the College imposing an additional fine as well as placing a student conduct hold on a student’s account. This hold may impact a student’s ability to register or obtain certain academic records.
Sanctions for Student Organizations
The College’s response to student organizations found in violation of Community Standards will be determined based upon the nature of the incident.
1. Students who participate in their hearing may appeal the outcome of their case. Students who do not attend their
hearing forfeit the right to appeal.
2. Appeals are not intended to re-hear the case. Absent clear and material error, appeal determinations are intended to
be deferential to the original decision maker. Findings should be revised by the appeal officer only when remanding
for reconsideration or when granting a new hearing would be insufficient, impractical, or unnecessary.
3. A respondent or complainant may submit an appeal of an outcome resulting from an administrative or Student
Conduct Board hearing no later than 5 business days after receiving notice of the decision or sanction.
4. An appeal is to be submitted in writing to the AVPSA/Dean of Students, or designee. The SCB or another assigned
hearing officer may review an appeal of an outcome resulting from an administrative hearing with the AVPSA/Dean of
Students, or designee.
5. Appeals may be submitted based solely on the following criteria:
- Failure to follow the process or procedures outlined within this Policy, which resulted in significant prejudice such that it materially affected the outcome.
- New information that was not known at the time of the hearing that would have materially affected the outcome.
6. Appeals may not be submitted to request a review or modification of sanctions. Deviations from designated
procedures will not be the basis for sustaining an appeal unless significant prejudice results.
7. Appeals must clearly and succinctly outline and explain how the specific grounds described above have been met. If
appealing on a procedural error, the submission must state what the specific error was and how it materially affected
the outcome. If appealing on grounds of new information, the submission must include the new information and
explain the specific relevance and credibility of that new information and how it would have materially affected the
8. Upon receipt of an appeal, the AVPSA/Dean of Students, or designee, will evaluate the appeal, normally within 7
business days. The AVPSA/Dean of Students, or designee, may decide to refer the request to the Appeals Board for
9. The AVPSA/Dean of Students or designee, or Appeals Board may:
- Determine there are no grounds for the appeal, thus upholding the decision.
- Grant the appeal and take one of the following actions:
i. Remand the case to the hearing officer or SCB that originally heard the case for consideration of suggestions
ii. Grant a new hearing, or
iii. In rare circumstances in which it would be impractical, improper, or infeasible to remand the case or grant a
new hearing, modify the decision or sanctions.
10. The Appeals Board is comprised of the Vice President for Student Affairs, or designee, who serves as the chairperson,
a faculty or staff member, and a student (appointed by the SGA President) to consider an appeal from the hearing
decision as to whether a student has violated the Community Standards. Members of the Appeals Board will be
impartial. All members must be present for an appeal hearing, and all decisions will be made by a majority vote. In
the absence of a functioning Appeals Board, such as before the appointment of members or at the end of an
academic year, the AVPSA/Dean of Students, or designee, may assemble a Board comprised of students, staff, and/or
11. The respondent and complainant (if applicable) will be informed of the decision in writing.
12. Appellate decisions are final.
Accommodations for Student with Disabilities
1. By federal law, a person with a disability is any person who: 1) has a physical or mental impairment; 2) has record of
such impairment; or 3) is regarded as having such an impairment, which substantially limits one or more major life
activities such as self-care, walking, seeing, hearing, speaking, breathing or learning.
2. A student requesting an accommodation in regard to an informal conference or formal hearing must follow the
appropriate process for requesting an accommodation through the Office of Accessibility Resources. The Office of
Accessibility Resources will make a determination regarding the request and notify the appropriate parties.
3. Reasonable accommodations depend upon the nature and degree of severity of the documented disability. While the
Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 requires that priority consideration be given to the specific methods requested
by the student, it does not imply that a particular accommodation must be granted if it is deemed not reasonable and
other suitable techniques are available.
Student Conduct Records
1. Student conduct records are educational records and are maintained by the Office of Community Standards for seven
2. Student conduct records are not considered to be part of a student’s permanent academic record maintained by the
College with the exception of a violation of the Community Standards that results in a sanction of College Separation
or College Dismissal.
3. In situations involving both a respondent and a complainant, the records of the process and of the sanctions imposed,
if any, will be considered to be the educational records of both the respondent and the complainant because the
educational career and chances of success in the academic community of each may be impacted.
Bias Response Protocol
Stonehill College is committed to providing a learning, working, and living community free from hate, discrimination, harassment, and intolerance. We recognize that an environment in which bias, hate, and disrespect for persons in our community disrupt the institutional mission. The College, therefore, is determined to confront and discourage conduct and attitudes that exhibit bias and that harass or discriminate against any of our community members on the basis of race, gender, disability, age, marital status, religion, color, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, or other legally protected status.
A bias-related incident is an act motivated by the offender’s bias against the actual – or perceived – age, ancestry, color, disability, gender, gender identity, national origin, race, religion, religious practices, or sexual orientation of the targeted person or group, but does not rise to the level of a criminal offense. Examples many include telling jokes based on stereotypes; posting on social media about someone based on identity; using offensive language that may pertain to identity; and taking down or tampering with bulletin boards or displays. A bias incident can occur whether the act is intentional or unintentional. Speech or expression that is consistent with the principles of academic freedom does not constitute a bias incident.
The College has established a Bias Incident Response Protocol & Bias Education Response Team to respond to reports of bias within our community. The Team’s responsibilities include considering and recommending responses to reports of bias incidents, as well as serving an educational role in helping to cultivate community values of inclusion, civility, and mutual respect. Detailed information on the Bias Incident Response Protocol & Bias Education Response Team may be found on the College’s website.
Interpretation and Revision
1. Any question of interpretation or application of the Community Standards and Student Conduct Process will be
referred to the AVPSA/Dean of Students, or designee, for final determination.
2. The Community Standards and Student Conduct Process will be reviewed at least every 2 years under the direction of
the AVPSA/Dean of Students, or designee.