Community Standards FAQs
What is the purpose of the Student Discipline System?
Stonehill College has established the Community Standards and Student Discipline System to promote and maintain an academic environment that is consistent with the Mission of the College. These policies and procedures are intended to contribute to the moral, intellectual, spiritual and social growth of student members of the campus community.
How do I file a report?
Complaints can be reported to Campus Police, Residence Life Staff or to any member of Student Affairs. A copy of an incident report is available under the “Report an Incident” section of the website. In addition, a copy can be obtained through the Student Affairs Office or Residence Life. Any member of the Stonehill College community can submit a complaint.
What is a charge letter?
A charge letter is a written notice that a student is alleged to have violated the Community Standards. The letter will indicate the date, time and place that a student must attend a formal discipline hearing. It will be served at least 48 hours prior to the hearing.
What are my rights within the Student Discipline System?
Please refer to P. 128 of the Hill Book.
How do I find out about the details of a complaint?
A student can access the incident report at the Student Affairs Office and seek clarification of all the charges and procedures. A copy of a police report may be given to the student; however, other types of reports can be viewed in the Student Affairs Office in the presence of an administrator. If a student would like to obtain a copy of a Residence Life report, he/she may submit a request and will receive the report within a short period of time or he/she may request that it be mailed to them. Please note that all names (other than the student requesting the report) will be blocked out to protect the privacy and confidentiality of other individuals.
What if I was not aware of the particular policy I am being charged for?
Every student is responsible for knowing the rules as outlined in the Community Standards and Student Discipline System. Therefore, it is important to ask questions if unsure of the policies. If a student is wondering whether something is permitted, ask for clarification from an RA, the Residence Life or Student Life staff, or consult the Community Standards document.
Can I be held accountable for my behavior off campus?
Yes. The Community Standards and Student Discipline System applies to off-campus conduct that adversely affects the College community or the pursuit of its objectives or calls into question the suitability of a student as a member of Stonehill College Community.
What is an informal conference?
An informal conference is a meeting of a student alleged to have violated the Community Standards, an administrator, and the complainant/person who believes he/she was the victim of a student’s misconduct. The purpose of an informal conference is to achieve resolution and have all parties agree to the outcome. If an agreement is reached, the case will end with no opportunity for appeal. If no agreement is reached, the case will be dismissed or referred for a formal discipline hearing.
What is a hearing?
A hearing is a process to determine the involvement of the parties in the violation of the Community Standards. Please refer to pages 125-127 of the Hill Book for specific information regarding the formal administrative, College Discipline Committee (CDC) and Residence Area Discipline Committee (RADC) hearing process
What should I do to prepare for an informal conference or a hearing?
- Familiarize yourself with the Community Standards and College Policies
- Make arrangements to be there on time
- Learn the details of the compliant
- Submit your list of witnesses a day before the hearing to the hearing officer
- Contact an Advocate from the Stonehill Community
- Write down (if possible) opening and concluding statements
- Dress appropriately by avoiding overly casual attire (e.g., hats, sandals, torn clothing, etc.)
Who are the hearing officers?
Hearing officers are administrators within Student Affairs. These individuals are specially trained on the hearing process and have a good working knowledge of College policies. Faculty members and students also serve as committee members on hearing boards. All committee members are carefully appointed and trained by the Student Affairs Office.
How many witnesses can I bring?
One can bring up to 4 witnesses to a formal discipline hearing who have knowledge of the incident. The names of the witnesses should be submitted to the hearing officer within 24 hours of the hearing. Character witnesses are not permitted.
Can legal counsel represent me during the hearing process?
A legal counsel cannot represent you at a hearing, but you may choose an advocate to accompany you to the hearing. The advocate can be any member of the Stonehill community who is not an attorney. An advocate may not participate in the hearing directly, yet can confer with their advisee during the process.
What happens if I cannot attend the hearing?
If you cannot attend the hearing due to an unavoidable circumstance then you should immediately contact the hearing officer or the Associate Vice President for Student Affairs. Efforts may be made to reschedule the hearing; however, it is not always possible or likely that this will occur. Therefore, you should be aware that a hearing could proceed in your absence.
What will happen if I am found responsible for violating College policy?
When a student is found responsible for violating College policy, he/she will be assigned sanctions that he/she will be required to complete. The types of sanctions will depend upon the seriousness of the violation and the student’s previous disciplinary history.
When and how can I appeal a decision?
Please refer to page 128 of the Hill Book for specific information concerning the Appeals Process.
Will my parents/guardian be notified of an incident?
Your parents/guardian will be notified of an incident in the following cases:
- If you are under 21 and you are found responsible for an alcohol or other drug violation
- If you are found responsible for a violation and your sanction indicates that your residency status or student status at the College may be in jeopardy
- If you are involved in a health or safety emergency or are experiencing a psychological or life-threatening medical emergency
- Or at any time the College decides it would be in the best interest of the student, the community, or the College to do so.
What goes on my record if I am found responsible for violating College policy and how might that impact me in the future?
Records of all disciplinary proceedings involving students are maintained in the Student Affairs Office for seven years after graduation. No record of your discipline history appears on your academic transcript, unless you are suspended or permanently dismissed from the College. Repeated violations of the Community Standards may affect your active participation in some college activities, including leadership opportunities and study abroad.
What happens if I do not complete my sanctions?
If a student does not complete his/her sanctions by the designated date, a fine will be added to the student’s account. In addition, an administrative hold will be placed on the student’s record, which will prohibit the student from registering for classes until the sanctions are complete.