Whenever a student is found to have acted in a manner contrary to the College rules and regulations, that student can expect some form of official disciplinary action will be taken against them by the College. The goal in selecting an appropriate sanction in every discipline case is to provide the student with an educational experience and to balance the perceived needs of the individual student with those of the entire community. Therefore, the type of action taken in any particular case will depend on several factors, including the degree of seriousness of the violations, the violator's awareness about the problems caused by violator's behavior, and the violator's degree of maturity and apparent ability and readiness to learn more positive behaviors as a result of having participated in the College conduct process.
The following disciplinary sanctions represent a range of actions starting with the less serious and ending with the most severe. Any hearing agent, such as the College Judicial Board, or a representative of the Student Affairs Office, upon finding a violation of College policy occurred, may apply any one of these sanctions or a combination of these, in an effort to effectively respond to the situation of the case before them. The sanctions are considered in order of severity. Discipline is also progressive so a student who is already on "College Probation" and is found to have violated another College policy can expect to receive a more severe sanction such as "Disciplinary Probation" and so forth on through "Dismissal from the College." The actions, which may be taken in disciplinary cases, are:
- Case Dismissed - An action which closes a case for any one of the following reasons: a) not responsible finding is reached by the hearing body/officer, or b) there is a lack of sufficient information and/or evidence.
- Reprimand - Written notification from a hearing body/officer to a student containing an official reprimand and indicating that repetition of infractions of College regulations will most likely result in more severe disciplinary action.
- College Probation - A probationary status imposed for a specified time period, not to exceed one calendar year during which a student is expected to show a positive change in behavior. In addition, conditions and restrictions appropriate to the offense may be imposed. Any further violation of the probation will be basis for more severe disciplinary action.
- Disciplinary Probation - A restrictive probationary status imposed for a specific time period, not to exceed eighteen months, during which a student is most likely to be prohibited from representing the College, or running for/holding office, in any extracurricular activities such as councils, intercollegiate athletic teams, intramural programs, clubs or organizations (including SGA), theater, publications, band, etc. Additional conditions or restrictions may be imposed. Students found responsible of any further infraction of College regulations during the probation, or who violate the conditions or restrictions of the probation will be subject to further action.
- Suspension from College - Suspension status excludes a student from classes and from all privileges and activities of the College for a definite period of time, not to exceed one calendar year. This action may be deferred to become effective after a certain date. During the period of suspension, a student is not permitted to be on the College property or use the facilities or equipment without the expressed permission of the Student Affairs Division Office. If the conditions of the suspension are violated, he/she will be subjected to further disciplinary action.
- Dismissal from the College - A decision to dismiss a student means the student's status at MCLA is terminated for an indefinite period of time. During the period when the student is dismissed he/she is excluded from classes and from all privileges and activities of the College. During a period of dismissal, a student is not permitted on College property without the expressed permission of the Student Affairs Division Office. If a dismissed student violates any College regulation during the dismissal period or the conditions of dismissal, he/she shall be subject to further action. A sanction of dismissal must be reviewed and approved by the College President before it becomes effective. Any recommended dates or conditions of readmission must be similarly approved. Readmission to the College must be approved by the President.
Conditions - A Hearing Agent may attach conditions to any disciplinary action, including but not limited to the following:
- Restitution - Reimbursement by the student to the College or an individual through payment of money or performance of an appropriate work requirement because of damage or loss to the College or personal property or misappropriation of same.
- Fines, Fees and Service Charges - Penalty fees payable to the College of no less than $5 and no greater than $100 depending upon the degree of the infraction (except when a larger fine is imposed on the College by an outside agency as the result of an individual's actions). Failure to pay fines or service charges within the time specified by the hearing body will result in the imposition of more severe disciplinary action. The money collected by fines will be deposited in a fund to support educational programming and/or scholarships.
- Special Assignments - A work project or special assignment imposed by a hearing agent either as an alternative to another sanction or as a condition of a particular sanction. An effort will be made to select an assignment, which is appropriate to the offense and does not degrade the individual or inhibit student's academic progress or health. Special assignments may include, but are not limited to, community work hours, written reports, participation in extracurricular programs, counseling or educational groups, and work in a specific Campus office, building or area. Failure to complete a special assignment by the date set by the hearing agent will result in the imposition of more severe sanctions and/or release of enrollment.
- Restriction or Revocation of Privileges ‑ Temporary or permanent loss of privileges as an alternative to another sanction or as a condition of a particular sanction. Such action includes but is not limited to use of a specific College facility, residence area visitation privileges, access to computing network, Campus motor vehicle parking and/or operating privileges, and other special privileges. The hearing officer or body must specify the date after which the student may regain these privileges and/or what conditions the student must meet to be eligible to regain these privileges.
- Referral to a Targeted Educational Intervention - The designated hearing officer or body may refer a student to education intervention programs, on or off Campus. The purpose of this referral will be to offer the student an opportunity to understand and address aspects of personal decision-making (e.g., alcohol and substance use) and/or behavior (e.g., expression of anger, hostile behavior).
- Parent/Guardian Contact - Students will arrange a contact or conference with their parents or guardians and a designated staff member by a specific date and in a specific manner.
- Residence Area Separation - Separation may be permanent or for a specific period of time and separation prohibits access to any campus residence area and surrounding patio, walkways or outdoor areas. Visitation is not permitted unless approved in writing by the Student Affairs Division Office.
- Withdrawal of Recognition/Dissolution - Student groups may be disbanded and College recognition withdrawn for a specific time period or permanently. Further, disciplinary action taken against a student group leader(s) may result in the organization receiving sanctions involving loss of recognition and/or privileges.
NOTE: One part of the College's compliance with the 1989 Drug Free School and Campuses Regulations (Drug‑Free Schools and Communities Act, Public Law 101‑226) and the policies of the Massachusetts Department of Higher Education is to set alcohol and illegal drug conduct code standards. In response to findings of code violations, the College will typically apply a minimum mandatory sanction. In general, the below listed sanctions and disciplinary conditions are employed. As minimum and mandatory these sanctions are aimed to provide an opportunity to examine one's choices in light of complying with College standards as well as the Federal and State mandates and serve as a deterrent to future violations.
The first alcohol violation typically results in General Probation I and/or College Probation, and participation in an alcohol education web based program. Community work hours may be assigned. Non-resident students may be banned from residence areas. A fee is required as part of this sanction.
A second alcohol violation typically results in General Probation II and/or Disciplinary Probation, parental contact and a referral for an individual educational intervention. Community service may be assigned. Non-resident students may be banned from residence areas. A fee is required as part of this sanction.
A third alcohol violation following successive discipline would typically result in College suspension or dismissal.
Acts of vandalism, physically abusive behavior towards self and/or others, disruption, possession of a keg, damage and other behaviors of the sort, elevate the degree of seriousness of an incident and, therefore, warrant additional disciplinary action as appropriate.