Factors relevant to sanctioning include, but are not limited to, the nature of the offense, the Respondent’s intent, acceptance of responsibility, remorse and forthrightness, the Respondent’s past disciplinary record, precedent of prior Judicial Board and administrative sanctions, and the severity of any damage, injury, or harm resulting from the offense. Sanctioning attempts to balance consistency across similar cases while acknowledging the specific circumstances of each case.
In all College disciplinary actions, sanctions may be imposed that are deemed appropriate and well-suited to the circumstances presented. Although this list is not meant to be exhaustive, the following are some potential sanctions and the characteristics attributed to them.
Bowdoin maintains record of a student’s disciplinary history, in most cases, for six years after graduation or permanent separation (resignation, permanent dismissal, matriculation at another institution, etc.). For the full schedule of record retention, please visit this link. For information on how the Office of the Dean of Students reports disciplinary action, please see Policy for Reporting Disciplinary Matters.
Sanctions for Minor Violations of College Policy: The following outcomes may apply to minor violations of College policy:
- Warning: An informal warning may be issued when a student has violated College policy. A warning is intended to help educate and make a student aware of community standards and College policies, and the need to adhere to them.
A warning is considered informal College discipline and is generally not reported as part of a student’s disciplinary record. However, warnings are considered in determining future disciplinary outcomes and may serve to make further violations of College regulations more serious.
- Reprimand: Depending on the circumstances, students who violate College policy and community standards may receive an official written Reprimand from the College.
A reprimand with or without notifications (see below) is considered informal College discipline and is generally not reported as part of a student’s disciplinary record. However, previous rreprimand(s) will be called to the attention of a Hearing Officer or Judicial Board Panel in the event of any future violations of the Code of Community Standards. Reprimands may serve to make further violations of College regulations more serious.
- Reprimand with Notifications: When appropriate, parents or guardians may be informed when students are reprimanded. A student’s athletic coach or director of student activities may also be notified of the violation resulting in a reprimand. The Reprimand will specify whether it is with or without parental notification. When applicable, a student’s athletic coach may also be notified of the violation resulting in a Reprimand.
Sanctions for Serious, Repeated, or Major Violations of College Policy:
- Probation: Students may be placed on probation for a period of time when either the nature or number (three or more) of their College policy violation(s) is sufficiently concerning. While on Probation, students are not permitted to study away.
Probation is a change of status and will be reflected on a student’s permanent record. Depending on the circumstances and nature of the violation, students may lose certain College privileges while on Probation, including but not limited to:
i. the ability to live on-campus, including temporary or summer housing;
ii. permission to live off-campus;
iii. certain on-campus jobs;
iv. on-campus car or parking privileges; or
v. Participation in student leadership (e.g., Bowdoin Student Government, organization leadership, or campus departments leadership); etc.
The Office of the Dean of Students will notify students’ parents or guardians of the status change and, when appropriate, academic advisor(s), the director of student activities, and coach will also be notified.
Students who commit further violations of College policy while on Probation will either have their Probation extended or will be referred to the Judicial Board, which could result in suspension or dismissal. Typically, a student may not be placed on Probation, or have a period of Probation extended, more than three times before they are referred to the Judicial Board and/or an Administrative Hearing.
- Suspension: For some serious violations, a student may be separated from the College for a specified period of time with minimum conditions to be eligible for consideration for re-enrollment.
The Office of the Dean of Students will notify students’ parents or guardians, and academic advisor(s), and coach (when applicable) of any violation resulting in Suspension. When students are suspended, they are required to be away from campus and lose privileges; after the designated period, students may apply for re-enrollment to Bowdoin, which is not guaranteed.
Suspended students, unless otherwise authorized by the Dean of Students, must leave the campus and may not occupy or visit College facilities or properties. In addition, suspended students are forbidden to participate in Bowdoin-sponsored activities or represent the College in any manner or forum during their suspension. Suspended students may not transfer academic credit to Bowdoin for coursework taken during Suspension, unless permission is granted by the Dean of Students. Except in cases of immediate suspension, a term of suspension will typically begin on the last day of the academic term for the semester in which it is given.
- Permanent Dismissal: For the most serious of violations, or for major misconduct following a prior suspension, a student may be separated from the College with no opportunity for future readmission. The Office of the Dean of Students will notify students’ parents or guardians, academic advisor(s), and coach (when applicable) of any violation resulting in Permanent Dismissal.
Additional Sanctions: Depending on the nature and circumstances of the violations, additional sanctions may be assessed in combination with any other sanctions described herein. These include, but are not limited to:
- Community Service. Community service as a sanction allows a student to positively impact the College community and work toward repairing harm, as well as providing a student the opportunity to develop and foster a positive relationship with other members of the campus or Brunswick communities. Unless otherwise specified by the outcome letter, the student may choose for themselves the nature of the community service project. Students may not volunteer for programs, projects, or non-profits owned or run by family members, except with advance written permission from the Dean of Students.
A student may work with their dean, the McKeen Center for Common Good, athletic teams, or other student groups to identify an appropriate project and fulfill their obligations. However, ultimately, it is the student’s responsibility to finalize the project and complete the community service hours within the timeframe specified by the outcome letter. Failure to complete the community service may result in additional disciplinary action including, but not limited to, referral to the Judicial Board.
To confirm completion of community service, the student must fill-out and submit the community service form to their dean by or before the assigned deadline. The form must specify the project served, the number of hours completed, which may be more than assigned but not less, and the form be signed by the organization’s volunteer supervisor (or equivalent). The supervisor may not be a student’s parent, guardian, or sibling.
- Educational or Evaluative Conversations: Depending on the nature and context of a policy violation, a student may be required to participate in an educational conversation, such as BASES, or an evaluative conversation with a licensed substance abuse counselor. Failure to complete this sanction may result in additional disciplinary action.
- Mediation: In addition to being educational in nature, mediations will seek to: (1) acknowledge harmful behavior or conduct and establish accountability; (2) seek ways to repair the harm as much as possible; and (3) create an agreed upon plan for the future to prevent repeated violation. Mediation will result in a written resolution that outline clear steps individuals must take in order to address the conduct or repair the harm (g., educational component, apology letter, community service, etc). The agreement becomes part of the student record as a disciplinary outcome. Failure to honor the agreement could result in additional sanctions or referral to the Judicial Board for adjudication.
- Academic Outcomes: Range of various penalties such as grading penalties, course failures, revisions of assignments.
- Fines: Although the College does not assess monetary fines as punitive measures, some departments on campus may charge a student for the fee associated with costs assessed to the College as a result of the student’s conduct; for example, failure to evacuate during a fire alarm or the malicious discharge of a fire extinguisher. (Please refer to Bowdoin College Facilities Management policies for more information.)
- Restitution: Students who damage to College property will be required to make restitution commensurate with the cost of replacing or repairing property damage, destroyed, or taken. Restitution may also be assessed in the case of theft or misappropriation.
- Other Sanctions: These may include, but are not limited to, written apologies, counseling, loss of College privileges (g., participation in athletics, Study Away, or Senior Week activities; the ability to have a car on campus; etc.), reassignment of housing, removal from the residence halls without a refund; continuation of a No Contact Order; or other sanctions or resolutions that reflect the circumstances of the case.
B. Temporary Measures
- Immediate Temporary Suspension: If the Dean for Student Affairs believes that the continued presence of a student is contrary to the best interests of the campus environment, or if the suspected behavior of a student seriously jeopardizes the safety and/or welfare of the campus environment, the Dean may immediately suspend the student from the College pending a formal disciplinary hearing. A student under temporary suspension must vacate College premises and leave campus immediately upon notification by the Dean. Depending upon circumstances, the Dean may adjust specifics of the temporary suspension.
- No Contact Order: If the Dean of Students comes to have information regarding a conflict or issue between or among members of the Bowdoin community, the Dean may immediately issue a No Contact Order (“NCO”) issued by the College to direct individuals to refrain from communicating with each other in person, by telephone, or by e-mail or other electronic means, as well as by trying to communicate through a third-party. It is the policy of the College to make all NCO reciprocal.
In appropriate circumstances, an NCO will be put in place at the request of a student but may also be put in place at the discretion of the Dean and without regard to the preference of the student.
An NCO should not be interpreted as a finding of any violation of College policy, and is not a sanction; however, the imposition of a NCO does not preclude disciplinary charges from being raised as a result of any past interactions, and a violation of an NCO by either party can result in disciplinary action. NCOs remain in place until they are expressly removed by the Dean.
The Department of Safety and Security and the Office of Residential Life are informed about NCOs in place.