Student Conduct Policies and Procedures
Anna Maria Student Handbook
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The Anna Maria College Alcohol and Drug Policy is designed to promote mature, responsible behavior when alcohol is consumed and to eliminate illegal drug use and prescription drug abuse in order to protect the health of students and to encourage the respect of the rights of the College community. AMC values personal responsibility within its community. In that perspective, the College expects that students who consume alcoholic beverages will do so in accordance with existing laws and the policies of the College. Illegal drugs and/or the abuse or misuse of prescription medicines are not tolerated at AMC. This includes possession and/or use of drug paraphernalia.
The College knows that there may be instances where students’ choices regarding alcohol and/or drugs will result in medical emergencies. The safety and well-being of the student during the medical emergency are paramount. To encourage reporting of such emergencies, the Conduct Code Official may take such reporting into consideration when determining the sanctioning level for a possible infraction(s) of Conduct Code policy by the reporting party.
All policies and regulations regarding the consumption and/or sale of alcoholic beverages on the Anna Maria College campus and at AMC sponsored events shall be in strict conformity to the appropriate Massachusetts General Laws, Federal law, and the Town of Paxton bylaws, as well as College policy and expectations. The current law of Massachusetts pertaining to alcoholic beverages can be found in the Massachusetts General Law, Chapter 138, section 34, 34A, 34B, and 34C.
For the purpose of the Conduct Code, the following are the major policy points:
Alcohol and Drug Education
Abuse of and/or addiction to alcohol and other drugs have serious physical, mental, emotional, and social consequences. An overdose of alcohol or illicit drugs can cause psychosis, convulsions, coma, or death. Regular use of alcohol or drugs can lead to a real physical and/or psychological need for the substance so that daily activities come to revolve around getting more of the substance. The regular use of alcohol or drugs interferes with academic achievement and it often disrupts or destroys relationships because dependency leads to placing the need for alcohol or drugs above the need for relationships. Continued use of alcohol or drugs can be very expensive and may cause users to turn to crime to pay for their habit. Long-term abuse of alcohol or other drugs can lead to organic damage, mental illness, malnutrition, and death. As the result of long-term abuse of alcohol, the individual often gives up on goals and plans, quits growing as a person, and turns to more alcohol or drugs as a solution.
Abuse of and/or addiction to alcohol and other drugs occurs on all college campuses. Anna Maria College recognizes that this situation exists and is taking steps to address the problem on this campus. Anna Maria College has resources available to assist students who wish help around issues of alcohol and/or drug use. The Health and Counseling Center personnel are available to talk confidentially with students about concerns and can refer students to appropriate off-campus agencies for assistance if needed. If you have any questions about your own or someone else’s drug and/or alcohol use, please utilize these free, confidential services. The Health and Counseling Center office is located at the far end of Trinity East in the Trinity Annex.
Violations of State or Federal laws or town of Paxton by-laws can result in arrest, citation, and/or criminal prosecution by police. At AMC, violations of the Alcohol and Drug Policy will result at minimum in disciplinary action.
Each discipline situation is unique and will be heard upon its own merits. Sanctioning for violations is based upon the severity of the violation(s), the sanctioning used in the past for similar violation(s), the disciplinary history of the student including all prior offenses and current disciplinary status, and the impact of the violation(s) on the community. There are standards which are used when sanctions for violations are being considered.
The following are examples of the sanctions that may be given for the basic violation described. Understand that this is just a guideline for students so that they may see possible consequences for choices they might make. This list is not all inclusive nor is it to be taken as absolute; it is meant as a general guide only.
Violations Involving Alcohol
The span of time between first and second is not affected by the student turning 21, or, in other words, the record is not “cleaned” when the student turns 21.
Overview of Basic Disciplinary Probation (DP)
Generally minimum of 100 days, maximum of 150 days
Overview of Basic Behavior Contract (BC)
Generally minimum of 151 days – maximum two (2) calendar years (average being one (1) calendar year)
Violations involving drugs
There is a “zero tolerance” policy regarding all drug (marijuana included) violations. Drug violations can involve immediate suspension from the College and will always include a notification to the Paxton Police Department. Violations involving drugs will at a minimum result in a Behavior Contract and possibly being restricted to campus for classes only. In most cases, a second drug violation will result in suspension or expulsion from the College.
The purpose of sanctions is to deter and educate so that a positive educational community is established. At no time should the threat of a possible sanction deter an individual from seeking medical assistance for self or another. Although policy violations cannot be overlooked, the College will consider the positive impact of reporting an incident when determining the appropriate response for policy violations. The College may choose to mandate only an educational sanction for those individuals who report or seek assistance for self or others when the use of alcohol or drugs has created a threat to an individual’s safety.
Anna Maria College is subject to and follows the Drug-Free Schools and Communities Act Amendment of 1989. Under no circumstances will the possession, use, or sale of illegal drugs be tolerated at the College.
In Massachusetts, Chapter 369 “An Act for the Humanitarian Medical Use of Marijuana” allows for the controlled use of medical marijuana. Although students, staff, and faculty who legally obtain a medical marijuana “registration card” from the Massachusetts Department of Public Health are allowed to possess and consume certain quantities of marijuana, doing so is not permitted on AMC property or at AMC sponsored events. Marijuana is classified as a Schedule I drug according to the Controlled Substances Act. Thus, the use, possession, cultivation, or sale of marijuana violates federal policy. To be in compliance with the Drug-Free Communities and Schools Act, as well as other Federal laws, the College prohibits any form of marijuana use on campus, including “medical marijuana”.
Recognizing the nationwide problem of substance use/abuse, the College has implemented educational programming which attempts to prevent the use of illicit drugs and the abuse of alcohol by students. During Orientation and throughout the academic year, various campus groups sponsor films, speakers, theater groups, and workshops dealing with substance use/abuse. Students are encouraged to attend these educational programs which are open to all students at no charge.
The staff in the Health and Counseling Office is available free of charge to discuss substance use/abuse with students in a confidential setting. The Health and Counseling Office staff has access to off-campus resources if a referral is deemed appropriate. The Health and Counseling Office is located in the Trinity East Annex. The Director is Linda Aronson who may be reached at (508) 849-3315.
The entire Annual Security and Fire Safety Report is available here:
The Crime Awareness and Campus Security Act of 1990 was enacted by Congress in response to what they perceived to be crime risks on college campuses and the need for students, prospective students and employees to be aware of crimes on their campuses. It was hoped that with increased awareness, students and employees would be more responsible for their own security and that of others. The act was amended in 1992, 1998 and 2000. In 1998, the amendments renamed the law the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act in memory of a student, who was slain in her residence hall in 1986. The act is now generally referred to as the Clery Act. In 2008, the Higher Education Opportunity Act (HEOA) amended the Clery Act creating additional safety and security related requirements.
The Clery Act requires colleges to collect information and publish an annual report on campus crime statistics, fire statistics for on-campus student housing facilities, campus security policies and campus fire safety policies. This annual report must be distributed to all current students and employees and to prospective students or employees upon their request. This annual report is also sent to the U. S. Secretary of Education upon request. AMC publishes the Clery Report on its website annually and has copies available on request in the following offices: Human Resources, Public Safety, and Student Life. An email to all AMC students and employees is issued in the fall to notify them of the updated Clery Report’s availability and to urge them to read it. This overview and summary are NOT meant in any way to take the place of the full Campus Safety Report.
While Anna Maria College is a relatively “crime-free” campus, it will remain so only if all staff and students work together to ensure safety on campus. Anyone with information regarding a possible crime or other emergency situation that poses a threat to the Campus community should call Paxton Police at 911 or 508-494-9010 immediately! To provide the safest campus environment possible, the College requires that employees and students promptly report all emergencies and criminal activities. Prompt (within 24 hours of becoming aware of the situation or immediately if life-threatening) reporting is vital in maintaining a secure community. This is vital on either the Paxton Campus or all off-campus locations where classes are held.
While any member of the College community may assist another in the reporting of suspected criminal activity, the following are designated as persons on campus to whom to report suspected criminal activity:
Resource People for Reporting Suspected Criminal Activity and/or Possible Missing Student
Paxton Police Officer Officer on duty cell phone (508) 494-9010
Paxton Police Sgt. Savasta Paxton Police at AMC Office, Foundress Hall (508) 849-3230
Paxton Police Chief Desrosiers Public Safety Complex, Town of Paxton (508) 755-1104, x3131
Director of Human Resources, (Title IX Coordinator) Human Resources Office, Socquet House first floor (508) 849-3398
Vice President for Student Affairs, Andrew Klein (Deputy Title IX Coordinator) Trinity Hall East, Second Floor (508) 849-3313
Director of Residence Life, Jessica Eckstrom Bishop Flanagan Campus Center (508) 849-3271
Any Residence Life staff member, including RAs
If a person feels that an AMC student is missing, he/she should report the concern to Paxton Police directly or to any of the staff listed in the chart above. The designated person from the chart above to whom this information is reported shall contact Paxton Police, which will conduct an immediate investigation.
AMC students may complete the “missing student notification information” form with the Director of Residence Life, Flanagan Campus Center, to register the name and contact information of a contact person to be notified within 24 hours of the report being received by Paxton Police. If a student is reported missing and is under the age of eighteen and not an emancipated minor, his/her parent or guardian will be notified and law enforcement will be notified within 24 hours if it is determined that the student is missing.
When a situation arises that, in the judgment of the Paxton Police Sergeant in Charge or designee, constitutes a significant emergency or dangerous situation involving an immediate threat to the health or safety of students or staff occurring on the campus, there will be a campus-wide “timely warning” issued (unless the notification will compromise efforts to contain the emergency). In such emergencies, the campus uses a voice mail, text message and email messaging notification system which reaches all AMC community members who have provided their contact information and are signed on for Connect-Ed. This mass notification system is tested each semester. The community is reminded of the system and its functions prior to each test. Follow-up information is provided as needed on the AMC webpage and/or by regular email distribution method.
Also used to communicate in emergencies are another appropriate method(s) which can include any of the following: posting on the campus website, campus-wide email, voice mail and/or flyers placed in student and employee mailboxes. Notices may also be posted in visible locations in residence halls, the Bishop Flanagan Campus Center and key classroom locations. In some situations, door to door notification may be done.
All AMC community members are expected to heed all emergency warnings and to follow the instructions of Paxton Police and responding emergency personnel. Emergency response and evacuation procedures are currently being revised and will be posted on the AMC website when complete. The assessment and evaluation of the current emergency plan and capability are done through regularly scheduled drills, exercises, and appropriate follow-through activities. Residence hall evacuation procedures are posted in the residence halls and are drilled at least once each semester.
Anna Maria College (AMC) is committed to an inclusive living and learning community where differences are celebrated, each member of the campus is valued and where an atmosphere of civility and respect is a fundamental expectation. An informed awareness of the climate on campus is an essential part of Anna Maria College’s efforts to create a supportive academic, residential, and professional environment for our diverse population of students, faculty, and staff.
In order to provide a community consistent with the above statement, AMC provides policies and procedures through the following: the Student Code of Conduct, the College's Code of Ethics, and the Whistle Blower, Protected Class Harassment and Title IX Policies. This Hate Crime, Discrimination and Bias Incident Policy complements those policies and provides for the maintenance of an educational environment free from discrimination and bias. Anna Maria College prohibits discrimination and harassment based on an individual’s participation in a protected activity (such as reporting alleged discrimination or harassment). As with any reporting of policy violations, individuals who report incidents of discrimination or bias are protected by the Anna Maria College Retaliation Policy. All policies referenced in this section may be found at College Policies.
This policy is in place to protect the rights of all members of the College community including students, employees (including all part-time and full-time) as well as independent contractors, volunteers who perform work for the College and vendors, alumni, and guests or visitors of the College.
Anna Maria College values the right to free speech and the open exchange of ideas. Defining behavior that is not acceptable in a community which values freedom of expression is a complex task. It is important to note that not every act which may be offensive to an individual or group will be considered to be discriminatory conduct and/or a violation of institutional policy. Whether a specific incident constitutes harassment, bias, or discrimination proscribed by college policy will be decided on a case-by-case basis. Due consideration will be given to the protection of freedom of expression and academic freedom.
Anyone filing a complaint concerning hate crimes, discrimination, or bias incidents must be acting in good faith and have reasonable grounds for believing the information disclosed indicates a violation of Hate Crimes, Discrimination, and Bias Incident Policy. The College recognizes that false accusations can have serious effects on innocent persons. If, after an investigation has been completed, a student has accused another of bias or discriminatory behavior based on frivolous, reckless, or bad-faith complaints leading to a false accusation, the false report will be treated as an alleged violation of the Student Code of Conduct.
Bias Incidents are defined for the purpose of this policy as non-criminal activity committed against a person or property that is motivated, in whole or in part, by the offender’s bias against an individual or group because of the individual or group’s actual or perceived gender, gender identity/expression, race, color, religion or religious creed, sexual orientation, national origin, citizenship status, , physical or mental dis/ability, physical appearance (i.e., height/weight), medical condition, age, , marital status, military status or membership in any other protected class in the State of Massachusetts.
Examples of bias incidents may include, but are not limited to: offensive graffiti or images/drawing non-threatening, name calling and using degrading language or slurs directed toward a person because of his or her membership (or perceived membership) in a protected class, pejorative comments or stereotypes about a protected class of people. This includes, but is not limited to, occurrences when the incident coincides with a holiday or a date of particular significance relating to a race, religion, disability, sexual orientation, or nationality.
Bias incidents include creating hostile environments by use of discrimination and harassing behavior that is severe, persistent or pervasive to the point that it threatens an individual or limits the ability of the individual to work, study, or participate in College life.
Hate crimes are criminal offenses that accompany crime with an added element of bias towards a federally protected class of people.
Discrimination is an unfavorable, unfair or inequitable treatment of a person or a class of people based on membership in a protected class as defined above.
Harassment An act deemed to be a hate crime or bias-related incident may also be considered a violation of the College Protected Class Harassment Policy found at College Policies. Please see the policy for definitions, reporting and investigation procedures under that policy. Any act that is deemed to be a violation of both policies will be subject to a concurrent investigation and disciplinary action if so determined.
Any member of the College community who becomes aware of a hate crime or bias-related incident shall immediately report the information in accordance with the procedures outlined below. There is no time limit under which an incident may be reported, however, the longer between the incident and the report the more difficult it will be to reconstruct and investigate the charges.
The College will respond to all reports, including verbal reports, however, there is a preference to receive a written report for all allegations to ensure the accuracy of the reports.
The College has designated the following officers for investigating violations of policies:
Anyone who is a victim of, or is made aware of, a criminal activity is also encouraged to report it to Paxton Police/AMC Public Safety at (508) 494-9010, or if the incident is in progress, contact Paxton Police at 911.
If you are not sure you have experienced discrimination, a hate crime or bias-related incident and would like to discuss the incident, please contact one of the following staff members to discuss the incident:
Request for Anonymity
A student or employee may wish to make a report about a hate crime or bias-related incident but may want to keep his/her name from the report. Anonymous reports will result in an investigation of the alleged behavior by the College as the College is obligated by law to take action. If the complainant requests anonymity or asks that the complaint not be pursued, the College will take all reasonable steps to investigate and respond to the complaint consistent with the request for anonymity or request not to pursue the investigation, however, the College’s ability not to investigate as requested may be limited by its legal obligations. The Director of Human Resources and the Vice President for Student Affairs are jointly responsible for evaluating requests for anonymity and/or taking no action and weighing the request against the College’s legal responsibility to investigate and/or take action.
The College does not limit the timeframe for filing a report of hate crimes, discrimination, or bias-motivated incidents. Reports can be submitted at any time following an incident, although the College’s ability to take any action may be negatively affected by the length of time between the alleged incident and the report.
The College is obligated to investigate allegations of a violation of any College policy. For this reason, the College may be obligated to move forward with an investigation, even when a person makes a report without the intention of requesting an investigation.
The purpose of an investigation is to establish whether there is sufficient evidence to conclude that the alleged policy violation has indeed occurred. In conducting the investigation, the investigator may interview and/or obtain written statements from the complainant, the accused, and other persons believed to have pertinent factual knowledge. The investigation must afford the accused the opportunity to respond to the allegations.
Possible outcomes of the investigation are (a) a determination that the allegations are not warranted or cannot be substantiated; (b) a determination that a violation of the policy has not occurred but inappropriate actions/behaviors have occurred which may merit a disciplinary action; or (c) a determination that a violation of the policy occurred.
Investigations of any college employee will follow the guidelines as published in the Employee Handbook.
Investigations of any students will follow the guidelines as published in the Student Code of Conduct as found in the Student Handbook. Procedures, appeal processes and rights of the complainant and accused are included in that document.
Anna Maria College will not tolerate any acts of hazing. Hazing is a crime under Massachusetts law. Reports of hazing at AMC will be shared with Paxton Police. Students practicing hazing need to be aware that they may face legal action in addition to action by the College under its conduct system. Any AMC community member who witnesses hazing activities but who fails to report such observations to Paxton Police or the Dean of Student Conduct is subject to legal action under Massachusetts law and, if a student, disciplinary action under the College conduct system.
Hazing occurring on or off campus is a violation of the College’s conduct policy. Any individual, athletic team, or student group or organization found responsible for practicing hazing, in any form, is subject to disciplinary action and sanctions including suspension or expulsion from Anna Maria College and, in the case of a recognized student organization, loss of recognition.
An individual involved in an alleged violation of the Anna Maria College Policy against Hazing may not use any of the following as a defense:
Types of Hazing
All members of an athletic team or a club/organization should be treated with dignity and respect at all times. Hazing and Initiation activities breed mistrust, apathy, and alienation. If you have to ask whether an activity is hazing, then it probably is. Types of hazing include, but are not limited to, the following:
Any student subjected to hazing is strongly encouraged to report the hazing immediately to Paxton Police, (508) 494-9010. Confidential reports may be made to the AMC Health and Counseling Center during office hours, (508) 849-3315. Outside of office hours, students may access emergency medical assistance through the Paxton Police.
Any person with knowledge that another person may be the victim of hazing must by Massachusetts law immediately report such activity to Paxton Police at (508) 494-9010. Regardless of and separate from any possible legal action, any allegations of hazing at AMC will be investigated and adjudicated through the Vice President for Student Affairs Office.
Under Massachusetts General Laws, Chapter 269, Sections 17, 18, and 19, any form of "hazing" is considered to be a criminal offense punishable by a fine and/or imprisonment. Furthermore, persons who witness or have knowledge of hazing incidents and fail to report them are also subject to similar penalties.
Commonwealth of Massachusetts Year 1985
An Act Prohibiting the Practice of Hazing
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representative in General Court assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:
Chapter 269 of the General Laws is hereby amended by adding the following three sections:
Section 17. Definition; Penalty: Whoever is a principal organizer or participant in the crime of hazing as defined herein shall be punished by a fine of not more than three thousand dollars or by imprisonment in a house of correction for not more than one year, or both such fine and imprisonment. The term “hazing” as used in this section and in sections eighteen and nineteen, shall mean any conduct or method of initiation into any student organization, whether on the public or private property, which willfully or recklessly endangers the physical or emotional health of any student or another person. Such conduct shall include whipping, beating, branding, forced calisthenics, exposure to the weather, forced consumption of any food, liquor, beverage, drug or other substance, or any other brutal treatment or forced physical activity which is likely to adversely affect the physical health or safety of any such student or other person, or which subjects such student or other person to extreme emotional stress, including extended deprivation of sleep or rest or extended isolation.
Notwithstanding any other provisions of this section to the contrary, consent shall not be available as a defense to any prosecution under this act.
Section 18. Reporting Hazing Offenses; Penalty for Failure to Report Violation: Whoever knows that another person is the victim of hazing as defined in section seventeen and is at the scene of such crime shall, to the extent that such person can do so without danger or peril to himself or others, report such crime to an appropriate law enforcement official as soon as reasonably practicable. Whoever fails to report such crime shall be punished by a fine of not more than one thousand dollars.
Section 19. Notice to Schools and Colleges; Annual Reports; Adoption of Disciplinary Policy: Each institution of secondary education and each public and private institution of post-secondary education shall issue to every student group, student team or student organization which is part of such institution or is recognized by the institution or permitted by the institution to use its name or facilities or is known by the institution to exist as an unaffiliated student group, student team or student organization, a copy of this section and sections seventeen and eighteen; provided, however, that an institution’s compliance with this section’s requirements that an institution issue copies of this section and sections seventeen and eighteen to unaffiliated student groups, teams or organizations shall not constitute evidence of the institution’s recognition or endorsement of said unaffiliated student groups, teams or organizations.
Each such group, team, or organization shall distribute a copy of this section and sections seventeen and eighteen to each of its members, plebes, pledges or applicants for membership.
It shall be the duty of each such group, team or organization, acting through its designated officer, to deliver annually, to the institution an attested acknowledgment stating that such group, team or organization has received a copy of this section and said sections seventeen and eighteen, that each of its members, plebes, pledges or applicants has received a copy of sections seventeen and eighteen, and that such group, team or organization understands and agrees to comply with the provisions of this section and sections seventeen and eighteen.
Each institution of secondary education and each public or private institution of post-secondary education shall, at least annually, before or at the start of enrollment, deliver to each person who enrolls as a full-time student in such institution a copy of this section and sections seventeen and eighteen. Each institution of secondary education and each public or private institution of post-secondary education shall file, at least annually, a report with the regents of higher education and in the case of secondary institutions, the board of education, certifying that such institution has complied with its responsibilities to inform student groups, teams or organizations and to notify each full-time student enrolled by it of the provisions of this section and sections seventeen and eighteen and also certifying that said institution has adopted a disciplinary policy with regard to the organizers and participants of hazing, and that such policy has been set forth with appropriate emphasis in the student handbook or similar means of communicating the institution’s policies to its students. The board of regents and in the case of secondary institutions, the board of education shall promulgate regulations governing the content and frequency of such reports, and shall forthwith report to the attorney general any such institution that fails to make such report.
For further information: http://www.mass.gov/legis/laws/mgl/gl-269-toc.htm