- What if I was involved in an incident that was addressed and documented by staff in Residence Life and Housing and/or Public Safety personnel? What happens next?
- How long does the College maintain disciplinary records?
- What if I am applying to another college or university as a prospective transfer or graduate student? What about job applications? What does the College report to third parties?
- What is the most common violation of the College's Community Standards? Does the College provide guidance on how parents and students discuss alcohol?
- What role may parents and/or attorneys play in the Community Standards process?
- What happens if a student is alleged to have violated the College's Community Standards? Are parents notified?
- What is the significance of College probation. What does that mean?
What if I was involved in an incident that was addressed and documented by staff from Residence Life and Housing and/or Public Safety personnel? What happens next?
Reports alleging student misconduct are forwarded to the Office of Student Integrity and Community Standards for review. Students who respond to one or more allegations (i.e. respondents) receive written notification of the alleged misconduct including details such as the incident date, time and location. Any relevant administrative charges (i.e specific Community Standards that may have been violated) are also included in this correspondence. These administrative meetings provide an opportunity for the student to be heard and share their version of events. All involved students (respondents, complainants and/or witnesses) are strongly encouraged to participate upon request. Once all available information is collected, determinations related to responsibility and/or any appropriate sanctioning are made.
A student's disciplinary record is maintained until the student successfully completes their degree requirements. Exceptions include cases that are pending or open when the student leaves the college, or in situations where a student is suspended or expelled. Under these exceptions, records are maintained for a period of seven years following the student’s original expected graduation date. Should a student return to the College after serving a suspension to complete their degree requirements, the seven-year period will follow their actual graduation date.
What if I am applying to another college or university as a prospective transfer or graduate student? What does the College report to third parties?
The College requires any current or former student to complete a privacy waiver before any educational record (which includes disciplinary records maintained by this office) is shared with any external third party, such as a prospective employer or other institution of higher education. Since many third-party requests include a broad inquiry about student disciplinary history, the College's practice is to report the following information in response to such broad inquiries: Violations that resulted in a period of College Probation will be reported until the student completes their degree requirements, regardless of whether or not the probationary status is still active. In cases where a student seperates from the College voluntarily or due to other non-behavioral circumstances (e.g. academic dismissal) and does not complete their degree requirements, College Probation will be reported through the end of the semester within which the separation occurred. Records of College Suspension and College Expulsion are also reported, so long as the record is maintained by the College in accordance with the respective time periods noted above.
If a current or former student provides the College with a completed privacy waiver that accompanies a very specific inquiry from a third party, such as a government agency (e.g. the government agency is conducting a very thorough background check and wants all of the student's disciplinary history), the College will comply with the specific nature of these more clearly articulated inquires and provide the information requested. Current and former students are encouraged to be honest in their respective application processes. This office will not provide any guidance or specific language, as it relates to any question or statement that is specifically directed at the current or former student themselves.
What is the most common violation of the College's Community Standards? Does the College provide guidance on how parents and students discuss alcohol?
Violations of the College's Alcohol and Drug Policy occur most frequently. Alcohol is also a contributing factor in the occurrence of many other violations. The Colleges of the Worcester Consortium have developed an informational guide for parents on this issue, titled Alcohol on Campus: A Message to Parents.
Neither parents nor attorneys have any role in this administrative process and may not be present at any student meeting while a disciplinary matter is pending. However, students are permitted to have a support person serve in the capacity of an advisor while they navigate the Community Standards process. If a parent has a question or concern related to a procedural matter, they may contact the Community Standards Administrator assigned to their student's case and/or the Director of Student Integrity and Community Standards. Any individual acting in the capacity of an attorney should direct any/all questions or concerns to the Holy Cross Office of the General Counsel at 508-793-3759.
What happens if a student is alleged to have violated the College's Community Standards? Are parents notified?
As a general practice, if a student is responding to an alleged violation, they are directed to discuss these circumstances with their parent(s) and/or legal guardian(s). The College will notify parents and/or legal guardians in cases where a decision to suspend or expel a student has been made. If a student under the age of twenty-one is found in violation of the College's Alcohol and Drug policy, the College will mail a letter to the student's parent(s) and/or legal guardian(s) informing them of the violation.
A current or previous record of College Probation may adversely impact a student’s ability to participate in various College-sponsored activities, events and/or educational programs. This may include, but is not limited to, an inability to serve as a resident assistant, student government officer, orientation leader, judicial board member, or some other leadership role. The Office of Student Integrity and Community Standards makes no decision regarding a student's on-campus employment but will provide disciplinary records to other departments should they request such records for the purpose of their own search, selection and/or hiring processes. A current or previous record of College Probation may also preclude a student from participating in a study abroad program, regardless of where the student is in the application and/or approval process. Please note that any final decision regarding a student's participation in a study abroad program is made by the Study Abroad office.