Three Strike Policy

At Bates, we care deeply about the academic success and personal well-being of our students. There is extensive research that illustrates how substance abuse on college campuses impedes student success and negatively affects the broader campus community, specifically impacting academic performance, social relationships, risk taking behaviors, and health. For these reasons, we take substance abuse seriously.

To address alcohol and marijuana use and abuse in a clear and consistent manner, we have adopted a Three Strike Policy. This policy acknowledges that there are some behaviors that are inherently more problematic or risky for our students. For example, we have a hard alcohol ban since the abuse of hard alcohol leads to extreme intoxication, resulting in transports to the hospital for alcohol poisoning, injury to self and others, and in the most extreme cases, alcohol-related death.  A strike will be issued when students on campus are consuming or in possession of hard alcohol. Similarly, it is considered more serious when an alcohol violation is combined with another violation (such as disorderly conduct, dorm damage, or not complying with the directions of an employee of the College). In cases such as these and other more serious violations, a strike will be issued. Warnings may be issued for some minor alcohol violations in lieu of a strike. Mirroring our hard alcohol policy, strikes are also issued for the possession and use of marijuana.

Incidents involving the distribution of marijuana or involving illegal drugs other than marijuana are handled outside of the strike system and typically result in a referral to the Student Conduct Committee. These referrals to the Student Conduct Committee can result in suspension or expulsion and may include police involvement.

Strikes are not removed annually and strikes received remain with students throughout their tenure at Bates College. For incidents where other violations are involved or where the conduct is particularly egregious, sanctions in addition to the ones listed below may be required. The incident may also be referred directly to the Student Conduct Committee where sanctions of suspension and expulsion are considered.

Incidents not involving alcohol or illegal drugs are not considered part of the Three Strike Policy, but they may be considered when determining the outcome of a strike violation. Similarly, strikes may be considered when determining the outcome of cases not involving alcohol or illegal drugs.

First Strike

A first strike will most likely result in a meeting with a member of the Student Affairs staff. A warning will be issued and a written copy of the warning will be sent to the student. A copy will also be placed in the individual student’s file. If needed, the student may be referred to Counseling and Psychological Services for additional support related to the violation.

Second Strike

A second strike will result in a meeting with a member of the Student Affairs staff. The student will be required to complete community restitution hours, an education sanction may be issued, and a $50 fine is assessed. If needed, the student may be referred to Counseling and Psychological Services for additional support related to the violation. A copy of the outcome letter will be sent to the student, a copy will be placed in the student’s file, and a copy will be sent home to the student’s parent(s)/guardian(s).

At the meeting with the staff member, the student will be notified that an additional violation of the College’s alcohol and drug policy will result in a third strike which will result in a referral to the Student Conduct Committee where a one semester suspension is the likely outcome.

Third Strike

A third strike will result in a referral to the Student Conduct Committee for adjudication where the likely outcome will be a one semester suspension from Bates College.

Medical Amnesty

In situations where a student has contacted Security or Bates EMS for medical treatment either for themselves or for a fellow student, neither the student calling nor the student receiving medical attention will receive a strike through the student conduct system. Students transported to the hospital in association with the consumption of alcohol or marijuana will have a conversation with the college’s alcohol, tobacco and other drug counselor, and a letter will be sent home to their parents. If a student is transported to the hospital more than once, college staff will explore whether a medical leave is appropriate.

Situations involving a transport to the hospital as a result of illegal drugs other than marijuana or involving other non-strike violations (such as assault, disorderly conduct, etc.) fall outside the scope of the medical amnesty policy and may be handled through the student conduct system.