Documentation Practices

In our ongoing efforts to provide clear information, this site outlines the general practices of Residence Life, Campus Safety, and Campus Life staff when documenting potential policy violations. These practices are guided by the following values and philosophies:

  • We strive to create an environment where all students feel like they are a valued part of our community and they belong.
  • We focus on behaviors that are high risk or are disruptive to other members of our community.
  • We strive to document and engage as consistently as possible with all members of our community.
  • We strive to be educationally and developmentally focused.
  • We focus on building trusting relationships.

For more information on the follow-up related to documentation for potential policy violations, please review the Code of Student Conduct and What to Expect in a Community Standards Judicial Officer Review.

What happens when I am documented for a potential policy violation?

  • When a staff member observes or is asked to respond to a potential policy violation, the staff member will ask for your student ID. Your ID may be photographed or the information may be written down.
  • The staff member will explain the nature of their concern and whether any other immediate steps must be taken, such as disposing of alcohol if you are under 21.
  • The staff member will then explain what will happen next. The next step is typically for the Office of Community Standards to review the report and determine whether further action is needed. All reports are stored in secure electronic databases with access limited to those staff who have responsibility for student welfare and wellbeing. 
  • Finally, the staff member will ask if you have any questions before departing.
  • Students may request a copy of any report in which they were documented by emailing Please be aware that a meeting may be required prior to the release of a report and that personally identifiable information of other students must be redacted because of federal privacy law.

What if I run or walk away or refuse to provide my student ID?

  • Students are required to identify themselves when asked to do so by a college official. Students are also required to follow the directions of college officials.
  • Staff members will not physically detain students unless there is an immediate concern for the safety of that student or another individual.
  • Staff will explain to the student that choosing to walk away or not provide your ID are violations of the Code of Student Conduct and may result in additional sanctions. For alcohol or marijuana violations, this may mean that the violation moves from a Level 1 to a Level 2 violation.
  • If the student still chooses to walk away or to not provide their ID, the staff member will document as much information as is available. This information will then be used to attempt to identify the student after the report is written. This may include checking electronic access records, checking Bates Faces, or using other information available to college staff. Please be aware that staff members will never target individuals based on past violations, actual or perceived.
  • Depending on the specific nature of the situation, the Office of Community Standards may investigate further in order to determine the identity of the student involved.

Alcohol Related Documentation

In alignment with other documentation practices, staff documentation of alcohol violations focuses primarily on high-risk, disruptive, and unsafe drinking behaviors. Students should expect to be required to engage in the conduct system if they are engaging in behaviors that meet the criteria for binge drinking behaviors.

Binge drinking is a pattern of drinking behaviors that result in rapid intoxication (Chaivin, 2012 & Herschel et al., 2012). Because of the requirements of state law, the campus ban-wide on hard alcohol, and other legal and policy concerns, binge drinking behaviors will always result in documentation by college staff.

Examples of violations that will be consistently documented include:

  • Possession of hard alcohol
  • Underage possession or use of alcohol
  • Use of a fake ID
  • Providing alcohol to someone under the age of 21
  • Operating a vehicle under the influence of alcohol
  • Use or possession of a keg except at a registered and approved event
  • Disruptive drinking behaviors in common spaces include and are not limited to: exceeding capacity, drinking games in common spaces, an abundance of alcohol in the space, excessive noise, and receiving complaints from other student community members.

Chauvin, C. D. (2012). Social norms and motivations associated with college binge drinking. Sociological Inquiry, 82(2), 257-281.

Herschl, L. C., McChargue, D. E., MacKillop, J., Stoltenberg, S. F., & Highland, K. B. (2012). Implicit and explicit alcohol-related motivations among college binge drinkers. Psychopharmacology, 221(4), 685-692.

Alcohol Related Documentation While Outside on Campus

  • It is illegal in the state of Maine to consume alcohol in a public place regardless of age. This includes the possession of an open container outside while on campus. To remain compliant with state laws, students will be documented when in possession of an open container outside, regardless of their age.

Safety Related Concerns

If college staff observe signs of acute intoxication, staff will engage Bates EMS under the medical amnesty policy to evaluate students for safety. Examples include slurred speech, inability to walk/unsteady gait, vomiting, unresponsive to verbal commands/conversations, etc.

Marijuana / Cannabis

Although marijuana is legal in Maine, it remains illegal at the federal level and is therefore not permitted at Bates.

  • Any possession or use of marijuana will be documented, whether indoors or outdoors
  • Medical – Any student possessing a medical marijuana card is permitted to possess and use marijuana on campus. However, all other campus policies, including fire safety policies prohibiting smoking indoors, must be adhered to. If a student with a medical card is approached by college staff concerning marijuana use, they should present their medical card to the staff member. If there are no other violations, the staff member will still ask for your ID to document the interaction, but there will be no further follow-up from Community Standards.
  • Please see the college’s Alcohol and Other Drug Policy for more information on sanctions related to marijuana violations.

Noise Complaints / Disorderly Conduct

  • Noise complaints in a student room
    • First complaint – A Residence Life Coordinator will respond to issue a warning. Unless there are other violations present, no IDs will be collected and no names will be documented. Visiting the room will be noted.
    • Second complaint – A Residence Life Coordinator will respond. If there is continued noise, IDs will be collected and individuals in the room will be documented at that time.
  • Noise complaints in a common space
    • First complaint – A Residence Life Coordinator will respond to issue a warning. Unless there are other violations present, no IDs will be collected and no names will be documented. Visiting the common area will be noted. If alcohol is present, please see the alcohol section above.
    • Second complaint – A Residence Life Coordinator will respond. If there is continued noise, IDs will be collected and the individuals present will be documented at that time.

Medical & Mental Health Concerns

Any situations involving medical or mental health concerns will be documented for information purposes and for help in connecting the student of concern to other campus services. Unless other potential violations are occurring that are outside the above policies, this will not be used for any student conduct related reason.

Additional Concerns

  • The following other potential violations will be consistently documented:
    • Physical assaults
    • Harassment
    • Sexual misconduct
    • Drugs other than alcohol or marijuana, including prescription drugs not prescribed to you
    • Damage to college property
    • Theft
    • Accessing areas of campus that are restricted
    • Possession of any weapon
    • Serious fire safety violations, such as tampering with fire equipment, pulling a fire alarm, or discharging a fire extinguisher
    • Public urination
    • Not following the directions of college officials
    • Knowingly providing false information to college officials