Policy on Reporting Student Disciplinary Matters

Certain outside agencies, potential employers, and graduate and professional programs require applicants to permit their undergraduate institution to release the contents of student disciplinary records. Under the Bates College Code of Student Conduct, certain violations are considered “reportable” and would be eligible to be disclosed. Other violations would not be eligible to be disclosed. This document will clarify what is considered “reportable” by Bates College and when the student may be required to self-disclose certain violations, even if the college may be unable to verify the conduct.

The Code of Student Conduct draws a distinction between minor and major cases of student misconduct. Minor cases of misconduct are those that have been adjudicated through a process other than the Student Conduct Committee or have resulted in a penalty other than probation, suspension or expulsion. Minor cases of misconduct are never considered “reportable” and would not be disclosed by Bates College to those seeking access to a student’s disciplinary file.

Major cases of misconduct are those that have been heard by the Student Conduct Committee or in which a penalty of probation, suspension, or expulsion has been imposed. Cases in which probation or suspension is the outcome are considered “reportable” until a student graduates from Bates. If a student transfers or for some other reason does not graduate from Bates, cases of probation and suspension are considered “reportable” indefinitely unless, after the period of any imposed sanction or probationary period has expired, the former student contacts Bates and provides proof of receipt of a Bachelor’s degree from another institution. A former student exercising this option to have a suspension or probation notation expunged will be considered to have waived any right to reenroll at Bates College. If a student is dismissed (expelled) from Bates, the violation is noted on the student’s permanent record and is considered “reportable” indefinitely. For violations that are considered “reportable,” the college will report the nature of the violation (i.e., cheating, assault, drug use, etc.) and the sanction imposed.

Probation is never noted on a student’s official transcript. Suspension is noted on a student’s transcript, but only during the period of the suspension. Expulsion is permanently noted on a student’s transcript.

Outside agencies, potential employers and graduate and professional programs may ask a student to self-disclose all or certain disciplinary matters from his or her undergraduate career. Bates College encourages students to answer all such questions honestly even if the self-disclosed conduct would not be considered “reportable” from the college. Students should contact Student Affairs if there are questions regarding what conduct they are being asked to self-disclose.

Some agencies may ask a student to waive his or her rights to his or her entire file at Bates College, particularly in cases of federal background checks for security clearances. Please note that if a student should waive rights to his or her entire file, the agency will have access to all disciplinary files prior to the student’s graduation, even those not normally considered “reportable” under the guidelines above. After graduation, all disciplinary files are removed from a student’s file and would not be accessible except as pursuant to a lawfully issued subpoena. Note that even if formal disciplinary files are not accessible, Campus Security may be required to disclose incident reports involving the student if a student grants access to his or her entire file.

For any questions related to student disciplinary records, please contact Student Affairs at 207-786-6220.