Social Misconduct

Bates College students are held responsible for their conduct at all times. Any student who becomes disorderly, is involved in any disturbance, interferes with the rights of others, damages property, or is individually or as a member of a group involved in unacceptable social behavior on or off campus may be subject to student conduct action by the Office of Community Standards and/or the Student Conduct Committee.

General Categories of Social Misconduct

Cases of social misconduct usually fall into one of several general categories. While not exhaustive, the following categories illustrate the expectations of the College and provide examples of misconduct subject to student conduct action. Many of these categories, and the accompanying examples, have a counterpart in the State of Maine Criminal Code. The stipulated definitions of state and local criminal codes and the processes of the criminal justice system are not part of the Bates Code of Student Conduct. Addressing a violation of the College’s Code of Conduct does not exempt the individual from prosecution by proper authorities under criminal or civil code, and criminal or civil prosecution does not exempt the individual from being held accountable under the College’s Code of Student Conduct.

Actions Against Persons

Conduct which involves force, threat of force, or intimidation directed at an individual or group of individuals may constitute an “action against persons” violation.

Examples of actions against persons violations include:


  • This includes any unwanted physical contact, as well as fighting and physical altercations.

Sexual Misconduct


  • Following Ch. 159 of Maine Public Laws, 1983, Bates prohibits injurious hazing, defined as “any action or situation which recklessly or intentionally endangers the mental or physical health of a student. . . .” Specifically, hazing means an act that, as an explicit or implicit condition for initiation to, admission into, affiliation with, or continued membership in a group or organization, (1) could be seen by a reasonable person as endangering the physical health of an individual or as causing mental distress to an individual through, for example, humiliating, intimidating, or demeaning treatment, (2) destroys or removes public or private property, (3) involves the consumption of alcohol or drugs, or the consumption or other substances to excess, or (4) violates any College policy. An act may be considered hazing regardless of the person’s consent to participate.

Harassment, Intimidation, or Bullying

  • This includes acts of intimidation, stalking, confrontation, verbal slurs, insults or taunts, physical force or threat of physical force made with the intention of causing fear, intimidation, ridicule, humiliation, disparagement, disruption to the educational environment, or damage to property. Such acts may be committed in person, by proxy, via telephone or cell phone, via text message, or any electronic means including social networking websites.

For conduct concerns that may be related to a protected class (race, gender identity, sexual orientation, ability, national origin, religion, or other identity), please refer to the College’s Equal Opportunity, Non-Discrimination, and Anti-Harassment Policy for detailed definitions and the procedures for adjudicating alleged violations.

Actions Against Property

Conduct which results in damage to property of another individual or of the College, or conduct which improperly converts another’s property to personal use may constitute an “action against property” violation.

Examples of actions against property violations include:


  • To steal or knowingly possess stolen property or any item reasonably thought to be lost and not abandoned.

Damaging the property of another person or of the College

  • Students may be subject to student conduct action for damage to the property of another person or College property, including their own rooms, in addition to providing restitution for any monetary costs assessed by another person or the College to repair such damage.

Illegally entering College facilities

  • This includes unauthorized possession, use, or duplication of College keys or cards, passwords, or other means of access.

Dangerous or Disorderly Conduct

Conduct that is dangerous to self or others, or conduct that creates a disturbance or disrupts the ability of the College to carry on its essential functions may constitute a “dangerous or disorderly conduct” violation. In accordance with the Drug-Free Schools and Communities Act, the College’s standards of conduct prohibit the unlawful possession, use, or distribution of illegal drugs and alcohol by students and employees, on the College’s property, or as part of any of its activities.

Examples of dangerous or disorderly conduct violations include:

Illegally possessing, using, or distributing any scheduled drugs

  • Unlawful possession, distribution, or use of illegal drugs and narcotics, including amphetamines, marijuana, cocaine, heroin, and LSD, renders a student liable to disciplinary action, including confiscation of materials, student conduct action up to and including suspension and dismissal, and/or referral to local police authorities.

Violating the College’s Alcohol Policy

  • Bates College observes all laws governing the use of alcoholic beverages within the State of Maine. Students are held responsible for complying with all aspects of Maine laws and Bates alcohol policy. The prohibitions of the Bates Student Conduct Code and Maine law include, but are not limited to, the following:
  1. The sale of alcoholic beverages by any person who does not have a license to sell such beverages in full force and effect at the time of the sale;
  2. The sale of alcoholic beverages by any person to a person who has not attained the age of 21 years;
  3. Consumption or purchase of alcoholic beverages by any person who has not attained the age of 21 years;
  4. The furnishing of, procurement of or delivery of alcoholic beverages to a person who has not attained the age of 21 years;
  5. The furnishing of, procurement of, or delivery of alcoholic beverages to a person who is intoxicated;
  6. The presentation of any written or oral evidence of age which is false, fraudulent, or not a person’s own for the purpose of ordering, purchasing, or attempting to purchase or otherwise procuring or attempting to procure intoxicating liquor by a person who has not attained the age of 21 years;
  7. Transportation by automobile within the state of Maine of alcoholic beverages by any person who has not attained the age of 21 years;
  8. Possession or use of a keg by any student on the premises of the College except at where the appropriate measures are in place to prevent underage consumption of alcohol;
  9. Possession or consumption of hard alcohol or any beverage containing hard alcohol by any student on the premises of the College, at any College-sponsored event, or while the student is engaged in a College-related activity.
  • Violations of College policy or Maine law at events or parties occur at the risk of the individuals involved and are not the responsibility of the College.
  • Violators of these policies may be subject to student conduct action, including confiscation of materials, the revocation of the privilege of using College facilities for such events and/or referral to the Office of Community Standards or the Student Conduct Committee. The College reserves the right to involve law enforcement authorities and/or undertake legal proceedings against a student for the violation of this policy.
  • The College will also utilize its mental health resources to help students involved with drugs and alcohol.

Possessing a weapon on campus

  • Weapons prohibited on campus include but are not limited to firearms, ammunition, knives, BB or pellet guns, bows, arrows, and slingshots. These items are not permitted except by permission of Bates College Campus Safety, which will register and store them. It is the responsibility of students to check with Bates College Security if there is a question of whether an item would be prohibited under this policy.

Fire safety violations

  • Possessing or producing explosives and setting fires are prohibited. Intentionally setting off a fire alarm, misuse of a fire extinguisher, or any action that might cause a fire in a College building will be considered a serious offense and may be met with student conduct action, including suspension or dismissal by the Student Conduct Committee. Firecrackers, flares, and explosives are prohibited on campus. Accidentally setting off a false fire alarm incurs a fine that increases for repeated incidents.

Disorderly conduct

  • Conduct which infringes on the freedom and activities of others, or conduct which is disruptive, harassing, or a nuisance may constitute disorderly conduct.

Lake Andrews Use Policy

  • Ice skating is permitted at the user’s risk. Unless authorized by the college or as part of a college sponsored event, activities including swimming, rafting (including inflatables), boating of any type, and remote control vehicles are not permitted.

Failing to leave a College building after a fire alarm has sounded or other notice of fire has been given, whether or not a drill.

Urination or defecation in any location not designated for that purpose.

Conduct which disrupts normal  operations  of the College and/or impedes access to College facilities.

Actions Against the Institution

Conduct which involves the unauthorized accessing or alteration of documents and records controlled by the College, including class papers and examinations, or improper use of College electronic and physical resources, may constitute an “action against the institution” violation.

Examples of actions against the institution violations include:

Altering a College ID

Tampering with College documents or records by hand or electronically

Misappropriation of College funds

Claiming falsely to represent the College or a College registered organization

Use of any College resources, including electronic and physical, in support of any for-profit enterprise. This may include access to student, staff, and faculty information, residence halls, and other campus-owned spaces, etc.

Information, network, computer, social media account, and telephone violations including violations of the Information & Library Services Acceptable Use Policy or any other related college policy. This includes the following policy:

  • In line with our shared values around Academic Integrity and Conduct as articulated in the Student Code of Conduct, we would like to remind you that screen capturing or making audio/video recordings of synchronous or asynchronous meetings, lectures, discussions, course materials, or other classroom activities without the prior knowledge and consent of all parties is prohibited. This applies to the use of tape or digital recorders, cell phones, smartphones, computers, and other devices capable of creating a screen capture or making audio/video recordings. Likewise, the editing, sharing, or use of recorded or digitally shared course content outside of their assigned or intended purpose is also prohibited. Students with disabilities who wish to record classroom activity should contact the Office of Accessible Education for information about appropriate protocols.

Misrepresentation to gain access or use of a service or facility

  • Violations may include lying in order to gain access to a College building, office, lab, etc.

Obstruction of College Procedures

Conduct which interferes with the regular procedures of the College, investigation of alleged Code violations, the process by which they are resolved, or their outcomes, or that violates any College policy, including but not limited to the Computer Use Policy, Residence Hall and Dining Service Regulations, and parking regulations, may constitute an “obstruction of College procedures” violation. Application of this section shall not be used to restrict the exercise of free expression of any member of the College community.

Examples of obstruction of College procedures include:

Refusing to identify oneself to College employees in the pursuit of their duties or to comply with appropriate instructions (e.g., refusing to provide one’s name or to disperse when asked to do so by Campus Safety)

Refusing to appear before College administrators or Security personnel charged with authority in matters of student conduct

Refusing to attend or to testify when called as a witness in a student conduct hearing

Knowingly providing false information to any College official with intent to deceive during any phase of the student conduct process (including the investigatory stage) or conspiring with others to do so

Harassing witnesses or others involved in the student conduct process at any time during the student conduct process, including the time during which any sanction is in effect

Violating the terms of any sanction or not completing a sanction imposed by an appropriate authority (e.g., the Office of Community Standards or the Student Conduct Committee) in a student conduct matter.

Bribing or attempting to bribe a College official

Use or possession of a forged, altered, or falsified document, such as a fake ID

Assisting a person in violating a College policy or attempting to violate a College policy