Expectations and Process
The community standards apply to all Merrimack College students, whether they live on or off campus, regardless of the time of year or their enrollment status (undergraduate or graduate, full-time or part-time).
The process focuses on educating students on the impact of their personal and social choices. It is a separate process from the legal system, though it is possible that some violations of the community standards also violate state or federal law. In those instances, the two proceedings happen independently of each other, and the decision made in one area shall not impact the decision made in another.
Who Reports Violations?
Reports alleging violations of the community standards can be documented by Office of Student Affairs staff or by students, faculty and other staff via the college’s Public Reporting form.
When a Violation Is Reported
When you are notified of an alleged violation, please remain calm, follow any directions the staff member gives you and cooperate with reasonable requests. This is also a good time to familiarize yourself with your rights.
For lesser allegations, the accused student typically attends a one-on-one administrative hearing with a college official. More serious allegations — those that could result in removal from housing, or suspension or expulsion from the college — usually come before the Student Conduct Hearing Board.
Standard of Evidence
Merrimack College uses the preponderance of the evidence standard. It is helpful to understand this standard as anything beyond 50 percent certainty.
Determination of Sanctions
If you are found responsible for violating the Community Standards, your hearing officer or hearing board will determine sanctions, taking into consideration past precedent, your prior history and any extenuating circumstances.
Merrimack reserves the right to notify parents of violations of Community Standards. Typically, the college will notify parents of any violation of alcohol or drug policies as well as any violation that results in the temporary or permanent loss of housing, suspension or expulsion.
The Student Handbook is the college’s official documentation on school policies, procedures and conduct. Students should familiarize themselves with the handbook and its policies upon entering the college.