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Office of Community Standards

What to do if you’ve been documented

FAQs - What to do After Being Written Up

The following are answers to frequently asked questions from students who have been documented.

Q.  I was just written up.  What should I do now?

A.  First, please stay calm.  Please follow any directions the staff member gives you and cooperate with reasonable requests.  The staff member who documented you will not be making any decisions about whether or not you violated the Community Standards.  You will get your chance to tell your side of the story with an unbiased hearing officer. 

Q.  Who determines if I violated the Community Standards?

A.  The staff member who confronted the situation is not your hearing officer.  They simply provide as much information as possible for a hearing officer to determine whether or not there was a violation of Community Standards.  You will meet with a hearing officer who will present the information contained in the report and give you a chance to give your own perspective.  Once the hearing officer has gathered as much information as possible, they will determine whether or not a violation has occurred.

Q.  What is the standard of evidence when determining if a violation has occurred?

A.  Merrimack College uses the preponderance of the evidence standard.  It is helpful to understand this standard as anything beyond 50% certainty. 

Q.  Who determines my sanctions?

A.  If you are found responsible for violating Community Standards, your hearing officer will assess your situation on an individual basis and assign appropriate sanctions taking into consideration past precedent, any prior history, and any extenuating circumstances.

Q.  Will my parents find out?

A.  The College reserves the right to notify parents of violations of Community Standards.  Typically, the College will notify parents of any violation of the Alcohol or Drug Policies, as well as any violation that results in the temporary or permanent loss of housing, suspension, and or expulsion.