Resources for Students

Student Honor Code Process Frequently Asked Questions
What happens if I have been reported for a possible violation?

If you have been informed that you will be reported, you must contact the Honor Council within 24 hours or resign from the university. If you are an undergraduate student, you can report yourself in three ways:

  1. Stop by the Honor Council Office, Campus Center Basement #007, between the hours of 10am-3pm
  2. Call the Honor Council Office at 757-221-3305 between the hours of 10am-3pm or leave a voice message
  3. Fill out the online report form.

Graduate students should contact the Office of Student Conduct for guidance.

What resources do I have as a Respondent?

Conduct and Honor Advocate Program

Each student going through the Honor Council process is entitled to a student advisor. These individuals have been trained to help guide students through our process. Along with the Chair and the Procedural Advisor, a Conduct and Honor Advisor (CHAP) is yet another source of support and guidance for the student. The CHAP, however, is not an attorney. Although the advisor is present during the hearing, his or her role is not to seek the student's exoneration; rather, the student is available to answer questions that the student may have, to speak on the student's behalf, and to aid the student in asking questions of relevant parties at the hearing.

Witnesses

There are two phases to a hearing: the violations phase and, if found in violation, the sanctions phase. You are entitled to name any material witnesses that you believe are necessary parties to your case, subject to the Chair's discretion. Please note that you must inform the Chair within 48 hours of the hearing with the names of any witnesses you wish to call.

For the sanctions phase, you are entitled to bring up to two (2) character witnesses and introduce letters relevant to the issue of sanctioning to be read at the hearing. We recognize that asking your friends, teachers, or other important people in your life to come speak on your behalf at an Honor Council hearing can be both awkward and intimidating. We have provided witness information which details our expectations for witnesses and what witnesses can expect from us. Use this as a reference when explaining the role and importance of the character witness to those you have chosen to represent you.

What happens at a hearing?

The hearing occurs in two phases, Judgment and Sanctioning, and both phases typically are held in the same night. A sanctions hearing only occurs when a violation has been determined.

The night of the hearing the relevant parties involved in the case and the six student panel members will be present. These individuals include: the Chair, a member of the panel serving as Secretary, your PA, the ICC, the Reporting Party, any materials witnesses, and your advisor, if you choose to have one. During the sanctions hearing, the individuals present include: the Chair, the panel, your PA and your character witnesses.

What does the Honor Council consider for sanctions?

The Nature of the Violation

  • What did the student do (or not do)?
  • Was the act egregious?
  • Was the act indicative of a certain state of mind?
  • What was the harm (or potential harm) created by the act?
  • How would this act, if repeated by others, affect our community and the trust we enjoy as students?
  • What were the student's alternatives to the behavior?
  • How much planning or thought did the student's act entail?
Prevention/Deterrence
  • What sanction would discourage the student from engaging in similar behavior in the future?
  • What sanction would serve to deter others from a similar act?
  • What must the student do to remedy the harm created by the act?
Prior Violations/Previous Disciplinary History
  • Does the student have any prior Honor or Disciplinary violations?
  • Is this violation indicative of a pattern of behavior?
  • What has the student learned from past incidents?
  • Is this situation similar to past incidents in type or nature?
Extraordinary Circumstances Surrounding the Violation
  • Are there any extraordinary personal circumstances that were present at the time of the violation?
  • If a student knew the consequences of the behavior (for example that they have a scholarship that they could lose if suspended) at the time and chose to take part in the situation, then the Council does not generally consider the circumstances extraordinary.
  • Note that special interests (such as involvement in student organizations, athletics, etc.) generally are not considered to be appropriate to receive a reduced sanction.
  • Circumstances should be documented where possible.  If the circumstances pertain to medical/psychological matters, documentation must be submitted in advance to the Medical Review Committee.  Please allow sufficient time prior to the hearing for the Committee to review the materials and provide the Council with its assessment.
Development and Educational Impact
  • How will particular sanctions encourage growth and development for the student?
  • Does the Council need to reinforce student learning through secondary sanctions (community service, assignment, research paper, apology, etc.)?
What are typical sanctions?

While each case is determined on its own unique merits/circumstances, the Council does have guidelines for sanctions.  Typically any honor violation is considered serious, and for all but the most minor violations, some time away from the university can be expected.  We submit that time away is not merely a punishment, but rather provides for an intense period of reflection regarding our community's values, the student's personal choices, and the value of the student's educational experience at the university.

While confidentiality prevents us from making it common knowledge that a particular student has broken the Code, the Council releases reports detailing the judgments and sanctions to the community on a semesterly basis.

Witness Information
Participation

Students have a duty to cooperate with the resolution of reported matters.  University policies authorize disciplinary action to be taken against students who refuse to appear, testify or remain when requested.

Honesty

Failure to cooperate and be honest and complete in your answers may be considered a violation of university regulations and/or our Honor Code. You may choose not to answer specific questions that may incriminate you, but if you choose to do so, you must indicate why you have chosen not to answer.

Confidentiality

To preserve the dignity of individuals involved in the hearing process, the integrity of the process and especially to protect the reputation of students charged with conduct offenses, your respect for privacy is critically important.

Communication Among Witnesses

For many reasons witnesses should consider themselves "sequestered" and make every effort to avoid hearing or discussing the testimony of another witness. It is also important you refrain from discussing your testimony or views about the matter with other witnesses. The hearing officers are interested in your independent recollections and to help you avoid comments or other pressure that could compromise the process.

Anticipating Your Testimony

The hearing chair is responsible for calling witnesses in a sequence best suited to circumstances of the hearing as it develops. For that reason, he or she may not be able to predict or promise the order you will be invited to testify, or the time you are asked to appear.

To verify arrival and availability of those invited, you have been asked to appear at the scheduled start time of the hearing, still your specific testimony may not be requested until much later. You are encouraged to bring a book-bag, briefcase, medication, cell phone, laptop computer, snack, a book to read, or whatever it takes to reduce the tedium of what could be a long wait. If you have time constraints you would like to be considered, please alert the chair.

Missed Other Obligations

In scheduling hearings, those responsible have tried to consider class schedules and meal times, it still may be necessary for some invited witnesses to miss an appointment or class to contribute to a hearing.

Hearsay or Indirect Knowledge

The hearing panel is interested in examining all available relevant testimony, however, if you are sharing information, impressions, or understandings based on other than firsthand experience, please clearly indicate that in your testimony. Things about which you have no doubt or question should be shared if material or relevant, but please share your doubt as well.

Questions and Rebuttals of Your Testimony

Be prepared to answer questions about your testimony, including some which may seem critical of your perceptions. It will be understood and assumed that you are sharing what you know "to be the best of your recollection," and that reasonable persons of goodwill may naturally disagree in their perceptions of events.

Student Conduct Process Frequently Asked Questions
I received an email or a phone call asking me to contact the Office of Student Conduct or Area Director. What does this mean?

It most likely means that an incident report containing your name has been filed with the Office of Student Conduct and that the report indicates that you may have been involved with a possible violation of the Code of Conduct. You should follow the instructions in the message and attend the meeting with the appropriate case administrator (usually the Director, Assistant Director, the Graduate Assistant, or an Area Director) as soon as possible. If the communication contains a specific date and time for a meeting, then you are required to appear for that meeting.

What if I don't check my email or voice mail and miss the communication I was sent?

It is university policy to consider a student notified as soon as an e-mail is sent to the student or a voice mail is left for the student.  All students are expected to check their e-mail daily.

What are my options if it is alleged that I violated a policy?

Students can choose to resolve incidents in one of three ways:

Administrative Resolution: A meeting with a case administrator (CA) during which the student and CA discuss the facts of the case and the surrounding circumstances and agree upon a set of facts. If the set of facts indicates that a violation of university policy occurred, then the CA will assign a sanction. If the set of facts indicates that no violation occurred, then the student will be found not responsible and the record f the violation will be purged within two weeks.

Administrative Hearing: A formal hearing before an administrator during which the student will respond to formal charges and will be allowed to produce relevant evidence and witnesses. The administrator hearing the case will then determine whether or not the student is responsible for the behavior. If the student is found responsible, the administrator will assign sanctions appropriate to the case.

Student Panel or Board Hearing: A formal hearing before a panel of students (Student Panel) or a board of students, faculty and staff (Board Hearing) during which the student will respond to formal charges and will be allowed to produce relevant evidence and witnesses. The panel hearing the case will then determine whether or not the student is responsible for the behavior. If the student is found responsible, the panel will assign sanctions appropriate to the case.  Note that this option is not available for warning-level violations.

Flow Chart depicting the Student Conduct Process (PDF)

Student Conduct Information Packet (PDF)

Why do some people see the Area Director and some see the Director/Assistant Director or Graduate Assistant?

The cases that are deemed to be more serious or those involving a student with a recent or significant prior history are referred to the Director or Assistant Director. Also, those incidents that occur outside of a residence facility or that involve a student organization are referred to the Director/Asst. Director. In addition, difficulty scheduling a meeting or timing in the semester (near a break or during a break) sometimes necessitates that a student meet with the Director/Asst. Director or Graduate Assistant instead of the Area Director.

Who can file a complaint or an incident report?

Anyone can file an incident report. Students simply need to document an incident with a resident assistant, head resident or area director, speak with a staff member in the Dean of Students office, or submit a report via the online reporting system.

Does double jeopardy apply? Can I go through the courts and the student conduct system?

Double jeopardy does not apply since the university is dealing with violations of the Student Code of Conduct and the university's expectations of its students. Double jeopardy only applies when a person is twice tried and convicted for the same violation of law in a court of law. Therefore, a student may experience both the university conduct process AND off campus legal proceedings.

What if I am off campus when I violate the Conduct Code?

The university expects its students and student organizations to maintain a high standard of conduct both on and off campus. The Code of Conduct applies to conduct that occurs on university property, at university-sponsored activities, and to off-campus conduct when the conduct adversely affects the university community and the pursuit of its objectives.  The Dean of Students or designee will decide whether the Code of Conduct will be applied to conduct occurring off campus, on a case by case basis, in his/her sole discretion. Generally, the university will assert authority to address behavior  that represents a substantial threat to the student's safety or well-being or that of others, for significant violation of laws, and for behavior that brings disrepute to the institution.

What happens if I choose not to respond to requests from the Office of Student Conduct to meet, choose not to appear for a scheduled meeting, or choose not to comply with a sanction?

If you don't make the appointment within a reasonable period of time or fail to appear for a scheduled appointment, the Director may place a hold on your records and/or add an additional violation of Failure to Comply with Directions. If you fail to appear for a scheduled hearing or meeting after formal charges have been issued, the case administrator may make a decision in your absence.

If you fail to comply with the terms of an assigned sanction, you can be charged with Failure to Comply and/or a hold may be placed on your record. The results of such a charge will most likely be more severe than the original sanction.

What if I have concerns about a policy or practice?

Please feel free to contact the Director of Student Conduct or your Area Director to discuss your concerns. We want to hear them!

Student Conduct Sanction Frequently Asked Questions
How do you determine sanctions? 

Sanctions are determined using a variety of factors including the nature and severity of the violation, related circumstances, impact on the campus/community, past history, precedent, and educational value of the sanction.

Also, the Student Code of Conduct prescribes a range of sanctions for several policies, and case administrators and hearing panels are limited to those sanctions if the student is found responsible.  For example, the Code provides minimum sanctions for drug possession and distribution, and the presumed minimum sanctions for fighting, hazing, and driving under the influence includes at least a suspension.

For Honor Council violations, the Code provides a sanctions rubric for undergraduate violations.  Graduate student Honor sanctions are determined on the basis of the facts and circumstances of the case and vary from warning to permanent dismissal.

What are primary and secondary sanctions?

Every student who is determined to be responsible for violating a policy in the Student Code of Conduct or the Honor Code will receive at least one primary sanction. Primary sanctions range from a Warning to Dismissal. Please see the Sanctions section of the Student Handbook for a list of sanctions that can be assigned.

Secondary sanctions are sanctions that are assigned in addition to a primary sanction and can include education, service, restitution or similar assignments. Secondary sanctions often are designed to remedy any harm created and to provide the student the opportunity to reflect and learn from their actions and to address any underlying contributing factors.

What if I am already on probation and commit another violation?

Probation constitutes a warning that further misconduct or violation of university regulations, during the period of probation, will be referred to the appropriate committee or administrative officer and may result in the student's separation from the university.

If you are on probation and you violate another policy, then you could likely be removed from the university. Thus, you should be extremely thoughtful about your behavior and should make every effort to avoid future violations. To that end, you should take time to familiarize yourself with the Student Code of Conduct as it is listed in the Student Handbook.

Also, if you have previously been placed on probation for a violation, and you commit a similar violation, you could still face removal from the university.

What types of community service are acceptable if I am assigned community service as a secondary sanction?

If the hearing panel or case administrator assigned a specific type of community service, then you must do that type of service unless otherwise approved by the Dean of Students Office.

If no specific sanction was assigned, then you will likely be referred to the Office of Community Engagement to determine what kind of community service you would like to perform.  Acceptable service could include tutoring local children or working at a homeless shelter or humane society.

Whether you were assigned a specific type of service or not, you will be required to meet with the Office of Community Engagement both before and after you perform your community service.

How do I get reinstated after a disciplinary/honor withdrawal?

You must submit a request for reinstatement, in writing, to the Dean of Students office sometime during the regular semester (fall or spring) immediately prior to the one you for which you are hoping to be reinstated.

If you were suspended for a finite period (i.e. through Spring 2016), reinstatement is automatic unless there are other encumbrances on your record (i.e., additional conduct violations or an academic suspension). You will still need to apply for readmission through the Dean of Students Office.

If you were suspended indefinitely from the university, you must request a reinstatement hearing at which you may present information to the appropriate administrator or hearing panel showing that you are ready to return to the university and abide by its standards. If you are reinstated, you will still need to complete the re-enrollment process  in order to return to the university.

Drug and Alcohol Amnesty Frequently Asked Questions
What Is the Purpose of the Medical Amnesty Policy?

The University's Amnesty policy is provided to encourage students to seek help if concerned for their own or a friend's safety.  It is designed to reduce a barrier to help-seeking: the fear of a student conduct record and sanctions.  Amnesty applies to the student for whom assistance was sought, for the student(s) who seek help, and to ancillary witnesses.

How Does the Medical Amnesty Policy Work?

In serious or life-threatening situations, particularly where alcohol poisoning or drug overdose is suspected or where other medical treatment is reasonably believed to be appropriate, students are asked to take the following steps:

  • Call 911 (or the William and Mary Police Department at 757-221-4596 if on campus)
  • Stay with the person needing assistance until help arrives
  • Be prepared to give the emergency medical personnel as much information as possible including the amount and type of alcohol or substances consumed
  • If a student is heavily intoxicated or is incapacitated, letting that person "sleep it off" or having a friend "look after" that person are not reasonable alternatives to getting him/her the necessary medical help.
What is Covered and Who is Covered Under the Policy?

The policy applies to individual violations of the alcohol and drug policy; the policy does not apply to possession with intent to distribute drugs or for other possible violations of the code such as property damage, injury to another, etc.

Amnesty will extend to students for use or possession of alcohol and/or other drugs, to the person(s) who sought help, and to other ancillary witnesses (persons in the room at the time, for example).

What Happens After Medical Help Is Provided?
If the situation qualifies, students are required to meet with a member of the Student Affairs staff to discuss the incident. The staff member, after evaluating the situation, will determine appropriate educational actions for the student. The student is required to complete all educational actions and pay for the services provided. Actions may include, but are not limited to: parental notification, a referral to an on-campus alcohol counseling course, a meeting with an alcohol and other drug counselor, or required treatment off campus.

Students who fail to complete the requirements in their entirety may be subject to additional requirements or a charge of Failure to Comply with Directions, a violation of the Student Handbook. 
If it is determined, independent of the call for assistance, that a violation or violations of the Student Conduct Code have occurred, students involved in the incident may be charged with those violations.
Will My Parents Find Out?
Typically parents are notified if the student needed medical assistance as a result of alcohol or other drug consumption. If a registered student is transported to an emergency medical treatment center for alcohol or drug use, the student's parents or guardians may be notified by a member of the Dean of Students staff if necessary to protect the health or safety of the student or other individuals.
Does the Medical Amnesty Policy Protect Students from Police or Legal Actions?
No. The Medical Amnesty Policy only applies to student conduct charges.  The William and Mary Police often will simply refer the matter to the Office of Student Conduct rather than charging/arresting the student if it is evident that help was proactively sought.  The Williamsburg Police do not have such an arrangement, so amnesty does not apply to any incident involving them.
Will Anyone Else Find Out?
Possibly.  If an incident is less than one year old, or if the student has a subsequent alcohol or drug-related incident, the Office of Student Conduct may disclose the record if the student is applying for membership on the Honor or Conduct Councils, for a position in Residence Life, as an Orientation Aid, or to study abroad.  Disclosure does not necessarily mean the student will not be selected--we advise that you contact the entity to which you are applying in advance to inquire as to their policies.
Will Incidents Involving the Medical Amnesty Policy Be on My Academic or Disciplinary Record?
No. Medical Amnesty Policy incidents will not be entered on the student's official conduct record.  We do, however, maintain the file in our office for our reference.
Is There a Limit to the Number of Times the Medical Amnesty Policy Can Be Used?
No. Students are always encouraged to look after their friends and peers, and are encouraged to take responsible actions anytime they are necessary.

However, if a student is involved in repeat alcohol and/or drug abuse incidents, the staff may apply progressively more aggressive strategies to address the repeat pattern of behavior.
What Is Alcohol Poisoning?
Alcohol poisoning is another term for an alcohol overdose, which may occur when individuals consume so much alcohol that their bodies can no longer process it fast enough. Alcohol poisoning and overdoses are potentially lethal; the human body simply cannot tolerate or process excessive amounts of alcohol. Too many college students have died as a result of alcohol poisoning.
What Are the Signs or Symptoms of Alcohol Poisoning or Overdose?
The signs or symptoms of alcohol poisoning include (not all of these need to be present):
  • Confusion or stupor
  • Vomiting while passed out, not waking up after vomiting, or incoherent while vomiting
  • Seizures
  • Breathing is slow (less than 8 breaths per minute) or irregular, with 10 seconds or more between breaths
  • Weak pulse, very rapid pulse, or very slow pulse
  • Cold, clammy, pale or bluish skin
  • Loss of consciousness: Inability to awaken a person with loud shouting, or inability of a person to remain awake for more than 2-3 minutes or to carry on a coherent conversation when awake (semi-conscious)
  • A person who has lost consciousness and cannot be awakened is in danger of dying. Help is needed immediately.
How Do I Help a Friend Who Might Be Experiencing Alcohol Poisoning or Overdose?
  • Call 911 or the William and Mary Police Department at 757-221-4596, if on campus.
  • If you are in a residence hall on campus, send someone to notify Residence Life staff, but do not leave the person alone.
  • Stay with the person until emergency help arrives.
  • Be prepared to give the emergency medical personnel as much information as possible including the amount and type of alcohol or substances consumed.
What Should I NOT Do When Helping Someone Experiencing Alcohol Poisoning or Overdose?
  • Do not hesitate to call 911 or William and Mary Police Department at 757-221-4596, if on campus. The person's life is in danger. Better to be safe than sorry.
  • Do not leave the person alone. The person may seem to be okay, but the alcohol ingested may take some time to be absorbed before peak levels are reached in the brain.
  • Do not try to give the person anything to eat or drink.
  • Do not put the person in a cold shower. The person could fall or the shock could make him/her pass out.
  • Don't just let him or her "sleep it off” or “take care” of the person.
Adapted with permission from the Florida State University’s Medical Amnesty FAQ page.
Confidentiality and Notification Frequently Asked Questions
Will my parents find out?

If you have given us permission to notify your parents, your parents will receive a copy of the outcome a few days after your case is resolved.

All students are encouraged to fill out the parental release form in the Dean of Students office indicating their preferences for parents to receive financial, academic and student conduct information. Students may change their preferences at any time. The university can choose to notify parents even when a student has requested that it not do so, but only in specific and extenuating circumstances. Regardless of the above, we encourage students to discuss their behavior and the related consequences with their parents. It is all part of having a mature, honest, adult relationship.

If you are under the age of 21, in serious incidents involving alcohol or drug use (those resulting in sanctions of probation or higher or the equivalent level for cases of Medical Amnesty), the university will disclose the outcome of your case with your parents, as we view them as stakeholders in your education.  You will have the opportunity to inform your parents first, as we will not notify them until after your appeal period has ended.  

I want to go to graduate/law/medical school. Will potential schools find out about my disciplinary history?

The answer depends on the sanction you are issued.  Many graduate schools will request access to your disciplinary history, and they most likely will ask you to allow them to verify the information with us.  If we receive a signed release from you authorizing disclosure, we will disclose information concerning sanctions greater than a warning.

The university will not disclose warnings to entities outside of the university.  The university will disclose sanctions of probation until you graduate.  Students who receive any form of separation (indefinite suspension, suspension, or dismissal) from the university will have a permanent student conduct file at the university, and the university will disclose this information indefinitely.

Keep in mind that your disciplinary history may or may not affect your admission. You will want to discuss your history with the admissions staff of the potential schools if you are concerned.

Will this affect my playing on a team?

It could. If a student receives a sanction of Probation with Loss of Privileges, then the student will be removed from all university, fraternal, and/or other student extracurricular or social activities for a specified period of time. This includes athletic teams. Also, coaches may take independent action for a violation separate from any conduct or honor proceeding.

Will my coach find out?

For serious violations, we notify the Athletic Director's staff; however, we do not automatically notify coaches of players' violations, and usually only do so if the behavior in some way affects the team, it may render the athlete ineligible, or was related to a team event. However, we do encourage you to be forthright with your coach and to accept responsibility for violations. This approach is always better in the long run than a coach finding out about the matter from someone else.  Note that many coaches have policies in which the coach expects the athlete to disclose to them certain types of violations.

Will my professors find out I am facing conduct/honor action?

We will communicate limited and appropriate information to faculty members only if conduct or honor action affects the class in some way (e.g., if you are given a grade penalty or are separated from the university).

Will my conduct case affect my academic record?

If you are found responsible for violating a policy, and if you are removed from the university (suspended, indefinitely suspended, or permanently dismissed), a notation will be placed on your transcript during the dismissal time period. Once your status is restored to good standing, we will remove the notation.  For sanctions less than separation, your transcript is not affected. For permanent dismissals, the notation will remain on your transcript permanently.

Rights and Responsibilities
Student Records

Student records are more than just your grades. The transcript is the primary holder of your record as a student at the university. Not only does it reflect your academic history, it serves to verify and distinguish your degree(s). However, you do not need to provide a transcript to verify your enrollment for most instances.

We verify enrollment and degree via the National Student Clearinghouse for a majority of our student population—an online service provided twenty-four seven for students, alumni and any other party requiring this information. All verifications provided by the university are done so with full adherence to the Federal Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA) to ensure the integrity and privacy of the student record.

The College of William and Mary complies with the  Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Crime Statistics Act. Crime statistics and the annual Campus Safety Report are available from the  Office of Institutional Analysis and Effectiveness.

Alcohol and Drugs

In keeping with the Federal Drug-Free Schools and Communities Act Amendments of 1989, which require that all university students receive annual notice of the laws regarding alcohol and other drug use, the following information is offered:

Members of the university community enjoy a high degree of personal freedom, guaranteed by the United States, the Commonwealth of Virginia, and the College of William & Mary's Statement of Rights and Responsibilities. That freedom exists within the context of local, State and Federal law and the obligations imposed by university regulations. The Student Handbook is the official document describing university policy for student behavior, the student discipline system of the College of William & Mary, and sanctions for violation of university policy.

  • The College of William & Mary clearly prohibits the use and distribution of illicit drugs and the abuse of alcohol.
  • Violations of local, State, or Federal law also constitute violation of university regulations.
  • When a student is charged with a violation of law, it is the practice of the university to initiate its own disciplinary proceedings without awaiting court action. Behavior off-campus is subject to disciplinary action.
Alcohol Policy and Sanctions

All students of the university and their guests and all organizations must observe Virginia law as it pertains to the purchase and consumption of alcoholic beverages. Virginia law specifically states that persons under the age of 21 may not purchase, possess, or consume any type of alcoholic beverages. The sanctions for violation of this regulation shall range from warning to dismissal and will usually include alcohol education or treatment.

Drug Policy and Sanctions

For the purpose of these regulations, drugs are defined as including marijuana, hashish, amphetamines, LSD compounds, mescaline, psilocybin, DMT, narcotics, opiates, and other hallucinogens including Spice, K2, and synthetic marijuana, except when taken under a physician's prescription in accordance with law.

University regulations, in conformity with Federal and State statutes governing drug use, provide the following:

  • Manufacturing or providing drugs to others is prohibited. The penalty for violation of this regulation shall range from disciplinary probation to dismissal from the university.
  • Possession or consumption of drugs is also prohibited. Possession of drug paraphernalia is prohibited. The penalty for violation of this regulation ordinarily shall range from probation to dismissal.
Sanctions for Students under the University Discipline System

Violations of university policy by students are addressed through the Student Conduct System or the Honor Council as appropriate.

When a student is found responsible for violating university regulations, the following sanctions may be levied individually or in combination with other sanctions:

Warning; loss or restriction of privileges; restitution; task participation (including for example, service to the community and/or participation in a educational program); disciplinary probation; probation with loss of privileges; suspension; indefinite suspension; and permanent dismissal. In extraordinary circumstances an interim suspension can also be imposed.

I. Legal Sanctions

Members of the William & Mary community should be aware of legal penalties applied for conviction in cases of drug and/or alcohol abuse. An offense is classified in the Code of Virginia as a misdemeanor or a felony, depending upon the type and the amount of the substance(s) involved. 

Alcohol

Virginia's Alcohol Beverage Control Act contains a variety of provisions governing the possession, use and consumption of alcoholic beverages. The Act applies to all students and employees of this institution. As required by the Federal Drug-Free Schools and Communities Act Amendments of 1989, the pertinent laws, and sanctions for violations, are summarized below:

1.  It is unlawful for any person under age 21 to purchase or possess any alcoholic beverage. Violation of the law exposes the violator to a misdemeanor conviction for which the punishment is confinement in jail for up to twelve months and a fine up to $2,500, either or both. Additionally, such person's Virginia driver's license may be suspended for a period of not more than one year.

2.  It is unlawful for any person to sell alcoholic beverages to persons under the age of 21 years of age. Violation of the law exposes the violator to a misdemeanor conviction for which the punishment is confinement in jail for up to twelve months and a fine up to $2,500, either or both.

3.  It is unlawful for any person to purchase alcoholic beverages for another when, at the time of the purchase, he knows or has reason to know that the person for whom the alcohol is purchased is under the legal drinking age. The criminal sanction for violation of the law is the same as #2 above.

4.  It is unlawful for any person to consume alcoholic beverages in unlicensed public places. Violating the law, upon conviction, exposes the violator to a misdemeanor conviction for which the punishment is a fine up to $250.

Controlled Substances and Illicit Drugs

The unlawful possession, distribution, and use of controlled substances and illicit drugs, as defined by the Virginia Drug Control Act, are prohibited in Virginia. Controlled substances are classified under the Act into "schedules," ranging from Schedule I through Schedule VI, as defined in sections 54.1-3446 through 54.1-3456 of the Code of Virginia (1950), as amended.

As required by the Federal Drug-Free Schools and Communities Act Amendments of 1989, the pertinent laws, including sanctions for their violation, are summarized below.

1.  Possession of a controlled substance classified in Schedules I or II of the Drug Control Act, upon conviction, exposes the violator to a felony conviction for which the punishment is a term of imprisonment of ranging from one to ten years, or in the discretion of the jury of the court trying the case without a jury, confinement in jail for up to twelve months and a fine up to $2,500, either or both

2.  Possession of a controlled substance classified in Schedule III of the Drug Control Act, upon conviction, exposes the violator to a misdemeanor conviction for which the punishment is confinement in jail for up to twelve months and a fine up to $2,500, either or both

3.  Possession of a controlled substance classified in Schedule IV of the Drug Control Act, upon conviction, exposes the violator to a misdemeanor conviction for which the punishment is confinement in jail for up to six months and a fine up to $1,000, either or both.

4.  Possession of a controlled substance classified in Schedule V of the Drug Control Act, upon conviction, exposes the violator to a misdemeanor conviction for which the punishment is a fine up to $500.

5.  Possession of a controlled substance classified in Schedule VI of the Drug Control Act, upon conviction, exposes the violator to a misdemeanor conviction for which the punishment is a fine up to $250.

6.  Possession of a controlled substance classified in Schedule I or II of the Drug Control Act with the intent to sell or otherwise distribute, upon convic tion, exposes the violator to a felony conviction for which the punishment is imprisonment from five to forty years and a fine up to $500,000. Upon a second conviction, the violator must be imprisoned for not less than five years but may suffer life imprisonment, and fined up to $500,000.

7.  Possession of a controlled substance classified in Schedules III, IV, or V of the Drug Control Act with the intent to sell or otherwise distribute, upon conviction, exposes the violator to a misdemeanor conviction for which the punishment is confinement in jail for up to one year and a fine up to $2,500, either or both.

8.  Possession of marijuana, upon conviction, exposes the violator to a misdemeanor conviction for which the punishment is confinement in jail for up to thirty days and a fine up to $500, either or both. Upon a second conviction, punishment is confinement in jail for up to one year and a fine up to $2,500, either or both.

9.  Possession of less than one-half ounce of marijuana with intent to sell or otherwise distribute, upon conviction, exposes the violator to a misdemeanor conviction for which the punishment is confinement in jail for up to one year and a fine up to $2,500, either or both. If the amount of marijuana involved is more than one-half ounce to five pounds, the crime is a felony with a sanction of imprisonment from one to ten years, or in the discretion of the jury or the court trying the case without a jury, confinement in jail for up to one year and a fine up to $2,500, either or both. If the amount of marijuana involved is more than five pounds, the crime is a felony with a sanction of imprisonment from five to thirty years.

II. Risks

The College of William & Mary is dedicated to the education of students and employees about risks associated with the abuse of alcohol and other drugs. Descriptions of some of these health risks are offered below. In addition, behavioral difficulties at work or in school, in relationships, and with the law can be linked to the abuse of alcohol and other drugs.

Effects of Alcohol

Alcohol consumption causes a number of marked changes in behavior. Even low doses significantly impair the judgment and coordination required to drive a car or walk home safely. Low to moderate doses of alcohol also are associated with increased incidence of a variety of aggressive acts, including sexual assault, vandalism, and fighting. Moderate to high doses of alcohol cause marked impairments in higher mental functions, severely altering a person's ability to learn, memorize and perform academically, sometimes for weeks after the drinking occurrence. Very high doses cause respiratory depression and death. If combined with other depressants of the central nervous system, much lower doses of alcohol will produce the effects just described.

Repeated use of alcohol can lead to impairment, high tolerance, and dependence. Sudden cessation of alcohol intake is likely to produce withdrawal symptoms, including severe anxiety, tremors, hallucinations, and convulsions. Alcohol withdrawal can be life-threatening. Long-term consumption of large quantities of alcohol, particularly when combined with poor nutrition, can also lead to permanent damage to vital organs such as the brain and liver.

Mothers who drink alcohol during pregnancy may give birth to infants with fetal alcohol syndrome. These infants often have irreversible physical abnormalities and mental retardation. Research indicates that children of alcoholic parents have a greater risk of becoming alcoholics.

III. Area Resources Related to Substance Abuse

Students in the university community have access to several sources of assistance for substance abuse problems.

Campus Educational and Consultation Resources
  • Substance Abuse Education-interactive group, individual and classroom education. (221-3631; Office of Health Education)
  • Substance Abuse Educator-assessment, counseling, and education regard ing the health effects of substance abuse for individuals and groups, as well as referrals to appropriate campus and community services. (221-3631; Office of Health Education)
  • The F.I.S.H. Bowl (Free Information on Student Health) has books, videos, CD Roms, computer tests, journals and research for students and faculty on substance abuse, sexual assault, wellness, relationships, and more. (221-3229)
  • Counseling Center-limited assessment, counseling, and referral services for drug and alcohol related issues. (221-3620)
  • New Leaf Clinic-substance abuse assessment and counseling (short and long term). 221-2363
Off Campus Support Groups
  • Alcoholics Anonymous (AA)-a self supporting fellowship based on a Twelve Step program that offers individual sponsorship, group meetings and membership to anyone interested in dealing with an alcohol problem. (Telephone assistance and meeting information: 595-1212)
  • Al-Anon-families and friends of alcoholics receive help through this fellowship which explores the Twelve Steps and the experiences of others. (Telephone assistance and meeting information: 875-9429)
  • Narcotics Anonymous-individuals addicted to drugs may obtain help through this group. It offers a fellowship with other recovering addicts who help each other remain abstinent. (Telephone assistance and meeting information: 875-9314)
  • Marijuana Anonymous- individuals dependent on marijuana may obtain help and support for abstinence. (Meeting information: 259-6164)
Off Campus Community Resources

Mental health services are generally covered by student's health insurance plan.

Conduct and Honor Advisor Program (CHAP)

The CHAPS

Advisors are selected in the spring semester each year and receive extensive training and shadowing prior to taking cases.  For information regarding how to become a trained CHAP, please see our link to How to Become a CHAP.

2016-2017 CHAPs

Marvi Ali (Chair)
Sam Tewolde (Vice Chair)
Ethan Presley (Secretary)
Lauren Dickerson
Robert Sherman
Jessica Starkey
Elliott Theuerkauf
Rahul Truter
Morgan Tyler
Leah Zweig

To contact the CHAP Program or Request an Advisor send an email to chap@wm.edu

How to Become a CHAP

Conduct/Honor Advisors are selected through an application and interview process during the spring semester each year.  If you are interested in being notified when applications are available next year, please email us.

The advisor program (CHAP) is composed of up to twelve students. Its mission is to provide students who wish to receive the assistance of counsel an option in pending conduct or honor proceedings.  CHAP also educates students regarding their rights and responsibilities as members of the university community.

Each applicant for selection must ensure that the following materials are submitted via the online form by the associated deadlines:

  • Completed Online Application 
  • Faculty, staff, or student recommendation form
What a CHAP Can Do For You

The advisor should be expected to:

  • assist you diligently, including reviewing the evidence in your case and discussing your approach to address this matter with the panel/administrator who will hear your case;
  • assist you in identifying witnesses or other evidence that will help you in addressing the conduct or honor matter at issue;
  • assist you in presenting your case before the panel/administrator to the extent that you wish to be involved;
  • be on time and prepared for planned meetings with you or any other relevant parties;
  • maintain confidentiality - the advisor must meet with you in locations that are discreet and provide you with the appropriate degree of privacy. The advisor will retain any records securely and will destroy records within two weeks of the resolution of your case;
  • act professionally at all times.

The advisor should expect you to:

  • promptly return any contacts by the advisor (phone calls, emails, etc.). In general, you agree to return contacts no later than 12 hours after receiving them;
  • follow through on requests to produce information, documents, or witnesses that may assist the advisor in thoroughly understanding and representing your perspective in the matter;
  • refrain from attempting to discuss your conduct/honor matter in an inappropriate setting (ex: a social setting in front of others). Even if you wish to discuss your situation in front of others, the advisor's duty to retain confidentially applies;
  • let the CHAP program know if you are not satisfied with your advisor's services. The advisor will graciously withdraw his/her services, and if you desire, we will assign another advisor.

The Advisor's Ethical Guidelines:

  1. The advisor must be candid with the panel/administrator handling your case. This means that he/she may not knowingly provide false or misleading information, and he/she must recuse his/herself if he/she feels he/she cannot effectively assist you while also upholding the obligation of candor.
  2. The advisor cannot badger or harass witnesses or other parties. If an important party is unavailable, the advisor may contact the Office of Student Conduct to assist in obtaining their cooperation.
  3. If the advisor has a known conflict of interest, he/she will inform you of the potential conflict so that you may make an informed decision regarding whether you wish to retain him/her as your advisor.  If you decide not to retain the advisor, you may request another trained advisor or any other willing William and Mary student from your same academic unit to assist you.
  4. The advisor is available to help you tell your story. The advisor may suggest strategies for you to employ to help you in telling your version of events, but it must be your version of events.

Student/Advisor Agreement (pdf) to be signed at first meeting with student and submitted to the Office of Student Conduct.

How to Request a CHAP

To request an advisor, please promptly email the CHAP Program (chap@wm.edu).  Include your name, email address, and cell phone number, and an advisor will return your contact, usually within 12 hours.  It is not necessary to go into detail regarding your pending case; in the initial meeting, the advisor will ask you to review the situation in detail.

We strongly recommend that you not wait to contact an advisor.  The failure to obtain an advisor will not be deemed sufficient grounds to delay any pending honor or conduct proceedings.