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No Contact & Protection Orders

Title: Policy on Campus No Contact Orders and Orders of Protection
Effective Date: September 2016
Responsible Office: Compliance & Equity, Dean of Students
Last Updated: First Version

I. Scope

This policy applies to William & Mary, including the Virginia Institute of Marine Science (the university). Provisions regarding no contact orders apply to students; [1]  other sections of this policy are relevant for employees as well as students. 

II. Purpose & General Policy Statement

This policy collects in one document information about no contact orders and protective orders. It specifies the situations in which the university issues no contact orders. It also provides information about how campus community members may obtain a legal order of protection, under Virginia law. This policy helps promote a safe and secure campus, and also helps William & Mary implement its policies preventing discrimination, harassment, sexual misconduct, and violence. The policy helps the university comply with the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act (the Clery Act), as amended by the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2013.  

III. Policy & Procedure for Campus No Contact Orders

Campus No Contact Orders are issued to enhance safety, prevent retaliation and/or avoid an ongoing hostile environment.   A Campus No Contact Order is a document issued to a student or an employee, directing the student or employee not to contact a specific student or employee. Issuance of a Campus No Contact Order is an administrative action that may be issued by the Dean of Students Office, the Office of Human Resources, the Provost, or the Office of Compliance & Equity:

  • Pursuant to the Policy Prohibiting Title IX Sexual Harassment and Gender-Based Harassment, either upon the request of a reporting party and subject to satisfaction of the conditions set forth in the relevant policy and procedure, or by the relevant administrative office, each as provided in the policy and procedure.
  • During the course of or as a result of an administrative investigation into an alleged violation of policy, when deemed necessary to protect individual students or employees or to preserve the integrity of the investigation;
  • To prevent violence, such as in response to reports of threats or acts of violence, as defined in the Campus Violence and Threat Management Policy.

No Contact Orders are more commonly issued to students than they are to employees. A No Contact Order shall be issued to a faculty member only with the approval of the Provost or the relevant Dean. 

General Information about No Contact Orders

A Campus No Contact Order informs the people involved of the restrictions and responsibilities regarding their contact both on campus and off campus with the person(s) named in the No Contact Order. Generally, contact refers to any intentional words or actions, whether on or off campus, including:

  • Telephone calls, text messages, instant messages, emails, or communication through any form of social media
  • Non-verbal contact, including making gestures, giving/sending gifts, pictures, videos, music, or other items of monetary or sentimental value
  • Entering the person’s private space (residence hall room, study carrel, office)
  • Destruction or vandalism of personal property

A Campus No Contact Order may be issued as a bi-lateral (both parties must refrain from direct or indirect contact), or uni-lateral (the respondent must refrain from direct or indirect contact with the reporting party). The duration of the Campus No Contact Order is determined by the issuing office. Both parties will receive written notice of the No Contact Order.   

Someone who has been issued a Campus No Contact Order may not encourage friends, family members, or other students or co-workers to make contact with the reporting party on his/her behalf for any purpose. 

No Contact Orders are designed primarily to prevent intentional contact. Incidental contact is not considered a violation of a Campus No Contact Order; individual No Contact Orders may include rules regarding interactions in specific, public locations. 

Requesting a No Contact Order

Anyone concerned for his or her safety should contact the William & Mary Police at 757-221-4596 or dial 911. 

Students who wish to discuss the interim option of a Campus No Contact Order or who wish to file a request for a Campus No Contact Order should schedule an appointment with the Office of Community Values and Restorative Practices at 757-221-2509. 

Employees who are interested in obtaining a No Contact Order should contact the Office of Human Resources

Any request for a No Contact Order will be carefully considered and any applicable procedure, such as the Sexual Misconduct Procedure, will be followed.   

IV. Policy & Procedure for Orders of Protection (Restraining Order)

In Virginia, an Order of Protection (Restraining Order) is a legal document issued by a judge or magistrate to protect the health and safety of a person who is alleged to be a victim of any act involving violence, force or threat that results in bodily injury or places that person in fear of death, sexual assault or bodily injury[2]. Orders of Protection may be sought by any student or employee. 

There are three durations of Orders of Protection that may be issued in Virginia:

  • An Emergency Protective Order expires at the end of the third day following issuance, or the next day court is in session, whichever is later
  • A Preliminary Protective Order lasts 15 days or until a full hearing
  • A Protective Order may last up to two years

Typically, students or employees who wish to obtain an Order of Protection should go to the appropriate General District Court. If the person from whom a student or employee wants protection is a family or household member, or a juvenile, the student or employee should go to the Juvenile and Domestic Relations District Court. William & Mary Police are available to help students and employees seeking to obtain protective orders. There is no cost involved in obtaining an Order of Protection, and formal charges do not have to be filed. 

Orders of Protection will go into effect once the other party is “served” by law enforcement. If the person against whom the order was filed attempts to contact the student or employee on campus, the student or employee should immediately notify the Williamsburg Police at 757-221-1153 or dial 911.

William & Mary Police, with the assistance of Human Resources and/or the Dean of Students Office, must enforce the Protective Order and may be required to take additional measures to ensure the enforcement. Additional measures include, but are not limited to:

  • Removing the respondent from campus
  • Changing work hours or locations
  • Terminating the respondent
  • Changing the respondent’s course schedule, or place of residence.
V. Other Orders or Protective Measures

In addition to Campus No Contact Orders and Protective Orders, the university may take other steps to support a safe and secure campus and to protect individual community members.   

  • A person may be banned from a specific building, facility, or campus location, or his or her access may be limited; a full campus ban may be enforceable as a no-trespass order;
  • A student or employee may be suspended on an interim, specified term, or indefinite term; or
  • A person’s work or class schedule or location may be altered. 

Each of these steps is taken to the extent permitted by and in accordance with applicable policy and procedure including, for faculty, the Faculty Handbook.   

VI. Authority, Amendment & Interpretation

This Policy was approved by the Chief Compliance Officer. This Policy is interpreted in accordance with any other applicable policy and procedure, including the Faculty Handbook, the Employee Discrimination Grievance/Complaint Procedure, and the Student Sexual Harassment and Misconduct Grievance/Complaint Procedure. 

VII. Related Policies, Procedures & Resources

[1] Student has the meaning provided in the Student Code of Conduct, and includes any person taking courses at the university whether full-time, part-time, degree-seeking or not, undergraduate or graduate.