Resources for... William & Mary
William & Mary W&M menu close William & Mary

Resources for Students

Student Honor Code Process Frequently Asked Questions
Single column table of collapsible items for formatting purposes.
What happens if I have been reported for a possible violation?

Typically, CVRP receives the initial report, and upon receipt, we review the report to ensure the reporting party has provided the student the opportunity to explain the alleged conduct or has made a good faith attempt to do so. After doing so, CVRP forwards the matter to the appropriate Honor Council, the Chair or designee of that Council contacts the student via email to begin the process.

What resources do I have as a Respondent?

Conduct and Honor Advocate Program (CHAP)

Students going through the Honor Council process are entitled to a student advisor and can opt to have a CHAP assigned to assist them. CHAP's are trained to help guide students through our process. Along with the Chair and the Procedural Advisor, a CHAP is source of support and guidance for the student. CHAPs, however, are not attorneys. Although the advisor is present during the Panel proceeding, the CHAP's 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 proceeding.


There are two phases to a Panel: the judgment 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. Note that you must inform the Panel's Presiding Chair of the names of any witnesses you wish to call at least 48 hours prior to the Panel.

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 proceeding. We recognize that asking your friends, instructors, or other important people in your life to come speak on your behalf at an Honor Council Panel 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 Panel?

The panel occurs in two phases, Judgment and Sanctioning, and both phases typically are held in the same night. The sanctions phase only occurs if the Panel finds a violation.

The night of the panel 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 phase, 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)?
  • How egregious was the act?
  • Was the act indicative of a particular state of mind?
  • What were the student's alternatives to the behavior?
  • How much planning or thought did the student's act entail?
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 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, Educational, and Restoration
  • How will particular sanctions encourage growth and development for the student?
  • Are there any skills or knowledge the student lacks that can be addressed through sanctions?
  • Are there any factors that contributed to the student's actions that can be addressed through sanctions?
  • Does the Council need to reinforce student learning through secondary sanctions (community service, assignment, research paper, apology, etc.)?
  • What was the act's impact/potential impact on others and the community? Are there actions the student can take to remedy/repair the harm created by their acts?
What are typical sanctions?

While each case is determined on its own unique merits/circumstances, the Council does have guidelines for sanctions. Some violations are considered serious, and for these, a student may receive time away from the university in the form of a suspension. We view time away as an opportunity to engage in sustained reflection regarding our community's values, the student's personal choices, and the value of the student's educational experience at the university. Time away also provides the student the opportunity to address any factors that contributed to the behavior that led to the violation and employ strategies to mitigate these factors upon return.

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

Witness Information
Single column table of collapsible items for formatting purposes.

Students have a duty to cooperate with the resolution of reported matters. The Student Handbook authorizes action to be taken against students who refuse to appear, make statements, or remain when requested.


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 can choose not to answer specific questions that may incriminate you, but if you do so, you must indicate why you have chosen not to answer.


To preserve the dignity of individuals involved in the process, the process's integrity, and to protect the privacy of students reported, confidentiality is critically important. We also expect our Council members to adhere to strict confidentiality standards.

Communication Among Witnesses

The Panel is interested in your independent recollections and to help you avoid comments or other pressure that could compromise the process. Witnesses must make every effort to avoid hearing or discussing statements made by of other witnesses. It is also important you refrain from discussing your statements or views about the matter with other witnesses.

Anticipating Your Participation

The Chair is responsible for calling witnesses in a sequence best suited to circumstances of the process. For this reason, the Chair may not be able to predict or promise the order you will be invited to participate, or the precise time you will be required to remain.

To verify arrival and availability of those invited, you have been asked to appear at the scheduled start time of the Panel, though your the Panel may not request your specific participation until much later. We encourage you to to bring books, medication, cell phone, laptop computer, snack, study materials, or whatever it takes to make effective use of your time and allow you to be as comfortable as possible. If you have time constraints you would like to be considered, please alert the Chair.

Missed Other Obligations

In scheduling Panels, 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 participate in the panel proceeding. CVRP can provide a letter explaining any required absences or tardiness.

Hearsay or Indirect Knowledge

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

Questions Regarding Your Participation

Be prepared to answer questions about your statements, including some which may seem critical of your perceptions. We understand and will assume that you are sharing what you know "to 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
Single column table of collapsible items for formatting purposes.
I received an email or a phone call asking me to contact CVRP or an Area Director. What does this mean?

It most likely means that an incident report containing your name has been submitted with CVRP and the report indicates that you may have been involved with a possible violation of the Code of Conduct. Please follow the instructions in the message and attend the meeting with the appropriate case administrator (usually CVRP staff 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:

Informal Resolution: A meeting with a case administrator (CA) during which the student and CA discuss the facts of the matter and the surrounding circumstances and, if possible, come to agreement as to a summary of facts. If the summary of facts indicates that a violation of university policy occurred, the CA will assign one or more sanctions/educational measures. If the summary of facts indicates that no violation occurred, the CA will find the student "not responsible" and will close the matter.

Administrative Conference: A formal proceeding before an administrator during which the student will respond to formal allegations and will be allowed to provide relevant information and witnesses. The Case Administrator then will determine whether the student is responsible for the alleged violations. If the CA finds the student, the CA will issues sanctions appropriate to the violations.

Student Panel or Community Panel: A formal Panel before a group of students (Student Panel) or a group of students, faculty and staff (Community Panel) during which the student will respond to formal allegations and will be allowed to provide relevant information and witnesses. The panel then will determine whether the student is responsible for the alleged violations. If the Panel finds the student responsible, it will assign appropriate sanctions/educational measures.  Note: Panels are 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?

Cases deemed to be more serious, or those involving a student with a recent or significant prior conduct history, are referred to CVRP staff. Incidents that occur outside of a residence hall or that involve a student organization often are assigned to CVRP staff. 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 CVRP staff instead of the Area Director.

Who can file 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 CVRP, 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 addressing alleged violations of our Student Code of Conduct and the university's particular 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 Director of CVRP or designee decides whether the Code of Conduct will be applied to conduct occurring off campus, on a case by case basis. 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 CVRP to meet, choose not to appear for a scheduled meeting, or choose not to comply with a sanction?

If you fail to appear for a scheduled appointment, the Director can place a hold on your transcript and registration and/or add an additional violation of Failure to Comply with Directions. If you fail to appear for a scheduled proceeding after formal allegations have been issued, the case administrator can 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 we will place a registration and transcript hold. The results of such a violation 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 CVRP or your Area Director to discuss your concerns. We want to hear them!

Student Conduct Sanction Frequently Asked Questions
Single column table of collapsible items for formatting purposes.
How do you determine sanctions? 

We determine sanctions using a variety of factors, including the nature and severity of the violation, related circumstances, impact on the campus/community, the student's previous conduct 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 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 Permanent Dismissal. See the Sanctions section of the Student Handbook for a list of sanctions that can be assigned.

Secondary sanctions are sanctions assigned in addition to a primary sanction and can include education, service, reflection papers, 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 Disciplinary Probation or Deferred Suspension and commit another violation?

Probation and Deferred Suspension constitute warnings that further misconduct or violation of university regulations, during the period of probation/deferred suspension, will be referred to the appropriate committee or administrative officer and may result in the student's separation (suspension or dismissal) from the university.

If you are on probation or deferred suspension and you violate another policy, you could be removed from the university. Thus, we encourage you to be thoughtful about your behavior and make every effort to avoid future violations. To that end, we encourage you to familiarize yourself with the Student Code of Conduct and Honor Code, contained in the Student Handbook.

Also, if you have previously been placed on probation for a violation, and you commit a similar violation after the completion of probation, 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 panel or case administrator assigns a specific type of community service, then you must do that type of service unless otherwise approved by CVRP.

If no specific sanction is assigned, then you will 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, soup kitchen, or humane society.

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

How do I get reinstated after a conduct or honor suspension?

You must submit a request for reinstatement, in writing, to CVRP 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 from the university, you must request a reinstatement hearing at which you may present information to the appropriate administrator or panel showing that you are ready to return to the university and abide by its standards. If you are reinstated, you also must complete the re-enrollment process  in order to return to the university.

Good Griffin Frequently Asked Questions
Single column table of collapsible items for formatting purpose
What Is the Purpose of the Good Griffin Policy?

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

How Does the Good Griffin 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, we ask students to take the following steps:

  • Call 911 (or the William & 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.
Who and What Are 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 extends 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) regardless of the substance used or the amount consumed.

What Happens After Medical Help Is Provided?

If the situation qualifies, students are required to meet with a member of CVRP staff or an Area Director to discuss the incident. The staff member, after evaluating the situation, will determine appropriate educational actions for the student. The student must complete all educational actions and pay for services provided. Actions can include, but are not limited to: parental notification, a referral to SOS for an assessment and assigned follow up, 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 an allegation of Failure to Comply with Directions, a violation of the Student Handbook.

Will My Parents Find Out?
If you have your parental release permissions set to notify your parents, we will send your parents a copy of the outcome via email a few days after your case is resolved and the appeal period has ended. You can review and edit your release settings at personalinfo.wm.eduMore information regarding records disclosure policy.
Does the Good Griffin Policy Protect Students from Police or Legal Actions?
No. The Policy only applies to student conduct violations.  WMPD typically refers the matter to CVRP rather than arresting the student if it is evident that help was proactively sought and the student is cooperative. Currently, the Williamsburg Police do not have such an agreement, so the Policy does not apply to any incident involving them.
Will Anyone Else Find Out?
If an incident is less than one year old, or if the student has a subsequent alcohol or drug-related incident, CVRP can 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 Good Griffin Policy Be on My Academic Record?
No. Good Griffin incidents are not considered to be conduct violations.  We do, however, maintain the file in our office for our reference.
Is There a Limit to the Number of Times the Policy Can Be Used?
No. We encourage students are always encouraged to look after their 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 can apply other 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.
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 & 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 & 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
Single column table of collapsible items for formatting purpose
Will my parents find out?

If you have your parental release permissions set to notify your parents, we will send your parents a copy of the outcome via email a few days after your case is resolved and the appeal period has ended.

We encourage students to update their release settings on The university provides students the options to set preferences for parents to receive financial, academic and student conduct information. Students can change their preferences at any time. Regardless of whether we disclose the matter, we encourage students to discuss their choices and the related consequences with their parents. Doing so is all part of having a mature, honest, adult relationship.

More information regarding records disclosure policy.  

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 you to disclose your complete conduct 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 of sanctions greater than a warning (we do not disclose cases that result in a Warning as the primary sanction).

For outside entities, the university discloses sanctions of probation and deferred suspension until the student graduates. Students who receive any form of separation (suspension or permanent dismissal) from the university will have a permanent student conduct record at the university, and the university will disclose this information indefinitely.

Keep in mind that your conduct 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.

More information regarding records disclosure policy.

Will this affect my playing on a team?

It could. If a student receives a sanction of Deferred Disciplinary Suspension, the student will be removed from all university, fraternal, and/or other student extracurricular or social activities for a the duration of the sanction--this includes athletic teams. Also, coaches can 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, if the action may render the athlete ineligible, or if the incident was related to a team event. The Athletic Department staff may employ different notification expectations from their student-athletes, however.

We 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.  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 only if conduct or honor action affects the class in some way (e.g., if you are given a grade consequence or are separated from the university).

Will my conduct case affect my academic record?

If you are suspended, we will place a notation on your transcript during the sanction time period. Once we restore you to good standing, we will remove the notation.

We do not place notations for Probation or Warnings.

For permanent dismissals, the notation will remain on your transcript permanently.

Rights and Responsibilities
Single column table of collapsible items for formatting purpose
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.

William & 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 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 William & Mary, and sanctions for violation of university policy.

  • 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 permanent dismissal and usually will 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 Conduct System

Violations of university policy by students are addressed through the Student Conduct Process 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; suspension; deferred disciplinary suspension; and permanent dismissal. In extraordinary circumstances the university can issue interim suspension while it investigates reported violations.

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. 


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 convict 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

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)
Single column table of collapsible items for formatting purpose

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.

To contact the CHAP Program or Request an Advisor send an email to

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 review your case;
  • assist you in identifying witnesses or other information 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 will 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, 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 the advisor may not knowingly provide false or misleading information and must recuse themselves if the advisor feels they 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 CVRP to assist in obtaining their cooperation.
  3. If the advisor has a known conflict of interest, the advisor will inform you of the potential conflict so you can make an informed decision regarding whether you wish to retain them as your advisor.  If you decide not to retain the advisor, you can request another trained advisor or any other willing William & Mary student from your same academic unit to assist you.
  4. The advisor is available to help you share your perspective. The advisor can 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 CVRP.

How to Request a CHAP

To request CHAP, please promptly email  Include your name, email address, and cell phone number, and a CHAP will return your contact, usually within 24 hours.  You do not need to go into detail regarding your pending case; in the initial meeting, the CHAP 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.