Jul 17, 2024  
Student Handbook 
Student Handbook

Sanctions & Appeals

If students are found responsible for a violation of College policy, a sanction is issued. These sanctions can serve many purposes, including educational and punitive. The educational function of sanctions is to inform students and help them to make better choices in the future. The punitive role of sanctions is to help students understand that their choices may result in consequences that they do not foresee.

It is in the sanctioning portion of the student conduct case that previous incidents will be reviewed and will have an impact on the current case sanctions. Students that have been found responsible for more than 3 incidents in their academic career may go before a Student Conduct Board rather than an Administrative Hearing Officer. Students that are on a “Deferred Removal from Housing” status may also go before a Student Conduct Board. 

Students involved in the same incident may have varying disciplinary histories and therefore may receive different sanctions based on the number of incidents they have been found responsible for in the past.

The following is a list of typical sanctions that may be imposed as a result of student conduct proceedings. These sanctions are listed in ascending order of severity.  While these are typical sanctions, others not listed may be deemed appropriate by student conduct authorities. All sanctions issued by any AHO or the Student Conduct Board are subject to review by the Dean of Students or designee and may be altered at their discretion.


Formal Warning:  An action taken indicating that further student conduct action will result if the student(s) is found responsible for future or subsequent offenses

Restitution: Compensation for damages in the form of monetary or service repayment

Restrictions: Temporary or permanent revocation of any of the following privileges:

  • Visitation and use of residence hall facilities

  • Guest/visitor privileges

  • Social event registration privileges

  • Motor vehicle privileges

  • Membership in Campus Life organizations

  • Participation in Campus Life programs and/or use of Campus facilities

  • Participation in room selection process

Campus/Community Service:  A work assignment given for a prescribed number of hours with a College department or local agency

Educational Meetings: A requirement to attend a specified number of meetings or events within the College community during a designated time period

Alcohol and Drug Education: An assignment designed to educate a student about alcohol and/or drug use. Assignments range from online modules to in person meetings around alcohol and drug use.

Education: An assignment designed to educate a student about a particular issue; assignment may include a range from online modules, writing a research or reflection paper, designing passive programming materials, conducting an interview with a College administrator or attending a class.  

Disciplinary Probation: An action taken indicating that further violation of College policy will likely result in a more severe sanction such as suspension or expulsion. This sanction will be imposed for a specified period of time. Students who have received disciplinary probation as a sanction may also be prevented from representing the College as a member of an athletic team or as a member of a student organization by the Assistant Dean of Students or designee, in conjunction with the appropriate office.

Residence Hall Relocation:  A reassignment to a different resident space if such is available.

Deferred Removal From Housing: Removal from residence that has been deferred for a specified period of time; if the student commits any further violations while on this status, removal from residence will ensue for the remainder of the original time period as well as any removal time for the new sanction.

Removal From Housing:  Removal from residence for a specified period of time. If suspension is for a period of one semester or longer, the student will be prohibited from all residence halls and must seek readmission through the Office of Residence Life waiting-list procedures at the conclusion of their suspension.

Dismissal From Housing:  Removal from residence for the remainder of the College career and will be prohibited from visiting all residence facilities.

Suspension: A separation from the College for a specified period of time during which the student may not use any campus facilities, visit any part of campus or participate in any form of academic classes.

Expulsion: A permanent separation from the College and permanent prohibition from visiting the campus under any circumstance.


Any sanction that involves revocation of a privilege, such as housing, for which the student pays a fee, may result in the forfeiture of that fee to the College.

The College will notify parents, coaches and/or student advisors of any sanctions resulting from incidents involving alcohol or other drugs, as well as any sanctions that alter a student’s enrollment or residency at the College. 


There are certain violations that will receive a minimum mandatory sanction. While sanctions may exceed those listed below, including the sanction of expulsion, they MAY NOT be less than that listed. The violations and the sanctions are as follows.

Only Dean of Students (or designee) may alter a minimum mandatory sanction. Requests should be made via email.




Sale or distribution of drugs

Suspension; Permanent removal from housing

Possession/Use of drugs and/or drug paraphernalia

Removal from housing for designated periods;   Deferred removal from housing

Maliciously or intentionally causing activation of a false fire alarm

Removal from housing for designated periods; Deferred removal from housing

Maliciously or intentionally causing a fire

Suspension, Permanent removal from housing

Maliciously or intentionally covering a smoke detector

Removal from housing for designated periods

Possession of a common source of alcohol on campus

Removal from housing for designated periods

Providing alcohol to minors

Removal from housing for designated periods; Deferred removal from housing

Hosting an unregistered social event

Disciplinary Probation and revocation of hosting privileges for designated periods of time

Hosting a second unregistered social event during a probationary period

Removal from housing for designated periods



Students that do not complete their sanctions by the required deadline will have a fine imposed and a hold placed on their student account. Fines will be in the amounts of either $100 or $250 depending on the sanction and this amount is specified in the Hearing Resolution letter.


Accused students and complaining students may appeal findings made in hearings based upon any of the following criteria:

  • New, relevant, and previously unavailable information can be presented
  • The prescribed procedures of the student conduct system were not followed
  • An excessive sanction that would impose significant and irreparable hardship

In instances where a student does not attend their student conduct hearing, the College reserves the right to deny appeals based on new, relevant and previously unavailable information if the information would have been available during the hearing time if the student had attended.

Appeals must be submitted in writing to the Dean of Students Office via deanofstudents@merrimack.edu.  All appeals must be submitted within three working days from the date that the student is notified of the findings or when new information becomes available. After a thorough consideration of the matter, if the appeal officer finds no basis for the appeal, the matter is closed and the original finding is considered final and conclusive. If the the appeal officer is convinced that one of the above conditions exist, they may take the following action:

  • In the event of new information, they may refer the case back to the original hearing body. The matter would then be reconsidered and a final determination reached.
  • In the event of a procedural error, a different hearing authority would reconsider the case. The decision of this new hearing authority would be final.
  • In the event of an excessive sanction that would impose significant and irreparable hardship, they may substitute the sanctions with an alternative, commensurate sanction. 

Please note that while an appeal is pending, the original sanctions imposed are still in effect until an appeal decision has been made, including a removal from housing, suspension, or expulsion.