Parent Handbook Contents
- Message from the Interim Dean of Students
- What You Should Know About:
- Parenting a College Student
- Family Education & Rights to Privacy Act
- Campus Resources & Services
- Selected College Policies & Regulations
- Conduct Process
- Fee Information
- Whom to Contact to Get Questions Answered
Selected College Policies & Regulations: College Policies
Maryland law states that: (1) It is unlawful for any minor (a person under age 21) to possess or consume alcoholic beverages; (2) It is unlawful for any minor to misrepresent or lie about his/her age in order to obtain alcoholic beverages; (3) It is unlawful for any person to obtain alcoholic beverages on behalf of a minor; and (4) It is unlawful for any person to consume alcoholic beverages on public property unless authorized to do so by proper officials. Students are prohibited from having kegs and multi-liter containers.
It is the responsibility of all faculty, staff, and students at St. Mary's College to uphold the conditions of this state law. The College also promotes an active, healthy, social life on campus and accommodates groups that request College facilities for events where alcohol is appropriate.
Students that live on-campus have priority for available spaces (including townhouses, apartments, and single rooms) during room selection over commuting students including those who lived on-campus and then moved off-campus.
Possession, cultivation, sale, distribution, and use of illegal drugs are all prohibited, in accordance with federal, state, and local statutes. The possession of drug paraphernalia is illegal in the state of Maryland. Violation of this policy is a sufficient cause for removal from College housing.
For returning students: A $200.00 non-refundable deposit for housing is due before students are assigned to campus housing. The deposit is due by the first Friday in March for returning students. Cash, checks, money orders, and credit cards will be accepted. The deposit is credited toward the next year's housing fee.
For new students: A $500.00 non-refundable deposit is due before students are assigned to campus housing. The deposit is due by May 1. Cash, checks, money orders, and credit cards will be accepted. The deposit is credited toward the next year's fees.
A $50.00 non-refundable maintenance fee must be paid annually. The maintenance fee includes, but is not limited to: costs for any breakage, damage, loss of College property, default on townhouse utility payments, and any other financial obligation owed to the College. Students are responsible for damages that occur in public areas of their residence unless the damage can be attributed to specific individuals or groups. Students receive itemized statements of any charges assessed to their accounts. If these charges exceed the maintenance fee, the student will be billed the difference. Students that cause excessive room or common-area damage (in the residence halls, $150 or more; suites, townhouses, and apartments, in excess of $300) may have their Housing Contract revoked and face additional conduct charges.
Leave of Absence (Also see "Withdrawal from the College")
Any degree-seeking student may be granted leaves of absence up to a total of three semesters during his or her College career. In cases of unusual need, degree students may be granted additional leaves of absence by the assistant vice president for academic services following consultation with the Academic Policy Committee. If a student is academically dismissed or expelled from the College during the semester preceding the semester for which a leave of absence is conditionally granted, the approval of the leave is canceled automatically. When a student on leave of absence returns to the College, he or she is reinstated as a degree student and retains the rights to the provision of his or her prior catalog. Applications for leaves of absence are available in the Office of Academic Services and must be filed by the student no later than the last day of classes in the semester in which the leave of absence is to begin.
Credit earned at another institution during a leave of absence will be transferable to SMCM under the same provisions as other transfer credit. However:
- If a student pays a deposit and subsequently is granted a leave of absence before the deposit deadline, the deposit, at the student's discretion, may be held until such time as the leave of absence is terminated.
- A student who requests a leave of absence after the deadline forfeits the deposit.
- A student who does not return at the conclusion of the leave of absence will forfeit the deposit.
One of the areas of concern noted by the employees is the continuing presence of unauthorized pets on campus. College policy states that pets and other animals are not permitted in any College building because of sanitation, noise, and potential health and safety concerns for students, faculty, staff, and visitors. Pets are prohibited from all athletic venues including the stadium, baseball field, and the practice fields. The exceptions are dogs for the visually/hearing impaired, certain pets for live-on professional staff, and non-meat-eating fish and non-venomous reptiles in closed aquariums. Animals that are temporarily on the grounds must be under the control of the owner (leashed) at all times. Pets should not be left in cars (due to the potential of problems from heat or cold), and are not permitted to be "tied up" outside of buildings. Pets found tied up or running loose on campus may be taken by Animal Control. Faculty, students, and staff must also ensure that their visitors abide by the College's pet policy. If you plan to visit your student, please leave your pet(s) at home.
It has become necessary to stridently enforce this policy for all students, faculty, staff, and visitors. Effective immediately, please note the following action that may be taken if students disregard this policy.
Commuting Students: Students may not bring their pets to campus while attending classes, except as noted above. Pet owners may face a $250 cleaning/extermination charge, hours of community service, and/or an educational project. Repeat offenders face disciplinary probation and restriction from all residences or suspension.
Resident Students: The owner of the pet faces a $250 cleaning/extermination charge, hours of community service, and/or an educational project. Repeat offenders will face loss of housing, disciplinary probation, and/or suspension. Residents who permit unauthorized pets in their room, suite, townhouse, or apartment face community service after their first offense and repeat offenders face disciplinary probation.
Your cooperation in following this policy is appreciated and will help to create better working conditions for our employees and reduce concerns about personal safety and problems and inconveniences associated with allergies, fleas, odors, and damages.
For students officially withdrawing from the College (through the Office of Academic Services), a refund schedule for tuition, room, and board is listed below. There is no room refund for students that are removed from housing due to a housing contract violation or judicial sanction. The board plan charges will be refunded on a pro-rated weekly basis.
Tuition refunds for full-time and part-time students that withdraw from the College shall be as follows:
- Before classes officially begin, 100% of tuition and mandatory fees will be refunded. As of the first day of classes, mandatory fees are non-refundable.
- 80% of tuition will be refunded only prior to the end of the second week after the official beginning of classes.
- 60% of tuition will be refunded only during the third week after the official beginning of classes.
- 40% of tuition will be refunded only during the fourth week after the official beginning of classes.
- 20% of tuition will be refunded only during the fifth week after the official beginning of classes.
- After the fifth week of classes, no tuition or fees shall be refunded.
For students withdrawing from the College, the room refund schedule is as follows:
- 100% less penalty fee as noted on the Housing Contract before classes begin.
- 80% prior to the end of the second week after the official beginning of classes.
- 60% during the third week after the official beginning of classes.
- 40% during the fourth week after the official beginning of classes.
- 20% during the fifth week after the official beginning of classes.
- No refund after the fifth week following the official beginning of classes, regardless of room occupancy.
Response to Psychological Crises
This procedure refers to the St. Mary's College Catalog section on Student Life Regulations, in which "the College reserves the right to suspend… or try to separate from the College any student whose… personal conduct, on or off the campus, is… unsatisfactory or detrimental to the best interests of the College."
SHORT-TERM INCIDENT – College students sometimes experience psychological crises that might affect their functioning and behavior. When this occurs, the student is strongly urged to seek assistance at Counseling Services. However, occasionally these crises might escalate to the point that the community is being disrupted. At these times, the student might be hospitalized and/or return home to be under the care of a mental health professional.
If the student's treatment is short-term and s/he would like to return to the campus, it is important that the College immediately be informed of the situation and professional interventions. The student must immediately grant a Release of Information so that vital information can be quickly and continuously shared between the College and the treating professionals. The treatment information will be reviewed by the director of Counseling Services who will relay it to the dean of students along with a recommendation. If the dean decides that the information from all sectors merits the student's return to campus, then permission will be granted with appropriate safeguards. If not, then the student will need to take a leave of absence for a longer time period.
LONGER-TERM SITUATION - If a student takes a leave of absence from the College due to a mental health concern or emergency, then the request for re-admission will be evaluated by the dean to determine whether or not it is appropriate that the student is ready to return to school at this time. The dean's judgment is based upon documentation of the health and readiness of the student to return and the possible effect on the community. It is in no way a punitive process. Rather, it is an essential educative deliberation at the end of a usually difficult and disturbing experience for those involved. It is intended to be beneficial for all and deserves wisdom and compassion. As such, the process cannot be rushed. To assure adequate review and contact of all those needing to be involved, the necessary information must reach the College at least a month before re-admission is planned to allow for full consideration of the request. This would also give the student enough time to make plans for course registration and housing for the semester.
The re-admission request includes the following:
- A letter addressed to the dean of students from the student describing his/her readiness to return to the campus, including his/her view of the problem's origin, treatment and resolution.
- Written report(s) from treating mental health professional(s) sent to the director of Counseling Services, fax: 240-895-4937. The report(s) should address the following:
- Presenting complaint(s), symptoms and diagnoses
- Treatment course, including response to treatment
- Recommendations for continued treatment, including medications if applicable. Counseling Services does provide follow-up treatment and medication monitoring. However, it should be noted that these are short-term services and not a long-term resource.
- The potential for harm, to self or others, needs to be addressed in the report.
It is very important that the student share this requirement with his/her treatment professional(s) during their initial meeting and go over the components of the report before the evaluation is sent to the director of Counseling Services (fax: 240-895-4937). If this information is not comprehensive and thorough, then there may not be time for the director to make a responsible recommendation to the dean to permit the student's return for the requested semester.
The director of Counseling Services will review these reports and consultations as well as the letter requesting re-admission. S/he may call for a personal interview (face to face, or by telephone) with the student to further assess the situation, and, in some cases, may discuss the issues with parents or family. The director will then make a recommendation to the dean.
The dean of students will review the information provided and may seek further input (for example, from Residence Life, Public Safety, Office of the Vice President for Academic Affairs/Dean of the Faculty, the conduct officer, etc.), depending upon each particular situation. When the dean is assured that the student is reasonably emotionally healthy and fully ready and able to handle the psychological, academic, and social pressures of college life, s/he will re-admit the student under conditions deemed supportive. If the dean/vice president does not judge that re-admission is appropriate at this time, then s/he will specify reasons for the decision and what is needed for future consideration.
St. Mary's College of Maryland established the following policy regarding the smoking of tobacco products. The Governor's Executive Order (01.01.1992.20) established guidelines upon which the St. Mary's policy is based.
Smoking or carrying any lighted tobacco product is prohibited in all State buildings and facilities.
- Residence Halls
Effective July 1, 2001, smoking in all residence halls and townhouses is prohibited.
Withdrawal from the College (Also see "Leave of Absence")
It is assumed that a student who withdraws from the College does not intend to return. A student may withdraw from the College at any time during the semester on or before the last day of classes, provided the student is not under temporary suspension. To withdraw from the College the student must receive the approval of the assistant vice president for Academic Services (or a designee). A student suspended on an interim basis or against whom a temporary suspension or expulsion may be initiated may not withdraw from the College before the conclusion of his/her judicial case. If a student decides to return to the College, he or she will have to be re-admitted through the Admissions Office.
A student who withdraws from the College or is suspended or expelled before the end of the tenth week of the semester will be assigned a grade of W in each course for which he or she is currently registered. A student who withdraws from the College after that date but on or before the last day of scheduled classes will be assigned a grade of WP (withdrawal/passing) or WF (withdrawal/failing) in each class for which he or she is currently registered.