St. Mary’s College of Maryland is committed to providing support and resources to any student who may be the recipient of persistent unwanted or harassing contact by another student. In certain circumstances, it may become necessary for the College to formalize an arrangement between two students to prohibit contact with each other (direct and/or indirect) other than that which is necessary for either party to continue their academic pursuits.
College administrators are authorized to issue a No Contact Order (NCO) prohibiting contact between students when there exists a reasonable concern that physical or emotional harm may result from such contact.
The College will consider all facts and circumstances that may be relevant to whether an NCO should be issued, including, but not limited to, the following factors:
- When there are allegations, threats, or evidence of physical violence by one student against another;
- When there are allegations, threats, or evidence of emotional abuse or harassment by one student of another;
- When there is a substantial risk of emotional harm from continued contact between students;
- When continued contact between students may have a material impact on campus disciplinary proceedings;
- When requested or agreed to in good faith by both students involved; and/or
- When there are allegations of serious College policy violations.
NCOs are generally reciprocal and shall provide that neither student may have contact with the other. “Contact” includes, but is not necessarily limited to, in-person contact, telephone calls, email, texts and other forms of electronic communication, social media-based messages or postings, and third party communications including through proxies.
NCOs may include additional protective measures or other terms specific to the safety, well-being, or other needs of either or both students subject to the NCO, when deemed necessary by the College. Any additional terms shall be expressly stated in the NCO. Additional protective measures or other terms need not be reciprocal.
NCOs may include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Restricting a student from being in close proximity to the other student;
- Restricting a student’s access to certain campus locations, including the other student’s residence hall;
- Restricting the times a student may be present in on-campus dining facilities;
- Requiring that the students not be enrolled in the same academic course(s); and/or
- Requiring that the students not participate in the same co-curricular or extra-curricular activities.
The No Contact Order shall specify that it is not a legal peace or protective order as issued by a court of law and will not apply to non-College related premises; however, it will apply to College-sponsored activities regardless of the location. Students may contact Public Safety for information on filing a peace or protective order with the District Court.
No Contact Orders may be issued regardless of the filing of a formal complaint with the College by a student. NCOs do not constitute a finding of, or charge of, any violation of College policy, nor are they intended to be punitive in any way. Rather, they are intended to prevent future interactions that could be problematic for the individuals, thereby protecting both individuals. NCO’s do not become part of a student’s conduct record unless he or she violates the order as determined by the student conduct system.
The following administrators may issue NCOs:
- For matters pertaining to the Code of Student Conduct: the Vice President for Student Affairs/Dean of Students, the Assistant Dean of Students, the Student Conduct Officer, or designee;
- For matters pertaining to the Policy Against Sexual Misconduct: the Director of Title IX Compliance and Training/Title IX Coordinator, or designee; and
- For emergency situations involving personal safety: the Office of Public Safety may issue temporary NCOs, which shall be confirmed, modified or rescinded by the Director of Public Safety, Dean of Students, Assistant Dean of Students, Student Conduct Officer, or Title IX Coordinator once all relevant information is reviewed.
The College considers NCOs to be confidential and expects students to treat them as such. If a student is harmed due to another student’s sharing or publicizing an NCO (i.e., verbally, through social media), such an act may be considered retaliation under College policy and the responsible student may be subject to disciplinary action.
All NCOs will specify an effective date as well as an end date. A student seeking the modification or rescission of an NCO prior to the specified end date shall so request the administrator who issued the NCO. The issuing administrator shall consult with both parties before determining whether or not to modify or rescind the NCO.
Reporting of violations of the no contact order is the responsibility of the parties to whom it is issued. Reports of violations should be made to the Office of Public Safety, who will investigate and, if appropriate, make a referral to the Office of Student Conduct or Title IX Coordinator for adjudication. Violations of No Contact Orders are subject to discipline under the Code of Student Conduct or the retaliation provisions of the Policy Against Sexual Misconduct, as appropriate.
No Contact Orders are designed primarily to prevent intentional contact. Incidental contact (e.g., parties sighting or passing each other on campus pathways) is not considered a violation of a Campus No Contact Order; individual No Contact Orders may include rules regarding interactions in specific, public locations.
The College expects that students requesting NCOs do so in good faith and for legitimate reasons. NCOs are issued at the College’s discretion and the College may decline to issue an NCO where it determines the process is being misused or where it would be inappropriate for other reasons. Students who have interpersonal conflicts that do not raise concerns for individual health and safety will not be granted NCOs. These individuals should pursue other forms of conflict resolution, such as mediation, offered through the Office of Student Conduct.