Sanctions

General Sanctions

Student conduct procedures are intended to be educational. At times, when infractions are egregious, students may be separated from the University for a period of time (suspension) or permanently (expulsion). Sanctions are intended to be incremental and increasing in severity when a pattern of conduct emerges. Trinity University reserves the right to impose any sanctions in order to address student conduct violations.

The administrator or conduct panel assigning a sanction status will specify the length of time the status is to be in place and opportunities to have the status reduced or removed from the student’s record. In rare cases, the Dean of Students has the authority to modify sanctions if the result is an equal or lesser sanction in favor of the responsible student, and one semester has elapsed since the policy violation.

While it is impossible to list all options, sanctions could include, but are not limited to fines, community service, reflection papers, parental notification, online educational courses, and referrals for substance abuse assessment, counseling, and psychiatric evaluation. Restitution for damage done is not considered a sanction. As part of the conduct process, the responding party will generally be asked to discuss how other sanctions would serve an appropriate purpose.

A student may receive any sanction status out of sequence, depending on the severity of the conduct:

Warning – A person placed on warning is given a special warning status in regard to a particular University policy. For example, a student on warning status for violating Respect for Property could be placed on general warning if that offense is committed again during the probationary period. Warning status is effective throughout one's time at Trinity University.

General Warning – A person placed on general warning status can be considered for stricter sanctions up to and including suspension or expulsion from the University for committing any other subsequent offense during general warning status, which would have been subject to probation as a sanction. General Warning status is effective throughout one's time at Trinity University.

Probation – Probation is a true probationary status that will include disqualification from studying abroad and possible removal or barring from the residence halls and other University facilities. Probation is effective throughout one's time at Trinity University.

Probation with suspension of privileges – This status is in place to allow students to complete course-work for a given semester or semesters. This is accompanied by a banning from participating in Trinity University activities (examples include, but are not limited to athletics, intramurals, music, drama, student organizations, or employment). Generally students on this status are barred from all facilities except classrooms.

Suspension – Suspension is removal from the University for a defined period of time such as one semester, one academic year, one calendar year, etc., or pending the occurrence of some condition. While suspension is viewed as a lesser penalty than expulsion, in that a student knows that s/he will be permitted to apply for readmission after the determined period, suspension is, nevertheless, barring of the student from the University. In cases in which a student has been suspended from the University, s/he may be permitted to complete the current semester but be denied readmission until after the defined period of suspension.

Expulsion – Expulsion is removal from the University permanently or with no expectation of being permitted to re-enter. While a student may receive lesser sanctions for these offenses, expulsion from the University is possible in those cases warranting the maximum punishment.


Alcohol and Drug Sanctions

Students violating alcohol and drug policies usually do so with full knowledge of the consequences of violations in the community and on campus. In order to offer consistency and fair notice, the Dean of Students Office proscribes the following sanction guidelines.

NOTE: Trinity sanctions are designed to be educational and separate from the penalties that could be given under federal or state law. Learn more about the legal penalties for certain alcohol and drug offenses in Texas here.

First alcohol sanction

Depending on the severity of the violation, sanctions may include one or more of the following:

  • Warning for the time remaining at Trinity University (this warning status is in place only for further alcohol violations: a second violation leads to a broader general warning).
  • A fine of $50 to $100. Revenue from fines is applied directly to online educational alcohol courses for future entering classes at Trinity.
  • Participation in an online educational course (with a $50 fee).
  • Parental notification if alcohol infraction is coupled with other simultaneous violations of policy.
  • Alcohol-use consultation (a meeting with a staff member to assess if there may be potential problematic drinking).

Second alcohol sanction

Depending on the previous sanction, new sanctions may include any elements listed for the first offense and the following unless otherwise waived:

  • General warning for a specified period of time (any violation while on general warning may result in suspension).
  •  Parental notification.

Third alcohol violation

  • Probation and/or suspension for at least one semester. 

For violations that are congruent with the law, these alcohol fines are set as a reasonable alternative to off-campus sanctions:

Sections 106.04, 106.071, and 106.115, Texas Alcoholic Beverage Code, provide that the offense of consumption of alcohol by a minor is punishable as a Class C misdemeanor and attendance at an alcohol awareness program, and where the person has been previously convicted twice for an alcohol-related offense by a minor, the punishment is a fine of not less than $250 or more than $2000; confinement in jail for a term not to exceed 180 days; or both the fine and confinement; community service of 8 to 40 hours; suspension of Texas Driver's License or permit for 30 to 180 days and attendance at an alcohol awareness program.

Sections 106.05, 106.071, and 106.115, Texas Alcoholic Beverage Code, provide that the possession of alcohol by a minor is punishable as a Class C misdemeanor and attendance at an alcohol awareness program, and where the person has been previously convicted twice for an alcohol-related offense by a minor, the punishment is a fine of not less than $250 or more than $2000; confinement in jail for a term not to exceed 180 days; or both the fine and confinement; community service of 8 to 40 hours; suspension of Texas Driver's License or permit for 30 to 180 days and attendance at an alcohol awareness program.

Section 49.02, Texas Penal Code, provides that the offense of public intoxication wherein a person appears in a public place while intoxicated to the degree that the person may endanger himself or another person is punishable as a Class C misdemeanor, unless the person is younger than 21 years old, wherein Sections 106.071 and 106.115, Texas Alcoholic Beverage Code apply and provide for a Class C misdemeanor punishment and attendance at an alcohol awareness program, and where the offender has been previously convicted twice for an alcohol-related offense by a minor, the punishment is a fine of not less than $250 or more than $2000; confinement in jail for a term not to exceed 180 days; or both the fine and confinement; community service of 8 to 40 hours; suspension of Texas Driver's License or permit for 30 to 180 days and attendance at an alcohol awareness program.

Section 106.06, Texas Alcoholic Beverage Code, provides that the penalty for purchasing alcohol for a minor or giving or making available an alcoholic beverage to a minor is a Class B misdemeanor.

Learn more about the legal penalties for certain alcohol offenses in Texas here.

First drug sanction

  • General warning for a specified period of time (any violation while on general warning may result in suspension).
  • Parental notification.
  • A fine generally between $200 and $500.Revenue from fines is applied directly to online educational courses for future entering classes at Trinity.
  • Participation in an online educational course (with a $50 fee).

Second drug sanction

Depending on the previous sanction, new sanctions may include any elements listed for the first offense and the following:

  • Probation and/or suspension for at least one semester or permanent expulsion.
  • A $500 fine.

Third drug sanction

  • Suspension or expulsion.

Suspension or expulsion is automatically considered in cases of sale, distribution, or possession, of any drugs or the presence of drugs other than marijuana whether or not it is a first-time violation.

These fines are set as a reasonable alternative to off-campus sanctions:

Section 481.121, Texas Health and Safety Code, deals with possession of marijuana offenses: less than 2 oz. is a Class B misdemeanor; more than 2 oz. and less than 4 oz. is a Class A misdemeanor; more than 4 oz. and less than five pounds is a state jail felony; more than five pounds and less than 50 pounds is a 3rd degree felony; more than 50 pounds and less than 2000 pounds is a 2nd degree felony; and more than 2000 pounds is life imprisonment or a term of 5 to 99 years and a fine not to exceed $50,000.

Learn more about the legal penalties for certain drug offenses in Texas here

Last reviewed:  August 2016