Membership in this community places a significant expectation upon its students, faculty, and staff to respect the dignity and autonomy of others, and to act with forethought and consideration of the social and environmental impacts their actions may have. This community thrives on the freedom of inquiry and expression that extends from the classroom into the social life of the College. This freedom is manifested in the vigorous debates that take place in our classrooms, committees, and residence halls, which bring together students, faculty, and staff. By necessity, such freedom comes from an atmosphere of trust and mutual confidence that must also extend from classroom to committee to residence hall.

With these expectations in mind, there are few stated restrictions on behavior at the college – nevertheless, students are expected to adhere to the social and academic policies stated in all college documents. With one possible exception, the policies that follow have been developed and endorsed by the ACM as necessary for the functioning of this community.

The following procedures apply for students. Students who are concerned about the actions of a faculty or staff member should talk with any of the following faculty or staff members: the Academic Dean, any of the Associate Deans, the Director of Public Safety, the Administrative Dean or the Equal Employment Opportunity Officer. Any forthcoming charges against faculty and staff will be handled according to the procedures set forth in the faculty and staff manuals.

This section is not a comprehensive list of all campus community policies. Included here is important information about our drug/alcohol and safe community policies. 

Community Policies

  • Alcohol

    COA is required to comply with the Drug Free Campuses Act, as well as the laws of the State of Maine, which include but are not limited to:

    • Individuals must be 21 years old to purchase, possess, or consume alcohol in the state of Maine.
    • Persons under 21 years of age may not purchase, consume, possess, or transport alcoholic beverages.
    • It is illegal to present false identification, either written or oral, in the attempt to procure alcoholic beverages.
    • No person may furnish, procure, or deliver alcohol to a minor or allow any minor in his/her control to drink alcohol.
    • No person may furnish, procure, or deliver alcohol to/for an intoxicated person.
    • Only licensed liquor dealers may sell alcoholic beverages in Maine.
    • Charging admission to parties where alcoholic beverages are available “free” is illegal.
    • No person may drink alcohol while operating a motor vehicle. In addition, an excessive blood alcohol level (0.08) could result in a suspension of your driver’s license and/or a fine. If you are under 21 years old, the state considers you intoxicated if your blood alcohol level reaches 0.02.
    • The consumption of alcoholic beverages in public places is illegal without a special license or permit issued by Maine state officials.

    In order for COA to comply with these laws and to maintain a safe campus, the following policy has been enacted:

    • All COA students, staff, and faculty are personally responsible for complying with Maine state and local laws regarding consumption, sale, transportation, and procurement of alcohol.
    • Individuals under the influence of alcohol will be held fully accountable for their actions, including physical or verbal abuse to individuals, or any action resulting in damage to personal or college property. Intoxication is not an acceptable defense or excuse for disorderly conduct.
    • Making reference to alcohol is discouraged in campus advertisements or announcements for social events.
    • Consumption of alcohol is prohibited in spaces regularly frequented by the public, including but not limited to Blair Dining Hall; Thorndike Library; Gates Community Center; Deering Common, access ways to buildings; parking lots and drives, hallways, lobbies, and common areas of buildings; formal gardens; and at all COA functions except under conditions noted below.
    • At the discretion of the Director of Public Safety or his delegate, any individual who is potentially disruptive or impaired by alcohol must cease his/her behavior upon request.
    • Consumption of alcohol in campus housing is only permitted by residents 21 or older, in private student rooms in housing not designated as substance free. Alcohol is not permitted to be stored in common spaces. Any student storing alcohol in a student room will be held responsible for any consequences resulting from the consumption of that alcohol whether by themselves or others. The household and the Resident Advisor will determine further guidelines, with the assistance of the housing office as needed. The household policy must be in accordance with the community guidelines and all members of the household are to share in the responsibility of upholding the policy.

    Any community member violating this policy will be held accountable through measures that may include a warning or referral to appropriate social misconduct or personnel procedures. Complaints of social misconduct can be brought through the offices of either the Director of Campus Safety or the Dean of Student Life. Violations of Maine laws occur at the risk of the individuals involved - and are not the responsibility of the College.

  • Amorous Relationships

    Amorous relationships between paid professionals (faculty and staff) and students are prohibited at COA. Should any faculty or staff member enter into an amorous relationship with a student, that staff or faculty member will be expected to take unpaid leave for the duration of the student’s time at the college.

  • Discrimination

    COA does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, disability, religion, ancestry or national origin, age, marital status, genetic information, or veteran’s status. COA operates in accordance with federal and state laws regarding nondiscrimination.  

    Therefore, the following procedures will be followed should any member of our community feel that infringement of rights or discrimination has occurred.

    The procedure utilized in the investigation of any complaint of civil rights infringement or discrimination will be the same as those used for the investigation of gender or sexual harassment. These procedures are outlined in the Sexual Harassment section of the Handbook.

    If a community member is uncertain about whether they have experienced discrimination, have questions or would like clarification, or need help, they are strongly encouraged to contact any of the following: the Dean of Student Life, the Director of Public Safety, the Academic Dean, or the Affirmative Action/Equal Employment Opportunity officer. 

    If a community member decides to pursue a complaint, the first person to be contacted in such an event should be the Affirmative Action/Equal Employment Opportunity officer.

  • Drug-free Workplace and Campus

    College of the Atlantic, in compliance with and in support of the Drug-free Workplace Act of 1988 and other Federal and State laws, hereby notifies all employees and students that the unlawful manufacture, distribution, dispensing, possession, or use of controlled substances is prohibited at COA. Individuals will be prosecuted through either the College’s internal policies and/or local law enforcement agencies.

  • Earth Day Policy

    Earth Day is a day to renew the COA community.  It is a day to gather the spirits of the visions that brought us to COA.  As individuals we cling to our visions of social and environmental justice, hoping to the spread their fullness.  However, 250 visions remain scattered.  Occasionally we catch glimpses of the communities [sic] strong commitments.  In order to fire our own flames we need to clarify our understanding of the visions of those around us.  The tool for this enlightenment is a pause.  In our stillness we may open our eyes to all 250 visions becoming a single power.  In this, there is inspiration.  The power of our stillness will reach beyond our own community.


    This is a call for EARTH DAY, A CELEBRATION OF COMMUNITY at COA.  It is the celebration of the artistic and scientific possibility within our community.  Beginning April 22nd, 1996, COA will replace its class meetings and administrative duties with one day of community renewal.  For one day COA students, faculty, and administration will join together to experience and participate in lectures, musical and literary presentations, student forum, informational sessions, community service and a COA community and family picnic.  The day’s classes will be postponed to the following day, shifting the week’s schedule ahead and eliminating Wednesday meetings.  The annual organization and promotion of this day is the responsibility of the community.  All individuals are encouraged to organize presentations of their own.  In order to insure [sic] involvement, committees will be allocated certain responsibilities.  The following presents the responsibilities of each committee:


    Campus Planning & Building – CPBC will be responsible for ensuring adequate space for large community gatherings.  CPBC will be responsible for a campus grounds enhancement project, such as the planting of trees.

    Within the CPBC the recycling subcommitee will be responsible for sponsoring an informational session to update the status of community recycling.  Dually the subcommittee will provide future ideas for enhancement of the program.


    Internship Commitee – The Internship Committee shall use Earth Day to promote internship opportunities.  Secondly, the committee shall present past successes of COA alumni and graudates.  The committee shall invite area alumni to participate in the celebration.


    Admissions Committee – The Admissions Committee should consider inviting prospective students.  Prospective students will experience the fullness of community spirit.  In general admissions can use the day as a promotional device, enabling prospective students to gain a better understanding of COA’s mission.


    Student Activities – Student Activities will be responsible for sponsoring a celebratory event for the enjoyment of the entire community.  In particular the committee is encouraged to organize community literary and musical presentations.



    Publications and Communications – Publications and Communications will undertake the task of advertisement.  The committee will be responsible for signs on campus and within the Bar Harbor community.  The event will also be advertised on the COA homepage of the World Wide Web.  Prior to Earth Day, Publications and Communications will request the submission of articles to Off the Wall and local newspapers.  Lastly, local radio and television stations will be contacted.


    The Library Committee – The Library Committee will be responsible for the display case in the Thorndike Library.


    Academic Affairs – Academic Affairs shall open Earth Day at COA with an official welcoming.  A piece to inspire the day’s activities.


    Steering Committee – Steering Committee shall be responsible for organizing time slots for certain events throughout the day.  This information shall be passed along to the Publications and Communications committee for advertisement.


    Additional responsibilities:

    COA community and family will be responsible for a potluck.

    COA community will responsible for restoring order to the campus after the conclusion of the day’s events.

    SEA will sponsor a student forum.  The forum will address a current debateable [sic] issue.  SEA will also sponsor smaller informational workshops organized by group members.


    COA encourages students to claim their education so that they may claim their lives in a way that will make a positive impact in the world.  Earth Day is one day for COA to take responsibility, to take our individual visions and unite them with the community.  In this visionary unification is the realization that making a positive impact on the world is possible.

  • Firearms Policy

    COA seeks to create and maintain a safe and secure environment in which to learn, work and live. We believe that those in our community expect and will endeavor to keep each other safe and will refrain from engaging in behavior that will endanger others.  This policy is a proactive step towards reducing the risk of harm associated with intentional or accidental use of firearms.

    COA prohibits the possession of firearms, concealed or not concealed, with or without a concealed weapon permit, on campus or on property controlled by the college, or in college vehicles. Sworn law enforcement personnel carrying out their duties are exempt from this policy. If any member of the community has an academic reason for needing to have a firearm on campus, that individual can apply for an exemption to this policy by making a request to the Director of Public Safety.

    Firearms are defined as any gun, rifle, pistol, handgun or device designed to fire bullets, BBs, pellets, or shots (including paint balls), or other projectiles, regardless of the propellant used and regardless of whether the device is functional or not.

    By expressly prohibiting firearms, this policy does not tacitly permit the possession of other weapons.

    3/30/16    Unanimously approved by Student Life Committee


  • Judiciary Hearing

    A student can be charged with misconduct by any member of the College community. The following steps should be taken in any situation except those involving sexual misconduct. Sexual misconduct issues are covered in the “Complaint Procedures for Sexual Misconduct” section of this handbook.

    For complaints of Academic Misconduct, the Academic Dean or his/her designee will serve as the Chair for the Judiciary Hearing Board; for complaints of Social Misconduct, the Dean of Student Life or his/her designee will serve as the Chair. This judiciary hearing process is an internal COA procedure, separate from and in addition to any legal actions outside the college which may be appropriate.

    Generally, it is anticipated that the vast majority of complaints are the result of imperfect communication rather than malice or ill-intent – and can therefore be resolved informally through communication and mediation. If a community member is concerned about the actions of a student, he/she is encouraged to address that student’s behavior directly and respectfully. If a community member is uncertain about how to address the behavior, he/she can seek help and advice from a variety of sources: the Dean of Student Life, the Director of Public Safety, the Academic Deans, the Resident Advisers, or any faculty or staff member he/she feels comfortable with.

    In the event that a community member feels uncomfortable confronting a student’s behavior directly, he/she should discuss his/her concerns directly with either the Dean of Student Life or the Academic Dean. They will be able to advise you of your options. In the event that a written complaint is deemed necessary, they can assist you deciding whether an informal or formal resolution is appropriate. Please keep in mind that all parties need to be willing to engage in and complete an informal resolution in order for it to be successful. In the event this is impossible, the complaint will be referred to a judiciary hearing board for formal resolution. A person who feels uncomfortable approaching either of the Dean of Student Life or the Academic Dean should talk with any faculty or staff member who can speak on his or her behalf.

  • Medical Marijuana Policy

    College of the Atlantic receives federal funding through Title IV in the form of student financial aid (grants, loans, and work-study programs) and through federal research grants. As a condition of accepting this money, College of the Atlantic is required to certify that it complies with the Drug-Free Schools and Communities Act (DFSCA) (20 U.S.C. §1011i; 34 C.F.R. part 86). The federal government regulates drugs through the Controlled Substances Act (CSA), which does not recognize the difference between medical and recreational use of marijuana. Thus, to comply with the Federal Drug Free School and Communities Act and to avoid losing federal funding, College of the Atlantic prohibits all marijuana use and possession, even that legally certified in the State of Maine for medical purposes, on any campus property and in any college-owned vehicle. Any community member identified as being in violation of this policy may be subject to disciplinary action for its use. First year students with medical marijuana prescriptions/certifications may request a waiver of the campus residency requirement by contacting the Dean of Student Life. Returning students should make arrangements to live off-campus for the duration of their time at College of the Atlantic or until such time as they no longer need to use medical marijuana. Employees will need to make alternate arrangements if they need to use medical marijuana during work hours.

    Passed November 11, 2015

  • Parking
    Parking Regulations
    • All COA community members, including board of trustees and members of the Acadia Senior College, wishing to park their vehicles on campus must register their vehicles each year with the Office of Public Safety. Registration is required within the first seven days of the fall term, or within seven days of any term in which the owner/driver of the vehicle becomes a COA community member. Summer program participants will be granted temporary parking passes for the time period of the given program by the summer program staff.
    • COA community members are expected to park in designated parking spaces only.
    • Parking at Turrets is reserved for deliveries, visitors and accessible parking only.
    • Parking behind Kaelber Hall is limited to deliveries and accessible parking only. One space in this area is designated for kitchen staff to accommodate frequent trips for supplies.
    • Parking in front of the garages at Davis and Witchcliff is reserved for accessible parking and deliveries only. No parking is permitted in the circular drives.
    • Deliveries in areas that are designated as such in this plan, are limited to ten minutes or less, and must honor the no-idle policy.
    • No parking is permitted at any student housing or at the Campus Centre. ADA space is available at all locations except Cottage House.
    • ADA accessible permits are available from the Office of Public Safety.
    • No parking is allowed on the road to, or at the turn around area near the COA pier. Vehicles using this facility for loading or off-loading must be moved to a designated parking space immediately after completing the task.
    • The feature strip of pavers and cobbles by the whale skull is designated as a drop-off and pick-up area only: No parking. Vehicles may pull off in this area for a maximum of five minutes, and must be out of the road when stopped.
    • Bus parking is limited to the “north lot.” If this lot is filled buses will be expected to leave campus while they wait to pick up their riders.
    • Campus residents whose vehicles are unused for more than ten consecutive days are required to park in the North Lot.
    • Any driver who will be away from COA for an extended period of time who wishes to store their vehicle on campus must receive approval from the Office of Public Safety and agree to certain conditions before being allowed to do so.
    • COA maintenance and service vehicles, as well as contracted service vehicles are expected to honor the intent of this plan. Though these vehicles may need to park in restricted areas for short periods of time, if they are not being used for direct service they must be moved to a designated parking space. .
    • Any community member who is planning to invite guests to the campus is asked to inform them of the campus parking plan.


    Snow Management Plan:

    During snow events a weather alert will be posted via email from the Office of Public Safety.  With the occurrence of such an event, a campus-wide overnight parking lot ban will be in effect as follows:

    • Overnight parking is allowed only on the west side (Route 3) of the south end of campus, and either the garden lot or the north lot on campus.
    • Overnight is defined as the hours between 12:01am and 7:00 am.
    • Vehicles parked elsewhere on campus will be towed at the owner’s expense.

    After an announcement that the parking ban has been lifted, all vehicles must be moved to a clean parking lot as soon as possible. Cars not moved within 24 hours will be towed to a clean lot at the owner’s expense.


    No-idle policy:

    Vehicles, whether for delivery or otherwise, parked on the COA campus are not allowed to idle for more than five minutes.



    Owners of vehicles found parked in violation of this parking plan will receive written notice with an explanation describing the nature of the violation.  A record of the infringement will be filed in the Office of Public Safety. Upon a second violation the owner of the vehicle will receive a notice explaining the nature of the violation, and warning that a third violation will result in the vehicle being towed at the owner’s expense.  A third violation will result in the car being towed at the owner’s expense as soon as the call is made.  A fourth violation by the same owner will be considered habitual and may result in forfeiture of the right to park at COA.


    Exceptions to the two-warning system will include instances where a parked vehicle is blocking a roadway, fire lane, turn-around, ADA accessible parking space or ramp, or failure to register. Parking in any of these locations will result in the vehicle being towed at the owner’s expense without warning.


    Please park responsibly and efficiently in one of the designated spaces, as shown on the campus parking map.   


    Any questions or concerns regarding this plan or other parking related issues may be brought to the Office of Public Safety.


  • Pet Policy

    For many community members, allowing pets on campus greatly enhances the learning and working environment. The college recognizes that many pets are well behaved and are brought to the campus by responsible persons. Pet owners are expected to consider safety, health and the possible fears others may have in the presence of animals. In order to meet the needs of pet owners while protecting those community members who-have allergies or fears, the following policies will apply when a pet is brought on COA property.

    Pets on campus will be well behaved, good natured, and subject to the control of their owners. Dogs should be up-to-date on all shots, have tags with the owner’s name and telephone number, and be licensed with the town (if required).

    General Expectations

    Please be respectful to all community members if you bring your pet on campus

    • Take-A-Break, Sea Urchins Café, the COA community garden, classrooms, labs and studios are off limits to pets. Gates is off limits to pets during large group events. Classroom exceptions will be made when pets are needed for educational purposes. Please notify the Director of Public Safety prior to animals being used in a classroom.

    • College employees may have their pets inside their individual offices, as long as it does not present any concern for the health, safety, and well-being of individuals in the building. These pets must be under full control when another person enters the office. A clear sign (e.g., “Pet Inside”) must be placed on the outside of a closed office door when a pet is inside the office. This will provide advance notice and avoid unnecessary startling to any person who may need to enter that office. Employees who bring their pets to work are wholly responsible for making sure that their offices and all other College property remain undamaged and clean of pet-caused dirt or debris. Pet owners must arrange for a meeting location other than their offices for those who prefer to meet pet-free.

    • Dogs must be on leashes at all times when on the grounds of the campus. Leashes should be no longer than 6 feet long.

    • It is the owner’s responsibility to be aware of their pet’s temperament around people and other animals. Pets showing any aggressive tendencies toward people or other animals are not allowed on campus.

    • While on campus, pet owners are responsible for cleaning up waste left by their pet. Failure to clean up the waste will result in the pet no longer being allowed on campus.

    • All animal solid waste must be disposed of in outside dumpsters. Please do not dispose of it inside any building.

    • Complaints should be directed to Director of Public Safety.

    • If any of the above rules are broken, public safety staff will give pet owners two warnings to correct any bad behavior. If the misbehavior is not corrected after the second warning, the Director of Public Safety will ask the owner to leave campus with their pet.

    • In the event of an injury resulting from an encounter with a pet on campus the incident should be reported to the Bar Harbor Animal Control Officer. -

    This policy doesn’t cover animals in Student housing or service/emotional support animals. Please refer to the student housing contract for information about having a pet in the dorm rooms and to the Service Dog and Emotional Support Animal Policy.

  • Posted Materials Policy

    All notices and other printed material should be posted on bulletin boards, informational kiosks, or other designated locations. No item should be posted on walls, doors, woodwork, windows, or any other interior or exterior surface of campus buildings. Any items posted on a prohibited surface will be removed immediately and discarded appropriately. 


  • Smoking on Campus

    In compliance with the Maine Workplace Smoking Act of 1985 and additional legislation in 1993 banning smoking in enclosed public spaces, COA is committed to providing a smoke-free work environment. Smoking is therefore prohibited in and within a 25 foot zone around all college buildings, except for specific designated smoking areas. Smoking is also prohibited in all college owned vehicles.

    According to Maine State Law, Smoking” includes carrying or having in one's possession a lighted or heated cigarette, cigar, or pipe or a lighted or heated tobacco or plant product intended for human consumption through inhalation whether natural or synthetic in any manner or in any form. “Smoking” includes the use of an electronic smoking device.

    Community members who smoke are asked to do so in such a way that they do not expose those who do not smoke, to second-hand smoke. Those who want to smoke in areas without a specific designation are asked to be respectful of the needs of those who do not smoke by requesting permission to or refraining from smoking if the area is already in use, or stopping smoking if asked to do so.

    Smoke-free areas:

    The Newlin Gardens area (the “Red Bricks” area) including the stairways leading to the Newlin Gardens, the Campus Walk (the pathway connecting the Newlin Gardens to the Davis Center), the courtyard of Blair-Tyson, and the courtyard created by Deering Common, Seafox, and the Kathryn W. Davis Residence Village

    Designated smoking areas:

    The lean-to at Buildings and Grounds, the overhang at the northwest entrance to TAB, the porch of the KWD Residence Village Bike Shed, and the area adjacent to the bike shed at Blair-Tyson. At the discretion of CPBC these areas can be changed or moved.

  • Social Misconduct

    Students who engage in conduct which harms, or is intended to harm, another person or another’s property in the community (including college property) will be held accountable by the College. Harassing and intimidating behavior is particularly injurious to community life and will likely be subject to significant disciplinary action. The College also expects students to behave in accordance with the community policies outlined below. Social Misconduct may be dealt with administratively or through a Judiciary Hearing process.