554 The Professional Counselor | Volume 10, Issue 4 I would say that [gatekeeping experiences] took a lot out of me, emotionally. It was exhausting. Even today, I don’t feel the intensity that I felt at the time. But there’s still emotion. There’s still kind of a sadness and disappointment that we had to have conversations. And certainly, I’m very hopeful that . . . the people who were removed from the program have found something else to do where they can be successful. Participants’ decisions to dismiss students also impacted them unexpectedly. Lila explained: Once in a while it’s also very sad because you see people with a lot of potential, good people, that because of what’s happening in their lives might make poor choices. And the sad part is to see somebody with so much potential getting themselves into trouble because of personal issues. And then the investment they have made in their education and all this money they have put into it, it comes to an end because they made poor choices. It’s very sad to see something like this. It stays with you. Those are the things that sometimes will wake me up at three, four in the morning and think, “Ah, I wish things were different.” Legal Interactions Among the most disruptive and emotionally intense phase of many participants’ (n = 7) gatekeeping experiences were legal proceedings. These moments were often physically and emotionally taxing, confusing, and disruptive on personal and professional levels. Participants frequently second-guessed their thoughts and behaviors. Usually this phase started with notification of a lawsuit that was filed on behalf of the student against the faculty, program, or university. Mark shared his feelings after discovering he was one of the primary people named in a lawsuit: I was the department chair, and I had to deliver the news. I was named in the lawsuit along with the dean, and the Board of Trustees, and one other faculty member. . . . I questioned whether I had done things properly. I felt vulnerable. I felt like that my reputation might be compromised. Legal proceedings involving participants (n = 6) were jury and judge trials in either civil or criminal court and sometimes generated publicity outside of their institutions. Several participants shared that legal proceedings came with an emotional cost to them and their respective programs. For example, Dan felt emotionally exhausted with his lengthy involvement with the legal system: Along the way, there was tremendous amounts of angst, and time, and energy, and aggravation spent on this student, and on the trouble that he generated, and the accusations that he was making . . . 12 or 18 months later, we were notified that he had hired an attorney, and that he was going to sue the college. Depositions followed, hours of depositions. Because I was the faculty member that had the most time with him, I was deposed for about a day and a half, where his attorney asked me every imaginable question six different ways from Sunday. It was not a pleasant experience. Anyway, there would be many, many months that would go by without hearing anything, and then we’d be told that, “Okay, we’ve been scheduled for a trial.” Then we get up to the trial and there’d be some continuance, and the can would get kicked down the road again. From the time the student was expelled from the program to deposition, it was four years. From the time of the actual jury trial, it was 10 years.