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Section 4. Code of Student Conduct

2013-2014 student guide

The Office of the Dean of Students is responsible for developing, disseminating, and upholding behavioral standards that comprise the University Code of Student Conduct. It is the belief of the Dean of Students that this responsibility can be discharged best within an educational context.

As a Jesuit and Catholic institution, Boston College has a strong emphasis on self-awareness and a distinct consideration for the lives and feelings of others. The Code of Student Conduct reflects the ethics, values, and standards of the University community and its concern for all involved parties. Self-discipline, knowledge of limits, proper exercise of freedom, responsibility for judgment, and accountability for actions are all critical components of personal formation. When behavioral standards on or off campus are violated, an appropriate educational response will be forthcoming from the University through the Student Conduct System.

For more information on the administration of the system, see Section 5, Student Conduct System.

4.1    STATEMENT OF RIGHTS AND RESPONSIBILITIES
Source: Office of the Dean of Students

All Boston College students are expected to fully comply with all the policies and procedures listed in the Student Guide. In addition, resident students are expected to fully comply with the provisions detailed in the Office of Residential Life's Conditions for Residency, available on the Residential Life website at www.bc.edu/reslife.

All student members of the Boston College community have certain rights. These include:

  • The right to learn, which includes the right of access to ideas, the right of access to facts and opinions, the right to express ideas, and the right to discuss those ideas with others.
  • The right of peaceful coexistence, which includes the right to be free from violence, force, threats, and abuse, and the right to move about freely.
  • The right to be free of any action that unduly interferes with a student's rights and/or learning environment.
  • The right to express opinion, which includes the right to state agreement or disagreement with the opinions of others and the right to an appropriate forum for the expression of opinion.
  • The right of privacy, which includes the right to be free of unauthorized search of personal property.
  • The right to have access to a process through which to resolve deprivations of rights.
  • In the case of disciplinary procedures:
    • the right to be informed of any charges of misconduct,
    • the right to an opportunity to respond to the charges,
    • the right to hear evidence in support of the charges,
    • the right to present evidence against the charges,
    • the right to an advisor,
    • the right to a fair procedure, which is appropriate to the circumstances,
    • the right to be informed of the outcome of your proceeding.

For more information please refer to the Boston College Notice of Non-Discrimination policy.

As members of a learning community, all student members of the Boston College community have certain responsibilities to the institution and to its members. These include:

  • Respect for the rights of others, which includes the obligation to refrain from conduct that violates or adversely affects the rights of other members of the Boston College community.
  • The obligation to refrain from conduct in the general community, which adversely affects Boston College.
  • The obligation to refrain from interfering with the freedom of expression of others. This includes such activities as newspaper thefts, attempting to shout down speakers, and intentional jamming of computer networks.
  • The responsibility for the avoidance of force, violence, threat, or harassment.
  • The responsibility for the avoidance of disruption. Certain kinds of conduct can convert the expression of opinion into disruption. The Student Demonstrations policy describes the procedures and limitations appropriate to the public expression of opinion.
  • The responsibility to comply with state, federal, and municipal laws and regulations. Student members of the Boston College community must be aware that they continue to be subject to the obligations of all citizens while they attend the University. The University is committed to the observance of the laws. There is no immunity on campus from the prohibitions of state and federal law.
  • The obligation to ensure that the conduct of others who come to the University through a student's invitation or permission complies with the rules and regulations of the University.
  • The obligation to respect the environment of Boston College, which includes respect for the physical features of the campus and its facilities as well as the special needs of an institution of learning, such as quiet and privacy.
  • The obligation to provide proper identification when requested to do so by a representative of the University. All students are expected to carry their Boston College identification card at all times and to produce it when requested. ID cards may be electronically scanned by a University official to confirm a student’s status.
  • The responsibility to cooperate with University officials in the performance of their duties.
  • The responsibility to respect the values and traditions of Boston College as a Jesuit, Catholic institution.

4.2    ACADEMIC POLICIES

Academic Integrity

Students are expected to maintain high standards of integrity in their academic work and comply with the University’s policies with respect to academic integrity. The pursuit of knowledge can proceed only when scholars take responsibility and receive credit for their work. Similarly, the educational process requires that individuals present their own ideas and insights for evaluation, critique, and eventual reformulation. Academic integrity is violated by any dishonest act committed in an academic context including, but not limited to, acts of cheating, plagiarism, falsification of data, alteration of University records, misuse of University facilities or resources, and helping another individual to commit an act of academic dishonesty.  See the University’s Academic Integrity Policy within the Academic Policies and Procedures. 

Academic Policies

See the Academic Policies and Procedures

4.3    BEHAVIORAL POLICIES & PROHIBITED CONDUCT

The following section outlines the behavioral expectations and prohibited conduct for Boston College students. Violations of the Boston College Code of Student Conduct will be addressed and resolved through the Student Conduct System. For more information on the administration of the system, see Section 5, Student Conduct System.

4.3.1    Alcohol and Drug Use and Abuse

Boston College students are expected to comply with local, state, and federal laws relating to the use of drugs and alcohol. The University will not tolerate conduct that disrupts the campus or the academic or residential environment. The University values its relationship with the adjoining cities of Boston and Newton and recognizes the right of its neighbors to be secure from abusive conduct caused by illegal use of drugs and alcohol on and off campus.

The majority of offenses against people and property committed at Boston College are a direct result of alcohol use and abuse. Such behavior is unacceptable to the student population and the community at large.

4.3.1.1    Alcohol Policy

Boston College prioritizes the health, safety and wellbeing of every member of the community and requires that individuals who choose to use alcoholic beverages do so in a responsible and legal manner. Through the implementation of the alcohol policy, the University aims to decrease alcohol consumption leading to physical, mental and emotional harm.  High-risk drinking behaviors, such as over-consumption in a short time period leading to the loss of physical or mental control over oneself, are especially concerning as they have adverse effects on the individual and community wellbeing.

Violations of the alcohol policy will be handled through the Student Conduct System and will result in sanctions that may include fines, mandatory participation in alcohol education classes, community restitution projects, probations, and/or Housing or University Suspension or Dismissal. Violations of the Alcohol Policy include, but are not limited to the following:

Possession and/or Use of Alcohol:

Massachusetts state law, applicable to all BC students regardless of home state or country, makes it illegal for anyone under age 21 to purchase, arrange to have purchased, transport, possess, consume, or carry alcoholic beverages.  Regardless of age, engaging in drunk and disorderly conduct (including physical violence  and property damage), are serious offenses and will result in disciplinary action and possible suspension from Housing and/or the University. Students under the age of 21 are expected to remove themselves from social gatherings where they are in the presence of alcohol. Typically, the first instance in which a student is found to be in the presence of alcohol is handled as an administrative, non-disciplinary matter.  Repeated instances of being in the presence of alcohol under the age of 21; however, may result in formal disciplinary action and conduct sanctions.

Regardless of age, it is prohibited to drink or possess an open container of alcohol in public or common areas (Campus Green, outdoors, lounges, hallways, etc).  Open containers of alcohol are prohibited on the streets of Boston and Newton and could result in arrest and court action.

Tailgate parties are limited to the designated areas adjacent to Alumni Stadium; must include appropriate amounts of food in relationship to drink; and must be kept "litter free" by participants. Kegs and beerballs are prohibited at tailgates and are subject to confiscation. Alcohol is prohibited inside Alumni Stadium and Conte Forum, and violation may result in expulsion from the facility and/or disciplinary action.

Students attending University events including, but not limited to sporting events, concerts, dances, Welcome Week events, and Senior Week events are expected to conduct themselves in a responsible and respectful manner. Regardless of age, intoxication and possession of alcohol at such events may be handled as a disciplinary matter.  In the Modular housing units (Mods) during football games, Marathon Monday, Senior Week, or any other designated special event, any student under the age of 21 found in possession of, and/or under the influence of alcohol, will lose the ability to live in the Mods during his or her senior year. In addition, students attempting to gain access to the Mods (e.g., climbing the fence) will lose the ability to live in the Mods their senior year.

Under Massachusetts state law, it is illegal to transport alcohol in excess of the following quantities:  9 cases of beer or 3 gallons of any alcoholic beverage.  Transporting quantities in excess of the legal limits will be subject to confiscation as well as University disciplinary action and/or arrest.

Alcohol Related Infirmary Placement or Hospitalization:

Alcohol consumption resulting in the need for medical attention is a threat to the safety and wellbeing of the individual and the larger community and is strictly prohibited regardless of whether the individual is of legal drinking age. Situations where an individual seeks medical attention for him/herself or for another Boston College student will be handled according to the Seeking Help for Alcohol or Drug Related Medical Emergencies policy. See Section 4.3.1.3 for details.  

Central Alcohol Source:

Possessing, furnishing, consuming or serving from a large quantity or common source of alcohol (i.e. 12 or more servings, kegs, beer balls, punch bowls or other approximate equivalent number of servings) on campus is prohibited. Hosting or participating in the rapid consumption of alcohol, including drinking games, is prohibited.  

Enabling Underage Alcohol Consumption:

Enabling underage alcohol consumption is prohibited.  A student, regardless of age, will be considered enabling the underage consumption of alcohol if he or she possesses or has alcohol present in their residence for use by others, regardless of who purchased or acquired the alcohol. The student is also responsible for misconduct if he or she passively allows illegal alcohol or drug use to occur within his or her residence hall room or off campus dwelling, or otherwise provides a setting that allows for the underage consumption of alcohol.

In every state in the U.S., the sale, delivery, or furnishing of alcohol to persons under 21 is prohibited. In addition, a social host may under certain circumstances be held liable for injuries caused by a guest who, having consumed alcohol at the host's premises does harm to him or herself or to a third party.

If the guest is a minor, and the host knew or reasonably should have known that he or she was furnishing alcohol to a minor, the host may be held responsible for injuries or damage to the minor, or to third parties, caused by the minor's alcohol-influenced actions.

Furthermore, even if the guest was not a minor, a social host may still be liable for injuries to third parties if the host knew or should have known that the guest was intoxicated but, nevertheless, gave him or her, or permitted him or her to take alcohol. For more information on social host liability, please visit www.socialhostliability.org.

4.3.1.2    Drug Policy

The University prohibits the possession, use, consumption, manufacture, sale or distribution of drugs and drug paraphernalia. Persons convicted of drug possession under state or federal law may be ineligible for federal student grants and loans for up to one year after the first conviction and five years after the second; the penalty for distributing drugs is loss of benefits for five years after the first, 10 years after the second and permanently after the third conviction.

Information regarding the University's alcohol and drug abuse prevention program is provided as part of the Drug-Free Campus and Workplace Program. The document, distributed each year to all members of the University community as part of the Boston College Important Notices and Disclosures mailing, is available from the Office of the Financial Vice President and Treasurer. In addition, the following related policies may be found in the Boston College Policies and Procedures Manual at www.bc.edu/policy: Drug-Free Workplace, 1-300-020; Drug-Free Schools and Campuses, 1-300-025; and Use of Alcohol at Boston College, 1-300-050.

Violations of the Drug Policy include, but are not limited to the following:

Drug Use and/or Possession:

The term “drugs” broadly includes, without limitation, any stimulant, intoxicant (other than alcohol), nervous system depressant, hallucinogen, or other chemical substance, compound or combination when used to induce an altered state, including any otherwise lawfully available product used for any purpose other than its intended use (e.g., prescription or over the counter drugs or household product misuses). Such prescription, over the counter drugs, or household product misuse include, but are not limited to the sharing of prescription drugs, ingesting more than the prescribed dosage, inhaling toxic fumes from household products, etc.

Possession of Drug Paraphernalia:

The term “drug paraphernalia” broadly includes any material, product, instrument or item used to create, manufacture, distribute, use or otherwise manipulate any drug and includes, but is not limited to, hypodermic needles, syringes, bongs or pipes.

Drug Sale/Distribution or Drug Possession with Intent to Sell/Distribute:

The delivery, sale, transfer, or manufacturing of any drug or possessing drugs with intent to deliver, sell, transfer, or manufacture any drug are prohibited.

4.3.1.3    Seeking Help For Alcohol or Drug Related Medical Emergencies

The health and safety of Boston College students is of paramount concern.  As a result, all students are expected to seek appropriate assistance for themselves or others in situations where help is needed to ensure proper care of a person who is significantly intoxicated or under the influence of drugs. In situations where students seek medical attention due to alcohol intoxication or drug ingestion, Boston College will support and encourage help-seeking behavior by treating the situation as a health and safety matter, rather than as a disciplinary incident.  Additionally, anyone who seeks help or calls for help on behalf of another student will not be subject to disciplinary action. Students who seek and receive medical attention in such situations will be required to complete certain educational and/or counseling interventions and will also be subject to all fees related to their medical care.  Failure to complete these referrals would be treated as a disciplinary matter.

Students who demonstrate consistent and repeated patterns of seeking help for alcohol and drug related medical emergencies may require further medical review and/or treatment up to mandated medical leaves of absence. 

Regardless of help-seeking behavior, students will be held accountable for misconduct accompanying or incidental to the use and/or abuse of alcohol or other substances.  For example, disorderly behavior, violence, property damage, or distribution or intent to distribute will be treated as disciplinary violations and will be responded to accordingly. 

For medical assistance, please contact Health Services at (617) 552-3227; for an immediate response contact the BC Police at (617) 552-4444.  For a list of possible referrals and programs, please visit www.bc.edu/ade.

4.3.2    Behavior at Athletic and Social Events

Boston College students are expected to conduct themselves in a reasonable and inoffensive manner at all athletic and social events (e.g., football games, concerts). The use of offensive and/or vulgar chants or signs is unacceptable and may result in the confiscation of Boston College IDs, ejection from the facility, and the possibility of additional disciplinary action.

4.3.3    Bias-Motivated Offensive Conduct and Hate Crimes

Boston College and the Boston College Police Department have a zero tolerance policy for any bias- motivated offensive conduct or hate crimes.

A hate crime is any traditional criminal offense that is motivated in whole or in part by the offender's bias toward the victim's race, religion, disability, sexual orientation, nationality, or ethnicity.

Bias-motivated offensive conduct is behavior that, whether or not criminal, constitutes a violation of behavioral standards and policies listed in the Student Guide, and that is motivated in whole or in part by the offender's bias toward the victim's race, religion, disability, sexual orientation, nationality, or ethnicity.

Students found responsible for committing bias motivated offensive conduct or a hate crime face sanctions up to and including suspension or dismissal from the University as well as possible arrest and criminal action.

Boston College has established a protocol with respect to these types of violations. This protocol is available at www.bc.edu/diversity. Any bias-motivated offensive conduct or hate crime should be reported immediately to the Boston College Police Department at 617-552-4444 or may be reported through the website.

4.3.4    Conditions of Residency

Students residing in Boston College residential facilities are held by the policies and procedures of the Student Guide as well as their signed Residency Agreement.  Therefore, all residential students must abide by the policies and procedures as outlined in the Conditions for Residency and the Fire Safety and Security Policies as well as those conditions set forth in this document.  These documents can be found at http://www.bc.edu/content/bc/offices/reslife/lifeinhalls/communityexp.   

4.3.5    Dining Hall Violations

Students are expected to conduct themselves in a respectful, civil way in the dining halls at all times. Disruptive and/or disrespectful behavior and misappropriation of food and beverages within the dining facilities is a serious matter and will be dealt with through the Student Conduct System. Actions of an administrative nature will also be taken by Dining Services.

4.3.6    Discriminatory Harassment

See the Boston College Policies and Procedures Manual for more information. 

4.3.7
    Disorderly Conduct

Disorderly conduct is the unreasonable or reckless behavior by an individual or group that creates a potentially unsafe situation to members of the community or property; disrupts the peace or interferes with the normal operation of the University or University sponsored events; and/or infringes on the rights of others.  

4.3.8    Emergency Alarm System

A system of alarm boxes marked by blue lights is installed on campus and linked to the Boston College Police. The purpose is to provide protection and assistance in an emergency such as physical violence or sexual assault. Misuse of the system is a serious matter and will result in disciplinary action.

4.3.9    Failure to Comply

It is a violation for a student to fail to comply with the directives of a University or law enforcement official in the performance of his or her duties. 

4.3.10    Failure to Complete Sanctions

If a student fails to comply with or fails to complete an imposed disciplinary sanction by the established deadline date, they may face additional disciplinary action including more severe sanctions, a hold on their student account, and/or a failure to complete sanction fine of $100.  

4.3.11    False Information

Students may not intentionally provide false or inaccurate information or records to the University or local authorities. This includes, but is not limited to providing a false report of an emergency, crime, or code violation; providing false statements during a University investigation or proceeding; or misrepresenting oneself.

4.3.12
    Fire-related Misconduct

Deliberately setting a fire on the campus will be treated as one of the most serious forms of misconduct and will result in immediate suspension from Housing and/or from the University. Any conduct having a foreseeable risk that a fire will result is unacceptable, even if no fire is intended or does occur. Lighting a trash fire, bonfire, door decorations, or materials on a bulletin board will be treated as deliberate attempts to start a fire.

Candles and burning incense are absolutely prohibited in the residence halls and will result in confiscation and disciplinary sanctions. Misuse of or tampering with fire protection devices such as extinguishers, smoke detectors, and alarms threatens the safety of the community and is unacceptable. Setting off a false alarm may result in University Suspension.  The Office of Residential Life assigns certain minimum sanctions for violations of the fire safety policies at Boston College. A complete and current list of Safety and Security Policies for the residence halls, as well as sanctions for violations, is available on the Office of Residential Life's website at www.bc.edu/reslife.

4.3.13    Fireworks

Sale, possession, and use are prohibited under Massachusetts law.

4.3.14    Gambling

Boston College expects students to abide by federal and state laws prohibiting illegal gambling. Such prohibited activity includes, but is not limited to: betting on, wagering on, or selling pools on any athletic event; possessing on one's person or premises (e.g., room, residence unit, car) any card, book, or other device for registering bets; knowingly permitting the use of one's premises or one's telephone or other electronic communication device for illegal gambling; knowingly receiving or delivering a letter, package, or parcel related to illegal gambling; offering, soliciting, or accepting a bribe to influence the outcome of an athletic event; and involvement in bookmaking or wagering pools with respect to sporting events. Students involved in illegal gambling, particularly bookmaking, risk suspension or dismissal from the University.

4.3.15    Guest Policy

Any student who hosts a visitor, guest or any individual accompanying a guest on campus is responsible for ensuring that such person knows and adheres to all regulations of the University Code of Student Conduct and all University policies and procedures.  Students are responsible for the behavior of their guests and may be held accountable for violations committed by their guests.  The students’ responsibility also includes restitution for damage to University facilities or other restitution that is necessary.  Responsibility under the rules may occur even if the host is not a participant in the activity or has left the guest(s) alone.  The university may also restrict student’s guests from campus or University activities. 

4.3.16    Hazing

Any form of hazing is prohibited by University policy and Massachusetts State Law.

Hazing refers to any activity expected of someone joining a group (or to maintain full status in a group) that humiliates, degrades, or risks emotional and/or physical harm, regardless of the person's willingness to participate. Hazing is a complex social problem that is shaped by power dynamics operating in a group and/or organization and within a particular cultural context.

Hazing activities are generally considered to be physically abusive, hazardous, and/or sexually violating. The specific behaviors or activities within these categories vary widely among participants, groups, and settings. While alcohol use is common in many types of hazing, other examples of typical hazing practices include personal servitude; sleep deprivation and restrictions on personal hygiene; yelling, swearing, and insulting new members/rookies; being forced to wear embarrassing or humiliating attire in public; consumption of vile substances or smearing of such on one's skin; brandings; physical beatings; binge drinking and drinking games; sexual simulation and sexual assault.

For such activities to be considered hazing, forced or mandated participation is not required. If a new member feels that he or she will not be considered a fully participating member of the group or feels that they would be ostracized for not participating in particular behaviors (for example, alcohol use), then such implied coercion would be considered hazing.

Examples of Hazing

The following are some examples of hazing divided into three categories: subtle, harassment, and violent. It is impossible to list all possible hazing behaviors because many are context-specific. While this is not an all-inclusive list, it provides some common examples of hazing activities.

A. SUBTLE HAZING

Behaviors that emphasize a power imbalance between new members/rookies and other members of the group or team are termed "subtle hazing" because these types of hazing are often taken-for-granted or accepted as "harmless" or meaningless. Subtle hazing typically involves activities or attitudes that breach reasonable standards of mutual respect and place new members/rookies on the receiving end of ridicule, embarrassment, and/or humiliation tactics. New members/rookies often feel the need to endure subtle hazing to feel like part of the group or team. Examples include:

  • Deception
  • Implied requirement to participate in illegal or dangerous activities
  • Silence periods with implied threats for violation
  • Deprivation of privileges granted to other members
  • Requiring new members/rookies to perform duties not assigned to other members
  • Socially isolating new members/rookies
  • Line-ups and drills/tests on meaningless information
  • Requiring new members/rookies to refer to other members with titles (e.g. "Mr.," "Miss") while they are identified with demeaning terms
  • Expecting certain items to always be in one's possession

B. HARASSMENT HAZING

Harassment Hazing involves behaviors that cause emotional anguish or physical discomfort in order to feel like part of the group. Harassment hazing confuses, frustrates, and causes undue stress for new members. Examples include:

  • Verbal abuse
  • Threats or implied threats
  • Asking new members to wear embarrassing or humiliating attire
  • Stunt or skit nights with degrading, crude, or humiliating acts
  • Expecting new members/rookies to perform personal service to other members such as carrying books, errands, cooking, cleaning, etc.
  • Sleep deprivation
  • Sexual simulations
  • Expecting new members/rookies to be deprived of maintaining a normal schedule of bodily cleanliness
  • Being expected to harass others

C. VIOLENT HAZING

Behaviors that have the potential to cause physical and/or emotional or psychological harm.
Examples include, but are not limited to:

  • Forced or coerced (explicit or implied) alcohol or other drug consumption
  • Beating, paddling, or other forms of assault
  • Branding
  • Forced or coerced ingestion of vile substances or concoctions
  • Burning
  • Water intoxication
  • Expecting abuse or mistreatment of animals
  • Public nudity
  • Expecting illegal activity
  • Bondage
  • Abductions/kidnaps
  • Exposure to cold weather or extreme heat without appropriate protection

Massachusetts General Law

Chapter 269: HAZING

Sect 17. Definition; Penalty: Whoever is a principal organizer or participant in the crime of hazing, as defined herein, shall be punished by a fine of not more than three thousand dollars or by imprisonment in a house of correction for not more than one year, or both such fine and imprisonment.

The term “hazing” as used in this section and in sections eighteen and nineteen, shall mean any conduct or method of initiation into any student organization, whether on public or private property, which willfully or recklessly endangers the physical or mental health of any student or other person. Such conduct shall include whipping, beating, branding, forced calisthenics, exposure to the weather, forced consumption of any food, liquor, beverage, drug or other substance, or any other brutal treatment or forced physical activity which is likely to adversely affect the physical health or safety of any such student or other person, or which subjects such student or other person to extreme mental stress, including extended deprivation of sleep or rest or extended isolation. Notwithstanding any other provisions of this section to the contrary, consent shall not be available as a defense to any prosecution under this action.

Section 18. Reporting Hazing Offenses; Penalty for Failure to Report Violation:

Whoever knows that another person is the victim of hazing as defined in section seventeen and is at the scene of such crime shall, to the extent that such person can do so without danger or peril to himself or others, report such crime to an appropriate law enforcement official as soon as reasonably practicable. Whoever fails to report such crime shall be punished by a fine of not more than one thousand dollars.

Section 19. Notice to schools and colleges; Annual Reports; Adoption of

Disciplinary Policy: Each institution of secondary education and each public and private institution of post secondary education shall issue to every student group, student team or student organization which is part of such institution or is recognized by the institution or permitted by the institution to use its name or facilities or is known by the institution to exist as an unaffiliated student group, student team or student organization, a copy of this section and sections seventeen and eighteen; provided, however, that an institution’s compliance with this section’s requirements that an institution issue copies of this section and sections seventeen and eighteen to unaffiliated student groups, teams or organizations shall not constitute evidence of the institution’s recognition or endorsement of said unaffiliated student groups, teams or organizations.

Each such group, team, or organization shall distribute a copy of this section and sections seventeen and eighteen to each of its members, plebes, pledges or applicants for membership. It shall be the duty of each such group, team or organization, acting through its designated officer, to deliver annually, to the institution an attested acknowledgment stating that such group, team or organization has received a copy of this section and said sections seventeen and eighteen, that each of its members, plebes, pledges, or applicants has received a copy of sections seventeen and eighteen, and that such group, team or organization understands and agrees to comply with the provisions of this section and sections seventeen and eighteen.  Each institution of secondary education and each public or private institution of post secondary education shall, at least annually, before or at the start of enrollment, deliver to each person who enrolls as a full time student in such institution a copy of this section and sections seventeen and eighteen.

Each institution of secondary education and each public or private institution of post secondary education shall file, at least annually, a report with the regents of higher education and in the case of secondary institutions, the board of education, certifying that such institution has complied with its responsibilities to inform student groups, teams or organizations and to notify each full time student enrolled by it of the provisions of this section and sections seventeen and eighteen and also certifying that said institution has adopted a disciplinary policy with regard to the organizers and participants of hazing, and that such policy has been set forth with appropriate emphasis in the student handbook or similar means of communicating the institution’s policies to its students. The board of regents and in the case of secondary institutions, the board of education shall promulgate regulations governing the content and frequency of such reports, and shall forthwith report to the attorney general any such institution which fails to make such report.

4.3.17    Misuse of Identification

It is considered fraud and misrepresentation to alter, deface, or falsify IDs or in any way obtain or conspire to obtain fake identification for the purpose of presenting oneself as age 21 or older. Conspiring to obtain, possession, and/or use of such items may result in arrest and criminal actions being taken off campus under state law and will be addressed through the University's Student Conduct System. Manufacturing fraudulent IDs (including attempting to manufacture or assisting in the manufacture or distribution of such IDs) is an extraordinarily serious offense and will result in suspension or dismissal from the University as well as possible criminal prosecution.

4.3.18    Off-Campus Misconduct

As members of both the Boston College and the neighborhood communities, students who reside in off-campus apartments have a responsibility to demonstrate respect and concern for all members of the local community. As a result, Boston College imposes an obligation upon all its students to demonstrate responsible citizenship in the local neighborhood. Community disturbances, excessive or unreasonable noise, the illegal use and/or sale or distribution of alcohol or drugs, objects being thrown out of apartment windows, excessively large parties, and/or rude and abusive language or behavior are not in concert with this obligation. Off-campus arrests have occurred for offenses including, but not limited to the use of false IDs, disorderly conduct, illegal sale or possession of alcohol, and public drinking. The University reserves the right to refer any students identified as being involved in this type of behavior to the University's Student Conduct System for disciplinary action.

4.3.19    Physical Violence

Students have a right to be free from violence, threats, or abuse, and they have an obligation to respect these expectations in relation to fellow students.

Physical violence in any form cannot be tolerated in a civil, educational environment. This category of misconduct encompasses, but is not limited to assault and battery (simple and/or by means of a dangerous weapon), fighting/brawling, and relationship violence. Under no circumstance is physical violence an acceptable means to resolve problems, disputes, or interpersonal relations.

Physical violence violations are subject to review within the University's Student Conduct System—aside from civil or criminal court actions—and may result in sanctions up to and including a University Stay Away Order or dismissal from the University.

4.3.20    Posting Policy

All postings on the Boston College Campus must be approved and stamped.  The physical posting of material on campus must be done in a way that ensures the appropriate use of available space, prevents the defacing of University property, and reduces unnecessary expenditures of University resources used to repair and/or replace University property. Postings must be consistent with the principles and values espoused by Boston College. In addition, the content of the postings must avoid demeaning or discriminatory portrayals of individuals or groups, cannot be libelous, violate copyright law, or contain any material that is inconsistent with the community standards of BC, including any references to alcohol, drugs, or sexual innuendos. A full description of this policy as well as requirements, approval process, and hanging of banners can be located at Student Organization Resources.

4.3.21    Property Damage

Damage or destruction of property is a very serious offense. Instances of deliberate or malicious damage will be referred to the Student Conduct System for disciplinary action and appropriate sanctions.

4.3.22    Retaliation

Boston College prohibits retaliation of any kind against any individual filing a complaint or participating in an investigation or conduct hearing involving a Boston College student.  Such retaliation would result in disciplinary action.

4.3.23    Sexual Activity

As a Catholic, Jesuit institution of higher learning, Boston College adheres to the Church's teachings with respect to sexual intimacy. Consequently, sexual activity outside the bonds of matrimony may be subject to appropriate disciplinary sanctions.

4.3.24    Sexual Harassment, Sexual Assault & Sexual Misconduct

Policy Contents

  1. Immediate Response and Care
  2. Prohibited Conduct
  3. University Resources
  4. Filing a Complaint with the University
  5. Filing a Criminal Complaint
  6. University Response
  7. Interim Measures
  8. Retaliation Policy

Boston College attempts at all times to maintain a safe environment that supports its educational mission and is free from exploitation and intimidation as well as discrimination based upon gender.   Sexual harassment, sexual assault, or sexual misconduct of any kind is antithetical to the mission of Boston College and the values it espouses and will be responded to accordingly. In accordance with Title IX, the University strives to eliminate sexual harassment, sexual assault and sexual misconduct, prevent their recurrence, and address their effects.  This policy describes the University's response to victims, what conduct is prohibited, available University and community resources, and how to file a complaint.

1.     Immediate Response and Care

The University encourages students to report incidents of sexual harassment, sexual assault or sexual misconduct immediately.  To report such an incident, the victim/survivor  may contact the Boston College Police at 617-552-4444, the Sexual Assault Network at 617-552-2211, a member of the Residential Life staff at 617-552-3060, or the Office of the Dean for Students at 617-552-3470.

Boston College recognizes the importance of offering victims of sexual harassment, sexual assault or sexual misconduct immediate treatment, counseling support, and assistance.  In addition, appropriate interim measures to help assure the safety and wellbeing of the victim will be offered.  Consideration of the victim's wishes will be taken into account throughout the process; however, the University may have a legal obligation to investigate allegations of sexual misconduct, even without the participation of the victim.

2.     Prohibited Conduct

The University prohibits all forms of sexual harassment, sexual assault, and sexual misconduct, whether perpetrated by a stranger or acquaintance, whether occurring on or off campus, and whether directed against a member of the Boston College community or someone outside the University community. Such behavior by a Boston College student is a violation of the University Code of Conduct, and in certain cases, may also be a criminal violation..  Please also see the University's Discriminatory Harassment Policy, at http://www.bc.edu/content/dam/files/offices/policies/pdf/policies/I/1-200-025.pdf, which addresses the resolution of complaints of discriminatory harassment, including sexual harassment, against University employees and faculty.

Prohibited conduct ranges from acts of non-consensual sexual intercourse and non-consensual sexual contact, to sexual misconduct including, but not limited to, harassment of a sexual nature, sexual exploitation, stalking, relationship violence, voyeurism, exposure, video or audio taping of sexual activity, and sexual activity resulting from emotional coercion. The University does not limit its ability to discipline students for inappropriate sexual behavior and forms of sexual misconduct that may not be specifically listed here or constitute criminal behavior. 

In the context of this policy, active consent is needed to engage in sexual activity.  For the purpose of this policy, consent is informed, freely and actively given, mutually understandable words or actions that indicate a willingness to participate in a mutually agreed upon sexual activity.  It is incumbent upon both parties to both obtain and give active consent prior to any sexual activity.  Consent may never be given by children (in Massachusetts, those not yet sixteen (16) years of age), those who are incapable of giving informed consent as a result of alcohol or other drug consumption (voluntary or involuntary), those who are mentally incompetent, those with impairments to reasoning or judgment, or those who are unconscious, unaware or otherwise physically helpless. Effective consent may never be obtained as a result of coercion, intimidation, threat of force, or force.

Complaints of sexual harassment, stalking, relationship violence, sexual misconduct, and sexual assault against a student member of the University community will be investigated and adjudicated in accordance with the Student Conduct System policies and procedures, as described in Section 5 of the Boston College Student Guide.  University disciplinary action may be taken whether or not criminal charges are filed and without regard to whether the conduct occurred on or off the Boston College campus.

Any member of the University community found responsible for violating this policy is subject to disciplinary action from Boston College including, but not limited to loss of privileges, delay of degree, Housing Probation, Housing Suspension or Dismissal, University Suspension, and/or University Dismissal. The standard used to determine responsibility is a preponderance of the evidence, that is, whether it is "more likely than not" that the accused has violated the policy.

It is also a violation of University policy to engage in any form of retaliation or intimidation in connection with complaints of sexual harassment, misconduct, or assault.  Any such acts of retaliation or intimidation by a Boston College student should be reported to the Dean of Students Office.  Complaints against other members of the Boston College community should be referred to the University Harassment Counselor and will be addressed in accordance with the University Discriminatory Harassment Policy.

Definitions of Prohibited Conduct

Sexual Assault:

Sexual assault is any type of sexual contact or behavior that occurs by force or without consent of the recipient of the unwanted sexual activity.  Included within this broad term are rape and attempted rape, groping, and forced kissing.  

Examples of Sexual Assault:

Sam and Baxter have been dating for a year and have previously engaged in sexual intercourse. One evening, Sam and Baxter attend a party where they both consume a number of alcoholic beverages and become intoxicated. They walk back to Baxter’s residence hall where they begin to become physically intimate, but Sam losses consciousness. Baxter proceeds to have sexual intercourse with an unconscious Sam. This would be an example of sexual assault because Sam is incapable of giving consent due to incapacitation.

Celeste and Jim are attending a University-sponsored dance in a hotel in downtown Boston. Celeste is dancing with friends when Jim, a student she knows vaguely from class, approaches her from behind and begins to dance with her. Jim then grabs Celeste around the waist and reaches up her dress to touch her legs. Celeste turns around and tells Jim that she is not okay with him touching her in that way. Jim then pulls Celeste toward him and tells her to loosen up and dance with him. Celeste attempts to push Jim away, but he forcefully holds her close to him and continues to touch her legs. This would be an example of sexual assault because Jim continues to touch Celeste in an unwanted manner in an intimate area of her person.

Stalking:

Stalking is engaging in a course of behavior, directed at a specific person that would cause a reasonable person to fear for his or her safety or the safety of others, or suffer substantial emotional distress.. Stalking includes unwanted and repeated harassing behavior, such as: following a person; appearing at a person’s home, class or work; making frequent phone calls, emails, text messages, etc.; continuing to contact a person after receiving requests not to; leaving written messages, objects or unwanted gifts; vandalizing a person’s property; and threatening, intimidating or intrusive behavior.  

Examples of Stalking:

Michaela noticed that another student, Joe, sat behind her during Biology class every day. After class was over, Joe would follow Michaela wherever she was going. Michaela told Joe she was not interested in any kind of relationship with him. Joe began to show up at Michaela’s other classes, trying to engage her in conversation, and also started to wait for Michaela outside of her residence hall. Joe told Michaela that she needed to give him a chance “or else.” Joe’s behavior may constitute stalking.

Luis began to receive anonymous notes in his campus mail box and under the door of his dorm room. At first, the notes were filled with flattering comments and Luis just thought it was strange. Then the notes began to contain more personal information, such as his cell phone number and names of family members, which the “secret admirer” had gathered about him. One note even said, “I am always watching and waiting for you.” As Luis began to receive more of these notes, he felt they were creepy, and none of his friends had any information. This behavior would constitute stalking, and Luis should report it to the BCPD or the Office of the Dean of Students for investigation.

Jessie and Ryan, two students, went on a couple of dates and then stopped seeing each other when Jessie declined to go out with Ryan again. Ryan continued to call and text Jessie, and eventually Jessie stopped responding. Ryan then began sending Jessie multiple emails and Facebook messages per day. Jessie changed his email address and blocked Ryan on Facebook, but Ryan found out his new address and began sending further messages. Jessie was very uncomfortable and scared by this, but was not sure what to do. Ryan’s behavior may constitute cyber-stalking, which is a violation of this policy.

Relationship Violence (also known as Dating Violence or Domestic Violence):

Boston College prohibits all forms of relationship violence and abuse.   Relationship violence (including domestic and dating violence) is a pattern of abusive behavior that is used by an intimate partner to gain or maintain power and control over the other partner.  Relationship violence can be physical, sexual, emotional, economic, or psychological actions or threats of actions that influence another person.  This includes any behaviors that intimidate, manipulate, humiliate, isolate, frighten, terrorize, coerce, threaten, blame, hurt, injure, or wound someone.  Relationship violence is defined as violence committed by a person who is or has been in a social relationship of a romantic or intimate nature with the victim, where the existence of such a relationship is determined based on the following factors:  the length of the relationship, the type of relationship, and the frequency of interaction between the persons involved in the relationship. 

Under Massachusetts law, domestic abuse is defined to be the occurrence of one or more of the following acts between family or household members:  attempting to cause or causing physical harm, placing another in fear of imminent serious physical harm; and causing another to engage involuntarily in sexual relations by force, threat, or duress.  Under this law, family or household members include people who are or were married, residing in the same household, related by blood or marriage, having a child together, or having a substantive dating or engagement relationship. Individuals who are victims of domestic abuse in Massachusetts may seek an abuse prevention order, also known as a “restraining order” or “209A order,” in addition to pursuing criminal charges and disciplinary charges, if the offender is a Boston College student.

Examples of Relationship Violence:

Maria’s boyfriend Michael screamed at her when she showed up late to the football game. Michael grabbed Maria by the wrist and pulled her out of the stands to further yell at her, which embarrassed Maria. At first Michael was such a good boyfriend and seemed to do so many nice things for her, and now Maria feels like she is constantly walking on eggshells around Michael. Michael later apologized for yelling at her and said that it would never happen again. Maria is afraid that it will happen again and that next time it might be worse.

Aaron and Jordan have been dating for six months. Jordan makes comments about Aaron’s appearance constantly and tells Aaron what to wear when they go out. Often Aaron changes clothing because Jordan says that Aaron looks “too fat” or “not pretty enough”. Aaron now calls Jordan before getting dressed in the morning and has also been restricting food in order to lose weight. Aaron’s friends do not like being around Jordan, so Aaron hardly spends time with friends anymore. Jordan is starting to make demands about other aspects of Aaron’s life as well, such as when Aaron calls home, eats dinner, studies, and goes out.  Aaron finds it easier just to go along with what Jordan says to avoid “starting a fight.”

Gabby and Sam met in class and have been dating for a month. Sam has always had jealous tendencies, but now becomes angry when Gabby does not text back immediately so that Sam can know where Gabby is. Sam threatens to kill Gabby if she ever cheats on her with someone else, and Sam sometimes also says that she would kill herself if Gabby ever left her. Recently Sam shoved Gabby when she was angry and Gabby fell down. Gabby is becoming more fearful of Sam, but is afraid to leave and feels trapped.

3.     University Resources

Boston College is committed to providing support and assistance to victims as well as taking active measures to help assure the physical and emotional well-being of survivors/victims. A number of University offices are available to assist a victim of sexual harassment, sexual assault or sexual misconduct.

Sexual Assault Network
617-552-2211

The Boston College Sexual Assault Network (SANet) is a 24/7 private hotline for anyone affected by sexual violence, even if the caller is not a survivor himself or herself. The hotline is staffed by trusted and trained advocates who can assist callers.

SANet can assist callers with:

  • Information about all options available to survivors or friends of survivors, including accompaniment through this often difficult journey.
  • Seeking professional support (on or off campus)
  • Seeking medical evaluation and treatment (on or off campus)
  • Seeking evidence collection
  • Reporting internally or through the police department

The network is comprised of a group of highly trained professionals who have volunteered to serve as advocates for survivors of violence.  Male and female advocates are available to serve the diverse needs of our survivors.

*Please note that SANet utilizes cell phones and advocates may at times be in areas without service. Callers are encouraged to leave a message or to call back.

Student Affairs Title IX Coordinator

Katherine O'Dair, Executive Director for the Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs

Maloney Hall 260
617-552-3280

The Student Affairs Title IX Coordinator oversees the University's response to complaints of sexual harassment, sexual misconduct, sexual assault, stalking, and relationship violence in cases where a Boston College student is the complainant.  The coordinator or designee is available to meet with students as needed.  The coordinator will help ensure that appropriate measures are taken to adequately address complaints and protect the safety and wellbeing of victims.  The Title IX coordinator also maintains records of all cases, documents the University's response, and sees that appropriate measures are taken to identify and address any patterns or systemic problems that may contribute to a hostile environment for students at the University.

Boston College Police Department
Maloney Hall
617-552-4444

Officers are trained and available 24/7 to respond to victims and to provide assistance with medical treatment and in pursuing legal action both on and off campus.

If a student chooses to report the incident to the Boston College Police, a specially trained officer will conduct an investigation, which involves asking the student to describe the assailant and what happened. An officer may ask questions about the scene of the crime, any witnesses, and what happened before and after.

Boston College Harassment Counselor
Linda Riley
Rubenstein Hall 001
617-552-0486, l.riley.1@bc.edu

The University Harassment Counselor, Linda Riley, is available to counsel individuals who believe they may have been sexually harassed and to assist victims in filing complaints.

Campus Ministry
McElroy 215
617-552-3475

The staff in the Campus Ministry is available for pastoral counseling and spiritual direction.  Some members of the staff reside in the residence halls.  A resident minister is also available twenty-four hours a day by contacting the Boston College Police at 617-552-4444.

Health Services
Cushing Clinic - 617-552-2225 (9-5, M-F)
Cushing Primary Care - 617-552-3227 (24 hours a day during the academic year)

Medical personnel are available on campus 24 hours a day.  In addition, the University has developed a relationship with the Beth Israel Hospital and the Brigham and Women's Hospital, both in Boston, for the treatment of sexual assault and rape survivors.  The Primary Care Center, in Cushing Hall, is also available 24 hours a day to provide a safe haven or a meeting place for survivors to access campus support services.

University Counseling Services
Gasson 001
617-552-3310 (during normal business hours)

University Counseling Services (UCS) is available twenty-four hours a day to assist student victims of sexual harassment, misconduct or assault.  UCS is available during normal business hours at 617-552-3310.  During nights, weekends and holidays, a University psychologist is available on call by contacting either Boston College Health Services (617-552-2225) or the Boston College Police (617-552-4444).

Members of the Sexual Assault Network, BC Police, the Office of Residential Life, the Student Affairs Title IX Coordinator and the Office of the Dean of Students can provide the following:

  1. Assistance with emergency rape crisis treatment and emergency medical services, including accompanying the survivor to the hospital or Health Services, the police, or the Office of the Dean of Students.
  2. Guidance and support with filing charges through the University's Student Conduct System and/or through the criminal justice process.
  3. Advice and assistance in obtaining University Stay Away Orders. In situations where the alleged offender seriously disturbs or presents a potential threat to the victim/survivor, a University Stay Away Order prohibiting the alleged assailant from having any contact with the victim may be imposed. Such an order could also require the alleged offender to adjust his/her academic or work schedule and/or living arrangements, if on-campus. Advice and assistance in obtaining court-issued retraining orders.
  4. Assistance in addressing academic concerns of the victim.    Assistance in addressing academic concerns may be requested through the Office of the Dean of Students who will work with the survivor’s academic dean and faculty to provide the survivor with reasonable support services and adjustments.  These may include, but not be limited to: academic support services such as tutoring, changing classes, extra time to complete academic requirements, or allowing the survivor to retake or withdraw from a class without penalty.  Survivors are to make requests for academic assistance in a timely manner. 
  5. Assistance in addressing living arrangements.
  6. Assistance in arranging other forms of  assistance as appropriate, including on-campus counseling through University Counseling Services, medical assistance through University Health Services, and pastoral care and support through Campus Ministry.
  7. Assistance in contacting community resources such as The Boston Area Rape Crisis Center or other support services.
  8. Assistance in contacting the appropriate police department.
  9. Assistance with securing a summary suspension.  In situations where the alleged offender may pose a threat to the safety of the victim, the Dean of Students or designee may impose on the alleged offender a summary suspension from either housing or from the University, pending final resolution of the matter.

Accused students, as well as victims, will have access to the above-listed resources for support and care, including, but not limited to University Counseling Services, Campus Ministry and an on-campus conduct system advisor.  

4.     Filing a Complaint Within the University

Victims are strongly encouraged to report incidents of sexual harassment, sexual assault, sexual misconduct, stalking, relationship violence to the Office of the Dean of Students and to the Boston College Police in order to receive assistance in accessing support services and in filing charges against the alleged offender.

Any member of the University community who is informed of an incident of sexual misconduct should contact either the Office of the Dean of Students, the Boston College Police Department, or the Title IX Coordinator for advice and assistance and to help ensure that the University responds appropriately.

Upon a victim’s disclosure of such an incident, Boston College will provide the complainant with written notification of options including information on filing a complaint within the University, information on filing a criminal complaint, and information on pursuing both options at the same time.  This notification will also include information about how to pursue a University stay-away order as well as a restraining order or abuse prevention order under Massachusetts law, together with a listing of resources and supportive services available to the complainant both on and off campus.

The Office of the Dean of Students offers five different internal University reporting options to victims if the perpetrator is a BC student:

  • Option 1: Speak to a member of the Office of the Dean of Students to gain advice, support, and information. There is no requirement to divulge your name, the perpetrator’s names, or pursue a formal disciplinary charge at this point. A survivor may be accompanied by a person of his or her choosing.
  • Option 2: Give a member of the Office of the Dean of Students a written report explaining the case and request that the report be kept on file should the survivor decide to pursue a formal disciplinary charge at a later date.
  • Option 3: Give a member of the Office of the Dean of Students a written report with the name of the perpetrator and ask that he/she be contacted and given a “Stay Away Order,” which prevents any contact with the survivor. The perpetrator would also be informed that a complaint is outstanding. The complainant may pursue a formal disciplinary charge  at any time the survivor chooses.
  • Option 4: Give a member of the Office of the Dean of Students a written report and ask that the case promptly proceed to an on-campus conduct hearing and disciplinary process if the alleged perpetrator is a Boston College student..
  • Option 5: BCPD and the Office of the Dean of Students can assist in pursuing external criminal complaints.

5.     Filing a Criminal Complaint

If a student chooses to report a sexual assault to the Boston College Police (which is not required), the Police will conduct an investigation and assist the victim to file criminal charges against the alleged offender if he or she chooses. The Boston College Police also help in obtaining protective restraining orders and abuse prevention orders for relationship/domestic violence incidents.  If the incident occurred off campus, the Boston College Police will assist the victim in informing the appropriate municipal police department if he or she so desires.

The Boston College Police have specially trained officers to respond to sexual assault and domestic violence complaints. The police make every effort to offer female victims/survivors an opportunity to have a female officer present during all interviews. As stated above, the Boston College Police will help a victim/survivor make contact with local police if the assault occurred off campus, as well as with the district attorney's office for criminal prosecution and victim-witness assistance.  The Boston College Police work cooperatively with the Office of the Dean of Students to investigate and resolve cases under this policy.  The Police will refer cases to the Dean of Students as appropriate and will also assist in protecting the safety of complainants.

6.     University Response

Boston College takes incidents of sexual violence very seriously. The University will make all reasonable efforts to preserve confidentiality, restricting information to those with a legitimate need for it. The University does not include the names or other identifying information of victims in any publicly available documents.  If other policy violations have occurred in connection with an assault, particularly alcohol or substance use/abuse violations, the University generally will not pursue disciplinary actions against the complainant or against student witnesses of the incident. The University will make every reasonable effort to resolve a disciplinary charge within 60 days.

If the complainant proceeds with both a disciplinary complaint and a criminal complaint, the University conduct process will normally proceed while the criminal action is in process.  However, in such cases, the Dean of Students may elect to stay the disciplinary process if a student is summarily suspended and the criminal matter remains open.

When there is reasonable cause to believe that a student member of the University has violated the Code of Student Conduct, including the stalking, relationship violence, sexual harassment, sexual assault, or sexual misconduct, the University will take action in accordance with the established policies and procedures outlined in the Boston College Student Guide Section 5.   The University’s disciplinary proceedings are designed to be prompt, fair, and impartial, and in cases of sexual violence, are conducted by individual who receive annual training on issues related to relationship violence, sexual assault, and stalking, and how to conduct an investigation and hearing process that protects the safety of victims and promotes accountability.  In certain circumstances, the University may conduct an investigation and, if appropriate, take disciplinary action independent of whether the complainant wishes to pursue the matter or not. University judicial action may be taken whether or not criminal charges are filed and without regard to whether the conduct occurred on or off the Boston College campus.

7.      Interim Measures

Temporary No Contact Orders and University Stay Away Orders

In instances where it has been determined by a University administrator that contact between specific persons may pose an immediate threat to an individual or may cause concern for the safety or emotional wellbeing of an individual, a Temporary No Contact Order or University Stay Away Order may be issued, prohibiting the accused from having any contact with the victim or complainant. Such an order could also require adjustment of academic or work schedule and/or campus housing arrangements.

Summary Suspension

In situations where the alleged offender may pose a threat to the safety of the victim, the Dean or designee may impose on the alleged offender a summary suspension from either housing or from the University, pending final resolution of the matter.

Other Interim Measures

  • Assistance with emergency rape crisis treatment and emergency medical services, including accompanying the survivor to the hospital or Health Services, to the police, or to the Office of the Dean of Students.
  • Guidance and support with filing charges through the University's Student Conduct System and/or through the criminal justice process.
  • Assistance in addressing academic concerns of the victim. See Section 3, “University Resources” for more information on academic accommodations.
  • Assistance in addressing living arrangements.
  • Assistance in arranging other forms of  assistance as appropriate, including on-campus counseling through University Counseling Services, medical assistance through University Health Services, and pastoral care and support through Campus Ministry.
  • Assistance in contacting community resources such as The Boston Area Rape Crisis Center or other support services.
  • Assistance in contacting the appropriate police department.

8.      Retaliation Policy

It is a violation of University policy to engage in any form of retaliation or intimidation in connection with complaints of sexual harassment, misconduct, or assault.  Any such acts of retaliation or intimidation by a Boston College student should be reported to the Office of the Dean of Students. Complaints against other members of the Boston College community should be referred to the University Harassment Counselor and will be addressed in accordance with the University Discriminatory Harassment Policy.

4.3.25    Student Demonstrations

As an educational institution, Boston College must continue to increase its involvement in the fiber of our society and encourage its students to become engaged in this effort. A meaningful commitment to society must include the examination of the roots of society and a willingness to challenge aspects of society that are the subject of debate and uncertainty. The very nature of such a commitment presupposes the necessity of the presentation of opposing viewpoints and an openness to confrontation between ideas. The involvement of the University or its students in this process cannot achieve any meaning if the methods of engagement, reason, and dialogue are inhibited or constrained. No greater injury to the intellectual climate of an academic institution or the academic freedom of its members can occur than the curbing of the free exchange of ideas by imposition of fear or repression. The tactics of intimidation and coercion are never more repugnant than when applied to stifle the reasoned partisanship of opinions.

The right to express opinions in public is an important part of the engagement of the citizen in the affairs of the community, but the right can carry with it the risk of infringing on the rights of others holding differing views. To ensure that public demonstrations of opinion do not violate directly or indirectly the rights of others by preventing the ordinary operation of the University, applications for permits for all activities in the nature of a public speech, rally, demonstration, march, or protest must be submitted a minimum of 48 hours in advance to the Dean of Students. If approved, the activities must be conducted in accordance with the rules set forth below. The Dean reserves the right to determine the time and place of any public demonstration. Participation in a demonstration without prior authorization could result in disciplinary action. The organizers of any demonstration should be aware that they are also responsible for compliance with local, state, and federal law. The following types of conduct will be treated as disruptive and unacceptable:

  1. Physical or verbal abuse of any person on property owned or controlled by the University.
  2. Causing damage to the property of the University, an organization recognized by the University, or an individual.
  3. Obstruction or disruption of the affairs of the University including, without limitation, teaching, research, public presentations, administration, disciplinary procedures, athletic or dramatic events, or placement or recruitment services.
  4. Unauthorized entry to a University facility and failure to leave a University facility when requested to do so by a representative of the University.
  5. Continued obstruction of the entrance or exit to a University facility or a campus roadway after being asked to cease the obstruction by a representative of the University.
  6. Possession of a firearm, dangerous weapon, or explosive device while taking part in a demonstration of any kind.

In seeking to ensure that a public demonstration does not become a prohibited disruption, the Dean of Students will undertake some or all of the following measures:

  1. Verbal, written, or electronic notification of individuals and groups when, in the Dean of Students’ opinion, their conduct has been unacceptable.
  2. Use of persuasion to deflect demonstrators from using tactics that would be a violation of the policy.
  3. Anyone participating in a demonstration must be willing to produce his or her BC ID card upon request by a representative of the University. Videotaping and/or photographic equipment may be used by the Boston College Police to assure compliance with these demonstration policies.
  4. Use of University disciplinary procedures, including summary suspension where appropriate.

Participants in disruptive demonstrations must be aware that the University will take all measures, including civil and criminal litigation, it believes necessary in order to prevent disruption of its affairs, restore order, and protect the rights of the members of its community.

4.3.26    Student Organizations (SO)

All student organizations are expected to abide and operate in accordance with the terms and conditions contained within the Boston College Student Guide as well as the SO rules and regulations in the Student Programs Office (www.bc.edu/spo). Should violations of the Code of Student Conduct arise, SOs, as an entity, may be held accountable for violations and given an organizational sanction (i.e. probation, suspension of activity, restitution, etc.), in addition to individual member accountability.  Information for all SOs can be located at Student Organization Resources

Additionally, individuals, informal student groups, or others who are not affiliated as an official Student Organization are prohibited from utilizing the name, logo, colors, and/or insignia of Boston College to explicitly or implicitly imply such an affiliation exists. Individuals who engage in such behavior will be referred to the Student Conduct System. For more information about the use of Boston College Indicia, click here.

4.3.27 Information Technology (IT) Use

Students must abide by all University policies governing the use of technological resources, including the Use of Technological and Information Resources policy, which can be found at www.bc.edu/techpolicy.  The following activities are prohibited under the policy and are considered Information Technology (IT) Violations:

  • "Snooping" or attempting to access systems, files, or network data without permission.
  • "Hacking" or testing security or other access controls on systems, files, or the network.
  • Infringing copyright, including downloading, uploading, distributing or sharing music or movies without permission from the copyright holder, and misusing software licenses.  These infringing activities may expose students to civil and criminal penalties, and Boston College is legally required to respond to subpoenas requesting information regarding these activities on the University network. 
  • Using the network to engage in abusive, offensive or harassing behavior, including creating or sending obscene, intolerant, or "nuisance" email messages or posting such material on the Internet, including but not limited to Facebook, Twitter and other social media outlets.
  • Using technological resources to engage in any illegal activity.
  • Impersonating others or providing any false or misleading information when accessing or using University resources.
  • Violating the privacy rights of others.
  • Sharing BC credentials or allowing unauthorized access to University technological resources—students are not to provide their passwords or PINs to anyone.

This list of prohibited activities is not exclusive; students should consult the full policy [See the Boston College Policies and Procedures Manual at www.bc.edu/techpolicy (1-100-025)]. Violations of the policy may result in the suspension or loss of University network privileges, other disciplinary action (up to and including summary suspension and dismissal), and criminal prosecution.

If a student needs to engage in any of these activities for an academic purpose, he or she must receive advance written permission from the Director of Computer Policy and Security, in consultation with the Office of the Dean of Students. 

For the complete technological and information resources policy, see the Boston College Policies and Procedures Manual at www.bc.edu/policy: www.bc.edu/techpolicy (Use of University Technological and Information Resources, 1-100-025) and also the Data Security Policy.

4.3.28    Theft

Theft is defined as the unauthorized taking, misappropriation, use or possession of property that belongs to another person.  Theft includes, but is not limited to stealing the resources of the University and or any agency directly or indirectly affiliated with the University.

4.3.29    Throwing Objects That May Cause Harm

Throwing any type of object that injures or may injure someone, regardless of intent, is prohibited.

4.3.30    Violations of Local, State and Federal Laws

A violation of any local, state, or federal civil or criminal law is a violation of this Code, even if the specific conduct prohibited by the law is not listed within the Code or the offense is not prosecuted in a court of law. At the discretion of the Dean, on-campus proceedings may be delayed pending the outcome of associated criminal cases. A finding of guilty or an admission of sufficient facts in criminal court may be used as evidence against a student at an on-campus conduct hearing.

Boston College students must disclose any arrests, indictments, or convictions of a criminal offense, excluding minor traffic violations, regardless of where they occur and regardless of whether the University is in session at the time.  Such a report is to be made to the Office of the Dean of Students in Maloney Hall suite 212, (617) 552-3470, or to deanofstudents@bc.edu.  Failure to comply with this requirement may result in University disciplinary action. 

4.3.31    Weapons Policy

Possessing or carrying a firearm, loaded or unloaded, in any building or on the grounds of Boston College without the authorization of the Chief of the Boston College Police is prohibited.

All implements characterized by Massachusetts state law as "Dangerous Weapons" (e.g., switchblade knives) are also prohibited. The possession of Mace, pepper spray, or their derivatives on the Boston College campus is permissible only if the student has a Firearms Identification Card (FID) and receives written permission from the Boston College Police. Improper use of laser beam instruments is also prohibited. Possession without appropriate authorization and/or misuse of the weapons will result in serious disciplinary action by the University.

Prop/Theatrical Weapons

The use of prop weapons for theatrical performances or activities on campus can present a potential danger for students, faculty, and staff. There are well-documented cases where law enforcement officers have mistaken a "toy" or realistic replica for a real weapon, and serious injury or death has resulted.

It is unreasonable to expect the Boston College Police or University administrators to be able to distinguish a "stage prop" from a dangerous weapon. Therefore, a consistent policy governing the use and possession of such props has been developed.

No student should ever have in his or her unsupervised possession a device that could be reasonably described as or mistaken for a weapon. Unsupervised possession is the use or possession of the weapon without the knowledge or consent of the appropriate authority. Appropriate authority must always include the Boston College Police, with the knowledge and consent of the Office of the Dean of students. Exceptions to the Dean of Students Office might be a faculty advisor or other faculty or staff member who has agreed to supervise the use of weapons as part of his or her normal responsibilities; specifically, acting teachers who teach stage combat, fencing coaches, production directors who are also employees of the University, or other employees of the University who have need of such devices as part of their classes or as part of a directed activity.

Any person, class, club, or other organization that plans to use weapons of any description on the Boston College campus as part of their regular activities must register all the details of the activity with the Boston College Police and the Office of the Dean of Students. If an individual or organization wishes to store weapons on campus, that information must also be submitted to the Boston College Police along with detailed descriptions of the weapons and how they will be secured. If an individual or organization is bringing weapons onto the campus for legitimate use in a planned activity, the information concerning the use and storage must be submitted to the Boston College Police for approval prior to bringing the weapons on campus. The Police may tag the items for later identification or issue a permission permit dated to expire at the conclusion of the activity.

To the extent possible, the use of weapons should be restricted to controlled environments. It is unnecessarily dangerous for any person to be seen running across campus with a weapon in pursuit of another person. The activity should be contained in a room, floor, or building that is restricted in its use (such as Robsham Theater) and is properly supervised.