Campus Security and Fire Safety Report
Together for a Safer Community
The Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act requires the annual disclosure of certain crime statistics as well as institutional policies regarding campus security. In addition, disclosure of fire safety information and annual fire statistics for on-campus residence halls is required under the Higher Education Opportunity Act. Boston College, in compliance with these laws, is providing the following information to all enrolled students and current employees. This report also includes links to additional, helpful information.
Campus Security Program
Campus Security Awareness and Crime Prevention Programs
Boston College places a high priority on maintaining a safe and secure campus for all students, faculty, staff, and visitors. Members of the University community have the opportunity to learn about campus security procedures and the prevention of crime, and are encouraged to be responsible for their own security and the security of others, through programs presented by various administrative offices and student clubs and organizations. The Crime Prevention Unit of the Boston College Police Department, staffed by officers with specialized training, provides security awareness and crime prevention programs that stress both good personal safety habits and the importance of community safety. For additional information regarding these programs, please see BCPD-Crime Prevention.
Reporting Crimes and Other Emergencies
The Boston College Police Department is the official reporting authority at Boston College.
All members of the Boston College community, including all students, faculty and staff and their guests, are encouraged to report all crimes and other public safety concerns to the Boston College Police Department in a timely manner, when the victim of a crime elects to report or is unable to make such a report. Accurate and prompt reporting will facilitate timely initiation of warnings and other appropriate emergency response procedures, and will also help ensure the accuracy of crime statistics compiled in compliance with the Jeanne Clery Disclosure and Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act (the “Clery Act”). Note that this Policy does not limit the obligation of any faculty and staff to notify the Student Affairs Title IX Coordinator about any incident of sexual violence involving a student.
The Boston College Police Department accepts voluntary, confidential reports of crimes in cases where the victim or witness of a crime does not wish to pursue either judicial or disciplinary action. All such reports are included in the annual disclosure of crime statistics. A confidential report can help determine if there is a pattern of crime with regard to a particular location, method, or assailant, and can help alert the campus community to potential danger.
For additional information, please reference the Reporting Crimes Policy.
Campus Safety Notifications and Emergency Response Procedures
In the interest of campus safety and security, Boston College will notify the University community of all crimes considered to pose a threat to its members that are perpetrated on the Boston College campus and reported to campus security authorities or local police agencies. As described below, warnings will be disseminated in a manner that is timely, that aids the prevention of similar occurrences, and that protects the privacy of the victims of such incidents. In addition, Boston College has adopted policies and procedures to provide immediate notification to the campus community of campus emergencies.
Procedures for Timely Warnings of Campus Crime
It shall be the responsibility of the Director of Public Safety for the Boston College Police, when a crime on or near the campus is reported, to promptly assess the potential danger or threat it presents to the campus community, or portions thereof. In the event of an immediate threat, the Police Department shall follow the emergency notification procedure described below. In other cases, if the Director of Public Safety believes a serious or ongoing danger or threat exists, the Director of Public Safety, working with other University officials as appropriate, shall provide a timely warning on the “BC Info” and “BC Emergency” web pages. Depending on the particular circumstances of the crime, the Director of Public Safety may also use a variety of other means to communicate the timely warning, including the mass notification methods for the dissemination of Emergency Notices described below.
Procedures for Immediate Notification of Campus Emergencies
In the event of a significant emergency or dangerous situation occurring on campus, Boston College Police shall, without delay, make an initial determination as whether the situation presents an immediate threat to the health or safety of students and employees. If the Police conclude that such a threat exists, the Police shall immediately notify the appropriate segments of the University community, unless issuing an immediate notification would, in the professional judgment of the Police, compromise efforts to assist a victim or to contain, respond to, or otherwise mitigate the emergency.
The Director of Public Safety for the Boston College Police Department shall also promptly consult with other senior university officials regarding any significant emergency or dangerous situation to determine what follow-up information the campus community may need and how best to disseminate follow-up notices. Campus Safety Notification and Emergency Response Procedures Policy.
Content of Emergency Notices
Emergency notices shall describe the emergency or dangerous situation, outline immediate steps to be taken (including, if necessary, shelter and evacuation procedures), and indicate where additional information may be found. Emergency updates and further information will be provided by postings to the listed websites, emails to the Boston College community and other methods as needed.
If the situation requires evacuation, the University will provide members of the community with evacuation instructions. In the event that an extended evacuation is necessary, people will be directed to other buildings/areas on campus for support (information, food, shelter, medical attention, etc). Specific details about the sites will be included in the emergency notices.
Boston College maintains a comprehensive emergency management plan (“CEMP”) on the BC Emergency website (www.bc.edu/emergency) that describes in more detail the University’s emergency protocols, including the University’s shelter and evacuation procedures.
Dissemination of Emergency Notices
Depending on the incident and nature of the threat, the University will use mass notification methods to provide emergency notifications to the campus community. These methods include:
- Emails to bc.edu accounts;
- Text alerts to cell phones;
- Posting information to the BC Emergency website (www.bc.edu/emergency), the “BC Info” website (www.bc.edu/bcinfo) and the BC home page (www.bc.edu);
- Information on the 888-BOS-COLL (888-267-2655) emergency information line; and
- Other methods as appropriate (media, social media, handouts, phone calls, etc.).
To ensure receipt of the University’s emergency notices, all members of the University community are encouraged to provide the University with up-to-date contact information, including a cell phone number, through the University’s website portal.
The Boston College Police Department will work with the Director of News and Public Affairs to ensure that emergency information is timely shared with local first responders and the local community as appropriate.
The Director of Emergency Management will oversee regular tests of the University’s emergency notification system and evacuation procedures (at least annually). These tests may be announced or unannounced. The Director will publicize the University’s emergency response and evacuation procedures in conjunction with at least one test per calendar year. The Director shall document each test, including a description of the exercise, the date and time, and whether the test was announced or unannounced.
Missing Student Notification Procedures
Students residing in on-campus housing have the option through the Boston College Agora Portal to register an individual to be contacted by Boston College in the event the student is determined to be missing for more than 24 hours (“Confidential Contact”). The student’s Confidential Contact will be accessible only to authorized campus officials and law enforcement officers in furtherance of a missing person investigation.
Any member of the University community who has reason to believe a student residing in on-campus housing has been missing for more than 24 hours should immediately contact the Boston College Police Department (“BCPD”). Upon notification, BCPD will initiate an investigation. If BCPD is unable to locate the student through its normal contact network and determines that the student has been missing for more than 24 hours, BCPD will immediately notify the Senior Administrator on Call (“AOC”) who will notify the student’s Confidential Contact within 24 hours of the official determination that the student is missing.
BCPD must notify other local law enforcement agencies once it is determined that the student is missing, regardless of whether or not the student has registered a Confidential Contact. If the missing student is under 18 years of age and not emancipated, the AOC will notify a custodial parent or guardian in addition to the student’s Confidential Contact.
Campus Facilities: Security, Access, and Maintenance
Boston College is committed to maintaining a safe environment which includes the security, access, and maintenance of its campus facilities. Residence halls, and certain buildings and facilities throughout campus, are posted with notices that identify them as private property and that include warnings against trespassing and soliciting. Residence hall exterior doors are locked 24 hours a day. The Boston College Police and the Facilities Department coordinate efforts with respect to maintenance issues affecting the security of campus facilities. For the University’s policy, please refer to Campus Facilities: Security, Access, and Maintenance.
Campus Law Enforcement
In addition to the rules and regulations of the University, Boston College students, faculty, staff, and campus visitors are subject to all local, state, and federal laws. In or upon lands or structures owned, used, or occupied by the University, the Boston College Police are responsible for enforcing those laws and, although they have no formal written memoranda of understanding, they maintain a cooperative working relationship with local, state, and federal police agencies.
The Boston College Police force includes approximately 55 sworn police officers. All police officers must attend and graduate from a police academy certified by the Massachusetts Criminal Justice Training Council.
The Boston College Police derive their legal authority from Chapter 22C, Section 63 of the Massachusetts General Laws. Boston College Police officers have full state authority for the investigation of alleged criminal offenses, and may make arrests of individuals accused or suspected of crimes. Local police agencies provide back-up assistance to the University if required.
Campus Sexual Violence Response and Prevention Program
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, including sexual assault, domestic and dating violence, and stalking. Sexual violence 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. The University strives to eliminate sexual violence on campus, prevent its occurrence, and address its effects.
The purpose of this notice, provided in accordance with the Clery Act, is to summarize some of the University’s efforts with respect to preventing sex offenses, to direct members of the University community to the University’s policies and resources regarding sexual violence, and to inform victims of sexual violence about procedures to follow after a sex offense has occurred. In this notice, the terms “sex offenses” and “sexual violence” are deemed to include sexual assault, domestic and dating violence, and stalking. The University’s policies with respect to sexual harassment and sexual misconduct can be found in the Discriminatory Harassment Policy (addressing sexual harassment complaints against faculty and staff) and the Student Sexual Misconduct Policy (addressing sexual misconduct complaints against Boston College students) in the Student Guide. The University also maintains a comprehensive Sexual Misconduct Policy and Resources website that includes detailed descriptions of the University’s policy, resources, and reporting options for students. The BC Sexual Assault Network (SANet) is a primary resource for students who have been affected by sexual violence. For more information on the services and resources provided by SANet and Boston College Police Department, please visit the following websites: SANet and BCPD-Crime Prevention. In addition, the Student Affairs Title IX Coordinator, reachable at 617-552-3470, oversees the University’s response to reports of sexual misconduct by students.
For the University’s complete program, please refer to the Sexual Violence Response and Prevention Policy.
Annual Disclosure of Crime Statistics
The following Crime Statistics are provided in accordance with the Clery Act:
Annual Disclosure of Crime Statistics. The Director of Public Safety for the Boston College Police compiles the annual crime statistics from the Boston College police logs, reports of Campus Security Authorities, responses from public police agencies, and the database of the Office of the Dean for Student Development and Residential Life. For more information on the University’s preparation of the Annual Disclosure of Crime Statistics, please refer to the Campus Safety and Security Disclosures Policy—Required Disclosures and Reports.
Boston College makes available, upon request, to an applicant, student, or employee of the institution, a copy of the Annual Crime Report; such individuals may obtain a copy of the report from the Boston College Police Department.
Drug and Alcohol Policies
Boston College prohibits the unlawful possession, use, or distribution of illicit drugs and alcohol by students and employees on University premises or property or as part of its activities. Boston College expects its students and employees to comply with local, state, and federal laws relating to the possession, use, or distribution of drugs and alcohol when they are on University property or taking part in University activities.
Please reference the DRUG-FREE CAMPUS AND WORKPLACE PROGRAM for a more detailed description of Boston College’s drug and alcohol policies and a description of Boston College's drug and alcohol abuse education programs.
Obtaining Registered Sex Offender Information
In accordance with the Federal "Campus Sex Crimes Prevention Act" of 2000, Boston College informs you that law enforcement agency information concerning registered sex offenders, provided by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, may be obtained from the following local law enforcement agencies:
Boston Police Department
Sex Offender Registry Unit
Brookline Police Department
Newton Police Department
Requests for information must be made in person and a request form completed. For questions and further information, please contact the Boston College Police department or the following web site: www.MASS.gov/SORB.
Fire Safety Program
Boston College maintains a public log of fires reported in on-campus housing facilities. The log includes information regarding the nature, date, time and general location of each reported fire. The most recent 60-day period of this log is open for public inspection in the Boston College Environmental Health and Safety Office during normal business hours.
Fire Safety Systems
The University maintains a variety of fire safety systems (such as alarm systems, fire and smoke detectors, and sprinkler systems) in its on-campus housing facilities, in compliance with all applicable laws and regulations. For the specific systems for each housing facility, please refer to: Fire Protection/Detection Systems in Residence Halls.
The Office of Environmental Health and Safety works with the Office of Residential Life and local fire departments to conduct at least two fire drills during each year in each of the residence halls. Fire drills are also conducted on a quarterly basis at the Campus School and on a monthly basis at the Child Care Center.
Residential Fire Safety Restrictions
The University’s Residential Life Agreement includes a number of rules and restrictions designed to enhance fire safety in student housing facilities, including rules governing portable electrical appliances, smoking and open flames. While the rules vary slightly for each residence, any source of open flame (e.g., candles and incense), as well as smoking in, and within 20 feet of, any residence hall is strictly prohibited.
The University also prohibits the use of certain portable electrical appliances, including: certain kinds of lights and lamps; non-UL approved power strips; extension cords without surge protection; grills (except in modular housing); and space heaters and heating blankets. The Office of Environmental Health and Safety continually monitors the use of portable electrical appliances and reserves the right to restrict the use of any additional appliances that may pose an unnecessary safety risk. A complete list of non-approved items can be found at /offices/reslife/lifeinhalls/communityexp/FireSafety.html
Only buildings with kitchens or kitchenette areas may have any heat producing kitchen appliance (e.g., toasters, coffee-makers). Students living in a residence hall with a kitchen or a kitchenette should consult with their building’s Resident Director to get a complete list of permitted kitchen appliances.
The University conducts random health and safety inspections each semester to enforce these fire safety rules. Any violation will be recorded and students in violation may be subject to disciplinary action.
During freshman orientation, incoming students are informed generally about the University’s evacuation procedures and how to obtain a copy of an Emergency Evacuation Plan (“EEP”). Each on-campus student housing facility has a site specific EEP, which is maintained by the Environmental Health and Safety Office. Copies are held by the Resident Hall Director and made available, upon request, to occupants of each housing facility. The EEP’s are also available through the Office of Environmental Health and Safety at 617/552-0361.
Fire Safety Education and Training
Boston College hosts several fire safety training opportunities for students, staff and faculty each year. All incoming students planning to reside on-campus are required to attend a fire safety training program during freshman orientation sponsored by Environmental Health and Safety and Residential Life. This training program includes information on University evacuation procedures. The University also sponsors several optional educational programs throughout the academic year, including Fire Safety Awareness Week, which includes, among other efforts, an information campaign, theme food items in the dining halls, and safety videos on Boston College’s cable network. The Week concludes with a controlled demonstration where students witness the dangers of using various prohibited items.
At different times throughout the year, the Environmental Health and Safety Office conducts fire safety presentations that all faculty and staff may attend. The presentations include instruction on best practices for fire prevention, what do in the event of an emergency, fire extinguisher training, and an overview of evacuation procedures.
In the event of a fire or fire alarm, all employees and students are instructed to promptly evacuate in accordance with the plans for the building in which the fire occurs, using stairs instead of elevators, and to follow the instructions of the designated building safety contact, resident assistant, and police and fire department, as applicable.
Review of the Fire Safety Program
The Director of Environmental Health and Safety reviews the University’s fire safety programs at least once annually to determine if any changes or improvements are warranted.
Fire Safety Initiatives
Boston College has an active Fire Safety program. We have a strong training and outreach component. Recent and future activities include:
- Providing Fire Safety Training to staff and faculty
o Medical Department
o Campus School at Campion Hall
o Incoming science lab workers
- Fire Safety information table at Parent’s Luncheon during First year Orientation
- “SAFE” Presentation to the Freshman Class
- Fire Safety Training of Residence Hall Directors and Assistants
- Fire emergency simulation with Nursing students and faculty
- Fire Safety Training for volunteer students in the Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) program
- Maintaining and improving the Fire Safety web site
Annual Disclosure of Fire Statistics
Please see the Annual Disclosure of Fire Statistics for statistics on reported incidents of fire occurring in on-campus housing facilities during the most recent calendar year.
To request a paper copy of this document, please call the Boston College Police Department at (617) 552-4412, or send your request in writing to:
Boston College Police Department
140 Commonwealth Avenue
Chestnut Hill, MA 02467-3859