University Response To Bias-Motivated Offensive Conduct/Hate Crimes
The process for determining whether an incident is indeed a crime and possibly a hate crime is a complicated legal matter to be determined by the Boston College Police Department. Therefore, department administrators, faculty, staff, or students who receive reports of these incidents shall report them to the BCPD for investigation and referral. Once the initial report of an incident is made, an investigation will begin according to BCPD procedures . BCPD may refer the matter to an appropriate University official for follow-up and/or to seek prosecution.
THE FOLLOWING CHART MAY BE USEFUL TO OUTLINE THE APPROPRIATE REPORTING AND FOLLOW-UP PROCESS UNDER THIS PROTOCOL
The Office of the Dean of Students houses the Student Bias Incident Response Team (BIRT) that is designed to offer Boston College students a private and anonymous forum to report incidents of bias and prejudice. For more information about BIRT, and to file an incident, please visit the Student Bias Incident Response Team (BIRT) page at www.bc.edu/birt. Should you need assistance filling out or completing the form, you may contact the Office of the Dean of Students at 617-552-3470.
Discriminatory Harassment—If the offensive conduct involves a form of discriminatory harassment, it should be reported to the Harassment Counselor or to a member of the Harassment Resources Network (information about the Discriminatory Harassment, the Harassment Counselor and the Harassment Resources Network may be found at http://www.bc.edu/offices/diversity/compliance/harassment.html).
Range of Sanctions (for student perpetrators)—Student sanctions may range from educational sanctions/community service up to and including suspension of housing privileges or dismissal from the University.
Concerns about bias grading—If bias is perceived to exist in grading or work assignments from the instructor the student should contact the instructor and, failing to get a satisfactory outcome should follow the procedure for appealing a course grade.
Concerns about bias in the classroom—In the case where there is no individually directed bias against a student, but a faculty member speaks or behaves in a way that creates an uneasy or hostile climate, the student should report the matter to the Dean of the School or to the Harassment Counselor.
Part of police procedures for addressing faculty-/staff-related complaints include communication and referral to the Office of Human Resources. If you are a faculty or staff member, you may choose to initiate a complaint through the Boston College Police Department, the Department of Human Resources (553-3330), the Office for Institutional Diversity (552-2323), the Boston College Harassment Counselor Mary Ellen Fulton (552-4200) or the academic dean of the appropriate school. Complaints lodged in any of these offices will be referred for further investigation, as appropriate, to the Boston College Police.
Discriminatory Harassment—If the offensive conduct involves a form of discriminatory harassment, it should be reported to the Harassment Counselor or to a member of the Harassment Resources Network (information about the Discriminatory Harassment, the Harassment Counselor and the Harassment Resources Network may be found at http://www.bc.edu/offices/diversity/compliance/harassment.html)
Concerns about bias in the office environment—Offensive conduct in the office environment should be reported to your manager/supervisor and to the Department of Human Resources, or if appropriate, to the Harassment Counselor.
Although a hate crime or bias-motivated offensive conduct may take the form of a violation against a single individual or a number of individuals, in a close community, such conduct can offend and impact the entire community. For that reason, communication to the broader community about the crime or offensive conduct and the University response may be required. The targeted person will be consulted to determine the appropriate communication to the community.
As a University guided by the Jesuit and Catholic philosophy of cura personalis (care for the individual), Boston College's first responsibility is to care for its students, faculty, and staff. We value all members of our community, and feel an obligation to protect them in all cases, including their privacy and reputation whenever possible.
Boston College's communication policy mirrors this commitment. As a result, the University will only report information once facts are gathered properly and the release of information becomes appropriate. Administrators from Student Affairs, ODSD, Boston College Police, Public Affairs, and/or other offices, as appropriate, will share information and make a determination regarding the appropriate communications course of action, including the means to disseminate information, such as BCInfo, e-mail, and campus safety posters.
Specifically, in the case of a campus wide safety issue, the University will immediately post a safety notice on the BC website to inform the community of what Boston, Newton, Massachusetts State Police, or BC Police deem a "threat to the community."
Safety notices will provide pertinent information about the incident such as, location of the incident and the numbers of individuals involved.
The University also recognizes the need to manage rumors and misinformation that often accompany hate crimes and bias-motivated offenses. The University will disseminate information, as it becomes known, by the most appropriate and effective means that the situation dictates.
Annually, a report of the Hate Crime/Bias Offensive Conduct statistics will be presented by the Office for Institutional Diversity to the Diversity Steering committee and to the general Boston College community.