How to File a Complaint within Boston College
The decision to report sexual harassment, sexual assault, relationship violence, sexual misconduct, stalking, or another violation of the Student Sexual Misconduct Policy is up to you. Deciding whether or not to report can be difficult for many survivors and simply might not be a step that is possible for you right now. However, please know that the University cares about you and has many resources available to help you in the healing process. Students affected by sexual violence are strongly encouraged to report these incidents to the Office of the Dean of Students and/or to the Boston College Police in order to access support services and get assistance in filing charges against the alleged perpetrator.
Boston College encourages students affected by sexual violence to talk to someone about what happened so they can get the support they need, and the University can respond appropriately. The report may be made by:
- A person who experienced sexual misconduct; and/or
- A person who has information that sexual misconduct may have been committed by a Boston College student or a participant in a University sponsored program.
While Boston College employees offer varying levels of privacy to students depending upon their roles in the community, all university employees will respectfully protect and communicate sensitive information with as much care as possible, and ensure privacy to the full extent possible.
There are multiple ways to file a complaint at Boston College. You do not need to make this decision alone. If you are unsure about whether or not to report, there are many people you can speak with in order to get more information about what reporting would mean and entail. You would not be pressured to provide more details than you are willing to offer.
Anonymous Resources: Anonymous options allow students the choice not to disclose identifying information, such as their names, locations or address, in the course of their conversation to the person with whom their disclosing. The Sexual Assault Network (SANet) Hotline is Boston College’s one reporting option for students that can offer anonymity, depending on what the student chooses to share in the course of the call.
Confidential Resources: These resources are not required to report your information to the Student Title IX Coordinator. Your information will be protected by confidentiality maintained by those operating under a clinical mental health or medical license, or who are acting in a pastoral mental health capacity.
Private Resources: Private resources must inform the Student Title IX Coordinator, Katie O’Dair, of any information you choose to share. The Student Title IX Coordinator is the one person on campus whose job it is to know about all incidents of sexual violence in order to make our community safer. Please know that sharing information will not require you to file a complaint with the Dean of Students Office or speak with the police.
Boston College encourages victims to talk to someone identified below.
Sexual Assault Network (SANet). The Sexual Assault Network (SANet) is the University’s primary confidential resource for students and other members of the Boston College community to report incidents of sexual violence or misconduct for the purpose of getting information, resources, and support. SANet can be a private or anonymous hotline that is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week during the academic year, for anyone affected by sexual violence.
SANet is an anonymous hotline to the extent that the caller requests anonymity. A person reporting to SANet does not have to give a name, but if they choose to provide a name, the SANet advocate will include the name along with the nature, date, time, and general location of an incident in a report that is sent to the Student Affairs Title IX Coordinator. The Student Affairs Title IX Coordinator will use the information to track patterns, evaluate the scope of the problem, formulate appropriate campus-wide responses, and comply with the University’s crime reporting obligations under the Clery Act. The SANet phone number is 617-552-2211.
Pastoral and Professional Counselors. Pastoral Counselors and Professional Counselors, when acting in their professional capacity as described below, are not required to disclose student reports of sexual misconduct without the student’s consent.
- A Professional Counselor is an employee of the University whose official responsibilities include providing psychological counseling and who is functioning within the scope of his or her license or certification. Contact University Counseling Services (UCS): 617-552-3310 during the day and 617-552-3227 on nights and weekends.
- A Pastoral Counselor is an employee of the University who is associated with a religious order or denomination, recognized by that religious order or denomination as someone who provides confidential counseling and who is functioning within the scope of that recognition as a Pastoral Counselor.
A student reporting to any of the above privileged resources may request complete confidentiality, meaning that the staff in question will not share any reported information with anyone without the student’s consent. These counselors will provide support and assistance, but will not investigate the complaint.
NOTE: While these professional and non-professional counselors and advocates may maintain a victim’s confidentiality with regard to Boston College, they may have reporting or other obligations under state law such as mandatory reporting to the Department of Youth Services in case of minors; threat of imminent harm to self or others; or the requirement to testify if subpoenaed in a criminal case.
University Support and Reporting Options
The Assistant Director for Sexual Violence Prevention and Response.
Located in the Women’s Center provides support for victims of sexual assault, and can help students navigate all options including follow-up medical care, reporting options, counseling, and working with University offices to address remedies as needed. Contact: Rachel DiBella, Assistant Director, Womens Center 617-552-3489, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Office of the Dean of Students
The Office of the Dean of Students, working in conjunction with the Student Affairs Title IX Coordinator, can assist students in understanding their options in the conduct system, implement interim measures including stay-away orders or other interim administrative actions, and provide guidance and support regarding remedies including academic and housing concerns. The Office, working with the Title IX Coordinator, also oversees the investigation and adjudication of sexual assault complaints against students.
Contact: 617-552-3470 during normal business hours or the Administrator On-Call (outside of normal business hours) through Boston College Police 617-552–4444 (emergency); 617-552–4440 (non-emergency).
Student Affairs Title IX Coordinator
The Student Affairs Title IX Coordinator oversees the University’s efforts related to the prevention, education, and response to incidents of sexual violence and sexual harassment on campus, and can help an individual student in pursuing a complaint. The Student Affairs Title IX Coordinator also tracks and monitors incidents of sexual misconduct on campus.
Contact: Katherine O’Dair, 617-552–3482, email@example.com.
Boston College Police Department (BCPD)
BCPD provides assistance to victims including addressing immediate safety concerns, investigating incidents of sexual misconduct, filing a criminal complaint both on-campus and off-campus, and assisting victims with medical attention and care. BCPD will take a report from a student and a specially trained officer will conduct an investigation which involves asking the student to describe the respondent and what happened. An officer may ask questions about the scene of the crime, any witnesses, and what happened before and after.
Contact: 617-552–4444 (emergency); 617-552–4440 (non-emergency).