Pastoral and Professional Counselors. Pastoral and Professional Counselors, when acting in their professional capacities as described below, are not required to disclose student reports of sexual misconduct without the student’s consent.
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 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 student (undergraduate or graduate) 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 cases involving minors; threat of imminent harm to self or others; or the requirement to testify if subpoenaed in a criminal case.
A Note about the Role and Responsibility of Faculty and Staff
A student may choose to disclose sexual misconduct to a faculty or staff member. Faculty and staff are required to report to the Student Affairs Title IX Coordinator when a student discloses sexual misconduct so that the University can respond appropriately. The report would include any information that the student decides to disclose, including the names of the victim and alleged perpetrator(s), any witnesses, and any other relevant facts, including the date, time, and location of the alleged incident.
If a victim wants to tell a faculty or staff member what happened but also wishes to maintain confidentiality, a victim should understand that the University will consider the request but cannot guarantee confidentiality in all cases. In reporting the details of the incident to the Student Affairs Title IX Coordinator, the employee will inform the Coordinator of the victim's request for confidentiality.
While students should expect that faculty and staff will inform the Title IX Coordinator, students who want the University to conduct an investigation or who wish to pursue institutional remedies and/or adjudicaiton are strongly encouraged to contact the Office of the Dean of Students and/or the Title IX Coordinator directly to ensure a more immediate response.
For Specific information about how the University will weigh a request for confidentiality and respond, see the Student Sexual Misconduct Police at bc.edu/sar.