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Community Expectations

office of residential life

Cushing Community

Boston College Residence hall communities are nurturing environments rooted in the Jesuit Catholic tradition that emphasizes spiritual, moral, personal, and intellectual growth and development. Students have the unique opportunity to interact with others from differing backgrounds, participate in service and social events, and define their role within the University community.

Students are expected to be proactive members of their residence hall communities and to contribute to the overall college experience of others. Students are responsible for taking ownership in developing a safe and healthy living environment for all community members and must abide by all Residential Life and University policies. To learn more on University policies, please consult the Student Guide, safety regulations, Residency Agreement and the Conditions for Residency.

Questions about community expectations or Residential Life policies can be directed to your Resident Director or to the Assistant Dean of Students in the Office of the Dean of Students, Maloney Hall, Suite 448, 617-552-3470.


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Rights & Responsibilities

As Boston College students, you have rights regarding personal safety and security. In order to ensure these rights for you and your fellow students, you must abide by certain policies. Fulfilling these policies and requirements is your responsibility as a residence hall student. Minimum mandatory sanctions will be imposed for failing to comply.

  • Health & Safety Inspections — Random Health & Safety inspections will take place throughout the year. Any safety violation will be recorded.
  • Fire Alarms — When the fire alarm in your building sounds, it is your responsibility to leave the building immediately. Although some fire alarms are false, you must treat every fire alarm as if a real fire is occurring. Maliciously pulling a fire alarm is a serious offense. It disrupts the life of every resident in the building and places at risk the lives of the responding fire personnel and resident staff. If you witness an alarm being pulled falsely, notify your RA immediately.
  • Fire Extinguishers — Fire extinguishers are placed in specific locations throughout each residence hall. These extinguishers should be used only in the event of an actual fire. Misuse of a fire extinguisher is a very dangerous act.
  • Door Propping — The first step toward a safe community is keeping the exterior door properly locked. Propping open a building door leaves the building and its residents vulnerable to all crimes. The card access system for each residence hall door monitors propping. In the event that a door is propped open for more than 60 seconds, a silent alarm sounds to which the Boston College Police Department will respond.
  • Room Combination Security — Safety begins with you. Under no circumstance is your room combination to be shared with non-roommates. Most on-campus theft is caused by room combination sharing. It is your responsibility to keep this code secure.
  • Security Screens — In order to ensure your safety, residence hall rooms are equipped with locked screens. The tabs on these screens should not be removed unless an emergency situation arises. Removal of the tab on the screen is a violation. Students may report any missing red tabs to their Resident Director by September 15th without incurring a charge.


Fire Prevention Measures

Fire prevention requires the efforts and cooperation of all Boston College community members. As students, you are expected to adhere to strict guidelines on this matter. Failure to comply with these expectations can jeopardize your safety and that of others. In light of the possible hazards caused by the use of high-voltage and heat-producing appliances and non-approved furniture in densely populated areas, various items are prohibited in the residence halls:

  • No extension cords are allowed. Only power strips with surge protection are allowed.
  • Space heaters and heating blankets
  • Any style of halogen light or lamp
  • Octopus lights and lamps (any light with more than three "arms")
  • Non–UL-approved power strips
  • Any extension cord without a surge protector
  • Decorative lights are permitted only from October 15 to last final exam in December.
  • Grills are not permitted except in the Mods. Lighter fluid is prohibited in all areas.
  • Smoking is prohibited in all residence halls.
  • All non-University mattresses are prohibited in the residence halls.
  • All types of foam mattress topper (egg crate, memory foam, etc.) are particularly flammable and are therefore prohibited.
  • Futons may be used in common areas of suites and apartments, but they are not permitted in any bedroom or anywhere in traditional-style residence halls.
  • The University and the Office of Residential Life reserve the right to determine whether personal furnishings (chairs, couches, mattresses, lamps, etc.) are appropriate due to code, policy, or space issues.
  • Heat-producing appliances are limited by hall. Only buildings with kitchens or kitchenette areas may have any appliance. This includes coffee makers, toasters, toaster ovens, etc. Please see your RD for building specifics.

Electric Cords & Appliance Requirements

  • Power strips or surge protectors must be used in the event that the number of electrical appliances exceeds the number of electrical outlets. These must be UL approved, with a circuit breaker.
  • Only 110-volt and low-wattage (1000 or less) microwaves are permitted in the halls.

Other Restrictions

  • Candles, incense, hookahs, and other sources of open flame are prohibited in the residence halls. These items should not be brought to campus. They will be confiscated and destroyed without compensation to the owner.
  • Posters, flags and other wall hangings must be used sparingly. They are not to be hung from the ceiling or in a location that will cover or interfere with light fixtures, outlets, or other appliances.
  • Construction of partitions, bunk beds, lofts, and other additions to your room is not allowed.
  • Smoking in all residence halls is strictly prohibited. In order to smoke, students must be at least 20 feet from any residence hall.
  • Exits may not be blocked or used for storage.

Minimum Mandatory Sanctions

Violation  Sanction
Deliberately setting off a fire alarm Up to University Suspension; repay all costs associated with violation
Negligent alarm (e.g., cooking)

1st: Administrative Warning; cost of any damage

2nd: Disciplinary Probation; cost of any damage

Tampering with fire/safety equipment (e.g., fire exting., smoke alarm, heat sensor, alarm box, horns, strobes) Up to University Suspension and/or loss of housing, educational sanctions
Failure to evacuate during fire alarm Disciplinary Probation up to University Probation, educational sanction
Possession of unlit candles or incense Administrative Warning, confiscation (to be discarded)
Possession of a candle with burnt wick or used incense Disciplinary Probation, confiscation (to be discarded)
Burning candle Up to Deferred Housing Suspension, confiscation (to be discarded), and educational sanction
Tampering with a security screen/Removal of red tabs other than in an emergency situation Administrative Warning $100 fine and/or educational sanction
Propping open a residence hall door Up to Disciplinary Probation and $200 fine and/or educational sanctions
Removal or damage to Emergency Evacuation Plan or holder $200 fine

For additional safety information, contact:

Boston College Office of Residential Life
617-552-3060 (x2-3060)

Boston College Environmental Health & Safety
617-552-0308 (x2-0308)

Boston College Police Department
617-552-4440 (x2-4440)

Online resources and articles

BC Environmental Health & Safety
Center for Campus Fire Safety
U.S. Fire Administration
National Fire Protection Association
"BC gets top grades for fire safety"

April 4, 2016

Boston College does not insure student property. Further BC cannot assume liability for student possessions. To that end, students should ensure their property on Campus is covered using a plan specifically designed for Student Personal Property theft or damage. Boston College has located one such company, Arthur J. Gallagher & Co., that is listed on the Res Life website regarding Student Personal Property insurance. Accidental damage and water damage is included so if flooding occurs as a result of sprinklers going off, pipes freezing, or a water bottle spills on a laptop, all damage is covered.

Below are plan highlights of the coverage which includes a link to Personal Property on Gallagher website where students can enroll and obtain additional information:

To protect you and your property, Gallagher offers Personal Property Protection to students, faculty & staff.

Plan Highlights

  • Covers loss due to accidental damage, theft, fire, water or vandalism
  • Covers computers, cell phones, books, clothes, and more
  • Worldwide protection, including when studying abroad or on vacation
  • Replacement Cost Coverage
  • Full 12 month policy period
  • Free Identity Theft Coverage
  • Low rates and $25 deductible option when enrolled online at