Section 3. General Policies
2015-2016 student guide
Source: Boston College Police Department
Information regarding the University’s Campus Security Program and Fire Safety Program can be found on the Boston College Police Department website.
Source: Office of the Dean of Students
Copyright law protects the rights of anyone who creates or holds the rights to created content, including art, music, written material, movies, and software. The unauthorized copying or distribution of any material created by anyone other than yourself may constitute copyright infringement, which is a violation of federal law and University policy. These prohibited activities include using the Boston College network for sharing music, video, or software without copyright holder permission, whether through peer-to-peer programs (uploading or downloading) or other means.
Boston College's technology policy, located at: http://www.bc.edu/techpolicy requires all members of the University community to comply with copyright laws and the provisions of licensing agreements that apply to software. In addition, all system users agree in the Boston College Technological and Information Resources Use Agreement to comply with copyright law.
The University imposes significant sanctions for infringing activities, including university probation and loss of network access. In addition, under the Copyright Act, anyone infringing a copyrighted work may be liable for statutory damages up to $30,000 for each work (i.e. each song or movie) infringed and, if willful infringement is proven, that amount may be increased up to $150,000. An infringer may also be liable for the attorney's fees of the copyright owner. In certain cases, an infringer may also be subject to criminal penalties, including fines and imprisonment. For significant offenses, these penalties include up to a five-year federal prison term and a fine of $250,000. Prohibited activities includeusing the Boston College network for sharing music, video or software without copyright holder permission.
In recent years, associations including the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) and the Motion Picture Association of America have served thousands of subpoenas on colleges and universities, including Boston College, seeking to obtain the identities of individuals who have allegedly infringed the copyright of their members through peer-to-peer file-sharing. Boston College is required to comply with lawfully issued subpoenas, and students have had to pay significant sums of money to settle copyright claims in order to avoid further liability.
A number of legal alternatives, authorized by copyright owners, exist for acquiring music and other content on-line, including iTunes, Amazon, and even Walmart.com. Boston College encourages you to make use of these services rather than engaging in copyright infringement and risking significant penalties.
If you have any questions, please feel free to contact BC's Information Technology Services (www.bc.edu/its) or the Office of the Dean of Students (www.bc.edu/dos).
GROUP OR ORGANIZATION PROMOTION AND SOLICITATION
Source: Office of the Dean of Students
As an institution of higher education, Boston College welcomes a diversity of ideas, religions, and cultural backgrounds in furthering student learning and knowledge. A free exchange of beliefs and ideas is a healthy means to evaluate, change, clarify, or reinforce values and commitments. With these academic freedoms come responsibilities that include respecting the rights of others not to be pressured, harassed, intimidated, or threatened into joining a particular group or becoming involved in its activities.
Practices or behaviors that are detrimental or injurious to students or that are clearly and demonstrably contrary to the essential purposes for which Boston College was founded and exists cannot be tolerated. To guard against such acts, the University has the right to provide guidelines and controls. Conduct considered injurious to health, safety, welfare, privacy, or educational mission includes but is not limited to:
- acts adversely impacting academic or vocational pursuits;
- acts adversely impacting financial status or condition;
- false, deceptive, secretive, or unethical promotion or advertising that conceals or obfuscates a group's true goals, objectives, connections, or nature of agenda;
- intrusion by visits, calls, electronic mail, or mailings to student residence halls or non-public areas of campus;
- non-students or non-University affiliated individuals posing as students or affiliates for the purpose of solicitation; or
- attempts to physically, mentally, or emotionally force or coerce a student into enlisting in a group and participating in its activities.
To ensure and maintain the safety, security, and expected privacy of the living areas and an environment conducive to academic pursuits, all solicitation is prohibited within the residence hall system unless specifically approved by the Director of Residential Life. Residence halls are not public forums. Individual students may invite guests into their rooms but must ensure that the guests are properly signed-in and observe University rules. Any use of a residence room must be based upon consent of all roommates.
Outside of the residence halls, student groups or non-affiliated or non-registered groups must obtain permission from the Office of the Dean of Students to solicit for any purpose. Intimidation, threats, or unreasonable interference with work, academic performance, or personal living environment will be subject to disciplinary and/or legal actions. Massachusetts state law strictly prohibits hazing by any person or group for any reason.
Questions, concerns, or complaints may be addressed to the Dean of Students, Maloney Hall, Suite 212, 617-552-3470.
Source: Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs
The University reserves the right to enter student rooms/apartments/suites in University Housing for reasons of health, normal maintenance, upholding community standards (including safety and discipline), and inspection of or making necessary repairs to rooms, furnishings, or room equipment. Except in cases of health and safety inspections or genuine emergency, a search of the contents of a student's room/apartment/suite will be made only with: (1) his or her consent; or (2) a University Search Authorization issued by the Vice President for Student Affairs or designee; or (3) a duly authorized search warrant from a local court.
The Vice President for Student Affairs will not issue a University Search Authorization unless presented with evidence sufficient to give rise to a belief that a search will demonstrate that a violation of University regulations or local, state, or federal law has taken place, is taking place, or will take place, or that a danger to the health or safety of the occupant(s) of the living unit or other members of the Boston College community exists. A University Search Authorization will set forth the premises, the person or persons who are the subject(s) of the search, the item(s) being sought, and the time within which the warrant will remain valid.
A search based upon a University Search Authorization will be conducted by the Boston College Police Department or the Director of Residential Life or their designees and other university officials deemed appropriate in the situation.
Source: Office of Jury Commissioner of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and Office of the Dean of Students
According to the Office of Jury Commissioner of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, every U.S. citizen 17 years of age or older who is a Massachusetts resident or an inhabitant for more than 50% of the time is eligible to serve as a juror. If you are a resident of another state but a student at a Massachusetts college, you are considered to be an inhabitant for more than 50% of the year and, therefore, eligible to serve as a juror in Massachusetts.
It is not unusual for students residing at Boston College to be summoned to serve as trial jurors. All colleges and universities in the state are required by law to provide the municipality in which they reside the names and local addresses of resident students. It is from this list that students are, occasionally, randomly selected for jury duty. Jury service, on a short-term basis, can provide students with a good opportunity to fulfill one of their important responsibilities as members of the community. Boston College supports students in their fulfillment of this civic duty.
Students should carefully read all materials they receive with their summons to service. This summons contains helpful information about confirming, postponing (you may request to postpone, one time only, to any court business day, provided that the date you select is within 12 months of the date for which you were originally summonsed), rescheduling, or relocating service. The summons also addresses frequently-asked questions. Jury duty is an important legal obligation, and those who fail to respond are subject to criminal prosecution.
Students who must miss class in order to fulfill their jury service requirement should notify each of their instructors of the summons and make arrangements to complete any missed work. Staff at the dean's office of your school or college (i.e., A&S, CSOM, CSON, GSSW, Law, LSOE, or WCAS) may also be able to assist you in making arrangements for missed class time due to jury service. Students may be required to furnish their summons notice or the certificate of service when making these arrangements.
If you have any questions about jury duty, including confirming, postponing, rescheduling, or limiting your service, please consult the Student's Guide to Jury Duty brochure, available in the Office of the Dean of Students, or contact the Office of Jury Commissioner (1-800-THE-JURY/1-800-843-5879). Additional information is available at the Office of Jury Commissioner's website at www.massjury.com.
Source: Office of the Dean of Students
It is the policy of Boston College to collect addresses for all students not living on campus. The ability to identify where a student lives off campus better enables the University to contact students in case of family or other emergencies and also to better respond to crises that occur off campus (e.g., fires, criminal activity). Additionally, when a complaint is filed about an off-campus house or apartment, accurate address information will allow the University to determine if, in fact, the residents are Boston College students.
Failure to provide the University with a valid local address by the date specified by Student Services could result in an administrative hold being placed on the student; providing a false address would be treated as a disciplinary infraction.
Source: Office of Student Services
Information regarding the official communications of the University with students can be found on the Office of Student Services website.
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