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Section 6. General Policies

2014-2015 student guide


Source: University AIDS Guidelines Committee and University Health Services


Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) is a disease caused by the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV). The infection is transmitted via semen, vaginal secretions, or blood to blood contact (such as from sharing intravenous needles or receiving a contaminated transfusion). To date, there is no record of transmission of HIV to family members except by sexual contacts or intravenous drug contacts. Although HIV can be found in other body fluids such as urine, feces, and saliva, its presence in these other secretions has not been associated with transmission of HIV. The United States Public Health Service states that there is no risk created by working with, sitting near, living in the same household with, playing with, or going to school with an individual with HIV. AIDS is not transmitted by casual kissing, eating food handled by, or swimming in the same pool as a person with HIV.

Boston College has developed the following guidelines in response to the existence of AIDS. They are derived from the best scientific data available. The primary goal in establishing the guidelines is to ensure the rights and safety of individuals with HIV as well as to maintain a balanced and prudent concern for the health and safety of the whole community.

As is true for any person with a life-threatening illness, a person with AIDS needs compassion and reassurance in order to cope with the vulnerability and fear that are associated with the illness. The support and understanding of friends and colleagues are particularly valuable. The guidelines were formulated to reflect the University's intent to create an atmosphere that is characterized by support and compassion for those who may be affected by the disease.

In the guidelines, any reference to a "person with HIV" will include those who have a condition meeting the official surveillance definition of AIDS itself and those who are currently healthy but have tested positive for HIV.


  1. Boston College will not tolerate discrimination against or harassment of a student, faculty member, or employee who has HIV or is suspected of having HIV. A student, faculty member, or employee with HIV will be encouraged to continue his or her status at the University for as long as his or her physical condition permits.
  2. Current medical practice encourages early identification of HIV/AIDS. Information on testing and referral is available through University Health Services. Students, faculty members, and employees with HIV will be assured access to all University facilities except as noted in Guideline 3. The University will work with any student, faculty member, or employee with HIV to adjust the requirements of courses, programs, or job responsibilities to avoid any situations in which there is a risk of transmission of HIV.
  3. Boston College expects that a member of its community living with HIV will be responsible for conducting his or her activities so as to protect the other members of the community. This means not participating in behavior that would create risk of transmitting HIV to others. The University has the right to reconsider the status of a student, faculty member, or employee with HIV who fails to act responsibly. If a person with HIV does not voluntarily restrict his or her participation in activities where there may be a risk of transmission of HIV, the Director of Health Services may initiate action to disqualify the individual from participation in such activities.
  4. A member of the Boston College community who has AIDS or HIV is strongly encouraged to inform the Director of Health Services concerning his or her health status. Only with this information can the University provide protection and care during that person's continued presence in the community.
  5. Boston College will protect the privacy of persons living with HIV and will respect the confidentiality of any information provided by an individual and his or her physicians. The medical information will not be released to anyone without prior specific written consent of the individual unless the Director of Health Services feels there is imminent danger to the individual or others. Individuals who are informed within these guidelines are expected to respect the confidentiality of a person with HIV.
  6. University housing assignments for students with HIV will be made through the regular assignment process, subject to review by the Director of University Health Services.
  7. Any dispute concerning the application of the guidelines can be appealed through the current grievance processes that are available to students, faculty members, and employees of Boston College. For faculty members, a review of the grievance committee is available in the Bylaws of the Trustees of Boston College and in the University Statutes Handbook in Chapter 2, Section 11C. Students may appeal to the Vice President for Student Affairs and the Dean of Students. Grievance procedures for employees are outlined in the Employee Handbook.

Due to rapid developments in the study of AIDS, these guidelines are intended to be flexible and are not considered blanket policy statements.

At this time, there is no cure for AIDS. Therefore, the University provides education to promote an understanding of the preventive measures that can be taken to avoid contracting AIDS and medical information to alleviate fears and anxieties about the disease. Educational literature is available at various locations throughout campus. In addition, educational programs have been and continue to be offered to the University community through University Health Services, the Office of Residential Life, the Office of Human Resources, and the Undergraduate Government. The educational programs are aimed at increasing the awareness and sensitivity of the community to the reality of AIDS, and at creating and fostering an informed, supportive, and caring environment that is responsive to the needs of persons living with HIV/AIDS.

For More Information

Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs
Maloney Hall, Suite 260

University Health Services
Cushing Hall 119

University Counseling Services
Gasson Hall 108

Faculty/Staff Assistance Program
Lyons Hall 401


Source: Office of the General Counsel

Information regarding the University's security awareness and crime prevention program is published in the Campus Safety and Security Program. The document, distributed each year to all members of the University community as a component of the Boston College Important Notices and Disclosures mailing, is available from the Office of the Financial Vice President and Treasurer. In addition, the following campus safety and security policies may be referenced in the Boston College Policies and Procedures Manual at Crime Awareness and Campus Security Act, 5-350-200; Reporting Crimes and Other Emergencies, 5-350-210; Safety Notification Procedure, 5-350-220; Campus Facilities: Security, Access, and Maintenance, 5-350-230; Campus Law Enforcement, 5-350-240; and Campus Sexual Assault Program, 5-350-250.


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: 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 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 ( or the Office of the Dean of Students (


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


Boston College has implemented, in accordance with Federal regulations, a new missing student notification policy.  This policy is available by clicking here.


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: The Office of the Dean of Students

Boston College students must disclose any arrests, indictments, or convictions of a criminal offense, excluding minor traffic violations, regardless of where they occur and regardless of whether the University is in session at the time. Such a report is to be made to the Office of the Dean of Students in Maloney Hall - suite 212, (617) 552-3470, or to  Failure to comply with this requirement may result in University disciplinary action.


See the Boston College Policies and Procedures Manual at and Solicitations, 3-200-130.


Source: Office of the Dean of Students

Attendance at Senior Week events as well as residence in University housing during Senior Week is a privilege, not a right. Consequently, the Dean of Students or designee reserves the right to ban specified individuals from Senior Week events (including Commencement exercises) and/or terminate a student's housing or University status.


See the Boston College Policies and Procedures Manual at Education Records, 4-730-005.


Source: Office of the Provost and Dean of Faculties

Official communications of the University with its currently-enrolled students, including notices of academic and administrative matters and communications from faculty and administrative staff, may be sent via postal service, campus mail, or email. To assure that these communications arrive in a timely manner, all enrolled students have the following responsibilities:

Postal Service and Campus Mail:

For purposes of written communication, the student's local and permanent addresses on record at Student Services will be regarded as the student's official local and permanent residences. All students have a responsibility to provide both local and permanent mailing addresses, and to enter corrections via the Agora Portal if the addresses are not accurate in university records. Students should review their address record for accuracy at the beginning of each semester, and again soon after submitting any corrections.

Students who are studying abroad have a responsibility to provide their local international address via a link on the Office of International Programs website.


The University recognizes and uses electronic mail as an appropriate medium for official communication. The University provides all enrolled students with Boston College email addresses as well as access to email services from computer stations at various locations on campus. All students are expected to access their email accounts regularly, to check for official University communications, and to respond as necessary to such communications.

All student responses to official email communications from the University must contain the student's Boston College email address in the "From:" and "Reply To:" lines, and should originate from the student's Boston College email address, to assure that the response can be recognized as a message from a member of the University community.

Students may forward their email messages from their Boston College email address  to non-university email systems, if they wish. In such cases, however, students shall be solely responsible for all consequences arising from such forwarding arrangements, including any failure by the non-university system to deliver or retain official University communications. Students should send test messages to and from their University email account on a regular basis, to confirm that their email service is functioning reliably.


See the Boston College Policies and Procedures Manual at of Boston College Indicia, 1-100-050.

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