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Office for Institutional Diversity

Office of Residential Life Boston College

resident assistant protocol for addressing incidents of intolerance

This protocol will be used when addressing incidents of intolerance. These include but are not limited to hate speech, acts of bias-motivated violence, and inflammatory graffiti. The purpose of this protocol is to ensure that Residential Life responds to the needs of the students involved in the incident as well as responding to the needs of the immediate community.


  1. Attempt to cover, but not disturb, offensive material (if applicable)
  2. Page the RDOC or contact your Resident Director
  3. Support the student(s)
    Make the student feel safe and follow up with the student as long as necessary. If appropriate, assist the student in finding support groups or contacting University Counseling Services. Also, encourage the student to enlist the help/support of family and friends.
  4. While BCPD and RDOC investigate the incident
    Attempt to ascertain the following: How do the residents in the room/on floor feel?
    • Are there witnesses?
    • What was written, said, or done?
    • Where was the inflammatory material written/placed/expressed?
    • Who is responsible? If the party is known, what is the relationship, if any, to the victim?
    • What is the intent of the inflammatory material? (i.e., was it intended to cause pain/harm?)
  5. Write the appropriate incident report/background report(s)
  6. Resolution
    The SAOC, director, and associate director, upon consultation with the RDOC and the duty RA, will make a decision as to how extensive the level of community notification will be (floor-wide, building-wide, area-wide, campus-wide) and how community notification will be implemented (floor/building meetings, letters, campus e-mail). If the manner of notification is by letter, all resident assistants will be notified, regardless of the location of the incident.
  7. Follow-up with Community
    It may be necessary for continual follow-up with the community focusing on the needs of the students and attempts to control rumors. It will be important for the RA to help determine if there are students who are affected but have not received the proper resources.

Note: If the incident occurs on a weekday between 9 a.m. – 5 p.m., the RA should contact the resident director or assistant director. If they are not available, then contact the main office at 552-3060.