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    Springfield College
  Nov 19, 2017
2015-2016 Springfield College Student Handbook [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

College Policies

Alcohol Policy

Harassment and Discrimination Policy Reporting Off-Campus Address
Abuse and Assault Policy Hate Crime Policy Responsible Use of Information Technologies
Drug Policy Hazing Policy and Rationale Sexual Misconduct Policy
Financial Obligations

Endangering Behavior Policy

Mandatory Leave/Mandatory Withdrawal Policy

Soliciation Policy
Firearms and Weapons Medical Clearance Spectator Participation Policy
Gambling Policy Personal Property and Identity Theft Student Demonstration Policy
Guest Policy Release of Personally Identifiable Information and Student Records Whistleblower Policy


Introduction to College Policies

Each institution establishes rules and regulations to ensure that students’ individual rights are respected within the community. Such policies also serve to inform students of their responsibilities. Please read the following policy statements carefully. They will be applied consistently whenever classes are in session and/or students are on campus. In addition, all students present at the time of a violation will be held responsible for the infraction. All residents of a room, apartment, or townhouse in which such violations occur may be subject to the full range of disciplinary actions, even if they were not present at the time of the incident. As a result, resident students are particularly advised to give careful attention to anyone who has access to their rooms, apartments, or townhouses. Any student who feels jeopardized by the actions of his/her roommate(s) should seek assistance from the residence life staff so that the problems may be avoided.  Questions concerning campus policies should be raised at the Office of Students Affairs. 

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Drug Free Schools and Community Act

Springfield College is in compliance with the Drug-Free Campus Regulations and has adopted the following policies to address the presence of alcohol and the use of drugs and/or other illegal substances. Springfield College’s mission speaks to the importance of educating students in mind, body, and spirit for leadership and service to others. An understanding of the purpose of a Springfield College education underscores the rationale for the College policy on alcohol. The misuse and abuse of alcohol in whatever form is inconsistent with this fundamental commitment of the College to provide said education. The College encourages and supports students who abstain from the use of alcoholic beverages. It also acknowledges that we live within a social environment which establishes in law, a minimum age for the use of alcohol (21). The College does, however, permit the use of alcohol on campus in a manner consistent with the law. The College does not allow the use of alcohol to lead to disruptive behavior or conduct which infringes upon the rights of those who wish to pursue their academic interests as responsible members of the community.

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Alcohol and Other Drug Information

The College hopes that the years spent as a member of the Springfield College community will be a time of great personal growth and development. Clearly, the primary goal is to gain knowledge and expertise in a particular field. However, there are other important goals, such as learning to take responsibility for one’s life, gaining awareness of one’s basic values, and making changes that are consistent with those values, as well as learning to live, work and play in a thoughtful community with others. The Alcohol and Drug policies are adopted to promote attitudes towards alcohol use that are consistent with an atmosphere of civility, and to discourage alcohol-related behavior on campus which is illegal and/or abusive to oneself or to others. The Drug Policy clearly outlines the position of the College relating to use of illegal substances. Both policies have been developed to be consistent with our belief in the total development of the person-in spirit, mind, and body.


Although many people do not think of it as such, alcohol is a powerful, mood-altering drug. It is a central nervous system depressant that falls into a class of drugs known as sedative-hypnotics. Like all drugs, alcohol’s effects are dose dependent. Typically, a “dose” of alcohol is measured in terms of standard “drink”. A “drink” is defined as a 12 ounce beer, 5 ounce glass of wine, or 1.5oz of hard liquor. These all contain approximately one ounce of alcohol. On the average, it takes approximately one hour for an individual to metabolize one ounce of alcohol. This metabolic rate is affected by weight, body size, sex, rate of consumption, and presence of food in stomach. The way in which the effect of alcohol is experienced is modified by the individual’s expectations, mood, setting, and past experience.

In general, low doses of alcohol produce slight sedation, lowering of inhibitions, and impairment of judgment and fine motor coordination. As the level of alcohol present in the blood increases (.08-.09) motor skills, balance, and speech become impaired. A feeling of euphoria is produced, and the individual becomes unaware of the impairment in his/her functioning. At the .10-.12 level, emotions are exaggerated, impotence may occur, and driving becomes extremely dangerous. Beyond this level, blackouts result (the person continues to be conscious but has no memory of events) and there is significant loss of control over behavior. If blood levels continue to rise, confusion, nausea, vomiting, and dysphoria occur. If the person becomes unconscious, there is an increased risk of asphyxiation from choking on one’s own vomit. If blood levels reach or exceed .30, the person may die from respiratory arrest, as the center which controls breathing become anesthetized.

Chronic use of alcohol can lead to psychological and physical dependence, elevated blood pressure, increased risk of heart attack, cancer of the mouth and throat, cancer of the digestive system, pancreatic, and cirrhosis of the liver. In males, chronic heavy usage is associated with testicular atrophy and breast enlargement. The risk of breast cancer in women is sharply increased by consuming as little as one drink per day. Women who drink while pregnant risk the occurrence of Fetal Alcohol Syndrome in their unborn children.

Other Drugs


The use of barbiturates can result in a slowed heart rate and breathing, slowed reactions, confusion, weakened emotional control, distortion of reality, reduced awareness, and intoxication.


Tranquilizers (such as Valium, Librium, Ativan, and Tranzene) effects include slowed heart rate and breathing, lowered blood pressure, relaxation, drowsiness, confusion, loss of coordination, intoxication, and changes in personality.


The active ingredient in marijuana, hashish, and hashish oil is delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol or THC. Use of THC results in an increase in heart and pulse rate, reddening of the eyes, dryness in the mouth, lowered body temperature, stimulated appetite, loss of coordination, brief sense of well-being, intoxication, possible confusion, distortion of reality, impaired short-term memory, restlessness, and hallucinations. Other possible effects of abuse include depression, panic, varying degrees of tolerance, and psychological and physical dependence. Over-use may cause paranoia. Long-term heavy use is associated with chronic lung disease and possibly lung cancer.


Hallucinogens, such as Ecstasy, LSD, and PCP are substances capable of distorting perceptions, sensations, self-awareness, and emotions.

Ecstasy (N-methyl-3, 4-methylenedi-oxyamphentaime or MDMA) causes several side effects, including increased heart rate and blood pressure. A more serious risk is tied to hypothermia, or elevated body temperature, which can result in death.

LSD (Lysergic Acid Diethylamide) induces increased heart rate, blood pressure, blood sugar, irregular breathing, and euphoria, loss of ability to separate fact from fantasy, distortion of senses, hallucinations, paranoia, panic, and violence. Hazards include: (1) quick development of tolerance (2) increased risk of birth defects in user’s children (3) the reoccurrence of effects (flashbacks) even without further use and (4) death due to accident or suicide.

PCP effects (phencyclidine) are unpredictable and are similar to LSD, but are more intense distortion.


Stimulants increase central nervous system activity. Amphetamine use results in increased heart rate and blood pressure, loss of appetite, increased activity levels, feeling of alertness, and self-confidence followed by depression. Heavy usage can result in hallucinations, paranoia, and drug-induced psychosis. Long-term use can result in psychological and physical dependence; withdrawal can result in suicidal depression.

Cocaine, another stimulant drug, may cause quickened pulse and circulation, sharpened reactions, restlessness, feelings of well-being, alertness, overconfidence, confusion, anxiety, depression, paranoia, nervous exhaustion, and hallucinations. Hazards associated with cocaine use include physical and psychological dependence, destruction of nasal tissue from snorting the drug, lesions in lungs caused by smoking the drug, convulsions, respiratory paralysis, cardiac arrest, and death can result from overdose.


Narcotics are opiate drugs which relieve pain and induce sleep. Drugs included in this category are heroin, morphine, opium, codeine, methamphetamine, and methadone. Effects of usage include shallow breathing, reduction in appetite and thirst, reduction in sex drive, drowsiness, brief euphoria, lethargy, heaviness of limbs, apathy, loss of ability to concentrate, loss of judgment, and self-control. Hazards of abuse include physical and psychological dependence, and painful withdrawal. Overdose can cause coma, convulsion, respiratory arrest, and death. Associated risks include malnutrition infection, hepatitis, and increased risk of contracting AIDS if needles are shared.

Alcohol and Drug Treatment Programs

In addition to services and referrals offered through the Springfield College Counseling Center and Health Services, the following services and sources of information are available in the surrounding community:

Springfield College Counseling Center


Springfield College Health Center


Alcoholic Anonymous (AA) (self-help programs)


Narcotics Anonymous (NA) (self-help programs)


Al-Anon and Alateen of Greater Springfield


Providence Behavioral Health Care


Holyoke Hospital


Carlson Detoxification Center


Baystate Medical Center (Admissions)


Baystate Medical Center (Health Information)


Mercy Hospital (Admissions)


Gambler’s Anonymous (self-help program)


Overeater’s Anonymous (self-help program)


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Alcohol Policy

Springfield College is subject to the laws of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts regarding the consumption, purchase, possession, and transportation of any alcoholic beverage. Some of the more pertinent statues and regulations that have an impact on the way the College relates to these issues are as follows:

  1. No person, group, or organization may sell alcoholic beverages except pursuant to a license granted by the Commonwealth through the local government licensing authority. Licensing authority does not give permission for groups to have an open bar on campus, except in a family residence.
  2. No person shall operate a motor vehicle under the influence of alcoholic beverages. Violators may be subject to arrest, fine, mandatory court education programs, immediate loss of license, and/or imprisonment.
  3. No person or group shall purchase or otherwise procure alcoholic beverages for consumption by a person under 21 years of age. Violators may be subject to criminal charges and a fine.
  4. No person under 21 years of age shall keep, purchase, sell, possess, or receive alcoholic beverages. Violators may be subject to arrest, criminal charges, and fine.
  5. No person shall use the liquor identification card or driver’s license of another, or supply such cards to another, furnish false information in obtaining such cards, or alter or deface such cards. Violators may be subject to arrest, criminal charges, and fines.
  6. In addition to the criminal penalties for wrongful handling and use of alcoholic beverages, individuals who furnish or sell alcoholic beverages to minors or to persons who are intoxicated may be liable to such persons and to anyone else who suffers personal injury as a result of such furnishing or sale. This may result in a civil lawsuit.

Alcohol Policy and Procedures for Individual Use

  1. Possession or use of alcohol in any form is strictly prohibited in first-year residence halls, regardless of one’s age. This restriction applies to all students of Springfield College, their guests, and members of their families.
  2. Possession and consumption of alcoholic beverages on or off the Springfield College campus must be in compliance with Massachusetts state laws. Legal use of alcohol is limited to the privacy of students’ rooms.
  3. The possession, consumption or use of alcoholic beverages by those persons under the age of 21 is a violation of College Policy.
  4. Alcohol consumption and/or carrying open containers of alcoholic beverages is not permitted in public areas of the residence halls (lounges, entrance ways, stairwells, lavatories, corridors, etc.) or in other College buildings, at athletic events, student activities, and outdoors on the campus unless specific written authorization is granted prior to the event by the Vice President for Student Affairs or his/her designee. The College defines an open container as (1) any container that is used to hold alcoholic beverages and from which the container’s original seal is broken, and (2) cups, including but not limited to, those with open tops into which a straw may be inserted.
  5. Large quantities of alcohol are not permitted in residence facilities or on the grounds of the campus, this includes any alcohol that was brought into the room by a guest. Large amounts of alcohol, kegs or beer balls, whether empty or full, tapped or untapped, are strictly prohibited and will be confiscated (taps and “keg-o-rators” included) by the College and will not be returned. Recognizing the serious health risks posed by excessive drinking, the College also prohibits drinking paraphernalia, including, but not limited to, drinking funnels, all manners of drinking games, and common sources of alcohol, regardless of age.  The definition of large quantity will be at the sole discretion of the College.
  6. Impairment, which could be attributed to the consumption of alcohol, that substantially interferes with student judgment and decision-making, causes disturbance, and/or requires the intervention of College personnel is prohibited.
  7. Falsifying any identification cards, borrowing another student’s ID card to obtain alcohol or to gain entrance to functions where alcoholic beverages are being served or being involved with the process of buying or selling of false identification cards will result in disciplinary action. Production and/or alteration of identification cards for sale and/or mass-production of such cards will result in College sanctions and may result in criminal prosecution.
  8. Students possessing or delivering alcohol in the residence buildings and who appear to be under the age of 21 will be confronted by the staff. There is an expectation that students in this age category will abide by the law.
  9. Displays of alcohol signage and paraphernalia are prohibited in public locations and in residential facility windows.
  10. Disciplinary proceedings will be commenced against those students who are hosting a gathering where alcohol is served to minors, the consumption of alcohol by guests is not monitored, and/or s/he is furnishing a place for minors to consume alcohol. Underage students present where alcohol is found may face disciplinary action.
  11. Abuse of alcoholic beverages is interpreted by the College as a lack of responsibility on the part of the student as determined in the discretion of the College and/or a violation of Massachusetts law and will not be tolerated. Students who abuse alcohol may be required to take a portable breath test to determine if there is need for medical intervention. Students transported to a nearby hospital will meet with a College official regarding the student’s well-being and decision-making. Alcohol abuse is a violation of the College’s Code of Conduct and will lead to disciplinary action and/or required intervention.
  12. Students who operate a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol either on or off campus will face disciplinary action and could face criminal prosecution.

Sanctions for Violating the Alcohol Policy

The information provided below is to highlight possible consequences for typical policy violations of the Code of Conduct and is not absolute; individual circumstances will be reviewed in detail before a decision is rendered. Aggravating factors will also be considered.

  • Underage possession or use of alcohol with no aggravating factors: Warning, Think About It and/or Alcohol Policy Reaction Paper
  • Underage possession or use of alcohol with aggravating factors (such as conduct history, amount of alcohol, other minor violations): College Probation, Deferred Loss of Housing, Alcohol Education Class and Reflection Paper, Parental Notification, $100 fine
  • Hospital Transport for Alcohol Abuse: Parental notification, College Probation (any further violation of the Code of Conduct will likely result in suspension), AOD counseling referral, $100 fine
  • Underage possession or use of alcohol with significant aggravating factors (3 or more alcohol violations; alcohol violation with violence or assault associated): Removal from Housing or College Suspension, parental notification, AOD assessment and referral to out or inpatient treatment, $100 fine
  • DUI/DWI: College Suspension, and/or AOD assessment and treatment plan, parental notification, $100 fine
  • Providing alcohol to minors: Think About It, Parental notification, $75 fine

Note about fines: All fines collected for alcohol and other drug violations are used for direct costs of alcohol & drug education programs & services through the community standards and health education program.

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Drug Policy

Federal Law

Persons convicted of drug possession under state or federal law are ineligible for federal student grants and loans for up to one year after the first conviction and five years after the second.

The penalty for distributing drugs is the loss of benefits for five years after the first, 10 years after the second, and permanently after the third conviction.

It is especially important to note that under federal law, distribution of drugs to persons under the age of 21 is punishable by twice the normal penalty with mandatory imprisonment. A third conviction is punishable by mandatory life imprisonment. These penalties apply to distribution of drugs in or within 1,000 feet of a college or school. Federal law sets greatly heightened prison sentences for manufacture and distribution of drugs if death or serious injury results from use of the substances.


The College prohibits the possession, use, or distribution of any illegal and/or controlled substance as defined by the statues of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Considered to be evidence of drug-related violations and sufficient grounds for full disciplinary action include, but are not limited to the following:

A. Being in the possession of any controlled substances (including non-prescribed prescription medication) and/or drug paraphernalia (paraphernalia includes but is not limited to grinders, vapers, rolling papers, scales, hookah).

B. Use of any drug or controlled substances including non-prescribed prescription medication.

C. Distribution of all types of drugs and drug paraphernalia, including, but not limited to, pipes, bongs, rolling papers, clips, misuse of e-cigarettes and unauthorized use of syringes.

Materials found to be in violation of College drug policy will be will be confiscated.

Sanctions for Violating the Drug Policy

The information provided below is to highlight possible consequences for typical policy violations of the Code of Conduct and is not absolute; individual circumstances will be reviewed in detail before a decision is rendered. Aggravating factors will also be considered.

  • Possession of drug paraphernalia: Think About It
  • Possession and/or use of a marijuana with no aggravating factors: Warning, Parental Notification, Think About It and reflection paper, Deferred loss of housing, $50 fine
  • Possession and/or use of a marijuana with aggravating factors (such as conduct history, amount of marijuana, other minor violations): College Probation, Removal from Housing, parental notification, $100 fine
  • Possession and/or use of illegal drugs (such as heroin, cocaine, large amounts of marijuana) or of legal medication which is being used outside the parameters of a medical authorization: College Suspension of at least one year, AOD assessment and treatment plan, parental notification, $100 fine
  • Intent to sell and/or sale and/or distribution of controlled substances and/or drugs: Expulsion

Note about fines: All fines collected for alcohol and other drug violations are used for direct costs of alcohol & drug education programs & services through the community standards and health education program.

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Abuse and Assault Policy

Springfield College has expectations of the student body to resolve differences in a mature and respectful manner. Physical abuse, verbal abuse, threats, intimidations, coercion, and/or other conduct that threatens or endangers the health and safety of any other member of the College community on or off campus is prohibited. It may be determined necessary to place any students involved in such an incident on interim suspension to allow time to investigate the incident. Due to the serious nature of such incidents, students found involved in violation of this policy may be suspended or dismissed from the College.

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Guest Policy

Students are welcome to host guests in accordance with the following guidelines:

A.  All guests must be registered by their host through the completion of filling out a guest pass in advance of their guests arrival. Failure to register your guest could result in the loss of guest privileges.

B.  Guests are not permitted during final exams, study periods and when classes are not in session; including but not limited to, early arrival, late departures, and during the Thanksgiving, Winter and Spring breaks.

C.  All guests must have their guest pass (either printed out or in their smart phone) and a valid photo ID on them at all times and produce both when requested by College employees.

D.  Guests must be accompanied by their host at all times. If guests are found separated from their hosts, they may be trespassed from campus and the student host could have their guest privileges revoked.

E.  Guests are allowed on campus for no more than 3 consecutive nights during a 7 day period. Guest privileges may not be extended for the purpose of cohabitation.

F.  Hosts must seek and receive permission from their roommate(s) for any overnight guest in order for the guest to be able to reside in the host’s assigned residence hall room/suite/apartment

G.  Guests are expected to abide by all Springfield College policies. Hosts will be held responsible for any violations committed by their guests.

H.  Students may not have more than three guests at any point in time.

I.   Guests must be at least 18 years of age, however those under 18 may be granted permission to visit with parental permission given directly to Residence Life & Housing.

J.  Guests who bring a vehicle to campus must also register with Public Safety. Guests must park in designated areas.

K.  Students who are Springfield College students but not currently enrolled in classes or otherwise are on leave from the College must follow the same guidelines as non-student guests when   they intend to visit campus for more than a very brief period of time. Non-enrolled students should also ensure that their leave permits social visits.

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Financial Obligations

Tuition, fees, and other charges are payable when due. Deadlines for payment of tuition, fees, and other charges are identified on student account summaries, which are sent electronically to the individual(s) responsible for payment of the bill. Checks or money orders should be made payable to Springfield College. There is a penalty charge of $30 per check for all checks returned by the drawer’s bank. After two returned checks, the Business Office will no longer accept personal checks.

The College withholds awarding diplomas and issuing official transcripts to any student whose account is in arrears. In addition, the College reserves the right to prevent any individual who fails to pay all bills from registering or selecting College housing. Any collection costs, including reasonable attorney’s fees, incurred by the College will be passed on to the individual and the student responsible for the bill.

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Firearms and Weapons

Students may not bring any weapons on campus. Any firearms or weapons found on campus will be immediately confiscated and held by the Department of Public Safety. The student will face severe disciplinary action on campus and, consistent with the commonwealth’s law, may also face imprisonment for not less than six months nor more than two and one half years in a jail or house of correction.

Examples of weapons considered dangerous are: explosives, knives, pellet guns, paint guns*, slingshots, blades, wrist rockets, ammunition, fireworks, dangerous chemicals, and martial arts weapons. “Nunchucks, klackers, Kung-Fu sticks, or any other similar weapon consisting of two sticks of wood, plastic, or metal connected at one end by a length of rope, chain, wire, or leather” are illegal in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts (Massachusetts law, section 129C of Chapter 140). The law also includes “shreiken or any other similar pointed starlike objects intended to injure a person when thrown,” as well as “billy clubs or other dangerous weapons.”

*All paint guns must be used only for off-campus activities and must be kept at public safety.

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Gambling Policy

Springfield College is committed to providing a safe environment for all students to learn and flourish. Springfield College cannot and will not condone any form of illegal gambling activity. Springfield College wants students to know that gambling is not a “risk free” activity. Services are available on campus to assist students that may be experiencing a gambling problem or gambling-related difficulties.

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Harassment and Discrimination Policy

Harassment is defined as verbal or physical conduct interfering with an individual’s work performance or creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive work, education, or living environment. Springfield College PROHIBITS harassment and discrimination of any kind based on race, color, gender, sexual orientation, national origin, religion, age, or non-disqualifying disability.

Harassment includes slurs and verbal or physical conduct related to a person’s race, color, age, gender, sexual orientation, disability, religion, or national origin. Sexual harassment is defined as sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, or other verbal or physical conduct of sexual nature when:

  1. Submission to such conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a condition of the individual’s employment or academic performance;
  2. Submission to or rejection of such conduct by an individual is used as the basis for employment or academic decisions affecting such individuals.
  3. Such conduct has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual’s work performance or creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive working, academic, or living environment.

Any type of harassment that hinders access to either employment or educational services, opportunities, or programs is covered by this policy. Positive steps will be taken to eliminate harassment when such practices or acts are discovered. Persons found in violation of this policy will be subject to disciplinary action up to and including dismissal. Details of the Harassment/Discrimination Policy or information about filing a grievance can be obtained from the Affirmative Action Officer in Human Resources (second floor, Administration Building) or the Vice President for Student Affairs. Examples of harassment may include comments which are made with the intent or which have the result of inflicting emotional distress upon another person. Statements or actions about race, gender, religion, disability, or sexual preference which are directed specifically toward another person with the purpose of creating or resulting in a hostile environment will be dealt with under this policy. Students involved in this type of disrespectful behavior will face severe disciplinary sanctioning.

Students involved in violations of these policies may be required to participate in educational/institutional programs and activities. Due to the serious nature of such incidents, students found involved in violation of this policy may be suspended or dismissed.

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Hate Crime Policy

Springfield College does not tolerate hate crimes of any form. This includes use of racial, ethnic, religious, sexual, or anti-gay slurs and/or symbols of hate, such as a swastika. This also includes: physical attacks, intimidation, threatening action or language, and damage to personal property; because of a student’s race, color, religion, national origin, ethnic background, gender, sexual orientation, or disability.

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Hazing Policy and Rationale

Policy Rationale

Springfield College is first and foremost an educational institution. Its hazing prevention policies, and response procedures for hazing incidents, must grow from, and embody the institution’s mission. Education about hazing will be available through the Athletic Department and the Office of Student Activities & Campus Union.

Membership in clubs, organizations, and other College-affiliated groups can increase leadership and service potential; provide athletic, recreational, intellectual, and spiritual opportunities; and otherwise contribute positively to personal and social development of our students. Where membership is linked with involvement in hazing activities, the educational purpose of the endeavor is compromised and safety of students is endangered. Hazing is therefore prohibited by College policy.

Policy Statement and Definition

Springfield College complies with and enforces the hazing laws of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and does not permit hazing of any sort whether by organizations or individual students.  Hazing is a crime in Massachusetts and is defined as: “any conduct or method of initiation into any student organization, whether on public or private property, which wilfully or recklessly endangers the physical or mental health of any student or other person. Such conduct shall include whipping, beating, branding, forced calisthenics, exposure to the weather, forced consumption of any food, liquor, beverage, drug or other substance, or any other brutal treatment or forced physical activity which is likely to adversely affect the physical health or safety of any such student or other person, or which subjects such student or other person to extreme mental stress, including extended deprivation of sleep or rest or extended isolation.” Hazing also includes soliciting, directing, aiding, or otherwise participating actively or passively in such acts. Hazing occurs regardless of the consent or willingness of persons to participate in the activity. Hazing is prohibited no matter if it occurs on or off campus.  The failure to report hazing is also a crime under Massachusetts law.

“Hazing” does not include any activity or conduct that furthers legitimate, curricular or co-curricular, program goals, provided that (1) the goals are approved by the College; and (2) the activity or conduct furthers the goals in a manner that is appropriate, contemplated by the College. For examples of non-hazing activities; please contact the Athletic Department at extension 3333 or the Office of Student Affairs at extension 3100.

As required by law, all student groups, student teams and student organizations are required to annually sign an attestation acknowledging that they have received a copy of the Massachusetts Hazing Statute and that they understand and agree to comply with its provisions.

Massachusetts Hazing Statute

The entire Massachusetts Hazing Statute (Massachusetts General Laws, Chapter 269, Sections 17, 18 & 19) is as follows:

Section 17. Whoever is a principal organizer or participant in the crime of hazing, as defined herein, shall be punished by a fine of not more than three thousand dollars or by imprisonment in a house of correction for not more than one year, or both such fine and imprisonment.

The term “hazing” as used in this section and in sections eighteen and nineteen, shall mean any conduct or method of initiation into any student organization, whether on public or private property, which wilfully or recklessly endangers the physical or mental health of any student or other person. Such conduct shall include whipping, beating, branding, forced calisthenics, exposure to the weather, forced consumption of any food, liquor, beverage, drug or other substance, or any other brutal treatment or forced physical activity which is likely to adversely affect the physical health or safety of any such student or other person, or which subjects such student or other person to extreme mental stress, including extended deprivation of sleep or rest or extended isolation.

Notwithstanding any other provisions of this section to the contrary, consent shall not be available as a defense to any prosecution under this action.

Section 18. Whoever knows that another person is the victim of hazing as defined in section seventeen and is at the scene of such crime shall, to the extent that such person can do so without danger or peril to himself or others, report such crime to an appropriate law enforcement official as soon as reasonably practicable. Whoever fails to report such crime shall be punished by a fine of not more than one thousand dollars.

Section 19. Each institution of secondary education and each public and private institution of post secondary education shall issue to every student group, student team or student organization which is part of such institution or is recognized by the institution or permitted by the institution to use its name or facilities or is known by the institution to exist as an unaffiliated student group, student team or student organization, a copy of this section and sections seventeen and eighteen; provided, however, that an institution’s compliance with this section’s requirements that an institution issue copies of this section and sections seventeen and eighteen to unaffiliated student groups, teams or organizations shall not constitute evidence of the institution’s recognition or endorsement of said unaffiliated student groups, teams or organizations.

Each such group, team or organization shall distribute a copy of this section and sections seventeen and eighteen to each of its members, plebes, pledges or applicants for membership. It shall be the duty of each such group, team or organization, acting through its designated officer, to deliver annually, to the institution an attested acknowledgement stating that such group, team or organization has received a copy of this section and said sections seventeen and eighteen, that each of its members, plebes, pledges, or applicants has received a copy of sections seventeen and eighteen, and that such group, team or organization understands and agrees to comply with the provisions of this section and sections seventeen and eighteen.

Each institution of secondary education and each public or private institution of post secondary education shall, at least annually, before or at the start of enrollment, deliver to each person who enrolls as a full time student in such institution a copy of this section and sections seventeen and eighteen.

Each institution of secondary education and each public or private institution of post secondary education shall file, at least annually, a report with the board of higher education and in the case of secondary institutions, the board of education, certifying that such institution has complied with its responsibility to inform student groups, teams or organizations and to notify each full time student enrolled by it of the provisions of this section and sections seventeen and eighteen and also certifying that said institution has adopted a disciplinary policy with regard to the organizers and participants of hazing, and that such policy has been set forth with appropriate emphasis in the student handbook or similar means of communicating the institution’s policies to its students. The board of higher education and, in the case of secondary institutions, the board of education shall promulgate regulations governing the content and frequency of such reports, and shall forthwith report to the attorney general any such institution which fails to make such report.

Hazing Penalties

Those who organize, participate in, or fail to report a hazing incident are subject to punishment according to Massachusetts General Laws , and will face College disciplinary actions for violating College policy ranging from suspension to dismissal.

To report a hazing incident, immediately contact public safety, the Athletic Department, or Office of Student Affairs.

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Endangering Behavior Policy

Conduct or reckless actions that threaten or that endanger the general health or safety of any member of the community, including one’s self, the community at large, and/or the operations of the College.

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Mandatory Leave/Mandatory Withdrawal Policy

Springfield College reserves the right to determine, at its discretion, that each student is participating successfully in Springfield College’s educational and co-curricular programs, and that his or her behavior complies with Springfield College’s rules, regulations, and policies and does not impede other students’ performance, threaten anyone’s safety, or disrupt the College’s operations.

The following policy and procedures will apply when a student exhibits seriously impaired judgment, poses a serious detriment to the community, disrupts College operations, threatens the health or safety of himself, herself, or anyone else, and/or engages in significantly disruptive activity and has not pursued a voluntary withdrawal despite guidance from student affairs and/or academic affairs to do so.

The vice president of student affairs or his/her designee will conduct an individualized assessment to determine whether the behavior warrants interrupting or terminating the student’s education, ability to reside in a residence hall, or otherwise participate in co-curricular activities. This decision is made in consultation with the Office of Academic Affairs.

The vice president of student affairs, or his/her designee, may, under appropriate circumstances, require that the student be evaluated by a staff member in the Springfield Counseling Center or other qualified professional whose conclusions and recommendations will be forwarded to the vice president of student affairs or his/her designee

The final decision on the appropriate course of action will be made by the vice president of student affairs, who will consider the findings and recommendations together with all other available information, including public safety and the student’s record(s).  This Policy shall be applied in a nondiscriminatory manner and decisions will be made based on consideration of the student’s conduct, actions and statements and not on knowledge or belief that the student is an individual with a disability or a physical or mental health condition.

If the vice president of student affairs concludes that a leave of absence or mandatory withdrawal from Springfield is warranted, the following policies will apply:

  • The student’s parents or guardians will be contacted and requested to come to the College to escort him or her home. In the event that the parents are unable, or unwilling, to respond, the College will make a judgment as to how best to proceed. The cost of transportation is the student’s responsibility.
  • Before the student returns to Springfield College, the vice president of student affairs may require that he or she be evaluated by a licensed psychologist, psychiatrist, or other appropriate health care professional, who must submit a complete evaluation to the College. This evaluation, along with any other requested documentation, should be provided to the director of the Springfield College Counseling Center. After the director of the counseling center has received all requested information, he/she will make a recommendation to the vice president of student affairs regarding re-entry/readmission, and any conditions necessary to support a successful return to the College.
  • The final decision on the status of the student will be made by the vice president of student affairs, who will notify the student and his/her parents or guardians of the decision. Each student and his/ her parents or guardians acknowledge and agree that the decision of the vice president of student affairs under the provisions of this section is not subject to appeal.

Note: The vice president of student affairs may appoint a designee who is thereby authorized to make decisions on the above issues.

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Medical Clearance

During the course of the academic year, students may be inflicted with illness. The Health Center is the campus clearinghouse for all medical information and referrals. Students who are treated in the clinic or as an inpatient at the Health Center are released with permission to return to the classrooms, laboratories, gymnasia, or residence halls.

It is the policy of Springfield College that students who have been ill and treated at an off-campus medical facility, whether or not hospitalized or placed on medical leave, provide written information relative to the diagnosis, treatment, discharge directions, and follow-up necessary to the Director of the Health Center, in the case of medical matters, or the Director of the Counseling Center, in the case of psychological emergencies, in order to return to the College community. Following a review of the documentation provided and any discussion with the health care professional deemed appropriate by the director, a recommendation is made to the Vice President for Student Affairs concerning the student’s return to normal routine activities at the College. At that point, a decision will be made in the sole discretion of the Vice President for Student Affairs or designee regarding permission to re-enter the College community. The student will be asked to meet with the Vice President for Student Affairs or designee and will be informed of the outcome. The decision will be available in written form outlining any conditions which have been established. If necessary, written documentation will be prepared for the student’s faculty members substantiating the reason for class absences and requesting reasonable accommodation.

While it is the concern at Springfield College that the recovering student have the appropriate medical or psychological support, it is also the obligation of the College to ensure that this student does not pose any threat of spreading illness or inflicting harm to anyone else. Given the closeness of the campus community, threats might be apparent in the classroom, laboratory, residence or dining hall, or athletic complex.

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Personal Property and Identity Theft

Students who participate in the theft of a personal property or identity theft may be held accountable through the Springfield College judicial process as well as the local court system.

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Release of Personally Identifiable Information and Student Records

Springfield College will maintain student confidentiality rights and protect access to information as provided by the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), also known as the Buckley Amendment. Except as provided by law, information from a student’s records will not be released without the prior written consent of the student. This legislation also provides for the College to release the following information without consent:

  1. Directory information may be provided unless a student has filed a written request to withhold this information. Students must advise the Office of Registration and Records in writing no later than September 15 of each academic year if they wish to restrict the release of this information. Springfield College considers the following information as “directory information”: name, campus mailbox, campus phone number, enrollment status, dates of attendance at the College, major, credit hours earned, degrees earned, and honors received.
  2. Information may be shared with and by Springfield College faculty and staff who have a legitimate educational interest in the student.
  3. Academic information may be shared with parents of students who complete an authorization to release academic records information, or if parents provide the registrar with an annual copy of their federal income tax return documenting the student as a dependent.
  4. Alcohol and drug violation information may be shared with parents, at the institution’s discretion.

Students may be asked to sign a written waiver granting permission for the release of information from the school records. Students retain the right to review the contents of their educational and academic records. In order to do so, a formal written request must be made through the offices of the Registrar or Student Affairs. In such cases, a meeting will be established within 45 days of the request to permit the student to review materials. Springfield College will comply with a written request initiated by the student to supply information in their behalf. Such requests must be signed and dated and include the specific records or information to be disclosed, the purpose for the disclosure, and the individual(s) to whom the information should be released. Details concerning the FERPA are available at the Office of Student Affairs and the Office of Registration and Records.

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Reporting Off-Campus Address Policy

Seniors who choose to live in non-College owned facilities are required to notify the Office of Housing and Residence Life of their local address and phone number no later than September 15 of each year or within two weeks of assuming residence at that location. The information is critically important for the College to have on file in case of emergencies. A student can choose to restrict publication of the information which would then only permit access by the offices of Student Affairs and Public Safety. Failure to comply with this regulation may result in cancellation of registration.

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Responsible Use of Information Technologies

The Springfield College Responsible Use Policy is to serve as a guideline by which faculty, staff, and students can review the requirements of ethical and legal behavior within the College community when using a computer, computer system, network, or the Internet.

Access to, and use of, computing and networking resources at Springfield College are privileges extended to members of the Springfield College community. The use of College computing resources, like any other College-related activity, is subject to the normal requirements of legal and ethical behavior within the College community. Members of the Springfield College community may use these resources for purposes related to their studies, their responsibilities for providing instruction, the discharge of their duties as employees, their official business with the College, and other College-sanctioned or authorized activities.

Springfield College acknowledges that occasionally, faculty, staff, and students use College resources assigned to them or to which they are granted access for non-commercial uses. These uses are permitted by faculty, staff, and students, if they are not excessive; do not interfere with the performance of any faculty, staff, and students; do not interfere with the efficient operation of the College or its computing resources; and are not otherwise prohibited by this policy or any other College policy or directive.

Because computing systems have such great power, activities that might at first seem to be merely mischievous, can harm an entire College community and beyond. Any unauthorized access or interference with system functionality is unacceptable.

College-wide guidelines such as the “Student Handbook,” Sexual Harassment Policy and Copyright Policy apply to the use of computing resources, as do community standards of consideration for others, and the mission of the College. Federal, state, and local laws and regulations also apply.

Springfield College computing resources may only be used for legal purposes and may not be used for any of the following purposes or any other purposes that is illegal, immoral, unethical, dishonest, damaging to the reputation of the College, inconsistent with the mission of the College, or likely to subject the College to liability. Impermissible uses (some of which may constitute illegal uses) include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Harassment
  • Libel or slander
  • Fraud or misrepresentation
  • Destruction of, or damage to equipment, software, or data belonging to the College or others
  • Disruption or unauthorized monitoring of electronic communications
  • Unauthorized copying or transmission of copyright protected material
  • Use of the College’s trademarks, logo, insignia, or copyrights without prior approval
  • Violation of computer system security
  • Unauthorized use of computer accounts, access codes (including passwords), or network identification numbers (including e-mail addresses) assigned to others
  • Use of computer communications facilities in ways that unnecessarily impede the computing progress of others
  • Development or use of unapproved mailing list
  • Use of computer facilities for private business purposes unrelated to the mission of the College or to College life
  • Academic dishonesty
  • Violation of software license agreements
  • Violation of network usage policies and regulations
  • Violation of privacy
  • Viewing, posting, or sending obscene pornographic, sexually explicit, or offensive material
  • Posting or sending material that is contrary to the mission and values of the College
  • Intentional or negligent distribution of computer viruses
  • Socially responsible and non - offensive behavior when interacting through social media.

Responsibilities of Users

The user is responsible for correct and sufficient use of the tools available for maintaining the security of information stored on each computer system. The following precautions are strongly recommended:

  • Computer accounts, passwords, and other types of authorization should not be shared with others.
  • Understand the level of protection the computer systems automatically apply to files.
  • Be aware of computer viruses and other destructive computer programs, and take steps to avoid them.
  • Understand that the user has ultimate responsibility for resolution of problems related to the invasion of the user’s privacy or loss of data.
  • Be sure to make backup copies of all important data.
  • Respect the privacy of others.
  • Be sure to comply with all federal, state and other applicable laws as well as College policies and regulations.


Springfield College will assume that users are aware that electronic files are not necessarily secure. Users of electronic mail systems should be aware that electronic mail is generally not secured and is extremely vulnerable to unauthorized access and modification. The Office of ITS will make available to interested persons information concerning reasonable methods for attempting to protect information on central computing systems from loss, tampering, unauthorized search, or other access.

Privacy and Confidentiality

Springfield College reserves the right to inspect and examine any Springfield College owned or operated communications system, computing resource, and/or files or information contained therein at any time, as well as personally owned computers linked to College servers and telecommunications equipment.

Authorized access to data or information entails both privilege and responsibility, not only for the user, but also for the system administrator. There is no expectation of privacy or confidentiality for documents and messages stored on College-owned equipment. Additionally, e-mail and data stored on Springfield College network of computers may be accessed by the College for the following purposes:

  • Troubleshooting hardware or software problems
  • Preventing unauthorized access and system misuse
  • Retrieving business-related information*
  • Investigating reports of violation of College policy or local, state, or federal law
  • Complying with legal requests for information
  • Rerouting or disposing of undeliverable mail

* The system administrator will need specific approval from the Office of Human Resources or the appropriate designee to access these items. The extent of the access will be limited to what is essentially necessary to acquire the information.

Reporting Violations

All users should report any discovered unauthorized access attempts or other improper usage of Springfield College computers, networks, or other information processing equipment. If you observe, or have reported to you, a security or abuse problem, with any College computer or network facilities, including violations of this policy, you should notify the Chief Information Officer, the Office of Human Resources, or other appropriate administrator.

Violations of this policy may be treated as violation of College policy and/or violations of civil or criminal law. The Office of ITS in conjunction with the Office of Human Resources will investigate apparent or alleged violations of these guidelines. The College reserves the right to immediately suspend user privileges pending investigation. Such action will be taken to protect the security and integrity of the computer system and will take precedence over its impact on the individual work.

When appropriate, at the discretion of the Chief Information Officer, cases of apparent abuse will be reported to the Dean of Students (student cases), the Vice President for Academic Affairs (faculty cases), or the Director of Human Resources (staff cases). These offices are responsible for determining any further disciplinary action. Upon a finding of a violation, disciplinary measures may include warnings, suspension of user privileges (temporary or permanent), and disciplinary action up to and including termination of employment. The College may also pursue civil and/or criminal charges if it deems appropriate.

Questions regarding this policy should be sent to the Director of Information Technology Services or the Director of Human Resources.

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Sexual Misconduct Policy

Members of the college community, guests and visitors have the right to be free from all forms of gender and sex-based discrimination, examples of which can include, but are not limited to,  acts of sexual violence, sexual harassment, sexual exploitation, domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking (collectively “Sexual Misconduct”). All members of the campus community are expected to conduct themselves in a manner that does not infringe upon the rights of others. Springfield College has a zero tolerance policy for Sexual Misconduct. When an allegation of Sexual Misconduct is brought to an appropriate administrator’s attention, and a respondent is found to have violated this policy, serious sanctions will result. This policy has been developed to reaffirm these principles and to provide recourse for those individuals whose rights have been violated. This policy is intended to define community expectations and to establish a mechanism for determining when those expectations have been violated


The expectations of our community regarding Sexual Misconduct can be summarized as follows: In order for individuals to engage in sexual activity of any type, there must be clear, knowing and voluntary consent prior to and during sexual activity. Consent more fully described on pages 5 - 6, is permission. Consent can be given by word or action, but non-verbal or implied consent is not as clear as talking about what you sexually want or do not want.  Consent to some form of sexual activity is not to be taken as consent to any other form of sexual activity. Silence–without actions demonstrating permission–cannot be assumed to show consent.

Additionally, there is a difference between seduction and coercion. Coercing someone into sexual activity violates this policy in the same way as physically forcing someone into sex. Coercion happens when someone is unreasonably pressured for sex.

Alcohol or other drug use place the capacity to consent in question; sober sex is less likely to raise such questions. When alcohol or other drugs are being used a person will be considered unable to give consent if they cannot fully understand the details of a sexual interaction (who, what, when, where, why, or how) because they lack the capacity to reasonably understand the situation. Individuals who consent to sex must be able to understand the activity to which consent is being provided. Under this Sexual Misconduct policy, “No” always means “No,” and “Yes” may not always mean “Yes.” Anything but a clear, knowing and voluntary consent to any sexual activity is equivalent to a “no” and a violation of this Sexual Misconduct policy.


 There are inherent risks in any romantic or sexual relationship between individuals in unequal positions (such as teacher and student, supervisor and employee). These relationships may be less consensual than perceived by the individual whose position confers power. The relationship also may be viewed in different ways by each of the parties.  Furthermore, circumstances may change, and conduct that was previously welcome may become unwelcome. Even when both parties have previously consented to a romantic or sexual involvement, this past consent is not continuing consent which may result in a violation of applicable sections of the faculty/staff handbooks. The college does not wish to interfere with private choices regarding personal relationships when these relationships do not interfere with the goals and policies of the college. For the personal protection of members of this community, relationships in which power differentials are inherent (including, without limitation, faculty-student, staff-student, administrator-student) are generally discouraged.  Consensual romantic or sexual relationships in which one party maintains a direct supervisory or evaluative role over the other party are unethical. Therefore, persons with direct supervisory or evaluative responsibilities who are involved in such relationships must bring those relationships to the timely attention of their supervisor, and will likely result in the necessity to remove the employee from the supervisory or evaluative responsibilities, or shift the student out of being supervised or evaluated by someone with whom they have established a consensual, romantic or sexual relationship. This includes, without limitation, RAs and students over whom they have direct responsibility. While no relationships are prohibited by this policy, failure to self-report such relationships to a supervisor as required can result in disciplinary action for an employee.


 Risk reduction tips can often take a victim-blaming tone. With no intention to victim-blame, and with recognition that only those who commit Sexual Misconduct are responsible for those actions, these suggestions may nevertheless help you to reduce your risk experiencing Sexual Misconduct.

Below, suggestions to avoid committing a non-consensual sexual act are also offered:

  • If you have limits, make them known as early as possible.
  • Tell a sexual aggressor “NO” clearly and firmly.
  • Try to remove yourself from the physical presence of a sexual agressor.
  • Find someone nearby and ask for help.
  • Take affirmative responsibiltiy for your alcohol intake/drug use and acknolwedge that alcohol/drugs lower your sexual inhibitions and may make you vulnerable to someone who views a drunk or high person as a sexual opportunity.
  • Take care of your friends and ask that they take care of you. A real friend will challenge you if you are about to make a mistake. Respect them when they do.

If you find yourself in the position of being the initiator of sexual behavior, you owe sexual respect to your potential partner. These suggestions may help you to reduce your risk for being accused of Sexual Misconduct:

  • Clearly communicate your intentions to your sexual partner and give them a chance to clearly relate their intentions to you.
  • Understand and respect personal boundaries.
  • DON’T MAKE ASSUMPTIONS about consent; about someone’s sexual availability; about whether they are attracted to you; about how far you can go or about whether they are physically and/or mentally able to consent. If there are any questions or ambiguity then you DO NOT have consent.
  • Mixed messages from your partner are a clear indication that you should stop, defuse any sexual tension and communicate better. You may be misreading them. They may not have figured out how far they want to go with you yet. You must respect the timeline for sexual behaviors with which they are comfortable.
  • Don’t take advantage of someone’s drunkenness or drugged state, even if they did it to themselves.
  • Realize that your potential partner could be intimidated by you, or fearful.  
  • You may have a power advantage simply because of your gender or size. Don’t abuse that power.
  • Understand that consent to some form of sexual behavior does not automatically imply consent to any other forms of sexual behavior.
  • Silence and passivity cannot be interpreted as an indication of consent. Read your potential partner carefully, paying attention to verbal and non-verbal communication and body language.

In campus hearings, legal terms like “guilt, “innocence” and “burdens of proof” are not applicable, but the college never assumes a student is in violation of college policy.  Campus hearings are conducted to take into account the totality of all evidence available, from all relevant sources as determined by person or body conducting a hearing. College judicial proceedings use a “preponderance of evidence” or “more likely than not” standard when hearing and determining responsibility in all judicial administrative or board hearings.

The college reserves the right to take whatever measures it deems necessary in response to an allegation of Sexual Misconduct in order to protect students’ rights and personal safety. Such measures include, but are not limited to, modification of living arrangements, interim suspension from campus pending a hearing, and reporting the latter to the local police. Not all forms of Sexual Misconduct will be deemed to be equally serious offenses, and the college reserves the right to impose different sanctions, ranging from verbal warning to expulsion, depending on the severity of the offense. The college will consider the concerns and rights of both the complainant and the person accused of Sexual Misconduct.

Sexual Misconduct Offenses include, but are not limited to:

  1. Sexual Harassment
  2. Non‐Consensual Sexual Intercourse (or attempts to commit same)
  3. Non‐Consensual Sexual Contact (or attempts to commit same)
  4. Sexual Exploitation


1. Sexual Harassment is:

“sexual harassment” means sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature when:

submission to or rejection of such advances, requests or conduct is made either

explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of employment or as a basis for employment decisions;


such advances, requests or conduct have the purpose or effect of unreasonably

interfering with an individual’s work performance by creating an intimidating, hostile, humiliating or sexually offensive work environment.

It aslo includes (without limitation), for the purpose of this policy:

  • unwelcome, gender-based verbal or physical conduct that is,
  • sufficiently severe, persistent or pervasive that it,
  • unreasonably interferes with, denies or limits someone’s ability to participate in or
  • benefit from the college’s educational program and/or activities, and is or may be
  • based on power differentials (quid pro quo), the creation of a hostile environment or retaliation.

Not all workplace or educational conduct that may be described as “harassment” affects the terms, conditions or privileges of employment or education. For example, a mere utterance of an ethnic, gender-based or racial epithet which creates offensive feelings in an employee or student may not affect the terms and conditions of their employment or education.

The legal definition of sexual harassment is broad and in addition to the examples contained herein, other sexually oriented conduct, whether it is intended or not, that is unwelcome and has the effect of creating a work place environment that is hostile, offensive, intimidating, humiliating, to male or female workers may also constitute sexual harassment.

While it is not possible to list all those additional circumstances that may constitute sexual harassment, the following are some examples of conduct which if unwelcome, may constitute sexual harassment, the following are some examples of conduct which if unwelcome, may constitute sexual harassment depending upon the totality of the circumstances including the severity of the conduct and its pervasiveness:

  • Unwelcome sexual advances - whether they involve physical touching or not;
  • Sexual epithets, jokes, written or oral references to sexual conduct, gossip regarding one’s sex life; comment on an individual’s body, comment about an individual’s sexual activity, deficiencies, or prowess;
  • Displaying sexually suggestive objects, pictures, cartoons;
  • Unwelcome leering, whistling, brushing against the body, sexual gestures, suggestive or insulting comments;
  • Inquiries into one’s sexual experiences; and,
  • Discussion of one’s sexual activities.

Further examples of Sexual Harassment:

  • A professor insists that a student have sex with him/her in exchange for a good grade. This is sexual harassment regardless of whether the student accedes to the request.  
  • A student repeatedly sends sexually oriented jokes around on an email list s/he created, even when asked to stop, causing one recipient to avoid the sender on campus and in the residence hall in which they both live.
  • Explicit sexual pictures are displayed in a professor’s office, on the exterior of a residence hall door or on a computer monitor in a public space.
  • Two supervisors frequently ‘rate’ several employees’ bodies and sex appeal, commenting suggestively about their clothing and appearance.
  • A professor engages students in discussions in class about their past sexual experiences, yet the conversation is not in any way germane to the subject matter of the class. She probes for explicit details, and demands that students answer her, though they are clearly uncomfortable and hesitant.
  • An ex-girlfriend widely spreads false stories about her sex life with her former boyfriend to the clear discomfort of the boyfriend, turning him into a social pariah on campus.
  • Male students take to calling a particular brunette student “Monica” because of her resemblance to Monica Lewinsky. Soon, everyone adopts this nickname for her, and she is the target of relentless remarks about cigars, the president, “sexual relations” and Weight Watchers.
  • A student grabbed another student by the hair, then grabbed her breast and put his mouth on it.

Three Types of Sexual Harassment

A. Hostile Environment includes any situation in which there is harassing con­duct that is sufficiently severe, pervasive/persistent and patently/objectively of­fensive that it alters the conditions of education or employment, from both a subjective (the alleged victim’s) and an objective (reasonable person’s) view­point.

The determination of whether an environment is “hostile” must be based on all of the facts and circumstances. These circumstances could include, without limitation:

  1. The frequency of the conduct;
  2. The nature and severity of the conduct;
  3. Whether the conduct was physically threatening;
  4. Whether the conduct was humiliating;
  5. The effect of the conduct on the alleged victim’s mental or emotional state;
  6. Whether the conduct was directed at more than one person;
  7. Whether the conduct arose in the context of other discriminatory con­duct;
  8. Whether the conduct unreasonably interfered with the alleged victim’s educational or work performance;

  9. Whether the statement is a mere utterance of an epithet which engenders offense in an employee or student, or offends by mere discourtesy or rudeness;
  10. Whether the speech or conduct deserves the protections of academic freedom.

B. Quid pro quo sexual harassment exists when there are:

  1. Unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors or other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature; and
  2. Submission to or rejection of such conduct results in adverse educational or employment action.

C. Retaliatory harassment is any adverse employment or educational action taken against a person because of the person’s participation in a complaint or in­vestigation of discrimination or Sexual Misconduct.   Any intentional, adverse action taken by an accused individual or allied third party, absent legitimate nondiscriminatory purposes, as reprisal against a participant in a civil rights grievance proceeding is taken seriously by the College and will result in severe consequences. 

2. Non-Consensual Sexual Intercourse:

  • Any sexual intercourse (anal, oral, or vaginal),
  • However slight,
  • With any object,
  • By a man or woman upon a man or a woman,
  • Without consent*.


3. Non-Consensual Sexual Contact:

  • Any intentional sexual touching,
  • However slight,
  • With any object,
  • By a man or a woman upon a man or a woman,
  • Without consent*.


Consent: Consent is clear, knowing and voluntary. Consent is active, not passive. Silence, in and of itself, cannot be interpreted as consent. Consent can be given by words or actions, as long as those words or actions create mutually understandable clear permission regarding willingness to engage in (and the conditions of) sexual activity.

  • Consent to any one form of sexual activity does not imply consent to any other forms of sexual activity.
  • Previous relationships or prior consent does not imply consent to future sexual acts. 
  • Force: Force is the use of physical violence and/or imposing on someone physically to gain sexual access. Force also includes threats, intimidation (implied threats) and coercion that overcome resistance or produce consent (“Have sex with me or I’ll hit you. Okay, don’t hit me, I’ll do what you want.”).
  • Coercion is unreasonable pressure for sexual activity. Coercive behavior differs from seductive behavior based on the type of pressure someone uses to get consent from another. When someone makes clear to you that they do not want sex, that they want to stop, or that they do not want to go past a certain point of sexual interaction, continued pressure beyond that point can be coercive.
  • NOTE: There is no requirement that a party resists the sexual advance or request, but resistance is a clear demonstration of non-consent. The presence of force is not demonstrated by the absence of resistance. Sexual activity that is forced is by definition non-consensual, but nonconsensual sexual activity is not by definition forced
  • In order to give effective consent, one must be of legal age.
  • Sexual activity with someone who one should know to be – or based on the circumstances should reasonably have known to be – mentally or physically incapacitated (by alcohol or other drug use, unconsciousness or blackout), constitutes a violation of this policy.
  • Incapacitation is a state where someone cannot make rational, reasonable decisions because they lack the capacity to give knowing consent (e.g., to understand the “who, what, when, where, why or how” of their sexual interaction).
  • This policy also covers a person whose incapacity results from mental disability, sleep, involuntary physical restraint, or from the taking of rape drugs. Possession, use and/or distribution of any of these substances, including Rohypnol, Ketomine, GHB, Burundanga, etc. is prohibited, and administering one of these drugs to another student is a violation of this policy. More information on these drugs can be found at
  • Use of alcohol or other drugs will never function as a defense for any behavior that violates this policy.
  • This means that a student who is being accused of a violation of Sexual Misconduct cannot use their level of intoxication to justify their actions or have them excused (“I was too drunk/high to know what I was doing”).
  • The sexual orientation and/or gender identity of individuals engaging in sexual activity is not relevant to allegations under this policy.

Sexual activity includes:

Intentional contact with the breasts, buttock, groin, or genitals, or touching an­other with any of these body parts, or making another touch you or themselves  with or on any of these body parts; any intentional bodily contact in a sexual manner, though not involving contact with/of/by breasts, buttocks, groin, geni­tals, mouth or other orifice. Intercourse however slight, meaning vaginal pene­tration by a penis, object, tongue or finger, anal penetration by a penis, object, tongue, or finger, and oral copulation (mouth to genital contact or genital to mouth contact).


4. Sexual Expolitation:

Occurs when a student takes non‐consensual or abusive sexual advantage of another for his/her own advantage or benefit, or to benefit or advantage anyone other than the one being exploited, and that behavior does not otherwise constitute one of other Sexual Misconduct offenses. Examples of sexual exploitation include, but are not limited to:

  • Invasion of sexual privacy;
  • Prostituting another student;
  • Non-consensual video or audio-taping of sexual activity;
  • Going beyond the boundaries of consent (such as letting your friends hide in the closet to watch you having consensual sex);
  • Engaging in voyeurism;
  • Knowingly transmitting an STD or HIV to another student;
  • Exposing one’s genitals in non-consensual circumstances; inducing another to expose their genitals;
  • Sexually-based stalking and/or bullying may also be forms of sexual exploitation


Any student found responsible for violating the Sexual Misconduct policy with respect to Non-Consensual or Forced Sexual Contact (where no intercourse has occurred) will likely face one, or more of the recommended sanctions from the list below depending on the severity of the incident, and taking into account any previous campus conduct code violations.*

  • Probation
    • Along with counseling, educational classes, schedule changes, housing changes, no contact order or loss of privileges
  • Suspension
    • Along with counseling, educational classes, schedule changes, housing changes, no contact order or loss of privileges
  • Expulsion
  • Dismissal

Any student found responsible for violating the Sexual Misconduct policy with respect to Non-Consensual or Forced Sexual Intercourse will likely face one, or more of the recommended sanctions from the list below, depending on the severity of the incident, and taking into account any previous campus conduct code violations.

  • Suspension
    • Along with counseling, educational classes, schedule changes, housing changes, no contact order or loss of privileges
  • Expulsion
  • Dismissal

Any student found responsible for violating the Sexual Misconduct policy with respect to sexual exploitation or sexual harassment will likely face one or more of the recommended sanctions from the list below, depending on the severity of the incident, and taking into account any previous campus conduct code violations.*

  • Probation
    • Along with counseling, educational classes, schedule changes, housing changes, no contact order or loss of privileges
  • Suspension
    • Along with counseling, educational classes, schedule changes, housing changes, no contact order or loss of privileges
  • Expulsion
  • Dismissal

Any student found responsible for other violations of the Sexual Misconduct policy, will likely face one or more of the recommended sanctions below depending on the severity of the incident and taking into account any previous campus conduct code violations.

  • Probation
    • Along with counseling, educational classes, schedule changes, housing changes, no contact order or loss of privileges
  • Suspension
    • Along with counseling, educational classes, schedule changes, housing changes, no contact order or loss of privileges
  • Expulsion
  • Dismissal

*The conduct body reserves the right to broaden or lessen any range of recommended sanctions in the case of serious mitigating circumstances or egregious behavior. Neither the initial hearing officers nor any appeals body or officer will deviate from the range of recommended sanctions unless they find compelling justification to do so.


1. Amanda and Bill meet at a party. They spend the evening dancing and getting to know each other. Bill convinces Amanda to come up to his room. From11:00pm until 3:00am, Bill uses every line he can think of to convince Amanda to have sex with him, but she adamantly refuses. He keeps at her, and begins to question her religious convictions, and accuses her of being “a prude.” Finally, it seems to Bill that her resolve is weakening, and he convinces her to give him a “hand job” (hand to genital contact). Amanda would never had done it but for Bill’s incessant advances. He feels that he successfully seduced her, and that she wanted to do it all along, but was playing shy and hard to get. Why else would she have come up to his room alone after the party? If she really didn’t want it, she could have left. Bill is responsible for violating the college’s Non-Consensual or Forced Sexual Contact policy. It is likely that a college hearing board would find that the degree and duration of the pressure Bill applied to Amanda are unreasonable. Bill coerced Amanda into performing unwanted sexual touching upon him. Where sexual activity is coerced, it is forced. Consent is not effective when forced. Sex without effective is Sexual Misconduct.

2. Jiang is a junior at the college. Beth is a sophomore. Jiang comes to Beth’s dorm room with some mutual friends to watch a movie. Jiang and Beth, who have never met before, are attracted to each other. After the movie, everyone leaves, and Jiang and Beth are alone. They hit it off, and are soon becoming more intimate. They start to make out. Jiang verbally expresses his desire to have sex with Beth. Beth, who was abused by a baby-sitter when she was five, and has not had any sexual relations since, is shocked at how quickly things are progressing. As Jiang takes her by the wrist over to the bed, lays her down, undresses her, and begins to have intercourse with her, Beth has a severe flashback to her childhood trauma. She wants to tell Jiang to stop, but cannot. Beth is stiff and unresponsive during the intercourse. Is this a policy violation? Jiang would be held responsible in this scenario for Non Consensual Sexual Intercourse. It is the duty of the sexual initiator, Jiang, to make sure that he has mutually understandable consent to engage in sex. Though consent need not be verbal, it is the clearest form of consent. Here, Jiang had no verbal or non-verbal mutually understandable indication from Beth that she consented to sexual intercourse. Of course, wherever possible, students should attempt to be as clear as possible as to whether or not sexual contact is desired, but students must be aware that for psychological reasons, or because of alcohol or drug use, one’s partner may not be in a position to provide as clear an indication as the policy requires. As the policy makes clear, consent must be actively, not passively, given. 

3. Kevin and Amy are at a party. Kevin is not sure how much Amy has been drinking, but he is pretty sure it’s a lot. After the party, he walks Amy to her room, and Amy comes on to Kevin, initiating sexual activity. Kevin asks her if she is really up to this, and Amy says yes. Clothes go flying, and they end up in Amy’s bed. Suddenly, Amy runs for the bathroom. When she returns, her face is pale, and Kevin thinks she may have thrown up. Amy gets back into bed, and they begin to have sexual intercourse. Kevin is having a good time, though he can’t help but notice that Amy seems pretty groggy and passive, and he thinks Amy may have even passed out briefly during the sex, but he does not let that stop him. When Kevin runs into Amy the next day, he thanks her for the wild night. Amy remembers nothing, and decides to make a complaint to the Dean. This is a violation of the Non-Consensual Sexual Intercourse Policy. Kevin should have known that Amy was incapable of making a rational, reasonable decision about sex. Even if Amy seemed to consent, Kevin was well aware that Amy had consumed a large amount of alcohol, and Kevin thought Amy was physically ill, and that she passed out during sex. Kevin should be held accountable for taking advantage of Amy in her condition. This is not the level of respectful conduct expected of students.


  1. Threatening or causing physical harm, extreme verbal abuse, or other conduct which threatens or endangers the health or safety of any person;
  2. Discrimination, defined as actions that deprive other members of the community of educational or employment access, benefits or opportunities on the basis of gender;
  3. Intimidation, defined as implied threats or acts that cause an unreasonable fear of harm in another;
  4. Hazing, defined as acts likely to cause physical or psychological harm or social ostracism to any person within the college community, when related to the admission, initiation, pledging, joining, or any other group-affiliation activity (as defined further in the Hazing Policy);
  5. Bullying, defined as repeated and/or severe aggressive behavior likely to intimidate or intentionally hurt, control or diminish   another person, physically or mentally (that is not speech or conduct otherwise protected by the 1st Amendment).
  6. Domestic Violence, defined as crimes of violence committed:
    1. By a current or former spouse or intimate partner of the victim;
    2. By a person with whom the victim share a child in common;
    3. By a person who is cohabitating with or has cohabitated with the victim as a spouse or intimate partner;
    4. By a person similarly situated to a spouse of the victim under the domestic or family violence laws of the jurisdiction in which the crime of violence occurred; or
    5. By any other person against an adult or youth victim who is protected from that person’s acts under the domestic or family violence laws of the jurisdiction in which the crime of violence occurred.
  7. Dating Violence, defined as violence committed by a person:
    1. Who is or has been in a social relationship of a romantic or intimate nature with the victim and
    2. The existence of such a relationship shall be based on the reporting party’s statement and with consideration of the length of the relation, the type of relationship, and the frequency of interaction between the persons involved in the relationship.
    • For the purpose of this definition:
      • Dating violence does not include acts covered under the definition of domestic violence.
      • Dating violence includes, but is not limited to, sexual or physical abuse or the threat of such abuse.
  8. Stalking, defined as:
    1. Engaging in a course of conduct directed at a specific person that would cause a reasonable person to
      1. Fear for the person’s safety or the safety of others; or
      2. Suffer substantial emotional distress.
    • For the purpose of this definition:
      • Course of conduct means two or more acts, including, but not limited to, acts which the stalker directly, indirectly, or through third parties, by any action, method, device, or means follows, monitors, observes, surveils, threatens, or communicates to or about, a person, or interferes with a person’s property.
      • Substantial emotional distress means significant mental suffering or anguish that may, but does not necessarily, require medical or other professional treatment or counseling.

Federal Timely Warning Reporting Obligations

Victims of Sexual Misconduct should also be aware that college administrators must issue immediate timely warnings for incidents reported to them that are confirmed to pose a substantial threat of bodily harm or danger to members of the campus community. The college will make every effort to ensure that a victim’s name and other identifying information is not disclosed, while still providing enough information for community members to make safety decisions in light of the danger. The reporters for timely warning purposes are exactly the same as detailed at the end of the above paragraph.


Springfield College encourages students who are victims of sexual misconduct to talk to someone about what happened so they can get the support they need, and the College can respond appropriately. The report may be made by:

  • A person who experienced sexual misconduct and/or
  • A person who has information that sexual misconduct may have been committed by a Springfield College student or a participant in a College sponsored program

This policy describes the various reporting and disclosure options available to students so they can make informed choices about where to turn should they become a victim of sexual violence. While Springfield College employees have differing abilities to maintain a victim’s confidentiality, the privacy of student information is respected at all times. Even when a victim’s complete confidentiality cannot be maintained, information is only shared among College administrator’s solely to the extent required to respond appropriately to a report of sexual misconduct and, in those limited situations (discussed below) in which the College concludes that it must investigate and take action against an accused student, with the accused student.

Springfield College encourages victims to talk to someone identified below:

Confidential Resources

Springfield College Counseling Center

If a report is made to a member of the Counseling Center staff, it will be kept confidential and no further action (such as an investigation) will take place unless you request it. You can expect, however, that our on and off-campus resources will be made available to you and that reasonable on-campus accommodations can also be made for you, even if reporting confidentially.

The counseling center can be reached directly M-F 8:30 - 4:30 at 413-748-3345

There is a counselor on call 24/7, and they can be reached by calling Public Safety and asking to be connected to the Counselor on Call. 413.748.5555

NOTE: While these professional counselors may maintain a victim’s confidentiality with regard to Springfield College, they may have reporting or other obligations under state law such as mandatory reporting to the Department of Youth Services in case of minors; threat of imminent harm to self or others; or the requirement to testify if subpoenaed in a criminal case.


Sexual Assault Victim Advocates (SAVA’s)

If a report is made directly to one of our Sexual Assault Victim Advocate’s (meaning the victim directly calls the SAVA and no other college employees are involved), it will be kept confidential and no further action (such as investigation) will take place unless you request it. You can expect, however, that our on and off-campus resources will be made available to you, and that, reasonable on-campus accommodations can also be made for you, even if reporting confidentially. 

The SAVA’s are required to report non-personally identifiable information to the Title IX Coordinator to be in compliance with the Clery Act, but will ensure that the information shared does not identify you or the assailant in any way (unless you give permission for that information to be included).

The Sexual Assault Victim Advocate is on call 24 hours a day and is able to come to meet with the student or to respond to campus when an incident arises to provide guidance and support to the victim. The SAVA has been trained to know the resources available on campus and off campus and will be able to help explain and clarify the choices and options you have for reporting the incident, receiving medical care, meeting with a counselor or spiritual advisor as well as they can assist in organizing academic support or other accommodations, if needed.

The SAVA can be reached by phone: 413.748.3544, 24 hours a day/ 7 days a week. This campus number is automatically connected to the SAVA’s personal cell phone, so they can be reached whether they are on or off campus.

College Support and Reporting Options

Office of Student Affairs

The Office of Student Affairs (comprised of the Vice-President for Student Affairs, the Dean of Students and the Coordinator of Drug and Alcohol Education & Community Standards), working in conjunction with the Title IX Coordinator, can assist students in understanding their options in the conduct system, implement interim measures including stay-away orders or other interim administrative actions and provide guidance and support regarding remedies including academic and housing concerns. The Office, working with the Title IX Coordinator, also oversees the investigation and adjudication of sexual assault complaints against students.

Contact 413-748-3922 during normal business hours


Title IX Coordinator

The Title IX Coordinator oversees the College’s efforts related to the prevention, education, and response to incidents of sexual violence and sexual harassment on campus, and can help and individual students in pursuing a complaint. The Title IX Coordinator also tracks and monitors incidents of sexual misconduct on campus.

Contact: Dr. Terry Vecchio, Dean of Students, 413-748-3922,


Springfield College Department of Public Safety

SCPD provides assistance to victims including addressing immediate safety concerns, investigation incidents of sexual misconduct, filing a criminal complaint off-campus and assisting victims with medical attention and care. SCPD will take a report from a student and a specially trained officer will conduct and investigation which involves asking the student to describe the respondent and what happened. An officer may ask questions about the scene of the crime, any witnesses and what happened before and after.

Contact: 413-748-5555 - Available 24/7

What to Expect From Springfield College Public Safety

Springfield College Public Safety strongly encourages all victims of sexual assault to report the incident in a timely manner.  Time is critical factor for evidence collection and preservation.  There are on-campus resources (see chart below) who will assist the victim of sexual assault in notifying law enforcement agencies, upon the victim’s request.  Filing a police report will not obligate the victim to prosecute, move forward with an internal investigation or judicial proceeding, nor will it subject the victim to scrutiny or judgmental opinions from officers. 

Filing a Police Report will:

·   Ensure that a victim of sexual assault received the necessary medical treatment and tests, at no expense to the victim.

·   Provide the opportunity for collection of evidence helpful in prosecution, which cannot be obtained later (ideally a victim of sexual assault should not wash, douche, use the toilet, or change clothing prior to a medical/legal exam).

·   Assure the victim has access to free confidential counseling from counseling professionals specifically trained in the area of sexual assault crisis intervention.

Over the past ten years Springfield College has devoted resources, energy, and time creating an environment that assists, supports, and protects victims of sexual assault.   Public Safety is committed to working in conjunction with the Office of Student Affairs, Counseling Center, Health Center, Residence Life, to make sure no victim is re-victimized by the investigative process, and supported in any decision they make.

A Note about the Role and Responsibility of Faculty and Staff

The College has adopted a policy that defines all employees (with the exception of the Counseling Center employees and staff and our Sexual Assault Victim Advocates (SAVA’s) as mandatory reporters/responsible employees. If they learn about Sexual Misconduct or discrimination, they are expected to promptly contact our Title IX Coordinator Terry Vecchio and/or Public Safety.

Faculty and Staff (including Residence Life Staff, RA’s, RD’s and Area Coordinators), are required to report to the Title IX Coordinator when a student discloses sexual misconduct so that the College can respond appropriately. The report would include any information that the students 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 College will consider the request, but cannot guarantee confidentiality in all cases. In reporting the details of the incident to the 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 College to conduct an investigation or who wish to pursue institutional remedies and/or adjudication are strongly encouraged to contact the Office of Student Affairs and/or the Title IX Coordinator directly to ensure a more immediate response.


You also have the right to decline to notify police or other campus authorities (although, please understand that in not reporting, it severely limits the College’s ability to respond to and eliminate any discriminatory environment.)

On Campus Resources

Title Names Phone Number Campus Location  

Sexual Assault Victim Advocates


  • Erin Friedman
  • Susan Joel
  • Jane Lerner
  • Suzanne Nowlan
  • Kellyann O’Brien


24/7 (in rotation)

Will respond to student,

as requested.

Dean of Students Office Terry Vecchio, Dean of Students 413.748.3922 RBF Campus Union Suite 325 (Second Floor)

Counseling Center


Brian Krylowicz, Director 413.748.3345 Towne Health Center  
Health Center Kelly O’Brien, Director 413.748.3175 Towne Health Center  
Public Safety

Michael Sullivan

Executive Director/Chief of Policy

413.748.5555 Public Safety Building

Officers are on call 24/7 and a Sexual Assault

Investigator will respond to any call

involving a sexual assault

Title IX Coordinator Terry Vecchio, Dean of Students 413.748.3922 RBF Campus Union Suite 325 (Second Floor)
Housing and Residence Life Robert Yanez, Director 413.748.3102 RBF Campus Union Suite 335 (Second Floor)
Spiritual Life David McMahon, Director 413.748.3209 RBF Campus Union Suite 342 (Second Floor)

Off Campus Resources

Baystate Hospital 413.794.000

759 Chestnut Street

Springfield, MA  01199

Mercy Medical Center 413.748.9000

271 Carew Street

Springfield, MA  01104

YWCA Victim Hotline 413.733.7100

1 Clough Street

Springfield, MA  01118

Springfield Police

Special Victims Unit

413.787.6352 or


130 Pearl Street

Springfield, MA  01105


Here are some of the most commonly asked questions regarding College’s Sexual Misconduct policy and procedures.


Does information about a complaint remain private?

The privacy of all parties to a complaint of Sexual Misconduct must be respected, except insofar as it interferes with the college’s obligation to fully investigate allegations of Sexual Misconduct. Where privacy it not strictly kept, it will still be tightly controlled on a need-to-know basis. Dissemination of information and/or written materials to persons not involved in the complaint procedure is not  permitted. Violations of the privacy of the complainant or the accused individual may lead to conduct action by the college.

In all complaints of Sexual Misconduct, all parties will be informed of the outcome. In some instances, the administration also may choose to make a brief public announcement of the nature of the violation and the action taken, without using the name or identifiable information of the alleged victim. Certain college administrators are informed of the outcome within the bounds of student privacy (e.g., the President of the College, Dean of Students, Chief of Public Safety). If there is a report of an act of alleged Sexual Misconduct to a conduct officer of the college and there is evidence that a felony has occurred, local police may be notified.

This does not mean charges will be automatically filed or that a victim must speak with the police, but the institution is legally required to notify law enforcement authorities. The institution also must statistically report the occurrence on campus of major violent crimes, including certain sex offenses, in an annual report of campus crime statistics. This statistical report does not include personally identifiable information.

Will my parents be told?

No, not unless you tell them. Whether you are the complainant or the accused individual, the College’s primary relationship is to the student and not to the parent. However, in the event of major medical, disciplinary, or academic jeopardy, students are strongly encouraged to inform their parents. College officials will directly inform parents when requested to do so by a student, in a life-threatening situation, [or if an accused individual has signed the permission form at registration which allows such communication].

Will the accused individual know my identity?

Yes, if you file a formal complaint. Sexual misconduct is a serious offense and the accused individual has the right to know the identity of the complainant/alleged victim. If there is a hearing, the college does provide options for questioning without confrontation, including closed-circuit testimony, Skype, using a room divider or using separate hearing rooms.

Do I have to name the perpetrator?

Yes, if you want formal disciplinary action to be taken against the alleged perpetrator. No, if you choose to respond informally and do not file a formal complaint (but you should consult the complete confidentiality policy above to better understand the college’s legal obligations depending on what information you share with different college officials). Victims should be aware that not identifying the perpetrator may limit the institution’s ability to respond comprehensively.

What do I do if I am accused of Sexual Misconduct?

DO NOT contact the alleged victim. You may immediately want to contact someone who can act as your advisor; anyone may serve as your advisor, however, no advisors are allowed to actively participate during any formal judicial proceedings. You may also contact the Office of Student Affairs, which can explain the college’s procedures for addressing Sexual Misconduct complaints. You may also want to talk to a confidential counselor at the counseling center or seek other community assistance. See below regarding legal representation.

Will I (as a victim) have to pay for counseling/or medical care?

Not typically, as our institution provides these services already. If a victim is accessing community and non-institutional services, payment for these will be subject to state/local laws, insurance requirements, etc.

What about legal advice?

Victims of criminal sexual assault need not retain a private attorney to pursue prosecution because the prosecution will be handled by the District Attorney’s [Prosecutor’s] office. You may want to retain an attorney if you are considering filing a civil action against the alleged perpetrator. The accused individual may retain counsel at their own expense if they determine that they need legal advice about criminal prosecution and/or the campus conduct proceeding. Both the accused and the victim may also use an attorney as their advisor during the campus’ grievance processes, although advisors (of any kind) are not allowed to actively participate in any formal judicial proceedings.

What about changing residence hall rooms?

If you want to move, you may request a room change. Room changes under these circumstances are considered emergencies. It is typically institutional policy that in emergency room changes, the student is moved to the first available suitable room. If you want the accused individual to move, and believe that you have been the victim of   Sexual Misconduct, you must be willing to pursue a formal or informal college complaint. No contact orders can be imposed and room changes for the accused individual can usually be arranged quickly. Other accommodations available to you might include:

  • Assistance from college support staff in completing the relocation;
  • Arranging to dissolve a housing contract and pro-rating a refund;
  • Assistance with or rescheduling an academic assignment (paper, exams, etc.);
  • Taking an incomplete in a class; 
  • Assistance with transferring class sections;
  • Temporary withdrawal;
  • Assistance with alternative course completion options;
  • Other accommodations for safety as necessary.

What should I do about preserving evidence of a sexual assault?

Public Safety is in the best position to secure evidence of a crime. Physical evidence of a criminal sexual assault must be collected from the alleged victim’s person within 120 hours, though evidence can often be obtained from towels, sheets, clothes, etc. for much longer periods of time. If you believe you have been a victim of a criminal sexual assault, you should call our Sexual Assault Victim Advocate at 413.748.3544  or Public Safety at 413.748.5555 before washing yourself or your clothing. Our local hospitals (Baystate and Mercy Medical Center) both have SANE Programs that we partner with.  The Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (a specially trained nurse) at the hospital is usually on call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week (call the Emergency Room if you first want to speak to the nurse; ER will refer you). Our sexual assault victim advocate from the College can also accompany you to Hospital and Public Safety can provide transportation. If a victim goes to the hospital, local police will be called, but s/he is not obligated to talk to the police or to pursue prosecution. Having the evidence collected in this manner will help to keep all options available to a victim, but will not obligation him or her to any course of action. Collecting evidence can assist the authorities in pursuing criminal charges, should the victim decide later to exercise it.

For the Victim: the hospital staff will collect evidence, check for injuries, address pregnancy concerns and address the possibility of exposure to sexually transmitted infections. If you have changed clothing since the assault, bring the clothing you had on at the time of the assault with you to the hospital in a clean, sanitary container such as a clean paper grocery bag or wrapped in a clean sheet (plastic containers do not breathe, and may render evidence useless). If you have not changed clothes, bring a change of clothes with you to the hospital, if possible, as they will likely keep the clothes you are wearing as evidence. You can take a support person with you to the hospital, and they can accompany you through the exam, if you want. Do not disturb the crime scene-leave all sheets, towels, etc. that may bear evidence for the police to collect.

Will a victim be sanctioned when reporting a Sexual Misconduct policy violation if he/she has illegally used drugs or alcohol?

No. The severity of the infraction will determine the nature of the college’s response, but whenever possible the college will respond educationally rather than punitively to the illegal use of drugs and/or alcohol. The seriousness of Sexual  Misconduct is a major concern and the college does not want any of the circumstances (e.g., drug or alcohol use) to inhibit the reporting of Sexual    Misconduct.

Will the use of drugs or alcohol affect the outcome of a Sexual Misconduct conduct complaint?

The use of alcohol and/or drugs by either party will not diminish the accused individual’s responsibility. On the other hand, alcohol and/or drug use is likely to affect the complainant’s memory and, therefore, may affect the outcome of the complaint. A person bringing a complaint of Sexual Misconduct must either remember the alleged incident or have sufficient circumstantial evidence, physical evidence and/or witnesses to prove his/her complaint. If the complainant does not remember the  circumstances of the alleged incident, it may not be possible to impose sanctions on the accused without further corroborating information. Use of alcohol and/or other drugs will never excuse a violation by an accused individual.

Will either party’s prior use of drugs and/or alcohol be a factor when reporting Sexual Misconduct?

Not unless there is a compelling reason to believe that prior use or abuse is relevant to the present complaint.

What should I do if I am uncertain about what happened?

If you believe that you have experienced Sexual Misconduct, but are unsure of whether it was a violation of the institution’s Sexual Misconduct policy, you should contact the institution’s student conduct office or the sexual assault victim advocate. The institution can provide non-legal advisors who can help you to define and clarify the event(s), and advise you of your options.

Please see Appendix’s B and C for further information about our on and off campus resources as well as our Reporting Process.

The Sexual Misconduct Policy was adapted from the National Center for Higher Education Risk Management Model Sexual Misconduct Policy and ATIXA.

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Solicitation Policy

The primary goal of Springfield College is fostering education and study. To achieve this, the College places restrictions on activities which might disrupt the operations of the College. For this reason, commercial groups not associated or affiliated with the College are not permitted on College-owned property for the purpose of solicitation without the advanced written permission of the Vice President for Student Affairs or Director of Student Activities & Campus Union. Such solicitation includes the distribution of flyers, announcements, and posters as well as door-to-door sales in the residence halls or other College buildings. The Office of Student Activities & Campus Union in the Richard B. Flynn Campus Unionarranges opportunities for outside vendors to sell their goods in the campus union during the academic year. Arrangements for such sales must be made through and approved by the Director of Student Activities & Campus Union in advance and in writing.

Campus-recognized and affiliated groups are permitted to place announcements, flyers, and posters, for the purpose of advertising their group’s events, ONLY on bulletin boards. These bulletin boards are placed in numerous areas around the campus. Flyers, posters, and announcements placed on walls by College-recognized groups may be removed and discarded. No door-to-door solicitation is permitted in the residence halls or any College-owned buildings by anyone including recognized or affiliated Springfield College groups or individuals.

Banners may not be hung from any building on campus without written permission from the Vice President for Student Affairs. There are designated areas on campus where banners may be hung for the purpose of advertising programs or events. Arrangements may be made to hang banners at these locations through the Office of Student Activities & Campus Union. Disciplinary action will be taken against the group or individuals who violate this policy.

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Spectator Participation Policy

Copies of the Athletics Department Spectator Participation policy are available in the athletics office. In essence, the Springfield College Athletics Department believes in providing a positive, meaningful, educational atmosphere for the conduct of its athletic events and behavior contrary to this intent will not be tolerated. A Springfield College student found to be in violation of this policy is regulated by the general rules, guidelines, and sanctions established in the Springfield College “Student Handbook.”

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Student Demonstration Policy

Students who choose to express their opinions and differences through demonstrations must keep the following in mind:

The demonstration must be orderly at all times and should in no way jeopardize the public safety or interfere with the College program(s). Picketing or demonstrating must not interfere with the entrances to buildings or the normal flow of pedestrian or vehicular traffic. Students involved in a demonstration may not interfere by mingling with organized meeting, or other assemblies for the purpose of harassment since this invades the rights of  others to assemble and the rights of speakers to free expression. The demonstrating group may not obstruct or physically interfere with the integrity of the classroom, the privacy of the residence halls, the operation of the administrative process, or the function of the physical plant. Acts of violence or intimidation on the part of any group of students or other conduct which the College deems in violation of its policies, whether it be those who are demonstrating, those who are dissenting, or those who are interfering with the process of dissent, will result in immediate disciplinary action.

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Whistleblower Policy

I. Purpose:

The purpose of this Whistleblower Policy (the “Policy”) is to encourage and enable good-faith reports by employees and students of Springfield College (the “College”) and others (including Trustees of the College and third parties) of observed or suspected misconduct or noncompliance with College policies or applicable laws and regulations (such misconduct and noncompliance hereinafter referred to as “Misconduct”).

II. Scope:

This Policy is intended to encourage and enable employees, students, and others who have good-faith concerns about Misconduct to raise them with the College to facilitate the internal correction of inappropriate conduct and actions.  This Policy is not intended to supersede any existing College policies addressing Misconduct, nor does it affect any rights, responsibilities, or procedures set forth in other College policies addressing Misconduct.  For example, complaints regarding discrimination or harassment, other personnel and employment matters, academic and disciplinary matters, research misconduct, or other matters with applicable College policies should ordinarily be made according to the College policies and laws relevant to such matters.

III. Reporting Misconduct:

Each member of the College community shares responsibility for stewardship of College resources and compliance with College policies and applicable laws and is expected to observe high standards of ethics in the conduct of their duties and responsibilities.  Therefore, employees, students, and others are encouraged to report any Misconduct that may result in financial loss or other harm to the College.  The employee, student, or other person making a report of Misconduct pursuant to this Policy is hereinafter referred to as the “Reporting Person.”

Misconduct reporting procedures are detailed in section VI, below.  In addition, an employee or student who has a question about the propriety of any practice under College policies or applicable laws should seek guidance from his or her supervisor or a College official with compliance oversight responsibility for the particular policy or area.  An employee, student, or other person may also seek guidance from the College’s Internal Auditor, General Counsel, or Senior Vice President for Finance & Administration. 

IV. Confidentiality:

The College will endeavor to handle all reports of Misconduct as confidentially as possible under the circumstances.  However, other obligations and considerations may preclude the College from maintaining confidentiality in all circumstances.  The College will also use its best efforts to protect the identity of the Reporting Person, but cannot guarantee such nondisclosure if the identification of the Reporting Person is necessary to College or law enforcement officials for the purposes of investigating the Misconduct.

V. Anonymous Reports:

A Reporting Person may make an anonymous report of Misconduct, but the College’s investigation of an anonymous report of Misconduct may be hampered or impracticable if the employee, student, or other person cannot be identified and questioned about the allegations and related facts.

VI. Persons to Whom Reports May Be Made:

  • Employees should report Misconduct to their immediate supervisor. 
  • Faculty should report Misconduct to their Dean or the Provost.
  • Students should report Misconduct to the Vice President for Student Affairs or to the Dean of Students or in the case of students of the School of Human Services to the Associate Director of Student Services. 
  • Trustees of the College should report Misconduct to the College’s President or the Chair of the Audit & Compliance Committee of the College’s Board of Trustees. 
  • Other persons should report Misconduct to the Internal Auditor, General Counsel or Senior Vice President for Finance & Administration. 

If the Reporting Person believes that a potential conflict of interest exists with the reporting venues identified above or the Reporting Person is not satisfied with the response received from the reporting venues identified above, such Reporting Person may make a report of Misconduct to the College’s Internal Auditor, General Counsel, or the Senior Vice President for Finance & Administration.  In the event the Reporting Person believes that a potential conflict of interest also exists with all three of those individuals, such Reporting Person may make a report of Misconduct to the Chair of the Audit & Compliance Committee of the College’s Board of Trustees.  The report to the Chair of the Audit & Compliance Committee must be made in writing and submitted in a sealed envelope marked “personal & confidential” to the Office of the College’s President for forwarding to the Chair.

Reports should be made in writing to provide for a clear understanding of the issues and concerns raised, but may be made orally.

VII. No Retaliation:

The College prohibits retaliation against a person making a good-faith report of Misconduct.  An employee, student, or Trustee who retaliates against someone who has made a good-faith report of Misconduct is subject to disciplinary action, which may include termination of employment, expulsion of student, or removal from the Board.  Reporting Persons who believe that they have suffered retaliation in violation of this Policy may report such retaliation to the College’s Internal Auditor, General Counsel, or the Senior Vice President for Finance & Administration.  In the event the Reporting Person believes that a potential conflict of interest exists with all three of those individuals, such Reporting Person may make a report of retaliation to the Chair of the Audit & Compliance Committee of the College’s Board of Trustees using the procedure outlined above.

VIII. Baseless Claims:

A baseless claim results when an allegation is made in bad faith, with knowledge of its falsity, or with reckless disregard for its truth or falsity (hereinafter referred to as a “Baseless Claim”).  A Reporting Person who makes a Baseless Claim of Misconduct may be subject to disciplinary action by the College, which may include termination of employment, expulsion of student, removal from the Board, and/or legal recourse by the College or individuals who are falsely accused.  Reporting Persons are expected to read and understand the College’s policies in order to avoid Baseless Claims.

IX. Tracking of Reports:

The Internal Auditor shall maintain a log of all reports under this Policy received by the Internal Auditor, General Counsel and Senior Vice President for Finance & Administration.

X. Contact Information:

Internal Auditor                                                                                 

Katherine O’Connor                                                                

Administration Building                                                           

PH: 413-748-3640                                                                                 


General Counsel    

Christopher M. Neronha 

Marsh Memorial Building

PH: 413-748-3628 


SVP for Finance & Administration

John L. Mailhot

Administration Building

PH: 413-748-3145

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