The material that follows includes a summary of the primary federal and state legal requirements and specific university policies related to Nondiscrimination, Harassment, Sexual Violence and Retaliation, Hazing, Alcohol and Drug policies; Health, Safety and Security measures; the availability of Institutional Information; and other topics. For a copy of the complete policy statements or further information, please contact the appropriate office as indicated in each policy section.
Policy Statement of Non-Discrimination and Diversity
Bridgewater State University is committed to a policy of non-discrimination, equal opportunity, diversity and affirmative action. The university is dedicated to providing educational, working and living environments that value the diverse backgrounds of all people.
The university does not unlawfully discriminate in admission or access to, or treatment or employment in, its educational programs and activities on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, age, disability, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, genetic information, marital or parental status, or veteran status. The university prohibits unlawful discrimination or discriminatory harassment on all of those bases and retaliation. Such behaviors violate the university’s Policy against Discrimination, Discriminatory Harassment and Retaliation, will not be tolerated, and may result in disciplinary action up to and including termination or expulsion.
It is also the policy of the university to provide each student, employee, and other person having dealings with the institution an environment free from unlawful sexual violence and all forms of misconduct on the basis of gender. The university prohibits rape, statutory rape, sexual assault, sexual exploitation, incest, sexual harassment, gender-based harassment, domestic violence, dating violence and stalking, and retaliation. These behaviors violate the university’s Sexual Violence Policy, including Sexual Harassment, Gender-Based Harassment, Domestic Violence, Dating Violence and Stalking (“Sexual Violence Policy”). Such behaviors will not be tolerated and may result in disciplinary action up to and including termination or expulsion.
The university’s Discrimination, Discriminatory Harassment and Retaliation Policy and Sexual Violence Policy apply in all university programs and activities, including, but not limited to, athletics, instruction, grading, housing and employment. They apply to all members of the campus communities, including, but not limited to, students, faculty, librarians, staff, visitors, contractors and applicants for employment or admission. They also apply to off-campus conduct that negatively affects a community member’s experience in the university environment.
The university’s Director of the Office of Equal Opportunity (“EO Director”) oversees its compliance with those policies. The EO Director handles discrimination, discriminatory harassment, and retaliation complaints from and about students, applicants, employees, faculty, staff and visitors to campus. The EO Director also oversees the university’s compliance with the state and federal non-discrimination and equal opportunity laws.
The EO Director is the university’s Title IX coordinator and is responsible for the university’s compliance with Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 and the administration of the university’s Sexual Violence Policy. In addition, the EO Director is charged with the responsibility for the university’s compliance with Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, as amended, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973.
The university’s official Policy against Discrimination, Discriminatory Harassment and Retaliation, Sexual Violence Policy and related grievance procedures are contained in the Equal Opportunity, Diversity and Affirmative Action Plan (the “Plan”). The Plan is also available upon request from the Office of Equal Opportunity at 508.531-2744.
Concerns or Questions Regarding Discrimination, Discriminatory Harassment, or Retaliation
Anyone with questions, concerns or complaints regarding discrimination, discriminatory harassment or retaliation may contact the EO Director at:
Director of the Equal Opportunity Office
Bridgewater State University
Boyden Hall, Room 206
131 Summer Street
Bridgewater, MA 02325
Concerns or Questions Regarding Sexual Violence, Sexual Harassment, Gender-Based Harassment, Domestic Violence, Dating Violence, Stalking and/or Retaliation
Anyone with questions, concerns or complaints regarding sexual violence, sexual harassment, gender-based harassment, domestic violence, dating violence, stalking and/or retaliation should contact the Title IX Coordinator:
Title IX Coordinator
Bridgewater State University
Boyden Hall, Room 207
131 Summer Street
Bridgewater, MA 02325
Any person with questions or concerns about any form of discrimination, harassment, sexual violence, sexual harassment, gender-based harassment, domestic violence, dating violence and stalking and/or retaliation may also contact any of the following agencies:
|The U.S. Department of Education Office for Civil Rights
5 Post Office Square, 8th floor
Boston, MA 02109-3921
|Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
John F. Kennedy Federal Building
475 Government Center
Boston, MA 02203
|Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination
One Ashburton Place
Sixth Floor, Room 601
Boston, MA 02108
Resources for Individuals with Disabilities
Bridgewater State University is committed to making its facilities, services, and programs accessible to all students, faculty, employees and visitors in compliance with applicable law. The Disability Resources Office offers support and assistance to students with learning, physical or other disabilities.
Disability Resources Office
Academic Achievement Center (located on the ground floor of the Maxwell Library)
Telephone: 508.531.2194 or TTY at 508.531.6113
Consistent with federal and state law, reasonable accommodation will be provided to individuals with disabilities.
Students who desire reasonable accommodations for a disability must contact the Disability Resources Office and provide appropriate documentation. All requests for accommodations are evaluated on a case-by-case basis. Services and available reasonable accommodations for students with disabilities with appropriate documentation include, but are not limited to:
- Testing accommodations
- Assistive technology
- Alternate format materials
- Interpreter services
- Priority registration
Further information about the services, programs and policies of the Disability Resources Office may be found at https://www.bridgew.edu/disability-resources or upon request at 508.531.2194 or TTY at 508.531.6113.
Please note that there is no automatic continuation of services from high school to the university. If a student with a disability does not request a reasonable accommodation from the Disability Resources Office, it may remain unknown and unaddressed.
Employees, including student employees, who desire reasonable accommodations for a disability in connection with their employment should contact the Office of Equal Opportunity at 508.531.2744 or EO@bridgew.edu.
The university is committed to providing equitable and integrated access for individuals with disabilities to all the academic, employment, social, cultural and recreational programs it offers as required by law.
University buildings were built between 1900 and 2013. The university continually works to improve campus accessibility. Although the achievement of total architectural and physical access is a work-in-progress, the majority of the university’s buildings, including all residence halls, are accessible. All campus parking lots have required designated accessible spaces. The university has accessible travel ways throughout the campus and offers accessible campus bus service.
Students should contact the Disability Resources Office in order to obtain information about campus accessibility and/or request reasonable accommodations to their physical accessibility needs. Students with physical disabilities are encouraged to plan their schedules to permit adequate travel time between classes.
Employees, visitors to campus and other non-students may contact the Office of Equal Opportunity to obtain information about campus accessibility and/or request reasonable accommodations related to their physical accessibility needs.
Current and future construction, as well as any periodic work by the Town of Bridgewater, may temporarily impact or disrupt accessible travel routes, building accessibility and/or parking. In an effort to provide the community with as much information as possible regarding such disruptions, Facilities Management & Planning provides regular updates and announcements concerning the disruptions and, working with the Disability Resources Office and Office of Equal Opportunity, provides information to visually impaired students and students with mobility disabilities regarding alternative modes of access.
Concerns or Questions Regarding Discrimination, Harassment, Retaliation, Accessibility and/or Accommodations
Anyone with concerns about any form of discrimination, harassment, retaliation, campus accessibility or reasonable accommodations may contact the Equal Opportunity Office, Boyden Hall, Room 206, 131 Summer Street, Bridgewater, MA 02325; Tel: 508.531.2744, EO@bridgew.edu. The Director of the Office of Equal Opportunity (“EO Director”) is charged with the responsibility for the university’s compliance with Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, as amended, and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973.
Accreditation and Licensure
Bridgewater State University is accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges Inc., through its Commission on Institutions of Higher Education. Inquiries regarding the university’s accreditation should be directed to the Office of the Provost. Individuals may also contact: Commission on Institutions of Higher Education, New England Association of Schools and Colleges, 209 Burlington Road, Bedford, MA 01730-1433; phone: 781.425.7700, email: email@example.com.
The university will make available for review to any enrolled or prospective student, upon request, a copy of the documents describing the institution’s accreditation, approval or licensing. This information, as well as contact information for accreditors and state officials and agencies for filing complaints, may be obtained by contacting the Office of the Provost.
The university will make available for review to any enrolled or prospective student, upon request, a list of institutions with which the university has established an articulation agreement. For more information, contact the Director of Transfer Services.
Health and Safety Information
The Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act
Bridgewater State University complies with the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act (the “Clery Act”). In accordance with the Clery Act, the university publishes annual Campus Crime and Fire Safety Reports. The annual Clery Reports contain information about campus security and fire safety policies, as well as statistics concerning reported crimes occurring on campus, on university-controlled property and on public property immediately adjacent to campus, and statistics of all fires in residence halls. A copy of the annual Clery Reports may be found on the Bridgewater State University Police Department website or a paper copy of the reports will be provided upon request.
Hazing is unlawful in Massachusetts and is prohibited by Bridgewater State University. Massachusetts law defines hazing as “… any conduct or method of initiation into any student organization, whether on public or private property, which willfully or recklessly endangers the physical or mental health of any student or other person.” Any person who is a principal organizer or participant in the crime of hazing may be punished by a fine of not more than $3,000 or by imprisonment in a house of correction for not more than one year, or by both such fine and imprisonment. Additionally, it is a violation of Massachusetts law for any person at the scene of a hazing crime who knows that another individual is the victim of a hazing crime to fail to report the crime to law enforcement. The University prohibits retaliation against any person who reports or files a claim of hazing under university procedures or applicable law or who assisted or participated in an investigation or resolution of such report, complaint or charge. For additional information, please refer to the Bridgewater State University Student Handbook for the complete university policy statement on hazing.
Drug and Alcohol Policies
In compliance with the federal Drug-Free Workplace Act and Drug-Free Schools and Communities Act Amendments of 1989, Bridgewater State University has adopted and implemented programs to prevent the unlawful manufacture, possession, use or distribution of illicit drugs and alcohol by students and employees on university property or as part of any university activities.
The university also prohibits the possession, consumption, storage or service of alcohol by students and/or their guests, except by persons 21 years of age or older who are in transit to (not being consumed, stored or served) or at approved or licensed locations, such as the Great Hill Student Apartments and within the limits of state and local laws and university policy.
The university prohibits unlawful manufacture, possession, use, dispensation or distribution of illegal drugs, narcotics or other controlled substances, including marijuana, on University property or at university activities.
The university imposes sanctions, up to and including termination or expulsion and referral for prosecution on students and employees who violate the university alcohol and drug policies.
For the full content of university policies pertaining to alcohol and illegal drugs and a description of sanctions for violations of the alcohol and drug policies, civil and criminal penalties, health risks of drug and alcohol use, and campus resources and referral agencies, please refer to the Bridgewater State University Student Handbook or contact the Office of Student Affairs and Enrollment Management, Boyden Hall, Room 106, Tel: 508.531.1276; Outreach Education at the Wellness Center, Weygand Hall, Room 1048, Tel: 508.531.2200; or the Office of Human Resources, Boyden Hall, Room 103, Tel: 508.531.1324.
Smoke-Free and Tobacco-Free Policy
There is considerable evidence that concentrations of smoke are harmful to nonsmokers, as well as smokers. Findings of the U.S. Surgeon General indicate that tobacco use in any form, active and passive, is a significant health hazard. Bridgewater State University has a responsibility to its employees and students to provide a safe and healthy environment.
Promoting a smoke-free and tobacco-free campus is a wellness initiative to protect all members of the campus community. Moreover, becoming a smoke-free and tobacco-free campus encourages respect for others and for the environment.
Therefore, this policy is intended to eliminate exposure to second-hand smoke, provide an environment supportive of a smoke free and tobacco-free lifestyle, eliminate the risk of accidental fire, eliminate the health risks associated with expectoration from smokeless tobacco, and eliminate the environmental impact of cigarette litter.
This policy covers all Bridgewater State University students, faculty, staff, vendors, contractors, visitors, volunteers and all other affiliated or nonaffiliated persons.
The smoking or other use of tobacco or other smoking products, including vaping, is prohibited in all buildings, grounds and vehicles owned or leased by Bridgewater State University, regardless of location.
No tobacco products or smoking paraphernalia shall be possessed, used, sold or distributed as samples in any campus buildings, grounds or vehicles owned or leased by Bridgewater State University, regardless of location, including vending machines.
All Bridgewater State University community members and others must abide by this policy.
- “Smoking” means inhaling, exhaling, burning or carrying any lighted or heated cigar, cigarette, pipe, or any other lighted, heated or vaporized product, whether or not that product contains tobacco or nicotine.
- “Tobacco Product” means any natural or synthetic substance containing tobacco leaf, including but not limited to, cigarettes, cigars, pipe tobacco, hookah tobacco, snuff, chewing tobacco, dipping tobacco, bidis, blunts or any other preparation of tobacco; any product or formulation of matter containing biologically active amounts of nicotine that is manufactured, sold, offered for sale, or otherwise distributed with the expectation that the product or matter will be introduced into the human body by inhalation or any other means; and also marijuana, hashish and clove cigarettes.
- “Smoking Paraphernalia” includes the following:
a. “Electronic Smoking Device” – any product containing or delivering nicotine or any other substance intended for human consumption that can be used by a person to simulate smoking through inhalation of vapor or aerosol from the product. The term includes any such device, whether manufactured, distributed, marketed, or sold as an e-cigarette, e-cigar, e-pipe, e-hookah, or vape or vaporizer pen, or under any other product name or descriptor.
b. “Hookah” – a water pipe and any associated products and devices which are used to produce fumes, smoke, and/or vapor from the burning of material including, but not limited to, tobacco, shisha or other plant matter.
- “Grounds” includes all university land, roadways, parking lots and other parking structures, athletic and recreational facilities, or any other outdoor area controlled by the university; as well as the interior of any vehicle located anywhere on the property of the university.
This policy does not apply to any cessation product specifically approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for use in treating nicotine or tobacco dependence.
The use of smoking products may be permitted with prior approval by the university for research, educational, clinical or religious ceremonial purposes.
Smoking Cessation Resources
Massachusetts Dept. of Public Health
U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services: National Cancer Institute
American Lung Association
Information about smoking programs offered through the university’s Employee Assistance program can also be found on the Human Resources website.
Violations of this policy may be grounds for referral for university disciplinary action.
Policy Questions or Concerns
Employees who have questions or concerns about this policy should be directed to the Office of Human Resources. Students who have questions or concerns are encouraged to contact the Office of Community Standards.
All full-time students (undergraduate students taking 12 credits or more and graduate students taking 9 credits or more) and all full-time and part-time health sciences students and all full-time and part-time international students while on a student or other visa must provide proof of:
- 1 dose of tetanus diphtheria and pertussis vaccine (Tdap) within the last 10 years; if it has been less than 5 years since Td was administered, a Tdap is not required but is recommended regardless of the interval since the last tetanus-containing vaccine
- 3 doses of hepatitis B vaccine*
- 2 doses of measles, mumps, rubella (MMR) vaccine*: first dose must be given on or after the first birthday and the second dose must be given a minimum of 28 days after the first dose; laboratory evidence of immunity is acceptable. Birth in the U.S. before 1957 is acceptable only for non-health science students.
- 2 doses of varicella (exempt if born before 1980 in the United States)
- A negative tuberculosis (TB) skin test, (or if skin test is positive, a negative chest x-ray or proof of treatment) is required of all students from countries with high rates of TB.
- All newly enrolled full-time students 21 years of age or younger are required to show documentation of a dose of Men ACWY vaccine administered on or after their 16th birthday regardless of housing status.
- Students can sign a waiver declining vaccination at this time. A student, or the student’s parent or guardian, if the student is a minor, may opt to sign a waiver which details that the student has received and reviewed information about the risks and dangers of meningococcal disease, has elected to decline the vaccine. Such a waiver must be submitted at least two weeks prior to the beginning of classes.
For more information, visit the Massachusetts Department of Public Health website.
Bridgewater State University recommends meningitis immunization for all students (even though all students are not required by law to receive it). Information regarding meningitis and the meningitis vaccine can be found here.
Proof of the required immunizations listed above must be provided by a physician, health organization, or a prior school and must include the dates (month and year). As noted above, immunization requirements apply as well to international students attending or visiting on a visa, including those attending classes as part of an academic visitation or exchange program.
In addition, all full-time students (including full-time graduate students) must submit a completed student health history and immunization report form to Health Services. Massachusetts immunization laws apply to full-time students of all ages.
*Serologic proof of immunity will be acceptable (though often costly). Serological proof of immunity is an alternate way to prove immunity. Serological tests must be done by your primary care physician and requires blood to be drawn, sent out and analyzed, usually taking at least 2 weeks for results. Serological tests can be costly, may not be covered by insurance and often come back negative (which means no immunity). Students with negative serologies must be immunized and provide documentation of the immunization(s).
Policy on Protection of Human Subjects in Research and the IACUC Animal Welfare Policy
For information on the Policy on Protection of Human Subjects in Research and the IACUC Animal Welfare Policy, see the Institutional Review Board.
Voter Registration Forms
In compliance with the Higher Education Act and Mass. Gen. Laws, c. 51,§42E, the university provides voter registration information to students.
The university makes available Massachusetts voter registration forms to all students enrolled in a degree or certificate program and physically in attendance at the institution. Massachusetts residents can obtain forms at the Campus Center Office and information booth. Additionally, forms may be obtained by writing or calling the Massachusetts Elections Division, Room 1705, McCormack Building, One Ashburton Place, Boston, MA 02108, 617.727.2828 or 1.800.462.8683; or through the Secretary of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts website.
Out-of-state students who want to vote in their home state must use either a mail-in form supplied by an election official in the home state or the federal mail-in affidavit of voter registration. Voter registration forms can be downloaded at the U.S. Election Assistance Commission website. If allowable by their home states, student may register online at rockthevote.org.
Student Right to Know – Disclosure of Institutional Retention Rates, Graduation Rates, Transfer-Out Rates, Diversity, Equity in Athletics, and Graduate and Professional Education Placement
Bridgewater State University makes information regarding graduation rates, retention rates, transfer out rates, and diversity available in compliance with the Higher Education Act of 1965, as amended. Please contact the Office of Institutional Research, Boyden Hall, Room 201, Tel: 508.531.1704 to request this information.
The Equity in Athletics Disclosure Act Report for Bridgewater State University can be found at http://ope.ed.gov/athletics/. This tool has been designed by the Office of Postsecondary Education of the U.S. Department of Education. The data used by this website is derived from the OPE Equity in Athletics Disclosure Website database and consists of athletics data that are submitted annually as required by the Equity in Athletics Disclosure Act (“EADA”), via a Web-based data collection, by all co-educational postsecondary institutions that receive Title VI funding (i.e., those that participate in federal student aid programs) and that have an intercollegiate athletic program. Paper copies of the most recent EADA Report is available by contacting the Bridgewater State University Athletics and Recreation Department directly at 508.531.1352.
The university also makes information regarding graduate and professional education placement in compliance with Title IV requirements. Please contact the Career Services Office at firstname.lastname@example.org or 508.531.1328 to request this information.
Bridgewater State University requires all users of the university network to comply with all state and federal laws, including copyright laws.
Students should be aware that unauthorized distribution of copyrighted material (e.g., songs, music and other materials), such as through peer-to-peer networks, may constitute copyright infringement. Penalties for copyright infringement include civil and criminal penalties. In general, anyone found liable for civil copyright infringement may be ordered to pay either actual damages or “statutory” damages affixed at not less than $750 and not more than $30,000 per work infringed. For “willful” infringement, a court may award up to $150,000 per work infringed. A court can, in its discretion, also assess costs and attorneys’ fees. Willful copyright infringement can also result in criminal penalties, including imprisonment of up to five years and fines of up to $250,000 per offense. For more information, please see 17 U.S. 504 and/or the website of the U.S. Copyright Office, especially their FAQs.
Copyright infringement is also a violation of university policy and may result in disciplinary action. For a further description of prohibited activities regarding use of university technology resources, please refer to the university’s Copyright Policy, Responsible Use of Technology Policy and its other Information Technology Policies and Procedures. The university’s Division of Information Technology blocks all peer-to-peer applications traversing the university network destined for the internet.