College Policies | College Catalog

Policy and Procedures for Sexual Misconduct Complaints

Bridgewater College is committed to providing all students with an educational environment free from discrimination. Learn more about our sexual assault policy and procedures.

Harassment and Discrimination Grievance Procedure

Any student who believes that she or he has been assaulted, harassed or discriminated against by any member of the College community (where the allegations do not involve sexual misconduct) should promptly notify the dean of students, the associate dean of students or any area coordinator. If the complaint relates to conduct by a staff member of the department of student life, a student may notify the executive vice president. The department of student life (or the executive vice president, as the case may be) will help the student resolve the complaint informally, if appropriate, or will support the student in pursuing a more formal response. Disciplinary action imposed may range from a requirement not to repeat or continue the offending conduct, to suspension or expulsion.

The full policy is found in the student handbook, The Eagle.

Academic Grievance Procedure

The College recognizes that problems will occasionally arise between students and faculty regarding academic issues, including disputes regarding grades awarded. The College has an academic grievance policy to address these concerns. The primary objective of the policy is to ensure that students have the opportunity to present grievances regarding actions of members of the faculty and that the College has a consistent process for resolving those grievances in a fair, confidential and just manner.

The first step is to attempt to resolve the grievance informally by discussing it with the faculty member. If the matter is not resolved to the student’s satisfaction at this level, the grievance may be submitted to the associate dean for academic affairs, who will meet with the student, the department chair and, as appropriate, the faculty member, and reach a decision. If the matter is not resolved to the student’s satisfaction at this level, the student may request review by the vice president and dean for academic affairs, and whether to accept such a request is within the sole discretion of the vice president. The decision of the vice president and dean for academic affairs is final.

The full policy is found in the student handbook, The Eagle.

General Student Grievance Procedure

This procedure is intended to provide students with an opportunity to seek resolution for issues not covered by the grievance procedures described above. Students are encouraged, but not required, to discuss their concerns directly with the person or persons involved, either in person or in writing. If a student is uncomfortable directly discussing her or his concern with the involved individual(s), or, after discussing it, believes that the concern is not adequately resolved, the student may utilize a more formal process. The appropriate reviewing authority will initiate an investigation of the complaint and will make a determination and inform the parties involved.

The full policy is found in the student handbook, The Eagle.

Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (“FERPA”) governs the privacy of student education records maintained by Bridgewater College. The Act allows students, and parents of dependent students, access to their education records while also protecting their right to privacy, by limiting the transferability of records without the students’ consent. The following are guidelines to assist all members of the Bridgewater College community in understanding the provisions of the Act as they apply to Bridgewater College. A complete statement of the College’s FERPA policy may be found on the College’s website at bridgewater.edu/ferpa.

Notification of FERPA Rights

FERPA affords eligible students certain rights with respect to their education records. An “eligible student” under FERPA is a student who is 18 years of age or older or who attends a postsecondary institution. These rights include:

  1. The right to inspect and review the student’s education records within 45 days after the day the College receives a request for access.

    A student should submit to the registrar, dean, head of the academic department or other appropriate official, a written request that identifies the record(s) the student wishes to inspect. The College official will make arrangements for access and notify the student of the time and place where the records may be inspected. If the records are not maintained by the College official to whom the request was submitted, that official shall advise the student of the correct official to whom the request should be addressed.
  2. The right to request the amendment of the student’s education records that the student believes is inaccurate, misleading or otherwise in violation of the student’s privacy rights under FERPA.

    A student who wishes to ask the College to amend a record should write to the College official responsible for the record, clearly identify the part of the record the student wants changed and specify why it should be changed. If the College decides not to amend the record as requested, the College will notify the student in writing of the decision and the student’s right to a hearing regarding the request for amendment. Additional information regarding the hearing procedures will be provided to the student when notified of the right to a hearing.
  3. The right to provide written consent before the College discloses personally identifiable information from the student’s education records, except to the extent that FERPA or another statute or regulation authorizes disclosure without consent.
  4. The right to file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education concerning alleged failures by the College to comply with the requirements of FERPA. The name and address of the office that administers FERPA is:

    Family Policy Compliance Office
    U.S. Department of Education
    400 Maryland Avenue, SW
    Washington, DC 20202-8520

Disclosure without Consent

FERPA permits the disclosure of personally identifiable information from students’ education records, without consent of the student, if the disclosure meets certain conditions found in §99.31 of the FERPA regulations. Those conditions include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • To other College officials who have a legitimate educational interest in the records. A College official has a legitimate educational interest if the official needs to review an education record in order to fulfill his or her professional responsibilities for the College.
  • To officials of another College where the student seeks or intends to enroll, or where the student is already enrolled.
  • In connection with financial aid for which the student has applied or which the student has received.
  • To parents of an eligible student if the student is a dependent for IRS tax purposes.
  • To comply with a judicial order or lawfully issued subpoena.
  • In connection with a health or safety emergency if the College determines that there is an articulable and significant threat to the health or safety of a student or other individuals.
  • To a victim of an alleged perpetrator of a crime of violence or a non-forcible sex offense.
  • The final results of a disciplinary proceeding if the College determines the student is an alleged perpetrator of a crime of violence or non-forcible sex offense and the student has committed a violation of the College’s rules or policies with respect to the allegation made against him or her.
  • To parents of a student regarding the student’s violation of any Federal, State, or local law, or of any rule or policy of the College, governing the use or possession of alcohol or a controlled substance if the College determines the student committed a disciplinary violation and the student is under the age of 21.

Directory Information

The College has designated the following categories of student information as “Directory Information.” FERPA permits the disclosure of Directory Information at the College’s discretion, without prior written consent of the student.

  • Student Name
  • Addresses (permanent, local, campus, email, campus computer network (IP), net id)
  • Telephone number (home, campus, cell, mobile)
  • Date and place of birth
  • Previous colleges attended and degrees awarded
  • Current enrollment status
  • Dates of attendance
  • Current classification (e.g. freshman, full‑time/part‑time)
  • Major(s)/Minor(s)
  • Degree(s) sought
  • Expected date of completion of degree requirements and graduation
  • Degree(s) earned and dates awarded
  • Past and present participation in officially recognized activities, sports and organizations
  • Height, weight and birth date of members of athletic teams
  • Scholarships, honors, awards and special recognitions
  • Photographic and videotaped image

If a student objects to the disclosure of any of the following information, the student must notify the registrar in writing. Requests for nondisclosure by the student are in effect from the date received in writing from the student until rescinded in writing by the student. For practical purposes, requests should be received in the registrar’s office no later than September 10 to ensure that the student’s Directory Information is not published in the Campus Directory.