College Policies | College Catalog

Policy and Procedures for Sexual Misconduct Complaints

The College has a comprehensive policy to address complaints of sexual misconduct, which may be found in the student handbook, The Eagle (bridgewater.edu/files/EagleStudentHandbook.pdf), as well as on the College’s website at bridgewater.edu/files/Sexual-Misconduct-Policy.pdf. The following is a brief introduction regarding the policy.

Bridgewater College is committed to providing an environment free from discrimination. The sexual harassment of students, including sexual violence, interferes with a student’s right to receive an education free from discrimination and, in the case of sexual violence, is a crime. The College’s policy regarding sexual misconduct covers complaints by students of alleged sexual misconduct committed by Bridgewater College students, faculty and staff, as well as third parties. Sexual misconduct, as defined by the policy, comprises a broad range of behavior that will not be tolerated, including exploitation, gender-based harassment, non-consensual sexual contact and intercourse, stalking, dating violence and domestic violence. Sexual misconduct violates Bridgewater College policy and federal civil rights laws and may also result in criminal prosecution. Bridgewater College is committed to fostering a community that promotes prompt reporting of sexual misconduct, support for anyone who has been subject to sexual misconduct, and timely and fair resolution of sexual misconduct cases. Sanctions for a violation of the policy may range from a reprimand to suspension or expulsion. Creating a safe and respectful environment is the responsibility of all members of the campus community. To report a possible violation of the College’s sexual misconduct policy, please contact one of the Title IX coordinators listed on page 2 of this catalog, a staff member from the Department of Student Life, or a member of the Campus Police and Safety department.

Harassment and Discrimination Grievance Procedure

Any student who believes that she or he has been discriminated against, or assaulted or harassed, by any member of the College community [other than with respect to allegation of sex discrimination (see above)] should promptly notify the vice president for student life and 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 assist the

student in pursuing a more formal resolution. Disciplinary action for a violation may range from a requirement not to repeat or continue the offending conduct, to suspension or expulsion, or in the case of an employee, termination of employment.

The full policy is found in the student handbook, The Eagle, as well as on the College’s website at bridgewater.edu/files/EagleStudentHandbook.pdf.

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 department chair, who will meet with the student 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 appropriate division head. The student may then appeal the decision to the associate dean for academic affairs. The decision of the associate dean is final.

The full policy is found in the student handbook, The Eagle, as well as on the College’s website at bridgewater.edu/files/EagleStudentHandbook.pdf

General Student Grievance Procedure

This procedure is intended to provide students with an opportunity to seek resolution for a grievance involving students or College employees 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, as well as on the College’s website at bridgewater.edu/files/EagleStudentHandbook.pdf

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 provides 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 is a summary of the College’s FERPA policy and is intended to assist all members of the Bridgewater College community in understanding the provisions of the Act as they apply to Bridgewater College. A complete and current 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.
    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.
    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 ยง99.31 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 to which the student seeks or intends to enroll, or in which the student is already enrolled.
  • In connection with financial aid for which the student has applied or which the student has received.
  • To a parent(s) of an eligible student if the student is a dependent of the parent(s) 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 the student or other individuals.
  • 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
  • Address (permanent, local, campus, email, IP
  • Telephone number (home, campus, cell, mobile)
  • Date and place of birth
  • Previous educational institutions 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) awarded
  • Past and present participation in officially recognized activities, sports and organizations
  • Height and weight of members of athletic teams
  • Scholarships, honors, awards and special recognitions (including Dean’s List)
  • 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.