Student Handbook: Institutional Policies

This Section of the Handbook sets forth general policies, procedures and guidelines for all students enrolled at Wheelock. These policies, procedures and guidelines are not intended to be all-inclusive and are subject to change by the College, as it deems necessary and appropriate.

Drug And Alcohol Awareness Policy

The College is committed to creating and maintaining a campus environment that is free of the use of illicit drugs and alcohol. In compliance with the Drug-Free Schools and Communities Act Amendments of 1989, and other state and federal laws, the College has developed the following Drug and Alcohol Awareness Policy. The College reserves the right to change this policy at any time.

Standards of Conduct

College students are adults and, as such, are expected to obey the law and take personal responsibility for their conduct. Students who drink alcohol are expected to do so in a safe, responsible and legal manner. The unlawful manufacture, distribution, dispensation, possession, or use of controlled substances, illicit drugs, or alcohol by students on College property or at any College-sponsored activity is prohibited. For purposes of the College's Drug and Alcohol Awareness Policy, a controlled substance is any illegal or prescription drug that, if abused, may lead to physical or psychological dependence. Massachusetts law prohibits individuals under the age of twenty-one from drinking alcoholic beverages. Under the College's Policy (and in some cases as required by state and federal law), the list of prohibited conduct can be found in the Student Code of Conduct.  

Under this Policy, if a student is over twenty-one years old and all of his or her roommates are also over twenty-one years old, he or she may have a limited amount of alcohol in his or her residence hall room. Each student who is over twenty-one years of age may have no more than the following amount of alcohol in his or her room at any time: one six pack of beer; or one standard (750 ml) bottle of wine; orone (750 ml) bottle of other alcohol, excluding grain alcohol, other "fortified" wines, and any caffeinated alcoholic beverages. Residents are responsible for any alcohol possessed by non-resident visitors. Any alcohol possessed by non-resident visitors is treated as if possessed by the resident host. The limit of alcohol is applies to the present occupants of the room.  

It is a violation of this Policy for a student who is over twenty-one years old to consume or be in the presence of alcohol in his or her residence hall room when students who are under twenty-one years old are present, even if the student who is under twenty-one years old is not consuming alcohol. This is a violation for both the student who is over twenty-one years old and the underage student.  

Violation of the Student Code of Conduct

It is a violation of the Student Code of Conduct to violate the Drug and Alcohol Awareness Policy. Violations of this Policy may result in sanctions and disciplinary action up to and including expulsion. The College may also require a student to complete an educational program and/or assessment.   The College may refer violations of the Drug and Alcohol Awareness Policy to state or county authorities for prosecution. Penalties for the violation of local, state and federal laws pertaining to illicit drugs and alcohol include imprisonment and/or fines. A felony drug or alcohol conviction may bar an individual from entering certain fields of employment.

Counseling

The College encourages any student who may have a problem or may know of someone else who has a problem with the use of illicit drugs or abuse of alcohol to seek professional counseling. The College has counselors and support groups available to all students in need of counseling, referrals, education, and information. Contact the Counseling Center at 617-879-2410 or 617-879-2413 for counselors and referral on a confidential basis. The Counseling Center also has information concerning off campus counseling and treatment resources.

Campus Computing Policy

Email is an official method of communicating at Wheelock College. The Office of Information Technology creates and issues a Wheelock email account to each student upon enrollment. Each student is notified, in writing, of his/her email address and receives instructions for accessing his/her email account. The Wheelock College Student Email Policy requires students to activate and utilize their Wheelock email accounts. The Policy was developed to set standards for communications between the College and its students, to ensure that all students have access to pertinent College information, and to ensure that administration, faculty, and staff of the College have a standardized method and a timely process for communications with students.

Use of any electronic communication, including but not limited to, the network, electronic mail, or social networking sites (i.e., Facebook or Twitter) for transmitting anonymous, rude, abusive, harassing or malicious messages is unethical and will result in disciplinary action.  

Communications sent to students' Wheelock College email address may include notification of campus events, course selections and registration, and deadlines regarding financial aid and tuition bills. Although students may maintain separate email accounts, students are held accountable for information disseminated to their Wheelock College email addresses and are expected to check their Wheelock email regularly for College communications. Students who choose to have their Wheelock College email address forwarded to an alternate email address are also accountable for information communicated by the College via email. It is the student's responsibility to read College email communications on a regular basis and to take action in a timely manner, whenever appropriate.  

Questions regarding activation and usage of email accounts or this Policy should be directed to the Office of Information Technology at helpdesk@wheelock.eduor (617) 879-2309.

Smoke Free Environment

Smoking is prohibited in all Wheelock buildings, including residence halls, and on all Wheelock College grounds.

Hazing Prohibition

Massachusetts law prohibits hazing and imposes criminal penalties not only on those who organize and carry out hazing but also on those who are present and fail to report it. Additionally, hazing is a violation of the Student Code of Conduct and students who engage in hazing or fail to report hazing may be subject to sanctions or disciplinary actions.  

The College complies with Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 269, Sections 17, 18 and 19. For the purposes of Massachusetts law, hazing is defined 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. 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.

The fact that a student consents to hazing is not a defense under the law.

Privacy and Records

Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)

The federal Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) gives each student access to his or her educational records, the right to correct inaccuracies in those records, and the right to control distribution. Since September 11, 2001, the U.S. Department of Education has stated that a college or university must provide (absent a request) information it reasonably believes will assist law enforcement officials in investigating or preventing terrorist activities. In addition, there are exceptions to FERPA, such as a lawfully-issued subpoena, which allow the College to release student records even if a student objects.

Certain personally identifiable information from a student's education record, designated by the College as "directory information," may be released without a student's prior consent. A student who wishes has the right to prevent release of this information, subject to the exemptions provided by law. To prevent the release of "directory information," a student must complete and submit a Request to Prevent Disclosure of Directory Information form available from the Office of Academic Records and Registration at the beginning of each academic year. The College has designated the following personally identifiable student data as "directory information": Name, addresses (local, permanent, e-mail), phone numbers (local and permanent), date of birth, on-campus mailbox, dates of attendance, major field of study, year in school (class level), previous institutions attended, degrees and awards received, and participation in officially recognized activities and sports.

Patriot Act

Under the Patriot Act of 2001, the College is required to implement a Student Exchange and Visitor System and the Immigration and Naturalization Student/Scholar Tracking System. This impacts all international students studying in the United States on a non-immigrant visa in the following ways:

  • students will have to register for a full-time load of courses each semester without exception;
  • students will be required to inform the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service of their address and change of addresses on a regular and timely basis;
  • students will have to be aware of the end date of their legal status on their visa document;
  • students will have to be sure that all legal requirements have been met when transferring from one school to another in the United States; and
  • students will face penalties and potentially be prohibited from continuing their studies in the United States if they do not comply with the policies and requirements of the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service.

Clery Act

Pursuant to the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Crime Statistics Act ("Clery Act"), the College is required to disclose crime statistics as part of a campus security report published annually. This information includes statistics regarding instances where students were not arrested but were subject to College sanctions or disciplinary actions, for the following offenses: liquor law violations, drug law violations, and illegal weapons possession. This disclosure does not include the names of the victim or person accused of committing the crime.

Student Records

To inspect or review his or her records, a student must submit a written request to the Office maintaining the education records. The request will be honored within fourteen days of receipt. If requested, copies of a student's records are available to the student for a fee to cover the cost of duplicating. The College has the right to deny a student a copy of the following records:

  • an official transcript for any student for which a financial "hold" exists (a "hold" is imposed if the student fails to pay term bills, fees or fines),
  • a copy of an original transcript from another institution,
  • a diploma for any student for which a financial "hold" exists (a "hold" is imposed if the student fails to pay term bills, fees or fines).

Within the College community, academic and administrative officials, including personnel of the Office of Academic Records and Registration, are permitted access to student educational records for legitimate educational purposes. It is the responsibility of each Office maintaining education records to keep a log that verifies the name of each person (other than academic and administrative officials) who has viewed the record, the reason, and the date of access. Students have the right to see this log.  

A student's records are not accessible to parties outside the College without written authorization from the student. Exceptions include:

  • directory information, as defined above;
  • officials of institutions in which students seek to enroll or have enrolled;
  • persons or organizations providing students financial aid;
  • accrediting agencies carrying out their accreditation function;
  • parents of students who declare the student as a "dependent" for federal income tax purposes;
  • persons acting in compliance with a judicial order or lawfully-issued subpoena;
  • persons acting in an emergency to protect the health or safety of students or other persons;
  • federal and state educational officials acting pursuant to their official duties;
  • organizations conducting educational testing research; and
  • alleged victims of any crimes of violence who seek from the College the results of any disciplinary proceedings conducted by the College against the alleged perpetrators of such crimes with respect to such crimes.

Additionally, federal law requires that the College disclose a student's name, address, telephone number, date and place of birth, level of education, academic major, and degree received, and the most recent educational institution enrolled in by the student to the federal government for purposes of military recruitment.  

A student has the right to receive a response from the Office that maintains his or her education records to a reasonable request for an explanation or interpretation of the records. A student who believes that his or her education records contain information that is inaccurate or misleading, or otherwise violates his or her privacy or other rights, may contest the information in question by submitting a written request to the head of the Office that maintains the education records. If the College decides not to amend the record as requested, the student has a right to a hearing. The student also has the right to place in his or her records a statement disputing or clarifying the records.  

For more detailed information on Wheelock's policies regarding privacy and records, contact the Office of Academic Records and Registration.

Diversity Policy

Wheelock College is committed to creating and sustaining a campus community that accepts and honors the diversity of its members. Diversity is the understanding and appreciation of all people regardless of ethnic origin and background, religion, age, gender, sexual orientation, socio-economic status, or ability. The goals supporting this commitment include the following:

  • promoting an institutional commitment to diversity;
  • creating and sustaining a campus climate that values diversity;
  • increasing and supporting sustained opportunities for student experiences and student learning from a diverse, equitable and multicultural perspective;
  • ensuring that Wheelock College is a place where persons of any age, race, color, national or ethnic origin, religion, socio-economic status, handicapping condition, and gender or sexual orientation feel welcome and respected.

Sexual Harassment Policy Statement

All members of the Wheelock College community, including students, faculty, administrators, and staff, have a right to be free from sex discrimination in the form of sexual harassment by any other member of the College community. Wheelock College code of conduct standards require every member of our community to honor the worth and dignity of all and behavior that is demeaning, hostile or inconsistent with Wheelock's student code of conduct will be subject to disciplinary action.    

Definition

"Sexual harassment" is defined as unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature when such behavior has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual's education or work performance by creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive working or educational environment. In addition, such actions are prohibited when:

  • submission to such advances, requests or conduct is made an express or implied condition of employment or academic standing; or
  • submission to or rejection of such advances, requests or conduct is used as a condition of the provision of the benefits, privileges or placement services or as a basis for employment or academic decisions affecting the individual who submits or rejects.

Procedures

The College has developed procedures for investigating and resolving complaints of sexual harassment. Any student who has a complaint or concern about sexual harassment should immediately bring that complaint or concern to the attention of the Dean of Students or the Assistant Dean of Students. The Dean of Students or the Assistant Dean of Students will explain the complaint resolution process and will insure that an appropriate investigation is conducted. If an individual wishes to bring a complaint on a confidential basis, the Dean of Students/Assistant Dean of Students will attempt to honor that request and refer the issue to the Counseling Center. The Counseling Center is always available to provide support and expertise in coping with decisions and possible outcomes that are appropriate to each situation.  

When investigation discloses that sexual harassment has occurred, the College will take appropriate corrective and/or preventive action. Corrective and/or preventive action may include sanctions and disciplinary actions up to and including expulsion or dismissal of any individual who has violated the terms of this Policy. Retaliatory action of any kind against any individual who makes use of the complaint resolution process is prohibited and will be regarded as a separate and distinct violation of this Policy.

Students With Disabilities

In compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, the College is committed to providing support services and reasonable accommodations on an individual basis to students with disabilities (as defined by law). Students requesting accommodations must submit appropriate documentation verifying the need for accommodations and contact the Disabilities Services Office to participate in an intake process and to request accommodations. 

The Disability Services Office is located in Library 205.

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