Acceptable Use of Information Technology Resources
(The following text is taken from the Acceptable Use of Information Technology Resources Policy. The entire text of this policy is available by contacting the Information Technology Services Department located in Wilson Hall, Room 100 or by going to www.westfield.ma.edu/university-policies, policy #0380.
The purpose of this policy is to provide guidelines for the appropriate use of information technology resources at Westfield State University and establish sanctions for violations of this policy.
Unacceptable Uses of University Information Technology Resources
The University permits limited, occasional or incidental personal use of its information technology resources. Even when occasional usage is permitted, however, faculty, staff, students and other authorized users should use discretion when using information technology resources for personal reasons.
The University prohibits the use of its information technology resources for the following purposes:
- In furtherance of any illegal act, including the violation of any criminal or civil laws or regulations, whether local, state, or federal;
- For any political purpose;
- For any commercial purpose;
- To violate any University policy;
- To discriminate against any person on the basis of any legally protected characteristic;
- To harass any person on the basis of any legally protected characteristic, including sex;
- To access or share sexually explicit, obscene, or otherwise inappropriate materials;
- To infringe any intellectual property rights;
- To gain, or attempt to gain, unauthorized access to any computer or network;
- For any use that causes interference with or disruption of network users and resources, including propagation of computer viruses or other harmful programs;
- To intercept communications intended for other persons;
- To misrepresent either the University or a person’s role at the University;
- To libel or otherwise defame any person;
- To use email or messaging services to threaten, harass or intimidate another person, for example, by broadcasting unsolicited messages, by repeatedly sending unwanted e-mail, or by using someone else’s name or user-id;
- To waste computing, network or technology resources, for example, by intentionally placing a program in an endless loop, printing excessive amounts of paper, or by sending chain letters or unsolicited mass mailings;
- To add, remove or modify equipment comprising the Information Technology resources at the University unless they have been explicitly authorized to make such changes by the Chief Information Officer or his representative;
- To install on the University’s network for any purpose or use any peer-to-peer file sharing applications. In addition, any other network-based, non-academic application that consumes the University’s bandwidth may be limited or restricted. The Information Security Officer must approve the installation of any server or server-based application on the University’s network.
This list is illustrative and not exhaustive, and the University reserves the right to determine other prohibited activities and/or unauthorized uses that are not specifically identified in this policy.
Alcohol and Other Drug Policy
The Westfield State University policy and regulations pertaining to the possession and consumption of alcoholic beverages and the possession, use, distribution, and sale of illicit drugs are designed (1) to conform to the state and federal laws and/or (2) enhance the health, safety, property, and educational interests of all members of the university community. The purpose of the Alcohol and Other Drug Policy is to promote a campus environment that is compatible with and supportive of academic success and personal growth. A campus atmosphere dominated by overt use and abuse of alcohol and other drugs is contrary to this goal. Accordingly, any violation of the student conduct code and/or a violation of the federal, state, or local laws shall subject the offender to the university disciplinary process and/or to criminal prosecution. In accordance with the Higher Education Amendments of 1998 (Public Law 105-244) the University regulations and laws pertaining to alcoholic beverages and the possession, use, distribution, and sale of illicit drugs shall be strictly and consistently enforced.
Violations of this policy may result in criminal sanctions. Criminal convictions, even if sanctions are minimal, can adversely affect internship and job opportunities, admission to graduate or professional schools, and eligibility for training and financial aid opportunities. The Higher Education Act of 1998 states that students convicted under state or federal law for drug sale or possession will have their federal financial aid eligibility suspended. This includes all federal grants, loans, and work-study programs. Students convicted of drug possession will lose their eligibility for one year; two years for a second offense; and indefinitely for a third offense. Students convicted of selling drugs will be ineligible for two years; and indefinitely for a second offense. Eligibility can be regained through successful completion of an approved drug rehabilitation program. The filing of criminal charges does not prevent the University from imposing its own sanctions in addition to criminal penalties. These sanctions are described within the policy.
Policy - Alcohol
A. General Proscriptions
- No person under the age of twenty-one (21) may possess, use, be under the influence of alcohol, or be in the presence of alcohol or alcohol containers.
- The delivery, gratuitously or for sale, of alcoholic beverages to a person under the age of twenty-one (21) is prohibited and shall constitute a major infraction of university regulations.
- Drunken disorderliness is prohibited.
- Operating a vehicle under the influence of alcohol (to any extent) is prohibited.
- Intoxication, defined as being under the influence of alcohol to any extent, which involves University staff, causes a disturbance, or is a danger to persons or property, is prohibited.
- The possession or use of kegs, punch bowls, beer balls, the functional equivalent, or any alcoholic containers, which indicate the probability of common source drinking or bar service, are prohibited and shall constitute a major infraction of University regulations.
- Drinking funnels or any similar drinking devices are prohibited.
- Each resident student of legal drinking age, living in a university apartment where alcohol is permitted, may only bring a restricted amount of alcohol into the apartment in which he/she lives. The alcohol may not be brought anywhere but to the apartment where the student lives. This restricted amount is no more than one case (30 pack or less) of beer or its alcoholic equivalent per week. No other students or non-students may bring alcohol anywhere onto the campus at anytime.
- At any one time, each five or six-person university apartment where alcohol is permitted may contain no more than four cases (30 pack or less) of beer or its alcohol equivalent; each four-person apartment where alcohol is permitted may contain no more than two and two thirds cases (30 packs or less) of beer or its alcoholic equivalent; and each two or three-person apartment where alcohol is permitted may contain no more than two cases (30 packs or less) of beer or its alcoholic equivalent.
- Alcoholic beverages and/or alcoholic beverage containers are prohibited from all residence hall rooms and areas where alcohol is prohibited.
- Any gathering is prohibited (however large or small where: a) alcohol or alcohol containers are present; and b) any violation of the student conduct code occurs, including but not limited to where guest(s) under the age of twenty-one (21) are present.
- Open containers of alcoholic beverages (seal broken) are prohibited from all public areas of the University.
- The manufacturing of any alcoholic beverage is prohibited.
- Alcoholic beverages shall not be for sale by anyone not licensed by the appropriate authority.
- The promotion of and/or solicitation for any event or activity (wherever held) at which alcohol is to be served or made available for consumption and that is not sponsored by the University is strictly prohibited and will be considered a major violation on this policy. Prohibited conduct includes, but is not limited to, the advertisement or other promotion of events at area alcohol establishments when such advertisement or promotion takes place on the University’s campus or by means of the University’s network (including use of its network for e- mail or any web-based communication) selling or distributing tickets (whether on or off the University’s campus) for any such event, and participation in arranging group transportation for any such event.
- Students are responsible for informing their guests of the University’s Alcohol and Other Drug Policy prior to any campus visit. Any student will be held strictly accountable for an alcohol violation when their guest violates the alcohol policy. Guests are defined as any person visiting the student whether or not the guest has signed into the residence halls through official procedures.
B. Alcohol Enforcement/Sanctions
- All violators of these regulations will be brought before the student conduct system for disposition of their cases and shall be subject to the following sanctions:
First Offense: Ten (10) hours of participation in community events or a work project and completion of University substance education classes. A $100 service fee for these classes will be assessed and made payable within thirty (30) days of a university student conduct procedure decision. Additional sanctions may be given for large amounts of alcohol or disorderly conduct. Individual exceptions regarding the modification of attendance at substance education classes will be based solely on academic reasons.
Second Offense: Suspension from University housing for one (1) academic semester or more with readmission to occur after verification of completion of a counseling evaluation and any recommended follow-up treatment. Depending on the availability of housing and current waiting list procedures, there is no guarantee that a student who is suspended from housing will be able to return to campus to live after their suspension is complete.
Third Offense: Suspension from the University for one (1) academic semester or more with readmission to occur after verification of completion of a counseling evaluation and any recommended follow-up treatment.
Major Offenses: The following violations are considered major offenses and shall meet minimally with an immediate suspension from housing for one (1) full academic semester or more.
a. The possession or use of alcoholic beverage containers such as kegs, beer balls, or the functional equivalent (whether full, partially full, or empty) as well as punch bowls or any container(s) that indicate the probability of common source drinking or bar service (whether full, partially full, or empty).
b. The delivery, gratuitously or for sale, of alcoholic beverages to a person under the age of twenty-one (21).
c. The promotion or solicitation of any alcohol related activity that is not sponsored by the University.
- Additional information regarding the operation and effect of sanctions includes the following:
a. Failure of a student to follow through with a sanction will result in the automatic elevation of the sanction to the next level after the failure is proven through due process procedures published in the student conduct code.
b. Subsequent violations of the alcohol and/or marijuana portions of this policy in any combination whether both alcohol, both marijuana, or any combination of the two within a period of twelve months will result in progression to the next level of sanction. Unless indicated by other provisions in this policy, once a twelve month period has expired, the next violation shall meet with first level sanctions with an additional sanction of five (5) consecutive weekends of suspension from the University campus.
c. More than four (4) alcohol and/or marijuana violations or any combination thereof over the course of a student’s University career will result in a Limited Expulsion from the University.
C. Group Functions
Permission for the use of alcoholic beverages for student group functions on University property or at University related events shall be obtained from the Vice President, Student Affairs (his/her designee) acting on the recommendation of the University Special Events Alcoholic Beverage Review Board. These procedures can be found in the Office of the Vice President, Student Affairs.
Policy - Other Drugs
A. Drug Paraphernalia
- The use or possession of drug paraphernalia on the Westfield State University campus is strictly prohibited. Any student found in possession of drug paraphernalia and found responsible for such possession shall be placed on University probation for one (1) academic year and shall complete ten (10) hours of participation in community events or a work project and University substance education classes and pay the service fee of $100 for these classes within thirty (30) days of a University student conduct procedure decision.
- A student found responsible for a second offense during their University career shall be subject to University housing suspension for one (1) full academic semester or more and completion of a counseling evaluation and any recommended follow-up treatment. A student found responsible for a third offense during their University career shall be subject to University suspension for one (1) full academic semester or more. Prior to returning to University housing and/or university, the student must provide verification of completion of a counseling evaluation and any recommended follow-up treatment. NOTE: Drug paraphernalia which contains matter that tests positive for an illicit substance may constitute possession (see section B below).
B. Marijuana Use or Possession
- As marijuana is not allowed to be possessed or used under Federal law, the use and/or possession of marijuana, including marijuana prescribed for medical purposes, on any University property, owned or leased, is prohibited. Any student found responsible for use or possession of marijuana shall be subject to the following sanctions:
First Offense: Ten (10) hours of participation in community events or a work project and completion of University substance education classes. A $100 service fee will be assessed and made payable within thirty (30) days of a college student conduct procedure decision. Additional sanctions may be given for large amounts of marijuana. Individual exceptions regarding the modification of attendance at substance education classes will be based solely on academic reasons. Completion of a counseling evaluation within sixty (60) days of a student conduct procedure decision is also required.
Second Offense: Any student found responsible for a second offense shall be suspended from housing for one (1) academic semester or more with readmission to occur after verification of completion of a counseling evaluation and any recommended follow-up treatment. Depending on the availability of housing and current waiting list procedures, there is no guarantee that a student who is suspended from housing will be able to return to campus to live after their suspension is complete.
Third Offense: Suspension from University for one (1) academic semester or more with readmission to occur after verification of completion of a counseling evaluation and any recommended follow-up treatment.
- Additional information regarding the operation and effect of sanctions includes the following:
a. Failure of a student to follow through with a sanction will result in the automatic elevation of the sanction to the next level after the failure is proven through due process procedures published in the student conduct code.
b. Subsequent violations of the alcohol, marijuana and/or drug paraphernalia portions of this policy in any combination whether both alcohol, both marijuana, both drug paraphernalia or any combination within a period of twelve months will result in progression to the next level of sanction. Unless indicated by other provisions in this policy, once a twelve month period has expired, the next violation shall meet with first level sanctions with an additional sanction of five (5) consecutive weekends of suspension from the University campus.
c. More than four (4) alcohol, marijuana, and/or drug paraphernalia violations or any combination over the course of a student’s University career will result in a Limited Expulsion from the University.
d. Students who are held accountable for use of marijuana in the residence halls may also be subject to additional sanctions for violations of the University’s Residence Hall Policy and Smoke Free/Tobacco Free Campus Policy.
C. Other Drug Use or Possession
- Any student found in possession of an illegal drug substance in any amount, no matter how minimal the amount, or found to be using such illicit drug substances and found responsible of such possession or use shall (this applies only to first-time offenders) be suspended from housing for one (1) academic semester or more with readmission to occur after verification of completion of a counseling evaluation and any recommended follow-up treatment. In addition the student will complete ten (10) hours of participation in community events or a work project and University substance education classes and be assessed a $100.00 service fee for these classes made payable within (30) days of a University disciplinary procedure decision.
- Any student found responsible for a second offense of possession or use of an illegal drug substance during their University career shall be suspended from the University for one (1) academic year or more with the possibility of returning to the University pending completion of a counseling evaluation and any recommended follow-up treatment, and by the decision of the Vice President, Student Affairs with no right of return after a third offense.
D. Possession With Intent to Sell or Distribute (This section applies to all drugs including marijuana and prescription drugs)
- Any student found responsible for possession with intent to sell or distribute any prescription or illegal substance will be expelled from the University with no right of return.
- Evidence indicating possession with intent to sell or distribute any prescription or illegal substance may include, but not limited to, possession of a large amount of prescription or illegal substance, and/or possession of any amount of prescription or illegal substance combined with other evidence indicating intent to sell or distribute such as weighing devices, cash boxes, bank rolls/large sums of money, cultivating equipment, chemicals used in the manufacture of illicit substances, plastic bags or other quantifying devices.
E. Drug Sale or Distribution (This section applies to all drugs including marijuana and prescription drugs)
Any student found responsible for the sale or distribution of prescription or illegal substances or drugs on the Westfield State University campus will immediately be expelled from the University with no right of return.
F. Smoke Free/Tobacco and Marijuana Free Campus
- On August 28, 1997, an amendment to Section 22 of M.G.L. c.270 was signed prohibiting smoking in state buildings. Specifically this bill prohibits smoking anywhere in 1) the State House; 2) any building owned by the Commonwealth; and 3) any space occupied by a state agency or department of the Commonwealth but located in a building not owned by the Commonwealth.
- On December 10, 2009 the Board of Trustees voted to authorize the President, on or about January 1, 2011, to impose a complete tobacco ban making the university smoke and tobacco free.
- On November 8, 2016, Massachusetts voters approved Ballot Question 4, authorizing the recreational use and possession of marijuana by adults over 21 years old in the Commonwealth. Despite the passage of this law, the possession and use of marijuana on campus is prohibited. The University must comply with the Federal Drug Free-Schools and Communities Act, which prohibits use or possession of marijuana on campus grounds.
- Smoking and/or the use of tobacco and/or marijuana products will not be permitted on any University property or University leased property including buildings, grounds, walkways, parking lots, wooded areas and all other property owned or operated by the University. The only exception to this prohibition is that the smoking of tobacco cigarettes only may be allowed in designated areas approved by the University President and marked by appropriate signage.
- Smoking and/or the use of tobacco and/or marijuana products in University owned or leased vehicles is prohibited. Smoking and/or the use of tobacco and/or marijuana products is also prohibited in personal vehicles when those vehicles are on University property.
- The use of edibles, THC Pills, and vaporizer devices including, but not limited to, hookah pens, marijuana pens and e-cigarettes is prohibited on all University property or University leased property as described in #1 above.
- All campus constituents have a collective responsibility to promote the safety and health of the campus community and, therefore, share in the responsibility of policy compliance. Individuals observed smoking and/or using tobacco or marijuana, in any form, are to be reminded, in a professional and courteous manner, of the University policy.
- Students in violation of this policy shall be referred to the University student conduct system for disciplinary proceedings for repeated offenses. Employees in repeat violation of this policy will be referred to Human Resources.
- To assist those who wish to stop the use of tobacco or marijuana products, the Human Resources Department, the Health Services Department, the Counseling Center and the Employee Assistance Program (EAP) can direct employees and students to tobacco and marijuana cessation programs which the university might provide.
- Any questions regarding the interpretation of this Policy rest within the authority of the Vice President, Student Affairs (for students) and the Assistant Vice President for Human Resources (for employees).
G. Prescription Drugs
While Westfield State University regulates the consumption of alcoholic beverages and prohibits the use of marijuana or other illicit drugs, the university in promoting an environment directed toward wellness, recognizes that other legal substances may be used in harmful and abusive ways. In an effort to promote personal growth and problem solving without the use or abuse of substances, Westfield State University strongly discourages the abuse of any over the counter substances or prescription drugs. If the university has reasonable cause to believe that a student is abusing such drugs, the university may require the student to complete a counseling evaluation and any recommended follow-up treatment. Federal law requires that individuals who possess prescription drugs have a valid prescription for that drug in the amount and dosage specified by the prescription. It is illegal to possess a prescription drug without such a prescription. Consequently, federal law also prohibits the lending, giving, sharing, and selling of a prescription drug to another individual. Illegal possession, sale, or distribution of a prescription drug is subject to the same provisions of this policy pertaining to the possession, sale, and distribution of illegal drug substances.
Policy - Alcohol and Drug Guidelines
A. Additional Guidelines
- Students are responsible for informing their guests of the University’s Alcohol and Other Drug Policy prior to any campus visit. Any student will be held strictly accountable for an alcohol and/or drug violation when their guest violates the Alcohol and Other Drug Policy. Guests are defined as any person visiting the student whether or not the guest has signed in to the residence halls through official procedures.
- Consistent with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, the University shall notify the parent or legal guardian of students under twenty-one (21) years of age each time they have been found responsible for university alcohol and/or other drug policy violations. The University shall exercise discretion not to notify parents/guardians based on documented evidence of an abusive family situation.
- For the purpose of this policy, Westfield State University “campus” is defined as all buildings (owned, leased, or operated by the University) and all surrounding outdoor property (owned, leased, or operated by the University), including but not limited to parking lots, grass, sidewalks, and forested land.
- Intoxicated persons shall be subject to police intervention including protective custody, arrest, or other appropriate action. All costs for providing required monitors for intoxicated students and/or their guests will be billed to the student.
- The University shall have the option to mandate that a student attend substance abuse counseling/education for assistance.
- In any situation that the University deems to be an emergency, such as a situation where a student is arrested, placed in protective custody, or transported to a medical facility due to incidents related to alcohol and/or drug consumption, the University may notify a parent/legal guardian/or other persons
- In the event that a student is suspended from University housing or from the University for any disciplinary infraction(s), including but not limited to, alcohol or other drug infractions, no refund will be given to the student, for any University fees or tuition, unless otherwise specified by federal law, state law, or University policy.
- In the event that University staff deems a resident to be intoxicated, the student may be asked to return to his/her room, may be asked not to leave the residence hall, may be escorted to another hall in which he/she resides, or may be given other appropriate instructions. Failure to comply with legitimate staff requests/ instructions shall result in student conduct action.
- Any backpack, bag or similar container that anyone carries onto campus shall be subject to inspection and search by a member of the university staff whenever there exists reason to believe that the container is being used to bring onto campus any alcoholic beverage or other material in violation of university policy.
- In the event a guest, visitor, or non-student is deemed to be intoxicated by University staff, the host and guest shall be asked to remain in the residence hall until Public Safety personnel have determined if the intoxicated person is in a safe condition to leave the residence hall or have arranged for the person’s removal.
- Students are cautioned that the possession or use of a false driver’s license or a false Massachusetts liquor purchase identification card is a criminal offense. A student alleged to be in violation of Massachusetts General Law, Chapter 90, Section 24B (possession or use of false driver’s license) or Chapter 138, Section 34B (possession or use of a false Massachusetts liquor purchase identification card) shall have the matter referred to the local district court or motor vehicle registry in addition to the student conduct system.
- Students are encouraged and expected to seek help from the Public Safety, Residential Life, or Health Services staff when they witness others who are incapacitated due to alcohol or other drug use.
- The following chart outlines sample alcoholic equivalents of one case (30 pack) of beer:
Units of Measurement
|TYPE OF ALCOHOL
||3.75 liters or 5 bottles at 750 ml
The responsibility for the formation of future Alcohol and Other Drug Policies and for annual review of existing policies shall rest with the Substance Abuse Advisory Committee and the Vice President, Student Affairs, whose recommendations shall be forwarded to the Student Government Association for consultation, and to the University President for review and implementation. All matters involving student personnel policies, including the Alcohol and Other Drug Policy, rest in the ultimate authority of the President and the Board of Trustees of the University.
Dissemination of this policy shall include inclusion in the electronic Student Handbook, the University Undergraduate Catalog, and other appropriate publications, discussion at all orientations of new and transfer students, and regular review and dissemination by Residential Life and Student Affairs staff.
As an educational institution, Westfield State supports the constitutional right of free speech. Exposure to a wide array of ideas, viewpoints, opinions, and creative expression is an integral part of a university education, preparing students for life in a diverse global society. The rights of freedom of speech, expression, petition, religion, and public assembly are basic and essential to an individual’s intellectual and social development.
Westfield State University supports the rights of individuals to exercise free speech, including but not limited to political, symbolic, or artistic speech, provided only that such expression does not materially disrupt normal university activities, create a clear and present danger of the commission of unlawful acts, or infringe upon the rights of others.
Westfield State University recognizes the right of individuals to exercise all forms of constitutionally protected expression and free speech without prior restraint or censorship. The university acknowledges that public discourse may include the discussion of controversial ideas, and the university will not limit public discourse based solely on its communicative content.
The University also recognizes the fact that any individual or group may demonstrate. Demonstrations must be carried out in such a way as not to inflict bodily injury; obstruct physical movement to, from, or within any place on the campus; nor to be disruptive of any activity on campus. Such forms of demonstration may be (but not limited to) distribution of literature, silent or symbolic protest, vocal dissent, and/or picketing. In the event any type of demonstration interferes with University business and/or another University event, teh University will take appropriate action. All activities must be conducted in accordance with the policy set below.
- Faculty, staff and/or students must notify the Vice President, Student Affairs 48 hours in advance of any demonstration and or picketing activity.
- All faculty, staff and students have a right to demonstrate on Universtiy property provided, however, that no such demonstration shall be ppermissible which for any reason of time, place, or type of behavior materially disrupts class work or other University business, or involves substantial disorder or invasion of the rights of others.
- Campus buildings are for University business. Any form of demonstration that interferes with University buisness in office or classroom spaces is a violation of this policy. Picketing is not permitted inside University builidings.
- Demonstrators are prohibited from blocking free entry to or free exit from buildings, interfering with free movement, or presenting obstacles to regular University activities. “Interfering with free movement” is defined as any physical denial or restriction of a person’s ability to freely reach or leave a given geographical area, or harassment, which leaves a person feeling intimidated and prevents them from normal movement. Obstacles are defined as physical devides, bodies, or signs which cause interference with free movement or sounds which prevent normal communication.
- There shall be no interference with demonstrations on the grounds of content of speech, except for any speech or demonstration which incites immediate, violent action (i.e. fighting words) and represents a clear and present danger to the campus community, which shall be a violation of this policy.
- The safety and well-being of the campus must be protected at all times. No person shall engage in physically assaultive conduct towards any other person or damage or destroy any article of personal property belonging to another person.
- No person shall intentionally and substantially interfere with the freedom of expression of another person on University property or at University-sponsored activities.
- All persons shall comply with the directions of university officials lawfully acting in the performance of their duties. University officials shall not invoke this provision to stifle expression because of its content. Failure to cease any activity in violation of this policy or other University policies immediately following either written or oral notice by a College official shall also be a violation of this policy.
- Any violation of this policy will subject the violators to applicable actions as defined in teh Student Handbook, collective barganing agreements, and/or Massachusetts General Laws.
- University organizations may sponsor a speaker or event, at the expense of the organization, under the university’s usual event registration procedures. Such sponsorship does not necissarily imply approval of the views presented.
- All persons at a talk or demonstration must respect the right to dissent. Dissenters may not disrupt the rights of the speakers to speak and/or the audience to listen. Preventing speech from occuring by disruptive protest is prohibited.
- Persons or organizations responsible for a demonstration or other expressive event must remove all resulting structures, signs, and litter from the area at the end of the event. If this is not done, the persons or organizations responsible for the event will be held financially responsible for clean-up services.
This policy will be reviewd every three years, and revised as needed, by the Director of Public Safety and the Vice President for Student Affairs.
Hazing Law (Massachusetts General Laws, Chapter 269)
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 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.
Notwithstanding any other provisions of this section to the contrary, consent shall not be available as a defense to any prosecution under this action.
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.
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 acknowledgment 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 section 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.
Involuntary Medical Withdrawl of Students for Physical or Mental Health Reasons
The purpose of this policy is to describe the University’s authority to initiate a student’s involuntary medical withdrawal from the University in certain extraordinary physical/mental health situations that have the potential for harm to the student or others. As a general rule, the policies and procedures articulated in the Student Conduct Regulations are the preferred method for addressing student behavior. However, the University recognizes that in some instances involving underlying medical and mental health issues, the University can more appropriately require a medical withdrawal in order to act in the best interest of the University and/or the student.
Section A. Standards for Involuntary Administrative Action or Withdrawal
- A student will be subject to involuntary leave, withdrawal, or other administrative action including, but not limited to, a removal from University housing or the University, a modified enrollment or campus restrictions if it is determined, by credible and persuasive information, that the student is experiencing a physical or mental health disorder and as a result of the physical or mental health disorder behaves, or threatens to behave, in a manner which would:
- Pose a danger of causing physical harm to self or others; or
- Cause significant disruption to the academic or University-related activities of others; or
- Render the student unable to live independently in University-owned housing or unable to provide for their own health and welfare; or
- Render the student unable to perform the essential functions of an educational program without requiring unreasonable modification of the program.
Section B. Referral for Evaluation
- Whenever the University believes that a student may be suffering from a mental or medical disorder of the kind described in Section A, the Dean of Students/designee shall refer such student for evaluation by a physician (in the case of a medical disorder) or by a psychologist or psychiatrist (in the case of a mental health disorder). The student will be required to sign necessary releases to permit communication between the attending professional medical and/or mental health providers and the University. Depending on the situation, University officials communicating with these off-campus providers may include professionals within the University Counseling Center, Health Services, Student Affairs, Residential Life or Academic Affairs offices.
- Any student referred for evaluation in accordance with this Section B shall be so informed in writing and shall be given a copy of this policy. The evaluation must be completed within five (5) business days from the date of the referral letter or as soon thereafter as is practicable, unless an extension is granted by the Dean of Students/designee.
- If, upon completion of such evaluation, it is determined that the student does not meet the criteria set forth in Section A , no further proceedings shall be conducted pursuant to policy in connection with the circumstance or event that led to the referral. In every other case, the Dean of Students /designee shall initiate a hearing, pursuant to this policy, to make decisions relative to an involuntary withdrawal.
- A student who fails or refuses to participate in or to complete an evaluation for which he or she has been referred in accordance with this Section B may be made subject to an interim administrative health leave or other administrative action in accordance with the provisions of Section D below.
Section C. Hearing Procedures
- Any student who is subject to an involuntary leave, withdrawal or administrative action and who has been referred for an evaluation in accordance with the provisions of Section B, shall be accorded a hearing within five (5) school days after such evaluation has been completed.
- The hearing shall be informal and shall be conducted in accordance with the following guidelines:
- The student will be informed in writing of the time, date and location of the informal hearing.
- The entire case file, including an evaluation prepared pursuant to Section B of this policy and all other relevant reports and documents, will be available for inspection by the student in the Dean of Students’ Office during normal business hours. The file need not include the personal notes of any institutional official or participant in the evaluation process that are not a part of the University’s own records. Copies of any documents contained in the file shall be provided, upon his or her request, to the student.
- The informal hearing shall be conversational and non-adversarial. Formal rules of evidence will not apply. The Dean of Students/designee shall exercise active control over the proceedings to avoid needless consumption of time and to achieve the orderly completion of the hearing. Any person who disrupts the hearing may be excluded.
- The student shall have the right to be assisted and counseled by a person of his/her choice. This person may be present at the hearing to advise and counsel, but may not represent the student in the proceedings.
- The student will be given reasonable time to ask relevant questions of any information provided at the informal hearing, as well as to present relevant information to the Dean of Student/designee.
- The hearing may be conducted in the absence of a student who fails to appear after proper notice.
- The Dean of Students/designee may permit a University official, and the health professional who prepared the evaluation, to appear at the hearing and to present evidence in support of any recommendation for involuntary administrative action or withdrawal. This provision may be invoked in factually complicated cases when reliance upon a written evaluation may not be sufficient.
- The Dean of Students/designee shall render a decision relative to whether the student should or should not have imposed upon him or her an involuntary administrative action or involuntary withdrawal from the University. The Dean/ designee shall decide that a student should be subject to such action or such withdrawal only upon a determination, based on credible and persuasive information that one or more of the conditions described in Section A have been shown to exist.
- If the Dean of Students/designee decides that the student should be subject to such action or such withdrawal, he or she shall set forth his or her findings of fact and the reasons on which his or her decision is based. In the case of an involuntary withdrawal, he or she shall also state the date after which a request for re-admission will be considered and any conditions that must be fulfilled before any such request will be considered. In most cases, at least one full academic semester must have passed from the time of the withdrawal before the student is eligible to re-enroll and return to campus. The decision of the Dean of Students/designee shall be transmitted to the student.
The decision of the Dean of Students/ designee shall be final and conclusive and not subject to appeal.
Section D. Interim Health Leave or Administrative Action
- In the event that a student is transported for an emergency crisis evaluation, either voluntarily or involuntarily, a meeting with the Dean of Students/designee must occur prior to the student’s return to campus. The purpose of this meeting will be to provide follow-up support and determine if further evaluation pursuant to Section B of this policy is needed.
- An interim administrative health leave or other interim administrative action may be implemented immediately for the reasons set forth in Section B4, or whenever the Vice President or the Dean of Students/designee reasonably determines that a student may be suffering from a mental or medical disorder of the kind described in Section A and that such disorder poses a danger to person’s or property.
- The University may immediately place a student on administrative leave on an interim basis, provided that a preliminary hearing before the Dean of Student/designee be accorded prior to the interim administrative leave, unless unreasonably difficult to do so, and provided that a full hearing to determine involuntary medical leave or withdrawal be conducted in accordance with Section C of this Policy as promptly as permits and no later than ten (10) school days of such interim administrative action.
Section E. Other Provisions
- When a student withdraws from the University for medical or mental health reasons, either voluntarily or involuntarily, the withdrawal will remain in effect until such time as the student formally requests to be reinstated to the University, and presents evidence that the issues that prompted the withdrawal have been treated and will no longer jeopardize the health and safety of the student or the University community.
- The Dean of Students /designee in considering an application for re-admission following such withdrawal, may request documentation from appropriate medical or mental health personnel to substantiate the student’s readiness to return to active study at the University. As appropriate, the Dean of Students/designee may provide the student with written conditions (e.g., compliance with medical/mental health treatment recommendations) to be met for continued attendance.
- When a student is medically withdrawn from the University, either involuntarily or voluntarily, the student may receive a withdrawal without academic penalty (no failing grades will be assigned) from the current semester. A notation of “W” will be placed on the transcript and the student will only be eligible for refund if they meet the requirements of the normal Withdrawal Refund Policy Schedule as established by the Office of Student Accounts.
- Any student may waive his/her rights hereunder, including the student’s right to a hearing. The Dean of Students/designee may accept a student’s waiver of hearing for the purpose of resolution by agreement to voluntary leave, withdrawal or other action.
Section F. Interpretation of Policy
Any questions regarding interpretation of this policy shall rest within the authority of the Vice President, Student Affairs for final determination. Any reasonable deviation from these procedures as determined by the Vice President, Student Affairs will not invalidate a decision or proceeding unless significant prejudice to a student may result.
This policy shall be reviewed annually by the Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs.
The departments of Housing Operations and Residential Engagement promote personal development and community engagement. Successful on-campus living requires that all residents are aware of the impact that their actions and choices can have, not only on themselves but also on other residence hall community members. An important aspect of this process is understanding and abiding by University policies and state and federal laws.
Residents are responsible for what occurs in their assigned rooms/apartments; and also for the collective well-being of their respective communities. Students who violate policies may face student conduct system action, criminal prosecution, administrative room reassignment, loss of housing, service charges and/or other responses based on the nature and severity of the situation.
B. Alcohol and Other Drugs
See “Alcohol and Other Drug Policy” section of this Handbook.
C. Appliances and Electrical Devices
- Electrical appliances/devices permitted in resident rooms: blenders, clocks, coffee makers with auto shut-off, computers, fans, hair dryers/curlers, humidifiers, irons with auto shut-off, air popcorn poppers, radios, razors; refrigerators (one per resident) bearing the UL seal, operating on up to 2.5 amps and having a capacity up to 4 cubic feet; stereos, TVs. Appliances should be Energy Star rated where available. Any appliance not being used in its intended manner may constitute a health and safety hazard and is subject to confiscation.
- Electrical appliances/devices prohibited in resident rooms: air conditioners, candle warmers, “George Foreman grills” or similar devices, halogen lamps, heat lamps, heaters, hotplates, hotpots, sandwich makers, toasters, toaster ovens and other cooking devices. To preserve a safe, healthy environment, Residential Life shall confiscate prohibited appliances. Non-approved appliances will be removed immediately upon discovery and disposed of. Repeat violations will lead to sanctions up to and including a loss of housing. Apartment Complex, Lansdowne, University Hall and New Hall residents may have one “George Foreman grill”/sandwich maker and one toaster or toaster oven per apartment in the kitchen area.
- The University provides Microfridge units (combination refrigerator/freezer/microwave oven) in each traditional hall bedroom. Since we provide these units, we ask that students not bring additional refrigerators into the halls unless there is a unique need for a private refrigerator. Residents in traditional halls may not have additional microwave ovens beyond the Microfridge unites provided by the University. Unapproved microwaves will be confiscated and disposed of. Apartment Complex, Lansdowne Place, University Hall and New Hall residents may have one microwave oven per unit in the kitchen area.
- Since meal preparation in student bedrooms poses health and safety issues, approved appliances may be used within your room for snack preparation only. Use your hall’s kitchen facilities for meal preparation.
- Extension cords must be UL approved and at least 16 gauge. Never run cords under carpets, through ceiling grids, or over door frames. Never place large/heavy objects on top of cords, crimp cords or overload outlets (more than two items plugged in at once). Use power strips with circuit breakers and do not plug power strips/extension cords into other power strips/extension cords.
- For safety reasons, students must always be in their rooms when ANY cooking or other potentially hazardous device or appliance is in use.
- To promote energy conservation, the University strongly encourages the use of CFL and LED light bulbs wherever possible in student supplied lamps and devices.
- Be careful with laptop computers, as they can cause fires when left unattended sitting on a bed or other flammable items. Whenever possible, set laptops on a hard surface when charging or in use.
- The University may require removal of any item, or establish conditions for its continued presence and use, in the interest of preserving a healthful and safe environment.
- Resident students are members of a large, interdependent community, and each persons’ actions have an impact on their neighbors and the University. Residents are expected to work with the Housing Operations and Residential Engagement staff to promote respect for our residence halls and for all who live and work in them. The University will make students aware of conduct that is damaging to the community and inform students of damages and extraordinary cleaning charges. If excessive charges occur in a hall, students are notified of what has taken place and given the opportunity to take responsibility before other steps are taken.
- Residents of a building are responsible for damage and vandalism which occurs during the year. Damages are classified as:
- Personal - the resident’s room and all University furnishings and equipment present in these spaces. Apartment kitchens, living rooms and bathrooms are also considered personal space for billing purposes.
- Section - the hallways, lounges, bathrooms etc. shared by residents in a specified area of a building.
- Common Area - public areas such as hallways, floor lounges, bathrooms, stairwells, main lounges, lobbies, game rooms, courtyards, and grounds; and all University furnishings and equipment present in these spaces. Personal and common area charges will apply to all residents. Any hall may adopt section charges by a majority vote of the residents of that hall in September of each academic year. This decision may be revisited within the first three weeks of the spring semester if brought up for review via a petition signed by at least 25% of the residents of that hall.
- At check-in, each resident completes a detailed Room Condition Report (RCR) in MyHousing. Carefully complete the RCR to avoid billing concerns at check-out. The RCR will be reviewed at check-out by the Residential Life staff. Costs for room damages, missing items, and extraordinary cleaning will be billed to residents. Complete your RCR within 48 hours of check-in to avoid a $50 improper check-in charge and possible room damage charges.
- Common area damages which cannot be attributed to specific persons will be apportioned among all hall residents at the time those charges occurred. Common area charges will be billed to residents during the semester and/or at the end of the semester as needed. Residents can significantly reduce these charges by being vigilant and by reporting cleaning-and damage-related incidents immediately to a staff member.
- Section damages which cannot be attributed to specific persons will be apportioned among all section residents at the time those charges occurred. Section charges will be billed to residents during the semester and/or at the end of the semester as needed. Residents can significantly reduce these charges by reporting cleaning- and damage-related incidents immediately to a staff member.
- Housing Operations and Residential Engagement staff conducts room damage assessments upon checkout, at the end of each semester, and as needed.
- Routine vs. extraordinary cleaning - Residence hall maintainers are responsible for daily cleaning of public areas, trash removal from designated areas, and routine minor repairs. They are not expected to clean extraordinary messes or student rooms. Where extraordinary cleaning is needed, the individual or building will be assessed a service charge based on the nature of the occurrence.
- Repairs may be made immediately or on a cyclical basis, depending on the nature and severity. Damage repair fees are applied to those repairs regardless of when this work is completed.
- Appeals of personal damage charges may be submitted to ‘Housing Operations, Westfield State University, Westfield, MA 01086, ATT: Damage Appeals.’ Please state which charge is being appealed and why. ONLY appeals submitted in writing by the resident being charged, and within 60 days of the billing date will be considered. Common area and section damages may not be appealed, but students may review their hall’s itemized common area charges by contacting their Residence Director during the school year or by going to the ‘Residential Life’ page of the University website after February 1 (for fall semester charges) and July 1 (for spring semester charges).
- Students responsible for repeated or significant damages face sanctions up to and including immediate loss of housing or University status in addition to restitution.
- Students responsible for extraordinary cleaning charges face sanctions up to and including immediate loss of housing in addition to restitution; biohazard issues related to bodily waste WILL lead to immediate loss of housing and restitution.
- Below is a partial list for some common cleaning and damage charges including parts and standard labor charges (all prices are subject to change, and may vary from hall to hall).
|Sanitary napkin box
|Toilet stall door
|Toilet paper holder
|Toilet (tank only)
|Toilet replacement (wall hung)
|Toilet replacement (floor mount)
|Disassemble, take bowl off (unplug)
|Graffiti clean-up (sq. ft.)
|Bunk bed (headboard, footboard, frame)
|Chest of drawers
|Desk chair seat or back
|Hub short data cable
|Door handle-replace (set)
|Door lock-(complete replacement)
|Lock core change:
|Apartment/Suite front door lock/key
|Exit door alarm
|Exit door sign
|Fire alarm cover
|Fire ext. recharge
|Fire ext. replace
|Fire ext. box cover
|Malicious/negligent fire alarm
|Window shade roller
|Window shd. chain operated
|Vertical blind track-minimum
|Fire extinguisher discharge clean up
|Biohazard clean-up-after hours
|Disposal fee-food containers
|Personal trash removal-minimum
|Recycling item in wrong bin
|Bulletin board content (replace)
|Cable jack box
|Carpet replacement (sq.yd.)
|Carpet stain removal
|Ceramic wall/floor tile (sq.ft.)
|Elevator damage repairs
|Hub power supply
|Hub long data cable
|Light globe cover
|Light globe cover-New Hall
|Painting (sq. ft.) - minimum
|Sheet rock (sq. ft.)
|Sign replacement (varies w/type)
|Sink gooseneck spout
|Tradesperson after hours (minimum)
|Vending damage (minimum)
Note: Bent, damaged or broken keys will be replaced at no cost as long as there is no evidence of abuse.
- Additional, contractually-mandated charges will be assessed to individuals or residence halls as applicable for service calls on evenings, weekends and holidays:
Labor Charges/Electrician $200.00 per occurrence
Labor Charges/Carpenter $175.00 per occurrence
Labor Charges/Heating and Ventilation $200.00 per occurrence
Labor Charges/Locksmith $200.00 per occurrence
Labor Charges/Plumber $200.00 per occurrence
Note: Facilities may change rates to comply with contractual minimums for these services.
E. Entry into Residence Hall Rooms
- Residential Engagement staff conducts health and safety inspections of all residential areas including student bedrooms as needed to ensure that students are living in a safe, sanitary manner and in compliance with the Residential License Agreement. Advance notice of these routine inspections will be given.
- Maintenance and Facilities and Operations personnel or designees may enter student rooms at any time to perform needed work.
- University staff may enter a room in emergency or ongoing situations which are believed to present immediate danger to students and/or property.
- The University may authorize an administrative room entry or search based on reasonable grounds for believing that the search will yield evidence that the resident is in violation of University/Housing Operations and Residential Engagement policies.
- Students should also be aware that search warrants, based upon probable cause that a crime has been/is being committed, are obtained by University personnel as needed.
- Fire alarms will necessitate a health and safety check of each room to ensure building evacuation. Staff members are obligated to report any University policy violations noted during room checks and unapproved items may be removed from rooms.
- Bicycles/Motorcycles/Mopeds - Bicycle storage areas are provided in most halls. Bicycles stored in public areas are safety hazards and will be removed. Motorcycles/mopeds belong in designated parking areas only.
- Cleanliness - Residents are responsible for cleaning and keeping their rooms, suites and apartments in a safe and sanitary manner and share responsibility for maintaining common areas such as kitchens, hallways, bathrooms, and lounges. Rooms, suites and apartments should not be decorated or arranged in ways that cause safety issues or extraordinary cleaning (such as chalking or painting walls, affixing permanent additions in rooms, or other similar actions). Trash and recycling materials should be deposited regularly in the designated containers. Extraordinary cleaning charges are assessed to individuals or the hall as needed. During normal maintenance hours these charges vary, depending on the situation. After normal hours, the minimum charge is $150 per incident.
- Cable Television - Unauthorized connection to or modification of cable lines is illegal and can result in civil, criminal, and/or student conduct action.
- Fire Alarms
- All residence hall occupants must evacuate the building immediately when a fire alarm sounds and remain at least 25 feet from the hall. Exit using the CLOSEST fire door, and learn alternate plans of escape if an exit is blocked, and await instructions from staff regarding an assembly point as needed.
- Any student who fails to evacuate a residence hall during a fire alarm shall be subject to sanctions up to and including loss of housing for repeat violations.
- Any student found responsible for deliberately causing a false fire alarm or tampering with fire safety equipment is subject to immediate expulsion from the University. This includes covering, affixing items to, or disabling any fire equipment; and damaging fire exit signs or otherwise compromising building evacuation.
- A $500 charge is assessed to any building where an alarm is activated falsely, negligently or maliciously. A $2000 reward is offered for information leading to the successful apprehension and prosecution of any person (s) responsible for causing a malicious fire or fire alarm.
- Students who cause an actual fire or trigger an alarm, either intentionally or through negligence, face sanctions up to and including expulsion from the University and a $500 service charge plus actual restitution for damages and clean-up.
- Fire Safety
- Lighting, heating, decorative, or cooking devices with an open flame or burner are prohibited. This includes all candles (even those without wicks), incense, incense burners, candle warmers, and potpourri pots. Grills used for outdoor cooking must be used at least 25 feet away from all buildings. Candles, incense, incense burners, and non-approved appliances will be disposed of immediately upon discovery. Repeat violations will lead to sanctions up to and including loss of housing.
- Residence hall storage of gasoline, kerosene, lighter fluid, liquid propane or any flammable liquid, or machines using flammable liquids, is prohibited. Explosives, fireworks, and/or other hazardous materials may not be stored or used in or around the residence halls.
- In all residence halls the bedrooms, living areas, doorways, stairwells, windows and hallways must remain unobstructed. Nothing may be hung in any residence hall windows, doorways, or from the ceiling. At no time should sheets, blankets, or tapestries be hung on residence hall walls. Wall decorations must not cover more than 30% of the wall space and should not be larger than ‘3x5’. Door decorations must not be affixed within one foot of the top or bottom, or within six inches of the side edges, of any door. Door decorations must not cover any room number, door lock, or handle.
- Most residence hall fireplaces are decorative only and not intended for use.
- Holiday decorations: Live trees and wreaths are not allowed. Lighted decorations may only be on when a person is in the room. Decorations must be fireproof and cannot cover hallways, exits or doors, appliances, or electrical fixtures and they must be removed in a timely manner.
- The University reserves the right to remove hazardous materials or devices, or items that are being used in an unsafe manner. Confiscated items are typically disposed of.
- Apartment Complex fire escape doors and stairwells are for emergency purposes only. Violations will lead to sanctions up to and including loss of housing.
- Students must not damage, tamper with, cover or deactivate any fire safety equipment, whether in rooms (heat/smoke detectors, etc.) or common areas (pull stations, exit signs, etc.). Violations will lead to sanctions up to and including expulsion from the University.
- The University may require removal of any item, or establish conditions for its continued presence and use, in the interest of preserving a healthy and safe environment.
- Common Areas - Residence hall common areas include main lobbies, game rooms, student lounges, floor lounges, laundry rooms and other spaces. To preserve a comfortable living environment for all residents, please respect these shared areas. In particular, common area furniture and equipment provided for community use are NOT to be removed for personal use within a room. Students found with such items in their rooms face student conduct action, possible criminal charges for theft of state property, and will be charged a $100 service charge per item.
- Repairs - Many repairs can be completed by your hall’s maintainers. If you need a room repair or see a damaged item in a public area, please inform your RD or Maintainer. For major health/safety issues, please inform an RA, RD, Maintainer or Public Safety immediately. Please remember that most facilities and maintainer staff members typically work ‘first shift’ hours (6am-2pm), so non-emergency requests made later in the day are unlikely to receive attention until the following day at the earliest.
- Roofs - Residence hall roofs, balconies, and exterior landings are not designed for resident use; students found in these areas face loss of housing.
- Room Furniture
- Do not put beds on radiators, cinderblocks, or other furniture. Do not place mattresses on the floor. Waterbeds are not allowed.
- Desk bookshelves must remain affixed to the desktops.
- Room furniture can only be removed with the RD’s prior approval and will be stored in a designated area as space permits.
- Do not remove closet doors or stack room furniture unless that furniture is designated to be stackable (New Hall end tables, University Hall dressers).
- Students are not allowed to bring large, upholstered furniture made for home use (including futons and beanbag chairs) into the residence halls, as they do not meet strict state-mandated standards for residence hall fire retardance.
G. Guest Policies
- Definition - a guest is defined as any individual who is not currently assigned as a resident of that particular residence hall room.
- Residents are responsible for the behavior of their guests. Hosts must ensure that guests abide by all University and residence hall policies. Guests who are not Westfield State University students will be banned from campus and face possible civil/criminal action for policy violations. Guests who are Westfield State University students face loss of guest visitation privileges and possible additional student conduct action as well as possible civil/criminal action for University policy violations.
- The rights of Westfield State University residents shall take precedence over the rights of guests. Specifically, residents have the right to restrict guest presence in their own rooms, particularly in the case of overnight guests.
- A guest’s stay may not exceed three (3) overnights in any week (Monday-Sunday). An extended pattern of visitation which, in the judgment of the Housing Operations and Residential Engagement staff, indicates illegal residence in a building or disrespect for a roommate’s rights may lead to immediate removal and/or loss of sign-in privileges for the guest; and disciplinary action, reassignment to another room, and/or loss of guest hosting privileges for the resident.
- Guest Sign-In
- Any guest who is not a current Westfield State University student must be signed in and escorted at all times by the host. Failure to follow correct sign-in policy will result in guest removal from campus and guest restrictions for the host.
- Current Westfield State University students must provide a valid University ID upon request of the Residential Engagement staff or other University official as requested and upon entering a residence hall whenever the desk is staffed. Repeated failures to present ID as requested will lead to more stringent sanctions up to and including loss of housing.
- Except for specially approved programs or circumstances, no guest under 16 years of age will be permitted to be signed into a residence hall without the presence of their parent or guardian.
- Any guest who is 16 or 17 years old must provide a valid ID and a document indicating date of birth (these may be the same document) and an emergency phone number as well as a completed authorization form for the visit from a parent or guardian - this form is available on the Residential Life webpage. University staff members may call to confirm authorization for a visit. Underage guests who violate University policies will be required to leave and face parental notification.
- Any guest 18 years of age and older must provide a valid picture identification upon request of a University staff member and a document indicating date of birth (these may be the same document). Failure to provide valid identification will result in immediate guest removal.
- A resident may sign in up to two guests at any one time.
- At any time, each traditional room or apartment is limited to a maximum of three (3) times the number of residents present.
- Commuters are welcome to visit the residence halls under these guidelines.
- Guest policies may be changed at specially designated times such as Spring Weekend and others as identified by the Vice President, Student Affairs or their designee.
H. Keys and Residence Hall Access
- Residence hall access keys and cards belong to the University and are assigned to residents for their personal use only. You are responsible for carrying your assigned keys and ID card at all times. Keys and ID cards are not to be loaned to anyone for any reason.
- Lost keys - Report to your RD immediately so a lock change can be done. Students will be charged for a lock change for any keys that are lost or not returned.
- Lockouts - Call Public Safety (x5262). The lockout service charge is $15.
- Unauthorized possession or use of a University key or ID not officially issued to you, duplication of any University key or ID, or loaning of a University key or ID issued to you or any other person is a major offense and will result in suspension from housing or the University.
I. Occupancy Issues
- Eligibility - Full-time (at least 12 credits) Westfield State University undergraduate Day students have first priority for on-campus housing. Bills must be paid in full.
- Commuter students who go on exchange shall be commuter students when they return. Commuters may request on-campus housing at any time and are accommodated as space permits.
- The Residential License Agreement (RLA) found in MyHousing applies to both the fall and spring semesters; it sets forth the terms and conditions for living in the residence halls. It explains room assignment, billing, withdrawal and refund procedures, lists policies and outlines meal plan information. A signed Agreement is required of all residents; an electronic confirmation of your completion of these forms and a copy of the documents will be returned for your reference. Housing Deposits are non-refundable. Students who seek to leave housing before the end of the academic year are subject to a Cancellation Fee.
- Check-In/Check-Out Procedures
- Upon arrival, check in to your assigned room with a Housing Operations or Residential Engagement staff member. This requires you to complete and sign a Room Condition Report (RCR) and return it to the RA/RD. You will also receive your living area and mailbox keys. When you leave housing or change rooms/buildings, check out with an RA or RD, sign your RCR and return the keys. Failure to return your RCR within one week of check-in will result in a $50 improper check-in charge and will result in the assumption that the room was in completely satisfactory condition upon arrival.
- Failure to properly check in or out of a room will lead to a $50 fee plus applicable lock changes/key changes.
- To avoid charges, empty all drawers and closets, remove carpets, furniture, and personal belongings, and clean your room before leaving. Room cleaning fees start at $25. A per item removal charge will be assessed for large items such as carpets and furniture.
- No refund can be considered or processed until a resident has officially checked out of their assigned space. Any check-out done after regular business hours (Monday-Friday, 9:00a.m.-5:00 p.m.) will be processed as being effective on the next regular business day.
- Students no longer in housing who do not retrieve personal belongings within one week of departure will be charged for packing, storage and/or shipping of items. The University may also, at its discretion, dispose of or donate to charity any unclaimed items.
- Room Changes
- Successful roommate relationships are an important learning component of the residential student experience and a responsibility shared by the roommates.
- Room changes requested in response to roommate conflicts are generally considered only after other options and educational processes have been explored.
- Students requesting to be re-assigned may be asked to take an active role in determining which available space is likely to be most successful for them.
- While individual needs weigh heavily in all decisions regarding room requests, the needs of the campus residential community-at-large and the integrity of the room allocation process are also key considerations.
- All room changes must be approved AND scheduled in advance with designated Housing Operations and Residential Engagement professional staff members.
- When a student moves out of a room, it is the responsibility of the remaining resident(s) to rearrange furniture and storage space to accommodate a newly assigned roommate in anticipation of their arrival.
- All housing sign-up and room change processes and timeliness occur at the discretion of the Housing Operations and Residential Engagement staff and are subject to change.
- Students must not reside in on-campus spaces other than the ones to which they are assigned, and for which they are issued keys.
- All room assignments are subject to change by the Housing Operastions and Residential Engagement staff at any time.
- In case of serious roommate conflicts in which residents are unable to resolve the situation, Housing Operastions and Residential Engagement staff will intervene and may, at its discretion, move any or all students involved in the interest of resolving the immediate conflict and preserving an appropriate living/learning environment.
- See also: Residential License Agreement and Terms & Conditions
- Vacation periods and semester breaks - All residence halls are closed during official University recess periods and may not be entered at these times without prior Housing Operations and Residential Engagment approval. (EXCEPTION: students living in designated year-round housing spaces may be present). Residents are to vacate the residence halls within 24 hours of their last final exam or by closing on the last day of finals, whichever comes first. Interim housing may be available during periods when the halls are closed. Associated fees, contract terms, and restrictions will be at the discretion of Housing Operations and Residential Engagment staff.
- All residents except those assigned to the Apartment Complex, Lansdowne Place and New Hall must purchase the Dining Owl Meal Plan. Students may request an accommodation to waive the meal plan requirement. Prior to the first day of classes, students may submit the Dining Plan Adjustment Application Fall 2020 in their MyHousing account. Only applications received by Dining Services before the semester begins will be considered. Be advised that the food service staff can accommodate a large variety of dietary needs.
- Under-Capacity Rooms, Suites, and Apartments - The University, at its option, may choose to do any of the following regarding residents living in undercapacity rooms: 1) place a student in the empty space; 2) have students in partially full rooms move in together; 3) allow students living in undercapacity rooms to pay a “premium single fee” to retain the room at its current, reduced capacity for the remainder of the semester. Students living in suites or apartments are responsible for maintaining those accommodations at full occupancy and may be required, at the University’s discretion, to consolidate within their existing apartment, move out of their apartment/suite to other on-campus accommodations or to pay an additional, prorated “premium single fee” based on the number of vacancies. This provision is in place based on the popularity of apartments/suites and on the difficulty faced by the University in making student assignments into these type of housing.
- Depending on the availability of housing and current waiting list procedures, there is no guarantee that a student who is suspended from housing will be able to return to campus to live after their suspension is complete.
- On-campus living is a privilege, not an entitlement. Residents who demonstrate an inability to coexist with other residents in a residence hall room, section or community are subject to having their on-campus living privileges revoked for future academic years; and also face administrative reassignment and/or student conduct charges during the current academic year. Examples of such behavior include, but are not limited to: significant incidents of vandalism, threats toward or harassment of students or University employees in the residential setting, and other serious policy violations; or a persistent pattern of violating University and residence hall policies.
- While residence hall suites and apartments may be co-ed, all bedrooms must be single-gender.
J. Personal Belongings
You are responsible for your belongings. Except as required by law, the University does not assume responsibility for loss of, or damage to, personal articles by fire, theft, or other causes. Residents are encouraged to acquire property insurance coverage.
No pets of any kind are allowed in the residence halls (except for approved service or assistance animals). Repeat violations will lead to sanctions up to and including loss of housing. Depending on the situation, residents will be held responsible for removing the pet; and for any costs associated with the care or removal of a pet.
Support Animals in the Residence Halls Handler Agreement and Guidelines 2020-2021
Westfield State University is committed to making its educational programs and facilities accessible to people with disabilities. By policy, animals are not allowed in residential and administrative buildings on campus. However, a reasonable accomodation of a support animal in a student residence will be determined on a case by case basis as a modification to this policy. Students who require a support animal as a reasonable accomodation must register with the Banacos Academic Center as a student with a disability, fill out the Center’s reasonable accomodation request form and provide appropriate supporting documentation. This accomodation must be requested by the student annually. The University reserves the right to amend or make changes to this document as deemed necessary. Support animals are not allowed in any buidling on campus other than the assigned residence of the student approved for the reasonable accomodation. Since these guidelines are primarily put into place to protect the health and safety of the handler, other community members, and the animal itself, please be aware that failure to abide by these guidelines may result in immediate removal of the animal and/or Student Conduct action.
- The student, hereinafter referred to as the “handler”, has sole responsibility for the care and conduct of the support animal. The University is not responsible for the care, conduct or supervision of any support animal.
- The handler must abide by all state and local laws regarding animals. The handler must provide the following to the Banacos Advisor when registering the support animal:
Proof of legally required vaccinations if the approved animal is a dog, cat, or ferret.
Proof of licensing in the City of Westfield if the approved animal is a dog.
- When an animal is taken out of the handler’s room/apartment/suite it must be kept harnessed/leashed or in a carrier, crage or cage under the control of the handler. Animals must not be left unattended when outside of the handler’s room.
- Animals must remain in the handler’s room/apartment/suite. Requests made for expanded approval in other areas of the handler’s assigned residence hall must be approved by the Area Coordinator/Residence Director.
- The handler is responsible for utilizing the following approved waste guidelines:
- Animals that make wast outdoors should do so on grass-covered areas. The Woodward Center, athletic fields, and areas being used by Intramurals are prohibited. The handler is responsible for immediate cleanup of the animal’s waste.
- Animals who make waste indoors will need to have a liter box or other appropriate receptacle provided by the handler and located in the handler’s bedroom. The handler is expected to clean waste receptacles regularly.
- All animal waste must be disposed of in a designated trash receptacle outside of the residence hall.
- Animals, their crates, litter boxes and other related materials must be kept clean in an area designated by the Environmental Services staff in the handler’s residence hall. The handler will need to coordinate the use of the designated area with the Environmental Services staff and Area Coordinator/Residence Director of the handler’s residence hall.
- The animal must not be left alone in the residence for more than __consecutive hours (number of hours to be determined with Banacos Advisor and listed on individual signed agreements). When leaving the campus for more than the number of hours identified above, the animal must accompany the handler and may not be left in the care of another student.
- When the animal is left alone in the handler’s room the animal should be appropriately crated or caged to ensure it does not escape in case University staff need to enter the room.
- Animals must not constitute a direct threat to the safety of the handler or others.
- Animals must not make excessive noise that has the potential to disrupt other community members.
- The handler is presumed financially responsible for property damage caused by the animal including, but not limited to, cost of repairs, replacement or extraordinary cleaning of facilities or furnishings and any bodily injury or personal injury caused to other persons by the animal. Massachusetts General Law, Chapter 140, Section 155 includes additional liability information for handlers with dogs.
- Violations of these guidelines may be documented and reported to the Area Coordinator/Residence Director of the handler’s residence hall including observed violations by staff or others as well as violations discovered during Health and Safety Inspections.
- The handler is responsible for notifying the handler’s Banacos Advisor if the handler decides to no longer have their animal on campus.
Since these guidelines are primarily put into place to protect the health and safety of the handler, other community members, and the animal itself, please be aware that failure to abide by these guidelines may result in immediate removal of the animal. Failure to abides by these guidelines is a violation of the Student Code of Conduct. Students violating these guidelines will be referred to the Student Conduct office. In cases where the University determines it is necessary to remove an animal from the residence halls, the University may board the animal at the place of its choosing until the emergency contact can retrieve the animal. The handler will be responsible for all costs associated with the removal and boarding of the animal.
L. Posting Policy
- All posters, notices, petitions, and other publicity must be approved at Housing Operations and Residential Engagment prior to residence hall posting. Approved items will then be posted in the halls by the Housing Operations and Residential Engagement staff in appropriate areas. Posters may not be placed on windows, painted surfaces, or stairwells. Students/groups/organizations must be clearly identified on any postings. Items posted improperly will be discarded.
- Individuals and groups wishing to advertise events or services that may be of interest to on-campus residents should contact the Office of Housing Operations and Residential Engagement for permission. The Directors of Housing Operations and Residential Engagement (or designees) reserves the right to refuse permission to advertise for those events or services that promote the use of alcohol or are insensitive to members of the campus community. Approved items will be then posted in the halls by the Housing Operations and Residential Engagement staff in appropriate areas.
M. Quiet Hours/Courtesy Hours
- Campus-wide quiet hours are:
||Sunday - Thursday
||9:00p.m. - 9:00a.m.
||Friday - Saturday
||11:00p.m. - 9:00a.m.
Quiet hours on weekend nights are set by the City of Westfield Noise Ordinance. All other times are “courtesy hours” when students should respect the needs of others. The rights of students to study and rest take precedence over all other considerations.
- If you have a concern about noise, first attempt to resolve the matter yourself with the student involved. If you still need assistance, contact a residence hall staff member or Public Safety.
- The following are always violations of quiet/consideration hours:
- Use of sound equipment (stereos, amplifiers, subwoofers, musical instruments, air horns, etc.) which can reasonably be expected to inhibit residents’ study or sleep;
- Participation in sports activities in or near the residence halls;
- Shouting or playing stereos out of the windows;
- Disruptive gatherings in rooms, hallways, or lounges.
- Immediately preceding and during final exams, quiet hours are in effect 24 hours a day. Quiet hours violations during this crucial period can result in removal from University housing for the remainder of the semester.
- Repeated quiet hours violations indicate that a resident is unwilling or unable to respect the needs of others. Such situations negatively affect the educational environment and shall result in a written warning, probation, administrative room reassignment, or loss of housing for repeat violations. In addition, students may be required to remove equipment when its use has been disruptive to the environment.
N. Safety and Security
- To maintain a safe environment, common doors that provide access to residential areas are locked at all times. These doors can be opened with your University ID card. Other entrance doors are typically locked and alarmed at all times unless otherwise specified in your hall. Exterior doors should never be propped open; violators will be subject to sanctions. Public Safety, Housing Operations, Residential Engagment and other staff members provide coverage for each hall as assigned. For the protection of the community, students are expected to present their valid University ID with the current semester’s sticker upon entering a residence hall whenever the desk is staffed or as requested.
- Sports - Due to potential danger to people and property, athletic activities are prohibited inside or within 25 feet of a residence hall (includes courtyards and parking lots).
- Weapons - Possession, storage, or use of any weapon or other similar potentially dangerous or illegal device is prohibited on the University campus. Having a weapon or similar potentially dangerous devices in the residence halls, regardless of whether or not the weapon is considered by the owner to be a decorative toy, sporting, or collectible item, is a major offense.
- Windows/screens - For safety reasons, dropping/throwing objects from windows, leaning out of windows, entering or exiting a hall through a window, and placing yourself or property outside a window, on a window sill or building ledge are prohibited. Screens must remain in place at all times or a $50 screen replacement service charge will be assessed.
- Students who create a significant health and safety hazard in or near a residence hall, either intentionally or through negligence, demonstrate a lack of appropriate concern for the well-being of other residents and face sanctions up to and including loss of housing.
- Cameras - Westfield State University employs a security camera system in residence hall public areas. The surveillance of public areas is intended to deter crime and assist in protecting the safety and property of the University and its community members. “Public areas” are areas made available for use by public including, but not limited to, campus grounds, parking areas, building exteriors, lobbies, hallways, entrances, and exits. Areas of the University in which persons would not have a reasonable expectation of privacy, and to which access is restricted to certain people, such as storage areas and residence hall hallways, shall be considered public areas for the purpose of this Policy. The University shall undertake all appropriate measures to protect an individual’s right to privacy and to maintain security information securely through its creation, storage, transmission, use, and deletion. “Private areas” are areas in which a person has a reasonable expectation of privacy, including, but not limited to, residence hall rooms, bathrooms, shower areas, locker rooms and changing rooms. Areas dedicated to medical, physical or mental therapy of treatment shall also be considered private areas for the purpose of this Policy.
O. Smoke Free/Tobacco and Marijuana Free Campus
Smoking and/or the use of tobacco and/or marijuana products will not be permitted on any University property or University leased property including buildings, grounds, walkways, parking lots, wooded areas and all other property owned or operated by the University. The only exception to this prohibition is that the smoking of cigarettes only may be allowed in designated areas approved by the University President and marked by appropriate signage. (See Smoke Free/Tobacco Free Campus Policy).
Commercial activities, solicitations or advertisements are prohibited in or near University residence halls.
Policy changes: Changes or updates in Housing Operations and Residential Engagement policies and procedures shall be implemented after written communication from the Directors of Housing Operations and Residential Engagement or the Vice President, Student Affairs. Hall Councils may also choose to strengthen a policy by majority vote of the Council and approval by the Director of Residential Engagement but may not weaken or change its intent. All policies shall be reviewed annually by the Vice President, Student Affairs and any changes must be approved by the University President.