800 - College Wide Policies
800.1 – Smith College Affirmative Action Policy
Smith College affirms that diversity in all aspects of the educational environment is necessary for achieving the highest level of academic excellence. As a central element of this commitment to excellence, the college seeks to provide an environment that fosters the recruitment and success of a diverse student, faculty and staff community. The college aspires to create and maintain an educational, working and living environment that is respectful of differences and free from harassing behavior.
It is the policy of Smith College to provide equal employment opportunities without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, sexual orientation, disability, veteran or disabled status. This policy relates to all phases of employment, including, but not limited to, recruiting, employment, placement, upgrading, demotion or transfer, reduction of workforce and termination, rates of pay or other form of compensation, selection for training, the use of all facilities, and participation in all college-sponsored employee activities.
Consistent with its commitment to access and diversity and as a federal contractor, the college takes affirmative action as called for by applicable laws and executive orders to assist with its goal of ensuring that minority group individuals, females, veterans and qualified disabled persons are introduced into our workforce and considered for promotional opportunities as they arise.
It is the resonsibility of each supervisor of the college to ensure affirmative action implementation of its equal employment opportunity policies to avoid any discrimination in employment. All employees are expected to recognize these policies and cooperate with their implementation. Intentional violation of these policies is a basis for employee disciplinary action. Employees and applicants shall not be subjected to harassment or intimidation because they have:
- filed a complaint;
- assisted or participated in an investigation, compliance review, hearing or any other activity related to the administration of any federal, state or local law requiring equal employment opportunity;
- opposed any act or practice made unlawful by any federal, state or local law requiring equal opportunity;
- exercised any other legal right protected by federal, state or local law requiring equal opportunity.
The Office of Institutional Diversity and Equity has been assigned to direct the establishment of and to monitor the implementation of personnel procedures to guide our affirmative action program throughout the college, and to oversee and coordinate all efforts of the college to achieve its goals in the attainment of campus diversity. This policy and related initiatives are posted at the Office of Institutional Diversity and Equity.
Policy updated 1/3/12
800.2 – Statement of Academic Freedom and Freedom of Expression
Academic freedom and, more generally, freedom of expression are of paramount value in an academic community. Among the central purposes of such a community are acquisition and transmission of knowledge, cultivation of the creative and critical faculties of the human intellect, expression of ideas and emotions through the arts and development of aesthetic sensitivity and appreciation. Academic freedom and freedom of expression are essential to the fullest realization of these purposes, and therefore Smith College must preserve and protect those freedoms. It must do so even when the ideas and values expressed are believed, by some or even many, to be inimical to humane society.
In the college, as in society as a whole, freedom of speech and expression cannot be absolute. For example, speech that is libelous, slanderous, incites to riot or is unlawfully harassing is not constitutionally protected; in addition, speech directed at persons with clear intent to cause substantial injury is not protected by academic freedom. For the School for Social Work, freedom of speech and expression is further informed by the accreditation standards of the Council on Social Work Education and by the Code of Ethics of the National Association of Social Work.
Within these commonly accepted limits, Smith College endorses the following principles. Members of the Smith community may write about and discuss freely any subject of intellectual inquiry and shall not be subject to censorship, discipline or intimidation. They are entitled to freedom in research and in the publication of results. They are also members of the larger society: when they speak or act as individuals, and not as representatives of Smith College, they shall be free from institutional censorship, discipline or intimidation.
Freedom of speech and expression is the right both of members of the Smith College community and of invited guests. Once members of the Smith community extend an invitation, others may not abridge a speaker's freedom of expression because they dislike or oppose the speaker, find her or his ideas noxious or perceive the speaker to be associated with policies or practices believed to be erroneous or even evil.
Freedom of speech and expression is the right of opponents of a speaker as well. Opponents may make their views known in a variety of ways so long as they do not thereby interfere with a speaker's ability to make hers or his known, or with the rights of others to listen.
As revised by the board of trustees, February 22, 1992.
800.3 – Policies Concerning Freedom of Expression and Dissent
Any person at Smith College is free to express opinions and support causes by orderly means that do not disrupt the regular and essential operation of the institution. To this end, all members of the Smith community are obligated to provide, protect and promote the free exchange of ideas in every form on the Smith College campus. The college also has an obligation to assure the safety of individuals, the protection of property and the continuity of the educational process.
If the campus is to be truly free, legitimate exchanges of dialogue must proceed without obstruction or coercion from any quarter. To protect the right of members of the Smith community to protest in an orderly manner, and at the same time to protect the right to freedom of expression and the right to hear, the following regulations have been adopted by the administration of the college.
The Conduct of Demonstrations and Protests
Students, faculty members, staff members at Smith College and persons whom they invite to join them have the right to demonstrate on Smith College property provided they conduct themselves according to the regulations set forth below:
- Demonstrations will under no circumstances block free entry to or exit from college buildings, or interfere with the free movement of any person on college grounds or in college buildings or otherwise interfere with the normal conduct of college affairs. Demonstrators will conduct themselves in a peaceful and orderly manner and will refrain from any loud noises that disrupt classes, meetings, assemblies or academic pursuit.
- Counter demonstrators will observe the same standards as set forth above. Demonstrations may not be interfered with by other than duly constituted authorities.
- If or when, in the judgment of the president of the college, the dean of the college or their designated representatives, a demonstration has passed out of control to the extent that freedom of expression is abridged, freedom of movement on the campus or the normal conduct of college affairs is threatened, or property is being damaged, a verbal attempt will be made by the college representative to persuade demonstrators to desist from practices in violation of these standards.
- Should the demonstrators fail to respond in accordance with these standards, they will be warned of the consequences and given a reasonable period of time to desist.
- After the expiration of a reasonable period of time, the names of those who do not observe these standards will be requested. The names of such persons may be obtained by such means, short of force, as repeated demands, photographing or any other reasonable procedure designed to elicit such information. Any photographs and negatives used for identification shall become the exclusive property of the appropriate judicial bodies, not to be distributed, and shall be destroyed upon final settlement of the case.
- If persuasion and warning fail, the college Campus Police Officers may be employed to bring the demonstration under control.
- If, in the judgment of the president of the college, the dean of the college or their designated representatives, the college Campus Police Officers seems unable to cope successfully with the situation, then these same authorities may request outside assistance.
Procedures for Access to Visiting Representatives at Smith College
To ensure that orderly procedures will be followed, to assist individual students desiring unhampered interviews with visiting representatives, to define and defend the right to protest peacefully the presence of any representatives and to encourage rational discourse under appropriate conditions between visiting representatives and any significant group of faculty or students who may question their presence and their purposes, the following practices will be observed:
Visiting representatives scheduling individual interviews in the Career Development Office or elsewhere on the campus
- Representatives of any organization about which individual Smith students may express an interest for information and consultation will be provided facilities for private interviews in the Office of Career Development or equivalent facilities.
- Any members of the Five-College community desiring to protest peacefully against the presence of a visiting representative will have the right to conduct such a protest outside the Office of Career Development (or the equivalent facility), provided that access is kept free, the interview is not disrupted and the regular and essential operation of the college is not disturbed.
Visiting representatives of any organization desiring space for the public display of informative materials concerning opportunities for careers or commitments will ordinarily be granted space for a table in a college building.
- Any group of students and/or faculty desiring a counter display of materials that may challenge the careers or commitments offered by a visiting representative will be granted equivalent space for a table in the same building.
- Free and easy passage in the building must be maintained. Free access to and from any display table must be preserved. No sustained colloquy with those staffing display tables will be allowed to infringe upon the rights of other individuals seeking information or consultation. Picket or protest lines will not be allowed inside the building.
Recruiters for the military services
- The law specifically places military recruiters in a special category distinct from any other visiting representatives. By statute, any "interference" with military recruiting is outlawed. Legal precedent in the courts, together with public statements by the Department of Justice and the White House, indicates that peaceful protests against military recruiters will not be deemed illegal "interference." The right to peaceful protest as an essential part of the "open-campus" policy thus seems applicable even to the special situation of military recruiters. The college, therefore, will provide facilities for those who desire interviews with representatives from the military service.
- At the same time, the special conditions attendant upon the presence of military recruiters should be recognized by all. Activities that range into areas of actual "interference" may well subject persons to penalties by the college or by the courts under the special statutes applying to military recruiters.
- To ensure that all persons consciously weigh the possible consequences of their actions in relation to military recruiters, the college will provide facilities for representatives of the military services in the Office of Career Development.
- The right to peaceful protest on campus, as defined by the college, must be defended against any possible arbitrary action by individuals or groups and, like any other substantial interest or responsibility of the college, will be asserted and protected by the college in court or otherwise as circumstances may require.
Provisions for public discussion
- Whenever a group of students and/or faculty of Smith College sign a petition requesting the opportunity for public discourse with a visiting representative, that representative (or some official spokesperson for the agency) will be invited, but not required, to meet with this group and any other interested persons.
- Any such petition must be given to the director of the Career Development Office at least one week prior to the scheduled appearance of the representative. The director will see that the representative is notified immediately of this request, and, if the representative is willing, will arrange conditions for this meeting.
Action in Event of Violations
Cases in which an allegation of violation of the foregoing regulations is brought against a Smith College student are within the jurisdiction of the Smith College Judicial Board.
Cases in which an allegation of violation of these regulations is brought against any other person shall be referred to the president of the college.
800.4 – Smith College Equal Opportunities Policy
OIDE Statement on Community Standards
From COMMON GROUND: COMMUNITY IN DIVERSITY AT SMITH COLLEGE:
"Creating a community that is accepting and respectful of all its members is not simply one of our goals; rather, the vision of such a community must be recognized as central to every aspect of the priorities for the college, from curriculum to co-curriculum, associated with providing an excellent education."
Smith College fosters free access to knowledge, its unfettered discovery and communication through research and education, and the creation and sustenance of a community of scholars, students, and staff. The Smith community can realize these goals only in an atmosphere of trust and respect. The college aspires to create and maintain an educational, working, and living environment that is respectful of differences and free from harassing behavior.
To foster trust and respect in a diverse community, Smith College encourages community members to behave in ways that affirm respect for each other. Within an academic institution, teaching, doing research, and learning are subject to the protections of 'academic freedom' as described in the college's policy on academic freedom. Actions or words used in the context of the academic curriculum and teaching environments that serve legitimate and reasonable educational purposes will not be evaluated as violating policies that bar certain behaviors, sexual harassment, or unlawful discrimination.
In a diverse community, disagreements and conflicts of various degrees of seriousness are inevitable. The college strongly encourages informal resolution of disputes and conflicts. Many issues are best resolved by direct communication between the individuals involved, sometimes with the help of a third party. Community members are expected to engage in good faith attempts to mediate their differences. To that end all members of the Smith community are encouraged to use student affairs staff members, human resources staff members, deans, academic department chairs, the chaplains, supervisors, and the director of institutional diversity and equity to discuss concerns and seek resolution to differences.
Smith College Equal Employment Opportunties Policy
Smith College is committed to creating an environment open to all individuals without unlawful discrimination on the basis of age, race, color, national origin/ancestry, religion, sex or gender, sexual orientation, mental or physical disability, genetic information, or veteran status/membership in the uniformed services. The college affirms its commitment by holding all employees responsible for upholding this principle and recognizing their legal obligations under applicable federal and state statutes.
Smith College employees carry out this commitment by:
- Lawfully administering all employment policies;
- Addressing and not tolerating unlawful harassment in the workplace;
- Addressing and not tolerating unprofessional conduct in the workplace.
- Recruiting, hiring, training, and promoting persons in all job classifications, without unlawful regard to age, race, color, national origin/ancestry, religion, sex or gender, sexual orientation, mental or physical disability, genetic information, or veteran status/membership in the uniformed services; and
- Making all employment decisions consistent with the principles underlying equal employment opportunity.
Commitment to Academic Freedom
As an academic institution, teaching, doing research, and learning are subject to the protections of 'academic freedom' as described in the college's policy on academic freedom. Actions or words used in the context of the academic curriculum and teaching environments that serve legitimate and reasonable educational purposes will not be evaluated as harassment or unlawful discrimination because of the principles underlying academic freedom.
Equal Opportunity Policy Complaint Procedure
The college has created the following guidelines and procedures for the resolution of complaints alleging violation of this Equal Opportunity Policy.
Pre-Complaint Resolution Strategies
In a diverse community, disagreements and conflicts of various degrees of seriousness are inevitable. Many issues are best resolved informally, by direct communication between the individuals involved, or with the help of mediation by a third party. However, such a strategy may be inappropriate when the conduct is severe or when the person responsible for the alleged behavior holds a position of authority. Under these circumstances the complainant is encouraged to use the formal complaint procedure. The following members of the college community are available to discuss complaints or concerns under this policy: all supervisors or department heads, the executive director of human resources, the human resources manager of employee relations and recruitment, the dean of the school for social work and the director of institutional diversity and equity.
These persons are prepared to assist with the assessment of a concern and to explain the options and resources available for resolving concerns. Questions are encouraged; merely discussing an incident in this way does not commit an individual to making a complaint. After discussion with one or more of these persons, the complainant may: pursue the matter on her or his own; ask the director of institutional diversity and equity to discuss the matter with the person who engaged in the conduct; ask one of the specialists listed below to mediate; or proceed to the formal complaint process described below. The director of institutional diversity and equity will provide advice to all parties on the substantive issues involved and the means for addressing the complaint and its possible resolution. Should one of these persons undertake to mediate, she or he will so inform the director of institutional diversity and equity.
The matter will be considered resolved when there is an agreed resolution acceptable to all parties. A written record of the resolution and any other relevant documents will be maintained by the Office of Institutional Diversity and Equity and will not become part of a personnel file. Failure to respond to a complaint, or refusal to participate in informal mediation, shall not be introduced as a consideration during any formal proceedings that might arise.
Informal resolution may not be appropriate when the behavior complained of is so egregious as to constitute a violation of policy that could result in disciplinary action. After learning about a situation from the complainant, any of the above listed persons may determine that an investigation into the complaint is merited even if the complainant does not file a formal complaint.
Formal Complaint Procedures
When the College receives a formal complaint under this policy it will promptly investigate the allegation in a fair and expeditious manner. Every effort will be made to proceed while maintaining confidentiality to the extent practicable under the circumstances. If it is determined that this policy has been violated the college will act promptly to eliminate the offending conduct, and where appropriate will impose disciplinary action.
If a complainant believes the Equal Opportunity Policy has been violated and informal resolution is not appropriate, or has not been successful, s/he should report the incident promptly to his/her supervisor or department head, the executive director of human resources, the human resources manager of employee relations and recruitment, the dean of the school for social work, or the director of institutional diversity and equity. In order to aid in the fairness of this process, formal complaints should be filed within 7 (seven) calendar days of the offending or questionable action or behavior.
This procedure does NOT cover allegations of sexual harassment. For sexual harassment complaints, please see the Sexual Harassment Policy in this handbook.
The following is an outline of the procedure generally followed once a complaint has been brought to the attention of the college:
- A prompt and impartial investigation of the complaint is conducted. This investigation will consist of (but will not necessarily be limited to) interviews of the individual who made the complaint, of the person or persons against whom the complaint was made and of other individuals who may have witnessed the reported incident or incidents.
- Upon completion of the investigation, the person who conducted the investigation will meet individually with the person who made the complaint and the individual or individuals against whom the complaint was made, to prepare the results of the investigation and, where a remedy is determined to be appropriate, to inform the parties of the steps that will be taken to remedy the situation.
In the event the investigation results in a finding that this policy has been violated, further action will be taken, including disciplinary action such as but not limited to reprimand, change in work assignment, mandatory training or suspension and/or immediate termination.
All actions taken to investigate and resolve complaints through this procedure shall be conducted with as much privacy, discretion and confidentiality as possible, without compromising the thoroughness and fairness of the investigation. All persons involved should treat the situation with respect. To conduct a thorough investigation, the investigator(s) may discuss the complaint with witnesses and those persons involved in or affected by the complaint, and those persons necessary to assist in the investigation or to implement appropriate disciplinary actions.
No Retaliation for Filing a Complaint
Retaliation against an individual for making a complaint or for assisting in the investigation of such a complaint will not be tolerated. Any acts of retaliation will be subject to disciplinary action. If an individual involved in an investigation believes s/he has been retaliated against s/he should contact one of the on-campus resources listed.
College Investigation of Complaints
- Pamela Nolan Young, Director of Instiutional Diversity and Equity, X2141
- Carolyn Jacobs, Dean, School for Social Work, X7977
- Larry Hunt, Executive Director of Human Resources, X2262
- Jenny Silver, Manager of Employment and Employee Relations, X2288
- Jennifer L. Walters, Dean of Religious Life, x2797
State and Federal Agency Complaints
In addition to the above, an individual who believes he or she has been subjected to illegal discrimination may file a formal complaint with the government agencies listed below. Using the College's complaint process does not prohibit an individual from filing a complaint with either of these agencies. Claims filed with MCAD or EEOC must be filed within 300 days from the date of the alleged violation.
Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination (MCAD)
436 Dwight Street, Rm 220
Springfield, MA 01103
Telephone: (413) 739-2145
U. S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC)
John F. Kennedy Federal Building
475 Government Center
Boston, MA 02203
Telephone: (617) 565-3200
800.5 – Smith College Sexual Assault Policy
The Smith College Sexual Assault Policy was created to provide appropriate services and support to survivors of sexual assault. This policy works in conjunction with educational programs designed to increase student awareness about sexual assault on college campuses. Educational programs are sponsored throughout the year by Smith College Health Services, student affairs office, residence life staff, and various student groups.
Reporting an Assault
The college encourages a student to report a situation in which she believes a sexual assault occurred in order to ensure that appropriate support and resources are provided. It is also important that a sexual assault survivor consider contacting Campus Police immediately (before showering, washing clothing, etc.) so as to preserve evidence for the proof of a criminal offense. Any information regarding a sexual assault on or off the Smith campus can be reported to the Department of Campus Police, College Health Services, or the dean of students. Once an incident is reported, the survivor generally determines who is notified. Campus Police will gather information that does not identify the survivor, but which must be reported through the Jeanne Clery Act (sometimes known as the Campus Security Act). Massachusetts law limits the disclosure and dissemination of the identity of survivors of violent sexual crimes.
Types of Support Available
Medical Services are provided by both College Health Services and Cooley Dickinson Hospital. Health Services provides medical evaluation, preventative treatment for sexually transmitted diseases, and emergency contraception. At the request of the survivor, Health Services can coordinate with Campus Police to provide transportation to Cooley Dickinson Hospital. Smith College Health Services provides coverage from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday through Friday, when the college is in session. When Health Services is closed, on-call personnel are available to coordinate services for a student who has been sexually assaulted.
Cooley Dickinson Hospital provides sexual assault exams, including collection of forensic evidence, clinical evaluation, assessment, and treatment of injuries. Cooley Dickinson Hospital is open twenty-four hours per day, seven days per week, 365 days per year.
Counseling Services are provided by the Smith College Counseling Services staff. They provide counseling for crisis and healing, as well as referral to agencies off campus, when applicable. Counseling Services is available from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday, when the college is in session. When Health Services and Counseling Services are closed, on-call personnel are available to coordinate services for a student who has been sexually assaulted.
Community services utilized by the campus community include:
- Center for Women and Community
180 Infirmary Way, New Africa House, UMass
Main Office: (413) 545-0883
Rape Crisis Hotline:
(413) 545-0800 or 1 (888) 337-0800
- Victim/Witness Assistance - Northampton
- Men's Resource Center - Amherst
Campus Police provides professionally trained officers, including several state-certified sexual assault investigators. Campus Police will assess the situation to provide a safe space for the survivor, arrange for emergency housing when necessary, arrange for a hearing on emergency restraining orders, issue trespass notices against alleged perpetrators, and offer medical and counseling referrals. In addition, survivors may access other ongoing safety options, such as security escorts provided by Campus Police, the change of phone number and privacy restrictions (including restriction of computer and directory information). Campus Police will also attempt to respond to special requests and needs as appropriate. When the survivor decides to file a criminal complaint, Campus Police will conduct an investigation and/or work with appropriate legal authorities including the Hampshire District Attorney's Office and the Victim/Witness Office.
Change in academic and living situations may occur upon request by the survivor, if those changes are reasonably available.
Disciplinary Procedures for complaints regarding violation of provisions of conduct by Smith College students should be directed to the dean of students and will be processed in accordance with the College Judicial Board procedures. More complete information concerning the judicial process, rights of the student who is the subject of the complaint, rights of the student bringing forward the complaint, and possible sanctions can be found in the Code of Student Conduct section of this handbook. In the case of an alleged sexual assault, the student bringing the complaint forward has the right to be notified about the outcome of the judicial hearing and any sanctions imposed. There is no established time frame for filing a complaint; however survivors are urged to file a complaint as soon as possible.
800.6 – Smith College Sexual Harassment Policy and Procedures
If a student has been assaulted or raped, immediate contact with the college's Department of Campus Police is recommended. The department is staffed, trained and equipped to offer support, options for action, and transportation for follow-up attention.
Sexual harassment is defined in the college's Sexual Harassment Policy. Smith College is committed to maintaining an environment free of discrimination or forms of harassment that unreasonably interfere with the security, well-being, or academic experience of any member of the community. Sexual harassment on campus or in other settings related to College employment or enrollment, is unlawful, as well as unethical, and will not be tolerated. The College will respond promptly to formal complaints of sexual harassment, and, where it is determined that sexual harassment has occurred, will act promptly to eliminate the conduct and impose such corrective action as is necessary, including disciplinary action where appropriate. This policy applies to all activities of the College, including Smith sponsored study abroad programs.
Who can help?
An individual who believes he or she has been subjected to sexual harassment is advised to make it clear to the offender that such behavior is offensive. Early informal methods are often effective in correcting questionable behavior or resolving incidents of possible harassment.
By bringing the matter immediately to the attention of a supervisor, the director of institutional diversity and equity, the dean of students, the associate dean of the school for social work, the associate provost, or the executive director of human resources the College can assure that prompt efforts will be made to help assess the situation, and determine what informal or formal steps are necessary.
If individual members of the Smith community believe they have been subjected to sexual harassment, they can speak with an Intake Counselor:
- Randy Bartlett, Faculty Resource, Pierce Hall 102, ext. 3605 or 413-585-3605
- Joe O'Rourke, Associate Provost, College Hall 20, ext. 300 or 413-585-3000
- Alice Hearst, Faculty Resource, Neilson Library 2/07, ext. 3528 or413-585-3528
- Larry Hunt, Executive Director of Human Resources, 30 Belmont Avenue, ext. 2263 or 413-585-2260
- Julianne Ohotnicky, Dean of Students, Clark Hall 204, ext. 4940 or 413-585-4940
- Scott Graham, Campus Police, Facilities Management Building, ext. 2490 or 413-585-2490
- Josh Miller, Dean of Students for School for Social Work, Lilly Hall 207, ext. 7977 or 413-585-7977
- Pamela Nolan Young, Director of Institutional Diversity and Equity, College Hall, ext. 2141 or 413-585-2141
Who should seek assistance?
- students who believe they are being sexually harassed
- students who are uncertain as to whether what they are experiencing is sexual harassment
- students who want information regarding their options in dealing with sexual harassment
- students who believe someone else is being harassed
Faculty members and students are not trained regarding sexual harassment complaints. However, if the student wishes, she may ask a faculty member or a friend to accompany her when she meets with a resource person who is trained to provide assistance.
Students seeking assistance from a resource person will be counseled as to their options for action available under this procedure. The student will learn about the internal (within the college) and external (federal or state agency) options available for seeking resolution of the matter.
PEOPLE TO SEE ON CAMPUS FOR INFORMATION, SUPPORT AND REFERRAL
Randy Bartlett (Intake Counselor)
Pierce Hall 102, ext. 3605
Joe O'Rourke (Intake Counselor)
College Hall 206, ext. 3000
Alice Hearst (Intake Counselor)
Neilson Library 2/07, ext. 3528
Larry Hunt (Intake Counselor)
Executive Director of Human Resources
30 Belmont Avenue, ext. 2260
Julianne Ohotnicky (Intake Counselor)
Dean of Students
Clark Hall 203, ext. 4940
Scott Graham (Intake Counselor)
Associate Director of Campus Police
Facilities Management Building, ext. 2490
Josh Miller (Intake Counselor)
Dean of Students for School for Social Work
Lilly Hall, ext. 7966
Jennifer Walters (Confidential)
Dean of Religious Life
Helen Hills Hills Chapel, ext. 2797
Pamela Nolan Young (Title IX Coordinator)
Director of Institutional Diversity and Equity
College Hall, ext. 2141
Counseling Services, ext. 2840
EXTERNAL AGENCIES FOR FILING A SEXUAL HARASSMENT GRIEVANCE
In addition, individuals can also file a complaint with the following government agencies:
The United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC)
John F. Kennedy Federal Building
475 Government Center
Boston, MA 02203
The Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination (MCAD)
436 Dwight Street, Rm. 220
Springfield, MA 01103
One Ashburton Place, Rm. 601
Boston, MA 02108
The US Department of Education's Office of Civil Rights
US Department of Education
Office for Civil Rights
33 Arch Street, Suite 900
Boston, MA 02110-1491
800.7 - Smith College Policy on Substance Abuse and Substance Use
This policy reflects a collegewide commitment to an environment free of drug and alcohol abuse through (1) education and counseling programs, and (2) the prohibition of illegal or imprudent use of drugs or alcohol. The college prohibits the unlawful manufacture, distribution, dispensing, possession and use of controlled substances. Controlled substances include, but are not limited to, narcotics, barbiturates, amphetamines, cocaine, marijuana, anabolic steroids and misused prescription or legal drugs or alcohol. As used in this policy, the words "substance" and "controlled substance" include alcoholic beverages. Those who use controlled substances or illicitly use or abuse legal substances, including but not limited to alcohol, are in violation of the law and of this Smith College policy. Compliance with this policy is a condition of employment and/or enrollment at the college. All members of the Smith College community are expected to be familiar with and abide by the principles and details of this policy.
The use of drugs and alcohol has both physical and psychological repercussions. Such substances can interfere with memory, sensation and perception, and impair the brain's ability to synthesize information. Regular users develop tolerance and physical dependence. The psychological dependence occurs when the substance becomes central to the user's life and decision making.
Alcohol consumption may cause a number of marked changes in behavior. Even low doses may significantly impair the judgment and coordination required to drive a car safely. Low to moderate doses of alcohol may increase the incidence of a variety of aggressive acts, including physical attacks. Moderate to high doses of alcohol may cause marked impairments in higher mental functions, severely altering a person's ability to learn and remember information. Very high doses may cause respiratory depression and death. If combined with other depressants of the central nervous system, much lower doses of alcohol may produce the effects just described.
Repeated use of drugs and alcohol can lead to dependence. Sudden cessation of substance intake can produce withdrawal symptoms, including severe anxiety, tremors, hallucinations and convulsions. Substance withdrawal can be life-threatening. Long-term consumption of substances, particularly when combined with poor nutrition, can also lead to permanent damage to vital organs, such as the brain and liver.
Women who use controlled substances during pregnancy may give birth to infants with fetal alcohol or drug syndrome. These infants have irreversible physical abnormalities and mental retardation. In addition, research indicates that children of alcoholic parents are at greater risk than other youngsters of becoming alcoholics. A chart of the effects of use of certain controlled substances is found on the Charts section of this document. More information is available at www.usdoj.gov/dea/concern/concern.htm.
The buildings and residences of the college are not beyond the reach of the law and are not sanctuaries from state and federal law enforcement. Members of the administration will not obstruct such enforcement. When the conduct of a member of the college community on college property or during a college activity, wherever it may occur, is in violation of this policy, the college will take appropriate action, up to and including expulsion, termination of employment and referral for prosecution. This policy supplements, and does not replace, other regulations, policies, standards and expectations regarding the conduct of college students and employees. Nothing in this policy shall be construed to remove or otherwise affect those protections normally afforded to all employees and students. The information below is a brief summary of Massachusetts law. It is not legal advice and readers should refer to the actual law for complete information.
Using, altering, selling or distributing false ID or driver's license
Up to $200 fine or up to 3 months' imprisonment
MA Gen Law 138 §34B
Transporting alcoholic beverages in a vehicle by driver under 21 years of age
Up to $50 fine for first offense; up to $150 fine for subsequent offenses AND suspension of driver's license for 90 days
MA General Law 138 §34C
Furnishing alcoholic beverages to another under 21 years of age
Up to $2,000 fine and/or up to 1 year imprisonment
MA General Law 138 §34
Making, stealing, altering, forging or counterfeiting a driver's license or identification card or for possessing or using such a license or identification card
Fine up to $500 or up to five years in prison; immediate suspension of driver's license for up to 1 year
MA General Law 90 §24B
Purchasing or attempting to purchase alcoholic beverages if under 21 years of age, including using a false ID
Fine of $300 and suspension of driver's license for 180 days
MA General Law 138 §34A
Having an "open container" of alcohol as a passenger in a vehicle
Fine of $100 up to $500
MA General Law 90 §24I
Driving under the influence, if under the age of 21, is driving with a blood alcohol level of .02 as a percentage by weight of alcohol in the blood
Fines not less than $500 and up to $5,000; mandatory suspension of license for 180 days and up to 1 year and/or up to 2.5 years' imprisonment for the first offense. Subsequent offenses carry significantly higher penalties.
MA General Law 90 §24 (1)(a) and §24P
Driving under the influence, if over the age of 21, is driving with a blood alcohol level of .08 as a percentage by weight of alcohol in the blood
Fines not less than $500 and up to $5,000; suspension of license for 1 year and/or up to 2.5 years' imprisonment for the first offense. Subsequent offenses carry significantly higher penalties.
MA General Law 90 §24 (1)(a)
Refusal to submit to a breathalyzer test
Immediate suspension of a driver's license for minimum of 180 days. If under 21 years of age OR previously convicted of driving under the influence, immediate suspension of driver's license for 3 years or longer.
MA General Law 90 §24(1)(f)(1)
Causing serious bodily harm while driving under the influence of alcohol
2.5 to 10 years' imprisonment and a fine up to $5,000; revocation of driver's license for 2 years
MA General Law 90 §24L
Federal, state and local sanctions for unlawful possession or distribution of illicit drugs range from probation and forfeiture of property to fines and imprisonment. For example, the sanctions against an individual for distribution of, or possession with intent to distribute, controlled substances include imprisonment for several years up to a maximum of life imprisonment, with fines up to $4 million. Sanctions can increase for repeat offenders or for offenses resulting in death or serious bodily harm, and can be doubled for each of the following occurrences: distribution to persons under 18 years of age, distribution within 1,000 feet of a school, including the College Campus School, or employing someone under 18 in the distribution. Attempt or conspiracy to commit a crime can be treated as severely as the intended offense. Many of the state and federal statutes that prohibit the illegal distribution of controlled substances provide for minimum mandatory prison sentences. Conviction for violation of any state or federal drug law can lead to ineligibility for any federal benefit, including grants and loans. Thus a student can make herself ineligible for student loans through drug conviction.
All students should be aware that current federal statutes permit notification of parent(s) regarding a student's violation of the college's controlled substance policy. Both designated college administrators and judicial boards may recommend to the dean of students that parental/legal guardian notification occur. The dean of students will make a final determination of the appropriateness of notification, carrying it out if deemed appropriate. (The dean of students may notify parent[s]/legal guardian[s] without a designated college administrator's or judicial board's recommendation if she possesses information that would support this step.) Each student should be forewarned that parental/legal guardian notification may occur if a student is found responsible for a violation of the college's controlled substance policy.
Massachusetts makes it illegal to be in a place where heroin is kept and to be "in the company" of a person known to possess heroin. Any person in the presence of heroin, such as at a private party or a dormitory suite, risks conviction of a serious drug offense. Sale and possession of "drug paraphernalia" is illegal in Massachusetts.
More complete tables of federal sanctions for illegal drug activity are available on the Charts section of this document.
The director of human resources must be notified by an affected employee of any criminal drug statute conviction for a violation occurring in the workplace no later than five days after the conviction. The college will then notify the federal funding agency involved, if any, within 10 days after receipt of such notice.
Education and Counseling
In order to promote an environment free of substance abuse, the college supports an active program of community awareness and education. This program extends to the misuse or abuse of controlled substances including prescription drugs, alcohol and other harmful substances. The college also offers assistance with confidential counseling. Students, faculty and staff are encouraged to refer individuals who appear to be troubled by drug or alcohol use to one of these resources. For students, such counseling is available through the Counseling Service (extension 2840). Students who are concerned about their own or others' use of such substances may seek advice and counsel from appropriate college resources without fear of breach of normal rules of confidentiality or fear of punishment. The Employee Assistance Program (EAP) offers confidential counseling for employees confronting substance abuse. Employees or supervisors can contact the EAP at1 (800) 828-6025. The Office of Human Resources (extension 2270) may be contacted for information on the EAP program.
In addition to the confidential counseling services mentioned above, several national hotlines can provide information and referral:
- Information on Local 12-Step Programs
Alcoholics Anonymous: 1 (413) 532-2111*
Al-Anon and Ala-teen: 1 (413) 253-5261*
(Al-Anon is open to anyone whose life has been affected by another person's drinking)
- Narcotics Anonymous: 1 (800) 481-6871
* local calls from Northampton
- National Alcohol Abuse and Drug 24-Hour Helpline:
1 (800) 252-6465
This policy will be reviewed at least biennially to assess its effectiveness, to implement appropriate changes and to ensure that the disciplinary sanctions discussed are consistently enforced.
Revised: 10/10; Reviewed: 9/13
This page contains the charts relating to the Smith College Policy on Substance Abuse and Substance Use.
Please take the time to click on the links below and view the information.
Files for Download
- Controlled Substances - Uses and Effects (PDF)
- Federal Trafficking Penalties (PDF)
- Federal Trafficking Penalties - Marijuana (PDF)
800.8 - Smith College Policy on Substance Abuse and Substance Use
College Policies Regarding Alcohol
The following policies are those that deal specifically with Smith College Social Events. This section is to be used in conjunction with the federal, state and Smith College alcohol regulations. Event sponsors bear the obligation to see that the alcohol is consumed responsibly and is dispensed in accordance with the law.
- No person is allowed to be in possession of an open container or consume alcohol in public areas, with the exception of parties registered with the coordinator of house events. Public areas include but are not limited to living rooms, lounges, basements, hallways and stairwells.
- At all social events where alcohol is served, food and nonalcoholic beverages must be provided by the sponsor of the event in adequate proportion to the alcoholic beverages on hand. If the supply of food and nonalcoholic beverages runs out, alcohol service must stop.
- No one should be coerced, even subtly, to drink or to drink in excess. Those who provide alcoholic beverages to guests bear the obligation to see that the alcohol is consumed responsibly and is dispensed in accordance with the law.
- The college prohibits the possession of open containers of alcohol outside of residence facilities, including patios, porches and walkways. Smith students and guests should not carry drinks or alcohol from one event to another.
- No one may bring alcoholic beverages for personal or group consumption to a Smith party. If a person is carrying any alcohol into a party, it must be taken away for disposal. Guests cannot enter a party with a backpack or bag that might be transporting alcohol.
In addition to the policy on substance abuse and substance use, the following guidelines govern serving alcohol. (See the Smith College Policy on Substance Abuse and Substance Use.)
- Only persons who are 21 years of age or older are allowed to serve alcoholic beverages. The Alcohol Service Awareness Workshop is required for all persons tending bar for open house and closed house parties. Before tending bar for a personal party, it is strongly recommended that students participate in the Alcohol Service Awareness Workshop. Several workshops are held during the year, at the beginning of each semester and before Winter/Spring Weekends and are required of social chairs, bartenders and I.D. checkers. Call your area coordinator to request information regarding times and dates for the workshop.
- I.D. checkers must verify the age of individuals before placing bracelets on the wrist of those 21 years of age or older.
- Persons serving alcohol must ensure that only persons 21 years of age or older are served alcohol, and are wearing an unaltered bracelet. They cannot serve alcohol to individuals who are underage or appear to have had enough to drink. Only individuals who are 21 years of age or older may drink legally in Massachusetts.
- Alcoholic beverages should be kept behind the bar. Only bartenders should have access to this area.
- All parties must end alcohol service by 12:30 a.m. If the party is scheduled to end earlier than 1 a.m., alcohol service must end half an hour before the end of the party.
- After a closed house or open house party has ended, alcohol that is left over must be locked up by the head resident and is not to be used for further consumption or distribution that evening.
- The college holds a Massachusetts State license to sell and dispense alcoholic beverages at the Campus Center. This is the only venue where admission may be charged for student sponsored events that include the serving of alcohol. The serving of alcohol must be supervised by Dining Services. Contact them at extension 2326 to make arrangements.
ALCOHOL SERVICE AWARENESS SEMINAR
Only persons who are 21 years or older are allowed to consume or serve alcoholic beverages. The Alcohol Service Awareness Seminar is required for all persons tending bar for open house and closed house parties. The seminar includes a review of all the state laws governing serving alcohol, proper identification procedures, the effects of alcohol on the body and intervention techniques.
Before tending bar for a personal party, it is strongly recommended that all students participate in the Alcohol Service Awareness Seminar. The workshop will be held at the beginning of each semester, and is required of social chairs, bartenders and I.D. checkers.
Open and closed house parties are the only venues where kegs are allowed. No kegs of any type may be below or above the first floor of Smith houses or in student rooms. Individual students cannot possess or store a keg in an apartment or personal room. Kegs are prohibited for individual student use for personal parties. The term keg is all-inclusive with kegs, half kegs, beer balls and the like, being examples. Massachusetts Law requires that all kegs must be registered to one individual who is over 21, with proper I.D. This individual must be a member of the host house. They must be aware that they are responsible for the proper distribution of alcohol and may be held personally responsible for any inappropriate distribution or consumption.
When the bar closes at an open or closed house party, all alcohol, including kegs, must be secured by the head resident or house coordinator until the following morning when it can be returned to the purchaser.
COLLECTION OF ALCOHOL FUNDS
Neither Social System money nor house budget money may be used to purchase alcohol. Money must be collected by the social chair or designated collector from students over the age of 21; under no circumstances is money to be collected from underage students. Money collected for a specific event must only be used for that specific event. Organizations and houses cannot use any of their SGA funds, social dues or house dues to purchase alcohol.
SERVING MINORS AND EXCESSIVE DRINKING
When alcohol is served at parties, students take individual and collective responsibility for the service. It is important that students hosting parties understand and are particularly mindful of college policies, federal and state laws that explain the responsibilities and liabilities that they are undertaking.
A host cannot provide to or allow a person under 21 years of age to consume alcohol in their place of campus residence or at an event that they are hosting. When furnishing or serving alcohol, it is the host's responsibility and liability under Social Host Liability Laws to ensure that guests are able to safely travel home without harm to themselves or others.
COLLEGE GUIDELINES FOR IMPLEMENTATION OF THE ALCOHOL POLICY
The Smith College policy on alcohol-related behavior stresses the concept of individual responsibility. These guidelines summarize each student's responsibility under the law and in relation to the community in which they live.
- All members of the college community, especially students hired or in elected leadership positions, are responsible for abiding by college policy and federal and state laws. No member of the college community is allowed to provide, purchase or serve alcohol to anyone who is under 21.
- While the college does not expect students in leadership roles to act as agents of the state, it does expect them to fulfill their responsibilities as leaders and hold individuals accountable for their actions and/or to refer them to appropriate resources (Residence Life staff, Health Services, Campus Police, etc.).
- The following types of concerns would warrant intervention by Residence Life Staff or other college staff members:
- Individuals demonstrating problem drinking patterns (this includes problems leading to or resulting in the irresponsible use of alcohol);
- Individuals making choices and decisions that could endanger themselves or others;
- Individuals demonstrating an inability to control their drinking behavior;
- Individuals whose alcohol-related behavior infringes on the rights of others;
- Houses or organizations exhibiting b through d above.
- The individual, organization or house may be referred to the area coordinator, College Judicial Board, and/or the Office of Student Affairs. The person intervening will discuss the implication of an individual person or an organization's behavior with them. Serious incidents can be immediately referred to the College Judicial Board.
All those who have any role in the organization or conduct of such events are responsible for obtaining and adhering to the guidelines governing alcohol use on the Smith College campus. Smith College provides services and resources to support individual needs, to assist at crisis points and to provide accurate information related to alcohol. Current practices to help problem drinkers, such as the support of health and counseling practitioners, alcohol awareness workshops, and the responsible action shown by members of the Smith community, point to a concern for alcohol consumption in our community.
RESPONSIBILITY OF STUDENT GROUPS
All houses and chartered and non-chartered organizations sponsoring social events are expected to abide by state law and by published procedures and standards. Failure to do so may result in loss of social privileges, individual disciplinary action or loss of college recognition for the organization as determined by the College Judicial Board. Members of an organization may be personally liable for the acts of the organization or its other members.
RESPONSIBILITY OF INDIVIDUALS
Members of the faculty and staff should be aware of the legal drinking age of 21 years of age or older and the legal burden it places upon them. Faculty and staff are prohibited from providing, purchasing, or serving alcohol to students under the age of 21 in any setting. Individuals who violate Massachusetts state law may face criminal prosecution.
Alcohol-related behavior that causes or can reasonably be expected to cause physical harm or harassment to persons or damage to property, or is unreasonably disruptive, will be subject to disciplinary action by the College Judicial Board or the administration. Such behavior may result in penalties up to and including suspension or dismissal. Inebriation shall not be seen as an acceptable or justifiable excuse for disruptive behavior and may in itself be considered an additional offense.
Individuals who become the subject of local police action and campus police reports involving alcohol, and groups or individuals who violate college rules because of alcohol, may be subject to disciplinary action by the College Judicial Board or the administration. Students also may be required to meet with residence life professional staff for discussion and possible referral to campus resources such as health and counseling services, a wellness educator or to the College Judicial Board.
The student is responsible for her actions and the actions of her guests that result in the loss, theft, or damage to college and/or personal property. The college remains liable for damages to its property incurred through the negligence of its agents or employees.
The sponsor of a closed function at which alcoholic beverages are served may be legally responsible for monetary damages and legal costs that result from use of alcohol by guests. The college does not assume any legal responsibility for individuals or groups who are alleged to have acted in violation of state and local statutes. Legal defense will not be provided by the college.
Laws Governing Alcohol
Various statutes of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and regulations of the Alcoholic Beverage Control Commission govern the sale, acquisition, possession, transportation and consumption of alcoholic beverages. In general, some of the pertinent statutes provide that:
- No person or group shall sell, deliver, purchase or otherwise procure alcoholic beverages for consumption by a person who is under 21 years of age. Violators are subject to arrest, criminal charges, fines and imprisonment.
- No person shall operate a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcoholic beverages. Violators are subject to arrest, fines, mandatory court education programs, loss of license and/or imprisonment.
- No person under 21 years of age shall transport, purchase, sell, deliver, possess or receive or otherwise procure alcoholic beverages except in the course of employment. Violators are subject to arrest, criminal charges, fines and imprisonment.
- No person, group or organization may sell alcoholic beverages except pursuant to license granted by the Commonwealth through the local government's licensing authority.
Alcohol Violations and Sanctions
Sanctions resulting from College Judicial Board deliberations are covered in the SGA Bylaws, Article VII, Section 10. Please note that this list is not exhaustive and provides only a range of possible sanctions. The College Judicial Board and designated college administrators with responsibility for addressing alcohol policy violations will respond to an individual's educational needs in the sanctioning process. Generally, sanctions similar to the following will apply:
First violation, typically of a minor nature, may be handled by a designated college administrator who will discuss the violation with the student involved and document that conversation in a letter to the student. The college may require demonstration of the student's successful completion of an on-campus or off-campus alcohol education program;
Serious first violation or subsequent violations will be handled by the College Judicial Board and may require a minimum of one semester of probation and demonstration of successful completion of an on-campus or off-campus alcohol education program or other similar activity. Students placed on probation and later found responsible for subsequent violations of Code of Student Conduct during that probation face the possibility of the College Judicial Board's recommending their suspension or expulsion.
All students should be aware that current federal statutes permit notification of parents/legal guardians of a student's violation of college alcohol policy. Both designated college administrators and judicial boards may recommend to the dean of students that parental/legal guardian notification occur. The dean of students will make a final determination of the appropriateness of notification, carrying it out if deemed appropriate. (The dean of students may notify parents/legal guardians without a designated college administrator's or judicial board's recommendation, if the dean possesses information that would support this step.) Each student should note that parental/legal guardian notification may occur if an underage student is responsible for a violation of the college alcohol policy.
Because health and safety of students are of primary importance, students are encouraged not only to look out for their own health and safety but also for that of their peers. When a person's health and safety are threatened or appear to be in jeopardy, immediate action should be taken. The college has developed this Medical Amnesty Policy to remove concerns about judicial board action from the decision to seek medical assistance for yourself or others.
Do not hesitate to call Smith College Campus Public Safety (x800 for emergency or x2490; 413-585-2490 from non-campus phones) or a residence life staff member for assistance and guidance. Whatever the particular need/problem, it is important to respond to a health or safety concern in a responsible and timely manner.
IF A PERSON IS IN NEED OF MEDICAL TREATMENT
An individual who receives emergency medical attention related to their consumption of alcohol will not be subject to judicial board action for use, possession and distribution of alcoholic beverages, or for public intoxication.
This amnesty is granted to the individual when she meets with:
- The Director of Health Services
- The Wellness Education Director
It is the responsibility of the student to set the meeting with the appropriate offices. It is the responsibility of the student to disclose to the wellness education director when the meetings are complete (a completed Amnesty Form must be turned in within two weeks of the transport).
CALLING ON BEHALF OF SOMEONE ELSE
INDIVIDUAL - An individual who calls for emergency assistance on behalf of a person experiencing an alcohol-related emergency will not be subject to judicial action by Smith College for the following Code violations in relation to the incident: use, possession and distribution of alcoholic beverages, and public intoxication.
ORGANIZATION - A representative of an organization hosting an event is expected to promptly call for medical assistance in an alcohol-related emergency. This act of responsibility will mitigate the judicial consequences against the organization resulting from Code violations that may have occurred at the time of the incident. Likewise, failure to call for medical assistance in an alcohol-related emergency will be considered an "aggravating circumstance" if judicial board action is taken in response to other Conduct Code violations.
Consistent with putting the student's health first, the College will approach repeated incidents as a serious health risk. While amnesty from the judicial process may be applied, a meeting with the dean of students and possible notification of parents or guardians may also result. Repeated failure to seek assistance by an organization will result in judicial action, and possibly organization probation or suspension.
800.9 - Smoking Policy
Smith College recognizes that using tobacco products is harmful to the health of tobacco users and that exposure to secondhand smoke poses a health risk to non-smokers. This policy has been enacted to address these health concerns and to provide a smoke-free workplace for all members of the college community.
Smoking is prohibited in all college-owned student residences and all academic and administrative buildings. All smoking by faculty, staff, students and visitors is limited to outdoor areas more than 20 feet from any academic, administrative or residential building.
The college is committed to providing educational programs to assist its employees and students in making healthy lifestyle choices. Students who are interested in smoking cessation programs may obtain information from Health Services; employees should contact the Benefits Office.
(When an exception has been authorized by the dean of religious life, smudging shall not be considered a violation of the Smoking Policy, which is designed to prohibit tobacco smoking.)
800.10 - Disability Services Policy
Smith College is both philosophically committed and legally required to enable students with documented disabilities to participate in college programs by providing reasonable and appropriate accommodations for them. The college has an Office of Disability Services to facilitate the provision of services to students with documented disabilities. A student may voluntarily register with the Office of Disability Services by completing a disability identification form and providing documentation of a disability, after which proper accommodations will be determined by the college.
Smith College is both philosophically committed and legally required to assure equal access for students with documented disabilities to participate in all college programs. The college works proactively to remove architectural and communication barriers and has an Office of Disability Services to facilitate the provision of reasonable and appropriate accommodations and services to individual students with documented disabilities. A student may voluntarily register with the Office of Disability Services by completing a disability identification form and providing documentation of a disability, after which proper accommodations will be reviewed and determined by the college.
Students with disabilities who need academic accommodations or other disability related support services must make their needs known and file timely request forms each semester with the Office of Disability Services. The types of academic accommodations which can be made may include additional time for timed examinations, private space for testing, use of assistive technology, additional time for written assignments, and, in exceptional circumstances, course substitutions or a plan for a reduced course program. (This needs approval by both the Office of Disability Services and the Administrative Board.) Students with disabilities, like all other students, should select courses that take into account their own particular strengths and weaknesses and inform advisors of their challenges.
Support services ("auxiliary aids and services," in the lexicon of the Americans with Disabilities Act [ADA]) may include sign language interpreters, note takers, scribes, assistive listening devices, typists, computing software and hardware, print alternatives, recording services, and are provided based on an individual assessment. Writing counseling, peer tutoring in certain subjects, and time management/study skills training are available to all students through the learning center. Students with disabilities may request additional or longer sessions if needed, however, separate services designed specifically for disabled students are not provided. If peer tutors are not available, other tutorial services may be sought at the student's expense. Individual academic or personal "coaching" services are also not provided by the College.
Support services are provided to students with documented disabilities to help them perform according to their intellectual abilities. The College will not provide such support services if providing them would create an undue burden for the college. The College is responsible for providing that, within certain limits, students are not denied the opportunity to participate in college programs on the basis of a disability. The college is not required to and will not:
- make accommodations or provide support for services which fundamentally alter the academic requirements for the degree, course requirements, or basic pedagogy;
- normally alter consistently applied academic policies which are based on academic standards;
- guarantee success or bear responsibility for making students succeed in their courses.
The College is not responsible for and will not provide personal care assistance, personal purchases, personal adaptive equipment, formal educational assessment or clinical disability evaluation, and services or educational supplies used by all students (pens, paper, personal computers, software, or computer supplies, etc.). These are the responsibility of the student.
The College will provide support services to students for whom the college has evaluations and documentation that support the accommodation request. Students are expected to participate responsibly in using accommodations they have requested and which have been approved by the College and to seek out assistance from Disability Services and other programs on campus as needed. Students with disabilities are bound, like all students to the Smith Honor Code. Students who may have a disability and need accommodations or support services should contact or be referred to the Office of Disability Services for consultation and advice. The required documentation and requests for accommodation must be timely. The College cannot make retroactive accommodations.
Conflicts or grievances related to disability accommodations should be discussed with the Disability Services Director, and if not resolved, can be referred to the Class Dean for informal resolution or to the Office of Institutional Diversity and Equity as part of a more formal process.
More information about the Office of Disability Services can be found at www.smith.edu/ods.
800.11 - Service and Support Animal Policy
Smith College is committed to assuring equal access for disabled students, staff, and faculty, as well as guests and visitors to the campus. It is the College's policy to permit service animals as defined by the Americans with Disabilities Act, and may permit Support Animals, as determined on a case by case basis, to reside in the residence hall with a student with a documented disability as a reasonable accommodation. This policy and the following requirements are designed to facilitate a process for assuring equal access while addressing health and safety concerns, particularly in residence halls. This policy supports Smith College's commitment to comply with state and federal laws, rules and regulations pertaining to the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, as amended and related laws, rules and regulations, including without limitation Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (Pub. L. 93-112, 87 Stat. 394 (29 U.S.C. 794), as amended, and MA General Laws chapter 129, section 39F. Adherence to these policies and requirements is essential to support a foundation of understanding, comfort, and security that make Smith a welcoming and accessible place for all.
Section 1: Service Animals under the Americans with Disabilities Act
Service animals are defined under the ADA as dogs that are trained to perform one or more specific tasks for a person with a disability. Service animals are permitted in all public areas of campus, except where specific restrictions apply as described in the Restricted Areas section below. Massachusetts State laws also support access to public places for service animals and their handlers. The policies below apply to students as well as visitors, guests, and temporary residents.
Employees, both staff and faculty, must contact Human Resources if they wish to request allowance of a service animal as a reasonable job accommodation based on a disability. Please see the instructions and forms on the Smith Human Resources website or call for assistance.
Examples of Service Animal Tasks: The work or tasks performed by a service animal must be directly related to the individual's disability. Examples of work or tasks include, but are not limited to, assisting individuals who are blind or have low vision with navigation and other tasks, alerting individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing to the presence of people or sounds, pulling a wheelchair, assisting an individual during a seizure, retrieving items such as medicine or the telephone, providing physical support and assistance with balance and stability to individuals with mobility disabilities, and helping persons with psychiatric and neurological disabilities by actively preventing or interrupting impulsive or destructive behaviors. The crime deterrent effects of an animal's presence and the provision of emotional support, well-being, comfort, or companionship do not constitute work or tasks for the purposes of this definition. (ADA, March 15, 2011) (Current law also includes a limited exception for miniature horses)
Identification: Service animals (including puppies and trainees) shall be reasonably identified to the community by harness or service animal vest or other gear when not in a private or student residence in accordance with the provision stated under Control Requirements. If there is no identification, college staff may ask the two questions below to determine if a dog is a service animal:
- Is the dog a service animal required because of a disability?
- What work or task has the dog been trained to perform?
Staff may not ask about the individual's disability, require medical documentation, require a special identification card or training documentation for the dog, or ask that the dog demonstrate its ability to perform the work or task.
Control Requirements: Service animals must be harnessed, leashed, or tethered, unless these devices interfere with the service animal's work or the individual's disability prevents using these devices. In that case, the individual must maintain control of the animal through voice, signal, or other effective controls.
Care of Service Animals: Individuals with disabilities who use service animals are expected to:
- Attend to the wellbeing and cleanliness of their animal.
- Animals must be under control at all times and not disruptive to others or they may be removed.
- Be responsible for removal of animal waste and maintaining clean conditions
- Have a plan in place for animal care in the event of an emergency,
- Arrange alternative shelter if the animal has to be removed from campus due to disruptive or unsafe behavior or environmental conditions or if the handler becomes unable to care for the Service Animal.
- Maintain up to date licensing through the city of Northampton. http://www.northamptonma.gov/cityclerk/Dog_Licenses/
Relief areas may be designated on an individual basis with the collaboration of the Disabilities Services Office and the College grounds personnel for individuals, events or programs.
Service Animals in Training/Service Puppies: User/Handler will provide College with written evidence that Puppy is a bona fide service dog candidate supplied by an authorized service dog organization, and is one that the service dog organization expects will return for specialized training when the puppy is old enough.
- Service Animals are allowed in public areas where food is sold or prepared even if state or local health codes prohibit animals on the premises.
- Allergies and fear of dogs are not acceptable reasons for excluding a service animal, but cooperation is essential to accommodate those with allergies or other conflicting disabilities when necessary. Those individuals with conflicting requests may be asked to show documentation of a disability to help determine appropriate accommodations.
- An individual with a service animal may not be isolated or treated less favorably than others.
- College staff is not required to provide food or care for service animals.
Removal of a Service Animal: A person with a disability can be asked to remove his or her service animal when the dog is out of control and the handler does not take action to control it, when the dog is not housebroken, or when it poses a threat to health and safety. When there is a legitimate reason that a service animal must be removed, staff must offer to still provide services or assistance without the animal being present.
Restricted Areas: The College may prohibit the use of service animals in certain locations due to health or safety hazards, where service animals may be endangered, or where their use may compromise the integrity of research or fundamentally alter the nature of a program or activity. Restricted locations may include, but are not limited to: research laboratories, classrooms with demonstration/research animals present, medical areas, research areas using radioactive materials or lasers, mechanical rooms or custodial closets, workshops with operating machinery, and food preparation areas. The safety of locations will be individually considered by the Disabilities Services Coordinator, the laboratory director or professor, and the College risk management team when appropriate. If a location is determined to be unsafe for the use of a service animal, alternative reasonable accommodations will be explored and provided as appropriate to ensure the individual equal access to the activity.
Exceptions to restricted areas may be granted on a case-by-case basis by contacting the Disabilities Services Office. In making its decision, the Disabilities Services Office will consult with the appropriate department and/or laboratory representative regarding the nature of the restricted area and any ongoing research.
General Community Guidance:
Public Etiquette by Students/Staff/Faculty/Administrators on Campus
Service animals are working animals; they perform tasks and are not pets. Accordingly, the College recommends that members of the Smith community adhere to the following best practices when interacting with service animals.
- Do not pet a service animal while it is working. Service animals are trained to be protective of their partners and petting distracts them from their responsibilities.
- Always speak to the service animal's owner/handler first, and ask before interacting with the service animal.
- Never feed a working service animal.
- Do not deliberately startle, tease or taunt a service animal.
- Do not separate or attempt to separate a partner from his/her handler.
- Ask the service animal's owner/handler if he/she would like assistance if the team seems confused about a direction in which to turn, an accessible entrance, the location of an elevator, etc.
- Never feed service animals alcoholic beverages. To do such may result in disciplinary action through the Dean of Students Office or Human Resources.
- Don't be offended if the service animal's owner/handler does not want to discuss the animal, their disability, let you pet the animal or otherwise interact with you.
Individuals may submit a grievance regarding service animals to the Office of Institutional Diversity and Equity by submitting a written appeal letter that specifically addresses the reason for the appeal. The appeal will be reviewed and the individual will be notified in writing on the status of the case.
Any employee dissatisfied with a decision concerning the use of a service animal at work is entitled to bring a grievance under the College Employee Grievance Procedures.
Any claims of discrimination on the basis of a disability or failure to provide reasonable accommodations regarding the use of a service animal on campus may be brought by any person (student, faculty, staff, and visitor) pursuant to the College's Grievance Procedures.
Section II: Service Animals/Support Animals in College Housing
Service animals as defined by the ADA are allowed in college housing as a reasonable accommodation. Under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act and the Fair Housing Amendments, an individual with a disability may also request to keep a support animal, sometimes called assistance animals, as a reasonable accommodation in housing facilities as a modification to pet policies or other imposed restrictions or prohibitions on animals. In order to qualify for such an accommodation, the support animal must be necessary to afford the individual an equal opportunity to use and enjoy a dwelling or to participate in the residential life program. Further, there must be a relationship, or nexus, between the individual's disability and the assistance the animal provides. To request such an accommodation:
- Students with service animals as defined by the ADA may request to have a service animal in college housing by registering with the office of Disability Services. It will be necessary to provide information that supports the presence of a disability and that the animal is a service animal.
- Students requesting to have a support animal residing in college housing must register with the Office of Disability Services and provide medical documentation of a disability which also describes the assistance the animal provides and the need for this type of accommodation. Documentation guidelines and all necessary forms can be found on the Office of Disability Services website.
- Students should submit a written request to the Office of Disability Services outlining the reason for the request and why it is necessary no later than June 1st for fall semester or October 1st for spring semester, otherwise 30 days in advance during the school year and 30 days prior to Room Draw for the following year. Current students with roommates/suitemates must submit the Roommate/Suitemate Consent form with their written request.
- The Director of Disability Services will initially review all requests and determine whether the necessary information or documentation is present. The Director will make a determination, in cooperation with Residential Life and with other appropriate college staff, about whether this is a reasonable accommodation.
- Upon approval, the student will be notified and a plan must be made with the Disability Services Director for proper care and control of the animal as described in other sections of this policy.
- Alternative accommodations may be discussed during this process and offered where appropriate.
- Smith will not allow support animals if it would fundamentally alter the nature of the program.
- Support animals must be kept in student rooms and are not allowed in public areas of the house except to enter or exit the building and are not allowed in other campus buildings.
- Animals that may pose a health risk or danger to others will not be permitted.
Owner's Responsibilities for Animals in College Housing
- The owner is responsible for assuring that the approved animal does not unduly interfere with the routine activities of the residence or cause difficulties for students who reside there.
- The owner is financially responsible for the actions of the approved animal including bodily injury or property damage. The owner's responsibility covers but is not limited to replacement of furniture, carpet, window, wall covering, and the like. The owner is expected to cover these costs at the time of repair and/or move-out.
- The owner is responsible for any expenses incurred for cleaning above and beyond a standard cleaning or for repairs to College premises that are assessed after the student and animal vacate the residence. The College shall have the right to bill the student account of the owner for unmet obligations.
- The owner must notify Disability Services in writing if the approved animal is no longer needed as an approved animal or is no longer in residence. To replace an approved animal the owner must file a new request in writing to the Office of Disability Services according to the application process in Section ll.
- The owner's residence may be inspected for fleas, ticks or other pests once a semester or as needed. The Office of Residence Life will schedule the inspection. If fleas, ticks or other pests are detected through inspection, the residence will be treated using approved fumigation methods by a college - approved pest control service. The owner will be billed for the expense of any pest treatment above and beyond standard pest management in the residence halls.
- All roommates or suitemates of the owner must sign an agreement allowing the approved animal to be in residence with them. In the event that one or more roommates or suitemates does not approve, either the owner and animal or the non-approving roommates or suitemates, as determined by Residential Life and Disability Services , may be moved to a different location.
- Service Animals may travel freely with their owner throughout College Housing (and other areas of the College, except where restrictions apply for health and safety reasons).
- Support Animals must be contained within the privately assigned residential area (room, suite, and apartment) at all times, except when transported outside the private residential area in an animal carrier or controlled by leash or harness. When outside the residence, the owner of a support animal shall carry proof that the animal is an approved animal.
- Approved animals may not be left overnight in College housing to be cared for by another student. Animals must be taken with the student if they leave campus for more than one day.
- Housing has the ability to relocate owner and approved animal as necessary according to current contractual agreements.
- The owner agrees to continue to abide by all other residential policies. Reasonable accommodation which may constitute an exception to a policy that otherwise would prohibit having an animal does not constitute an exception to any other policy.
- Any violation of the above rules may result in immediate removal of the animal from the College and may be reviewed through the College judicial process. The owner will be afforded all rights of due process and appeal as outlined in that process.
- Should the approved animal be removed from the premises for any reason, the owner is expected to fulfill his/her housing obligations for the remainder of the housing contract, unless a waiver is granted. Alternative accommodations and support will be discussed with the student as appropriate.
- The owner undertakes to comply with animal health and wellbeing requirements as set forth in this policy.
Guidelines for maintaining a Service animal/Support animal on campus
The following guidelines apply to all approved animals and their owners, unless the nature of the documented disability of the owner precludes adherence to these guidelines, or permission for a variance from the guidelines has been granted.
B. Care and Supervision:
Care and supervision of the animal are the responsibility of the individual who benefits from the approved animal's use. Owners are required to maintain control of the animal at all times.
Owners are also responsible for ensuring the cleanup of the animal's waste and, when appropriate, must use relief areas designated by the College consistent with the reasonable capacity of the owner. Indoor animal waste, such as cat litter, must be placed in a study plastic bag and securely tied up before being disposed of in outside trash dumpsters. Litter boxes should be placed on mats so that waste is not tracked onto carpeted surfaces.
C. Animal Health and Well-being
- Vaccination: In accordance with local ordinances and regulations found at: http://www.northamptonma.gov/cityclerk/Dog_Licenses/. The animal must be immunized against diseases common to that type of animal. Dogs must have current vaccination against rabies and wear a rabies vaccination tag. Although not mandated, cats should have the normal shots required for a healthy animal. Local licensing requirements are followed and documentation must be provided.
- Health: Animals to be housed in college housing must have an annual clean bill of health from a licensed veterinarian. Documentation can be a vaccination certificate for the animal or a veterinarian's statement regarding the animal's health. The college has authority to direct that the animal receive veterinary attention.
- Licensing: The college reserves the right to request documentation showing that the animal has been licensed (e.g., Massachusetts law requires that every dog be licensed and provides that service dogs are exempt from the license fee.)
- Behavior: Service animals must be properly trained.
E. Removal of Approved Animal
The College may exclude/remove an approved animal when:
- the animal poses a direct threat to the health or safety of others, or
- the animal's presence results in a fundamental alteration of the College's program, or
- the owner does not comply with owner's responsibilities in College housing, or
- the animal or its presence creates an unmanageable disturbance or interference with the Smith community.
Students may appeal the College's decision regarding service or support animals to the Office of Institutional Diversity and Equity. In all cases, a detailed, written appeal must be submitted within five (5) class days after written notification of the decision. The student must write an appeal letter that specifically addresses the reason for the appeal. The written appeal will be reviewed and the student will be notified in writing on the status of the case.
Owners of approved animals are solely responsible for any damage to persons or College property caused by their animals.
(Written October 2012)
800.12 - Firearms Policy
In accordance with Massachusetts General Law Chapter 269 Section 10J, weapons are prohibited on the grounds of the College with the exception of law enforcement officers duly authorized to carry such weapons. No person shall be permitted to carry firearms or other weapons, concealed or not concealed, with or without a concealed weapon permit, while on properties owned or controlled by the College.
For the purposes of this policy, the term "weapons" includes, but is not limited to, firearms of any nature or description, including shotguns, rifles, pistols, and revolvers, paint ball guns, or BB/pellet guns; firearm replicas; ammunition; martial arts-type weapons; explosives (including fireworks); bows, crossbows, arrows; slingshots; switchblade knives, double-edged knives, hunting (pocket-style) knives with a blade length of three inches or greater; swords; pointed metal darts; (unauthorized) pepper spray; or any other destructive device or instrument that may be used to do bodily injury or damage to property. In addition, items that may be used as weapons, whether or not they fit the definition above, will be subject to seizure.
Because these weapons may pose a clear risk to persons and property on the campus, violation of the regulations may result in administrative action from the college and/or prosecution under the appropriate state or federal laws.
Page updated 3/28/14