Berklee Student Policies
When bad weather conditions (e.g., snowstorms, hurricanes) or other circumstances make it necessary to cancel classes, all students, faculty, and staff are encouraged to check the home page of the college’s website, berklee.edu, for the latest official information on the status of the college. Students may also call the college’s main number, 617 266-1400, for status. Though classes may be canceled, only in extreme emergencies will the buildings be closed. Notification of class cancellation will always be posted and/or distributed as early as possible. In the majority of situations, students may be contacted through the Berklee Emergency Notification System (BENS), which uses mobile phone, local home telephone, and email to contact members of the Berklee community and provide status on cancellation of classes and other emergency situations. Students are encouraged to sign up for BENS notification at the beginning of each semester.
The student identification card, or Berklee Card, is a multipurpose card that provides access to facilities and services. The front of the card contains a student’s digital picture, name, student number, personal identification number, and library bar code. The back of the card has a magnetic stripe that is encoded with a student’s identification number and is used at campus facilities. The card stripe allows access to the student’s online flexible spending account for use in campus vending machines and at local merchants, including the campus dining hall and college bookstore. For more information, on the flexible spending account, visit berkleecard.com. The Berklee Card is also an access control card that allows access to authorized card readers across the Berklee campus.
The Berklee Card allows access to many areas around the campus including the residence halls (residence hall students only), dining hall, Stan Getz Library, Learning Center, and practice rooms. Only the card owner is permitted to utilize his or her issued Berklee Card to gain access to appropriate facilities and other areas. It must be presented for inspection upon request of any Berklee community member. Public Safety will be immediately notified in the event of loss or withholding of the card, and no school facilities requiring a card will be available for immediate access and/or use until further notice.
The Berklee Card is issued when the student registers for his/her first semester. The student is responsible for keeping the card as long as the student remains at the college. The replacement fee for lost cards is $20 in cash payable at the Berklee Card Office located at 150 Massachusetts Avenue. If the ID is not working it will be replaced at no charge.
Each summer, the resident student identification code “R” on the Berklee Card will change color. Continuing resident students will receive a new card at no cost at the beginning of each fall semester. The old card must be turned in when the new one is issued. Failure to turn in the old card will result in a $15 lost-card replacement fee. Continuing
students who were residents the prior year but no longer are this year will use the same card. Resident students released early from their housing contract will receive a new card at no charge.
Transcripts are issued at no charge through the Office of the Registrar. Transcript request forms are available there. Requests cannot be taken over the phone; however, a request received through an authenticated berklee.net email account will be accepted. Otherwise, a written request is required. Transcripts will not be issued for students owing money to the college.
Massachusetts law requires students enrolled in colleges located in the state to participate in a qualifying student health insurance program. Further, the law requires that colleges may enroll only students who either participate in the college’s qualifying health insurance program or verify (through a waiver process) that they are in a health insurance program that meets the law’s minimum QSHIP benefit requirements. The college has arranged for a qualifying student health insurance program. Students who have comparable health insurance to the QSHIP minimums may elect to waive the requirement to participate in the health insurance. Students can submit a waiver online by logging in to my.berklee.net, selecting the Student Services tab, then the My Finances subtab, and clicking on Waive My Health Insurance. Students may also submit a waiver form at the Bursar’s Office. Waiver forms can be downloaded online at berklee.edu/forms in the Health Related section of the page.
The Massachusetts Division of Health Care Finance and Policy requires that the college may not waive participation in the institution’s qualifying student health plan for 1) students who have been determined Low Income Patients for Services Eligible for Payment from the Uncompensated Care Pool or 2) students with coverage from insurance carriers outside the United States, by foreign National Health Service programs, and by embassy-sponsored programs. Health plans such as those in the preceding statement are deemed not to be comparable to coverage under a qualifying student health insurance program. Therefore, waivers are not accepted. International students are expected to participate in the college’s qualifying health plan. Students participating in a Berklee-sponsored study abroad program may waive the health insurance if their foreign insurance plan provides coverage in the study-abroad area.
Information brochures are available at berklee.edu/forms and in the Office of the Registrar. Health insurance fees are listed under Financial Information in this bulletin.
The college insures only its own property against loss. It does not insure against nor reimburse against the loss, from any cause, of student property. It is strongly suggested that students who possess property of value insure against loss through their own insurance company.
Students are responsible for insuring their own instruments. One way for students to insure an instrument is by attaching a floater to their parents’ homeowner’s or renter’s insurance policy. Members of the American Federation of Musicians may purchase insurance through the federation. Students who are not union members should research their local insurance companies and agents to compare available coverage. Students should know that there are differences in coverage and premiums for professional and non-professional musicians. For more information, contact an insurance carrier.
It’s likely that international students may experience some difficulty in establishing a property insurance policy in the United States and are encouraged to secure instrument coverage in their home country.
Change of Address
Students are required to keep the college informed of any change of address. The Office of the Registrar must be notified of such changes in writing or contact information can be edited through my.berklee.net account via the Student Services link. Click on Check-In and Orientation, then My Contact Information.
Methods of Communication
The official method of communication regarding important college deadlines, events, administrative business required for student enrollment, activities, announcements, and other daily updates are the student’s Berklee email and my.berklee.net. The college uses several alternative methods of communicating information to students, including bulletin board postings, Facebook, Twitter, and Berklee-blogs. Berklee email and the my.berklee.net website serve as the primary forms. Students are responsible for checking their Berklee email account and my.berklee.net on a daily basis for important college-related information.
As noted above, the official form of communication at Berklee is via the student’s berklee.net email account. However, all on-campus resident students are assigned an individual mailbox with a combination lock. These mailboxes are provided for internal communication only and may not be used for commercial purposes. Students are responsible for checking their mailbox on a regular basis and remembering its combination. Official notices from the college are sent to the students’ mailboxes for residential students, and to the local address for students living off campus.
The mailboxes are located in each dormitory. The student mail and document services center is located on the B level of 1108 Boylston Street and is open Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., and Saturday, 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Packages requiring a signature, or that are too large for the mailbox, can be picked up here. The student mail and document services window is closed during Thanksgiving and Christmas breaks, and on Sundays and holidays.
Only on-campus residents may have mail and packages addressed to them at Berklee. Residents must leave a forwarding address with the student mailroom upon leaving the college’s housing facilities. The appropriate address for on-campus residents’ mail is:
168 Massachusetts Avenue
Boston, Massachusetts 02115-3010
Commuting students should have mail and packages addressed to them at their local address; however, the college will provide incoming mail service to students living off campus for important or valuable mail or packages.
It is suggested that students verify their mailbox number with student mail and document services at the beginning of each semester. Students will lose their assigned mailbox at the end of the current semester if they are not registered for a following semester. If a student registers late, he/she may not be reassigned to the same mailbox.
The college reserves the right not to distribute certain third-class mail.
Student mail and document services personnel will provide information and assistance in shipping packages to and from Berklee.
Berklee assumes no responsibility whatsoever for the prompt or reliable delivery of student mail. However, mailroom personnel will do their best to see that all mail received by the student mail and document services is distributed properly.
Additional information is posted at the student mail and document services center. Students should familiarize themselves with it. Questions about student mail and mailboxes should be directed to the student mail and document services staff.
Mail for faculty or staff can be left at the following locations: student mail services window, B level, 1108 Boylston Street. Faculty mail will be delivered to faculty departments. All other staff and department mail will be delivered via the campus mailstops located throughout campus.
To address mail to faculty, include the faculty name and department. For example:
Faculty member name
Professional Writing Division
To address mail to a department or staff member, include the staff member name and department name. If possible, please also include the mailbox number, which is the same as the building address. For example, the Admissions Office is located at 921 Boylston Street. To completely address a piece of mail for Admissions, or to a staff member in Admissions, include the following:
Staff member name
Any questions concerning faculty or staff mail should be directed to the mail processing staff at the student mail services window on the B level of the 1108 Boylston Street building.
Policy on Posting Notices
Notices may not be posted by students, faculty, and staff anywhere on Berklee College of Music property except as specified in this section. The purpose of this policy is to ensure fairness and clarity in the posting of information for the Berklee community. Any violation is potentially unfair and may cause confusion rather than clarity. Therefore, any posting that violates the posting policy may be removed. If the violation is serious or repeated after warnings are issued, the person responsible for violating the policy may be disciplined according to established disciplinary policies.
Approved On-Campus Concerts and Approved Notices
Campus concerts are those concerts that are approved by the Office of Concert Operations or the Office of Student Activities and are held on campus. Approved notices are defined as any notices about approved college activitiespostedbyanymemberoftheBerkleecommunity, such as official notices of departments or offices of the college or notices about approved student club meetings and/or activities.
Posters relating to these activities may be placed on walls and boards designated as “Concerts/Notices.” They must not be larger than 8.5” x 11”, not be posted earlier than two weeks before the date of the activity, not cover any posters already posted, and be removed no later than the day after the activity.
General notices are those notices from external sources that do not pertain to approved on-campus activities and personal notices advertising the selling of merchandise, announcing apartments for rent, announcing off-campus gigs and concerts, etc. These notices are restricted to general bulletin boards that are specified for such notices and may not be posted on any walls, doors, or any other place in the college. Notices from external sources may be removed at the discretion of the college.
Posters relating to these activities may be posted on walls and boards designated as “General Notices.” They must not be larger than 8.5” x 11” and must not cover any posters already posted. Please also see the section on Off-Campus Posting.
Specific Prohibited Postings
Posting on approved bulletin boards and posting areas may be done only as permitted by the college, only in accordance with applicable college policies, and only for lawful purposes. Any conduct that, in our sole discretion, restricts or inhibits others from using these posting areas or violates college policies or applicable law is not permitted and will be subject to sanction and disciplinary action.
Prohibited postings are those that the college deems unlawful, harmful, threatening, abusive, harassing, defamatory, vulgar, obscene, profane, hateful, racially/ethnically/religiously demeaning or threatening, or otherwise objectionable, including, without limitation, any content which encourages conduct that would constitute a criminal offense, give rise to civil liability, or otherwise violate any applicable law or college policy.
We reserve the right to remove any posting that we believe to be harmful to the college or to others. More specifically, and without limitation, the following conduct violates college policies and is not permitted:
- OffensiveCommunicationsandImages.Useofvulgar,abusive, or hateful language is prohibited. Sexually suggestive objects, pictures, videotapes, audio recordings, computer communications, or literature placed in a work or study area that may embarrass or offend, or other communications or images we deem to be offensive, are also prohibited.
- Harassment.Targetingofanotherperson,group,or organization that causes distress, embarrassment, injury, unwanted attention, or other substantial discomfort is harassment, which is prohibited. Personal attacks or other action to threaten or intimidate or embarrass an individual, group, or organization, or attacks based on a person’s race, national origin, ethnicity, disability, religion, gender, veteran status, sexual orientation, or another such characteristic or affiliation are prohibited.
Current students can log on to my.berklee.net to view the complete policy.
Since Berklee does not have the capacity to render banking services such as the cashing of checks and money orders, students are advised to establish a personal checking account at a local bank. Because there is an initial waiting period for personal checks to clear in establishing such an account, it is advisable that the initial deposit be in the form of traveler’s checks against which the bank will permit an immediate withdrawal. If a student does not have a local account, the banks will cash only traveler’s checks. (For example, Bank of America will allow immediate withdrawals of funds from newly established accounts only if the funds are in the form of traveler’s checks issued from American Express or Citicorp. Furthermore, withdrawals from accounts established with these types of funds are not allowed to exceed $300. International traveler’s checks and other kinds of traveler’s checks will not be honored in this fashion, but will be subject to the same policy that applies to personal checks.)
In an emergency requiring cash from home, funds should be transferred directly from the student’s home bank to an affiliated Boston bank where they may be picked up.
Telephone Calls and Messages
To reach the college operator, dial the main number for Berklee at 617 266-1400. The operator can direct calls to College Departments or the voice mail system. Telephone messages for faculty or staff can be accessed directly by dialing 617 747-8000, then keying in the name or extension number.
Email addresses typically use a first initial followed by the last name. Faculty, staff, administration, and students are addressed using firstname.lastname@example.org. Addresses may contain a middle initial or a number—i.e., email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org—with ascending numbers according to how many users (past and present) have the same combination of first initial and last name.
Berklee Alumni also receive Berklee-branded email addresses. This email address contains the same username as the student address but has the domain alumni.berklee.edu. This means that email@example.com becomes firstname.lastname@example.org upon graduation from the college or attending full time for one or more semesters (summer semester not included).
The college will not release any personal information without prior approvals. Restrictions apply to providing personal information regarding students’ addresses, telephone numbers, or class schedules (see Right of Access to Student Records, page 58). Any requests for such information, must be reviewed, approved, and authorized by Student Affairs and in compliance with all college policies and procedures.
Lost and Found
A “lost and found” program is maintained by the Public Safety Department at the 150 Massachusetts Avenue Public Safety Desk. Students are encouraged to use this location for any items lost or found within the college. The college assumes no responsibility for loss of students’ property in any college building through fire, theft, or other causes (see Property Insurance).
Students enrolling in the college assume an obligation to conduct themselves in a manner compatible with the college’s function as an educational institution. As a result, reasonable policies, procedures, and regulations have been developed to guarantee each student’s freedom to learn and to protect the fundamental rights of others.
Each student’s attitude and deportment must conform to standards inherently necessary to advance the educational process. Failure to observe these standards may result in referral of a student’s behavior to the Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs/Dean of Students for appropriate determination. If a student does not respond to the request to meet with the vice president or designee, a hold is placed on the student’s record, thereby preventing access to transcripts, diploma or degree, grades, registration, course add and drop, and other college activities, including graduation. The hold is not removed until the student meets with the vice president or designee and an outcome appropriate to the nature of the unacceptable behavior is determined. Depending on the nature of the unacceptable behavior, the consequence could range from a disciplinary warning up to and including suspension or dismissal from the college. Students who fail to comply with the regulations of Berklee College of Music may be dismissed from the college at any time with no reimbursement of fees. The college may withdraw scholarship funds from students who receive disciplinary sanctions.
The use or possession on campus of firearms; explosive agents of any kind; or hazardous chemicals, such as mace and tear gas, is specifically forbidden. Violation of this policy is cause for disciplinary action up to and including termination of employment of faculty and staff. Student disciplinary action may result in dismissal from the college. Contractors found violating this policy will be immediately dismissed from the campus. In addition, it is worth noting that Massachusetts law states: “Whoever, not being a law enforcement officer and notwithstanding any license obtained by him under the provisions of chapter one hundred and forty, carries on his person a firearm as herein defined, loaded or unloaded, in any building or on the grounds of any college or university without the written authorization of the board or officer in charge of said college or university shall be punished by a fine of not more than one thousand dollars or by imprisonment for not more than one year or both. For the purpose of this paragraph, ‘firearm’ shall mean any pistol, revolver, rifle, or smoothbore arm from whichashot,bullet,orpelletcanbedischargedbywhatever means.” Massachusetts General Law also prohibits the possession of nunchaku or karate sticks, switchblades, knives, starter’s pistols, ammunition, or other dangerous weapons or articles.
As an urban college, Berklee is part of the community and business life of its neighborhood. The maintenance of friendly and considerate relations among the college and area residents and businesses is in keeping with the college’s broader responsibility to contribute to the general good of society.
Therefore, Berklee expects its students to demonstrate responsible citizenship. Excessive or unreasonable noise, rude and abusive language or behavior, or conduct that is disruptive to the neighborhood is not in keeping with the role of the college in its urban setting, and such actions will be subject to disciplinary review by the Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs/Dean of Students. If found guilty, students may be disciplined up to and including suspension or dismissal from the college.
College Response to Endangering Behavior/Involuntary Leaves of Absence
Berklee College of Music is committed to the safety and well-being of its community members and to the integrity of the learning environment. Students with medical or mental health concerns may elect to withdraw from any given semester and may be eligible for a partial or full tuition refund through their tuition insurance policy (see Tuition Insurance). However, in instances when the student’s mental/emotional or medical health condition poses a threat to self and/or others, or causes significant disruption to the educational activities of the college community, such students may be required to take a leave of absence from the college.
In such circumstances, the dean of students may require a student to undergo a psychological and/or medical evaluation in order to make an informed assessment regarding the student’s fitness for college life.
Examples of behaviors that may necessitate such an evaluation include but are not limited to:
- Unresolved, ongoing, or serious suicidal threats, or behavior indicating a student’s inability to care for oneself
- Disordered eating, including self-starvation, binging, or purging, which may be life-threatening in nature and/or adversely affect the surrounding community
- Evidence of chronic and/or serious alcohol or drug involvement
- Serious threats made to others within or external to the Berklee community
- Instances in which a student engages in inappropriate behavior where a contributing factor is failure to follow a prescribed medical or psychological treatment plan, which may include a prescription regime
- Instances of inappropriate behavior that cause a chronic, inordinate use of college resources, including but not limited to staff time, psychological services, and/or emergency services, thereby causing an undue burden on the college
If the student chooses not to submit to an evaluation or to allow for a release of information following an evaluation, this may result in a required leave of absence and, if applicable, immediate removal from the residence halls.
Wherever possible the college will encourage the student to withdraw from the semester voluntarily, thereby aiding in the preservation of the student’s privacy and confidentiality. In any instance in which a leave is required, the dean of students will provide written notice to the student, including the specific requirements that must be met as a condition of eligibility for re-enrollment. In most instances, the parent(s) or guardian(s) of the student will be included in this notice.
The duration of the leave is typically no less than one semester, although the specific length of the leave will be determined by the dean of students on a case-by-case basis.
Student Grievance Procedure General Procedure Situations sometimes arise where students think that they have been dealt with unfairly, that particular circumstances surrounding a policy decision require special consideration, or that they have a complaint about the behavior or performance of a faculty or staff member. (This procedure does not cover complaints regarding discrimination or harassment as defined by a separate policy and set of procedures. Information on these types of complaints may be found below in this section.) As a general rule, students should address their concerns about a policy decision directly with the office responsible for administering the policy. Similarly, students should attempt to resolve their complaints directly with the persons involved. In the event that a satisfactory resolution is not reached, students may bring their concerns to the next immediate level of authority.
An unresolved complaint about the behavior or performance of a faculty member may be brought to the chair of the department in which the faculty member teaches. An unresolved complaint about the behavior/performance of a staff member may be brought to the attention of the person’s immediate supervisor.
If the complaint remains unresolved, the student may continue to appeal to each higher level of authority, within the appropriate area, up to the vice president of the area.
The Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs/Dean of Students will assist students who have complaints or grievances and need help in determining the procedures to be followed. Students may also discuss concerns confidentially with a counselor at the Counseling and Advising Center before deciding on further action.
In cases where a student is uncomfortable about discussing the problem with the party directly concerned or is uncertain whether to initiate a grievance, the student may seek, in confidence, the advice of the vice president for student affairs/dean of students or his designee, who, with the student’s permission, will seek to resolve the problem through discussion with the involved parties.
Policy and Procedure for Grievances Involving Discrimination or Harassment
It is the policy of Berklee College of Music to maintain a working and learning environment that is safe, respectful, productive, and free from sexual harassment and any other unlawful discrimination. Any form of unlawful discrimination or harassment, based on race, color, religion, gender, gender identity, national origin, age, disability, military or veteran status, sexual orientation, genetic information, marital status, pregnancy, or any other characteristic protected by applicable law, is strictly prohibited.
The college, as well as state and federal laws, prohibits retaliation against any person who, in good faith, reports, assists in reporting, or participates in an investigation of possible discrimination or harassment. Any person who retaliates against such an individual will be subject to the college disciplinary procedures up to and including expulsion or termination of employment by the college.
The following sections describe the process by which staff, faculty, and students can report prohibited conduct and how complaints will be addressed by the college.
Sexual harassment is a form of sex discrimination that violates federal and state laws as well as college policy. Berklee College of Music, its faculty, staff, customers and suppliers, and students shall be held responsible for their acts of discrimination and sexual harassment, and are subject to appropriate disciplinary action and may be held personally liable.
Sexual harassment, whether between people of different sexes or of the same sex, is defined to include, but is not limited to, unwanted sexual advances, unwelcome requests for sexual favors, and other behavior of a sexual nature when:
- Submission to such conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term and condition of an individual’s academic status or employment; or
- Submission to, or rejection of, such conduct by an individual is used as a basis for employment or academic decisions affecting him or her; or
- Such conduct, whether verbal or physical, has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with the individual’s academic or work performance, or of creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive environment in which to work or to learn.
Sexual harassment can involve:
- Teacher and student
- Supervisor and employee
- Teacher and teacher
- Student and student
- Staff member and student
- Other relationships among colleagues, peers, and coworkers
- Service providers and vendors of the college
The following behavior may constitute sexual harassment:
As stated by the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination (MCAD): “While it is not possible to list all those additional circumstances that outline sexual harassment, the following are some examples of conduct which, if unwelcome, may constitute sexual harassment depending upon the totality of the circumstances, including the severity of the conduct and its pervasiveness”:
- Lewd remarks, whistles, or personal reference to one’s anatomy
- Visual displays of degrading sexual images
- Unwanted physical contact such as patting, pinching, or constant brushing against a person’s body
- Subtle or overt pressure for sexual favors
- Persistent and offensive sexual jokes and comments
- Persistent and unwanted requests for dates
- Email messages of an offensive sexual nature
Other Unlawful Harassment and Discrimination
The law also prohibits a hostile educational or work environment based on any legally protected class, which includes race, color, national or ethnic origin, ancestry, sex, gender or gender identity, religion, age, physical or mental disability, sexual orientation, genetic information, military or veteran’s status, and any other characteristic protected by state or federal law. In its effort to prevent unlawful harassment or discrimination the college prohibits negative or stereotyping jokes and demeaning or derogatory comments about any of these protected groups in any manner that may affect the work and educational environment.
There are two different processes for resolving harassment and discrimination complaints. They are the informal resolution and formal resolution processes.
Any member of the Berklee community who believes that he/she has been harassed may first attempt to resolve the problem through discussion with the other party. When discussing the problem with that person would present particular stress or difficulties, the complainant has the right to consult with a college workplace discrimination and sexual harassment resource person listed in this statement for consultation and assistance with resolution of the problem on a timely basis. Conclusion of an informal proceeding ordinarily should be sought within three weeks of the beginning of informal proceedings. However, the complainant has the right to institute formal proceedings at any time during this process.
If the problem has not been resolved to the satisfaction of the complainant through the informal process, she or he has the right to file a formal complaint in accordance with the following procedure.
A complainant has the right to institute formal proceedings without first availing himself or herself of the informal procedure.
Where to file a complaint
If the person alleged to be responsible for the harassment or discrimination is:
- A student: file with the student judicial officer (SJO) in the Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs.
- A staff member or an administrator: file with the vice president of human resources, diversity, and inclusion.
- A faculty member: file with the senior vice president for academic affairs/provost or his/her designee.
What to include in a formal complaint
The complaint should be reduced to writing by the complainant and should set forth the facts upon which the harassment complained of is based, the person alleged to be responsible, the names of the witnesses, and the resolution sought.
When to file a complaint
Students: The complaint should normally be filed within 14 calendar days of the incident(s) giving rise to the complaint. The college may extend this period if it finds that there are extenuating circumstances.
Staff: The complaint should normally be filed within 14 calendar days of the incident(s) giving rise to the complaint. The college may extend this period if it finds that there are extenuating circumstances.
Faculty: Faculty should file complaints in accordance with the union contract.
How a complaint will be processed
- If the charged party is a student, the written complaint should be filed with the student judicial officer (SJO) in the Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs.
- The SJO, upon receiving the complaint, will immediately notify and provide a copy of the written complaint to the charged party and request that he/she submit a written response to the charges within 10 working days. Response to a complaint is required and will be pursued to see that it is obtained in a timely fashion. Also, the SJO will immediately notify in writing the Title IX coordinator that a complaint has been filed.
- Upon receiving the written response from the charged party, the SJO will attempt to resolve the situation through discussion, investigation, or other steps that he or she feels is necessary. The complainant and the charged party will be informed in writing by the SJO (or his or her designee) of the results of the investigation and any action to be taken.
- The SJO will send a summary report to the Title IX coordinator, as described in the Centralized Reporting and Coordination section below.
- If the charged party is a staff member or administrator, the written complaint should be filed with the vice president for human resources, diversity, and inclusion (VPHRDI).
- The VPHRDI, upon receiving the complaint, will immediately notify and provide a copy of the written complaint to the charged party and request that he or she submit a written response to the charges within 10 working days. Response to a complaint is required and will be pursued to see that it is obtained in a timely fashion. Also, the VPHRDI will immediately notify in writing the Title IX Coordinator that a complaint has been filed.
- Upon receiving the written response from the charged party, the VPHRDI will attempt to resolve the situation through discussion, investigation, or other steps that he or she feels is necessary. The complainant and the charged party will be informed in writing by the VPHRDI (or his or her designee) of the results of the investigation and any action to be taken.
- The VPHRDI will send a summary report to the Title IX coordinator, as described in the Centralized Reporting and Coordination section below
If the charged party is a faculty member, the complaint will be handled in accordance with the union contract. The written complaint should be filed with the senior vice president for academic affairs (SVPAA)/provost or his/her designee.
Within the constraints of the academic schedule, the SVPAA/provost or his/her designee and the designated associate vice presidents and staff listed below will strive to conclude the investigation within 30 working days from the date the original formal complaint was filed or as soon as practical depending upon schedules and availability. The academic affairs designee will follow the time limits as outlined in the union contract.
Note: The time limits mentioned in this policy are intended as reasonable amounts of time for specific activities to occur. The appropriate college officials may adjust the time lines at their option, while attempting to ensure a fair and equitable process for all parties.
The college recognizes that all individuals involved in processing the complaint may want their identity to remain confidential. However, issues of confidentiality must be balanced against the college’s need to process the complaint and to resolve the problem.
Central Reporting and Coordination
Title IX regulations of the Education Amendments of 1972 require all college personnel to report any case of sexual harassment whether resolved informally or formally through the complaint procedure to the college’s Title IX coordinator. (The role and responsibilities of the Title IX coordinator are assigned to the vice president for student affairs, as noted under the Where to Find Help section on this page.)
Such reports should not include the names or identities of the persons involved. They should include, however, a description of the complaint and the divisions or administrative units with which the participants are affiliated. Reports from decentralized areas will allow the Title IX coordinator to identify patterns of frequency in a particular area or location within the college and report these findings to the president, as necessary.
Berklee College of Music encourages anyone who believes he or she has been subjected to harassment or discrimination to use the procedures described above. In addition or instead, they may also file a formal complaint with the appropriate government agencies.
For the Student Community
Complaints of discrimination or sexual harassment may be filed directly with the U.S. Department of Education:
U.S. Department of Education
Office for Civil Rights
Post Office Square
Boston, MA 02109
(Statute of Limitations: 180 days)
For College Employees
Complaints of sexual discrimination or sexual harassment may be directed to:
Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
15 New Sudbury Street
Boston, MA 02203
(Statute of Limitations: 300 days)
Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination
One Ashburton Place
Boston, MA 02108
(Statute of Limitations: 300 days)
Where to Find Help
The following is a list of the workplace discrimination and sexual harassment resource persons available to the college community:
Title IX Coordinator
Lawrence E. Bethune, Vice President for Student Affairs
617 747-2231, email@example.com
Student Judicial Officer
Angela Davis, Associate Dean of Students
Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs
617 747-2330, firstname.lastname@example.org
Student Judicial Intake Officers
Renese King, Administrative Associate to the Associate Dean of Students
Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs
617 747-2268, email@example.com
Rita Bottoni Pisapia, Administrative Associate for Judicial Affairs and Community Standards
Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs
617 747-2849, firstname.lastname@example.org
Human Resources Office
Christine Connors, Vice President for Human Resources, Diversity, and Inclusion
617 747-2089, email@example.com
Human Resources Office
Lily Krentzman, Senior HR Partner
617 747-6313, firstname.lastname@example.org
Students seeking confidential support, guidance, and counsel may contact any of the counselors in the Counseling and Advising Center. The personal counseling staff members are very knowledgeable about harassment procedures, although they are not serving as Berklee College of Music workplace discrimination and sexual harassment resource persons.
Students who have experienced any type of harassment, discrimination, or sexual assault are encouraged to discuss the incident with a counselor in the Counseling and Advising Center. In a confidential setting, the student will receive support in identifying and clarifying issues and feelings, information regarding college policies and procedures, and assistance in choosing the most appropriate course of action. Students may directly contact the Office of the Dean of Students if they prefer.
Karen Grimes, Director of Counseling Services
617 747-2310, email@example.com
Berklee is committed to preventing the occurrence of sexual assaults and is prepared to respond responsibly to any report of a sexual assault that is brought to its attention. Sexual assault is an act of violence and is considered a felony in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. The following policy relates only to incidents in which the person accused of a sexual assault is a currently enrolled Berklee student. For information on procedures for incidents involving Berklee faculty or staff members, please contact the Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs/Dean of Students.
Prevention and Education
Through its educational programming and security measures, the college attempts to help students reduce their risk of being sexual assault victims. The Public Safety Department publishes the brochure Rape & Sexual Assault: A Guide to Prevention, Reporting, and Changing the Culture on Campus, issues security alerts when incidents in the surrounding community occur, and offers security workshops for students and employees. Student Affairs staff offer a number of related educational programs as part of the Berklee Orientation Program, as well as Residence Life and Counseling and Advising Center programming.
Reporting, Counseling, and Support
A victim of sexual assault may contact local police to file a report and/or seek legal action. Whether or not the assault occurred on campus, the college’s Public Safety Department can be of assistance in reporting the assault.
If a Berklee student is the alleged assailant, victims/survivors also have the option to simultaneously or exclusively file a complaint through the Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs/Dean of Students.
Students seeking emotional support, counseling, and information about options in a confidential manner are encouraged to meet with a personal counselor in the college’s Counseling and Advising Center. They may also access confidential services off campus through the Boston Area Rape Crisis Center (BARCC).
Students choosing to report an incident of sexual assault should contact the Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs/Dean of Students to discuss options and procedures.
If the student files a complaint with the Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs/Dean of Students, this office will: 1. notify the accused 2. conduct an investigation 3. make a finding on the complaint and determine the appropriate sanction
If appropriate, both the accused and the accuser are entitled to:
- appear in person
- identify witnesses and character references to be interviewed in their defense or as part of the fact-finding process
The entire process will be conducted in a reasonable amount of time, usually not to exceed 15 working days. The finding and outcome will be communicated in writing to both the accused and the accuser.
If the finding of the Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs/Dean of Students is one of probable violation of college rules, a sanction appropriate to the severity of the offense will be imposed. Sanctions may range from a warning to suspension or dismissal from school.
Honesty in Academic Work and in Scholarly and Professional Practice
Berklee College of Music values integrity within the classroom, across all areas of scholarly and professional practice, and in the use of information technology resources. Consequently, members of the Berklee community are expected to maintain high standards of honesty and practice throughout the many aspects of their life and study at the college.
Students who have evidenced academic dishonesty may be made subject to disciplinary procedures including but not limited to: receiving a warning; receiving a lowered or failing grade for the project, exam, or other class or homework; receiving a lowered or failing grade for the course; dismissal from the major; suspension or permanent dismissal from
The following definitions are provided for the information of the Berklee community and constitute notice of unacceptable academic behavior or scholarly and professional practice. Academic work in this context means any and all music and nonmusic work related to any course or major at the college. While scholarly and professional work may occur in the context of a course, they also are found in activity that is independent of course work. Dishonesty in scholarly or professional work, whether in the form of fraud, plagiarism, or cheating, is unacceptable and subject to appropriate disciplinary procedures.
- Fraud is using identifiers (such as name, password, ID) of other persons as one’s own or submitting false information about oneself. Some examples include such infractions as concealing or misrepresenting one’s identity, impersonating another individual, falsifying information on such documents as one’s résumé or internship applications, misrepresenting oneself as acting on behalf of Berklee, or using the college’s name, logo, or symbol without prior written permission.
- Plagiarism is defined as misrepresenting work that has been done by another as one’s own efforts whether such misrepresentation has been accomplished with or without the permission of the other individual.
- Cheating is the use of prohibited assistance (whether in the nature of a person or a resource) in the performance of assignments and examinations, and copying of another student’s work or the giving or receiving of information or answers, whether verbally or in writing.
Procedures for Alleged Academic Dishonesty
Any member of the college community may make an allegation of academic dishonesty against a student. Students making allegations must do so in conjunction with the appropriate faculty member, supervisor (such as a test proctor or lab supervisor), administrator, or staff. A written charge must be made within 20 calendar days from the date of the alleged action. However, if such action occurs during the last 20 calendar days of the semester, the period for submitting the charge is extended 20 calendar days into the subsequent semester. The last day of a semester is the last day of final examinations.
The investigation of charges of academic dishonesty is to be conducted in such a way as to protect the student’s identity. An informal review and discussion with an official of the college may be held prior to bringing a charge. However, this review should not violate the student’s rights in the formal process.
Section I: Process
The process for alleged academic dishonesty begins at the faculty/supervisor level. The faculty member/supervisor directly confronts the student with the evidence supporting the allegation and takes appropriate action. Resolution at the faculty/supervisor level may include but is not limited to an informal verbal warning, a reduced or failing grade, or a letter of reprimand.
- If, in the judgment of the faculty member/supervisor, the charges of alleged academic dishonesty call for a more severe penalty than designated at the departmental level, the faculty member/supervisor may refer the case to the academic affairs designee and the student affairs designee for formal review and/or hearing. Reasonable written notice of the facts and evidence underlying the charge of academic dishonesty will be provided to the student. If requested, reasonable time to prepare a response to the allegation will be given to the student; or
- The student may appeal the decision of the faculty member/supervisor, and may request a formal hearing before the academic affairs and student affairs designees to the case. A formal hearing shall be scheduled at a time and place agreeable to all parties concerned. The hearing board will consist of the academic affairs designee, the student affairs designee, and a neutral faculty member or department chair from a department other than the department of the faculty member/supervisor, department chair, or student major. If requested by the student, a student may be designated to serve on the hearing board. Sanctions will not be in effect during the appeals process.
Section II: Sanctions
Sanctions for all proven cases of academic dishonesty may include but are not limited to the following. A student may appeal any finding or sanction.
- A reduced or failing grade
- A letter of reprimand
- A defined period of disciplinary probation, with or without the attachment of conditions
- Loss of Berklee scholarship
- Loss of work-study privileges
- Suspension from the college
- Dismissal from the college
- Notation on the official transcript
- Revocation of an awarded Berklee degree or diploma
Section III: Appeal
Students and faculty member/supervisors have the right of appeal to the vice presidents for academic affairs and for student affairs. The decision of the vice presidents is final.
For questions regarding honesty guidelines for specific departments or areas, members of the Berklee community are encouraged to consult the relevant department. More extensive guidelines regarding honesty and the use of technological resources are found in the Acceptable Use Policy section on this page.
Acceptable Use Policy
Berklee’s acceptable use policy applies to all members of the college community: students, faculty, and staff. Ignorance of the acceptable use policy is not considered an excuse for violation of the policy. Violation of the acceptable use policy will lead to disciplinary action up to and including separation from the college. For information about our policies and procedures, visit the Technology Resources website at berklee.net/tr/policies_and_standards.html.
Section I: General Guidelines
Berklee College of Music has computers capable of accessing the internet, world wide web, and other online computer networks (collectively, “online networks”). Berklee encourages members of the college community to use online networks for educational purposes under the appropriate circumstances. However, in order to protect the college’s rights and the rights of others and to lessen exposure to potential liability resulting from the nature and use of information a student, faculty member, or staff member posts on or transmits through online networks, certain rules must be followed. Community members who violate college policies, including those set forth in the Berklee College of Music Bulletin, Faculty Contract Agreement, or Human Resources Policy Manual, others adopted by the college from time to time, or applicable law, shall be subject to sanctions, including, without limitation, prohibiting connection to or use of any campus network, disallowance of the privilege to connect computers to the campus network, prohibiting use of any of our computers to access any online network, fines, restitution, probation, suspension, expulsion, termination of employment, or other action (or any combination thereof).
Berklee College of Music provides numerous information technology resources for use by the Berklee community to support its educational mission. The use of these resources must be consistent with the goals of the college. As members of the Berklee community, students, faculty, and staff are expected to act responsibly and to follow the college’s guidelines, policies, and procedures in using information technology and electronic networks accessed by such technology. The college’s acceptable use policy includes the following guidelines and the requirement that each Berklee community member, including faculty, students, staff, or other users:
Respect the rights of others to freedom from harassment or intimidation. Sending abusive or unwanted material causing the work or college experience of others to be disrupted is a violation of college policies, may violate the law, and is unacceptable.
Respect copyright and other intellectual-property rights. Copying files or passwords belonging to others will be considered a violation of college policies and a violation of law, and may constitute fraud, plagiarism, or theft. Software licensed by the college must only be used in accordance with the applicable license. Modifying or damaging information without authorization (including but not limited to altering data, introducing viruses, or simply damaging files) is unethical and a violation of college policies, and may be a felony in Massachusetts.
Identify oneself clearly and accurately in electronic communication. Anonymous or pseudo-anonymous communications that appear to dissociate oneself from responsibility for one’s actions are inappropriate. Concealing one’s identity or misrepresenting one’s name or affiliation to mask or attempt to distance oneself from irresponsible or offensive behavior is a serious abuse and violation of college policies. Using identifiers of other individuals, including such identifiers as one’s own, constitutes a violation of college policies and constitutes fraud.
Abide by security restrictions on all systems and information. Distributing or making one’s password or another person’s password or access code available to others; otherwise attempting to evade, disable, or “crack” a password or other security provisions; or assisting others in doing so, threatens the work, privacy, and well-being of many others and is a serious violation of college policies as well as grounds for immediate suspension of one’s access privileges and other disciplinary action.
Recognize limitations to privacy in electronic communications. Community members may have an expectation that the contents of what they write or otherwise create, store, and send may be seen only by those to whom they intended or gave permission; however, the security of electronic information on shared systems and networks is approximately that of paper documents in an unsealed envelope—generally respected, but could be violated by someone determined to do so. Also note that, as part of their responsibilities, technical managers or other persons may need to view the contents to diagnose or correct problems.
Accept responsibility for one’s own work by learning appropriate uses of software to maintain the integrity of what one creates. Community members should learn and properly use the features for securing or sharing access to information on any computers they use. Change passwords frequently and do not share them. Community members should maintain at least one backup copy of all important files, and diligently back up all work in progress at regular intervals.
Use resources efficiently. Accept limitations or restrictions on computing resources, such as storage space, time limits, or amount of resources consumed, when so instructed by the college. Such restrictions are designed to ensure fair access for all users.
Resources may be used for lawful and permitted purposes only. Use of resources for unlawful purposes or for use not specifically permitted by the college, or assisting another in such use, is a serious violation of college policies and grounds for disciplinary action and other sanctions.
The college extends policies and procedures for use and access to information technology and systems outside the college accessed via college facilities. Network or computing providers outside the college may additionally impose their own conditions of appropriate use, for which one is responsible.
When necessary, it is within the college’s discretion to maintain continued reasonable services to the rest of the community, or in cases of irresponsible use, departments providing resources, such as Technology Resources, may suspend privileges and may disallow connection of computers (even personal computers) to the campus network or take or recommend other action necessary or appropriate.
Community members are expected to cooperate with investigations by resource managers or others at the college, either of technical problems or of possible unauthorized or irresponsible use as defined in these guidelines, in its other guidelines, policies, or procedures, or as may otherwise be identified by the college from time to time; failure to do so may be grounds for suspension or loss of access privileges and other disciplinary action as indicated in the acceptable use policy, below in the online network services policy, or otherwise determined by the college.
Technology Resources or the Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs/Dean of Students will investigate and document apparent or alleged violations of these guidelines. Cases of apparent abuse or violation of college guidelines, policies, or procedures will be referred to the appropriate college department, and other action may be taken.
Issues concerning these guidelines or allegations of harassment or other irresponsible use of the information technology resources should be brought in writing to the attention of the vice president for technology and education outreach or the vice president for student affairs/dean of students.
Section II: Online Network Use
Passwords. Community members may be given passwords Berklee has selected for accessing online networks (“Berklee passwords”) and be authorized to use one or more Berklee passwords for specific purposes. Community members are responsible for maintaining all Berklee passwords in confidence and not to disclose or make available any to
third parties without prior written consent of the college. Community members will be held responsible and will be liable for any harm resulting from their disclosing or allowing disclosure or improper use of a Berklee password.
Online Conduct. Online networks shall be used only as permitted by the college, only in accordance with applicable college policies, and only for lawful purposes. Any conduct that in the college’s sole discretion restricts or inhibits others from using an online network or violates college policies or applicable law is not permitted and will be subject to sanction and disciplinary action. Community members are prohibited from posting on or transmitting through any online network any unlawful, harmful, threatening, abusive, harassing, defamatory, vulgar, obscene, profane, hateful, racially or ethnically demeaning or threatening, or otherwise objectionable material of any kind, including, without limitation, any material that encourages conduct that would constitute a criminal offense, give rise to civil liability, or otherwise violate any applicable law or college policy. Berklee reserves the right to restrict and/or interrupt communication, through or by use of any of the college’s computers or computer services, that Berklee believes to be harmful to the college or to others using the applicable online network or to be a violation of college policies or any third-party rights. More specifically, and without limitation, the following conduct violates college policies and is not permitted:
Offensive Communication. Use of vulgar, abusive, or hateful language is prohibited.
Harassment. Targeting another person or organization to cause distress, embarrassment, injury, unwanted attention, or other substantial discomfort is harassment, which is prohibited. Personal attacks or other action to threaten or intimidate or embarrass an individual, group, or organization; or attacks based on a person’s race, national origin, ethnicity, handicap, religion, gender, veteran status, sexual orientation, or another such characteristic or affiliation are prohibited.
Offensive Graphic Files. Transmitting through or posting on any online network sexually explicit images or any other content the college deems to be offensive is prohibited.
Impersonation. Communications under a false name or designation or a name or designation community members are not authorized to use, including instances in conjunction with representing that one is somehow acting on behalf of or under the auspices of Berklee College of Music, are prohibited.
Chain Letters and Pyramid Schemes. Transmission of chain letters and pyramid schemes of any kind is prohibited. Certain chain letters and pyramid schemes are illegal. Letters or messages that offer a product or service based on or utilizing the structure of a chain letter are also of questionable legality.
Improper Advertising, Solicitation. Use of any online network to send unsolicited advertising, promotional material, or other forms of solicitation to others is prohibited, except as permitted by law and when not prohibited by college policies, and in those areas that are designated for such purpose (for example, a classified ad).
Improper Use of Copyright and Proprietary Information of Others. Community members may, subject to college policies and authorization, upload to software files or otherwise distribute on online networks only information, software, photographs, videos, graphics, music, sounds, and other material (collectively “content”) not subject to any copyright, trademark, trade secret, or other proprietary rights of others, or content in which the author has given express written authorization for online distribution. Any copyrighted content submitted or used with the consent of the copyright owner should contain a phrase such as, “Copyright owned by ; used by permission.” Unauthorized transmission of copyrighted or other proprietary content is prohibited and constitutes a violation of college policies, and could subject community members to criminal prosecution as well as personal liability in a civil suit, in addition to other sanctions.
Use of Berklee College of Music Name. Berklee students and community members may not under any circumstances, without the college’s prior written consent, use the name “Berklee College of Music” in any form or use any symbol or logo or graphic used by or associated with Berklee College of Music alone or with the name “Berklee College of Music” or any name, symbol, logo, or graphic confusingly similar to Berklee College of Music’s name, symbols, logo, or graphics as part of an email address, a web page, or a second or higher-level domain name for any online network a community member utilizes, originates, or registers with internet or similar authority. Unauthorized use of the name “Berklee College of Music” or of any symbol, logo, or graphic used by or associated with the college or of anything confusingly similar thereto, is a violation of college policies and subject to sanctions.
In accordance with the General Laws of Massachusetts, under Chapter 40, Section 21D, signs and posters for on-campus events may not be posted on public property without permission. Those who post signs are subject to fines. If the college is fined for posters posted by a student, the college will collect the fine from the student.
Student Recording, Performance, and Photography Release Statement
Audio and video recordings produced in Berklee College of Music studios and on its stages ("recordings") are the result of artistic collaboration among student producers, engineers, composers, arrangers, and musicians. The purpose of the recordings is to provide students with experiences they are likely to encounter in their professional careers. The recordings are for educational purposes only and not for commercial use by any party.
Berklee College of Music reserves rights in student participation in the recordings to promote the college and its programs, without payment of fees or royalties, and maintains ownership of the master recording for archival purposes. All rights in and to a composition remain the property of the composer(s).
Berkee College of Music reserves the right to record, edit, use, reproduce, publish, and distribute (via print, web, television, video, photography, and all other media) a student’s visual and/or audio likeness, and is granted permission to use such likeness for news, educational, marketing, advertising, fund-raising, or other reasonable purposes.
Berklee College of Music supports all laws of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts governing “hazing” for all recognized student organization members.
The college supports the right of all recognized student organizations to recruit members but in no way condones any act of hazing. The following is Massachusetts General Law Chapter 269, sections 17, 18, and 19, which prohibit the practice of hazing:
17. Hazing; organizing or participating; hazing defined: 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 $1,000 or by imprisonment in a house of correction for not more than 100 days, or by both such fine and imprisonment.
The term ‘hazing’ as used in this section and in sections 18 and 19, 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.
18. Failure to report hazing: Whoever knows that another person is the victim of hazing as defined in section 17 and is at the scene of such crime shall, to the extent that such person can do so without danger or peril to himself/herself 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 $500.
19. Copy of sections 17, 18, and this section; issuance to members and applicants of school groups or organizations: Each secondary school and each public and private school or college shall issue to every group or organization under its authority or operating on or in conjunction with its campus or school, and to every member, plebe, pledge or applicant for membership in such group or organization, a copy of said sections 17 and 18, and shall sign an acknowledgement stating that such group, organization or individual has received a copy of said sections 17 and 18.
“Each secondary school and each public or private school or college shall file, at least annually, a report with the Board of Higher Education and in the case of secondary schools, the board of education, certifying that such institution has complied with the provisions of this section and also certifying that said school has adopted a disciplinary policy with regards to the organizers and participants of hazing. The Board of Higher 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.”
The college will take disciplinary action against any individual(s) or organization(s) where sufficient evidence of hazing is found. Sanctions may include probation, suspension, or dismissal.
Drug and Alcohol Policy for Students
Berklee College of Music supports all city, state, and federal laws pertaining to drug and alcohol use and sale. Further, the college is concerned for the well-being of all students who use drugs or alcohol and the serious challenges that jeopardize the safety and security of students and the college community.
Berklee is committed to:
- providing education
- promoting alcohol-free social options
- developing alcohol policies and increasing the consistency of enforcement
- reducing the marketing of alcohol
- conducting early interventions
- providing treatment and referrals
The college is committed to a clear, meaningful, and well-publicized set of limitations and consequences that hold students accountable for alcohol or drug-related behaviors (both on and off campus) and provide necessary educational, monitoring, and support elements.
Students are expected to comply with local, state, and federal laws relating to the use of alcohol. The college will not tolerate conduct that disrupts the campus or the academic or residential environment, or jeopardizes the safety of another person. The legal minimum drinking age in Massachusetts is 21 years old. Except in special circumstances approved by the vice president for student affairs/dean of students, students are not allowed to consume alcohol in any area of the college regardless of age.
The college realizes that drug or alcohol abuse can be harmful to the user’s health as well as his or her educational and professional career and that the user can become harmful to others. Therefore, the college attempts to educate all students as to the prevention and hazard of drug or alcohol use, to maintain support and referral services for drug and alcohol users, and to discipline those students who violate the rules of the college.
Massachusetts state law, applicable to all students regardless of home state or country, makes it illegal for anyone under age 21 to purchase, arrange to have purchased, transport, possess, consume, or carry alcoholic beverages. Regardless of age, the unlawful use of alcohol, drunk and disorderly conduct (including assault and battery and property damage), and violation of any regulations listed below are considered serious offenses and will result in judicial action and possible sanctions through the Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs/Dean of Students and/or the Office of Residence Life. Alcohol or alcohol paraphernalia discovered pursuant to a violation of a regulation listed below will be confiscated and discarded. Moreover, the college reserves the right to confiscate alcohol, alcohol paraphernalia, and false identifications as circumstances require. Confiscated items will be disposed of and will not be returned under any circumstances. Confiscated false identifications will be submitted to the Public Safety Department. All students
are responsible for knowing and abiding by the following alcohol regulations:
- The use, sale, possession, or distribution of alcohol by or to anyone under the age of 21 anywhere on college property, at college-sponsored events, or off-campus establishments is prohibited.
- Students may not be intoxicated and may not encourage or contribute to the intoxication of another person.
- It is the college’s policy that students and student groups may not possess central alcohol sources (including kegs, beer balls, punch bowls, etc.) on campus or at student organization events that occur either on campus or off campus. However, this policy does not prohibit a student over the age of 21 from possessing a common source container off campus as long as that student(s) is not in violation of other college policies or any law, regulation, or ordinance.
- Regardless of age, no one may drink from or possess an open container of alcohol in a public or common area on campus or participate in drinking games. Open containers of alcohol are prohibited on the streets of Boston and could result in arrests and court action.
- No student, regardless of age, may possess hard liquor on the campus.
- Students (21 years of age or older) may not possess or store excessive amounts of alcohol on campus. An excessive amount is defined as any amount in excess of six (6) standard drinks per person at any given time. One standard drink is equivalent to a 12-ounce beer or a 5-ounce glass of wine. The college reserves the right to limit and/or dispose of any excessive or unsafe amounts of alcohol at the discretion of college officials. This regulation is a limitation on possession and storage and in no way is meant to suggest that the consumption of 6 standard drinks or fewer during a single episode is safe, healthy, or appropriate.
- Students age 21 years or older may not consume, possess, or store alcohol in the common areas of individual suites and apartments if any resident of the suite/apartment is under age 21. Moreover, students may not consume alcohol or possess open containers of alcohol in these common areas during any time when guests/visitors under the age of 21 are present. Students 21 years or older may consume, store, or possess alcohol in the privacy of their individual residence hall rooms except as prescribed by law or other policies
- It is prohibited to display alcohol containers (whether unopened, partially filled or empty) on campus, including in residence hall rooms. It is further a violation of the Code of Student Conduct for underage students to possess or store empty alcohol containers anywhere on campus including in residence halls.
- Creation, possession, distribution or use of false identification is prohibited. False identification cards will be confiscated and turned over to the Public Safety Department.
- The college reserves the right to confiscate alcohol as circumstances require. Confiscated alcohol will be disposed of; it will not be returned under any circumstances.
The Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs/Dean of Students, Counseling and Advising Center, and Office of Housing help to educate the college community about the threat of drugs and alcohol to students’ physical and mental well-being and the learning process. The Counseling and Advising Center provides extensive educational materials, such as pamphlets, resource information, and self-assessment materials, which emphasize the prevention of drug and alcohol abuse. Supporting the goals of the prevention programs, Berklee’s LiveWell program for health, wellness, and fitness sponsors events and activities focusing on positive alternatives that contribute to a healthy lifestyle.
The college offers confidential counseling and referral services to students who request assistance with drug and alcohol abuse issues and does not penalize students requesting such assistance. The college offers an alcohol and drug education program to all students who self-identify or may be mandated by the Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs/Dean of Students to participate in the program.
The nature of additional alcohol and drug education provided by the Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs/Dean of Students is supportive and complements other sources of intervention and treatment. It focuses primarily on the effects of drug and alcohol abuse on the student’s academic progress at the college. While short-term counseling services are available to all students during their enrollment at the college, the Counseling and Advising Center is not equipped to handle severe drug and alcohol abuse problems, and, when necessary, referral will be made to external professionals and/or agencies. Additionally, the college encourages the formation of student support groups through its Student Organizations and Activities Program. In the case of disciplinary action, the vice president for student affairs/dean of students (or designee), along with the director of counseling services and/or the director of housing, when appropriate, will determine the assistance the college can offer.
Students who violate the college’s rules on the use, possession, and sale of drugs and alcohol are disciplined according to the established disciplinary policies and procedures. Sanctions include but are not limited to probation, suspension, dismissal, and referral for prosecution.
In some cases, the college may also require a student to participate in a drug or alcohol abuse prevention and/or treatment program, such as BASICS, which could include but not be limited to meeting with a member of the Counseling and Advising Center staff to assess need for regular meetings or referral to an external professional or agency.
When appropriate, the vice president for student affairs/dean of students, upon recommendation of the director of counseling services, may temper any sanction if the student agrees to participate in an on-campus or off-campus support program. Such temperance is at the discretion of the dean and may be revoked if, in the opinion of the dean, the student does not make a sincere effort to actively participate in the agreed program.
While the college desires to help students who may have a drug or alcohol problem, it will not be so tolerant of those who are found guilty of selling or distributing drugs or alcohol. In the case of suspicion of selling or distribution of drugs or alcohol, local authorities may be contacted.
Local, state, and federal sanctions against violations of the law may include fines, imprisonment, or both, and the loss of federal financial aid for the year for the first conviction.
Further, in accordance with the Federal Drug-Free Workplace Act of 1988, a student who is convicted of violations of any criminal drug statute which took place on college property or as part of a college activity must notify the Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs/Dean of Students no later than five days after such conviction.
Consistent with recent changes in the federal October 1998 Reauthorization of the Higher Education Act (Section 952) and its amendment to FERPA (Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act), and as a part of a disciplinary action if deemed appropriate, the vice president for student affairs/dean of students or his designee may contact the parents or guardian of a student under the age of 21 who has committed a disciplinary violation with respect to the use of or possession of alcohol or a controlled substance.
List of Harmful Effects
- birth defects
- blackouts, memory loss
- damage to brain cells
- degeneration of muscle and bones
- delirium tremens
- difficult menstruation
- cirrhosis, ulcers
- heart disease
- increased tension
- anger, and isolation
- personality disorders
- poor concentration
- birth defects
- damage to brain
- damage to liver
- destroyed nasal membranes
- heart problems
- infections, hepatitis
- lethargy, apathy
- loss of coordination
- lung lesions
- physical and psychological
- sudden death
The smoking of cigarettes, cigars, and pipes is prohibited inside all Berklee College of Music facilities, including the residence halls, and is prohibited within 25 feet of an exit, entrance, or operable window of any campus building. In recognizing the health risks of people who smoke and the hazards of involuntary smoking to nonsmokers, and in accordance with the college’s overall responsibility to provide a safe and healthful work environment, Berklee College of Music has adopted a policy restricting smoking.
Because the college cares about the health of smokers and nonsmokers and because it is difficult to quit or to curtail smoking, the college will provide on-campus smoking cessation programs. The goal is to provide ongoing support to those wishing to quit. Such programs will be offered through the Human Resources Office for employees, the Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs/Dean of Students, and Berklee’s LiveWell program for health, wellness, and fitness.
This policy is intended to be self-enforcing. However, short of total compliance, those in authority are responsible for enforcing this policy within their respective areas of authority.
In the event that a conflict cannot be resolved informally, it should be handled in accordance with the already established procedures for discipline and grievances for faculty, staff, and students.
Students should dress appropriately while in or using all Berklee facilities. For safety reasons, proper footwear should be worn at all times.
Please note the location of fire extinguishers and fire alarm boxes on each floor. Students should familiarize themselves with all exits and use the nearest means of exit in the event of a fire or fire drill. Students must vacate and move away from the building every time the alarm sounds or face disciplinary action.
False alarms endanger not only the safety of the entire college community but also the safety of the firefighters and the neighborhoods left unprotected by the firefighters responding to the alarm. A student found to be responsible for false alarms may be dismissed from the college and may face prosecution by the city of Boston.
Under no circumstances should students use the elevators during an actual emergency or a fire drill.
Please be aware that parking regulations are rigidly enforced by the local police departments.
Housing residents are not permitted to have cars, motorcycles, or motor scooters at the college. Parking and garage facilities are virtually nonexistent except at great cost and inconvenience.
Right of Access to Student Records
The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) affords eligible students certain rights with respect to their education records. (An “eligible student” under FERPA is a student who is 18 years of age or older or who attends a post-secondary institution.) These rights include:
- The right to inspect and review the student’s education records within 45 days after the day the college receives a request for access. A student should submit to the Office of the Registrar a written request that identifies the record(s) the student wishes to inspect. A school official will make arrangements for access and notify the student of the time and place where the records may be inspected. If the record(s) are not maintained by the school official to whom the request was submitted, that official shall advise the student of the correct official to whom the request should be addressed.
- The right to request the amendment of the student’s education records that the student believes is inaccurate, misleading, or otherwise in violation of the student’s privacy rights under FERPA. A student who wishes to ask the school to amend a record should write the school official responsible for the record, clearly identify the part of the record the student wants changed, and specify why it should be changed. If the school decides not to amend the record as requested, the school will notify the student in writing of the decision and the student’s right to a hearing regarding the request for amendment. Additional information regarding the hearing procedures will be provided to the student when notified of the right to a hearing.
- The right to provide written consent before the university discloses personally identifiable information (PII) from the student’s education records, except to the extent that FERPA authorizes disclosure without consent. The school discloses education records without a student’s prior written consent under the FERPA exception for disclosure to school officials with legitimate educational interests. A school official is a person employed by the college in an administrative, supervisory, academic, research, or support staff position (including law enforcement unit personnel and health staff); a person serving on the board of trustees; or a student serving on an official committee, such as a disciplinary or grievance committee. A school official also may include a volunteer or contractor outside of the college who performs an institutional service or function for which the school would otherwise use its own employees and who is under the direct control of the school with respect to the use and maintenance of PII from education records, such as an attorney, auditor, collection agent, or a student volunteering to assist another school official in performing his or her tasks. A school official has a legitimate educational interest if the official needs to review an education record in order to fulfill his or her professional responsibilities for the college.
- The right to file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education concerning alleged failures by the college to comply with the requirements of FERPA. The name and address of the office that administers FERPA is
Family Policy Compliance Office
U.S. Department of Education
400 Maryland Avenue, SW
Washington, DC 20202
FERPA permits the disclosure of PII from students’ education records without the consent of the student if the disclosure meets certain conditions found in the FERPA regulations. Except for disclosures to school officials, disclosures related to some judicial orders or lawfully issued subpoenas, disclosures of directory information, and disclosures to the student, FERPA regulations require the institution to record the disclosure. Eligible students have a right to inspect and review the record of disclosures. A postsecondary institution may disclose PII from education records without obtaining prior written consent of the student to the following:
- Other school officials, including teachers, within the college whom the college has determined to have legitimate educational interests. This includes contractors, consultants, volunteers, or other parties to whom the school has outsourced institutional services or functions, provided that the conditions listed in the FERPA regulations are met.
- Officials of another school where the student seeks enrollment or intends to enroll, or where the student is already enrolled if the disclosure is for purposes related to the student’s enrollment or transfer, subject to the regulations.
- Authorized representatives of the U. S. Comptroller General, the U. S. Attorney General, the U.S. Secretary of Education, or state and local educational authorities, such as a state postsecondary authority who is responsible for supervising the university’s state-supported education programs. Disclosures under this provision may be made, subject to the regulations, in connection with an audit or evaluation of federal- or state-supported education programs, or for the enforcement of or compliance with federal legal requirements that relate to those programs. These entities may make further disclosures of PII to outside entities that are designated by them as their authorized representatives to conduct any audit, evaluation, or enforcement or compliance activity on their behalf.
- In connection with financial aid for which the student has applied or which the student has received, if the information is necessary to determine eligibility for the aid, determine the amount of the aid, determine the conditions of the aid, or enforce the terms and conditions of the aid.
- To organizations conducting studies for, or on behalf of the school in order to (a) develop, validate, or administer predictive tests; (b) administer student aid programs; or (c) improve instruction.
- To accrediting organizations to carry out their accrediting functions.
- To parents of an eligible student if the student is a dependent for IRS tax purposes.
- To comply with a judicial order or lawfully issued subpoena.
- To appropriate officials in connection with a health or safety emergency.
- Information the school has designated as “directory information.”
- To a victim of an alleged perpetrator of a crime of violence or a nonforcible sex offense, subject to the requirements. The disclosure may only include the final results of the disciplinary proceeding with respect to that alleged crime or offense regardless of the finding.
- To the general public, the final results of a disciplinary proceeding, subject to the requirements, if the school determines the student is an alleged perpetrator of a crime of violence or non-forcible sex offense and the student has committed a violation of the school’s rules or policies with respect to the allegation made against him or her.
- To parents of a student regarding the student’s violation of any federal, state, or local law, or of any rule or policy of the school governing the use or possession of alcohol or a controlled substance if the school determines the student committed a disciplinary violation and the student is under the age of 21.
- To the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), formerly Immigration and Naturalization Services (INS), upon a specific request to the college to verify F-1 status of international students.
The following directory information is considered by the college to be informational in nature and may be released without the student’s permission at the discretion of the college: name, enrollment status, graduation status, semester level, program, major, principal instrument, dates of attendance, college mailbox number, college email address, and hometown.
If a student does not wish the college to disclose directory information from his/her educational records without prior written consent, the student must notify the college in writing or via the student’s my.berklee.net account. The student should indicate which data the student does not wish to be released and return the request to the Office of the Registrar. The student’s information will not be disclosed from the time the Office of the Registrar receives the student’s form until the request is rescinded.
As of January 3, 2012, the U.S. Department of Education’s FERPA regulations expanded the circumstances under which your education records and your private personally identifiable information (PII) contained in such records—including your social security number, grades, or other private information—may be accessed without your consent. First, the U.S. Comptroller General, the U.S. Attorney General, the U.S. Secretary of Education, or state and local education authorities (“federal and state authorities”) may allow access to your records and PII without your consent to any third party designated by a federal or state Authority to evaluate a federal- or state-supported education program. The evaluation may relate to any program that is “principally engaged in the provision of education,” such as early childhood education and job training, as well as any program that is administered by an education agency or institution. Second, federal and state Authorities may allow access to your education records and PII without your consent to researchers performing certain types of studies, in certain cases even when we object to or do not request such research. Federal and state Authorities must obtain certain use-restriction and data security promises from the entities that they authorize to receive your PII, but the Authorities need not maintain direct control over such entities. In addition, in connection with statewide longitudinal data systems, state authorities may collect, compile, permanently retain, and share without your consent PII from your education records, and they may track your participation in education and other programs by linking such PII to other personal information about you that they obtain from other federal or state data sources, including workforce development, unemployment insurance, child welfare, juvenile justice, military service, and migrant student records systems.
Students are advised to make copies of any important documents before submitting them to Berklee. In accordance with college policy, the Office of the Registrar cannot return documents to students. These may include such documents as immunization records and high school diploma records
Additional information on procedures or policies relating to the college compliance with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act can be obtained from the Office of the Registrar.
Notification of Jury Duty
According to the Office of the Jury Commissioner of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, “Every U.S. Citizen 17 years of age or older who is a Massachusetts resident or an inhabitant for more than 50% of the time is eligible to serve as a juror. If you are a resident of another state, but a student at a Massachusetts college, you are an inhabitant for more than 50% of the year, and, therefore, eligible to serve as juror in Massachusetts.”
It is not unusual for students residing in Suffolk County to be summoned to serve as trial jurors. Jury service, on a short- term basis, can provide students with a good opportunity to fulfill one of their important responsibilities as members of the community. Berklee College of Music supports students in their fulfillment of this civic duty.
Students should carefully read all materials they receive with their summons to service, which contain helpful information about confirming, postponing, rescheduling, or relocating service, and address many of the frequently asked questions. Jury duty is an important legal obligation, and those who fail to respond are subject to criminal prosecution.
Students who must miss class in order to fulfill their jury service requirement should notify each of their instructors of the summons and make arrangements to complete any missed work. Counseling and Advising Center staff may also be able to assist students in making arrangements for missed class time due to jury service. Students may be required to furnish their summons notice or the certificate of service when making these arrangements.
If students have any questions about jury duty, including confirming, postponing, rescheduling, or limiting their service, they may contact the Office of the Jury Commissioner (800 THE JURY or 800 843 5879). Further information can be found on the Office of the Jury Commissioner’s website at massjury.com.