Policies, Rules, and Regulations

Drug and Alcohol Policies Applicable to MWCC

The Drug and Alcohol Policies established at MWCC are intended to address student or employee misuse of alcohol and other drugs on campus, thereby creating a safer campus and an environment that nurtures students’ academic and social development and employee professional development. The goal of this policy is prevention that will allow the college to establish and maintain an environment that will discourage substance use.

On December 12, 1989, Congress amended Title XII of the Higher Education Act of 1965. This amendment, known as the “Drug-Free Schools and Communities Act of 1989,” requires that every educational institution receiving federal funding certify its adoption and implementation of programs designed to prevent use of illegal drugs and abuse of alcohol by students and employees. Prior federal law applicable to the college regulated only criminal drug activity of federally grant-funded employees and recipients of federal aid. MWCC, in accordance with legal mandates and its philosophy of establishing and maintaining an environment of learning and supportive climate in which to conduct the business and mission of the college, will enforce the following policies:

  1. The unlawful manufacture, distribution, dispensing, possession, or use of alcohol or of a controlled substance is prohibited on the campus of MWCC or as part of any college-related activity. Students or employees who violate these restrictions shall be subject to appropriate disciplinary action, up to and including suspension, expulsion, or discharge and shall also be subject to referral for criminal prosecution. Where students or employees are convicted of violating a criminal drug or alcohol statute related to a college activity, the college shall ordinarily expel or discharge the offender absent mitigating circumstances. Mitigating circumstances shall include, but shall not be limited to, considerations of handicap under federal and state law.
  2. MWCC shall cooperate in the enforcement of federal and state laws concerning illegal drugs and alcoholic beverages. Massachusetts statutes pertaining to illegal drugs and alcohol include the following:
    Massachusetts General Laws, Chapter 94C (Controlled Substances Act)
    Massachusetts General Laws, Chapter 272, Section 59 (Public Drinking)
    Massachusetts General Laws, Chapter 90, Section 24 (Operating under the Influence, Open Containers)

Prescribed penalties under Chapter 94 range from mandatory probation for a first conviction for possession of a class E substance, e.g., marijuana, to a period of imprisonment of up to two years and a fine of $2,000 for each subsequent conviction related to sale or distribution. Prescribed penalties under Chapter 90, Section 24, range from a fine of $100 to imprisonment for not more than two years and a fine of $1000. Federal judicial guidelines also exist that suggest penalties for violation of federal criminal statutes related to drugs and alcohol.

Under-age drinking is prohibited at MWCC functions on campuses.

It is MWCC’s policy that consumption of alcohol on or off-campus is prohibited, in connection with any college function, without the express written permission of the president of the college or his designee.

Employees working under federally-funded grants are additionally subject to the Drug-Free Workplace Act of 1988. The act creates the following obligations:

a. Employees convicted of any criminal drug statute violation occurring in the workplace must notify the vice president of human resources/Affirmative Action Officer of MWCC no later than five days after such conviction. Such notification must be in writing.

b. The college shall notify the appropriate federal agency within ten (10) days after receiving notice from the employee regarding such conviction. Such notification will be in writing.

c. The college, within thirty (30) days of receiving notice with respect to any employee who is convicted, will
(i) take appropriate disciplinary action against the employee, up to and including termination of employment, or
(ii) require such employee to participate satisfactorily in a drug abuse assistance or rehabilitation program approved for such purposes by a federal, state, or local health, law enforcement, or other appropriate agency.

The college will present campus-wide drug and alcohol education programs on an annual basis. This is in addition to other educational opportunities available in current or future academic offerings.

The college, through the department of human resources, shall conduct an annual review of these policies and programs and implement changes as necessary.

Health Risks Associated With the Use of Illicit Drugs and the Abuse of Alcohol

The misuse of alcohol and other drugs create problems for students or employees who engage in this behavior as well as for their peers or fellow employees who suffer a range of consequences from having their study or work interrupted to far more egregious acts.  Obvious health risks include physical dependence, psychological dependence, possible overdose, and withdrawal symptoms.

Alcohol consumption causes a number of marked changes in behavior.  Even low doses significantly impair the judgment and coordination required to drive a car safely, increasing the likelihood that the driver will be involved in an accident.  Repeated use or abuse of alcohol can lead to physical and psychological dependence. Long-term consumption of large quantities of alcohol can also lead to permanent damage to vital organs.

Statistics show that alcohol use is involved in a majority of violent behavior on college campuses, including acquaintance rape, vandalism, fights, and incidents of drinking and driving.

MWCC Resources for Substance Abuse Problems

For any member of the MWCC community who is experiencing substance abuse problems, the college stands ready to offer supportive services and referral for treatment, as appropriate and available.  See Appendices A and B for more information on the medical risks associated with drug and alcohol use and treatment coverage. Information concerning substance abuse and rehabilitation counseling programs is available through the following college resources:

  1. Alcoholics Anonymous
    Regular meetings are held on campus for students and staff. Information about these meetings may be obtained from the health services office.
  2. Substance Abuse Education
    The health services office at MWCC is the primary resource for individuals who are experiencing problems or who are being affected by persons with substance abuse issues. Information and referral services are available on a drop-in basis. Informational brochures on topics such as AIDS transmission and sexually transmitted diseases are made available to students, so they may access information in an anonymous manner. The college nurse and college counselors are available, by appointment, to discuss issues with students confidentially.
  3. Awareness Activities-Student Life Informational Programs
    The student life office, in conjunction with the MWCC Student Government Association, plans a number of alcohol and drug awareness activities.  Additionally, groups such as MADD (Mothers Against Drunk Driving) and SADD (Students Against Drunk Driving) have set up informational booths on-campus to encourage responsible drinking. At key times during the semester, such as the holiday season and graduation, awareness activities have also been scheduled.  The focus of all of these activities is that students have options in making their choices relative to drug and alcohol use.  The responsible and legal choice is always emphasized.
  4. Human Services
    Alcoholism is treated as part of a unit of Psychology 240, Abnormal Psychology, a course required of Human Services and Criminal Justice students.  This topic is discussed in classes as a category of Substance Use Disorders as outlined in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSMIV) of the American Psychiatric Association. The following broad concepts are covered in this unit: incidence, physical effects, progression, gender differences in addiction, and treatment.

FERPA Parental Notification Policy

In compliance with FERPA regulations, MWCC has adopted a Massachusetts Department of Higher Education recommendation that the parents or legal guardians of students under 21 years of age be notified when the student has violated the MWCC alcohol or drug policies. Section 952 of the 1998 Higher Education Amendments authorizes institutions of higher education to disclose to parents and guardians of students under age 21 violations of institutional policies or rules, as well as local, state, and federal laws governing the use or possession of alcohol or a controlled substance.

Smoking Policy

As an attempt to reduce the health risks associated with second-hand cigarette smoke, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts first implemented a policy which invoked the elimination of smoking within the confines of public buildings which fall under the jurisdiction of the state. It was then noted that tobacco smoke within confined areas creates a health hazard to both smokers and non-smokers, especially those suffering from allergies, respiratory diseases, or heart disease. Smoke in confined areas may also be irritating and annoying to non-smokers and violates their right to breathe air relatively free from tobacco contaminates. In the interest of further protecting the health and well-being of members and visitors of the college community, smoking is prohibited from our campus. This includes all buildings, work areas, offices, restrooms, lobbies, public entrances, etc. Smoking will be permitted in private vehicles parked on the campus. Because of our collective concern for the environment, because we are aware of the harmful effects of smoking on the smoker, and because we now know how much is being written about the effects of second-hand smoke on the non-smoker, we are committing ourselves to a smoke-free environment at MWCC.

Definition of Policy

MWCC recognizes the medical evidence that indicates that smoking is a serious health hazard and that this health hazard extends to nonsmokers forced to breathe second-hand smoke. The primary responsibility of the college is to provide a healthful working and learning environment. Recognition of this responsibility has resulted in the development of the following policy:

Smoking is prohibited within the confines of college grounds designated as non-smoking areas, any college building, or college vehicle (smoking will only be permitted in private vehicles parked on campus). No exceptions will be granted.

The sale of tobacco products on campus is prohibited.

As with any college policy, violators will be subject to disciplinary action.

This college policy will be enforced by department supervisors.

Individuals entering the campus will be directed to dispose of their cigarettes in the appropriate receptacles provided within each area.

This policy will be distributed annually to all departments and will be posted on all official college bulletin boards. Successful implementation of this policy requires a college-wide cooperative effort. All members of the college community are urged to assist in this endeavor. Any employee or student who believes he/she is being subjected to second-hand smoke should inform the offending party of the existence of this policy and request that he/she adhere to its conditions. Violators of the college’s smoking policy should be reported to the division dean or the administrative supervisor who is in charge of the area where the violation occurred.

Regulations & Policies on Human Research Subjects

The goal of the IRB is to protect the rights and welfare of those individuals who agree to participate in research. The review and approval of proposals and activities by the IRB are meant to assist the researchers by having a review that will objectively analyze the potential risk involved to research participants, as well as ways to minimize that risk. As part of the process, the College IRB will evaluate the aforementioned ethical practices in determining risk. Mount Wachusett Community College is committed to the ethical guidelines set forth in the federal regulations regarding any human subjects research.  For more information on college policies regarding conducting research at the institution, visit http://mwcc.edu/academic/academic-affairs/institutional-research-board.

Campus Solicitation Policy

The intent of the campus solicitation policy is to ensure non-interference with the educational activities and business operations of the college. It is the general policy of the college not to serve as a forum/meeting place wherein vendors can solicit employees or students. For a full description of the Solicitation Policy and Procedures please contact the student services office or the director of human resources.

Hazing

An Act Prohibiting the Practice of Hazing was enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Court in 1985. Chapter 269 of the General Laws was amended by adding the following three sections:

Section 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 $3,000 or by imprisonment in a house of correction for not more than one year, or by both such fine and imprisonment.

The term “hazing” as used in this section and in sections eighteen and nineteen, shall mean any conduct or method of initiation into any student organization, whether on public or private property, which willfully or recklessly endangers the physical or mental health of any student or other person. Such conduct shall include whipping, beating, branding, forced calisthenics, exposure to the weather, forced consumption of any food, liquor, beverage, drug or other substance, or any other brutal treatment or forced physical activity that is likely to adversely affect the physical health or safety of any such student or other person, or that subjects such student or other person to extreme mental stress, including extended deprivation of sleep or rest or extended isolation. Notwithstanding any other provisions of this section to the contrary, consent shall not be available as a defense to any prosecution under this action.

Section 18. Failure to Report Hazing

Whoever knows that another person is the victim of hazing as defined in section seventeen and is at the scene of such crime shall, to the extent that such person can do so without danger or peril to himself or others, report such crime to an appropriate law enforcement official as soon as reasonably practicable. Whoever fails to report such crime shall be punished by a fine of not more than $1,000.

Section 19. Copy Of Sections 17-19; Issuance to Students and Student Groups, Teams and Organization Reports

Each institution of secondary education and each public and private institution of post-secondary education shall issue to every student group, student team, or student organization that is a part of such institution, is recognized by the institution, or is permitted by the institution to use its name or facilities, or is known by the institution to exist as an unaffiliated student group, student team or student organization, a copy of this section and sections seventeen and eighteen; provided, however, that an institution’s compliance with this section’s requirement that an institution issues copies of this section and sections seventeen and eighteen to unaffiliated student groups, teams, or organizations shall not constitute evidence of the institution’s recognition or endorsement of said unaffiliated student groups, teams, or organizations. Each such group, team, or organization shall distribute a copy of this section and sections seventeen and eighteen to each of its members, plebes, pledges, or applicants for membership. It shall be the duty of each such group, team ,or organization, acting through its designated officer, to deliver annually to the institution an attested acknowledgment stating that such group, team or organization has received a copy of this section and said sections seventeen and eighteen, that each of its members, plebes, pledges, or applicants has received a copy of sections seventeen and eighteen, and that such group, team, or organization understands and agrees to comply with the provisions of this section and sections seventeen and eighteen. Each institution of secondary education and each public or private institution of post-secondary education shall, at least annually, before or at the start of enrollment, deliver to each person who enrolls as a full-time student in such institution a copy of this section and sections seventeen and eighteen.

Each institution of secondary education and each public or private institution of post-secondary education shall file, at least annually, a report with the regents of higher education and in the case of secondary institutions, the Board of Education, certifying that such institution has complied with its responsibility to inform student groups, teams, or organizations and to notify each full-time student enrolled by it of the provisions of this section and sections seventeen and eighteen and also certifying that said institution has adopted a disciplinary policy with regard to the organizers and participants of hazing, and that such policy has been set forth with appropriate emphasis on the student handbook or similar means of communication of the institution’s policies to its students. The board of regents and, in the case of secondary institutions, the Board of Education shall promulgate regulations governing the content and frequency of such reports, and shall forthwith report to the attorney general any such institution that fails to make such reports.

Sexual Harassment: Policy Statement

It is the goal of Mount Wachusett Community College to promote a workplace and learning environment that is free of sexual harassment. Sexual harassment of a student, an employee, or any other person in the college is unacceptable, impermissible, intolerable, and punishable under law. Further, any retaliation against an individual who has complained about sexual harassment or retaliation against individuals for cooperating with an investigation of a sexual harassment complaint is similarly unlawful and will not be tolerated. To achieve our goal of providing a workplace and academic environment free from sexual harassment, the conduct that is described in this policy will not be tolerated and we have provided a procedure for employees and students to follow if they encounter inappropriate conduct.

Legal Definition

In Massachusetts, sexual harassment means sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature when:
Submission to or rejection of such advances, requests, or conduct is made, either explicitly or implicitly, a term or condition of employment or a basis for employment decisions; or,
Such advances, requests, or conduct have the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual’s work/academic performance by creating an intimidating, hostile, humiliating or sexually offensive environment.

Sexual harassment is generally characterized as:

Quid Pro Quo Harassment

Quid pro quo harassment is defined in Chapter 151 B as: sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature when submission to or rejection of such advances, requests, or conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of employment or as a basis for employment decisions. Quid pro quo harassment occurs when an employee/instructor with authority or control over the terms and conditions of another employee’s work or a student’s academic performance offers a benefit or advantage in exchange for sexual favors or gratification. Conversely, if a student/employee is denied an academic/work benefit or advantage due to the refusal to respond to, or rejection of, requests for sexual favors or gratification, he (she) is subjected to quid pro quo harassment.

Or

Hostile Work Environment Harassment

The second form of sexual harassment is hostile classroom/work environment harassment, which is defined in Chapter 151B as: sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature when such advances, requests, or conduct have the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual’s classroom/work performance by creating an intimidating, hostile, humiliating or sexually offensive academic/work environment. The law does not proscribe all conduct of a sexual nature. Only unsolicited and unwelcome conduct may create a hostile work environment.

Under these definitions, direct or implied requests by an instructor or supervisor for sexual favors in exchange for actual or promised academic or job benefits such as favorable grades, reviews, salary increases, promotions, increased benefits, or continued employment constitutes sexual harassment. The legal definition of sexual harassment is broad; and, in addition to the examples previously stated, other sexually oriented conduct, whether it is intended or not, that is unwelcome and has the effect of creating a work place/academic environment that is hostile, offensive, intimidating, or humiliating to male or female workers, may also constitute sexual harassment. While it is not possible to list all those additional circumstances that may constitute 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:

Unwelcome sexual advances, whether they involve physical touching or not; dissemination of sexually explicit voice mail, email, graphics, downloaded material or websites; sexual epithets, jokes, written or oral references to sexual conduct, gossip regarding one’s sex life, comments on an individual’s body, comments about an individual’s sexual activity, deficiencies, or prowess; displaying sexually suggestive objects, pictures, cartoons; unwelcome leering, whistling, brushing against the body, sexual gestures, suggestive or insulting comments; inquiries into one’s sexual experiences; and, a discussion of one’s sexual activities.

Such behavior is expressly forbidden by federal and state regulations; and, action by the federal government has established that such behaviors are actionable under the provisions of Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act and the Civil Rights Act of 1991, the provisions of Title IX of the 1972 Educational Amendments, and under Massachusetts General Law, Chapter 151B, Sections 3A, 4(1), and 16A.

Complaint Procedures

In keeping with these regulations, a concerted effort will be made to protect employees, students, and others from sexual harassment as defined. If an incidence should arise, retaliation is unlawful against the victim or those who cooperate in the investigation of a sexual harassment complaint. The final authority and ultimate responsibility for the prevention of sexual harassment will rest with the president. The president will take all reasonable measures to prevent sexual harassment and will act positively to investigate alleged harassment and to affect remedy when an allegation is determined to be valid. However, the affirmative action officer will have the responsibility for the overall development, administration, and monitoring of all programs, policies, procedures, and regulations related to sexual harassment. Complaints about sexual harassment should be communicated orally or registered formally with the affirmative action officer, extension 160.

The college’s policies and complaint procedures on sexual harassment are well-publicized to students and employees; these policies and procedures are detailed in student handbooks and employee pamphlets. All employees will be given a copy of the policy statement on sexual harassment on or before November 15th, on an annual basis. New employees will receive a copy at the onset of their employment. In addition to formal procedures, the college shall insure that appropriate opportunities are available to students and employees to obtain counseling concerning their rights under the law and effective means of informally resolving grievances.

When employees or students feel their equal opportunity rights have been breached, the grievance process is a mechanism for resolution. When a complaint is filed, it will be promptly investigated in a fair and expeditious manner to eliminate the conduct and impose such corrective action as is necessary, including disciplinary action where appropriate. A neutral investigation will be conducted in such a way as to maintain confidentiality to the extent practicable under the circumstances. The investigation will include a private interview with the person filing the complaint, with any witnesses, and with the person alleged to have committed the sexual harassment. When the investigation is completed to the extent appropriate, the person filing the complaint and the person alleged to have committed the conduct will be informed of the results of the investigation. If it is determined that inappropriate conduct occurred, prompt action to eliminate the offending conduct will occur, and where appropriate, disciplinary action will be imposed.

The informal process will encourage the affected person to discuss the concern or breach with any involved college official who may be helpful in resolving the matter. The college official may be the affirmative action officer and/or her designee, any division vice presidents, assistant/associate deans, a counselor, a supervisor, or any other official who might help the affected person with an informal resolution. The purpose of the informal grievance process is to allow for misunderstandings to be aired and resolved and to provide an opportunity for the aggrieved person and the alleged perpetrator to attempt to resolve the concern prior to the formal grievance process.

Any employee or student, who believes that the college’s Affirmative Action/Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (AA/EEOC) Policy has been breached in its application to him/her, may institute a formal grievance. The formal grievance procedure for employees contains four steps, all of which are listed in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts Community College Affirmative Action Plan. The Affirmative Action Plan is available in the office of the affirmative action officer, ext. 160. The grievance procedure for students is stated in the Student Handbook and is available in complete written form in the office of the executive vice president, extension 164. These persons are also available to discuss any concerns you may have and to provide information to you about our policy on sexual harassment and our complaint process.

Possible Grievance Penalties

If it is determined that inappropriate conduct has been committed by an employee or student, appropriate action will be taken. Such action may range from counseling to termination from employment or student status, and may include such other forms of disciplinary action as deemed appropriate under the circumstances. In addition to the college’s grievance process, if an employee or student has been subjected to sexual harassment, a formal complaint may be filed with either or both of the government agencies listed at the end of this notice. Using the college’s grievance process does not prohibit an employee or student from filing a complaint with either or both of the government agencies set forth below. Each of the agencies has a deadline for filing claims: EEOC & MCAD – 300 days.

Federal and State Agencies

The United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC)
John F. Kennedy Federal Building
Room 475
Government Center
Boston, MA 0220
(617) 565-3200 or (800) 669-4000

The Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination (MCAD)

Boston Office:                                     Springfield Office:
One Ashburton Place-Room 601    436 Dwight Street
Boston, MA 02108                             Springfield, MA 01103
(617) 994-6000                                  (413) 739-2145

The affirmative action officer, in conjunction with the diversity committee, will pursue educational efforts essential to the establishment of a campus that is as free as possible from sexual harassment. Continued efforts will be made to:

  • ensure that all victims and potential victims are aware of their rights;
  • notify individuals of conduct that is prescribed;
  • inform administrators about the proper way to address complaints and/or violations;
  • provide information relative to the issues this policy addresses;
  • distribute literature on an annual basis;
  • provide classroom presentations to the student population;
  • provide training sessions for new hires within one year after the onset of their employment and for other employees on an as-needed basis; and
  • conduct annual training for supervisory and managerial employees.

Campus Sexual Assault Policy

MWCC is committed to providing an atmosphere for learning that is free of any conduct that could be considered harassing, abusive, disorderly, or criminal. In order to ensure that the college meets its obligation to all members of the college community, the procedures and programs set forth on the following pages have been established. Copies of these procedures are available in the offices of the vice presidents, division chairs, counseling staff, department of human resources and affirmative action, and the office of public safety and security.

Policy

Sexual assault is a criminal offense. Sexual assault in any form, including acquaintance rape, will not be tolerated.

Sexual assault, as defined in the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Uniform Crime Reporting System, and as cited in the campus security act, includes forcible and non-forcible offenses.

Forcible offenses are defined as any sexual act directed against another person, forcible and/or against the person’s will; or not forcible or against the person’s will where the victim is incapable of giving consent. Forcible offenses include forcible rape, forcible sodomy, sexual assault with an object, and forcible fondling.

Non-forcible sex offenses are defined as “unlawful, non-forcible sexual intercourse.” Non-forcible sex offenses include: incest and statutory rape.

The Crime Awareness and Campus Police Act of 1990, Section 485 (f) (1) (F) of 20 U.S.C. 1092 (a) (1) (Public Law 1010-542) require that the college collect information with respect to sexual assault on a campus and, beginning in September 1993, include such information in an annual security report. The Higher Education Amendments of 1992 (Public Law 102-325) provide further that, as part of the annual security report, the college shall include, develop, and distribute a statement of policy regarding the college’s sexual assault programs and the procedures to be followed once a sex offense has occurred.

When an allegation of sexual assault is made, the college will inform the alleged victim as to his or her rights to pursue criminal prosecution under the Massachusetts criminal statutes. In addition, appropriate campus disciplinary action may be pursued. Sanctions for sexual assault violations may include, in addition to criminal charges, suspension, dismissal, or expulsion from the college.

All allegations of sexual assault will be handled confidentially and will be investigated. Both the accuser and the accused will have equal opportunity to appeal under due process.

II. Prevention

Realistically, the crimes of rape and sexual assault cannot be totally eliminated from our society as a whole. Through the adoption of well-planned, pro-active prevention measures coupled with sexual assault education and awareness programs, however, we can reduce or minimize the number of these crimes on campus. These measures may include consideration of the following:

A.  Security and Maintenance Measures

  1. MWCC will periodically examine its grounds keeping practices from a security perspective. It will assess outdoor facilities and major campus pathways with respect to plant growth and debris that may materially detract from security.
  2. MWCC will systematically monitor, on a regular basis, the adequacy and operation of its indoor and outdoor lighting. The monitoring system will include a program to replace defective or burned-out lights as soon as possible after being reported.
  3. MWCC has installed emergency telephones on every floor as well as three outside locations and will maintain and monitor procedures to ensure that access to office, building, and master keys are adequately and appropriately restricted. Master keys will only be issued on the basis of clearly defined needs.
  4. MWCC will explore the possibility of installing emergency telephones/call boxes or electronic security devices in strategic locations on campus.
  5. MWCC provides an escort service for students and employees as necessary or by request.
  6. MWCC has an established pattern of effective communications and relations with the state and local police. MWCC will develop a formal agreement with the state and local police departments that clarifies respective roles, jurisdictions, and the circumstances in which each is to advise and/or assist with campus police and law enforcement matters.
  7. The key element in a comprehensive sexual assault prevention program is the maintenance of an alert and effective campus police office or law enforcement presence. The MWCC campus police are trained in effective sexual assault prevention and response. Their general orientation will be towards positive, pro-active crime prevention and sensitivity to balancing law enforcement demands and the unique needs of victims.

B.  Educational Programs

The college provides an excellent opportunity to educate men and women about human relations, competition and fair play, and human sexual education. Awareness information should be provided to each member of the college community. To that end, MWCC counseling staff provides a comprehensive sexual assault education and awareness program available to all students, faculty, and staff.

Education will be provided through programs and educational booklets and may include:

  • Orientation programs
  • Staff development/employee training, including contracted staff
  • Student and employee handbooks
  • Campus media, i.e., newsletters, newspapers, electronic bulletin boards
  • Seminars, workshops, pamphlets, and posters addressing specific issues such as sexual assault, acquaintance rape, sexual harassment, self-protection for men and women, crime reporting, and domestic violence
  • Self-protection classes
  • Individual responsibility for crime prevention and personal safety
  • RAD (Rape Aggressive Defense) training is provided free to students, staff, and community members

Materials and programs will be designed specifically for the MWCC campus. Some may be developed in conjunction with off-campus authorities or may be pre-published, pre-packaged, or offered in conjunction with the following off-campus authorities:

  • National Safety Council
  • Local law enforcement agencies
  • Criminal justice programs
  • Rape crisis centers
  • American College Health Association
  • Massachusetts Chapter of the National Safety Council

Unfortunately, in spite of all our efforts, rape or sexual assault may occur.  Should a rape or sexual assault be reported to campus authorities, it is critically important that the victim’s welfare be paramount and that she or he is not victimized again by the system. This policy establishes procedures to follow in the event a rape or sexual assault occurs on campus. To ensure proper attention and action, these procedures must be followed.

III. Reporting Procedures Introduction

An effective response to a report or incident of sexual assault on campus necessarily involves a number of offices and individuals concerned with the physical and emotional security of students, employees, and visitors. The procedures outlined below focus primarily on the roles of: 1) campus police in addressing incidents/reports of sexual assault; 2) faculty, staff, and students making reports; and 3) the designated college official’s involvement in these procedures.

A. Public Safety and Security/Campus Police

If a sexual assault is reported to or discovered by public safety and security/campus police, the following procedures must be followed:

If immediate medical attention is necessary or requested, campus police shall first call emergency medical services. This should be done even when the victim states that he/she does not want medical services as the person may be in shock or otherwise not competent to make such a decision.

The campus police officer should call a MWCC counselor to be present or, if no MWCC counselor is reachable, call the rape crisis hotline 1-800-970-5905 before gathering any information.

The MWCC campus police officer should gather the following information on the Sexual Assault Information Report Form:

  • name, address, telephone number;
  • where and when the sexual assault occurred;
  • the location of the victim;
  • a brief description of what happened to the victim;
  • name (if known) and description of the individual who committed the assault (include, if possible, sex, race, height, weight, clothing, build, hair color, and facial oddities);
  • location of the individual who committed the assault, if known, or description of where the individual went after committing the assault; and
  • description of the vehicle in which the assailant left (if applicable and known, including make, model, year, color, and license number) and the direction of travel.

If there is the potential for the immediate apprehension of the assailant, the campus police should call the state and/or local police.

If immediate apprehension is not likely, the campus police officer shall then call the chief of campus police and public safety or his/or her appropriate designee. The chief of campus police and public safety or her designee shall determine whether to call the local and/or state police.

The campus police officer will advise the victim of the importance of preserving evidence. This means that no matter how uncomfortable this may be for the victim, he/she should not clean himself/herself, etc. If the victim requires non-emergency medical treatment, the campus police should nonetheless guide the victim to medical services and/or rape crisis services.  The campus police officer shall provide the victim with a copy of the Victim Information Sheet, if possible.

The campus police officer should refer all media inquiries to the executive vice president or designee of the college.

The campus police officer shall file a detailed report on the incident using the Sexual Assault Information Report Form before the end of the shift in which the incident occurred.

B. MWCC Students and Staff

Any MWCC student or staff member who receives a report of, or discovers a possible sexual assault on-campus, shall immediately report this to the appropriate campus services dependent upon the nature of the situation.

In Emergency Situations: Dial 111 to receive immediate response from campus police and health services. Stay with the victim in a safe place that allows for privacy. Do not leave the victim and, if possible, send someone to get additional support.

In Non-Emergency Situations: Remain with the victim and discuss the possible options for services including security, health services, counseling services, executive vice president and senior student affairs officer. All reports, whether emergency or non-emergency, must ultimately be reported to the chief of public safety and security and the executive vice president.

The safety and care of the victim should be of the utmost importance in dealing with persons having experienced a sexual assault. Great care should be given in making the victim as comfortable as possible and in providing an understanding and safe environment as the necessary procedures are implemented. It is extremely important that these procedures are followed to ensure that appropriate medical and administrative services be provided.   Students and staff should use the Quick Reference Sheet for Assisting Victims of Sexual Assault in assuring the proper care of the victim. The campus police will then be responsible for implementing the procedures specified in Section A, above.

C. The Designated College Official—Chief of Campus Police & Public Safety and Executive Vice President

  1. The chief of campus police and public safety and the executive vice president or designee shall be responsible for ensuring that all college policies and procedures are followed.
  2. The executive vice president or designee shall be the designated spokesperson for all media inquiries.
  3. In instances where students are involved, the chief of campus police and public safety and the executive vice president or designee shall determine whether college disciplinary action should be initiated.
  4. Whether the victim is a student or an employee, the chief of campus police and public safety and the executive vice president or designee shall inform the victim of the following:
    i. the option of notifying proper law enforcement authorities, including on-campus and local and/or state police, and the option to be assisted by campus authorities in notifying such authorities, if the student or employee so chooses;
    ii. existing counseling, mental health or student or employee services for victims of sexual assault, both on-campus and in the community;
    iii. the options for, and available assistance in, changing academic, work, and or living situations after an alleged sexual assault incident, if so requested by the victim and if such changes are reasonably available.

IV. Disciplinary Procedures

A. The college and/or the alleged victim may initiate college disciplinary action against the person accused of rape or other sex offenses, forcible or non-forcible. Possible sanctions to be imposed following the final determination of an on-campus disciplinary procedure regarding rape, acquaintance rape, or other sex offenses, forcible or non-forcible, include warning, probation, suspension, dismissal for an indefinite period, permanent dismissal, restitution, special assignments, and restriction or revocation of privileges.

B. If on-campus disciplinary action is instituted; the college shall follow its disciplinary procedures as outlined in the MWCC Student Handbook or appropriate Collective Bargaining Agreements and Personnel Policies Handbook.

C. These procedures shall include the following:

1. The disciplinary hearing shall take place as soon as possible, after the accuser has filed the initial report.

2. The accuser and the accused are entitled to the same opportunities to have an advisor present during a campus disciplinary proceeding.

3. Both the accuser and the accused shall be informed of any outcomes of any campus disciplinary proceeding brought forth, alleging a sexual assault.

The Ramstad Amendment

The MWCC Sexual Assault Policy is in compliance with the 1992 Sexual Assault Victim’s Bill of Rights (The Ramstad Amendment). The MWCC policy demonstrates the following statutorily required policies and procedures:

  • the right of the accuser and accused to have the same opportunity to have others present (in support or advisory roles) during a campus disciplinary hearing;
  • both parties have the right to be informed of their options to notify proper law enforcement authorities (Gardner Police, Leominster Police, the Massachusetts State Police or MWCC campus police), and the option to be assisted by campus authorities in notifying such authorities, if the victim so chooses;
  • survivors shall be notified of available counseling, mental health or student services for victims of sexual assault, both on campus and in the community. The college’s director of counseling and college nurse provides immediate assistance and shall make referrals to the Rape Crisis Center located in Gardner, Massachusetts. Similarly, the college hosts a counselor from the Rape Crisis Center on campus for three (3) hours per week. This counselor provides confidential counseling services at no cost to the student for victims of sexual assault and rape. Additional referrals are made to North Central Human Services in Gardner, and Athol Massachusetts at reduced costs to students or with coverage by individual health insurance plans; and
  • notification to students of options for, and available assistance in, changing academic and living situations after an alleged sexual assault incident, if so requested by the victim and if such changes are reasonably available.

Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) Students Notification of Rights

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) affords students certain rights with respect to their education records. These rights include:

1. The right to inspect and review the student’s education records within 45 days of the day the College receives a request for access.

A student should submit to the Records Officer a written request that identifies the record(s) the student wishes to inspect. The Records Office will make arrangements for access and notify the student of the time and place where the records may be inspected. If the records are not maintained by the College official to whom the request was submitted, that official shall advise the student of the correct official to whom the request should be addressed.

2. The right to request the amendment of the student’s education records that the student believes are inaccurate, misleading, or otherwise in violation of the student’s privacy rights under FERPA.

A student who wishes to ask the college to amend a record should write the college 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 college decides not to amend the record as requested, the college 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.

3. The right to provide written consent before the college discloses personally identifiable information from the student’s education records, except to the extent that FERPA authorized disclosure without consent.

The college 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 or research, or support staff person (including law enforcement unit personnel and health staff); a person or company with whom the College has contracted as its agent to provide a service instead of using College employees or officials (such as an attorney, auditor, or college agent); a person serving on the Board of Trustees; or a student serving on an official committee, such as a disciplinary or grievance committee, or assisting 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 to fulfill his or her professional responsibilities for the College.

Upon request, the college discloses, education records without consent to officials of another school in which a student seeks or intends to enroll.

4. The right to be notified annually by the College of what student record information the College designates as “directory information,” and the right to request that no student information be designated as directory information.

The College identifies the following student information as directory information:

  • student’s first and last name and middle initial
  • the city and state of the student’s billing address
  • the student’s declared program(s) of study at the college
  • the student’s enrollment status (full-or part-time)
  • degree or certificate earned and academic honors

Directory information may be released by the College to a requesting third-party without a student’s prior written consent. A student has the right to request that none or only some of his/her student record information be designated as directory information. A student must notify the College’s Records Office, in writing, within two (2) weeks of the beginning of each academic semester if he/she does not wish to have any or some of his/her student information designated as directory information.

Notwithstanding the College’s definition of directory information, the Department of Defense (the “DOD”), pursuant to the Omnibus Consolidated Appropriations Act of 1997 (the “Solomon Amendment”), identifies the following information as “student recruiting information”: NAME, ADDRESS, TELEPHONE LISTING, AGE (or year of birth), PLACE OF BIRTH, LEVEL OF EDUCATION (e.g., freshman, sophomore), DEGREE AWARDED, MOST RECENT EDUCATIONAL INSTITUTION ATTENDED, and CURRENT MAJOR(S).

5. 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 20202-5901

Directory Information

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), a federal law, requires that Mount Wachusett Community College, with certain exceptions, obtain your written consent prior to the disclosure of personally identifiable information from your education records. However, Mount Wachusett Community College may disclose appropriately designated “directory information” without written consent, unless you have advised MWCC to the contrary in accordance with MWCC procedures. The primary purpose of directory information is to allow MWCC to include this type of information from your education records in certain publications.

Directory information, which is information that is generally not considered harmful or an invasion of privacy if released, can also be disclosed to outside organizations without prior written consent. Outside organizations include, but are not limited to, companies that manufacture class rings or publish yearbooks.  If you do not want Mount Wachusett Community College to disclose directory information from your education records without your prior written consent, you must notify MWCC in writing by September 1 of each calendar year. MWCC has designated the following information as directory information:

  • student’s first and last name and middle initial
  • the city and state of the student’s billing address
  • the student’s declared program(s) of study at the college
  • the student’s enrollment status (full- or part-time)
  • degree or certificate earned and academic honors

Record Keeping/Destruction of Records

The Academic Record is the only permanent record and is maintained in perpetuity. All other records will be expunged in accordance with the policies of the Massachusetts College System and the laws of the Commonwealth. Folders containing educational, admissions*, medical**, disability and other “non-permanent records” should be retained until five years after the date of graduation or the last day of attendance and then destroyed unless otherwise designated by the president (such as placement files). Financial aid records will be retained in accordance with pertinent state and federal regulations.

*Admissions records, even for those not accepted, must be held for three years, according to Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination Policy.

**Medical records held by a college clinic or infirmary must be retained for thirty years following the student’s graduation pursuant to G.G.c11170.

Massachusetts Trespass Act

MWCC is governed by the Massachusetts Trespass Act, enacted June 2, 1969, Trespassing Upon the Land of Certain Institutions. Whoever willfully trespasses upon land or premises belonging to the Commonwealth, or to any authority established by the general court for purposes incidental to higher education, appurtenant to a public institution of higher education, the state prison, state prison colony, Massachusetts reformatory, reformatory for women, state farm, Tewskbury Hospital, Soldiers’ Home in Holyoke, and public institution for the care of insane, feeble minded or epileptic persons, and Massachusetts training school or state charitable institution, or upon land or premises belonging to any county and appurtenant to a jail, house of correction or courthouse or whoever after notice from an officer of any said institution to leave said land, remains thereon, shall be punished by a fine of not more than $50 or by imprisonment for not more than three months.

Information Technology General Acceptable Use Policy

Mount Wachusett Community college provides information technology resources for students, faculty and staff.

This document:

  • Provides guidelines for responsible use of Mount Wachusett Community College’s technology resources by all members of the college community.
  • Provides policies that Mount Wachusett Community College uses in providing technology resources and network services to the college community.
  • Explains enforcement procedures of these policies.
  • Applies to all those using college computing equipment whether the individual is on or off campus.

This document provides high-level explanations of college policies regarding the use of information technology. For more detailed explanations refer to the appendices.

Guidelines for Responsible Use of College Technology Resources

Mount Wachusett Community College recognizes that free expression of ideas is central to the academic environment. For this environment to flourish, all users must adhere to the guidelines established in this Information Technology Acceptable Use Policy (“AUP”).

Mount Wachusett Community College provides computing equipment and services. The primary purposes of this computing equipment are the academic, research, administrative and college business-related communication needs of its students, faculty and staff. All use of college computing equipment shall be consistent with the terms and conditions of the AUP and shall not violate or conflict with (a) any federal, state or local law; or (b) the college mission or policies. Access to all Mount Wachusett Community College owned and/or operated computing and electronic communications systems and equipment is a privilege and not a right. Individuals who refuse to accept and follow the AUP will not be granted user accounts. All users of the college’s computer equipment, including email, shall have NO EXPECTATION OF PRIVACY over such use.

Violations of the AUP by individuals with accounts may result in penalties including but not limited to closure of all accounts and revocation of all computing privileges. Other penalties may be levied up to and including dismissal from the college or termination of employment.

User responsibilities include, but are not limited to:

  • Maintaining privacy and security by keeping all passwords confidential.
  • Honoring all computing security procedures implemented by the college.
  • Being reasonable and prudent in the consumption of college computing and network resources.
  • Deleting old and unused e-mail and file(s) on a regular basis.
  • Maintaining the accuracy of private mail groups by updating when members change.
  • Developing adequate proficiency in the tools and technologies appropriate to his/her needs.

College Network Usage Guidelines include, but are not limited to:

  • No one may misuse, abuse or otherwise damage college computer or network equipment.
  • No one may install or use any software or hardware designed to disrupt the security of any computing equipment, whether owned by the college or by others.
  • No one other than Media Services or Information Technology staff may download or install any software on any student-accessible college computer.
  • No one may use college resources to support political or non-college related business interests.
  • No one may sell or provide access to Mount Wachusett Community College’s computing resources to individuals, groups or businesses outside the college community except (1) as authorized in writing by an appropriate senior officer of the college and (2) for authorized college business relationships.
  • Recreational uses – such as game playing or music or video file sharing –constitute an unacceptable use of college computing equipment except if such activities are part of an instructional plan.
  • No one may engage in any activities designed to spy on network traffic or to access passwords, user IDs, files or programs of other users.
  • No one may engage in software piracy or copyright infringement. All software installed on college computers must be used in conformance with the license granted by the developer. Unlicensed products will be removed from college computers.
  • No one may send, store, print or solicit receipt of e-mail messages, files or programs that contain fraudulent, harassing, racist or obscene language, visual, or audio content. Exceptions may be made for legitimate academic research purposes with prior approval.
  • Note that any e-mail message (other than official college business) sent to an individual after that individual has indicated through any method that they no longer want to receive e-mail from the sender constitutes harassment. Complaints are handled via the Enforcement Procedures section (see below).
  • No one may use e-mail to engage in “chain letter” or “spamming” [bulk “junk” e-mail activity].
  • No one may send, store, print or solicit receipt of e-mail messages, files or programs that are inconsistent with the terms and conditions of the AUP, in conflict with the Mission Statement of Mount Wachusett Community College, or that violate federal and/or state laws.
  • No one may use college computing resources for illegal behavior or illegal activities as defined by federal, state and/or local laws.

College Technology Resources and Network Services Policies

Disclaimer: The responsibility for the content of personal files, programs, web pages and e-mail rests solely with the individual and not with the college. Mount Wachusett Community College does not monitor the contents of embedded links of personal user accounts or personal web pages although it expressly reserves the right to do so.

To preserve the integrity and maintain efficient functioning of the college’s computing facilities, the college enforces the following policies:

The creation of public mail groups is limited to college departments, committees and official student organizations.

Email users should exercise prudent judgment when sending “All MWCC” emails. Use of this list for any commercial purpose not directly connected to college sponsored events requires approval of the President or his designee prior to sending the email.

Computing resources are provided for academic, research, administrative and college business-related communications uses.

The college reserves the right to establish time limits on the use of public workstations as needed.

MWCC realizes that the free expression of ideas is central to academia, but will not tolerate the display of pornographic, obscene, abusive, racist, or other inappropriate material at any public workstation. The college reserves the right to determine the appropriateness of material displayed on public workstations.

The MWCC computing facilities constitute a private system. As such, the information stored on the college equipment is the property of the college and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts with the possible exception of material expressly developed by faculty, staff, and students for publication. Copyright and ownership of such content must be expressly and clearly stated in such works. Individuals who place content owned by others on computers under their control accept full responsibility for maintaining compliance with copyright laws.

Users of the college’s computing equipment, including email, shall have NO EXPECTATION OF PRIVACY over such use. The college reserves the right to access the personal files or monitor the system usage of any authorized user without that individual’s consent, under the following circumstances:

A subpoena or other properly served request from enforcement officers. All such requests must be served by an officer of the court that has jurisdiction and be reviewed and approved in writing by a senior officer of the college. Review by college counsel may be appropriate.

A written request from an appropriate senior officer of the college to provide information as part of an ongoing investigation and or disciplinary matter.

A written request from a Systems Administrator, based on reasonable evidence that files or programs stored in an authorized user’s directory are the source of interference with the efficient functioning of the college computing facilities, that such files are violations of any part of this policy, or are infringing on copyright or intellectual property rights. The Executive Director of Information Technology must endorse such a request.

A written request from the President of the college.

A written request from College Counsel in support of an ongoing investigation or inquiry.

A written request from the appropriate college officer as a part of a termination of employment action.

Information Technology will maintain records of all of these requests for access and will report the number of requests annually to the college administration.

Electronic files are treated like paper files and subject to subpoena or discovery in legal actions and disclosure if such files constitute public records under Massachusetts law.

Employee accounts are disabled as soon as the IT Department is notified of termination of employment. Human Resources should notify the Executive Director immediately when such personnel actions are imminent.

Passwords to terminated employees accounts will not be provided to other individuals. File access can be provided through system delegation facilities.

Enforcement Procedures

The College retains right without restriction to monitor, authorize, control, or stop the use of any technology found on its computers or networks.

Violations of the Acceptable Use Policy will be referred to the appropriate senior officer of the college for action through the established disciplinary processes of the college. The results of such referral may include but is not limited to:

  • Files and/or programs may be deleted.
  • User access privileges may be inactivated.
  • User accounts may be removed.
  • Users may be suspended, expelled or terminated from college employment.

If a member of the college community believes that another has violated his or her rights, he/she should report the incident to the Executive Vice President and his/her department head.

MWCC Administrative Computing Use Policy

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA), plus its amendments, set forth rights and responsibilities regarding the privacy of student record information. FERPA governs release of student records maintained by the college and access to these records. For detailed information about FERPA contact the Office of the Registrar or visit the American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers (AACRAO).

All employees of the MWCC are required to abide by the regulations of FERPA and those of the college regarding access to and use of student information, college financial information and college alumni development information. Student access to Banner for data entry purposes is expressly prohibited.

Department heads, Division heads, Directors and other supervisory personnel are responsible for ensuring that their respective employees follow the FERPA and college guidelines. The college houses its administrative data on its servers. The software package includes Admissions, Registration Records, Grading, Financial Aid Management, Billing, Accounts Payable, General Ledger and Alumni Development Records. Employees who have access to administrative system data must understand and accept the responsibility of working with confidential data. In addition to FERPA, college rules apply to all employees with an administrative system account.

Each employee is given a username and password.  This account is for the employee’s use only and should not be shared with supervisors, co-workers, family, or friends. In no case is the sharing of access accounts or passwords authorized. Each employee will be held responsible for any data input into or retrieval from the administrative system via his/her account. Employees are fully responsible for any system actions initiated under the employee’s user id and password.

An administrative computing account is for use for work-related activities only. Access at other times is prohibited.

Information that does not relate to the work assigned by your supervisor should not be viewed (e.g. looking up friends or co-workers) or altered (e.g. changing a friend’s address) in any way.

Since administrative data is confidential, no employee will discuss or share any data with any other person except as is needed to carry out his/her job responsibilities.

All access to electronic data and reports shall be secured.  Sign off the system, put reports away in drawers and/or cabinets when leaving your work areas, especially for long periods of time. Ensure that your computer uses a password protected screen saver to minimize unauthorized disclosure of confidential information.

Mount Wachusett Electronic Communications Acceptable Use Policy

Mount Wachusett Community College works in a large, complex information technology environment requiring communications involving both confidential and public data. New technologies offer the college methods to make this communication easier between students, staff, departments, campuses, other colleges, and others. The college has several types of electronic mail systems on its various computer systems, enabling its students and employees to take advantage of these technologies. In addition several types of electronic communications services, including chat, discussion lists, voice mail, and instant messaging services are used by the college community. However, with this open communication network, vulnerabilities to the privacy of electronic messages possibly containing confidential or proprietary information arise. College electronic communications users need to be aware of the vulnerabilities in electronic communications and of the legal responsibilities that accompany the use of this medium.

Purpose

These standards:

  • Define who may use the electronic communications systems controlled and administered by MWCC.
  • Outline responsibilities related to maintenance and use of such systems.
  • Provide guidelines for the security and confidentiality of college electronic mail, and other forms of electronic communications.
  • Provide methods for monitoring, enforcing and dealing with exceptions to this policy.

Scope

College Electronic Communications Polices shall apply to all:

  • Electronic mail (email) created, sent or maintained within, administered by or networked to the electronic mail systems of MWCC.
  • College email users.
  • All other forms of electronic communications, including voice systems and instant messaging services, and other forms of electronic communications listed in the introduction and to any new forms of electronic communications that may be introduced.

Responsibilities

The President, together with the senior officers of the college, determines what categories of individuals (e.g., full time, part-time, staff, students, economic partners, other educational institutions, general public, etc.) may access college electronic communications systems. These individuals will determine which college department(s) shall be responsible for administering electronic communications systems and security, and procedures for monitoring. Campus Electronic Communications Policies will ensure that Electronic Communications Administrators are responsible for:

  • Determining what categories of individuals, within the guidelines set by the President and campus administrators, may access the communications system under their control.
  • Ensuring that a security plan for the email system for which they are responsible has been developed, implemented, and is maintained. The security plan should include an analysis of whether message encryption is needed.
  • Ensuring that a backup plan to allow for message/system     recovery in the event of a disaster has been developed, tested, and implemented.
  • Periodically assessing the level of risk within the mail system.
  • Ensuring that filters to keep text from view of system maintenance personnel have been installed, when technologically possible.
  • Ensuring that appropriate steps are taken to prevent a system break-in   or intrusion through the electronic communications application.
  • Providing information regarding electronic mail vulnerabilities to email users so that they may make informed decisions regarding how to use the system.
  • Ensuring that all electronic mail ids for individuals with email accounts on college systems have been deleted when: an authorized user has terminated employment, graduated or withdrawn from the college, and when a “courtesy account” is inactive or no longer needed.
  • Ensuring that email message retention standards, within the guidelines of these and other college policies have been developed and are implemented for their electronic mail system.

Campus Electronic Mail Policies will ensure that employees responsible for maintaining, repairing and developing email resources will exercise special care and access email messages only as required to perform their job function. These employees will not discuss or divulge the contents of individual email messages viewed during maintenance and trouble-shooting.

Campus Electronic Mail Policies will ensure that college email users will:

  • Use email in a responsible manner consistent with other business communications (e.g., phone, correspondence).
  • Safeguard the integrity, accuracy and confidentiality of college electronic mail.
  • Only use mail ids assigned to them.
  • Remove mail from their mailbox consistent with college, campus, departmental or electronic mail administrator message retention policies and standards.

Campus Electronic Mail Policies prohibit college email users from:

  • Sending any unsolicited mail or materials that are of a fraudulent, defamatory, harassing, or threatening nature.
  • Posting materials that violate existing laws or college codes of conduct, are inconsistent with the college mission, or are commercial advertisements or announcements on any electronic bulletin boards.
  • Forwarding any other form of unnecessary mass mailing (such as chain letters) to college or external email users.
  • Using their email access to unlawfully solicit or exchange copies of copyrighted materials in any form.

Electronic Communications Security and Confidentiality Standards

Campus Electronic Communications Policies will ensure that those who access and use these systems are aware and understand that:

The college considers an electronic communications message to be a personal or business correspondence that should, therefore, be dealt with in the same manner as paper correspondence items.

Although electronic communications may be considered the property of the sender and/or receiver, these messages are stored on college computer systems. Therefore, administration of electronic communications systems may require that administrative staff read or access in other ways message contents. Users shall have NO EXPECTATION OF PRIVACY over the content of electronic communications maintained on the college’s computer system.

The college will not routinely monitor the content of electronic documents or messages. Electronic documents and messages may be accessed by technical maintenance, security and troubleshooting staff while performing their duties. Such access may occur when a problem in the software or network arises. Additionally electronic mail may pass out of one computer environment, across a network, and into another computer environment even within the college system. This transport becomes increasingly complicated as mail travels between departments, campuses, universities, states, or nations. The level of security over your messages is affected each time the computer hardware, software and environment changes. Untraceable leaks may occur.

If there is a college investigation for alleged misconduct, the President or his designee may authorize that electronic communications or files may be locked or copied to prevent destruction and loss of information. Additionally, the college may monitor the content of electronic documents and messages, or access email backups or archives as a result of a college investigation, legal discovery, writ, warrant, subpoena, or when there is a threat to the computer systems integrity or security.

The confidentiality of the contents of email messages that include certain types of information (e.g., student related, medical, personal) may be protected by the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (as amended) and/or the Electronic Communications Privacy Act of 1986. Additionally, the contents of email messages may be classified as public by the Massachusetts Fair Information Practices Act (MGL Title X, c66A, refer to http://www.state.ma.us/legis/laws/mgl/gl-66A-toc.htm) and/or the Massachusetts Public Records Act (MGL Title X, c66, refer to http://www.state.ma.us/legis/laws/mgl/gl-66-toc.htm). Further recent federal legislation, referred to as the Patriot Act, may require the college to disclose to law enforcement officers’ information previously considered to be privileged without notification.

The authenticity of an email message cannot be assured due to the state of present email technology. This means that the authorship or source of an email message may not be as indicated in the message. Methods exist to provide for authentication of email messages. Email clients who require this level of security are to contact the Help Desk for assistance in obtaining a digital certificate.

College Email Users may retain active mail files for the retention period instituted by the Electronic Mail Administrator. Deleted and expired email messages will be irretrievable after 90 days.

Electronic Mail Use Standards

The following policies govern the use of college email equipment/systems:

Individuals are prohibited from using an electronic mail account assigned to another individual either to send or receive messages. If it is necessary to read another individual’s mail (e.g., while they are on vacation, on leave, etc.), delegation or message forwarding should be requested from the email administrator.

College Email Users are encouraged to use these communications resources to share knowledge and information in support of the college’s mission. Occasional and incidental social communications using electronic mail are not prohibited; however, such messages should be limited and not interfere with an employee’s job function.

Individuals with email ids on college computer systems are prohibited from sending messages which: violate existing laws or college codes of conduct or policies; are inconsistent with the college mission; or are advertisements or announcements for a commercial business without prior approval of the President or his/her designee.

Authorized users should not “rebroadcast” information obtained from another individual that the individual reasonably expected to be confidential.

Bulletin boards used for soliciting or exchanging copies of copyrighted software are not permitted on college systems.

Authorized users are prohibited from sending, posting, or publicly displaying or printing unsolicited mail or material that is of a fraudulent, defamatory, harassing, abusive, obscene or threatening nature on any college system. The sending of such messages/materials will be handled according to current college codes of conduct, policies and procedures.

The college accepts no responsibility for the content of electronic mail received. If a student, faculty, or staff member receives electronic mail that is considered harassing, threatening or offensive, he/she should contact the appropriate college office for assistance.

Federal and state laws and college policies against racism, sexism and sexual harassment apply to electronic communications. Additionally, the college has special concern for incidents in which individuals are subject to harassment or threat because of membership in a particular racial, religious, gender or sexual orientation group.

Social Media Use Standards

In an effort to foster a professional work environment for all employees and to protect the interests of Mount Wachusett Community College the following policies govern the use of all social media by the employees at Mount Wachusett Community College.  The term “social media” is intended to address personal networking sites including, but not limited to, MySpace, Twitter, YouTube, or Facebook.

Only authorized individuals may send or post messages on social networking sites on behalf of MWCC.

Employees must be clear that they are speaking for themselves and not on behalf of MWCC when using social media. Employees should refrain from identifying MWCC in personally owned or controlled social media sites or personal commentary posted to social media discussions or pages, or their messages should have clear disclaimers that the views expressed are personal to the author and do not necessarily represent the views of MWCC. Employees are reminded that they bear personal responsibility for the content of their posts, blogs or other social media content.

Employees may not use MWCC logos or other trademarks or branding associated with MWCC’s identity without prior, written approval from the Vice President of Marketing and Communications.

All MWCC policies, including those related to harassment, discrimination, respect for diversity, retaliation, workplace violence, ethics, and conflicts of interest apply to an employee’s postings and social media content.

MWCC reserves the right to monitor employee use of social media.  Employees may be disciplined for violating the confidentiality of MWCC, of fellow employees, posting harassing or defamatory content, or other infractions of MWCC’s normal workplace standards of conduct. This applies to postings and blogging occurring at any time on any computer.

MWCC employees are reminded that they should be respectful of co-workers, students, management, and other colleges and universities. It is recommended that you obtain authorization from individuals or colleges and universities prior to posting their picture, using their trademark, or identifying them by their name.

Social networking that is not part of your official duties should be done on personal time using personal computers supported by commercial network assets and not college or other State owned resources.

Personal Facebook profiles may not be used by supervisors or subordinates to communicate work related matters; this is not to be confused with participating in Facebook groups or pages.

Employees are reminded to use discretion when using social networking media. If unsure about how policy or guidelines apply to your posting or social media site, employees are encouraged to consult with their supervisor before taking action whenever possible.

This policy is not intended to interfere with rights under the First Amendment or the National Labor Relations Act.

Compliance and Enforcement

Any individual found breaching the confidentiality of electronic communications, disclosing confidential College data, or otherwise violating this policy, may be denied future access to computer resources and may be subject to reprimand, suspension, dismissal, or other disciplinary actions by the President or his/her designee consistent with College delegations of authority, codes of conduct, personnel policies, and union agreements.

When desktop computers, administrative systems, voice systems, and networks fail to perform as expected, call the Help Desk at extension 401 or send an email to helpdesk@mwcc.edu. Helpdesk is available for your IT support needs.