Student Rights / Important Laws
Good Samaritan Policy
Wentworth Institute of Technology is strongly committed to both the development of the student and the health and safety of the community. All members of the Wentworth community are expected to uphold the Wentworth Creed, the Student Code of Conduct, the Leopard’s Oath, and to look out for one another. Students may be reluctant to seek help in alcohol, prescription drug and illegal substance related emergencies due to their own involvement for violating the Code of Conduct. When these emergencies are serious and/or life-threatening, Wentworth wants to promote a culture of students seeking assistance when it is needed, as well as a culture of responsibility. For this reason, Wentworth has developed a Good Samaritan Policy.
In cases of a medical emergency resulting from alcohol, prescription drug, or illegal substances, students are expected to seek out help for an individual(s) needing medical attention by contacting Public Safety and/or 911 and remain with the individual(s) until the time assistance arrives. Students who seek out emergency assistance for an individual(s) will face no formal Institute disciplinary action or sanction for their own conduct which could be a policy violation relating to personal alcohol, prescription drug and/or illegal drug use that occurred immediately before or during the medical emergency incident. However, the personal use will be documented and an educational response may be required. This policy also applies to the individual for who the emergency assistance was requested.
Violations other than personal use of alcohol and /or prescription drugs and/or illegal drugs do not fall within the scope of this policy.
The Good Samaritan Policy will not apply for calls for medical assistance made after the Institute or local authorities have already intervened and/or confronted a situation. Students who abuse the protections of the Good Samaritan Policy by seeking help for others when there is no good-faith basis for doing so, will not be able to claim the benefits of the Policy.
Health and Safety Inspections
The Housing Office conducts Health and Safety Inspections of the Residence Halls periodically each semester and as needed. These inspections can occur at any time. The inspections consist of a visual assessment of the rooms to check for prohibited items and for cleanliness. Possession of prohibited items and unsanitary conditions may result in a $25 fine or cost of professional cleaning.
Legal Liability of the Institute
Wentworth Institute of Technology is not legally liable for damages or loss of property, for failure or interruption of utilities, or interruption of services due to weather or acts of nature.
Mandated Medical Leave
Conduct Requiring Review: A mandated medical leave may be required when a student’s conduct in private or public involves the following:
- physical or mental harm to self or others;
- serious risk of physical or mental harm to self or others;
- a medical condition that threatens public health;
- any other behavior or condition which raises concerns about the ability of the student to satisfy and comply with academic requirements, the Student Code of Conduct, and Institute policies, rules and regulations, with or without a reasonable accommodation.
Assessment and Process: The Institute may require a student to be evaluated by a medical professional of its choice in order to assess the medical condition and the potential risks involved. The Institute may also request the student to release the medical diagnosis and records of the student’s medical professional to a designated professional working with the Dean of Students Office. If a student refuses to be evaluated by the Institute’s medical professional and/or release the diagnosis or records of the student’s treating physician, the Institute will make its decision concerning the leave based upon the information it has at the time. Whenever reasonably possible, a meeting between the student and a member and/or designee(s) of the Dean of Students Office will be held prior to the decision on the mandated medical leave. In certain emergency cases, the Institute may make its decision about the mandated medical leave on a temporary basis without reviewing medical records or opinions.
Mandated medical leaves become effective immediately and the student will be required to leave campus immediately. While a student is on mandated medical leave, they will not be permitted on campus, including residence halls or grounds, or participate in campus activities. In addition, students may not have access to campus resources.
The length of a mandated medical leave will be determined on a case-by-case basis.
Process to Return From Leave: In order to return to the Institute, the student will be required to permit his/her treating health care provider to consult with the members of the Dean of Students Office, the Center for Wellness, and/or medical professionals selected by the Institute, regarding the student’s condition, prognosis, risk to self and/or others, ability to successfully live on campus or participate in campus life and/or, complete his/her academic coursework with or without a reasonable accommodation. The student will need to present documentation in writing from a treating medical professional that the medical condition allows safe attendance at the Institute, the successful completion of academic coursework, and the ability to live independently on campus and/or participate in campus life. In certain cases involving serious academic or behavioral misconduct (including harm to self or others), the underlying conduct must be addressed by the student through the procedures for handling Academic Dishonesty and Misconduct and for handling violations of the Student Code of Conduct before readmission is considered. This return process applies in cases where a student voluntarily withdraws and the Institute is aware of the student conduct noted above.
Although in 2012 the Commonwealth of Massachusetts created legislation allowing the use of marijuana for medicinal purposes, the law did not require any school or public place to allow use on site and does not require any institution to violate federal law. The Federal Drug Free Schools and Communities Act prohibits the use of controlled substances, including marijuana. The Federal Controlled Substances Act defines marijuana as a controlled substance and makes no distinction between the medical and recreational use. Accordingly, Wentworth Institute of Technology does not allow the use or possession of marijuana on its campus, or at any location, event, or activity sponsored or controlled by the Institute.
Any violation by the Institute of the Drug Free Schools and Communities Act, or facilitation of or acquiescence to a violation of the Controlled Substances Act, could jeopardize the Institute’s eligibility to participate in financial aid programs administered by the U.S. Department of Education. A student convicted of an offense involving the possession of a controlled substance prior to or during a period of school enrollment in which federal financial aid was received, is ineligible to receive federal student aid for specified periods of time, depending on the egregiousness of the offense.
Recreational Use of Marijuana
In the 2016 election, Massachusetts voted to legalize recreational marijuana use statewide. Marijuana is still illegal under Federal law which means that possession, use, cultivation, sale and/or distribution is not permitted on campus.
Wentworth Institute of Technology receives funding from the Federal government which allows us the opportunity to provide aid to our students. This means that we must abide by all Federal laws even if those laws do not coincide with Massachusetts’ state laws. Under Federal law, we have a commitment to abide by the Drug Free Schools and Community Act. This means that the possession, use, cultivation, sale and/or distribution of marijuana is not permitted on the Wentworth campus regardless of age. Students who are found to be in violation of the Federal law will be held accountable through the student discipline process.
Right of Entry
The Institute reserves the right to enter and inspect any room. The Housing and Residential Life staff has the right to enter a room at any time to take those precautions that they find necessary to protect the health and safety of the occupants or other persons and to enforce Institute policy. Members of the physical plant staff and Public Safety officers routinely enter rooms in the performance of their duties and at times of safety or emergency.
Right to Search
The Institute reserves the right to search any room when it reasonably believes that a violation of Institute policy is occurring, to investigate a situation or incident and to confiscate items that indicate such violations. Suspicious odors and disruptive behavior will be considered grounds for a search. In addition, Wentworth reserves the right to search a student’s person, motor vehicle and room, including but not limited to refrigerators, closets, safes, desks, and large bags or boxes. Students are required to open any items that may be locked or otherwise secured. Failure to open locked items may result in their confiscation until such time that their content can be verified. Prohibited items noted in the Student Code of Conduct (e.g. alcoholic beverages and containers, drug paraphernalia, fire safety items, weapons) will be confiscated, Referral to Institute disciplinary proceedings and criminal proceedings may occur.
Federal, commonwealth, and local officials may exercise their legitimate authority to conduct searches on campus without the consent of the Institute, employee or student.
The Office of Housing and Residential Life is responsible for coordinating all room assignments and reserves the right to alter room assignments. When a roommate conflict arises, the staff in the Office of Housing and Residential Life will assist the individuals through facilitated communication and guided mediation to reach an acceptable solution. If these efforts do not produce a satisfactory result, a room change may be discussed.
The Office of Housing and Residential Life reserves the right to fill any open space without the approval of other student(s) living in the room. Students are expected to be open-minded and demonstrate willingness to work with any student assigned to their room. If a student has concerns about having a roommate, they may bring their concerns to their Resident Assistant or Resident Director.
Once a student is provided a housing assignment for a specific room, they may not alter that assignment without prior approval from their Resident Director or Assistant Director of Community Development, and the Assistant Director of Housing and Residential Life. Students who wish to change their room should contact their Resident Director. Unauthorized room changes may result in disciplinary action. During the first two weeks of each semester, the Office of Housing and Residential Life will not approve any room changes. All room changes are dependent on space availability.
Housing Agreements and Policies
Each student is required to complete a housing agreement either during room selection or the first day of the semester. Housing agreements are binding for the full academic year (three semesters if in three semester housing). The student will not be released from this agreement except for coop outside of the Boston area, study abroad, transferring, or other reasons as outlined in the "Housing Withdrawal Policy" section. Students who withdraw from their housing agreement without a valid reason will be charged a Housing Agreement Release Fee of $1000.
The housing agreement outlines some, but not all, important residential community policies that students must follow, including the occupancy dates. Other Policies can be found at this link. Wentworth staff will refer the student to the Office of Student Affairs for any violation of the terms of the housing agreement or residential policies.