Public Safety Policies

It is the responsibility of the college to ensure the safety of our students, staff, faculty, and neighborhood communities.

See the following policies below:

Inclement Weather Policy

The inclement weather policy (including other events causing delayed openings or closure) serves as a reference to employees and students. The decision to cancel or delay classes and activities will be based upon the best information available regarding the operational status of the college. This includes but is not limited to heating, electrical power, snow removal, and accessibility to the campus to include the availability of public transportation and street conditions in our service area.

Conditions may vary greatly within the college’s service area; therefore, when classes and activities are being held, students and employees must ultimately determine if they are able to safely attend. Students are encouraged to become familiar with the policies of their instructors regarding missed assignments.

The college will attempt to communicate the status of operations by using several methods.

As members of the Bristol community, students, faculty and staff have access to BCCalert, Bristol’s notification system. BCCalert quickly distributes information about emergencies and weather-related closings to your electronic devices via text messages.

Students who provide their mobile number to the college through Banner are opted in automatically. All others, including faculty and staff, may opt-in to the system by texting keyword BCCalert to 67283.

To change your mobile number, please log on to accessBCC by visiting

An announcement will be put on the college’s switchboard at the Bristol Fall River Campus, which can be reached by calling 774.357.2811 and on the college website. Radio and television station information can sometimes be inaccurate. The college recommends that more than one means of notification should be reviewed, including an official college source.

Local Media Outlets for College Announcements

All announcements about the college closing and delayed openings will be made to local television and radio stations:

  • Rhode Island Broadcasters Association Stations (Check the participating member list)
  • WSAR 1480 AM (Fall River)
  • WBSM 1420 AM (New Bedford)
  • WFHN 107 FM (New Bedford)
  • WHDH 7 (Boston)
  • WBZ 4 (Boston)
  • WCVB 5 (Boston)


If weather conditions or other emergencies dictate that the college should be closed, an announcement will be made on the college’s website, media outlets listed below, and the college’s official social media channels. Every attempt will be made to make this announcement before 6 a.m. An announcement will also be placed on the college’s automated answering system at 508.678.2811. When the college is closed, designated essential employees must report for work. Non-essential personnel are respectfully requested to not come on campus.

NOTE: There may be times when classes or activities are canceled, but the college will remain open. Please check accessBCC, the college’s website, or call the college at 508.678.2811 if there are any questions concerning the status of activities. 

Delayed Opening

Weather conditions or other emergencies may lead to a decision to begin classes later than usual. An announcement of delayed opening will be made on local radio and television stations as listed below and will be placed on the college’s automated answering system. The college’s website is the official notice used to communicate the information.

Classes will follow the normal schedule after the delayed opening. Essential personnel are expected to report as scheduled. Those not designated as essential should report at the established delayed opening. For example, if the opening of the college was delayed until 10 a.m., faculty are expected to meet with classes that start at 10 a.m. All other employees, who are not designated as essential, should report at 10 a.m., or whenever normally scheduled to report in after the opening.

Early Release

During inclement weather or another emergency, the college may close early during regular working hours if the college president, in consultation with the Vice President for Administration and Finance, believes that the closing is necessary to protect the health, safety, and security of the students, faculty, and staff.

The Vice President for Administration and Finance (or designee) will advise and communicate the time and terms of the early release to the appropriate people so they may inform personnel in their areas.

Essential Employees

When the college is closed, only essential employees should report to work, or remain at work.

During inclement weather, the following essential employees must report for work during their scheduled shifts. These employees are notified each year that they are classified as essential employees and typically include, but are not limited to:

  • Campus Police Officers
  • Maintainers 
  • Grounds department

If non-essential employees need to be on campus, Campus Police or Facilities personnel will direct them to a safe parking location. If you need to remain on campus after the college has closed, you must move your vehicle to Parking Lot 6 and notify Campus Police in order for the college’s Facilities personnel to plow the parking lots.

It is the employee’s responsibility to verify if they are to report to work. Please refer to the Inclement Weather Policy

Employee Compensation

  1. If the college closes before the end or beginning of a shift or opens later than scheduled and essential employees are expected to work, they will receive compensatory time for hours worked. Full-time benefited employees that are scheduled to work on the day of the closure will be paid for hours scheduled for that day.
    • Example: If an early release is declared for 2 p.m., all essential employees scheduled to work the day shift until 3:30 p.m. will receive 1.5 hours of compensatory time, since the first shift is scheduled to end at 3:30 p.m., and essential employees are expected to remain on duty.
  2. Full-time benefited employees scheduled to work second or third shift, who are not designated as essential employees, will also be paid for the day, and essential employees will receive compensatory time for the number of hours worked.
  3. Non-benefited employees will be paid only for the number of hours worked before the early release or after the delayed opening.
  4. Employees who have elected to be absent from their regular schedule before the announcement of a cancellation, early release, or delayed opening, whether on vacation, personal time, sick leave, or compensatory time, are not entitled to compensatory time.
  5. If there are inclement traveling conditions, but the college is open, faculty and staff must use their own judgment about the safety of traveling conditions in their own geographic locations. Those who determine that travel conditions are unsafe must use vacation, personal, or compensatory time (if applicable) to charge their absences.
  6. Essential employees who call in sick when the college closes, is in a delayed opening, or an early release will be charged for sick time and not awarded compensatory time. A doctor’s note may be required.

Alcohol & Other Drugs Policy

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 the use of illegal drugs and abuse of alcohol by students and employees.

In support of this requirement, Bristol Community College is committed to maintaining a drug-free work and learning environment for employees and students. This Alcohol and Other Drug policy is established to provide the required information and guidance for all college employees, students, and visitors.

Bristol would like to take this opportunity to reinforce our support and encouragement to students and employees who may be affected by substance misuse. Substance misuse is a treatable disease and Bristol has available resources to help. Please see Section VIII, Education, Prevention, and Treatment for more information on available resources.

View the Alcohol & Other Drugs Policy

Firearms and Weapons Policies

The possession, storing, or use of any weapons, including but not limited to firearms, explosives of any type (including firecrackers), chemical sprays, bows and arrows, knives, batons, is prohibited on campus. Persons possessing, storing, or using weapons on campus will be subject to disciplinary and/or criminal sanctions.

It is the policy of Bristol Community College that unless authorized, no one is permitted to carry a firearm on the grounds or in a college building. The pertinent legislation, Chapter 269, §10 of the Massachusetts General Laws states in part whoever, not being a law enforcement officer, and notwithstanding any license obtained by him under the provisions of Chapter 140, carries on his person a firearm as hereinafter defined, loaded or unloaded or other dangerous weapon in any building or on the grounds of any elementary or secondary school, college or university shall be punished by a fine of not more than one thousand dollars or by imprisonment for not more than one year, or both.

View the Firearms and Weapons Policies.

Sex Offender Registry

In accordance with federal law, Bristol Community College is required to advise the campus community where information can be obtained concerning registered sex offenders.

Information concerning Level 2 and Level 3 offenders is available to the general public by contacting your local police department or the Commonwealth of Massachusetts’ Sex Offender Registry Board, P.O. Box 4547, Salem, MA 01970-4547; 978.740.6400. Level 3 offender information is also available on-line at

Level 2 & Level 3 offender information received by the College’s police department is available to the public upon written request. Campus Police shall not respond to a request for Level 2 or 3 sex offender information unless the request is presented in writing, utilizing the Sex Offender Registry Board’s “Request for Sex Offender Information from City/Town Police Departments” form, which is available here and at the Campus Police Department, Hudnall Administration Building (building “D”), room 110. 

Sex Offender Information Request