Violence Free University Policy

Violence Free University Policy Statement

Tufts University is committed to maintaining an environment where individuals are safe to learn, work and live. In support of this commitment, Tufts will not tolerate violence or threats of violence anywhere on its campuses or in connection with university-sponsored programs. The university has established threat assessment and management teams to evaluate and address violence and threats of violence made towards members of the Tufts University community.

Crime Awareness and Campus Security Act

The Jeanne Clery Disclosure Act of 1998 as well as its amendments provide the Tufts University Police Department an opportunity to explain various services, policies, programs, and expectations that help contribute to achieving reasonable safety   and security at Tufts University. As one of our efforts to comply with the Clery Act, an annual Public Safety brochure is made available. This publication also informs the Tufts community of campus crime statistics. A printed copy of the brochure may be requested by contacting the Tufts University Police Department (TUPD) , 136 Harrison Avenue, Boston, MA.

Physical Assault

Anyone who has been physically assaulted is encouraged to report the incident to the Tufts University Police Department (TUPD), who will assist in obtaining medical care and in gaining the cooperation of other police agencies if the incident occurred off campus.

TUPD will issue a Campus Safety Alert if the assailant is unknown or remains at large
A member of the university Office of Student Affairs staff will either respond at the scene of the incident or will be in touch with the victim.

TUPD officials and the Office of Student Affairs are available to discuss options for pursuing a complaint both within and outside the university. Tufts is prepared to hear a complaint concerning physical assault as long as the alleged assailant is a student currently enrolled at Tufts.

Hate Crimes

Massachusetts has a specific law that prohibits hate crimes, the Hate Crimes Penalty Act. The law applies to anyone who commits an assault and/or battery with the intent to intimidate a person because of race or ethnicity, religion, national origin, age, sexual orientation, or disability. Students believing that they have been subject to a hate crime are encouraged to report it to and/or seek help from the Tufts University Police Department, (617-636-6610 or, for emergencies, 617-636-6911) the Office of Student Affairs (617-636-6534), and/or the Office of Equal Opportunity (OEO) (617-627-3298). While the Massachusetts law does not include gender as a basis for a hate crime, Tufts’ policy on hate crimes includes gender as a protected class, as well as the other categories listed in the state statute.

Threatening Behavior

In circumstances where a student’s behavior raises significant concern that they may present a threat or safety risk for themselves or others in the community, or in cases where a student is causing a disruption to the campus community, the Office of Student Affairs may impose an administrative leave of absence, which requires the student to remain off campus until such time as a determination can be made about the threat, safety risk, and/or disruption to the campus community.

Interim Suspension is a directive, not a disciplinary action, and in of itself no disciplinary consequences. It is not in itself a finding of responsibility for any disciplinary action, nor does it preclude future disciplinary action. However, the behavior which resulted in the Interim Suspension may lead to a disciplinary outcome. During an Interim Suspension, a student may work with faculty members to keep up with coursework through readings and on-line communication from off campus.

Interim Suspension is frequently accompanied by a requirement for the student to undergo a comprehensive psychological evaluation and risk assessment before being able to return to campus.

For further information, please visit the Tufts University Threat Assessment and Management (TTAM) Program website.

Abuse Prevention/Relationship Violence

Massachusetts law prohibits abuse by family, household members, roommates, and partners in substantive dating relationships through physical harm, fear of physical harm, or forcing to involuntarily engage in sexual relations. Massachusetts courts can issue orders protecting the victim from such abuse. Students engaging in such conduct may be arrested and subject to court proceedings and internal disciplinary actions. Tufts administrators may take interim actions based on an arrest or incident involving such abuse.


Under Massachusetts law, stalking and cyber-stalking are prohibited felonious acts. Stalking includes a willful, malicious, and knowing pattern of conduct or acts over a period of time directed at a specific person that seriously alarms or annoys the person and that causes a reasonable person to suffer substantial emotional distress and makes a threat with the intent to place the person in imminent fear of death or bodily injury. Stalking can be accomplished by mail, telephone, electronic mail, Internet communications, and facsimile. Conduct that does not include a threat of death or bodily injury is also illegal and considered criminal harassment. TUPD and the Office of Student Affairs can explain the options for pursuing court proceedings or internal disciplinary action.

Weapons Policy

No individual other than a Tufts University police officer or other authorized law enforcement officer may possess, carry, store, use, or have in his or her custody or control, a firearm or other weapon anywhere on the campus grounds or in any campus building. This policy includes, but is not limited to, firearms of any nature including: shotguns, rifles, pistols and revolvers, paint ball guns, or BB/pellet guns; firearm replicas; ammunition; martial arts-type weapons; explosives (including fireworks); bows, crossbows, arrows; slingshots; switchblade knives, double-edged knives, hunting (fixed-blade)-style knives of any length, throwing knives, or folding (pocket-style) knives with a blade length of four inches or greater; swords; axes; mace, pepper gas/spray, and other dangerous chemicals; or any other destructive device or instrument that may be used to do bodily injury or damage to property. Temporary exemption to this policy may be granted only by the Tufts University Police Department, (617-636-6610) for educational or demonstration purposes. Weapons will be confiscated by the University Police and violators may be subject to criminal prosecution and/or referral for college disciplinary action, possibly including suspension or expulsion.