Earlier this month, the Career Center established a new Student Social Responsibility Agreement to ensure that students using the Career Center to find an internship or job will act ethically and professionally in their search. The agreement took effect on Jan. 9 and is available to students via EagleLink. Students who sign onto their accounts or create a new EagleLink account will be required to sign the document. The agreement lasts a full academic year and then must be signed again the next year.
The idea has been in the works for a while, according to Joseph Du Pont, associate vice president for Student Affairs and the Career Center. The agreement came out of conversations with students, employers, alumni, and staff members.
“The genesis of this is to help students put themselves in the best position to do well,” Du Pont said.
Although they are a small percent of the student population, some students miss appointments or interviews with employers. This not only reflects badly upon the student, but also upon Boston College, Du Pont said. Students who miss appointments often don’t realize that they have taken a slot from one of their classmates and wasted it.
Social responsibility agreements through career centers are common among universities, Du Pont said. It is unclear how many other universities put contracts in place for students to sign, however.
The policies outlined in the BC Career Center agreement include providing accurate information to employers and letting the employers and the Career Center know if the student is cancelling an appointment with two business days’ notice.
The Career Center has maintained these policies before, but this document is a way to put them in one place and formalize them.
“We just wanted to put it out there and say, as a community, this is who we are [and that] we have our own set of shared values that are in there that we hold ourselves to,” Du Pont said.
The agreement also includes a clause about students representing themselves well on social media. It states that students must “monitor publicly available content by and about [them] including content and photos on Google mail, personal blogs and social networking sites, and make reasonable efforts to remove material that professionals may deem inappropriate or unprofessional.”
It is very common for employers to check social media profiles, Du Pont said. He believes students should be careful when they post things to social media, as employers could potentially see something that reflects badly upon the student and BC.
The document is not about penalizing students for doing the wrong thing, Du Pont said. It serves as a reminder for students to conduct themselves with professionalism and put their best foot forward.
“It’s about career education,” Du Pont said. “It goes back to that Jesuit piece of having a conversation about things and reflection on what you’re doing.”