Participant Handbook

Welcome to Brandeis Precollege Programs!

You are about to embark on a great adventure. We are excited to share this summer of learning, new experiences, friends and fun. This handbook contains general information that will be useful to you as you prepare for your time at Brandeis.

If you have any questions as you read this handbook, please contact our office.

As the summer gets closer, we will send additional program information as well as a detailed packing list. You will also receive emails from your Program Director. Please be sure to read these emails and respond in a timely manner.

We’re so glad you’re joining our community this summer!

Quick Links

Before You Arrive This Summer

Health Care and Insurance

The medical form is an online form, accessible through your DEISconnect portal. It is due as soon as possible and no later than May 15, 2020. When completing your medical form, you will be required to upload a recent immunization record. The Massachusetts state law requires all participants to have up-to-date vaccinations before attending the program. Families are expected to inform the office of any changes in medications or health status once the health forms have been submitted.

Please note that every participant is required by law to have health insurance coverage within the United States. If you do not have health insurance, you must register for temporary health insurance for the duration of the program. If you do not have health insurance in the United States, you can purchase short term coverage from a number of providers, including: Compass Benefits Group - Compass Benefit Benchmark Plan.

Brandeis Precollege Programs employs a full-time residential health coordinator to oversee participants' physical and mental health needs. There is also an urgent care clinic and hospital a few minutes from campus for emergency services. Families are responsible for hospital and testing fees and are required to work with the office to arrange any ongoing medical care their children may require.

Participants who require injections must make prior arrangements with the office. Allergy injections will not be administered by staff. We can provide families with a list of physicians in the area upon request. Please contact the office with any questions or concerns.

Living on Campus

Meals and Housing

The Precollege team works diligently to ensure student's comfort and health while residing on campus.

  • Participants’ will receive meal plan cards at registration. These cards are necessary for admission to the cafeteria and serve as Brandeis ID cards. You must keep your ID card with you at all times. A lost meal card can be replaced for a fee of $20.
  • Each participant will receive a room key. The same key also unlocks the exterior door to the dorm. You are responsible for your key throughout the program and must keep it with you at all times. A fee of $200 will be charged for a lost key.
  • You will sign for the condition of the room when you move in and out. You are responsible for any damages incurred during your occupancy.

If students require special accommodations or have specific dietary needs, please reach out to our staff at

Campus Facilities

You will have access to the Brandeis libraries and the public computer clusters. Overdue fines: 25 cents per day for books from the regular collection; reserve books are $2 for the first hour; $1 for each additional hour. Replacement fees are $75 per book in Goldfarb Library and $100 per book in Gerstenzang Science Library. No food or drink is allowed in the library buildings.

In addition, you will have access to the athletic facilities and the practice rooms in the music center on campus. The available hours of these facilities and others will be posted on a bulletin board in the dining hall.

The Shapiro Campus Center houses an ATM, and there is a coffee shop in the Farber Library. Usdan Student Center houses a post office and ATM. The hours of these facilities will be posted for participants.

You will have access to pay-per-use laundry rooms located within the residence hall. You need to supply your own laundry detergent.

Campus Safety

Brandeis is located in a safe, suburban neighborhood with minimal through traffic. The campus is patrolled 24 hours a day by officers of the Brandeis University Department of Public Safety. Throughout campus, call boxes marked by blue lights provide immediate communication with the Brandeis University Department of Public Safety. Participants are required to keep their individual rooms in the residence halls locked and the exterior doors to the residence halls closed.

Community Policies and Procedures

Note: These policies apply to participants in all of Brandeis University’s Precollege Programs.

As in all communities, members have not only rights, but also responsibilities. Participants in our programs are expected to behave in a manner that respects and considers the rights of others in the community. Participants are expected to comply with the policies listed below.

Note to Parents and Guardians

Our staff members not only form relationships with the participants who attend the program, but also with their parents or guardians. We strive to keep parents well informed throughout the summer. Our experience has shown that our participants are best served when parents/guardians and our staff have a positive, honest, and open working relationship.

General Expectations

We expect participants to promote the creation of the community based on mutual respect and a sense of personal well-being. Personal honesty, civility, and respect are at the heart of the programs.

Participants are expected to take part in scheduled activities including attendance at all classes, group meetings, programs, and excursions. Participants are treated as responsible young adults, and in return we ask that they help to foster an atmosphere of respect and trust in relationships with fellow participants, faculty, staff, and members of the University and local community.

We make every effort to address student life issues in a proactive manner; we deal with disciplinary issues fairly and as quickly as possible. The staff and administration handle each case individually, keeping in mind the specific circumstances as well as the best interests of the larger community. Although consistency is desirable, it will not always be the governing principle in settling disciplinary issues. Disciplinary action will be taken when there is a preponderance of evidence that a rule or guideline of the program has been violated. The staff and administration appreciate honesty and straightforward communication regarding community policies.

Major Policies

A participant who violates a Major Policy can expect to be dismissed.

Please note that if a participant is knowingly and willingly in the presence of a Major Policy violation, it is as if they are breaking the policy themselves. In addition to the examples cited below, behaviors that jeopardize the welfare of the community or bring the name of Brandeis University, its partners, or any of our programs into disrepute, whether on or off campus, are considered Major Policy violations.

  1. Participants are expected to act with respect for the well-being and rights of others. Behavior that is deemed to be injurious to the program, individual participants, or the larger campus community is unacceptable. Therefore, infringing on the rights of others through harassment and/or hazing is a breach of such standards. Such behaviors include but are not limited to: sexual assault or harassment; physical or verbal assault or threats; behaviors intended to intimidate or humiliate others or those that may cause emotional distress or physical harm; abusive physical behavior; bullying; and the use of abusive language whether these behaviors be in-person or online.
  2. Participants are expected to respect both community property and the property of others. Theft, the possession or use of stolen property, or the deliberate destruction or abuse of personal or community property, are violations of this standard. This would include intellectual property as well as computer files.
  3. In order to respect each other’s privacy, participants must adhere to the following policy governing residence halls: it is a violation to be in any part of a residential space of a participant of the other gender. 
  4. Participants are expected to maintain a safe environment. Examples of violations of this standard are: possessing or using fireworks, firearms, or other dangerous weapons, items, or substances (including pocket knives). Because a possible fire exposes so many community members to extreme danger, the burning of anything or the use of an open flame indoors (candles, matches, lighters, incense, tobacco products, etc.) is a violation of this standard.
  5. For reasons of physical and emotional safety as well as community building, we ask participants to be aware of the impact that their relationships have on other members of the community and how they might take away from the focus of the summer. Though we recognize that exploring relationships and sexual behavior is normal for adolescents, we discourage participants from engaging in sexual behavior with others, regardless of the participants’ sex. Both public and private sexual behavior that is deemed to be inappropriate and is grounds for dismissal.
  6. For reasons of safety and accountability, we have stated policies regarding where participants can be throughout the day and evening and all participants are expected to uphold any policy concerning their whereabouts. For example, participants who are outside of their dorms after final evening check-in would be in violation of this policy. Furthermore, any participant who leaves the designated program boundaries, either on-campus or on a trip, would also be in violation of this policy. 
Evening Sign-In Procedures

All participants are required to honor quiet hours and times in the dorm buildings. Days are long and intense at all of our programs, and everyone - participants and staff - needs to get sufficient, uninterrupted sleep.

Participants must sign-in to the dorms each evening by and not later than 11:00 p.m. At this time, the noise level inside the residence halls must be kept to a minimum to allow anyone the ability to go to sleep.

At 12:00 a.m. all participants must be in their own rooms. To help facilitate this, all laundry must be started before 10:30 p.m., any food ordered for delivery from an outside vendor must be ordered by 9:30 p.m. and showering/washing should be done taking this timing into account. If a participant is found out of his/her room past 12:00 a.m., the first violation will result in a conversation with the director of the program. The second violation is grounds for dismissal.

Participants must sleep in their assigned rooms every night.

Procedures for sign-in will be reviewed when the participants arrive on campus. Participants may not leave the dorm building between the hours of signing-in and 6:00 am the next day without permission. If, without prior consent of the residential staff, a participant leaves the dorm building after signing-in and before 6:00 am the following day, it is grounds for dismissal. Participants are not permitted in any other dorm building on campus.

Leaving a Program without Permission

If a participant leaves the program without using the established sign-out procedures, essentially “running away,” that person will no longer be able to participate in the program. We cannot guarantee the safety of a participant who is not compliant with this policy, and will not take responsibility for a participant once he or she has left the program in an unauthorized fashion. Participants are not allowed to walk off campus without a staff member present.

  1. Participants may not operate a motor vehicle during the program. Participants may take trains, buses, cars, etc. only when participating in an organized activity with program staff. Participants may travel in vehicles with friends or family members who are 21 years of age or older only if their parents have communicated directly with the Office to give permission.
  2. Participants are expected to abide by the public laws governing the use of alcohol, tobacco, and illegal drugs. Therefore, it is not acceptable to: possess, use, distribute, provide, or cause to be brought on campus any illegal drug, controlled substance, tobacco product, anabolic steroid, alcohol, or any related paraphernalia (including tobacco, marijuana or hashish pipes or papers and alcohol containers); misuse of prescription or over-the-counter medications or chemical substances; or return to campus showing evidence of having been drinking or using illegal drugs. Participants who remain in the presence of a drug or alcohol violation are themselves in violation of this policy.
  3. Participants are expected to be positive and cooperative in all of their dealings with the program staff and faculty. If a participant repeatedly breaks these policies, does not abide by the written or verbal directives of the staff and faculty, or does not follow stated and written procedures, he or she can expect to be dismissed for the accumulation of such incidents.
  4. Unauthorized video/audio taping, photography, or web postings are grounds for dismissal from the program. Authorized taping, photography or web postings include images, sounds or video of oneself or of others taken within a public setting or event which would be considered free from any possibility of embarrassment (when in doubt check with a staff member). Unauthorized examples include private conversations, or recordings that were taken secretly / unexpectedly.
  5. In addition to these policies, participants are expected to abide by all Brandeis University policies and procedures.
  6. Eating disorders, cutting, burning, suicidal gestures, and other similar behaviors are profound and potentially life threatening. These types of behaviors require the treatment and attention of specialists. Our programs are not designed to provide such specialized treatment for these behaviors. Therefore, if a participant engages in any of these types of behaviors during the program, they must go home to ensure their safety and the well-being of others.

Additional Policies

Failure to abide by other Program policies makes a participant liable to be placed on probation. Probationary violations include:

If we deem any of these infractions to be egregious, or if there are multiple infractions of these policies, dismissal can result.

Residence Hall Rooms

Participants are expected to maintain a reasonably clean-living space throughout the program. This demonstrates respect for roommates, respect for self and promotes health. Participants must leave their rooms in an acceptable condition at the end of the program; the participants (and parents) are responsible for the cost of any repairs needed.

Final Days of the Program

During the final days of the programs, any violation of any policy can result in immediate dismissal.

State and Federal Regulations

While the guidelines described reflect our own philosophy and mechanisms for dealing with breaches of our rules and standards, we are also obligated to adhere to all applicable state and federal statutes. Thus, should we become aware of certain types of incidents – such as abuse (current or in the past), hazing and some forms of harassment – we are required to report them to outside authorities, including the local police and the Massachusetts Department of Social Services.

Technology and Electronics Policy

A major focus of all of our programs is on the forming of new relationships and the building of a creative, engaging, fun community. Our programs attract high school students who are interested in meeting new people and getting to know people who come from backgrounds different from their own.

While we have all become used to being surrounded by various electronic devices - such as mobile phones, computers, MP3 players, iPads and other tablet computers - and appreciate all of the benefits they bring, we urge participants and their families to think, before the summer, of how all of these elements can also interfere with relationship and community building.

We offer the following policies and guidelines in an attempt to negotiate the need to be connected “on-line” with our core value of spending the summer in meaningful interpersonal encounters with other people in our community.

We understand that families and friends will want to be in touch with the participants. The best time for participants to be reached is between 9:30 PM and 11:00 PM each night. We strongly urge family and friends to avoid contacting participants outside of these hours as they will inevitably be disrupting different elements of the program.

Families can call the office at any time to ask a question, speak to a member of the senior staff, or get a message to a participant.

Mobile phones

Mobile phones are never to be used (for phone calls, texting, or any other use) during any program activity or in common spaces, such as the dining hall and dorm lounges. Mobile phone use must be limited to free time outdoors. We encourage all members of the community to be sensitive to how disruptive mobile phone use can be when building a new community.

Electronic devices

Unless specifically required for their program, participants are strongly encouraged not to bring computers or DVD players to campus. This includes iPads and other tablet computers. There are several public computer clusters available for participant use. Participants can use these computers for their course work (if relevant) or for personal use during designated times, to check email or use the Internet.

Any participant who does bring an electronic device to campus is expected to keep it within their residence hall room, and minimize its use. Devices should not be used in public spaces, with the exception of those specifically needed for summer program purposes.

An Atmosphere of Respect, Openness and Exploration

At all of our Brandeis summer programs for high school students, we encourage participants to be open to learning new things about the world and about themselves. We pride ourselves on bringing together people from across the world and from different beliefs and lifestyles to create a vibrant, diverse community.

We encourage everyone involved in our programs to come with an open mind and to be willing and eager to ask challenging questions and to learn a lot. As a part of this, we expect that all members of our community treat each other with more than tolerance—with respect, openness and kindness. This summer is a unique and special moment for all of us, and we must all work to make it a positive experience.

Non-Discrimination Clause

Brandeis University is committed to providing its students, faculty and staff with an environment conducive to learning and working where all people are treated with respect and dignity. Toward that end, it is essential that Brandeis be free from discrimination and harassment on the basis of race, color, ancestry, religious creed, gender identity and expression, national or ethnic origin, sex, sexual orientation, age, genetic information, disability, Vietnam Era veteran, qualified special, disabled veteran or other eligible veteran status or any other category protected by law.

It is the University’s responsibility to help prevent harassment and discrimination from occurring, to pursue concerns of which it is aware, to objectively investigate concerns, and to take immediate and appropriate action to remedy issues of harassment and discrimination. Brandeis takes this responsibility seriously. Therefore, violations of this policy will not be tolerated and may result in corrective actions up to and including dismissal from school or release from employment.

We look forward to meeting you and having an amazing summer experience!