2008 Security Report
October 1, 2008
This annual report is to inform students, prospective students, faculty, and staff of University of Puget Sound security incidents and crime prevention programs and measures. This report meets the requirements of the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act.
The University of Puget Sound campus is located in a residential community. The crime rate on and near campus is historically low compared with most areas of the city.
The University of Puget Sound is genuinely concerned about the welfare of its students. We have established crime prevention, response, and reporting programs that are reasonable and appropriate for our environment and we continuously assess and refine them. The university cannot totally eliminate crime nor can it guarantee protection of persons or property. Each member of the campus community should exercise reasonable precautions to minimize risks to themselves and others on campus.
The university encourages the reporting of all on-campus criminal activities, injuries, and illnesses to Security Services. Security staff document all reported incidents and refer significant crimes against persons and property to the Tacoma Police Department. Security administrators and Student Affairs staff members investigate on campus crimes involving students. Student Affairs staff sanction students when appropriate. The Tacoma Police Department may investigate on-campus incidents involving students and non-students. Video cameras are installed in select common areas on-campus to deter and investigate reported suspicious activity.
The university makes clear that its student conduct process is independent of criminal or civil proceedings. Students are advised by the University of the option to pursue criminal charges or to bring civil suit against perpetrators of crimes on campus.
Security administrators, through key control and card reader programs, regulate access to university buildings. Academic facilities are locked at varying times depending on use schedules. Prior written authorization is required for admittance when facilities are locked. Residences are locked 24 hours a day. Security and Residence Life staff patrol living areas to check for propped or unsecured doors. Areas rendered unsecurable by damage or equipment failure are repaired on a first priority basis by maintenance staff.
University of Puget Sound Security staff receive enforcement authority for campus rules and regulations from the university. Security staff work closely with the Tacoma Police Department. On duty staff carry radios which allow direct communication to City Emergency Services. Tacoma Police are summoned to provide assistance, make arrests, and investigate criminal matters on campus. Security staff do not routinely arrest suspects without the assistance of Tacoma Police. Tacoma Police officers patrol the campus vicinity on a routine basis and maintain communication with on duty Security staff.
Security Services and Residence Life staff are trained in the importance of accurate and prompt reporting of all incidents, including criminal acts, accidents, minor property damage, injuries, and illnesses. Because the University of Puget Sound is relatively small and campus housing is geographically concentrated, trained staff generally become aware of significant incidents and encourage reporting to campus authorities. Security staff report crimes to local authorities when appropriate.
Disseminating information and awareness is essential to effective crime prevention. The university informs students, faculty and staff of significant incidents involving crimes against persons and property so that they may take measures to avoid being victimized. Crime information is disseminated weekly via the campus newspaper and Safety Committee meetings. Emergency alert/warning information can be communicated to the campus instantly via an outdoor wide-area broadcast loud speaker system and/or cellular telephone (voice and text) and email notification. Less immediate incidents involving personal safety concerns are reported immediately via written "Security Alerts" which are hand delivered to some departments and/or announced over the campus wide voice, intranet or e-mail systems.
The university supports the Operation I.D. program. Literature describing the program and tools to engrave personal property are available for loan at the Security Office. Crime prevention information is posted on bulletin boards throughout campus and communicated in the weekly campus newspaper.
The university does not have recognized student organizations with off-campus offices or housing. Off-campus criminal activity involving students should be reported to local law enforcement agencies by the victim or complainant.
The university, through Security Services and Student Affairs staff, enforces university regulations regarding the possession, use, and serving of alcoholic beverages. University regulations are patterned after State laws and underage drinking is not permitted. University policies prohibit on campus possession, use, or sale of illegal drugs. Because the university's conduct process is an educational one, violators may be referred for mandatory counseling or substance abuse assessment as part of a sanction by Student Affairs staff. The university also has educational programs on alcohol misuse and abuse prevention, which all students have the opportunity to attend during New Student Orientation and at other times during their college careers. Possession or use of firearms or other weapons on campus, except by law-enforcement officials, is strictly prohibited. Suspected drug or criminal activity on university property is reported to and investigated by the Tacoma Police department.
The university enforces university policies prohibiting sexual assault and other forcible and nonforcible sex offenses. For further information, see the university's "Campus Policy Prohibiting Harassment and Sexual Misconduct." The policy defines violations, explains reporting procedures and describes counseling and support services available to immediate parties involved in a complaint. Complaint resolution processes, including the investigative procedure and possible sanctions are also described in the policy.
Counseling, Health, and Wellness Services and other Student Affairs departments sponsor programs to promote healthy relationships and increase student awareness about sexual offenses and harassment.
A survivor of a sexual offense should report the crime immediately to Security Services. The survivor also has the option to notify the Tacoma Police Department, whether or not the offense is reported to Security. If the survivor so desires, the university will assist in notifying the police.
A sexual offense survivor is encouraged to seek immediate medical attention. A prompt medical examination is important to check for possible injuries or infection and to collect medical evidence in the event of a criminal prosecution. The survivor is also encouraged to seek personal counseling and support from Counseling, Health, and Wellness Services, the university Chaplain, the Pierce County Sexual Assault Crisis Center, or another counseling service of the survivor's choice. If the survivor so desires, the university will make alternative campus housing and academic arrangements as may be appropriate and reasonably available. Students may request that reports made to members of the counseling staff or the university chaplain be kept confidential.
The university's "Campus Policy Prohibiting Harassment and Sexual Misconduct" outlines the procedure for campus disciplinary action in cases of an alleged sexual offense. The accuser and the accused are entitled to the same opportunities to have others present during a disciplinary proceeding. The accuser and the accused will both be informed of the outcome of any disciplinary proceeding alleging a sexual offense, including the nature of any sanctions imposed. The university may impose any one or more sanctions as appropriate, including but not limited to an official reprimand, mandatory counseling, restrictions on participation in campus activities, eviction from campus housing, suspension, expulsion of a student, or termination of a faculty or staff member's employment.
The Pierce County Sheriff's Department is responsible for maintaining records of registered sex offenders in Tacoma. To identify registered offenders in your neighborhood or area, visit (www.co.pierce.wa.us/pc/abtus/ourorg/sheriff/sexoffendersearch.htm). General information about offenders and related Washington State laws are also available on this site.
Following are on-campus crimes formally reported by victims or Student Affairs staff to the Security office. Tacoma Police provide statistics on incidents occurring on streets or sidewalks bordering campus property. The Director of Security Services compiles these statistics and provides a summary of the previous three calendar years.