This annual report is to inform students, prospective students, faculty, and staff about Puget Sound security incidents and crime prevention programs and measures. It also includes information about campus fire safety and fire statistics.
This report meets the requirements of the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act. It also complies with the Higher Education Opportunity Act. Crime and fire statistics are reported by calendar year as required by these acts. The most current reporting year ended December 2012.
The Puget Sound campus is located in a residential community. Historically, the crime rate on and near campus is low compared to most areas of the city.
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 college 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 college encourages the reporting of all on-campus criminal activities, injuries, fires and illnesses. 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 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.
The college makes clear that its student conduct process is independent of criminal or civil proceedings. Students are advised by the college of the option to pursue criminal charges or to bring civil action against perpetrators of crimes on campus. Review the student conduct process.
The university has in place a Code of Conduct that outlines the high ethical standards of the university and our expectations of students, faculty, staff, officers, trustees, and others with whom we work. The Code of Conduct is intended to provide an overarching statement that supplements but does not replace existing university policies and codes.
Security administrators, through key control and card access programs, regulate access to buildings. Video surveillance cameras are used in select campus areas to deter and investigate reported suspicious activity. 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 members patrol living areas to check for propped or unsecured doors. Areas rendered un-securable by damage or equipment failure are repaired on a high priority basis by maintenance staff.
Puget Sound Security staff members receive enforcement authority for campus rules and regulations from the college. Security staff members work closely with the Tacoma Police Department. On-duty staff members carry radios which allow direct communication with City Emergency Services. Tacoma Police provide police services on campus. They are summoned to provide assistance, make arrests, and investigate criminal matters as appropriate. Security staff members 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 incidents, including criminal acts, accidents, fires, minor property damage, injuries, and illnesses. Because Puget Sound has strong internal communications and campus housing is geographically concentrated, trained staff members 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 emergency response and crime prevention. The college strives, without significant delay, to inform students, faculty, staff and the college community, about potentially dangerous situations, major incidents involving crimes against persons and property so they may take measures to avoid potential harm. Crime information is disseminated weekly via the campus newspaper and Safety Committee meetings by the director of Security. Emergency alert/warning information can be communicated to the campus immediately via an outdoor; wide-area broadcast loud speaker system and through “Security Alerts” sent via a campus mass emergency notification system (voice, text and email messages). On-duty Security staff (director and assistant director, and full-time campus safety officers) have the authority to initiate appropriate emergency response/s and notifications.
Campus emergency communication and notification systems (outdoor wide-area broadcast and voice/text/e-mail) are tested and practiced monthly by security staff. Each calendar year during the fall term the college schedules and practices a campus-wide emergency drill. Prior to the drill, the campus community is reminded about posted emergency response procedures.
Campus emergency response plans are posted at pugetsound.edu/emergency. The college has designated an Emergency Operations Center (EOC) and temporary shelters on campus. Table-top exercises are conducted and involve members of an Emergency Operations Center Management Group. College representatives conduct ongoing emergency planning with Pierce County Department of Emergency Management and the City of Tacoma (Police and Fire).
Literature about personal safety and property protection is available at the Security office. Security Services can assist students with engraving personal property or an engraver is available for loan at the Security office. Crime prevention information is posted on bulletin boards throughout campus and communicated in the weekly campus newspaper. Crime prevention information is also sent regularly to the campus community via campus email.
The college 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.
Puget Sound, through Security Services and Student Affairs staff, enforces college regulations regarding the possession, use, and serving of alcoholic beverages. 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 college’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. Puget Sound 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 educational experience.
University policy strictly prohibits the possession or use of weapons on campus by anyone except law-enforcement officials, armored car couriers, or others specifically authorized by the university to support curricular or co-curricular programs. A weapon means any firearm, explosive, knife, club or other object that has been designed with the intent to harm another person or property (or replica of such a firearm or object) or any object used to inflict harm to another person or property. Possession includes, but is not limited to, storage in residential facilities, academic or administrative offices, lockers, desks, briefcases, or personal vehicles parked on university property.
The college has policies that address sexual assault and other forms of sexual violence or harassment – including domestic violence, dating violence and stalking. For further information, see the college’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, also are described in the policy.
Counseling, Health & 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 college 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 & Wellness Services, the college Chaplain, the Sexual Assault Center of Pierce County, or another counseling service of the survivor’s choice. If the survivor so desires, the college 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 college chaplain be kept confidential.
The college’s “Campus Policy Prohibiting Harassment and Sexual Misconduct” outlines the procedure for campus disciplinary action in cases of an alleged sexual offense. The complainant and the respondent are entitled to the same opportunities to have others present during a disciplinary proceeding. The complainant and the respondent will both be informed of the outcome of any disciplinary proceeding alleging a sexual offense, including the nature of any sanctions imposed. The college 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. A finding of a violation of the campus policy requires proof that the allegations are more likely true than not true (preponderance of evidence).
Training on sexual discrimination, harassment, and assault as well as all other forms of violence prevention is provided to student leaders using a comprehensive approach focusing on peer influence and individual bystander choices through nationally recognized programs such as Green Dot and Take Back the Night. All new students to campus are required to participate in a workshop on consent and to attend a Green Dot Bystander Persuasive speech as part of New Student Orientation. Optional sexual violence prevention workshops such as Green Dot Bystander Trainings are provided several times each semester or upon request to interested groups or organizations. Campus-wide presentations such as Take Back the Night occur each semester. Student Orientation Leaders and Resident Assistants are required to participate each August in this programing and training.
Training on preventing all forms of workplace sexual discrimination and discriminatory harassment, including sexual harassment, is provided to faculty, staff, and student employees. Puget Sound offers an online harassment prevention tutorial covering the legal basis for harassment and testing knowledge through case scenario-based questions. This tutorial includes Puget Sound’s Policy Prohibiting Harassment and Sexual Misconduct, which provides detailed descriptions of reporting responsibilities and grievance processes for faculty, staff, and students. Puget Sound staff are asked to complete this tutorial at hire and every two years thereafter. Online training is augmented by classroom-based diversity awareness and discrimination-prevention training offered by the Chief Diversity Officer in partnership with HR.
Classroom-based training on diversity and inclusion, harassment prevention, and bystander intervention response to power-based violence including sexual violence is regularly included in the annual Professional Development & Enrichment Conference for Faculty and Staff.
Beginning September 2014, Title IX training is incorporated into our new staff orientation programs, including prevention awareness and educational content about consent, dating/domestic violence, stalking, and reporting requirements for all employees. In addition, we plan to implement classroom-based Title IX training with similar content and incorporating further detail on grievance procedures and discussion of warning signs of abusive behavior for all current faculty and staff in fall 2014 and early spring 2015.
Several of the Harassment Reporting Officers have received specialized Title IX investigation training, with intent to assure all Harassment Reporting Officers receive specialized training.
This year we created a Sexual and Gender Violence Committee (SGVC) consisting of faculty, staff, students and community affiliates. The focus of this institution wide committee is to take an active role and share in the responsibility of examining what we are doing as a campus community to address sexual and gender violence prevention, education and response.
The Pierce County Sheriff’s Department is responsible for maintaining records of registered sex offenders in Tacoma. To identify registered offenders in a neighborhood or area, visit icrimewatch.net/index.php?AgencyID=54483&disc=. General information about offenders and related Washington State laws is also available on this site.
Security Services has procedures for responding to reports of missing persons. Campus community members are encouraged to contact Security Services or Residence Life staff with concerns about the whereabouts of a roommate, friend, or co-worker. In most cases unless there is evidence or suspicious circumstances to indicate otherwise, persons over 18 years of age may not be considered “missing” until they have not been seen or communicated with for 24 hours. Students living in college-owned housing have the option of listing a confidential contact person to be notified if the student is determined missing. Only authorized campus officials and law enforcement officials have access to this contact information. Tacoma Police will be notified if a student is determined to be missing after 24 hours whether or not they have listed a contact person. College officials will work collaboratively with Tacoma Police to investigate missing students. The college must notify parents or guardians (unless emancipated) of missing students under the age of 18.
All campus student housing facilities are equipped with fire alarm and suppression devices. All large occupancy residence units, including fraternity and sorority residences, contain certified fire alarm systems, occupant use fire extinguishers, and fire sprinkler systems. Building fire safety equipment generally is upgraded (if warranted) during major renovation projects. The college owns 66 residential houses which are occupied by students, faculty, or staff members. These houses are equipped with residential smoke detectors and occupant use fire extinguishers. Security Staff test fire alarm systems, visually inspect fire extinguishers monthly and facilitate repairs as necessary. Per City of Tacoma fire code, all campus fire alarms and suppression systems are tested and certified annually by a licensed contractor. All campus fire alarm and fire sprinkler systems are monitored in the Security office. Security staff members respond to fire alarm activations and immediately alert the Tacoma Fire Department when necessary.
Fire drills are conducted in large occupancy living units twice annually (once each semester). Drills are scheduled by Residence Life staff and conducted by Campus Safety Officers. During drills Residence Life and Security staff members check the facility to review evacuation compliance and verbally remind occupants to assemble in designated outdoor gathering areas for each building.
Fire safety in campus residences is closely monitored and regulations are enforced by Residence Life and Security staff members. By Washington State Law, smoking is not permitted within 25 feet of a residential building entrance or opening. The campus Residence Policy prohibits tampering with fire safety equipment, storing flammable objects or substances, the use of candles or incense, and refrigeration units in excess of 2.5 amps or exposed coil cooking appliances in residential buildings. Residence Staff enforce these policies and perform a once-a-semester fire inspection of each room. Residence Life and Security staff members receive annual training on proper fire extinguisher use. Maintenance and custodial staff receive fire safety training and are instructed to report observed violations to Security Services.
The college encourages the prompt reporting of any fire to Security Services. Reported campus fires are responded to by trained Security staff and/or the Tacoma Fire Department and are officially documented in a college incident report.
Following are campus crimes and residential fire statistics formally reported by victims, witnesses, or Student Affairs staff to Security Services. Tacoma Police provide crime statistics for incidents occurring on streets and sidewalks bordering campus property. The director of Security Services compiles these statistics for the previous three calendar years in accordance with federal regulations. Daily records of campus crime and fire statistics are maintained and available in the Security office.
- Crime statistics are available in Microsoft Excel format or an Adobe PDF.
- Fire statistics are available in Microsoft Excel format or an Adobe PDF.
- The Annual Report may be downloaded in Microsoft Word format or an Adobe PDF.