October 1, 2017
This annual report informs students, prospective students, faculty, and staff about Puget Sound security incidents, crime reporting procedures, and crime prevention programs and measures. It also includes information about campus fire safety and fire statistics.
This report meets the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act requirements. 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 in December 2016.
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, faculty, and staff. We operate, assess, and continually evolve crime prevention, response, and reporting programs that are reasonable and appropriate for our environment. The university cannot eliminate crime or guarantee the protection of persons or property. Each campus community member should exercise reasonable precautions to minimize risks to themselves and others.
The university encourages the reporting of all on-campus criminal activities, injuries, fires, and serious 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.
Puget Sound’s student conduct process is independent of criminal or civil proceedings. The college advises students to pursue criminal charges or bring civil action against perpetrators of crimes on campus. The student conduct process can be reviewed at pugetsound.edu/studentconduct.
The university has in place a Code of Conduct that outlines the high university ethical standards and expectations of students, faculty, staff, officers, trustees, and others with whom we work. The Code of Conduct provides an overarching statement that supplements but do 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 many campus areas to deter and investigate reported suspicious activity. Academic facilities have electronic locks that secure buildings at varying times, depending on use schedules. Prior written authorization is required for card access when facilities are secured. 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.
Puget Sound provides Security staff with enforcement authority for campus rules and regulations. Security staff works closely with the Tacoma Police Department. On-duty staff carries two-way radios that allow direct communication with City Emergency Services. Tacoma Police provide police services on campus. They are summoned to assist, make arrests, and investigate criminal matters as appropriate. Security staff does not normally arrest suspects without Tacoma Police assistance. Tacoma Police officers routinely patrol the campus vicinity and maintain communication with on-duty Security staff.
Security Services and Residence Life staff are trained regarding accurate and prompt incident reporting, including criminal acts, accidents, fires, minor property damage, injuries, and serious illnesses. Because Puget Sound has strong internal communications and geographically concentrated campus housing, trained staff generally become aware of significant incidents. They encourage reporting to appropriate campus authorities, counseling, or support staff. Security staff report crimes to local authorities when warranted.
Disseminating information and fostering awareness are essential to effective emergency response and crime prevention. Without significant delay, the university strives to inform the college community about potentially dangerous situations and major incidents involving crimes against persons and property so they may take measures to avoid potential harm. Crime information is disseminated weekly via the student newspaper and by the director of Security Services at Safety Committee meetings. Emergency alerts/warnings can be communicated immediately via an outdoor loudspeaker system and a campus mass emergency notification system with voice, text, and email capabilities. On-duty Security staff has the authority to send emergency notifications.
Campus emergency communication systems (outdoor loudspeakers and voice/text/e-mail) are tested monthly by Security staff. At the beginning of each semester, the university 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 university has a designated Emergency Operations Center (EOC) and temporary shelters on campus. Meetings and exercises are conducted involving members of a university Emergency Response Group. College representatives conduct ongoing emergency planning with the Pierce County Department of Emergency Management and City of Tacoma Police and Fire Departments.
Personal safety and property protection literature is available at the Security office. Security Services assists 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 student newspaper, typically published weekly during the fall and spring semesters. Crime prevention information also is emailed regularly to the campus community.
All student housing provided by the university is on-campus. Off-campus criminal activity involving students should be reported to local law enforcement agencies by the victim or complainant. Security Services is available as needed to assist students who live off-campus and wish to report criminal activity.
Through Security Services and Student Affairs staff, Puget Sound enforces university regulations regarding possession, use, and serving of alcoholic beverages. Regulations reflect State laws, and underage drinking is not permitted. University policies also prohibit on-campus possession, use, or sale of illegal drugs per Federal and/or State law. Because the university’s conduct process is educational, violators may be referred for mandatory counseling or substance abuse assessment by Student Affairs staff. Puget Sound also has educational programs for alcohol misuse and abuse prevention, which all students may attend during New Student Orientation and at other times during their educational experience.
University policy 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 objects that have 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 university has policies that address sexual assault, sexual violence or harassment, domestic violence, dating violence, stalking, discrimination and harassment. The university’s “Campus Policy Prohibiting Sexual Misconduct” is located at pugetsound.edu/sexualmisconductpolicy. The “Campus Policy Prohibiting Discrimination and Harassment” is located at pugetsound.edu/discriminatoryharassmentpolicy. These policies include policy statements, definitions, and examples of behaviors and comments not permitted at the college.
Counseling, Health & Wellness Services, Bystander Revolution Against Violence under Student Affairs, and Puget Sound’s Title IX Office (which includes an officer and deputy officer), sponsor programs to promote healthy relationships, and increase student awareness about sexual violence, offenses, discrimination, and harassment.
A survivor of a sexual offense or university employees informed about a sexual assault should report the incident immediately to Security Services, the Deputy Title IX Officer, or a university Harassment Reporting Officer. Reporting information is available here pugetsound.edu/reportingofficers. The survivor has the option to notify the Tacoma Police Department whether or not the offense is reported to Security Services. 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 assess possible injuries or infections and collect medical evidence in the event of 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. Additionally, a Sexual Misconduct Resource Center is available on-line at pugetsound.edu/sexual-misconduct-resource-center. If the survivor desires, the college will make alternative campus housing and academic arrangements as appropriate and reasonably available. Students may request that reports made to the counseling staff or the university chaplain be kept confidential. If there is an investigation of sexual misconduct, the complainant and the respondent are entitled to have others present during the disciplinary proceeding. The complainant and respondent are allowed to support persons. They also will be informed about disciplinary proceeding outcomes alleging a sexual offense, including the nature of any sanctions. The university may impose one or more sanctions as appropriate, including but not limited to an official reprimand, campus activity restrictions, eviction from campus housing, student suspension, student expulsion, or termination of a faculty or staff member’s employment. A campus policy violation finding requires proof that allegations are more likely true than not true (preponderance of the evidence).
Training on sexual discrimination, harassment, assault, and other forms of violence prevention is provided to student leaders using a comprehensive approach involving peer influence and bystander choices through nationally recognized programs such as Green Dot and Take Back the Night. New students participate in a consent workshop and attend a Green Dot Bystander persuasive speech as part of New Student Orientation. Attendance is taken at those sessions to invite those who did not attend a personalized session in the fall semester. Student Orientation Leaders and Resident Assistants are required to participate each August in this program and training. Sexual violence prevention workshops such as Green Dot Bystander Workshops are provided several times each semester or upon request for interested groups or organizations. Campus-wide presentations such as Take Back the Night occurs each semester. Other prevention and awareness efforts occur throughout the academic year. They include Domestic Violence Awareness Month, the Escalation Workshop in conjunction with the OneLove Foundation in response to Dating Violence. The It’s On Us Week of Action, the Clothesline Project, and the No More campaign.
Training on preventing workplace sex discrimination and discriminatory harassment, including sexual harassment, is provided to faculty, staff, and student employees. Puget Sound offers mandated online harassment prevention and preventing sexual violence tutorials that include the legal basis for harassment, behavioral awareness, and knowledge testing through case scenario-based questions. These tutorials address Puget Sound’s Policy Prohibiting Sexual Misconduct, which provides detailed descriptions of reporting responsibilities and grievance processes for students, faculty, and staff. Puget Sound staff are asked to complete the tutorials within 30 days of hire and every two years thereafter. Online training is augmented by classroom-based diversity awareness and discrimination-prevention training by the Office of Diversity and Inclusion staff in partnership with the Student Affairs staff and Human Resources Office.
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.
Title IX training, including reporting requirements, is included in new faculty and staff orientation programs. All employees receive prevention, awareness, and educational content about consent, dating/domestic violence, stalking and reporting requirements through an on-line tutorial.
The Sexual and Gender Violence Committee (SGVC), consisting of students, faculty, staff, and external community affiliates, meets twice per semester with additional sub-committee meetings on policy/response and outreach/prevention education. This institution-wide committee collectively assesses and addresses what the campus community is doing to address sexual and gender violence prevention, education, and response.
A program, now on-going, trains Faculty/Staff to become Victim Advocates. Each volunteer advocate participates in an eight-hour training on Victim Advocacy. Faculty/Staff Victim Advocates serve as advocates and educators for various presentations on consent, Green Dot Bystander Education, and Ending Rape Culture.
Two awareness pieces are utilized. One is an advocacy and reporting card located in bathroom stalls in residential and academic buildings. The second item is a Sexual Assault Misconduct Card that delineates reporting policies and resources to guide faculty and staff in responding to reports.
The Pierce County Sheriff’s Department maintains records of registered sex offenders residing in Tacoma. To identify registered offenders in a particular area, visit sheriffalerts.com/cap_main.php?office=54483. General information about offenders and related Washington State laws is 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 possible missing roommates, friends, or co-workers. Unless there is evidence or suspicious circumstances, persons over 18 years of age are not normally considered “missing” by Tacoma Police until they have not been seen or communicated with 24 hours. Students living in university-owned housing can list 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. University representatives work collaboratively with Tacoma Police to investigate missing students. The university must notify parents or guardians (unless emancipated) about missing students under 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. The university owns 76 residential houses 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 and facilitate needed repairs. Per the 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 responds to fire alarm activations and immediately alert the Tacoma Fire Department when necessary.
Fire drills are conducted in large occupancy living units (once each semester). Drills are scheduled by Residence Life staff and coordinated by Campus Safety Officers. During drills, Residence Life and Security staff check facilities to review evacuation compliance and verbally instruct 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. Washington State Law prohibits smoking within 25 feet of building entrances or openings. The campus Residence Policy prohibits tampering with fire safety equipment, storing flammable objects or substances, using candles or incense, refrigeration units requiring an excess of 2.5 amps, and exposed coil cooking appliances in residential buildings. Residence Life staff enforce these policies and perform per semester fire inspections of each room. Residence Life and Security staff receive annual fire extinguisher training. Maintenance and custodial staff receive fire safety training and are instructed to report observed violations to Security Services.
The university encourages prompt reporting of any fire to Security Services. Reported fires are responded to by trained Security staff and/or the Tacoma Fire Department and are documented in a college incident report.
The following are campus crimes and residential fire statistics formally reported by victims, witnesses, students, faculty, and 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. A log of campus crime and fire statistics is maintained and available for review in the Security Services 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.