Features

All about Campus Safety

By: Meredith Francis ~Campus News Editor~

Who are the Xavier Police and the office of Audit and Risk Management?

Xavier Police, also commonly referred to as Campus Police, is the police force on campus. All Xavier Police officers are trained like any other Ohio police officer. It is Xavier Police that deals with the more urgent issues on campus, such as theft reports or intoxicated students on campus.

“We also have mutual aid and concurrent jurisdiction agreements with Cincinnati Police and Norwood Police, (which) gives us more authority to go out into the immediate areas off campus
and help our students,” Xavier Police Lt. Bill Smith said. Xavier Police crime prevention Sgt. Shawn Bryce also leads various safety programs, such as personal safety 101, campus dating, active shooter training and the dangers of underage drinking. “I think opening that up to the community is a great thing,” Bryce said. According to Bryce, many people are unaware of these programs because they are so new. Students can register for safety training classes on the Xavier Safety website.

These programs are available for classroom, office or dorm settings.
Xavier Safety, which falls under the office of Audit and Risk Management, deals with broader,
less urgent issues. For example, infrastructural safety (like the blue assistance lights or security cameras) and long-term safety goals fall under its responsibilities. Xavier Safety is also responsible for complying with the Jeanne Clery Act, a federal law requiring universities to assess and report crime on and around campus.

Ken Grossman is the Clery Compliance and Safety Coordinator. Grossman deals mostly with crime trends, long-term goals and compiling the Clery crime statistics. According to Grossman, the most common crime trends emerge when students are unaware of their surroundings.

“Our biggest crimes on campus are crimes of opportunity,” Grossman said. The office of the

Title IX Coordinator and Physical Plant also deal with safety issues regarding sexual assault and safety infrastructure, respectively. But, according to Smith, “safety is everybody’s job.”

How to get informed

In order to learn about an immediate or possible threat to Xavier’s campus, there are a number of ways for students, faculty and staff to stay informed.
According to Lt. Smith, the most common way for students to learn about an immediate
threat is through the XU Alert Me system. Students can go to http://www.xavier.edu/safety and
click on the XU Alert Me tab to make sure they are signed up.

“(XU Alert Me) is a way for us to communicate if there is an immediate threat on campus. We can send a message out instantly to thousands of people. I think we’re up to (8,000 to 9,000) subscribers,” Smith said.

As part of the Clery Act, Xavier Safety and Xavier Police must also issue “timely warnings” for recent, less urgent crime trends on or near campus. Students can also follow Xavier Safety on Twitter at @xavier_safety to receive information about crime trends and public safety notices.

What about sexual assault?

With the revelation that so many cases of sexual assault go unreported or mishandled at
colleges across the country, renewed dialogue has emerged in the United States about how to make college campuses safer regarding this issue. Sexual assault is a major problem on college campuses, and Xavier is making an effort to ensure that this problem is addressed on campus.

According to Kate Lawson, Xavier’s Title IX coordinator, “the Title IX office leads Xavier’s efforts to provide a safe and respectful environment for all students, faculty and staff by addressing the issue of sex discrimination, (which) includes sexual harassment, sexual violence, relationship violence, stalking and other gender based harassment or discrimination.”

As Title IX Coordinator, Lawson’s role includes fairly facilitating any sexual assault investigations, offering support services, and ensuring that victims of sexual assaults get the proper resources. She also addresses sex discrimination and its impact on individuals and the community as a whole. If a student is sexually assaulted, Lawson also encourages students to report the crime to Xavier Police and the Title IX Office immediately. If you have a safety or medical concern, call the police or medical facilities first. If that student is not sure what he or she would like to do, Lawson encourages him or her to contact other support services, such as Xavier’s Advocate Program, McGrath Health and Wellness Center or psychological services on and off campus. Lawson reminds students that the victims of an attack are never to blame.

“No victim is ever to blame for being sexually assaulted. There is no poor decision or mistake a person can make that could put them in the position of ‘deserving’ or ‘asking’ to be violated,” Lawson said.

Safety Tips For Common Safety Issues:

Students living off campus (including University Station) ought to dial 911 in an emergency.
Norwood Police or Cincinnati Police will respond, but Xavier Police will also be informed and will assist. Report a crime right away. Do not wait.

Students living on campus should call (513) 745-1000 in an emergency, or (513) 745-2000 for a non-emergency report.

Be aware of your surroundings and walk in a group when you can.

If you are going out with friends, ensure that one friend is sober and can get everyone back safely.

Do not walk while texting or with your headphones in, especially if you are alone at night. It shows the criminal that you have an expensive device.

If you are ever in a situation where someone has a weapon, comply with his or her demands. You can replace a wallet and phone.

If you are in a situation where you are being sexually assaulted, fight back as best you can. According to Sgt. Bryce, “If all you have is a pen on you, that can do a lot of damage,” as can a set of keys.

Make noise and draw attention to the situation by yelling a word or phrase to catch others’ attention.

“If you see someone isolating another person who is intoxicated and may not be able to give consent, intervene,” Lawson said.

“Be aware of the effects of drugs used to facilitate sexual assault,” Lawson said. “If you feel extremely tired, out of it or more intoxicated for the amount of alcohol you may have consumed, find your friends and ask them to leave with you as soon as possible.”

If you are the victim of a crime, look for identifying features of the criminal so you can give police a thorough report.