The key to preventing crime is awareness. The Police Department and Security Department, along with administrators at all campuses, Student Life, the Housing and Residential Life Department, faculty, staff and the students all work together to help community members take responsibility for their own safety. Together, these individuals form a powerful team dedicated to maintaining a safe environment conducive to quality education.
THE MESSAGE OF SAFETY
The vast majority of incidents occurring on a University campus can and will be avoided if individuals recognize that they can become victims. Simple precautions should be followed:
- Know your surroundings and those you are with
- Walk in groups, use our Pedestrian Assistance Service, or take the Kingston Connection Shuttle
- Most importantly, LOCK your room door at all times
- Avoid illicit and irresponsible use of drugs and alcohol
- Cable or secure your laptop
- Safeguard your personal and financial information
This message is given at every opportunity: Orientation programs, crime prevention materials, residence hall programs, “URI 101”, and the first day students arrive on campus. It is also given to employees at their orientation after hire. This message is continuously reinforced by all constituencies working together both formally and informally.
Throughout the year, programs are offered by URI staff on crime prevention, alcohol and drug abuse, safe sex, health, drinking and driving, and other issues. These workshops help students increase their awareness regarding personal safety and individual well being.
REPORTING INCIDENTS AND CRIMES
The University of Rhode Island's education and awareness efforts encourage the reporting of ALL incidents and any suspicious activity to the proper authority. These authorities could include the Police Department, Security Department, Housing and Residential Life Department, Student Life and the Campus Project to Prevent Violence Against Women. These departments share incident information on a regular basis. The University uses an Emergency Alert System to disseminate vital emergency information in a timely manner to the university community. This is accomplished through a variety of methods including voicemail, text messaging and email. Members of the community can access this service through E-Campus online. The use of joint decision making is an effective tool which reinforces the benefits of different groups working together.
Campus Sexual Assault Policies:
The University of Rhode Island, in its commitment to maintaining a safe and secure learning environment, has instituted policies and procedures for confronting the issue of sexual assault. Most importantly, the University informs the members of the community of the various aspects of sexual assault by focusing on education and awareness. There are a variety of programs targeting the issue of sexual assault prevention and the University encourages its community members to participate in these programs. However, it is not possible to prevent all sexual assault situations and the University makes every effort to inform everyone of the options available if a sexual assault occurs. The following information is available in more detail from Student Life and/or the Police Department.
EDUCATION: At the request of any individual or group, Student Life, the Women's Center, Housing and Residential Life Education, the Coordinator Violence Prevention and Advocacy Services and the Police Department will conduct informative workshops on sexual assault. Written materials are always available on this subject for anyone who requests them from any of these Departments as well as from Health Services Education and the Counseling Center. The office of Violence Prevention and Advocacy Services maintains an information line that is staffed Monday through Friday from 9:00 AM until 4:00 PM. Throughout the year, presentations such as a mock rape trials and guest speakers are offered through these Departments. Housing and Residential Life trains its Residence Assistants to respond appropriately to incidents of sexual assault and the Hall Directors are all trained and readily available to residents to talk about all aspects of the topic. Police and Security personnel are trained in sexual assault response on an annual basis.
SANCTIONS: Sanctions for a sexual assault following a University Judicial Disciplinary procedure may be permanent dismissal from the University. Employees judged responsible for sexual assault by University Human Resources, may be terminated.
IF A SEXUAL ASSAULT OCCURS: A victim may get Police assistance 24 hours a day from the University Police and Security Department, 874-2121; Day One, ( formerly the Rhode Island Rape Crisis Center), 421-4100; South County Hospital, 782-8000, 8010; Women's Resource Center, 322-6010. Residence Hall staff is available 24 hours a day, every day. A victim may contact University Health Services during the Fall and Spring Semesters from 8:00 AM until 8:00 PM, 874-2246; University Counseling Services, Monday through Friday from 8:30 AM until 4:30 PM. The University now has an office for Violence Prevention and Advocacy Services. This office is open Monday through Friday from 8:30 AM until 4:30 PM and will provide advocacy for victims of violence. These agencies assist the victim in getting to safety, obtaining medical attention for injuries and determination of sexually transmitted diseases, and obtaining emotional support to help with the healing process.
CAMPUS DISCIPLINARY PROCEDURES: The Office of Student Life is responsible for administering all aspects of the University Student Discipline System, and disciplinary action may be implemented only through referral of violations to the Office of Student Life. Additional staff from the Division of Student Affairs may assist in the disciplinary process. Reports of violations or complaints, including sexual assault, shall be submitted to the Office of Student Life from the University Police, local Police Departments, from other students and from faculty and staff within 30 days from the date of knowledge of the occurrence. A detailed description of the complaint and discipline process may be found in the Student Handbook in "The University Student Discipline System", section #30. Sanctions for those judged responsible for sexual assault include dismissal from the University. Both the accused and the accuser are notified of the outcome of the University Judicial Process. If an employee of the University is accused of sexual assault, the Office of Human Resources conducts the internal inquiry and takes appropriate action up to and including termination of employment. All Campus actions may be independent of any criminal proceedings in the courts.
OPTION TO NOTIFY LAW ENFORCEMENT: If a victim of sexual assault chooses to do so, she/he may report the incident to the Campus Police, and are encouraged to do so. The University Police are a fully empowered Police Department which investigates and prosecutes, through the courts, all criminal complaints within the jurisdiction of the University. The University Police Officers and the Security Officers are all extensively trained in the response to, investigation of, and prosecution of sexual assault complaints. Upon receipt of a sexual assault complaint, the Police Department personnel immediately offer protective, medical, support and advocacy services to the victim. The Police personnel and Security personnel will assist the victim in notifying any and all agencies and persons they wish to contact. All victims should understand that it is of utmost importance to preserve all evidence including clothing. The victim should not shower or clean her/himself and should notify the investigating officers of all places where evidence can be obtained. The victim can choose to have medical personnel use a "Sexual Assault Evidence Collection Kit" during the medical examination to collect evidence.
ADMINISTRATIVE RESPONSE: There is in place, a campus wide protocol and procedure for any one wishing to report a sexual assault, stalking incident, or dating violence incident in which they are involved or of which they have knowledge. The Campus Community Panel is convened if the incident poses a further threat to the victim or the public. The Panel coordinates the Campus response, including Police, Housing and Residential Life, media, and other Offices and Divisions that may be required to meet the task. Extensive information about this protocol is available from the Program for the Prevention of Violence Against Women. They may be reached at (401) 874-9131 or from the direct link on the Links portion of The Police website: www.uri.edu/admin/uripd
SUPPORT AND COUNSELING ASSISTANCE: Services are available to sexual assault victims from the University and in the Community. University Chaplains, Counseling Services, the Women' s Center, the office of Violence Prevention and Advocacy Services, Health Services, the Women's Resource Center, and Day One all have personnel available to assist a sexual assault victim.
ACADEMIC AND HOUSING OPTIONS: If a student sexual assault victim so requests, the University will make every attempt to change academic and housing situations, if reasonably available.
Materials like this brochure are updated annually and provided to students, faculty, staff, and potential students or employees. More detailed information is distributed in regular Crime Prevention materials and meetings. This document is available on line at www.uri.edu/admin/uripd