Security and Safety Practices
This section contains information regarding personal safety as well as recommendations to protect personal and University property.
A. Personal safety for resident students
- When you leave your room, always lock your door and take your keys and ID with you.
- Keep room doors locked when you are sleeping or napping.
- Do not loan your key to anyone.
- Do not leave valuables unattended.
- Never let unauthorized persons enter your room or residence hall.
- Do not hide keys outside of your room. Do not put your name or address on your keys.
- Never prop open interior or exterior doors.
- Never dress in front of a window. Draw blinds or curtain after dark.
- Do not tamper with window screens.
- Avoid returning to campus alone after dark where you would be forced to walk alone from your vehicle to your place of residence. If you must arrive alone after dark, make sure to have a cell phone to make arrangements for friends to meet you at your vehicle and walk with you, or to contact the Security Office to request a security guard escort to your residence hall.
- Communicate safety concerns or suspicious behavior immediately to a Residence Life staff member or a Campus Security guard.
B. Personal safety recommendations regarding vehicles and parking lots
- When approaching your vehicle carry your keys so you can enter quickly. Always check your rear seat for intruders.
- Lock your doors and keep windows rolled up.
- Drive on well-traveled and well-lit streets.
- Never hitchhike and never pick up hitchhikers.
- If someone tries to enter your stopped vehicle, sound the horn and drive away.
- If your vehicle breaks down, raise the hood and wait in your locked car for help.
- Be aware that an accident may be staged to provide the other driver with an opportunity to commit a criminal act.
- Leave enough room between your car and the one ahead so you can drive around if necessary.
- Park in a well-lighted location at night. Do not get out of your vehicle if you see anything suspicious.
C. Personal safety while walking or jogging
- Avoid walking or jogging alone. If you must go out alone, carry a cellular phone with you and avoid secluded routes. Always walk or jog along well traveled routes and stay where you are clearly visibile to passers-by.
- When walking the University’s grounds or in the local area, be sure to know your location at all times.
- Be alert to your surroundings.
- If you suspect you are being followed, run in a different direction, go to the other side of the street and yell for help, or head quickly for a lighted area or a group of people.
- Stay off the cliffs. A portion of the University campus borders steep cliffs. This area runs from Trinity Hall and extends northwest to the end of the University’s grounds. This area is protected by fencing and caution signage. Under no circumstances should anyone venture beyond this fence.
- Stay off the bridges. It is extremely dangerous and is considered criminal trespassing (fourth degree misdemeanor punishable by up to 30 days in jail and up to $250 fine) to walk on the Veterans Memorial Bridge or the railroad bridge south of the Veterans Bridge. Students who walk on either of these bridges are in violation of University policy and may be subject to suspension from the University.
- Have your keys ready when returning to your residence hall. Keep your personal valuable items concealed and close to your body.
D. Personal safety while socializing
- Do not place yourself in a situation where you are alone with people you do not know well. Do not accept an invitation to go alone to the residence, apartment or room of someone you do not know well. Instead, arrange to meet in a public place where there are other people or arrange to be accompanied by friends.
E. Fire Prevention and Safety
- Do not burn candles or any device that has an open flame in any campus building without prior approval. Candles used for liturgical purposes at an event sponsored by Campus Ministry are exempt from this policy.
- Maintain clear and unobstructed access to doors from both inside and out at all times.
- Do not overload electrical outlets; use surge protector strips.
- Do not use broken, frayed or cracked electrical cords.
- Do not store any flammable materials.
- Know every exit from the building you are in. Know how to activate the fire alarm system.
- Know the location of fire extinguishers and how to operate them.
- Building evacuation is mandatory for all fire alarms, even if it is a practice fire drill.
- Never tamper with smoke detectors, fire extinguishers, or fire alarms. It is a felony to activate a fire alarm as a prank.
F. If you are aware of a fire:
- In a building, activate the nearest fire alarm and dial (9)911.
- Do not attempt to extinguish the fire yourself.
- If you are a campus resident, follow the evacuation plan outlined by the residence life staff.
- Calmly assist others to evacuate the building by following exit signs. DO NOT USE AN ELEVATOR.
- Remain outside the building at a safe distance.
G. If you are caught in a fire:
- Remain calm.
- Before opening a door, feel it with the back of your hand.
a. If it is hot do not open the door. Instead follow another exit route. If you are trapped in a room, seal the cracks around the door with towels, linens or clothes (soaked in water if possible). Shout for help. If smoke is filling your area stay low to the floor. Take short breaths to avoid inhaling smoke. Place a wet towel over your nose and mouth.
b. If the door is not hot, brace yourself and open it slowly. If hot air or fire rushes in, close the door and refer to point a above.
- If you can leave, close all doors behind you and proceed to the nearest safe exit. Leave the building and get as far away from it as you can.
H. Protecting Against Sexual Assault by Acquaintances
- It is important to realize that on a national level, in at least one third of all reported sexual assault, victims know their attacker - this person may have been a date, steady boyfriend or girlfriend, or casual friend. This is called "acquaintance rape," and it can happen to anyone, even in a Christian environment.
- Nationally, sexual assault on campus often involves the use of alcohol. Drunkenness and the misuse of alcohol, the use of illegal drugs, and the illicit use of prescription drugs are a violation of the Student Code.
- Being drunk is not an excuse for immoral sexual activity or for using force. It does not diminish personal responsibility for violent behavior in either a criminal court or a college disciplinary hearing.
- Having sexual intercourse with a woman after deliberately intoxicating her, or tricking her into taking drugs or alcohol is considered sexual assault.
- Effective communication helps to prevent sexual assaults. Clear communication is one of the most important factors in preventing acquaintance rape. Men and women should be as clear as possible in stating their respect for each other and their intentions to be chaste. Men are as responsible as women for setting chaste limits. It is both irresponsible and demeaning for men to not actively promote purity in relationships with women.
- Get involved if you believe your friends are at risk. If you see a student in trouble at a party, or if you see a student using force or pressuring another student, don’t be afraid to intervene. You may save one person from the trauma of sexual assault, and the other person from the ordeal of criminal prosecution.
I. Protecting Against Sexual Assault by Strangers
- Always be aware of what is going on around you. Stay alert to your surroundings. Walk with confidence.
- At night, stick to well-lighted populated areas, and walk with another person. Avoid walking alone or in isolated areas.
- On campus, you may use the Campus Security escort service. You may call the campus Security at 283-6333 or 283-6911 to have a campus security guard escort you to and from any place on campus.
- Take special precautions in parking lots, stairwells, elevators, bathrooms, and dark areas with shrubbery. Studies show that many assaults by strangers occur in these places.
- If you suspect that you are being followed, go to a place where there are other people as soon as possible. If you choose to run, run as fast as you are able and scream to attract attention or summon help.
- Follow your gut instincts. If you sense that you may be at risk or in danger, try to get out of the situation. For example, if you see a suspicious-looking person or someone who makes you feel uncomfortable in a parking lot, leave the area. Report your suspicion to the authorities.
- Lock your residence hall room door at all times, even if you run down the hall for just a few minutes to visit a friend.
- Do not prop doors open. You may place others, as well as yourself, at risk. Propping University doors open is a violation of University rules.
- Be especially aware of security during vacation periods when there are fewer people around.
J. Practices to Safeguard Property
Franciscan University of Steubenville is committed to working with you to protect your personal property from theft and damage. The University also asks your cooperation in protecting University property. With this goal, the following procedures are recommended:
- All students who reside on campus are encouraged to carry insurance that specifically covers losses associated with theft and vandalism of personal property including vehicles. Statistically, college students are more likely to be the victim of theft than any other crime. Theft of electronic equipment such as computers, televisions, personal and vehicle audio equipment, compact disc players and CD’s and other electronic and video equipment is particularly common on college campuses.
- If you have a vehicle on campus, keep a record of the vehicle identification number. Make an immediate report to Campus Security (283-6333) if your vehicle is damaged, broken into or stolen.
- Lock the door to your residence hall room or apartment when you are sleeping or napping.
- Lock the door to your residence hall room or apartment whenever you leave your room, even when only for a short period of time.
- Always lock all car doors. Do not store valuables in your car. If you must keep items in your car, do not store them in plain view. Use the trunk or at the very least put the items out of sight. If possible remove all electronic equipment from you car when not in use.
- Protect all valuables in your room. Do not leave valuables like wallets, jewelry, credit cards, cash and electronics in plain view.
- Do not loan your keys to anyone. Immediately make a report to residence staff if your keys are lost or stolen.
- Take all valuable items home with you during vacations.
- In public places keep your valuable items out of sight or in a safe place. If you must leave an area for any length of time, take valuable items with you.
- Report all thefts no matter how small. Each theft that is reported is a clue to investigators and may be useful in apprehending those responsible for a series of thefts.
- Be good stewards of the campus. Report any suspicious activity, theft or vandalism immediately. Report any unlocked doors that should be locked or other irregularities.
- If you are the last person to leave a room, make certain that all windows and doors are locked and that all equipment is properly secured.