Office Public Safety

The office of Public Safety is located in Pinkney Hall. St. John’s College Public Safety officers are sworn and certified Campus Police officers and serve under Public Safety Article Title 3-Subtitle 3 Special Police Officers appointed by the Governor of the State of Maryland. According to this section, each special police officer shall protect and preserve peace and good order and may arrest individuals who trespass or commit offenses and shall exercise the powers of a police officer on the campus of St. John’s College, Annapolis.

Public Safety Officers patrol the college twenty-four hours a day, 365 days per year.

The Office of Public Safety can be reached from campus phones by calling ext. 2000. If you need to call an Officer from another phone, dial 443-336-2348. Public Safety Officers are available for members of the college community wishing an escort to accompany them to on-campus locations after dark. Students can help to ensure the safety of the community by promptly reporting unusual or dangerous circumstances. If an incident occurs on campus, a victim who wishes to proceed with a criminal investigation should notify a Public Safety Officer immediately. This enables Officers to preserve evidence until police investigators arrive. It may also make it possible for them to apprehend someone or warn others in the community.

College officials may enter dormitory rooms, as well as any other rooms on campus, and may search all areas and even personal belongings, especially if they have reason to suspect dangerous or unlawful activities. Public Safety Officers do not ordinarily enter dormitory rooms except when apparent emergencies, in their judgment, require it, or when they are authorized by a college official, or invited to enter by a student.

On the Office of Public Safety website you will find a description of the security practices and procedures at St. John’s College and the crime statistics for the past three calendar years. This information also meets all compliance standards as established by the federal Crime Awareness and Campus Security Act of 1990 including the 1998 Amendments. Printed copies are available to all current students and employees.

In the interest of public safety, the college asks that everyone cooperate with the Public Safety Officers. Any questions concerning campus security should be directed to the Assistant Dean or to the Chief of Public Safety.

In compliance with the Clery Act, the college produces an Annual Safety, Security, and Fire Safety Report.

1Card System

The St. John’s 1Card is the identification card for members of the St. John’s College community. It is required to access campus buildings and dorms. Certain campus services require the use of the 1Card. These include using the campus meal plan, paying for the use of campus laundry machines, and printing from computers in the student computer lab and the Greenfield Library. The 1Card may also be used for bookstore purchases, purchasing class manuals, and paying library fines. New students will receive the 1Card upon registration and should carry the card at all times while on-campus.

Entrances to college buildings with key-card access will unlock only when a 1Card is presented to the card-reading machine at the side of the door. Dormitories, the computer lab and the gym are accessible through use of the 1Card only. Mellon Hall is accessible by 1Card only beginning at 5 p.m. on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Saturdays, and Sundays; at 8:30 p.m. on Mondays and Thursdays; and at 10:30 p.m. on Fridays. The Barr-Buchanan Center/Woodward Hall is only accessible by 1Card during the summer months and during winter and spring breaks.

No security system can be effective if those who have access do not use it properly. An intruder in a building may be dangerous to anyone who lives or works there. While this is not a frequent problem, assaults have been committed against students in dormitories. For this reason, it is very important not to prop open doors or interfere in any way with their secure closure. Intruders most commonly enter buildings by following someone with an access card. Fines may be levied for improper use of the access system, including admitting someone who would not otherwise have access and doesn’t belong.

Please carry your 1Card with you at all times as it is the most important card that you will have at St. John’s College. A lost or stolen card must be deactivated for the protection of the entire community. Immediately report a lost or stolen card to the Office of Public Safety at 410-626-2533. To deactivate your Campus Cash account, go to or call 866-568-5121. A $25 fee will apply to replace your card.

1Card Balances

Students are responsible for carrying their student ID cards while on campus or participating in any college activity. Students are also responsible for maintaining their student ID cards in a condition such that the entire front face of the card is legible and such that the electronic strip on the back of the card is functional. Cards that are not legible or functional must be replaced.

Upon exiting the college, credit balances (in excess of the $25 closure fee) on a student’s 1card will be used to offset any outstanding Student Account balance.

Undergraduate Key Regulation

Primarily for reasons of security, dormitory residents must return their keys to the college when they leave for summer vacation or graduate from the college. A $50 fine will be applied to the caution fee of any student who does not return his or her key at the end of the academic year.

Undergraduate 1Card Regulations

1Cards are issued to all undergraduate students when they first register for classes. Rising sophomores, juniors, and seniors who have paid their deposits for the fall semester may keep their cards, which allow them to borrow books over the summer.

Graduate Student 1Card Regulations

1Cards are issued to all registered graduate students when they first register for classes.

Fire Protection

Students should learn the locations of the fire extinguishers and alarm boxes in their dormitories and in other buildings. A fire-alarm box is located on each floor of every building on campus. If you suspect a fire, pull the fire alarm if you can do so safely, and leave the building immediately. After leaving, notify a Public Safety Officer promptly.

It is of greatest importance that the fire alarms be set off only in case of fire. Setting off a fire alarm brings a prompt response by several Annapolis Fire Department trucks. Violation of this regulation will result in a substantial fine.

Fire extinguishers are to be used only for fires. The fine for willful misuse of a fire extinguisher is substantial.

Do not hang anything from a sprinkler head. Sprinklers are not designed to bear weight and will shear off easily. The sprinkler system consists of pipes that remain full of water, and once the sprinkler head shears off, it will flood the building. Sprinkler systems are fire suppression systems only.

Smoke detectors are for your protection. Willful misuse or damage of a smoke detector will result in a substantial fine.

Attics in dormitories may not be used as storage places for luggage, boxes, or other belongings.

Open flames, including candles, and heating devices with exposed elements are forbidden since they constitute a serious fire hazard. A fine will be levied for a violation. Dormitory fireplaces are blocked. Do not attempt to use them. A substantial fine will be levied for a violation. The only three fireplaces that may be used are in the Chase-Stone Common Room, the Paca-Carroll Common Room, and the coffee shop in McDowell Hall. Consult with a Public Safety Officer before building a fire.


After Dark

For reasons of safety, students should not walk alone after dark either in the city or on any part of the campus.

Bell Tower

Anyone who enters the Bell Tower of McDowell Hall will be subject to a substantial fine.

Firearms and Weapons

Unauthorized weapons may not be brought to the college. This includes any object or substance designed to inflict a wound, cause injury, or incapacitate, including, but not limited to, all firearms, electronic stun devices, knives with blades five (5) or more inches in length, air guns, fireworks (including firecrackers), explosives, or other weapons. The possession of pepper spray is allowed only when used in a defensive fashion. Unauthorized weapons may not be kept or used in dormitories or on college property. Since violation of this rule endangers the lives of others, violators may be subject to a substantial fine or summary expulsion. The possession of most fireworks is a felony in the state of Maryland. Some items that are considered weapons (such as fencing equipment) can be kept for a student’s occasional use by the college. See the Weapons Policy in the Appendix.

Ice Skating on College Creek

Because College Creek is a tidal creek, ice skating is dangerous. Cracks and soft spots appear with the changing of the tide conditions. Students are urged not to skate on the creek.

Locking Doors

Students should lock their room doors whenever they leave the room. The door should also be locked while the occupants are sleeping.

Lower Back Campus

Although we have improved the security of lower back campus, the area from the lower playing field to College Creek is an isolated area, especially at night. Students should not go there alone or with only one or two other people. The campus Public Safety Officers have been told to keep students away from this area after dark. Students should not sunbathe on the lower back campus.


No one except authorized maintenance crews will be permitted on the roof of any building. A substantial fine will be levied against anyone violating this regulation.

Strangers on Campus

The presence of strangers on campus should be reported to a Public Safety Officer immediately. Students should not invite people they do not know into their dormitories or to college parties.

Swimming in College Creek

The water of College Creek is shallow and often polluted, so students should never dive into it and are encouraged not to swim in it. Moreover, animals including crabs, jellyfish, and snakes inhabit the creek and the wetland. These have been known to pinch, sting, and bite in self-defense. Since the college has no lifeguard, students who swim there are urged not to do so alone. At least one strong swimmer should be present at any time, preferably one trained in lifesaving and resuscitation procedures. Students are urged not to swim beyond the bridge on King George Street, since the Navy racing shells are put into the water in this area and there is the possibility of a serious accident.