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Safety Precautions

The St. John’s College Office of Public Safety exists to provide a safe and secure community in which the college may carry out its educational mission. Our mission is to protect the campus, serve the campus community, and preserve the good order of the college.

Students and their parents are understandably concerned about the issue of safety on college campuses. We share their concern and understand our responsibility to contribute to a protected campus environment. Although St. John’s has experienced a lower incidence of crime than surrounding areas, our community is not immune to crime. The number of incidents occurring on the campus can be reduced if all members of the community practice everyday precautions that will help to make a safe community.

Questions or concerns about Public Safety and or its operations should be addressed to Robert Mueck, director of public safety. The Public Safety Office is located in Pinkney Hall. An officer can always be reached from campus phones at ext. 2000, from off-campus phones at 443-336-2348.

Personal Safety

Simple precautions can reduce the likelihood that you will become the victim of a crime.

  • Be alert at all times: Your safety depends mostly upon your own attitude and actions. Use common sense and do not place yourself in a location or situation to become a victim of crime.
  • Personal Whistle Safety Program: The Public Safety office has personal safety whistles available. These whistles signal your need for help, frighten away someone who means you harm, or alert those nearby to call the police or a public safety officer.
  • Report criminal activities or emergency situations: For police, fire or medical emergencies, you may contact Public Safety by calling 2000 or 443-336-2348. You may also use any of the emergency phones throughout the campus. The campus community is encouraged to report all crimes and safety-related incidents to Public Safety or the Assistant Dean’s Office as quickly as possible.
  • If you become aware of a crime, observe a suspicious person or situation or are a victim yourself promptly report it to the Office of Public Safety. Timely reports increase the likelihood that critical evidence will be obtained, stolen property will be recovered and the offender will be successfully prosecuted. This is especially important in cases involving sex offenses. The College will assist any student who wishes to report a crime to the Annapolis Police, or to contact college counselors or area victim support services.
  • Avoid walking alone at night. Make arrangements to walk in groups. If you must travel alone at night, stay on well-lit paths and sidewalks. You may also call Public Safety and request an escort by calling ext. 2000 or 443-336-2348
  • Keep your room door locked at all times. The vast majority of thefts occur from unlocked rooms when the occupant is gone only briefly.
  • Do not prop open exterior doors and close any doors you find propped open. Propped doors greatly increase chances that you or someone else in your dorm may be victimized. Do not open doors to someone you do not know.
  • DO NOT lend your key or key card to anyone. This endangers you and others in your dormitory and is cause for disciplinary action. Report a lost or stolen key to the Office of Public Safety.
  • Report obscene, annoying or harassing phone calls or e-mail messages immediately. Please save the offending messages, if possible.
  • Report all security-related maintenance problems. Locks, doors, windows, exterior lights in need of replacement, shrubbery in need of trimming or other unsafe conditions should be reported immediately to the Building and Grounds Office.
  • Identify your valuables using OPERATION ID. Students may use an engraver, available through Public Safety, to mark and identify valuable personal articles as a precaution of theft.
  • Park your car in well lit area and keep it locked. Lock all valuables in your trunk.
  • Register your bicycle with the Office of Public Safety. They will issue a registration sticker to affix to your bicycle to deter theft and aid in recovery if it is stolen. Public Safety strongly recommends a U-style lock.
  • Be aware of crimes at or around St. John’s College. Additional information on campus crime is available from the Office of Public Safety. Bulletins are issued through the Assistant Dean’s office when the circumstances warrant informing the community of important crime related information.

Sexual Misconduct Prevention

St. John’s College is committed to having a campus environment free from all forms of sex discrimination, including sexual assault/offenses and harassment. The policy against sexual assault/offenses and sexual harassment aims to support the college’s primary goal: the preservation and enhancement of a positive working, learning, and living environment for all community members.

Be Respectful

  • Anytime you are uncertain about whether your partner is comfortable with your behavior, ask! You can simply say, "Are you okay with this?"
  • "No” means no. What’s more, assume that “I’m not sure” means no. While consent may be expressed through non-verbal conduct, silence alone does not mean "yes." Non-verbal communication can easily be interpreted differently by both parties so don’t rely on it. Again- ask!
  • If you’re going to drink, drink responsibly. Most sexual assaults on college campuses follow drinking by one or both individuals.
  • Be aware of how alcohol affects you. Drinking can lead to aggression in some people.
  • Being drunk is not a defense for committing sexual assault.
  • Understand that a person who is drunk may not be legally capable of giving consent. If you suspect that the other person is not capable of making an informed decision, do not engage in sexual activity.
  • Recognize that your sexual needs do not give you the right to do whatever you want. Any sexual activity should be mutually desired.
  • A prior relationship or sexual history does not imply consent to further sexual activity.
  • Consent to one type of sexual activity does not imply consent to further sexual activity.

Be Caring

  • Pay attention to where your friends are and what they are doing at parties.
  • Trust your instincts about your friends. If you notice a friend leaving the party with someone he or she normally wouldn’t leave with, say something to the friend, a third person, or a Senior Resident.
  • If you approach someone leaving a party under worrisome circumstances, you can ask the friend if he or she is ok; invite the friend to come with you to find another mutual friend, get some food, etc; tell the friend to come join the party; invite yourself along for the walk, or make some other low key comment that will give the person a chance to leave the situation without you making an explicit assumption of what anyone’s intentions are. Refuse to leave a friend with a person who might be trying to take advantage of them.
  • Don’t be afraid to be "rude," especially if the situation is obviously unsafe.
  • If you notice that a friend has had too much to drink, be especially attentive regarding who the person is talking to or leaving with.
  • If you are concerned about someone’s behavior at a campus party, either because of possible aggression or possible risk to the individual, tell a Senior Resident. He or she can help you check out the situation.
  • Warn others about high risk situations.
  • Speak up when you see someone trying to take advantage of a person you believe to be intoxicated (or if you hear someone discuss plans to take advantage of another person).
  • Call Public Safety if you don’t feel comfortable intervening in a situation, for instance, if a friend is being yelled at or threatened by a significant other.
  • Don’t tolerate sexist or discriminatory language. If you don’t feel comfortable asking the person to stop, tell the assistant dean after the fact.
  • Report incidents involving friends where you think sexual assault or harassment might have occurred.

Be Safe

  • When you go out, take care of your safety also. Have your cell phone charged and with you. Program the Public Safety phone number into your phone contacts. St. John’s College Public Safety is at 443-336-2348 or extension 2000. Let your friends or roommate know where you are going and with whom.
  • Always lock your door whether at home or away. Don’t admit anyone you don’t know into your residence hall. Report any suspicious persons or activity to Public Safety. Call for an on-campus walking escort when you are without one, Public Safety: 443-336-2348 or extension 2000.
  • If you attend group gatherings or parties, go with friends you trust.
  • Trust your instincts. If you find yourself in a situation where something feels wrong, look for a way out of the situation—move closer to other people or seek out a safe way to get home. If you feel unsafe or think you may be at risk, leave the situation immediately. Do not be afraid to be "rude" if you feel unsafe!
  • You have the right to say "no" to any undesired sexual contact. State your limits clearly and firmly.
  • Don’t ignore sudden feelings of mistrust regarding someone you are with just because you have known the person for a long time.
  • Never leave a drink unattended or accept a drink that you did not see poured. Date-rape drugs can leave you unable to protect yourself or even know what is happening to you.
  • If you’re going to drink, be aware that alcohol and drugs may interfere with a person’s ability to make clear decisions and communicate effectively.
  • Make sure your friends "have your back," especially when you’re drinking.

Click here for more information on how to get help and on sexual assault/offense policies and procedures.

Building Safety

Most campus buildings and facilities are generally accessible to members of the campus community, guests, and visitors during normal business hours, Monday through Friday, excluding holidays. Certain facilities may also be open for designated hours on evenings and weekends. Exterior doors on campus buildings are locked and secured each evening by public safety personnel. Residence hall exterior doors are generally locked 24 hours. When the residence halls are locked, entrance (where applicable) is gained by use of a valid St. John’s College ID card.

Life Safety & Equipment

Life Safety: The misuse or abuse of any life safety equipment in any campus building or facility is a serious violation of College policy.

Trained students are encouraged to use fire extinguishers when warranted for fire safety. If you are uncertain how to properly use the extinguisher contact the Office of Public Safety. If you suspect there is a problem with your extinguisher, contact the Office of Public Safety immediately. If you have cause to discharge your extinguisher for fire control you must immediately advise the Office of Public Safety to report the fire and use of the extinguisher. If a fire extinguisher is discharged for any reason other than to control a fire, or tampered with in any way to cause the extinguisher to be inoperable or unavailable for emergency use, the person responsible or occupant(s) of the floor will be charged for the cost of replacement and/or recharging.

False fire alarms and willful damaging of any life safety equipment is not only an inconvenience to fellow students but constitutes a real danger. Fire extinguishers, pull stations, alarm bells, smoke and heat detectors and alarm panels are in place for your safety. Use of these systems for other than fire emergencies; or abuse of these systems; or the intentional causing of a false fire alarm may result in a fine and possible dismissal from College housing. (Tampering includes: moving, modifying, obstructing or in anyway altering life safety equipment.)

Open fire (which includes candles) is not permitted in any residence hall or campus building. The intentional setting of any fire, which is not authorized or designed for a recognized and accepted purpose and practiced with proper safety precautions in effect, may result in the filing of a safety violation.

The use of extension cords and multiple outlet plug adapters is strictly prohibited. Such use may result in a fine and removal of the cord and/or plug. Power strips with overload circuit protectors may be used.

All buildings on campus must be immediately evacuated whenever a fire or general alarm sounds in the building. Intentional evading or refusal to evacuate may result in notice of violation. In residence halls, the Office of Public Safety will go room to room to ensure that evacuation of the residence hall is completed.

Portable Fire Extinguishers: The provisions of this policy apply to the selection, distribution, inspection, maintenance and testing of portable extinguishing equipment. The requirements given herein are minimums. Portable extinguishers are intended as a first line of defense to cope with fires of limited size. They are needed even when a facility is equipped with automatic sprinklers, standpipe and hose, or other fixed protection equipment. Fire extinguisher training is provided by contacting the Office of Public Safety at ext 2000.

Definitions: The basic types of fires are Classes A, B, C, and D as defined in the following:

  • Class A Ordinary combustible materials, such as wood, cloth paper, rubber, and many plastics.
  • Class B Flammable and combustible liquids.
  • Class C Energized electrical equipment.
  • Class D Combustible metals, such as magnesium, titanium, zirconium, sodium and potassium.

Classifications and ratings of fire extinguishers: Portable fire extinguishers are classified for use on Class A, B, C, or D fires and rated by nationally recognized testing laboratories for relative extinguishing effectiveness. The classification and rating are based upon the preceding classification of fires and the fire-extinguishments potentials as determined by fire tests.

Selection of extinguishers: The character of the fires anticipated determines the selection of extinguishers for a given situation.

Distribution of extinguishers: Fire extinguishers shall be provided for the protection of the building and for the occupancy hazard contained therein: Required building protection shall be provided by fire extinguishers suitable for Class A fires. Protection against occupancy hazard shall be provided by fire extinguishers suitable for such Class A, B, C, or D fire potentials as may be present.

Mounting locations: Extinguishers shall be conspicuously located where they will be readily accessible in the event of fire. They shall be located along normal paths of travel, including exits from an area. Fire protection and fire detection equipment shall not be obstructed.

Maintenance: Buildings and Grounds will recharge extinguishers needing to be recharged due to use or pressure leakage.

Inspections: Extinguishers are to be visually inspected monthly by Buildings and Grounds personnel.

Extinguishers loss due to damage or theft: It is the responsibility of the using Office to institute security measures to prevent losses due to theft. Buildings and Grounds will replace missing extinguishers.