To The Point Student Handbook 2013-2014

EMERGENCIES AND URGENT SITUATIONS 

In case of an emergency, be prepared to follow these seven (7) critical steps: 

  1.   Remain calm. 
  2.   Watch for official communication. 
  3.   Pay attention and follow instructions for the next steps. 
  4.   Care for and be responsive to others who may be in need of assistance. 
  5.   Check in with concerned family and friends to let them know you are okay.
  6.   Check official communication sources for periodic updates. 
  7.   Watch for the all-clear signal. 

Remaining calm allows you to be observant and attentive to a situation as it develops.  Any emergency has a high level of stress and the more calmly you act the better you and those around you will react. 

Official communication will be employed to notify you as an emergency unfolds.  The College will use some combination of the following methods: 

Stay attentive to any of those communication tools. 

In Case of Actual Fire 

  1. Pull the nearest fire alarm. 
  2. Call 9-911 (County Control Center) and report the location. 
  3. Call 240-895-4911 (Public Safety) and report the location. 
  4. Assist disabled individuals, if possible and safe to do so. 
  5. Evacuate the building immediately and move across the street or to locations indicated by College officials.
  6. Wait to return to the building until the alarm has been silenced and Public Safety or other emergency personnel at the scene have given an official “all clear .” 

Medical Emergencies 

The Counseling and Health Center (240-895-4289) is open from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday. Health Services is open on Saturdays from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.  After hours and on weekends, contact a member of the Residence Life staff and/or the Office of Public Safety.  They will know what to do or whom to contact. 

Medical emergencies should be directed immediately to an RA, the building’s RHC, and/or the Office of Public Safety (240-895-4911).  When a situation is life threatening (severe bleeding, heart attack, loss of respiration, etc.), you should contact the county 911 operator by dialing 9-911.  Give the operator any appropriate information.  Do not hang up on the operator.  Speak slowly, and wait for the operator to end the conversation.  You should then place a call to Public Safety at 240-895-4911 and provide the same information. 

On-Call Professionals (OCPs) 

Each night that students are in residence, a member of the Student Affairs professional staff is on-call to handle difficult situations in the residences. 

The OCPs carry cell phones and are available Monday through Friday from 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 a.m. the next morning, and continuously from Friday at 5:00 p.m. through Monday at 8:00 a.m.  The staff who are serving as OCPs include the associate dean of students/director of Residence Life, one associate director of residence life, one assistant director of residence life, two area coordinators,  the assistant director of Student Activities,  and the coordinator of Orientation and Service. The associate dean of students/director of Residence Life is on-call 24 hours a day, seven (7) days a week (to serve as back-up for the other OCPs).  If you need or want to speak with the scheduled OCP, contact an RA, RHC, or call Public Safety at 240-895-4911. 

Power Failures 

In the event of a campus-wide power failure, the campus phone system may not work.  If the power failure involves the local outside community, on-campus phones may work, but off-campus and long distance phones may not.  Emergency lights in the buildings will work for a short period of time (between 15 minutes and two hours.  The upgraded fire alarm system will be operational for at least eight (8) to twelve (12) hours.  Residence Life staff members will use flashlights.  In the event of a power failure, students should use flashlights, not candles. 

The Dining Hall will continue to operate under emergency power.  The decision to cancel classes will be announced by the appropriate College officials and communicated to the staff.  For students living on campus, the RHCs will be the primary contact for students seeking the most up-to-date information on the power failure. 

To report any type of a crime (including a “hate crime,” theft, vandalism, etc.): 

Individuals who see a crime in progress or who wish to report a crime after the fact should contact the Office of Public Safety at 240-895-4911, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Students may also submit anonymous reports via the Public Safety website at https://www.smcm.edu/publicsafety/silentwitness.html.

Contacting State or County Police: 

Students wishing to contact the state or local police can obtain assistance from Public Safety at 240-895-4911. 

Death of a Student or Serious Accident: 

Persons at the scene, whether on- or off-campus, should notify Public Safety at 240-895-4911. 

Eating Disorder: 

Friends or teammates of the student in question should notify the head athletic trainer (for a teammate), the Counseling and Health Center at 240-895-4289, or the associate dean of students/director of Residence Life at 240-895-4207. 

Missing Person: 

  1. Within 24 hours the College will notify the official emergency contact whom the student has previously designated upon admission.
  2. If the missing student is under the age of 18 and not yet emancipated, the College is required to notify a custodial parent or guardian within 24 hours.
  3. Any report of a missing person will be directed to Public Safety and the College will notify the appropriate law enforcement agency within 24 hours.
  4. Once a student has been identified as missing for 24 hours, Residence Life staff will notify the student’s RA, RHC, Counseling and Health Services, Academic Services, the Dean of Students officer, and the office of the Vice President of Academic Affairs and Dean of the Faculty. Academic Services will notify professors as indicated.
  5. Students are strongly encouraged to follow the following safety guidelines:
    • Notify roommates, friends or family of your plans regarding destination, time schedule and who you will be with. Provide updates if plans change.
    • Keep your cell phone charged and with you whenever off-campus.
    • Travel in groups and avoid being alone with strangers.
    • Don’t leave friends in unfamiliar surroundings or situations; avoid accepting rides from strangers.
    • Don’t leave drinks unattended and don’t accept drinks from people you don’t know well.

Sexual Misconduct Responding

(including sexual violence, intimate partner violence, stalking, and sexual harassment)

Person responding to a student:

-If you are speaking with an individual and they inform you that they have been sexually assaulted, harassed, or have experienced violence, reassure them that it is not their fault. Listen, but do not press for details. Give them options, not opinions.

-Help the person get to a safe place. Ask them if they feel safe, and if not, ask them where they would like to go.

-Assess if there is a still a danger to the campus community (e.g. weapon or force used). If a danger to the community exists, or they need immediate medical attention, please contact Public Safety immediately.

-Ask if the student is willing to have the First Responder Network contacted (301-904-2015, 24/7 during academic year). The FRN can provide peer support, accompany a student to the hospital, help with making a formal complaint, and/or contact the sexual assault/wellness advocate. Information given to the FRNs is shared with the sexual assault/wellness advocate.

-If the student does not want anyone on campus to know about the incident, Walden-Sierra (301-863-6661, 24/7 crisis hotline) can provide confidential advocacy without any on-campus involvement.

-Encourage the student to seek medical attention if there is a possibility of injuries, and a Sexual Assault Forensic Exam at a local hospital if the assault occurred within the past 5 days. Advise him/her that evidence of sexually transmitted infections or pregnancy may not be apparent for several weeks or months and follow-up appointments may be necessary. Public Safety can help arrange transport to the hospital. SAFE Exam information is kept anonymously at the hospital until the survivor indicates that he/she would like the information shared.

-If the student does not have any injuries and does not want a SAFE exam, he/she can go to Health Services for follow-up on STIs or pregnancy testing. Health Services is open 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday and is located in Chance Hall. Any information shared with Health Services is strictly confidential and is not shared with anyone else on campus without explicit permission.

-Also ask if the student is willing to go to Counseling Services. Any information shared with Counseling Services is strictly confidential and will not be shared with anyone else on campus without explicit permission.

-Offer to assist the student with contacting Residence Life (240-895-4207) if they would like to explore changing their housing to increase safety, either for emergency overnight or long-term.

-If a student needs to miss classes, re-arrange classes, or make other academic accommodations, offer to assist him/her with contacting Academic Services during business hours at 240-895-4388.

-Ask the student if he/she would like Public Safety to be contacted. Public Safety can assist with the formal complaint process through the Office of Student Conduct and/or the local police, investigate the incident, and contact other supporting offices after hours.

-Reassure the student that contacting Public Safety, the Office of Student Conduct, Residence Life, Academic Services, and/or the local police does not commit him/her to continue legal or student conduct action. It means that evidence can be collected which can be used later if the student decides to pursue either criminal action or conduct action through the College, and that a report of the incident will be shared with Student Conduct, the sexual assault/wellness advocate, the Title IX Coordinator(s), and a few other key college administrators. All reports of sexual misconduct are investigated by the College as required by Title IX, with the desires of the survivor given full consideration.

Suicide Threat: 

Student responding to the situation: 

  1. During normal business hours, contact Counseling Services at 240-895-4289 or the Office of Residence Life at 240-895-4207. 
  2. After normal business hours, contact Public Safety.  Ask for the On-Call Professional or a staff member in Counseling Services to be contacted .  The On-Call Professional will contact the director or assistant director of Counseling Services.

Psychological Emergencies 

Professional counseling services are available at the College.  Counseling Services is located in Chance Hall (the Counseling and Health Center), at 240-895-4289.  Hours are 8:00 a.m  to 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday.  After hours or on weekends, please contact any Residence Life staff member or Public Safety.  Staff members are there to assist you; they have been trained to respond to crisis situations.  They will act on your behalf. 

Security Issues 

The Office of Public Safety is in charge of campus security and safety.  If you witness a break-in, theft, someone being attacked, or any other type of criminal act, contact Public Safety at 240-895-4911.  Emergency call phones are located in the north campus, Schaefer Hall, and Mattapany (Guam) parking lots, as well as near St. John’s site, behind Anne Arundel Hall, at the River Center, and on the path near St. John’s pond (near the Bell Tower).  Professional staff members are on duty at Public Safety 24 hours a day, seven days a week.