Franklin & Marshall College Franklin & Marshall College

Campus Timely Warning Notice and Emergency Notification Policy

Procedures and Criteria for Issuing a Campus Timely Warning Notice or an Emergency Notification

Overview

In the event of a substantiated serious safety concern, either on college property or in the near vicinity of the campus, numerous and diligent efforts are made to advise members of the campus community. The College takes its duty seriously to inform students and campus community members of threatening situations—and how they can best protect themselves from harm. As a result, information related to crime–related and other potentially threatening situations is provided in an accurate and timely fashion. The College will release information which can be used by students and other College community members to reduce their chances of becoming victims. These notices will be issued as a means of a “Campus Timely Warning Notice” or an “Emergency Notification”.

Campus Timely Warning Notice

What Constitutes Issuance of a Campus Timely Warning Notice:

A “Campus Timely Warning Notice” is specifically related to compliance with the federal Clery Act, which requires colleges and universities to notify students and employees whenever there is a threat that a serious crime is ongoing or may be repeated-- so that campus community members can protect themselves from harm. The Clery Act defines certain specific crimes that require a timely warning notice to be issued when crimes are reported to officials with significant responsibility for student and campus activities, campus safety, or the local police AND the reported crime(s) are believed to have occurred on campus, in or on non-campus buildings or property, or on public property contiguous to the campus.

Types of incidents or situations that constitute a campus timely warning being sent are:
  • All Clery Act Crimes which represent a serious or continuing threat to the person and/or property of students and employees. Examples include but are not limited to:
    • Criminal Homicide
    • Sex Offenses
    • Robbery
    • Aggravated Assault
    • Burglary
    • Motor Vehicle Theft
    • Arson
    • Hate Crimes

  • Emergency situations that are life threatening. Examples include, but are not limited to:
    • persons with weapons with intent to use
    • threat of violent crime
    • situations where suspect is not known
    • assault (physical or sexual)

  • Any act or immediate threat of interpersonal violence. Examples include, but are not limited to:
    • domestic or relationship situations
    • hate crimes
    • consistent pattern of violent behavior

  • Serious acts or threats to campus-owned or personal property
Timing, Content, and Decision Criteria for a Campus Timely Warning Notice:
  • The Clery Act does not define what “timely” is. However, the warning should be issued as soon as the pertinent information is available because the intent of a campus timely warning is to alert the campus community of continuing threats, especially concerning safety, thereby enabling community members to protect themselves.

  • Clery Act regulations do not specify what information should be included in a timely warning. However, because the intent of the warning is to enable members of the campus community to protect themselves, the warning should include all information that would promote safety.

  • The issuing of a timely warning notice must be decided on a case-by-case basis in light of all of the facts surrounding a crime, including factors such as the nature of the crime, the continuing danger to the campus community and the possible risk of compromising law enforcement efforts.

  • Generally, the warning will specify the type of reported crime, the time and location at which the reported crime occurred, and specific advice to the campus community regarding steps to take to avoid becoming a victim.
Source: The Handbook for Campus Crime Reporting, U.S. Department of Education, Office of Post Secondary Education, 2005, pp. 61, 62
Decision to Issue Campus Timely Warning Notice – Responsibility:
  • The decision to issue a Campus Timely Warning Notice is made in coordination and consultation by at least two of the following personnel from the Decision Team. In an extreme emergency, the notification process will be implemented at the sole discretion of the College’s Vice President of Finance and Administration or the Vice President for Strategic Initiatives and Chief of Staff.
Decision Team:

Vice President of Finance and Administration
Director of Public Safety
Vice President for Communications
Dean of the College
Vice President for Strategic Initiatives and Chief of Staff

NOTE: The decision to issue a Campus Timely warning shall include a specific designation of the College office or person to be responsible for overseeing the dissemination of the warning.

How Campus Timely Warning Notices are issued:
  • Campus Timely Warning notices will be issued to students, faculty and staff upon the confirmation of a significant emergency, dangerous situation, incident or crime, impacting the campus community and/or the surrounding area.

  • This information may be disseminated to campus community members via a variety of mechanisms or mediums. Franklin & Marshall College will use one or more of the following means depending on the nature of the incident:
    • Rave Alert System
    • electronic mail messages
    • text messaging to cell phones of those enrolled in the service
    • Department of Public Safety web site*
    • public announcements
    • public address system
    • postings and digital signage
    • Other methods deemed necessary that may be used in the information dissemination process.

Note: ―Campus Timely warnings may not be issued in a manner or posted in a location that requires the campus community to make requests for them or to search for them. The responsibility for the warning rests solely with the institution. Source: The Handbook for Campus Crime Reporting, U.S. Department of Education, Office of Postsecondary Education, 2005, pp. 62

Emergency Notifications

What Constitutes Issuance of an Emergency Notification:

Franklin & Marshall College uses the Rave Alert System as its primary Emergency Notification System to notify students and employees in a timely manner when it is determined that there is a “significant emergency or dangerous situation involving an immediate threat to the health or safety of students or employees occurring on campus.” The notification to the campus community may contain only the information that is reasonably necessary to promote the safety of the campus community as dictated by the situation. An Emergency Notification will be released as soon as reasonably necessary and ―without delay‖, unless notification will compromise efforts to assist a victim, or to contain, respond to, or otherwise mitigate the emergency. After the initial notification, follow-up information must be disseminated to the community via the mediums stated below. An Emergency Notification can be related to criminal activity that is not subject to the timely warning standard required by the Clery Act, but is not necessarily related to criminal activity. Examples of situations that may constitute the College’s decision to issue an Emergency Notification include, but are not limited to:

  • Situations where serious injuries may or have occurred. Examples include, but are not limited to:
    • building collapse
    • train derailment
    • fire
  • Situations that cause major disruption to campus operations. Examples include, but are not limited to:
    • weather-related situations
    • Power outages
    • Water emergencies
    • Serious acts or threats to campus property
Decision to Issue Emergency Notifications – Responsibility:
  • The decision to issue a Campus Emergency Notification is made in coordination and consultation by at least two of the following personnel from the Decision Team. In an extreme emergency, the notification process will be implemented at the sole discretion of the College’s Vice President of Finance and Administration or the Vice President for Strategic Initiatives and Chief of Staff.
Decision Team:

Vice President of Finance and Administration
Director of Public Safety
Vice President for Communications
Dean of the College
Vice President for Strategic Initiatives and Chief of Staff

NOTE: The decision to issue a Campus Timely warning shall include a specific designation of the College office or person to be responsible for overseeing the dissemination of the warning.

How Emergency Notifications are Issued:
  • Emergency Notification messages will be issued to students and employees upon the confirmation of a significant emergency, dangerous situation, incident or crime, impacting the campus community and/or the surrounding area.
  • Upon confirmation of an emergency situation that requires an immediate response, the Department of Public Safety will communicate and/or convene without delay to implement the notification process. This information may be disseminated to campus community members via a variety of mechanisms or mediums. Franklin & Marshall College will use one or more of the following means:
    • Rave Alert System
    • electronic mail messages
    • text messaging to cell phones of those enrolled in the service
    • Department of Public Safety web site
    • public announcements
    • public address system
    • postings and digital signage
    • Other methods deemed necessary that may be used in the information dissemination process.
Informing the Larger Community on Emergency Notifications:

If the Decision Team determines that notification of audiences other than students and employees is necessary and appropriate, Franklin & Marshall College’s procedures for disseminating emergency information to the larger community will include making pertinent information available on the College Web site (www.fandm.edu), as well as use of its Emergency Hotline (888-436-2412) and Campus Dispatch (717-291-3939). In addition, the College will provide emergency information to area broadcast media as appropriate.

Testing Procedures:

Franklin & Marshall College will test its Emergency Notification procedures on at least an annual basis.

Additional Information

Further information relative to the College’s emergency response plan, including procedures specific to particular types of emergencies, questions and answers, and useful links can be found on the Franklin & Marshall College Emergency Response Web site at www.fandm.edu/prepare/emergency-situations.


Last Update: 26 September 2013