Campus safety initiatives and resources to inform crime prevention and encourage personal safety
Crime Prevention Initiatives
In addition to the campus safety programming described above, The University of Akron employs many additional crime prevention initiatives, including:
- Community Policing: UAPD utilizes a community policing philosophy with the goals of:
- establishing positive contacts with the campus community;
- identifying real and/or perceived problems that exist in the campus community; and
- developing programs that aid in resolution of identified problems.
To assist in its community policing efforts, UAPD uses various modes of transportation, including bicycles, motorcycles, cars and foot patrol.
- Emergency phones: Over 480 emergency phones are located throughout the University campus, including over 150 “Blue Light” phones, and 3 additional phones are located off-campus, which provide a direct line of communication to UAPD for individuals in need of emergency assistance. These phones are strategically positioned along pedestrian walkways, inside parking decks and at many building entrances. UAPD responds to all activated emergency phones even if no words are spoken. Look for the blue lights inside buildings in parking areas and on campus grounds.
- Student Campus Patrol: Student Campus Patrol operates seven days a week from 5 p.m. to 1 a.m., for the safety of anyone walking alone on campus. By calling 330-972-7263, an escort will come to caller’s location and accompany them to their local destination. Student Campus Patrol members are employed and trained by UAPD. They are easily identified by conspicuously marked shirts or jackets. Teams assist UAPD in patrolling the campus, including parking lots, and reporting suspicious behavior.
- Victim’s Rights: The Ohio Attorney General’s Office has developed a Victim’s Rights Handbook (http://www.uakron.edu/safety/annual-safety-report/docs/crime-victims-booklet-Aug-2015.pdf), which details the rights of victims, including information regarding resources for victims and expectations for the criminal justice process.
- Prospective and current student crime awareness and prevention programs: UAPD and the Division of Student Affairs present information to prospective students and their parents about University safety programs and general campus safety tips. Safety literature and displays are available during orientation and at move-in. Information is also available at various Web sites such as http://www.uakron.edu/safety/ and http://www.uakron.edu/title-ix/.
Whether on campus or any public place, here are some general safety tips to keep in mind.
- Travel in groups. Often, there is safety in numbers. If you are going to separate from your group, tell someone when you will return. Take a cell phone.
- If you feel threatened, cross the street or enter a store or business.
- Have your keys in hand as you approach your car. Check under the car and the back seat before you enter.
- Alcohol and other drugs can impair your perceptions and decision-making. Do not place yourself in a vulnerable position by being intoxicated or under the influence of other drugs.
- If you do drink, set a limit and stick to it. Don't drink on an empty stomach. Also: Don't leave a drink unattended. If you are away from your drink any amount of time, toss it. It's not worth the risk.
- Use the campus escort service. Patrol members will escort students between campus locations from 5 p.m. to 1 a.m. nightly on school nights. Call 330-972-7263 to request the service.
- If you feel threatened or if you want to report something suspicious, use one of over 480 emergency phones on campus, including more than 150 “Blue Light” phones. These phones, distinguished by their blue lights, connect directly to the UA police dispatcher at all hours.
- Program the University's emergency line into your cell phone: 330-972-2911. Or call 9-1-1.
- Notify the UAPD if you notice anything suspicious or unusual. Call the department at 330-972-2911 (or 9-1-1 in an emergency) at any hour. "It's amazing how often small tips from everyday people add up to something we can use," said University Police Chief Jim Weber. "Students should not be shy about calling. We value every call."
- Always lock your door; even when you’re sleeping or just going down the hall.
- Do not allow strangers to enter your room or your complex. Do not open your door unless you can identify the person seeking entry.
- Do not prop any exterior doors open to allow unescorted visitors into the residence hall.
- Report lost or stolen residence hall keys or Zip Cards immediately to your residence hall staff.
- Report any malfunctioning locks, doors or windows to your residence life staff.
- Do not leave your keys or Zip Card lying around in your room when you are not in the room.
Do not leave messages on your door about when you will be returning to your room.
If you live in off-campus housing:
- Call the UA Police Department and request a free security audit of your rental. Our officers will: o test the adequacy of your locking system;
- study all entry points and offer suggestions to improve their security; and
- offer tips about exterior lighting and other tactics to deter would-be criminals.
- To arrange for an audit, call the UAPD at 330-972-5914 (if no answer, please leave a message).
- Don't answer the door in the middle of the night unless you are expecting someone. Ask your landlord to install a peephole in your front door. If you see someone unexpected at your door during the overnight hours, call Akron PD at 911 or UAPD at 330-972-2911.
- If you leave home, leave on a light, radio or TV to make it appear as if someone is home.
- Lock doors and windows. UA's police chief says many times thieves enter through unlocked doors and windows. Ask your landlord to install a deadbolt, if one is not present.
- Let the police department know if a streetlight is out.
** Sources: UAPD and the International Association of Campus Law Enforcement Administrators
Building Security and Access
The University of Akron implements numerous safety precautions on its campus. Extensive lighting is found throughout the campus, and the University continues to implement additional lighting improvement projects and to consider public safety in maintaining its buildings and grounds. In addition, construction and renovation plans for University facilities are reviewed for principles associated with crime prevention through environmental design, both in the facility itself, and if practicable, in the adjacent area.
Access to campus buildings is restricted after normal business hours, and current University identification must be shown to gain admittance to many academic and administrative facilities during normal business hours. Access to the University's residence halls is restricted to student occupants, escorted guests and authorized University personnel. Unescorted persons are prohibited in the residence halls. While all residence halls have 24-hour visitation, buildings remain locked at all times and require a University-issued identification for access.
The following Offices provide resources related to the safety, health and community standards of the University.
The Department of Residence Life and Housing: Approximately 3,000 students live in the University's 11 residence halls. Access to the University's residence halls is restricted to student occupants, escorted guests and authorized University personnel. Unescorted persons are prohibited in the residence halls. While all residence halls have 24-hour visitation, buildings remain locked at all times and require a University-issued identification for access.
Residence hall staff members receive special training from UAPD about security and safety procedures and the enforcement of residence hall regulations. Safety inspections every semester help students to maintain a safe environment. Department of Residence Life and Housing professional staff conduct programs with resident students to heighten awareness of safety on campus. Sessions cover topics from common sense precautions, (such as walking with a companion or in groups at night), to more difficult issues (such as sexual assault, including acquaintance rape). Student programming offers other sessions such as a nationally recognized program that covers topics including bystander training, safe sex, rape prevention, gay/lesbian issues, and interracial relationships. As a part of crime prevention in the residence halls, UAPD patrols the residence halls during evening hours, Tuesday through Saturday. Officers participate in residence hall programs and respond to all police, fire and safety issues in the residence halls.
The Department of Student Conduct and Community Standards (SCCS): SCCS' primary focus is to promote and enforce University community standards through the administration of The University of Akron Code of Student Conduct. The Department also serves as an information source on student discipline, conduct hearings, appeals and academic misconduct concerns. The purpose of the University discipline system is to promote student development by addressing behaviors that are inconsistent with community standards and expectations, as defined by the Code. SCCS often coordinates its services with other campus offices in an effort to serve students to the fullest extent. When appropriate, referrals will be made to other University offices to best serve students.
Disciplinary complaints may be heard by either an Administrative Hearing Officer or Disciplinary Boards made up of specially trained faculty and students. The hearings are designed to provide a prompt, fair and impartial investigation and resolution of the complaint, and when appropriate, the Department administers proactive and educational sanctions. Although procedural requirements are not as formal as those existing in the courts of law, the student conduct process provides procedural safeguards for accusers and accused alike.
Both the accuser and the accused are entitled to:
- be informed of the University’s student conduct process
- protection under applicable privacy law (i.e. the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act “FERPA”)
- access information that will be used at the hearing;
- present relevant witnesses and other evidence;
- the presence of an advisor of her/his choice (including legal counsel) during the entire conduct process as designated in the applicable University Rule. The advisor may advise but may not participate in the hearing or address the board unless responding to a direct question from the chairperson to the advisor; and
- Consistent with the obligations of FERPA and the Clery Act, the University may disclose the result of disciplinary actions as follows:
Victims of an Alleged Sex-Based Offense:
Both the accuser and the accused will be informed simultaneously in writing of the outcome of each stage of an institutional conduct proceeding that arises from an allegation of dating violence, domestic violence, sexual assault or stalking. Both the accuser and the accused will be informed of the appeal procedures for a disciplinary hearing, any changes that occur prior to the results becoming final and when the results become final.
Victims of an Alleged Perpetrator of a Crime of Violence:
Upon request, the victim of an alleged perpetrator of an alleged crime of violence will be advised of the final results (i.e. whether the accused was found responsible and, if so, the imposed sanction) of the disciplinary proceeding.
If an accused student is an alleged perpetrator of a crime of violence or non-forcible sex offense and has been found in violation of the Code of Student Conduct, the University may release to anyone:
- The student’s name;
- The specific Code of Student Conduct violation; and
- The final results of the disciplinary action.
* Advisor means any individual who provides the accuser or accused support, guidance or advice.
** Result means any initial, interim and final decision by any official or entity authorized to resolve disciplinary matters within the institution. The result includes any imposed sanctions.
For matters involving alleged violations of the Code of Student Conduct that would constitute a Title IX offense or sexual harassment, Confidential medical/counseling records and information regarding the victim’s sexual history will not be provided to the accused and is not admissible at any disciplinary proceeding. As a matter of practice, SCCS does not require the accuser and the accused to be in the same room during a hearing involving a Title IX offense. To accommodate concerns regarding safety, confrontation and well-being, SCCS will provide alternate arrangements for participation, including separate facilities and video conferencing.
The hearings are conducted by persons who receive annual training on issues related to Title IX offenses and how to conduct a hearing process that protects the safety of students and promotes accountability. The standard of evidence used to determine responsibility is a “preponderance” of evidence. This determination is based on the greater weight of the evidence and does not require a standard beyond a reasonable doubt. The policies, procedures and sanctions outlined in the Code of Student Conduct (http://www.uakron.edu/studentconduct/code-of-conduct.dot) apply to all violations of the Code, including student sexual misconduct violations.
Regardless of whether criminal charges are filed, students found responsible for a violation of the Code of Student Conduct related to a Title IX offense are subject to university conduct sanctions. Sanctions against a student who has violated the Code may include suspension and dismissal and vary depending on the severity of the violation and the accused’s conduct history. The recommended sanction for non-consensual sexual intercourse is dismissal. Sanctions other than expulsion and suspension include expulsion from university owned and operated housing, educational intervention, no contact orders and restrictions from participating in extracurricular activities.
In addition to any interim measures that already may have been enacted, in the event that SCCS finds by a preponderance of the evidence that a Title IX offense occurred, the University will take immediate steps to: eliminate any hostile environment that has been created; prevent any further Title IX offense; and, prevent retaliation. Examples of remedial action include:
- victim counseling;
- no-contact orders;
- permitting a student to retake a course;
- mandated education or training for the accused; and
- additional education and training for the community regarding Title IX.
Both the Accuser and the Accused may appeal based on the grounds specified in the Code of Student Conduct (3359-41-01(H)(3)) using the appeal process specified in the Code.
(For more information concerning SCCS and Title IX offenses, please see “Reporting Sexual Misconduct/Sexual Assault,” beginning on page 18 of this document.)
Whenever persons witness what appears to be a violation of University rules under the Code, they are strongly encouraged to report this to the Department of Student Conduct and Community Standards, which may conduct an investigation or contact UAPD if the reported activity appears to be criminal in nature. Individuals are not required to file a police report to pursue a complaint with SCCS. Department of Student Conduct and Community Standards located at Simmons Hall, Room 302. The Department may be contacted at 330-972-6380. Website: www.uakron.edu/sja/
Student Health Services: Student Health Services works to assist students to meet their educational and personal goals by addressing their health concerns during enrollment. Student Health Services' Health Education section provides health education, wellness promotion and risk reduction programming to students, faculty and staff. Student Health Services continues to maintain the University's strategic vision of "shared responsibility" to plan, develop, implement, and evaluate health promotion techniques and continue to be a resource for those in need.
Student Health Services is designed to provide medical care for uncomplicated illnesses and injuries that are of recent onset and short duration. Student Health Services also provides confidential assistance in the event of a sexual assault. If you have any questions, please call us before your visit. Student Health Services is located in the Student Recreation and Wellness Center Room 260 and is open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. (Last appointment at 4:30 p.m.) Student Health Services is closed on weekends and holidays. The office can be reached at 330-972-7808. Website: http://www.uakron.edu/healthservices/
Policies for Reporting Crimes and Preparing Annual Reports
Individuals who are victims of, or witnesses to a crime, or otherwise become aware of a crime, are strongly encouraged to timely report that crime to the police. In fact, under Ohio law, persons who have knowledge of a felony (a victim of or witness to the crime) are required to report the crime to the police and failure to report a crime may itself be a crime. (Ohio Revised Code §2921.22)
- Crimes occurring on campus at the Akron campus should be reported to UAPD by calling 9-1-1 or 330-972-2911.
- Crimes occurring off campus in Akron should be reported to the City of Akron Police Department by calling 9-1-1 (emergency) or 330-375-2181 (non-emergency).
- Crimes occurring on campus at the Wayne College campus should be reported to UAPD by calling 9-1-1 or 330-972-7123.
- Crimes occurring off campus at the Wayne College campus should be reported to the City of Orrville Police Department at 330-684-5025 or dial 9-1-1.
- Crimes occurring on or off campus at the Medina campus should be reported to Medina County Sheriff's office at 330-336-6650 or dial 9-1-1.
- Crimes occurring on or off campus at the Lakewood location should be reported to the City of Lakewood Police Department at 216-521-6773 or dial 9-1-1.
- Crimes occurring on or off campus at the Millersburg location should be reported to the Village of Millersburg at 330-674-5931 or dial 9-1-1.
If a crime occurs at a location other than those listed above, including Non-campus locations, the crime should be reported to the applicable local law enforcement.
In addition to the police, information on criminal behavior may be reported to:
- Offices within the Division of Student Affairs, including Student Conduct and Community Standards;
- Department of Athletics, Offices of the Athletic Director and athletic coaches;
- Residence Life and Housing staff;
- Advisers to recognized student organizations; and
- Title IX Coordinator and Deputy Coordinators.
The University strongly encourages all victims of, or witnesses to crime to report all criminal activity to police in order to insure prompt evaluation for timely warning or emergency notification and for inclusion in the statistics for the annual crime report.
Confidentiality and Crime Reporting
The University does not have procedures for the voluntary confidential reporting of crime statistics and violations of law are referred to the appropriate law enforcement jurisdiction. However, UAPD offers the opportunity for individuals to report crime anonymously. Anonymous crime reporting is available at: http://www.uakron.edu/safety/report-a-problem/anonymous-reporting.dot.
Crimes reported on-campus to counselors at the University's Counseling Center or to a physician or nurse at Student Health Services are confidential to the extent allowed by law. Some off-campus reports also may be confidential to the extent allowed by law (e.g. to: clergy; physicians; Portage Path Behavioral Health counselors; and Rape Crisis Center counselors). Counselors and physicians are encouraged to report crimes reported to them, consistent with their professional ethics and the limitations imposed by applicable confidentiality laws, to ensure inclusion in the annual collection and disclosure of crime statistics. However, crimes reported to counselors and physicians that are learned within the scope of their professional licenses may not be included in the annual crime statistics report.
UAPD makes every effort, within the limitations of Ohio law, to protect the identity of sexual assault victims. If a sexual assault victim wishes to remain anonymous or not to file a police report, UAPD honors their request while still offering them referrals to medical care and/or counseling, as well as making appropriate referrals to the Title IX Coordinator(s) and SCCS.
Because of the Ohio public records laws and the law requiring individuals having knowledge of a felony to report such crime, The University of Akron is not able to promise confidentiality to persons reporting crimes to non-privileged recipients, including individuals or offices (e.g. Residence Life and Housing staff; Student Affairs staff; title IX Coordinators, etc.) that supply crime statistics for this annual report.
The University of Akron's Annual Security Report (“ASR”) is the result of the efforts of many people on campus. Each year the offices and individuals listed in this section provide information for inclusion in the annual report. No formal police report is required for a crime to be included in the statistics. Every effort is taken to ensure that all persons required to report do so, and that statistics are as accurate and complete as possible. Information included in the annual report is reviewed for accuracy, completeness and readability.
If you have any questions or concerns about any of the statistics and information in this report, please contact UAPD at 330-972-2911.
Crimes that are reported to the following individuals or offices are included in the annual crime statistics report. Campus offices are strongly encouraged to report criminal incidents to UAPD contemporaneous with occurrence to ensure inclusion, and avoid duplication of statistics in the ASR.
- The University of Akron Police Department
- Bath Township Police Department
- City of Akron Police Department
- City of Brunswick Police Department
- City of Columbus Police Department
- City of Lakewood Police Department
- City of Orrville Police Department
- City of Wadsworth Police Department
- Columbus State Community College
- Copley Township Police Department
- Medina County Sheriff’s Office
- Ohio State Highway Patrol
- Village of Millersburg Police Department
- Applicable Locations for Qualifying Domestic and International Student Travel
- Wayne County Sheriff's Office
- Advisors to Recognized Student Organizations
- Department of Residence Life and Housing
- Department of Athletics, Offices of the Athletic Director and Athletic Coaches
- Offices of the Division of Student Affairs, including Student Conduct and Community Standards
- Student organizations with off-campus housing
- Title IX Coordinators
Campus Sex Crime Prevention Act information
The responsibility for tracking persons in Ohio who have been designated as registered sex offenders is assigned to the sheriffs of the various counties. The following websites contain information about registered sex offenders for geographic areas covered by this report.
- The Office of the Ohio Attorney General: http://www.ohioattorneygeneral.gov/Home/Sex-Offender-Search
- Summit County Sheriff: http://www.sheriffalerts.com/cap_main.php?office=5398
- Wayne County Sheriff: http://www.waynecountysheriff.com/sexoffenders.htm
- Medina County Sheriff: http://www.medinasheriff.com/important_disclaimer.htm
- Holmes County Sheriff: http://www.holmescountysheriff.org/offender_list.htm
- Cuyahoga County Sheriff: http://sheriff.cuyahogacounty.us/en-US/Sexual-Offender-Unit.aspx