Security

The Campus Crime Awareness and Campus Security Act of 1990 (The Clery Act) requires colleges and universities to a) publish and distribute through publications or mailings an annual report of campus security policies and crime statistics to all current students and employees, b) provide copies of the annual report to any applicant for enrollment or employment upon request and c) upon request, submit a copy of the annual report to the secretary of education. The crimes to be reported are: murder, sex offenses (forcible or non-forcible), robbery, aggravated assault, burglary, motor vehicle theft and crimes involving bodily injury to a victim because that person was intentionally selected because of their actual or perceived race, gender, religion, sexual orientation, ethnicity or disability. A crime is considered to be reported when the police officer or the vice president for student life and dean of students of students has been notified that a crime has occurred. Bluffton must also report the number of arrests for the following crimes that occur on campus: liquor law violations, drug abuse violations and weapons possession. An arrest has occurred when a law enforcement officer has detained an individual with the intention of seeking charges against the person for a specific offense and a record is made of the detention.

University policy

As stated in the Bluffton Catalog and the Bluffton University Student Handbook, all members of the campus community are expected to obey local, state and federal laws. Failure to do so may result in referrals to the university through the campus judicial system and the appropriate law enforcement agencies. Victims of any crimes are urged to inform the Bluffton police immediately about the criminal activity.

Reporting procedures

The vice president for student life and dean of students is responsible for monitoring and maintaining records on criminal activity occurring on campus. Students, faculty and staff should notify the vice president for student life and dean of students immediately about any criminal activity. Residential students may obtain report forms from the hall directors for this purpose. Any type of criminal activity considered to be a threat to the safety and security of members of the campus community will be shared with members of the campus community via announcements posted on the bulletin boards, e-mail or voice mail. An annual report on crime statistics will be compiled by the vice president for student life and dean of students and printed in the Student Handbook each September (see crime statistics) and it will be made available to prospective students and prospective employees upon request.

Security for the campus is provided by night security personnel and the Bluffton police patrol the campus on a 24-hour basis. The night security personnel are not police officers and, therefore, report all suspicious activities to the Bluffton police. The night security personnel and the vice president for student life and dean of students work closely with the Bluffton police in dealing with criminal activities on campus.

Anyone who is facing an emergency situation should call 5-911 on any campus phone. The dispatcher who answers the call will send a police officer immediately to the location of the incident.

Weapons

Firearms or other kinds of weapons are not permitted in any of the Bluffton University buildings or on any part of the campus.

Drugs and alcohol

The unlawful manufacture, distribution, dispensing, possession or use of a controlled substance is prohibited at Bluffton University. Any member of the campus community who participates in such activities will be subject to disciplinary actions which may range from a warning to suspension. In addition, he/she may be required to participate in a drug abuse assistance or rehabilitation program. Those who distribute controlled substances to others will normally be suspended from Bluffton. In addition, those involved in these kinds of activities will generally be referred to the appropriate law enforcement agency. Penalties may range from fines to imprisonment.

Bluffton's policies regarding the use and possession of alcohol and other drugs are stated under Students' Rights and Responsibilities (see expectations). In brief, members of the campus community may not possess or use alcohol on campus or possess alcohol-related containers. In addition, the unlawful manufacture, distribution, dispensing, possession or use of a controlled substance is prohibited. All students, faculty and staff are encouraged to participate in the university's drug/alcohol education programs and activities that are held throughout the year. Many of the activities are sponsored by the Peer Awareness Leaders (PALS).

Information about special counseling, rehabilitation and assistance programs can be obtained from staff in the student life office.

In summarizing our position, Bluffton is opposed to the illegal use and selling of drugs. The health risks are well documented and this type of behavior disrupts the life of the individual and the campus community. Our response to this activity is one of counseling coupled with compliance with the standards of campus conduct and the law.

Sexual offenses

Educational programs to promote the awareness of rape, acquaintance rape and other sex offenses are provided through various means: residence hall programming, staff training, PALS programming, Forums, etc.

In the event of a sexual offense, the victim is urged to contact the campus counselor, a residence hall staff member or the vice president for student life and dean of students. The staff member will assist the victim in obtaining medical attention and, if desired by the victim, contacting the police and/or making a referral through the campus judicial system. In the event of judicial action, both the accuser and the accused have the same opportunity to have others present during the proceedings and both will be informed of the outcome. If the victim of a sexual offense chooses not to report the offense but needs any type of help, the campus counselor is available to be of assistance. If the offense is reported to the police, all evidence must be preserved in order to demonstrate proof of assault. This means that all clothing should be preserved and no shower taken until the medical authorities have assisted the victim. Bluffton is committed to assisting victims of sexual assaults by providing counseling, academic assistance, making room changes if deemed helpful, etc.

Sexual assaults, including date rape and acquaintance rape, are serious violations of campus standards and the law, and individuals committing such offenses will be subject to serious sanctions that may include suspension or dismissal from Bluffton University.

Sexual Assault Resources

Referral sources:
It is important to gain counseling support as a victim of a sexual assault. Resources are available on and off campus that are trained specifically in sexual assault and are available to meet with students at no charge:  

  • On campus:  Rae Staton, campus counselor, statonr@bluffton.edu, 419-358-3248.
  • Off campus:  Crime Victim Services.  Laurel Neufeld Weaver, 419-222-8666. This number is also available after hours if you have an emergency need.

 
Making a police report:
Victims of sexual assault are encouraged to make a report to the local police. Filing a police report does not obligate the victim to prosecute but it will provide the opportunity for collection of evidence helpful for possible future prosecution that cannot be collected at a later date. You can file a report by calling 419-358-2961 and letting the dispatcher know that you would like to meet with an officer to file a complaint. A Bluffton University official will be available to you to help you through the complaint process if requested.  

Security: 
If you are uncomfortable at any time and would like a security escort on campus, you can call the following numbers:
    7 a.m.-8 p.m.:  419-303-5116
    8 p.m.-7 a.m.:  419-303-3121

Bluffton University definitions:

  • Sexual assault refers to any sexual act without the explicit consent of the recipient of the behavior.  In some cases, this may involve force.
  • Consent is defined as the act of willingly and verbally agreeing to engage in specific sexual contact or conduct.
  • Individual cannot be impaired by drugs or alcohol to point that they “lack sufficient understanding or capacity to make or  carry out reasonable decisions”
  •  Sexual assaults, including date rape and acquaintance rape, are serious violations of campus standards and the law, and individuals committing such offenses will be subject to serious sanctions that may include suspension or dismissal from Bluffton University.


Bluffton University student conduct process regarding sexual assault:

  • Once the victim brings forward an allegation to a university official, this official will refer the student to the dean of students to file an official complaint. The victim can also file a report with the police department if they do not want to meet with a university official.
  • The person taking the report will immediately issue a “No contact” order between the victim and the respondant(s) involved. This order will require that both parties to have no contact with each other either directly or indirectly. Indirect contact includes but is not limited to contact with the victims friends, family, colleagues or roommate(s). Direct contact includes but is not limited to face-to-face communication, telephone calls, written, or any other electronic means of communication including postings on social media sites. This order remains in effect until the conclusion of the investigation into this incident. 
  • The dean of students will work with the victim to change the victim’s academic and living situations if they are requested and are reasonably available. 
  • Victims have rights and are encouraged to ask a faculty or staff member at the university to participate as a support person throughout the process. 
  • After the investigation the respondents will be presented with the evidence and be allowed to respond if they accept responsibility for the violation or do not accept responsibility. If they do not accept responsibility the case is heard by the Campus Conduct Board. 
  • If the case moves to the Campus Conduct Board, the victim will be ensured the opportunity to speak to the board without the respondent present. The victim is also ensured of finding out the outcome of the case.
  •  The standard of evidence for determining sexual assault is whether it is more likely than not that a sexual assault occurred. This level of proof is commonly referred to as a “preponderance of the evidence.” 


Sex offender registry
The federal Campus Sex Crimes Prevention Act requires institutions of higher education to issue a statement advising the campus community where law enforcement agency information, which is provided by a state, concerning registered sex offenders may be obtained. It also requires sex offenders already required to register in a state to provide notice, as required under state law, of each institution of higher education in that state at which the person is employed, carries on a vocation, volunteers services or is a student.

In the State of Ohio convicted sex offenders must register with the County Sheriff of the county of residence address within seven days. The registry was established pursuant to 2950.01 to 2950.14 of the Ohio Revised Code. Every person convicted on or after July 1, 1997, including juveniles tried and convicted in the courts pursuant to ORC 2950.03, whether sentenced as adults or juveniles, of an offense for which registration is required shall be required as a part of the sentence imposed upon conviction to register and re-register with the County Sheriff of the residency county as provided in ORC 2950.04.

In addition, all persons convicted of violations under the laws of the United States or any other State substantially similar to an offense for which registration is required shall provide to the local agency all necessary information for inclusion with an Ohio County Sheriff within seven days of establishing a residence with the Ohio county. Any person required to register shall also be required to re-register within seven days following any change of residence, whether within the county or any other county.

Bluffton University maintains a Web link to the Attorney General's Office of the State of Ohio for registered sex offenders within the state. Click on the sex offender search and locate the county of your choice.

Annual crime statistics report

In compliance with the Campus Crime Awareness and Campus Security Act of 1990 (The Cleary Act), compilation of the information in this report and reporting of crime statistics is the responsibility of the vice president for student life and dean of students. Crime statistics for the calendar year are based on what has been reported to campus security or the student life office, as well as any information provided by the Bluffton Police Department. The statistics include only those incidents that have occurred on-campus, in the residence halls and on public property adjacent to the campus. All campus members (faculty, staff and students) will be reminded annually at the time of distribution of this report to report all crimes.

For the calendar year 2012, there were no murders, aggravated assaults, robberies or crimes involving bodily injury to a victim because that person was intentionally selected because of his/her actual or perceived race, gender, religion, sexual orientation, ethnicity or disability on campus that were reported to the vice president for student life and dean of students or to the police. For the calendar years 2011, 2012 and 2013 there were no murders, aggravated assaults, robberies, or crimes involving bodily injury to a victim because that person was intentionally selected because of their actual or perceived race, gender, religion, sexual orientation, ethnicity or disability on campus that were reported to the vice president for student life and dean of students or to the police.

Offense Year   On Campus
[1]
Residential facilities
(subset of on-campus)
Public Areas[2]
Murder/Non-Negligent Manslaughter 2013   0 0 0
  2012   0 0 0
  2011   0 0 0
Negligent Manslaughter 2013   0 0 0
  2012   0 0 0
  2011   0 0 0
Sex Offenses Forcible 2013   1 1 0
  2012   3 3 0
  2011   1 0 0
Sex Offenses, Non-Forcible 2013   0 0 0
  2012   0 0 0
  2011   0 0 0
Robbery 2013   0 0 0
  2012   0 0 0
  2011   0 0 0
Burglary [3] 2013   10 4 0
  2012   6 3 0
  2011   10 1 0
Motor Vehicle Theft 2013   0 0 0
  2012   0 0 0
  2011   0 0 0
Arson 2013   0 0 0
  2012   0 0 0
  2011   0 0 0
Liquor Law Arrests 2013   0 0 0
  2012   0 0 0
  2011   0 0 0
Liquor Law Violations
Referred for Disciplinary Action
2013   0 0 0
  2012   0 0 0
  2011   0 0 0
Drug Law Arrest 2013   0 0 0
  2012   0 0 0
  2011   0 0 0
Drug Law Violations 
Referred for Disciplinary Action
2013   0 0 0
  2012   0 0 0
  2011   0 0 0
Illegal Weapons Possession Arrest 2013   0 0 0
  2012   0 0 0
  2011   0 0 0
Illegal Weapons Possession
Violation Referred for Disciplinary Action
2013   0 0 0
  2012   0 0 0
  2011   0 0

0

 


[1] On campus includes the figure from residence halls within the aggregate.
[2] Public areas are mainly the city streets and sidewalks bordering the campus. 
[3] Most burglaries are non-forcible unlawful entries involving petty thefts. 

Definitions of crimes for this report are based on the Uniform Crime Reporting Handbook published by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Annual fire safety report

Fire safety: 
Instructions and procedures are posted in the residence halls and on all building bulletin boards. Residents should check their parents insurance policy for coverage of their personal possessions. Bluffton cannot be responsible for items destroyed in a fire, tornado, water damage or for stolen items. All students are expected to leave their rooms when the fire alarm is sounded. Hallways are to be kept completely free of all belongings at all times. Fire doors in the halls are to be kept closed. Fire safety policies in the residence halls.
  • No partitions of any nature may be erected in a room. Sheets or fabrics may not be hung from the ceilings or walls in student rooms. This does not include posters on walls or other common wall hangings.
  • The burning of incense is not permitted in residence halls.
  • The burning of any object with an open flame (e.g., candles and lanterns) is not permitted in residence halls. Burnt candles are also not permitted. Candles must have a new wick or no wick at all.
  • Live Christmas trees are not permitted in any building on campus.
  • Halogen lamps are not permitted in the residence halls.
  • It is a violation of state law to tamper with fire extinguishers and fire alarm systems. Any students involved in this type of activity will be subject to suspension from the university.

Smoke detectors have been installed in each room for the safety of the residents. These should be tested once a week by pressing and holding the test button 1-5 seconds and listening for the alarm. When the battery begins to weaken, a warning chirp will sound at least once per minute for seven days. Hall directors should be contacted when the battery needs to be replaced. Residents will be given a new battery to place in the alarm.
 
Fire safety for the campus community: 
 
  • In the event of a fire, the college expects that all campus community members will evacuate by the nearest exit, closing doors and activating the fire alarm system (if one is present) as they leave. Once safely outside a building, it is appropriate to contact 911. Students and/or staff are informed where to relocate to by staff if circumstance warrants at the time of the alarm. In the event fire alarms sound, college policy is that all occupants must evacuate from the building, closing doors as they leave.
  • Fire safety education and training programs are provided to students and employees.
  • Fire safety education trainings are provided for all resident assistants living in on-campus student housing during the fall semester before students arrive on campus. These programs are designed to familiarize everyone with the fire safety system in each housing facility, train everyone on the procedures to be followed in case there is a fire and distribute information on the college s fire safety policies.
  • Fire safety education and training programs are taught by local fire authorities as well as the director of student residence life who is experienced in fire safety matters.
  • Notification of fires: All fires that occur in the residence halls will be reported to the residence assistant of the floor as well as the hall director of the building. These staff members will then fill out an incident report which is then sent to the director of residence life and the vice president for student life and dean of students.

Annual fire safety statistics

04

Residence Hall

# fires

Type of fire

Injuries

Deaths

Property
damage

Fire detection
system

# of fire drills
 Bren-Dell  0    0  0  0 Automatic fire
alarm system
 4
 Ropp  0    0  0  0 Automatic fire
alarm system
 4
 Lincoln  0    0  0  0 Automatic fire
alarm system
 4
 Hirschy  0    0  0  0 Automatic fire
alarm system
 4
 Neufeld  0    0  0  0 Automatic fire
alarm system
 4
 Ramseyer  0    0  0  0 Automatic fire
alarm system
 4
 
 

Missing student policy & procedure

All Bluffton University students will be offered the opportunity to provide missing person contact information at the start of the academic year or at the start of the spring semester for students who begin attending in the spring. Missing person contact information will remain on record, kept confidential and it may not be disclosed, except to law enforcement personnel in the event of a missing person investigation. If the student is under 18 years of age and not emancipated, the legal guardian or custodial parent will be contacted within 24 hours.
  •  If a member of the Bluffton University community has reason to believe that a student who resides in on-campus housing is missing, he or she should immediately notify the vice president for student life and dean of students at 419-358-3248 or email studentlife@bluffton.edu. The vice president will initiate an investigation.
  • If it is determined that a residential student has been missing for more than 24 hours, faculty and staff should notify the vice president for student life and dean of students by calling 419-358-3248 or emailing studentlife@bluffton.edu. The vice president will contact the Bluffton Police Department and the emergency contact designated by the student. If the student is under 18 years of age and not emancipated, the legal guardian or custodial parent will be contacted within 24 hours.