Chapter 8: Maintaining Safety and Security on the SJU Campus

Chapter Contents


Maintaining Safety and Security on the St. John's University Campus

This page complies with the Student Right-to-Know and Campus Security Act of 1990, which requires institutions to publish and distribute and annual security report containing campus security policies and procedures as well as campus crime statistics. Please refer to the following information for the campus crime statistics for each campus. As an essential part of creating an atmosphere for learning, St. John's University has a commitment to insure a safe and secure University environment. St. John's is one of the safest campuses in the nation. There are over 18,000 students in attendance and during the course of the year there are almost 7,000 events and activities.

The Queens campus alone has an estimated two million cars per year on its campus. The quality of our students, the tradition of the University's mission in the daily campus environment, and the high quality and professionalism of our Public Safety department are responsible for creating this safe and secure environment. Our Department of Public Safety includes many former New York City Police Department officers who bring to their positions at St. John's an unparalleled professional experience in the law enforcement field. Public Safety can be relied upon to respond in a professional manner to any situation or task.

This guide was developed as part of our continuing effort to inform the University community and to insure your continued security and safety. Please review the enclosed material closely. Being alert and aware of the circumstances that can make you a victim goes a long way toward ensuring that you don't become one.

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Sexual Abuse Policy

If you need any assistance regarding a sexual assault, please visit Sexual Assault.

Policy Purpose

The purpose of the following section on sexual abuse is to educate, illustrate, aid in the prevention of and assist in the treatment of sex abuse in the University community.

St. John's University will not tolerate or condone any instance of rape, acquaintance rape, other forcible or non-forcible sex offences or harassment within its community. Complaints filed with the University are subject to adjudication as outlined in the Student Handbook. The Student Handbook also delineates the rights of both the accuser and the accused. Anyone ultimately found guilty of these charges will be subject to appropriate sanctions ranging from suspension to expulsion. In addition, the University will assist in the prosecution of criminal actions filed against alleged violators.

The University will change the victim of a sex offense's academic and living situations if changes are requested and are reasonably available.

Definitions

What is Unlawful Sexual Abuse?
Section 130 of the New York Penal Law sets forth all sex offense crimes punishable by law, which includes rape, sodomy, sexual assault, forcible touching and facilitating a sex offense with a drug.

Rape
If a person engages in non-consensual sexual intercourse due to physical force, coercion or threat actual or implied, the act is considered rape in New York State. Sexual intercourse is any vaginal penetration, however slight. A person who is mentally incapacitated, asleep, physically helpless due to alcohol or drug consumption or under the age of 17 is unable to consent. If intercourse takes place without consent, it is considered rape. Regardless of the circumstances, sexual intercourse following a spoken no or any other expression of refusal or hesitation, even without further resistance of any kind, is rape, a felony crime in New York State.

Rape occurs most frequently between acquaintances or friends, and in group settings. Alcohol and drugs contribute to and exacerbate situations where rape can occur. Individuals who would never attack on their own may be pressured by peers to participate in group violation of an intoxicated victim.

Other Sex Offenses
Generally, a sexual offense, including sexual assault, is committed when a man or woman is forced or coerced, either through physical or psychological means, to engage in any form of sexual contact. It is also a sexual assault when one participant is unable to consent to the sexual conduct, due to intoxication, unconsciousness or other disabling condition, or age. If such contact includes penetration other than vaginal penetration the sexual assault constitutes sodomy. The Penal Law also makes it a crime to forcibly touch or grab the sexual parts of another, or to administer a controlled substance to a person with the intent of committing certain sexual offenses against them.

Sexual Harassment
Sexual harassment is a form of sex discrimination. It occurs in relationships of power and control (faculty/student, staff/student, employer/employee) and arises in either of two ways:

  1. In quid pro quo situations, the aggressor uses his/her position as leverage to extort sexual contact from the victim in return for a promotion, a good grade, or even job security.
  2. In hostile environment claims, the victim is subjected to unwelcome sexual advances that are so severe or pervasive that they create a hostile, offensive working or learning environment.

Sexual harassment also exists between peers (student/student, faculty/faculty). Acts of harassment can range from verbal suggestion or innuendo to offensive physical contact. This includes sexual remarks, joking, sexual propositioning, pinching, grabbing, or fondling. Where physical abuse is involved, victims may pursue the aggressor in a criminal action. Victims of sexual harassment can take civil actions against employers and/or educational institutions, which may result in money damages.

Rape, sexual assault and sexual harassment are against the law and against St. John's Code of Student Rights and Responsibilities. Individuals found guilty of violating these policies will be suspended or expelled from this institution.

Behavior

Behavioral Facts
The rapist is always responsible for having committed the rape. Regardless of the victims' appearance, behavior, judgment or previous actions, the victim is not responsible for the rape or sexual abuse.

Forced sexual intercourse, whether by a friend or a stranger, is rape. Studies indicate that nearly 90 percent of college women who are raped know their assailant(s). Rape by someone the victim knows is particularly traumatic because their trust in others and in their own judgment may have been shattered.

Behavioral Guidelines
Do not make assumptions. Do not assume that the way a person dresses or acts is an invitation for sexual advances. A person may welcome some forms of sexual contact and be opposed to others. Do not assume that an individual's prior consent to some form of sexual contact in the past opens the door to any sexual contact in the present. 

Being under the influence of alcohol or other drugs is not an excuse for abusive behavior. This includes rape or sexual abuse.

A Clear Understanding of Consent Is Necessary

Lack of consent to a sexual act results from:

  • Forced compulsion including the use of physical force or threat (expressed or implied) which places the person in fear of immediate death or physical injury to self or another
  • Incapacity to consent; a person is deemed incapable of giving consent if they are:
    • Under the age of 17
    • Mentally incapacitated (temporarily incapable of controlling their own conduct owing to the influence of a narcotic or intoxicating substance)
    • Physically disabled
    • Physically helpless (unconscious or for any other reason physically unable to communicate unwillingness to act)

Trust your feelings. If you feel you are being pressured into unwanted sexual activity, or if you feel you are pressuring someone else, stop.

Sexual abuse happens by the choice of the abuser. Perpetrators must understand that their actions are destroying the dignity of another person. Such violations can and must be prevented through individual awareness and definitive campus community action.

Keep in mind:

  • Control: Meet new acquaintances in public places; always have alternative transportation to and from your destination.  Be aware of alcohol consumption yours and theirs. Trust your instincts; and try to identify the reason for feeling uneasy about a person or situation.
  • Communicate: Make your sexual limits known. If someone starts to offend you, be direct. Passivity may be wrongly interpreted as permission. Partners should be in touch with their feelings and be able to discuss those feelings with each other openly and clearly.
  • Concern: If you see a situation where an individual is either incapable of making a decision on their own or apparently being forced to do something, act to stop it.

Skits, which include examples of stalking, harassment, and acquaintance rape, are performed by upperclassmen during New Student Orientation. A question and answer period follows the performance of the skits.

Survivors: What to Do

After an attack it is natural for a person to be confused, frightened and angry. Emotions will run high and thinking will be at best confused. For your own sake, try to remain as calm as possible so as to think more clearly. Naturally you should try to get to a safe place and get help as soon as possible. Having insured your own safety, you should immediately contact Public Safety, a friend or loved one, and call the police or a rape crisis service.

Although you may feel like burning or destroying your clothing and washing yourself, you must remember that rape is a criminal attack and changing your physical condition may hurt the state's case for prosecution. This means not changing, washing, or destroying any clothing or washing any part of the body, not douching and not even combing your hair.

You may feel numb as to the goings on about you, but it is important to receive medical aid promptly. Emergency rooms and emergency medical personnel have been trained to secure evidence in the proper fashion. Not only can internal and external injuries be treated, but measures can be taken to combat possibilities of venereal disease and pregnancy.

If possible, the victim should try to write down all the recalled details about the incident. The following facts are often helpful for police investigations:

Who, What, When, Where, and How

  • What the rapist or assailant looked like and any vehicles used
  • What kind of force or coercion was used
  • Any objects touched, taken or left by the rapist or assailant
  • If the rapist or assailant said anything, try to remember the words, the grammar, any accents or speech defects
  • If there were possible witnesses, who and where might they be

It is important that you seek emotional support and professional counseling as well as medical attention. As in any crisis, the stress that the victim has endured will exhaust the ability to cope, and the aftereffects of this violation often develop later on in what has been termed a rape trauma syndrome. This syndrome includes a variety of debilitating difficulties commonly experienced by victims, which may not be evident until a point much later than the actual crime. Dealing with the battered victim's emotions is as important as any medical attention, which the victim may require, and the sooner the victim gets help, the better that individual will be able to cope and survive.

Helping a Friend

How to help a Friend Who Has Been Sexually Abused:

  • Believe your friend. Many people who have been sexually abused fear that no one will believe them or that their experience will be trivialized.
  • Let your friend be in control of the situation, i.e., deciding who is informed of the incident. Trust and control over your friend's life has been disturbed. She/he needs to regain control and needs to be able to trust you. Respect confidentiality.
  • Reassure your friend that she/he is not to blame.
  • Let your friend know you care. This may be the first time your friend has talked about the abuse.
  • Get help for yourself. You may feel the need to talk with someone about your own feelings and concerns.

Criminal Penalties

Criminal sex offenses are classified in degree according to the seriousness of the sexual activity, the degree of force used, the age of the victim, and the physical and mental capacity of the offender and victim. Criminal sex offenses range from Class A Misdemeanors, which are punishable by imprisonment of up to 6 months, to Class B Felonies which are punishable by imprisonment of up to 25 years. Monetary fines also may be imposed.

Campus Resources

Anyone who has been raped, sexually abused, or harassed or has been the victim of any crime should consider discussing the incident with a professional staff person listed below. This confidential discussion will give the opportunity to recount to a trained support person what has taken place and to discuss how best to proceed. This support person will discuss options for formal reporting procedures and available medical and counseling resources.

Queens Campus:

  • Associate Vice President and Dean of Students: 718-990-6774
  • Director, Counseling and Consultation Center: 718-990-6384
  • Director, Student Health Services: 718-990-6106
  • Assistant Director, Counseling and Consultation Center: 718-990-6384

Staten Island Campus:

  • Associate Director, Counseling and Consultation Center: 718-390-4452
  • Director, Student Health Services: 718-390-4447

Manhattan Campus:

  • Director, Student Life: 212-277-5170

University-Wide Contact:

  • Deputy Title IX Coordinator for Student Affairs: 718-990-6568

Community Resources

Queens:

  • Queens General Hospital: 718-883-3000
  • NYPD 107th Precinct: 718-969-5100
  • Victims Services: 718-291-2555
  • Services for Rape Victims: 516-222-2293

Staten Island:

  • NYPD 120th Precinct: 718-876-8500
  • St. Vincent's Hospital: 718-876-1234
  • Victim Services: 718-447-5454

Manhattan:

  • NYPD 1st Precinct: 718-334-0611
  • NYU Downtown Hospital: 212-312-5070
  • St. Luke's/Roosevelt Hospital - Crime Victim's Treatment Center: 212-523-4728
  • Victim Services Hotline: 212-577-7777
  • NYCPD Sex Crimes Report Line: 212-267-7273

Oakdale

  • NYPD 5th Precinct: 631-854-8500
  • Southside Hospital: 631-968-3000

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Sexual Assault Policy

Any sexual assault should be reported directly to Public Safety. Filing a report with a university officer will not obligate the victim to prosecute nor will it subject the victim to scrutiny or judgmental opinions from the officers. The University will also comply with a student’s request for assistance in notifying authorities of a sexual assault. Filing a report will:

  • Ensure that a victim receives the necessary medical treatment and tests
  • Provide the opportunity for collection of evidence
  • Assure the victim has access to free confidential counseling

University disciplinary proceedings as well as special guidelines for cases involving sexual misconduct are detailed in the Student Handbook, Chapter 6. The handbook delineates the rights of the both the accuser and accused and provides, in part, that the accused and the victim will each be allowed to have an advisor accompany them throughout the hearing.  Both the victim and accused will also be informed of the outcome of the hearing.

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Campus Security Report/Missing Student Procedures/Fire Prevention

Statistics are available for the present year and previous years concerning crimes that occurred on campus, in or on non-campus buildings or property, public property, or residence halls.

The Advisory Committee on Campus Safety will provide upon request all campus crime statistics as reported to the United States Department of Education.

You can view the University's campus crime statistics in the Annual Security and Fire Safety Report (PDF). This information is also available from the United States Department of Education online at www.ope.ed.gov/security. If you have any questions or require additional information, please contact Public Safety at 718-990-6281.

Procedures for reporting a missing student are available in the Annual Security and Fire Safety Report (PDF). Printed copies of the statistics and missing student procedures are available upon request from Public Safety at 718-990-6281.

Information on fire safety policies is located at Fire Safety.

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General Information on Campus Security

Advisory Committee on Campus Security

Each campus committee consists of a minimum of six members, at least half of whom are female; one-third of the committee is appointed by the Student Government of each campus, one-third is faculty members appointed by the faculty organization on each campus, and one-third is selected by the President of the University or his designee. The chair is the Chief Student Affairs Officer on each campus or their designee.  The committee reviews current campus security policies and procedures and makes recommendations for their improvement. The committee specifically reviews current policies and procedures for:

  • Educating the campus community, including Public Safety personnel and those persons who advise or supervise students about sexual assault, intimate partner violence, and stalking
  • Educating the campus community about personal safety and crime prevention
  • Reporting sexual assaults, intimate partner violence, and stalking and dealing with victims during investigations
  • Referring complaints to the appropriate authorities
  • Counseling victims
  • Responding to inquiries from concerned persons

Distribution of Security Information

In addition to this online guide, students may request a printed copy of this information. Information regarding campus security procedures can also be found in the the Human Resources Policy Manual and in Chapter Six of the Online Student Handbook. Campus security procedures are also addressed during the Summer Orientation for new students and for employees during orientation sessions for new employees.

Members of the campus community are notified of crimes considered to be a threat to student and/or employees that occur on campus or in the neighboring community of the respective campus by means of a special flyer with the heading Security Alert. This flyer can be posted on campus or sent through campus mail as a timely warning depending on the particular circumstances of the crime. Students and employees are encouraged to be responsible for their own security and for the security of others.

St John's University consists of four New York campuses which are not in a contiguous geographic area:

Queens Campus:
8000 Utopia Parkway
Jamaica, NY 11439

Staten Island Campus:
300 Howard Avenue
Staten Island, NY 10301

Manhattan Campus:
101 Astor Place
New York, NY 10003

Oakdale Campus:
500 Montauk Highway
Oakdale, NY 11769

The following are considered students at St. John's University: all matriculated graduate and undergraduate students; all non-matriculated graduate and undergraduate students; all students in special opportunity programs; and all senior citizens and others who are auditing a course. A prospective student is one who has requested information concerning admission to the University. St. John's University defines employees as all full-time, part-time, contract employees of the University.
A prospective employee is one who has requested information concerning an application for employment from the University.

Campus Security Statistics

Please see Public Safety.

Campus Security Authorities

Queens Campus
DepartmentLocationTelephone
Public SafetyROTC Building/McDonald CenterOffice: 718-990-6281
Emergencies: 718-990-5252
Dean of Student LifeBent Hall, Garden Level718-990-6774
Director of Residence LifeDonovan Hall, C-16718-990-2417

 

Staten Island Campus
DepartmentLocationTelephone
Public SafetySpellman Hall, 116Office: 718-390-4487
Emergencies: 718-390-4487
Director of Student LifeCampus Center, B-11718-390-4443
Dean of Residence LifeCampus Center718-390-3407

 

Manhattan Campus
DepartmentLocationTelephone
Public SafetySecurity Guard Desk212-277-5155
Director of Student Life 212-277-5172
Dean of Residence Life 212-277-5170

University Support Services

Queens Campus
DepartmentLocationTelephone
Department of Student LifeBent Hall, Garden Level718-990-6569
Student Health ServicesDaSilva Hall718-990-6360
Counseling and Consultation CenterMarillac Hall, 130718-990-6384
Campus MinistryMarillac Hall, Terrace718-990-6255

 

Staten Island Campus
DepartmentLocationTelephone
Department of Student LifeCampus Center, B-11 718-390-4443
Student Health ServicesCampus Center, B-17718-390-4447
Counseling and Consultation CenterMarillac Hall, 130718-390-4450
Campus MinistryNotre Dame House718-390-4477

 

Manhattan Campus
DepartmentLocationTelephone
Department of Student Life 212-277-5170

Local Treatment Facilities

Queens Area
NameLocationTelephone
New York Hospital Medical Center of Queens56-45 Main Street
Flushing, NY 11355
Intensive Outpatient: 718-670-1730
Treatmen and Detox: 718-670-1240
Elmhurst Hospital79-01 Broadway
Elmhurst, NY 11373
718-334-4000
O/P and Alcohol: 718-334-3906
Methadone Program: 718-334-3190
Queens Hospital Center82-68 164th St.
Jamaica, NY 11432
Alcohol Detox: 718-883-2730
HIV/AIDS Program: 718-883-2155
Long Island Jewish Medical Center-Family Services366 Jericho Turnpike
Mineola, NY 11501
Substance Abuse Services: 516-742-4015
Mercy Hospital100 North Village Ave.
Rockville Centre, NY 11570
Inpatient Alcohol Detox: 516-705-2525
Mercy Medical Center-Counseling Services385 Oak Street
Garden City, NY 11530
Drug and Alcohol Abuse: 516-745-1120
Nassau County Medical Center2201 Hempstead Tpke.
East Meadow, NY 11554
Alcohol and Drug Abus O/P Building K: 516-572-5906
Outreach Project Assessment Referral Units117-11 Myrtle Avenue
Richmond Hill, NY 11418
718-849-6300
South Oaks Addiction Recovery Service400 Sunrise Highway
Amityville, NY 11701
631-264-4000
Western Queens Alcoholism Services6207 Woodside Avenue
Woodside, NY 11377
718-898-5085

 

Staten Island Area
NameLocationTelephone
Silberstein Center-Saint Vincent's Catholic Medical Center427 Forest Avenue
Staten Island, NY 10301
718-876-2362
Daytop Village, Inc.1915 Forest Avenue
Staten Island, NY 10303
718-981-3136
Staten Island University Hospital Substance Abuse and Alcohol Services392 Seguine Avenue
Staten Island, NY 10309
Drugs, HIV, Women's Alcohol Program and Family Alcohol Program: 718-226-2752
Staten Island Mental Health Inc. Teen Program Alcoholism Program (12-21 years old and all children of alcoholics)14 Slosson Terrace
Staten Island, NY 10301
718-720-6727

 

Manhattan Area
NameLocationTelephone
Training Institute for Mental Health22 West 21st Street
New York, NY 10010
212-627-8181

 

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