Annual Campus Safety Report

Information on Campus Safety

This publication describes the policies and programs the College has developed to foster a safe and secure environment conducive to the pursuit of education and personal growth. Please review this information carefully. If you have any questions concerning safety and security, contact the Security department at 574-284-5000.


Access to Facilities and Residence Halls

Saint Mary’s College provides on-campus housing for approximately 1,300 students. The director of residence life and community standards coordinates the department. Staff includes residence hall directors, resident advisors, night assistants and student desk workers. The staff of full-time employees and student workers supports the safety and security programs in residence halls. Each resident hall has a front desk staffed 24 hours a day. A card access system restricts access to the private living areas of campus residents. In addition security officers make checks of all residence halls and administrative and academic facilities. Each year during staff orientation, all residence life staff are provided with appropriate instructions and training concerning safety, security, policies and procedures. This includes training of the resident assistants by Sex Offense Services (S.O.S.) personnel.

Additional information concerning residence life policies and procedure is available online or from the director of residence life and community standards.

Environmental and lighting concerns are monitored continually by the security department staff. Building services and maintenance department staff provide all services dealing with safety and security hazards that are structural or mechanical in nature.

The campus compliance officer and student government leaders conduct an annual safety survey of the campus in the fall semester. Safety improvement concerns and recommendations are then shared with the President’s Cabinet.


Crime/Emergency Reporting Procedure

To report a crime in progress or a medical emergency dial 9-1-1 from any campus phone or if outside you may use a campus (blue light) phone, by simply pushing the emergency button or dialing 9-1-1 to ring directly in to the 911 center. For non-emergencies dial 5000 to contact campus security.

Emergency telephones, signified by blue lights, are available at various locations on campus. These phones are equipped with a 911 emergency button along with a keypad to dial non-emergency numbers. If calling from another source (cell phone or non campus phone) dial 574-284-5000.

The security department encourages students, faculty staff and guests to report all criminal/suspicious activity to the department immediately at (574-284-5000. An officer will be dispatched to your location to take a report and to follow up on the incident. You may report crimes or suspicious activity anonymously online. If an incident occurs off campus, a report will need to be filed with the law enforcement agency having jurisdiction. The Saint Mary’s College security department will assist you in notifying the law enforcement agency with jurisdiction.


Public Safety

The security department under the administration of the vice president for student affairs, is responsible for campus security. The department, by Indiana Law and the board of trustees action may employ sworn security officer, but normally relies on state and local agencies for police services. The department employs security officers that provide security services 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. The department has a collaborative working relationship with the Saint Joseph County Sheriff’s police (primary police responder), the Indiana State, South Bend, Roseland, Mishawaka and the University of Notre Dame Police Departments, which are called upon occasionally to assist the College with investigations on reported crimes.

Local law enforcement:

  • Saint Joseph County Police 574-284-9611

  • Indiana State Police 574-546-9611

  • Notre Dame Security Police 574-631-5555

  • South Bend Police 574-235-9201

  • Mishawaka Police 574-258-1683

  • Saint Joseph County Prosecutor 574-235-9544

  • Roseland Police 574-272-6485


Timely Warning Procedure

In an effort to provide timely notification to the Saint Mary’s College community and provide information concerning any serious incident or event that poses an on-going threat, a blast email Crime Alert message is sent to all. The alerts are generally written by the Director of Security or his/her designee and are approved by the Vice President of Student Affairs. The Crime Alerts may be additionally posted on the Crime Alert page of the Security website or on flyers posted in residence hall locations and common areas of the campus identified in bold print to be Crime Alerts on colorful paper.


Crime Awareness and Campus Security

The College, in compliance with the Clery Act publishes this brochure yearly to provide students, faculty, staff and others with an overview of campus security, fire safety, emergency response and notification ( both timely warnings and immediate danger) as well as other available services, procedures and resources. The security department uses the FBI Uniform Crime Report (UCR) program, Hate Crime Data Collection and the National Incident-Based Reporting System guidelines and queries local law enforcement agencies to gather statistical information on crime occurring on and immediately adjacent to the campus. The statistical information is included in this crime awareness brochure. Additional information pertaining to campus safety and security programs can be obtained by contacting the director of security, the director of residence life and community standards, or the director of human resources. Disclosure of information regarding registered sex offenders can be obtained from the Indiana Sex and Violent Crime Registry at or through the Department of Corrections at  Dept. of Corrections inmate locator

Copies of the employee manual are available for review in the human resources office.


Emergency Response

The Saint Mary’s College “All Hazards Response Plan” (condensed version) can be viewed at the Security Web site. The full version of the "All Hazards Response plan" which includes emergency action plans, plus evacuation and shelter in place procedures, can be viewed on the Saint Mary's College intranet home site. You can find the full plan in downloadable PDF. form by clicking on the orange Emergency Crisis Procedures link.  A printed version of the plan distributed to college departments is also available for viewing. The College conducts numerous emergency response exercises each year which may include tabletop exercises, emergency notification system tests and drills. These tests are designed to assess and evaluate the emergency plans and capabilities of the institution.

Notification to the SMC Community about and Immediate Threat

Campus Security under the direction of the Vice President of Student Affairs is the first responding agency to campus emergencies. Incidents involving the need for emergency notification such as Tornado Warnings are issued by the security dispatch through the Blackboard-Connect-Ed time sensitive mass notification system. Other types of emergency are assessed and the Director of Security is contacted. In incidents where it is determined that a dangerous or emergency situation exists in which there is an immediate threat to the health or safety of some or all members of the SMC community an alert message will be sent by the Director of Security, the Vice President of Student Affairs or the Crisis Communications Team as identified in the “All Hazards Plan”. Depending on the severity of the incident other local, state or federal agencies may be called to assist.

Education of members of the SMC community

Campus security and fire safety procedures are discussed during new student and new employee orientation programs. Campus security, Women’s Health, Residence Life, and others from both on and off-campus partners coordinate and present numerous programs each year to students in residence halls on a variety of campus safety, crime prevention, fire safety, women’s health issues, alcohol and drug awareness programs and dating dangers to name some. Other programs of interest are encouraged and may be requested through hall directors. Students, faculty and staff are encouraged to become familiar with policies, procedures, crime tips, crime prevention, fire safety, health safety and incident specific protocols found in the “All Hazards Plan” and to become a safe campus partner responsible for your own personal safety and the safety of others.


Saint Mary’s College Missing Student Policy

As a caring and concerned community Saint Mary’s College strives to provide a safe environment. The College encourages well informed, safe, decision making. We understand the importance of quick action should a student be reported missing.

It is important that you keep the following in mind while conducting your daily routine:

  • Always be aware of your surroundings

  • Avoid traveling alone, especially at night, if possible

  • Be wary of strangers that approach you and try to keep a safe distance away

  • Never go off alone with someone you don’t know well

  • If you plan to meet someone that you don’t know well, do so in a public setting, arrive separately and let somebody know your whereabouts

  • Never give personal information such as where you live to someone you don’t know well

Important: We encourage you to share information with friends, family or hall staff when you are leaving campus. Sharing this information allows us to locate you should we need to.

Missing Student protocol: In the event a student is reported missing, College Security should be notified immediately at 574-284-5000. Security will respond to collect needed information such as when, where and what time the missing student was last seen and a description of her clothing at that time. The Director of security will be contacted and an attempt to locate the missing student will begin.

The Director of Security will contact the Vice President of Student Affairs and the Director of Residence Life and Community Standards. Emergency contact information on file with Student Affairs for the missing student will be given to the Director of Security.


Steps Taken by College Security:

  1. Local attempts to locate the missing student will be conducted through information gained from her friends.

  2. Emergency notification contact of the missing student’s family in a further attempt to locate the student will be done by the Director of Security, Vice President of Student Affairs or their designee

  3. Contact of Saint Joseph County Sheriff’s police at 574-235-9611 will be made and a formal police, “MISSING PERSONS”, report will be filed.

  4. Media Relations for the college will be advised of the missing student and all releases of information will be conducted through them.

  5. The Saint Mary’s College community will be informed of the missing student and requested to be on the lookout for her and to inform authorities if she is found or believed spotted.

Note: The Director of Security will continue to exhaust all means possible to locate the missing student while continually communicating and coordinating efforts with the investigating agency. Updates will be given to Media Relations as they become available.


Sexual Assault

It is a fact that rape and sexual assault occur on college campuses across the country. The highest rate of victimization occurs within the 16 to 24 age group. Rape or sexual assault may involve a stranger as the assailant. More frequently, the assailant is an acquaintance. This acquaintance may be a date, a friend or someone you have just met in a class, through a mutual friend or at a party. Rape and sexual assault are unacceptable behaviors on campus, off campus or anywhere in the community.

A danger for all college women is the availability of "date rape" drugs. When added to alcohol or soft drinks, these drugs cannot be detected as they are colorless, odorless and tasteless. These drugs impair their victims and leave them vulnerable. If you feel any of the following, tell someone and get to a safe place immediately: disproportionately intoxicated to the amount of alcohol consumed; inability to stay awake/sudden drowsiness; confusion/impaired judgment; dizziness/poor motor coordination; slowed heart rate. Some individuals have experienced coma or seizures. Death can occur from these drugs. Do not leave your drink unattended and do not accept a drink from another person.

Saint Mary's College is committed to maintaining an environment that provides education, support and timely information related to rape and sexual assault for all students, faculty and staff. The following information discusses prevention, reporting procedures and support services.


What Can I Expect From the SMC Security Department When I Report A Sexual Assault Or Rape?

  • When you report a sexual assault or rape to the Saint Mary's College security department, you will be cared for in a personal and private manner.

  • The officer will need some basic information about the incident, but you will not need to give details at this time. In an effort to protect you, we want to avioid having you repeat the incident unnecessarily.

  • The security officer or the dispatcher will contact the investigator, the director of security, and the Vice President for student affairs who will both respond.

  • If you are injured and need medical attention, you will be transported to the hospital of your choice for immediate care.

  • You will be asked if you would like to contact anyone (friend, family, counselor,s.o.s., etc.) or, if you prefer, we could contact someone for you.

  • The safety and security officer will stay with you until the investigator or the director security arrives.

  • The investigator or the director of safety and security will take your report in confidence and explain your legal and medical options.

  • If you choose to prosecute, the Saint Joseph County Police will be contacted and the investigator or director of security will assist the police department in the investigation.

  • Whether you choose to prosecute or not, it will be recommended that you complete a rape kit at the hospital, for future evidentiary use. This may be done under a "Jane Doe" alias, if you so wish, and should be completed as soon as possible after the assault. Never bathe or rinse your mouth out following an incident of this nature even though it will be the first thing you will want to do. Do not change or remove any clothing that you wore during or dressed in following the assault. This clothing may contain valuable evidence and will be collected at the hospital by trained staff. Any bedding or blankets that may contain evidence should be left in place to be collected by trained police investigators. If you are concerned about bedding evidence being lost or destroyed, you may collect it by folding it toward the center and placing the items in a paper bag or cardboard box.

  • The College is obligated by the Clery Act, to post a timely warning for the College community should it be determined that there is a continuing threat to the college community. The warning will never mention your name and is necessary to alert the community (students, faculty and staff of Saint Mary's college) that a crime has occurred and to exercise extra caution at all times. This process of providing a timely warning as directed by the Clery Act is not in any way meant to humiliate or revictimize the victim. We sincerely commit to being factual and sensitive with your information.

Sexual Assault: Attempting or making sexual contact, including but not limited to inappropriate touching or fondling, with another against the person's will or in circumstances where the person is physically, mentally or legally unable to give consent.

Rape: Penetration, no matter how slight of the vagina or anus  with any body part or object, or oral penetration by a sex organ of another person, without the consent of the victim. This deffinition includes either gender of victim or offender.  Sexual penetration means the the penetration no matter how slight, of the vagina or anus with any body part or object, or oral penetration by a sex organ of another person, or by a sex-related object.  This definition also includes instances in which the victim is incappable of giving consent because of temporary or permanent mental or physical incapacity (including due to the influence of drugs or alcohol) or because of age.  Physical resistance is not required on the part of the victim to demonstrate lack of consent.

Remember: Most rapes and sexual assaults are committed by someone the victim knows! Reporting these crimes will not only help the victim in the healing process, but provide society with accurate statistics of this unfortunate reality.

You can expect to be treated with respect, learn what your options are, and to be supported during this difficult time by all college staff.


Options for Discipline and Legal Recourse if Alleged Assailant is a Member of the Saint Mary's College Community

If a student (complainant) has been the victim of an act of violence (including sexual offenses) allegedly committed by a Saint Mary's student, the complainant has two options. The report filed internally with the security department will be investigated at the request of the victim. Once the investigation is complete the case will be forwarded to the director of residence life and and community standards. The director of residence life and community standards will ask the complainant if she wishes to have internal disciplinary proceedings brought.

The disciplinary sanctions available, should a student be found to have engaged in an act of violence, are the same as those available for any other violation of college policies, up to and including dismissal from school.

A victim may also seek to file criminal charges through the local police and the St. Joseph County Prosecutor's Office. This process is initiated by contacting Saint Mary's College safety and security department. If necessary, the appropriate police agency will be contacted. The safety and security department will provide transportation and assistance to any student wishing to file criminal charges.


Victim's Rights with Respect to Saint Mary's College Internal Disciplinary Procedures and Criminal Prosecution

A victim of an act of violence can expect the following rights to be honored with respect to internal disciplinary procedures at Saint Mary's College and criminal prosecution:

  1. The right to have the allegation treated seriously and with care.

  2. The right to be treated with dignity and respect.

  3. The right to have the allegation investigated by the appropriate agency.

  4. The right to pursue any and all avenues of redress.

  5. The same right as the accused to have an advisor present at the disciplinary hearing. The advisor may not be a party to the case and must be a member of the Saint Mary's College community.

  6. The right to be notified of the outcome of the disciplinary hearing, both for the accuser and the accused.

  7. The right to be informed of all of the College's resources.

  8. The right to reasonable action by the College to prevent unnecessary contact with the accused.

  9. A student who has been the victim of an alleged sexual assault has the option to request a change in academic and living situations. These requests will be communicated to the vice president for student affairs and will be accommodated whenever possible within the scope of the College's policy and resources.


Options for Discipline and Legal Recourse if Alleged Assailant is a Member of the Notre Dame Community

Should the alleged assailant be a student at the University of Notre Dame, the victim may file a complaint with the University of Notre Dame Security/Police Department. The Department of Residence Life and Housing at the University of Notre Dame will be notified and will pursue on-campus disciplinary charges through Notre Dame's internal disciplinary process.

To pursue criminal charges, contact should first be made with the Saint Mary's College security department. The department will assist the student to contact the St. Joseph County Prosecutor's Office and the appropriate police agency (the St. Joseph County Sheriff's Department, South Bend City Police Department, Roseland Police Department, Mishawaka Police Department, Notre Dame Police Department or the Indiana State Police).

No one should be forced, coerced or manipulated into unwanted sexual activity. Sometimes acquaintance rape is a pattern for the assailant. Victims are always encouraged to report information. In this way, appropriate steps can be taken to determine whether a pattern exists and to deter future assaults. However, the decision to report an incident rests with the victim. No member of administration or faculty can or will force a student into any specific course of action.

If a Saint Mary's student is the victim of a sexual assault and is pursuing disciplinary action through the University of Notre Dame, she may contact the Saint Mary's director of residence life and community standards for assistance. The director will provide the student with information and assistance in following steps involved in the University of Notre Dame judicial process. In addition, a student may also receive assistance from a resource person for victims of sexual assault at the University of Notre Dame. The resource person can be contacted through the Office of Residence Life and Housing at the University of Notre Dame, 631-5551.

Support Services

Should a Saint Mary's student be the victim of rape or sexual assault, the following several steps are important in beginning the process of recovery:

Campus Ministry - The trauma of rape or sexual assault often causes a student to doubt herself, others, and God. Rape or assault calls into question issues of trust and heightens her feelings of fear. The members of Campus Ministry are available to provide a safe place to listen and discuss the incident, to offer referrals and accompany the victim if she wishes, and to provide the opportunity for spiritual healing during this very difficult time. The Campus Ministry staff respects confidentiality.

Women's Health/Counselors - Because the experience of rape and sexual assault involves a sense of powerlessness, loss of control, and traumatic violence, licensed professional counselors work to provide each student with a safe, calm and confidential environment. The victim can expect the counselor to listen, be understanding, be patient, and help the student to know it was not her fault. Adequate time will be provided for talking through her experience and concerns. The student will be encouraged to set her own pace in this process. Some students wait a long time before they tell any one about their assault. Students will receive the same care and support whether the assault happened yesterday or last year.

The need for medical attention is important. Counselors will discuss the importance of physical well-being and the benefit of immediate medical care for sexual assault. The victim will receive assistance in arranging these services and in accessing transportation, and will be encouraged to have a friend or counseling staff member accompany her.

A counselor will support the victim's need to regain control of her life by letting her make medical, reporting and notification decisions. Because working through options takes time, continued support will be available through ongoing meetings with the victim's counselor. Decision-making and recovery are a process. The timetable is different for each person. Throughout the process, students will be encouraged to develop and use personal sources of emotional support via trusted friends and family as well as Saint Mary's offices of Campus Ministry, Residence Life and other individuals she selects.

All students are encouraged to report incidents to the Saint Mary's College security department. A counselor offers assistance in making arrangements to file a report and will accompany the student to the meeting if she wishes. The Women's Health staff does not file a formal detailed report with the College at the time of the event. Rather, the counselor maintains the student's communication as confidential, as required by Indiana state statute, and encourages the student to report the incident directly.

Women's Health Center - As has been stated before, medical attention is imperative in cases of rape or sexual assault. Even if you elect not to pursue internal disciplinary proceedings, file a criminal charge, or file a formal report, it is important to seek treatment for potential sexually transmitted diseases or injuries that may not be outwardly apparent.

The medical staff of Women's Health is available to provide a student with the medical testing and treatment of minor injuries within their scope of responsibility. The staff will assist in facilitating treatment of other medical needs arising from an assault. The staff is also available for follow-up services. The Women's Health staff respects confidentiality.

The staff will file the appropriate mandated incident report without providing any identifying information as required by the Clery Act for those crimes including rape and sexual assault which are committed on property owned or controlled by or immediately adjacent to Saint Mary's College.

Residence Life - The RL hall directors are on-call through a pager system from 5:00 p.m. - 8:00 a.m. Monday through Thursday and 5:00 p.m. Friday through 8:00 a.m. Monday. The resident advisors and the front desk staff in each hall are aware which hall director is on-call. In the event a resident advisor or front desk staff member at a residence hall is told or becomes aware of an act of violence, she will page the on-call hall director immediately.

In the instance of a sexual assault or other emergency situation, the hall director will request an ambulance if needed. It is the policy of Saint Mary's security to dispatch an ambulance whenever one is requested. If it is not an emergency, the hall director can contact security to provide transportation to the hospital. The hall director does not necessarily have to be on the scene to authorize such transport. Security will also bring the student back to campus if requested to do so by the student or hall director.

The hall director or resident advisor is available to accompany a student to the hospital at the request of the student.



Emergency (Police, Fire, Medical) 9-1-1
Security (24 hours) 574-284-5000
Student Affairs 574-284-4571
Residence Life 574-284-4522
Women’s Health 574-284-4805
Campus Ministry 574-284-5391
Human Resources 574-284-4542
Sex Offense Services (S.O.S.) Crisis Line 574-289-HELP
S.O.S. Office line (Open 8 a.m.- 5 p.m.) 574-283-1308
Saint Joseph Medical Center 574-237-7264

Belles Against Violence Office (BAVO)      574-284-4081



Substance Abuse

The Higher Education Act 120(A) - (D) requires that institutions of higher education adopt and implement programs to prevent the use of illicit drugs and the abuse of alcohol by students and employees.

Indiana state law prohibits those who are under 21 years of age from buying, consuming or possessing alcoholic beverages. Only those students who are 21 years of age or older are permitted to possess or consume alcohol on the campus.

The College prohibits the unlawful manufacture, distribution, possession, sale or use of illegal drugs or controlled substances without a prescription on campus. Violation of this policy is handled according to guidelines set forth in the student code of conduct or employee handbooks and will result in disciplinary action as well as possible legal consequences.

Students or employees seeking information or assistance with an alcohol or drug-related problems may consult staff members of Women's Health services, Residence Life, or Campus Ministry. College employees can receive assistance through the College's Employee Assistance Program with complete assurance of confidentiality and concern.


Weapons (Firearms)

The possession, carrying, and use of firearms, ammunition or other dangerous weapons or explosives is prohibited on College-owned or controlled property. The only exception is for safety and security department officers authorized by the College. Failure to comply with the College's policy will result in disciplinary action up to expulsion and termination as set forth in the student and employee handbook, as well as possible legal recourse.


Student and Staff Responsibility

The security department maintains a "Together for a Safe Campus" program. To make our campus as safe as possible, the entire campus community's cooperation and involvement in this program is absolutely necessary. Students, faculty, and staff must assume responsibility for their own safety and for the security of their personal belongings:

  • Valuable items should be marked and the description and serial number recorded on the property inventory form contained in the safety and security department's "Protect Your Property" brochure.

  • Students should always lock their room door when the room is not occupied and always after dark and throughout the night.

  • Bicycles must be registered with the safety and security department and secured with a sturdy lock.

  • Those students with cars must register them with the safety and security department and park them in student parking areas. Students should also keep their vehicles locked with valuables out of sight.

  • Students and College employees should immediately report to the safety and security department any unusual incidents or suspicious individuals who do not seem to belong in campus buildings or on campus grounds.

  • Students should attend all education programs designed to help protect each community member from being victimized.

  • Individuals are strongly encouraged to use the security department's escort service on campus and the inter-campus shuttle bus service after dark. The stranded student program is also available if a student fears for her safety off campus and does not have the means to get back to campus safely.

  • I.C.E. program: Emergency responders nationally are trained to search for emergency contact information on victims of crime or accidents. It is recommended that you enter contact information, on your cell phone, under the name of I.C.E. or carry documentation, at all times, indicating who you would like contacted in an emergency.