Chatham University

Policies

Campus Housing

Chatham provides on-campus housing to undergraduate and graduate students. Undergraduate housing consists of four student residence halls, Fickes, Rea, Laughlin and Woodland, that offer single, double, triple and quad rooms and the Chatham Apartments, which offers 3-person apartments on 5th Avenue bordering the main part of campus. Graduate and Gateway students can reside in the one and two-bedroom Chuang, Pelletreau, Linzer, Hickes, Haber and Duplex Apartments located on 5th Avenue, bordering campus.

All residence halls and apartments are locked at all times, and students are issued an id/access control card that controls access to the Resident Halls and Chatham, Chuang, Linzer, and Pelletreau Apartments and keys to access the Hickes and Haber apartments. During the winter break and during the summer, the Access Control System deactivates all card access to the Resident Halls, Chatham, Chuang, Linzer, and Pelletreau Apartments except those that are authorized to enter. Students are educated as to the importance of safeguarding their id cards and room keys as well as the need to properly secure all doors and windows. All students are expected to sign in their guests, and non-Chatham visitors are not allowed into the residence halls unless accompanied by a Chatham resident and signed into the guest book. Overnight visitors are permitted, for up to three consecutive nights, with the exception of fall semester first-year students who are not permitted overnight guests until the first Friday in December. Every individual student room has locks on all doors and windows. Each student is issued a key to their individual room. During business hours, the University (excluding the above mentioned residence halls and apartments) will be open to students, parents, employees, contractors, guests and invitees. During non-business hours, access to all University facilities is by key, if issued, or by admittance via the campus police. Campus police will admit only those with a valid room access pass.

Residence Life staff members work in cooperation with Public Safety as well as Facilities Management to provide a safe and secure living environment for all residents. The Director of Residence Life manages the residential program with the assistance of professional, full time Area Coordinators and part time professional Graduate Resident Directors who live in the residence halls. For more information on the staff in the residence halls, please see: www.chatham.edu/campuslife/residentlife/.

The Director of Residence Life manages the residential program with the assistance of the professional and paraprofessional staff. The professional staff is comprised of Assistant Director of Residence Life and Residence Life Coordinator.  The paraprofessional staff is comprised of Graduate Resident Directors who live in the residence halls sharing responsibility for the well being of all residents. Each residence hall is managed by a Graduate Resident Director (GRD) who is available to provide counseling and advice, to advise the Resident Hall Council (RHC), to supervise the Resident Assistants (RA’s) within the building, to manage facilities, to enforce community standards, and to provide emergency coverage to address other major issues within the residence halls. Professional staff members work in cooperation with Public Safety as well as Facilities Management to provide a safe and secure living environment for all residents.

All students receive a copy of the Chatham Student Handbook, which describes all residence hall policies and procedures. In addition, all residence halls have periodic meetings during which these policies are reviewed and clarified. When appropriate, additional notices are distributed and posted to remind students of particular regulations.

 

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Alcohol and Drug Regulations

The Student Handbook, issued to every student, contains the complete policy on the possession and use of alcohol and drugs. In brief, Chatham University supports the Pennsylvania State Law concerning the purchase, sale, possession, and consumption of alcohol and drugs. All students are obligated to abide by these laws; any infraction makes them liable for punitive action from the state. The University will not be responsible for, nor offer protection to, a student’s violation of these laws. In addition, the University expects students to refrain from involving themselves and others in any violation of these laws.

Unless authorized by the President, alcoholic beverages are not permitted at any student function at the University sponsored by a recognized student, group, or organization. Likewise, no University funds, including student activity fees, are to be spent on alcohol by student groups or organizations or other representatives, unless authorized by the office of the President.

The University has developed a program to prevent the illicit sale or use of drugs and the abuse of alcohol by students and employees. The program provides services related to drug use and abuse including dissemination, or information materials, educational programs, counseling services, referrals and University disciplinary actions.

 

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Sexual Assault Policy

Chatham University prohibits members of the Chatham University community or anyone on the University campus to commit acts of sexual assault. The University reaffirms the principle that students, faculty, and staff have a right to be free from any form of sexual offense, both forcible and non-forcible. Sexual offenses are unacceptable and will not be tolerated. They are also unlawful.

Sexual assault is defined as threats or deliberate physical contact of a sexual nature, which is forced, coerced and/or without consent. Such consent may be withdrawn at anytime; without regard to activity proceeding the withdrawal of consent. This includes but is not limited to rape, involuntary deviate sexual intercourse, aggravated indecent assault, indecent assault, sexual touching, or any conduct of a sexual nature which threatens or endangers a persons mental or physical health or safety, or the well being of any person by a person(s) known or unknown to the victim.

The University reaffirms the principle that all persons have a right to be free from any form of sexual assault, both forcible and non-forcible. The University is committed to addressing the issue of sexual assault on campus in both a proactive and reactive manner. The University has adopted the following policy statement regarding sexual assault procedures to be employed once a sex offense has occurred:

Anyone who believes a sexual offense may have occurred is strongly encouraged to report the matter promptly and preserve any evidence intact. Students, who believe they have been sexually assaulted, may seek assistance by contacting any of the following: the Public Safety Department, residence staff members, Student Affairs Office, and /or any hospital or other medical facility. Employees should contact the Director of Human Resources or the Office of the Vice President for Finance and Administration.

Community members also have the option to notify the Pittsburgh Police Department regardless of any other action taken or anticipated on campus. The police officers from the Public Safety Department or the professional staff from the Office of Student Affairs will, upon the student's request, assist in reporting an incident to the Pittsburgh Police Department.

By reporting the assault immediately and preserving evidence the assaulted person will have the foundation in place for prosecution if she/he chooses to press charges. If the assaulted person decides to prosecute, the report may be helpful to authorities in identifying the offender.

In the event of an alleged sexual assault on campus, one of the following procedures may occur:

If the complaint is against a student, the person filing the complaint should contact the Vice President for Student Affairs/Dean of Student Affairs. The campus judicial system is outlined in the student handbook. The professional staff from the Office of Student Affairs will assist any community member in filing internal charges against a student within the student conduct board system.
If the complaint is against a member of the faculty or staff, the person filing the complaint should contact the Director of Human Resources or the Vice-President of Finance and Administration.
Any community member may file a report of a sexual assault with the campus police. Filing the report does not require the complainant to prosecute through external criminal justice system and/or internal judicial system.
These procedures are designed to ensure equal opportunity for both accuser and the accused. During any hearing, both the accuser and the accused may also present witnesses and be assisted by members of the University community.

Complaints of sexual assault will be responded to promptly and equitably. The right to confidentiality of all members of the University community will be respected, insofar as possible. Retaliation against individuals bringing complaints of sexual assault is specifically prohibited.

Possible sanctions for students found guilty of sexual assault including rape, acquaintance rape, or other forcible or non-forcible sex offenses may include: possible transfer of residence, removal of residence privileges on campus, restricted access to specified buildings, events or areas of the campus, suspension or dismissal from the University.

Possible sanctions for a faculty or staff member found guilty of sexual assault may include transfer of position, restricted access to specific buildings, events or areas of campus, suspension without pay, or termination of employment.

After reporting a sexual assault, Chatham will change a student victim's academic or living situation after an alleged sexual offense, if the changes are requested by the victim and are reasonably available. The student may seek assistance from the Vice President of Student Affairs or the assistant to the Dean of Academic Affairs.

It should also be understood that (as with any crime) if charges of sexual offense are prosecuted, criminal penalties could result as well as sanctions imposed by the University. In any campus disciplinary proceeding, all parties are informed of the outcome of their case, including any sanctions.

Any individual, who feels that a sexual assault complaint did not receive prompt and equitable response, after pursing the procedures previously described, should contact the Office of the President.

Students will be notified of existing on and off-campus counseling, mental health or other student services that are available for sex offense victims. Counseling services can be reached at (412) 365-2973

Programs

Sexual assault awareness and prevention programming will be conducted throughout the academic year. The programming will be conducted in conjunction with the Office of Student Affairs and the Public Safety Department.

Procedures

All sexual assault incidents must be reported to the Public Safety Department; however, the confidentiality of the victim is always the primary concern. The reporting of the incident does not necessitate that either internal or external judicial proceedings occur, but reporting the incident meets the requirements of the laws.

In the event of an internal Judicial procedure

  • the accuser and the accused are entitled to the same opportunities to have others present during a disciplinary proceeding;
  • the accuser and the accused must be informed of the outcome of any institutional disciplinary proceeding alleging a sex offense; and
  • a victim cannot be required to sign a nondisclousure agreement or to otherwise agree to a prohibition from discussing the case.

Additional information concerning sexual assault policies is available through the Office of Student Affairs or the Public Safety Department.

What is sexual assault?

Sexual assault occurs when a person is forced into sexual contact without consent.

  • It is a crime of power, committed to hurt and humiliate the victim.
  • It can be violent, involving weapons or psychological pressure.
  • Sexual assault can happen to anyone, male or female; anytime, day or night; anyplace, at home, school or anywhere.
  • The perpetrator could be anyone: acquaintance, date, friend, spouse, relative or stranger.
 

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Sex Offender Registration

In accordance with the “Campus Sex Crimes Prevention Act of 2000,” the Chatham University Public Safety department is providing a link to the Pennsylvania State Police Sex Offender registry. The Pennsylvania State Police are responsible for maintaining this registry. Access the website at: http://www.pameganslaw.state.pa.us.

 

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Statement Addressing Counselors

Pastoral Counselors and/or Professional Counselors, when acting as such, are considered to be a campus security authority. The Pastoral Counselors and/or Professional Counselors can file a crime report on the details of a criminal incident without revealing your identity.

 

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Confidential Reporting

If you are the victim of a crime and do not want to pursue action within the University system or the criminal justice system, you may still want to consider making a confidential report. With your permission, the Director or a designee of the Chatham University Public Safety department can file a report on the details of the incident without revealing your identity.

 

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Missing Person

In the event that a person is missing more than 24 hours or less than 24 hours as notes below, the campus police will be notified. Campus police will comply with the following:

  1. Campus police will interview the person making the complaint in order to obtain the information to determine the reason the complainant is reporting the person missing.
  2. Campus police will gather all essential information about the person including clothing description, where/when subject was last seen, who they may be with, vehicle description, etc.
  3. Campus police will also gather information about the physical and mental well being of the individual.
  4. A quick, but thorough search will be conducted in all campus buildings and parking lots.
  5. If the missing person is a student, the student’s room will be checked and Student Affairs notified. If the missing person is a faculty or staff member, their office/department will be checked and Academic Affairs or Human Resources will be notified.
If the above actions are unsuccessful in locating the person or it is apparent from the beginning that the person is actually missing or the situation includes one or more of the following unusual “at-risk” circumstances:
  • Missing person is under 18
  • Out of the zone of safety for his or her age and physical and mental condition
  • Mentally diminished
  • Drug dependent
  • A potential victim of foul play or sexual exploitation
  • In a life-threatening situation
  • Absent from home for more than 24 hours before being reported to a law enforcement agency as missing
  • Believed to be with a person who could endanger his or her welfare
  • Is absent under circumstances inconsistent with established patterns of behavior

The campus police will not wait 24 hours but will immediately request assistance from the Pittsburgh Police in order to make entry into the Unidentified Persons File through the Commonwealth Law Enforcement Assistance Network (CLEAN) in accordance with Pennsylvania State Police policy and procedures. If appropriate, an AMBER Alert will be issued and/or other immediate community notification methods, if available will be activated.

Students may file an emergency contact person with the campus police. This information will be kept confidential.

Students under 18 and not emancipated will require the notification of a custodial parent or guardian.

 

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Emergency Notification System

In the event of an emergency on the campus, large scale emergency or disaster off campus, severe weather condition, or other event or emergency that could have an effect on the operations of the University and/or effect the safety of our community members, the emergency notification system will be used to communicate important information/instructions to our community members. Only the President, President’s Council Members, Vice President of Finance and Administration, Director of Facilities Management, and/or Director of Public Safety can authorize the activation of the emergency notification system.

E2campus – a web based system that allows community members to sign up so they can receive urgent text messages from the University on their cellular telephone, mobile device, or email. Signing up for this program is mandatory for students. This system is activated through the campus police.

Chapel Bells – the Chapel bells have the ability to act like an “air raid” siren system. The system uses three types of alerts. An “alert horn” will be sounded to alert all community members to go to a classroom, office, room, etc. and lock themselves in (“lock down”), a “siren” will be sounded to alert community members to seek shelter either in the lowest part of a building or the center part of a building, and a “bell” will be sounded as an “all clear.” This system is activated through the campus police.

Voicemail – a voicemail message will be send to all campus telephones that are on the University’s telephone system. This system will be activated through the campus police.

Email – an email message will be sent to all campus email address. This system will be activated through the campus police.

Telephone Switchboard – in the event that nobody is available to answer the University’s main switchboard, a message will be placed on the telephone switchboard. This process will be completed by campus police.

Home Page – a message will be placed on the University’s home page. This process will be completed by the Information Technology Department.

 

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General Procedures for Reporting a Crime or Emergency

Community members, students, faculty, staff, and guests are encouraged to report all crimes and public safety related incidents to the Chatham University Police Department (“CUPD”) in a timely manner.

To report a crime or an emergency, call the CUPD at 412-365-1111. To report a non-emergency security or public safety related manner, call the CUPD at 412-365-1230.

Campus Police are available at these respective telephone numbers 24 hours a day to answer your call. In response to a call, the CUPD will take the required action, dispatching an officer or asking the victim to report to the CUPD to file an incident report.

All incident reports are forwarded to the Director of Public Safety for review and potential action, Investigators will investigate a report when it is deemed appropriate. If assistance is required from the Pittsburgh Police Department, the CUPD will contact that Department. If a sexual assault or rape should occur, staff on the scene, including the CUPD, will offer the victim a wide variety of services, including Crisis Consultation by trained individuals who are available to assist a victim.

Crimes should be reported to the CUPD to ensure inclusion in the annual crime statistics and to aid in providing timely warning notices to the community, when appropriate.

 

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