Security Report

The 2014 Annual Security Report, issued in compliance with the Campus Security Act of 1990, is available to every student and employee of the College. It is also available to prospective employees or students upon request. It spells out policies and procedures which address the security needs of our community and includes a record of the F.B.I. index of leading crimes that have occurred on campus and the adjacent public streets to the campus.

Reporting Crimes

All members of the College community who are victims of or witnesses to a criminal incident on campus or in the immediate area of the College are urged to report the crime immediately to the Office of Campus Safety and Security staff of the College or to the municipal police agencies responsible for our area.

The Office of Campus Safety and Security obtains from the relevant police department a complete and accurate account of the crime and provides that information to the administration as quickly as possible. Depending on the severity of the incident, the administration may hold meetings to clarify the report to the College community. A timely warning sent via the Send Word Now® notification system will be issued by the Director of Campus Safety and Security or designee to apprise members of the College community of an emergency or dangerous situation that could affect the safety of the community.

The Send Word Now® system will notify all registered users by telephone, text message, and email of the pertinent information. Advisory notices, sent through campus mail, posters in residence halls, and campus buildings, are used to convey accurate accounts of incidents and relevant preventive measures that can be taken by the community. When appropriate, meetings with the Director of Campus Safety and Security, administrators, staff, and students will provide up-to-date information on the direction and scope of the police investigations.

Missing Student Notification Procedure
When a student has been missing for 24-hours it will be reported to Campus Safety and Security directly or through the Office of the Vice President of Student Affairs/Dean of Students, Residence Life, or any other campus authority. It should be noted that the notification can be made prior to 24-hours if the circumstances dictate. The 50th Precinct will then be notified and will respond to conduct an investigation into the whereabouts of the student. Campus authorities will cooperate and assist in the investigation.

Emergency Call Boxes
Three 24-hour emergency call boxes can be used to contact Security Personnel at the Main Gate booth. A blue locator light and sign are above each box to facilitate the location of the boxes after dark.

The call boxes can be found at the following locations on campus:

  • Villa Lot (West Side)
  • Rear of Science Hall
  • 261st St. Entrance to Marillac Lot

To use the call boxes, open the box lid and push the “call” button. The phone will ring and be answered by the Officer at the Main Gate booth. State your location and the problem, and the Campus Safety and Security supervisor will be directed to respond at once to your location.

Emergency call phones are located at the entrances of:

  • Founders Hall (Porch Entrance)
  • Marillac Hall
  • Spellman Hall
  • Alumnae/Mastronardi Halls
  • Seton Hall
  • Peter Jay Sharp Athletic and Recreation Center.

After 12 midnight, seven days a week, Campus Safety and Security Personnel equipped with a portable radio system are assigned to the main lobbies of all four residence halls. Campus Safety and Security officers on motor and/or foot patrol will also respond to any report of criminal activity. Student escorts are provided by security officers on motor patrol to assure their safety when moving about the campus during late hours.

Emergency Response and Evacuation Procedures

In the event of a significant emergency or dangerous situation that endangers the health or safety of the campus community, a timely warning to the community will be issued by the Director of Campus Safety and Security or designee via the Send Word Now® notification system. The notification will be issued after conferral with the executive staff and emergency personnel. The content of the notification will take into account its effect upon the rendering of assistance to victims and the efforts to mitigate the emergency.

The initial responding campus Security Personnel will make the initial assessment of the situation, notify and assist the proper emergency authorities, and notify the Director of Campus Safety and Security.

Notifications in the Event of an Emergency

  • President’s Office – (718) 405-3233
  • Provost/Dean of Faculty – (718) 405-3343
  • Senior Vice President for Institutional Advancement and College Relations – (718) 405-3236
  • Vice President for Operations – (718) 405-3400
  • Vice President for Student Affairs – (718) 405-3227
  • Vice President for Information and Technology – (718) 405-3280
  • Facilities – (718) 405-3239 or (718) 405-3279

If the evacuation of a building or buildings is necessary it will be directed and coordinated by the Incident Commander (Director of Campus Safety and Security or the initial responding campus security supervisor) in cooperation with the responding emergency personnel. Send Word Now® messages will provide specific directions. If a campus wide evacuation is deemed necessary the 261 Street exit will be opened, and the evacuees will be directed by either campus security or first responders to one of two short-term relocation sites: The Hebrew Home of Riverdale or Saint Margaret’s parish. A communications center will be established at either the Grace Center or Hudson Heights. Everyone will remain at the relocation site until it is deemed safe by the Director of Campus Safety and Security after conferral with the appropriate responding emergency personnel.

If relocation is deemed necessary by the Director of Campus Safety and Security/designee after conferral with the proper emergency response authority, all persons will be directed by Campus Safety and Security to the Grace Center or Hudson Heights. A Command Post will be set up there to maintain communications with first responders.

Shelter in Place
A Shelter in Place drill is conducted during the fall and spring semesters. Prior notice is given to the Mount community via the College broadcast email system and Send Word Now®. When an order to shelter in place is issued by the Director of Campus Safety and Security, all persons must:

  • Immediately stop class, work, and business operations
  • Stay within the room you are in and lock any windows or doors
  • Close window blinds and turn off lights
  • Barricade door with furniture if possible
  • Remain quiet, put cell phones in silent mode
  • Get down to the ground away from windows
  • If outdoors, get indoors
  • Remain sheltered in place until directed by first responders and/or campus Security

Access Policy

During business hours the College campus, except for housing facilities, will be open to students, parents/guardians, employees, contractors, guests, and invitees.

During non-business hours, access to the campus grounds by members of the local community is permitted as long as they do not pose a threat to the security requirements of our College and as long as their behavior is in keeping with the academic environment.

Guests and invitees are permitted on campus to attend College functions. Individuals entering campus buildings must have a valid reason for doing so, such as conducting College business, using the College library, or visiting residents during established visitation periods.

Campus Entrance
The College has one vehicular and pedestrian entrance at West 263rd Street, which is staffed by Security 24-hours a day, 365 days a year. The perimeter of the property is fenced and a gate at West 261st Street can be opened to allow entrance and egress to emergency vehicles.

Access to Residence Halls
When open, all residence hall entrances are staffed from 8 p.m.-7 a.m. by personnel directed by the Office of Housing and Residence Life or the Office of Campus Safety and Security. Every other entrance/exit is locked and alarmed.

All visitors must be signed into any residence hall by the resident host, and must present valid photo identification, such as a driver’s license or college identification card in order to enter. A record of all visitors is maintained at the front desk of each residence hall. Anyone found in the residence halls who has not properly registered at the front desk will be required to leave immediately.

In order to correct hazards such as poor lighting, faulty locks, broken windows, and other conditions that may have an impact on campus safety and security, the Office of Campus Safety and Security prepares periodic maintenance and security hazard forms for the reporting of such hazards to the Facilities Department. Security officers also prepare periodic reports to notify the administration of physical hazards, such as overgrown shrubbery, insufficient lighting, or needed improvements in the perimeter fencing.

Enforcement Policy
The enforcement power of the Security staff is essentially the same as that of a private citizen in that they do not have peace officer status. Since they do not have full authority to make an arrest, the Security Department engages the cooperation of the three municipal police agencies in our area: the New York City Police Department, the Yonkers Police Department, and the MTA Police. These agencies have helped immeasurably in our effort to provide the College with an effective security system.

Frequent conferrals are conducted between the Director of Campus Safety and Security and the Commanding Officers of the 3rd Precinct in Yonkers and the NYPD 50th Precinct in Riverdale regarding any safety or security concerns.

These police agencies are encouraged by the College to maintain an unobtrusive presence on our campus. They consistently respond to our needs by providing a professional supportive role in our campus security operation.

Students and employees are instructed to notify the Office of Campus Safety and Security or the municipal police agency immediately if they are the victim in a criminal incident on campus or in the area surrounding the College. They are advised to notify Security when police have been called to campus, so that Security Personnel can expedite the response of the police and assist in the investigation of the crime.

The Security staff is responsible for obtaining an accurate account of the incident, preparing the initial report, and notifying the Director of Campus Safety and Security, who prepares the detailed crime report for the College administration.

Crime Prevention Efforts

The orientation program for incoming students and their parents/guardians includes a presentation by the Director of Campus Safety and Security that provides an overview of security measures that are in place on campus. In addition, employees and students are informed of crime prevention methods on the website and in the Student Handbook.

Periodic Operation Identification programs are conducted on campus by police officers from the 50th Precinct. During these operations members of the Mount Community are afforded the opportunity to register their electronic devices with the NYPD to aid in the return of their device in the event of theft or loss.

The Security Staff and the Residence Life staff participate in joint training sessions which include discussions of the importance of prompt reporting of criminal activity and preventive measures to improve the safety and security of our campus. The College’s Committee on Campus and Student Life also meets to address security issues.

For more information, please view the 2013 Crime Statistics.

Alcohol and Drugs Policy

The College of Mount Saint Vincent seeks to uphold all local, state, and federal statutes regarding the use, sale, service, or manufacturer of alcohol. To assure compliance with New York State Law, permission to serve alcohol at student social events is given only on an individual basis, event by event, after review by the Director of Student Activities, Leadership, and Commuter Life in conjunction with the Vice President of Student Affairs/Dean of Students.

Alcohol Policy
Students under the age of 21 are not permitted to possess, purchase, sell, or consume alcoholic beverages on College property. Students 21 years of age and over are permitted to consume alcohol in areas designated for this use. No alcohol is permitted inside the residence halls where the majority of the residents are under the age of 21.

Drug Policy
Any possession, use, sale, manufacturer, or distribution of illegal or controlled substances on College property is a violation of the College’s Drug Policy. Likewise, students who are knowingly present where illegal substances are kept or deposited or who are in the company of any person, knowing said person is in possession of illegal or controlled substances or drug paraphernalia, are in violation of this policy.

Education, Counseling, and Treatment
Students seeking assistance with drug or alcohol dependency or related problems should contact the Counseling Center for evaluation and referral.

Policy on Sexual Misconduct

Standard of Conduct
The College seeks to uphold all local, state, and federal statutes regarding rape and date rape. In New York, sexual assault is when a person engages in sexual intercourse or deviant intercourse (sodomy or foreign objects) with a person without their consent and/or when a person engages in “sexual contact” (the touching of the sexual or other intimate parts of either party for the purpose of gratifying sexual desire of either party) without the consent of the victim.

Consent is granted only when a person freely, actively, and knowingly agrees at the time to participate in a particular sexual act with another person. Consent exists when mutually understandable words and/or actions demonstrate a willingness to participate in a mutually agreed upon activity at every stage of that activity. Consent can be verbally or non-verbally withdrawn by either party at any stage of the activity. Consent cannot be assumed from partner silence, manner of dress, or be based upon a previous or ongoing sexual relationship.

Lack of consent may result from:

  • Forcible Compulsion – whether through actual physical force or expressed or implied threat of death, injury, or kidnapping of the victim or another person.
  • Incapacity to consent – whether the incapacity is based on mental illness or disability, is temporary (due to drug or alcohol use), or is due to physical helplessness (unconsciousness or inability to communicate).
  • Inability to consent – according to the New York State penal law, a victim who is less than seventeen years old, is mentally defective or incapacitated or is physically helpless.

The College policies on Sexual Misconduct can be found in the Student Handbook, which all students should review carefully. The College provides information about rape and date rape as part of its FYE (First Year Experience) course. All students receive training programs and materials on this subject through campus programs. College counselors are also available for students who are in need of counseling or who may be unsure about a situation that may have been rape or other assault.

Procedures Following Rape
If you believe you have been raped, it’s important to remember to preserve evidence.

  • Do not wash or douche until you have had a medical exam
  • Save the clothing you were wearing, and do not wash it
  • IMMEDIATELY report the incident either to the police, Office of Campus Safety and Security, the Vice President for Student Affairs/Dean of Students, Director of Counseling, your Area Coordinator, or your Resident Assistant.
  • Whether or not you report the rape to the authorities, contact a trained rape crisis counselor or mental health professional to help you through the crisis. You will need support to assist you in handling the emotions that emerge following a rape.
  • You may want to stay with a friend or close relative immediately following the rape.

Reporting Sexual Misconduct
All members of the College Community and visitors are strongly urged to report incidents of sexual misconduct. Every member of the faculty, administration, and staff is obligated by law (Title IX) to immediately report incidents or perceived incidents of sexual misconduct against any member of the campus community upon learning of the incident.

Even if the victim requests confidentiality of the incident, the employee has a legal and moral obligation to report. The only individuals exempt from reporting are priests who learn of the behavior in a confessional or licensed health or mental health professionals when functioning in their designated counseling role at the College.

The College prohibits any acts of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking.

Fire Safety

Annual Fire Safety Report
Pursuant to the requirements of Federal Register Section 668.41 (e) Fire Safety Report this annual report contains fire statistics for the calendar years 2013, 2012, and 2011. In addition, fire safety systems are described in the section entitled “Residence Hall Fire Detection Alarm and Suppression Systems” found below.

The College of Mount Saint Vincent can prohibit any item that could possibly pose a fire hazard.

Student Evacuation Procedure
The Office of Campus Safety and Security has an evacuation procedure in the event of a fire.

Fire Safety Education and Training Programs
A fire safety education and training program is provided to all residence life staff and Security Personnel. Additionally, Security Personnel are required to maintain a current New York City Fire Department Fire Safety Certification.

Smoking Policy
In compliance with NYC’s Indoor Smoking Restriction Law, the College designates all indoor areas as non-smoking. There are three designated outdoor smoking shelters located on the campus:

  1. Between Maryvale Hall and the Castle
  2. At the rear of Mastronardi Hall near the 261 Street gate
  3. At the rear of Spellman Hall near the parking lot
  4. At the rear of Founders Hall approaching Seton Hall

More Information
Requests for more information should be directed to the Director of Campus Safety and Security, whose office maintains a log of all crimes on campus that have been reported to the Security Department, as well as crimes committed in the adjacent area that have been reported to the police.

This report has been prepared as per the requirements of the Campus Security Act, and is not intended to serve as a complete description of the Security Department’s services, policies or safeguards. For a more complete description, consult the College of Mount Saint Vincent Student Handbook.

The College Committee on Campus and Student Life serves as the Advisory Committee on Campus Safety. Upon request, the Committee will provide all campus crime statistics as reported to the United States Department of Education. Campus crime statistics are published on the United States Department of Education website and may also be obtained by contacting the Director of Campus Safety and Security at (718) 405-3722.