What to Do If You Witness Questionable Activity on CampusPosted Nov. 21, 2011
Kent State University is committed to providing a safe campus community for all. In line with this, the university recently launched a new safety initiative – Sexual Assault Response Team (SART). SART was created to educate the university community about sexual assault, to provide anti-violence programming and support services, and to encourage all community members to speak out when witnessing violence.
Dean Tondiglia, associate director for Kent State’s Department of Public Safety and member of SART, encourages members of the university community to always call the police whenever they witness questionable activities on campus.
“Employees of the university have the obligation to report criminal incidents to the police,” Tondiglia said.
Tondiglia advises members of the Kent State University community to either call the police or avail themselves of the anonymous university tip line – ThreatLine – where they can choose to leave an anonymous voice mail message or fill out an anonymous email form. He advises that the ThreatLine be used only in nonemergency situations.
Dean of Students and Students Ombuds Sheryl Smith, who is also a member of SART, encourages students and other members of the university community to call the police even when they are not sure that the incident rises to the level of a crime.
“Kent State University police are very good at talking through situations with individuals,” Smith said. “By informing the police, they will at least be aware of the situation and would know what further steps need to be taken. Students, faculty and staff who are not comfortable going to the police can report to my office, and we in turn will report to the police, as we are obliged by law to report such incidents.”
The SART website provides resources for faculty, staff and students on what to do when someone reports a case of sexual assault, and also outlines indicators of distress, how to help and whom to call.
Tondiglia encourages members of the university community who have experienced abuse and are undergoing feelings of distress as a result of recent happenings in the news to contact the Psychological Services department at University Health Services or speak to any member of the SART team with whom they feel most comfortable.
“We want to let them know that they can reach out to any of us for support,” Tondiglia said.
Faculty and staff are encouraged to review Kent State University Policy 4-13.1 regarding response to reports of criminal activities, including sexual assault and other felony crimes.
For more information about SART, visit www.kent.edu/SART. To reach Kent State’s Department of Public Safety and Police Services, call 330-672-3070. For emergencies and immediate assistance, call 911.