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Public Safety

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Our Commitment to Your Safety and Security

Gwynedd Mercy University takes seriously the responsibility for the safety and security of all members of the University Community. Our primary concern is to nurture and sustain a safe environment for students, employees and visitors while on the campus.

Through becoming familiar with the University Community, understanding the security policies and procedures which promote safety and respect for others at Gwynedd Mercy University, and taking appropriate precautions to minimize potential risks, you can assist in maintaining a safe and secure environment on our campus.

Department of Public Safety and Security

The campus security office is located in St. Brigid Hall. Emergency telephone numbers for students, faculty and staff to report criminal actions or other emergencies occurring on campus are: ext. 111, (215) 641-5522, ext. 21522, (215) 646-7300, ext. 21300, ext. 0. Security personnel can be accessed through the switchboard (215) 646-7300, X-O, 24 hours a day.

Campus Security is monitored by sixteen full-time and part-time security staff, around the clock/24 hours a day, seven days a week. There are always three uniformed Security Officers on duty who conduct foot, bicycle and vehicular patrols of the campus and assist in monitoring the residence halls. 

Public Safety and Security works with the Lower Gwynedd police or state police as necessary to respond to possible violations of local or state laws. Any criminal incident is reported to state and local police. All such reports are fully investigated in cooperation with police authorities. Public Safety and Security personnel neither carry weapons nor have arrest powers, but work with the police in the event that an arrest is warranted. Direct radio contact and a long-standing cooperative relationship with state and local authorities are essential in promoting good relationships between the University and the surrounding community.

Gwynedd Mercy University students and employees are informed of university security procedures through this website and campus publications, which include the Student Handbook, Faculty Handbook, Employee Handbook, the UPDATE , and the Gwynedition . Security considerations used in the maintenance of campus facilities, including landscaping, groundskeeping, outdoor lighting and security services are regularly discussed at College Council and in other appropriate college forums. Public Safety and Security falls under the auspices of the Vice President for Finance & Administration. 

Important Gwynedd Mercy University Public Safety Resources
e2Campus Sign up
Reporting Crimes on Campus
Safety Services and Programs
Rape and Sexual Violence
Missing Student Notification
Emergency Call Boxes
Emergency Response and Evacuation Procedures

Transportation
Gwynedd Mercy University Express Shuttle Service and Security Escort Program

Gwynedd Mercy University Public Safety Information
University Crime and Fire Statistics

Useful Information for Students
Helpful Links
Important Numbers
Security Policy and Procedures
Crime Prevention Tips

Residence Hall Information
Residence Hall Safety
After Hours Building Entry
Lost and Found

Reporting Crimes on Campus

Individuals who witness or become the victim of a crime on campus are expected to contact the Public Safety and Security office immediately at (215) 641-5522, ext. 21522, or in extreme situations, to directly call ext. 111. Reports to Public Safety and Security are encouraged to ensure that adequate support is given to the victim and adequate protection is given to the Gwynedd Community. All reports will be promptly investigated and the local or state police contacted as required. In cases where reports concern allegations that also constitute violations of the Gwynedd Mercy University code of conduct, such reports will also be forwarded to the office of the Vice President for Student Services or the Dean of Students for appropriate action.

In accord with Pennsylvania's College and Security Information Act of 1988, Gwynedd Mercy University submits an annual report of campus crime to the state police. In accord with the federal Student Right to Know and Campus Security Act of 1990, Gwynedd Mercy University shall submit, upon request, a copy of this report to the secretary of the U.S. Department of Education. Offenses for the most recent three-year period are available on the University Crime Statistics page of this website.

Link to Sexual Assault Information

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Safety Services and Programs

 

Various student groups, including Peer Counselors, the Student Government Association, and the Returning Adult Student Organization, sponsor educational programs on campus issues such as vandalism, fire safety, rape, alcohol and drug abuse, and self-defense.

These programs are open to all members of the University community. Information on when and where they are offered may be obtained from the Counseling Office, the Student Activities Office, and in The UPDATE , and The Gwynedition . Educational booklets, brochures and videotapes are also available through Student Services.

If you would like to arrange an safety or security related educational program, please contact the director of the Department of Public Safety and Security at 215-646-7300, ext. 21785.

 

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Rape and Sexual Violence

For more than 30 years, Gwynedd Mercy University has proactively addressed the issues of rape and sexual violence through seminars, forums and other presentations. Gwynedd Mercy University also conducts educational and training programs for its employees who interact with students, including Public Safety officers, coaches, student services personnel in the Office of Student Services, members of the campus ministries and those who provide services in the student residences.

Acquaintance rape is a form of sexual violence defined under our policy as any act in which a person forces another person with whom he or she is acquainted to engage in sexual activity against his or her will or without his or her consent. Assent does not constitute consent if it is given by a person who because of youth, mental disability or intoxication is unable to make a reasonable judgment. This policy applies to groups as well as individuals.

Support Services

Gwynedd Mercy University will provide support for victims of rape and any form of sexual violence, and is committed to providing resources and processes for prevention, education, reporting, adjudication, protection from retaliation and sanctions. The Director of Counseling Services at Gwynedd Mercy University is the designated coordinator of support services for individuals who have been victimized.

Any member of the community who is a victim of sexual violence is encouraged to seek support and assistance and to report the incident. When a victim of a sex offense contacts the Counseling Services Department, the individual will be advised of health, legal and other support services available on- and off-campus and the victim will be assisted in accessing these services. Available support may also include academic and housing accommodations if requested. Students are encouraged to contact the Counseling Services office at extension 21571 from a campus telephone or 215-646-7300 ext. 21571 from off-campus/cell phones in order to report an incident confidentially. Students may also report an incident by dialing 1-1-1 from a campus telephone, by using one of the blue light emergency telephones on campus.

Reporting Procedures

Due to sensitive issues involved in rape and other sexual assaults, the victim may disclose the incident some time after it has occurred, but the victim is nonetheless encouraged to contact Counseling Services for support and assistance and to report the incident as soon as possible.

Incidents that are reported to the appropriate departments at Gwynedd Mercy University will be addressed promptly and will be treated as discretely as possible. The procedures that govern the investigation of acquaintance rape will take into account both the need to gather the facts and the rights of all parties involved in the incident.

Those within the campus community who are found responsible for rape or other sexual violence are subject to University sanctions, which may include suspension or expulsion from the University. The individual also may be subject to prosecution by the Office of the District Attorney under Pennsylvania criminal statutes. In any University disciplinary proceeding involving charges of sexual assault, the accused and the accuser are entitled to the same opportunity to have others present during the proceeding and both the accused and the accuser are informed of the outcome of the proceeding.

To pursue criminal options, it is important to preserve evidence. If the victim elects to go through the criminal justice system and/or receive medical treatment, personnel from Counseling Services will accompany the victim to the Hospital for evaluation, treatment and/or evidence collection. Whether the victim chooses to report an incident of rape or sexual violence to the Counseling Services office, the Public Safety Department or another resource center within the campus community, the victim will be informed of reporting options, including the right to report the incident fully and completely to the Lower Gwynedd Police Department, or the right to file no report. If requested, University personnel will assist the individual in notifying appropriate authorities.

The Rape and Sexual Violence Policy is stated in the Public Safety and Security Guide which is available online at www.gmercyu.edu

The Campus Sex Crimes Prevention Act, a federal law, requires institutions of higher education to advise the campus community where information concerning registered sex offenders may be obtained. In Pennsylvania, information about sexually violent predators is accessible at the following website: www.psp.state.pa.us. For more information about sex offender registration in Pennsylvania see www.pameganslaw.state.pa.us.

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Missing Student Notification

Missing Person Procedures

The Higher Education Opportunity Act (HEOA) requires Title IV eligible institutions that provide on-campus housing to establish a missing student notification policy for students who reside in on-campus housing.

Gwynedd Mercy University will require that each student who lives on campus to identify a contact person whom the institution may notify in the case that the student is determined missing, according to the institution’s official notification procedures.

Gwynedd Mercy University will advise each student who is under 18 years of age, and is not an emancipated individual, that if the student is determined missing, then the institution must notify a custodial parent or guardian within 24 hours.

The missing person policy includes procedures for official notification that a student has been missing for more than 24 hours by the appropriate individuals at the institution;

Gwynedd Mercy University will initiate the emergency contact procedures in accordance with the student’s designation if the campus security or law enforcement entity has been notified and has determined that such student has been missing for more than 24 hours and has not returned to campus.

Reporting Missing Persons

Gwynedd Mercy University thoroughly investigates all community people reported as missing whether they reside on or off-campus. To report a missing person dial 1-1-1 from a campus telephone, use one of the blue light emergency telephones on campus or dial (215) 641-5522 from off-campus/cell phones.You may report a missing person in person to the Department of Public Safety located in St. Brigid resident hall or to the Lower Gwynedd Police Department at 215-646-5300.

If the Missing Person is a student, Public Safety will follow these procedures:

  • A Gwynedd Mercy Public Safety Officer, upon confirmation that a student is missing and cannot be located, shall notify the Office of the Vice President for Student Services.
  • If the missing student resides in on-campus housing, the Gwynedd Mercy Public Safety Officer will notify the Resident Life Director or Staff Supervisor on duty. Public Safety and Residence Life will contact neighbors and friends in the immediate vicinity of the student’s room and report any findings to the Vice President of Student Services.
  • If the missing student residing on-campus has been missing for more than 24 hours,
  • the Vice President of Student services or designee will notify the student’s designated emergency contact which is maintained in the Student Life database.
  • If the student is under 18 years old, the Vice President of Student Services or designee will immediately notify a custodial parent or legal guardian; and the missing student will be entered into the National Crime Information Center by the Lower Gwynedd Police Department.
  • If a student over 18 years old has not designated an emergency contact, the law enforcement agency where the student’s primary residence is located will be notified. All notifications as mentioned in this section will be made by the Director of Public Safety or his/her designee.
  • If the missing person is a commuter student, faculty or staff the University will assist the investigating jurisdiction upon request.
  • If the student has not been located within a reasonable amount of time, the Office of the Vice President for Student Services may contact the student’s parents or others for additional assistance.

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Emergency Call Boxes

Emergency call boxes are strategically located across the campus to provide immediate response by Public Safety and Security 24 hours a day. These call boxes can be used for any emergency situation that requires assistance. Call boxes are monitored as a preventive measure for students, staff, faculty and visitors.

Call boxes are positioned at the following locations:

  • Pavilion
  • Trocaire Parking Lot (Lot P)
  • Walking path from Siena Hall to Trocaire Lot (2 call boxes)
  • JBA, St. Bernards Hall Parking Lot (handicap entrance)
  • Alexandria Hall

Click Here to View Campus Map

 

Emergency Response and Evacuation Procedures

Timely Warnings
When the Department of Public Safety becomes aware of criminal incidents that, in the judgment of the University’s Director of Public Safety or designee and the Vice President of Student Services, constitute an ongoing or continuing threat to the campus community, the Division of Public Safety issues a Crime Alert to notify the community. These Crime Alerts are disseminated via the Division of Public Safety. Depending on the particular circumstances, a timely warning will be issued by the Division of Public Safety and the information may be disseminated by using one or a combination of the following: e-mail distribution; various campus publications; and/or activation of the e2campus alert system to advise the community of the situation.

Emergency Preparedness
Emergency preparedness at Gwynedd Mercy University is managed under the Department of Public Safety and the Campus Emergency Response Team. The Campus Emergency Response Team responsibilities are to prevent, prepare for, respond to and recover from any and all emergencies that could affect the Gwynedd Mercy University campus. This means having a comprehensive plan extending from all levels of emergency personnel down through the individuals that make up our community to prevent situations that cause emergencies. Team responsibilities are to prepare people on the procedures to follow should a crisis occur; develop a well collaborated response approach from University officials as well as city, state and federal agencies to effectively mitigate any crisis; and finally it means being ready and able to recover quickly from emergency events to keep Gwynedd Mercy University’s mission actively moving forward.

Gwynedd Mercy University Emergency Response plans are published on the Public Safety web page and on the Faculty Staff Intranet. These plans document the readiness of the Gwynedd Mercy University community’s response in an all-hazards approach to emergency management and provide information for emergency responders to manage a crisis event as it unfolds.

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Residence Hall Safety

Gwynedd Mercy University Public Safety and Security, the Director, Associate Directors and Resident Directors of Resident Life, the Resident Assistants, and the residents themselves share responsibility for the security and safety of the residence halls. The Resident Assistants are educated in minor crisis intervention during a Fall and Winter Training. Gwynedd Mercy University Public Safety and Security provides security services 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Besides patrolling the grounds, Security keeps a base of operation in an office located in Loyola Hall. A security officer maintains the front desk, located at the entrance of St. Brigid Hall, 24 hours a day. Security maintains an all-night presence at the desk in SBH assuring only residents enter the building after business hours. A security presence is located in Alexandria Hall from 6 p.m. to 6 a.m. seven days a week.
Residents of Loyola, St. Brigid and Siena halls must enter through the main entrance of St. Brigid Hall. Alexandria Hall residents must always enter through the main entrance. Their guests must enter and leave through this main entrance at all times, where they are to be signed in and signed out. Residence hall doors are locked to outside entrance and are monitored. Many doors have video camera surveillance and an audible alarm system. Residents are obligated to observing all security measures promulgated by Security and approved by the Director of the Residence Halls. In any emergency, Public Safety and Security should be notified immediately by calling ext. 111.

For the safety of all residents, security policies will be strictly enforced. Residents are expected to observe proper use of the residence halls entrances and exits. Specific information regarding policies and procedures for the residence halls can be found in the Gwynedd Mercy University and Resident Life Handbooks.

Housing Information can be found on our Resident Facilities page.

 

Security Policies and Procedures

Gwynedd Mercy University expects all members of the campus community to comply with federal, state and local laws, including those, which regulate the use, and sale of alcoholic beverages, controlled substances and weapons. Gwynedd Mercy University endorses the concept of an "alcohol-free" environment. Permission to sponsor any activity at which alcohol will be served must be obtained from the Vice President for Student Services.

Policies and procedures designed to maintain harmony and personal welfare on campus are found in the Student Handbook, the Handbook of Resident Life, the Faculty Handbook and the Employee Handbook. The disciplinary procedures, which apply to the violations of these policies, are also available in these handbooks.

Gwynedd Mercy University operates as a learning community under specific and explicit norms of behavior. These standards have as their purpose the desire to maintain respect for the rights of individuals, respect for freedom of thought and expression and fair and equitable treatment for all. In support of the mission of the University, the University Community upholds the following standards of conduct:

  • Respect and equal treatment of all individuals
  • Social responsibility and Christian moral behavior
  • Respect for lawful authority

Detailed information about the Code of Conduct can be found in the Resident Life Handbook ,the Student Handbook, the Employee Handbook and the Faculty Handbook.

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After Hours Building Entry

The Department of Public Safety and Security is available to assist students, faculty and staff with entry to buildings on campus after hours.

All classrooms and essential building are opened at 6 a.m. and close and 11 p.m.

If you need access to a building after hours, or if you have forgotten your keys to a building, call Security at ext. 21522 and an officer will be dispatched to the specified location.

Please be prepared to show the officer your Gwynedd Mercy University identification, or another form of identification (driver's license), if your Gwynedd Mercy University identification is not available.

The computer labs in Keiss and St. Bernard Halls cannot be opened by the officer without prior approval from the Department of Institutional Technology Services.

Also, if you received assistance from a security officer to enter a building, please remember to call Security at ext. 21522 when you leave the building.

 

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Gwynedd Mercy University Express Student Shuttle and Security Escort Program

The Public Safety and Security offers students a complimentary shuttle service to and from the Gwynedd Valley Train Station, which services the SEPTA R5 line.

  • Shuttle pick-up and drop-off point on campus is the Campbell Hall Circle and or Siemens Parking lot.
  • All passengers MUST show a Gwynedd Mercy University/Parkhurst ID card.
  • DUE TO WEATHER, TRAFFIC AND SEPTA CHANGES THE PUBLIC SAFETY DEPARTMENT REQUEST USERS TO CONTACT THE ST. BRIGID SECURITY DESK AT 215-641-5522 WHEN REQUESTING TRANSPORTATION TO OR FROM THE TRAIN STATION OR THE SIEMENS PARKING LOT.
  • Riders should consult SEPTA's schedule, which is available online or at the train station, for individual needs.

Call the Department of Public Safety and Security at ext. 21522 if you have any questions.

The Public Safety and Security Escort Program are:

  • Available to all students, administration, faculty, staff and visitors.
  • Available 24 hour a day/seven days a week.
  • A security officer will walk or drive individuals to and/or from their car, class, residence hall or any other facility on campus.
  • A Public Safety Officer will provide help when a vehicle is in need of a battery jump-start, or during inclement weather. In the event of a flat tire, disabled vehicle or keys locked in a car, Public Safety at the request of the owner will contact 5 Points Automotive and Towing at 215-855-3592.

Call the Department of Public Safety and Security at ext. 21522 to utilize this service.

*Note: Please allow five to ten minutes for a security officer to arrive. In the event of a security emergency, the escort service may be delayed.

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Lost and Found

The Department of Public Safety and Security maintains a secure storage area for items that have been found on campus.

Faculty, staff, students and visitors who believe they may have lost or found a personal belonging at the University are encouraged to contact Public Safety and Security at 215-641-5522 or ext. 21522. When claiming an item from Public Safety and Security, please provide proper identification (College ID or Driver's License) and proof or evidence of ownership (a detailed description of the item is sufficient).

Members of the University community are encouraged to submit all items believe to be lost to Public Safety and Security in St. Brigid Hall. Unattended packages or closed bags or briefcases should be reported immediately to Public Safety and Security at ext. 21522. In the interest of safety, please do not attempt to personally deliver such objects to Public Safety and Security.

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Helpful Links

Law Enforcement Agencies

Education Information

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Public Safety and Security Important Numbers

Emergency Number: ext. 111

Non-Emergency Number: 215-641-5522, ext. 21522

Director of Public Safety and Security: 215-542-5785, ext. 21785

Switchboard: ext. 0

Director of Counseling: 215-641-5571, ext. 21571

Counselor: 215-646-7300, ext. 21427

Director of Resident Life: 215-641-5585, ext. 21585

Associate Director of Resident Life: 215-646-7300, ext. 21460

Director of Human Resources: 215-646-7300, ext. 21250

Health Services: 215-646-7300, ext. 21486

Vice President for Student Services: 215-641-5566, ext. 21566

Student Services: 215-641-5546, ext. 546; 215-641-5555, ext. 21555

Montgomery County Crime Victims Center: 610-277-5200

Lower Gwynedd Township Police Department: 215-646-5300

*Please note: you must first dial 9, on campus, to obtain an outside line.

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