A college or university campus is an important part of the local community that it serves. As in any neighborhood, it is important that the students, faculty, and staff realize that they should take every possible precaution to prevent assault and crime against themselves or others.
The administration of Florida Tech recognizes that the university's campuses are part of the community and experience the risks and threats of society as a whole. Our university has established programs and systems involving personnel, procedural methods, and physical means to provide as safe and secure an environment on campus as possible.
The Florida Tech Student Services, Residential Life, and Security departments provide information and assistance on self-protection to students and residents. However, each person must also take action to protect himself or herself.
Lack of vulnerability is the key. A criminal, and especially an assaulter, looks for and exploits perceived weaknesses. The less vulnerable the person, residence, or vehicle appears, the less chance of assault, loss, theft, or robbery. The information provided in this booklet is designed to inform, advise, and alert campus occupants about Florida Tech policies and procedures on crime awareness and reporting. This also inclues crime methodology and crime prevention techniques are provided to assist in self-protection.
There are two important elements in creating and maintaining protective programs and systems. First is an understanding of campus crime and safety hazards by students and employees. Next are methods of communication and action to reduce or eliminate security and safety threats and hazards.
Therefore, it is the policy of Florida Tech that all students and employees are to report criminal acts and safety hazards or occurrences known to them. The proper reporting procedure for everyone in the event of any concern is to contact the Florida Tech Security Department (321-674-8111). This number is available 24 hours a day. In the event of an immediate threat, danger, injury, or criminal occurrence, students are advised to call the local EMERGENCY SERVICE, by dialing 911, and then call Florida Tech Security.
In all instances of criminal occurrence, loss of property, assault, threat, injury, or attempted crime, the Florida Tech Security Department must be contacted as soon as possible to facilitate proper reporting and resource utilization and to record the occurrence for further study and preventive action.
Florida Tech's Security Department provides security information, assistance, and service to aid campus occupants in the protection process.
No person or location is 100% safe. Florida Tech's Security Department uses patrolling officers to observe and detect crimes and threats on the main campus. The Security Department's function is primarily informational and advisory, rather than regulatory. Security personnel are not police officers and are not empowered as such. The primary protective means used are restricting campus access and use to only those authorized students, staff, employees, or their guests for reasonable and safe purposes . The inspection and maintenance of locks, doors, windows, lights, and alarms are coordinated by both the Security Department and the Facilities Management Department. All dorms on campus are locked with deadbolts 24 hours a day, and only students residing in these rooms have keys.
The actions taken by a person to increase security in his or her residence, vehicle, or personal activity can prevent a crime by causing the perpetrator to think twice and be deterred. Simple actions include:
When you are home alone, pull shades or curtains after dark. If you let someone in and then have second thoughts, be assertive and demand that the person leave, or leave yourself. Call a friend or neighbor to come over. Pretend you are not alone, mention a friend or family member asleep in the next room. Anyone who refuses to leave is a trespasser and you should call the local police (911) to have them removed. In general, if you don't personally know a person, don't let them in.
Make sure hallways, entrances, garages, and grounds are well-lighted. Leave porch lights on all night. When away from home for the night, or when you expect to return after dark, leave an interior light on in a room or two with shades drawn. Leave a television and/or radio on to give the impression that someone is at home. Install a peephole in your door.
When someone is at your door, never open it until you know who is there. Repair and sales people, police, and survey takers carry identification. Ask to see it, and call the company to verify the person's identity if you have any questions before you permit entry. On campus, call Security. There is "NO SOLICITING" allowed on campus.
If someone wants to use the phone, make the call for him or her without opening the door.
Leave spare house keys with a friend, not under the doormat or in a planter. Get to know your neighbors so you can get help if necessary. Be familiar with who is coming and going in the neighborhood.
List initials and last name only on mailbox or door. Consider not listing your address in the phone book.
Avoid giving out information about yourself or making appointments with strangers over the phone.
To deter theft and "fencing" of stolen goods, engrave or mark all valuable personal property with your name and phone number and/or driver's license number.
Skateboard injuries are on the rise. For those who live around the city, we've all seen skateboarders zip around us, seemingly coming out of nowhere, and vanishing just the same. Some ride their skateboards with the utmost of caution, others with reckless abandon. No matter which style the youngster adheres to, injuries are always a likely possibility.
An estimated 50,000 skateboard injuries are treated in hospital emergency rooms each year. These figures do not include motorized skateboards or inline skates, which present their own types of issues and statistics.
Skateboard injuries come in several common types, including head and neck injuries, arms and legs, hands and feet, and other blunt force trauma caused by vehicle collisions. Children under 5 years of age experience a disproportionate amount of head injuries mostly because they tend to have high centers of gravity and have limited abilities to break falls using their extremities. This is why the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that children 5 or under should not use skateboards at all. They additionally recommend that children 6 - 10 only use skateboards under close adult supervision.
The National Safety Council recommends the use of protective gear, such as closed, slip-resistant shoes, helmets, and specially designed padding for elbows, knees and hands. This protective gear may not fully prevent injury but will lessen the severity of the skateboard injuries.
The National Safety Council offers the following skateboarding tips:
1. Give your board a safety check each time before you ride.
2. Always wear safety gear.
3. Never ride in the street.
4. Obey the city laws. Observe traffic and areas where you can and cannot skate.
5. Don't skate in crowds of non-skaters.
6. Only one person per skateboard.
7. Never hitch a ride from a car, bicycle, etc.
8. Don't take chances; complicated tricks require careful practice and a specially-designated area.
9. Learn to fall-practice falling on a soft surface or grass.
The Council recommends that children who ride skateboards learn how to fall. Teach your child that when they are starting to fall, crouch down on the skateboard so that they don't have as far to fall. Also, instruct them that when they fall, to try to roll and absorb the force of the fall by using their arms as shock absorbers. Since wrist injuries are the most common skateboard injuries, make sure your child is wearing protective wrist gear, especially when first learning. One-third of all skateboard injuries occur within the first week, so make sure your child is well-equipped and supervised especially during this time. Irregular and uneven surfaces account for one-half of all falls, so make sure your child is skateboarding on even surfaces only.
Not all skateboard injuries may be preventable, but most can be minimized by wearing protective gear and instilling in the child safe riding habits.
Identity theft is one of the fastest growing crimes in the nation, and students may be particularly vulnerable to this crime. Once someone steals your identity, it is difficult to clear your credit record and often your criminal history. Learn how to protect yourself and your future from identity theft by visiting this federal government website: http://www.ed.gov/misused.
The Florida Tech Security Department operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week, for the protection of students, staff, faculty, and visitors. Officers patrol the campus by marked vehicle, golf cart and by foot patrol.
Any criminal or suspicious activity that occurs on campus should be reported immediately to the Security Department (ext. 8111). This number should be called whenever necessary for the safety and security of you, your property, or the campus.
The following preventive measures will help minimize your chances of being victimized:
No one knows how a victim will react if confronted with the threat of sexual assault. However, you will be able to handle such a situation better if you have complete awareness and understanding, not only of all the dangers inherent in a potential sexual assault situation, but also of the alternative preventive measures that you can take.
Know yourself. It is important to think about who you are and how you might respond to different situations before they occur. All attackers have the potential to be violent. This is a most important consideration when deciding what to do in a given situation.
Prevention begins with questioning assumptions about roles played by women and men. Society's historical view of women as passive, dependent, and needing protection increases their vulnerability to sexual assault. Society's view of men as dominant and powerful encourages aggressive behavior.
These attitudes are created by and reflected in advertising, movies, and television. Women are often portrayed as submissive victims of physical and sexual abuse. Sexual assault cannot be eliminated until these basic values in our society are changed. Men must incorporate nonviolent attitudes into their daily lives. All of us must take responsibility for each other.
This information has been presented to increase awareness about sexual assault and to assist people in coping with sexual assault if it does happen. We want to help you:
We hope that by reading this information you will begin to think about sexual assault as a problem that affects both men and women and that requires people to take responsibility for each other. It is essential that women and men take action that will deal with the causes of sexual assault and not merely treat its symptoms. Men, as well as women, are sexually assaulted.
Many attacks start with casual conversation, the assailant is sizing up the victim. If she is polite and friendly (as most people have been taught to be), he will probably attempt to intimidate her. Although most women feel uncomfortable about such an encounter before it escalates, they don't appear to be unfriendly or rude. If your gut-level response to a man, whether a stranger or friend, is uneasiness, try to get out of the situation as quickly as possible, even if it means being rude or making a scene.
Date rape occurs more frequently than reports seem to indicate, and most rapes are committed by someone the victim knows. Women have deterred assailants in a variety of ways. Talking and thinking about what you might do if attacked increases your chances for successfully defending yourself.
The key to prevention lies in:
Like any violent criminal, the psychological profile of a date rapist is complicated. There are, however, simple warning signs that indicate potential for violence against women.
Be aware and conscious of:
A man may not exhibit any of these behaviors early in a relationship but may still be a date rapist. If you feel something is wrong, trust your instincts.
Myth - Sexual assault is caused by uncontrollable sex drives.
Fact - Sexual assault is an act of physical and emotional violence, not of sexual gratification. People assault to dominate, terrify, and violate. Studies show that power and anger are the primary motivating factors.
Myth - Women provoke sexual assault, and sex appeal is of primary importance in selecting the target.
Fact - Victims who have been sexually assaulted range in age from the elderly to infants. Appearance and attractiveness are not relevant. A person assaults someone who is accessible and vulnerable.
Myth - People are usually sexually assaulted by strangers.
Fact - Studies show that the majority of victims who have been sexually assaulted are acquainted with the person who assaulted them.
Myth - Sexual assault is unplanned and spontaneous.
Fact - Studies show that the majority of sexual assaults are planned in advance.
Myth - Victims make false reports of sexual assault.
Fact - Statistics indicate that 2 percent of reports of alleged rape are unfounded. This is the same proportion as for all other crimes.
Myth - Men do not have to be concerned about sexual assault because it only affects women.
Fact - Men, both straight and gay, suffered 10 percent of the sexual assaults treated last year in hospitals. In addition, men have wives, friends, mothers, and daughters who may someday need help coping with the aftereffects of sexual assault.
In reality, sexual assault bears a closer resemblance to violent crimes such as robbery and aggravated assault than it does to sexual intercourse with a consenting person. This is a fact that all potential victims and their families and friends should know. Sexual assault is a crime of violence rather than sex.
Every person is a potential victim of sexual assault. The most vulnerable target is a woman alone. Alone at any time of the day or night. Alone for any reason at home, babysitting, shopping, walking, in a car alone. While a large number of reported victims fall into the 13-25 age bracket, indications are that this is caused by an increase in reporting in this age group. Studies do not indicate any preference by sexual assaulters, nor do they support the myth that sexual assault is provoked by either a woman's dress or her mannerisms. Vulnerability and opportunity are the key factors that cause females of all ages to become victims.
The sexual assaulter is generally a man who is emotionally unstable, yet deals with life on a day-to-day basis in a reasonably normal and competent manner. He is often an apparently normal individual, but one who has difficulty relating to others in a permanent or lasting fashion. He is often a friend, date, relative, co-worker, or casual acquaintance of the victim. It is important to remember that exhibitionists and "Peeping Toms" should be considered potentially dangerous because these acts may be part of a fantasy that includes sexual assault.
It cannot be emphasized enough that sexual assault is a crime of violence. Sexual assaulters are unstable people who view their victims as objects upon which to vent their rage, aggression, frustration, or insecurity. They do not view them as fellow human beings at that moment, and sexual gratification is not a motive for their crime. They wish to humiliate and degrade their victims, to make them lesser beings than they are. Too often, the fantasy they are acting out carries with it the danger of physical harm in addition to the crime of rape itself.
Sexual assault can happen virtually anywhere, but the largest single grouping of reported incidents is either in the home of the victim or the home of the offender. It is important to be aware of all potentially hazardous areas:
Remote parking lots, stairwells, public parks, beaches at night, jogging courses, laundromats, on the street, shopping centers, hitchhiking, school playgrounds, and deserted buildings are all potentially hazardous areas.
Sexual assaults often occur in conjunction with other crimes such as burglary, so the more effective preventive measures and common-sense precautions you take, the less your chances are of becoming a victim. A locked door gives you time to call the police (911).
Prevention measures can reduce the risk of attack, but they are not 100 percent effective. What can you do if you are attacked? There is no ready answer because each situation is different. Recent studies show that an immediate aggressive response will be twice as likely to increase the possibility of escape but can aggravate the situation. Submitting does not guarantee that violence will not occur, however.
Evaluate the situation for possible ways of escape. If one method doesn't work, try another. Often victims have tried several different escape ideas before one worked.
For more information on our Campus Sexual Assault Policy refer to the Student Handbook.
The University works with Residence Life and Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) to provide programs and information designed to educate students regarding the use and abuse of alcohol and other drugs. It is through the efforts of these offices working in conjunction with the entire campus community that the University provides a comprehensive approach to alcohol and other drug education.
Residence Life feels that its major role is to support and enhance the development of students while they are at Florida Tech and that this development is personal as well as academic in nature. The Residence Life staff strives to build strong communities where students can live and learn by providing educational meetings and programs on high-risk activities like alcohol and drugs. For example, during fall semester, staffs hold floor and hall meetings that discuss the Student Code of Conduct and focus on responsible behavior as a member of the campus community. In addition, throughout the year, discussions, meetings, and programs are held which range from wellness fairs to bulletin boards and experiential activities. Students have a myriad of opportunities to attend educational programs, alternative social programs, and to utilize our staff for both information and referrals.
Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) provides educational seminars open to the campus community on these issues during both the fall and spring semesters. Our presentations are made available to both staff and students as needed (or upon request) to help instill responsible decision making and limit setting behaviors related to alcohol and other drug related subjects.
Florida Tech has adopted a drug-free schools and campuses policy. This policy complies with the Drug-Free Schools and Communities Act (Pub. L. No. 101-226, title 34 C.F.R., part 86) and includes a description of drug and alcohol abuse education and resource programs and agency locations.
For more information on our Campus Alcohol and Drug Use Policy refer to the Student Handbook.
Florida Tech utilizes several programs and systems to inform students and employees about campus security:
For the safety of everyone, all types of weapons are prohibited on campus. This includes but is not limited to firearms, ammunition, explosives, air guns, BB guns, crossbows, bows and arrows, spring-type guns, slingshots, firecrackers, fireworks, and cherry bombs. Anyone possessing or using any of these weapons can and will be subject to disciplinary action.
Cellular phones, pagers and other electronic devices shall not be used in a manner that causes disruption in the classroom, library or within any college-owned or college-operated facilities. This includes abuse of cellular devices with photographic capability. Utilizing these devices for the purposes of photographing test questions or other forms of academic misconduct or illegal activity is prohibited, as is photographing individuals in secured areas such as lavatories or locker rooms. Taking photographs of any individuals against their will is strictly prohibited.
For more information on our Campus Alcohol and Drug Use Policy refer to the Student Handbook.
Report all crimes to the Florida Tech Security Department and the local police.
If an assault happens on campus, call the Florida Tech Security Department and the local police. The primary concern is the safety and well-being of the person who has been assaulted. Second and third concerns are the apprehension of the assailant and the preservation of evidence at the crime scene.
When security and the police arrive, they can assist the victim in obtaining medical assistance. At this time, the only information needed is a brief account of what happened, a physical description of the assailant, and the assailant's direction of travel.
Later, a more detailed interview will take place. The sooner the crime is reported, the better the chance that the assailant will be caught. Preserving physical evidence will increase the chance of prosecuting the assailant. The police may ask for clothing and other items to check for evidence.
If the victim does not want to file an official police report of the incident, he or she can still provide the police with information about the assault. This information may help police arrest the assailant and prevent another assault. Information may be provided directly or through a friend or advocate.
Help is available from the State Attorney's Office for victims with questions or doubts about prosecution.
We hope that by offering this safety information we will increase your personal awareness and improve our campus environment.
While the risk of encountering such a package is small, everyone should be aware of the indicators of and responses to a suspicious package. If unsure about the nature of a suspicious package it is better to report it. The first responders will perform a threat assessment of the situation and make decisions about further actions.
In MAIL ROOMS facilities that accept mail directly from the United States Postal Service (USPS)
Know the characteristics of suspicious packages, which may include:
Locations that receive mail from University Mail Rooms (schools, departments, offices & laboratories)
Having passed through a University mail room, these items will have had some level of initial screening. Occupants in these areas must remain vigilant for the suspicious package indicators noted above and for unexpected mail or mail with an absent or unfamiliar return addresses. Anyone who becomes suspicious of such a package should follow the “procedures for suspicious packages or envelopes”, described above.
Recipients of packages directly from United Parcel Service (UPS), FedEx, etc. should also be aware of suspicious package indicators, particularly if the return address is absent or unfamiliar or the package is unexpected.
Optional personal protective equipment for routine mail handling