Violence Prevention Policy



 

VIOLENCE PREVENTION POLICY

No. 3-67

Date Approved:  11-5-13

Revision:  Original

 

I.    REFERENCES

 

A.  PPM 3-32, Discrimination and Harassment

B.  PPM 3-33, Discipline (Staff Employees)

C.  PPM 6-22, Student Code

D.  PPM Section 9, Academic Freedom, Rights, Responsibilities and Due Process

 

II.  DEFINITIONS

 

A.  Harassment:  Intending to frighten or harass another by communicating a verbal, written or electronic threat to commit any crime.

 

B.  Intimidation: Engaging in actions that include, but are not limited to, behavior intended to frighten, coerce or induce duress.

 

C.  Protected Activities: Using or assisting others to use the procedures set out in this policy, opposing practices prohibited by this policy, or participating in any manner in an investigation or other proceeding undertaken to enforce this policy.

 

D.  Retaliation:  Imposing any significant form of sanction or substantially adverse treatment against a person because that person has engaged in activities protected by this policy.

 

E.  Stalking: Following an individual, spying on him or her, or remaining in his or her physical presence, with the intent or knowing that such actions will alarm the recipient or cause him

or her distress or reasonable apprehension of imminent physical harm.

 

F.  Threat:  Expressing intent to cause physical or mental harm.  An expression constitutes a threat without regard to whether the party communicating the threat has the present ability to carry it out and without regard to whether the expression is contingent, conditional or future.

 

G.  Strategic Threat Assessment and Response Team (STAR Team):  A committee co- chaired by the Assistant Vice President (AVP) of Human Resources (HR) and the Dean of Students which will: (1) Provide advice and make recommendations on the overall university violence prevention programs and policies; and (2) Convene in a timely manner to provide direction in response to alleged violations of this policy. Members will include a representative from Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity (AA/EO), Counseling and Psychological Services, University Police, and others as the need arises.  This committee will be advised by University Legal Counsel.

 

H.  University Community:  Members of the University Community include all faculty, staff, students, contractors and other guests of the University, including participants in University activities and users of University resources.

 

I.    University Property: Any space, building, or property owned, leased or operated by Weber State University, including all academic space/classrooms.

 

J.   Violent Behavior: For purposes of this policy, “violent behavior” is conduct which creates a reasonable apprehension of substantial physical or emotional harm.  This includes, but is not limited to, assault, harassment, intimidation, stalking, threats or other violent criminal behavior.

 

Examples of Violent Behavior

 

Violent behavior may arise due to diverse circumstances, such as threats of violence between employees due to disagreements, resentment against a supervisor due to disciplinary action, threat of domestic violence brought to the workplace, etc.  Violent behavior conducted electronically is also covered by this policy.  Some examples of violent behavior may include, but are not limited to:

1.   Physical violence

2.   Verbal or written threats (express or implied) to inflict bodily harm.

3.   Verbal or written harassment or threatening gestures.

4.   Assisting, aiding, or soliciting another person to threaten, intimidate, or harass.

5.   Interfering with an individual’s legal rights of movement.

 

III. PURPOSE

 

Weber State University (WSU) is committed to maintaining an environment that is free from any type of violence or threat of violence perpetrated by or against all members of the University Community.

Several activities are exempt from this policy:

 

A.  Constitutionally protected expression.

 

B.  Performance evaluations, disciplinary actions, and other legitimate and reasonable employment-related decisions made by employees’ supervisors.

 

C.  Academic assessments, student disciplinary sanctions, training exercises, and other legitimate and reasonable academic and co-curricular decisions made by members of the faculty and staff of the University.

 

IV. POLICY

 

A.  General Information

 

While on WSU property, while traveling on behalf of the University, or while engaging in University business or activities at other locations, members of the university community are prohibited from subjecting anyone to any form of violent behavior, as described herein. Incidents of violent behavior may occur outside the workplace or school environment, but it must be shown that such incidents have a reasonable relationship between the violent behavior committed and the University, including a substantial adverse impact on the member of the University Community’s ability to perform University duties and responsibilities or required academic endeavors.  Engaging or helping others to engage in violent behavior on University property or facilities, or while on University business, will not be tolerated or ignored.

 

1.   Members of the University Community are encouraged to seek assistance to resolve personal issues that may lead to violent behavior.

 

2.   Incidents of violent behavior must be reported as described below.

 

3.   No individual may be retaliated against for engaging in “protected activities” as defined in this policy.

 

4.   An employee or student who obtains a protective, restraining or stalking order that lists a University location as a protected area and wants the university to help enforce it, should immediately provide a copy of the order to the University Police.

 

5.   False reports of violent behavior made intentionally may result in disciplinary action up to and including termination or expulsion.  Filing a false report to University Police may be a criminal offense.

 

6.   Training will be provided as deemed appropriate by HR in conjunction with University Police.

 

B.  Responding to Actual Acts of Violence

 

When a member of the University Community is faced with or aware of a situation in which an immediate threat of violence or criminal conduct may exist, the matter should immediately be referred to the University Police or 911.  This could include actual violent behavior, or where it appears that violent behavior is likely to take place, such as a verbal altercation that appears to be escalating.  The police will determine if a criminal investigation needs to be conducted and will handle all criminal elements.  University Police will notify other University officials as necessary, depending on the circumstances and individuals involved.

 

C.  Responding to Potential Acts of Violence

 

When a member of the University Community is faced with or aware of behaviors which do not rise to the level of immediate threat requiring immediate action, but where the situation has the potential to become violent over time, such behaviors should be reported to the AVP of HR or the Dean of Students as soon as reasonably possible.  The AVP of HR or the Dean of Students may bring together the STAR Team to analyze the case from their respective areas of expertise and develop an action plan to address the situation or recommend disciplinary action as appropriate.  The STAR Team will consider all threats seriously and be guided by considerations such as responding in a timely manner, respecting confidentiality, legal requirements, and involving key resources. The STAR Team may determine:

1.   The existence of a serious threat.

2.   The scope of security required.

3.   The need for counseling or other support services.

4.   Recommendations concerning disciplinary action, up to and including termination or expulsion.

5.   The need to involve other agencies/departments.

6.   Recommendations for educational and training needs.

 

D.  Sanctions

 

1.   Violation of this policy may result in disciplinary action up to and including termination of employment, expulsion from school, trespass notice and/or criminal charges in accordance with the law.

2.   Depending on the severity of the behavior, any individual who violates this policy may be asked to leave the campus or University activity, escorted from the campus or University activity, trespassed from University property, or other appropriate actions.

3.   Any sanction recommended pursuant to this policy will be made to the appropriate body for handling disciplinary actions against the individual accused of violating this policy. Students, faculty and staff will have due process rights as outlined in PPMs 3-33, Discipline (Staff Employees), 6-22, Student Code, and Section 9, Academic Freedom, Rights, Responsibilities and Due Process, as applicable.

 

     

 

 

 

 


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