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Notification Policy

The University of North Carolina at Greensboro

  • (Approved by the Chancellor, December 3, 2018)

Purpose

The Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act (the Clery Act) is a federal law that requires institutions of higher education to establish policies related to Clery crimes and issue notifications related to those crimes to the campus community.

This policy defines the framework in which notifications are issued at The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG).

Scope

This policy addresses the UNCG notification process and applies to the UNCG campus community.

Policy

Definitions

Clery Geography:
UNCG must disclose statistics for reported Clery crimes that occur: (1) on campus, (2) on public property within or immediately adjacent to the campus, and (3) in or on non-campus buildings or property that the institution owns or controls. For a detailed explanation of each geographic category visit https://clery.uncg.edu/map/.
Emergency Alert:
A notification to inform the campus community of a dangerous situation occurring on campus involving an immediate threat to the health or safety of the campus community.
Larger Community:
Individuals and/or organizations outside of the campus community.
Responsible Authority:
Any authorized individual capable of activating a notification based on their professional role and knowledge or University affiliation. Responsible Authorities for UNCG include authorized individuals within the UNCG Police Department, Office of Emergency Management, or University Communications.
Safety Message:
A notification to inform the campus community of the recent occurrence of certain crimes that occur within Clery geography that is disseminated with the intent of enabling people to protect themselves from similar crimes in the future. Safety messages are a requirement of the Clery Act and are referred to as ‘timely warning notifications’ in the regulations.
Spartan Alert:
The branded name for UNCG’s emergency alert system that combines all alerting system capabilities to include text messaging, email, computer desktop pop-ups, RSS feeds, and social media.

Emergency Alert

Under the Clery Act, UNCG is required to immediately notify the campus community upon the confirmation of a significant emergency or dangerous situation occurring on the campus that involves an immediate threat to the health or safety of students or employees. Examples of significant emergencies or dangerous situations include an approaching tornado, hurricane or other extreme weather; gas leaks, explosions, chemical spills; and armed intruder, terrorist attacks, rioting, or bomb threats.

In those instances, the Responsible Authority will, without delay, and taking into account the safety of the community, determine the content of the emergency alert and activate the Spartan Alert notification system. However, if in the professional judgment of responsible authorities, issuing an emergency alert would compromise efforts to assist a victim or to contain, respond to or otherwise mitigate the emergency, the alert may be delayed. In those cases, the UNCG Chief of Police, or designee, will be notified, and once the potentially compromising situation has been addressed the emergency alert will be issued immediately.

All emergency alert messages will include the best information available regarding the following:

  1. What is happening. A brief description of the significant incident that is occurring.
  2. Where it is happening. Depending on the circumstances this may include detailed information (e.g.: EUC, in the Cone Ballroom), or a general location (e.g.: in the area of the EUC).
  3. What to do. Guidance regarding what to do to keep yourself and others around you safe while the incident is ongoing. Examples may include: avoid the area, find a safe place, or evacuate if you are in the area.

Confirming the Existence of a Significant Emergency or Dangerous Situation

The Responsible Authority and/or other campus first responders may become aware of a critical incident or other emergency situation that potentially affects the health and/or safety of the campus community. Generally, campus first responders become aware of these situations when they are reported to the UNCG Police or upon discovery during regular patrols and other assignments. Before an emergency alert is disseminated, the Responsible Authority will confirm that there is an ongoing threat to the campus community.

Determining the Appropriate Segment or Segments of the Campus Community to Receive the Emergency Alert

The Responsible Authority and/or local first responders on the scene of a critical incident or dangerous situation will assist those preparing the emergency alert with determining what segment or segments of the campus community should receive the alert. Generally, campus community members in the immediate area of the dangerous situation (i.e. the building, adjacent buildings, or surrounding area) will receive the emergency alert first. If the emergency affects a significant portion of the entire campus, the Responsible Authority will distribute the alert to the entire campus community. To ensure the larger community receives the alert, the message will be disseminated via the University’s website, the Spartan Alert website, social media, and press releases when applicable and as appropriate.

Determining the Contents and Initiating the Emergency Alert

The Responsible Authority will, in concert with local first responders, determine the contents of the alert and craft the message appropriate to the ongoing situation. The goal of the alert is to ensure individuals are aware of the situation and that they know the steps to take to safeguard their personal and community safety. Once the content has been determined, the Responsible Authority will initiate the Spartan Alert, as defined above. Additional alerting devices such as fire alarm systems, public address systems, and outside intercoms on the emergency blue phone poles may be used to alert the campus depending on the situation.

Safety Message

In addition to Emergency Notifications regarding immediate threats, The Clery Act requires the University to determine whether crimes covered by The Act constitute a serious and continuing threat to students, faculty, staff, or visitors. UNCG Police are authorized to determine whether a serious or continuing threat exists, to issue the appropriate notifications and to collaborate with other University units (e.g. Student Affairs, Title IX, Academic Affairs, campus security authorities, and the Office of the General Counsel) as appropriate.

The determination whether a serious or ongoing threat exists, and therefore whether a safety message should be sent to the campus community, shall be made pursuant to the U.S. Department of Education’s factors as outlined in the Clery Handbook. These factors include the nature of the crime, the continuing danger to the campus community, and the possible risk of compromising law enforcement efforts or the identity of the victim.

The University may also consider additional relevant factors, including but not limited to the following:

  • A Clery crime is reported to the UNCG Police. For a current list of Clery crimes visit https://clery.uncg.edu/crimes,
  • When and where the incident occurred,
  • When it was reported,
  • The duration of time between the alleged occurrence and the report,
  • The relationship between the victim and the alleged perpetrator,
  • The risk of identifying the victim,
  • Whether the crime represents a pattern (has occurred two or more times within a specific area or period of time),
  • Whether there is a substantial risk to the physical safety or property of others,
  • The number and location of students and employees present on campus,
  • The crime occurs within UNCG’s Clery geography.

Although each case will be evaluated on an individual basis, the University may choose not to issue safety messages when one or more of the following factors are present.

  • A report is filed more than seven (7) days after the date of the alleged incident;
  • A report is filed anonymously, by a third party, not made in good faith, or there is insufficient information to determine the accuracy of the report;
  • Pertinent information has not been acquired;
  • The suspect has been apprehended or a determination has been made that the suspect has been removed from campus to such a geographic extent that there is no serious or ongoing threat;
  • Any other factors that the Chief of Police or designee deems appropriate for the circumstances.

If the determination is made that a safety message is required, the notification will be issued by the UNCG Police through the University emergency notification system to students and employees via an email message. If available, the notification will provide information about the crime, a description of the suspect, and information that will aid in the prevention of similar incidents, including safety information and protective steps. Safety messages may be updated when new or more accurate information becomes available. Updates to safety messages may be issued by any Responsible Authority.

If in the professional judgment of the UNCG Police, issuing a safety message would compromise law enforcement efforts to address the crime, the notification may be delayed or information may be limited. Once the potentially compromising situation has been addressed and if the threat still exists, a safety message will be issued.

Anyone with information of a crime or incident warranting a safety message should report the circumstances to the UNCG Police by phone at 336-334-4444, by activating the LiveSafe Mobile Safety app, or in person at the UNCG Police Department located at 1200 West Gate City Blvd., Greensboro, NC 27402.

Enforcement

The Chancellor will enforce the Notification Policy.

Related Policies and Materials

UNCG Clery Compliance - clery.uncg.edu
UNCG Emergency Management - emg.uncg.edu

Contacts for Additional Information and Reporting

UNCG Clery Compliance Officer - 336-334-4402, clery@uncg.edu
Office of Emergency Management - 336-256-8632, emergencymanagement@uncg.edu