The vast majority of our students, faculty, staff, and visitors do not experience crime at the University of Pennsylvania. However, crime sometimes occurs despite our best efforts, and yours. This information is provided, both because of our commitment to campus safety and security and in compliance with the Federal Crime Awareness and Campus Security Act and the Pennsylvania College and University Security Information Act. It is meant to be useful to you. If you have concerns, questions, or comments about the requirements of federal or state law or Penn's compliance with these laws, please contact Thomas M. Seamon, Managing Director, Division of Public Safety at (215) 898-7515.
University Police maintain police patrols 24-hours-per-day, seven-days-a-week on campus, by foot, car, and bicycle with a police force of 102 sworn officers, the largest private police force in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. University Police also work closely with the Philadelphia Police Department as both agencies patrol and respond in neighborhood areas west to 43rd Street, south to Baltimore, east to 30th Street, and north to Market Street. University Police officers have full enforcement powers, including the authority to make arrests for criminal violations. While it is seldom necessary to use force in their work, University Police officers are authorized to carry firearms when on duty, and they do so. Otherwise, the possession of air rifles or pistols, firearms, ammunition, gunpowder, or other dangerous articles or substances is strictly prohibited on Penn property or at University-sponsored events.
University Police officers have completed rigorous training prescribed by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania under the Municipal Police Officer's Training Act. Once an officer has completed police academy training, he or she participates in a Field Training Program, developed and coordinated through the Division of Public Safety. Officers remain in probationary status for one year following graduation from the police academy and continuing in-service training is provided in accordance with established standards for continuing professional education for municipal police officers.
To contact University Police in an emergency, dial 511 from a campus telephone, use one of more than 225 blue light emergency telephones on campus and in the surrounding neighborhood, or dial 573-3333 from off-campus.
The Communications Center (PennCom) of the Division of Public Safety and all University Police vehicles monitor the radio frequency used by the Philadelphia Police Department in its patrols of the area in and around the campus. University Police officers respond to assist the Philadelphia Police Department in certain situations, and they respond to those addresses or locations owned by the University or associated with a recognized student organization. University Police detectives also are in regular contact with the 18th District of the Philadelphia Police Department to obtain information on criminal incidents reported to the Philadelphia Police Department, but not to University Police, for addresses or locations owned by the University or associated with a recognized student organization.
The Special Services Unit is responsible for coordinating victim support, crime prevention and outreach programs, community education, and information. This unit provides more than 120 crime prevention firesides, seminars, forums, and other presentations each year to student groups, faculty, and staff. It offers a comprehensive program to assist victims of crime, with particular emphasis on providing services to victims of crimes against persons. Officers and others assigned by the Division of Public Safety to victim support are available to offer immediate assistance and support at the scene of the crime, and they are highly-trained to do so. They accompany the victim to receive medical treatment, when necessary, or to the Philadelphia Police Department; and they are well-versed to provide referrals to health-related and other services, both at Penn and elsewhere. They also maintain contact with the victim throughout the investigation and court proceedings and can, given the victim's approval, interact with a department or academic area, or with the Office of Housing and Residence Life, to coordinate support in these areas. These services are confidential.
To contact the Special Services Unit, call 8-6600 from a campus telephone or (215) 898-6600 from off-campus.
To report a criminal incident, dial 511 from a campus telephone, use one of more than 225 blue light telephones on campus and in the community, or dial 573-3333 from off-campus. You also can report a criminal incident in person at the Division of Public Safety, 3914 Locust Walk, which is staffed with professional personnel 24-hours-a-day, seven-days-a-week.
Criminal incidents are assigned to an investigator within the Division of Public Safety, who is responsible for the investigation of the crime or for coordination with the Philadelphia Police Department. When necessary, an officer from Special Services will be available. If the incident involves a student who has violated policies, procedures, codes of conduct or the law, the Division of Public Safety will advise the victim or complainant of the option to report the incident to the Office of Student Conduct or the responsible University office. Information pursuant to the Crime Awareness and Campus Security Act on any person arrested by University Police and charged with a criminal offense is available to the campus community.
The Division of Public Safety maintains a computerized database for all reported criminal incidents, including those that occur on campus, those that occur in the surrounding neighborhood, and those that occur well beyond the campus community. This data is the basis for crime statistics reported to the FBI Uniform Crime Reporting System, for compliance with the Crime Awareness and Campus Security Act and the College and University Security Information Act, and for reporting crime statistics to the campus community.
The Crime Awareness and Campus Security Act requires Penn to provide information on its security policies and procedures and specific statistics for criminal incidents and arrests on campus to students and employees, and to make the information and statistics available to prospective students and employees upon request. The College and University Security Information Act requires Penn to provide information on its security policies and procedures to students, employees and applicants; and to provide crime statistics to students and employees, and make those statistics available to applicants and prospective employees upon request. This information is available by calling the Division of Public Safety at (215) 898-7297.
All crimes against persons that occur on campus and in the surrounding neighborhood, including the areas jointly patrolled by University Police and the Philadelphia Police Department, are published in the student newspaper, The Daily Pennsylvanian; and in Almanac, the weekly journal of record, opinion, and news, published by the University of Pennsylvania. The Division of Public Safety maintains an Incident Journal, a chronological listing of all crimes and significant incidents reported to University Police, which is open for public inspection at the Communications Center (PennCom) of the Division of Public Safety.
The Division of Public Safety does not hesitate to use a "Crime Alert" to notify the campus community of a serious crime or series of crimes in order to prevent additional incidents.
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 their will or without their 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.
Penn will provide support for victims of acquaintance rape or sexual violence, and it is committed to provide resources and processes for prevention, education, reporting, adjudication, protection from retaliation, and sanctions. Incidents that are reported to the appropriate departments at Penn will be addressed promptly and will be confidential. The procedures that govern the investigation of charges under these policies will take into account both the need to gather the facts and the confidentiality rights of all parties involved in the incident.
Anyone who is a victim of an acquaintance rape or sexual violence at Penn is encouraged to seek support and assistance, and to report the incident. While students are encouraged to contact Special Services at 8-6600 from a campus telephone or (215) 898-6600 from off-campus, contact also can be made through University Police emergency lines by dialing 511 from a campus telephone, by using one of more than 225 blue light telephones on campus and in the community, or by dialing (215) 573-3333 from an off-campus telephone; or through contact with Counseling and Psychological Services by dialing 8-7021 from a campus telephone or (215) 898-7201 from off-campus; or through contact with the Penn Women's Center by dialing 8-8611 from a campus telephone or (215) 898-8611 from off-campus.
When a victim of a sex offense contacts Special Services, the individual will be advised of all the health, legal, and support services available on and off-campus, and the victim will be assisted in accessing these services. If the victim elects to go through the criminal justice system and/or receive medical treatment, personnel from Special Services will accompany the victim to the sexual trauma unit at Jefferson Hospital for evaluation, treatment, and evidence collection. The Director of Special Services at Penn is the designated coordinator of support services for students who have been victimized. Whether the victim chooses to report an incidence of acquaintance rape or sexual violence to Special Services, the University Police, or another resource center within the campus community, the victim will be informed of all options for filing a complaint, including the right to report the incident fully and completely to the Philadelphia Police Department, the right to file an anonymous report with the Philadelphia Police Department, or the right to file no report.
Due to the sensitive issues involved in acquaintance rape and other sexual assaults, the victim may first disclose the incident some time after it occurred, but the victim is nonetheless encouraged to contact Special Services for support and assistance, and to report the incident.
Those within the campus community who are found responsible for acquaintance rape or sexual violence are subject to University sanctions, which may include suspension, expulsion, and separation from the University. In any University disciplinary proceeding involving charges of sexual assault, the accused and the accuser are entitled to the same opportunities to have others present during the proceedings, and both the accused and the accuser are informed of the outcome of the proceedings. The individual also may be subject to prosecution by the Office of the District Attorney under Pennsylvania criminal statutes.
The Acquaintance Rape and Sexual Violence Policy is stated on page 23 of the Penn Book: Resources, Policies & Procedures Handbook, which is available through the Office of the Vice Provost for University Life by calling (215) 898-6081.
The use, sale, and possession of narcotics and dangerous drugs is illegal and is strictly prohibited on campus.
Employees are required to adhere to the University's Drug-Free Workplace Policy and the Drug and Alcohol Policy, which strictly prohibits the unlawful manufacture, distribution, dispensation, sale, possession or use of drugs by its employees in the workplace. Those who violate these policies may be subject to disciplinary procedures or may be required to participate in drug or alcohol rehabilitation programs.
Students who have questions or concerns about alcohol or drugs are encouraged to use the medical or counseling resources provided by the University of Pennsylvania. These services adhere to all applicable laws governing the confidentiality of patient information.
The Alcohol and Drug Policy is stated on pages 23-26 of the Penn Book: Resources, Policies & Procedures Handbook, which is available through the Office of the Vice Provost for University Life by calling (215) 898-6081.
Generally, prospective students are not asked about previous criminal records, with the exception of applicants to certain graduate and professional programs, such as the Law School. Employees, however, are required to disclose any and all convictions for a felony, crime of violence, dishonesty, or crime against property or involving the threat of violence in the past 10 years. A criminal record, if relevant to the position in question, is a factor that is considered in the employment process.
University Policies and Procedures are stated on pages 15-22 of the Penn Book: Resources, Policies & Procedures Handbook, which is available through the Office of the Vice Provost for University Life by calling (215) 898-8061.
The Division of Public Safety has regular contact with those responsible for the campus grounds and lighting to ensure that the shrubs, bushes, and greenery throughout the campus is appropriate and well-maintained and that campus lighting is appropriate.
1996-97 Academic Year Undergraduate Student Enrollment: 11,508 Graduate and Professional Student Enrollment: 10,361 No. of Undergraduate Students in Campus Housing: 6,000 No. of Graduate and Students in Campus Housing: 1,200 No. of Non-Student Employees as of Jan. 1, 1997: 15,851
Housing for first-year undergraduate students is processed randomly by computer program for those applications received by May 1; the program attempts to assign students to one of their top three choices. Students applying after May 1, including transfer students, are processed in order of the receipt of their application. Upper-class students are assigned housing through a retention, lottery, or special program process. Graduate and professional students are assigned housing in the order of the receipt of their application. Room changes are made during scheduled periods in October, December and February, given availability of space. Emergency room changes can be made at any time upon the recommendation of a member of the residence hall staff.
The University of Pennsylvania maintains three undergraduate high-rise residence halls, two graduate high-rise residences, and one graduate low-rise residence as open residences during the winter break between semesters. All other residences are closed to students, who are welcome to stay in an open building during the break.
Entrances to all student residences are either locked or closely monitored by security personnel, and access to these facilities is limited to residents, faculty, staff, and authorized contractors, who are admitted only during certain hours and only with valid identification. Access to most student residences at Penn is monitored electronically by a card access system. Those without a valid PENNcard are considered visitors and will be admitted only after the presentation of valid identification and with the approval of their host, who will be responsible for their conduct. All student rooms are equipped with dead bolt or Mortis locks with anti-carding devices.
The Division of Public Safety is available to provide firesides, seminars, forums, and other presentations on campus safety and security to those living in student residences. Campus safety and security is discussed as a matter of course at residence hall meetings.
Note: The University of Pennsylvania does not discriminate on the basis of race, sex, sexual orientation, religion, color, national or ethnic origin, age, disability, or status as a Vietnam Era Veteran or disabled veteran in the administration of its educational policies, programs, activities; admissions policies; scholarship or loan awards; athletic, or other University-administered programs; or employment. Questions or complaints regarding this policy should be directed to the Director of Affirmative Action by calling (215) 898-6993 or (215) 898-7803.
Volume 43 Number 31
April 22, 1997
Return to Almanac's homepage.
Return to index for this issue.