Philadelphia University + Thomas Jefferson University

Campus Violence Policy

Category:  Human Resources
Title: Campus Violence Policy
Applicability: TJUH System (TJUH ) Thomas Jefferson University( TJU), Jefferson University Physicians (JUP)
Contributors/Contributing Departments: General Counsel, Human Resources, Security, University Counsel,Hospital Administration


PURPOSE

Thomas Jefferson University, Jefferson University Physicians, and TJUH System (collectively referred to in this Policy as “Jefferson”) are dedicated to the well-being and personal safety of students, faculty, employees, patients, and visitors. Jefferson has adopted this zero-tolerance policy which strictly prohibits campus violence. Acts of violence and/or threats of violence, whether expressed or implied toward any individual(s) at the Jefferson campus, are prohibited and will not be tolerated. All reports of such incidents will be taken seriously and will be addressed appropriately. This policy defines prohibited conduct, as well as general procedures and potential responsive steps in the event that campus violence occurs. Education related to violence prevention will begin at orientation and will also be provided as needed.

POLICY

This prohibition against implied or express threats and acts of violence (including domestic violence) applies to all Jefferson personnel, contract and temporary workers, students, and anyone else on Jefferson property. Certain departments have implemented policies or procedures related to violence prevention and response. Those policies or procedures must be consistent with this policy. 

All Jefferson personnel, contract and temporary workers, and students who commit campus violence will be subject to disciplinary action up to and including termination of employment or dismissal and will be directed to stay away from Jefferson. Violators may also be subject to criminal prosecution. Jefferson will decide whether its campus violence policy has been violated and whether preventive or corrective action is appropriate. 

Additionally, if Jefferson personnel, contract and temporary workers, or students are arrested for a crime of violence or threat of violence under any criminal code provision, Jefferson reserves the right to determine whether the conduct involved may adversely affect the legitimate business interests of Jefferson, or is inconsistent with Jefferson values, and as a result may implement corrective action up to and including discharge or dismissal. Jefferson personnel, contract and temporary workers, and students arrested for such a crime must report the arrest immediately to Jefferson. Failure to do so is a violation of this policy and subjects such persons to disciplinary action, including termination from employment or dismissal.

PROCEDURE

       I. Definitions

Campus violence is any conduct that is severe, offensive or intimidating enough to cause an individual to reasonably fear for his/her personal safety or the safety of others or property. Examples of campus violence include, but are not limited to, threats or acts of violence or behavior that causes reasonable fear or intimidation and that occur:

a) On Jefferson campus, no matter what the relationship is between Jefferson and the perpetrator or victim of the behavior; or

b) On any off-campus premises, where the perpetrator is someone who is acting as an employee or representative of Jefferson at the time, or is a Jefferson student, or where the victim is a Jefferson employee or student who is exposed to the conduct because of their affiliation with Jefferson, or where there is a reasonable basis for believing that violence may occur against the targeted employee, student or others at the Jefferson campus.

c)   All reported incidents of violence or threats of violence will be taken seriously and investigated. Jefferson will decide whether its campus violence policy has been violated and whether preventive or corrective action is appropriate, up to and including termination or dismissal. Jefferson may consult with law enforcement authorities or other resources, as it deems appropriate, and may require a fitness for duty examination or other professional assessment through providers chosen by Jefferson to determine whether a perpetrator presents a threat to himself, herself, or others at the campus. 

d)  Jefferson has created a Threat Response Team (TRT) that is described in Appendix A of this policy. If warranted, Legal, Human Resources, Student Affairs, or Security will notify members of the TRT concerning any given situation. In such circumstances, the TRT will evaluate the incident or situation for assessment and planning purposes. 

    II.  Reporting

a) In the event that an employee believes that a threat or act of violence has been made against that employee or others, the employee must report the details immediately to his/her supervisor, manager, Human Resources and/or Security Department anytime at 215-955-8888. For reporting concerns anonymously, call the Jefferson Security confidential hotline at 215-955-5678. Hospital personnel are responsible for completing an event report in Patient Safety Net anytime an incident of workplace violence occurs which is associated with a patient or family member.

b)  In the event that a student believes that a threat or act of violence has been made against that student or others, the student must report the details immediately to his/her dean’s office, and/or the VP for Academic Affairs (215-503-5134) and/or Security 215-955-8888. For reporting concerns anonymously, call the Jefferson Security confidential hotline at 215-955-5678.

c) For an immediate on-campus response to any direct threat, dial "811" from any campus phone. A 9-1-1 call to police may be appropriate first, in the good judgment of the employees or managers involved. Nothing in this policy is intended to prevent quick action to stop or reduce the risk of harm to anyone, including requesting immediate assistance from law enforcement or emergency response resources.

d) Failure to report any threats or acts of violence in violation of this policy is itself a violation of this policy, and may subject Jefferson personnel, contract and temporary workers, students, and anyone else subject to this policy to discipline, up to and including discharge or dismissal.

e) Retaliation against anyone for reporting in good faith an actual or suspected violation of this policy will not be tolerated and will subject the individual engaging in the retaliation to discipline, including termination from employment or dismissal from an academic program. Any complaints about retaliation may be reported in the same manner as violations of this policy are to be reported.

 III. Stay Away Orders

Jefferson reserves the right to seek stay away orders against any person who violates this policy to the fullest extent allowed by law. In such situations, Jefferson has an interest in assisting any student or employee who reports incidents of actual or threatened campus violence to obtain a stay away order, including one that may apply to the campus. Jefferson personnel, contract and temporary workers, and students who are targeted by the perpetrator may be asked to work with Jefferson to obtain such an order against that perpetrator. Likewise, Jefferson personnel, contract and temporary workers, and students who have previously sought a stay away order against a perpetrator and/or are protected by an existing stay away order must immediately:

  1. Notify Jefferson personnel, e.g., student affairs, your supervisor, or Human Resources, of the existence of any such order and provide a copy of the order to the Managing Director of Public Safety.
  2. Notify Jefferson Security of any violations or attempted violations of the order.
  3. Notify Jefferson Security of any changes to the order.
  4. Notify Jefferson Security of the order being lifted.

 IV.  Confidentiality and Safety

These provisions on campus violence are intended to protect the safety of all students and employees, and are in no way intended to infringe on a student’s or an employee’s privacy. The primary goal of this policy is to encourage an open, ongoing dialogue with the affected student or employee, and those within the Jefferson community who need to know, so that Jefferson can take reasonable steps to protect campus safety. Jefferson’s goal is to handle all situations with the utmost sensitivity while meeting the goal of campus safety and security.

    V.  Avoiding Endangerment

Unfortunately, victims of violence may sometimes be uncooperative with Jefferson’s attempts to protect them and others on campus. For instance, victims may decide not to tell Jefferson about threatened or actual domestic violence that may follow the victim onto the campus, or they may engage in behaviors that either provoke or continue the threat of such violence.

These behaviors by the victim endanger not only the victim, but also others at the campus. In such situations, Jefferson reserves the right to take corrective action against a victim of campus violence whose activities or lack thereof increase the risk of threatened or continued acts of campus violence, up to and including termination from employment or dismissal from an academic program.

This aspect of the Jefferson policy is not designed to punish the victim, but is necessary to protect all Jefferson personnel, contract and temporary workers, and students from the increased threat posed by endangering behavior.

Jefferson personnel shall always be observant of the surroundings, including individuals who may exhibit behaviors which are warning signs of potential workplace violence. Examples of some behaviors include : a new/obsessive fascination with weapons, expressing an obsession with one person, withdrawing or becoming isolated, holding a grudge, sudden demonstration of performance or attendance problems, expression of extreme desperation over financial, legal, or relationship issues, or association with hate or extremist groups, to name a few. Jefferson employees shall immediately contact Security, Human Resources, or their immediate supervisor if such behaviors are identified.

 VI. Search Policy

Jefferson reserves the right to conduct workplace inspections at anytime, with or without notice, upon reasonable suspicion, for purposes of enforcing this policy. 

VII.  Examples

Examples of conduct that may be considered threats or acts of violence under this policy include, but are not limited to, the following:

  1. Threatening physical or aggressive contact directed toward another individual or engaging in behavior that causes a reasonable fear of such contact.
  2. Threatening an individual or his/her family, friends, associates or property with physical harm or behavior that causes a reasonable fear of such harm.
  3. Intentional destruction or threat of destruction of Jefferson's or another’s property.
  4.  Harassing or threatening physical, verbal, written, or electronic communications, including, phone calls, emails, letters, faxes, website materials, diagrams or drawings, gestures and any other form of communication that causes a reasonable fear or intimidation response in others.
  5. Stalking.
  6. Veiled threats of physical harm or intimidation or like statements, in any form, that lead to a reasonable fear of harm or an intimidation response.
  7. Communicating an endorsement of the inappropriate use of firearms or weapons of any kind.
  8. Possessing weapons of any type, whether licensed or not, and particularly firearms, while on campus. The only exception is local, state, and federal law enforcement officers acting in the line of duty. See the Jefferson Policy prohibiting Weapons, Policy No. 119.05.
  9. Domestic violence, which is a pattern of coercive tactics carried out by an abuser against an intimate partner (the victim). These coercive tactics can be physical, psychological, sexual, economic, and/or emotional. Where the abuser’s tactics include any of the above-described conduct on Jefferson’s campus, this policy applies. Where such tactics include any of the above-described behaviors off of Jefferson's campus, this policy applies where the abuser is someone who is acting as an employee or representative of Jefferson at the time, where the victim is an employee, contract or temporary worker, or student who is exposed to the conduct because of their affiliation with Jefferson, or where there is a reasonable basis for believing that violence may occur against the victim or others at the campus. The term “intimate partner” includes people who are legally married to each other, people who were once married to each other, people who have had a child together, people who live together or who have lived together, and people who have or have had a dating or sexual relationship, including same sex couples.

NOTE: Forms of harassment that are verbal or physical conduct showing hostility or aversion toward an individual because of his or her age, race, color, religion, creed, sexual preference or orientation, marital status, gender identity, national origin, ancestry, citizenship, military status, veteran status, handicap or disability or any other characteristic protected by law or that of his/her relatives, friends or associates are addressed in Jefferson Policy No. 200.79.

VIII.  Prevention

Jefferson has systems and processes in place to mitigate risks associated with workplace violence including the following:

1.) On site campus security force which patrols campus buildings 24/7 and is available as an immediate resource to respond to identified threats. The Jefferson security force works in collaboration with federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies as appropriate.    

2.) Deploying security technology as a means of prevention including security cameras, panic alarms, and restricting access to key doors through ID card access. 

3.) Students, faculty, and staff are trained on workplace violence policies and how to prevent and respond to workplace violence incidents should they occur.

4.) Periodic risk assessments are completed to assess the potential for workplace violence and guide the organization on how workplace safety and security can be enhanced. This includes the monitoring the frequency of workplace violence incidents and complaints over time.

 

Attachment(s):

Appendix A

References and Citations:
Policy No. 119.01 – Search Policy
Policy No. 119.05 – Weapons
Policy No. 200.02.01 – Employment Policies and Practices – General (Includes Background Check Policy)
Policy No. 200.79 – Policy on Equal Employment Opportunity; Policy Prohibiting Sexual Harassment; Policy on Other Forms of Harassment; Reasonable Accommodations; Policy Prohibiting Retaliation
Policy No XXX – Active Shooter Policy

 

Appendix: Appendix A (PDF)

Original Issue Date: 11/30/2013
Revision Date(s):
Review Date(s):

Responsibility for maintenance of policy: Managing Director, Public Safety, Chief Human Resources Officer

(Signature on File)


Approved by:
Ron Bowlan
Managing Director, Public Safety

 

(Signature on File)


Approved by:
Pamela Teufel
Senior Vice President and CHRO, Thomas Jefferson University and TJUH Systems

 

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