On-Campus Safety

Annual report lists crime statistics, safety policies

Each year UVa-Wise and colleges across the U.S. provide a snapshot of campus safety issues on their respective  campuses.

UVa-Wise’s Annual Security and Fire Safety Report is part of required compliance with the federal Jeanne Clery Disclosure  of Campus Security Policy and Crime Statistics Act. This report, released by October 1 of each year, contains information on crime and fire statistics on campus, campus security, crime prevention, public safety, and crime reporting policies.

The report’s crime statistics section reveals data on all of the crimes that happened on campus or on college property off campus; the report does not include statistics for crimes that involved students but occurred off campus. In 2014 there were no cases of murder, negligent manslaughter, robbery, aggravated assault, motor vehicle theft, or weapon law arrests on either the main UVa-Wise campus or the Abingdon campus located at the Southwest Virginia Higher Education Center.

In 2014, however, there also were two reported rapes on the main campus, up from only one in 2013. There were also two reported burglaries in 2014, which is defined as “the unlawful entry of a structure to commit a felony or a theft.” This number is much lower than the two previous years in which there were 15 (2012)and four (2013) burglaries on campus.

The college also maintains strict laws regarding the use and possession of alcohol, drugs, and weapons on campus. In 2014, like the two years prior, there were

zero weapons law arrests and weapons law violations. For 2014, there was one drug law arrest, up from none the two years prior, and 12 drug law violations referred for disciplinary action, up from five in 2013. There were three liquor law arrests on campus on 2014, down from six in 2013, and 19 liquor law violations referred for disciplinary action, up from 11 in 2013 but much lower than 2012 when 58 were reported.

Additionally, in 2014 there was one instance of arson and one instance of dating violence on campus, which is defined as “violence committed by a person who is or has been in asocial relationship of a romantic or intimate nature with the victim.”

On the Abingdon campus, which, for statistical purposes, is reported separately from the main campus, there were no offences of any type reported in 2012, 2013, or 2014. The Abingdon campus is an academic program maintained by UVA-Wise at the Southwest Virginia Higher Education Center on the campus of Virginia Highlands Community College.

Only incidents that actually occurred on the UVA-Wise section of that campus would have been included in UVAWise’s annual report.

The statistics section, however, is just a small portion of the Annual Security and Fire Safety Report; much of the report outlines the safety measures and procedures of the college as well as safety tips and guidelines. The report contains information on what type of emergency situations students should shelter in place such as an active shooter, severe weather or civil unrest, as well as situations in which students should evacuate, such as an explosion or suspicious object on campus.

Sexual assault on college campuses continues to be a major issue at colleges around the country, and the report contains adequate information on sexual assault, how to report incidents and prevention measures the college and campus police are taking to combat sexual assault on campus.“UVa-Wise is committed to maintaining an environment free from harassment and discrimination for everyone and does not discriminate on the basis of race, sex, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, or any other protected status,” the report states. “This includes having an environment free from sexual and gender-based harassment, sexual assault, intimate partner violence, stalking, sexual exploitation, complicity and retaliation (“Prohibited Conduct”).”

There has been continued focus on trying to reduce gun violence on college campuses for several years due to the number of shootings on college campuses. This issue came back to the public forefront recently with the shooting at Umpqua Community College in Roseburg, Oregon, which left ten dead and nine injured, and the shooting at Northern Arizona University, which left one dead and three injured.

As of October 10 there have been 52 school shootings in the United States. The report gives detailed guides about what is allowed on campus, what safety measures are taken regarding gun violence, and plans of action to address certain situations such as an active shooter on campus.

“No student, faculty, staff, visitor or affiliate shall carry, possess, maintain, or conceal (concealed handgun carry permits included) on any property owned by The University of Virginia’s College at Wise,” the report states. “A student who violates this policy will be subject to disciplinary sanctions under the student judicial code, up to and including expulsion.”

The full report is available on the UVa-Wise Campus Police website or directly here.

Campus police are available twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week, on the lower level of Cantrell Hall and can be contacted at (276)328-0190.

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