Emergency and Incident Information
About Campus Safety

Department of Public Safety

As a Catholic and Franciscan institution of higher education, Franciscan University stands with the Catholic Church in seeing “in men and women, in every person, the living image of God himself”. This understanding is the basis for the University’s commitment to promote and to defend the human dignity of all persons as Franciscan University strives to provide a safe and secure learning, working, and living environment.

Franciscan University works diligently to reduce risk and the potential for crime. Safety and security are shared responsibilities, and the University expects all current and prospective community members to contribute to the safety and security of our campus. The best protections against campus crime are: a strong campus security presence; an aware, informed, alert campus community; and a commitment to reporting suspicious activities and using common sense when carrying out daily activities.

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Department of Public Safety 

Franciscan University of Steubenville contracts with McKeen Security, Inc., a private security firm, to provide security officers on the Steubenville Campus. Uniformed security officers are present and patrol the campus 24 hours/7days a week, monitoring campus safety, locking buildings and doors and securing parking lots. These officers, while trained, are not sworn peace officers.

The Department of Public Safety is located at 1519 Assisi Heights

(740) 283-6319

For reporting concerns, disruptions, or inappropriate and/or suspicious behavior, dial 6911.

In any emergency situation, on or off campus, where there is risk to human life and/or personal safety, or when a crime is in progress, you are urged to dial 911.

Non-emergency concerns or violations may be reported by submitting a completed Incident Report

A Message From Father Dave Pivonka, TOR

Campus safety is always on the minds of parents and students when they’re looking at colleges. They rightfully want assurances their future school offers a safe and secure campus, a caring community, a place where nothing bad will happen.

As president, I can confidently say Franciscan is a very safe place, and we work hard every day to provide a living and learning environment in which every member can thrive in peace and security.

We review and update our safety and security policies regularly and implement best practices in higher education as well as forming hearts and minds in the life-giving truths of Catholic teaching.

I discussed current policies with Ann Booth ’14, our Title IX Coordinator, in this recent Legends From the Hill podcast. I encourage you to take the time to listen to it. I think you will find it enjoyable and informative. Among other topics, we discussed some of the many safety and security improvements the University has made in the past 10 years, which include:

  • increased campus security patrols with 24/7 security guards and an in-house Security Director
  • providing everyone in our community with required training on how to prevent, report, and respond to any kind of abuse, unjust discrimination, or other harmful actions
  • a confidential advocacy office and dedicated full-time Title IX Coordinator
  • implementing additional protocols and standards for clergy and non-clergy employees engaged in counseling and spiritual advising and prohibiting exorcism
  • a requirement that all clerics working on campus be of good standing with their respective religious order, pass a criminal background check, and complete safe environment training
  • memoranda of understanding with the TORs and religious groups situated here and engaged in ministry that requires mandatory reporting to the University’s Title IX Coordinator on allegations of sexual misconduct
  • Sexual Assault Awareness Month
  • a standing committee of lay persons to oversee Franciscan’s policies and procedures for responding to sexual misconduct and their diligent, consistent implementation
  • many other steps that may be found here under the “Historical Review” and “Timeline.”

These efforts have created a genuinely safe, wholesome, and holy environment in which we all can grow in love for Jesus and each other.

As president, it breaks my heart when anyone in our community experiences harm of any kind. If the worst does happen, however, I am fully confident our leadership, Confidential Advocate, Title IX Coordinator, pastoral care team, and professional counselors will respond immediately and work hard to bring comfort and healing. We also follow our policies to seek the truth, take appropriate, timely action, and hold accountable and responsible anyone who has caused hurt to another or who has not faithfully implemented our policies and procedures.

As a Catholic and Franciscan institution of higher education, we are committed to and recognize the need for the ongoing conversion of our community. We stand with the Catholic Church in seeing in every person the living image of God. This understanding is the basis for the University’s commitment to promote and to defend the human dignity of all persons. Harmful or abusive behavior of any kind is sinful and wrong, and it subverts the Catholic and Franciscan mission of our university to educate, evangelize, and form joyful disciples of Christ.

But as each member of our community assumes his or her personal responsibility to care for one another, grow in holiness and virtue, and contribute to a positive campus culture, Franciscan University of Steubenville will continue to provide a safe, peaceful, healthy learning environment for all.

Thank you for your continued prayers and support, and please be assured of mine.

Campus Safety Escort


Students may request a security guard to escort them from a campus parking lot or building to another parking lot or building.

Contact the Department of Public Safety at 283-6333 or 283-6911 to request a security escort.

Reporting an Emergency or Crime

If this is an emergency, dial 911

On-campus emergency line: 6911

Or fill out an incident report:

Emergency Assistance Call Boxes (located throughout campus) provide immediate connection to Campus Security Dispatch. Dispatch may also be reached in person at 1519 Assisi Heights or through security guards patrolling campus. In response to a call, FUS will take the required action, dispatching a security guard.

Non-Emergency Situations

Prompt and accurate reporting of criminal offenses safeguards the campus community and aids in providing a timely response as well as timely warning notices to the community when appropriate. Prompt and accurate reporting also assists in compiling accurate campus crime statistics. FUS community members and guests are encouraged to report all crimes, suspicious activity and public safety related incidents in an accurate and timely manner to FUS Security, local law enforcement authorities or FUS employees who have been identified as Campus Security Authorities (identified below).

Department of Public Safety


Public safety officials will offer assistance in contacting local authorities and will cooperate with any criminal investigation that may result. As required, Public Safety will report information to other FUS officials for appropriate handling, investigation, and disposition.

Local Law Enforcement Authorities (Steubenville and Jefferson County):


Steubenville Police: 740-283-6090


Steubenville Police – 740-282-5353

Jefferson County Sherriff – 740-283-8600

Campus Safety & Security Authorities

Individuals on campus may also report crimes to a designated campus security authority (CSA):

  • Vice President of Student Life
    J.C. Williams Center
  • Dean of Students
    J.C. Williams Center

  • Assistant Vice President of Student Life Services & Events
    J.C. Williams Center

  • Director of Athletics
    Finnegan Fieldhouse
  • Asst. Athletics Director for Compliance & Operations
    Finnegan Fieldhouse
  • Executive Director of Legal Affairs
    1517 Assisi Heights

  • Title IX/EEO Coordinator & Youth Protection Officer
    1517 Assisi Heights

  • Director of Public Safety
    1519 Assisi Heights
  • Public Safety Personnel
    Assisi Heights
  • Vice President of Academic Affairs
    Egan Hall

  • Wellness Center Health Services Staff
    Finnegan Fieldhouse
  • Resident Directors and Resident Assistants
    Office of Student Life
    J.C. Williams Center

These designated individuals have significant responsibility for student and campus activities. They are provided notice by FUS as to the extent of their responsibility as well as how to report crimes to Public Safety and/or other campus officials for appropriate handling, investigation, and disposition.


Statistical crime reporting required by the Clery Act does not include personally identifiable information. Personally identifiable information regarding victims of sexual assault and other forms of sexual violence, domestic violence, dating violence, stalking or other crimes will not be publicly released except where required by law or court order. Personally identifiable student information is protected by the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA).

Annual Security Report

Franciscan University has a vested interest in campus security and the personal safety of all community members – students, employees and visitors alike. The Annual Security Report is a resource to the community, providing key educational, awareness, and prevention information. It provides critical information such as how and where to report a crime as well as how and where to report violations of the University’s Policy Against Discriminatory and Sexual Harassment and other forms of Sexual Violence, Dating Violence, Domestic Violence and Stalking, plus options and resources for victims. This report also includes statistics for the previous three years concerning reported crimes that occurred on campus; in certain off-campus buildings or property owned or controlled by Franciscan University of Steubenville (including its Gaming, Austria campus) and on public property within, or immediately adjacent to and accessible from University property. Campus crime, arrest, and referral statistics include those reported to designated campus security officials as defined under the Clery Act and local law enforcement agencies. Students, faculty and staff are encouraged to use this report as a guide for safe practices on and off campus.

Read and Download the Annual Reports »

Historical Review and Actions Taken Regarding Campus Safety
April 12, 2019 (updated October 21, 2022)

Adoption of the University’s Policy on Discrimination, Harassment, and Sexual Misconduct in 2014

Since June 2014, all reports of sexual misconduct involving clergy, administrators, faculty, staff, students, guests, and visitors have been governed by the University’s Policy on Discrimination, Harassment, and Sexual Misconduct, which is administered by the Director of Campus Safety and Compliance, Title IX/EEO Coordinator, and several Deputy Title IX Coordinators, all of whom are lay persons. The policy prohibits all forms of sexual misconduct, including sexual harassment, sexual violence, domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking.  Since implementation of the University’s Policy on Discrimination, Harassment, and Sexual Misconduct in 2014, the University’s responses to reports of sexual misconduct have been formalized and are now consistent with the University’s Catholic identity, including its commitment to promote and defend human dignity by providing a learning, working, and living environment free from all forms of sexual misconduct. The Husch Blackwell historical review conducted in 2018 found that the University’s policy complies with operative federal and state laws and matches industry standards.


Additional Action Steps Since 2014

In addition to adopting the Policy on Discrimination, Harassment, and Sexual Misconduct under the leadership of Father Sean O. Sheridan, TOR, (President of Franciscan University, 2013-2019) and continued under Father Dave Pivonka, TOR, (President of Franciscan University since May 2019), the University has continually improved and augmented its processes and resources for responding to sexual misconduct. A timeline of notable action steps taken since adoption of the policy is as follows:

  • June 2014:
    University adopts comprehensive Policy on Discrimination, Harassment, and Sexual Misconduct.
  • August 2014:
    University initiates mandatory in-person sexual misconduct prevention training for clergy, administrators, faculty, staff, and students.
  • July 2015:
    University hires full-time Director of Campus Safety and Compliance.
  • September 2015:
    University enters into memorandum of understanding with Steubenville Police Department regarding handling of complaints/reports of sexual misconduct that are potentially criminal in nature.
  • September 2015:
    University implements mandatory online sexual misconduct prevention training for students.
  • March 2016:
    University implements mandatory online sexual misconduct prevention training for administrators, faculty, and staff (including clergy in those roles).
  • February 2017:
    University enters into memorandum of understanding with ALIVE, Inc. memorializing commitment to provide trauma-informed services to victims of sexual misconduct.
  • May 2017:
    University significantly updates the Policy on Discrimination, Harassment, and Sexual Misconduct to comply with continued federal Title IX guidance and court decisions applying Title IX.
  • August 2018:
    President Father Sean Sheridan, TOR, apologizes publicly to anyone who may have experienced sexual misconduct, or whose report of sexual misconduct was not taken seriously, and invites those individuals to report their experiences to the University and law enforcement.
  • August 2018:
    President Father Sean Sheridan, TOR announces that the University, with the support of its Board of Trustees, will undergo an outside review of its files pertaining to sexual misconduct by Husch Blackwell, LLP. A firm that specializes in Title IX and sexual abuse and violence, Husch Blackwell will determine if legal and reporting requirements were followed.
  • October 2018:
    In response to concerns raised in the media, the University commissions Jackson Lewis P.C. to review the University’s handling of certain recent reports of student sexual misconduct; Jackson Lewis concludes that University staff have complied with Policy on Discrimination, Harassment, and Sexual Misconduct.
  • January 2019:
    Husch Blackwell, LLP delivers its report to the Board of Trustees regarding documentation of reports of past sexual misconduct involving clergy and non-clergy employees.
  • January 2019:
    Father Sheridan announces investments in additional investigative capacity and creation of the Student Advocate Office.
  • April 2019:
    The Board of Trustees makes a public disclosure concerning the results of the Husch Blackwell, LLP review.
  • April 2019:
    The Board of Trustees amends its bylaws to create a standing committee of the board consisting solely of lay persons to oversee the University’s policies and processes for responding to sexual misconduct. The committee receives periodic reports from the Title IX/EEO Coordinator, which are then reported to the full Board of Trustees on at least a bi-annual basis.
  • May 2019:
    University revises its Policy on Discrimination, Harassment, and Sexual Misconduct to explicitly codify the University’s practices that the Title IX/EEO Coordinator, Deputy Title IX/EEO coordinators, advocates, investigators, hearing board members, and appeals officers will be lay persons.
  • August 2019:
    The University enhances ongoing prevention and awareness, including presentations to various groups of the campus community.
  • August 2019:
    University adopts a protocol by which any cleric for whom there is a reasonable cause to suspect unwelcome sexual contact against a student will be immediately suspended from private interactions with students until such a time as the matter is resolved.
  • August 2019:
    University, TORs, and any religious orders serving on campus begin formalizing memoranda of understanding to address application of the University’s Policy on Discrimination, Harassment, and Sexual Misconduct to any report of sexual misconduct; establish processes for information sharing; and establish prescreening requirements for all clerics placed on campus.
  • August 2019:
    University commences formal standards for appropriate methods of communication between spiritual advisors and advisees.
  • August 2019:
    University hires a full-time Title IX/EEO investigator.
  • August 2019:
    University establishes a Confidential Advocacy Office.
  • August 2020:
    University hires a Title IX/EEO Coordinator whose duties solely consist of overseeing the University’s Policy on Discrimination, Harassment, and Sexual Misconduct.
  • August 2021:
    University expands Campus Sexual Assault Response Team (C-SART), a multidisciplinary team of University employees who develop victim-centered response protocols facilitating engagement of the victim with campus and community service providers to reduce further trauma and mitigate the effects of violence on the victim. C-SART also works to provide collaboration, community education, and networking to close gaps in service.