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.
Department of Campus Safety and Security
Franciscan University of Steubenville contracts with Jefferson Security Services, 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 office of Campus Security is located in the community building in Assisi Heights
Emergency Assistance Call Boxes (located throughout campus) provide immediate connection to Campus Security Dispatch. Dispatch may also be reached in person at the Assisi Heights Community Center or through security guards patrolling campus. In response to a call, FUS will take the required action, dispatching a security guard.
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).
Campus security officials will offer assistance in contacting local authorities and will cooperate with any criminal investigation that may result. As required, Campus Security will report information to other FUS officials for appropriate handling, investigation, and disposition.
Local Law Enforcement Authorities (Steubenville and Jefferson County):
Wellness Center Health Services Staff 740-284-7223
Resident Directors and Resident Assistants 740-283-6441
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 Campus Security 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.
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:
University adopts comprehensive Policy on Discrimination, Harassment, and Sexual Misconduct.
University initiates mandatory in-person sexual misconduct prevention training for clergy, administrators, faculty, staff, and students.
University hires full-time Director of Campus Safety and Compliance.
University enters into memorandum of understanding with Steubenville Police Department regarding handling of complaints/reports of sexual misconduct that are potentially criminal in nature.
University implements mandatory online sexual misconduct prevention training for students.
University implements mandatory online sexual misconduct prevention training for administrators, faculty, and staff (including clergy in those roles).
University enters into memorandum of understanding with ALIVE, Inc. memorializing commitment to provide trauma-informed services to victims of sexual misconduct.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Father Sheridan announces investments in additional investigative capacity and creation of the Student Advocate Office.
The Board of Trustees makes a public disclosure concerning the results of the Husch Blackwell, LLP review.
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.
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.
The University enhances ongoing prevention and awareness, including presentations to various groups of the campus community.
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.
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.
University commences formal standards for appropriate methods of communication between spiritual advisors and advisees.
University hires a full-time Title IX/EEO investigator.
University establishes a Confidential Advocacy Office.
University hires a Title IX/EEO Coordinator whose duties solely consist of overseeing the University’s Policy on Discrimination, Harassment, and Sexual Misconduct.