Annual Security and Fire Safety Report

Dear Campus Community Members:

The safety and well-being of our students, employees, and visitors is a foremost concern. Among the best protections against campus crime are a strong law enforcement presence, an aware and alert community, a commitment to reporting suspicious activities, and the use of common sense in our daily lives. We define success in the daily actions of the people who respond to the challenges that arise in our community. What makes the University of the South a transformative institution are our collection of faculty and staff members and their dedication to each other and to our learning, which is best achieved in a caring and safe environment.

A synthesis of our success and our challenges is documented annually in our Annual Security and First Safety Report for the 2017 calendar year for the University of the South. This report complies with the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act, the Higher Education Reauthorization Act, and other federal laws. The report is part of the University’s ongoing effort to inform the community of the safety programs and related services available to you and the steps you can take to maintain your own safety and security. This report is prepared by a team representing various departments: Sewanee Police Department, Office for Risk Management and Institutional Effectiveness, Office of Institutional Research, Dean of Students Office, Office of General Counsel, and Office of Marketing and Communications.

As you look over the report, please keep a few points in mind. The report shows the number of incidents reported during the calendar year 2017—not necessarily the number of crimes that occurred during the year. (Statistics show that reports are often delayed; for example, sexual misconduct reports are often delayed by a year or more.) Some of the numbers of reported crimes at Sewanee are higher this year than last year. The same trend is occurring at many other universities as well, when those institutions are diligent in their reporting. We are diligent in our enforcement, as we see it as our responsibility and as part of our role to develop values and holistic character in our students. An increase in reporting does not necessarily mean an increase in crime on campus. Instead, we believe the increase is due to increased education of students about the importance of reporting, especially in reporting sexual assault, and to increased confidence in the institution’s ability to respond. The University is addressing this issue with initiatives in five main categories: campus culture, prevention, response, partnerships, and training.

The University works diligently to reduce risk and the potential for crime, and while the campus and surrounding community are relatively safe places, neither is immune from incidents of crime. Safety and security are shared responsibilities, and we expect all community members to contribute to the well-being of our campus.

John McCardell