The University of the South uses a variety of tools to share important safety information with the campus and broader community. The primary reason for these notices is so that we as a community can work together to keep everyone informed, healthy and safe. Sharing information elevates the community's awareness and our responsiveness.
From broadest distribution to narrowest, these alerts are: use of the campus siren; emergency notifications; crime alerts; and timely notices. Sewanee community members, as well as students and employees, can sign up to receive emergency notifications.
Voice sirens are omni-directional sirens that can provide clear, uniform warnings instantaneously. The sirens can be used to send a voice message specific to a situation, or the automated tones can be used for weather situations (such as tornado warnings). The sirens are located in front of Elliott Hall and near Hardee-McGee Field; their sound covers, at a minimum, the area bounded by Gorgas Hall and The School of Theology, downtown (including Sewanee Elementary), Trezevant Hall, Emerald-Hodgson Hospital, the playing fields and Equestrian Center, Hodgson Hall, and back to Gorgas. They can supply precise information about a situation, and then allow people to return to their normal lives as quickly as possible.
Emergency notifications may be triggered by events such as severe weather (e.g., an approaching tornado), natural disasters (e.g., an earthquake), outbreak of communicable disease (e.g., meningitis), or an accident inside a campus building (e.g., a lab explosion). These will be sent by phone and/or text message and email alerts. The university is currently using the Live Safe application for these alerts. To learn more about receiving these alerts please click on the Live Safe menu option.
A crime alert to students, employees, and/or the broader Sewanee community may be appropriate for situations such as vandalism or a series of thefts. These may be sent by e-mail to faculty, staff and students, to the “Announcements” e-mail list, and/or published in the Messenger, depending on the situation.
Another category of warnings is sent only to the campus (students, faculty and staff). These “timely warnings” are required by federal law. Timely warnings are given if on-campus incidents present a continuing safety threat, such as a series of robberies taking place in different campus parking lots over several weeks. Other possible incidents include aggravated assault, arson, burglary, motor vehicle theft, sexual offenses, and certain hate crimes. In these cases, the Clery Act directs colleges and universities to inform their students and employees as soon as possible to minimize the possibility of a repeat offense. Including sexual misconduct in our alert protocol is in response to federal laws and expectations.
What information will be reported in a campus alert?
Notification will be as specific as the information allows—date, time, and locations—without divulging names. Often the university receives anonymous reports of sexual misconduct, which make communicating details difficult, as neither the complainant/survivor nor the respondent/perpetrator are known.
What should the campus community do with this information?
It is important to note that reporters (survivors) of sexual misconduct often choose to remain anonymous. Community members should value that choice, balancing their need to have basic information for reasons of safety with the survivor's need for privacy and support. The university asks each individual to focus on their personal safety and the safety of others, without escalating the potential for unnecessary drama, hurtful rumors, and potential retaliation.
What will the University do with reports?
The university encourages reporting. All reports are investigated to the best of our abilities, depending on the information disclosed. Investigations that reveal a preponderance of evidence result in appropriate university sanctions; allegations pursued through the criminal justice system may also result in criminal penalties.