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In an effort to create a safe environment for UST students, faculty, and staff, UST police has established Safety Week Fall 2018. Safety week will begin, Thursday, September 27 and go through Wednesday, October 3. During each day of safety week we will explore a different topic affecting the UST Family.

The following topics will be explored:

Alcohol/Drug Awareness - Thursday, September 27

Drug Statistics:

  • Moderate use (2-3 drinks) can result in a loss of motor coordination for up to 12 to 18 hours after drinking.
  • Alcohol consumption by college students is linked to at least 1,400 student deaths and 500,000 unintentional injuries each year.
  • Alcohol does not relieve depression; it makes it worse.
  • One third of suicides are associated with alcohol misuse.

10 Signs of Alcohol Abuse:

  1. Temporary memory loss and blackouts
  2. Drink to cheer up
  3. You've tried to quit drinking but can't
  4. You drink to be "Normal" or "Fit in"
  5. Flushed skin/broken capillaries in the face
  6. Temporary memory loss or blackouts
  7. Problems with family members as a result of drinking
  8. Drinking in secret or lying about your alcohol intake
  9. Anxiety, insomnia, nausea when you stop drinking
  10. Drinking in the morning

Drugs Statistics:

  • According to the U.S. Department of Education, 35% of the new freshmen population will comprise the bulk of new drug users and potential drug abusers on college campuses.
  • 43% of the overall college student body has either tried or is currently addicted to at least one of the top ten drugs found on college campuses.
  • Although most college students use prescription drugs properly, about one in four people aged 18 to 20 report using these medications non-medically at least once in their lives.
  • Non-medical use of pain relievers is on the rise among college-age youth.

Signs and Effects of Drug Abuse

Body Signs

  • Red Eyes
  • Dry mouth
  • Smells like marijuana

Behavioral Signs

  • Use of eye drops
  • Difficulty thinking
  • Drowsiness
  • Easily distracted
  • Awkward movement

Emotional Signs

  • Elevated mood
  • Giggling or being silly
  • Lack of anxiety or stress

Verbal Signs

  • Slowed and/or slurred responses
  • Difficulties expressing themselves coherently
  • Make comments that their sense of taste, touch, smell, sound or vision is heightened
  • Making comments that time seems to have slowed

Personal Safety - Friday, September 28

At University of St. Thomas, we are not only concerned about making sure you are safe, but also equipping you with the knowledge to hopefully prevent unsafe situations from happening.

Today, UST is focusing on personal, residence hall, and vehicle safety.  You will see posters around campus with personal safety tips.

The Top 5 Items Stolen on College Campus

  1. Bicycles
  2. Laptop
  3. Cash
  4. Cell phones
  5. Books

Below are some forms that will assist you in keeping you and your personal items safe.

Outlines general safety tips everyone needs to know to protect themselves on campus or off.

This form outlines the guidelines you will need to use if you encounter an armed subject or disruptive individual.

This form will allow you to register your personal property (example: TV, iPhone, etc.) with USTPD. If it is stolen, the police department will have all the necessary information to find it.

Remember: The best way to solve crime is to prevent crime. Do your part in keeping our campus safe. Report all suspicious activity.

Anytime you do not feel safe, please call USTPD at (713) 525-3888. We will assist you in whatever safety concerns you have.

If you any questions, please come by the USTPD or email us at police@stthom.edu.

Sexual Assault - Monday, October 1st

The University of St. Thomas (“UST”, “St. Thomas” or “the University”) is committed to providing timely support and assistance to victims and/or survivors of sexual misconduct, interpersonal violence and/or gendered harassment.

“Sexual misconduct” is an umbrella term that refers collectively to the below offenses that are prohibited by the University of St. Thomas.  Those offenses are the following:

  • Sexual Harassment
  • Sexual Assault, which includes Non-Consensual Sexual Penetration and Sexual Touching
  •  Forms of Interpersonal Violence or Intimate Partner Violence, which include Dating Violence and Domestic Violence
  • Sexual Exploitation
  • Stalking, regardless of if it occurs in the context of an intimate relationship
  • Non-sexual gender-based harassment and discrimination

Students or employees who experience an incident of sexual misconduct or one of the other prohibited offenses should consider the information and resources provided below.

EMERGENCY INFORMATION

FOR IMMEDIATE ASSISTANCE

  1. Confidential Support: Any student in need of immediate emotional support should contact Counseling and Disability Services and request to speak with a confidential counselor (after hours, contact the police department or your housing staff to access the counselor on call).  You may also access the Counseling and Disability Services website, stthom.edu/CDS.  Survivors (employees or students) may also contact AVDA (sexual and domestic violence resource center off campus) to speak with a confidential advocate 24 hours a day, 7 days a week by calling (713) 224-9911.  Access AVDA website at avda-tx.org.
  2. Reporting: Students and employees are strongly encouraged to report sexual misconduct or other prohibited conduct to University authorities and to the police in order to protect themselves and others.  Even if the survivor does not want to make a formal incident report with the University or cooperate with law enforcement, he or she still may have the right to other victims’ services, including reasonable accommodations and interim protective measures in addition to support services.  To file a report, any person can contact any of the following or file a report online at stthom.edu/sexualmisconduct:
    1. Title IX Coordinator for Students: (available during regular business hours) Lindsey McPherson, Assistant Vice President for Student Affairs/Dean of Students, 3909 Graustark, Room 215Q, Crooker Center, deanofstudents@stthom.edu, (713) 525-3570.
    2. Title IX Coordinator for Employees: (available during regular business hours) Randy Graham, Associate Vice President of Human Resources, 3818 Graustark Street, Room 104, titleixcoord@stthom.edu, (713) 525-3818

Reporting to the Title IX Coordinator will not result in a criminal investigation but will result in an administrative investigation to determine if this policy was violated.If the incident occurred on campus, limited information will be shared with the UST Police for purposes of determining if a Timely Warning Notice should be sent out to the community and for purposes of capturing and counting crime data.

  1. UST Police Department (available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week) (713) 525-3888 stthom.edu/police.

Reporting to the UST Police may initiate a criminal investigation into your complaint.The UST police will also determine if a Timely Warning Notice should be sent out to the community and will capture and count crime date if the offense was reported to have occurred on campus or on a property owned or controlled by the institution.The UST police will report your complaint to the Title IX Coordinator.You can tell the police as much or as little as you would like.

  1. Houston Police Department: (available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week) Call 911 for emergencies or (713) 837-0311.  Visit the Houston PD’s website, houstontx.gov/police, for more information or to obtain the address or contact information for a specific division within the PD.

Important Note- The Houston PD may not share the details of your report with UST (however, the campus police must notify the Title IX Coordinator of a report made to their office).  If you report to the city police, you should also report to the Title IX Coordinator so on campus accommodations, interim protective measures and resources may be provided, like change in class schedule, housing, work location, or transportation options if you request these and if they are reasonably available.

Hospital in and around the Houston area:

Memorial Hermann Hospital
6411 Fannin Street
Houston, Texas 77030
(713) 704-1261

Forensic Nurse Response Team available at any Memorial Hermann Hospital in the greater Houston area


Ben Taub Hospital
1504 Ben Taub Loop
Houston, Texas 77030
(713) 873-2000

Forensic Kits available


STRATEGIES FOR AVOIDING SEXUAL ASSUALT:

General Guidelines:

  • If approached by someone you sense to be a potential threat, try to stay out of reach.
  • If you feel you are in danger of being attacked, try to escape the situation by running away if you can.
  • Try in any way you can to attract attention to yourself.  Scream “Call 911!”
  • Trust your instincts.  If a person, place, or situation makes you uneasy, leave or change it immediately.

Reducing Your Risk on Dates:

  • Find out more about your date.  Go beyond the basics.  Ask about his feelings towards men/women and relationships.  If he/she is someone you do not know arrive separately and meet in a public place.
  • Be assertive.  Speak up if a situation makes you uncomfortable.  Make it clear that paying for a meal does not entitle him to anything else, or offer to pay your own way.
  • Set your own limits and communicate these limits to your date.

Reducing your Risk at Home (Residence Halls):

  • Make sure your home (residence hall) has a door viewer and a dead bolt lock.
  • Make sure all entrances are well light.
  • Keep your blinds and curtains closed at night.

Reducing your Risk at Parties:

  • When you go to a party or club, go with friends.  Arrive together, watch out for each other, and leave together.
  • Don’t leave your beverage unattended or accept a drink from an open container. 
  • Don’t leave with a stranger, no matter how attractive or persuasive he may be. 

Reducing your Risk at your Vehicle:

  • Always lock your vehicle when leaving and entering it.
  • Have your keys in hand so you do not have to search for them.
  • Look in the back seat before entering your vehicle.

Reducing your Risk on the Street:

  • When walking alone, act self-assured and confident that you know where you are going.
  • Walk on the traffic side of the sidewalk, not close to alleyways and bushes. 
  • If you suspect that someone is following you cross the street, or walk quickly to a well-lit, well-populated location.

For more information about sexual misconduct or code of conduct violations visit: stthom.edu/DoS

Vehicle Safety - Tuesday, October 2

Automotive Preparation:

  1. Check tire pressure on tires and spares
    Every vehicle has a specific tire pressure that will give you the best gas mileage, handling and tire life for the car, and this is written right on the door of the car.
  2. Check oil, coolant, and windshield fluid
    It is critical that you check the owner’s manual for the correct type of fluid that is recommended for your specific vehicle.
  3. Consider changing your oil for long trips
    Most vehicle manufacturers recommend changing the oil every 7,500 miles in passenger car and light truck gasoline engines.
  4. Consider check up by a professional mechanic
  5. Wash and Vacuum
    Engineer Tom Wagner, Jr. reported to Stretcher.com (as in stretching your dollars) a 7-percent improvement in fuel economy, from 15 to 16 mpg, during a 1,600-mile road trip.
  6. Make sure you have proof of insurance
    Transportation Code 601.191 Operation of Motor Vehicle in Violation of Motor Vehicle Liability Insurance Requirements: an offense under this section is a misdemeanor punishable by a fine of not less than $175 or more than $350.
  7. Fill up the gas tank, bring extra fluids

Travel Safety Guidelines:

  1. Always keep these helpful items in your vehicle at all times especially for those last minute road trips: maps, jumper cables, charged cell phone, flares, flashlight, first aid kit, blankets, an auto club card if you break down, and some spare cash hidden in your vehicle.
  2. Don’t put items that block your vision.
  3. Engine temperature is the most important gauge you have.
  4. Notify someone when you are leaving, when you are arriving and check points along the way. Always tell friends or loved ones where you are going and check in with them when you have arrived.
  5. Only stop in well-established lit areas.
  6. Plan to take breaks. Everyone needs a break when traveling long distances. To ward off boredom and exhaustion, schedule frequent stops for meals or just some time to stretch.
  7. Stick to highways.
  8. Try to minimize night driving.
  9. Use cruise control.

Texting and Driving

Need a reason to park your cell phone while driving?

  • You are 23 times more likely to crash if you text while driving.
  • In Texas in 2011, cell-phone use was the contributing factor in 3,147 crashes and 40 fatal crashes.
  • If you're under 18, it's against the law to use a cell phone while driving.

Information provided by the Texas Department of Transportation.

Emergency Management - Wednesday, October 3rd

Medical Emergency:

  • Immediately call USTPD or 911
  • Remain calm and stay with person until assistance arrives
  • Do not attempt to move a person who has fallen or appears to be in pain
  • Do not transport an individual to an emergency room or other medical facility
  • First aid kits and AEDs are located in each building

Evacuation:

  • Evacuate via the nearest exit as quickly as possible
  • Meet outside at the designated assembly area
  • Prevent people from re-entering the building

Shelter-In-Place:

  • Alert occupants of the situation and direct them to the designated shelter(s)
  • Shelter on the lowest floor away from windows and close all doors
  • Prevent people from exiting the facility until receiving the "all clear"

What to do in an Active Shooter Situation:

RUN: When an active shooter is in your vicinity

  • If there is an escape path, attempt to evacuate.
  • Evacuate whether others agree to or not.
  • Leave your belongings behind.
  • Help others escape if possible.
  • Once outside, prevent others from entering the area and get as far away from the scene as possible.
  • Call USTPD (713) 525-3888 or 911 when you are safe.

HIDE: If evacuation is not possible, find a place to hide.

  • Lock and/or blockade the door.
  • Silence your cell phone.
  • Hide behind large objects.
  • Remain very quiet.

YOUR HIDING PLACE SHOULD:

  • Be out of the shooter’s view.
  • Provide protection if shots are fired in your direction.
  • Do not trap or restrict your options for movement.
  • If there is another way out of the building (for example window or other door), attempt to evacuate only if you can do it safely.
  • Call USTPD (713) 525-3888 or 911 when you are safe.

IF AN ARMED SUBJECT COMES INTO YOUR CLASSROOM OR OFFICE AREA

FIGHT: as a last resort, and only if your life is in danger

  • Attempt to incapacitate the shooter.
  • Act with physical aggression.
  • Improvise weapons.
  • Commit to your actions.
  • There may be more than one suspect in the incident, but remember overwhelmingly, the offender is a single shooter (98%).

For more information about the emergency procedures visit stthom.edu/Ready

Events during this Week:

CSA Training

Date and Time: Thursday, September 27, 2018 from 9am - 10am​
Location: Malloy 021

Emergency Management Training - Session 1

Date and Time: Thursday, September 27, 2018 from 1pm - 2pm​
Location: Jerabeck Scanlan

National Night Out

Date and Time: Tuesday, October 2, 2018 from 4:30pm - 7:00pm​
Location: Campus Life Mall

Emergency Management Training - Sessions 2 & 3

Date and Time: Wenesday, October 2, 2018 from

  • 9am - 10​am
  • 2pm - 3pm

Location: Jerabeck Scanlan

UST Police Department and YOU, Partners in Prevention