Presidential Campus Safety Advisory Committee Report to President, June 15, 2008

Executive Summary
The Presidential Campus Safety Advisory Committee was created in late February 2008. The Committee was charged by the Stony Brook University President to produce a report on campus safety. The report may be requested by student applicants to the University and potential employees. The committee consisted of 12 members appointed by the President comprising an equal number of faculty, staff and students:

Donna L. Buehler (Chair), Staff, Employee Assistance Program
Juvanee Bedminster, Undergraduate Student
Suzanne M. Benedetto, Staff, University Police
Catherine Horgan, Staff, Office of the Executive Dean, HSC
Mary Hotaling, Faculty, School of Health Technology & Mgt
Jill E. Kavoukian, Staff, Environmental Health & Safety
Joan Kuchner, Faculty, Psychology
Marcelo Nomura, Undergraduate Student
Maureen O’Leary, Faculty, Department of Anatomical Sciences
Christina Russo, Undergraduate Student
Paul L. Siegel, Faculty, Technology and Society
Jennifer Rindler, Graduate Student, School of Social Welfare
Reginald C. Wells, Fellow for Commuter Student Services

In March 2008, the President had stated that the report should contain a review of:

  1. Security policies and procedures, and recommendations for their improvement.
  2. How we educate the campus community about sexual assault.
  3. How we report sexual assault and how we deal with victims when we investigate.
  4. How we handle referrals of sexual assault–related complaints to appropriate University authorities.
  5. How we counsel victims of sexual assault-related incidents and respond to inquiries from concerned persons.

The President also had stated her interest in the committee’s observations about any other safety-related programs and initiatives, even though these additional findings were not officially a part of the mission of the committee.
The committee’s first meeting coincided with an alleged incident of a person with a gun on campus. Though the President was unable to attend the meeting to officially charge the committee due to this crisis, the incident prompted the committee to begin its work. This crisis served as an opportunity to test campus emergency preparedness systems and to determine where improvement was needed. The committee advised the President to send out a follow-up broadcast e-mail to the campus community to inform members of the improvements made to the emergency management plan. Her initial e-mail solicited feedback and suggestions from the campus community.

Committee members made it a priority to review campus policies and procedures related to Emergency Management. Colleagues with expertise and responsibility for emergency management, communication and safety were interviewed during the April 23 meeting. In addition, the committee interviewed colleagues in Human Resource Services, Training and Organizational Development and University Police on May 8 about the New York State mandates to create and implement policies on Workplace Violence and Domestic Violence.

The committee then returned to its charge as stated in items 1 through 5 above. Committee members interviewed colleagues who provide education, training, counseling, and investigation of complaints and inquiries related to sexual assault. They also reviewed 17 campus policies and procedures related to safety. The committee also reviewed 5 programs or initiatives related to both personal and general safety. The 5 programs or initiatives are:

1. Emergency Management Plan Policies and Procedures

  • Mental Health Disaster Response Teams
  • National Incident Management System (NIMS)
  • Disability Support Services Safety Policy and Procedures
  • Residential Safety Program
  • Stony Brook Child Care Center Emergency Plan
  • SUNY Chancellor’s Taskforce on Critical Incident Management

2. Safe Zones Program

3. New York State Executive Order 19 Domestic Violence Policy

4. Disruptive Behavior Policies and Programs for Students Stony Brook University (Students)

  • Behavior Assessment Committee
  • Responding to Disruptions on Campus
  • Responding to Disruptions in the Classroom

School of Medicine (Faculty, Fellows, Residents)

  • Disruptive Resident Behavior
  • Code of Ethics
  • Faculty Assistance Committee – Faculty Senate

5. Future Legislation related to Safety in the Workplace

The committee recognized that individuals within the Stony Brook community often function within multiple roles as employees and students, and in different locations and campuses. This complexity may pose challenges with both coordination and communication of information, programs and resources.

Additionally, the committee recognized that Stony Brook University is a geographically large and complex organization. The Stony Brook University system comprises the Stony Brook campus, the University Medical Center (UMC), the Long Island State Veterans Home (LISVH), off-site offices in Long Island and two campuses in Manhattan and Southampton. The committee focused its review and recommendations on the Stony Brook campus.

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