Safety & Security

Safety & Security Information

This information is available to all current students and employees of Southwestern University, and upon request, to any applicant for enrollment or employment. Information is provided pursuant to the disclosure requirements of the Crime Awareness and Campus Security Act of 1990 and the Drug-Free Schools and Communities Act Amendments of 1989.

Timely Warning

In the event that a situation arises, either on or off campus, that, in the judgment of the Chief of University Police, constitutes an ongoing or continuing threat, a campus wide “timely warning” will be issued. This warning will be issued through the University e-mail to students, faculty, staff and the student newspaper, The Megaphone.

Depending on the particular circumstances of the crime, especially in all situations that could pose an immediate threat to the community and individuals, a notice may be posted in each residence hall and at the front door of each on-campus fraternity house. Anyone with information warranting a “timely” warning should report the circumstances to the University Police Department by phone (863-1944) or in person in the Field House on Maple Street across from the practice soccer fields.

Confidentail Reporting Procedures

If you are a victim of a crime and do not want to pursue action within the University System or the criminal justice system, you may still want to consider making a confidential report. With your permission, the Chief, or a designee of the University Police Department. can file a report on the detail of the incident without revealing your identity. The purpose of a confidential report is to comply with your wish to keep the matter confidential while taking steps to ensure the future safety of yourself and others. With such information, the University can keep an accurate record of the number of incidents involving students and determine where there is a pattern of crime.

Southwestern University community members are strongly encouraged to immediately report criminal activity and suspicious person(s) to the University Police Department. Incidents that may or may not be crimes may also be reported to “campus security authorities” which include, in addition to the University Police, those with responsibility for controlling access to buildings or facilities and officials having significant responsibility for students or campus activities. Licensed counselors (including certified Sexual Assault Victim Counselors) and campus clergy (pastoral counselors) are exempt from reporting requirements. Southwestern University encourages counselors and clergy, if and when they deem it appropriate, to inform those with whom they counsel of procedures for reporting crimes on a voluntary, confidential basis for inclusion in the Campus Security Report. 

Policy for Reporting the Annual Disclosure of Crime Statistics

The University Police Department prepares this report to comply with the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Crime Statistics Act.  This report is prepared in cooperation with local law enforcement agencies surrounding our main campus and the Division of Student Life. Each entity provides updated information on their educational efforts and programs to comply with the Act.

Campus crime, arrests, and referral statistics include those reported to the Southwestern University Police, designated campus officials (including but not limited to directors, deans, department heads, advisors to students/student organizations, athletic coaches), and local law enforcement agencies.

Each year, an e-mail notification is made to all enrolled students that provides the web site to access this report. Faculty and staff receive similar notification with their paycheck. Copies of the report may also be obtained at the University Police Department located in the Field House at 1005 Maple St. or by calling (512)863-1944. All prospective employees may obtain a copy from Human Resources in Cullen Building Room #142 or by calling (512)863-1435, and the web site address will be attached to Southwestern University employment application.

General Procedures for Reporting a Crime or Emergency

Community members, including students, faculty, staff, and guests, are encouraged to report all crimes and public safety related incidents to the Southwestern University Police Department (SUPD) in a timely manner. This publication focuses on SUPD because it patrols the entire campus.

To report a crime or an emergency on campus, dial ext. 1944 or “0” for the campus operator. If dialing from off campus, (512)863-1944. Any emergency may be reported by dialing 911. 911 calls are answered by the City of Georgetown Police Department. Georgetown Police will contact SUPD and they will respond to the emergency.

Operators are available at these respective telephone numbers 24 hours a day to answer your call. In response to a call, SUPD will take the required action.

All SUPD incident reports are forwarded to the Dean of Students office for review and potential action by the Student Judicial System. SUPD officers will investigate a report when it is deemed appropriate. Additional information obtained via the investigation may also be forwarded to the Student Judicial System.

Crimes should be reported to the University Police Department to ensure inclusion in the annual crime statistics and to aid in providing “timely warning” notices to the community, when appropriate. For example, a crime that was reported only to the Williamson County Crisis Center would not be included in the Southwestern crime statistics.

Safety and Security in the Residential Community

Residence Halls

All residence halls, including apartment-style housing, are staffed by live-in resident assistants (RAs) at a 1/15 ratio for first-year halls and a 1/30 ratio for upperclass halls. In addition to the 49 RAs on staff, two Residence Life professionals live on campus, as well as seven Resident Associates, who help to provide 24-hour staff coverage. Resident Associates are employed full-time at Southwestern in departments outside of Residence Life and serve on call and as backup to the professional Residence Life staff and the RAs.

University Police are involved in crime prevention programs during RA staff training, in orientation programs, in individual floor meetings and residential community-wide presentations, and through educational programs, as well as walking the residential areas of campus to provide immediate security. All Residence Life staff members undergo comprehensive training at the beginning of each fall semester for both prevention and response regarding safety and security issues. Student room doors should be locked at all times even when occupied. Residents with automobiles may park them in lots adjoining their residence hall. Most importantly, residents are reminded to observe building security procedures and to notify Residence Life staff or the University Police of any unfamiliar faces or unusual incidents within either the residence halls or apartments.

Suite style residence halls are locked at night, and access is permitted only through key access doors which require a key issued to residents of that specific residence hall. The RAs, professional staff members, and the Resident Associates interact with the almost 1,000 students who live on campus (83% of the student body), report welfare concerns, and report violations of University policy to the Dean of Students and /or the University Police Department. University Police Officers are available 24/7 and assist students and other community members as needed.

Academic and Administrative Buildings

Academic and administrative buildings on campus are locked by Southwestern University Police or building proctors (undergraduate students) paid by the University at varying times depending on the scheduled use of the building.

Residence halls and academic buildings are routinely checked by University Police Department Officers to ensure they are secure during the hours they are not open for routine use.

Campus Police Authority and Jurisdiction

The Southwestern University Police have complete police authority to apprehend and arrest anyone involved in illegal acts on campus and areas immediately adjacent to the campus. If minor offenses involving University rules and regulations are committed by a University student, the campus police may also refer the individual to the Dean of Students.

The prosecution of all criminal offenses, both felony and misdemeanor, are conducted at Justice of the Peace Court, County, District, or Federal Court of Williamson County.

Campus Police personnel work closely with local, state, and federal police agencies and have direct radio communication with the City Police Department and the city police radio network. The University Police Department is also a part of the Williamson County 911 Emergency System.

Per agreement with the Georgetown Police Department, the University Police Department’s jurisdiction begins at University Ave. at Maple St. and extends to CR 188, north, south to 7th St, west to Maple St., south back to University Ave. Any University owned property in outlying areas is patrolled jointly by University, City, and County Police.

Through coordination with local law enforcement agencies, any criminal activity engaged in by students at off-campus locations of student organizations is monitored and recorded. This information is provided to the Dean of Students for any action or follow-up that may be required.

When a Southwestern student is involved in an off-campus offense, University Police may assist with the investigation in cooperation with local, state, or federal law enforcement. Georgetown Police communicate with campus officers on any serious incidents occurring on campus or in the immediate neighborhood surrounding campus. Southwestern University operates no off-campus housing or off-campus student organization facilities; however, some students live in the neighborhoods surrounding Southwestern. While Georgetown Police have primary jurisdiction in all areas off campus, University officers can and do respond to student-related incidents that occur in close proximity to campus.

Crime Prevention and Security Awareness

The Southwestern University Police Department provides crime prevention information, public information, and safety information to the University community. Officers are available to present programs on topics such as substance abuse, sexual assault, crime prevention, hazing, and other safety related topics. Officers will present programs on any law enforcement topic with advance notice. The University Police Department has a close working relationship with the Georgetown Police Department and the Williamson county Sheriff’s Office. As a result, the University is kept informed of criminal activities occurring off campus.

Students, Faculty and Staff are encouraged to assume responsibility for their personal safety and security of their personal belongings by taking simple, common sense precautions. Student questions and concerns about personal safety should be brought to the attention of University staff. Valuable personal items, such as computers and stereos, should be marked with an engraving instrument which is provided at no charge by the University Police. Students with cars must park them in assigned areas and keep their vehicles locked at all times. Valuables should be locked in the trunk. Students, Faculty, and Staff should immediately report any suspicious persons to University Police.

Alcohol/Drug Enforcement

The laws regarding the possession, sale, consumption, or furnishing of alcohol is controlled by the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission (TABC). However, the enforcement of alcohol laws on campus is the primary responsibility of the Southwestern University Police Department. The Southwestern University campus has been designated “Drug Free.” The possession, sale, manufacture, or distribution of any controlled substance is illegal under both state and federal laws. Such laws are strictly enforced by the University Police Department. Violators are subject to University disciplinary action, criminal prosecution, fines and imprisonment. It is unlawful to sell, furnish, or provide alcohol to a person under the age of 21. Organizations, groups, or persons violating alcohol/substance policies or laws may be subject to sanctions by the University.

Alcohol and Substance Abuse Information

Southwestern University is committed to educating the entire campus community in the areas of alcohol and other drug use. The Health and Counseling Services Office coordinates education and resources on substance use and abuse. If students have questions concerning the health risks associated with the use of alcohol and other drugs, they are encouraged to contact the Heath and Counseling Services Office at 863-1252. In addition, Southwestern University Heath and Counseling Services can provide the following services for students seeking help for their substance abuse problems:

  • assessment
  • referral
  • individual therapy

Students may obtain these services on a confidential basis by calling Counseling Services at 863-1252 for an appointment.

Every student should read and become familiar with the policies on alcohol and other drugs that are discussed in the Southwestern University Student Handbook.

Employees should refer to the “Drug-Free Workplace Policy” Appendix B Page 72 in their Staff Handbook

Sex Offender Registration

In accordance to the “Campus Sex Crimes Prevention Act” of 2000, which amends the Jacob Wetterling Crimes Against Children and Sexually Violent Offender Registration Act, the Jeanne Clery Act, and the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act of 1974, the Southwestern University Police Department is providing a link to the Texas Department of Public Safety Sex Offender Registry. This act requires institutions of higher education to issue a statement advising the campus community of law enforcement information provided by the State concerning registered sex offenders may be obtained.

Registry information shall be used for the purposes of the administration of criminal justice, screening of current or prospective employees, volunteers, or otherwise for the protection of the public in general. Unlawful use of the information for purposes of intimidating or harassing another is prohibited.

The Texas Department of Public Safety is responsible for maintaining this registry. Follow the link below to access the Texas Department of Public Safety Website.