This report is compiled to provide important information concerning the incidents of crimes on Benedict College Campus. The data has been integrated in a statistical format for better understanding. It is the intent of this publication to increase community awareness to the fact that crime occurs on our campuses. Further, it is our hope that such knowledge will provide a basis for the enhancement of institutional and personal crime prevention strategies to keep the criminal elements out of our communities. It is clearly recognized that well thought out crime prevention strategies provide the best measure of protection from criminal acts. The officers of the Campus Police Department have been entrusted with the duty and responsibility to serve and protect the Benedict College community. The duty of every Campus Police officer is to undertake the task of providing the BC community with a safe and peaceful environment in order that the College realizes its educational, research and community service goals. Campus Police officers are duly sworn peace officers as defined in South Carolina Penal Code. A full-time non-sworn staff and a large complement of student employees support officers.
At any level, the commission of crimes within the College community is unacceptable. It is important to note that the data gathered herein punctuates the fact that incidents of crime within the communities of Benedict College are significantly less than their surrounding areas. Our success in maintaining a relatively low crime rate is a reflection of our constant vigilance and persistent efforts. These efforts have been a collaborative scheme involving the Campus Police Departments and College communities. Community oriented crime prevention programs, improved law enforcement strategies and campus security procedures have each played important roles to deter crime on campus. This collaborative approach incorporates the concept that effective policing within the college is a partnership, combining traditional law enforcement and community involvement. It recognized that community oriented security measures, not just law enforcement, are the best deterrent and our greatest weapon against crime on campus. Through the application of campus oriented policing and security, the College Campus Police Department has become a part of a proactive deterrent solution.
Questions concerning this report may be addressed to me at the Campus Police Department on the Benedict College. Any suggestions for improvements are welcomed.
Director of Campus Police Department
Campus Police is committed to providing a safe and secure environment for Benedict College students, faculty, staff, and other citizens who visit our campus and to provide professional, courteous service addressing law enforcement and security needs of the Benedict College community.
The purpose of this brochure is to demonstrate compliance with the Crime Awareness and Campus Security Act of 1990. This federal legislation requires Benedict College to publish this annual Your Right to Know safety and crime awareness report for its students, faculty, and staff.
Students are understandably concerned about their safety on a college campus away from home. We at Benedict college understand this concern, and accept our responsibility to employ safety and security measures to help ensure that our students enjoy their years at Benedict, and that their stay be as free as possible from threats to their well-being.
Benedict College is located within the city of Columbia, S.C. As part of the larger community, the college shares many of the same interests and problems, including the concern about crime. Crime is a national problem that affects areas, including college campuses. The passage of the Clery Act (the Student Right-to-Know and Campus Security act of 1990) and the Higher Education Amendments of 1992 (Public Law 102-325) which require this annual report gives testimony to this.
Any Crime that can occur elsewhere can and does occur on a college campus. Although Benedict College has experienced a lower incident rate than the surrounding community, we must honestly state incidents can and do occur. There are no sanctuaries. To avoid and prevent incidents whenever possible, a competent residence life staff, a professionally trained and maintained Campus Police Department and the students themselves, are responsible for a number of measures to ensure the protection and safety of students and their possessions as much as possible.
Disciplinary sanctions are imposed to protect the College community from inappropriate behaviors that are detrimental to the educational process and to assist students in identifying acceptable parameters of their activities, as well as the consequences of their behavior. The severity of the sanction may range from a disciplinary warning to expulsion depending upon the severity and/or frequency of the violation. The Judiciary Committee evaluates each case on an individual basis. Under the law, the accused is afforded the right to "due process." Both the accused and the accuser are entitled to have others present during campus disciplinary proceedings and shall be informed of the outcome of any such proceedings.
Each student, faculty, and/or staff member at Benedict College may request a hardcopy of this brochure at any time.
Recognizing that awareness of crime is in it self a preventive measure, Benedict College provides information relating to crime statistics and security measures to prospective students, currently enrolled students, faculty and staff. The college's Department of Campus Police, in compliance with the Clery Act, publishes crime figures for the most recent three-year period. In addition, monthly uniform crime statistics are submitted to the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division (SLED).
The below listed statistics reflect crime statistics mandated by the federal "Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act". These statistics represent incidents that have been reported to the Benedict College Department of Campus Police as well as other college officials who have significant responsibility for student and campus activity as defined by the Clery Act. Information is not solicited from the Counseling Office, Health Services or the Chaplains since their activities are protected and confidential. Incidents reported in the tables below do not always result in criminal investigations or prosecution when the victim chooses not to pursue the matter criminally and opts for alternative resolution such and the student judiciary process.
The safety and security of the Benedict College campus are coordinated by the Department of Campus Police within the Division of Student Affairs. The Department of Campus Police has a force of 11 commissioned and 7 non-commissioned officers, as well as, a 4 member support staff that operates the Central Dispatch center. The commissioned officers have full arrest powers and statewide law enforcement authority and are graduates of the South Carolina Criminal Justice Academy. All Campus Police officers undergo continuous training to maintain and upgrade their skills. Also, all are armed and received firearms training and testing.
The primary duty of the Department of Campus Police is to provide as safe an environment as possible for the college community. The officers conduct foot and vehicle patrols of the campus, residence halls, and off campus areas 24 hours a day. On campus, the Campus Police officers enforce all regulations and laws - those of the college, the City of Columbia and the State of South Carolina. The Department of Campus Police also has a close working relationship with the City of Columbia Police Department and the Richland County Sheriff's Department.
Potential criminal actions and other emergencies on campus can be reported directly by any student, faculty member, staff member, or visitor to the Department of Campus Police by dialing 253-5400 or 705-6455. Upon receipt of the call, Campus Police officers are dispatched immediately to the site of the complaint. They have full authority to take necessary action as warranted by the circumstances, including making arrests for any crimes committed. The officers prepare and submit reports detailing the incident, as well as follow-up investigations and actions. Additional contact persons are: Mr. Gary Knight, Vice President of Student Affairs 705-4559; Chief Haywood Bazemore 705-4321, Director of Campus Police; Deputy Chief Gregory Bellamy 705-4626, Deputy Director of Campus Police; Capt. Ric Pauling 705-4983, Operations/Special Events Protocol; Ms. Nicole Garvin, Director of Community Life 705-4381; Mr. Albert Graham, Director of the Physical Plant 705-4478, as well as, Community Life Coordinators.
Benedict Campus Police offers information on safety and security to students and employees through lectures, bulletins, crime alerts (when circumstances warrant), posters, flyers, and brochures. The officers inspect campus facilities regularly, noting any discrepancies, which might affect safety and security, such as broken windows and locks, faulty lighting, smoke detectors or fire extinguishers. These are immediately reported for repair or correction.
All academic and administrative facilities and buildings are secured at night and on weekends, or whenever they are not in use. This is done by Campus Police officers or designated representatives. Any special events scheduled in the buildings or facilities are noted and received by Campus Police prior to the event for public safety awareness.
Benedict College presents several safety programs for students and employees throughout the year:
For optimum effectiveness, the cooperation and involvement of students themselves in the Campus Police program is necessary. Students must assume responsibility for their own personal safety and the security of their personal belongings. This involves taking precautions which help a person avoid becoming the victim of a crime. Here are some examples:
- Walk with a buddy at night
- Stay in well lighted areas
- Secure all valuables
- Secure room door at night & when unoccupied
- Mark stereos, cameras, clothing, televisions with identifiable marking
- Students with vehicles should park in designated areas & keep vehicles secured
Students should, and are encouraged to report any suspicious looking individuals whom they feel do not belong in their residence halls or elsewhere or any unusual incidents of any kind to the Community Life staff or to the Campus Police Department. Students should always be aware of the College's policies and procedures.
Benedict College prohibits the possession or consumption of any alcoholic beverages while on campus, or while he/she is representing the college off campus, or entertaining any guests who possess any alcoholic beverages on campus.
The Campus Police Department will vigorously enforce this policy as well as State and Local laws pertaining to alcohol. The college provides substance abuse counseling and educational programs to any member of the campus community desiring assistance. Any member seeking access to these programs should contact the Counseling Center at 705-4741.
- Possession, use, or purchase of alcoholic beverages by persons under the age of 21.
- Providing alcoholic beverages to underage individuals.
- Sale or advertisement of alcoholic beverages without a license.
- Open alcoholic beverage containers in public areas.
- Public drunkenness.
- Driving under the influence of alcohol (DUI).
- Possession, use, manufacturing, and distribution of illegal drugs.
The Campus Police Department's designated Victim's Rights Advocate collaborates with the Health Center's nurse and the Counseling Center to provide safety tips, date rape drug information and other information as a preventative measure. Additional preventative measures are provided by the Health Center, which documents twice annual educational workshops in each dormitory on acquaintance/date rape, and the Counseling Center, which receives referrals for students to attend eight (8) group and/or individual educational sessions in the area of sexual responsibility (Sexual Responsibility Program (SRP). Interventive measures include referrals to the Health Center, The Campus Counseling Center and/or to the Sexual Trauma Support Unit at a local hospital for evaluation and follow-up, as the situation demands. When a sex offense occurs, the victim is willing to pursue legal charges, the suspect will be charged under the appropriate statue. Refusals for medical services and to pursue legal charges are documented and referrals are made to the Health Center and/or Counseling Center for follow-up. If the victim is either willing or unwilling to pursue legal charges, the suspect is referred to the Campus' Judiciary Committee. The Judiciary Committee makes recommendations/referrals based upon the outcome of the Judiciary hearing and forwards those recommendations to the appropriate units.
In the event that a sexual assault occurs, the victim should:
- keep a cool head
notice details about the attacker
- do not bathe
- do not douche
- do not change clothes
Report the assault to and/or request assistance immediately from the Department of Campus Police (253-5400); if the crime occurs off-campus, call 9-1-1.
When a sexual assault is reported, a team will assess the situation and recommend existing campus and community services to assist the victim. The team usually consists of the Director of Campus Police (705-4321), Deputy Director of Campus Police (705-4626), Campus Police's Victim's Rights Advocate (705-4626), Director Student Health Services (705-4882), Director Community Life (705-4381), Director for Educational Support Services (705-4654), and Vice President for Student Affairs (705-4559). Following the initial crisis, the members will remain in contact with the victim. When appropriate and reasonable, changes in the victim's academic and living arrangements will be made.
Benedict College, in accordance with the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act, 20 U.S.C. 1092, the College maintains a log of daily criminal activity. The log is kept in confidence in the Campus Police Director's Office. This log is updated on a weekly basis and is available for inspection upon request.
- Prevention is being alert and prepared.
- Ensure that your room door is locked at all times.
- Use the peephole in your door.
- Avoid poorly lighted streets, alleys and pathways.
- Keep alert if you see a person acting suspiciously head for bright lights and people.
- Never jog alone. Stick to a planned route and run with a friend
- Never hitchhike.
- Be aware of your surroundings
- Your first defense is noise scream! Scream "fire" not "help" to attract more attention.
- Lock your car at all times.
- Do not get in an elevator if there is someone suspicious already in the car.
- Convey confidence through body language.
- Walk with your head up and be alert.
- Do not mark your room key or key chain with your name, address or telephone number.
- If a person at a party insists or pressures you to accept a ride home, become suspicious and do not accept the offer.
- If you use alcohol, do so responsibly.
- In a dating situation, define exactly what you want from a relationship.
- Always strive to say what you really mean. Be assertive. Maintain control over your personal life.
- Trust your instincts. If you it's not right, it probably isn't.
SEE Campus Crime Statistics (PDF format)