Columbia Southern University (CSU) is committed to preventing workplace violence and to maintaining a safe working environment. All employees, including supervisors and temporary employees, should be treated with courtesy and respect at all times. Conduct that threatens, intimidates, or coerces another employee, a customer, or a member of the public at any time, including off-duty periods, will not be tolerated. This prohibition includes all acts of harassment, including harassment that is based on an individual’s sex, race, age, or any characteristic protected by federal, state, or local laws.
All threats of (or actual) violence, both direct and indirect, should be reported as soon as possible to your immediate supervisor, CSU Security or any other member of management. If you are the 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, Security can file a report on the details 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, CSU can keep an accurate record of the number of incidents, determine where there is a pattern of crime with regard to a particular location, method, or assailant, and alert the campus community to potential danger. Reports filed in this manner are counted and disclosed in the annual crimes statistics for the institution. CSU encourages everyone to report any crime, even if you have no intention of pursuing legal action. This includes threats by employees, as well as threats by customers, vendors, solicitors, or other members of the public. CSU encourages everyone in the campus community to be aware of your surroundings and be vigilant at all times. All suspicious individuals or activities should be reported as soon as possible to a supervisor and CSU Security. CSU will promptly and thoroughly investigate all reports of threats of (or actual) violence and of suspicious individuals or activities. Anyone determined to be responsible for threats of (or actual) violence or other conduct that is in violation of these guidelines will be subject to prompt disciplinary action up to and including termination of employment and reporting to local law enforcement authorities. CSU will, upon written request, disclose to the alleged victim of a crime of violence, or a non-forcible sex offense, the results of any disciplinary hearing conducted by the university against the student who is the alleged perpetrator of the crime or offense. If the alleged victim is deceased as a result of the crime or offense, CSU will provide the results of the disciplinary hearing to the victim’s next of kin, if so requested.
CSU Security collects crime data from the Security Authorities, Daily Crime Log and local police and prepares the Annual Security Report.. The university publishes and distributes the Annual Security Report each year. The report is distributed to students and staff and made available to prospective students and employees.
The CSU Crime Prevention program includes:
A Daily Crime Log is maintained by the Office of Human Resources / CSU Security. The crime log is maintained as follows:
All current students, faculty, and staff members will be provided a notice that contains a brief description of CSU Campus Safety Policies. This notice may be distributed through printed or electronic publications. Prospective students and employees can receive a copy of the Annual Security Report upon request.
CSU Security Authority will post warnings advising the campus community when there has been a confirmed significant emergency or dangerous situation involving an immediate threat to the health or safety of the campus community. These timely warnings will be made available through electronic publications or will be otherwise posted in visible and accessible areas on the campus.
Since CSU is an online university, the term “Campus Community” primarily refers to the faculty and staff. There are occasions where a student may be visiting the campus or where there are guests on site. These individuals will be warned verbally and given a print out of the submitted warning.
The CSU Emergency Response Team, consisting of the Office of the President, Human Resources Department and the Security Department, will make the determination if there is a significant emergency situation and the appropriate action and/or notification to the campus community. The determination will be made after gathering all available information and weighing the benefit and risk of a warning. It will be the practice to err on the side of caution. The decision to issue the warning to all employees or a portion of employees will be based on each individual incident. The content of the warning will be incident specific, and will include instructions on how to prepare for the impending danger. Most warnings will be issued by email, and if appropriate, followed by an announcement over the building’s intercom.
CSU will, without delay, and taking into account the safety of the community, determine the content of the notification and initiate the notification system, unless issuing a notification will, in the professional judgment of responsible authorities, compromise efforts to assist a victim or to contain, respond to, or otherwise mitigate the emergency.
CSU will conduct tests, drills and training at least annually both announced and unannounced to insure the safety and security of the campus community.
CSU has electronic locks on all exterior doors for security. The Director of Facilities is responsible for overseeing repairs of the campus facilities. This includes, but is not limited to, defective doors and locking mechanisms. All members of the campus community are encouraged to report any known problems or hazards to the Director of Facilities. Quickly identifying and reporting any known problems or hazards will enhance campus safety for everyone.
In emergency situations, first dial 9-1-1, then, file a report to the Campus Security Authority. In non-emergency situations, report criminal offenses to the Campus Security Authority.
All students, faculty, and staff members of CSU are strongly encouraged to report any criminal activity that occurs within the university system to the Campus Security Authority.
The following list of crimes is compiled in accordance with the definitions used in the Uniform Crime Reporting System of the Department of Justice, FBI, as modified by the Hate Crime Statistics Act. Statistics for an occurrence of any of the following are reported annually to the Department of Education as per the Clery Act.
Since CSU is an online university, we do not have any officially recognized student organizations with off-campus locations and student criminal activity is not monitored.
The Drug-Free Schools and Communities Act of 1989 requires that all institutions of higher education (IHE) adopt and implement an alcohol and drug prevention program to prevent the abuse of alcohol and use of illicit drugs by students and employees on institutional premises or as part of any of its activities. The regulations require an IHE to do the following:
I. Standards of Conduct
Columbia Southern University (CSU) is committed to providing a drug-free campus and workplace. CSU prohibits the unlawful possession, use, or distribution of illicit drugs and alcohol by students, employees, and guests on its premises, or at any activity it sponsors.
Students, employees, and guests must comply with the federal, state, and local laws concerning underage drinking and illegal drug usage Violations of federal, state, or local laws will be reported to the appropriate law enforcement officials.
Students and employees will be subject to university disciplinary action, up to and including expulsion or separation, pursuant to CSU policies and procedures.
II. Legal Sanctions Regarding Unlawful Use, Possession, or Distribution of Alcoholic Beverages and Illicit Drugs
A. State Laws and Sanctions
The legal drinking age in the United States is 21 in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. Legal drinking age is 18 in the U.S. Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, and Guam.
Alabama laws related to the illicit possession, use, and distribution of alcoholic beverages or drugs, and the possible legal penalties for violation of these laws can be found at the following web pages:
B. Federal Laws and Sanctions
United States Code Title 21, Chapter 13, Section 812 establishes classifications of controlled substances and is located at http://uscode.house.gov/view.xhtml?path=/prelim@title21/chapter13&edition=prelim. Section 841 makes it unlawful to manufacture, distribute, or dispense, or possess with intent to manufacture, distribute, or dispense, a controlled substance or a counterfeit substance. Federal penalties for controlled substances can be found at http://www.justice.gov/dea/druginfo/ftp3.shtml.
C. Local Ordinances
Local authorities abide by state and federal laws concerning unlawful possession, use, and distribution of alcoholic beverages and drugs.
Penalties for subsequent violations and convictions of the above are progressively more severe than for initial convictions.
Columbia Southern University provides the eCHECKUP TO GO software for all students, faculty, and employees. eCHECKUP TO GO is an alcohol and drug prevention program that educates students and other members of the CSU community on drinking patterns and the risks associated with alcohol and marijuana use. Students, faculty, and employees can access the software at http://interwork.sdsu.edu/echeckup/usa/alc/coll/columbiasouthern.
Alcohol and other drug abuse is a significant public health problem and has a detrimental effect on the community in terms of increased medical and workers compensation claims, medical disability costs, decreased productivity, injuries, theft, and absenteeism. To learn more about the health risks of alcohol and drug use, please visit the National Institute on Drug Abuse at http://www.drugabuse.gov/drugs-abuse.
Because CSU’s virtual campus does not enable the provision of on-site counseling or treatment, the following information is provided as a resource for those who need assistance with avoiding or recovering from alcohol or drug abuse. Students or employees who need information related to alcohol or drug abuse are encouraged to use directory information, online searches, the telephone book, or referrals from friends and/or professionals.
Below is a list of local and national organizations dedicated to providing information and suggestions.
Alabama Department of Public Health
National Institute on Drug Abuse
General Link/Address: www.nida.nih.gov
Specific Link/Address on Club Drugs: www.clubdrugs.org
National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services
An agency of the US Department of Health & Human Services providing information online regarding alcohol, drugs, and treatment programs.
General Address: www.samhsa.gov
Specific Address for Treatment Programs: findtreatment.samhsa.gov
Under federal law, a student who has been convicted of the sale or possession of illegal drugs under any federal or state law during a period of enrollment for which the student was receiving financial aid (grant, loans, and/or work-study) is not eligible for federal student aid. The Drug Convictions Policy can be located at http://www.columbiasouthern.edu/Financial/Office-of-Financial-Aid/Policies-Procedures#drugs.
CSU participates in Title IV and is issuing this statement in compliance with the Crime Awareness and Campus Security Act of 1990, also referred to as the Clery Act. This report will be made available to all students and employees of Columbia Southern University.
Below is a table showing reportable crimes occurring on campus or on public property adjoining the campus:
* Columbia Southern University does not have on-campus student housing facilities or any non-campus buildings or property.
There were no reported hate crimes for 2013, 2014, or 2015. Hate crimes include the above listed in addition to larceny-theft, simple assault, intimidation, and destruction, damage, or vandalism of property, and of other crimes involving bodily injury to any person, in which the victim is intentionally selected because of the actual or perceived race, gender, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, gender identity, ethnicity, or disability of the victim. There were no crimes “unfounded” for 2013, 2014, or 2015.
Unfounded crimes. If a reported crime is investigated by law enforcement authorities and found to be false or baseless, the crime is “unfounded” and should not be included in the institution’s statistics. Only sworn or commissioned law enforcement personnel may “unfound” a crime.
The Hierarchy Rule
Hierarchy rule citation
34 CFR 668.48(c)(7)
When counting multiple offenses, you must use the FBI’s UCR Hierarchy Rule. This rule requires you to count only the most serious offense when more than one offense was committed during a single incident. A single incident means that the offenses were committed at the same time and place. That is, the time interval between the offenses and the distance between the locations where they occurred were insignificant. Beginning with the most serious offense, the following list shows the hierarchy for Clery Act reporting:
Columbia Southern University (CSU) is committed to creating and maintaining a community in which students, faculty, and staff can work and be present in an atmosphere free from all forms of harassment, exploitation, or intimidation.
CSU has established procedures for reporting violations of University policy. All forms or attempts of sexual assault are regarded as serious offenses which may result in suspension or expulsion. Victims should seek medical treatment immediately and possibly counseling. If assistance is needed, one should contact local Emergency Services by dialing 911. If the offense occurs on campus, campus security should be contacted immediately. Campus Security will assist with reporting the incident to the authorities, secure the area, and also contact local authorities for assistance with arranging medical transportation and evidence collection. Even if the victim does not want to report the assault to Police, they should report the incident to Campus Security so that the incident can be included in statistics and can be used to identify any patterns developing.
The definition of “sexual assault” includes, but is not limited to, forcible rape, forcible sodomy, sexual assault with an object, forcible fondling, incest, or statutory rape.
Sexual assault can happen anywhere. In fact, according to the U.S. Department of Justice:
The victim of a sexual offense should:
After a sexual assault, it is very important that the victim receive a medical examination. The victim should seek medical attention and have a “rape kit” done. Preserving the evidence from the assault is important. Even if the victim does not wish to file a police report or is certain he or she will not prosecute, evidence should be preserved so the victim has the opportunity to change his or her mind.
The following list of instructions is offered regarding the preservation of evidence:
The survivor of a sexual assault is urged to seek counseling shortly after the sexual assault has occurred. You can obtain help at the following:
The Rape Crisis Center provides assistance throughout this dire situation. Connect with the center through the Crisis Line, 251-473-7273 (RAPE), and we will begin to help you through a confusing and traumatic time. Whether you need help immediately following the incident or if you are still healing from long-lasting emotional scars, the Rape Crisis Center is equipped and experienced to connect you with the police, offer counseling and extend our hand to you throughout this event and its aftermath. http://www.rapecrisismobile.org/.
Victims of sexual assault may receive free confidential 24 hour counseling by calling RAINN (Rape Abuse Incest National Network) hotline number 1-800-656-HOPE (4673). Trained counselors are available at the aforementioned numbers 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. RAINN can also be reached through e-mail, at email@example.com. However, crisis counseling is not available through e-mail. The e-mail address is intended solely for questions or comments. You can also visit the RAINN Web site at http://www.rainn.org.
CSU provides an Employee Assistance Program (EAP) through EAP Lifestyle Management, LLC as an employee benefit. All full time employees have access to EAP regardless of whether they obtain benefits through the company. Information about the program is available at 251-621-5360 or www.eaplifestyle.com. This service provides referral services and treatment sessions as needed.
Sexual assaults violate the standards of conduct expected of every member in the CSU community. Sexual assault is a criminal act, which subjects the perpetrator to criminal and civil penalties under state and federal law. In all cases, CSU will abide by and cooperate with local, state and federal sanctions. CSU disciplinary action may include suspension or expulsion depending on the seriousness of the situation.
CSU will change a victim’s academic or employment situation after a sex offense or alleged sex offense, if those changes are requested and are reasonably available.
The accuser and the accused are entitled to the same opportunities to have others present during a disciplinary proceeding. In addition, both the accuser and the accused must be informed of the outcome of any institutional disciplinary proceeding brought alleging a sex offense.
Sex offender information is available at http://www.icrimewatch.net/?AgencyID=53992
Any incident of alleged domestic violence, dating violence, or stalking incidents reported to Campus Security Authorities will be referred to local police for investigation unless the victim refuses to report to police.
In accordance with section 40002(a) of the Violence Against Women Act of 1994,
“Domestic violence” means a “felony or misdemeanor crime of violence committed by-
The CSU Emergency Response Team, consisting of the Office of the President, Human Resources Department and the Security Department, will make the determination if there is a significant emergency situation and the appropriate action and/or notification to the campus community. The determination will be made after gathering all available information and weighing the benefit and risk of a warning. It will be the policy to err on the side of caution. The decision to issue the warning to all employees or a portion of employees will be based on each individual incident. The content of the warning will be incident specific, and will include instructions on how to prepare for the impending danger. Most warnings will be issued by email and if appropriate, followed by an announcement over the building’s intercom.
CSU will, without delay, and taking into account the safety of the community, determine the content of the notification and initiate the notification system, unless issuing a notification will, in the professional judgment of responsible authorities, compromise efforts to assist a victim or to contain, respond to, or otherwise mitigate the emergency
Purpose: The purpose of the Active Shooter Emergency Plan is written to identify departments and their responsibilities in response to an active shooter event. This plan applies to situations where there is a person with a gun on campus, both suspected and verified, and also where shots have been fired.
Applicability: This plan applies to Columbia Southern University Main Campus located at 21982 University Lane, Orange Beach, AL 36561.
Attachments: The following attachments to this Emergency Plan have been assembled from various Government, Police and other documentation concerning Active Shooter safety guidelines. Because of the unpredictability of Active Shooter events, these are guidelines and should be used as such.
Roles and Responsibilities
Office of the President
The Human Resources Department is responsible for assisting in the recognition of students/employees at risk. Should a threat present itself, HR will call together the Threat Assessment Team to review the situation. The team will consist of the Office of the President, the CSU Security supervisor, the Human Resources Department, Employee Assistance Program (EAP) resources and others as required.
Office of the President:
Is responsible as necessary after the event, for the clean-up and restoration of facilities impacted / damaged in the course of any active-shooter incident as soon as crime scene restrictions are removed.
Active shooter events cannot be predicted to follow any pattern and therefore the following protocol will act as a sequencing guideline for this type of situation:
CSU Active Shooter Protocol
An active shooter incident is a very volatile and fluid situation, and as such, each one must be managed as it unfolds. The main objective is to insure the safety of the individuals on campus and bring the incident to a close as soon as possible with as few injuries as possible. To that end, the following steps are to be taken:
The following guidelines were taken from a United States Office of Personnel Management document on “Dealing with Violence in the Workplace”, which summarize the actions you should (or should not) take when encountering a hostile or threatening situation.
For an angry or hostile person.
For a person shouting, swearing, or threatening
For someone threatening you or others with a gun, knife, or other weapon
The following guidelines cannot cover every possible situation that might occur. Nevertheless they serve as an awareness and training tool likely to reduce the number of injuries or death if followed as soon as a situation develops.
Violent incidents, such as an active shooter, can occur on University grounds or within close proximity of the Campus with little or no warning. An active shooter is considered to be a suspect or assailant whose activity is immediately causing serious injury or death, and has not been contained. Active shooter situations are dynamic in nature and demand an immediate response to the situation by the community and law enforcement to stop the shooting and prevent further harm to the community.
In general, how you respond to an active shooter is dictated by the specific circumstances of the situation. If you should find yourself in an active shooter situation, try to remain calm -- your actions will influence others, trust your instincts, and call ext.1114 or 251-284-3768 as soon as possible.
The CSU Security along with local and state police has adopted accepted law enforcement response procedures to contain and terminate such threats as quickly as possible. The following guidelines taken from those sources will enable you to take appropriate actions for yourself and are intended for emerging or in progress situations.
General Guidelines to Remember:
Secure the immediate area. Whether a classroom, conference room, office, or restroom:
Protective actions. Take appropriate steps to reduce your vulnerability:
Unsecured Areas. If you find yourself in an open area, immediately seek protection:
Call ext.1114 or 251-284-3768, and then dial 911. Program these emergency numbers into your cell phone. Be aware that the telephone systems may be overwhelmed during this type of incident. All emergency situations should be reported to the campus enforcement by dialing ext.1114 or 251-284-3768 and also dial 911. You may hear multiple rings but stay on the line. Be prepared to provide as much information as possible, such as the following:
Try to provide information in a calm clear manner so that the operator quickly can relay the information to responding emergency personnel.
What to report. Try to note as much as possible about the assailant, including:
Treat the injured. The 911 operator will notify law enforcement and other emergency services such as EMS, Fire and Rescue. EMS, Fire and Rescue will respond to the site, but will not be able to enter the areas until the area is secured by law enforcement. You may have to treat the injured as best as you can until the medical personnel are allowed to enter the area that was involved. Remember basic first aid:
Unsecuring the area:
CSU Security will immediately respond to the area, assisted by other local law enforcement agencies. Remember, help is on the way. It is important for you to:
Injured Person. Initial responding officers will not treat the injured or begin evacuations until the threat is neutralized and the area is secure.
Evacuation. Responding officers will establish safe corridors for persons to evacuate.
An Emergency notification message will be broadcast as soon as possible for this type of emergency situation.
Once the incident has been resolved, you will receive an additional message to notify you of the incident status and provide further directions.
The following is a list of characteristics commonly associated with active shooter suspects. The list is compiled from descriptions of past active shooters and is not meant to be a comprehensive list describing all active shooters.