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Annual Security Report: Crime and Fire Safety

Meridian University has prepared the following annual security report regarding campus crime and fire safety, in cooperation with the local law enforcement agencies surrounding its campus, to comply with the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Crime Statistics Act, and the Higher Education Opportunity Act (HEOA). This annual report is required by federal law and contains policy statements and crime statistics for Meridian University. The policy statements address Meridian's policies and procedures concerning safety and security, including policies for responding to emergency situations and sexual offenses.

Campus crime statistics include crimes that were reported to Meridian University’s Administrative Offices, other campus officials, and those reported by local law enforcement agencies as a result of Meridian’s request for pertinent data.

These crimes are to have occurred on campus, in off-campus buildings or on property owned or controlled by the school as well as public areas or property within or immediately adjacent to the campus, not owned by Meridian University, but utilized by students, faculty and staff.

This report is made readily available to all current and prospective students, faculty, and staff, and can be requested request a copy from the Administrative Office of Meridian University at (707) 765-1836, ext. 103 or found online at www.meridianuniversity.edu.

Offense Year On Campus Property Non-Campus Property Public Property
Murder 2016 0 0 0
2017 0 0 0
2018 0 0 0
Sexual Offenses 2016 0 0 0
2017 0 0 0
2018 0 0 0
Dating Violence 2016 0 0 0
2017 0 0 0
2018 0 0 0
Domestic Violence 2016 0 0 0
2017 0 0 0
2018 0 0 0
Stalking 2016 0 0 0
2017 0 0 0
2018 0 0 0
Robbery 2016 0 0 0
2017 0 0 0
2018 0 0 0
Aggravated Assault 2016 0 0 0
2017 0 0 0
2018 0 0 0
Burglary/Theft 2016 0 0 0
2017 0 0 0
2018 0 0 0
Motor Vehicle Theft 2016 0 0 0
2017 0 0 0
2018 0 0 0
Arson 2016 0 0 0
2017 0 0 0
2018 0 0 0
Alcohol Violations 2016 0 0 0
2017 0 0 0
2018 0 0 0
Drug Violations 2016 0 0 0
2017 0 0 0
2018 0 0 0
Weapons Possession 2016 0 0 0
2017 0 0 0
2018 0 0 0

Hate Crimes

There were no reported hate crimes for the years 2016, 2017, 2018.

Campus Security Authorities

Please refer to the contact list below to report a matter of security:

Rob Gall, Administrative Director (707)765-1836
Police Emergency 911
Fire Emergency 911
Ambulance/Medical Emergency 911
Petaluma Valley Hospital (707)778-1111
Petalume Health Center (707)559-7500
Petaluma Police Department Non-Emergency (707)778-4372
Petaluma Fire Department Non-Emergency (707)778-4390
Sonoma County Ambulance Non-Emergency (707)568-5992
Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) (800)232-4636
Poison Control (800)222-1222

Policy Designating Reported Locations

The Jeanne Clery Disclosure of campus Security Policy and Crime Statistics Act and the Higher Education Opportunity Act (HEOA) require that Meridian University report crimes on campus, and campus buildings or properties that meet all of the following criteria:

Meridian University owns or controls them;

  • Meridian University owns or controls them
  • They are reasonably contiguous to one another
  • They directly support or relate to Meridian University's educational purposes

We have adopted the reporting geography of all property, streets, parking lots, and sidewalks surrounding/bordering our campus located within the confines of the city of Petaluma located at 47 Sixth Street in Petaluma, California.

Policy Concerning How to Report a Crime

To report a crime or suspected crime, an individual may contact the Petaluma Police Department by calling 911 in case of emergency, (707) 778-4372 for a non-emergency, or the Meridian University Administrative Office at (707) 765-1836. Any suspicious activity or person seen in the parking lots loitering around vehicles, inside buildings or around the classrooms, spa or clinic areas should be reported.

Policy Concerning Voluntary Confidential Reporting

If you are a victim of a crime and do not want to pursue action with the Meridian University system or the criminal justice system, you may still want to consider making a confidential report. With your permission, the Campus Director/Designee can file a report detailing the incident without revealing your identity. The purpose of a confidential report is to comply with your desire to keep the matter confidential, while taking steps to insure the future safety of yourself and others. With such information, Meridian University can keep an accurate record of the number of incidents involving students, faculty and staff, determine where there is a pattern of crime with regard to a particular location, method or assailant, and alert the Meridian University community to potential danger. Reports filed in this manner are counted and disclosed in the annual crime statistics for Meridian University.

Policy Advising Accurate and Prompt Crime Reporting

Community members, students, faculty, staff and guests are encouraged to report all crimes and public safety related incidents to the Meridian University Administrative Office and/or to the local Police Department in a timely fashion. Only by the prompt reporting of the crime and the subsequent action taken by appropriate authorities will issues be quickly investigated and resolutions affected. The process of making accurate and prompt reports helps ensure increased safety for all students, faculty, staff, guests and the community.

To report a crime or an emergency on the Meridian University campus, call the Administrative Director at (707) 765-1836, ext. 103. To report a non-emergency security or public safety related matter, call the Administrative Director at (707) 765-1836, ext. 103.

Policy Defining Crime Types

The Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Crime Statistics Act and the Higher Education Opportunity Act (HEOA) require reporting of specific criminal act reports—not necessarily convictions. Because a criminal act or suspicion of an act was reported, does not necessarily indicate that such an act actually occurred or that specific individuals were convicted of such an act. The Clery requirements are for disclosure of reports of criminal activity or suspected criminal activity and classify crimes based on the Federal Bureau of Investigation's (FBI's) Uniform Crime Reporting Handbook (UCR).

Crimes reported in the Crime Statistics Reporting Table are indicated by type and for the most recent three (3) year period. Meridian University does not have on-campus housing, so no Fire Statistics report is made nor is there an entry in the on-campus housing facilities column of the Table. This Crime Statistics Reporting Table is located further down in this report.

A second crime report for the most recent three (3) year period is also made in the narrative form for reported Hate Crimes. Hate Crimes are those acts designated by the FBI in their publications entitled "Uniform Crime Reporting Hate Crime Data Collection Guidelines" and "Training Guide for Hate Crime Data Collection". For sex offenses only, Meridian University uses definitions from the FBI's National Incident Based Reporting System (NIBRS) edition of the Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) Program. Reported Hate Crimes are shown in Appendix C.

Policy Concerning Timely Warnings

For any Clery Act crime, either on or off campus that, in the judgment of Meridian University, represents an ongoing threat to the safety of students or employees; a campus-wide "timely warning" will be issued by the Administrative Director of Meridian University. The warning will be issued through all available means of mass communication including public address announcements, personal notification, campus texts, personal email, texts, and/or Meridian University computer program notifications. Anyone with information warranting a timely warning should report the circumstances to the Meridian University Administrative Director, by phone (707) 765-1836, ext. 103 or in person at the Administrative Office.

Policy Concerning Emergency Notifications

Depending on the particular circumstances of the crime, Meridian University may also issue an emergency notification. The notification will be announced by the Meridian University Administrative Director and will inform the campus community that as soon as they have confirmed that a significant emergency or dangerous situation exists, will:

  • Take into account the safety of the campus community,
  • Determine what information to release about the situation, and
  • Begin the notification process. Posting on the Meridian University website will inform the community widespread

Meridian University will not immediately issue a notification for a confirmed emergency or dangerous situation if doing so will compromise efforts to:

  • Assist a victim,
  • Contain the emergency,
  • Respond to the emergency, or
  • Otherwise mitigate the emergency.

As directed by the Clery regulations, emergency notification methods are tested drills, exercises, and appropriate follow-through activities, for the purpose of assessment and evaluation of emergency plans and capabilities. These tests are conducted once a year that the tests are announced and once when it is not announced. To comply with the Clery requirement the tests must:

  • Be scheduled,
  • Contain drills,
  • Contain exercises,
  • Contain follow-through activities,
  • Be designed for assessment of emergency plans and capabilities, and
  • Be designed for evaluation of emergency plans and capabilities.

An evacuation drill is coordinated by Meridian University's staff for our campus. The emergency response and evacuation procedures are tested once a year at a minimum. Students learn the locations of the emergency exits in the buildings and are provided guidance about the direction they should travel when exiting each facility for a short- term building evacuation. The staff do not tell students in advance about the designated locations for long-term evacuations as those determinations are affected by time of day, the availability of the various designated emergency gathering locations on campus, and other factors such as the location and nature of the threat. Meridian University staff on the scene will communicate information to students regarding the developing situation or any evacuation status changes.

Policy Concerning Alcoholic Beverages

The Meridian University campus has been designated "Drug Free" and under no certain circumstances is the consummation of alcohol permitted. 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 Petaluma Police Department. Violators are subject to Meridian University’s disciplinary action, criminal prosecution, fine and imprisonment. It is unlawful to sell, furnish or provide alcohol to a person under the age of 21. The possession of alcohol by anyone under 21 years of age in a public place or place open to the public is illegal. It is also a violation of the Meridian University Alcohol Policy for anyone to consume or possess alcohol in any public or private areas of campus.

Policy Concerning Illegal Drug Possession

The Meridian University campus has been designated "Drug Free." The unlawful possession, use, or distribution of any drugs on the Meridian University campus or in connection with any Meridian University activities is prohibited. 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 Petaluma Police Department. Violators are subject to Meridian University’s disciplinary action, criminal prosecution, fines and imprisonment.

In compliance with the U.S. Department of Education Drug Prevention Programs of the Higher Education Act, Publication 101-226-20 U.S.C. Section 1145g, the following Drug Abuse Prevention Program is incorporated into the policy of Meridian University in recognition of drug and alcohol abuse.

Please be aware that partaking of any of the following may result in health risks associated with the use of illicit drugs.

  • Marijuana: fatigue, paranoia, possible psychosis
  • Cocaine: agitation, increase in body temperature, hallucinations, convulsions, possible death
  • Barbiturates: shallow respiration, clammy skin, dilated pupils, weak and rapid pulse, coma, possible death
  • LSD: long intense trip episodes, psychosis, possible death
  • Alcohol: impaired judgment and coordination, respiration depression, possible death

Students who need help can contact:

  • Community Action: Alcoholic / Drug Help Line (800) 662-4357.
  • Advocates for Wellness (707) 565-7800
  • Alcoholics Anonymous 856-486-4444.

For individual counseling, please contact the Administrative Office for a referral.

Policy Concerning Disclosures to Victims of Alleged Crimes of Violence or Non-forcible Sex Offenses

Upon written request, Meridian University will disclose to the victim of an alleged crime of violence, or a non-forcible sex offense, the results of any disciplinary hearing conducted by Meridian 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, Meridian University will provide the result of the disciplinary hearing to the victim's next of kin, if so requested.

Policy Concerning Preventing and Responding to Sex Offenses

Meridian University provides information from the Petaluma Police Department and Sexual Assault Response Center (SARC) about sexual assault education and information programs to students and employees upon request. Literature on date rape education, risk reduction, and Meridian University’s response is available through the Administrative Office.

If you are a victim of a sexual assault at Meridian University, your first priority should be to get to a place of safety. You should then obtain necessary medical treatment. The Petaluma Police Department strongly advocates that a victim of sexual assault report the incident in a timely manner. Time is a critical factor for evidence collection and preservation. An assault should be reported directly to Meridian University's Administrative Director. Filing a police report with the police department will not obligate the victim to prosecute, nor will it subject the victim to scrutiny or judgment opinions from officers. Filing a police report will:

  • ensure that a victim of sexual assault receives the necessary medical treatment and tests, at no expense to the victim;
  • provide the opportunity for collection of evidence helpful in prosecution, which cannot be obtained later (ideally a victim of sexual assault should not wash, douche, use the toilet, or change clothing prior to a medical/legal exam);
  • ensure the victim has access to free confidential counseling from counselors specifically trained in the area of sexual assault crisis intervention.

When a sexual assault victim contacts a police department, the Sex Crimes Unit will be notified as well. The victim of a sexual assault may choose for the investigation to be pursued through the criminal justice system and Meridian University, or only the latter. A representative from the police department or the Meridian University Administrative Office will guide the victim through the available options and support the victim in his or her decision. Counseling and support services outside Meridian University can be obtained through the Sexual Assault Response Center (SARC).

Both the victim and accused will be informed of the outcome of the hearing. A student found guilty of violating the Meridian University sexual misconduct policy could be criminally prosecuted in the state courts and may be suspended or expelled from Meridian University for the first offense. Student victims have the option to change their academic schedule after an alleged sexual assault, if such changes are reasonably available.

Policies Concerning Sex Offender Registration

The Campus Sex Crimes Prevention Act of 2000, which amends the Jacob Wetterling Crimes Against Children and Sexually Violent Offender Registration Act, the Jeanne Cleary Act and the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974, requires institutions of higher education to issue a statement advising the campus community where law enforcement information provided by a State concerning registered sex offenders may be obtained. It also requires sex offenders already required to register in a State to provide notice of each institution of higher education in that State at which the person is employed, carries a vocation, or is a student. In accordance to this act, Meridian University has provided a link to the California State Sex Offender Registry here: https://www.meganslaw.ca.gov/. The California State Police is responsible for maintaining this registry.

Emergency Control Measures

Chain of Command
  1. In the case of an emergency that is of a severe or critical nature, notify on-duty supervisor the Meridian University Administrative Director immediately at (707)765-1836, ext. 103.
  2. If the emergency is a serious medical issue or fire, call 911 and notify the Meridian University Administrative Director immediately at (707)765-1836, ext. 103.
  3. For facility maintenance issues contact the Administrative Director at (707) 765-1836, ext. 103.

Meridian University prioritizes the safety and health of its employees and students. To make every effort to comply with all federal and state workplace safety requirements, Meridian's workplace safety rules and regulations are as follows:

  1. Learn your job and how to be safe in the workplace.
  2. Learn the location of fire alarm boxes, extinguishers, and your duties in case of a fire.
  3. Promptly report all unsafe or potentially hazardous conditions, such as the following to your supervisor:
    1. Wet or slippery floors
    2. Trashy or unsafe areas at work
    3. Equipment left in the hallways
    4. Exposed or unsafe electrical wiring
    5. Careless handling of equipment
    6. Defective or shield-less equipment
  4. Immediately report all accidents to your supervisor.
  5. Use proper lifting procedures and get help when needed.
  6. Wear safety glasses and protective clothing at all times.
  7. Wear closed toed shoes.
  8. Handle hazardous chemicals with proper safety equipment

Security

In order to protect employees, students and guests, Meridian University workplace procedures, security rules and regulations are as follows:

  1. Visitors to the workplace must be properly admitted by checking in at the reception desk. All visitors are to be escorted at all times while in Meridian University and its offices. Employees are responsible for any guests they bring onto company property. All guests must be pre-approved before coming onto the Meridian University campus.
  2. Report any suspicious or questionable conduct to your supervisor.

After taking the appropriate action as outlined above, the supervisor must fill out an incident report and have witnesses verify the situation.

Fire or Impending Danger

In the case of fire or an impending danger:

  1. All students, staff and guests must evacuate the building by moving to the nearest exit.
  2. Evacuated persons must report to the front parking lot of the designated emergency location (away from the building to allow ambulances and or fire trucks easy access to the main entrance of the building.
  3. The supervisor on duty must call 911.
  4. While leaving, the supervisor must take sign in sheets from the reception desk as leaving and call roll to account for all staff and students.
  5. The Meridian University Administrative Director must be called immediately to be apprised of the situation.

Severe Weather Warning

If a power outage occurs, staff and instructors will insure that all windows and doors are closed to prevent heat loss in extreme cold weather and that all doors and windows are open to allow for ventilation in extreme hot weather.

If indoor temperature drops below 60 degrees F or goes above 88 degrees F, notify the Administrative Director at (707) 765-1836, ext. 103.

Violent Acts by a Group or Individual

In the case of a violent act by a group or individual, the most senior person closest to the scene will notify the Meridian University Administrative Director or supervisor on duty. The supervisor on duty is to direct bystanders away from the immediate area and call the police 911.

Bomb Threat

In the case of a Bomb Threat:

  1. Every threat is to be taken seriously.
  2. Record the following information:
    1. Time of call
    2. Type of bomb
    3. Location of bomb
    4. Expected time of detonation.
    5. If applicable, describe the voice of the person on the phone (male or female)
    6. Keep the person on the phone as long as possible. Ask why the bomb was placed and whom the caller wishes to hurt.
  3. Report incident to the Meridian University Administrative Director or supervisor on duty immediately.
  4. The Meridian University Administrative Director or supervisor will call 911 for bomb squad assistance.
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