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Safety & Security Policies

Below are some of the Avila University Policies applicable to the safety and security of our campus.  For more information on the specific university policies listed below, please see the Student Handbook, Employee Handbook, or the Annual Security Report for the full policy.

Alcohol and Drug Policy

Alcohol and Drug Policy

The misuse of alcohol and other drugs pose major health problems, are potential safety and security problems, can adversely affect academic and job performance, and can generally inhibit the educational development of students. Avila University, therefore, prohibits the unlawful manufacture, distribution, dispensing, possession, or use of illicit* drugs and alcohol. This applies to all premises or property, or as part of any official student activity, associated with Avila University.

 *​Illicit drugs include illegal drugs (such as cannabis, opiates, and certain types of stimulants), pharmaceutical drugs (such as pain-killers and tranquillizers) when used for non-medical purposes, and other substances used inappropriately (such as inhalants).

 Avila University’s alcohol and drug policy is an awareness and prevention program in compliance with the Drug-Free Schools and Communities Act of 1986 and as amended in 1989.  This policy will be distributed annually to each university employee and each university student currently enrolled.

 

This Policy is not limited to, but does specifically include:

  1. The possession or consumption of alcoholic beverages, or the possession of alcohol paraphernalia, is prohibited anywhere on campus or at campus events unless explicitly allowed by the appropriate University Vice President.
  2. Possessing, using, being in the presence of, or distribution of illicit drugs, Federal-listed controlled substances (including marijuana), or drug paraphernalia is strictly prohibited.
  3. Attending classes, events or participating in any college activities while under the influence of or impaired by alcohol or other illicit drugs is prohibited.
  4. Disorderly behavior, excessive noise, odor, vandalism, damage to University property, or other disruptive behavior related to possessing, using, or being in the presence of alcohol or illicit drugs will not be permitted.
  5. Empty or full alcohol containers, such as bottles, cans, kegs, “party balls”, or devices commonly used for consumption of alcohol or illicit drugs, such as beer bongs and glass smoking pipes, are not allowed to be stored nor displayed in the University Residence Halls. Possession of items promoting alcohol or illicit drug use or a brand, such as drinking glasses or posters, are not permitted in the University Residence Halls.
  6. Exception: the following specific Alcohol Policy is written for Thompson Hall:
    • Alcoholic beverages may be responsibly consumed or possessed, in compliance with Federal, State and Local regulations, only within individuals' suites in Thompson Hall where all assigned residents are 21 years of age and have completed education steps through the Assistant Vice President of Student Development and Success’ office, and all guests present must be 21 years of age.

 Violation of any element of this policy may result in disciplinary action, in addition Avila University may notify the student’s parents or guardian of the violation if the student is under 21 years of age.  While Avila University respects students’ right to privacy, it retains its right to enter any residence hall room if there is reason to believe that University policies have been violated.  Avila University is an institution of higher education located on private property that complies with Missouri revised statutes RSMo. 311 (liquor control laws) and RSMo. 195 and 579 (drug paraphernalia and controlled substances offenses).

DISCIPLINARY SANCTIONS FOR STUDENTS:

  1. Students who violate the above regulations are subject to disciplinary sanctions. Possible sanctions range from a Level 1 Warning up to and including a Level 5 Dismissal from the institution.
  2. In conjunction with the imposition of any of the disciplinary sanctions set forth in the Student Code of Conduct, students may also be referred to appropriate local, state or federal law enforcement agencies for prosecution.
  3. In conjunction with the imposition of any of the disciplinary sanctions set forth above, students may be required to complete appropriate counseling, rehabilitation or substance abuse program.
  4. FERPA, the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974, is a Federal law that regulates disclosures of, and access to, educational records of students. This statute allows a university to notify parents/legal guardians of students under the age of 21 that the student has been found responsible for violation of the university’s policies regarding alcohol consumption and/or drug use.
  5. All disciplinary proceedings shall be conducted in accordance with or as provided by the Student Code of Conduct.

 DISCIPLINARY SANCTIONS FOR EMPLOYEES:

  1. To promote Avila University’s goal of a drug-free, healthful, and safe workplace, employees are required to report to work in appropriate mental and physical condition to perform their jobs in a satisfactory and/or safe manner. All employees of the University serve as role models for students.
  2. Violations of the above policy may lead to disciplinary action, up to and including immediate termination of employment, and/or required participation in a substance abuse rehabilitation or treatment program.
  3. Violations of this policy may also have legal consequences.
  4. Under the Drug-Free Workplace Act, an employee, who performs work for a government contract or grant, must notify Avila University of a criminal conviction for drug-related activity occurring in the workplace. The report must be made within five days of the conviction.

 LEGAL SANCTIONS:

In addition to University policy violations, there are legal consequences that may occur for violating federal, state, or local alcohol and drug laws.  The severity of sanctions imposed for offenses will vary and is dependent on type and quantity of drugs, prior convictions, if serious injury or death resulted, and can also be increased for offenses involving drugs on or near university premises.  Drug convictions can effect a person’s right to purchase a firearm, to receive federal financial aid benefits for college, and/or effect professional or commercial licenses.  Even with reduced charges in the State of Missouri for small quantities of marijuana possession, it is a misdemeanor charge on your record for a controlled substance that could have future negative effects.

 The Liquor Control Law for the State of Missouri (RSMo. 311) provides that any person under the age of 21 years who purchases, attempts to purchase or has in his/her possession any intoxicating liquor is guilty of a misdemeanor crime.  Anyone who shall procure for, sell, give away or otherwise supply intoxicating liquor to any person under the age of 21 years is guilty of a misdemeanor crime.  It is a Class A misdemeanor for a property owner to knowingly allow or to fail to stop, a person under the age of 21 to drink or possess intoxicating liquor.  Missouri law also includes that a person under the age of 21 who is visibly intoxicated can be arrested without being in physical possession at that time of the intoxicating beverage.  A person who is convicted of a misdemeanor may be subjected to a fine ranging from $50 to $1,000 and/or imprisonment for up to one year.

 A person commits the crime of “driving while intoxicated” (DWI) if he/she operates a motor vehicle while in an intoxicated or drugged condition, as stated in Missouri Revised Statute 577.  A person is in an “intoxicated condition” when he/she is under the influence of alcohol, a controlled substance, other illicit drug, or any combination thereof.  The first offense of a DWI is a Class B misdemeanor with fines up to $1,000, but multiple offenses can range up to a Class B felony charge, a loss of driver’s license, and/or imprisonment up to 15 years.

 State Law prohibits the manufacturing, possession, sale, and distribution of illicit drugs.  Missouri revised statutes RSMo. 195 and RSMo. 579 are known as the Comprehensive Drug Control Act.  These statutes include prohibiting possession with intent to use drug paraphernalia, unlawful use of drug paraphernalia, delivery or distribution of a controlled substance, trafficking drugs, and other offenses as listed in RSMo. 579.015 through 579.170.  Charges for these offenses range from misdemeanor to felony, and a person may be subjected to a fine ranging from $50 to $10,000 and/or imprisonment ranging from 6 months up to life (30 years). 

 Although most illicit drug offenses are prosecuted by state law, federal charges can occur if the defendant or the drug crossed state lines.  It is also of note that marijuana is listed as a controlled substance along with many other narcotics, as defined by federal statute CFR 1308.  Persons convicted of federal charges of drug trafficking within 1,000 feet of a university also face higher penalties.  If an individual is convicted of federal or state drug charges for possession, distribution, or trafficking, the federal government may also deny or revoke federal benefits such as grants, loans, or work study (see studentaid.ed.gov for more information).

Drug and Alcohol Abuse Prevention

HEALTH RISKS ASSOCIATED WITH ALCOHOL AND ILLICIT DRUGS:

Abuse of alcohol can produce severe health risks, including death. Alcohol consumption causes a number of marked changes in behavior. Even low doses significantly impair judgment and coordination required to drive a car safely, increasing the likelihood that the driver will be involved in an accident.

Low to moderate doses of alcohol also increase the incidence of a variety of aggressive acts, including spouse and child abuse.  Moderate to high doses of alcohol cause marked impairments in higher mental functions, severely altering a person’s ability to learn and remember information. Very high doses cause respiratory depression and death. If combined with other depressants of the central nervous system, even lower doses of alcohol will produce the effects just described.  Long-term consumption of large quantities of alcohol, particularly when combined with poor nutrition, can also lead to permanent damage to vital organs such as the brain and the liver.

Physical and psychological effects of both short and long term drug use vary with the type and amount of drug used. Marijuana use can lead to heartbeat acceleration, impairment in mental perception, memory loss, impulsive behavior, anxiety attacks, respiratory problems, infertility, and lung disease. Cocaine use can lead to high blood pressure, sweating, vomiting, irritation and inflammation of nasal tissue, loss of appetite, delusions, altered perceptions, and death from respiratory failure.

Use of hallucinogens can lead to dizziness, increase in heart rate, nausea, perceptual changes, delusions, hallucinations, and flashbacks. Use of stimulants can lead to diarrhea, heart palpitations, increased blood pressure, kidney failure, weight loss, irritability, and hallucinations. Use of depressants can lead to slurred speech, staggering gait, altered perception, slowing down of reflexes and reaction time, increased anxiety and depression, and death from lack of oxygen.

Mothers who drink alcohol during pregnancy may give birth to infants with fetal alcohol syndrome. These infants have irreversible physical abnormalities and mental retardation.  Use of illicit drugs during pregnancy may lead to premature births and/or mental or physical handicaps in the infant. Use may also cause an infant to acquire a drug dependency at birth

DRUG AND ALCOHOL PROGRAMS:

Students with alcohol or other drug related problems are encouraged, and in some cases maybe be required, to utilize the services of private and community agencies to receive appropriate information, treatment, counseling or referral services.  Avila’s Counseling and Career Services, in Hodes Center, offers short-term counseling available to students free of charge.  Referrals to outside professionals in the area of alcohol or drug treatment may be appropriate.  Students are responsible to pursue these options on their own and at their own expense. 

In addition to on-campus and off-campus counseling services, University Employees have provisions of the Employee Assistance Program (EAP) available that include counseling for substance abuse.  Please ask in Avila’s Human Resources for more information on and assistance with the EAP program.

A variety of campus organizations and departments are involved in providing programs to all community members as to the risks of substance abuse.   Components of education and awareness concerning alcohol and drug abuse are included in new-student orientation, Residence Hall programs, Athletics meetings, Campus Safety, and through student organizations.  The Arrive Alive tour, driving simulator that demonstrates the effects of driving under the influence, is hosted at Avila every Fall semester at the beginning of the Academic year.  Avila University Athletics department has a substance abuse program that includes education, Safe Harbor program, and a drug testing policy and procedures that is administered through Drug Free Sport.

The following resources are available off-campus for counseling or substance abuse treatment:

  • Alcoholics Anonymous, Kansas City Area: 471.7229
    • kc-aa.org
  • Alcohol Help Center
    • alcoholhelpcenter.net
  • Check Your Drinking
    • checkyourdrinking.net
  • Narcotics Anonymous, Kansas City Metro: 816.531.2250 or  561.2250
    • kansascityna.org
    • na.org
  • Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration: 726.4727
    • samsha.gov
Parking Policy & Parking Lot Regulations

Parking Policy

The parking policy is intended to provide reasonable access to parking for Avila‘s faculty, staff, students, and visitors. Parking regulations are needed to facilitate traffic flow, control parking, protect emergency vehicle access, and reserve certain critical areas for special use. The following regulations apply to anyone that uses any type of motor vehicle on campus, whether a member of the Avila community or a guest/vendor on our campus. If you have any questions concerning the following regulations or procedures, please contact the campus safety office.

All members of the Avila University community must register their vehicles with the campus safety office if they plan on parking a vehicle on campus property. A parking sticker will be provided to those that register their vehicles. A valid Avila University parking sticker must be displayed on the vehicle when it is on campus property.  Parking stickers are to be displayed on the rear windshield, lower left corner (behind the driver). Failure to register one‘s vehicle or failure to display the appropriately assigned sticker will result in a parking citation, an additional $40 fine, possible revocation of parking privileges, and possible towing of the vehicle from the campus property.

 All Students must re-register their vehicle every academic year to receive the proper year’s Resident or Commuter parking sticker.

Parking Regulations

 Driving on Campus

  • The maximum speed limit is 15 mph unless posted otherwise.
  • Driving is permitted only on designated, surfaced drives. No vehicles are allowed on grass, lawns, or fields without special permission.
  • Driving under the influence of drugs/alcohol is strictly prohibited, and local police authorities will be called.

 Parking Spaces

  • Vehicles should only be parked in spaces clearly marked as valid parking spots.  Parking along curbs, unless clearly marked as a parking space, is a violation.  Parking across more than one spot is a violation, regardless of the location of other cars in the lot.  Reserved parking spaces can only be used for the posted purpose and only by those for whom the space is intended.  Designated times for use on certain spaces may also be posted and will be enforced.
  • Illegally parking in reserved spaces or parking in spaces not marked for legal parking can result in a parking citation and/or immediate towing of the vehicle.
  • Loading and unloading spaces have been designated and so marked. Some of these areas can be used for specific amounts of time and must be vacated after the time period has elapsed.  Use of these areas for any other reason is strictly prohibited and can result in citation and/or immediate towing of the vehicle.
  • Use of emergency flashers does not justify parking in violation of regulations and is not an appropriate cause for appeal.

 Condition / Abandonment of Vehicles

 All vehicles parked on the campus must be registered with the appropriate state licensing office. All vehicles must display a valid license plate and registration sticker.  The vehicle must be maintained in a drivable condition.  Vehicles that are abandoned or left unmoved for an extended period of time or are left in a dilapidated state of condition, may be towed from the campus.  If the vehicle is registered on-campus, we will attempt to contact the owner and give a reasonable amount of time to have the vehicle repaired and/or removed from campus. 

 Handicap Spaces

  •  Certain spaces on campus are reserved for those needing closer access to campus buildings due to a temporary or permanent disability. People requiring permanent handicap parking privileges will need to display a state issued handicapped license plate or parking permit. 
  • Vehicles illegally parked in a handicap spot will be cited, fined, and may be immediately towed from campus.

 Parking Violation Fines/Consequences

 If issued a parking citation, the registered owner/user of the vehicle will be subject to the following fines:

 Standard Violations            

  • $40 fine for each and every offense

 Handicap Spaces

  • $200 fine and possible immediate towing of the vehicle

Parking in a restricted or handicap space

  • In addition to the above fines, vehicle is subject to being towed, and the driver may have parking privileges revoked. If towed, all fines will still be due in addition to expenses the owner will incur in retrieving the vehicle from the impound lot and any expenses Avila University incurs from having the vehicle towed. Parking privileges may be revoked for the semester or the entire academic year.

 A vehicle immobilization device may be used in lieu of towing the vehicle. A parking citation, fine, and immobilization charge will be applied. 

 Chronic parking policy violators will be subject to fines, towing, and revocation of parking privileges.

 The recipient of a parking citation has five business days to pay the fine or appeal the ticket before the amount will be applied to his/her account. See “Appeal Process” below for further details. Unpaid fines will be treated as any other unpaid balance on a student’s bill and may result in an administrative hold and/or submittal of the balance into the collection process. Employees will be held accountable for their fines by the Vice President of their division. Payment of parking tickets can occur at the Business Office during normal business hours. 

 In the case of flagrant parking violations, the Dean of Students, or his/her designee, reserves the right to supplement the above sanctions with sanctions available in the Code of Conduct, including and up to revocation of parking privileges, suspension and/or dismissal from the institution. Local police authorities may be involved, if necessary, depending on the circumstances of the violation.

Protest and Activism Policy

Protest and Activism Policy

Avila University respects the rights to freedom of speech and freedom of expression for individuals and groups to express whatever views they wish, so long as they do not interfere with the rights of others, and are respectful of the University’s Catholic Mission and Values.

 The University urges aggrieved persons or groups to make use of established judicial procedures to resolve specific instances in which their rights may have been violated.  Both civil authority and Avila University regulations reflect the University’s obligation to balance rights of free speech and expression against such other rights as privacy, safety and the normal conduct of business. Avila University maintains the right to regulate reasonable time, place and manner restrictions concerning acts of expression or dissent.  Thus, Avila deems inappropriate any actions that intrude upon the rights of other members of the community, including reasonable expectations of peace and privacy, and tactics or behavior that include coercion, intimidation, or harassment. Additionally, obstruction or disruption of the normal conduct of business for the University, or of members or guests of the community is considered inappropriate.  Further, the right to protest and demonstrate does not include the right to engage in conduct that endangers the safety of others. The University expects the Avila Community Mission and Values to be upheld at all times by all parties involved in a protest or demonstration.  Avila University is private property and only individuals that are Avila Students or currently employed Faculty or Staff, may organize and lead a protest or demonstration on campus.

PROHIBITED CONDUCT

The University will not allow disruptive or disorderly conduct on its premises to interrupt its proper operation.  Disruptive picketing, protesting, or demonstrating on University property or at any place in use for an authorized University purpose is prohibited.

The Kansas City Missouri Police Department has legal authority to enforce all laws in the area of the city, including Avila University’s campus, and this authority will not be restricted by University policies and procedures.  In addition to any action taken by civil or criminal authorities, the University reserves the right to impose its own disciplinary sanctions if the University believes that an individual’s conduct interferes with the purposes, objectives or responsibilities of the University.  University members who plan demonstrations or participate in protest activities should be aware of applicable laws, as well as University policies.

EVENT REGISTRATION AND ACKNOWLEDGEMENT OF POLICY

At least 48 hours prior to a protest or demonstration on University property, the Avila University faculty, staff, or student organizer who will assume responsibility for the protest or demonstration must sign and submit a formal acknowledgement of this Policy. This acknowledgement is available online at MyAU, under 'Forms' in the header row and then Protest Policy in the left column. [https://myau.avila.edu/ICS/Forms/Protest_Policy.jnz].

Failure to submit a signed acknowledgement may be grounds for the University to require the gathering of individuals and/or their signage be disbanded or removed from property.  If there is a probability of an activity on campus turning violent, or if the protest or demonstration contradicts Avila’s Mission and Values, the University reserves the right to deny the event from taking place on University property.

UNIVERSITY CONTACT

An Avila University member planning a protest or demonstration is encouraged to consult with the Assistant Vice President of Student Development & Success, or Vice President of Academic Affairs prior to sponsoring or organizing such an event. The purpose of such consultation is to obtain an advisory opinion as to the suitability of the planned action and as to the possible penalties that might be imposed or recommended if an unsuitable action is carried out. Such consultation may also reduce the chance that community members might place themselves at risk by unknowingly violating policies or civil laws. Whether the advice from any member of Avila University’s Faculty or Staff has or has not been sought, people participating in a protest or demonstration should be prepared to assume the possible consequences of their behavior.

In the interest of student safety and the protection of student rights, any member of the Avila community who learns about demonstrations and protests involving Avila students, on campus, are encouraged to notify the Office of the Assistant Vice President of Student Development & Success immediately.

In the event of a demonstration on campus a designee from the Risk Management Committee, or of the Executive Committee, will serve as the responsible official and spokesperson at the scene.  All media contact involving an event with Avila community members will be handled through the Office of Marketing and Communications.

SECURITY

Campus Safety staff will respond, as appropriate, to a situation of protest or demonstration to protect the University facilities and for the safety of the individuals involved, and will act in a manner which promotes the Mission and Values of Avila University. Campus Safety is expected to observe from an appropriate location and report to the responsible official from the Risk Management Committee or Executive Committee during any such response to protest or demonstration.  Safety Officers will undertake enforcement measures, as appropriate and to the best of their abilities, to prevent physical violence to an individual, or to prevent serious damage or vandalism to property or their contents.

ADMINISTRATION OF POLICY

In addition to monitoring the demonstration, the Assistant Vice President of Student Development & Success, or the designated responsible official, has the responsibility for administering this Policy, including determining, at their discretion, the need for

University disciplinary action and/or the intervention of Kansas City Missouri Police Department (KCPD) when the circumstances warrant.

When applicable the University will attempt to gain an understanding of the demonstrator’s grievances and come to a resolution, and to notify protesting individuals about actions that are considered unacceptable and potential consequences.  If the actions involved in a protest or demonstration are considered provoking, there is a risk of harm to individuals or property, or violates other inappropriate actions listed above while not disbanding in a timely manner, the designated responsible official or the senior Campus Safety staff on-scene may contact KCPD to come to the scene of the protest or demonstration to intervene and assist in disbanding the group, or if applicable to arrest offenders of civil laws.

Weapons Policy

Weapons Policy

Avila University is an institution of higher education located on private property that forbids concealed carry or possession of weapons on University property.  This is in compliance of Missouri statute 571.030.

Firearms, knives, swords, arrows, or any weapons or hazardous materials, or any item resembling a weapon are strictly forbidden.  Possession of any of these items at a University sponsored event, whether on or off campus, is also prohibited.  Exemptions to this policy may be allowed for University sponsored activities or sanctioned events, and will be explicitly allowed by the appropriate University Vice President.

If you are uncertain about whether an item you possess is in violation of this policy you should inquire with Campus Safety prior to bringing the item on campus.  Any object used or threaten to be used to cause bodily harm can be classified as a weapon and may fall under additional disciplinary actions.

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