710  Violence on Campus

Approved by President
Effective Date: June 5, 2017
Responsible Division: Business and Finance
Responsible Office:  Human Resource Services
Responsible Officer:  Assistant Vice President, Human Resource Services

I. Purpose

This policy outlines Middle Tennessee State University’s (MTSU or University) commitment to providing a safe environment for its students, faculty, and staff. 

MTSU does not tolerate acts of violence committed on campus or within any university-owned or operated facility. Individuals engaging in any such acts may be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law as well as subject to normal University disciplinary procedures. The University is further committed to the education of the campus community about ways to decrease the incidence of violence and appropriate responses to potential or actual violent situations.

II. Definitions

Violence addressed by this policy is defined as acts of violence or threats of aggression including gestures, or oral or written expression which:

A.  Create fear of bodily harm;

B.  Cause or are capable of causing death or bodily injury;

C.  Threaten the safety of a co-worker, student, or member of the general public; or

D.  Damage property.

Acts of violence and threats of violence include, but are not limited to: verbal (such as threats, harassment, abuse, or intimidation), nonverbal (such as gestures and intimidation), written communication (such as notes, email), physical (such as hitting, pushing, shoving, kicking, touching, and assault), and other (such as arson, sabotage, vandalism, and stalking). 

III. Procedures

To reduce the possibility of threats or acts of violence and establish an effective procedure for responding to potential or actual violent situations, the University will develop crisis management procedures to deal with potential or actual violent situations. Once established, these procedures should be communicated to the campus community by the most effective means.  The Crisis Council, composed of senior administrators and security personnel, shall be activated when necessary and appropriate to review the potential or actual violent situations and coordinate appropriate University responses such as family notifications, press statements, follow-up counseling, etc.

IV.  Reporting

A.  An employee who witnesses an incident of violence, threats of violence or suspicious behavior, must immediately report such conduct to University Police, his/her supervisor and Human Resource Services. If anonymity is desired, the incident should be reported to Rutherford County Crime Stoppers.

B.  An employee who is granted a court order requiring any other individual to stay away from the employee’s place of work must furnish a copy of the order to Human Resource Services and University Police.

V.  Campus Resources

A.  The MTSU Environmental Health and Safety Committee is charged to regularly review and evaluate campus security programs based on analysis of trends, statistics and guidance on public safety and crime awareness training to prevent/reduce crime on campus and in the University community. Refer to Policy 32 University Committees

B.  The University Employee Assistance Program (EAP) can offer assistance to employees who are seeking help. It can also be used by managers and supervisors seeking help in assessing and defusing a potentially harmful situation. Information may be obtained by contacting Human Resource Services.

 C.  University police should be called immediately to address any dangerous or threatening behavior in the classroom or workplace. MTSU Counseling Services and MTSU Office of Student Conduct is available to consult with students, supervisors, and faculty regarding students of concern

D.  Instances of sexual violence, dating or domestic violence, or stalking should be reported to the University Police and/or the Title IX Coordinator. Additional information, including information about prevention and victims options, can be found on the University Sexual Violence website.

VI.  Non-Retaliation

Retaliation against employees who report incidents of threats, violence, or intimidating conduct is prohibited. Any employee bringing a complaint or assisting in the investigation of such a complaint will not be adversely affected in his/her terms and conditions of employment, discriminated against or discharged because of the complaint.

VII.  Miscellaneous

A.  If an employee is injured while participating in a fight or after instigating a fight, then entitlement to worker’s compensation benefits may be denied, as consistent with Tennessee law. 

B.  Exceptions to this policy, not otherwise prohibited by law, may be approved by the President or designee.

Forms:  none.

Revisions: none.

Last Reviewed: May 2024.

References: Policy 32 University Committees.