2020 Annual Fire Safety and Security Report



The Higher Education Opportunity Act, the Clery Act, and the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act require colleges and universities to prepare, publish, and distribute to all students and employees an annual report pertaining to the college's security policies, procedures and programs.
These acts require colleges and universities to:

  • Publish an annual report containing three years of crime statistics and campus policy statements
  • Disclose crime statistics for the campus, public areas near campus, and certain non-campus facilities
  • Provide campus alerts related to certain crimes that occur on or near campus and pose a potential threat to students, employees, and visitors
  • Disclose in a public campus crime log any reported crime occurring on campus
  • Publish an annual fire safety report containing three years of fire incidents on campus
  • Publish an annual report containing the College’s fire safety policies and procedures

Divine Word College established the Emergency Planning Committee in 2000 to assist the administration of Divine Word College in providing for the welfare and safety of the College community.  The Committee meets regularly and keeps current on security issues and emergency trends.  The Committee annually reviews its fire safety and emergency response policies.


Fire Safety Report

The College Emergency Planning Committee maintains a fire log recording fires, drills, and evacuation drills. The College also documents all fires. There were no fires during the 2020 reporting period.


Student Housing Facilities
The Maintenance Director monitors the alarm systems and stays informed of required fire code requirements for the College residences.  Fire alarms in the main College building, Megan Hall residence, and the Arkfeld residence are connected to Per Mar Security Company, which directly contacts the Epworth Fire Department.  Per Mar Security Company tests the electronic signal weekly. In the fall of 2012, Knox boxes were placed at the entrance to Megan Hall, the entrance to the Arkfeld Residence, and all entrance doors on the main College building.  This will enable the Epworth Fire Department to immediately enter the buildings in the event of an emergency.

Student Dormitories – The College has sixty (60) dormitory rooms, located on the first and second floor of the main College building.  The dormitory corridors are equipped with smoke/fire detectors. Each exit door in the dorms has a pull alarm for smoke/fire and are connected to the Epworth Fire Department, through Per Mar Security Company.  In the event of loss of electricity, a generator provides lighting in corridors and exit doors to the main building.

Megan Hall – Megan Hall is a separate building on the College campus, which houses residents on three floors. There are 15 rooms on the first floor, a lounge, and kitchen.  The second floor has 18 rooms, a lounge, and kitchen.  The ground floor has five rooms, with a lounge.  Megan Hall is equipped with smoke/fire alarms.  The pull alarms are located near all exit doors and are directly connected to the Epworth Fire Department, through Per Mar Security Company.  

Arkfeld Residence – The College purchased and renovated a building near the campus in the summer of 2011 for residents.  The Arkfeld Residence has two floors. The main floor has six bedrooms, a lounge, and kitchen and has the capability of housing ten to twelve residents.  The ground floor has four bedrooms, lounge and kitchen and is capable of housing an additional eight students.  The residence is equipped with a smoke/fire alarm system that is directly connected to the Epworth Fire Department, through Per Mar Security Company.

Bro. Leonard House – The College purchased the Bro. Leonard House in the summer of 2012.  It is a two-story house, which can accommodate four to five male residents.  The house has a full kitchen and three other rooms on the first floor and four bedrooms and two baths on the second story. The house is equipped with smoke/fire alarms and weather radios.


Fire Safety Policies/Evacuation
At the beginning of each academic year, through the orientation program, the Dean of Students distributes information and emergency guidelines to all students. The Dean explains the evacuation process to the student body.  The College includes emergency procedures in all its College handbooks for the benefit of all students, faculty, staff, and religious community members.  In addition,

  • Fire and Emergency Procedures are posted in all dormitory rooms and classrooms;
  • Fire and tornado drills are usually held once a semester;
  • The College publishes the fire safety and emergency procedures at the beginning of each academic year in the weekly LOG, an internal communication newsletter;

Following are the specific procedures:


  1. Pull the nearest fire alarm if you see a fire/smoke.
  2. When the fire alarm goes off leave the building immediately through the nearest exit! Walk fast, do not run!
  3. Proceed to the soccer field and gather by your formation groups.
  4. Stay on the field until the fire department gives the “all-clear” signal. If you are unable to return to the main building, proceed to Megan Hall. If you reside at Megan Hall and are unable to return to the building, proceed to the main building.
  5. Contact persons are assigned to each formation group. They are to inform the fire department if someone is missing in their group. No one but the Fire Department is to go back into the building to look for someone who is missing.


  1. When a tornado warning is announced over the PA system, go immediately to the basement corridor (near the art room). Megan Hall residents go to the south end of the Megan Hall basement.
  2. Gather in your formation group.
  3. Remain there until the “all-clear” signal sounds.


  1. When the announcement “THIS IS A LOCK DOWN” sounds over the PA system, remain where you are. Shut/lock the door and remain quiet. Stay away from the windows.
  2. Remain where you are until you hear the “all-clear” call or the police notify you that it is safe to leave the room.
  3. After the emergency is over, everyone gathers in the gym for a person count.

Bomb Threat:

  1. When the PA system announces a bomb threat, leave the building immediately through the nearest exit.
  2. Go to the soccer field and line up in your formation group.
  3. Remain on the field until the “all clear” signal is given.

Severe Weather or Electrical Storm:

  1. The lifeguards or Dean of Students should evacuate the swimming pool, soccer field and tennis courts immediately.


Student Dorm Regulations – Fire Safety Related
All room furnishings and decorations must meet the requirements of the state and College fire and safety standards and regulations. The following policies are published in the Student Handbook:

Portable Electric Appliances:

  • Electrical appliances, such as coffee makers, microwave, hot pots and fans are permitted. Cooking appliances, such as toasters, corn poppers, frying pans, sandwich grills, hot plates, and waffle irons are prohibited because of fire safety. The College reserves the right to remove unauthorized or dangerous appliances.
  • Electric heaters can be used, but only with the permission of the Dean of Students.

Open Flame Burning

  • Students may not burn candles in their rooms.


  • No cloth or other flammable materials are permitted to be hung in the doorway in such a manner as to block movement in or out. Room decorations and wall hangings, such as sheers, flags, fish-netting and macramé items, etc. are not to be draped or hung from the ceiling at any time.
  • Live Christmas trees and wreaths are not allowed in the rooms. Only fireproof artificial trees may be used in rooms. Spray snow may not be used to decorate windows or any other part of the room.


In compliance with the Iowa Smokefree Air Act (HF-2212 142 D.1), and to protect the health of our students, faculty, staff and visitors, Divine Word College prohibits the use of tobacco products on its campus. Campus includes all College buildings, grounds, parking lots, College vehicles (regardless of location), athletic fields, dock areas and personal or commercial vehicles while on the DWC campus.


College Law Enforcement Policy
Divine Word College has an established Emergency Team in place to respond to any emergency. The team consists of the President, Dean of Students, and the Rector of the SVD religious community. Students, faculty, staff, and SVD community report any emergency on campus to the President, Dean of Students, or Rector of the religious community.

College personnel do not have law enforcement authority. In the case of any crime or medical emergency, the College calls 911 to contact the Dubuque County Sherriff. The College works with local law enforcement officials should a crime take place. College statements direct faculty, staff and students to contact police immediately if they are the victim of a sexual crime. During the summer months of 2015-2017, the College installed inside video cameras to the keyed entrance doors of the main College building, to all the entrance doors to Megan Hall and the Arkfeld House. This will provide added security to our buildings and further safety for our students.
In the summer of 2017, video cameras were installed outside the main entrance of the college building and the student dorm area parking lot. In the summer of 2018, outside cameras were installed in the rear of the building and parking lot.

The College also has a good working relationship with the Epworth Fire Department and ambulance service. The Fire Department occasionally assists the College with fire drills.  While the College does not have a written agreement with the Epworth Fire Department, the fire department has a copy of the College floor plans.  The Dubuque County Sherriff’s Department also has a copy of the College floor plan.


Emergency Response and Evacuation Procedures
In the event of an emergency or dangerous situation (gas leaks, contagious viruses, incident in the surrounding area, etc.) the President confers with the Emergency Team to confirm the emergency that may be a threat to the health or safety of students or employees occurring on or near the campus. The President may also confer with area law enforcement officials or medical personnel for further instructions. The President, in consultation with the Emergency Team, will determine the content of the notification and who will be the recipients.

The President will make the official notification to recipients by e-mail, phone calls, and/or the public address system. When the situation is no longer a threat or the emergency has been resolved, the President will update the recipients of the situation and the results.

The Emergency Committee conducts in-place drills and evacuation drills at the College building at least once each semester. Drills are conducted at the houses at least once a year.


Missing Student Notification
Students must inform the Dean of Students if they plan to be away from the College for any length of time or overnight and must be granted approval for the absence. The student must leave a phone number where they can be reached.

At the beginning of each semester, during registration for courses, students are asked to register a contact person for emergency situations in the Registrar’s Office. Students are informed that the information they give is confidential and available only to authorized personnel and local law enforcement officials in furtherance of the investigation.

If a student or employee believes a student is missing, they are instructed to report the missing student to the President or Dean of Students immediately. If it is determined that the student is missing, the President or Dean of Students will call local law enforcement officials immediately. The President will then inform the student’s contact person.


Drug-Free School/Workplace
Divine Word College regulations comply with the Drug-Free Schools and Communities Act of 1989 requiring documentation of services and awareness for drug-free schools and communities. The College complies as defined in schedules “I” through ”V” of Section 202 of the “Controlled Substances Act” (21 U.S.C. 812) and as further defined by regulations 21 CFR 1300.11 through 1300.15.

Copies of the drug and alcohol policies for Divine Word College are included in all College handbooks and manuals.


Sexual Abuse/Sexual Harassment Policy and Procedures
Sexual abuse of students, faculty or staff is criminal behavior and is not tolerated at Divine Word College. Divine Word College attempts to provide employees and students a campus environment free from all forms of sexual abuse and sexual harassment.

Divine Word College policy of sexual abuse and sexual harassment includes definitions, reporting procedures, prevention suggestions, and counseling. The College administration has refined its policies and has included domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking under the Cleary Act. These policies follow. These policies are included in the Divine Word College Policy Handbook.


Divine Word College is committed to providing all students and employees a healthy and safe work and academic environment. The College will ensure that procedures exist to allow complaints of bullying to be dealt with and resolved.

Divine Word College considers bullying unacceptable and will not tolerate it under any circumstances. This policy applies to all students and all employees, regardless of his or her employee status (i.e. managerial vs. hourly, full-time vs. part-time). Any employee or student found in violation of this policy will be disciplined, up to and including termination or dismissal.

5.01.01    Nature of Bullying. Bullying is unwanted offensive and malicious behavior which undermines an individual or group through negative verbal or psychological abuse. There is typically an element of vindictiveness and the behavior is calculated to threaten, undermine, patronize, humiliate, intimidate, or demean the recipient.

Bullying is unacceptable behavior because it breaches principles of equality and fairness, and it frequently represents an abuse of power and authority. Persons who witness bullying behaviors can also have their attitudes and work performance affected. They can suffer from feelings of guilt that they did nothing to stop the bullying, and they can become intimidated and perform less efficiently fearing that they may be the next to be bullied.

Examples of behaviors that meet the definition of bullying include but are not limited to:

•    Staring, glaring or other nonverbal demonstrations of hostility;
•    Exclusion or social isolation;
•    Excessive monitoring or micro-managing;
•    Work-related harassment (work-overload, unrealistic deadlines, meaningless tasks);
•    Being held to a different standard than the rest of an employee’s work group;
•    Consistent ignoring or interrupting of an employee in front of co- workers;
•    Personal attacks (angry outbursts, excessive profanity, or name- calling);
•    Encouragement of others to turn against the targeted employee;
•    Sabotage of a coworker’s work product or undermining of an employee’s work performance;
•    Stalking;
•    Invasion of another person’s personal space;
•    Unreasonable interference with an employee’s ability to do his or her work (i.e. overloading of emails);
•    Use of electronic devices to convey a message (text, image, audio, video) that defames, intimidates, harasses,        stalks, posting sexually explicit photos or harassing comments on social media sites.
•    Repeated infliction of verbal abuse, such as the use of derogatory remarks, insults and epithets;
•    Abusive and offensive language;
•    Trivializing of work and achievements;
•    Criticizing continually in front of others;
•    Pushing, shoving, kicking, poking, tripping, assault or threat of physical assault, damage to a person’s work area or property;
•    Nonverbal threatening gestures;
•    Conduct that a reasonable person would find hostile, offensive, and unrelated to the employee’s work.

Mobbing is a particular type of bullying behavior carried out by a group rather than by an individual. Mobbing is the bullying or social isolation of a person through collective unjustified accusations, humiliation, general harassment or emotional abuse. Although it is group behavior, specific incidents such as an insult or a practical joke may be carried out by an individual as part of mobbing behavior.

5.01.02    Reporting Bullying Actions

Students – A student who believes he or she has been the subject of bullying or an individual who believes a student has engaged in bullying behavior should report the behavior to the Dean of Students or to his or her formation director. The student should report the acts of bullying to the person they feel most comfortable with and that is most appropriate to the situation.

Staff – An individual who believes he or she has been the subject of bullying, or an individual who believes a staff member has engaged in bullying behavior should report the behavior to his or her supervisor, the College Counselor or a member of the Board of Administration. The individual should select the reporting method he or she is most comfortable with and that is most appropriate to the situation.

Faculty – A faculty member who believes he or she has been the subject of bullying, or an individual who believes a faculty member has engaged in bullying behavior should report the behavior to the Department Chair, the Counselor, or the Vice President for Academic Affairs. The individual should select the reporting method he or she is most comfortable with and that is most appropriate to the situation.

5.01.03    Procedure for Dealing with Bullying


  • All members of management, i.e., academic department chairpersons and administrative supervisors, are held accountable for the effective administration of this policy.
  •  All employees and students shall be protected from coercion, intimidation, retaliation, interference, or discrimination for filing a complaint of bullying or assisting in an investigation.

Informal Resolution. It is advantageous to all members of the College community for allegations of bullying to be resolved promptly through the use of informal process whenever possible. Therefore, a complainant is strongly encouraged, but not required, to pursue an informal resolution first.

Any person who feels that he or she has been subjected to bullying should contact an administrator of the College with whom that person feels comfortable lodging the complaint. This contact should ideally occur as soon as possible after recognition of the problem. The contact person with the consent of the complainant is responsible to carry the complaint on behalf of the complainant. The contact person should contact the Human Resource representative (currently the Vice President for Operations). The Human Resource representative will assign a mediator to help mediate the complaint. The mediator is responsible to attempt an informal resolution of the complaint directly with the accused person. The Human Resource representative shall keep the name of the complainant, the accused person, and the mediator on file. If a pattern of repeated names emerges, the Human Resource representative may decide on some other or further course of action.

At this informal level, discussions must remain confidential in order to
protect the rights and identity of both the complainant and the accused person. No formal, written record of the details of these discussions should be kept.

If the matter cannot be resolved to the complainant's or accused person's satisfaction through this informal process, one should proceed with the formal grievance procedures.

Formal Grievance Procedures. Any person who believes he or she has been subjected to bullying should report the complaint to the academic or administration department head under whose supervision the person being charged works.  If the person being charged with bullying occupies a supervisory position, the complaint should be reported to that person's immediate supervisor. If the matter cannot be resolved to the complainant's or accused person's satisfaction, through the formal mediation of the supervisor, then a formal complaint should be filed with the Human Resource representative. If no supervisory or power relationship exists, and the alleged bullying occurs between two individuals of equal status/rank/authority, then the formal complaint should be filed with the Human Resource representative. The Human Resource representative shall take immediate steps to investigate the complaint and decide on the validity. The Human Resource representative may form a subcommittee to hear the charges and conduct an administrative hearing to decide on the validity of the complaints. If the complaint is determined to be valid, appropriate disciplinary action will be taken up to and including termination for college employees and expulsion for students.

Supervisors or department chairpersons observing such bullying shall take immediate action to stop it and report the incident to the Human Resource representative.



Divine Word College is a Catholic college seminary that reflects the values and heritage of the Society of the Divine Word. The College is committed to creating and maintaining a safe and respectful environment for all of its students, employees and visitors. All forms of harassment and sexual misconduct by members of the Divine Word College community will not be tolerated. This policy refers not only to a supervisor’s actions with subordinates, or to a professor’s/professional staff’s actions with students, but also applies to actions between co- workers, co-students, and others with whom students and workers interact during the course of their education or employment at Divine Word College. Disciplinary sanctions will be taken up to and including termination of College employees and expulsion of students.

Divine Word College strives to provide equal employment opportunity, equal educational opportunity, nondiscrimination in programs/services and use of facilities, and an affirmative action program.

5.02.01    Harassment. Harassment consists of unwelcome conduct, whether verbal, physical, or visual, that is based on a person’s protected status, such as sex, color, race, religion, national origin, age, physical or mental disability, sexual orientation, gender identity or other protected group status. The College will not tolerate harassing behavior that affects tangible job benefits, that interferes unreasonably with an individual’s work performance, or that creates an intimidating, hostile, or offensive working or educational environment for members of the Divine Word College community.

Harassment is not always intentional, and does not have to be intentional to be illegal.  It is the behavior that counts, not the identity of the participants. A person can feel harassed even if he or she is not the intended target of the behavior. While not all harassing behavior meets the standard of illegal conduct, any workplace harassment is inappropriate and will not be tolerated. Someone who feels harassed or is aware of incidents of harassment at Divine Word College, has a right and a responsibility to communicate and address the situation.

5.02.02    Sexual Harassment is defined under this policy as severe, persistent or pervasive and objectively offensive unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, or other verbal or physical conduct or communication of a sexual nature that limits or denies a person’s ability to participate in or benefit from the College’s education programs or activities, or creates a hostile working environment when:

  • Submission to, or rejection of, the conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of an individual’s employment or education;
  • The conduct has the effect of unreasonably interfering with a person’s work, professional or educational performance, productivity, physical security, participation in living arrangements, extracurricular activities, academic or career opportunities, services or benefits – or of creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive learning or work environment.

Examples of sex discrimination and sexual misconduct may include, but are not limited to the following examples of unwelcome acts:

  • Verbal: Insults, threats, jokes or derogatory comments based on gender; sexual innuendo or suggestive comments; sexual propositions or advances; pressure for sexual favors; corruption of a minor; importuning or public indecency.
  • Nonverbal: Posting of sexually suggestive or derogatory pictures, cartoons or drawings; making suggestive or insulting noises, leering, or whistling; making obscene gestures; corruption of a minor; importuning; voyeurism or public indecency.
  • Physical: Touching, pinching, squeezing, patting or brushing against the body; impeding or blocking normal work or movement; coercing sexual intercourse or assault, rape or sexual battery; sodomy or assault with an object; corruption of a minor; importuning; public indecency; felonious penetration including oral penetration, penetration with a body part, or penetration with an object no matter how slight; or prostitution.
  • Social Media: Posting sexually explicit photos or harassing comments on social media sites.

5.02.03    Sexual Abuse. Iowa law, Code 709.1 (1992), defines sexual abuse as any sexual act between any persons including non-consensual sexual intercourse (rape); non-consensual sexual contact (sexual assault and sexual exploitation) by either one when the act is performed with the other participant in any of the following circumstances:

  • The act is done by force or against the will of the other. If the consent or acquaintance of the other is procured by threats of violence toward any person or if the act is done while the other is under the influence of a drug-induced sleep, or is otherwise in a state of unconsciousness or the act is done against the will of the other.
  • When the victim is incapable of giving consent because he or she suffers from a mental defect or incapacity or lacks the mental capacity to know the right and wrong of conduct in sexual matters.
  • The other person is a child (under age 18 and not married).

Sex Act. Iowa law defines “sex act” as follows: The term sex act means any sexual contact between two or more persons by penetration of the penis into the vagina or anus; contact between the mouth and genitalia or by contact between the genitalia of one person and the genitalia or anus of another person; contact between the finger or hand of one person and the genitalia or anus of another person, . . . or by use of artificial sexual organs or substitutes therefore in contact with the genitalia or anus. Iowa Code 701.17 (1992)

Consent is informed, through mutually understandable words, which indicate a willingness to participate in mutually agreed upon sexual activity. At any time during consensual sexual activity, a person may refuse to continue further with any sexual activity. From the point of refusal, previous consent is rendered invalid.

5.02.04    Stalking. Divine Word College is determined to provide an atmosphere free of violence for all members of the college community. The college does not tolerate stalking, and will hold students or employees who engage in stalking behaviors accountable and will report them to local authorities.

Victims of stalking have the right to learn the outcome of their case, including any recommended sanctions against the accused.

The College is committed to supporting victims of stalking through the College counselor who can assist with referrals to community-support services. This policy applies to all members of the College community.

The College defines stalking as a course of conduct directed at a specific person that would cause a reasonable person to feel fear/significant emotional distress. Stalking behaviors may include but are not limited to:

  • Non-consensual communication including in-person communication, telephone calls, voice messages, text messages, email, social networking site postings, instant messages, postings of pictures or information on websites, written letters, gifts or any other communications that are undesired and/or place another person in fear
  • Following, pursuing, waiting or showing up uninvited at a workplace, place of residence, classroom or other locations frequented by a victim
  • Surveillance and other types of observation, whether by physical proximity or electronic means
  • Trespassing
  • Vandalism
  • Non-consensual touching
  • Direct physical and/or verbal threats against a victim or a victim’s loved ones
  • Gathering information about a victim from family, friends, co- workers and/or classmates
  • Manipulative and/or controlling behaviors such as threats to harm oneself or threats to harm someone close to the victim, defamation or slander against the victim.

5.02.05    Dating Violence. Dating violence is defined as the intentional use of physical, sexual, verbal, or emotional abuse by a person to threaten, harm, intimidate, or control another person in a dating relationship. Violent behavior is unacceptable in the College community and should be reported.

5.02.06    Domestic Violence. Domestic violence is defined as felony or misdemeanor behavior with a current or former spouse, domestic or intimate partner, someone who shares custody of a child, someone who cohabitates, or someone who is situated as a spouse. (Section 4002(a) of the Violence Against Women Act of 1994 (42 U.S.C. 13925(a).) (Roommates are not considered a domestic relationship unless they are involved in a relationship defined as domestic above.) Violent behavior is unacceptable in the College community and should be reported.

5.02.07    Protection and Safety Tips.

  • Educate yourself about the realities of sexual assault. Knowledge can be a powerful tool in abuse prevention.
  • Argue against dangerous gender roles and stereotypes that can lead to and perpetuate sexual violence.
  • Trust your instincts. Pay attention and listen to your “inner voice” that tells you when something is wrong or feels unsafe.
  • Communicate physical and sexual boundaries clearly and assertively. Your body belongs to you. You never lose the right to say “no” and can withdraw your consent in a sexual situation at any time.
  • Be cautious when choosing to use alcohol or drugs, as they can increase the risk of sexual violence.
  • Stay in well-lit areas when walking at night. Walking alone is not recommended. If a person must walk alone then he/she should let someone at the destination know when to expect him/her.
  • Locks to cars and living areas should be in working order and always used.
  • Be aware if someone suspicious is in the residence hall or walking around outside, and call the Dean of Students or another College officer.
  • Know that sexual assault is never the victim’s fault, regardless of the situation they were in.

5.02.08    Reporting Sexual Assault. Anyone who believes he/she is the victim of sexual abuse at Divine Word College should immediately contact the Dubuque County Sheriff at 911 and the President of the College or appropriate administrator. Sexual assault may be reported to the College Counselor, who will maintain strict confidentiality unless the student or employee releases the information to other authorities.

  • The victim has the right to choose to remain anonymous or keep a report confidential when reporting an incident.
  • Do not wash, douche, shower or launder your clothes after an assault, as such could result in destroying evidence.
  • Report to a hospital emergency room as soon as possible for treatment and evaluation.
  •  Cooperate with police and College officials who will contact you for information to proceed with the case.
  • Contact the College Counselor to receive assistance and access to counseling resources from a trained advocate. Victims of sexual abuse are referred to the Riverview Center in Dubuque, Iowa (563- 557-0310) or the nearest Emergency Room at Finley Hospital (563- 582-1881) or MercyOne Hospital (563-589-9666).
  • In compliance with Title IX Law, a person accused of assault while residing at the College may be relocated or may be asked to leave the College pending investigation of the complaint as all students have the right to housing free of sexual or physical intimidation,
  • If allegations of sexual assault are, through investigation, demonstrated, appropriate action for the complaint will be taken up to expulsion or termination of employment (title VII, Pub. L. 88-352, 78 Stat.253 (42 U.S. C 2000e et sez.)
  • The College has a number of Campus Security Authorities (CSAs). These individuals, by law, must report any incident for the College to be in compliance with the Jeanne Cleary Act. Mandatory reporters include but are not limited to the President, Dean of Students, Vice President for Operations, Vice President for Academic Affairs, and the Rector of the SVD religious community.

5.02.09    Retaliation. It is prohibited to retaliate against anyone reporting or thought to have reported sex discrimination/sexual misconduct behaviors or who is a witness or otherwise is involved in sex discrimination/sexual misconduct proceeding. Such retaliation is a serious violation of the policy and will be investigated as an independent act of sex discrimination. Encouraging others to retaliate also violates this policy. Examples of retaliation include, but are not limited to:

  •  Unfair grading, evaluation or assignments
  •  Unfair changes to conditions of employment
  •  Information being withheld or made difficult to obtain
  •  Ridicule (public or private)
  • Oral or written threats or bribes

The fact that someone did not intend to sexually harass an individual is not necessarily a defense to a complaint of sex discrimination.

Regardless of intent, it is the duration, effect and characteristics of the behavior that determine whether the behavior constitutes sex discrimination. Harassing conduct may be disciplined even if the complaining person is not the intended target of the conduct.

This policy covers all members of, and visitors to, Divine Word College and those otherwise associated with the College including but not limited to: administrators, faculty, staff (administrative, professional and hourly), students, vendors, contractors, and volunteers.

5.02.10    Security Awareness. Divine Word College safety and security policies are reviewed with all students during the orientation period when school begins in the fall and with new students arriving for the spring semester. Policies are also reviewed with new employees. All College policies are available in the Student and College handbooks.

General information about sexual harassment and abuse are available in the College Counselor’s Office. Information is also disseminated on area workshops regarding safety, security and sexual abuse.

5.02.11    Formal Complaint and Reporting Procedures. It is the College’s intent to investigate all complaints in accordance with the procedures identified in this policy. Complaints that may be addressed under this policy include complaints based on the conduct of students, faculty and staff members, and other persons acting in College capacities. To the fullest extent practicable, the College will keep complaints and the terms of their resolution confidential.

Reporting. Individuals who believe they have been harassed or discriminated against and wish to file a formal complaint should address their concerns to the appropriate administrative official at the College as set forth below.

  • A Faculty Member reports to the Vice President for Academic Affairs
  • A Staff Member reports to the Human Resource representative
  • A Student reports to the Dean of Students
  • A Vice President reports to the President

If the complainant feels uncomfortable going to their appropriate administrator above, or the appropriate administrator is the subject of the harassment or discrimination allegations, the complainant should direct the complaint to one of the other appropriate administrators.

Official allegations of harassment or discrimination are to be made in writing to the appropriate administrator as soon as possible and not later than thirty (30) calendar days from the date of the alleged harassing or discriminatory event. The complaint must include the following information: 1) name, address and telephone number of the complainant; 2) the nature of the complaint; 3) date(s) and location(s) of the alleged occurrence(s); 4) evidence on which the complaint is based; and 5) and the redress sought by the complainant.

Supervision. In extreme cases where the safety of individuals, the protection of property, or the continuity of the educational process may be in danger, the appropriate administrator, in consultation with the President, can decree the immediate suspension of an individual or individuals. In these cases, the individual must respond to the charges within 72 hours of notification, or waive his/her right to further appeals process.

Investigation. The appropriate administrator will have twenty (20) calendar days in which to conduct an investigation of the complaint. The appropriate administrator may act as investigator or may arrange for another individual to act as the investigator in the matter. The purpose of the investigation is to establish (1) whether there is reasonable basis for believing the alleger and a violation of the policy has occurred, and (2) the factual circumstances surrounding the claim.

At the present time Divine Word College does not have a trained investigator on staff so a trained person with expertise will be contracted from an area organization in the Dubuque area to investigate and conduct hearings in a manner that protects the safety of victims and promotes accountability.

The investigator will interview the complainant, the person against whom the complaint is made, and may interview any other persons believed to have pertinent factual knowledge. A copy of the College’s anti-harassment policy and complaint procedure will be provided to both complainant and accused. At all times, the investigator will take steps to maintain strict confidentiality to the fullest extent practicable. The parties and any notified administrator of the College or supervisor will maintain strict confidentiality as well.

The investigation will afford the person against whom the complaint is made an opportunity to respond to the allegations of the complaint. The investigator will be in communication with the complainant until the complaint is resolved. The complainant will be informed of general actions taken but will not be informed of specific conversations held with the person against whom the complaint is made.

Both the complainant and the accused have the same right to have an advocate present during the interviews. This would be a person of the student or employee’s choosing.

The standard of evidence used by the investigator is preponderance of evidence standard of proof. This means that the College resolves complaints based on what they believe is more likely than not to have happened.


Determination of Facts. Upon the expiration of the twenty (20) calendar day period the investigator will have an additional ten (10) calendar days to produce a written report summarizing the findings of fact.  This report will be provided to the appropriate administrator of the College or supervisor and to the Title IX Coordinator, currently the Vice President for Operations. The Title IX Coordinator will review the report within ten (10) days and determine appropriate sanctions if any. Both parties involved will then be notified concerning the determination of facts and any sanctions imposed.

Sanctions. Sanctions may include, but are not limited to, written reprimand of the person against whom the complaint is made, suspension or dismissal of the person against whom the complaint is made, a change of grade or other academic record, a change of course section, a change of reporting line for an employee, or any other appropriate sanction(s) under the circumstances. If sanctions are imposed this report will become part of the personnel file of the individual against whom the complaint is made.



The Whistleblower Policy is intended to encourage and enable Divine Word College employees and others to raise serious concerns within the college prior to seeking resolution outside the college. As employees and representatives of the college, employees are expected to practice honesty and integrity in fulfilling their responsibilities, and to comply with all applicable laws, regulations, and college policies.

Reporting Violations
Divine Word College seeks to have an open door policy and suggests that employees share their questions, concerns, suggestions, or complaints with someone who can address them properly. In most cases, an employee’s supervisor is in the best position to address an area of concern. However, if employees are not comfortable speaking with their supervisor and are not satisfied with the supervisor’s response, they are encouraged to speak with anyone in the administration whom they are comfortable. Administrators and supervisors shall report violations to the Compliance Officer, who has specific and exclusive responsibility to investigate all reported violations.

Accounting and Auditing Matters
The Financial Affairs Committee of the college shall address all reported concerns or complaints regarding corporate accounting practices, internal controls, or auditing. The Compliance Officer shall immediately notify the Financial Affairs Committee of any such complaint and work with the Committee until the matter is resolved.

No Retaliation
Anyone who in good faith reports a violation of college policies shall not suffer harassment, retaliation, or adverse employment consequence. An employee who retaliates against someone who has reported a violation is subject to disciplinary action, up to and including termination of employment.

Acting in Good Faith
Anyone filing a complaint concerning a violation or suspected violation of college policies must be acting in good faith and have reasonable grounds for believing the information disclosed indicates a violation. Any allegations that prove not to be substantiated and which prove to have been made maliciously or knowingly to be false will be viewed as a serious disciplinary offense.

Violations or suspected violations may be submitted on a confidential basis by the complainant or may be submitted anonymously. Reports of violations or suspected violations will be kept confidential to the extent possible, consistent with the need to conduct an adequate investigation.

Handling of Reported Violations
The Compliance Officer or the person responsible for carrying out the Compliance Officer’s role will acknowledge receipt of the reported or suspected violation by writing a letter or (e- mail) to the complainant within five business days. All reports will be promptly investigated and appropriate corrective action will be taken if warranted by the investigation.


Overall Security
The College has implemented the following security measures.

  • All entrance/exit doors are locked twenty-four hours a day and are keyed, requiring a code to open the door.
  • The front entrance door is kept locked twenty-four hours a day and the receptionist opens the doors for visitors.  Visitors are asked to sign in and to wear a visitor’s badge while in the building.
  • Locks were installed on all doors to classrooms, faculty offices, conference rooms, the library, and labs.  In the event of a lockdown, the doors can be locked from the inside.
  • Picture IDs are provided for all faculty, staff, students, and SVD members.  All are encouraged to wear these IDs in the event that the police would have to enter the building for an emergency situation.  Wearing the photo ID tells the police the particular person is a resident or employee of Divine Word College.
  • Emergency Kits were put in all classrooms, conference rooms, labs, etc. in the event of a lockdown or emergency situation.  These kits are checked and replenished at the beginning of each academic year.
  • Divine Word College received 50 crisis bags from the Dubuque County Health Department.  These bags are updated annually and placed in strategic locations throughout the building.
  • The College has two (2) Automated External Defibrillators (AED) available at the main entrance of the College and another located near the pool.

Crime Statistics Report – As mandated by the Higher Education Opportunity Act (HEOA), the Annual Crime Statistics Report is available on the College website at www.dwci.edu.

Submitted, September 29, 2021

Crime and Safety Report - October 1, 2021

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