Threats and Acts of Violence

 

Policy Statement

The university prohibits all threats and acts of violence on its campuses and other property and in connection with its programs and activities. Any university student or member of the faculty or staff who violates this policy will be subject to disciplinary action up to and including expulsion or termination. 

Reason for Policy 

The George Washington University strives to maintain a positive climate for study and work in which individuals may pursue their academic goals and perform their employment duties in an atmosphere free from coercion, intimidation, and violence. This policy informs members of the GW community that certain conduct is inconsistent with this goal and is prohibited.

Who is Governed by this Policy 

  • Students
  • Staff
  • Faculty
  • Visitors to GW Campuses
  • Participants in university programs and activities, both on campus and in other locations

Policy

Respectful treatment of others is essential to an environment in which members of the university community can achieve their academic and professional potential. Threats and acts of violence by any student, faculty, or staff member, visitor or guest disrupts this environment and may pose a threat to public safety. 

Members of the university community who believe their safety or the safety of others is threatened by any threats or acts of violence should immediately call the George Washington University Police Department (“GWPD”) at 202-994-6111, or call 911 to reach local law enforcement.  Reports may also be made to the Compliance Office at 202-994-3386 or confidentially through the university’s toll free, 24-hour Regulatory Compliance Help and Referral Line at 888-508-5275. 

The university will respond promptly to reports of threats or acts of violence and reserves the right to take immediate action to protect members of its community. Following initial response by GWPD, the university will assess the situation, provide support to affected individuals and offices, and implement disciplinary or corrective measures as needed. Persons found to be responsible for threats or acts of violence may be removed from university property, programs, or activities, barred from campus indefinitely, and suffer discipline up to and including expulsion or termination. Persons who engage or have engaged in threats or acts of violence may also be subject to arrest and prosecution. 

This policy prohibits all violence and threats on GW campuses and other university property, and in connection with all university programs and activities. The university also has a policy specifically prohibiting sexual assault, sexual exploitation, intimate partner violence, stalking, and other forms of conduct committed on the basis of sex or gender, the Title IX Sexual Harassment and Related Conduct Policy. Further information about the Sexual and Gender-Based Harassment and Interpersonal Violence Policy is available from the university’s Title IX Coordinator, (202) 994-7434, [email protected]

a. Reporting Violence and Threats 

Members of the university community who are subjected to threats or acts of violence, or become aware of others who are, should report the incident(s) to GWPD. A person subjected to threats or acts of violence is not required to reveal his or her identity in order to report an incident. 

To report an act of violence that is in progress or threatened: 

If the threat or act of violence is occurring or imminent on GW’s Foggy Bottom or Mount Vernon campuses, in leased academic centers, or on any GW-controlled property in the District of Columbia, call GWPD at 202-994-6111 or call the Metropolitan Police Department at 911. 

If the threat or act of violence is occurring or imminent on any GW campus or property in Virginia or Maryland, call 911 to reach the local law enforcement agency where the campus or property is located. 

To report an act of violence that has ended or a threat that is not imminent, call GWPD at (202) 994-6110. In the District of Columbia calls may also be made to the Metropolitan Police Department non-emergency line at 311. 

Faculty and Staff should report the incident to their supervisors, or contact Human Resource Management and Development at 202-994-8500 or the GW’s Office of Equal Employment Opportunity & Employee Relations at 202-994-9656. Reports may also be made to the university’s Regulatory Compliance Help and Referral Line at 888-508-5275 (available 24 hours/7 days), or the Compliance and Privacy Office at 202-994- 3386 or [email protected]

Incidents involving threats or violence may be criminal in nature, and members of the university community who believe they have experienced either may, if they wish, file reports with local law enforcement authorities. If a member of the university community wishes to notify one or more law enforcement authorities about a threat of act of violence, he or she may obtain assistance from GWPD. 

Victims of threats or acts of violence may also decline to notify law enforcement authorities if they so choose. 

Regardless of whether a report is filed with local law enforcement, individuals should preserve all evidence that could be relevant to any criminal charges that may be brought or that might be needed to obtain a protection order. Individuals who have been subjected to sexual assault in particular are encouraged to obtain a physical examination by a Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE).  The university’s Title IX Policy contains further information regarding a SANE exam.  

Members of the university community who believe they have been victims of threats or acts of violence may apply for civil protection orders from the applicable local court. Information about protection orders and other steps that can be taken in such cases is available from GWPD. 

When the university has reason to believe that criminal conduct may have occurred or that action is necessary to protect the health or safety of any individual or to comply with applicable law, the university may, or in some cases may be required to, refer the matter to appropriate authorities. 

The university may also take interim action while incidents involving allegations of threats or acts of violence are investigated and resolved, as appropriate. Interim action may be taken regardless of whether an individual chooses to report an incident to campus police or local law enforcement, and may include interim suspension, removal from university housing, “no contact orders,” and/or changing academic, housing, transportation or work arrangements for one or more parties. Further information about potential interim actions is available from the university’s Title IX Coordinator, 202-994-7434, [email protected]; Office of Student Rights and Responsibilities, 202-994-6757, [email protected];  Human Resource Management and Development, 202-994-8500; and GW’s Office of Equal Employment Opportunity & Employee Relations, 202-994-9656. 

b. Assistance for Individuals Subjected to Threats and Acts  of Violence 

Individuals who are confronted with threats, including stalking, and acts of violence are encouraged to discuss the matter with the appropriate university office: 

Students should contact the Office of Student Rights and Responsibilities, 202-994-6757, [email protected]  

Faculty should contact Faculty Recruitment &Personnel Relations, 202-994-6783, [email protected]  

Staff should contact Human Resource Management and Development at 202-994-8500, or GW’s Office of Equal Employment Opportunity & Employee Relations at 202-994-9656 

c. Sanctions Applicable to Threats and Acts of Violence 

The university may impose sanctions on persons who violate this policy. Sanctions may range from reprimand or probation to dismissal, suspension, or expulsion. Individuals found in violation may also be barred from entering any university campus or other property and from participating in any university programs or activities. The university may also impose protective measures, including without limitation no contact orders and changes in housing, academic, transportation or work arrangements. 

The following university publications provide further information regarding applicable procedures and sanctions: 

In the case of students, the Code of Student Conduct. 

In the case of faculty, the Faculty Code. 

In the case of staff, provisions of the Employee Handbook, and any superseding provisions of an applicable collective bargaining agreement. 

Definitions

Violence: is the use of physical force with intent, effect, or reasonable likelihood of causing pain, harm, injury or damage to any person or property.  

Threats: are words or actions intended, causing, or reasonably likely to cause fear, pain, harm, injury, or damage to any person or property. The term “threats” includes, without limitation, “stalking.” 

Stalking: is engaging in a course of conduct directed at a specific person that would cause a reasonable person to experience fear or substantial emotional distress, or to fear for their safety or the safety of others.  “Course of conduct” means two or more acts including, but not limited to, acts in which the stalker directly, indirectly, or through third parties, by any action, method, device, or means, follows, monitors, observes, surveils, threatens, or communicates to or about a person, or interferes with a person’s property or movement.  “Substantial emotional distress” means significant mental suffering or anguish that may, but does not necessarily, require medical or other professional treatment or counseling.  “Reasonable person” means a reasonable person under similar circumstances and with similar identities to the victim. 

Related Information

Title IX Sexual Harassment and Related Conduct Policy

Code of Student Conduct 

Faculty Code  

Employee Handbook 

Contacts

Contact Phone Number Email Address
George Washington University Police Dept. 202-994-6111 [emergency line] [email protected]
  202-994-6110 [nonemergency line]   
Human Resource Management and Development 202-994-8500  [email protected]
Equal Employment Opportunity and Employee Relations 202-994-9656  [email protected]
Title IX Coordinator 202-994-7434  [email protected]
Office of Student Rights and Responsibilities 202-994-6757  [email protected]
Compliance Office 202-994-3386  [email protected]

Responsible University Official: Senior Associate Vice President for Safety and Security
Responsible Office: Division of Safety and Security

Last Reviewed: July 1, 2018

 

Non-compliance with this policy can be reported through this website.