Policies and Related Information
The use, possession, consumption, sale, manufacture or furnishing of illicit drugs and narcotics, including marijuana and drug paraphernalia, is prohibited by state law and university regulations. Violations may result in arrest and/or suspension from the university for a definite period of time.
The use, possession or carrying of any kind of firearms on any public school or institution of higher education property is a violation of state laws and university regulations. Violations may result in arrest and/or suspension from the university. The only exceptions are authorized law enforcement officers and in compliance with the Concealed Handgun Law.
Concealed handgun carriers should review our current rules.
Pursuant to the Sexual Assault Victim’s Bill of Rights, it becomes important to promote the reporting of all sex crime violations as well as outline the procedures to facilitate the reporting of all alleged violations. Therefore, students are hereby informed of the following programs and options.
- Sexual Assault: Generally defined as attempted or actual unwanted sexual activity.
- Forcible and Non-Forcible Sex Offenses: A forcible sex offense is “any sexual act directed against another person, forcible and/or against that person’s will where the victim is incapable of giving consent,” and includes forcible rape, forcible sodomy, sexual assault with an object and forcible fondling. Non-forcible sex offenses are acts of unlawful, non-forcible sexual intercourse such as incest and statutory rape.
Various programs addressing sexual assault and related issues are presented throughout each academic year.
These programs are conducted primarily by the Counseling and Student Development Center, the Student Activities Board, Residential Living and Learning, the University Police Department, and other departments and agencies campus-wide.
Procedures for Reporting Offenses
In instances where sexual assault is alleged, the victim is strongly encouraged to report the incident to the University Police Department. The victim will be given information on how to bring formal charges against the accused. The victim will be given a list of resources to help lessen the negative impact of any emotional, physical or psychological trauma.
Depending on the severity of the crime, those found guilty of a sex crime may face criminal charges, suspension or expulsion from the university.
Changing Academic and/or Living Arrangements
When appropriate, academic and/or on-campus living arrangements may be modified as a direct result of a sexual assault. This action may be taken when requested by the victim and if such modifications are reasonable and available. These arrangements are coordinated through the Title IX office.
Students who are victims of a sex crime are eligible for and encouraged to take advantage of counseling services offered by the Counseling and Student Development Center, located on the second floor of the Student Services Building.
Code of Conduct
To provide for the safety of members of the university community and its property, A&M-Commerce has established standards of conduct to ensure the orderly process of daily living. If facts suggest an applicant’s behavior may endanger the health and safety of university members, jeopardize the property of the university or its members and visitors, or adversely affect the educational process or mission of the university, a pre-admission review is required. Background checks for criminal convictions prior to employment are not conducted on university employees except for security-sensitive positions. Employment applications specifically ask potential employees if they have ever been convicted of a crime other than minor traffic violations. A serious crime conviction is grounds for the possible discharge of a university employee.
The university facilities are well maintained, and security is given constant attention. Students, faculty, and staff at A&M-Commerce have access to academic, recreational and administrative facilities on campus. Visitors have access to facilities officially opened for study, work, or related functions. The general public can attend cultural and recreational events on campus with access limited to the facilities in which these events are held. The Physical Plant Department maintains the university buildings and grounds while keeping safety and security in mind. The landscape personnel trims shrubs from sidewalks, walkways and building entrances to provide well-lit routes to buildings and parking lots. The campus is well-lit; however, improvements are made as conditions warrant.
A&M-Commerce Residential Living and Learning has 32 residence halls, including apartment units. These residence halls accommodate two different lifestyles: single-sex halls for women or men and coeducational halls. All freshmen are required to live in university housing unless special permission is granted. All students have the opportunity to apply for university housing. Many students choose off-campus housing; however, the university does not provide supervision for off-campus housing.
Each residence hall is supervised by a professional head resident and assistant head resident who are assisted by trained graduate or undergraduate resident assistants, all of whom live in the resident hall complex. These resident hall staff members are on call 24 hours a day and undergo thorough training to enforce residence hall rules, regulations and security policies. A night security receptionist is assigned to each single-sex and coeducational hall. These student receptionists are not associated with UPD but are in phone contact with them.
As a part of their responsibility for residence hall security, all staff members participate in lectures and seminars associated with safety and security. University administrators, police and safety officers provide instruction.
Only residents and their invited guests are permitted in the living areas of the residence halls. It is the responsibility of residents to ensure that their guests are aware of the university and residence hall policies. It is the responsibility of each resident and staff member to report individuals who cannot be identified as a resident or a guest of a resident. When the UPD receives a report of an unescorted person in a residence hall, an officer is dispatched to identify that person.
It is the policy of the A&M-Commerce University Police Department to thoroughly investigate all reports of missing persons. In addition, this agency considers a missing child and an adult who is mentally impaired to be considered “at risk” until significant information to the contrary is confirmed.
Emergency Contacts/Missing Persons
The following information, or versions thereof, will be provided within the Emergency Information Card, Residential Living and Learning website, and the Residence Living and Learning Staff Manual.
During the housing check-in processes, students living on campus are required to provide at least one emergency contact to the Department of Residential Living and Learning (RLL). This information is kept strictly confidential and may only be utilized by RLL staff, and other A&M-Commerce staff members with emergency response job responsibilities, in the case of emergencies involving students, such as death, life-threatening injuries or a missing person report. Students may update their emergency contact information at any time by visiting the front desk at each hall, or by contacting their hall director.
On-campus residents may designate at least one of their emergency contacts as a person to be notified in the event a student is determined to be missing for more than 24 hours. Whether or not a student has designated an emergency contact as a person to be notified, if a student is less than 18 years old, Federal Law requires that A&M-Commerce notify a parent or guardian within 24 hours of the determination that a student is missing.
Staff members should follow the instructions below upon receiving a report of a missing student:
- Immediately contact the University Police Department with all information provided regarding the missing student so that an investigation can be initiated. This is required by federal law.
- Provide the University Police Department with the names and contact information of anyone designated as a “missing person contact.”
- The University Police Department will make contact with the designated emergency contact.
On-campus residents should contact their resident assistant, hall director, or the University Police Department if they suspect a resident is missing. Upon receiving a report of a missing resident, Residential Living and Learning staff members will ensure University Police Department is provided with all the information needed to initiate an investigation.
This log is for informational purposes and to assist the media. Please see the Clery Compliance page for further information on the Clery Crime Log.
The University Police Department (UPD) publishes a press log each day. This log is available to members of the press and the public. This log identifies the type, location and time of each criminal incident reported. Any information deemed newsworthy is published by The East Texan and/or the Commerce newspapers. If a series of incidents occur that may be considered a threat to other members of the university community, timely reports will be made by notices on bulletin boards, memos, fax, newspaper articles, radio news or other appropriate means.
The department also monitors local law enforcement agencies for reports of criminal acts committed on property owned or controlled by student organizations recognized by the university. The criminal violations must be of a U.C.R. Part 1 Offense and include dean referral or arrest information for alcohol, drugs and weapons violations. (This information may be sporadic at times since no statute requires these agencies to report).
The department submits a monthly Uniform Crime Report (UCR) to the Texas Department of Public Safety. This report is also submitted to the U.S. Department of Justice (FBI) for publication in Crime in the United States, available in all public libraries. The annual crime statistics of the university are available at UPD.
UPD is a strong supporter of the Campus Security Act. Each semester, UPD publishes a Crime Awareness brochure, containing three prior years of crime statistics. UPD also publishes a Weekly Activity Log, this log is updated daily, excluding the weekends. Any questions on this should be directed to Sergeant Ray Dittrich If you wish to report a crime anonymously, please fill out the Crime Statistics Reporting Form.
The Campus Sex Crime Prevention Act
This act amends the Jacob Wetterling Crimes Against Children and Sexually Violent Offender Registration Act. This federal law requires sex offenders who are already participating in registration programs to provide notice under state law at each institution of higher education in which the person is employed, carries on a vocation, or is a student. Federal law requires that state procedures ensure that proper registration information is provided to law enforcement agencies with the jurisdiction of the individual institutions.
The federal law took effect on October 28, 2002. The law also amends the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act to require institutions of higher education to issue a statement, in addition to other disclosures required under that act, advising the campus community where law enforcement agency information provided by a state concerning registered sex offenders may be obtained. These changes took effect October 28, 2002, and this notice will be a requirement beginning with the annual security report due October 1, 2003.
The 78th Legislature passed an amendment to current sex offender registration laws requiring persons under this act to register with the law enforcement agency having jurisdiction if that person carries on a vocation, works, or attends school on a campus of higher education. To date, procedural rules have not been put into place by the Texas Department of Public Safety. DPS has a website where you may access the sex offender database. Use the button below to reach this site.
We are committed to respecting constitutional rights in our duties' performance. Our success is based on the respect we give to our communities and the respect members of the community observe toward law enforcement. To this end, we shall exercise our sworn duties, responsibilities, and obligations in a manner that does not discriminate based on race, sex, gender, sexual orientation, national origin, ethnicity, age or religion. Respect for diversity and equitable enforcement of the law is essential to our mission.
A&M-Commerce makes every effort to meet all requirements of the Clery Act. A&M-Commerce University Ethics and Compliance office, in conjunction with the University Police Department (UPD), is responsible for compiling and publishing the Annual Security Report by October 1st each year.
Crime Class Definitions
Murder and Nonnegligent Manslaughter – The willful (non-negligent) killing of one human being by another.
Negligent Manslaughter – The killing of another person through gross negligence.
Sex Offense Forcible (F) – Any sexual act directed against another person, forcibly and/or against that person's will; or not forcibly or against the person's will where the victim is incapable of giving consent: forcible rape, forcible sodomy, sexual assault with an object, forcible fondling and attempted rape.
Sex Offense Non Forcible (N) – Unlawful, non-forcible sexual intercourse: incest and statutory rape.
Robbery – The taking or attempting to take anything of value from the care, custody, or control of a person or persons by force or threat of force or violence and/or by putting the victim in fear.
Aggravated Assault – An unlawful attack by one person upon another for the purpose of inflicting severe or aggravated bodily injury. This type of assault is usually accompanied by the use of a weapon or by means likely to produce death or great bodily harm. (It is not necessary that injury results from an aggravated assault when a gun, knife, or other weapon is used which could and probably would result in serious personal injury if the crime were successfully completed.)
Burglary – The unlawful entry of a structure to commit a felony or a theft. For reporting purposes, this definition includes: unlawful entry with intent to commit a larceny or felony, breaking and entering with intent to commit a larceny, housebreaking, safecracking and all attempts to commit any of the aforementioned.
Motor Vehicle Theft – The theft or attempted theft of a motor vehicle. (Classify as motor vehicle theft in all cases where automobiles are taken by persons not having lawful access even though the vehicles are later abandoned—including joyriding.)
Arson – Any willful or malicious burning or attempt to burn, with or without intent to defraud, a dwelling house, public building, motor vehicle or aircraft, personal property of another, etc
Disciplinary Referrals – Incidents in which a student was not arrested but was referred for campus disciplinary action for liquor law violations, drug law violations, and illegal weapons possession. Do not include disciplinary referrals for violation of university policy if there was no violation of the law. For example, if a student of legal drinking age violates a “dry campus” policy and is referred for disciplinary action, this statistic should not be included in the crime statistics.
Liquor Law Violation – The violation of laws or ordinances prohibiting: the manufacture, sale, transporting, furnishing, possessing of intoxicating liquor, maintaining unlawful drinking places, bootlegging, operating a still, furnishing liquor to a minor or intemperate person, using a vehicle for illegal transportation of liquor, drinking on a train or public conveyance and any attempts to commit any of the foregoing violations. This list does not include public drunkenness and driving under the influence.
Drug Law Violation – Violations of State and local laws related to the possession, sale, use, growing, manufacturing, and making of narcotic drugs. The relevant substances include opium or cocaine and their derivatives (morphine, heroin, codeine), marijuana, synthetic narcotics (Demerol, methadone) and dangerous nonnarcotic drugs (barbiturates, Benzedrine).
Weapon Law Violation – The violation of laws or ordinances regulating weapons.
Hate Crimes – Any crime that manifests evidence that the victim was intentionally selected because of the victim's actual or perceived race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, ethnicity or physical/mental disabilities.
(The following crimes only apply to hate crime reporting).
Simple Assault – Assaults and attempted assaults where no weapon was used and which did not result in serious or aggravated injury to the victim. (This only applies in hate crime reporting).
Larceny-Theft – The unlawful taking, carrying, leading, or riding away of property from the possession or constructive possession of another.
Vandalism – To willfully or maliciously destroy, injure, disfigure, or deface any public or private property, real or personal, without the consent of the owner or person having custody or control by cutting, tearing, breaking, marking, painting, drawing, covering with filth, or any other such means as may be specified by local law.
Intimidation – To intentionally say or do something which would cause a person of ordinary sensibilities to be fearful of bodily harm.
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