Safety Tips

CSB Security's Residence Hall Safety Tips
You can take several important steps to help protect yourself and your personal property:

  • Do not allow people to "tailgate" behind you into the residence areas!  Every person that is authorized to be in the buildings should have a swipe card that would allow access into the building.  There are phone located in the entrances of all residences on campus.  The individual may call the party that they are trying to visit, or they may call Security for assistance.
  • Lock your door anytime you leave, even if it is only for a short while.  Also, be sure to lock your door when you will be showering or sleeping.
  • Do not leave your purse, credit cards, cellular phone, or other valuables out in the open.
  • Never prop open the exterior doors.  If you see a door propped open, be sure to close it 
  • Never loan your swipe card or room keys to anyone.  If you misplace your swipe card or key, report the loss immediately to Residential Life.
  • Never leave your book bag, purse, cellular phone, or other valuables out of your line of sight in common study areas.
  • Record the serial numbers of valuable objects you have in your room.  Give the information to your family and ask them to store the information in a safe place. 
  • If you see a suspicious person around campus or the residence areas, call Security immediately at extension 5000.  

Protecting Yourself

Acquaintance rape is commonly called date rape. Date rape is a misleading term which describes a serious crime that is misunderstood and under-reported. Rape, regardless who commits it, is a felony sexual assault that leaves a victim injured and traumatized. Victims of rape, especially when committed by an acquaintance, often feel a sense of responsibility for the attack and don't report the crime to the Police. Acquaintance rape is fostered by the common sex role stereotype that men should be competitive and aggressive while women should be yielding and passive. Experts advise women to be open and assertive from the start to prevent any misunderstanding with their date.


  • Know your sexual intentions and limits. You have the right to say "NO" to any unwanted sexual contact.  If you are uncertain about what you want, ask the man to respect your feelings.
  • If you don't know your date well, consider driving your own car and asking to meet your date in a public place -- if he hesitates, don't waiver. If you do accept a ride from a date, always carry some "mad money" so that you can call a cab if you need to cut the date short. The College of Saint Benedict has established a taxi-voucher system. Just contact Yellow Cab Company at 251-5050 or free from a pay phone at 1-800-773-5055. On arrival at CSB, contact a campus Security Officer at 5000 and they will help you process the paperwork so that the cab fare can be charged to your account.
  • Communicate your limits firmly and directly. If you say "NO," say it like you mean it. Be careful of mixed messages. Back up your words with a firm tone of voice and clear body language. Remember that some men think that drinking, dressing provocatively, or going to a man's room indicates a willingness to have sex. Be especially careful to communicate your limits and intentions clearly in such situations.
  • Don't rely on "ESP" to get your message across. Don't assume that your date will automatically know how you feel, or will eventually "get the message" without having to tell him.
  • STAY SOBER ON A DATE. Alcohol impairs judgment and memory. A victim of rape who was intoxicated may have her credibility attacked in court.
  • Listen to your gut feelings. If you feel uncomfortable or think you may be at risk, leave the situation and go to a safe place.
  • Don't be afraid to "make waves" if you feel threatened.  If you feel you are being pressured or coerced into sexual activity against your will, don't hesitate to state your feelings and get out of the situation.  Better a few minutes of social awkwardness or embarrassment than the trauma of a sexual assault.
  • Attend large parties with friends you can trust.  Agree to look out for one another.  Try to leave with a group, rather than alone or with someone you don't know very well.
  • Fight back.  Most experts agree that this is a choice that each woman must make for herself. Consider learning self-defense techniques that provide you with options if you are attacked.

If you are raped, report the crime to an RA, RD, counselor, campus Security Officer or the Police. It is very important that you get medical and emotional support to help you cope with the crisis.


  • Listen carefully. Take time to hear what the woman is saying. If you feel she is not being direct or is giving you a "mixed message", ask for clarification.
  • Use common sense. Realize that you do not have the right to force a woman to have sex just because you paid for her dinner and drinks.
  • Don't fall for common stereotypes. When a woman says "NO", don't assume that she really means "Yes".  "NO" means "NO". If a woman says "NO" to sexual contact, believe her and stop.
  • Remember that date rape is a crime. It is never acceptable to use force in sexual situations, no matter what the circumstances.
  • Don't make assumptions about a woman's behavior. Don't automatically assume that a woman wants to have sex just because she is drinking, dresses provocatively, or agrees to go to your room. Don't assume that just because a woman had sex with you previously that she is willing to have sex with you again. Also don't assume that just because a woman consents to kissing or other sexual intimacies that she is willing to have intercourse.
  • Be aware of your date. Having sex with someone who is mentally or physically incapable of giving consent is rape.  If you have sex with a woman who is drugged, intoxicated, passed out, incapable of saying "NO", or is unaware of what is happening around her, you may be guilty of rape.
  • Be especially careful in group situations. Be prepared to resist pressure from friends to participate in violent or criminal acts.
  • "Get involved" if you believe someone is at risk. If you see a woman in trouble at a party or a male friend using force or pressuring a woman, don't be afraid to intervene. You may save the woman the trauma of a sexual assault and your friend from the ordeal or criminal prosecution.


Department of Security
College of Saint Benedict
37 S. College Ave.
St. Joseph, MN 56374-2099
(320) 363-5000
James Schumann, Director

Life Safety Services
Saint John's University
St. Thomas Hall - Basement
Collegeville, MN 56321 - 2000
(320) 363-2144
Shawn Vierzba, Director

St. Joseph Police Department
25 NW 1st Ave.
St. Joseph, MN 56374
(320) 363-8250
Pete Janske, Chief of Police

Stearns County Sheriff's Department
Law Enforcement Center
St. Cloud, MN 56303
(320) 251-4240

Human Rights Officer

Sexual Assault Center
601 1/2 Mall Germain
St. Cloud, MN  56301
(320) 251-4357



What to do if you receive harassing phone calls

  1. Hang up. As soon as you hear an obscenity, improper questions, or no response to your "hello?" Hang up!!
  2. Don't talk to strangers. Be careful when the caller says he/she is taking a survey. If you have any concerns about the legitimacy of the survey, ask the person for their name, the firm they represent, and telephone number. Tell them you will call them back after you verify the authenticity of the survey.
  3. Don't play detective. Don't extend the call trying to figure out who is calling. This or any type of reaction is exactly what the caller wants or needs.
  4. Keep Cool. Don't let the caller know that you are upset or angry.
  5. Don't panic. When the phone rings and there is no response on the other line, it may just be a wrong number.
  6. Don't try to be clever. A witty response may be interpreted as a sign of encouragement.
  7. Don't tell everyone about your calls. Many calls of this type are actually made by close friends or family.
  8. Report obscene or annoying calls to the police department or security. Record the time the call was made, what was said and what you did. By reporting the call to the above authorities, you will have begun the process to stop these calls.

If you receive an annoying or malicious voice-mail message, DO NOT delete it. It may be useful in any criminal investigation of the incident.

Fire Safety

The College of Saint Benedict has a legal and moral obligation to annually provide Fire Safety Education to all students, residents, faculty and staff. Programming includes the education of the staff and student workers during the weeks of training before the school year begins.  Opportunities are provided for instruction of the causes of fire and proper extinguishing methods with hands-on use of fire suppression devices.  Fire Safety Education continues during floor meetings when Residential Life Staff inform all residents of evacuation routes and maps located in each room. Also, at that time, residents will be advised of the appropriate procedure for evacuation and the location of their meeting places.

Each year, the college and the monastic communities are required to perform fire drills to insure that the occupants of the buildings respond in a manner that would promote safe evacuation of the facilites without injury or someone being overcome by fire or smoke. Evacuation of any facility should take less than 2 minutes with all occupants exiting through the proper exits and going to the pre-established meeting places. All individuals exiting a facility should move 500 feet away from the building to accommodate security, fire, and rescue personnel. Also remember, where there is fire, there may be an explosion. You will need to be far enough away so that you are not inadvertently struck by flying debris.

If you live, study, or work on campus, take precautions to protect yourself, others, and campus property from smoke and fire.  As a member of the campus and monastic communities, you have a responsibility to help prevent fires.

Fires on campus can start in many different ways.  Hazards include:

  • Smoking materials: Carelessness with cigarettes, matches, and candles accounts for many residence hall fires.  The College of St. Benedict has a policy for a smoke-free environment in all college buildings, residential and academic.  Also, it is a housing policy violation to have candles or potpourri in your living area.
  • Decorations: Some decorations ignite easily and allow a fire to spread rapidly.  These include holiday decorations,  posters, and flammables tacked to the ceiling.
  • Trash: Accumulations of trash and newspaper, especially in hallways and stairwells, are a fire hazard.
  • Flammable liquids: Commons materials like paint, paint removers, hair spray and duplicator fluid can be fire hazards if they are not handled or stored properly.
  • Furniture: A cigarette, incense or potpourri that falls on an overstuffed chair or mattress can smolder for hours, then suddenly burst into flame.
  • Appliances: Electric blankets left on when an individual is not in bed; clothing irons and/or curling irons left on, lying down and unattended, or used on a bed; toaster ovens with accumulated grease or left on or unattended; hair dryers laid down while they are on or used to dry clothes; and food left unattended in a microwave are just some of the hazards.
  • Avoid causing false alarms: they are a hazard!  They create a mood of apathy so an individual may not react quickly enough to save his or her own life if there is a real fire.  Also, if fire trucks are out on a false alarm, they won't be available to fight a real fire if one is to occur.

Fire Safety In Our Residence Halls

Fire Safety Means Saving Lives

Additional freedom of living away from home also means more responsibility.  Through our personal habits, decorating tastes, and room designing, we can put others at risk for a possible fire.  In a typical year there are an estimated 7,500 fires at colleges and universities.  In the past, we have had personal injury fires on our campus as well as a number of small fires that have damaged personal and college property in student rooms.  Common sense measures can easily be taken to correct fire hazards and prevent carelessness that may result in disaster.

Possible Fire Hazards

  • Do not use water to extinguish a fire; it will only spread the flames.
  • Do not use extension cords on heavy load appliances such as popcorn poppers, coffee pots and microwave ovens.
  • Space heaters are dangerous and are prohibited unless approved by Facilities Maintenance and the Residential Life Office.
  • Appliances, heaters or fixtures that give off smoke or smell funny should be unplugged, turned off and reported for repair.
  • Candles and incense are strictly prohibited from all residence halls.

The College of Saint Benedict has a policy for a smoke free environment in all campus buildings.

Responding To An Alarm

  • ALWAYS TAKE FIRE ALARMS SERIOUSLY; treat all alarms as though they are the real thing. You never know in a large residence hall if there is trouble elsewhere in the building. 
  • If there is smoke, stay close to the floor.  Hold your breath and close your eyes where possible. Test the door with the back of your hand. 
  • If the door is hot, stay inside.  If you stay in the room, proceed with the following:

    • Use wet clothing or towels to seal up the crack under the door. 
    • Open your window or break it open and hang a shirt or a bed sheet out the window to attract the attention of rescuers. 
    • Call security at x5000 and let them know where you are.
  • Cover your face with a wet towel or piece of clothing and breathe through your nose.  Wet a blanket, sheet or other large item and drape it over your shoulders.  Crawl or crouch low to the floor.
  • Do not use the elevator--it acts as a "smoke stack" during a fire.  Use the stairway instead.
  • If your clothing catches fire, remember to stop, drop, and roll to put the flames out.  Use a coat or blanket to smother flames. 
  • Cool (not cold)  water may be applied to minor burns.

Fire Safety Policy Statement

The College of Saint Benedict is committed to providing a safe, stable, and orderly environment for all of its residents and staff. A major aspect of creating that environment is a well-planned and implemented fire safety program. Fires are a threat to both life and property on the college campus and they must be considered a potential threat to the ongoing operation of the college.

The responsibility of establishing a sound fire program is that of the Safety Officers, the Department of Security, and the Department of Residential Life.  These three offices operate in a coordinate effort to direct actions that will lead toward the promotion and implementation of an effective fire safety program; however, each resident must take the initiative to prevent any situation that might lead to a potential threat to life or property due to fire.   It is the responsibility of the residents to report irresponsible behavior and unsafe conditions.  With the cooperation of each resident, the residential areas will be safe and their occupants will be informed and prepared.

Department Objectives

  • Inform residents of potential fire hazards, fire safety issues, fire evacuation procedures and designated meeting areas.
  • Train Residence Life Staff to effectively respond to fire hazards, fire safety issues, fire evacuation procedures and methods for accounting for residents.
  • Improve, update, test and repair existing fire prevention and warning systems.
  • Assertively respond to individuals who are identified as being responsible for compromising any aspect of fire or life safety equipment or procedure.

WARNING:  Fire equipment in residence halls is a necessity.  It protects life and property. Tampering with fire alarms, extinguishers, smoke/heat detectors, standpipes, pull stations, hoses, exit signs, or fire doors seriously endangers that protection.  Damaging or manipulating such equipment would subject you to college disciplinary sanctions.  It is also a misdemeanor punishable by fines of up to $700. Individuals found guilty of first degree arson are subject to a fine of $20,000 and/or 20 years in prison.       

 Emergency Procedures

Bomb Threats and Search
Remain calm. Use the telephone checklist to record information concerning the bomb threat. Have this list ready for the authorities when they arrive.

Employees receiving or discovering a bomb threat or emergency should immediately call the college Security Department at extension x5000.


If a bomb threat is received by phone, ask:


Record the following information for campus security and police:

1. Where is the bomb located?


1. Time of call.

2. When is the bomb going to explode?


2. Date of call.

3. What kind of bomb is it?


3. Exact words the caller used.

4. What does it look like?


4. Speech pattern, accent.

5. Why did you place the bomb?


5. Background noises and description (music, people talking, cars or trucks, airplanes, children or babies, machine noise, typing, etc.)




If a suspicious object is discovered, a person should:

  • NOT attempt to touch or move the object.
  • Evacuate the immediate area only.
  • Notify Security at extension x5000.
  • Await further instructions.

What Will Happen Next?

  • A Bomb Squad is called by the Security Department.
  • A building search is made by appropriate persons.
  • The Bomb Squad will contact and interview the person who received the bomb threat.
  • An evacuation may take place.
  • When authorized, the "all clear" will be given by the Director of Security.

What To Do For Chemical Spills

Chemical spills, which do not pose a threat, should be handled by:

  • Attempt to confine the spill as much as possible if you have been trained to confine spills and are thoroughly familiar with the hazards of the spilled chemical. If you have contact with the spilled material, remove any contaminated clothing immediately and flush all areas of bodily contact with a steady flow of water.
  • Notify the Security office at (320)363-5000 and give them:

    • Building Name
    • Floor
    • Room Number
    • Type of accident
    • Chemical(s) involved

The Security Office will then supply the proper response team.

  • Continue to rinse body contact areas with a steady flow of water for fifteen (15) minutes.
  • Security will notify the Environmental Health and Safety Officer.

What To Do If You Observe Criminal Activity

If you observe a crime or believe a crime is in progress, immediately notify the college CSB Security Office at (320)363-5000. Report as much information as possible including what the person(s) is/are doing, the location, physical and clothing description of those involved, weapons involved, vehicle description and license number if appropriate, direction of travel when last seen, etc. DO NOT APPROACH OR ATTEMPT TO APPREHEND THE PERSON(S) INVOLVED.

What Will Happen Next?
Campus Security Officers and/or the St. Joseph Police Officers will respond to the situation, take the report, and do the follow-up investigation.

What To Do In An Elevator Emergency

  • Use the emergency phone in the elevator to communicate with the security office.
  • Give the security officer the location of the evaluator and floor number if known.
  • Remain calm.
  • DO NOT try to force open the elevator door.

What Will Happen Next?

  • A Security officer will respond.
  • Security officers will be in communication with you via the elevator emergency phone or from outside the elevator door.
  • You will be assisted in the elevator as soon as possible.
  • An elevator repair technician will respond to repair the elevator.

What To Do During A Utility Failure

In the event of utility failure (water, electric, heat) immediately call the Office Security at (320)363-5000. Be prepared to give:

  • Building Name
  • Floor
  • Room Number(s)
  • Nature of Problem
  • Person to contact and telephone extension

In the event of a campus wide electrical power failure, some phones may not work until power is restored. During power failures, areas that do not have sufficient natural light to clearly should be evacuated while emergency lights are still on. Entry to the building should not be allowed until power is restored. Emergency lighting is temporary and is not provided to continue building operations.

What Will Happen Next?
Security will contact the Physical Plant (Facilities Maintenance) to have the utilities restored.

Bus operations will be cancelled in the case of bad weather or poor road conditions

Safety needs to be in the forefront of our minds on a daily basis in order to be prepared for when weather and road conditions are less than ideal.  Also, because we value our students, faculty, and staff, we recommend discretion when traveling in these conditions.  We have identified our considerations, protocols, and procedures in this memorandum.  Weather can be unpredictable, and if we error, we intend to error on the side of safety.

Our leading indicators will be the weather warnings issued by the National Weather Service in St. Cloud and travel warnings issued by the State Patrol.  Next, we will rely on the experience of our driving supervisors to determine that the conditions are becoming unsafe.  We will contact the director of transportation to determine if and when we will discontinue busing service.  Notice will be given as soon as possible (ideally 1-2 hours ahead of time) to allow for preparation prior to shutting down.

While Classes are Scheduled
The Provost, Transportation Director (or his/her designee), CSB Security, and SJU Life Safety Departments will make the decision regarding whether or not poor weather or driving conditions warrant a possible shut-down.  Shut-downs before classes begin will be announced before 6:00 am.

On Campus Notification Will Be As Follows

CSB Security Will:

  1. Send a mass email to all students, faculty and staff at both campuses regarding shut down and re-start
  2. Send a mass voice mail (CSB)
  3. Post notices in all buildings and bus stops and inform staff/students in all classrooms, computer labs and library.

SJU Life Safety Will:

  1. Contact the front desk at Sexton at #3231, and have them broadcast information on channel six (if the decision is made after hours).
  2. Post notices in all buildings and bus stops and inform staff/students in all classrooms, computer labs, and library.

Other (Media) Notifications

CSB/SJU Transportation/Class-Cancellation Information Line

363-4060 (Recorded message)

FM Radio

WWJO (98.1)-St. Cloud
KMXK (94.9)-St. Cloud
KLZZ (103.7)-St. Cloud
KCLD (104.7)-St. Cloud
KZPK (98.9)-St. Cloud
KCML (99.9)-St. Cloud
KKSR (96.7)-Waite Park
KSJR (90.1)-Collegeville
KNSR (88.9)-Collegeville
KCFB (91.5)-St. Cloud
WVAL (800)-Sauk Rapids
WHMH (101.7)-Sauk Rapids

AM Radio

KASM (1150)-Albany
WCCO (830)-Minneapolis
WJON (1240)-St. Cloud
KNSI (1450)-St. Cloud


Blue Screen (Channel 6), CSB/SJU
KARE-TV (Channel 11), NBC
KSTP-TV (Channel 5), ABC
WCCO-TV (Channel 4), CBS
KMSP-TV, (Channel 9), UPN

Please note: attending work or class is an individual decision.