Why has SLU adopted this policy?
Saint Louis University wants to assure an academic environment that is safe for all of its students, faculty, staff and visitors. Given the mission of the University and our frequent connection with the community in ways that involve minors, this policy has been adopted to assure appropriate protection of minors, while they are on campus or participating in activities sponsored by the University. The policy additionally outlines guidelines for those participating in and/or sponsoring programs which involve minors to assure their safety.
How do I know if this policy applies to me?
This policy applies to members of the University faculty, staff, student body, volunteers and others engaged in activities and programs that serve or include minors taking place on-campus or University sponsored activities taking place off-campus. If you have contact with minors in this capacity, the policy applies to you, and you have the responsibility to fully review and adhere to all aspects of the policy. The policy also outlines the responsibility for each individual to report any concerns about a potential abuse.
What is the definition of "minor"?
A "minor" as defined by the Policy for the Protection of Minors "includes all persons under the age of eighteen (18) years who are not enrolled as students at the University".
Are there any exceptions to the policy for minors visiting campus or participating in University-sponsored programs?
There are a few exceptions outlined in the Policy for the Protection of Minors. These exceptions include:
Are students visiting during SLU 101 summer orientation considered minors, for which the policy is applicable?
No. Students visiting during SLU 101 summer orientation are considered enrolled undergraduate students at this time of their transition to the University.
How do I know if my "program" is subject to this policy?
A "program" is defined by the Policy for the Protection of Minors as "any activity which serves or includes minors, and is under the direction or control of the University, regardless of its location, or an activity under the direction or control of an External Organization using University facilities pursuant to an agreement with the University." Examples of a "program" may include, but not be limited to, an academic program, volunteer program, camp, or other activity involving minors.
What should I do if I suspect abuse of a minor?
As outlined in the policy, "Anyone who has reason to believe that a minor has been abused, is at risk of abuse, or receives a report of alleged abuse that he or she has reason to believe to have been made in good faith, shall immediately report this to the Department of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness by calling (314)977-3000 or by contacting the police. As an alternative, a reporting party may also contact the University's anonymous reporting line at 877-525-5669. A reporting party need not have proof or evidence of abuse to make a report. If the individual has any uncertainty about whether to report suspected abuse, the person should decide in favor of making a report."
Who is required to complete a criminal background check?
All personnel (faculty, staff, students, volunteers) working with minors shall undergo criminal background checks within the past (2) years. People who may be described to work with minors, "will or might have unmonitored access to minors, even for a limited period of time, at any time during a program." Criminal background checks may reveal prior convictions which may disqualify someone from working with minors.
In addition to criminal background checks, what proactive measures are recommended to assure the safety of minors?
Interaction with minors "should be in an open environment, never behind closed doors or completely out of view of others, except where the purposes or nature of the interaction with the minor requires that degree of privacy. Unless required by the nature of the activity (for example, counseling or therapy sessions), at least two persons, one of whom meets the criminal records check requirements of this policy, should be present at all times during activities involving minors."
For minors staying on campus, "Separate accommodations are required for adults and minors, unless the adult is a parent or guardian of the minor. Signed written permission from a parent or guardian is required for a minor to stay overnight on University premises. All in-room visits with program participants staying in University housing are restricted to persons of the same gender, except for visits by a parent or guardian. All guests and visitors of program participants staying in University housing are restricted to building lobby and lounge areas and only during the hours specified by the program organizer, which in no case shall be later than 12:00am."
What training is required for people involved with programs serving minors?
Program organizers are responsible for communicating with all faculty, staff, students and volunteers regarding the scope of the Policy for the Protection of Minors, and the related expectations to ensure safety of our minors. This will include review of the policy, and any additional program-specific measures, policies and procedures to which individuals should adhere.
My program is an occasion program which requires a large number of one-time volunteers. Are criminal background checks required?
"Certain discrete or occasional programs for which a large number of one-time volunteers are essential may adopt reasonable measures and safeguards, other than criminal background checks for volunteers, to protect minors participating in such programs. Program organizers must submit a description of the measures and safeguards they will take to the Department of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness for review at least forty-five (45) days prior to the start of the program."
More specific guidelines and requirements are outlined in the Policy for the Protection of Minors. If you think your program may fit the description of a discrete or occasional program, please review these requirements.
What's the process of criminal background checks for Saint Louis University-sponsored programs involving minors?
Program organizers are responsible for assuring that each faculty, staff, student and volunteer which will work with minors as defined in the Policy for the Protection of Minors has the appropriate criminal background check processed within two (2) years. It is also the program organizer's responsibility to fund the criminal background check process. It is recommended that each program organizer factor the expense of criminal background checks into their program budget. Review the Summer at SLU criminal background check procedures for more detailed information regarding the process.
What's the process of criminal background checks for externally-sponsored programs involving minors hosted at Saint Louis University?
All external organizations hosting programs involving minors on the Saint Louis University campus must comply with the Policy for the Protection of Minors. This will include responsibility for informing their personnel and volunteers of the criminal background check requirements and assuring those requirements are met, as well as communicating and training regarding proactive safeguards that a program can implement to assure the safety and security of minors. Saint Louis University is not responsible for the processing of and/or payment for required criminal background checks for external organizations.