Annual Security Report

Wheaton College Public Safety prepares this report to comply with the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Crime Statistics.


Wheaton College Public Safety prepares this report to comply with the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Crime Statistics. This report is prepared in cooperation with the Wheaton Police Department, Student Development, Residence Life, Counseling Center, and Health Center. Each entity provides updated information on their educational efforts and programs to comply with the act.

The Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act requires campuses to report designated crimes that occur in residence halls, campus grounds and buildings, public property adjacent to campus, and non-campus buildings or property owned or controlled by the college that is used by students for educational purposes. Public Safety receives reports from the Wheaton Police Department which we use in our crime statistics as required by the Campus Security Act. The FBI’s Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) System is the source of the definitions that we use for Clery Act reporting.

The Clery Act also requires campuses to log and report any fires that occur in on-campus student housing facilities. A “fire” is here defined as “any instance of open flame or other burning in a place not intended to contain the burning or in an uncontrolled manner.” All fire statistics for the past three years can be found in the Fire Safety Report section.

Campus Security Authority

In additional to the campus Public Safety and the Wheaton Police Department the following individuals have the responsibility to report crimes or Clery Violations to be included in the annual Clery Act report.

  • Justin Heth, Associate Dean of Residence Life of Student Development (ext. 5024)
    (In regard to Residence Life, Student Development, Coaches, Wheaton in Chicago, Blackhills, and Honeyrock)
  • Dr. Doug DeMerchant, Director of the Counseling Center (ext. 5321)
  • Britt Black, Director of Student Health Services (ext. 5072)


Public Safety sends copies of crime reports/case reports to a limited number of people, depending upon the circumstances. Those who may receive a copy include the Vice President of Student Development, Dean of Students, Director of Risk Management, Business Manager, and others as needed to keep them informed of security incidents. Students who engage in criminal activity off-campus are referred to Student Development.

Unsafe and hazardous conditions are reported to the director of Facilities and Plant Operations. That department also works toward the security of the campus by repairing defective lights, doors, locks, gates and windows in a timely manner. Public Safety Officers regularly patrol all areas of campus and immediately report any hazardous or unsafe conditions so that Facilities Management staff can repair them as soon as possible. We are open to suggestions from all persons and are constantly looking for new ways to improve the safety and security of the people associated with Wheaton College.

Reporting a Crime

Students can report crimes to a number of individuals and organizations on campus. To reach any of the following departments by phone, simply dial (630)752-xxxx (where xxxx represents the four digits listed with that department), or simply dial the last four digits from any on-campus landline. These include Public Safety (5911), Student Development (5022), Residence Life (5427), the Counseling Center (5321), the Student Health Center (5072), and Athletics (5079).

Students are encouraged to report all crimes to Public Safety (5911) in an accurate and timely manner, especially if the crime requires an immediate response from law enforcement and security personnel, or if it occurs outside normal business hours when other departments may not have staff members on duty. Although Public Safety Officers are not sworn campus police officers, they are able to respond immediately and will contact the appropriate law enforcement agencies if necessary.

Reporting a crime in a confidential manner

If you are a victim of a crime and do not want to pursue action within the College System or the criminal justice system, you may still want to consider making a confidential report. With your permission, the Chief of Public Safety or a designee of Wheaton College can file a report on the details of the incident without revealing your identity. Designees include all Public Safety Officers and those college employees listed in this report as being responsible for reporting Clery violations, including Dean Justin Heth, Dr. Doug DeMerchant, and Dr. Britt Black.The purpose of a confidential report is to comply with your wish to keep the matter confidential, while taking steps to ensure the future safety of yourself and others. With such information, the college can keep an accurate record of the number of incidents involving students, determine whether there is a pattern of crime with regard to a particular location, method, or assailant, and alert the campus community to potential dangers. Reports filed in this manner are counted and disclosed in the annual crimes statistics for the college.

Information reported to the professional counselors in the Counseling Center is privileged, by law, to the extent that these counselors are not allowed to report most crimes to anyone outside their department. However, the counselors are encouraged, at their discretion and if they believe it to be in the best interest of the student, to let students know that the students themselves may report any crimes to Public Safety. If the victim of a crime wishes to keep their identity confidential when reporting the crime to Public Safety, that report will be treated in the same aforementioned manner as other confidential reports.

Security and Access

During business hours, the College (except for residential facilities) will be open for students, parents, employees, guests, and invitees. (Contractors will need to work with Facilities Management prior to admittance to campus buildings.) During non-business hours and/or when buildings are locked for the day, individuals will only be admitted if they have been granted prior approval by a staff or faculty member who oversees the building or department at issue.

Since Wheaton College is an open campus, visitors and alumni are welcome in public areas and buildings during the times those facilities are open. However, students and employees must be aware that, though visitors are welcome, sometimes they engage in behaviors that the college deems inappropriate or unsafe. Students and employees are strongly encouraged to report any suspicious behavior or suspicious person to Public Safety in a timely manner. If the subject is found to have engaged in any type of questionable, inappropriate, or unsafe behavior, the college may issue them a trespass letter, meaning that the person’s future presence on any college property is grounds for their arrest. Wheaton College reserves the absolute right to prohibit any individual from trespassing on the college’s private property for any reason, criminal or otherwise. Students and employees should report any suspicious activity to Public Safety (ext. 5911).

Residence halls are secured 24 hours per day. Students’ ID cards allow them access to the building and room in which they live. In addition, underclassmen dorms are staffed overnight by student workers who monitor the main entrances to the buildings and regularly patrol the common areas.

Wheaton College does not have any officially recognized student organizations with off-campus locations or off-campus housing facilities.

Neighborhood Crime Information

The city of Wheaton is protected by the Wheaton Police Department, more than 93 full-time employees who serve and protect the citizens of Wheaton. The department has 66 sworn officers, 19 civilian employees and a 13-member auxiliary unit.

The Wheaton Police Department

The Police Department is organized into three divisions: Patrol, Investigation and Administration. Patrol and Investigation are led by a commander who reports to the Deputy Chief and Chief of Police. These three divisions provide effective and efficient law enforcement service to the citizens of Wheaton. The station is located at 900 W. Liberty Drive in downtown Wheaton. Additional information about the Wheaton Police Department can be found at their website >>.

Emergency Response

When residents dial 9-1-1, they are calling DUCOMM, the dispatching agency for the Wheaton Police and Fire departments as well as other local municipalities. Using a shared dispatch center allows for quick access to help from neighboring communities and shared costs of the dispatch center.

Crime Statistics

Public Safety works closely with the Wheaton Police Department. We share information about crimes and alert each other to crime trends and suspect information. Together we strive to produce a safer community.

In cooperation and compliance with the Campus Security Act of 1990, Public Safety furnishes public crime statistics for the three previous years. These statistics include the occurrence of specific types of crimes that take place on or near campus and can be viewed below. Statistics are also collected from Student Development, the Counseling Center, Health Services, the Wheaton Police and our own records. The college does not currently use any voluntary confidential reporting system in the collection of statistics, and the statistics may or may not involve people associated with the college.

The reportable crimes are criminal homicide, murder, nonnegligent manslaughter, negligent manslaughter, forcible sex offenses, nonforcible sex offenses, robbery, aggravated assault, burglary, motor vehicle theft, and arson. Also reportable are students referred for disciplinary sanctions for liquor law violations, drug violations, and illegal weapons possession. In addition, all hate crimes must also be reported that result from race, gender, religion, sex orientation, ethnicity, disability, theft or larceny, simple assault, intimidation, or mischief.

Weapons and Explosives

Illinois law prohibits the possession or discharge of fireworks. Students may not possess or store weapons or explosives on campus. Students will incur a $75 fine for such possession. Disciplinary action will be taken by the College for unauthorized possession or use of the following:

  • firearms or replicas thereof (replicas will be confiscated and not returned)
  • explosives and/or explosive devices
  • weapons or devices which injure or have the potential to injure another person or property, such as water balloon launchers and nunchucks
  • pellet guns, air-soft guns, B-B guns, and paintball guns
  • fireworks
  • dangerous chemicals or fuels
  • knives
  • bows and arrows, and
  • swords

Drug/Alcohol Policy

Drug Free Community Policy. The Community Covenant prohibits the unlawful manufacture, distribution, dispensing, possession, or use of controlled substances or any illegal drug while one is a student at Wheaton College. Students in violation of this policy will be subject to disciplinary action up to and including suspension or expulsion and referral for prosecution.
(Taken from Community Covenant)

Wheaton College and all Wheaton College-related functions will be alcohol-free and tobacco-free. This means that the possession or consumption of alcohol or the use of tobacco in any form will be prohibited in, on, or around all campus properties, owned or leased. The same prohibition applies to all Wheaton College vehicles, whether on or off campus, and to all Wheaton College events or programs, wherever they may be held.

While enrolled in Wheaton College, undergraduate members of the community will refrain from the consumption of alcohol or the use of tobacco in all settings. Other adult members of the College community will use careful and loving discretion in any use of alcohol. They will avoid the serving or consumption of alcohol in any situation in which undergraduate members of the Wheaton College family are or are likely to be present.

In addition to being a violation of the college’s alcohol-free policy, it is also unlawful for persons under 21 years of age to purchase or consume alcohol. Students in violation of this policy may be subject to disciplinary action not limited to suspension or referral for prosecution.

Additional information concerning the College’s alcohol and drug policy, including a full description of the policy and the reasoning behind it, can be found in the Student Handbook.

Sexual Assault Policy

Sexual Assault Policy. The sexual assault policy works under the umbrella of and in concert with Wheaton College’s Discrimination, Harassment, and Retaliation Policies. “Sexual assault” is defined as forcing, threatening, or coercing an individual into sexual contact against the individual’s free will with or without the individual’s consent. It includes, but is not limited to, any sexual act performed on an individual or any sexual act required to be performed by an individual against that individual’s free will. Sexual assault includes having sexual contact with a victim while knowing or having reason to know that the victim was incapacitated by drugs (including alcohol) or was otherwise unable to consent.

In the interest of promoting awareness of rape, acquaintance rape, and other forcible and non-forcible sex offenses, flyers are posted around campus that discuss sexual abuse and harassment and how students are to report situations and receive care. In addition, the Wheaton Feminists Club sponsors an annual “Take Back the Night” event that raises awareness of these issues throughout campus. Victims of a sexual offense are encouraged to report any incident immediately to Student Development, Public Safety, and the Counseling Center.

Reporting a Sexual Assault

Procedure. Any student who has been a victim of a sexual assault should, as soon as possible:

Report the incident to the Dean of Student Care and Services at (630) 752-5941, the Counseling Center at (630) 752-5321 or Public Safety at (630) 752- 5911. Please note that Public Safety is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. In addition, victims of sexual assault may notify the civil authorities, either through the Public Safety Department, or on their own by dialing 911 (9911 on campus phones). Public Safety will assist a victim in notifying the authorities, if the victim requests the assistance of these personnel.

Seek medical attention and do not interfere with the preservation of evidence (e.g., do not bathe, change clothing, or disturb items in the room or other specific locale in which the assault took place).

Notify the Dean of Student Care and Services at (630) 752-5941. Upon request by either party, the College will help to prevent any unwanted contact between the complainant and the accused by, for example, making reasonably available changes to academic schedules, chapel seating, or housing situations.

The College also recommends and encourages victims involved in such incidents to seek counseling and/or identify a support person. A support person plays an important role in providing personal encouragement to a victim in a crisis situation. Information regarding counseling options both on campus and in the community can be obtained at the Counseling Center, Student Health Services, or from the Dean of Student Care and Services.

For further information regarding sexual assault or other safety awareness programs, please contact the Dean of Student Care and Services, the Counseling Center, Health Center, or Public Safety Department. You may also refer to the Student Handbook and the following references: Discrimination and Harassment, page 28, Sexual Assault, page 33, Academic Honesty, page 5.

Counseling for Victims of Sexual Assault

Students who have been the victim of sexual assault are encouraged to visit the Counseling Center to meet with a professional counselor during their recovery. The Counseling Center is currently located on the first floor of Armerding Hall, 520 E. Kenilworth, and can be contacted at ext. 5321.

Disciplinary Proceedings for Alleged Sexual Assaults

Wheaton College takes all allegations of sexual assault very seriously. In the event that an alleged sexual assault is reported to Student Development, the Associate Dean of Residence Life will initiate a disciplinary proceeding according to the policies set forth in the College’s “Procedures for the Administration of Undergraduate Student Discipline (Non-Academic).” A full copy of this policy is available at Student Development. Disciplinary proceedings involving allegations of sexual assault are treated by the college as a “special matter” as defined in sections II-B and IV of the aforementioned policy in order to balance the need for full and fair adjudication of serious offenses against the need to protect the privacy rights of participants and the dignity of complainants and accused students alike.

Throughout the disciplinary proceedings, the accuser and the accused are entitled to the same opportunities to have others present. The accuser and the accused are each permitted to be accompanied to disciplinary hearings by one non-attorney advisor for the sole purpose of giving advice or assistance to the student. In addition, both the accuser and the accused will be informed of the outcome of any institutional disciplinary proceeding that is brought alleging a sex offense. Compliance with this paragraph does not constitute a violation of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act. For the purpose of this paragraph, the outcome of a disciplinary proceeding means only the institution’s final determination with respect to the alleged sex offense and any sanction that is imposed against the accused.

The college will, upon written request, disclose to the alleged victim (or next of kin, where appropriate) of a crime of violence, or a non-forcible sex offense, the results of any disciplinary hearing conducted by the college against the student who is the alleged perpetrator of the crime or offense.

Disciplinary Actions and Sanctions

If during a disciplinary proceeding it is determined that some misconduct has occurred, the College may impose any or all of the following sanctions:

  • Interim Action—If it is determined that a student is a threat to themselves or others, the student may be required to move out of college housing, withdraw or be restricted in his or her access to and movement about campus.
  • Probation—The student is permitted to remain on campus with particular conditions specified. Special housing approvals, participation in varsity sports, and other co-curricular privileges are likely to be affected. Community service hours may be required as well as completion of other responses the Deans feel are valuable for the student’s growth. Students will be asked to notify their parents and/or other adults important in their lives.
  • Suspension—The student is involuntarily separated from the College for a specified length of time. Parents are notified.
  • Expulsion—The student is permanently separated from the College with an appropriate notation of the reasons for such termination on the student’s permanent record.

Missing Students

Missing Person Policy. The purpose of this policy is to establish procedures for the College’s response to reports of missing students, as required by the Higher Education Opportunity Act of 2008.

Wheaton College recognizes the importance of safety for each member of our community. For purposes of this policy, a student may be considered to be a “missing person” if the person’s absence is contrary to his/her usual pattern of behavior and unusual circumstances may have caused the absence. Such circumstances could include, but not be limited to, a report or suspicion that the missing person may be the victim of foul play, has expressed suicidal thoughts, is drug dependent, is in a life-threatening situation, or has been with persons who may endanger the student’s welfare.

I. Procedures for designation of emergency contact information

  1. Students age 18 and above and emancipated minors
  2. Wheaton College will have each new student provide emergency contact information on a voluntary basis. In addition to registering an emergency contact, students residing in on-campus housing have the option to identify confidentially an individual to be contacted by Wheaton College in the event the student is determined to be missing for more than 24 hours. If a student has identified such an individual, Wheaton College will notify that individual no later than 24 hours after the student is determined to be missing. Students who wish to identify a confidential contact or update their information can do so by notifying the Residence Life Office. A designation will remain in effect until changed or revoked by the student during his or her tenure at the College.
  3. Students under the age of 18
  4. In the event that a student who is not emancipated is determined to be missing relative to the following procedures, the College is required to notify a custodial parent or guardian.
  5. At the College’s discretion, in addition to the specified contact person, the College reserves the right to contact a parent and/or guardian.

II. Official notification procedures for missing persons

  1. Any individual on campus who has information that a student may be a missing person must notify Public Safety. In turn, Public Safety will contact all appropriate offices that need to be consulted or informed.
  2. Subsequently, all essential information (description, clothes last worn, where student might be, who student might be with, vehicle description, information about the physical and mental well being of the student, an up-to-date photograph, class schedule, recent ID card access points, etc.) about the student will be gathered from the reporting person and from the student’s acquaintances. Appropriate campus staff will be notified to aid in the search for the student.
  3. If the above actions are unsuccessful in locating the student or it is apparent immediately that the student is a missing person (e.g. witnessed abduction), Public Safety will contact the appropriate local law enforcement agency to report the student as a missing person, and the local law enforcement agency will take charge of the investigation. Public Safety will cooperate with, aid, and assist the local law enforcement agency in all ways prescribed by law.
  4. No later than 24 hours after determining that a student is missing, Wheaton College will notify the emergency contact (for students 18 and over) or the parent/guardian (for students under the age of 18) that the student is believed to be missing.
  5. In cases where the student is over 18 and has not identified a person to be contacted, Public Safety will notify the appropriate law enforcement officials.

III. Campus Communication about missing students

In cases involving missing persons, law enforcement personnel are best situated to provide information to the media that is designed to elicit public assistance in the search for a missing person. Therefore, all communication regarding missing students will be handled by outside law enforcement authorities, who may consult with the Director of Media Relations at Wheaton College. All inquiries to the College regarding missing students or information provided to any individual at the College about a missing student, shall be referred to the Chief of Public Safety, who shall refer such inquiries and information to law enforcement authorities in consultation with the Director of Media Relations at the College.

Prior to providing the Wheaton College community with any information about a missing student, the Director of Media Relations shall consult with the Chief of Public Safety and with local law enforcement authorities to ensure that communication does not hinder the investigation.

Registered Sex Offenders

Law enforcement information provided by the State of Illinois concerning sex offenders may be obtained on the Wheaton Police Department homepage >>.

Safety Escorts

Public Safety is always willing to give escorts to any person on campus who feels that they are being threatened or are uncomfortable in walking alone. It is important to understand that this is not a taxi service, but a safety practice.

Campus Shuttle

The Campus Shuttle is a route-based service provided to the Wheaton College community that provides transportation around campus and the vicinity during hours of darkness. Public Safety discourages walking alone at night and suggests, instead, to walk with others in well-lighted areas or to utilize the Campus Shuttle. The Campus Shuttle is in operation during the school year from 6:30 PM until 1:00 AM. When possible, please wait inside until the Campus Shuttle arrives. During hours of darkness when the Campus Shuttle is not operating, you may request an escort from an on-duty Public Safety officer by calling (630) 752-5911 (or ext. 5911 from a campus telephone).

Fire Drills

At the beginning of each semester every campus residence will be involved in a fire drill. The same policy applies to academic buildings, as well.

Severe Weather

Severe weather is common in northern Illinois. Severe weather can range from severe thunderstorms, floods, and tornados in the spring, summer, and fall, to blizzards in the winter. It is important to stay informed of what the weather forecasts are and what to do in case of severe weather. Whether you are in your dorm room or in class on campus, it is critical to know where to go if a crisis should occur.

Safety Programs

Wheaton College Public Safety is committed to the safety and security of the campus community. We are available to speak to campus groups, dorm floors, athletic teams, or individuals about a variety of safety issues including personal protection, fire safety, parking enforcement, or any topic related to security.

Personal Property Identification

Public Safety strongly advises that all individuals on campus log serial numbers of their property in case these items are stolen. Every year we have lap tops, bikes, book bags, etc., stolen from campus. Having identifying numbers and descriptions helps to get these items back.

Bike Registration

Public Safety offers free bike registration for students. In the event your bike is stolen, having it registered may aid in its recovery. You will be provided with a registration decal that says "Wheaton Illinois Bicycle License" and the information is forwarded to the Wheaton Police for their records. The process only takes a few minutes, but please call the Public Safety office (630-752-5911) to schedule a time to ensure an officer is available.

Skateboard, Roller Skate, In-Line Skate Policy

No person may skateboard, roller skate, in-line skate, or use any other similar wheeled device in or on campus buildings, or on any porch, steps, or other raised paved surface, nor on disability ramps or specially constructed ramps. Use of the devices is not permitted on any structure located on or adjacent to a sidewalk

Emergency Phones

Several emergency phones are located around the campus which, with a single push of the button, will connect you with the Public Safety dispatcher 24/7. You may use them for emergencies (fire, medical, crime) or for service requests (building admittance, escort, motorist assistance).

Parking Enforcement

One of the more frustrating aspects of campus life is receiving parking citations. Public Safety understands that getting tickets is not an enjoyable experience, and we strive to enforce parking regulations in a way that is not punitive, but brings about compliance. Wheaton College is a residential campus and is not set up to have students drive their vehicles around campus. With limited spots available we must work together to make sure everyone has a place to park.

Please go to the Public Safety intranet page to see the Parking Regulations in full detail.

Fire Safety

Fire Safety equipment such as fire alarms, extinguishers, crashbars, and smoke detectors are located in all College buildings for safety and should be used only in emergency situations. No items may be moved to or stored within 18 inches of the ceiling so as not to interfere with the functioning of the sprinkler system. Tampering with fire equipment, disconnecting smoke alarms, or intentionally activating a fire alarm constitutes a class 4 state felony and may lead to incarceration. The College will also take disciplinary action. Finally, legal action and a fine up to $1000 may be pursued by the Wheaton Police. Malfunctioning smoke alarms should be reported at once to Public Safety (630-752- 5911) 24 hours-a-day. Students who do not cooperate in evacuating a building when a fire alarm is sounded will be subject to disciplinary action and a $50 minimum fine. Intentionally seeking to burn items near College property will result in a fine of $50 and possible disciplinary action.

Students should also assist in the promotion of basic fire safety principles. Fire exits should not be blocked and fire doors should not be propped open, and belongings should not be placed in hallways or stairwells. Students are encouraged to use power strips with circuit breakers in their rooms. All extension cords must have a ground wire (three prongs). Playing sports indoors is prohibited. Sports equipment striking fire safety equipment will result in a $50 fine. Fire hazards should be reported to Public Safety.

Flammable Materials. Combustible materials, including flammable liquids, are not permitted in student rooms, storage areas, or other College buildings. Additionally, the smoking of any substance on College property is prohibited. Burning candles or incense is prohibited due to insurance restrictions and also to ensure fire prevention. Plug-in type deodorizers, paper streamers, excessive paper items, and organic decorative materials such as live Christmas trees, straw, and corn shucks which are flammable are not permitted in College buildings. Materials which have been fireproofed are available and should be used. Due to the high temperature of their bulbs, halogen lamps are prohibited in College housing.

The Fire Safety Report in its entirety can be found at the conclusion of this Report, including all information required by law concerning fires in on-campus student housing.

Media Center