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Released October 7, 2003

SOUTHERN MISS SAFETY BROCHURE ON SCHOOL'S WEB SITE

HATTIESBURG - Valuable information regarding security on The University of Southern Mississippi campus is available to members of the university community on the Internet and in brochure form.

The brochure shows how to use the campus police escort service and contains information about the university's alcohol and firearm policies. It also has telephone numbers for alcohol and drug-abuse issues, among others. Included are statistics of crimes committed in the previous three years on campus and in areas immediately surrounding the school.

"Making sure our campus is as safe and secure as it can be is one of our top priorities," said Vrita Delaine, assistant vice president for student affairs at Southern Miss.

University officials, including University Police Department staff, joined together to produce this year's brochure. Colleges and universities that participate in federal student financial aid programs are required by law to produce the document, following the passage of the Jeanne Clery Act.

Jeanne Clery was a Lehigh University student who was raped and killed in her dorm room in 1986. Her parents sought to make public previous crimes that had been committed on the school's campus - but had not been reported - as a way to help students become more security conscious. The Clerys joined with other campus crime victims to persuade Congress to pass the act, which was originally known as the "Crime Awareness and Campus Security Act of 1990."

"There is information in the brochure that all students and employees of the university need to know," said Linda Parish of the University Police Department, a member of a team of university personnel who produced this year's edition of the brochure.

Parish said the brochure also includes important emergency phone numbers, as well as information about services available from the Rape Crisis Center, area medical clinics and counseling services. University Police safety programs, including the escort service, are also covered in the brochure along with information about the popular RAD (Rape Aggression Defense) classes.

The brochure also contains information on how to access statistics about registered sex offenders on the Internet through the Mississippi Sex Offender Registry at www.dps.state.ms.us.

A copy of the brochure may also be obtained from the Student Affairs office in the R.C. Cook University Union, Room 219, or at the University Police Department, located on the first floor of Bond Hall. To access the brochure on the Southern Miss Web site, go to www.usm.edu, click on the publications link and from there click on the Safety Compliance Brochure link.

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April 20, 2004 4:09 PM

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