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Released October 15, 2004


HATTIESBURG - Administrators and safety personnel at The University of Southern Mississippi continue to strive to make the university's campus a safe and secure environment for students, faculty and staff, and to help meet that goal, the university is providing valuable personal safety information on the Internet and in brochure form.

The information on the Southern Miss Web site and in the brochure, titled "Maintaining a Safe and Secure Campus Environment," 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 also are statistics of crimes committed in the previous three years on campus and in areas immediately surrounding the school.

"This information is an invaluable resource for members of the university community who either want to take precautionary safety measurers or are faced with situations that require assistance from our security personnel, said Vrita Delaine, assistant to the 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 such a 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, who assists annually in the production 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

A copy of the brochure may be obtained from the Office of Student Affairs 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, click on the "publications" link, and then click on the "Safety Compliance Brochure" link.


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October 18, 2004 9:14 AM