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Safety Policies

CalArts Statement of Current Policy

The Student, Staff and Faculty Handbooks (see below) contain the Institute's policies and procedures on how to report criminal actions or other situations/emergencies that may occur on campus. These handbooks also contain the Institute's policies concerning the response to such reports.

The Institute has a Security Committee with student, faculty and staff representation, which meets monthly during the academic year. For information regarding these meetings contact the Associate Vice President, Facilities and Administration, Room, D100.

Building Access

When classes are in session all major entrances to the main building remain open. During holiday and vacation periods, the main building is accessible through the major entrances between 7 a.m. and 6 p.m. on normal business days. Access at other times is through the loading dock door near the Campus Safety office.

During the academic year, access to certain rooms/spaces within the Institute may be restricted by the schools (e.g., costume shop, music practice rooms, editing rooms) and special keys or passes may be required. See individual school’s administrative assistants and the Keys section of this handbook for more information on restricted areas.

During the summer months, building and facilities access may be restricted. Use of practice rooms, studio spaces, equipment and other facilities is by specific approval of school offices and/or the administration. The facilities of the Institute are often committed to special events and groups during the summer months and students must not assume access to and use of facilities.

Guest Policy

In order to establish reasonable precautions to ensure the privacy and safety of students, and yet avoid either unrealistic or over-restrictive procedures, the Institute asks students to notify Campus Safety when they are going to have guests arrive on campus after 8 p.m.

Students must provide a guest list to Campus Safety, via e-mail or telephone call with the person’s name and the name of the student hosting the event.  The students must inform guest(s) where they will meet within the buildings.  Guests(s) who are on the list will be directed to the academic buildings and meeting areas. Students are responsible for the behavior of their guests and must be with the student at all times.

Illegal Drugs and Alcohol

The Institute has standards that prohibit the unlawful possession, use or distribution of illicit drugs and alcohol by students, faculty and staff on Institute property or as part of the Institute's activities. As noted in the Student, Faculty and Staff Handbooks, sanctions will be imposed on students and employees (consistent with federal and state law) for the use or distribution of illicit drugs or illicit use of alcohol up to and including expulsion from the Institute or termination of employment.

The unlawful possession or distribution of illicit drugs and alcohol is a violation of state and federal law. In the State of California anyone under the age of 21 cannot be served or be in possession of alcohol.

Alcohol may not be sold anywhere on the CalArts campus. The Institute allows the proper serving of alcohol at authorized functions as described in the Student Handbook.

In California anyone driving with a .08 or greater blood-alcohol content is considered "driving under the influence" and subject to loss of their driver's license and other penalties. These penalties can include incarceration.

The Institute recognizes the importance of assisting students, faculty and staff in dealing with substance or alcohol abuse problems and to that end offers educational and benefit programs dealing with such matters. Questions regarding this should be discussed with the Dean of Students, Provost, or the Director of Human Resources.

Missing Persons

Student living on-campus – A suspected missing student should be reported to the Campus Safety department immediately.  In compliance with federal laws, if after investigation the student is determined to be missing, the appropriate law enforcement agencies and the student’s emergency contact will be notified within 24 hours.  If a student is under the age of 18, California Institute of the Arts is required to contact a parent or guardian.  If a student is over the age of 18, California Institute of the Arts is required to contact the emergency contact identified by the student to the Institute.

Personal Property

CalArts does not have property insurance for student possessions, and CalArts accepts no responsibility for any personal possessions or property of students.

Personal Vehicles on Campus

CalArts does not assume responsibility for any loss or damage to your personal vehicle while it is parked or driven on Institute property.  This includes fire damage, falling branches or wind borne debris; vandalism or malicious mischief; damage caused by third parties; damage caused to your vehicle because you hit CalArts property, including curbs, speed bumps or other objects; or damage caused by towing or booting an illegally parked vehicle.

CalArts will be responsible for “at-fault” accidents between its vehicles and personal vehicles.


Pets of students are allowed on campus and in the academic building, but they must be on a leash held by a person, or in an appropriate cage or carrier. Prior to bringing a pet on campus, the owner must register the pet with CalArts. Pet registration occurs in the Facilities Office and the Campus Safety office during their hours of operation (Room D100). Dogs and cats must be licensed by Los Angeles County and wear their license while on campus.

Pets are not allowed:

  • In or on Chouinard or Ahmanson property, including the pool area and Mom’s Cafe.
  • In the following areas of the academic building: Café @ CalArts serving and dining areas, restrooms/bathrooms, the Bijou Theater, offices that have been designated “Pet Free,” Library, Tatum Lounge, classes when either students or faculty object, any area in which a performance of any type is being held and other areas which may be noted as “off limits” from time to time for specific reasons.
  • To run free or to be tied/leashed either inside or outside the building.

The owner or handler shall properly dispose of all his/her animal’s waste in a trash container, both inside and outside of all campus buildings.

What to do if you have a complaint to make about a pet:

Contact Campus Safety at 661.222.2702, with the description and location of the pet and/or unrestrained animal.

Sexual Assault and Sexual Exploitation Policy

CalArts is committed to creating and sustaining an environment in which students can study and work in an atmosphere that is open, healthy, safe, and unhampered by sexual assault and sexual exploitation.  Consistent with this commitment and in keeping with federal and state law requirements, it is the policy of CalArts that sexual assault and sexual exploitation will not be tolerated.

This policy applies to all members of the CalArts community, including, but not limited to students, faculty and staff, and also applies in certain instances to third parties (e.g., visitors, volunteers, vendors, and contractors while on CalArts property, participating in CalArts sponsored activities, or providing services to CalArts, and applicants for admission or employment with CalArts).  Reports of incidents of sexual assault and/or sexual exploitation committed by a student, faculty or staff at a location other than at CalArts that directly impact or significantly affect the CalArts community are also covered by this policy.

All forms of sexual assault and/or sexual exploitation and attempts to commit such acts are considered to be serious misconduct and may result in disciplinary action up to and including expulsion or termination of employment.  In addition, such acts, whether by an acquaintance or stranger, violate federal, state and local laws, and perpetrators of such acts may be subject to criminal prosecution and/or civil litigation.

Retaliation against a person, who reports or participates in an investigation of sexual assault or sexual exploitation, or against their family or friends, is strictly prohibited.  Acts of retaliation should be reported to the Dean of Students or the Chief Human Resources Officer.  Acts of retaliation may also violate state and federal laws.

Defining Sexual Assault, Sexual Assault and Consent

Sexual assault and sexual exploitation are forms of sexual harassment and encompass a range of behaviors (which includes any kind of nonconsensual contact), such as those defined below and any other conduct of a sexual nature that is nonconsensual or has the purpose or effect of threatening, intimidating or coercing a person or persons (e.g., intimate partner violence). For more information concerning sexual harassment, see CalArts’ Sexual and Other Unlawful Harassment Policy (courses.calarts.edu/policy/sexual-and-other-unlawful-harassment).  Both men and women may be perpetrators, as well as victims/survivors. *

*This policy defines victim/survivor as someone who indicated that s/he has been sexually assaulted.

Sexual Assault is any unwanted physical contact of a sexual nature that occurs either without the consent of each participant or when a participant is unable to give consent freely.  Physical contact of a sexual nature includes, but is not limited to, touching or attempted touching of another person’s breasts, buttocks, inner thighs, groin, or genitalia, either directly or indirectly, or sexual penetration (however slight) of another person’s oral, anal or genital opening.  Sexual assault includes, but is not limited to, rape, sodomy, oral copulation, sexual battery, sexual penetration with an object, forcible fondling (e.g., unwanted touching or kissing for purposes of sexual gratification), or threat of sexual assault.  Sexual assault can occur either forcibly and/or against a person’s will, or when a person is unable to give consent freely.

Sexual Exploitation occurs when one takes non-consensual or abusive sexual advantage of another for his/her own advantage or benefit, or to benefit or advantage anyone other than the one being exploited, and that behavior does not otherwise constitute sexual assault.  Examples of sexual exploitation include, but are not limited to prostituting another student; non-consensual video- or audio taping or photographing of sexual activity and/or the intimate body parts of another person (including breasts, buttocks, inner thighs, groin, or genitalia); unauthorized posting or distribution of materials involving the sexual activity of another person(s); going beyond the boundaries of consent (such as voyeurism or secretly watching others); tampering with birth control or condoms; knowingly transmitting a sexually transmitted infection such as HIV to another student and inducing or attempting to induce incapacitation with the intent to rape or sexually assault another.

Consent involves explicit communications and mutual approval for the act in which the parties are/were involved.  A sexual encounter is considered consensual when individuals willingly and knowingly engage in sexual activity.  Consent can be revoked at any time for any reason.  Consent is active, not passive.  Lack of resistance, physical or verbal, does not imply consent, nor does silence, in and of itself, imply consent.  Consent must be given for every act and for every time that the act occurs, regardless of history, past behaviors, or reputation.  In order to give effective consent in California, one must be of legal age (18).  Consent cannot be procured by use of pressure, manipulation, compelling threats, intimidating behavior, substances and/or force, nor can it be given if an individual is mentally or physically incapacitated by alcohol or other drug use, unconsciousness, mental disability, sleep, and/or involuntary physical restraint.  Intoxication does not excuse behavior that violates this policy. Even though these definitions are similar to those contained in the California Penal Code, an act that might not violate or be prosecuted under such laws may still violate this policy.

What to Do If You Experience a Sexual Assault or Sexual Exploitation

A student who has experienced a sexual assault or sexual exploitation is strongly encouraged to seek immediate assistance.  The first priority should be to seek safety and to obtain support from someone s/he trusts, such as a friend, family member, faculty member or staff person.  If there is an immediate danger or need for an emergency police or medical response on campus, call Campus Safety at 661-222-2702 and/or the Los Angeles County Sherriff at 911.  For persons off campus, dial 911.

Victims/survivors of a sexual assault (particularly rape, forcible oral copulation or sodomy) are urged to seek medical treatment as soon as possible by going to the nearest hospital emergency room, specialized sexual assault treatment and trauma center, or private physician.  If transportation is needed, it will be arranged by Campus Safety, the Dean of Students, the Director of Housing or the Director of Health Services. The emergency room nearest the CalArts campus is located at:

Henry Mayo Newhall Memorial Hospital
23845 McBean Parkway
Valencia, CA 91355

Other community resources are listed below:

Center for Assault Treatment Services (CATS)
CATS provides compassionate care to survivors of physical and sexual assault as well as on-site advocacy support, case management, counseling and referrals for victims and their family members.

CATS is located at the Northridge Hospital Medical Center
14531 Gault Street
Van Nuys, CA 91405
(818) 785-3489

Valley Trauma Counseling Center (VTCC)
VTCC provides a 24-Hour Sexual Assault Emergency Response Team, counseling, and prevention education to over 15,000 individuals annually. In addition, VTCC has expanded its case management and counseling services as a Los Angeles County Family Preservation Program lead agency. VTCC counseling, crisis intervention services, and prevention education programs are available in Spanish and English; other languages are offered when available.

Northridge Office:
8700 Reseda Blvd., Northridge CA 91324
(818) 772-9981

Santa Clarita Office:
25115 Ave. Stanford #B-122, Santa Clarita CA 91355
(661) 702-0000

Rape Treatment Center (RTC)
RTC offers comprehensive, free treatment for sexual assault victims and their families, including 24-hour emergency medical care, forensic examinations, crisis intervention, long-term professional counseling, advocacy, and accompaniment services.

Santa Monica-UCLA Medical Center
1250 Sixteenth Street
Santa Monica, California 90404
(310) 319-4000

Victims/survivors who promptly seek medical attention benefit from being examined for physical injury, receiving preventative treatment for sexually transmitted diseases, a toxicology examination for date rape drugs, and emergency contraception.  In addition, prompt reporting allows for the preservation of evidence, which will only be used if the victim/survivor decides (then or later) to press criminal charges or file civil suit.  To preserve evidence, victims/survivors should not bathe, douche, smoke, brush their teeth or change clothes (a change of clothes should be brought along).  If clothes have been changed, the original clothes should be put in a paper bag (plastic bags damage evidence) and brought to the hospital.  Do not disturb the scene of the assault.  If it is not possible to leave the scene undisturbed, evidence (e.g. bedding, towels, loose fabrics, prophylactics, and clothing) should be placed in separate paper bags to be preserved.

Time is a critical factor in collecting and preserving evidence.  The physical evidence of an assault is most effectively collected within the first 24-48 hours of the assault, but some evidence may be collected for up to 72 hours.  If, however, a sexual assault victim/survivor chooses to report the incident days, weeks, or even months after the assault, important support systems are still available and can be arranged, but the victim/survivor should understand that delay may make it more difficult to collect physical evidence of the sexual assault that could impact a criminal prosecution or civil lawsuit.

Hospitals and health practitioners that treat any physical injury sustained during a sexual assault are required to report it to law enforcement agencies.  The victim/survivor may choose whether or not to speak to police at the hospital and do not need to make an immediate decision to press criminal charges.  That decision can be made at a later time.

A victim/survivor of sexual assault and/or sexual exploitation can experience emotional as well as physical consequences.  Sexual assault and sexual exploitation are traumatic experiences that can have both immediate and long-term effects.  Individuals who have been sexually assaulted and/or exploited are strongly encouraged to obtain help from a professional counselor as soon as they are ready after the incident occurs.  Students may arrange to see a counselor in the Student Affairs Office by contacting the Student Affairs Office during office hours.  The Student Affairs counselors can also be reached during non-office hours by asking Campus Safety to call the Dean of Students, who will arrange for a telephone call with a counselor.   The Dean of Students and the Chief Human Resources Officer will also help identify off campus counseling resources.

Reporting Options and Complaint Procedures

Report to CalArts.  Students who are (or believe they may be) the victim/survivor of a sexual assault and/or sexual exploitation and any other member of the CalArts community who is aware of the occurrence of a sexual assault and/or sexual exploitation are encouraged to report such incidents (whether the incident took place on or off campus) as soon as possible to Campus Safety (661-222-2702, Room E100), the Dean of Students (661-253-7891, Room A207d), the Director of Housing (661-253-7897, Chouinard Hall, Room 101A), the Chief Human Resources Officer (661-253-7837, Room A210), or the Director of Health Services (661-253-7830, Room D208).

A report does not by itself constitute a complaint, nor does it automatically lead to the filing of a police report.  A report notifies CalArts that an act of sexual misconduct has or may have occurred and allows CalArts to provide aid and assistance to the victim/survivor (e.g., relocation to another residence hall room, changing of room locks, contacting professors, adjusting class/work  schedules, suspending or limiting the right of the accused to be on campus), to maintain statistical data regarding sexual misconduct, and to take such action as may be necessary to protect and safeguard members of the community, such as issuing a Campus Safety Alert.

A student wishing to have an incident investigated, mediated or adjudicated must make a complaint in accordance with the procedures described below.  Making a complaint is different from reporting an incident in that a complaint involves a specific request to initiate disciplinary proceedings. The person to whom the complaint is made will notify the appropriate Institute officials.

Confidentiality.  CalArts recognizes that when victims/survivors of sexual assault and sexual exploitation or others make a report they may prefer that their identity remain confidential and may not want CalArts to act on the basis of the information they provide.  While CalArts endeavors to respect and follow the wishes of an individual who brings forward a sexual assault or sexual exploitation report, CalArts may have legal obligations to investigate, attempt to resolve or adjudicate, and/or issue warnings to the community when reports of sexual misconduct come to its attention.  Therefore, depending on the circumstances, it may not be possible for a conversation with Campus Safety personnel, any of the persons listed above, or others to be kept in confidence, or said another way, for these individuals simply to listen without taking action.

CalArts also understands that a person who has been the victim/survivor of sexual assault or exploitation may wish to talk about the incident with the assurance that the discussion will be confidential.  Students, for example, who may be interested in bringing forward a report of sexual assault or sexual exploitation with a safe place to discuss their concerns and learn about the procedures and potential outcomes involved, should speak with a licensed counselor in the Student Affairs Office or a community based licensed counselor.  A conversation with a licensed counselor (e.g. psychiatrist, psychologist, licensed clinical social worker, MFT) cannot be legally disclosed, without the student's consent, to any other person, except under very limited circumstances specified by law.  A student who wants emotional support only can also consult with a licensed counselor in the Student Affairs Office on a confidential basis.  Students should understand that their discussions with a licensed counselor in the Student Affairs Office are not considered reports of sexual assault/exploitation and that without additional action by the student, such as making a report to one of the persons listed above or making a complaint as described below, the discussions will not result in any action by CalArts to resolve their concerns.

Complaint Procedures.  A victim/survivor has the option of making a sexual assault and/or sexual exploitation complaint against a member of the CalArts community by following the procedures outlined in the CalArts Sexual and Other Unlawful Harassment Policy, a copy of which is available at courses.calarts.edu/policy/sexual-and-other-unlawful-harassment.  CalArts is committed to administering this internal complaint procedure in a manner that is sensitive, supportive, expedient, and respectful of the individual rights of all involved.  Both the complainant and the accused shall have the right to be accompanied by a support person through every phase of the process.

Police Reports and Other Options.  In addition to CalArts' internal complaint procedures, the victim/survivor has the right to pursue criminal prosecution and/or civil litigation, (including the ability to seek a temporary restraining order and injunction prohibiting harassment pursuant to California Civil Code Section 527.6).  CalArts will provide full and prompt cooperation and assistance in notifying the proper law enforcement personnel if the victim/survivor chooses to do so.

A criminal investigation into an allegation of sexual misconduct does not relieve or substitute for CalArts’ duty and authority to conduct its own prompt review of a complaint.  Accordingly, CalArts will not wait for the conclusion of a criminal investigation or proceeding to begin its own concurrent investigation and resolution of an alleged violation.  The standards for criminal proceedings differ from those used in campus proceedings.As a result, conduct that may not be subject to criminal action may still be addressed through CalArts’ processes and procedures.  A finding of “not guilty” in a criminal matter does not necessarily preclude a finding of responsibility for violating CalArts’ policy in a campus proceeding.

Since sexual assault and sexual exploitation are violations of federal and state law, complainants have additional option for reporting, as noted in the Sexual and Other Unlawful Harassment Policy, in the section entitled, “Additional Resources.”

Education and Prevention

CalArts provides resources for education about and prevention of sexual assault and exploitation.  Students, faculty and staff are urged to take advantage of on-campus prevention and education resources and are encouraged to participate actively in prevention and risk reduction efforts. In addition to free and confidential counseling offered by the counselors in the Office of Student Affairs, students are offered an online, interactive course entitled, Lasting Choices: Protecting Our Campus From Sexual Assault.  The staff of the Office of Student Affairs also invite speakers from local trauma centers and domestic violence prevention agencies to meet with students and provide education and prevention resources.

Campus Crime Reporting

In accordance with the provisions of the Jeanne Cleary Act, CalArts Campus’ annual security report includes statistics for their previous three calendar years concerning reported crimes that occurred on campus; in certain off-campus buildings or property owned or controlled by CalArts; and on public property within, or immediately adjacent to and accessible from, the campus.  The report, which is available on line at calarts.edu/campus/safety/annual-report, also includes institutional policies concerning campus security issues, such as those concerning alcohol and drug use, crime prevention, the reporting of crimes, sexual assaults, and other relevant matter.  CalArts never includes personally identifiable information (e.g. the names and addresses of victims/survivors) in such statistical reports.

Title IX Coordinators

Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 is a federal law that prohibits sex discrimination in education.  Sex discrimination includes sexual harassment, sexual assault and sexual exploitation.  CalArts has designated Charmagne Shearrill, the Chief Human Resources Officer (661-253-7838, cshearrill@calarts.edu, Room A210) to serve as its Title IX Coordinator and Travis Greene, the Dean of Students Affairs (661-253-7891, tgreene@calarts.edu, Room A207).  These Title IX Coordinators are available to receive reports of sex discrimination at CalArts, including sexual harassment, sexual assault, and sexual exploitation, to discuss questions or concerns relating to the investigation of complaints received, reporting and complaint procedures, and education and training opportunities across campus. Information concerning Title IX can also be obtained from the Office for Civil Rights, U.S. Department of Education (415-486-5555, ocr.sanfrancisco@ed.gov, 50 Beale Street, Suite 7200, San Francisco, CA 94105-1813).

Last edited by bhoward on Dec 21, 2015
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