Messiah College Policy and Procedure Manual: Community Policies
5.01 Campus Visitor Policy.  

(Last Reviewed: 07-SEP-2011; Last Updated: 03-DEC-2011)

This policy is administered and maintained by the Crisis Management Team.

The original policy, which predates these current revisions was approved by College Council September  25, 2007; The amended policy was approved by College Council on September 22, 2011.

5.01.01 Introduction.  

Messiah College seeks to provide a safe campus environment by instituting policies, procedures, and guidelines to further define the College’s roles as an 1) educational, residential, cultural, and recreational facility for students; 2) a place of employment; 3) a community resource; and 4) a client and business partner.

Visitors are an important aspect of the College’s daily operations. Visitors come to Messiah College for many reasons. For example, prospective students and their families visit and tour campus; students visit with friends; job applicants visit Human Resources or participate in scheduled interviews; vendors deliver essential products and supplies to appropriate offices; service and maintenance professionals make scheduled repairs and community members attend public events in campus facilities.

For the purpose of this policy, the term “visitor” refers to anyone who is not a currently enrolled Messiah College student or a currently employed member of the faculty, administration or staff.

All visitors are expected to respect and abide by campus policies, posted regulations and instructions by authorized campus personnel. Visitors are expected to adhere to campus speed limits; to park in appropriately marked visitor spaces; to abstain from the use of drugs, alcohol and tobacco while on campus; and to refrain from uninvited visits to private areas such as residence halls, classrooms, and employee offices. Visitors are also expected to abide by the College’s policies regarding the prohibition of firearms and other potentially harmful weapons on college property—including the storage of these items in vehicles on campus.

5.01.02 Minor Guests (i.e., children under age 18) Guests in College-Owned Student Housing.  

Baby-Sitting. No baby-sitting is permitted by students in residence halls, apartments, or other College-owned student housing.

Unrelated Minors. A child who is unrelated to a student is allowed to visit a student’s room or stay overnight in College-owned housing if he/she meets all of the following conditions:  the child (1) is 15 years of age or older, (2) is invited to do so by the host student, (3) is the same gender as the host student, and (4) has provided a signed parent/guardian liability release and medical permission form to the Residence Director or Office of Residence Life.

  • Any visitor staying overnight must sleep in a student’s room, and not in a public lounge or individual floor lounge.
  • A child who is unrelated to a student and is under the age of 15 years may visit College-owned housing if he/she is invited to do so by a host student.  The child may not stay overnight, but may visit public lounges during approved visitation hours.

First Year Residences
Sunday, noon – 10 p.m.
Wednesday, 4 p.m. – 10 p.m. 
Friday, 4 p.m. – 1 a.m.
Saturday, Noon – 1 a.m. 

Traditional Residences
Sunday, Noon – 10 p.m.
Monday, 4 p.m. – 10 p.m.
Wednesday, 4 p.m. – 10 p.m.
Friday, 4 p.m. – 1 a.m. 
Saturday, Noon - 1 a.m. 

Campus Apartments/Special Interest/Off Campus Housing
Invited visitors may visit non-bedroom areas of campus apartments, special interest and off campus houses Sunday – Thursday noon to midnight and Friday- Saturday, from noon to 1 a.m.

Family/Related Minors. A child who is related to a student may stay overnight in College-owned housing if he/she meets all of the following conditions:  the child (1) is 12 years of age or older, (2) is invited to do so by the host student, (3) is the same gender as the host student, (4) is actually under the supervision of the student family member, and (5) has provided a signed parent/guardian liability release and medical permission form to the Residence Director or Office of Residence Life.

Little Sibs Weekend. Children under the age of 12 who are related to students may visit College-owned housing if the child is the same gender as the host student and is under the supervision of a parent or guardian.  No child under the age of 12 may stay overnight in college-owned housing.

Exceptions. This policy will not apply to summer conference groups, sports and other camps.

5.01.03 Adult Guests in College-Owned Student Housing.  

Adult guests (i.e. age 18 or older) are welcome in College residences subject to the following guidelines provided they are invited and accompanied by a Messiah College student.  Except as noted below, guests are permitted in individual living areas of the opposite gender only during scheduled visitation hours.

  • Peers. Student-aged guests may stay overnight for up to three nights with the approval of other residents of the room, apartment, or special interest house.  Messiah College students may stay overnight in the rooms or apartments of other students of the same gender for up to three successive nights with the permission of the other residents.
  • Parents/Family. Adult immediate family members who are visiting from off campus may briefly visit the room or apartment of students during non-visitation hours.  They may stay overnight in the rooms or apartments of students of the same gender for up to three successive nights with the permission of the other residents.
  • Other Adult Guests. Any other adult guests may briefly visit the room or apartment of students, but only during visitation hours.  At any other time they are to meet informally with students in public spaces or common areas (e.g. public residence hall lounges).

Any guest who fails to adhere to Messiah College rules is subject to removal from the College premises. The College reserves the right to limit guest privileges and asks visitors to limit the frequency and duration of campus appointments.  Abuse of these privileges may lead to restriction or withdrawal of the visitor’s right to access campus.

5.01.04 Individuals Engaged in Solicitation.  

  • For the safety and privacy of all members of the College Community, in general, solicitors, peddlers and door-to-door solicitation are not permitted on campus, including in campus buildings.  
  • On-campus solicitation of sales or purchases by any off-campus individual or organization is expressly forbidden unless authorized by the Student Involvement and Leadership Programs Office.  Approval of on-campus sales will be granted only if there is a benefit to a recognized College function or student group and authorization may be denied or may be subject to limitations prescribed by the Student Involvement and Leadership Programs Office. An Outside Vendor Contract available from the Student Involvement and Leadership Programs Office must be completed and approved.
  • With particular regard, no one, including members of the campus community, is permitted to solicit, raise funds, or sell products in the residence halls unless the activity has been explicitly approved by the Student Involvement and Leadership Programs Office according to the college’s established fundraising protocols
  • Persons purchasing textbooks from faculty must have pre-established appointments with specific faculty members or other campus employees.

Note: The above solicitation policies do not apply to individuals or organizations who are invited to campus by authorized Messiah College administrative personnel as part of an approved College activity or event.

5.01.05 College Vendors.  Persons visiting campus as representatives of vendors or potential vendors to Messiah College, contractors, service and maintenance personnel from off-campus organizations making scheduled visits to a College office, or other persons doing business with the College must check in at the Lenhart Building or Dispatch Services, located in Eisenhower Campus Center. Vendors will need to sign in and will receive the appropriate passes for access to campus.
5.01.06 Individuals Seeking to Engage in Public Expression.  

Definition of public expression
Freedom of inquiry is encouraged at Messiah College. However, in order to ensure an atmosphere in which open communication can occur without disrupting the academic mission or the daily functions of the College, this policy shall govern all forms of public expression activity on Messiah College property, defined for this purpose as including activities such as, but not limited to: campus meetings and forums; public assembly and demonstrations; public speeches; and the distribution and/or posting of written materials or other forms of communication carried out in connection with these activities.

Definition of members of the on-campus college community
For the purpose of this policy, “members of the on-campus college community” are defined as currently enrolled students, current trustees and currently employed members of the faculty, administration, and staff.

Definition of visitors
Individuals who do not belong to any of the above identified groups are considered campus visitors.

Public expression by members of the on-campus college community
Messiah College affords all members of the on-campus college community with substantial privileges with respect to freedom of public expression. This privilege, however, is subject to reasonable restrictions of time, place and manner so that the activities do not intrude upon or interfere with the academic mission and daily functions of the College, or with other rights of members of the on-campus college community as defined by College policies.

Note: These policies and guidelines refer to non-educational activities on College property and not to the conduct of academic or co-curricular activities that are governed by their own policies and standards. These policies do not refer to other officially approved College events that must follow established college event protocols.

Procedures for public expression activities by members of the on-campus college community

1. Students must apply to the Office of the Dean of Students at least five business days prior to their requested date of activity. Employees must apply to the Vice President for Human Resources and Compliance within that same time frame. Office hours are between the hours of 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday.

2. The Dean of Students or Vice President for Human Resources and Compliance has two business days in which to act on a request and communicate a decision to the person or organization making the request. Decisions will take into account both any special circumstances that may relate to College activities and/or the burden the requested activity may place on the College’s safety and administrative staffs.

3. Public expression activities are authorized to occur only at one or more of the following three locations as assigned by the Dean of Students or the Vice President for Human Resources and Compliance:

  • Larsen Student Union patio or in a designated inside common area
  • Eisenhower Campus Center: outdoors in the patio area at the upper entrance of Lottie Nelson Dining Room or inside in the Commons
  • Brick courtyard area outside of Kline, Jordan and Frey

4. The number of occasions on which specific individuals or groups will be permitted to engage in public expression activities will be limited to three times during a calendar year.

5. The total number of people engaging in public expression activities at any one location on campus may be limited by the Dean of Students and/or the Vice President for Human Resources and Compliance according to concerns related to space capacity, safety or potential disruption of the College’s other daily activities.

6. Any signs, placards or banners that are displayed must be respectful, may not use profanity or other defaming language, and in general must be in the spirit and meet the standards related to the treatment of others as described in the College’s Community Covenant.

7. No microphones, bullhorns, or other amplification devices may be used.

8. No sidewalks or building accesses may be blocked, nor may normal College operations be impeded.

9. Physical or verbal harassment of members of the College community, or public expression activities outside of the hours or locations for which permission has been granted, will be cause for the immediate revocation of privilege for those involved. Any act of disorderly conduct will result in intervention by authorized campus personnel.

Public expression activities by campus visitors
Visitors do not share the same privilege as members of the on-campus college community to participate in public expression activities on Messiah College property.

  • Specifically, campus visitors are not permitted to be involved in public expression on College property except as invited participants at official, approved College events, and in a manner consistent with the intent of the event as determined by officials of the College. Furthermore, visitors’ presence on campus is not merely contingent upon their compliance with standards maintained by the College, and as such, visitors may be asked to leave the campus at any time by an authorized official of the College.
  • Visitors may not engage in activities which hinder or obstruct approved public expression or affect the College’s ability to provide an educational environment for its members.
  • Visitors acting in violation of this policy and/or the related guidelines or failing to accept the directions of authorized College authorities will be required to leave campus and may be referred to the local public authorities in the event of violations of applicable laws. Any police arrests and criminal charges are separate from judicial actions at Messiah College.
5.01.07 Members of the Media.  

Prior to coming to Messiah’s campus, all members of the media should coordinate the purpose and logistics of their visit by contacting:

    • During business hours: (Monday-Friday, 8 a.m. - 5 p.m.) the Office of Marketing and Public Relations at 717.691.6027.
    • During non-business hours: Campus Dispatch Office at 717.766.2511, who will contact the Assistant Director of Public Relations, or in her absence, the Director of Marketing and Public Relations, to coordinate any necessary arrangements.
  • While on campus, all members of the media must be escorted by a member of the Office of Marketing and Public Relations or that office’s designee. (With the exception of journalists who are covering campus athletic events; athletics media relations are managed by the Department of Athletics.) 
  • Members of the media are not permitted in student residences, classrooms, or other non-public areas of campus without explicit, pre-arranged permission from the Office of Marketing and Public Relations.  
  • Media must display visible credential identification at all times and park in appropriate visitor parking areas or in areas designated by either the Office of Marketing and Public Relations or Campus Safety.  
  • Questions regarding this policy should be referred to the Office of Marketing and Public Relations at 717. 691.6027.
5.01.08 Military Recruiters.  

The presence of military recruiters on campus is governed by the College’s existing Miliary Recruiters Access Policy, which may be viewed at:

http://www.messiah.edu/offices/career/MilitaryRecruiterAccessPolicy.pdf

5.02 Weapons-Free Workplace Policy.  

To ensure that Messiah College maintains a workplace safe and free of violence for all employees, the College prohibits the possession or use of weapons on College property. A license to carry the weapon does not supersede the College policy. Any employee in violation of this policy will be subject to prompt disciplinary action, up to and including termination. All members of the community are subject to this provision, including contract and temporary employees, and visitors on College Property.

“College Property” is defined as all college-owned or leased buildings and surrounding areas such as sidewalks, walkways, driveways and parking lots under the college’s ownership or control. This policy applies to all vehicles that come onto college property.

Weapons include, but are not limited to, firearms, explosives, knives, pellet or BB guns, tasers, stun guns, wooden or metal batons, bows and arrows (sharpened or hunting tips) and other weapons that might be considered dangerous or that could cause harm. In addition, sports equipment derived from or similar to weapons such as baseball bats, fencing swords, bows & arrows, javelins, paint ball guns should be confined to sports facilities for their use or kept locked in a personal vehicle.

Messiah College reserves the right at any time to contact law enforcement authorities if there are reasonable grounds to believe that an employee or a visitor has a weapon on College property.

This policy is administered and enforced by the Office of Human Resources. Anyone with questions or concerns specific to this policy should contact Human Resources at ext 5300.

5.03 Protection of Minors Policy.  

(Owner: Office of Human Resources; Last Reviewed: 20-MAY-2013; Last Updated: 20-MAY-2013)

Policy: Messiah College employees are expected to take active measures to ensure the safety and well-being of minor age children (children under the age of 18) engaged in activities within the Messiah College Community. As such, it is the obligation of every member of the college community to report immediately instances of abuse or neglect as well as suspected abuse or neglect of minors.

Messiah College views abuse as both the intentional physical injury of a child (physical abuse), or the exploitation of a child for the sexual gratification of an adult or older child (sexual abuse).  The College views neglect as the failure of caretakers to provide a child with proper supervision, control, subsistence, or education as required by law.

Any member of the Messiah College Community who is convicted of the abuse or neglect of a minor will be dismissed from the College, whether the abuse or neglect occurred on or off campus. Any member of the Messiah College Community against whom a credible accusation of abuse or neglect has been made as determined by a preponderance of the evidence, on or off campus, is subject to college discipline up to and including dismissal.

Procedure: Every member of the Messiah College Community has a duty to report suspected neglect or sexual or physical abuse of a child by conveying all relevant information regarding the suspected abuse or neglect immediately to one of the following:

  • the Director of Safety at ext 6565 
  • the Vice President of Human Resources and Compliance at ext. 3320

or by contacting authorities directly

  • the police at 911
  • the Pennsylvania Child Line at 1-800-932-0313.

Failure by any member of the Messiah College Community to report information related to suspected child abuse or neglect as soon as possible to the designated officials listed above will result in discipline up to and including termination for employees and dismissal for students. Please note that if you witness the abuse or neglect of a child, you need to contact the police immediately.

Once a report is received, College officials are responsible for notifying appropriate authorities and ensuring that investigations are initiated. Failure of College officials to initiate timely notice and a timely and appropriate investigation will result in discipline up to and including termination.

The policy strictly prohibits retaliation against individuals who make good-faith reports of child abuse or neglect as well as suspicions of child abuse or neglect.  Individuals concerned about retaliation should speak with the Vice President of Human Resources and Compliance or the Director of Safety. 

Employees notifying authorities via 911 or via the Child Abuse Hotline of child abuse or neglect or a suspected child abuse or neglect incident related to Messiah College, need to also notify the Vice President of Human Resources and Compliance or the Department of Safety that an incident of child abuse or neglect has been reported.

Employees with direct contact to minors are provided with the following resources to help identify and prevent the abuse and neglect of minors and are encouraged to become familiar with them.