Security & Safety

Kansas College Initiates Online Incident Reporting System

Students and faculty at Hutchinson Community College can now report any kind of suspicious activity by clicking a button on the college’s Web site.

Hutchinson Community College is the first higher education institution in Kansas to deploy an online risk and incident management platform that allows students, faculty, parents and visitors to report suspicious activities.

Hutchinson has launched TIPS (threat assessment, incident management and prevention services) by Awareity, an online platform for faculty, students, parents and others to report incidents such as cyberbullying, bullying, suspicious persons, vandalism and violence to campus authorities online. Users can access the TIPS report incident button on the college Web site to report activities. The online form has a scroll-down menu with a list of incident types that helps a user quickly report date and time, the person or people involved, details and how the user became aware of the incident.

Once a report is submitted, the appropriate college personnel are immediately notified to review the information and take the appropriate action.

The system also generates real-time documentation that can be used for audits, accreditations and analysis. TIPS meets reporting requirements for the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Police and Campus Crime Statistics Act, a federal law that requires colleges and universities to document crime on or around campuses.

"National incidents, such as Virginia Tech and Umpqua Community College [OR], have highlighted problematic disconnects among departments and a critical need to focus more on prevention," said HCC Equity and Compliance Coordinator Jake Gunden. "With TIPS, we are able to more effectively identify at-risk individuals and keep detailed incident reports in one central location."

TIPS is compatible with most browsers and can be accessed via mobile devices. Users can use smartphones to upload photographs to back up report details. The system went online on the Hutchinson CC Web site in December and will be rolled out to all 6,000 students and 500 faculty members on four campuses as the spring semester begins. An awareness campaign will include e-mails and promotional meetings.

About the Author

Michael Hart is a Los Angeles-based freelance writer and the former executive editor of THE Journal.

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