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UNM Policy Office

MSC05 3357
1 University of New Mexico
Albuquerque, NM 87131

Physical Location:
Scholes Hall
114 A and B

Phone: (505) 277-6531

University of New Mexico Seal

Administrative Policies and Procedures Manual - Policy 2210: Campus Violence

Date Originally Issued: 07-15-1998
Revised: 08-23-1999, 01-01-2001, 05-10-2017

Authorized by RPM 3.1 ("Responsibilities of the President")

Process Owner:  Chief, UNM Police Department

1. General

The University of New Mexico is committed to providing an environment that is free from violence. Acts or threatened acts of violence will not be tolerated. Anyone engaging in such conduct will be subject to discipline, up to and including dismissal from employment, expulsion from the University, or banishment from campus, and may be subject to civil and/or criminal penalties.   This policy applies to all members of the campus community, including employees, students, and visitors.

It applies to the conduct of University employees while functioning in the course and scope of employment whether on or off-campus and to off-duty violent behavior that adversely impacts employees’ ability to perform their job responsibilities.

It applies to students, whose conduct is subject to the Student Code of Conduct.  Acts of violence by students committed off-campus may be subject to disciplinary action by UNM if the Dean of Students Office determines that the health, safety, or welfare of the University community is endangered.

It applies to visitors, whose conduct is subject to the Visitor Code of Conduct.

2. Violent Conduct

For the purposes of this policy, “violent conduct” includes, but is not limited to:

  • Engaging in verbal, non-verbal, or physical behavior that causes reasonable apprehension of harm or extreme emotional distress to an identifiable individual (verbal behavior includes the use of any method of communication, such as email, telephone, or any type of electronic or social media)
  • Intentionally or recklessly harming another person physically
  • Carrying or using a prohibited weapon (see Section 5) on University premises
  • Intentionally damaging or threatening to damage University property or the property of any employee, student, or visitor (other than disposing of property in accordance with University policy and the law)
  • Hate crimes and, depending on the circumstances, hate/bias incidents (see Section 6)
  • Sexual misconduct as defined in UAP 2740 (“Sexual Harassment and Sexual Misconduct”)

2.1. Free Expression

This policy is not intended to prohibit the exchange of diverse viewpoints which some members of the campus community find offensive, even abhorrent.  The First Amendment protects the expression of offensive ideas, but does not protect their expression in a way that is threatening or intimidating or which unduly interferes with the rights of others to learn and work.

3. Reporting Incidents

The University expects all members of the campus community to report violent conduct according to the procedures described below.

3.1. Emergency Reporting

Emergency situations that pose an imminent danger to self or others must be reported immediately to the UNM Police by dialing 911 or using a blue emergency phone. 

3.2. Non-Emergency Reporting

Non-emergency situations may be reported to the UNM Police Department at (505) 277-2241.  Confidential and/or anonymous reporting is available at Crime Stoppers (505) 277-STOP or on the UNM Police Department’s Submit an Anonymous Tip or Incident webpage.

Non-emergency reports of violent conduct also may be made to supervisors, Resident Advisors, or the Behavioral Assessment and Response Committee.

3.3. Reporting to the Dean of Students

Any student who experiences violent conduct from another student is strongly encouraged to report the incident to the Dean of Students Office (505) 277-3361 or the UNM Police Department.  Students who experience any act of violence committed by a UNM staff or faculty member or a visitor may also contact the Dean of Students Office, which can assist the student with appropriate reporting and follow-up. 

Concerns about the behavior of or statements made by a student that suggest the student may be in distress should be reported as described in Section 7.2.

3.4. Sexual Misconduct

The University recognizes the unique harm caused by acts of sexual misconduct, including rape.  The University urges any student or other member of the campus community who has experienced sexual misconduct, or has knowledge about an incident of sexual misconduct, to make an official report. For detailed information on reporting options and resources, see UAP 2740 (“Sexual Violence and Sexual Misconduct”) and the LoboRESPECT Advocacy Center website.

4. Treatment of Reports

4.1. Confidentiality

The University will treat reports about violent conduct as confidential to the extent circumstances permit, and information will be released to appropriate University officials only on a need-to-know basis and as required by law. For information on confidentiality of reports made to the staff Dispute Resolution Department and CARS, refer to UAP 3220 ("Ombuds Services and Dispute Resolution for Staff") and UAP 3750 ("Counseling, Assistance, and Referral Service")

4.2. Retaliation Prohibited

The University prohibits retaliation against, or harassment of, individuals who act in good faith by reporting actual or perceived violent behavior or potentially violent behavior.  Any member of the campus community who is found to have retaliated against another in violation of this policy is subject to appropriate disciplinary action.

4.3. Filing of False or Misleading Reports

The University prohibits individuals from making deliberately false or misleading reports of violence or threats of violence under this policy.  Individuals who make such reports will be subject to appropriate disciplinary action.

5. Weapons Prohibited on University Premises

For the purpose of this policy, “weapons” include firearms, ammunitions, or other implements that are designed or used to inflict bodily harm or physical threats or damage.

Other than the limited exceptions noted below, carrying weapons on University premises is prohibited.  Note that providers of certain services on campus, such as Residence Life and University Hospitals, may have more restrictive policies on allowing weapons on their premises.

5.1. Limited Exceptions

The limited exceptions to the prohibition on carrying weapons on University premises are for:

  • Law Enforcement Officers and UNM Hospitals Security Officers. They may carry weapons in the performance of their authorized duties.
  • ROTC students. They may carry inoperable weapons for the limited purpose of conducting required and supervised drills during ROTC activities. 
  • Pocket Knives. Members of the campus community may carry ordinary small pocket knives having a folded metal blade, for self-defense or utility purposes. 
  • Stun Guns and Pepper Spray. Members of the campus community may carry stuns guns with a maximum amperage of five (5) milliamps for self-defense purposes. Members of the campus community may carry pepper spray (a/k/a oleoresin capsicum) in containers no larger than 2.5 ounces, with a concentration of oleoresin capsicum of no more than ten (10) percent, for self-defense purposes. The University encourages anyone who carries a stun gun or pepper spray to learn how to use it, be aware of its limitations, and realize that it can be used against you in a physical confrontation. No other electro-shock weapons, such as tasers, are authorized, except by law enforcement officers and UNM Hospitals Security Officers.
  • Other University Business. On a case-by-case basis, the UNM Police Department may authorize the use of weapons for art projects or exhibitions, research, or other University business purposes. 

With the foregoing exceptions, no person may carry or use a weapon on any University premises. If any person does carry weapons on campus, the person may be subject to appropriate disciplinary and criminal action.

5.2. Firearms

Under Section 30-7-2.4, NMSA 1978, it is illegal to carry a firearm on University premises. Firearms include any weapon that can expel a projectile by the action of an explosion, such as handguns, rifles, and shotguns.

5.3. Concealed Handgun Licenses

Persons holding a valid concealed handgun license under the New Mexico Concealed Handgun Carry Act, Section 29-19-1 et seq., NMSA 1978, or a valid comparable license under the law of any other state, are prohibited from carrying their handguns on University premises. 

6. Hate Crimes and Hate/Bias Incidents

Under the New Mexico Hate Crimes Act, a hate crime is a crime committed in whole or in part because of the victim’s actual or perceived race, religion, color, national origin, ancestry, age, handicapped status, gender, sexual orientation, or gender identity.  The New Mexico Hate Crimes Act provides for enhancing the criminal sentence of persons found guilty of committing a crime motivated by hate.  Some possible examples of hate crimes are painting of racial or ethnic slurs on public property, assaulting a person because of perceived religious affiliation, or vandalizing property while yelling derogatory comments about someone’s sexual orientation.  Reports of hate crimes on University property are investigated by the UNM Police.

Some expressions of hate or bias are non-criminal actions, such as disparaging speech directed against someone by an offender who is motivated by hate for, or bias against, that person’s race, color, ethnicity, national origin, sex, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, disability, age, religion, or other protected status.  The University has a process for reporting incidents of hate or bias through the UNM Office of Equal Opportunity (OEO).  For more information, contact OEO at (505) 277-5251 or online at http://oeo.unm.edu.

7. Threat Assessment

7.1. Employees

Concerns about an employee’s behavior can be reported to UNM Police by dialing 911 (emergency) or (505) 277-2241 (non-emergency), as described in Section 3 above. Supervisors may consult with Counseling, Assistance, and Referral Services (CARS) and Human Resources, and may recommend CARS as a resource. Referring employees to CARS gives them an opportunity to resolve personal and professional difficulties before they seriously affect job performance and safety.

7.2. Students

The Behavioral Assessment and Response Committee (BARC) is a group of behavioral health professionals and other experts that focuses on student behavior.  BARC assists the campus community in developing management plans for students whose behavior is of concern. For assistance with student behavior of concern that is non-emergency, contact BARC at (505) 277-7233 or the Dean of Students Office at (505) 277-3361.

8. Discipline

Given the serious nature of violations to this policy, such violations can result in acceleration of the steps in progressive discipline or other disciplinary measures.  Staff will be disciplined for violations of this policy under UAP 3215 ("Performance Management"); faculty under Faculty Handbook Policy C07 (“Faculty Disciplinary Policy”); students under the Student Code of Conduct; and visitors under the Visitor Code of Conduct.

9. Prevention

Prevention is key in providing a safe work and academic environment. Training and awareness can assist in keeping the campus safe and preventing violence.

9.1. Training

Departments can receive training on the identification and management of violent or potentially violent situations. The Women’s Resource Center provides training through its Gendered Violence Prevention Program. The University Emergency Manager provides active shooter training.  Free online training is provided through Learning Central on:

  • “Campus Violence Prevention” (HSC 800-003)
  • “Active Shooter on Campus: Run, Hide, Fight” (EOD 481)

9.2. Awareness

9.2.1. Employees

Certain events in the workplace, such as corrective discipline, layoffs, harassment, and employee impairment, can trigger violence and should be handled with care. Violence, however, may erupt even when these events are handled appropriately and with compassion. The staff and faculty Ombuds/Dispute Resolution Offices can assist in resolving disputes and problems between supervisors and employees.

Supervisors need to pay attention to, and seek assistance for, signs of stress in the workplace, including organizational or job changes that affect employees, friction between employees, and hazardous working conditions. CARS can help employees experiencing stress and also can assist supervisors with identification and reduction of stress.

9.2.2. Students

Certain events in students’ lives can trigger violence and should be handled with care. BARC provides resources and guidance on recognizing student behavior of concern. The LoboRESPECT Advocacy Center provides a safe and welcoming environment for students to receive support and advocacy services for a number of areas. UNM Ombuds/Dispute Resolution Services for Graduate Students provides consultation and mediation services for graduate students in resolving conflicts with colleagues, staff, administrators, or faculty.

10. References

Faculty Handbook C05 ("Rights and Responsibilities at The University of New Mexico") 

Faculty Handbook C07 (“Faculty Disciplinary Policy”)

Faculty Handbook ("Policy on Academic Freedom and Tenure") 

The Pathfinder ("Visitor Code of Conduct") 

The Pathfinder ("Student Code of Conduct")

UAP 2200 ("Reporting Suspected Misconduct and WWhistleblower Protection from Retaliation")

UAP 2220 (“Freedom of Expression and Dissent”)

UAP 2740 (“Sexual Violence and Sexual Misconduct”)

UAP 3215 ("Performance Management")

UAP 3220 ("Ombuds Services and Dispute Resolution for Staff")

UAP 3225 ("Separation of Employment")

UAP 3270 ("Employee Impairment at Work")

UAP 3750 ("Counseling, Assistance, and Referral Service")

Hate/Bias Incident Reporting