Safety Courses

Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College affords an environment that strives to minimize alcohol and drug use and to provide programming regarding crime prevention, dating violence and sexual harassment, both socially and in the work place. In addition, the College has a desire to intervene effectively or respond to the individual with a potential drug or alcohol problem. Consistent with the College mission, the College seeks to respond compassionately and with integrity through the following guidelines:

Some of the programs offered annually to students, faculty and staff are listed below. Other programs regarding alcohol, drug use, sexual harassment, and smoking cessation will be offered upon request.

Alcohol Awareness

Campus Life sponsors and coordinates a series of programs aimed at curbing alcohol use and raising awareness of the dangers associated with drinking. 

National Alcohol Awareness Week is in October of each year. Last year during this week, two signature programs were held: DUI Simulation Course and Root Beer Pong. The DUI Simulation course allows students the opportunity to experience the visual impairment that is often a consequence of consuming alcohol above the legal limit and then operating a motor vehicle. Students are retrofitted with a pair of googles that simulate various levels of impairment and then are able to drive a golf course in a parking lot that is specifically designed to resemble a road.

The Root Beer Pong Party is an event that is designed to resemble a typical party students may encounter in college. It features a number of drinking games with root beer being substituted instead of alcohol. The event proceeds as a typical party until the organizers make the determination it has reached a high level of participation. At that point, the party stops and the organizers ask pointed questions to audience members. Examples of questions are: “Who knows the person that was serving you root beer?” and “How many glasses of root beer have you consumed in this time period?” The questions typically create a dialog and heightened sense of awareness in making healthier and more informed decisions in social settings with alcohol. Information is also presented on the dangers of drinking games, particularly the rate of consumption and hazards of binge drinking.  

Fire Prevention

The resident assistants are trained in how to properly evacuate Le Fer Hall in the event of a fire.  At the beginning of each semester, the resident assistants educate their residents on fire safety in a floor meeting.  Students also volunteer to assist the resident assistants in the evacuation of their communities.


Campus Life offers a self-defense workshop in the spring and fall semester.  Sensei Phil Thompson, along with Sensei CJ Clarizio and Sensei Mark Selheime of Pawnee Shotokan Karate Club came to campus and provided a self-defense workshop to students. The workshop was intended to provide students with basic techniques in self-defense and allow them to reflect on their surroundings. They started with an overview of awareness of potential threats as perceived around you, and being able to use your mind as a weapon. The workshop then became more hands-on, allowing time to learn and practice various strikes, striking points, and releases. Students, with their peers, were put in mock threatening situations and were shown how to get away from the threat. They were shown proper techniques so they would not harm themselves in the process. It concluded with a reflection of statistics of assault specific to college campuses and college-aged people. Additional time for questions and discussion were allowed at the end.

Sexual Harassment/Sexual Violence

Dear Lisa is a lecture that occurs during New Student Orientation and is presented by Tom Santoro.  This program is geared toward preventing relationship violence and helping students make healthy decisions when they encounter abuse.  Dear Lisa also presents useful strategies to aid students who have friends that are victims of abuse.  Drug and alcohol prevention/education are covered in the presentation, as they often play a role in abusive relationships.  . 

Every undergraduate student in the campus program received a tri-fold brochure during orientation and registration that speaks about sexual harassment, sexual assault, and sexual violence. The brochure clearly defines sexual assault and gives several examples of what is considered “consent” and what is considered “coercion.” It also makes it clear to the reader that a person who is sexually assaulted is never to blame for the assault. Other main topics of the brochure include what to do when you have been sexually assaulted and gives safety tips for dating smart, safety tips for partying smart, and how to respect sexual boundaries.  When the brochure is folded, the back portion gives resources for those that have been sexually assaulted, identifying the Title IX coordinator and confidential resources, and provides contact information for the police, local hospitals, and various agencies that deal with abuse, pregnancy, crime, and mental health.

A session entitled Healthy Decision Making and Awareness was a program all freshmen attended during New Student Orientation.  This session outlined the Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College sexual assault policy and covered all of the information in the tri-fold brochure (see above) and engaged students in open dialogue about consent, sexual assault and sexual harassment. 

All faculty and staff are required to complete an online workshop regarding Sexual Harassment/Sexual Assault. This workshop covers situations that may occur between supervisors and direct reports, employee and employee, and faculty and students.