Loyola University Maryland

Center for Community Service and Justice (CCSJ)

Safety

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CCSJ takes the safety and well-being of all members of our community very seriously, even as we encourage students to lean into discomfort with their service experiences. While discomfort allows individuals to grow, staff members and program leaders ensure that these challenges occur within emotionally and physically safe environments.

In addition to the safety parameters described below, CCSJ requires volunteers to adhere to its community partner’s precautionary measures on behalf of their clients. These may include fingerprinting, background checks, medical checks, vaccinations, or similar precautions that protect their clientele.

Travel Safety

Students are encouraged to practice awareness when travelling off-campus. Service sites are located in a diversity of neighborhoods in Baltimore. By design, these sites are often in under-resourced areas, and students’ education includes becoming familiar with the assets and resources of these neighborhoods. Students should know what to expect prior to arriving on site for the first time, and they should be aware of their surroundings at all times. Vehicles should be locked and valuables should be hidden or removed when vacated. Students should travel in pairs or groups when possible, and avoid distractions from their surroundings, such as cellphones, particularly when alone.

Students who drive Motorpool vehicles are insured by Loyola University. All drivers must pass an authorization test demonstrating basic safety and defensive driving principles. Only Loyola students, faculty, and staff are allowed in these vehicles unless otherwise specified by a staff member. Motorpool-certified drivers are instructed to carry a card with emergency numbers and instructions while operating Loyola vehicles. These protocols are designed to ensure that emergency personnel and Loyola administrators can respond to any situation with maximum speed and clarity.

On-Site Safety

Loyola develops relationships over time with our community partners to nurture trust and communication. Our partners take safety as seriously as we do, and a professional staff member from the organization is onsite during all student service experiences.

When serving and interacting with people in the community, students are encouraged to maintain healthy boundaries. As women and men “for and with others,” students are expected to dress simply and modestly out of sensitivity to the diversity of individuals with whom they may interact. Students are not permitted to share personal information such as phone numbers or addresses for any reason. Similarly, students should never make personal arrangements with the patrons of our community partner organizations. All communications and commitments between community partners and students are intermediated by CCSJ staff members. 

To ensure these policies, all students are required to engage in staff-run preparation, take any medical precautions (vaccinations, etc.) recommended by the partner agency, and sign an Acceptance of Risk form prior to beginning service.