In most situations and institutions the words “crisis” and “emergency” are used interchangeably. Goshen College chooses to make the following distinction in how we use the two words. The Goshen College Crisis Management Plan focuses mostly on potential crisis scenarios that would impact our entire campus community. Excerpts of the Crisis Management Plan are included on this webpage. Remember, not every crisis is an emergency and not every emergency is a crisis.
An emergency is an immediate event, condition or situation that has the potential to cause harm or injury to individual(s) and/or damage to property and/or significantly disrupt the operation of the institution. Any person on campus may be called upon to respond to an emergency and should be practiced and prepared to do so when the situation is encountered.
A crisis is an event, condition or situation that has the potential to cause harm or injury to individual(s) and/or damage to property and/or significantly disrupt the operation of the institution, threaten the institution’s financial standing or its ability to fulfill the institution’s mission beyond the immediacy of an emergency. An emergency must be addressed instantaneously whereas a crisis can endure for an extended period of time. An off-campus emergency will be considered a crisis.
- A tornado warning is an emergency. It is not a crisis.
- If a tornado hits the campus it remains an emergency for the next short period of time and likely a crisis for many days.
- A gas leak and subsequent evacuation of a building is an emergency but could quickly escalate to a campus crisis.
- If there is an explosion and injuries, then it additionally becomes a crisis.
- If an SST group is involved in a bus accident in Peru it is a crisis. (It is also an emergency in Peru, but not an on-campus emergency).
- If the entire faculty threatens to strike or students stage a mass non-violent protest in the dining hall, it is a crisis.
- If they start throwing bricks; that is an emergency.
The distinction can break down in any specific scenario, but making the distinction early in an incident determines what the appropriate first response should be and whether or not it is necessary to assemble the Crisis Management Team.
Declaring an All-Campus State of Emergency or Crisis
Declaring a state of all-campus emergency or crisis is one of the most serious actions the President or CMT can take and will occur upon the recommendation of appropriate local, state, or federal authorities (i.e. Goshen Police, Fire Department, Federal Bureau of Investigation, National Transportation Safety Bureau) or at the recommendation from Crisis Management Team.
A State of Emergency or crisis occurs when health and safety concerns are at the highest level due to disaster, disease, or violence. An all-campus state of emergency or crisis may include shelter-in-place, lock-down, or evacuation of the campus or parts of the campus affected by the incident (i.e., fire, train derailment involving hazardous materials, or a violent act). Declaring an all-campus state of emergency or crisis constitutes a situation where no unauthorized individuals may enter the campus or the area identified as off-limits. During this time, only personnel with credentials issued from the Crisis Management Team or the President’s office will be given permission to enter sheltered or locked down buildings; credentialed personnel includes the physical plant staff assigned to each building. Unauthorized entry during this time is a serious act since it means potential risk to the entering individual, and the College also may be held liable for not establishing a perimeter of safety. The seriousness of this action is underscored by the resulting punishment: Any person not authorized by the CMC, the president, or the CMT who willfully disobeys warnings or enters the grounds or any evacuated buildings can and will be prosecuted by civil authorities in accordance with the criminal codes and statutes of the state of Indiana.
Who is on the Crisis Management Team?
The Crisis Management Team (CMT) is composed of the following persons by virtue of their responsibility or office:
- Glenn Gilbert, Director of Facilities
- Chad Coleman, Director of Student Life Operations and Campus Safety
- Jodi Beyeler, Vice President for Communications and People Strategy
- Gilberto Perez, Vice President of Student Life and Dean of Students
- Ann Vendrely, VP of Academic Affairs and Academic Dean
- Cynthia Good Kaufmann, Director of Events
Each of these team members can call upon others within their staff as needed, but decisions are made by team members or their designated alternates only. The Crisis Management Coordinator is appointed by the President to coordinate actions of the Crisis Management Team in the event of a declared crisis.
The primary purpose of the CMT is to facilitate the institution’s response to a crisis through coordinated efforts and consistent messages so that routine operations can be restored as quickly as appropriate given the circumstance. The President or her designee will coordinate and disseminate (with the assistance of the Director of Communications) all communication during a crisis.
Who should I call if I become aware of an emergency or potential crisis?
Your primary concern is to save lives and prevent injury, so call 911 immediately. When any person on campus becomes aware of an obvious emergency (e.g., fire, gas leak, injured person) he/she should:
- Call 911, stating your name, location, and nature of the incident, and then
- Immediately call Campus Safety at 574-535-7599. The role of Campus Safety is to monitor and report, not function as “first responders.” They will immediately ask if 911 has been notified.
When any person on campus becomes aware of a situation that is an uncertain emergency (e.g., unfamiliar sounds coming from a mechanical area, activity in a building that would typically be locked) he/she should immediately call Campus Safety at 574-535-7599. In either situation, Campus Safety will then notify the designated campus contact according to the situation.
Should the emergency have the potential of becoming a crisis, the Crisis Management Coordinator (CMC) will be contacted. The CMC, in consultation with either a Crisis Management Team (CMT) member and/or the President (when appropriate and possible), will determine whether the situation is an emergency or a crisis.
Emergency Communication During a Crisis
As per emergency protocols, 911 or Campus Safety (574) 535-7599) are the first points of communication for all campus emergencies. Campus Safety will contact the appropriate designate as appropriate to the situation. Should the emergency have the potential of becoming a crisis, the Crisis Management Coordinator (CMC) will be contacted. The CMC, in consultation with either a Crisis Management Team (CMT) member and/or the President (when appropriate and possible), will determine whether the situation is an emergency or a crisis.
Depending on the nature of the situation, the Goshen College Emergency Notification System will be activated.
- Goshen College Sirens (Will Be Sounded)
- E2 Campus Communication – email communication
- Mass email that includes all GC employees, retired faculty, students and auxiliary departments.
Depending upon the nature of the situation, the Director of Communications might be contacted to assist with message management and media relations. Campus constituents should consult the Emergency Numbers for additional resources.
How can faculty and staff assist during a crisis?
Ways faculty/staff can assist include:
- Attend any meetings called by the college president or her designee to explain the circumstances of the crisis and give direction to faculty/staff.
- Read a statement prepared by the Communications and Marketing Office to classes, if necessary.
- Provide an opportunity for students to discuss the incident and to express their feelings.
- Acknowledge emotions through discussion and involvement in constructive activities in class.
- Remind students that people may approach them from the media, but they do not need to talk with them if they do not wish to.
- Identify students who are obviously in distress and talk to them or direct them to a group or individual counseling activity.
- Request assistance from the Crisis Management Team if a class has a large number of distressed students.
- Shorten and restructure assignments when appropriate. Postpone and reschedule tests and other projects as necessary.
- Pray individually and pray in groups.
Important Contacts During a Crisis or Emergency
Report all emergencies directly by calling 911. Using a Goshen College campus phone you must dial 9-911. If possible, remain on the line to identify yourself, the nature of the emergency and your specific location on campus.
Other emergency numbers include:
- Campus Safety………………………………………..(574) 535-7599 – on campus ext. 7599
- Crisis management coordinator……………….(574) 535-7550 – on campus ext. 7550
- Director of International Education………….(574) 535-7404 – on campus ext. 7407
- IU Health Goshen Hospital……………………..(574) 533-2141
- Goshen Police Department ……………………. (574) 533-4151 (Non-Emergency)
- Poison Control Center…………………………….(800) 222-1222
- Student Life On-Call Administrator………….(574) 326-5663
- Student Life Office …………………………………(574) 535-7543 – on campus ext. 7543
- Suicide Prevention Hotline………………………(800) 784-2433
Procedures for Dealing with the News Media:
In an emergency, the media is Goshen College’s most important link to the public. Developing and maintaining positive relationships with media outlets is crucial to successful crisis communications.
- Notify the Communications and Marketing Office if you are contacted by the news media.
- Only give the media information that you have received through campus communications.
- Direct or take members of the media to the Media Center (CMC Fellowship Hall).
- Offer speculations or gossip.
- Be condescending or underestimate the reporter’s intelligence, but do make sure the reporter understands your responses.
- Remember you do NOT have to talk with a member of the media.
- Place blame for the incident.
- Cover up or mislead the media.
- Feel you have to handle this alone; ask the Marketing and Communications Office for help.
Any media inquiries that involve information about specific students should be directed to the Dean of Students or to the Director of Communications. Such inquiries will be handled in strict compliance with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). This federal law protects the confidentiality of a student’s education record and some personal information. Information that may be given includes information found in a directory: the student’s full name, campus address and phone number, dates of attendance and degrees, honors and certificates received, class level (e.g. freshman), and academic major(s). Grades may only be provided to the media if a student wishes to release the information in connection with an award or scholarship. Again, it is vital to direct such request for information to the Dean for Students or to the Director of Communications. As noted above, any information released by the Director of Communications is considered appropriate for distribution.