Past Campus Alerts

September 23, 2013

Students studying in Kenya as part of St. Lawrence University's Kenya Semester Program are all safe and accounted for, following the recent mass shooting at a mall in Nairobi, Kenya.

"This weekend, an armed attack at a shopping mall in Nairobi resulted in numerous fatalities and serious injuries," said Karl K. Schonberg, associate dean of International and Intercultural Studies. "Our students are safe and unaffected by these events. I have spoken with our program director in Nairobi, who confirmed that all of our students were present on St. Lawrence’s campus in the Karen neighborhood, far from the area where the mall is located."

Students will begin their homestays this week in Nairobi, however they remain far from the mall.

Contact International and Intercultural Studies at 315-229-5991 for further information.

June 19, 2013 at 11 a.m.

Earlier Wednesday morning, a gas leak was discovered at the corner of Hillside Road and East Main Street in the Village of Canton. The gas leak forced the evacuation of Vilas Hall as well as village residents living on Hillside Road, Hillside Circle, and East Main Street. The remainder of the St. Lawrence University campus remained open. Only Vilas Hall was evacuated.

The gas leak was contained at about 10:15 a.m. At a little before 11 a.m., the Village Fire Chief gave the all-clear to reopen Vilas Hall, allowing personnel to return to their offices.

Personnel working in Vilas who were evacuated and left campus for the remainder of the day will not have a pay interruption if they left and were not able to return to work on Wednesday. All personnel from Vilas Hall should resume normal work schedule on Thursday. Please discuss any questions you may have with your supervisor or Human Resources.

Please follow emergency personnel instructions for further details about locations (East Main Street and Hillside) still evacuated.

June 19, 2013 at 10:15 a.m

Gas Leak on Main Street Forces Evacuation of Vilas Hall

A gas Leak Wednesday morning on East Main Street in the Village of Canton forces the evacuation of Vilas Hall as well as residents along Hillside Drive, Hillside Circle, and East Main Street.

The St. Lawrence University campus remains open, with the exception of Vilas Hall. Those with vehicles parked in Lot H should considering moving to another location.

As of 10:15 a.m., the gas leak has been contained. However, the evacuation orders remain in effect until further notice.

Please follow emergency personnel instructions for further details.

March 19, 2013, 11:30 a.m.

St. Lawrence University has cancelled graduate classes for today, Tuesday, March 19. Only graduate classes have been cancelled.

March 18, 2013 4:20 p.m.

The National Weather Service has issued a Winter Storm Warning for our area, from midnight tonight through 8 a.m. Wednesday morning. Eight to 12 inches of wet, heavy snow are possible, with the heaviest snow coming throughout the day Tuesday.

Please take extra caution on roadways, walkways, parking lots and stairs around campus. Also, you should be aware of where you walk and park in relation to trees that have the potential for falling limbs and ice.

Safety and Security requests that you report any unsafe conditions that need immediate attention (fallen limbs, utility lines, accidents) by calling 229-5555.

When we have an extreme weather event, there are often questions related to the campus-closure policy. As a residential campus, we have a responsibility to not only teach but also provide services to our students. St. Lawrence plans to remain open to serve our students. When the University is open, individual employees, for whatever reason, who are unable to arrive at work or stay at work are asked to notify their supervisor or manager as early as possible to plan for their absence.

We will keep the campus community updated via email and on the St. Lawrence University website. Emergency notices, if needed, will be sent through text message, email and voicemail.

Click for the latest warning issued by the National Weather Service.

February 7, 2013 5:00 p.m.

The National Weather Service has issued a Winter Storm Warning for our area, from 10 p.m. this evening through 7 a.m. Saturday morning. Eight to 15 inches of snow are possible, with the heaviest snowfall forecast for Friday afternoon and evening. Roadway conditions are expected to begin deteriorating overnight.

Please take extra caution on walkways, parking lots and stairs around campus. Also, you should be aware of where you walk and park in relation to trees that have the potential for falling limbs and ice.
Safety and Security requests that you report any unsafe conditions that need immediate attention (fallen limbs, utility lines, accidents) by calling 229-5555.

When we have an extreme weather event, there are often questions related to the campus-closure policy. As a residential campus, we have a responsibility to not only teach but also provide services to our students. St. Lawrence plans to remain open to serve our students. When the University is open, individual employees, for whatever reason, who are unable to arrive at work or stay at work are asked to notify their supervisor or manager as early as possible to plan for their absence.

We will keep the campus community updated via email and on the St. Lawrence University website. Emergency notices, if needed, will be sent through text message, email, and voice mail.

Click for the latest warning issued by the National Weather Service.

October 30, 2012 7:30 a.m.
University Continues to Monitor Storm; Classes Open

At this time, the University remains open and classes will be held as scheduled. The emergency team is continuing to monitor effects of the storm and will notify campus via this website, email and, if necessary, text message, if the situation changes. Overnight, the campus sustained no significant damage and no power outages occurred. If you know of or see any significant damages, please notify Facilities Operations at x5601. More information will follow soon. Thank you and please be safe.

October 29, 2012 2:30 p.m.
Graduate Classes Cancelled Monday

Graduate classes scheduled for Monday, October 29, afternoon and evening have been cancelled. We will continue to monitor the weather and issue updates as needed.

October 29, 2012 9:50 a.m.
University Watching Storm; Remains Open

The University's emergency team is closely monitoring the weather as Hurricane Sandy moves inland and will continue to update the campus via the website, email and emergency text system, if necessary.

The University plans to remain open and maintain normal operations at this point.

The National Weather Service is predicting that Hurricane Sandy will affect most or all of New York State for several days beginning this afternoon. The North Country is under a high wind warning from 2 p.m. this afternoon to 11 a.m. Tuesday. Be especially careful when walking from building to building on campus, as winds may cause falling limbs.

If we experience an electrical outage or severe weather, we will communicate with you through:

- The residence life staff
- Updates posted on the University website homepage
- NY-Alert email and text messages

In the event of an outage that lasts more than a few hours, we have generators on campus that will provide power for minimal lighting and emergency systems to Dana Dining Hall, Johnson Hall of Science, Torrey Health and Counseling Center and the Sullivan Student Center. (We also maintain power to main computer servers.) We expect we would have Internet connectivity in Dana and the Student Center.

It is important to note that in a power outage, fire alarm systems may not function. Also, remember that candles are not permitted and may be a fire hazard.

If you have concerns about safety for your commute to or from work, please consult with your supervisor and use your best judgment as you make decisions about travel today and tomorrow. As we have communicated in the past and consistent with our bargaining agreements, many employees may have benefit time available if work time is missed or additional options to consider to make arrangements to make up time or take time without pay. Travel safely.

For tracking information on Hurricane Sandy and related weather updates, visit

If you have any questions about emergency procedures or response, please contact Safety and Security at x5555.

April 22, 2012
Campus Security Alert

At 1:12 a.m. today, Sunday, April 22, St. Lawrence Security responded to a report that a St. Lawrence student had been assaulted near the Steiner Senior Townhouses. This campus alert provides information and seeks your assistance.

The student reported that a white male, approximately 5’ 10” tall, with a thin body type and wearing a dark hooded sweatshirt, grabbed her arm and neck as she walked near the Townhouses. The student did not recognize her assailant. The student broke free and was able to enter her townhouse safely; Security responded immediately and conducted a search of the area of the reported assault. Further discussions this morning with the student provided the details we share.

If you saw or heard anything that will assist in this ongoing investigation, please contact St. Lawrence Security at x5555.

February 22, 2011
Update on New Zealand

Karl Schonberg, associate dean of international and intercultural studies, sent the following message to the families of our 16 students studying in New Zealand, and the relevant information is repeated here for you:

As you may know, there was an earthquake yesterday near Christchurch, New Zealand, which did significant damage in that city. St. Lawrence's off-campus program in New Zealand is located at the University of Otago in Dunedin, about 200 miles from Christchurch. There are no reports of damage from the earthquake in Dunedin.

Our students are beginning their Otago campus orientation program today. At this point, we have heard from administrators at the University of Otago that they believe all international students in Dunedin are safe and well. They have asked all students to contact their families and home institutions directly, and our office at St. Lawrence has also sent them an email asking them to contact us.

The program administrators in Dunedin indicate that their campus is open and operating as usual.

February 14, 2011
Health Update

Many thanks to everyone for such a calm response to our message last evening. The Torrey Health Center staff really appreciates how well everyone has been working together since we received the bacterial meningitis diagnosis. We have an update to share.

The New York State Department of Public Health now has advised us to ask you to contact Torrey Health Center if you may have had direct, close contact with the meningococcal germ, such as drinking from the same glass/cup/mug, sharing eating utensils, kissing, or by being coughed or sneezed upon, from January 30 to February 12.

The Torrey Health Center will be open Monday evening until 8 p.m. for your convenience.

February 13, 2011
Health Alert

On Saturday evening, February 12, Courtney Washington ’12 was taken to Canton-Potsdam Hospital, and then transported to Fletcher Allen Hospital in Burlington, VT. We have preliminary notification that Courtney has been diagnosed with bacterial meningococcal disease. This is a contagious, though not easily transmittable, disease, and we provide this information to help everyone understand next steps to take.

What is meningococcal disease?
Meningococcal disease is a severe bacterial infection of the bloodstream or meninges (a thin lining covering the brain and spinal cord). The meningococcus germ is spread by direct close contact with nose or throat discharges of an infected person, such as drinking from the same glass/cup/mug, sharing eating utensils, kissing, or by being coughed or sneezed upon. We believe that a very small number of people may be at risk.

What are the symptoms?
Bacterial meningitis is characterized by these symptoms:
• Fever and chills
• Persistent and severe headache
• Stiff neck
• Sensitivity to bright lights
• Drowsiness or confusion
• Nausea or vomiting
• Purplish skin rash
The symptoms may appear two to 10 days after exposure, but usually within five days.

What is the treatment?
Antibiotics can be used to treat people with meningococcal disease.

Who should be treated? 
Only people who have been in close contact (household members, intimate contacts, health care personnel performing mouth-to-mouth resuscitation) need to be considered for preventive treatment. Casual contact, as might occur in a regular classroom, residence hall public spaces or dining hall, is not usually significant enough to cause concern. The bacteria lives in natural secretions (saliva, for example) and does not live on hard surfaces such as door knobs, faucets or other common furnishings on which secretions have dried.

What should you do?
The Torrey Health Center is open Sunday evening from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. If you think you may have been exposed, call the Health Center at 229-5392. If you have not had close contact with Courtney, you may want to contact your personal physician to seek advice. If you show symptoms, call x5555 for EMT or professional response.

For more information:
Additional information on bacterial meningitis may be found at:

February 12, 2011
Security Alert: Your Assistance Needed

10:15 p.m. Our Security office has just received a report from a St. Lawrence student that another student had been sexually assaulted on campus earlier today, February 12, at approximately 1:30 a.m.

If anyone witnessed an assault by a Caucasian male, approximately 5’10” tall, with sandy brown hair, in the area of Java Barn at 1:30 a.m. Saturday morning, or has information that can help the investigation, please contact Security at x5555 immediately.

No further identifying information is available at this time.

We appreciate all help with this investigation, which is being coordinated by SLU Security and Canton Village Police.

February 8, 2011
St. Lawrence County Emergency Management staff has alerted our Security and Safety staff that Park Street is blocked by a Conrail/CSX train. The train experienced a broken axle at about 6:30 p.m. this evening. No train cars were damaged in the accident, we have been told.

There is no danger to the campus or the village from this incident, which should be resolved in the morning when repair crews can work in the daylight.

To reach West Main Street, you may use Miner Street and Buck Street. East Main Street is accessible via Romoda Drive, as always.

If you have questions, please contact Security and Safety at x5555.

February 3, 2011
Dear Students,

As you may know, a major cyclone struck the coast of Australia this week. Damage from this storm has been reported in the cities of Townville and Cairns, where St. Lawrence University's Australia semester programs though James Cook University are located.

Louise Keller, International Admissions Office at James Cook, reports minimal infrastructure damage at the University, which plans to reopen and be ready to receive incoming students on Monday, February 7.

All of you have plans to travel to Townsville or Cairns within the next few days. On the basis of the information we have received from JCU, we recommend that you do NOT change your travel plans. We anticipate that you will be able to travel to JCU and begin your work there as expected. You may encounter some additional travel delays and other complications, and we ask that you be patient with the ongoing efforts of Australian authorities and JCU staff to address the effects of the storm.

Please do not hesitate to contact me or any of our CIIS office staff with questions at any point.

Safe travels and best wishes for an excellent semester in Australia.


Karl K. Schonberg, PhD.
Professor of Government
Associate Dean for International and Intercultural Studies

This site will post information about most recent alerts or emergency situations. At this time, there are no emergency situations on campus.

Subject: Update on Tri-Delta
From: Vice President and Dean of Student Life Joe Tolliver
Date: November 11, 2010

This communication brings you up to date on the investigation of the reported break-in at Delta Delta Delta on Sunday morning, November 7, the security measures we have introduced and the support given to students.

While Canton Police have the lead in the investigation, we have had regular (several times daily) conversations with the police chief and investigating sergeant and we are working closely with the police in every way. Director of Security and Safety Patrick Gagnon has been conducting an internal investigation that includes extensive interviews with residents of Tri-Delta, personal examination of every space affected in Delta, and meetings with Tri-Delta student leaders, members, and alumnae advisors. His notes and photographs are shared in their entirety with Canton Police.

I stress that investigations have processes to follow for effectiveness, and this investigation is being done carefully, thoroughly and properly by all involved. I also am well aware of rumors that are the natural result of conversations among people who care as much as we do in our community. I hope that rumors will continue to be reported to me so I can share information as possible and, I hope, ease concerns.

Support for Students
Amy Calapa, director of student activities, Pat Gagnon and I have met with Tri-Delta residents; Director Gagnon has done so several times. We have begun permanent nightly patrols, multiple times per night, by Security of the three off-campus Greek chapter houses (Delta Delta Delta, Kappa Kappa Gamma and Chi Omega). We have consulted with security analysts for the upgrade of security systems for all three off-campus Greek houses. As always, we are consulting house leadership because these houses are owned by private chapter corporations.

We have made some physical changes to 19 Judson Street that I will not detail, for security reasons, but I want you to know that we have acted promptly in this regard. Members of Tri-Delta themselves have shown leadership in adding new security measures they themselves can do.

Assistant Dean of Student Life Matha Thornton and Director Gagnon have met with representative of each Greek house to plan new security training.

Members of the Counseling staff have visited Tri-Delta as well.

Next Steps
We will continue to keep you informed when any new information is possible to share, and we continue to invite your questions or assistance.

Subject: Security incident
From: Patrick Gagnon, Director of Security and Safety
Date: November 7, 2010

Village of Canton Police reported to us this afternoon that an intruder entered Delta Delta Delta house, 19 Judson Street, at about 4:30 a.m. The intruder has been described as a Caucasian male, mid-20s, about 5’10” – 6’ tall, of stocky build, wearing a tan Carhartt jacket and carrying a three-foot bamboo walking stick and a backpack. He damaged property in several rooms. Some personal items have been reported stolen. No one was injured.

The Canton Police are coordinating the investigation, as it occurred in an off-campus residence, and our office will be assisting in any way. If anyone has information about this incident or the person described above, you may contact Canton Police can be contacted through my office, 229-5555 or by calling 911 directly.

Travel Alert for Europe
October 4, 2010

This weekend the U.S. State Department issued a travel alert for Americans in Europe. We have been in touch with our program directors in Europe and asked them to relay the details of this warning to their students. We want our students to have the richest experience possible during their time abroad, and we do not believe that the current situation requires that students change their travel plans. We are monitoring these issues extremely carefully and will take all necessary steps to ensure the safety of our students, which is our highest priority

Program directors will talk with the students about appropriate precautions to take, especially while traveling independently of the program. While we emphasize safety measures in our orientation process and throughout each program, we wanted to reinforce this message in light of the State Department alert. Students should contact their program director or the CIIS office immediately if they have any security concerns whatsoever.

Karl K. Schonberg, PhD.
Professor of Government
Associate Dean for International and Intercultural Studies


Travel Warning in Bangkok, Thailand
April 7, 2010

The U.S. Department of State has issued a travel warning for U.S. citizens traveling in and out of Bangkok, Thailand. Students in the St. Lawrence program are located in Chiang Mai, far north of Bangkok. All are safe. We are monitoring the situation there and will continue to follow information issued by the state department.

Fire Contained in Dean-Eaton
May 2, 2009

At 5:45 a.m., Saturday, May 2, St. Lawrence security and safety and the Canton Fire Department responded to an alarm in Dean-Eaton Residence Hall. A fire was discovered in the bathroom attached to a student’s room. The occupant of the room was able to leave and is not injured, nor are there any other injuries. The room and bathroom have smoke and water damage, and the student is being relocated. A fire inspector is on scene to lead the investigation of the cause.

Students in India safe
November 28, 2008
Five St. Lawrence students studying in India are safe and have been in touch with the University following the outbreak of violence in several cities.

Campus Safety Alert
To: The St. Lawrence Community
From: Director of Security and Safety Patrick Gagnon
Date: October 4, 2008

An off-campus sexual assault has been reported by a St. Lawrence student. Because of the circumstances and because the survivor does not know the identity of her assailant, we are issuing a campus safety alert.

At approximately midnight, a student reported walking on Miner Street when a small, black pick-up truck pulled up beside her and stopped. The driver, a man, about 20 years old, 6 feet tall, with “shaggy brown hair and scruffy facial hair” wearing a grey sweatshirt got out of the truck. The student reported being punched and touched inappropriately. The passenger of the truck, a man with short light-colored hair, remained inside the truck cab. The student was able to return to campus, and friends called the report to Canton Police and Safety and Security.

After the assault was reported, our Advocates Program staff responded. The student was offered all possible services. Security and Safety staff are investigating and seek your assistance if you have any information that could help identify the assailants. Please call my office at 229-5555.
The St. Lawrence Advocates are trained faculty, staff and students who can help with emotional support, legal or campus judicial advice, hospital care or information about options available for any of these needs. Katie Protos coordinates our Advocates Program and may be contacted at x5122. A 24-hour hotline is available through 244-5466, and the Security and Safety office is staffed hours a day, seven days a week at x5555.

Kenya Semester Update

To: The St. Lawrence Community

FROM: Assis Malaquias, Associate Dean of International and Intercultural Studies

DATE: 24 March 2008

RE: Back to Kenya

In light of a number of positive developments, we have decided to resume normal operations of our academic programs in Kenya, beginning with the Summer Program 2008.

Earlier this semester, we decided to cancel our Spring 2008 Kenya Semester Program. When we made that decision the University also established several conditions for resuming the program: subsiding violence, engagement by Kenya’s political leaders in discussions to resolve their disputes, and the lifting of governmental advisories from the United States and other countries against all but essential travel. We believe that these conditions have been met. The overall political climate and security situation on the ground have improved dramatically from the post-election violence. Domestic and international pressure encouraged the opposing sides to agree on a power-sharing framework, leading to a de-escalation of political tension and a reduction in violence. Partly as a result, several countries (including Canada, the U.K., and the U.S.) have revised their travel advisories for Kenya.

Students who planned to attend our Spring Semester Kenya Program have had priority placement in the Summer and Fall programs. Please contact the International and Intercultural Studies Office (229-5991) if you have specific questions about the Kenya Program.

Update from Police

To: The St. Lawrence University Community
From: Pat Gagnon, director of safety and security
Date: March 5, 2008
Subject: Suspect Apprehended


Earlier this week, the campus was notified of a search by law enforcement authorities for Seth Barnum, for whom an arrest warrant had been issued. Mr. Barnum was apprehended today, Wednesday, March 5, by investigators from the St. Lawrence County Sheriff's department, on the Ellis Road in the town of Potsdam. He is now in custody.


Security Notice from Canton Village Police 

From: Pat Gagnon, Director of Security and Safety
Date: March 2, 2008

Canton Village Police have notified Security that they are searching for Seth Barnum, 34, who had served time in county jail, had been released from county jail, and for whom a new warrant for arrest was issued and was to be carried out today.

Barnum was last seen in Canton today wearing a red jacket and khaki pants at the Kunoco station on Route 27 (south of campus on outer Park Street). He has brown hair. No further description was provided to us.

Canton Police have not indicated to us that they consider Mr. Barnum to be a threat, but share this information with us as a precaution.

If you see someone matching Mr. Barnum's description, do not approach him yourself, but contact Security at x5555 or Canton Village Police at 911. 

Security Update

From: Joseph Tolliver, Vice President and Dean of Student Life
Date: February 21, 2008


On Monday we issued a security alert informing the community that a sexual assault was reported to have been committed during the early morning hours of February 10th. As a follow up to that alert, I am writing to provide an update on that alert and to summarize the four sexual assault reports we have received during this academic year. The purpose for offering this information is threefold: first and foremost, in situations in which community members are or may be in danger, public and personal safety is increased by the dissemination of factual information. Second and equally important when the identities of the perpetrators of such serious and dangerous crimes as rape and sexual assault are unknown, we need community awareness and vigilance to help in the investigation. Finally, it is always important to outline the steps that we have taken to improve and to increase public and personal safety so that members of our community know that we are doing our best to respond.

Incident response update:
The investigation of the February 10th sexual assault report is ongoing. The assault survivor has described the assault to the Director of Security, the Coordinator of the Advocates program and also to an Investigator from the Canton Police Department. As you may recall, after the October 27th attempted assault, we increased the number of University security personnel and patrols. As a result of this latest incident, we have again increased the number of personnel and security patrols the University deploys during the evening and weekend hours. Additionally, we have begun to utilize video and other information collection devices at several locations in order to increase our security force and presence. A variety of resources are available to members of our community, and we urge everyone to become familiar with them.

*Emergency blue-light phones, which provide direct contact to Security and Safety, located throughout campus.

*"Safe walks," available upon request by contacting Security and Safety.

*Information about crime prevention and emergency services on the Security and Safety Web site.

*Information about preventing acts of sexual violence, including sexual assault, relationship violence and stalking, and information on support for survivors of such acts, on the Advocates Program Web site.

*Professional services provided by the staff of the Diana B. Torrey '82 Health and Counseling Center, 76 Park Street, detailed on the center's Web site.

*Professional crisis intervention and advocacy services by the staff of CAVA, located at 20 East Main Street, detailed on their website.

As always, emergency response is also available to anyone by dialing 911, for contact with local law enforcement, fire and rescue personnel. Additionally, I am including here below, advice and information which several St Lawrence University faculty members have offered or will offer for discussion during their upcoming classes --We are very much aware that these recommendations may have a disparate impact on female students. Although we remain committed to educating our students in a way that fosters gender equality and will hopefully help us to create a society where both women and men do not have to worry about sexual assault, these very real incidents over the past months makes us feel that it is worth offering and restating this advice. We encourage men to follow these guidelines as well, both because men are also vulnerable to crime and because following these guidelines can help men to gain a greater appreciation of the costs that women incur because of the reality that they are more likely to be sexually assaulted in our society!*Avoid walking on your own at night.

*Inform someone of your plans when you go out, and check in with your cell phone later.

*Avoid confrontation.

*Report suspicious behavior.

Compiled information about the four incidents of sexual assault reported to University Officials this academic year:

In total, four instances of sexual assault have been reported to have been perpetrated on four individual female student members of the St Lawrence University community by an unknown male or by unknown number of males. All four assaults were reported to have taken place on campus, three within close proximity to each other. All four assaults were reported to have occurred on a weekend, Friday or Saturday night near or after 11pm. The dates of these reported assaults were Friday, September 21; Friday, October 27; Saturday, December 9; and Saturday night/ Sunday morning February 9/10.

Based upon the facts of and nature of the first incident of sexual assault (September 21, 2007) we do not believe that the alleged assailant was involved in the three subsequent attacks.. The assailant in the first case was a non- student guest who was identified several days after the assault and reported to the local police department and district attorney. That assault case is currently in the criminal court system.

During the second incident (October 27) which was reported to have taken place at 11pm near the "Quad", the victim reported that she was pushed to the ground and had portions of her clothes torn away in an attempted sexual assault by three unknown white males of college age (20 to 23 years) 5'10' tall , medium build, brown or dark brown hair. No words or threats were reported to have been uttered or exchanged during the incident. After a struggle on the ground, all three assailants fled.

The third victim (December 9th) reported that she was walking from the Townhouses towards Rebert and Lee when she heard an unknown male call out her nickname. He then attempted to push her to the ground and remove her pants. He was described as a white male of college age 6'3" tall, medium build with dark or brown hair. The victim was able to kick and injure the assailant who then fled. No additional words were exchanged.

Finally, the fourth assault incident--the subject of our Monday Security Alert-- was reported to have occurred at approximately 3:30am on February 10. The report was made at 11:45pm on February 17. The victim reported that she was walking through Rebert Hall on her way back to her room from Dean Eaton Hall. As the Alert stated, "The assault was reported to have occurred in the recycling building adjacent to Rebert Hall. The assailant is described as a white male, approximately 5’ 10” tall and 180 pounds. He was wearing sweatpants, a hooded sweatshirt and a hat that had long ear flaps."

We believe that this aggregated information is valuable because it reminds us of the locations of the assaults, the dates and times the incidents were reported to have occurred and provides the descriptions of the assailants. We have shared this information with the Canton and Potsdam Police Departments as well as with the Offices of Public Safety and Security at SUNY Potsdam and SUNY Canton and Clarkson University. We ask that any and all individuals who may have information or knowledge about any of the four assaults outlined here or any additional assaults to contact The Office of Security and Safety and the Canton Police Department as soon as possible.

Open discussion with students, faculty and staff:


On Monday the 25th of February, at 2pm we will hold an open discussion on this very same information in the Winston Room in the Student Center. I, in conjunction with Katie Protos, Director of the Advocates program, Rance Davis, the Associate Dean of Student Life and Patrick Gagnon, Director of Security and Safety, will moderate the discussion.
Security Alert

From: Patrick Gagnon, Director of Security and Safety
Date: February 18, 2008


At 11:40 p.m. February 17, a St. Lawrence student reported to Security that she had been sexually assaulted at 3:30 a.m., Sunday, February 10. The student did not know her assailant.

The assault was reported to have occurred in the recycling building adjacent to Rebert Hall. The assailant is described as a white male, approximately 5’ 10” tall and 180 pounds. At the time, he was wearing sweatpants, a hooded sweatshirt and a hat that had long ear flaps. The survivor was able to leave the recycling building and return to her residence hall room.

After reporting this assault to Security, the survivor made a report to the Canton Village Police; both St. Lawrence Security and Canton Police will investigate and seek assistance if you recall seeing a person matching the assailant’s description on the night of February 10. Please call my office at 229-5555 or call Canton Police at 911.

Because of the circumstances reported, I stress that as a community and as individuals, we must take measures to raise awareness about and prevent acts of violence. I’d like to remind you that the Advocates Web site has a great deal of information sexual assault, relationship violence and stalking, information on support for survivors of such acts and an excellent Personalized Safety Plan guide. A variety of campus resources is available to you at any time. They include:

  • Emergency blue-light phones, which provide direct contact to Security and Safety, located throughout campus.
  • "Safe walks," available upon request by contacting Security and Safety.
  • Information about crime prevention and emergency services on the Security and Safety Web site.
  • Professional services provided by the staff of the Diana B. Torrey '82 Health and Counseling Center, 76 Park Street, detailed on the center's Web site.

As always, emergency response is also available to anyone by dialing 911, for contact with local law enforcement, fire and rescue personnel.

Kenya Semester Update: January 18, 2008

To: The St. Lawrence Community
From: Vice President and Dean of Academic Affairs Valerie D. Lehr
Date: January 18, 2008
Subject: Kenya Program Status

This afternoon we telephoned the students who had planned to depart for our Kenya Semester program next week to tell them we have decided to cancel the program for Spring 2008. There are two reasons that we reached this decision. Based on all we have heard from our sources in Kenya, we feel the continuing instability, lack of progress on political reconciliation, and threats of economic boycotts make us increasingly uneasy about student safety. Providing for student safety might mean imposing the kind of restrictions on their academic experience that would make it much less valuable than they deserve.

This was a very difficult decision, one we hoped we would not have to make because we believe so passionately in the value of the Kenya Semester. Our staff in Kenya have been absolutely extraordinary in their devotion to their work and in their preparations for our students in this uncertain and volatile situation. We are assuring the staff in Kenya that they will be employed by St. Lawrence even with the program’s cancellation for this semester. And we continue to plan to offer programs in Kenya this summer and next fall.

Our staff in International and Intercultural Studies is working with each of the students to help them plan for a spring semester on campus, and Associate Dean of Academic Advising Bob Thacker will reach out to faculty in the next two days to make arrangements for student registration for spring classes. We have guaranteed housing for the students, and Residence Life will work with each student to discuss options.

I thank all my colleagues, within the division of Academic Affairs and throughout the campus, who generously will offer extra time and effort this weekend and next week to make sure the students who return to campus will be welcomed warmly, in best St. Lawrence tradition.

Political Protests in Kenya: January 9, 2008

From Vice President and Dean of Academic Affairs Valerie D. Lehr to students enrolled in the Kenya Semester Spring 2008 Program:

Thanks to many sources, both official and informal, informing our discussions, we have decided that the Kenya Semester program should proceed this semester, with student departure on January 24, and program orientation beginning January 26. We feel particularly fortunate that, in addition to the Program staff who live in Kenya, Assis Malaquias, Associate Dean, International and Intercultural Studies, and Celia Nyamweru, Professor of Anthropology, are in Kenya currently and working to assess the situation and make plans. They, with faculty in Kenya, have developed an alternative schedule, with some changes in the academic components, that fulfills the objectives of the program that you and we trust to be so valuable. We also have further developed contingency plans with this situation in mind. Last week, we cited several conditions that we believed must be met for us to proceed with the program, whether in its original form or modified in some ways. While the situation in Kenya remains fluid, our sources tell us that violence has subsided in the areas of the nation where students would live and study. People in these areas are experiencing calm and routine rhythms of life. Kenyan political leadership want to resolve their disputes, and though as yet have not found the solutions, the continued presence of diplomats from the international community gives us hope that a resolution will occur. The United States is not warning, and in fact, has not warned, against unnecessary travel to Kenya. Though the Canadian and British departments of state retain that advisory, we feel confident, again through our extensive discussions, that the US position is a reasonable one, particularly given that our students will not be traveling freely around the country and the program will continue to assess how it can best protect our students. You will receive a specific schedule in the next few days; we can tell you now that the rural home stays will shift to a different location, you will have no mid-semester break, no possibilities for work, study or visits to informal settlements; and you can expect interruption or change to your independent study component. You also must be aware that because the political climate is unpredictable, we reserve the right and have the responsibility to decide before January 24 that the program cannot proceed (and you may return to campus if that is our decision), that you may be confined to the study compound for periods of time if your security is at risk, and that we may evacuate you at any time during the semester if we believe that is the best course. If you are evacuated, we will make every effort to bring all of you to campus and develop an alternative course on Kenya so you can complete your semester’s progress. Nancy Pierce has asked you to send your paper plane tickets via Fed Ex or Express Mail to the AAA Travel Agent:
AAA Western & Central New York
Attn: Ms. Terry Taney
1284 Dryden Road
Ithaca, NY 14850
phone: 607 257 2515

If you haven’t done this already, you must do so today so your tickets can be changed. You will incur a $175 fee from the airline for the change. We have attached a form that must be signed by each student and a parent/guardian, acknowledging your understanding of the heightened risks of enrolling in the Kenya Semester and the consequences of those risks. Please fax this form to 315-229-5989 by January 11 to hold your place in the program. If you decide you do not wish to enroll in the Kenya Semester, you may return to campus for the spring and your advisor will develop a schedule with you. Please advise Nancy Pierce at 315-229-5991 by January 11 if you decide not to enroll. This memo is focused on the security issues and risks, but I want to end with thanks. So many of you have expressed confidence in St. Lawrence University staff on campus and in Kenya to make a wise decision and we thank you for that confidence. I share your trust in our faculty and staff who have led our program so effectively for many years and whose expertise and insight have been invaluable to us, and I have faith in you, our students, who seek to have a transforming experience and are willing to adapt and adjust as you learn about and appreciate the Kenyan people, environment, government, educational systems and more. We know that students and faculty will work together as well as they always do, and that the resulting experience will be educationally powerful.

For specific US State Department information about Kenya in January 2008,
visit this page.

Political Protests in Kenya: January 3, 2008

From Vice President and Dean of Academic Affairs Valerie D. Lehr: Through constant contact with our faculty in Kenya and with governmental sources here and abroad, we continue to be concerned about your safety for the spring semester. We know that the climate in Kenya is uncertain, but share hope with our Kenyan colleagues that the situation will calm. It is clear to us that even if we decide that it is safe enough to run the program this semester, elements of the program will need to be changed. It is, for example, unlikely that we would be able to do the rural home stay.

We will make a decision about the status of the Spring 2008 Kenya Semester on Wednesday, January 9. There are several conditions that must be met for us to proceed with the program:

*Violence in Kenya must subside.

*Political leadership must have begun discussions for resolving their disputes.

*Governmental advisories from the United States and other nations advising against "all but essential travel" (British Foreign Office Advisory, 1/3/08) to Kenya must be lifted. Unless these conditions are met by January 9, we will cancel the Spring 2008 Kenya Semester program. If the program does continue, your departure will be delayed, so you should not plan to travel on January 10. We advise you to do nothing at this time about your airline tickets or other travel arrangements, as we will have more to share after next week’s decision. Be sure to check your email on January 9, as you will have to make changes on that day.

For St. Lawrence students: We will alert your academic advisors so you and they can develop a schedule for the semester and we are working on housing should you return to campus this spring. We are investigating the best alternative options for a St. Lawrence academic experience in Kenya Summer 2008 or Fall 2008, if we decide that Spring 2008 must be cancelled. If we do cancel the program for the Spring, all students admitted for this semester will have the first priority for future study, if conditions change enough so that we can run academic programs. Given the uncertainty and the likely changes to the program even if it runs, we understand that some of you may wish to withdraw from the Kenya Program now. If you do, we will refund your deposit and we will still give you priority for future opportunities. I realize each of you may have specific questions, many of which will be answered next week after we gather more information and options. Until then, if you need help, I’ll ask you to work with Director of Off-Campus Programs Nancy Pierce.

For specific US State Department information about Kenya in January 2008, visit this page.

Political Protests in Kenya: January 2, 2008

St. Lawrence University staff on campus and at our Kenya program continue to assess the post-election unrest in that nation. We anticipate significant discussions and events scheduled in Kenya tomorrow (Thursday, January 3). We will then determine the best course of action. SLU staff will be in touch via email on January 3, 2008 with the students planning to enroll in the spring semester Kenya program.

Past Alerts 
Campus Safety Alerts Fall 2007 
No St. Lawrence students were affected by the bombings in Nairobi, Kenya, June 11, 2007