Policies and Standards of Conduct for Citadel Students, Staff, and Faculty Engaged in Service with Children under 18 and Adults with Disabilities (Vulnerable Populations)
The Citadel is committed to meaningful engagement with the community. In keeping with our mission to educate principled leaders, we are committed to service learning in a variety of campus and community settings. In all service settings, it is vital that behavior be consistent with our core values of honor, duty, and respect. Children and adolescents who are under 18 and adults whose cognitive capacity may be comparable to that of younger individuals may be more vulnerable. With these vulnerable populations, it is especially important that all Citadel students, staff, and faculty learn and adhere to basic policies and procedures outlined below.
1. All Citadel service with vulnerable populations takes place in a supervised group setting. There should never be a situation in which a Citadel volunteer is alone 1:1 with a member of a vulnerable population out of sight of staff and/or trained leaders. When serving vulnerable populations in schools, recreation departments, and other community agencies, Citadel volunteers must always be in sight of paid employees of the organization.
2. All contact with vulnerable populations must be confined to the sanctioned, supervised group settings described above. There should never be a situation in which Citadel students, staff, and faculty make additional outside contact with vulnerable populations they meet while serving. This includes (but is not limited to) face-to-face contact, phone contact, email, texting, or any social media links. If contact is initiated by the member of the vulnerable population or takes place by accident in a public setting, Citadel volunteers must tactfully but absolutely decline the follow-up contact and report it in writing to The Citadel’s Director of Service Learning and school or agency administrator.
3. Citadel students, staff, and faculty do not expose vulnerable populations to profanity, tobacco in any form, alcohol, drug use, violence, sexualized words or actions, bullying, or harassment. Citadel students, staff, or faculty should assume that they are continuously observed by the vulnerable populations they are serving and that their conduct can impact those populations. It is our duty to be vigilant about our own behavior and that of the members of our service teams to ensure that this standard of conduct is followed.
4. Citadel students, staff, and faculty will avoid any situation in which they might be in sight of a member of a vulnerable population in which either party may be undressed or undressing. The only restrooms that should be used by Citadel students, staff, and faculty while serving are those which are individual locked facilities or group facilities in which a guard ensures that no vulnerable populations are present or enter. Citadel students, staff, and faculty in-service never enter a room in which vulnerable populations may be in a state of undress (e.g. locker rooms or restrooms). Any accidental encounters should be reported in writing to The Citadel’s Director of Service Learning and on-site school or agency supervisor.
5. Citadel students, staff, and faculty are committed partners in the prevention of Child Sexual Abuse (CSA) and other forms of abuse or neglect of vulnerable populations. It is our duty to seek training and supervision to make us more skilled at detecting and properly reporting suspected abuse or neglect of vulnerable populations. Any concern or suspicion of potential abuse or neglect must be immediately reported to The Citadel’s Director of Service Learning and on-site school or agency supervisor. In addition, current reporting laws must be followed in any instance of suspected abuse.
6. Citadel students, staff, and faculty treat vulnerable populations, their families, and the employees and volunteers who work with them with dignity and respect. It is our duty to be vigilant about our own behavior and that of the members of our service teams to insure the diverse and vulnerable populations served by the Citadel and the staff of the community partners we collaborate with be affirmed and respected. It is our duty to be vigilant about our own behavior and that of the members of our service teams to insure that this standard of conduct is followed.