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Current Parents and Family

Student Privacy Recently In the News

Feb. 24, 2014

Many of you may have seen in recent reports information about private institutions (including colleges and hospitals) with private police departments seeking to protect privacy of students and patients while still abiding by current state and federal laws regarding public records.

Otterbein has a private police force that works to protect student safety while also protecting the identity of innocent victims. For victims of crime, including survivors of sexual assaults, this means that only people who need to know about an incident will be given their names and other limited information, as necessary. These people may include law enforcement officials and campus employees trained in victim support and counseling. Studies show that survivors of sexual assault are less likely to report the crime if their names are made available, and Otterbein wants to continue to offer a supportive environment for survivors to come forward.

The Columbus Dispatch recently reported that an Otterbein student journalist is seeking to gain access to records revealing the names of victims and to change records accessibility to force all police reports to include full disclosure of specific details and names of all those involved in campus incidents. This report caught the attention of two legislators, who immediately drafted a bill to the General Assembly of the State of Ohio proposing a change in the law for all private entity law enforcement offices in Ohio.

Please know that Otterbein is a private university, not a public office, and is adhering to current state and federal laws in protecting the names of victims. We follow the guidelines set out in the federal Clery Act on the reporting of campus crimes and make the information available on our web site. Should any situation put students in danger, police implement the Red Alert notification system immediately sending notices to all students by text, email and phone with detailed instructions. We also maintain a Daily Crime Log that is available to all students, parents and the general public. The Daily Crime Log includes, but is not limited to, such information as date, time, location, responding officer and outcomes of incidents. Any arrest records are accessible in the court systems in which they are filed.

We educate and encourage students to report anything suspicious or any situation in which they might have been violated or put in danger. It’s important that they take a survivor mentality and not a victim mentality and stand for their rights as well as report violators.

Please know that the safety and well-being of our students is of utmost importance. We will continue to keep you apprised. 

Quick Links

  • Academic Calendar: Check out the dates of breaks and exams.
  • Campus Life Handbook: Learn about Otterbein's policies, procedures and campus life.
  • Campus Resources: This general list covers everything from academics to campus life. You might want to bookmark this one!
  • FERPA: The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act affords students certain rights with regard to educational records and requires that Otterbein annually notify students of these rights.

Articles & Resources

Homesickness part of “natural transition” to college 
By Jill McCullough, assistant director of wellness

Freedom at college is not always what it is cracked up to be.

If your student is spending too much time in her room or holding tightly to high school friendships, chances are she is homesick. Julie Saker, Otterbein’s associate dean of students, says leaving home and starting college is harder than students think because they often start to miss people and things they thought they wanted to leave behind.

“For example, it’s surprising to see how much students start missing their brothers and sisters,” she says. Homesickness is normal, but it could lead to depression, particularly if a student has a history of depression. It could also lead to poor grades or dropping out of school. In the event that homesickness spirals out of control, Student Affairs offers free counseling for students. Students can also talk to their resident assistant.

Parents of homesick students should not encourage a visit home every weekend. Instead, they should suggest ways to connect to people on campus. The idea is to develop a new routine, establish new friendships and learn how to make the transition to Otterbein. Students need to understand that it will take at least a few weeks to develop a support system at college.

Homesickness can be challenging, but it is part of the natural transition to college, Saker says.
“Making the needed adjustments is actually healthy because it is how students mature and develop skills that will get them through future challenges,” she says.


Tender Care Packages (TCP)

It is that time of year to send your student some extra love as he or she prepares for final exams. Tender Care Packages are presented by the Parent Advisory Council and are now available for purchase. There are two options for order this year. You can now order online with your credit card by clicking here or download our Spring 2014 Information & Order Form to mail in your order or learn more about the TCP program. Additionally, a copy of the Spring Information and Order Form will be mailed to your home

Important Phone Numbers

Academic Affairs / 614.823.1556
Admissions Office / 614.823.1500
Athletic Department / 614.823.3529
Business Office / 614.823.1150
Campus Dining / 614.823.1116
Campus Police / 614.823.1222
Center for Student Success / 614.823.1624
Chaplain's Office / 614.823.1409
Financial Aid / 614.823.1502
Health Center / 614.823.1345
Otterbein Information Line / 614.890.3000
Registrar's Office / 614.823.1350
Residence Life / 614.823.1250
Student Affairs / 614.823.1250
VP/Dean of Students / 614.823.1250

Online Payment Options

You can pay your student's enrollment fee online through PayPal here. Students can pay their tuition bill on our campus portal, My O-Zone and can set up their parents as authorized users on their accounts.

Red Alert Notification System

Otterbein University provides a free emergency alert/notification system, called Cardinal Red Alert, for the campus community that will send email, text messages and automated phone calls to the campus community in the event of an emergency or a cancellation of classes due to bad weather. By default, all Otterbein email addresses; campus office phone numbers; and all student, faculty, and staff cell phone numbers are entered into the Cardinal Red Alert emergency notification system. Thus, all students, faculty and staff will receive Red Alert messages. No registration or sign-up is required. However, everyone does have the choice to “OPT OUT” of the cell phone notification option, and/or specify if they only want a voice mail or text notification. The instruction to opt out of the phone notification or modify the phone option is below.

Instructions for opting out of Cardinal Red Alert:
To remove your cell phone from use in the emergency alert system, you are given an “opt out” capability. Log in to the My-Ozone portal either by way of the main Otterbein home page or the direct URL listed below:

Once logged in, please follow the steps listed below:

  1. Select the My-Banner folder icon from the top of the screen. You will then be placed in Self Service Banner.
  2. Select the Personal Information tab or link and select “Answer a Survey”.
  3. Choose “Option out the use of my cell phone in the alert system” and make your choices to remove your cell phone from the call list and/or the text message list.
  4. Complete the survey.

Otterbein encourages everyone not to opt out so you can receive the quickest information about closings or delays and so all of us are in a position to aid each other in order to minimize loss of life, injury, and property damage should a true emergency crisis impact Otterbein University. Thank you for your support in keeping our campus safe!

Westerville Resources

/ Center for Student Involvement

The Center for Student Involvement is located at
100 W. Home St.

Office Hours
M-F: 8:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
M-F: 8:30 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. (summer)

Jennifer Bechtold
Director of the Center for Student Involvement
p/ 614.823.3202
e/ jbechtold@otterbein.edu

/ Additional Info

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