St. Cloud State University Policies & Procedures

Violence and Weapons Link☍

Create PDF: Violence and Weapons

Current Status: Approved

Policy Type: All University

Effective Date: 10/18/2021

Last Updated: 10/18/2021

Applies To: Students, Faculty, Staff, Visitors, Contractors, Vendors

Responsible University Officer: Interim Assistant Vice President for Safety and Risk Management

Policy Owner: Interim Assistant Vice President for Safety and Risk Management

Policy Contact: Director of Public Safety


St. Cloud State University strives to achieve a respectful environment which is free from threats and acts of violence. To attain a safe and secure environment, the University upholds specific regulations regarding weapons and prohibits violent actions.


St Cloud State University (SCSU) prohibits possession of weapons and does not tolerate acts of violence on university leased, owned, or operated properties. Prohibited acts include, but are not limited to, threats, harassment, hazing, bullying, assault/sexual assault, stalking, property damage or defacement, intentionally injuring another person, or retaliation against those who, in good faith, report acts of violence or weapons violations. St. Cloud State University will take measures towards prevention, reduction, and management of such threats or acts that have or may occur on university property. This policy covers prohibitions regarding weapons and applies to acts of violence by or against employees, students, visitors, contracted workers, temporary workers, vendors, or other third parties.

This policy is in addition to, and does not amend or replace other statues, policies, procedures, or contract language about violence applicable to the University including, but not limited to the Minnesota State 1B.3 Sexual Violence Policy, Minnesota State Procedure 1C.0.1 Employee Code of Conduct, Minnesota State Procedure 1C.02 Respectful Workplace, and SCSU Student Code of Conduct. Third parties who have executed agreements with the University for use of space may have provisions that are more restrictive about violence, firearms, or enforcement of other university policies.

Violations of this policy by students or employees are subject to discipline, up to and including expulsion or termination from employment. Pursuant to Minnesota Statue 15.86, this policy does not create any civil liability on the part of the State of Minnesota. Violations of this policy by vendors and contractors will be addressed as specified in the agreements between them and the university.  St. Cloud State University reserves the right to restrict individuals employed by vendors and contractors from campus property.

Weapons Regulations

St. Cloud State University prohibits the possession of any weapon on university leased, owned, or operated properties by any person.

The following exceptions apply:

  • Licensed peace and/or law enforcement officers in the jurisdiction of university properties may possess weapons to the extent they are legally permitted.
  • In the course of work application, faculty and staff may possess and use implements to complete course work or job tasks such as a knife longer than 3 inches for food preparation.
  • Weapons related to an academic use or special event/performance, such as a prop for a theatrical show or a history lesson on weapons from a particular time period, are permitted if approved in writing by the director of public safety. An unloaded firearm or sheathed/shielded weapon may be transported directly between a parking area and the location authorized for its use.
  • Weapons related to an academic use or special event/performance may be displayed on university properties in a secure and safe case or cabinet. Written pre-approval from the director of public safety is required whenever weapons are part of a display. An unloaded firearm or sheathed/shielded weapon may be transported directly between a parking area and the location authorized for its use.
  • Permit to Carry (In accordance with the Minnesota Citizens’ Personal Protection Act of 2003 and MN Stat. 624.714):
    • Lawful possession or carry of firearms is permitted in a parking area or parking facility.
    • Employees: Employees who are acting in the scope and course of their employment, even those holding a permit to carry, are prohibited from carrying firearms. Employees may securely stow firearms, for which they have a permit, in their vehicle in a university parking area. An employee may also use a personal vehicle in which a firearm is stored while acting in the scope and course of employment. Employees who are on university property outside the scope and course of their employment, are treated as visitors (see “Visitors” below).
    • Students: Students, even those holding a permit to carry, are prohibited from bringing firearms on university leased, owned, or operated properties. Students may securely stow firearms, for which they have a permit, in their vehicle in a university parking area.
    • Visitors: Visitors with a lawful permit to carry are permitted to do so on university leased, owned, or operated properties. Special provisions apply to areas of the University that are leased by outside parties (see “Private Lessees” below).
  • Private Lessees: A lessee or tenant of a university facility is one who has exclusive rights to possession and use of space in a facility or on land for a determined amount of time in exchange for payment of rent. This does not include short-term facility users such as those renting a sales kiosk for the day or renting a conference room for a 2-hour meeting. Rather, it refers to extended use tenants such as the banks and/or credit unions that occupy space at Atwood Memorial Center. Since they have exclusive rights, they are permitted, within the law, to determine what restrictions on firearms apply to the premises leased (but not the building as a whole) and to post a prohibition as permitted by Minnesota law.


St Cloud State University will actively work to prevent, reduce, and manage acts of violence by:

  • Treating each threat or act of violence seriously, promptly investigating, and taking action as needed.
  • Empowering university employees, students and visitors to report the presence of weapons on campus, acts of violence, and threats or other behaviors that may lead to violence to SCSU Public Safety of St. Cloud Police (see “Reporting and Responsibilities”).
  • Involving law enforcement agencies when appropriate.
  • Issuing disciplinary action up to and including discharge from state employment for staff, or code of conduct sanctions for students; as each situation warrants.
  • Communicating our expectations to vendors and contractors and addressing violence on our campus that involves them.
  • Complying with laws about firearms and other dangerous weapons and working to enforce our weapons regulations as outline in this policy.
  • Supporting criminal prosecution of those who threaten or commit violence against its employees, students, and visitors.
  • Offering training to employees which may include active shoot training, FEMA online training courses, and Rape Aggression Defense (RAD) self-defense classes.

Reporting and Responsibilities

St. Cloud State University encourages all person on, in, and around university leased, owned, or operated properties to be alert for signs of potential violence. If an event is identified as high-risk by the director of public safety or requires a heightened level of security for the safety of patrons and property, checking for weapons and contraband may be enforced. In these cases, licensed law enforcement officers will be present to assist and monitor.

Vendors and contractors should follow safety and risk provisions outlined in their contracts. Any concerns related to risk or safety should be reported to the director of public safety and/or assistant vice president for safety and risk management. 

For the safety of all, anyone who observes instances of immediate danger or criminal offenses such as actual threats, acts of violence, and/or violations of weapons regulations should report to St. Cloud Police (911). Other concerns including perceived safety issues should be reported to Public Safety (8-3333). See the Guidelines section for additional guidance on disruptive behaviors and threats towards self or others. 


Disruptive Behavior

  • Remain calm to avoid provoking disruptive individual(s).
  • If there is immediate danger, request the individuals leave the area.
  • If it fails, ask someone to leave the area and call SCSU Public Safety (320-308-3333).
  • Maintain a safe distance from the suspect until emergency personnel arrive. Do not attempt to subdue the individual; avoid direct eye contact.
  • If the situation becomes threatening before SCSU Public Safety personnel have arrived, call 911 and remove all from area.
  • If there appears to be no immediate danger, a complaint should be filed with Public Safety, Residential Life (if appropriate), Office of Student Life & Development or Women’s Center.
  • Other campus resources that may provide consultation are:

Suicidal Threat

  • Take all threats seriously.
  • Try to talk to individual and calmly discuss you concerns to help deescalate the crisis.
  • Keeping yourself safe is still the number one priority. DO NOT put yourself in any intentional harm.
  • Call 911 and explain the incident
  • DO NOT leave student alone and leave
  • If non-emergency refer individual to Counseling and Psychological
  • Services: 320-308-3171 

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. What is considered a weapon under this policy?

A. For purposes of this Policy and Procedure, the following items are considered weapons:

  • any weapon which, per applicable law, is illegal to possess;
  • any firearm, loaded or unloaded, assembled or disassembled. Firearms include pistols, revolvers, shotguns, rifles, carbines, machine guns, submachine guns, rocket launchers, pellet or "BB" guns, potato guns, compressed air guns, and similar items;
  • replicate firearms, as defined in Minn. Stat. 609.713;
  • swords, rapiers, foils, axes, hatchets, or other similarly bladed instruments;
  • any "switchblade" knife, “butterfly” knife, straight razor, or any other knife or similar instrument with a blade length of more than three inches;
  • "brass knuckles," "metal knuckles," and similar weapons;
  • bows, cross-bows and arrows;
  • explosives and explosive devices, including ammunition, fireworks, and incendiary devices;
  • "throwing stars," "nunchucks," clubs, saps, and any other item commonly used as, or primarily intended for use as, a weapon; and/or
  • any object that has been modified to serve as, or has been employed as, a dangerous weapon.


Conceal and carry, aggression, aggressive behavior

Related St. Cloud State University Policies

Supporting URLs

Websites, Related External Documents, Statutes


Construction Employee

Any person employed by a company which is engaged in the construction, renovation, or repair to campus buildings or other facilities.

Contract Employee

Any person, not a student or employee, who renders on-campus services to St. Cloud State University through the provisions of a contact for services.


Any individual employed by Minnesota State Colleges and Universities, its colleges and universities and the system office, including but not limited to all faculty, staff, administrators, teaching assistants, graduate assistants, residence directors and student employees.


All Persons or group of persons who:

  1. Are enrolled in one or more courses, either credit or non-credit, through a college or university; or
  2. Withdraw, transfer, or graduate after an alleged violation of the code of student conduct; or
  3. Are not officially enrolled for a particular term but who have a continuing relationship with the college or university; or
  4. Have been notified of their acceptance for admission or have initiated the process of application for admission or financial aid; or
  5. Are not college or university employees and are not enrolled in the institution but live in a college or university owned or controlled residence hall.

University Property

All land, buildings, facilities, parking lots and other property in the possession of, owned, rented, leased, maintained, or controlled by St. Cloud State University. The term Campus may be used interchangeably with University Property. 


Any person, not an employee, student or contract employee, who provides sales and/or services to St. Cloud State University.


Any individual other than a student, employee, construction employee, contract employee, affiliate, emeriti, or vendor who is on University Property.


Responsible University Officer
   South, Steve
   Interim Assistant Vice President for Safety and Risk Management
   South, Steve
   Interim Assistant Vice President for Safety and Risk Management
   Schnettler, David J.
   Director of Public Safety

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