2018 SSLP Emergency Protocol and Suggestions for Navigating Challenges

Emergency Contact Information

In case of a medical or safety emergency, first contact 9-1-1.  Your ND Club contact person is likely the best next call to inquire about available medical assistance.  Please contact the SSLP staff using the information below.

SSLP Call Tree

The primary emergency contact for the SSLP is Director, Ben Wilson. Please call 574.631.1023 (Ben’s office number), which is forwarded to the cell phone of the SSLP staff person on call. You can leave a message or proceed to the next person on the call chain below. To set up a time to talk for non-emergency issues, email Ben at bwilson2@nd.edu. SSLP staff stagger summer vacation time and SSLP site visits throughout the summer.

Emily Garvey, SSLP Assistant Director, can be reached at 574-631-1040 and garvey.32@nd.edu. Emily will on occasion be the primary emergency contact.

Felicia Johnson O’Brien, SSLP Assistant Director, can be reached at 574.631.0975 and f.obrien@nd.edu. Felicia will on occasion be the primary emergency contact.  

CSC Administration: Bill Purcell at wpurcell@nd.edu and 574-631-9473; and Lisa Matejka at 631-7869 and Lmatejka@nd.edu.

During summer office hours, you can contact Neicka Verse, SSLP Lead Coordinator, at 574-631-7867 or iverse@nd.edu.

If no one can be immediately reached, contact Notre Dame Security - Emergency Hotline:

Tel :    574.631.5555 (24 Hours/7 Days)

Email:    SOS@nd.edu

Leave your name, program affiliation (CSC-SSLP), location, security status, and contact information

For Students: Staying Safe, Reporting Incidents, and When to Contact the SSLP Staff

Your safety and the safety of those at your site are of paramount importance to Notre Dame and the staff of the SSLP. Please observe the following guidelines at all times this summer:

Learn and adhere to the policies and advice of your SSLP supervisor and other site staff. They know the population and geography of where you are working this summer. These policies are in place to keep both you and those at your site safe. If in doubt, ask questions of the staff there.  

If you feel unsafe or uncertain, please speak with someone at your site. It might be that your comfort zone is being stretched in good ways as you learn to work through fears or biases you didn’t realize you had, or it might be that you are being alerted to an unsafe situation that you need help responding to. Ask for help this summer.

Don’t travel alone at night, and be sure that your host family or site supervisor knows your typical work schedule and commuting route. Notify them in advance of changes to your schedule so that they know when to expect you.  

Most SSLP safety accidents are the result of running for exercise. Be sure to talk with people in your ND Club or site about safe times and places to run, and if there aren’t any, adopt a new form of exercise for the summer. If you go running, do not wear earbuds as these make you less aware of your surroundings (traffic, etc.).

If you feel you are not getting the support or advice you need, contact the SSLP office for assistance.  

You can expect to be challenged and stretched this summer. We hope this for you. When you experience challenges, first consider:

  • How might this experience help me build solidarity with those at my site?
  • How might this experience be an opportunity to learn about myself?
  • If I assume goodwill on the part of others in this situation, what might be the motivation behind their actions towards me?
  • Am I more likely to try to prevent others from knowing what I’m struggling with and possibly eventually become disengaged/resentful, or am I more likely to promptly seek out someone in authority to fix the problem for me?

If you’re more likely to hold things in too long, we encourage you to reach out for support. If you’re more likely to ask someone to change your circumstances right away, we encourage you to spend more time with the questions above before contacting us. Please note that if in reading your assignments we come across any information that warns of the possibility of harm to you or others, we are required to report this information to the appropriate office on campus and to seek resources for you. If you have questions or would like to talk more about this policy, contact Ben Wilson at bwilson2@nd.edu or 574-631-1023.

There are constructive challenges and destructive challenges. After considering the questions above, if you feel that your circumstances are destructive rather than constructive, we encourage you to:

  • Start local, give people a chance to hear your thoughts and to share their thoughts with you.
  • Contact Ben Wilson by email (bwilson2@nd.edu) to share what you’ve already tried to do and what you hope for in this situation.  We will set up a time to talk further by phone to come up with a plan going forward.
  • Talk with your parents about challenges you are facing, keeping in mind that we want to hear first from you about your situation before hearing from your parents.
When to call:

In case of emergency, when someone is physically harmed or in need of immediate attention, first call 9-1-1. If the need is not life threatening, contact your sponsoring Notre Dame Club and/or host family for suggestions regarding available medical care.  

As appropriate and applicable to your situation, please contact or make arrangements for someone to contact your ND Club contact, your host family and site supervisor. Then, please call Ben at 574-631-1023 (the office number forwards to his cell phone) as soon as possible, and utilize the SSLP call tree above.  

If your situation can wait until regular office hours, please either email or wait to call.

Reporting an Incident of Sexual Assault:

Follow all the guidelines above for preventative safety.  

To find further resources and support, as well as to report an incident, please know of the resources available to you through the University of Notre Dame: https://titleix.nd.edu/support-resources/

Please contact the SSLP office so that we can assist you in getting the resources you need, including working with legal authorities.  

You are where you are this summer because we believe in you. We think you are strong enough to encounter challenges and humble enough to realize where you need to grow and learn. Think of us as a resource to help you thrive this summer.  We also love hearing from you when you’re thriving!

Information for Parents, SSLP Sites, and ND Clubs

The safety and well-being of all students and SSLP partners is of paramount importance to the University of Notre Dame and the staff of the SSLP.  For many students, the SSLP is a time of tremendous growth and learning. Students take on significant responsibility for others at their site and also for themselves. Whenever possible, we ask to first hear about challenging situations directly from the students in the program. Exceptions would include if SSLP site supervisors or ND Clubs have concerns about the quality of their student’s participation or if a student is unable to contact us for some reason. If your student has shared concerns with you that you believe we should be made aware of, please encourage her or him to share those concerns with the SSLP staff as well. We cannot help address a situation or help process a situation with a student if we are not aware.

Notre Dame Clubs

In many cases, we rely on Notre Dame Club contacts to be the primary support for students in case of emergency or practical needs that arise. We encourage students to look to you for information and support since you are present with them and know the area where your students are serving. At the outset of the summer, we encourage you to make sure students have the necessary contact information that they need and that you have your student’s emergency contact information as well, which in most cases was emailed to you when they completed their SSLP Emergency Form. In case of illness or injury that will affect a student’s ability to fully contribute at her or his site, please be sure the student has communicated adequately to the site and SSLP staff. Contact parents when appropriate to share updates.

SSLP Site Supervisors

Especially when your SSLP student is living and working on site, we rely on you to be a primary support for students in case of emergency or practical needs that arise. The information in the above paragraph for Notre Dame Clubs applies for your situations as well. In the event a student is injured or becomes ill while working at your organization, please contact the ND Club as possible and make arrangements to get the student access to medical care.  

Definition of Emergency: An emergency is any circumstance that poses a genuine risk to, or that has already disturbed the safety and well-being of, program participants.  Emergencies will include, though not be confined to, the following types of events and incidents:  disappearance or kidnapping, criminal assaults, sexual assault or rape, serious physical or emotional illness, injury or death, hospitalization for any reason, arrest, incarceration, deportation, terrorist threat or attack, local political crisis, or natural disasters.

A “perceived emergency” results from events that are not immediately threatening to the health or safety of program students or staff, but which may be viewed as such by family and friends at home, or by the media.  In many instances, a perceived emergency must be treated as a real emergency. (Source: Loyola University New Orleans’ Education Abroad Emergency Protocol)


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