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Harassing Telephone Calls
Annoying or harassing phone calls, as well as electronic mail messages, are a common problem on college campuses. They are many times viewed as mere pranks. State law and the Indiana University Police Department consider it to be Harassment by Communication, a Class B Misdemeanor offense.
The Indiana Criminal Code considers the following to be Harassment by Communication:
- A person who, with intent to harass, annoy, or alarm another person, but with no intent of legitimate communication:
- Makes a telephone call, whether or not a conversation ensues;
- Communicates with a person anonymously or otherwise;
- Transmits a false or obscene message.
Harassment by Communication is punishable by imprisonment of up to 180 days, and a fine of up to $1,000.
The following suggestions and notes are given for dealing with harassing calls:
- Never engage the caller in conversation.
- Never answer personal questions or give out information to an unknown caller.
- Unplug your phone if necessary.
- The caller often knows the victim.
- Callers occasionally contact victims randomly.
WHAT SHOULD YOU DO?
If you receive an annoying, harassing, threatening or obscene communication on the IU Campus, you should contact the Indiana University Police Department immediately. The following steps will then be taken if the communication is by phone:
- An officer will meet with you to discuss the situation and to determine the best course of action to be taken.
- If the calls are threatening, action will be taken immediately to determine the origin of the threatening calls. You will also be asked to keep a log of your calls which should include information such as the time of each call, description of the caller's voice, background noises, etc.
- If the calls are annoying, harassing, or obscene, you may be asked to keep a log of your calls for several days.
- Depending on the situation, you will have these options:
- If it is determined that no further action can be taken by the IU Police, and you still want to have your phone number changed, IU Police will contact Communication Services and they will change your number at no charge.
- If additional action is required by the IU Police, an officer will ask you to assist in the prosecution of any person(s) determined to have made the calls.
If you do not wish to report the incident to the IU Police, but still want your phone number changed, contact IU Communication Services and a $25 fee will be assessed to change your telephone number.
HARASSING TELEPHONE CALLS TO YOUR OFF-CAMPUS TELEPHONE
To change your information in the off-campus telephone directory, dial (812) 856-3510 for service. To have a non-listed number (your number is not in the directory, but is available from Information) you will be charged $1.50 a month. To have a non-published number (your number is not available in the directory or from Information) you will be charged $2.85 a month. To initiate a free, two week number change there is no charge. To make that number change permanent the charge is $27. No police report is needed for either number change service. You are advised to not publish your number if you change it. For $9.50 a month you can get Caller ID installed on your phone. This allows you to identify the telephone number of the person who is calling you before answering. It will also log the number, and the frequency and time of day the call was made.
PERSONAL INFORMATION WITHHELD FROM CAMPUS TELEPHONE LISTING
- All registered students are listed in the Indiana University (Bloomington) Student Telephone Directory. All registered campus residents are also listed with the Bloomington campus Call Center (the campus operator). If you would like your name, number, or address withheld from the Student Telephone Directory, you must complete and submit a Student Directory Exclusion Form available at the Office of the Registrar.
- If you would like your name, number, or address withheld from the Bloomington Campus Call Center, you must submit an Unlisted Telephone Number Request to Residential Programs & Services.
- UITS-Telecommunications assumes no responsibility for insuring that your name or number is withheld from the Student Telephone Directory or the campus switchboard. To obtain both forms, or for answers to any questions you might have about unlisted numbers, dial "0" and a campus operator will assist you.