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Residential Life Safety

Residential Life Safety

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Personal Safety

While we are concerned for your personal safety, and we provide information, facility enhancements, and staff to assist in providing a safe environment for our residents, the ultimate responsibility for your safety rests with you. Dangerous behavior or poor choices can place your personal safety at risk. To help protect yourself, please take advantage of the services and programs we offer. Some examples:

  1. Evening Travel: Never walk alone on campus after dark. Walk in groups or utilize the campus escort service. The campus escort phone number is (775) 742-6808
  2. Suspicious persons: Report suspicious persons or activities to campus police immediately.
  3. Do not allow unescorted individuals to enter the residence halls.
  4. Lock your door!

Fire Procedures

Residents should know the location of fire extinguishers in the building and should be familiar with how to use them.

Upon discovery of a small fire

  • Immediately activate fire alarm or call "9"- "9-1-1" and report the fire.
  • If properly trained, you may decide to respond to the nearest fire extinguisher, direct the charge at the base of the fire.
  • If the fire is not extinguished quickly, follow large fire procedure.

Upon discovery of a large fire

  • Immediately activate fire alarm or call "9"- "9-1-1" and report the fire.
  • Close, but do not lock doors to prevent the spread of fire.
  • Quickly evacuate the area, using stairs instead of elevators.
  • Once outside building, move to the building evacuation area for your building, or an open area at least 150 feet from the building. Keep roadways and walkways clear for emergency vehicle access.
  • Wait for further instructions from police or fire personnel—Do Not re-enter the building the building unless instructed by emergency personnel to do so.

If clothing catches fire

Stop, don't run—Drop, get on the ground—Roll, on the ground to smother the flames

If you hear a fire alarm

Evacuate the building immediately. Though a fire alarm may not be due to excessive smoke, or an actual fire, you should assume every alarm is a fire and respond accordingly. Failure to evacuate when a fire alarm sounds may result in disciplinary action, possible criminal prosecution and/or fines. When evacuating, take your PASScard, room key and identification and proceed to the nearest exit. Do not use an elevator. Respond to the evacuation area specified for your building. A staff member will notify residents when it is safe to return to the building. Do not reenter the building for any reason until the proper university official has declared it safe.

Fire Safety

  • Tampering with or disabling any part of the fire alarm system, discharging an extinguisher, registering a false alarm, or setting a fire can endanger life and property, and may result in cancellation of your housing license agreement, restitution, disciplinary action, and/or criminal prosecution. Items may not be attached to or hung from any smoke detector or any part of the sprinkler system.
  • Smoke and heat detectors, installed in each room, must be kept in working order. It is essential to report any malfunctions to the front desk immediately.

Crime Prevention for Residents

Theft, usually a crime of opportunity, is by far the most common crime in residence halls, and one that can be prevented. Thefts are most often committed by persons you or your roommates allow into your residence.

More important than any item of property is your personal safety. The chances of physical attack can be greatly reduced by taking simple precautions and by being alert when walking around the campus.

Things to do:

  • Leave valuables, particularly small items of value, at home if it is not necessary to have them at your campus residence.
  • Keep your door locked even when you're leaving for "just a moment."
  • Call the University Police Department to report suspicious persons.
  • Engrave your property with your driver's license, social security, or other identification number.
  • Use a safe property handout to record the make, model, and serial number of valuables and keep the records in a safe place. Should you have property stolen, this information will help provide the greatest chance of catching the thief and getting your property returned.
  • Report lost room keys or PASS cards to housing staff immediately.

Do not:

  • Allow strangers or hold large gatherings in your residence. It is easy for someone to steal small items without being noticed.
  • Prop open exterior building doors or violate guest check-in procedures. You are jeopardizing others' safety, as well as your own.

Everyday Maintenance Concerns

Non-emergency repairs follow a different procedure. Normal maintenance issues occurring in the halls that do not pose immediate threats to students' health and safety should be submitted on a Service Request.

Problems that should properly be submitted on Service Requests:

  • Small damages to dorm rooms (i.e. broken blinds or closet doors).
  • Burnt out light bulbs: fluorescent or those of a non-incandescent variety (students are responsible for their own personal dorm lights, unless they are not incandescent) or nonfunctioning lights.
  • Non-functioning plumbing (i.e. showers that will not turn on).
  • Any other maintenance concern that is an inconvenience but not an emergency.

Bodily Fluids:

In the event that students should discover bodily fluids (blood, vomit, etc.) in a public area of the residence hall, they are asked to notify their Resident Assistant or the front desk.

Although it is not mandatory, students are also requested to make an effort to contact their Resident Assistant after appropriate medical attention has been sought, especially if the health and safety emergency occurred within the hall. Resident Assistants are responsible and conscientious employees of the Department of Residential Life and Housing, and awareness of the health and safety emergencies of their residents aids them in better performing their duties and preventing future accidents.

Temporary Power Failure

In the event of a power failure in the residence halls, each residence hall is equipped with an emergency power generator. When power fails, the generators start and begin supplying power within twenty or thirty seconds. The generators supply enough power to provide adequate light and emergency power for the building for several hours, but the amount of power available is less than the normal level. During this power reduction, avoid using elevators or unnecessary electrical equipment. All attempts will be made to inform affected residents as soon as possible. In the event of a power outage, please remember that candles are prohibited items in all university housing. Students are advised to keep a working flashlight with their personal belongings that they can locate and use in such an event.

Stuck in the Elevator

  • Elevator stoppage in residence halls, while not uncommon, is in most cases caused by occupants shaking or jumping in the elevator car.
  • If you are inside the trapped elevator, notify building occupants or staff with the telephone or alarm bell.
  • Typical response for elevator service staff is about 30 minutes. Please be patient, it only takes a few minutes to get out of the elevator once service staff arrive.

Emergency Closing

The university never officially stops operating. Residence halls, food services, physical plant, and the police department operate year-round. However, there are times when, because of emergency situations such as inclement weather, classes may be canceled, and offices other than those providing essential services may be closed. In an effort to ensure the safety of our students, faculty, and staff, emergency conditions will be monitored so that a decision to close can be made in a timely fashion. Even when the university is closed, the residence halls may remain open and operational.

Partial Closings

A partial closing is closing a portion of the university before the end of a normal work day, for example due to limited power outage. Classes are not necessarily canceled and may be relocated. The decision to partially close is made by the president or by a police official. The special information number 784-4636 as well as deans' offices will be updated periodically to provide information regarding the status of partial closing.

Full Closings

A full closing occurs when classes are canceled, and university offices other than those providing essential services are closed. This situation would most likely occur due to severe weather conditions. The decision to close is made by the president in consultation with the vice presidents. A full closing is communicated by way of radio announcements and the special information number, 784-4636.

Major Utility Problems

If you discover a water leak, gas leak, or other major utility failure, please notify a Resident Assistant in the area, or the area front desk. Please give as much information as possible about the location and nature of the emergency to help assure appropriate response.

Problems that should be phoned in to their front desk or Resident Assistant include:

  • Problems which will immediately grow if they are not taken care of (such as a broken shower which will not turn OFF, and is causing a flood).
  • Problems in which a cleanup crew is necessary. Staff will dispatch a cleanup team.

Bomb Threat

The University of Nevada has procedures in place to deal with the potential of a bomb threat being received in the residence halls. These procedures attempt to balance the need to protect lives and property with the possibility of a hoax unnecessarily disturbing those who live and work on campus.

While it is an unfortunate fact that many governmental facilities may be at risk from groups or individuals, the vast majority of threats directed at buildings and facilities are unsubstantiated hoaxes. As in the case of false fire alarms, those individuals who disrupt normal activities or put the safety of students at risk with a bomb threat will be prosecuted if identified. Rewards—including monetary compensation—may be provided for those who come forward with information that leads to the identification of a suspect in a bomb threat.

Insurance & Liability

In light of the experience with previous situations, Residence Life and Housing suggests that students should know their (or their parents') homeowners' insurance policies, and to what extent such policies would cover any damage in the event of a catastrophic disaster. Students who find the coverage lacking are advised to seek out additional coverage in the form of homeowners' insurance, or college student insurance.

Per the University Housing Contract: The University disclaims any responsibility for, and each resident hereby releases and holds the University harmless from, any liability arising from any loss or damage to any personal property (including without limitation money or valuables) located in any facility occupied by a resident. The University strongly encourages residents to obtain insurance coverage protecting the resident's personal property. If a resident does not have adequate insurance coverage, the entire amount of any loss or damage to personal property must be borne entirely by the resident.

Additional Safety Information

Student Conduct

As students of the institution and occupants of the halls, residents are expected to follow federal, state and local law, adhere to the conduct code of the University as well as being required to abide by the restrictions listed or indicated in their housing contract. Sections of the university conduct code and specific policies relating to the residence halls are in addition to any laws or criminal statutes which may applicable to the situation.

The Office of Student Conduct has the responsibility to address violations of the Student Code of Conduct. Violations of the campus code that occur in or around the residence halls are generally addressed by Residence Life staff members, who may act on behalf of the Office of Student Conduct. Due to the standards of behavior on the university, many violations that occur in the halls are violations of both the campus code and some, the housing contract agreement. Any violations of law or state statute on or near campus property are handled as criminal matters by the University Police Department.

Violations of the housing contract are generally treated as administrative actions based upon the resident's License Agreement and Residence Hall Handbook. Residents will be required to address the issue or correct the violation as directed by the Resident Director or other Residential Life staff. Failure to comply may ultimately result in cancellation of the housing contract and removal from the halls (which often involves the application of cancellation fees and charges). Actions taken relating to the contract agreement are separate from the University's Conduct process and any city, state, or federal criminal or civil procedure.

To summarize these three separate yet overlapping systems: the housing contract relates to specific behaviors prohibited in the residence halls-as addressed by Residence Life staff. The University Conduct Code is a much broader document which deals with not only those behaviors occurring in the halls, but all student behaviors impacting the university-addressed by either by direct action or action taken under the authority of the Office of Student Conduct. Even if a student moves out of the halls and no longer subject to the housing contract, the Office of Student Conduct retains jurisdiction over the Conduct Code violation. Serious incidents which may involve violations of law or statute are dealt with by local courts after being investigated by the University Police Department.

Conduct process

Our conduct process is designed to encourage students to take responsibility for their actions and to assure that the rights of all members of the residence community are respected. Whether a policy is related to an administrative action occurring in violation of the resident's housing license, or if it involves a more serious violation which also is covered in the University's Conduct Code, a similar process is followed.

The conduct process generally starts with an Incident Report, completed by students or staff, indicating a possible policy violation. Other forms of documentation such as police reports and official records may also initiate the conduct process. Resident Assistants are instructed to document apparent violations of policy. Having an incident documented does not always result in a sanction. The documentation provides the Resident Director/ Graduate Resident Director (RD/GRD) or other conduct staff with information from which to decide if a discussion with the resident is necessary. The RD/GRD may then meet with the involved student(s) to discuss the incident and take action, as authorized by the policies of the university. For example:

  • The student may accept responsibility for the violation or after review of the information the RD/GRD may determine the student was involved in a policy violation and may issue sanctions as necessary.
  • After review of the information, a determination may be made that the student was not involved in a policy violation and no sanctions are considered.
  • If the student fails to appear, the RD/GRD makes a decision based upon the evidence at hand. By failing to appear, the student chooses not to offer evidence on the issue of responsibility.
  • In cases of serious or repeat violations or in cases where the student faces cancellation of their housing license, the RD/GRD may refer the student to the Residential Life Conduct and Safety Director with a recommendation his/her license be canceled. The Residential Life Conduct and Safety Director may hear the case, refer it to a Judicial Peer Review Board, or appoint a hearing officer to hear the case for a recommendation or decision.
  • In special cases, the RD/GRD may refer a case directly to the Res Life Conduct and Safety Director for immediate action.

Responsibility for Violations

Students are responsible for what occurs in their room. As a result they may be held responsible for violations occurring in their assigned room or suite, even if they are not present when the violation is discovered. The process used for housing contract and campus code violations has a standard of proof often much different than previously experienced by students. For conduct purposes the decision on whether a violation occurred in the residence hall is based upon a preponderance of information and not "reasonable doubt." If there is information (examples include, but are not limited to, what is seen, heard, or smelled) indicating a violation has occurred the resident may be found in violation.

Accepting Responsibility for Your Actions

During the conduct meeting, the Residential Life staff member meeting with the resident will explain the process for determining responsibility. Our conduct system does not seek to punish, but instead to use the incident as an educational opportunity. When a student accepts responsibility for violating a policy, sanctions assigned are intended to provide the student with additional information or experience that will help them to understand how the violation impacted the community, or how the student would be negatively impacted should that behavior continue.

Typical Sanctions

When a student is found responsible for a violation, any of several disciplinary sanctions may be issued. Sanctions may include, but are not limited to:

  • Counseling: An informal discussion with the RD/GRD to correct the behavior; may include a verbal warning, assuring rights of all members of the residence community are respected.
  • Restitution: Required repayment for damage to property, cleaning or as determined by the residential life staff member.
  • Assigned Project: A task, assignment or community service undertaking, such as helping plan a hall activity or program.
  • Loss of Privileges: A resident may lose certain privileges such as: having guests, restricted access to facilities, use of services, or computer network access.
  • Educational Sanctions: Such as writing assignments or attending a class or workshop
  • Referral to Counseling: Required sessions with counseling or health professionals.
  • Room Change: Reassignment to a new room, floor, or hall
  • Notification of Parents: In some situations parents or guardian may be contacted
  • Residence Hall Warning: A written statement placed in the student's file, indicating that further violations will result in more severe disciplinary action.
  • Residence Hall Probation: This administrative decision is the final step before removal from the residence halls. A written notice placed in the student's file, indicating that further violations may result in termination of the housing license agreement. Probation is for a set period of time, during which the student may be ineligible to reapply for housing.
  • Removal from Residence Hall System: Decision made by the Director, Residential Life Student Conduct and Safety or the Associate Director, Res Life and Housing to terminate a student's housing license agreement. This is an administrative decision and is not in lieu of any university disciplinary or court/legal action. This decision may take effect immediately if the student's continued presence constitutes a threat to the health, safety, or well being of the residence hall community.
  • Referral to the Office of Student Conduct: For university-level discipline, which may include reprimand, probation, suspension, or expulsion from the university. Some sanctions may appear on the student's permanent transcripts.

Alcohol & Substance Violations

While a violation of campus codes and hall policies, sanctions for substance related violations will—when possible—focus on education and treatment options before resorting to conventional conduct procedures. The university has several educational, assessment, and treatment programs in place to individually address substance use and abuse issues. The type of program to which a resident may be assigned will depend on the nature and seriousness of the violation.

Alcohol & Substance Abuse Programs

Students with substance use and abuse issues have a variety of resources and programs available on campus. These include, but are not limited to: individual substance abuse assessment by a trained counseling professional, BASICS (Brief Alcohol Screening & Intervention for College Students), CASICS (Cannabis Screening & Intervention for College Students), STEPSS (Substance Treatment & Education for Personal Student Success), OnTRAC (Treatment, Responsibility & Accountability on Campus). The level of the violation will often be used in conjunction with recommendations from health care professionals to determine which program to which the student will be assigned.

Appeal of Decision or Assigned Sanction

After meeting with Res Life staff, it is possible the student may not agree with being found in violation of a policy, or the sanction assigned. Should this occur, the student needs to understand they can appeal the decision, but they have a limited time during which they may do so. Actions taken for violations of policy in the residence halls are administrative in nature and may affect your ability to remain as a resident of the halls. Conduct action taken relating to the campus code involves the university and may impact your status as a student.

While the processes are often combined to allow for efficiency, the Departmental of Residential Life and the Office of Student Conduct reserve the right to address the violations individually using their separate processes. For violations of university policies, the department follows the appeal procedures as outlined in the University's Student Code of Conduct. For those administrative decisions made by residential life staff that may impact the resident's housing status, a separate process is available.

Should you want to appeal being found responsible for violation of a policy or a sanction assigned as a resident, you have two working days following the conduct meeting to do so. This time line allows you to meet with the Residential Life Student Conduct & Safety Director, to discuss your appeal options and the appeal process. This is an informal meeting, which would occur before a formal hearing would be scheduled. Failure to meet this deadline may result in you not being able to appeal an administrative action taken by Residential Life and Housing.

Appeal Process

Once it is determined a resident has submitted a timely appeal, a hearing is scheduled to hear the facts of the case. The hearing may be in front of an administrator, a student peer judicial board, or a board combined of students and administrative and/or teaching faculty. The resident will have an opportunity to present their information, as will representatives from the department. The decision of the individual or board reviewing the case will be final.

A second level appeal may be granted only in those cases where the resident may be subject to cancellation of their housing license and removal from the halls. This second level appeal will be limited to a review of any new information, ensuring the resident was provided due process during the conduct process, and a determination whether the sanction was appropriate for the violation.

In serious cases involving the removal of a resident due to license cancellation, or in those situations where the health of safety of the resident or the community may be at risk, the department will reserve the right to have the resident move out of the halls on a temporary basis as the appeals process takes place. The University and the Department of Residential Life and Food service will not be responsible for making alternative housing arrangements nor for payment or reimbursement of any costs the student may incur as a result of this action.

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