Usually when crimes occur, the advice that follows has been ignored.
You are the key to your personal safety and the safety of others. By
following the advice and instructions in this column most crimes and
serious fires can be avoided.
Please give this information serious consideration. Even if you are not
concerned about your personal safety, it is critical that you behave in
ways that do not endanger the safety of others, either on campus or in
your off-campus residence.
Your suggestions related to safety are welcomed by the University Police
KEEPING YOURSELF SAFE
The safety of members of the college community is of vital concern to the
University Police Department. While Oneonta is a relatively safe place,
crimes do occur both on and off campus. Students must actively accept
responsibility for doing their part to maintain a safe environment. A
variety of security measures are employed in the college's residence
halls. These include a 24-hour locked door policy, key access systems, a
phone system and a Night Host program for monitoring student safety
within the residence halls at night. Security systems at off-campus
residences which are not owned by the college vary considerably. Be sure
to obtain complete information from the landlord concerning locking
systems, fire detection and/or suppression systems, and any other
security services which may be available. For security systems to be
effective, the cooperation of all students is necessary. Although some
students initially find using a phone inconvenient when visiting a campus
residence hall, the added security is well worth it. Here are some steps
you can take to keep yourself as safe as possible, both in your
off-campus residence and when you are on campus.
KNOW THE RESIDENCE HALL SECURITY POLICY. If you take any action that
could undermine the security of a residence hall or its occupants, you
will be violating college policy and may be banned from the residence
hall system. Security violations include, but are not limited to,
borrowing keys, allowing other persons who are not the specifically
invited guests of a resident to enter a residence hall, propping doors
open, committing acts of vandalism which jeopardize building security and
tampering with security devices.
DO NOT PROP DOORS OPEN. Propped doors are an open invitation to
unauthorized persons, some of whom may enter buildings for the purpose of
committing crimes. If you see a propped door anywhere on campus, close
NEVER GIVE OUT THE CODE ACCESS NUMBER FOR YOUR DOOR OR LEND YOUR KEY OR
IDENTIFICATION CARD TO ANYONE ELSE. Non-students, even your friends, may
lack concern for the security of the campus.
LOCK THE DOOR TO YOUR RESIDENCE HALL ROOM AT ALL TIMES. Locking your
door, wherever you reside, is an effective way to reduce theft and
enhance personal safety.
BE CAREFUL ABOUT LEAVING WINDOWS OPEN IN FIRST FLOOR RESIDENCE. Theft can
occur through open windows. Balcony doors on upper floors should also be
secured. Before leaving for breaks, make sure that all windows are closed
REPORT ALL SECURITY-RELATED MAINTENANCE PROBLEMS. Locks, doors, windows,
and lights that are in need of repair or replacement or shrubbery in need
of trimming should be reported to your Residence Hall Director or RA
immediately. If you should notice any such security-related maintenance
problems while on campus, call University Police at 436-3550, on campus
CONTACT THE APPROPRIATE LOCAL POLICE AGENCY (ON CAMPUS CALL UNIVERSITY
POLICE X3550) IF YOU RECEIVE AN OBSCENE OR HARASSING PHONE CALL.
Harassing calls should be reported immediately. The police will
investigate these incidents and, as patterns develop, work closely with
the telephone company to apprehend offenders.
ATTEND SECURITY PROGRAMS. Learn more about protecting yourself.
University Police conducts frequent programs which promote
crime-resistance skills. For information on specific topics, call
University Police at 436-3550.
BE AWARE OF CAMPUS CRIME TRENDS. Read and make note of any offenses which
have been reported on campus or in the vicinity of your residence.
REPORT SUSPICIOUS ACTIVITY TO THE POLICE IMMEDIATELY. If you are on
campus, use one of the "BLUE LIGHT" emergency telephones to contact
University Police or call x3550. If you are off campus, call the local
police. Individuals who do not have legitimate reasons for being on
campus or in a college building and who refuse to comply with a request
to leave may be subject to arrest under the criminal trespass penal code
of New York State.
SECURITY AROUND CAMPUS
BE ALERT. Your safety depends mostly on your own attitude and actions.
AVOID WALKING ALONE AT NIGHT. If you have a night class, make
arrangements to walk back and forthwith several other class members or
with fellow residents who may have classes in nearby buildings. Use the
bus whenever possible. The bus runs Sunday through Wednesday until
12:15AM, Thursday until 2AM and Friday and Saturday until 3:30AM. Service
is provided to many off-campus areas where students reside. For a current
schedule, contact OPT at 432-7100.If you absolutely must travel alone at
night, be sure to stay on well-traveled and well-lit paths and sidewalks.
The campus has installed emergency telephones to provide rapid
communication to University Police. Outdoor telephones have blue lights
above them. If you need assistance or wish to report a crime, simply use
PROTECT YOUR PERSONAL PROPERTY. The University Police Department provides
engraving equipment to identify your valuables. You may call x3550 to
arrange to borrow an engraver. In addition, you should make a record of
any valuable property which has unique serial numbers, such as computer,
stereo or television equipment. Marking and recording your property in
this way will aid in recovery in case of loss or theft. University Police
can advise you on securing your bike and will help you select a sturdy
lock. Bikes properly secured with good locks are rarely stolen. Park your
car in a well lit area and keep it locked at all times. Don't leave
valuables where they can be seen in your vehicle; lock them in your
trunk. The college assumes no responsibility for loss of or damage to
REPORT CRIME. Report any on-campus criminal act to University Police
immediately at x3550. The University Police officers are law enforcement
officers of the State of New York and have full investigative and arrest
authority on the campus and contiguous streets and highways. They work
closely with federal, state, county and municipal law enforcement
agencies. All crimes reported to University Police are documented and
crime statistics are submitted to the FBI. These crime statistics along
with a three-year summary of selected arrest statistics are included in
the menu. Timely notice of crimes which may be of interest to the members
of the college community is provided through the college news releases
and Crime Alerts. This information is intended to aid in the prevention
of similar occurrences and to reinforce the fact that students must
assume the responsibility for their own security and the security of
others. Victims of sexual crimes can receive confidential assistance from
Counseling/Health/Wellness Center. Please be aware that many sexual
assaults/rapes involving college students are "acquaintance rapes" or
"date rapes." Victims of on-campus crimes have the right to choose
counseling, medical treatment, prosecution and reporting of their case,
through the college judicial system and/or the off campus court system,
as well as the right to refuse all of the above without reproach from any
college personnel. For more information see Campus Sexual Assault
Programs (Procedures &Policies).
VISITING CAMPUS RESIDENCE HALLS
Campus residence halls are locked 24 hours per day and may be entered
only by residents of the hall, college officials, and guests who have
specific, legitimate reason for their presence in the building.
USE OF RESIDENCE HALLS BY
The following policies apply to guests who visit students living in
A. A standard 24-hour visitation policy is followed in all halls.
B. A guest is one who comes to a residence hall to visit a specific
resident upon the request of that resident. Guests may also be persons
who are invited by the hall government or college officials for a
specific event taking place in that residence hall. Any student from
outside the resident hall is considered to be a guest.
C. A guest is limited to the time and location for which he or she was
invited. When visiting a specific resident, a guest must be accompanied
by that resident during the entire period of time he or she is in the
residence hall. The resident is responsible for the conduct of his or her
D. Residents are responsible for completing a "Guest Registration Form"
and familiarizing their guests with pertinent college rules and
regulations and for insuring that their guests abide by these policies.
All roommates must agree to having a guest and must sign the registration
form indicating agreement. Residents who fail to control the behavior of
their guests may be subject to disciplinary action.
E. Residents are responsible for ensuring that their guests use only
restroom facilities that have been designated for members of the guests'
F. Residents may have overnight guests of the same sex for a period of
time not to exceed two consecutive nights without permission from the
Resident Hall Director. Guests may not exceed the two-night limit by
changing hosts to prolong their stay. The current host will be
responsible for the guest whose stay has been prolonged.
G. Guests are not permitted to stay in the residence hall lounges,
recreation rooms or other public areas of the campus.
H. It is the responsibility of the host to insure that the presence or
behavior of guests does not infringe upon the rights of his or her
roommate or other residents.
GUEST PHONE USE
To visit friends in residence halls, you must make use of a foyer phone
panel to gain access to the buildings since all of them are locked 24
hours per day. You will need to know the room number of the friends you
wish to visit in order to call them from the phone panel. To reach your
friend inside the hall:
LOCATE THE PHONE PANEL OUTSIDE THE BUILDING OR IN THE LOBBY.
KNOW THE RESIDENT'S PHONE NUMBER.
THE PHONE WILL RING IN YOUR FRIEND'S ROOM.
WHEN IT IS ANSWERED YOU MAY COMMUNICATE THROUGH THE INTERCOM GRILL.
If you should discover or suspect a fire in a college building:
A. Activate the building fire alarm by using a corridor pull station. If
you cannot activate the alarm, warn other people by knocking on doors and
shouting a warning. DO NOT ENDANGER YOURSELF.
B. Call UNIVERSITY POLICE at 3550 or 911 from a phone or from a campus
C. Leave the building immediately. Move away from the building at least
200 feet, clear the driveways, sidewalks and access to the building. When
the firefighters arrive, direct them to the fire.
D. Report ALL fires, even small ones you have extinguished. University
Police must still file a report.
When you hear a fire alarm:
A. Never assume that it is a false alarm.
B. Leave the building immediately when a fire alarm sounds. Failure to do
so is grounds for college disciplinary action and may lead to personal
C. Never re-enter the building until a college official indicates it is
time to do so.
BUILDING FIRE SAFETY FEATURES
Smoke/heat detectors have been installed in campus buildings. The fire
alarm systems are electronically supervised. University Police personnel
will respond to fire alarms.
Sprinkler systems have been installed in some appropriate areas. Do not
tamper with sprinkler heads.
Stairway doors should close automatically and must be kept closed at all
times. Never prop these doors open. Stairways can act as chimneys and
spread fire and smoke throughout the building, if the doors to them are
open. If the doors are kept closed, the stairways will provide a place of
refuge and will protect you while you escape from the building. It is
especially important to make sure that residence hall stairway doors are
kept closed at night, when people are asleep and detection of a fire may
Exit signs clearly mark each exit area. Self-reflecting exit signs have
been installed on all exterior corridor doors.
Fire extinguishers should be used only after you sound the alarm and call
for emergency assistance. Use the extinguisher only if you need it to
assist your safe evacuation. Don't expose yourself to heavy smoke, as the
toxic gases from smoke can render you unconscious in a few seconds. The
contents of extinguishers are expended in seconds - if at first you don't
succeed, leave. Be sure an alarm has been sounded.
YOURSELF AND OTHER MEMBERS OF THE COMMUNITY
Report immediately to University Police at x3550 any defective or missing
campus fire protection and safety equipment or any fire extinguisher
which has been discharged.
Refuse to abuse fire alarm systems and report anyone who does. False
alarms create a complacent attitude about the alarm system which can
result in injury or loss of life in a real fire. The best defense against
childish, irresponsible false alarms is to immediately report any such
activity which you may witness to University Police at x3550.
The University Police Department provides escort services from dusk to
dawn for the safety of anyone walking alone on the campus at night. Call
436-3550 for an escort to or from any campus building or parking lot.