University Housing and Residence Life

Manuals

Section 4: Emergency and Crisis Response


While our campus and surrounding community is a generally safe environment to live in we must be prepared for any potential emergency or crisis situations that may arise. Crisis situations would include any situations that have the potential to endanger the safety and lives of TAMUK students, employees, visitors, or the security of the TAMUK campus and property.

All student staff members are encouraged to follow the tips below for helping to ensure the safety and security of our campus community:

  • Students are encouraged to down load the Rave Guardian Campus Safety App. The download instructions can be found on the University Police Department website at www.tamuk.edu/upd/. The benefits to having the App on your phone are:

The Rave Guardian Campus Safety App transforms mobile phones on your campus into personal safety devices. Guardian enhances safety on campus through a virtual safety network of friends, family, and campus safety.

  1. Panic Button: Direct immediate connection to campus safety with GPS location and personal profile information.

  2. Tip Texting: Enables anonymous crime tip reporting and 2-way communication via SMS or mobile app.

  3. Personal Guardians: Students can identify friends, roommates, and family members as 'Guardians' along with UPD. Students can set a Rave Guardian Timer. During a Timer session Guardians and UPD can check status of the student. If the Rave Guardian timer is not deactivated before it expires, UPD is automatically provided with the user's Rave Guardian profile to proactively identify and check-in on the individual.

    • Program TAMUK UPD’s telephone number into your cell phone 361-593-2611.

    • Register for Tier II communications which are sent through SMS text messages, emails, telephone calls of the registered users. Students, faculty, and staff may sign up through Blue and Gold or on JNET to receive these emergency messages and may provide phone numbers and email addresses for spouses or parents so they may receive them, too, if desired.

In addition to the tips above, the links below will provide you with further instructions for how student staff members should handle these situations. Please know these are general guidelines based on best practices for responding to emergency situations. Not every situation will be the same, so trust your training and instincts and do not be afraid to contact your Area Coordinator/Assistant Director/Residence Life Director/the UH&RL Office or the University Police Department staff to ask questions.

Note: After all incidents you will write a Maxient Report which will be entered in the link below: https://publicdocs.maxient.com/incidentreport.php?TAMUKingsville

Section 4.1 Campus Security Authority

A Campus Security Authority (CSA) is an individual, who by virtue of their university responsibilities and under the Clery Act, is designated to receive and report criminal incidents to the University Police Department so that they may be included and published in the university's Annual Security Report.

The Jeanne Clery Act is:

  • A student Jeanne Clery was sexually assaulted and murdered in her dorm room at Lehigh University in 1986.

  • The Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act of 1990, requires colleges to publicize their campus crime statistics and security measures they have in place.

  • Interim reports of incidents of serious crime (timely warning) must be publicized to campus.

  • Other subsequent laws have established additional reporting requirements. (Title IX)

All Hall staff Members (including HR's/RA’s/CA's/DC's/FC's/WDDC's and tutors) are considered Campus Security Authorities (CSA’s). CSA training will be provided and is mandatory and required to be completed by all CSA's in our department.

The CSA’s primary responsibility is:

  • To report allegations made in good faith to the reporting structure established by the institution.

  • If a Campus Security Authority receives the crime information and believes it was provided in good faith, he or she should document it as a crime report.

  • Any crimes reported to you must be reported to your supervisor.

In “good faith” means there is a reasonable basis for believing that the information is not simply rumor or hearsay. That is, there is little or no reason to doubt the validity of the information.

What you must disclose, therefore, are statistics from reports of alleged criminal incidents. It is not necessary for the crime to have been investigated by the police or a campus security authority, nor must a finding of guilt or responsibility be made to disclose the statistic.

CSA’s must immediately report crimes to the institution’s reporting structure, so these reports may be assessed for potential Timely Warning Notices if necessary.

The university does not want a CSA to receive a report of a crime and then wait a few days to submit the information. The institution has lost the opportunity to react in a timely manner to the reported crime and respond accordingly.

Crimes you must report:

  • Criminal Homicide

  • Sex offenses, forcible & non-forcible

  • Aggravated Assault

  • Robbery

  • Burglary

  • Motor vehicle theft (includes golf carts)

  • Arson

  • Domestic Violence

  • Dating Violence

  • Stalking

  • Weapons Violations

  • Drug Abuse Violations

  • Liquor Law Violations

  • Hate Crimes (categories of bias include the victim's actual or perceived race, religion, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, ethnicity, national origin, and disability)

  • The current regulations added the crimes of larceny-theft, simple assault, intimidation, and the destruction, damage, or vandalism of property to the list of hate or bias-related crimes

  • Any liquor, drug or weapons violations-both arrests and disciplinary referrals for students and employees (staff & faculty) and arrests of campus visitors

Section 4.2 Bomb Threat

In the event of a bomb threat it is important to remain calm and gather as much information as possible to pass along to the authorities. If the threat is sent to you as an e-mail,text message, or voicemail please contactUPD and your supervisor immediately to share the message.

Should you become actively engaged in conversation with the person making the threat it is important to first listen to them and not interrupt. Be courteous and attempt to draw out the conversation. Do not be the person to end the conversation and if it was a call try to keep the line open for as long as possible.

Once you begin engaging them try to find a way to get someone else’s attention (ex. using a note) so they can begin to contact UPD and your supervisor. While talking with the person making the threat be sure to ask them who they are and why they are doing this. If they do not reveal their identity please try and record the following information:

  • Phone number if you have caller ID

  • Time the call/contact was received

  • Approximate gender and age of person making threat

  • Background sounds or noises you hear

  • Any unique speech characteristics including but not limited to;

    • An accent, lisp, stutter, or other unique speech pattern

    • Exact wording used by the person making the threat

It’s important to try and get as much information as you can about the bomb itself. Some questions you should ask are:

  • Where is the bomb located? (Specific building, room or floor?)

  • What time will the bomb detonate?

  • What type of bomb is it?

  • What does the bomb look like?

  • What will cause the bomb to detonate?

  • Who are you trying to hurt?

  • Are you aware that it may hurt other people besides who you intend?

If there is a perception of an immediate threat of a bomb explosion, evacuate the building and call UPD 361-593-2611, after vacating the building.

Return to the building, only, when given the all-clear signal.

If you find what you believe to be a bomb:

  • DO NOT touch the item.
  • Evacuate the area and contact UPD and your supervisor.

NOTE: All media information will be directed to the Executive Director of University Housing & Residence Life.

Enter Maxient Reports for ALL Incidents

Section 4.3: Elevator Malfunction

In the event of an elevator malfunction please contact your supervisor immediately / if it is during the weekend contact the Weekend Duty Head Resident Advisor or the professional staff member on weekend duty. They will contact UPD. Staff should take the stairs and place an "out of order" sign next to the call-button panel on each floor the elevator has access to.

Should an elevator malfunction while someone is inside, please take the following steps:

  • Communicate that they should not attempt to exit the elevator without the assistance of UPD, an SSC employee or an emergency responder.

  • Under no circumstances should they try to pry open the doors as they may be in-between floors and not at a proper exit location.

  • Encourage them to remain calm.

  • Have the person utilize the emergency communication device within the elevator.

  • Ask the person to move to the back, center portion of the elevator and face the door until help arrives.

  • Stay in the area so you can remain in contact with the person stuck inside the elevator.

Enter Maxient Reports for ALL Incidents

Section 4.4: Active Shooter

If an active shooter should be in the building, you must be prepared both mentally and physically to deal with the situation. Those who are able to leave the area should evacuate as quickly and safely as possible. Those unable to leave the area safely should take steps to secure a location to hide and prepare to fight back if necessary.

  • RUN:
    • Have an escape route and plan in mind
    • Leave your belongings behind
    • Evacuate regardless of whether others agree to follow
    • Help others escape, if possible
    • Do not pull the fire alarm
    • Do not attempt to move the wounded
    • Prevent others from entering an area where the active shooter may be
    • Call University Police or 911 when you are safe
  • HIDE:
    • Hide in an area out of the shooter view
    • Lock doors or block entry to your hiding place. This includes securing and blocking windows
    • Turn off the lights
    • Silence your cell phone (including vibrate mode), turn off radios, speakers, and computer monitors and remain quiet
    • Remain in hiding until notified it is safe to leave the area
  • FIGHT:
    • Fight as a last resort and only when your life is in imminent danger
    • Attempt to incapacitate the shooter
    • Act with as much physical aggression as possible

Note- Once you have reached a safe location, you will likely be held in that area by law enforcement until the situation is under control and all witnesses have been identified and questioned. Do not leave the area until law enforcement authorities have instructed you to do so.

Enter Maxient Reports for ALL Incidents

Section 4.5: Building Evacuation

There are a number of different reasons a building may need to be evacuated. If you hear a fire alarm, the emergency notification display or are verbally told to evacuate a building please do the following:

  • Listen to and follow all instructions.

  • Remain calm and leave quickly.

  • As you exit, and assuming it is safe to do, quickly check nearby residential rooms, restrooms, kitchens, lounges, storage rooms, and other areas for occupants who may not have heard the evacuation signal.

  • As you exit try to discern the reason for the alarm/evacuation order if it's not already known. Again, do not put yourself in unnecessary danger to do so.

  • Notify UPD and your supervisor of the alarm/evacuation order and of anyone in the building who may be in need of assistance.

  • Take with you ONLY essential personal items. Do not attempt to take large or heavy objects.

  • Shut all doors behind you as you go.

  • Do not use elevators.

  • Once outside do not block exits or emergency vehicle access. Move at least 500 feet away from the building or to a specific location as directed by the Campus Fire Marshal, UPD or other emergency personnel (see list of designated evacuation locations below).

  • Stay together as a group.

  • Do not attempt to re-enter the building or area until advised by officials that it is safe to do so.

If a resident on your floor has a permanent or temporary disability or impairment that could delay/impact their ability to leave quickly in an emergency situation, please be sure to talk with them in advance about evacuation plan accommodations and their needs during these types of situations. Make sure to relate this information to your supervisor.

Bishop Hall :Parking Lot J/Parking Lot L

Turner Hall :Parking Lot J/Seale Street

Martin Hall :Parking Lot J/Seale Street/Parking Lot S/Lucio Hall Courtyard

Lucio Hall :Martin Hall Front Area/Retama Street/Seale Street/Parking Lot I/Parking Lot 2

Mesquite Village West :Parking Lot I/Front Lawn/Mesquite Grove

Lynch Hall :Parking Lot L/Memorial Student Union Building/Center for Young Children/Parking Lot S

Enter Maxient Reports for ALL Incidents

Section 4.6: Fire Emergency

Due to the differences in layout and the amount of staff available, each building will have a slightly different response to situations involving fire.

In general, if you find fire or smoke in the building please do the following:

  • Sound the alarm if it is not already activated

  • Contact UPD and your supervisor

  • If it is safe to do so, direct everyone to leave the building as you exit the building

  • Assist persons with disabilities, if safe to do so

  • Remain calm

  • Use fire extinguishers to put out the fire only if it is safe to do so

  • Direct people to the designated meeting area and stand away from the building and off the roads and driveways to allow emergency vehicles full access to the building

  • Determine those who may be injured or who may still be in the building

  • Assist UPD, the Campus Fire Marshal or the Fire Department once they arrive and take command of the situation

Your role is to make sure everything proceeds as quickly, smoothly and safely as possible.

NOTE: All media information will be directed to the Executive Director of University Housing & Residence Life.

NOTE : When UPD, the Campus Fire Marshal or the emergency responders arrive they may silence the alarm to allow them to communicate while inspecting the building. Should they silence the alarm that does not mean it is safe to return to the building. Staff and students must wait for the all clear from UPD or the Fire Department before letting anyone back into the building. Also, it is possible the alarms could continue to go off after they are silenced. Unless instructed otherwise by UPD or the Fire Department you should evacuate the building each time the alarm sounds.

Enter Maxient Reports for ALL Incidents

Section 4.7: Emotional Crisis and Suicide

If you are interacting with a student and become aware they may be considering harming themselves or attempting suicide, be sure to listen and attempt to understand why the person is feeling the way they do. Try and be supportive and encouraging to the student. Contact your supervisor and UPD. UPD can contact the counselors if it is at night or on the weekend. During normal University operating hours your supervisor can contact counseling services.

Typical warning signs include:

  • Withdrawing from friends/family

  • Loss of interest in usual activities

  • Signs of sadness, hopelessness, or irritability

  • Changes in appetite, weight, behaviors, or sleep patterns

  • Loss of energy

  • Frequent negative self-talk

  • Talking, writing, or joking about suicide

  • Giving away personal possessions

Do:

  • Take all threats seriously

  • Remain calm

  • Be direct

  • Be a good listener

  • Show that you care

Do Not:

  • Sidestep the issue

  • Sound shocked by anything that is told to you

  • Argue with the person

  • Attempt to physically disarm the person

  • Feel responsible for saving the person

IMMEDIATELY REPORT, any student expressing suicidal thoughts to your Supervisor. NO EXCEPTIONS.

Enter Maxient Reports for ALL Incidents

Section 4.8 Lockdown Situations

The purpose of a lockdown or shelter-in-place procedure is to minimize accessibility to areas on campus to reduce the risk of injury and danger to faculty, staff, students, and other college community members. In the event of a situation where a lockdown becomes necessary, the following steps should immediately be attempted to help secure your direct area:

  • Exit area if able to do so safely

  • Lock doors

  • Turn off lights and electronics

  • Close blinds

  • Keep occupants calm and quiet

  • Keep all occupants out of sight and under adequate cover/protection (e.g., under/behind desks, file cabinets)

  • Silence cell phones, including vibration mode

  • Stay in area until notified by officials that it is safe to leave

  • In some situations the Hall Staff may be asked to make rounds of the building and check doors

Enter Maxient Reports for ALL Incidents

Section 4.9 Missing Student (s)

Should a situation arise where someone reports to you that they are concerned a student is missing notify your supervisor or the University Housing & Residence Life Office immediately. UH&RL will report the incident to UPD and utilize any means available to try and contact that student. Calling their cell phone, checking their room, checking Facebook, Twitter or other social media sites and talking with those who are known to have most recently seen the student are ways to try and locate the student.

On the Student Health Form when the student checks in they will be giving us contact information of people to contact should they missing.

Enter Maxient Reports for ALL Incidents

Section 4.10 Severe Weather/ Tornadoes/ Hurricanes

For all severe weather University Housing & Residence Life will follow the University’s Emergency Management Plan which can be located at www.tamuk.edu/risk/Safety/EmergencyManagement.html

Tornadoes

Tornadoes occur with little or no warning; thus, little or no advance planning can be accomplished. If in a building, one should move away from outside rooms and go to a center hallway. An interior area at the bottom level of the building is preferable. Professional staff will assist and give directions.

  • A “tornado watch” means that tornadoes could develop in the designated area.

  • A “tornado warning” means that a tornado has actually been sighted in the area or is indicated by radar.

  • A “severe thunderstorm watch” indicates the possibility of thunderstorms, frequent lightning and/or damaging winds, hail, and heavy rain.

  • A “severe thunderstorm warning” means that a severe thunderstorm has actually been sighted in the area or is indicated by radar.

Hurricanes

When a hurricane may be a possible threat to the University the University Emergency Management Team will meet and decide if there needs to be an evacuation. All Hall Staff may be asked to stay and help check buildings and get items situated before you are released to leave campus.

Section 4.11 Power Outages

Occasionally there will be instances where student rooms, and even the entire building, will experience a power outage of some kind. Sometimes this is due to overloading a circuit by plugging in too many devices. Other times it may be an issue with the electrical system or even weather-related. In the event of a power outage staff should:

In student rooms:

  • Contact your supervisor. No appliances should be used until the problem is corrected.

  • Talk with the student(s) about what is plugged in and try to determine what the source of the issue may have been. This will help them to avoid similar issues in the future.

  • Have the student(s) unplug all electrical appliances in the affected areas.

  • Follow-up with rooms next door as sometimes more than one room may be affected.

In the entire building:

  • If the entire building's power is out, contact your supervisor and UPD.

  • Check the fire alarm system to see if it’s still operable. If not, a staff member will need to be available at all times to do additional fire watch rounds.

  • Check the exterior doors.

  • Check restrooms, laundry rooms, kitchens, stairwells, etc. making sure there is not any assistance needed due to the lack of natural light.

  • RA’s may be asked to knock on their residents doors and make sure everyone is good.

  • They may also be asked to use flashlights to make rounds and help out in stairwell areas.

  • Be aware of candle usage, noise level and the possibility of vandalism.

For other information on how the University responds to power outages please see the Emergency Management Plan at

www.tamuk.edu/risk/Safety/EmergencyManagement.html

Section 4.12 Student Illnesses/Blood Borne Pathogens

During the course of the year students will be faced with the possibility for a variety of illnesses or injuries. To help ensure students are getting the care that they need, it is important that staff have an understanding of how to assist based on the situation.

Blood-Borne Pathogen (BBP)

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) defines blood-borne pathogens as infectious microorganisms in human blood that can cause disease in people should they come into contact with another person's bodily fluids.Should you come across a blood-borne pathogen spill (ex. vomit, blood, etc.) contact your supervisor immediately and request that someone be sent to clean the spill and the immediate surrounding area. After you have called, please stay in the vicinity to ensure no one comes into contact with spill. If the spill is in an area that can be closed off or quarantined please attempt to do so until the person who will be cleaning the spill arrives.

Critical Illness or Injury*:

*Includes life threatening scenarios, produces unconsciousness, substantial blood loss, and fractured/broken leg or arm

  • Call UPD and your supervisor immediately after assessing the situation.

  • Provide as much information as possible about the ill or injured patient and the location of the emergency to the above responders.

  • Have someone remain with the ill or injured person while calls for assistance are being made and until emergency personnel arrive (Hall Staff should NEVER attempt to transport the student).

  • Unless trained, do not attempt to render any first aid before trained assistance arrives.

  • Do not move the person who is ill or has been injured unless they are in imminent danger.

  • Keep the area clear and have someone watch for emergency responders to help direct them to the patient.

Non-Critical Illness or Injury:

  • Have the student contact Student Health & Wellness at 361-593-3991.

  • Notify your supervisor.

  • If transporting the student is necessary, the Hall Staff should assist the student in making arrangements (The Hall staff should NEVER attempt to transport the student).

  • Encourage the student to contact their professors or Dean of Students Office if they believe they will need to miss class due to their illness or injury.

Intoxicated Student:

Call UPD if...

  • The student cannot be roused

  • The student has consumed large quantities of alcohol

  • The student drank alcohol in combination with other drugs

  • You are uncertain about the student’s health and safety

DO NOT…

  • leave the student alone or with someone else who is intoxicated

  • give the student any medication (including over the counter medications) to try and sober them up

  • give the student any water, coffee, tea or other liquid stimulants

  • give the student a cold shower--the shock may cause them to pass out, thus increasing the risk for further injury

  • try to walk, run or exercise the student

  • attempt to constrain the student. Call UPD if the student is combative. When intoxicated, the person may have a different perception of personal space and could become aggressive.

DO...

  • contact your supervisor immediately

  • attempt to find out what the student was drinking, how much, over what period of time and if other drugs or medications were taken

Enter Maxient Reports for ALL Incidents

Section 4.13 Sexual Harassment/Sexual Assault

  • Inform the victim that you are required to notify your supervisor

  • Tell your supervisor any information you have about the assault

  • Encourage victim to either report to UPD or seek medical attention

  • Should the victim want to speak to a counselor your supervisor can contact one

  • Your supervisor will also give the victim a resource guide from the Title IX Coordinator

  • Do Not discuss the incident with other staff members

Other information on Sexual Harassment/Sexual Assault can be located on the Office of Compliance Title IX website.

Enter Maxient Reports for ALL Incidents

Section 4.14 Death of a Student

Should you come across a situation involving the death of a student on campus please call UPD and your supervisor immediately. Staff should remain in the area to assist with crowd control or other duties. It is possible that college and/or emergency personnel will need to talk with the responding staff member(s) to gather information. Outside of that staff should not share information and should refer anyone seeking information to the appropriate staff member or emergency response commander.

We recognize that learning about the loss of someone within our community can be a very emotional and difficult time. Please know that as a student and as student staff members there are resources through Student Health & Wellness (361-593-3991) available to help you process through the situation both in that moment and in the future.

Enter Maxient Reports for ALL Incidents

Section 4.15 Situations Involving UPD

Occasionally situations will arise in which law enforcement will come to the residence halls to question or arrest a student or search a student room. If you notice UPD in the residence halls, notify your supervisor immediately.

If during the course of responding to an incident it becomes necessary to call UPD, please know they will assume control of the scene. In situations where the police are called to campus staff should:

  • Immediately identify yourself as an RA/CA.

  • Provide any pertinent information needed.

  • Accompany the officer to the student’s room.

  • Identify the students for the officers.

  • Attempt to keep students from gathering in the hallway and interfering in the situation.

  • Cooperate fully with the officers on the scene. Follow their instructions and assist them however possible.

Enter Maxient Reports for ALL Incidents

Section 4.16 Weapons/Concealed Carry

What to do should you come across a weapon while in the building

Non-Threatening:

  • Notify your supervisor upon becoming aware of the possibility of a resident possessing a handgun, paintball gun, water balloon launcher, rifle, knife, stun gun, nun chucks, sling shot, pellet gun, blow gun, air-powered gun, projectile, or any homemade object that could possibly be used as a weapon, etc.

  • Your supervisor will contact UPD.

  • Remain in the area and assist the supervisor as needed.

Threatening:

  • DO NOT attempt to disarm.

  • Call UPD and your supervisor immediately.Give details:

    • Location on campus (building, room)

    • Identify person, if known

  • Remain in the area in the event that additional information is required from UPD.

Enter Maxient Reports for ALL Incidents

Concealed Carry:

FOR MORE INFORMATION ON SB11 AND TAMUK’S RULE 34.06.02.K1, CARRYING CONCEALED HANDGUNS ON CAMPUS: Visit the following website:http://www.tamuk.edu/campuscarrylaw/

If a student asks about concealed carry please refer them to the University Housing & Residence Life Office. The department staff will verify that they have a concealed carry permit and ask them to fill out the following forms to obtain a safe. If a student elects to use one of our on campus gun safes then you will be required to ensure they give us all the items back upon check out.