Health, Safety, & Security 2017-11-16T08:15:42+00:00

safetyHEALTH, SAFETY, & SECURITY

Health and personal safety is the responsibility of each person on campus. The Department of Residence Life will make every reasonable effort to promote a safe living environment for all residents.

The Department of Residence Life offers increased residence hall security through the use of the Aggie Access Card System. The exterior doors to each residence hall and the White Creek apartment buildings are locked 24 hours a day with limited exceptions as determined by the Department of Residence Life.

Each exterior door is equipped with a card reader. Residents gain access by sliding their ID through the card reader. Only the residents of the specific building are coded for access to that building. Do not allow others to follow you into the building without swiping to gain access.

The activity building, weight room, and laundry building at the Gardens Apartments have card reader access. The Activity Center at White Creek is card accessible after 10:00 p.m.

Features of the Aggie Access Card System and related security policies are:

  • Doors propped or remaining open longer than 45 seconds will trigger a local alarm at the door.
  • Infrared motion detectors are located on the inside of each door. As you approach to exit the hall, the door will automatically unlock. Do not stand within three feet of the door while waiting for guests or the door will remain unlocked.
  • In case the motion detectors should ever fail, touch silver hand plates, located next to the doors, to open the doors and exit the hall.
  • ID card cancellation for lost cards is available at https://myaggiecard.tamu.edu/. A loaner card (for residence hall or apartment building access only) may be obtained from a staff member at one of the residence hall 24-hour desks or at the White Creek or Gardens Apartments Office.
  • If your ID is not working, please visit your area office to have it reactivated.
  • Do not give or loan your ID card to anyone.
Occasionally, bats will get into the residence halls and apartments, particularly in the spring months. If you see a bat, take the steps below to report it and protect yourself and your neighbors.

  • First, do not panic. Never touch a bat or attempt to trap/kill a bat!
  • Call the SSC Service Solutions Communications Center at 979.845.4311. Be sure to tell them the specific location of the bat in as much detail as possible.
  • Find a staff member and alert him/her of the bat’s presence. If you cannot find a staff member in the Residence halls call the 24-hour desk at 979.845.2821. For White Creek Office, call 979.458.8500 or for the Gardens Office, call 979.845.2261.
  • If you come into contact with a bat, are bitten by a bat, or wake up to find a bat in your room, it is strongly recommended that you seek medical attention at Student Health Services or with your health care provider, as some bats may carry rabies. While rabies can be fatal, a doctor’s treatment after a bat encounter is very effective.
Code Maroon is Texas A&M University’s emergency notification system that gives the University the ability to communicate health and safety information in an emergency. Texas A&M will use the system only to provide official notification of critical emergencies (i.e. situations that pose an imminent, physical threat to the community).

To subscribe to the Code Maroon text alerts, go to http://codemaroon.tamu.edu. You can choose to Opt Out at any time if you no longer wish to receive text alerts.

If you have any questions, email codemaroon@tamu.edu or call Help Desk Central at 979.845.8300.

To learn what you should do in case of an emergency, visit http://www.tamu.edu/emergency. In an emergency, Texas A&M will post additional emergency updates and announcements at http://emergency.tamu.edu when they become available. Texas A&M will also communicate important emergency information with local television and radio outlets.

Students living in the Residence Halls or University Apartments who are diagnosed with a communicable disease, including but not limited to chicken pox, measles, mumps, mononucleosis, Ebola, and SARS that proves to be a health threat to other residents may be relocated to an alternate apartment/room on campus until such time when it is determined the student is no longer contagious.

The Department of Residence Life staff will maintain the privacy of any student who has knowledge of testing positive for any communicable diseases. To make arrangements to temporarily relocate due to having a communicable disease, contact your apartment or hall staff.

Community-Oriented Police Services (C.O.P.S.) is a partnership between the Texas A&M Police Department and the Department of Residence Life, focused on working together to provide a safe and secure community. Check out their page for special events around campus.
During the housing application and contract renewal processes, students living on campus are required to provide at least one emergency contact to the Department of Residence Life. This information will be kept confidential. It will only be used by Department of Residence Life staff, and other Texas A&M staff members with emergency response job responsibilities, or in the case of emergencies involving students such as death, life threatening injuries, or a missing person report.

Students may update their emergency contact information at any time by going to myHousing Portal. Students are also encouraged to register their emergency contact information at https://howdy.tamu.edu/.

Tampering with, damaging or inhibiting the use of emergency equipment is prohibited. Residents may not use emergency equipment for any purpose other than emergency use. This includes fire extinguishers, heat, gas and smoke detectors, exit signs, or any other emergency equipment.

Residents are not permitted to hang anything from or around sprinkler heads. Because of the potential safety threat, residents found responsible for tampering with or damaging emergency equipment may be subject to university disciplinary action and/or contract cancellation.

Emergency or “blue light” phones have been installed at various locations across campus. These are distinguished by the 12-foot pole with the blue light on top. These phones have “EMERGENCY” printed on the front and sides.

  • FOR EMERGENCIES: Press the button or dial 911. The University Police will immediately know your exact location. Talk directly into the speaker.
  • FOR NON-EMERGENCIES: to dial a local, non-emergency number, press the key pad numbers. The phone call will time out after three minutes. Appropriate non-emergency calls include vehicle repair help, calling for Corps escort services, or calling a friend for assistance.
To report an emergency dial 911 if you are on campus, off campus, or on a cell phone.

You should dial 911 to:

  • Report emergencies that jeopardize the safety of life or property
  • Receive emergency medical attention
  • Report crimes in progress or that have just occurred
  • Report accidents
  • Report fires

Examples of non-emergency calls are:

  • Burglaries (unless they are in progress)
  • Reports of property theft
  • Routine reports and information requests.

Remember, dialing 911 is for emergencies only! If your call is not an emergency, you should dial 979.845.2345. This is the non-emergency phone number at the University Police Department.

In some emergency situations, such as flooding or release of hazardous materials, emergency responders may order protective actions for persons who live or work on campus. Typically, these protective actions are to evacuate to a safer area or to shelter in place. It is possible that some emergency scenarios could result in one of these protective actions being ordered for one part of campus and other protective actions for a different area of campus. When such actions are warranted, police, fire, safety or university officials via radio and television stations, Emergency Alert System, public address systems, loud speakers, door-to-door notifications or other means will appropriately advise you.

Area Evacuation for Emergencies

An area evacuation is an organized withdrawal from a building or area to go to an assigned safe location. Upon notification to evacuate, quickly:

  • Dress appropriately for the weather.
  • Take only essentials with you, e.g., eye-glasses, medications, identification and money (cash/checkbook/credit cards). Do not take time to pack belongings.
  • Turn off computers, unnecessary equipment and appliances.
  • Close and lock the door as you exit your room/apartment.
  • Follow the directions provided for safe routes of evacuation.
  • Listen to the radio to monitor emergency status.
  • Do not use your personal vehicle for evacuation unless specifically instructed to do so.

If you need special assistance, contact your resident advisor, professional staff members or other appropriate emergency contacts. If these staff members are not available, call the University Police Department at 979.845.2345 for assistance.

Sheltering in Place for Emergencies

When emergency conditions do not warrant or allow evacuation, the safest method to protect individuals may be to take shelter inside a campus building or apartment and await further instructions. If asked to shelter in place, quickly:

  • Move indoors or remain there. Avoid windows and areas with glass.
  • If available, take a radio, computer or mobile device to the room to track emergency status.
  • Keep telephone lines free for emergency responders. Do not call 911 for information.

If hazardous materials are involved:

  • Turn off ventilation/AC systems (if accessible) and close or seal all air inlets and cracks from the outside.
  • Select a room that is easy to seal and, if possible, has a water supply and access to restrooms.

If you smell gas or vapor, hold a wet cloth loosely over your nose and mouth and breathe through it as normally as possible.

Evacuation

You are required to evacuate the building or area when instructed to do so by a university authority, police or firefighter, or when a fire or smoke alarm sounds.

Fire extinguishers can be found in each hallway or breezeway. Before attempting to use a fire extinguisher, pull a pull station.

To use a fire extinguisher, remember the PASSword. Keep your back to an exit and stand 6 to 8 feet away from the fire. Follow the four-step PASS procedure. If the fire does not begin to go out immediately, leave the area at once.

PULL the pin: This unlocks the operating lever and allows you to discharge the extinguisher. The pin should be held in place with a safety or tamper seal.

AIM low: Point the extinguisher nozzle or hose at the base of the fire.

SQUEEZE the lever above the handle: This discharges the extinguishing agent. Releasing the level will stop the discharge. Completely compress the lever when discharging the extinguisher.

SWEEP from side to side: Moving carefully toward the fire, keep the extinguisher aimed at the base of the fire and sweep back and forth until the flames appear to be out. If the fire reignites, repeat the process. Never turn your back on a fire, even if it is extinguished, because it can reignite.

Environmental Health and Safety (EHS), in cooperation with the Department of Residence Life staff, will conduct fire and life safety inspections twice a year. Inspections will take place once in the fall and spring semesters.

The intent of the inspections is to increase the level of safety and safety awareness for all residents, safety practices in general and the fire and life safety rules found in the resident contract and this resident handbook will be the primary focus of the inspections.

All inspections will be conducted between the hours of 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday. All inspections will be performed by a staff member from the Environmental Health and Safety Department and a Department of Residence Life staff member.

Residents will be notified of specific dates of the inspections. Here is a list of some things the safety officers will be looking for during the inspection:

  • Entrances/exits must be free of furniture. Furniture may not block windows, and doors must be able to open 90 degrees without interference.
  • All stored items in the closet and on top of the kitchen cabinet must be at least 18 inches below the ceiling.
  • Electrical: use of extension cords, cover plate missing/damaged, electrical wiring frayed/damaged/crimped, multi-adapter without breaker in use, prohibited/unapproved appliances, microwave/refrigerator not plugged directly into wall.
  • All stove tops and ovens must be free of foil and kept clean at all times. Foil serves as a source of grease build up around the stove top that may be a potential fire hazard.
  • Fire Alarm Equipment: smoke detector obstructed (min. 24-inch clearance), smoke detector damaged, blocked sprinkler heads.
  • Ignition Sources/Combustible Products: candles/incense being present in the room, flammable liquids in the room, combustible materials near electrical source, and excessive fire load in the room.
  • Emergency Planning: absence of the evacuation plan on the back of the room door, windows/doors obstructed.
  • Miscellaneous: poor housekeeping, floor/wall/ceiling penetrations, and the door closure missing/damaged.
  • Room windows will be checked to ensure they are a viable point of exit and/or way of notifying emergency responders of your presence in the room. Do not block your windows with furniture.

Upon completion of the inspection, EHS staff will leave a paper summary of any deficiencies found. Residents will have three days to correct any deficiencies. Residents will only be responsible for correcting deficiencies related to items in their control. Maintenance staff will correct any facility-related deficiencies. Failure by the residents to correct items within the given deadline could result in disciplinary action up to and including contract termination.

Fire Alarm Procedures

Fire or Smoke Present

If you are in your room/apartment when the smoke alarm or fire alarm sounds:

  • Evacuate the building. Quickly put on appropriate clothing and shoes. Do not use the elevators.
  • Use caution before opening any doors. Feel the door with the back of your hand. If the door is cool, stay low and open the door. If the door is hot, find an alternate escape route.
  • Pull the nearest fire alarm if the building alarm has not sounded.
  • Call 911 (Emergency Services) from a neighbor’s phone.
  • Do not re-enter your building until the Fire Department has declared it safe to do so.

If you are trapped in your room/apartment:

  • Keep the door closed and seal cracks with tape, clothes, sheets, etc.
  • Call 911 to report that you are trapped and to report your location.
  • Hang a light-colored piece of cloth out your window to signal firefighters.
  • Stay low and stay calm as you wait for firefighters.

If you discover a fire, activate a pull station. Pull stations are located near each exit. When you get to a safe area outside, call 911 from a convenience phone, blue light phone or from your cell phone. Answering the questions from the dispatcher clearly will ensure a quick response from emergency personnel.

Whether you believe the alarm to be a drill or actual fire, everyone, including staff, must leave the building whenever the alarm sounds. In addition to violating state law, initiating false alarms and tampering with fire safety equipment could jeopardize the safety of all residents.

If you are ill or injured and in need of immediate help, contact Emergency Medical Services at 911 from a campus phone or cell phone. EMS will respond 24-hours a day, 365 days a year and is a service for all enrolled students.

For all your non-emergency health care needs and questions, Student Health Services (SHS) is located in the Beutel Health Center and can be reached at 979.458.8316 or online at http://shs.tamu.edu/.

SHS is an accredited ambulatory health care provider serving the Texas A&M University student body by providing primary health care services and promoting health through prevention and education. It does not provide major hospitalization or treatment outside of the clinic. All currently enrolled students at Texas A&M University who have paid the Student Health Services Fee may receive services at the health center.

Services available at the Student Health Center include:

Medical Clinic Dial-A-Nurse Physical Therapy
Immediate Care EMS/Ambulance Service Radiology
Preventive Medicine Health Education Laboratory
Specialty Clinics Nutrition Services Pharmacy
For healthcare charges not covered by the mandatory student health fee or for treatment by health care providers other than Student Health Services, health insurance is recommended. Some sources of health insurance are group insurance coverage through employment, the parent’s or guardian’s health insurance, a student’s individual insurance, or the Student Health Insurance Policy. The university endorses the Student Health Insurance Policy.

Policy information is available online at http://tamuinsurance.com/.

Any enrolled A&M System student taking at least six credit hours of classes is eligible to enroll in this insurance plan. Students who are enrolled in special classes and take less than six credit/contact hours of class work will be determined eligible for these insurance programs if the reduced coursework meets the criteria for the completion of a degree plan or international program as defined and approved by The Texas A&M University System.

Eligible students who enroll may also insure their dependents. You may want to compare your current coverage with this policy when considering health insurance. This policy may be useful when:

  • Student gets married
  • Student becomes legally independent
  • Student is studying abroad
  • Student reaches the age of attainment on a parent’s policy (is no longer covered)

The Student Health Insurance Policy may be purchased locally through Dunlap Financial Services, 111 East University, Suite 110, College Station, TX 77841; 979.260.9632. The policy may also be purchased online at http://tamuinsurance.com/

Although steps are taken to maintain all university facilities and grounds and to provide adequate security, Texas A&M University is not liable for the loss of or damage to personal property caused by acts of nature, fire, water, smoke, utility or equipment malfunctions, or caused by the conduct of any resident or his/her guest(s). Therefore, residents are strongly encouraged to carry a personal property or renter’s insurance policy for their belongings while living on campus. In some cases, a parent or guardian’s homeowner’s insurance will cover loss or damage to personal belongings on campus. However, you should review policies carefully for any coverage limitations and/or applicable deductibles.

If you decide to purchase property or renter’s insurance you will need to choose from a wide variety of companies and polices. To help with your choice, the University has selected Arthur J. Gallagher & Co. as its preferred property/renter’s insurance company. Arthur J. Gallagher & Co. offers a variety of coverage options at reasonable prices.

Information about available policies can be found online at http://collegestudentinsurance.com/. For more information, contact the Coordinator of Residence Life Risk Management at 979.862.3158.

Things to keep in mind when you post on Facebook, Twitter or other virtual communities:

  • Even if your profile is private, there are ways around it so be mindful of what you post. Inappropriate postings or behavior may be a violation of the Student Rules. For specific information, visit student-rules.tamu.edu.
  • Employers may search Facebook, Twitter, Google, etc for more information about you. Google yourself so you are aware of how you could be portrayed.
  • Remember the Aggie Honor Code. Aggies do not lie, cheat or steal nor tolerate those who do.
In addition to the staff living in the buildings, the University Police Department has employed over 100 certified Police Officers and Security Officers to work on campus. Security Officers are paid by Residence Life to patrol the areas outside the residence halls and University Apartments every day watching for suspicious activities, propped doors and open/broken windows.
According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) 101-Life Safety Code, each resident’s room that opens into an interior corridor shall be self-closing. Self-closing devices have been installed on all residents’ room doors to reduce the chance of a fire extending into the rest of the building. Do not tamper with or remove these devices. Damage to these devices will be treated as a serious discipline matter and replacement costs will be billed back to the responsible resident(s). Exits should not be blocked or obstructed, and residence hall room doors must be able to open 90 degrees.

Residence Halls

At least one Resident Advisor (RA) per hall and at least two Graduate or full-time Community Directors are “on duty” every night of the week, with the exception of some holiday periods. Contact the RA on duty between the hours of 5 pm and 7 am by calling the 24-hour Help Desk at 979.845.2821. If any problem arises, please contact the staff member on duty in your hall. During weekday hours, contact any staff member you can find, or call the Area Offices (North Area Office – 979.845.4768, South Area Office – 979.845.2235), which are open from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

University Apartments

There will be one Apartment Resident Advisor (ARA) on duty every night of the week between the hours of 5:00 p.m. and 8:00 a.m. The Gardens Apartments RA on duty may be contacted by calling 979.220.1637 and the White Creek Apartments ARA on duty may be contacted by calling 979.458.8500.

Texas A&M is committed to the fundamental principles of academic freedom, equality of opportunity and human dignity. To fulfill its multiple missions as an institution of higher learning, Texas A&M encourages a climate that values and nurtures collegiality, diversity, pluralism and the uniqueness of the individual within our state, nation and world. All decisions and actions involving students and employees should be based on applicable law and individual merit.

Texas A&M University, in accordance with applicable federal and state law, prohibits discrimination, including harassment, on the basis of race, color, national or ethnic origin, religion, sex, disability, age, sexual orientation, or veteran status.

Individuals who believe they have experienced harassment or discrimination prohibited by this statement are encouraged to contact the appropriate offices within their respective units.

Students should contact the Office of the Dean of Student Life at 979.845.3111, faculty members should contact the Office of the Dean of Faculties and Associate Provost at 979.845.4274, and staff members should contact the Human Resources Department Employee Relations Office at 979.862.4027.

If you or someone you know has encountered a hate/biased incident, you may file a report at stophate.tamu.edu. You have the option to fill in your contact information or submit the report anonymously. Reports submitted anonymously or with limited information may limit our ability to follow up on an incident. Once a report is submitted online, a copy is emailed to a team for appropriate review and necessary action.

NOTE: Confidentiality cannot be guaranteed for every report submitted through this site. State law determines confidentiality.

If any member of the university community observes any behavior (by a student, staff or faculty member) that is concerning, individuals may report the behavior using the online report form found at http://tellsomebody.tamu.edu/reportingform. Alternatively, you may call the following numbers during business hours to make a report.

In reference to student behavior:In reference to staff behavior:In reference to faculty behavior:
Offices of the Dean
of Student Life

979.845.3111
Human Resources Employee
Assistance Program

979.845.3711
Dean of Faculties
979.845.4274

Tell Somebody is not a system to be used for emergencies. If you are in an emergency situation that requires medical, psychological or police services, call 911.

For more information about the Tell Somebody program, visit http://tellsomebody.tamu.edu.

Students may contact the Dean of Student Life for interim accommodation measures, questions or assistance in arranging contact with the Dean of Faculties or the Office of Organizational Consulting and Resolution Management. For more information regarding the filing and processing of a sexual harassment and/or sexual misconduct report please visit http://student-rules.tamu.edu/rule47.

Contacts

Complaints against students, contact:Complaints against faculty, contact:Complaints against staff or third party, contact:Any complaint can be reported
to the Title IX Coordinator:
Dr. Anne Reber
Dr. Anne Reber
Dean of Student Life
See location at
http://studentlife.tamu.edu
College Station, TX
77843-1257
Mail Stop 1257
studentlife@tamu.edu
979.845.3111
Dr. Blanca Lupiani
Executive Assoc
Dean of Faculties
108 YMCA Building
College Station, TX
77843-1126
Mail Stop 1126
dof@tamu.edu
979.845.4274
Wanda S. Boyd
Director of Organizational
Consulting and Resolution Management
750 Agronomy Rd., Suite 1201
College Station, TX
77843-1255
Mail Stop 1255
ocrm@tamu.edu
979.862.4027
Jennifer M. Smith
Title IX Coordinator
750 Agronomy Rd.
Suite 2101
College Station, TX
77843-1280
Mail Stop 1280
TitleIX.Coordinator@tamu.edu
979.845.0977

Reporting to Law Enforcement

Students have the option of notifying law enforcement authorities including university and local police. An anonymous Jane/John Doe report can be filed with the police while deciding whether to pursue criminal charges. Law enforcement is able to help victims understand the process of obtaining orders of protection, no contact orders, restraining orders, or similar lawful orders issued by the courts. Below is a list of local law enforcement agencies. Reports should be filed with the agencies where the incident occurred

University Police Department979.845.2345
University Police Department Victim’s Advocate979.862.9767
College Station Police Department979.764.3600
Bryan Police Department979.209.5301
Brazos County Sheriff’s Department979.361.4100

Confidential Reporting Option

In most cases, counselors in the Student Counseling Service (http://scs.tamu.edu/ or 979.845.4427) are not required to, nor may, report an incident that in any way identifies the student concerned without the student’s consent. However, if an imminent harm situation is present, the counselor must take action to protect whoever is at risk.

GLBT Resource Center979.862.8920
Student Assistance Services979.845.3113
Student Counseling Service (SCS) 979.845.4427
SCS Helpline979.845.2700
Student Health Services979.458.8316
Women’s Resource Center979.845.8784
Texas A&M University has installed a Lightning Prediction System that will give people participating in outdoor activities advance warning of possible dangerous weather conditions. Each system is capable of sensing atmospheric conditions and predicting lightning strikes at ranges of approximately two miles. In the event of dangerous conditions, the system will give one long horn blast (approximately 15 seconds) accompanied by a flashing light.

Once the dangerous conditions have passed, three short horn blasts (approximately five seconds each) will sound that all is clear and the flashing lights will turn off. In the event of a system warning, please consider the following:

  • Seek shelter: in campus buildings, cars/trucks and lightning shelters.
  • Avoid: open areas, elevated ground, water, flagpoles, tall trees, metal fences, golf carts or mowers, cellular phones, and radios.

The horn will only sound the initial warning. The strobe lights will continue until the danger has passed. If someone was indoors and unable to hear the warning, they can check the strobe lights to see if there is danger present.

Watches and Warnings

The National Weather Service and local radio and television stations will announce watches and warnings about severe weather. Two good sources for local weather news are KBTX-TV (cable channel 3.1 CBS) and KAMU-Radio (90.9 FM) as they both broadcast National Weather Service watches and warnings.

If a Tornado Watch or Severe Storm Watch is issued, you should:

  • Review Emergency Plans
  • Be alert for changing weather conditions.
  • Be prepared to act.

If a Tornado Warning or Severe Storm Warning is issued, you should immediately take the following precautions:

  • Do not go outside.
  • Move into the smallest interior space without exterior windows or doors (such as inner hallways, interior stairwells, bathrooms or closets).
  • Avoid the top floor of buildings and any area that may be glass enclosed or has a large unsupported roof.
  • If you are unable to move to a small interior place of shelter, get under a sturdy piece of furniture.
  • Monitor local radio or television stations for announcements of any additional actions to take and/or for cancellation of the warning.
  • Occupants of the building should remain in the place of shelter until the warning has been officially canceled.