Security, Safety and Emergency Procedures
Although the College takes seriously the need to provide a campus that is as safe as possible, each student must assume responsibility for her own personal safety. No environment can be assumed to be totally safe, so each person must be constantly alert to her own safety and that of her peers.
The best defense is a good offense. To increase personal safety and security, students are advised to take the following precautions:
- Be aware of your surroundings. Avoid dark areas and non-populated areas. Be vigilant. Look for and report suspicious activity to campus police immediately.
- Avoid walking alone to and from the outer parking lots after dark. Call for a Campus Police escort, when appropriate.
- Travel with a companion, whenever possible.
- Resident students should keep their doors locked while not in their rooms.Lock doors to cars, residence hall rooms, etc. Close and lock ground level windows. Do not leave the outer doors to residence halls or apartments propped open.
- If you decide to go out alone with a casual acquaintance, make sure to know that person’s identity. You should also tell a friend where you are going, who will be accompanying you and when you are expected to return.
- Avoid parties where drugs or excessive use of alcohol is obvious.
- Set limits and communicate them clearly. Understand your right to say “No!” at any time and have that decision respected and obeyed.
Campus Emergency Plan
A comprehensive campus emergency plan is posted on the emergency planning website at www.meredith.edu/emergency-planning/default.htm The College’s Incident Management Team annually reviews campus emergency plans and procedures.
Campus Emergency Procedures
Campus Closing Hours
Campus closing hours are 1 a.m. Sunday through Thursday, and 2 a.m. Friday and Saturday. As an additional security measure, Meredith is closed to the public at 11 p.m. daily. At this time all cars, except those belonging to the Oaks Apartment residents and their guests, entering the campus must stop at the gatehouse. Only those individuals with justifiable reasons may continue onto campus.
For residence hall students and students entering campus after 11 p.m. each night:
- Meredith students present Meredith ID or driver’s license to security at the gate house. Students are encouraged never to leave campus without their Meredith ID. Any student returning to campus after hours without her Meredith ID will be fined $5.
- Persons other than Meredith students must present their drivers’ license, which will be retained by campus police until they leave campus. No one will be allowed to enter campus without proper identification.
- Cars must proceed to the appropriate designated campus location. If uncertain, ask the campus police officer at the gatehouse.
- If the driver of the car is a Meredith student, she proceeds to her designated parking lot.
- If the driver is not a Meredith student and is dropping off a Meredith student, s/he proceeds to the residence hall of the Meredith student(s); drops off passenger(s); returns immediately to gatehouse to reclaim ID; exits campus.
- Meredith student(s) then proceed(s) to the entry door of the residence hall.
- The Faircloth gate will be locked nightly at 11 p.m. and opened at 6:00 a.m. During holidays and other specified times, the Faircloth Gate may be locked earlier in the day or remain locked all day.
- The Wade gate is locked at 10 p.m. and opened at 5:30 a.m. During holidays and other specified times, the Wade Gate may be locked earlier in the day or remain locked all day.
- The Greenway Gates are locked and opened based on the sunset and sunrise schedules posted by the United States Naval Observatory and can be found in the Raleigh News and Observer’s Weather section. When the Greenway Gates are locked, the Greenway is officially closed. All patrons must immediately exit.
All campus classroom buildings will normally be opened at 7 a.m. and locked at 11 p.m., during school periods. At 11 p.m., a Meredith student who is in a classroom building may remain there if she has her Meredith ID in her possession, reports her specific location to Campus Police (8888), and is accompanied by another Meredith student (with ID), who is within sight of her, at all times. (All students are encouraged to work with a partner anytime they are in a classroom building after dark.)
It is the student’s responsibility to ensure that any door she exits locks behind her.
This schedule applies only during the regular academic calendar (holidays excluded) and does not include the swimming pool or the library. Check at those locations for current hours.
- Johnson Hall is open at 7 a.m. and locked most evenings at 6 p.m.The Faircloth Gate is opened at 6:45 a.m. and locked each evening at 11 p.m. During holidays and other specified times, the Faircloth Gate may be locked earlier in the day.
- Residence halls are locked 24 hours daily. Access is by Meredith CamCard at specified doors. Check the College calendar for special lockup times related to holidays.
Students may only enter and exit residence halls via doors with CamCard readers.
Missing Student Notification Policy
Meredith College takes student safety very seriously. If a member of the College community has reason to believe that a Meredith student who resides in on-campus housing is missing, he or she should immediately notify Meredith College Campus Police at 919-760-8888. Campus Police, in conjunction with College Programs staff (residence life staff, Dean of Students, etc.), will initiate an investigation which will include the following:
- Conduct a welfare check in the student’s on-campus residence.
- Attempt to contact the missing student via her phone numbers on file in the Office of Residence Life and/or the Office of the Registrar.
- Call or speak in person with known contacts such as roommate, suitemates, apartment mates, and friends.
- Contact student employer, if known.
- Contact the student’s professors to gather information about the student’s recent class attendance.
- If the student has a vehicle, Campus Police will attempt to locate the vehicle on campus.
If the student cannot be located after reasonable efforts, the Dean of Students or the Chief of Campus Police will then contact the student’s emergency contacts no later than 24 hours after the student has been determined to be missing. If a confidential contact has been listed by the student and the student is over the age of 18, that person will be contacted. If the missing student is under the age of 18 and is not an emancipated individual, the Dean of Students or the Chief of Campus Police will notify the student’s parents or legal guardians. If the investigation indicates that a student is missing, Campus Police will file a Missing Persons Report with the Raleigh Police Department.
In addition to registering an emergency contact with the Office of Residence Life, students residing in on-campus housing have the option to identify confidentially an individual to be contacted by Meredith College in the event the student is determined to be missing for more than 24 hours. If a student has identified such an individual, the College will notify that person no later than 24 hours after the student is determined to be missing. Students who wish to identify a confidential contact may do so through adding the name and contact information on the emergency contact form completed by the student when moving into the on-campus residence, or by contacting the Office of Residence Life at 919-760-8633. A student’s confidential contact information will be accessible only by authorized campus officials as appropriate.
Card Access to Residence Halls
In an effort to provide as secure a living environment as possible, all residence halls are locked 24 hours daily. Students access the building through specially-equipped doors using their CamCards. Students must exercise utmost care to protect their CamCards and immediately report any lost or stolen card to the CamCard office. Students pulling on doors in order to gain entry and breaking the lock will be subject to judicial action. Check the College calendar for special lockup times related to holidays.
Important—Please Note: Any student returning to campus after hours without her Meredith ID will be fined $10. She will have 72 hours in which to appeal her fine to security before the charge is forwarded to the Accounting Office.
Access to Apartments
The apartment building main doors will be open for resident and guest access. Exterior doors and interior hall doors will be locked 24-hours a day and can be accessed with a student’s CamCard.
Minor Illness or Injury to Students
During the regular academic year, students with minor illness or injuries should be referred to the Health Center, (919) 760-8535.
Illness or injury to resident students during hours when the Health Center is closed should be reported to the residence director, apartment manager or residence director on duty. If a residence director or apartment manager cannot be located, notify the campus police department of the student’s illness or injury at (919) 760-8888.
Emergency Notification Systems
Meredith College has several methods of notifying students, faculty and staff in the event of an emergency.
Emergency Notification through Voicemail, Email and Text Messaging
In the spring of 2008, Meredith College launched MC Alert for rapid emergency notification. This system allows Meredith to convey time-sensitive information within minutes, through a single phone call.
With MC Alert, Meredith can schedule, send and track personalized voicemail, email and text messages for all members of their community.
These messages are sent via four different modes of communication:
- Voice messages to home, work and/or cell phones
- Text messages to cell phones, PDAs and other text-based devices
- Written messages to e-mail accounts
- Messages to receiving devices for the hearing impaired.
Campus Alarm Warning System
Meredith has a siren warning system that allows the College to issue warnings for incidents involving safety and security issues. This system has both alarm and voice warning capability.
Theft of Personal Property
Students who experience a theft or loss of personal property should alert Campus Police as soon as possible. Meredith is not responsible for the personal property of students. Families are encouraged to make sure that homeowner’s insurance policies cover the student’s residence hall or apartment property. If a student has evidence that another student is responsible for the theft, she should alert the campus police and solicitor general of the Honor Council
Use common sense when enjoying the snowfall, and consider your own safety and that of others.
- Stay away from windows and doors in the event of high winds and falling limbs.
- Do not attempt to drive on campus.
- Listen to the radio or TV regarding the closing of classes or call the Meredith inclement weather number, 919-832-8878.
- In case of power failure, see your residence life or apartment staff for instructions.
In case of fire:
If YOU discover the fire:
- Activate the nearest alarm.
- Get out of the building immediately if fire is
- Alert Campus Police at 8888. Also alert residence director for a residence hall fire or apartment
manager for an apartment fire.
- If it is a small fire, use a fire extinguisher.
- If it is a large fire, exit the building.
- Before leaving a room, check the doorknob to see if it is hot. If hot, do not open; go to the window and wait for the firefighters to rescue. Do not try to jump or climb down. (With the door closed, you are not in immediate danger).
- If smoke is beginning to fill the hallway as you evacuate, grab something to help filter the smoke. If you get caught in heavy smoke, crawl to the nearest exit.
- If fire blocks your nearest exit, go immediately to the next closest exit.
- If evacuating a residence hall, meet the resident assistant at the evacuation meeting point; if evacuating the apartment building, meet a staff person outside the building at the designated meeting point.
During a fire drill:
- Close windows.
- Turn off all lights except overhead.
- Close door when leaving.
- Walk rapidly (do not run) out of the building. The first person to reach the door should hold it open for others.
- When evacuating a residence hall, meet the resident assistant at the evacuation meeting place. If evacuating the apartment building, meet a staff person outside the building at the designated meeting point.
- Wait for the “all clear signal” from a person in authority to return.
Please Note: Students should be aware that it is against the law to activate a fire alarm when there is no fire.
Information for resident students regarding procedures during fire drills or real fires:
Residence Hall Association
Coordinates check of fire alarm equipment with the director of residence life and campus police during the first week of school.
Designates the date and time for the drill and announces it at the regular meeting of the Executive Board.
Explains procedure to the residence hall presidents.
Informs security and RD on duty prior to the fire drill.
Informs the director of residence life of the fire drill.
Designates outside evacuation meeting places for each hall to line up in single-file line.
Residence Hall Presidents
Conduct fire procedures training for resident assistants, fire marshals, and residence directors.
Locate fire alarms for the residence hall; know how to operate them and check to make sure they are working correctly (check with the Residence Hall Association chief Fire Marshal) Check fire extinguishers on each hall of the residence halls periodically to see that they are functional.
Make sure resident assistants have chosen fire marshal suites.
Inform the hall of designated outside evacuation meeting place for hall residents to line up in single file.
Sound alarm at the designated time and move to designated evacuation meeting place.
Receive reports from resident assistants.
Relay any necessary information to residence directors, security and firefighters.
In a fire drill, at the signal of the Residence Hall Association chair, deactivate the alarm to signal the end of the drill.
Check rooms to make sure all students are out and make note of any locked doors.
Knock on locked doors or closed doors.
Close windows and turn off overhead lights in each room.
Close doors to each room.
Go directly to the resident assistant and report that all rooms are clear.
Move quickly to the evacuation meeting point.
Receive reports from fire marshals and account for all students on the hall using hall roster.
Report to the residence hall president evacuation times and problems (in real fire, i.e., the possibility of students still in building, etc.). Remain at the assigned position until instructed to return to the residence hall.
Residence Hall Association Chair
Records the time of each residence hall’s departure.
Receives reports from the residence hall presidents regarding evacuation after the fire drill.
Keeps careful records of all fire drills and forwards copies of these records to the director of residence life.
Students residing in on-campus apartments will receive specific fire safety information from the Oaks staff.
Fire Alarm System Policies
Students should be aware that it is against the law to activate a fire alarm when there is no fire. It is also against the law to tamper with fire safety equipment including automatic door closure hardware.
Fire Drill Policy
Fire drills are held frequently for the safety of all students. Any student who does not leave the residence hall or apartment during a fire drill will be subject to a maximum penalty of $50. Repeated failure to cooperate in the fire drill procedures will result in judicial action.
Unlike a tornado, a hurricane usually allows adequate warning of a strike, and you can adequately prepare to evacuate or secure belongings.
- Cooperate with staff and Campus Police. They will direct you.
- Have a battery-operated radio available to listen to for information regarding the storm.
- Keep windows and doors closed.
- Unless otherwise instructed, stay inside the residence hall.
- Move to the first floor if necessary.
- See your residence hall staff for further instructions.
Tornado Emergency Procedures
Campus police and the dean of students have weather alert radios that emit an audible signal if the national weather bureau has issued a warning for our immediate area. Staff members will sound the siren for an alert. When siren is activated individuals should move indoors.
A tornado watch means tornados are possible. A tornado warning means that a tornado has been sighted in the warning area.
If a tornado watch is issued, prepare to protect yourself:
- Keep the radio or TV tuned to weather announcements.
- Keep a flashlight nearby in case the power goes out.
- Be alert for changes in the weather.
- Be prepared to move to a safe shelter.
- See your residence hall staff for further instructions.
If a tornado warning is issued, or if you see or hear a tornado coming, don’t wait:
- Proceed quickly and quietly to the first floor hallway, a safe area. THEN STAY INSIDE!
- Make sure all first floor doors are closed for safety.
- When in a safe area, crouch on your knees, head down, and cover your head with your arms.
- Stay out of large glassed areas and away from windows.
- Cooperate and accept direction from staff and campus police.
- See your residence hall staff for further instructions.
Know these tornado danger signs:
Bad Thunderstorm: thunder, lightning, hard rain, strong winds.
Hail: bullets of ice from a dark, cloudy sky.
Funnel: a dark, spinning rope or column from the sky to the ground.
In the event of a tornado alert, students must follow the following procedures:
- Go immediately to an interior first floor hallway or basement. Avoid areas with wide, free-span roofs such as the gymnasium.
- Close all first floor doors for safety.
- Move as far away from windows and outside doors as possible.
- Take shelter underneath a desk or any heavy furniture available.
- Sit down on the hallway floor with your head between your knees and cover your head with your hands.
- Remain in this position until danger is past.