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Your Safety

Personal safety and the safety of your belongings and those around you are very important to the Department of University Housing. Specific instructions and hints to help keep you as safe as possible are outlined below. Remember, ultimately safety is your responsibility – be smart.

The safety of our on-campus residents is of great importance to us. Because of this, all residents living in the residence hall are issued a key to their room as well as one to their building. Individuals not residing in that particular building do not have access to it unless a resident of that building escorts them.

University Housing has an escort policy in which residents and their guests, including family members and other relatives, must be accompanied by an escort who is a resident of the hall at all times. This helps to ensure the safety of residents in their halls.

Fire Safety

To acquaint residents with a fast and orderly means of exit during an emergency, evacuation drills are conducted periodically each semester. Everyone is required to leave the building each time the alarm sounds. Failure to leave the building when the fire alarm is sounded will result in judicial action. The apartments, bedrooms, and common areas are equipped with protection systems, including fire alarms and fire sprinklers.

Evacuation procedures

  • Refer to the evacuation plan in your room.
  • Turn off all lights, televisions, etc. except for the ceiling light, and raise the blinds.
  • Stay beneath smoke. If necessary crawl out.
  • Close the door of the room or area of the fire.
  • Exit the building via the designated fire exits.

Upon discovery of a fire

  • Pull the nearest fire alarm and call 9-911.
  • Notify a staff member.
  • If you feel safe using a fire extinguisher, attempt to extinguish the fire.

Cooking Safety

University Police hosts cooking and basic kitchen safety classes in Windward Commons. All first-year residents are required to participate in this class prior to using the kitchens in Windward Commons. All residents are welcome to attend.

Tornado Safety

Tornado “weather” is usually a hot sticky day with southerly winds and a threatening, ominous sky. Clouds are often a greenish-black color.

Tornado Watch means weather conditions are suitable for a tornado.

Tornado Warning means a tornado has been indicated on radar or has actually been sighted.

In the event of a tornado warning, Georgia Southern has an emergency horn that will sound. When you hear this horn leave your room and close the door. Walk to the lowest level hallway and wait there until you receive an all clear signal from a staff member before returning to your room. Tornado drills are conducted once a semester to acquaint residents with the emergency procedures used in the event of a tornado.

During a Tornado

  • Close the blinds, and stay away from the windows.
  • Close but do not lock the door.
  • Walk to the lowest level hallway and wait for an all-clear signal from a Staff member before returning to your room.

Hurricane Safety

All residents are responsible for their own evacuation plan in the event of a university closure. In the event of an evacuation, you may be required to check out of the residence halls with hall staff. More information will be provided to students at the start of the semester.

Personal Safety

Here are some important tips to protect yourself in the halls, around campus and in town.

In the hall:

  • Lock your door; when you leave to keep your valuables safe; when you sleep to keep yourself safe.
  • Know the emergency evacuation procedures for your building; be familiar with the location of fire extinguisher and emergency exits.
  • Memorize emergency numbers.
  • Follow health and safety regulations listed in your Student Conduct Code.
  • Do not prop doors; if you can get in through a propped door, so can an unwelcome intruder.

Around campus or in town

  • Avoid walking alone at night; take a friend if you must go.
  • Look alert; eliminate the potential attacker’s element of surprise.
  • Call Night Escort Services at 478-5234 between 6 p.m. & 2 a.m. for an escort anywhere on campus.
  • Carry your keys in your hand; this helps avoid fumbling in the dark. Keys carried in your fist, one between each pair of fingers can be used as a weapon.
  • Vary your daily patterns; some attackers stalk their victims, knowing just where and when to strike. Keep them confused.
  • Pay attention to your surroundings. Where is the best lighted route? Where can you run for help if necessary?

If you are attacked

  • Keep your wits about you as best you can. Sometimes struggling can save you; sometimes it can antagonize the attacker.
  • Consider passive resistance; try talking to your attacker in a calm manner.
  • Report any attack to Public Safety or to a Staff member.
  • Seek medical attention if necessary.

Protecting Your Car

  • Always try to park your car in a lighted area.
  • Use your trunk to keep valuables in your car.
  • Lock your car before you leave it.

Personal Property

Renter’s Insurance

University Housing and Georgia Southern do not provide residents with insurance coverage for their belongings for either damage or theft. Students are strongly encouraged to obtain coverage for their personal belongings either with either a renter’s insurance policy or to see if their parent’s homeowners insurance provides them coverage at school.

Many policies include coverage for items outside rooms (e.g. laptops) and coverage can often continue if a student moves off-campus to another housing facility.

Liability Insurance

University Housing also strongly advises students to carry coverage for damage done to their room or other campus facilities in the event that they are found responsible for damages to the room or other common spaces. In the past, students have been held responsible for fire and water damages that have been the result of either accident or negligence. For example: when a student has left an item on the stove and that caused a fire that damaged their and other residence hall units. Many renters’ policies do not automatically provide coverage for this kind of loss and the student can be personally responsible, so please be sure to check your policy.

In 2010-2011, students in the Georgia Southern residence halls were billed over $37,000 for damages to university property caused by their actions or negligence

For more information about safety on campus, please click here to visit the Department of Public Safety on the Web.

Last updated: 12/1/2020