Safety and Security FAQ

  • Information about safety and security in the Residence Halls.

    How do students gain access to the buildings?

    As a part of the Office of Housing, Residential Living, and Dining’s ongoing commitment to the safety and well-being of all residents, a multifaceted security system is in place in all residential buildings on campus. The four main features of the system are:

    1. university I-Card/building access,
    2. exterior door alarms,
    3. building lock-up times, and
    4. video surveillance cameras.

    The university I-Card performs numerous functions, one of which is building access. Your I-Card has been specifically programmed so that it can be swiped through the card reader(s) at your building to allow you access. Your I-Card is programmed for use at this/these card reader(s) only and will not work in any readers in any other building on campus. Instructions on how to use your I-Card are posted near each reader. If you have a problem gaining access to your residence hall with your I-Card, report it to your residence hall office. In the event your I-Card is lost or stolen, you should report this immediately to the main desk at the Hadley Union Building, Monday–Friday, between 8:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m. and between 10:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. on Saturdays. After 8:00 p.m. and before 8:00 a.m., as well as on weekends (except for Saturdays between 10:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m.), you should report a missing or stolen I-Card to the University Police desk. When you report your I-Card lost or stolen, it will be deactivated and you will be issued either a new I-Card or a temporary building access card, depending on the time of day or day of the week. The current cost for a placement I-card is $15.

    Are there any video cameras?

    Electronic video surveillance cameras are installed and operational at all exits/entrances of each residential building and can be used in the investigation of criminal activity. In the suite buildings, there are also cameras in each hallway and elevator.

    What should I know about personal safety and security?

    Safety and security starts with you! IUP is a relatively safe community. However, like any community, crimes can and do occur here. The university promotes campus safety and security in various ways: by educating students about safety and security issues, providing secure icard access to buildings for redidents, installing cameras around the residence halls, upgrading security equipment, and providing escorts upon request.

    In addition to the efforts of the university, you must contribute to your own safety and the safety of others through your actions. The following precautions are important for you to build into your daily routine:

    In the Residence Halls/Apartment Buildings

    1. Lock your door whenever you leave your room/apartment, even if it is for a short time. (It only takes a thief a few seconds to commit a crime!)
    2. Don’t lend your room/apartment key or I-Card to anyone.
    3. Don’t prop residence hall/apartment building doors open—remove props if you see them.
    4. Don’t hold a door open for others to enter the building.
    5. If you lose your room/apartment key or I-Card, report it to your hall/area office immediately.
    6. Be concerned about others. If someone calls for help, check it out.
    7. Ask strangers their purpose for being on your floor or in your building.
    8. Escort any guests you may have in the building. Guests must be escorted at all times! Additionally, overnight guests must be registered via your CA or hall office.
    9. Report unusual happenings to your CA, the hall/area office, or University Police.
    10. In the event of an emergency, contact University Police immediately (724-357-2141), then inform your CA.
    11. Don’t do your laundry or shower alone during late night/early morning hours.
    12. Don’t answer your room door without first identifying the person who is knocking.
    13. Avoid intoxication—you are more vulnerable when you are under the influence of alcohol or any other drug!
    14. If you witness any individual(s) committing on act of vandalism, report him/her to your CA.
    15. Remember that your residence hall/apartment building is not just a place where you sleep and study; it is also your home and community. Part of being a responsible community member is taking pride in your environment and reporting instances of vandalism, as well as situations you observe which negatively affect the building’s overall safety and security. Your guests, friends, and roommates should be encouraged to develop a similar attitude toward their environment.

    On Campus

    1. Attempt to travel in groups of two or more people during hours of darkness.
    2. If you are alone, call University Police (724-357-2141) to be escorted by an officer.
    3. Avoid dark, deserted areas. Stay away from bushes, dark entryways, or other potential hiding places.
    4. Avoid shortcuts through unpopulated areas.
    5. If you encounter an emergency on campus, look for a blue light emergency phone. These phones are located at various locations on campus and are designated by a blue light. Simply pick up the receiver or push the call button—without dialing any numbers, you will be immediately connected to the University Police desk. You can also reach University Police by using any of the residence hall/apartment building entrance phones. Each contains a red emergency button which provides a direct link to University Police.
    6. In case of sexual assault: seek medical attention immediately at the Center for Health and Well-Being or Indiana Regional Medical Center. All care is strictly confidential. Contact the Alice Paul House (724-349-4444). This agency will provide you with an advocate who will counsel and assist you. All information is strictly confidential. Contact your CA and/or residence director who will offer support and assistance. Your residence director can also arrange for you to change rooms if that is desired.

    To Prevent Theft

    1. Borrow an engraver from University Police. Speak to your CA about sponsoring the Operation ID program on your floor. This program gives students the opportunity to engrave their driver’s license number or Social Security number on each of their valuables.
    2. Keep your room door locked at all times.
    3. Never leave possessions unattended, such as laundry, books, keys, etc.
    4. Use locks to secure bicycles. For maximum security, use a standard U-lock design. Cable and chain locks can be easily cut by thieves. Students are also encouraged to register their bicycles with University Police. Doing so will increase chances of recovery in the event of theft. If you live in a suite building, you can lock your bike in a bike storage room out of sight.
    5. If you have a vehicle, keep it locked and store valuables out of sight.
    6. Inform friends and relatives not to send you cash through the mail.
    7. Do not give your mailbox key to anyone.

    How do students gain access to their rooms?

    In the traditional residence halls, a metallic key is issued to each student at move-in for their room.

    In the suite-style buildings, the I-Card is used for access to the suites. The I-Card must be physically encoded in order for the card to access a room-this cannot be done in advance. At move-in, there will be workers encoding cards as part of the move-in process at the suites. During the semester, if students change rooms in the suites or get new cards, they currently must go to the Housing Office to have them encoded.

    Some suites have separate bedrooms. In these types of suites, students will be issued a metallic key to their bedroom.

    Are any doors alarmed?

    In order to help eliminate the unsafe practice of propping doors, all exterior access doors in your building have been alarmed. All exterior doors (except for I-Card access doors at main entrances) have an immediate alarm which will sound as soon as the door is opened. These doors are posted with a red sign and should be used only in an emergency. Exterior doors at main entrances are equipped with a delay alarm and are posted with a green sign. Should one of these doors be propped or held open for a specified length of time, an alarm will sound which can only be silenced by completely unpropping and securing the door (this also applies to wing doors in the suites). Diagrams are also posted throughout your building which indicate the location of each alarmed exterior door as well as the area in which the alarm for each door will ring.

    Are there any safety devices for the common bathrooms?

    Security devices have been installed in shower areas in all traditional residence halls with common bathrooms. Each shower area is equipped with a cord connected to a device which, when pulled, activates an alarm in that specific restroom, as well as another alarm and a yellow strobe light in the corridor immediately outside of that bathroom. When activated, these alarms will sound for one minute and shut off automatically. However, the strobe light will continue to operate until the device in the shower area has been reset. A staff member in your building will explain to all floor residents how to reset the device which will stop the strobe light from flashing and enable the device to be activated again when needed. Please realize that the device cannot be activated again unless it has been reset. Note: The sound of these alarms is distinctly different from the sound of the fire alarm system or exterior door alarms in your building.

    This security device has been installed for you to use in the event of an emergency. If you feel that you need immediate assistance while using this facility, you should pull the cord to sound the alarms, which can be heard easily by others in the area. The purpose of this device is to provide a safer living environment for all residents. You should not hesitate to use it if the need arises. However, activating this alarm system unnecessarily will defeat its intended purpose and confuse other residents. In addition, it will also be viewed as a violation of residence hall policy and will result in a referral to the judicial system. A finding of “in violation” for falsely activating a security device is likely to result in a student’s disciplinary removal from university housing and/or suspension from the university.

  • Operations FAQ
    Frequently asked questions about furniture, safety, and other operational aspects of on-campus housing.
    Suites FAQ
    Answers to questions about suite-style housing on campus
    Living-Learning Faculty and Staff FAQ
    Frequently asked questions by faculty members about living-learning communities
    Living-Learning Student FAQ
    Questions students frequently ask about living-learning communities
    Safety and Security FAQ
    Questions frequently asked about safety and security in the Residence Halls.
    Housing Signup FAQ for Continuing Students
    Information about housing signups for continuing students.
    Housing I-Card FAQ
    Information about using your I-Card for access if you live in the residence halls
    Resnet FAQ
    Questions about residential networking at IUP
    Move-In FAQ
    Answers to questions about moving into the residence halls for the Fall semester.
    Dining FAQ
    Answers to questions about dining at IUP