Resident Student Handbook
Safety & Emergency Information

Below you will find safety and emergency information on situations such as SVSU campus alerts, dating safety, endangerment, bomb threats, fire or explosions, evacuations, fires and tornadoes, security, parking lot safety, weapons, intruder or shelter in place, missing persons and more.

IN THE EVENT OF AN EMERGENCY CALL:

9-911 from an on-campus telephone
911 from a cell phone or off-campus telephone
911@svsu.edu via text or email

Safety & Emergency Information

The SVSU Police Department is staffed by certified police officers 24/7 and participates in a mutual aid agreement with other local law enforcement agencies. The Police and Parking Services is located at South Campus Complex A just off of Pierce Road and South Entrance Drive, and is available to assist students with emergencies, parking control, vehicle and escort services, safety programs, and Operation ID; the recording of valuable items. For non-emergencies, call (989) 964-4141.


Telephone Threat

  • Remain calm.
  • Do not hang up. Keep the caller on the line as long as possible and listen carefully.
  • Note the time of the call.
  • Ask the caller the following questions:
    • Where is the bomb?
    • When will it explode?
    • What does the bomb look like?
    • What kind of bomb is it?
    • What is the caller's name and motive for placing the bomb?
    • Are you an employee?
    • Are you a student?
  • Write down any pertinent information such as background noises, the gender of the caller, voice pitches and patterns.
  • Notify University Police immediately.

Suspicious Packages Written or Email Threats

  • Remain calm.
  • Do not touch or approach a bomb or suspicious device.
  • Do not use your portable radio or cell phone.
  • Notify University Police immediately without using a cellphone near the area.
  • Do not attempt to move or open the package.
  • Do not allow anyone to handle it or go near the device.
  • Evacuate the occupants out of the immediate area.
  • Write down everything you remember about the letter or parcel.
  • Save all packing materials.
  • Save the email and report it to University Police.

Notification of a Bomb Threat

  • When an explosive device is present or alleged to be present on campus or on campus property, the University Police may conduct an evacuation of the area or building.
  • If directed to search your area, look for any suspicious packages or unidentified backpacks. Never touch any package that looks suspicious. If you locate a suspicious package call 9-911 immediately.
  • If directed to evacuate your area follow the evacuation procedures or other directions from police officers or university administrators.
  • Avoid running and other quick movements, since this can detonate certain devices.
  • Do not use cell phones or portable radios.

Be Seen

  • Wear bright clothing.
  • Put a light on your bike.
  • After dark, a tail-light is required by Michigan Law.

Pick a Safe Route

  • Ride with caution when on sidewalks.
  • Ride on the right side of the street.
  • Look out for vehicles while crossing streets.

Safety Equipment

  • Wear a helmet.
  • Protect your eyes with eyewear.
  • Install a fender to protect you from debris.
  • Use a bell or horn when passing others.

Residents are cautioned of the dangers in developing relationships online and/or inviting unfamiliar persons to their apartment or suite. Both of these types of encounters can jeopardize the safety of yourself and others. Be cautious and don’t take risks.


Students will be held responsible for actions that could lead to potential threats to human life or facilities, including but not limited to, disabling fire alarms or smoke detectors, leaving cooking areas unattended, items left in hallways, etc.

In the event of an accidental fire, restitution for damages will be assessed by the Office of Housing Operations in addition to educational sanctioning by the Office of Residential Life. Malicious fires or arson will be addressed by the University Police, as well as the Code of Student Conduct process.


The use or possession of harmful chemicals, firecrackers or other explosives, candles, candle warmers, incense or other open flames is not permitted in or around University Housing. The indoor storage of gas-powered vehicles such as motorcycles, scooters, etc. is also not permitted. 


Evacuation - Classroom Building

Evacuation of a classroom or area may be ordered by faculty or staff, University Police or local public safety agencies. The purpose is to move occupants away from potentially threatening situations that do not require full building evacuation.

The evacuation of a building is used to move occupants out of the building by a pre-designated route, if usable, to avoid a potentially threatening situation that involves the entire building.

Orders to evacuate the building may be issued by University Police or local public safety agencies.

Evacuation Procedures

  • Remain calm.
  • Go immediately, in a calm and orderly manner, to the designated evacuation assembly area.
  • Consider special-needs occupants that may need assistance evacuating.
  • When leaving a room, feel the door with the back of your hand before opening it. Do not open any door that feels hot.
  • If smoke is present, stay low. The best quality of air is near the floor.
  • If your primary route is blocked or unusable, use your secondary exit route.
  • Do not take personal items with you.
  • Close doors behind you while exiting.
  • Walk, do not run.
  • Do not go into the restrooms.
  • Do not use the elevators.
  • Once you have reached the designated area, assist in accounting for all occupants and immediately report any missing occupant to University Police.

If You Discover Fire or Smoke

  • REMEMBER R.A.C.E.
    • Rescue: Remove anyone from immediate danger.
    • Alarm: Call 9-911 and advise them of the fire and activate the nearest emergency pull station.
    • Contain: Close all doors to confine smoke and fire.
    • Evacuate: Unless otherwise directed, follow the evacuation plan.

Response to Audible Fire Alarm

  • Remain calm.
  • Evacuate the building.
  • Only return to the building when directed by the University Police or university administrators.

If You Catch on Fire

  • Do not run!
  • Stop where you are.
  • Drop to the ground, and...
  • Roll over and over to smother flames.

Explosion

  • Be prepared to evacuate or shelter-in-place.
  • Be prepared for further explosions.
  • Open doors carefully and watch for falling objects.
  • Report any missing occupants to the police.

If You are Trapped in Your Office or Classroom

  • Wedge wet towels or cloth materials along the bottom of the door to keep out the smoke.
  • Try to close as many doors as possible between you and the fire.
  • Use the telephone to notify 9-911 of your problem and location.
  • If you are trapped in an area and need fresh air, only break the window as a last resort and use caution when breaking the window.

When the fire alarm sounds, all students must immediately evacuate their rooms or apartments exiting away from the building. In the event of a fire, do not use the elevators. Follow the instructions of Residential Life staff, University Police Officers or firefighting personnel. Each student will be informed by their RA of the designated gathering location upon evacuation.

Please be advised, it is required by law that all persons exit the building during a fire alarm. Any persons not leaving the building during an alarm will face disciplinary action.


The university regularly holds various drills to acquaint residents with evacuation, designated tornado shelter areas or lock-down procedures. All residents and guests should follow directions during the drills. Failure to evacuate may result in disciplinary action.


Shelter in Place & Lockout

  • The decision to lock down the university rests with the University Police. A Shelter in Place consists of getting all staff and students to a secured room or area and locking all interior and exterior doors and windows.

Shelter in Place Procedures

  • Remain calm.
  • Cancel all outside activities and direct students and staff to get into the building.
  • Commence the lockdown immediately by closing and locking all interior and exterior doors if possible.
  • Close all windows and keep all blinds and curtains open.
  • Keep quiet and stay away from doors and windows.
  • Maintain a calm environment through calm leadership. Reassure occupants that everything possible is being done to return the situation to normal.
  • If a gunshot or an explosion is heard, call 9-911 immediately.
  • Conduct frequent roll calls of all students and immediately report any missing student to University Police at extension 4141.
  • Shelter in Place is to remain in effect until canceled by University Police and an "All Clear" is announced.

Intruder on University Property 

  • If an intruder or unauthorized person enters the building call 9-911 or University Police at extension 4141.
  • Prepare to lockdown or start to Shelter-in-Place.
  • Do not unlock your doors until you hear the "All Clear" announced.

Hostage Situation Procedures

  • Call 9-911 immediately.
  • Move everyone away from the hostage situation as rapidly and quietly as possible.
  • Listen for instructions to evacuate the area or activate Shelter in Place procedures.
  • Gather all the facts regarding the situation for the police. Gather detailed descriptions of the suspects and victims, including clothing, location, and weapons. Keep notes on times, any communication from the person holding the hostages and other witness information.

Saginaw Valley State University observes the requirement for Missing Persons as mandated in the Higher Education Reauthorization Act of 2008. If a member of the university community has reason to believe that a student who resides in on-campus housing is missing, he or she should immediately notify University Police at (989) 964-4141.

Each resident student may confidentially identify, to the Offices of Housing Operations and/or Residential Life, an individual they wish to be contacted in the event they are reported missing for a period of 24 hours.

A student’s confidential contact information will be accessible only by authorized campus officials and law enforcement in the course of the investigation. If the missing student is under the age of 18 and is not an emancipated individual, SVSU will notify the student’s parent or legal guardian within 24 hours. Additionally, the university will invoke a procedure under the direction of the University Police initiating an investigation in response to the missing person report. The University Police will aggressively investigate the incident taking into account such factors as the emotional state of the student, the last known location of the student and any other personal information that may determine the student’s location. The investigation will include notifying University Administrators, the Residential Life Staff and local law enforcement within 24 hours if the student is determined to be missing.


Any fire, including small ones, can get out of control. Also, tampering with fire safety equipment or alarms can jeopardize the safety and security of all residents and may result in disciplinary action. Residents are urged to report false alarms or the tampering of fire safety equipment to a member of the Residential Life Staff or University Police.


Parking lots are equipped with blue light stations. Individuals may push a button to become directly connected to 911 from these stations.


If going out at night, be wary of your surroundings, staying in well-lighted and well-populated areas and if possible, always go with friends. If walking, avoid using electronic devices as they can detract your attention to suspicious people or activities. Additionally, individuals can request a police escort by calling SVSU University Police if they are uncomfortable walking alone to their vehicle or resident facility by calling 9-911 or University Police at extension 4141.

Roommates should inform each other of their destination and time of return. Do not hitchhike or accept rides from unfamiliar persons.


In an effort to provide greater safety and security to residents of the university, several housing complexes are equipped with (video) camera security systems. Any residents who host guests after buildings are secured for the evening must escort their guests to and from the entry and within the building or courtyard area at all times. Security hours have been established for personal privacy, safety and security of residents' belongings. Therefore, it is important that residents never prop open doors, allow other individuals to make use of their keys or access mechanism, or allow unauthorized persons into the buildings. Doing so will jeopardize the safety and security of all residents and may result in disciplinary action. Duplication of keys is prohibited.


In the residential facilities, a locked door offers the best security, especially while sleeping or leaving the room even for short periods of time. When answering the door, ask callers to identify themselves before unlocking the door. Money and valuables should be kept in a safe place. Clothing should never be left in a laundry room unattended. 

Thefts, no matter how insignificant the lost item, should be reported to University Police and Residential Life staff immediately. 

While on campus, always lock your vehicle and keep valuables out of sight when parked on campus. Residents are encouraged to register their valuables with the University Police Department through the on-line Operation ID and Bike Registration programs.


Residents should familiarize themselves with tornado safety procedures. Notification systems (sirens) on campus are tested regularly and residents will be notified of such tests. In addition, the designated tornado shelter area is posted in each room. 

Tornado Watch is issued when severe weather conditions and possible tornadoes could occur in the area.

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

Tornado Watch

  • Issued by the National Weather Service when severe weather conditions and possible tornadoes could occur in the area.
  • When a tornado watch is in effect, the university will continue normal activities but may move external activities indoors.
  • Be prepared to take emergency procedures if weather conditions worsen.
  • The university will not close or dismiss early under tornado watch conditions.

Tornado Warning

Tornado Warning is issued when a tornado has been sighted or indicated by weather radar. When this occurs, the tornado sirens will be activated. Individuals should seek shelter immediately.

  • Immediately move to designated shelter areas on the first floor, basement or hallways with no glass. Tornado shelter plaques indicating shelter areas are located at the entrance to each building.
  • Close blinds or drapes and stay away from windows, mirrors, glass and unsecured objects such as filing cabinets.
  • Sit on the floor along interior walls, or as far away from any windows as possible. Be prepared to assume the *Duck and Cover position.
  • If high winds or tornadoes strike the building, assume the *Duck and Cover position.
  • Assess the situation with respect to injuries. If trained to do so, render first aid to those who are injured until medical help arrives.
  • Unless there is an imminent hazard in the area, individuals should wait in the shelter areas until a direct notification of an "All Clear" is announced.
  • If the building is significantly damaged be very careful as several hazards such as exposed electrical wires, sharp or falling debris, etc. may be present.
  • *Duck and Cover: Occupants should sit or kneel, tuck head down and protect their head and torso with their hands and arms.
  • Areas to avoid:
    • Auditoriums, gymnasiums, cafeterias, etc.
    • Corridor intersections (stay at least 10 feet away).
    • Skylights, atriums and areas with large roof spans.

Saginaw Valley State University has adopted a Weapons and Dangerous Substances Policy. It is necessary for students to become familiar with the policy. 

The possession or use of weapons on university property or any weapons such as, but not limited to firearms, ammunition, pellet guns, air guns, knives, blades, chemicals or explosives, including firecrackers is prohibited on university property unless authorized in writing by the Chief of University Police. A harmless instrument designed to look like a weapon that is used by or is in the possession of a person with the intent to cause fear in or assault to another person is expressly included within the meaning of weapons. All residents must check their weapons with the University Police for storage services.


The university strongly encourages all students to register additional contact information in SVSU Campus Alert (Emergency Notification System). Enrollees receive official notifications via voice, text and email communications in the event of a critical incident or campus closing due to adverse weather. Updating contact information takes just a few minutes and can be completed online by visiting the SVSU Campus Alert Login.


CONTACT US.


Housing Operations
Curtiss 118
housing@svsu.edu
(989) 964-4255

Residential Life
Curtiss 114
reslife@svsu.edu
(989) 964-4410

Dining Services
Curtiss Hall 122
dining@svsu.edu
(989) 964-4252