Campus Closure and Evacuation Procedures

Reviewed By: Administrative Council on March 03, 2008
Approved By:

Policy

The university president or designee may authorize a closure of the campus due to a health or safety concern or due to the interruption or failure of a utility such as electricity or water service. An evacuation may be declared in the event of a major threat or emergency.

There is a difference between an evacuation and a campus closure. A campus closure occurs when a decision has been made to close the campus because of a specific event, such as high winds or a power outage, which make normal campus operations impossible or unsafe. These are not considered to be immediate emergency situations. An evacuation occurs when it is essential to clear the campus as quickly as possible as in the case of a fire or an earthquake.

In either case, campus communication systems, to the extent possible, such as e-mail, phones, etc., will be used to notify the campus community and provide specific instructions as to how to proceed.

Campus closure

Should a campus closure be declared:

The administrator in charge may elect to close the campus in the following manner:

  • Unless otherwise noted, classes already in session shall continue until their scheduled conclusion, at which time students will be asked to leave the campus in a safe and orderly manner.
  • Employees will be instructed to remain on campus until after students have exited the campus. Employees will then receive information regarding when they should leave.
  • Students living in campus residence halls may remain in the housing units, unless instructed otherwise.

Students or employees who need transportation or must wait for transportation are asked to report to the main lounge in the Student Union. Police or parking officers will organize the transportation effort from the Student Union location. Should it be determined that the Student Union lounge is not habitable, the alternate transportation location will be the Commons Building.

The campus will re-open on the following morning, unless other notice is given.

Since a campus closure does not constitute an evacuation, departures may be timed to avoid potential traffic congestion on and leaving the campus.

Evacuation

In the event of an "evacuation", all students, faculty and staff, with the possible exception of emergency operations personnel, will be asked to immediately leave the campus in a safe and orderly manner.

An evacuation from campus will result in heavy traffic congestion. Extraordinary traffic mitigation measures may be taken by Public Safety personnel to hasten the flow of traffic off the campus.

The administrator in charge may elect to declare an evacuation from campus in the following manner:

  • Students will be asked to leave the campus immediately.
  • Employees will be instructed to remain on campus until students have exited the campus. Employees will be instructed to leave campus immediately thereafter.
  • Students living in campus residence halls may be evacuated.

Students or employees who need transportation or must wait for transportation are asked to report to the main lounge in the Student Union. Police or parking officers will organize the transportation effort from the Student Union location. Should it be determined that the Student Union lounge is not habitable, the alternate transportation location will be the Commons Building.

Notice will be provided about when the campus will reopen.

Return to Campus - Emergency Workers

During a campus evacuation, all emergency workers who are directed to return to campus to assist in the crisis, as directed by management, will be required to enter and exit through a central checkpoint located at Information Center 1 at the main entrance on University Parkway. A log entry will be made to document the presence of the employee. This process will enable the University Police Department to ensure the safety of employees on campus during an emergency situation.

Return to Campus - Non-Emergency Workers

Non-emergency workers who have an urgent need to re-enter the campus during an evacuation will be required to obtain authority from his/her division vice president and shall enter and exit the campus using the process described above. Re-entry will be granted only for the purpose of tending to an urgent situation that demands their presence, such as caring for animals or conducting research.

The Public Affairs Department will arrange for public notices (such as radio announcements, e-mail, voice message, hot line messages and Web-based notifications) regarding the cancellation of classes, campus closures and evacuations.

Instructions for attendance and payroll will be provided to the campus community via e-mail after the closure or evacuation.