2023-2024 Student Guide & Residence Life Handbook 
    
    Jun 23, 2024  
2023-2024 Student Guide & Residence Life Handbook

Campus Safety and Emergency Procedures


Return to 2023-2024 Residence Life Handbook (online)  main page

Campus Carry

Effective August 1, 2017, campus carry is intended to be in conformity with the requirements of Texas Government Code Section 411.2031.

Handgun license holders residing in SPC residence halls will be allowed to possess handguns on the premise provided that:

a.) Such possession is in compliance at all times with Texas statutory law and these rules; and
b.) The license holder stores his/her handgun(s) in a College-approved gun safe or in a locked personal vehicle.

It is the responsibility of the license holder to supply a College approved gun safe within the residence halls. College approved gun safes must meet the following requirements:

  1. Be large enough to fully contain all firearms placed in it and provide for secure storage
  2. Have exterior walls constructed of a minimum 16- gauge steel
  3. Have high-strength locking system consisting of a mechanical or electronic combination or biometric lock, and not a key lock
  4. Be certified to/listed as meeting Underwriters Laboratories Residential Security Container rating standards by a Nationally Recognized Testing Laboratory (NRTL).

Students who are assigned to rooms where a firearm is stored and who are concerned about their well-being may request a transfer to another room through the Housing Office.

Campus Safe Walk Request

Campus Police officers or security guards are available to provide a safe walk to anyone, anywhere on the South Plains College campus. Students, faculty, administration and visitors are encouraged to use the Campus Shield application or call Campus Police at the desired location for this service. After contacting Campus Police, an officer or security guard will meet you at your location and walk with you to your desired location. Campus Police can only transport individuals in Campus Police vehicles for safety purposes.

South Plains College Police Department (SPCPD)

South Plains College employs licensed Texas Peace Officers at the Levelland Campus 24 hours a day. Should you have an emergency, dial 911.  SPCPD can also be contacted in the Campus Shield App available for free for Apple/Android.

South Plains College Police should be notified when:

  • Questionable strangers are on the campus or in the residence hall
  • A strange or unknown vehicle appears on campus
  • There is a problem with student safety

EMERGENCIES

Emergencies should be reported to the South Plains College Police Department at 806-716-2396 and to the Hall Director on call. In an emergency situation, never hesitate to dial 911. In case of an emergency contact one of the following:

  1. South Plains College Police at 806-716-2396
  2. Dial 911
  3. Your Hall Director
  4. The on-call Resident Assistant at the number posted in your hall 
  5. The Housing Office at 806-716-2379 (during SPC business hours)

 

Exterior Door Locking

Residents are expected to aid in maintaining the security of their hall. The exterior doors of the halls are locked at various times of day to control access and security of the hall. Residents are expected to carry their keys and/or key card to gain access to locked halls. Propping open exterior doors and/or tampering with locks are considered serious security violations and may result in disciplinary action.

Fire Safety Procedures

In the event of an actual fire or a drill, all residents are required to evacuate the building according to the rules established by each residence hall. Follow the instructions of the Hall Director, Resident Assistants, SPCPD Officers, and/or firefighting personnel. Keep the following items in mind in the event of a fire:

  1. Walk! Don’t run. Be particularly careful in staircases.
  2. Proceed directly to a place of safety outside of the building.
  3. Do not attempt to salvage personal belongings.
  4. Close doors and windows when you leave.
  5. Before opening a closed door, feel it to see if it is hot. When it is hot, attempt to find another exit route.
  6. A towel or blanket soaked in water can be helpful in combating smoke inhalation.
  7. At all times, follow the instructions of personnel authorized to take charge at the scene of the emergency. If you have any questions about the procedures, contact your Hall Director immediately.
  8. Stand away from the building.
  9. Do not enter the building until given the all clear by staff or fire professionals.

Fire alarm pull stations and fire extinguishers are installed throughout the halls. 

Fire Doors

It is absolutely essential that corridor doors be kept closed at all times. In case of a fire emergency, closed doors retard the travel of smoke, heat, toxic gases, and fire from the area of origin. Propping of doors may result in disciplinary sanctions and fines. Nothing should be attached to a fire door. Tampering with fire doors may result in disciplinary action.

Fire Drills

The College will hold fire drills to acquaint residents with fire evacuation procedures. All residents and guests should follow directions during fire drills. Failure to evacuate the room will result in disciplinary action.

Fire Equipment and Exits

It is imperative that fire and safety equipment functions properly when it is needed. The following acts are prohibited:

  • Tampering with fire extinguishers, smoke detectors, exit lights, or emergency lights
  • Tampering with or pulling a fire alarm under false pretense
  • Removing smoke detector batteries or otherwise rendering a smoke detector inoperable
  • Propping open fire doors
  • Obstructing halls and stairwells with furniture, debris and other materials
  • Hanging objects from smoke detectors

Residents who jeopardize the safety of any resident will be subject to severe disciplinary action. Tampering with fire equipment or acts of arson can result in civil prosecution, disciplinary action, and possible fines.

Liability

The College assumes no liability for loss, injury, or damage to personal property incidental to the occupancy or use of the residence halls, and each resident accepts full responsibility for the safety and security of his/her own personal property. The student agrees to hold the College harmless and indemnify it from any and all liability resulting from the use of the residence hall by the student.

Loss of Property

Residents are responsible for the security of their own property. The College does not accept responsibility nor is it liable for theft, damage or other loss of money, valuables or personal effects of the student regardless of the cause of the loss. Residents are urged to purchase their own insurance for valuable items or possessions. In addition, residents should take preventive measures to ensure items are not stolen. If a resident has items stolen from their car or room they are encouraged to file a report with Campus Police.

Missing Student Notification

The establishment of procedures for the college’s response to missing residential students, as required by the Higher Education Opportunity Act (HEOA) of 2008 applies to all students who reside in any on-campus housing. For purposes of this policy, a student may be considered to be a “missing person” if the person’s absence is contrary to his/her usual pattern of behavior; or some unusual or unexplained circumstance may have caused the absence. Such circumstance could include, but is not limited to:

  • suspicion that the missing person may be the victim of foul play;
  • past expression of suicidal thoughts;
  • is or may be drug dependent;
  • has been with or is acquainted with persons who may endanger the student’s welfare.

Any individual on campus who has information that a residential student may be missing should notify Campus Police, the Dean of Students, the Associate Dean of Students, or the Residence Hall Director immediately.

Reporting an Incident

Safety and security is of the utmost importance to the College. Students are encouraged to report any and all incidents that occur on campus that might be a safety threat or violation of campus policies, state, or federal laws. An incident reporting link is located the SPC website at www.southplainscollege.edu for students to report an incident. Incidents can also be reported directly to the Campus Police Department, the Dean of Students, Housing Office, and/or Health and Wellness Office.

Safety

Safety within the residence halls begins with the resident. Report suspicious behavior to a staff member and/or the Campus Police Department. It is each resident’s responsibility to follow the rules and regulations associated with safety procedures in the residence halls. In a community living situation, the safety practices of each individual greatly affect the safety of the other members of the community.

Sexual and Gender-based Misconduct (Title IX)

Title IX of the Educational Amendments of 1972 (Title IX), 20 U.S. C §§ 1681 et seq., and its implementing regulations, 34 C.F. R. Part 106 prohibit discrimination on the basis of sex in educational programs or activities operated by recipients of federal financial assistance. Sexual harassment of students [or employees], which includes acts of sexual violence, is a form of sex discrimination prohibited by Title IX. By an amendment to the Civil Rights Act of November 1980 and subsequent state legislation, sexual harassment is expressly outlawed and is considered a violation of College policy.

Inquiries concerning the application of Title IX may be referred to the Title IX coordinator (at SPC the Vice President for Student Affairs) pursuant to 34 C.F.R.§ Part 106.

Smoke Detectors

All student rooms are equipped with smoke detectors. Detectors will be checked prior to the start of each semester and during weekly room checks by the hall staff. Residents that detect a problem with their smoke detector should contact the Hall Director immediately.

Disciplinary action will result if a student removes the batteries or otherwise renders the detector inoperative and a fine may be assessed. Disciplinary action could also result for residents who cause potential fire hazards through unsafe practices (i.e. overloading circuits, use of inappropriate extension cords, use of unauthorized cooking appliances, etc.).

Tornado and Severe Weather

When a tornado or other severe weather is reported, residents are to follow the procedures of each building and move in an orderly manner to an interior wall within the building and away from windows.

Severe Weather/Tornado Watch

A watch is a statement that severe weather/tornado conditions are present and could occur.

Severe Weather/Tornado Warning

When a severe weather/tornado sighting occurs, the National Weather Service alerts all weather stations and local authorities.

If severe weather or a tornado is approaching, the warning will be signaled by Levelland’s emergency sirens.

  • Listen to the radio and/or television for weather updates.
  • If the tornado siren sounds or if instructed by residence life staff or campus police, assume disaster drill position (sitting, knees up, backs against hallway walls, head down and elbows locked between students; use clothing to cover heads).
  • If outside and unable to reach shelter, escort students to a ditch or hollow and have them lie down, hands over heads.
  • Do not leave the building unless instructed to do so by the authorities in charge; keep abreast of who these authorities might be (campus police, fire department, civil defense).