Campus safety and managing emergencies FAQ

Emergency management

How is the campus prepared for emergencies?
UC Davis has a comprehensive emergency management program under the guidance of a full-time emergency planner. It includes a formal emergency operations plan for preparing for, responding to and recovering from emergencies. UC Davis uses an emergency operations center to coordinate response to major emergencies, and trained employees staff the center. UC Davis regularly conducts training sessions and emergency exercises. UC Davis is part of a regional emergency management system, and it is in compliance with state and federal standards for managing emergencies.
How is UC Davis served by police and fire?
UC Davis has its own full-service police and fire departments located on campus. The UC Davis Police Department is a state police agency that provides patrol, investigative and crime prevention services on the Davis and Sacramento campuses. It includes more than 50 sworn and 75 civilian employees. The department’s jurisdiction extends one mile around the campus boundaries and to all facilities administered by UC Davis. The department has its main station on the Davis campus and one at the Sacramento campus.
The UC Davis Fire Department is responsible for fire prevention and suppression, emergency medical services, hazardous materials response and rescue on the main campus in Davis. UC Davis also has automatic-aid agreements with local cities through which equipment and firefighters are automatically dispatched for certain incidents.
Is UC Davis prepared to deal with a shooter on campus?
It’s something we hope doesn’t happen here, but we know it could. Since the Virginia Tech massacre in 2007, all UC Davis police officers have completed training in active shooter/rapid response and related equipment has been purchased. While it was once standard for law enforcement to set up a perimeter and wait for a specially trained and equipped SWAT (Special Weapons and Tactics) team to arrive, the active shooter procedures call for teams of trained officers to move in immediately and neutralize the shooter. The department holds training sessions to help members of the campus community to think ahead and learn strategies to increase the likelihood of surviving a shooting incident, like Virginia Tech’s, on our own campus.
How does UC Davis help the campus learn about the police department?
The UC Davis Police Department offers a nine-week Citizen’s Academy for members of the community who want to learn more about law enforcement. Topics covered include arrest, search and seizure, basic forensic science, suspect apprehension, a K-9 demonstration, mock traffic stops and defensive tactics. There are no special requirements for taking the course, offered in the winter and spring quarters, but each candidate must undergo a background check. Students can receive two units of credit for full attendance.

Alerts and notifications

When a student has a problem at school, under which circumstances will UC Davis contact the parents?
Under university policy and federal and state law, students have privacy rights. There is no general exception for notifying parents unless the student has given written consent, or there is a serious concern about the health and welfare of the student. Exceptions may include transportation to the hospital for alcohol poisoning. But campus officials can only make that call if they know about the incident. If the situation doesn’t come to the attention of the campus for several days, and a student is no longer in immediate danger, parents may not be contacted.
Campus officials will usually contact parents if a student threatens or attempts suicide. If a student is removed from residence halls for misconduct and the student has nowhere to go, parents may also be notified.
How can I learn about crimes on campus?
The UC Davis Police Department promptly publicizes significant incidents of criminal activity that pose a potential threat to the campus. Crime alerts are posted on the department’s Web site and on campus bulletin boards. You may sign up to receive the bulletins by e-mail. In some circumstances, the department and other campus units may host information sessions for students.
How does UC Davis notify the campus about emergencies?
UC Davis WarnMe provides faculty, staff and students with timely information and instructions during emergencies or other urgent situations that may directly affect their well-being. The system can send simultaneous messages to the university community by e-mail, telephone, cell phone and text messaging. Because the alert system is designed to provide livesaving information to those in harm’s way, others, such as parents or members of the media, will not be included in the system. The system will complement other UC Davis communications including use of the Web and news media.
What is the campus emergency status line? How do I reach it?
The campus emergency status line provides callers with a recorded telephone message about the status of the campus in an emergency. In the event of an emergency, the recording indicates its nature, brief instructions and another source of information. Callers dial (530) 752-4000.

Crime prevention and risk reduction

How does UC Davis help the community prevent crime?
The crime prevention unit of the UC Davis Police Department conducts safety and security surveys and presents educational programs on crime prevention topics ranging from drug and alcohol awareness to personal safety. All students are encouraged to take precautions for their personal safety, and attend presentations on personal safety and security that are offered in the residence halls. Members of the campus community should also protect their personal property by registering their bikes, locking computers to their desk, and engraving valuables with their student identification or driver’s license number. Safety tips are available on the department’s Web site, and students may borrow an engraving pen to mark personal valuables with their driver’s license number. For more information, call (530) 752-3104.
How does UC Davis help reduce incidents of sexual assault and serve survivors?
Formally established in 1979, the Campus Violence Prevention Program provides 24-hour advocacy, crisis intervention, support groups and educational programming aimed at reducing incidents of sexual violence, relationship violence and hate. Awareness and risk-reduction workshops include discussion, interactive role-playing and other exercises, and videos. All incoming students are required to attend an educational workshop regarding sexual assalt, dating/domestic violence, stalking, campus reporting options and resources for support. Through the peer educator program, trained undergraduates use drama and facilitate audience discussion to address the topic of acquaintance rape.
Is there a safety escort service on campus?
Yes. The UC Davis Police Department provides a free safety escort service that operates evenings and late nights, seven days a week, excluding holidays and Summer Sessions. The escorts will walk with or give a ride to students, employees and visitors on campus or nearby university property. To request the service, please call (530) 752-2677.
Is there a service to help students who have had too much to drink get home safely?
Yes. Tipsy Taxi provides a safe ride home to undergraduates to and from anywhere within the city of Davis. The service, provided by the Associated Students of UC Davis, is available 10 p.m. to 2 a.m. Thursday to Saturday during the academic school year. The cost is just $3 for each ride.
Does UC Davis offer self-defense classes?
Yes. Students may enroll in a half-unit course in personal defense through Physical Education.
What does UC Davis do about hazing?
UC Davis takes an aggressive approach to discourage hazing — activities that may cause physical harm or personal degradation — particularly among organized groups like its athletic teams and fraternities and sororities. UC Davis has a zero-tolerance rule against hazing, as outlined in the University of California policies applying to campus activities, organizations and students. Violations may result in probation or expulsion from the university, disciplinary action by the Office of Student Judicial Affairs or referral to local law enforcement agencies. Students may also be suspended from an athletic team, and student groups are also subject to losing their privileges as a student organization.
At the beginning of each season, UC Davis athletes receive a copy of the student athlete handbook and planner with information about the school’s hazing policy. Each team must review the policy, and individual athletes must sign a form stating that they have read and understand the rules. Each year, teams must attend at least two presentations by guest speakers, and coaches may add another of their choosing.
A staff liaison meets with the presidents of the fraternities and sororities throughout the year to ensure that each chapter understands the definition and consequences of hazing.

Safety in residence halls

What kind of security does UC Davis have in the residence halls?
Residence halls are locked 24 hours a day and feature an electronic key-card access system for exterior entrances. Access is limited to the residents of the hall and their invited guests so that the resident community collectively controls and limits access to their building. Video cameras have been added to the lobbies and exteriors of some residence halls and have become standard in all new construction. Each bedroom has its own dead bolt lock and a peephole in the door, and first-floor windows in vulnerable locations have both window security screens and locks. The residence halls have live-in resident advisers, and someone is on call at all times.
All of our dormitories have smoke detectors in each sleeping room. Newer buildings have sprinkler systems, and UC Davis has started retrofitting older buildings with fire sprinkler systems. A full-time fire safety coordinator in Student Housing is dedicated to testing the fire systems and conducting monthly inspections of the fire extinguishers.

Alcohol and other drugs

What is UC Davis doing to prevent problems related to alcohol and other drugs?
For years, UC Davis has had campus policies and programs to address the use and abuse of alcohol and other drugs among its students. Efforts include policy development, educational programming, intervention and enforcement. The campuswide effort includes, among others, Student Housing, Counseling Services, and the Associated Students of UC Davis.
The university facilitates the Davis Campus/Community Alcohol and Other Drug Coalition. The coalition examines issues affecting youth and their families and develops, promotes and supports university and community policies and educational strategies that prevent or reduce alcohol and drug abuse and its consequences.
A lot of college students run into problems at parties. How is UC Davis addressing that?
Since 2003, UC Davis has been participating in the California Safer Universities Project. UC Davis is one of six participating campuses asked by the Prevention Research Center of Berkeley to develop a coordinated campus community strategy for reducing high-risk drinking and the problems it creates. The research project seeks to reduce violence, property damage, injury and car crashes that result from high-risk drinking and out-of-control parties.
In response to participation in the project, UC Davis has created the Safe Party Initiative, which focuses on creating safer party environments by building a closer sense of community between students and neighbors, promoting safety at parties, and increasing enforcement of alcohol-related laws and policies. This initiative is a collaboration of the city of Davis and UC Davis.
Does UC Davis have an office devoted to prevention of problems related to alcohol and other drug use?
Established in 1990, Alcohol, Tobacco and Other Drug Intervention Services offers educational programs, employs strategies to create safer environments and provides resources and referrals for treatment. As part of the Health Education and Promotion program, the program aims to reduce alcohol and other drug-related barriers to academic and social development.

Mental health issues

What services does UC Davis have for students with mental health problems?
Counseling Services offers confidential and free assessment, intervention and referral for students, and consultation and crisis response for employees, students and parents. Other programs — including new faculty orientation, conferences and workshops — provide guidance in identifying and responding to distressed or distressing students.
What mental health services are available for students outside regular business hours?
Counseling Services has instituted a seven-days-a-week, after-hours crisis response service to augment its regular services. A private licensed vendor provides after-hours and weekend support to students who are coping with emergency mental health situations, and is integrated with our counseling center, police department and others to provide emergency care and follow-up services. The phone number is (530) 752-0871.
What kinds of counseling services are available to employees?
The Academic and Staff Assistance Program offers confidential and free assessment, counseling, consultation and referral services to all UC Davis and UC Davis Health System faculty, staff and families. The assistance program helps with problems whether they are work-related or personal, administrative or individual, or career or relationship focused.
When additional resources are needed, we can link you to appropriate services in your community. If you are concerned about a friend, colleague, co-worker, subordinate or work group, we can help you. Our goal is to help at the earliest possible moment.
How does UC Davis deal with students or employees whose problems might get out of hand?
At UC Davis, the Student Crisis Response Team and the Faculty-Staff Crisis Response provide immediate and comprehensive response to situations that involve disruption, intimidation or violence. The teams develop and implement strategic interventions and help manage ongoing problems. Related services include the Campus Violence Prevention Program and Mediation Services.

Crime statistics

Does UC Davis publish crime statistics?
Each year, the police department publishes two sets of crime statistics. The department’s annual report is prepared according to the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reporting Program and released in the spring. The Clery report (PDF), made public in the fall, is prepared according to the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act. The two reports have different reporting requirements — including definitions of crimes, reporting authorities and the geographical areas considered.