A college campus should be a safe haven where students can study, socialize and relax. We want to assure parents and students alike that Towson University places the highest priority on the safety of our campus community. The safety of students is paramount.
We review our security procedures often to ensure that we maintain the safest possible campus. The assessment and upgrade of campus security is ongoing, and as a result, we have added some new safety features and improved others.
Students can now register for the free state-of-the-art text message notification system. In case of a campus emergency, text messages are sent instantly and simultaneously to all registered text-message capable mobile phones, Blackberrys, wireless PDAs, pagers, smart or satellite phones, and e-mail addresses. The service also posts these messages on the university’s Web site. The messages will “pop up” on the computer screen for anyone using Google, Yahoo or AOL as their home page.
Parking and Transportation Services operates a campus shuttle bus on the Gold Route Monday through Friday until 2 a.m.
Point-to-point transportation service is available seven days a week from 2:30 a.m. to 6 a.m. by calling 410-704-SAFE. Point-to-point service is available in locations that are accessible with a vehicle. If it is determined that your pick-up/drop off location is not accessible by a vehicle, the Walking Escort Service is available to assist in getting you to a serviceable location.
Walking Escort Service
If you are too far from a shuttle stop and are fearful of walking alone, the Walking Escort Service operated by the TU Police Department is available. The service is provided from dusk to dawn to and from areas not served by the shuttle bus. If you are concerned about walking across campus at night don’t walk alone, call 410-704-SAFE. A member of the Police Department will provide a walking escort from your location.
Residence Hall Security
All residence halls are locked 24 hours a day; residents must use a swipe card to enter or be accompanied as a guest of a resident. All guests must sign in at the security desk. The desk is staffed at all times by a member of the Residence Life Staff or a security officer. Everyone must enter and exit by a single door. Packages and backpacks are subject to inspection. In addition, all the residence towers are equipped with a public address system that enables building-wide and room specific communications.
Campus and Building Security
Our capacity to "lock down" the campus is a complex challenge now under thorough review. The residence halls are secure 24/7 and are accessible only by key card entry. Key staff are able to lock the front doors of campus buildings if necessary and prudent. Our review process will examine protocols and procedures for dealing with campus-wide and building-specific security issues.
Police and Security Training
University Police officers regularly patrol the campus in marked cars and on bicycles. The University Police Department participates in annual in-service training and specialized law enforcement training throughout the year. The Police Department, as part of the All-hazards Preparedness Committee, plans and conducts an annual emergency preparedness exercise as well as other drills and training sessions throughout the year.
Q Where can students go for help and support during times of crisis?
A Depending upon the student’s specific need, there are many options available. Here are a few.
The Counseling Center provides services to students under confidentiality to help them cope effectively with anxiety and stress. The Web site also contains informative material for parents, explaining the Counseling Center’s role, services and restrictions.
A variety of faith communities are represented on campus. Most provide personal ministry in counseling, theological discussions and other supportive areas. The Campus Ministries office is located in the University Union, room 208B, and the phone number is 410-704-2268. They can
also be reached through the Center for Student Diversity, located in the University Union, room 317, and by phone at 410-704-2051.
Residence hall directors and staff are often the first to know when a resident student is in distress. All residence hall staff are trained to know about referral resources and who to contact in an emergency. The Division of Student Affairs coordinates many of the services for students. The Division of Student Affairs may be reached by e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling the student LIFE Line, 704-LIFE (5433). LIFE Line is staffed and ready to assist callers Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m. After these hours, you can leave a voice mail message and get a response the next business day.
Q How will students be informed if there is a crisis?
A Students will be alerted in a variety of ways, including the following.
External Siren and Speaker System
The campus is equipped with four external sirens/speakers that can be used to alert the campus community of an existing or pending crisis. In addition to the siren alert, the system is equipped with several pre-recorded messages tailored to specific types of emergencies. The system also allows for live real-time announcements via the public address capability.
Internal Emergency Signal and Public Address System
All residence hall facilities and several academic and administrative buildings are equipped with an enhanced fire alarm system which allows for pre-recorded and live messages to be broadcast over the internal speakers in addition to the traditional audible fire alarm tone. The system will be installed in additional campus buildings in the coming years as funding is available.
Desktop Messaging System
The TU Police Department has the ability to display messages on the screens of most university-owned computers. The message appears in front of other open windows on all OTS-managed university computers that run Windows XP or Vista.
All-Campus E-Mail Message
An all-campus e-mail will provide information regarding present or imminent threats or dangers and inform the campus of appropriate steps to take to maintain safety.
Cell Phone Text Messages
Text messages regarding emergency safety and security measures will be sent to all students who opt to enroll in the free message service.
Campus Telephone Notification System
Callers who dial 410-704-NEWS and our main campus telephone number (410-704-2000) will be alerted to events by a voicemail message.
Web Site and Media Alerts
A message will appear on the Towson University homepage, and television, radio and print media will be alerted if appropriate.
If necessary, police announcements could be made via in-car public address systems as the police patrol campus in vehicles.
Residence Hall Announcements
All of the residence towers are equipped with a public address system that enables building-wide and room-specific communications.
Students in the other residence halls will be notified by their RAs and by other systems in place.
Q Are guidelines in place for emergencies?
A Absolutely. Towson University has an Emergency Resources Guide: A Ready Resource for Managing and Responding to Emergency and Crisis Situations. We've also developed a training video that offers useful tips for responding safely and effectively in emergency situations.
The Emergency Resources Guide provides direction for many emergency situations. Each office on campus has a copy of the guidebook and it is posted online. Students are routinely reminded to review safety and security procedures provided by the University Police. They are also encouraged to view the training video and then print, complete and store the emergency pocket guide in an accessible place.