Office of Housing and Residence Life staff works hard to provide the safest environment possible in the residence halls. In return, you are asked to take the time to think about your own safety by considering the policies and procedures. Remember to report all suspicious behavior to both The W Police and Office of Housing and Residence Life staff. The W Police are located in McDevitt Hall and can be reached through the blue phones on campus or by calling (662) 241-7777.

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Key things to remember

  • Never lend your keys or ID card to anyone.
  • Never prop open or tamper with security locked doors.
  • Always lock your residence hall room door.
  • Never open a locked exterior door for anyone.

If you lose your keys or ID card, report them immediately to The W Police and Office of Housing and Residence Life staff member.

Fire Prevention

The most important ingredient in preventing a fire is you. Below are residence hall policies and guidelines:

  • Candles, oil lamps, and other open-flame or continuous burning objects are not permitted (even for decoration purposes).
  • Students may not place or store furniture, trash or personal belongings in the hallways.
  • Keep posters and other combustible decorations to a minimum.
  • Incense is not permissible. Air freshener is acceptable as a plug-in or spray.
  • Check electrical cords and appliances to insure they are in proper working order. Extension Cords are not allowed, only surge protectors can be used. Only one surge protector may be used per outlet (surge protectors may not be plugged into other surge protectors).
  • Check electrical outlets and surge protectors to ensure they are not overloaded. Residence hall staff reserves the right to confiscate any electrical outlet or surge protector for health and safety reasons.
  • Stairwell, hallway and fire doors should never be propped open.
  • Halogen lamps, lava lamps, multi-plug adapters, and bulbs are prohibited in resident rooms.
  • To avoid fire hazard, live Christmas trees are not permitted in your room or in the residence common areas.
  • Low-heat bulbs and flame-retardant materials may be used to decorate your room.

Students violating any of the above guidelines will face disciplinary action.

Emergency Information

Fire and Safety Equipment

The State Fire Code prohibits anyone from tampering with fire and safety equipment in the residence halls or in any campus building. Tampering includes pulling false fire alarms, discharging fire extinguishers, removing exit signs, and interfering with smoke detectors. Interference with smoke detectors mandates immediate attention. Students responsible will be assessed for the damages and for the hourly rate of the repair person’s labor. All violators are subject to disciplinary action and possible criminal prosecution. The maximum civil penalty for malicious use of fire and safety equipment will be enforced.

Fire Drill Procedures

The W residence halls are required to conduct periodic fire drills each semester. Failure to respond appropriately to fire alarms could result in disciplinary action against the resident(s) involved. If a resident fails to respond to a fire alarm he/she may incur a fine as well as be subject to further disciplinary action. Office of Housing and Residence Life staff and University Police reserves the right to enter student rooms to locate the source of the problem and to ensure that everyone has evacuated the building.

In case of a fire:

  • Sound the fire alarm.
  • Evacuate the building.
  • Call The W Police Department at extension (662) 241-7777.

When an alarm sounds:

  • Feel the door from top to bottom with your hands. If it is hot, do not open it!
  • If the door is cool, crouch low and open it slowly. If there is heavy smoke, close the door quickly.
  • If the hallway is clear, exit via the nearest stairwell.
  • Do not use the elevator.
  • If you encounter heavy smoke in the stairwell, do not proceed; but try to go to a different stairwell.

If trapped in a room:

  • Stuff towels or clothing under the door.
  • Open windows – attract someone’s attention.
  • Stay near the window for fresh air.

Tornado Drills

As a student at The W, there will be times when a tornado warning goes into effect. It is imperative that you react quickly, yet in an orderly fashion, when the tornado siren alarms.

  • In the event of a tornado/hurricane warning (or other natural disaster):
  • Close all doors behind you as you move toward the center of the building.
  • Move to the appropriate location designated in each building.
  • Lie face down with knees drawn under you and cover your head with your arms.
  • Wait for further instructions from university or residence hall staff.

Keep the following in mind during a Tornado:

  • Stay away from windows and glass doors.
  • Remain indoors until University Police, local law enforcement, or residence hall staff gives the “all clear” notice.
  • Do not walk in, play in or drive through flooded areas. Floodwater contains hidden hazards and may be deeper and faster moving than it appears.
  • Wear sturdy shoes (e.g. sneakers) at all times.
  • Stay away from downed power lines.
  • Keep handy the telephone numbers of family and other contacts as well as a road map of your locality.
  • You may need to take alternative or unfamiliar routes if major roads are closed or clogged.
  • Listen to NOAA Weather Radio or local radio or TV stations for evacuation instructions.
  • If advised to evacuate, do so immediately! You will need to follow instructions from university and residence hall staff in the event of an evacuation.
  • If you are outside, move quickly inside to a sturdy building. Go to the basement if one is available or stay on lower floor.
  • If a building is not available, lie flat in a ditch or low-lying area.