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Student life in residence halls

Safety in the Halls

Night Supervisors are full- or part-time staff who monitor the residence halls after guest hours. They also report suspicious activity and provide assistance. Resident Assistants are student staff assigned to live in residential areas to ensure that concerned and trained staff are readily available to answer questions concerning safety and security, assist individual residents as needed, and assist in enforcing university and residence hall policies.

The Escort Policy requires that a resident accompany visitors during guest hours, except in designated public areas. This applies to visitors from different residence halls, as well as off-campus. Lighting at the entrances is turned on from dusk until daylight to provide a well-lit area for residents returning home after dark. Emergency lighting is available in all residence halls. In case of a power failure, the emergency lighting will operate automatically. Locked doors to hallways, bathrooms and access from the outside should never be propped, the lock disabled in any form, or the door held open for an unknown person. This creates a safety risk to all residents. For your protection, tell your roommate or RA about unusual destinations and expected times of return.

Security programming is provided throughout the year. It is coordinated by residence hall staff and includes programs such as fire-safety drills, personal safety, rape awareness speakers and vandalism reduction programs. Viewers (peepholes) are installed in all residents' doors.

Questions concerning asbestos material or lead-based paint, locations and hazards should be referred to the university's EHS Office at (512)471-3511.

Signs of Crime

The following situations may indicate criminal activity and should be reported to your Residence Hall Staff and University Police:

  • A scream or call for help
  • A strange, unescorted person on your floor
  • A broken window
  • Seeing someone you do not know or recognize:
    • Entering your neighbor's room
    • Entering an office or lab with no apparent business to transact
    • Loitering in a parking lot, near your residence hall, or work area
    • Carrying two bicycles
    • Trying to break or pry a car window


  • It is usually best not to yell out or try to detain an offender. The person may panic and react in an unpredictable manner. Usually, the offender will run away when spotted.
  • If the offender runs away, do not follow, but do try to notice which direction the person goes. If there is a place from which you can observe safely, such as a window, watch to see if the offender gets into a car, goes to another building, etc.
  • Try to get a good description of the offender. If the person speaks to you remember what was said and how it was said.
  • Report incidents and suspicious persons to your RA and UTPD.

How to Describe a Suspect

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