Connecting to Campus

Residence Hall Safety

Fire Evacuation

Students must evacuate during a fire alarm. Fire alarm information will be shared at a residence hall meeting at the beginning of the semester. It is the responsibility of every member of the residence hall community and their guest(s) to know how to safely evacuate the residence hall. This includes being familiar with evacuation routes and the locations of exits, stairwells, phones, and elevators. Students who fail to evacuate during a fire alarm will be assessed a fine and referred to the judicial process.

Fire Hazards

All students must observe the following regulations regarding the use of appliances/items:

  • Appliances in rooms must be in good working order and have the U.L. (Underwriters Laboratories) seal of approval. Appliances that are not permitted include popcorn poppers, coffeepots, teapots, electric frying pans, microwaves, deep fryers, grills, potpourri pots, etc.
  • Extension cords must be in good working order and have the U.L. seal of approval. Cords must not be spliced or changed in any way. Extension cords should not be used under rugs or furniture or behind/around hot water/heating pipes. Surge protectors or circuit breakers must be used any time an extension cord is used.
  • Curling irons, etc., are to be used in the bathroom and are not to be left plugged in even if they are turned off.
  • Appliances with three-prong plugs may not be altered to fit a receptacle that does not provide for a ground plug. U.L. adapters may be used.
  • Irons are to be used only in laundry rooms or other designated areas within the residence halls.
  • Use of open flames, candles, incense, electrical wax pots, potpourri pots, candle burners and electric plates are all prohibited in the residence halls. Candles, regardless of their use, are not permitted in the residence halls. Scented wall plug-ins are approved for use in rooms.
  • Microwave ovens are provided in each residence hall.

Fire insurance regulations do not permit hanging plants, clothes hangers, or other attachments to be placed on the sprinkler system. Screens, drapes or structures of any type may not be installed in the rooms by students. The college will provide necessary window coverings for all students. No decorative items may be placed in or on light fixtures or lamps. Items such as sheets, flags or banners may not be hung from the ceiling. Room numbers must be visible above doors and may not be covered up.

Fire Safety Equipment

Fire extinguishers, fire alarms and doors are vital for protection of property and people in the residence halls. It is against College regulations to tamper with life saving fire equipment (e.g., fire extinguishers, smoke detectors, fire alarms, etc.). Students who choose to discharge a fire extinguisher when there is no fire or to set off a false alarm will be subject to the student judicial process. It is against regulations to prop open doors. Violators will receive the following assesments as well as pay for any resulting repair:

Assessment fine
Disable a smoke detector $50.00
Discharge a fire extinguisher when there is no fire $50.00
Setting off a false alarm $50.00
Failure to evacuate $50.00

Community members may be subject to judicial action through Residence Life for actions such as propping open a fire door or failure to follow proper procedures during a fire drill.

Drug and/or Alcohol Paraphernalia

Possession or use of drug and/or alcohol paraphernalia is strongly discouraged. Paraphernalia includes, but is not limited to: bongs of any material, hash pipes, empty and/or decorative alcohol bottles, hookahs, and devices used for rapid alcohol consumption such as funnels.

Room Assignments

Berea College is committed to providing equal educational opportunity for persons with disabilities. It is the policy of the College that all students with disabilities will be provided an accessible and reasonably safe environment in which to live and study. It is the responsibility of the student to inform the Residential Life/Collegium and the Special Needs Services Coordinator if special on-campus residential arrangements are needed to accommodate a disability. Every effort will be made to respond to such requests in a timely manner; however, there may be circumstances that delay this process. In such instances the student will be notified of the delay and given an expected response date.

Emergency Evacuation

As a resident or user of any campus building, it is your responsibility to familiarize yourself with the evacuation procedure posted in the building. Make yourself aware of evacuation routes, and of the location of exits, stairwells, phones, and elevators.

Persons with disabilities who may need assistance should inform College personnel, including the Special Needs Services Coordinator and the Office of Public Safety, of the nature of the disability and the type of assistance that may be needed. Residential students must also inform their Hall Coordinator and Collegium member. Students should also notify labor supervisors and professors since evacuation may be required from the workplace, classroom, or laboratory.

Evacuation procedures begin with the sound of a building alarm (those who are heavy sleepers or expect to have trouble hearing the alarm must inform their residence hall staff so accommodations can be made). Immediately move to the nearest stairway and exit the building. Do not use elevators during fire evacuation. If immediate exit is not possible, move a safe distance away from the area.

If you must stay in place until emergency personnel arrive, make sure to inform another person of your specific location so they can inform the emergency responders. If you are able to make telephone contact, call Public Safety at 985-3333 (campus extension 3333) or dial 911 to provide information about your location. Give your name and location and describe the emergency and any special needs you have.


If a student, student’s family, or advocate believes that the institution’s policy or the student’s housing assignment does not reasonably accommodate the student’s disability or endangers the student, a written appeal may be filed with the Director of the Residential Life/Collegium within fifteen days of the assignment.

If the student remains unsatisfied, within seven working days the student may request an appellate review by a board comprised of the Section 504 Coordinator, the Director of Public Safety, and the Director of Facilities Management. Appeals should be submitted, in writing, to the Special Needs Services Coordinator who will forward it to the review board. The student shall be notified of a decision within ten working days. The decision shall be final.


No person may walk upon the roof of a college building (including structures over building entrances) except when emergency access to a fire escape is necessary.


Part of the responsibility of residents living in a residence hall community is to help safeguard the living environment. Because of this, residents are encouraged to keep their rooms locked at all times (even while they are in the room). Residents should report individuals who seem to be suspicious, tampering with locks, etc., to a staff member or to Public Safety (ext. 3333) right away. Doors are not to be propped open. Residents are advised to be particularly security-minded during checkin/ check-out, holiday breaks or whenever fewer residents are in the halls. Public Safety officers’ duties include securing building entrances and aiding in the resolution of disturbances. (See also “Insurance”).

Severe Weather

In the event of severe weather (severe thunderstorm or tornado WARNINGS), Madison County’s warning siren system is activated. The sirens will sound for 3 minutes. In the event of severe weather, you should take cover in the designated shelter in place area(s) in your hall. Do not use elevators. If you are caught in a room when a storm hits, protect yourself by getting under heavy furniture. Stay away from windows and doorways where you may encounter flying glass and other debris. The County will NOT sound an “all clear” signal when the danger has passed. It is suggested that you tune to a local radio or television station to get weather updates.

Madison County tests its alarm system every first Saturday and every third Wednesday of the month at 12:20 PM.

Smoking Policy

Smoking is prohibited in classrooms, laboratories, hallways, staircases, the Library, Food Service, the Alumni Building, the Campus Post Office, campus grounds and walkways, the College forest, in residence halls, in areas where fire is a particular hazard, in areas identified by posted “No Smoking” signs, and in all other areas where non-smokers cannot avoid environmental smoke.

Smoking is allowed in designated areas only. Designated smoking areas include those outdoor areas posted as such (and identified on the designated smoking area map).

Please note that Main Street and Short Street are not considered campus grounds and thus are not included in the College’s policy. These are public areas and may be used for smoking.

Windows and Screens

Residents may not remove screens from windows except when emergency access to a fire escape is necessary.

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