The Five W's of Policy*

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  • Document, document, documentYou don’t decide the punishment or outcome of the situation, you only are the reporter that puts the information into CoCo for your RHD to reviewUphold the policies yourself; be a role model
  • All of the time!Obviously, policy is enforced by you in the residence halls but as a student leader, you should report things that you see anywhere on campus
  • RSAs are not the “fun police”Policies are in place to ensure the health and safety of all residentsWe enforce policies to make sure that our residence halls are a safe place for everyoneAnd to promote a positive academic environment
  • Residents must exercise care and caution in the prevention of a fire. Residents and their guests must abide by all Fire Safety Regulations stated below. Fire Drill vs. Fire Alarm Fire drills are conducted yearly in all residential areas to test the system and evacuation plans. Fire Alarms sound unexpectedly when there is possible danger through smoke or fire detected within the residence halls. All residents and occupants of the building must evacuate during both a fire drill and fire alarm. Evacuation Plan All occupants in the building must evacuate immediately in an orderly manner when the fire alarm sounds. Failure to evacuate promptly and properly will result in a judicial hearing. Windows/Screens Windows/screens must remain in place at all times as they are a safety mechanism - screens removed from their place will result in a fine and disciplinary action. Fuel Any fuel, including kerosene, propane, gasoline, and charcoal lighter fluid are prohibited in any residential area. Candles/Incense The possession or use of any open flame devices, such as candles (burned or unburned), incense and oil burning lamps are prohibited and will be confiscated, resulting in a judicial hearing.Ceiling/Wall Coverings Nothing may be hung from or affixed to the ceiling, smoke detector, sprinkler head and exposed pipe. This includes decorations, lights, posters, flags and towels. All objects placed on the wall must be at least six inches below the ceiling line. All draperies and tapestries must be flame resistant and labeled as such by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA). Excessive amount of objects are prohibited from being placed on the wall. There must be at least eighty percent of available wall space (subtracting doors and other openings) in resident rooms and hallways. Holiday Decorations Natural trees and wreaths (both highly flammable) are prohibited. All holiday lighting must be Underwriter Laboratories (UL) listed. Holiday light strings are permitted as long as two strings are not plugged into each other. Each holiday light string must be plugged into an outlet. Room Gatherings Social gatherings of more than three times the number of designated residents for that space are unacceptable. All attending gatherings which exceed allowed capacity will be responsible for violating policy. Fire Safety Equipment & Usage Fire Extinguishers Residents are not permitted to tamper with fire safety equipment, including fire alarms, fire extinguishers, smoke and heat detectors, sprinkler heads, pull stations, horn/strobe units, exit signs, refugee area signs, and fire doors. This is both a violation of University policy and local/state/federal law. Therefore, any resident or guest involved in endangering occupants will result in a judicial hearing and possible police charges. Fire safety equipment, including smoke detectors, fire extinguishers, and sprinkler systems, are installed across campus, and fire drills are conducted in each residential area. When the fire alarm sounds, all occupants must vacate the building immediately. Failure to vacate will result with a judicial hearing and a possible fine between $100 - $500. Pull Stations Are located throughout the residential buildings and should not be tampered with. Only in a situation of danger should a pull station be used. Emergency Exits All stairways, hallways, walkways and fire doors (all doors) must be unobstructed and allow for egress at all times. Nothing may be stored in these areas. Emergency exits must only be used in the event of an emergency. Call BoxesCall boxes are located in the elevators and in the hallways in an event of emergency. The campus is also equipped with a “blue light” call system outside of the buildings. Using the call box directly connects the caller to Public Safety’s emergency line.


  • 1. The Five W’s of Policy RSA Training Module 2013-2014
  • 2. Overview: • Who enforces policy? Who are your resources? • What do we expect of you, as an RSA? • Where can you find the Student Handbook? • When do we enforce policy? • Why do we enforce policy? • What are the policies? • TRUE Stories – These stories actually happened to RSAs in the past. Names have been changed to protect the participants, but they actually could happen to you.
  • 3. Who enforces policy? And who are your resources? • You enforce policy, along with Public Safety and the RHDs • You are a representative, of the department of Residential Life AND the Dean of Students Office. Remember that! • You have resources and allies. So don’t feel alone: • Public Safety • Director on Duty (DOD) • Residence Hall Directors (RHDs) • Central office staff • Assistant Directors • Director of Residential Life • Assistant Dean of Student Conduct and Community Standards • Wellness Center
  • 4. What do we expect of you, as an RSA? • Know and understand the policies • And why we have them • If you don’t understand a policy ask your RHD • Use the Blackboard Discussion to find out • Document, document, document • Write objectively • Include all facts • Submit in a timely manner • You don’t decide the punishment • Uphold the policies yourself • Be a role model
  • 5. Where can you find the Student Handbook? • Go to -> Campus Life-> Life On & Off Campus-> Student Handbook • Contains information about the University’s: • Mission • History • Alma Mater • Academic Policies • Academic Calendar • Support Services • Conduct Code • Campus Policies and Procedures
  • 6. STUDENT HANDBOOK • Every RSA should read the Sacred Heart University Student Handbook, especially the sections that pertain to the RSA job like Campus Code and Procedures section and Campus Life section. • This is the link for last year’s book: denthandbook/ • We will be updating you at August training if there are any major changes. • I am pretty sure if you don’t read the Student Handbook sections pertaining to the RSA job you will not be able to answer some of the quiz questions correctly.
  • 7. When do we enforce policy? • Any day of the week that ends in ‘d-a-y’! • Report suspicious things even outside of your Residence Hall True Story: You are always an RSA. Sally was an RSA in Scholars Commons when she was coming back from the library late on a Thursday night. She witnessed a student throwing up in the bushes by the HC wing. The girl was by herself with no friends in sight. The girl obviously was intoxicated and could barely stand. Sally called Public Safety and the girl was transported to the hospital. What would have happened if Sally had not done anything? Just because you are not on duty does not mean you can’t help our SHU community.
  • 8. Why do we enforce policies? • Health and safety of all residents • Keep the residence halls a safe and positive academic environment True Story: Tom didn’t like all of the Res. Life policies. Especially the one regarding Hall Sports. So he didn’t enforce it when his guys were throwing a football around. Most days nothing ever happened, but one day the football broke the sprinkler head and thousands of gallons of water were unleashed on Tom’s floor. Tons of his residents items were destroyed, but it also affected the four floors below as well. Some policies may seem silly, but events have happened that require these policies to be in place. By just asking the guys to go outside to throw the football instead of letting them play inside could have saved thousands of dollars of damage and inconvenience.
  • 9. Alcohol • No one under 21 may acquire, purchase, obtain, possess, consume or be in the presence of alcohol. • No person, regardless of age, is permitted to possess or consume alcohol within the on-campus residential areas; if everyone is of age in an off campus apartment, then alcohol may be consumed • The following are prohibited: • Drinking games • Kegs, beer balls, alcohol paraphernalia (beer funnels, etc) • Open containers, including water bottles • Fake IDs • Drunken behavior/ public intoxication • Operation of a motor vehicle while under the influence
  • 10. Confronting Alcohol • State who you are: • RSA • State what you are doing: • Documenting the violation • Know where to stand: • Have one RSA go with the resident to dump the alcohol out while the other stays with the door open and writes everything down • Put all empty containers and paraphernalia in a plastic trash bag • Know when to ask for help • Don’t forget to state why you are there and to answer questions and let the residents know that they will be receiving an email from the RHD • “We heard lots or noise OR we heard bottles clanking, etc”
  • 11. Good Samaritan Policy • Why do we have this policy? • To protect students • To ensure that students receive medical attention when needed • Who does this policy involve/effect? • Any member of the Sacred Heart University community • Students • Residence Life staff member • Public Safety • What does this policy entail? • Students that seek assistance from Public Safety and/or Residential Life staff and the individual(s) assisted, should not fear disciplinary action should they seek help for a friend who has had too much to drink. Instead, under the guidelines of this policy, these violations will be dealt with through health and safety education initiatives instead of disciplinary action with respect to the alcohol policy. • When does this policy apply? • Students will be considered for a one time acceptance under the guidelines of the policy through a review of the sequence of events that occurred during their incident. The spirit of the Good Samaritan is that there is an ethical responsibility to help people in need and this policy is designed to save lives. It is an expectation that our students will take active steps to protect the health and safety and well-being of the community and one another.
  • 12. Drugs & Paraphernalia • The possession, use, misuse, manufacture, distribution, improper possession, possession with intent to sell and/or sale of illegal/unauthorized harmful drugs, prescription medication, drug paraphernalia (including but not limited to hookahs, pipes, bongs, bowls, etc.) misuse of any product to act as a drug is a violation of state and federal laws, and is contrary to Sacred Heart University policies. • Students found responsible for violating any part of this policy, are subject to university disciplinary action and/or arrest and prosecution by state and/or federal authorities. • For students with alcohol or drug addictions, the Counseling & Health service Offices serve as a resource to assist the student in receiving the appropriate assistance for recovery.
  • 13. Confronting Drugs • State who you are: • RSA • State what you are doing: • Documenting the violation • Know where to stand: • Take notes for the DOD and stand by the door • Know when to ask for help • Always call the DOD and Public Safety when you suspect drug use or paraphernalia • Don’t forget to state why you are there and to answer questions and let the residents know that they will be receiving an email from the RHD • “We smelt something in the hallway…”
  • 14. Smoking • SHU is a smoke-free campus. This is a new policy that took effect on January 1, 2012. • Smoking is only allowed in designated areas. A map of these areas can be found online at> Smoke-Free SHU Initiative-> Designated Smoking Areas • This website contains information/ answers for FAQs as well • It’s everyone’s responsibility to enforce the policy • Just kindly ask the person(s) to move to the designated areas • Knowing where the areas are located in your area is helpful • If a person or student is resistant or rude, let your supervisor or Public Safety know and they will enforce the policy
  • 15. Damage & Vandalism • Students who willfully/maliciously damage property are required to pay for damages and are subject to disciplinary action. True Story: The fourth floor of Merton was a very tight community. Some of the guys were very destructive when they were intoxicated and destroyed a bathroom. Although the residents knew who did the damage no one said a word. The entire floor was going to absorb a $5,000 damage bill that was going to be about $200 per person. Billy’s finances were shaky to begin with and once his parents received this bill they questioned why he should go back to school when they could barely afford normal costs. Finding out who does damage is important so that innocent people do not have to pay for other people’s reckless actions.
  • 16. Fire Safety • Fire Drill vs. Fire Alarm • Drills are planned • Alarms are intentional or accidental and very dangerous • Evacuation Plan • Each building has it’s own plan – Know yours • Windows/Screens are in place for your safety • Items not allowed • Candles/Incense • Ceiling/Wall Coverings – Easy to light on fire • Holiday Decorations – Only 60% of your door can be covered • Open Coil Appliances • Room Gatherings • Too many people in a room can lead to a fire hazard • Maximum of 2 people per resident (Triple = 9 people in a room, etc.) • Fire Safety Equipment: • Fire Extinguishers – Training will be held w/ Fairfield Fire in August • Pull Stations – Every building has them and if you see a fire use them. • Emergency Exits – Make sure they are not blocked and work properly • Call Boxes – All over campus for a direct line to Public Safety
  • 17. Guest Policy • The Guest Policy is the same for every area on campus regardless of age and location. • Residents are permitted two overnight guests of the same sex. • All hosts must obtain authorization from RA/RHD for the guest 24 hours in advance, in addition to roommate signature using the Overnight Guest Registration Form. (Every area has guest passes that are supposed to be used for overnight guests) • Residents are responsible for the actions/ behaviors of their guests/visitors regarding all policies. • It is the RSAs responsibility to make sure the residents of your area know how to obtain Overnight Guest Passes.
  • 18. Health & Safety • Be aware of the prohibited items in the student handbook. • SHOT GLASSES even for decoration are not allowed in an under 21 area • The University reserves to right to search a room/apartment of any resident upon reasonable belief that violations of federal, state, or local laws, or SHU policy are occurring, or for safety/wellness/emergency reasons. • Once a semester Health and Safety Checks will be completed by the RSA’s with the direction of your RHD. • Resident hall staff are authorized to confiscate items that are not permitted. Items should not be disposed of unless it is alcohol. Items should be kept in the RSA office and only given back with the RHD’s permission.
  • 19. Lockouts & Lost Keys • Residents must carry their Student ID and keys at all times and may not duplicate or lend them out. • Lost Student IDs can be replaced by the Student Union and the resident can go online to deactivate the card so that it is not used to purchase items on campus. • Residents must report lost keys immediately to Residence Life. Lost keys may result in a lock change and a could result in a $35 fine. • If a resident becomes locked out of their room they should first contact an RA to be let in at cost of $5 to be paid at time of entry. Public Safety will admit a student at the cost of $10.
  • 20. Noise & Respectful Living • Courtesy house are in place at all times: • 24/7 • Quiet hours: • Sunday- Thursday 9 PM- 8 AM • Friday- Saturday 1 AM- 9 AM • Your staff determines how strict this policy can be. One RSA not enforcing policy will effect the entire building/area. • During final exams: • Quiet hours are 24 hours • Any violation that disrupts the community may result in immediate removal for the remainder of finals • Non-overnight guests are permitted in the halls 9 AM- 1 AM Sunday- Thursday, 9 AM -2 AM Friday- Saturday
  • 21. Disruptive Behavior • Disruptive behavior, that which interferes with the educational process or which prevents reasonable free access to SHU property and activities, is not permitted. • Offenders will be subject to disciplinary action. • Students are expected to conduct themselves responsibly at all times, respecting the rights of others. • Any behaviors that show disregard or disrespect for the personal/property rights of others or of SHU are unacceptable and considered inappropriate (see judicial system violations). • Any sexual activity on the SHU campus between unmarried individuals or sexual behavior in view of others is also considered inappropriate behavior and will be addressed through the Student Conduct Code system
  • 22. Sexual Assault & Assault • These topics will be covered in depth during RSA training • They are currently being rewritten and the process is changing • You will be receiving training in August regarding the proper procedures to follow. • This is an area that no one expects you to be able to handle on your own and NO MATTER WHAT you should contact a higher person (DOD, Your RHD, Wellness Center, or Public Safety)
  • 23. Theft • Theft of money or property from SHU, from any member of the Community, or on SHU premises as well as the misappropriation or unauthorized use of any SHU facility is not permitted. • Those violating this rule will be subject to disciplinary action. • All thefts should be reported to Public Safety immediately when you are notified of them. • Contact your RHD with all of the details your residents give you as well.
  • 24. Weapons • Weapons, including, but not limited to, firearms, explosives and knives are not permitted on any property owned or leased by SHU. Violators are subject to disciplinary action. • Knives over 3” long that are not used for culinary purposes are prohibited from the SHU community. • Immediately inform Public Safety, the DOD or your RHD if you find anything you think is considered a weapon. • Better to be safe than sorry.
  • 25. RSA’s and Policies • Policy Enforcement is one of the key elements to the RSA job. • RSA’s should never go looking for trouble as plenty of trouble will find you. Just ask a returning RSA. • The more consistent you are with your policy enforcement the more fair the entire system of policies is for everyone. • Once you let one person get away with a policy you run the risk of having everyone believe that they can get away with a policy. DON’T BE THAT RSA!!! • There is always someone to support you 24 hours a day with policy enforcement. You can call the Director on Duty or Public Safety at any time for assistance. • If you don’t know ask. We would rather you check than make a mistake.