February 25, 2018  

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Southern Miss Safety Brochure Includes Focus on Fire Safety

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Information to help keep members of The University of Southern Mississippi campus community safe and healthy, including a special focus on fire safety in residence halls and other student housing facilities, is available in the latest edition of the university’s safety brochure.

“Maintaining a Safe and Secure Campus” is produced through a collaboration between the University Police Department staff and other Southern Miss officials. It is available to members of the university community through the university’s Web site http://www.usm.edu/sites/default/files/pdf/campus_safety/safe_secure_campus.pdfand in hard copy form.

It includes emergency contact information on the following:

  • Crime statistics, including those committed the last three years in areas immediately surrounding the campus
  • Campus police escort service
  • Alcohol and firearm policies
  • Telephone numbers for alcohol and drug-abuse issues
  • Services available from the Rape Crisis Center, area medical clinics and counseling services
  • University Police safety education programs, including the popular Rape Aggression Defense classes

The safety brochure includes information about the Eagle Alert system, through which students, faculty and staff are able to receive time-sensitive information via text and voice messages to cell phones and landlines, e-mail and the university’s Web page. Eagle Alerts are also sent to news outlets.

Faculty, staff and students confronting drug and alcohol issues are urged to check information in the brochure for referrals for assistance. Southern Miss students may take advantage of counseling services at the university’s Counseling Center, located on the second floor of Kennard-Washington Hall. For other health-related issues, contact Southern Miss Health Services at 601.266.5390. Student Health Services located north of Kennard-Washington Hall in the Bedie Smith Health Clinic

Information on how to access statistics about registered sex offenders on the Internet through the Mississippi Sex Offender Registry can be found in the brochure. To view these statistics, visit http://www.dps.state.ms.us.

The university also provides fire safety educational programs and resources for the campus community throughout the year. In September, the university conducts a fire safety seminar in conjunction with Fire Safety Awareness Month.

With assistance from the Hattiesburg Fire Department, the university conducts two fire drills per semester, one scheduled fire drill in every residence hall and one unannounced fire drill. The university also conducts a room inspection in each residence hall during the fall semester.

All fire/safety policies and rules are listed in detail in the resident handbook. Checklists and dorm safety guidelines are also posted on the safety web site at http://www.usm.edu/safety/residence-halls.

Additionally, the university conducts mandatory fire safety training for all hall directors and resident assistants. Fire safety classes, fire extinguisher classes and general safety classes are available upon request. For more information about the university’s fire safety initiatives, online visit http://www.usm.edu/safety/introduction-fire-safety.

In accordance with the Jeanne Clery Act, Colleges and universities that participate in federal student financial aid programs are required by law to produce a brochure addressing safety issues. That act is named for a Lehigh University student who was raped and killed in her dorm room in 1986.
Determined to improve security at the school following the murder, Clery’s parents lobbied for legislation to make public records of previous crimes committed on the Lehigh campus. That led to the passage of the Jeanne Clery Act by the U.S. Congress.

Copies of the brochure are also available in the University Police Department lobby, located in Bond Hall on the north side of the Hattiesburg campus. For more information, contact the University Police Department at 601.266.4986 or the Southern Miss Office of Student Affairs at 601.266.4025.