SACS Principles of Accreditation
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Section V: COC Resources

3.10.6 The institution takes reasonable steps to provide a healthy, safe, and secure environment for all member of the campus community.



JUDGMENT OF COMPLIANCE

Compliance.

NARRATIVE/JUSTIFICATION FOR JUDGMENT OF COMPLIANCE

The University provides a safe, healthy and secure working environment for all staff, faculty, students, and visitors.

General Health and Safety
The University focuses on preserving the environment and complying with federal, state, local and system regulations. Through implementation of appropriate System regulations, the University pledges to keep its commitment to the environment and its community. The goal of The Texas A&M University System Regulation 24.02 Environmental Health and Safety Program, sponsored by The Texas A&M University System (TAMUS), is to effectively communicate the importance of a safe working environment. Understanding the priority of environmental health and safety protection, proper training and System compliance is the key to a successful program.

The TAMUS Risk Management Safety Council consists of at least one safety professional representative from each of the System Universities and Agencies as well as ex-officio members from the System Risk Management office. The focus of the council is to implement regulations, policies and procedures at the System level and to create programs at each institution to coincide with these regulations. The council has been successful in implementing regulations such as: Environmental Health and Safety Program, Hazard Communication Program, Chemical Safety, Biological Safety, Fire and Life Safety, Agriculture and Forestry Safety, Operations of Heavy Equipment, Crisis Management Program, Reproductive Risks, Use of Personal Protective Equipment, Employee Safety Responsibility, Industrial Hygiene: Monitoring and Evaluation of Occupational/Environmental Exposure, Hazardous Waste Management Program, Visitor Safety, Laboratory Safety and Health Management, Radiation Safety, Ventilation Control for Occupational Health, Lead Paint Control, General Safety, General Sanitation, Respiratory Protection, Mobile Equipment, Management of Thermal Stress, Asbestos Management, Peace Officers Security Bond, Waiver of Liability and Hold Harmless Agreement.

The Texas A&M University System provides funding to purchase needed environmental health and safety supplies. In 2004, the University purchased two new automated external defibrillators, one evacuchair and Hepatitis vaccinations for employees at risk of a Bloodborne Pathogen exposure.

The University has implemented the following programs that comply with System regulations and make up the Safety Program:

  • Hazard Communication Program: This program provides training, appropriate personal protective equipment, and information regarding hazardous chemicals in accordance with the Texas Hazard Communication Act and the Public Employer Community Right-to-Know Act.

  • Hazardous Waste Management Program: The purpose of this program is to comply with all local, state, and federal regulations on the proper collection, storage, and disposal of hazardous waste and prompt personnel safety and environmental preservation associated with hazardous waste management activities.

  • Management and Disposal of Biological Waste: The purpose of this program is to provide information, requirements, guidelines and procedures for the handing and disposal of hazardous and non-hazardous biological waste for all departments and units.

  • Bloodborne Pathogens Exposure Control Plan: Employees identified as having a potential bloodborne pathogen exposures as a result of employment are properly trained annually and offered the Hepatitis B vaccination.

  • Crisis Management Plan: This program includes plans for prevention, preparedness, response, and recovery for all forms of crisis or emergencies foreseen on campus.

  • Employee Safety Responsibility: Safety is the responsibility of every employee and can be better achieved through proper education, training, use of protective equipment, and compliance with safety rules, standards and laws. Each employee is responsible for understanding and practicing appropriate safety procedures.

In addition to these programs, the University also offers the following:

  • Monthly safety newsletters distributed to all employees (full time, part time, student employees, and workstudy employees). This four page monthly newsletter contains articles of interest to the campus pertaining to environmental heath and safety issues.

  • A Food Handlers Workshop is offered to all student organizations as a prerequisite for serving food and beverage fundraisers on campus. This course is offered twice in the Spring and twice in the Fall and must be attended by all organizations.

  • Incident investigations are conducted after every accident or injury incident on campus.

  • Training is provided where required or as needed in areas such as: Automatic External Defibrillator; Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation (CPR); Personal Protective Equipment; Heat Stress; Electrical Safety; Machine and Equipment Safety; Materials Handling Safety; Safe Lifting; Good Housekeeping Safety; Slips, Trips, and Falls; Ergonomics; Ladder Safety; Office Hazards; Fire Safety; Fire Extinguisher Usage; Reading Labels and Material Safety Data Sheets; Lockout/Tagout; Universal Precautions; and Lawn Equipment Safety. The University provides inspections of campus fire extinguishers and offers compliance inspections of National Fire Protection Association Life Safety Code.

Safety and Crime Prevention
University Police have full law enforcement authority and are vested with all powers, privileges, and immunities of peace officers while on the property under the control and jurisdiction of the institution. Police officers perform a wide array of duties and services. Many of these are of a security nature, including securing buildings, motorist assistance, security escorts and general preventive patrol of buildings, parking lots and other campus areas. In addition to traditional vehicular patrol, foot and bicycle patrol are also employed. (University Police, Patrol Division)

University police officers are charged with protecting the public safety and welfare of students, employees, and property of the institution in accordance with Texas law. (University Police, Public Safety) In order to accomplish this charge, officers must have attended a state certified police academy, received certification and licensing by the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement Officer Standards and Education (TCLEOSE), must have successfully completed a minimum of 30 college credit hours and comply with state mandated bi-annual training requirements. Officers are well trained, well educated men and women, committed to the concept of community service, who protect a campus filled with professional, dedicated faculty, staff and students in a unique academic environment.

The University Police Department maintains excellent relations with the City of Laredo Police Department, the Webb County Sheriff's Office, the agencies of the United States Department of Homeland Security (including the Border Patrol, Drug Enforcement Administration, Federal Bureau of Investigation) and other state and federal law enforcement agencies. The department has established a liaison with the Laredo Community College Police Department, the United Independent School District Police Department and the Laredo Independent School District Police Department. Information about crimes and incidents is exchanged between agencies so crime trends and activities may be monitored.

The University Police Department has several crime prevention programs available to the university community. These programs emphasize personal awareness and personal responsibility for protecting property and to reduce and prevent crimes.

  • Alarm Systems - monitors several types of alarms from different locations on campus, these systems are designed to enhance personal safety, building security and environmental controls;

  • Crime Prevention Presentations - conduct crime prevention and crime awareness presentations at student orientations and upon request as follows:

    • Rape Aggression Defense (RAD) Course – basic physical defense for women;

    • Community Advisors (CA) Orientation – drug awareness presentation for housing administrators and staff;

    • New Student Orientation – safety awareness and topics of interest for new University students;

    • Heightened Security Presentation – crime awareness for University community;

    • Date Rape Presentation – awareness course for the University community;

    • Personal Safety – personal safety precautions.


  • Crime Stoppers - the University participates with local crime prevention programs such as the Laredo Crime Stoppers program.

  • Motorist Assistance Programs - provide assistance to motorists with vehicle difficulties. The services range from jump-starts of vehicles, attempting to unlock locked vehicles, providing assistance with out-of-fuel vehicles, and assistance with flat tires.

  • Dusty Trails - provides security escorts - walking, golf cart, police vehicle – to on campus locations;

  • Emergency Telephones – monitors and answers 17 Emergency Code blue telephones located throughout campus, emergency telephones in elevators and emergency telephones in university buildings that provide direct contact with the police dispatcher.

The University Police Department contributes crime information to the Texas Department of Public Safety and makes crime statistic information available to interested parties. Statistics for this report are compiled from University Police reports, incidents reported to public law enforcement agencies where the University owns or controls property, and from incidents reported by persons who have “significant responsibility for student and campus activities” to whom individuals report criminal incidents they have not reported to police.(University Police, Crime Statistics)

Student Health Services
At TAMIU, Student Health Services (SHS) strives to meet the immediate and episodic student health care needs by providing clinic visits, outreach contacts at the student housing complex, orientation programs, and other campus activities. A collaborating physician is available for medical consultation upon referral by the nurse practitioner.

SHS strives to provide health information to increase student awareness of a healthy lifestyle through direct teaching, health literature, and vaccination drives. Patients receive information and education regarding health issues pertinent to a healthier lifestyle. In addition, HIV counseling and testing is confidentially handled through a local health care agency.

Currently a variety of services are provided including:

  • Over-the-counter medications
  • Prescriptions for medication
  • Assessment & diagnosis of illness
  • Nutrition and fitness counseling
  • Weight monitoring
  • Body fat percentage monitoring
  • Blood pressure screening and monitoring
  • Diabetic screening and monitoring
  • Pregnancy testing
  • Immunizations
  • Tuberculosis testing
  • Vision screening
  • Weekly onsite visits by licensed physician
  • Health information resources
  • Class D Pharmacy (primarily provides antibiotics for infectious diseases)
  • Referral to local health care providers
  • Staff participation in Student Orientation programs

Campus Residence Programs
The mission of the Office of Housing & Residence Life is to provide housing, programs, and services that establish a setting conducive to learning and that are affordable, enjoyable, safe, and well maintained. This office coordinates with all other campus offices and departments to ensure the health and safety of over 400 on-campus student residents. In addition, the staff of Housing & Residence Life conducts and coordinates educational programs in all residence halls every semester which deal with physical, occupational, spiritual, intellectual, emotional, social, health, diversity, community service and gender issues. American Campus Communities operated the management of on campus housing from 1996 until Summer 2004. American Campus Communities Customer Service Survey evaluated assessment of student resident satisfaction. The survey was processed through Insights Research Group. Beginning in the summer of 2004, the University assumed the management of all campus housing and the Office of Housing and Residence Life was created. Assessment of student resident satisfaction is evaluated through TAMIU's participation in the Association of College and University Housing Officers-International (ACUHO-I) "Resident Student Satisfaction Study" on a bi-annual basis.

Health and safety policies for student residents on campus are published in the Residence Hall Student Handbook. The offices of University Police and Housing & Residence Life have established a formalized relationship designed to ensure coordination and completeness of safety procedures. A variety of media such as the Internet, flyers, posters, and direct mailings are used to update residents regarding personal safety, including bomb threat, and emergency evacuation.

The safety of campus housing is ensured by a number of standard procedures:

  • Fire safety is supported by fire drills, presence of fire alarm systems in all buildings, individual smoke alarms in all individual rooms, a sprinkler system in all living units, and key boxes for the fire department access in all buildings.

  • Access safety is supported by a campus card system (NuVision Network). All residence halls are gated and controlled access. In addition, telephones are located at the main entrance of each residence hall and are available for emergency use. Emergency exit procedures are posted on the back of the doors of each residential unit.

  • Maintenance of systems and facilities is supported by semi-annual inspections of all buildings performed by the University Physical Plant department, monthly inspections by the Director of Housing and Residence Life, routine room checks by Residence Life staff and daily patrols by the University Police.

  • Training of Residence Life staff is conducted at the beginning of each semester and involves professional housing staff and representatives from the Division of Student Affairs, University Police, and Physical Plant. In particular, CPR and Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) training programs are provided for all Residence Hall staff.

The Office of Housing and Residence Life focuses on the health and safety of on-campus residents through crime prevention, education, and intervention strategies.





SUPPORT DOCUMENTATION


SOURCE

LOCATION/Special Instructions

The Texas A&M University System Regulation 24.02 Environmental Health and Safety Program http://sago.tamu.edu/policy/24-02-02.htm
Risk Management Safety Council http://orms.tamu.edu/main.cfm?thesection=council&page=home
Safety Program http://www.tamiu.edu/adminis/physplnt/safety.shtml
Hazard Communication Program http://www.tamiu.edu/adminis/physplnt/pdfs/
TAMIU HazCom Program.pdf
Adobe Acrobat File
Hazardous Waste Management Program http://www.tamiu.edu/adminis/physplnt/pdfs/TAMIU haz waste program.pdf Adobe Acrobat File
Management and Disposal of Biological Waste http://www.tamiu.edu/adminis/physplnt/pdfs/TAMIU Biological waste disposal program.pdf Adobe Acrobat File
Bloodborne Pathogens Exposure Control Plan http://www.tamiu.edu/adminis/physplnt/pdfs/TAMIU BBP EXPOSURE CONTROL PLAN as adopted 030503.pdf Adobe Acrobat File
Crisis Management Plan http://www.tamiu.edu/adminis/physplnt/pdfs/crisis.pdf Adobe Acrobat File
University Police http://www.tamiu.edu/adminis/police/
University Police, Patrol Division http://www.tamiu.edu/adminis/police/patrol.html
University Police, Public Safety http://www.tamiu.edu/adminis/police/safety.htm
University Police, Crime Statistics http://www.tamiu.edu/adminis/police/Crime.htm
Student Health Services http://www.tamiu.edu/health/
Residence Hall Student Handbook http://www.tamiu.edu/archives/rhb.pdf Adobe Acrobat File


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