Campus Safety Policies & Procedures


Whittier College, while a private college, is in many respects a public resource. To ensure the safety of our campus community, the following policies and procedures have been placed. 

Access to Campus Facilities

Our facilities are used not only by full-time community members but also by many persons drawn to the campus for a variety of reasons. There is mutual benefit from such use. Specific buildings, however, are not open to the general public. Entrance may be denied and trespass laws invoked for persons found in or around our buildings without legitimate reasons.

After 11 p.m., the campus is closed to all but faculty, staff, students, and their invitees. Residential buildings are governed by specific access and occupancy rules. These rules are specifically described in the Whittier College Student Handbook. The exterior doors to all facilities are kept locked. Each residence unit is individually keyed. Trespassing laws are strictly enforced within the residence life areas of campus.

Vendors requiring access to buildings throughout campus must check in with Campus Safety and receive a visitor’s badge with access to the specific buildings. All vendors will be verified by their companies before they are authorized to conduct their services.

Free, confidential counseling for alcohol and other drug abuse issues is available to students through the Counseling Center and Student Health Services (Health Center). Other referral resources may include assessment, individual counseling, educational programs, materials, referral, and case management through community agencies, all of which might include a fee. Students exhibiting signs of excessive alcohol consumption will, at the College official’s discretion, be transported via Emergency Medical Services (EMS) for medical attention or be observed by a Poet Monitor (see the Poet Monitor Program) at the student’s expense in order to ensure the student’s health and safety. Failure to comply with the request of EMS or the Poet Monitor may result in disciplinary action. 

Whittier College enforces a strict policy prohibiting weapons on College property, including legal and authorized weapons. The use of any firearm, explosive, weapon, dangerous chemicals, (excluding classroom chemicals), or biological agent on College property or at any College function is prohibited. Other prohibited items include, but are not limited to, swords, pellet or BB guns, knives, paintball guns, bows and arrows, or toy guns. (Students wishing to use any form of firearm or weapon for class purposes such as filming must first obtain permission from the instructor of the course and the Department of Campus Safety before use).

Students, faculty, and staff are not allowed to carry and/or possess weapons at any time while in College buildings or property, whether or not licensed to do so. Non-employees include, but are not limited to, vendors, visitors, customers, conference attendees, and potential customers of the College, excluding law enforcement officers. This includes parking and/or driving College vehicles or privately owned vehicles on campus or at College sponsored activities away from campus.

The College also prohibits visitors from carrying and/or possessing weapons on college property or attending College or College-related activities. Whittier College students, faculty, and staff are responsible for the behavior of any visitor they have on campus or at off-campus, college-sponsored activities or events.

Reports of any suspected violation of this policy should be made to the Department of Campus Safety (562.907.4211 or the campus emergency telephone number 562.907.4911) immediately. Violation of this policy is unacceptable and shall be grounds for disciplinary action up to and including expulsion from Whittier College or termination of employment. The College will not tolerate retaliation against any student, faculty, or staff member who reports a suspected violation of this policy.

In cases of suspected possession of firearms or weapons of any kind, the College reserves the right to search personal belongings on College property, including but not limited to articles of clothing, purses, brief cases, residence hall rooms, bags, and vehicles. All such searches must be approved in advance by the Vice President for Finance and Administration or Director of Human Resources for staff, the Vice President for Academic Affairs (or designee) for faculty, or the Dean of Students (or designee) for students. Reasonable attempt will be made to notify person with the suspected firearm or weapon prior to the search. Persons may be asked to leave campus or remain in the presence of Campus Safety until a search is conducted or the situation is resolved. The search will normally be conducted in private by Campus Safety, an appropriate supervisor (for faculty and staff) with a third person normally present. In the case of students, the search will be conducted in private by Campus Safety and the Dean of Students or designee.

Sanctions will be imposed in accordance with the procedures in the Code of Student Rights and Responsibilities, the Employee Handbook, or Faculty Handbook, as appropriate. Visitors found in violation of this policy are subject to expulsion from campus by the Department of Campus Safety.

  • Arson or the setting of fires, tampering with safety equipment (including door closures, smoke detectors, pulling stations, fire extinguishers, sprinklers heads, etc.), pulling false fire alarms, stopping existing fire alarms, or failing to immediately evacuate during a fire alarm are violations of the state fire code. Immediate evacuation when an alarm sounds is mandatory, and re-entry into a building before the alarm is silenced is prohibited. Failure to follow the policy will result in being placed through the disciplinary process. Tampering with safety equipment will result in a $200 fine and any additional repair costs. Pulling a fire alarm will result in a $750 fine and any additional emergency service organization costs. Failure to evacuate the residence hall during a fire alarm will result in a $100 fine. All fines are part of any assigned sanctions through the disciplinary process.
  • Leaving items unattended on a residence hall stove at any time is prohibited.
  • Toasters, toaster ovens, electric skillets, ovens, tabletop grills, and hot plates are prohibited in residence rooms.
  • Candles and incense are prohibited in residence halls.
  • For the protection of the residential community, students may use extension cords with the following restrictions:
  • Only UL approved three-pronged extension cords that are 14 gauge or heavier are permitted. Note: The lower the gauge number, the heavier and thicker the cord is.
  • Cords cannot exceed 10 feet in length. Only one appliance may be plugged not the extension cord.
  • Only UL approved multi-plug adapters with circuit breakers are permitted. Up to three items many be plugged into a multi plug adapter.
  • Installation of air conditioners or ceiling fans in residence hall rooms is prohibited.
  • Live-cut Christmas trees and wreaths are prohibited in student rooms.
  • Refrigerators are permitted in student rooms provided the following guidelines are met:
  • Only one unit per room if the refrigerator is larger than 4.6 cubic ft.
  • Unit size must not exceed 6 cubic ft. and must be UL approved.
  • Door gaskets must be in good condition.
  • Must be equipped with a three-prong grounded outlet.
  • Units larger than 4.6 cubic ft. must be frost-free.
  • Unit amperage must not exceed 33.5 amps.
  • Must be maintained in a safe and sanitary condition.
  • Residents are permitted to use barbecue grills outside at a safe distance (15 feet or more) from all residence hall buildings. The use of grills is not permitted under any landings, on or near balconies. Propane tanks are also prohibited.
  • Halogen lamps are strictly prohibited in residence hall rooms.
  • No smoking is permitted in any residence hall. Please smoke outside, in a designated smoking area, and put your extinguished cigarettes in an ashtray.

The following information is offered to guide any student who has a grievance with another member of the community. A grievance is a complaint arising out of any alleged unauthorized or unjustified act or decision by a member of the College community, which in any way adversely affects the status, rights, or privileges of any student. A student must seek redress within 90 days of the alleged grievance. The burden of proof rests with the person making the complaint.

Discussion between persons directly involved in a grievance is essential in the early stages of the dispute and should be encouraged at all stages. An equitable solution should be sought before the respective persons directly involved in the case have assumed official or public positions, which might tend to polarize the dispute and render a solution more difficult. If a problem still exists after discussion, the student should bring the complaint to the attention of the department chairperson. In the case of an academic grievance, the student should first speak with the faculty member, administrative officer, or staff supervisor. If the problem still exists after discussion, the student should bring the grievance to the attention of the department chairperson, administrative officer, or staff supervisor.

Alleged violations on the basis of sex, race, sexual orientation, color, national origin, age, religion, handicap or Veteran’s status:
Dean of Students Office, Ext. 4233

Complaints related to student employment:
Cynthia Joseph, Associate Vice President of Human Resources and Organizational Development, Ext. 4830

Alleged misconduct by a member of the faculty:
Cynthia Joseph, Associate Vice President of Human Resources and Organizational Development, Ext. 4830

Complaint towards any member of the support or administrative staff of the College:
Cynthia Joseph, Associate Vice President of Human Resources and Organizational Development, Ext. 4830

In compliance with Section 488 of the Higher Education Act of 2008, the following policy and procedures have been developed to assist in locating student(s) living within on-campus housing, who, based on the facts and circumstances known to the College, are determined to be missing.

Most missing person reports in the college environment result from a student changing his or her routine without informing roommates and/or friends of the change. Anyone who believes a student to be missing should report their concern to Campus Safety or the Dean of Students Office. Every report made to the College will be followed up with an immediate investigation and once the student is determined to be missing, the steps outline below will be followed, typically within 24 hours. Depending on the circumstances presented to College officials, parents of missing students will be notified.

At the beginning of each academic year, residential students will be asked to provide, on a voluntary basis, the name and emergency contact information for the individual(s) they would like contacted in the event they are reported missing while enrolled at Whittier College.

General Procedure

  • A College official receives a report and collects the following information at the time of the report:
  • The name and relationship of the person making the report.
  • The date, time, and location the missing student was last seen.
  • The general routine or habits of the suspected missing student (e.g.-visiting friends who live off-campus, working a job away from campus) including any recent changes in behavior or demeanor.
  • The missing student's cell phone number (if known by the reporter).
  • The College official receiving the report will contact Campus Safety and the Dean of Students Office. The Dean of Students and Director of Campus Safety will ascertain if/when information must be communicated to the other College officials.
  • Upon notification from any entity that a student may be missing, Whittier College may use any or all of the following resources to assist in locating the student:
  • Go to the student's residence hall room
  • Talk to the student's RA, roommate, and floor mates and friends (if possible) to see if anyone can confirm the missing student's whereabouts and/or confirm the date, time and location the student was last seen.
  • Secure a current student ID or other photo of the student.
  • Call and text the student's cell phone and call any other numbers on record
  • Send the student an email.
  • Check all possible locations mentioned by the parties above including but not limited to, library, residence hall lounges, student common lounges, fitness center, etc. Campus Safety will also check the College’s parking lots for the presence of the student's vehicle, if one is so registered.
  • Contact or call any other on-campus or off-campus friends or contacts that are made known. This could include checking a student's social networking site such as Facebook and Twitter.

The College’s Information Technology (IT) staff may be asked to obtain email logs in order to determine the last log in and/or access of the College’s network.

Once all information is collected and documented and the Dean of Students (or a designee) is consulted, the College will contact the local police to report the information. (Note: If in the course of gathering information as described above, foul play is evident or strongly indicated, the police will be contacted immediately.) If it is necessary to contact the local or state authorities, police procedures and protocol will be followed by the College.

The health and safety of students, faculty, staff, visitors, and contractors are vitally important to Whittier College. The U.S. Surgeon General classified tobacco smoke as a Class-A carcinogen and warned that no level of environmental tobacco smoke is safe. Smoking is a critical health issue not only for those who smoke, but also for those exposed to it secondhand.

This policy provides definitions and procedures related to a smoke and tobacco free campus, except in designated areas, including enforcement. Every member of the Whittier College community shares responsibility for adhering to and respectfully communicating the smoke-free and tobacco-free policy since clean air and a reduction in cigarette butt pollution is important to all of us.

Each of these College officers and departments maintains its own procedures for resolution of conflicts and grievances. The Dean of Students will assist and advise any student who feels that he or she has been treated inappropriately by any member of the community.

All conversations and proceedings are strictly confidential. 

Students who need to attend off-campus doctor’s visits or need non-life-threatening transport to Presbyterian Intercommunity Hospital are encouraged to ask friends or family for assistance in arranging transportation. Whittier College does not directly provide transportation services.