Resident Safety

  • Coordinators of Student Development (CSD) — The CSD is a full-time, live-in professional staff member who is responsible for the overall operation of the on-campus community. The CSD responds to emergencies, has an office within the building, and supervises the student staff (Resident/Community Advisors). CSDs help students with a variety of concerns; academic, personal, safety, roommate issues, etc. There are 13 CSDs on campus, one in each on-campus community. There are two CSDs on call each night starting at 5 p.m. So Housing staff are available to respond to crisis or emergency situations in the residence halls or apartments after hours.
  • Resident Advisors/Community Advisors (RAs/CAs) — RA/CAs are Cal Poly students who live in on-campus housing and act as a resource for students. RA/CAs help students with a variety of personal and/or academic issues. They also help ensure the safety and security of the students living in on-campus housing. RA/CAs are trained in emergency and crisis response. RA/CAs are also CPR and first-aid certified. There are RA/CAs “on cell” each night in each on-campus community to respond to student issues and concerns. RA/CAs complete rounds of the building several times a night, checking for any safety concerns. Residents are provided with on-call cell numbers so that they can contact staff.
  • Building Entrances — All entrances to the residence halls and apartments are locked 24 hours a day. Students who live in on-campus housing may enter the building by using their AccessCards. Security phones are installed at the main entrances of buildings to allow visitors to contact friends in the building to be admitted. Students who have room or apartment doors that open to publicly accessible areas are reminded and encouraged to keep doors closed and locked at all times.
  • Windows/Screens — Residents are encouraged to keep their windows locked and screens securely fastened at all times for safety reasons. If students are unsure of how to secure the window lock properly, they are encouraged to immediately request a demonstration from staff. Residents should immediately report any maintenance concern regarding windows or screens to the front desk for repair.
  • Front Desks — Each on-campus community has a front desk (which may be in a nearby building) which is open from 11 a.m to 10 p.m., Sunday through Thursday, and 11 a.m. to 12 midnight, Friday and Saturday. Some desks are also open additional hours. Students who observe maintenance or potential safety concerns should immediately report those to the front desk staff or call the on-call cell phone.
  • Custodial and Maintenance Staff — There are custodial staff members in each on-campus community. They not only work to ensure the housing environment is clean and properly maintained, but they also help keep the community safe by addressing facility safety concerns.
  • Student Addresses and Phone Numbers — These are not given out by any University Housing staff (CSD, RA, desk staff). 
  • Room or Apartment Keys and Card Access — Each student has key and/or card access to his/her room or apartment.If a key or card is lost, a lock core change is done on the room, and a new key is issued to all occupants. There is a $75 charge for a core change. If an access card is lost, a resident may get a new card activated. For reasons of safety and convenience, students need to immediately report any lost key or card to the Front Desk. Residents are not to give and/or loan their room or apartment key or AccessCard to anyone.
  • Fire Alarms — Each room is equipped with a smoke detector and a heat sensor. Alarms sound when there is smoke or too much heat detected. Residents need to immediately evacuate the facility if an alarm sounds. Residents are to proceed to designated evacuation points and wait for further instructions from staff. Campus staff coordinate periodic fire drills to ensure that staff and students are familiar with evacuation procedures and evacuation locations.
  • University Police Officers — University Police Officers routinely walk through the residence halls and apartment complexes. The officers check for safety concerns and follow up on any violations of laws or policies. Residents are encouraged to immediately contact University Police at (805) 756-2281 or 911 if they have a safety concern or suspect a crime has taken place.
  • Community Alerts — If a safety concern arises, the University Police Department or University Housing staff will post Community Alert notices on the entrance doors of all buildings or in other prominent places. The Community Alerts inform students of potential risks and provide safety tips.
  • Educational Programs — Each living area housing first-year students hosts a personal safety workshop during the first two weeks of Fall Quarter. Students who live in on-campus housing are required to attend the personal safety workshop. The workshops are presented by Police Officers from the Cal Poly University Police Department. Throughout the year, residence hall and apartment communities sponsor additional programming on issues of personal safety and sexual assault awareness.
  • Text Messaging — The University is able to text message student and staff members’ cell phones in the event of a campus emergency. All students and staff are encouraged to sign up for the emergency text messaging service through the Cal Poly portal (

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