Jul 16, 2024  
2021-2022 University Student Handbook 
2021-2022 University Student Handbook [FINAL EDITION]

Safety and Security

Emergency Procedures

Commuter Student Emergency Notification Policy

If a commuting student has a family emergency and needs to be reached while on campus, the Office of Campus Safety should be called at 610-499-4200. Campus Safety will make every effort to locate the student using the most appropriate means. It is strongly recommended that commuting students provide their families with a copy of their schedule to save time if such an emergency should occur. 

Emergency Weather Closing and Cancellation of Classes

The policy for closing the university in an emergency starts with the understanding that all essential areas of the university will be adequately staffed, even if classes are canceled and even if the university is “closed.” The president will make the decision to cancel day and weekend classes by 6:30 a.m. The decision to cancel evening classes will be made by 2:30 p.m. Students, faculty, and staff are ultimately responsible for their own safety and decisions about travel to campus. 

The most expedient way to receive notification that the university’s hours of operation are affected is through e2 Campus, Campus Alert system. This alert system notifies users directly via text message and e-mail. Widener strongly encourages all Widener students, faculty, and staff to register for this emergency notification system. To do so, log in to your MyWidener account and go to “Announcements.” Select “Campus Alert Emergency Notification,” or call Campus Safety at 610-499-4200. 

Students may also check these information sources to find out whether a campus is closed or classes are cancelled: 

  • MyWidener, Campus section: Widener University Alerts 

  • Widener University Information Lines: 

– Main (Chester) Campus, 610-499-4600 or 610-499-4000 
– Delaware Campus, 302-477-2149 
– Harrisburg Campus, 717-541-1939 

Fire Alarms and Emergency Procedures

Although most of our buildings are modern fire-resistant structures, they contain things that will burn—rugs, drapes, furniture, and floor tiles—along with things that will not only burn but may generate toxic fumes. Compounding this situation is the periodic heavy traffic of buildings. A fire in this situation could result in panic, unless each of us knows what to do and how to do it. For this reason, unannounced drills are held throughout the year. Those who fail to cooperate during a drill or alarm will be subject to campus discipline. 

Before a fire: 

  • Learn the location of all fire alarm stations in your area and how to activate them. 

  • Learn the location of the portable fire extinguishers and how to use them. 

  • Learn the locations of all exits and ways to use them. 

On discovering a fire: 

  • Sound the alarm immediately. 

  • Call the Office of Campus Safety at 610-499-4200. 

  • If possible, shut all doors and windows in the immediate vicinity of the fire, shut off all equipment and utilities. 

  • Evacuate the building immediately. Once outside the building, follow directions of university officials to move to a safe staging area. 

On hearing the fire alarm sound: 

  • Close all windows and doors in your area. 

  • Evacuate the building immediately. 

  • Do not use elevators: They may stop if power fails, causing occupants to become trapped. 

  • Walk (don’t run) at a safe speed and use the nearest accessible exit. 

  • Do not re-enter the building until an official “all clear” has been given by a Campus Safety representative. 

Fire alarms, fire hoses, and fire extinguishers are emergency safety devices and must not be used for other purposes. Tampering with such equipment is a violation of university and state regulations. Those found guilty are subject to sanctions, including expulsion from the university, as well as adjudication in courts of law. 

The fire safety system is vital to the life and safety of each member of the university. By setting false fire alarms, individuals jeopardize the safety of all. Because the life of each member of the community could depend on the appropriate response to the alarm bells, it is the responsibility of all to see to it that the system is effective. 

Other Fire Safety Regulations

  • Widener is a tobacco-free campus. Smoking is prohibited indoors and outdoors on campus property (see the “Community Standards” section for more information). 

  • No open fires are permitted anywhere on campus at any time. 

  • Lighted candles and burning incense are strictly prohibited. 

  • The individual use of a hibachi, grill, or any other open cooking equipment is prohibited. Permits may be issued on a special request basis by the Office of Residence Life for campus programming. However, at no time are gas or propane grills permitted on university property. 

  • Coffee pots, corn poppers, and other cooking devices with self-contained, thermostatically controlled heating elements must be used with extreme care. Immersion coils, hot plates, appliances with open coils or burners, George Forman grills, and any nonthermostatically controlled appliances are not permitted and will be subject to confiscation. Only equipment that has been tested to be safe (UL or Factory of Mutual Approval) and is in good repair should be used. 

  • Restrictions on seasonal decorations: 

– No one is permitted to have a live decorative tree in his or her room, office, or lounge area. 
– Artificial trees are permitted, but decorative lights of any sort are prohibited. 
– Christmas lights and decorative hanging lights are not permitted around the walls or doors. 
– Decorations are permitted on the outside of doors and around windows, but please keep them to a minimum. 
– No decorations are permitted to hang from the ceiling. 

Medical Emergency

When a medical emergency occurs, call Campus Safety at 610-499-4200, or just extension 4200 or 911. Be prepared with the following information: name of the injured or ill individual, description of the emergency, and location of the individual. Based upon the information received, instructions will be given by trained individuals in Campus Safety for the course of action to be taken. If necessary, Campus Safety officers will see that the patient is appropriately transported to a medical facility for treatment.

Personal Injury

The university takes reasonable precautions with regard to the physical safety of students and personnel, especially when students are engaged in athletic, laboratory, or shop activities; however, the university disclaims liability for injuries that may be incurred. If a medical emergency necessitates that a student receives treatment from a hospital or healthcare provider in the area, all charges for such treatment are the responsibility of the student.

Campus Safety

Campus Security and Fire Safety Reports

Widener is committed to the safety and security of all members of the Widener University community. The university’s annual Campus Security and Fire Safety Reports are on the Widener website and contain information on campus security and personal safety, including crime prevention, university law enforcement authority, crime reporting policies, disciplinary procedures, and other campus security matters. The Campus Safety Reports contain statistics for the three previous calendar years on reported crimes that occurred on campus, in certain off-campus buildings and property owned and controlled by the university, and on public property within or immediately adjacent to and accessible from campus.

The Fire Safety Report contains information on fire safety systems in on-campus student housing facilities, the number of fire drills held during the previous year, the university’s policies on portable electrical appliances, smoking, and open flames in student housing facilities, the university’s procedures for student housing evacuation in the case of a fire, policies regarding fire safety education and training programs provided to students and employees, a listing of persons or organizations to which fires should be reported, and plans for future improvements in fire safety. It also contains statistics for the three most recent calendar years concerning the number of fires and cause of each fire in each on-campus student housing facility, the number of persons who received fire-related injuries that resulted in treatment at a medical facility, the number of deaths related to a fire, and the value of property damage caused by a fire.

The annual Campus Security and Fire Safety Reports are available online:

Main Campus: widener.edu/campussafety

Delaware Campus: delawarelaw.widener.edu and click on Current Students then Campus Safety.

Harrisburg Campus: commonwealthlaw.widener.edu and click on Current Students then Campus Safety.

If you would like a printed copy of these reports, contact the Campus Safety Office at 610-499-4203 to have a copy mailed to you. The information in these reports is required by law and is provided by the Campus Safety Office.

Locks and Lock Mechanisms

No student or member of the Widener University community may duplicate or transfer keys to rooms, outer doors, or any university property. No additional lock mechanism may be installed by anyone other than the University Locksmith Shop.

Shuttle and Escort Service

In the spring and fall semesters, the university provides campus shuttle service to key locations on campus during evening hours. The Office of Campus Safety also offers a security escort service for individual protection and a transport service to nearby medical facilities for emergencies. To request an escort, dial 610-499-4200.


The university is not responsible for personal property that is lost, stolen, or damaged. It is advisable to protect belongings with insurance through family homeowner’s policy or a student services insurance company (flyers are in the Office of Residence Life).

If a theft (or suspicion of one) should occur, report it immediately to Campus Safety, and to a resident assistant if applicable. Reporting the loss to the university is necessary for making a claim for the lost article with an insurance company.

Persons found guilty of taking another person’s property or money will be subject to the strongest sanctions possible, not excluding suspension or expulsion from the university or appearance before a court magistrate under action brought by the victims.

Protecting Yourself

Walking Around Campus

When walking around campus, be sure to tell someone where you are going. If it is after dark, it is suggested that you walk with someone. For your safety, the campus security escort service is available by dialing 610-499-4200. Shuttle service to key campus locations is also available.

Do Not Allow Unauthorized Entry

Campus buildings are for the use of university members only. When entering or leaving buildings, be sure the door closes behind you. Never prop open doors, thereby inviting unauthorized personnel into buildings. Never let unauthorized people into campus buildings. Report any suspicious persons to Campus Safety.


When walking to parking lots, have keys ready before getting to your car. Park in well-lighted areas if returning to your car after dark. Using the “buddy system” is encouraged.

Lock Windows and Doors

Resident students should take care to keep all windows and doors locked.

  • Leaving the door open for even a minute is an invitation to theft or attack.
  • Always lock your abode, whether it is vacant or occupied.
  • Find out who is knocking before opening the door.
  • Never leave doors propped open.
  • Keep your keys safe.

– Do not lend your keys to anyone.
– Do not leave keys lying around in the open.
– Never let anyone use a key that has been entrusted to you.
– If your key is lost or stolen, report it immediately and have your lock replaced.

Undergraduate Students: See also the Residence Life: Program Policies, Procedures, and Regulations  section in Traditional Undergraduate Students.