2024-2025 Catalog and Handbook 
  
    May 20, 2024  
2024-2025 Catalog and Handbook

Campus Safety & Security


Accidents/Health Care

All serious accidents and/or illnesses, 911 should be called first and then reported to Campus Police by dailing 276-523-7473. In the event of an emergency, dial 911. Students with chronic health conditions may wish to contact disability services. As a commuting institution, the College does not provide organized health services or infirmary facilities. It is expected that routine health care will continue to be a responsibility of the student and/or the family.

Safety in the Classroom

Mountain Empire Community College recognizes that the safety of its students and employees on College property, or when engaged in College-authorized functions, is a fundamental responsibility. Faculty, staff and students are encouraged to exercise proper care in using any apparatus, and in moving from one area to another.

The College further recognizes and is committed to providing a safe environment in the operation of all courses and College functions. Through the combined efforts of the Board, the administration, the faculty, staff, and students, the College’s Safety Program provides an “on-going” process to promote and reinforce safety regulations. A complete list of safety procedures is outlined in the Lab Safety Policy Manual, located at www.mecc.edu/labsafety.

Campus Police

Campus Police is committed to providing a safe environment that is free from violence, threats, harassing, and/or disruptive behavior. Any threat or action that violates College policies will be taken seriously and dealt with appropriately.

To contact the MECC Campus Police:

  • From off campus, call 276.523.7473
  • From on campus, dial 647473 from any campus phone
  • Send email to campuspolice@mecc.edu
  • MECC’s Campus Police office is located in Godwin Hall, Room 153, Parking Lot A Entrance
  • Police personnel are available seven days per week; however, the local Sheriff’s Office will respond on weekends. Police officers are certified Law Enforcement and Campus Safety Officers and undergo required continuing training.

Report Threats of Violence, Crimes, and Other Concerns

In an emergency, call or text 911. If you have knowledge of a threat of violence, a crime, or any other safety concern, please fill out and submit an MECC Incident Report Form located on the MECC website at www.mecc.edu/forms. You may also report concerns by calling Campus Police at 276.523.7473. Telephones for reporting emergencies are available in every classroom, hallway, and the main entrance to each building.

Crime Awareness and Campus Security Policy

MECC has adopted the following policy for the protection of the College campus:

  • All criminal actions and other emergencies are reported by students to the most available College employee, to Campus Police at extension 647473, or by calling or texting 911.
  • Law Enforcement is on duty at all times when the College is open for classes. Campus Police’s authority focuses on enforcement of College rules and regulations. In the case of criminal activity, Campus Police are sworn to uphold the laws of the Commonwealth of Virginia and has authority to issue summons or arrest violators of the law.
  • Access to campus facilities after business hours by students is allowed only with written permission of an instructor. A log is maintained of students and employees on campus when the College is closed.
  • Students are informed of the procedures for reporting criminal actions and other emergencies during the Student Success Skills course (SDV 100).

MECC’s program of education and prevention contains the following components:

  • Inclusion of the Crime Awareness and Campus Security Policy and Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy in the general Student Success Skills courses for new students (SDV100). This includes a discussion in the small group orientation activity of security and safety precautions;
  • Seminars and workshops offered by Student Services that focus on prevention of crimes and safety awareness upon request;
  • Brochures & pamphlets that are available in Student Services;
  • Notices of procedures for reporting criminal action or other emergencies are posted in every classroom and office.
  • A daily crime log that lists all crimes reported to Campus Police is maintained and is available in the Campus Police office in Godwin Hall room 153.
  • Statistics concerning the occurrences of criminal offenses on the campus of MECC will be published annually online at www.mecc.edu/safety-security/ and are available upon request from Campus Police.

Violent, Threatening, or Disruptive Behavior

MECC has established a Violence Prevention and Campus Safety Committee and a Threat Assessment Team to review policies and practices, assess situations, and take or recommend appropriate actions. Any threat or act of violence will be taken seriously and dealt with appropriately. Violations of this policy may result in academic sanctions, disciplinary action, termination of employment, arrest, and/or prosecution. This policy applies to any act of violence, harassment, intimidation, or other threatening behavior including:

Physical assault including but not limited to: hitting, pushing, kicking, impeding or blocking the movement of another person, beating, stabbing, suicide or attempted suicide, shooting, rape.

Verbal abuse and/or harassment including but not limited to: verbal threats, shouting, swearing, or obscene phone calls or stalking. Threatening behavior and threatening or intimidating writings including: electronic mail, posters, cartoons, publications, drawings, or gestures.

Possessing, brandishing, or using a weapon by students while on state premises is prohibited except where possession is a result of participation in an organized and scheduled instructional exercise for a course, or where the student is a law enforcement professional, or when the weapon is secured in the student’s vehicle. Compliance with this policy is a condition of admission and subsequent enrollment for students, a condition of employment for employees, and a condition of conducting business with the College for business invitees. This policy applies whether a weapon is functional or not. Any device designed to look like a weapon and/or is used by an individual to cause reasonable apprehension or harm is considered a weapon by this policy. The possession and use of firearms by students enrolled in and faculty teaching ADJ 127, ADJ 139, ADJ 195, ADJ 295, and by those participating in approved firearms recertification training are exempt from this policy for the dates and times scheduled for those classes and/or training, and only in strict compliance with the requirements of those classes and/or training.

MECC prohibits any form of retaliation against any employee, student, or other individual making a report under this policy.

Students or other individuals who witness or are subjected to behavior prohibited by this policy should immediately report the incident to the nearest College employee.

Student Behavior Concerns

Students should immediately report concerns about a fellow student who may seem at risk of harming him/herself or others. In emergency situations, students should call or text 911 and/or Campus Police at 276.523.7473. In non-emergency situations of concern, contact the Dean of Student Services.

Although there is no single predictor of suicide, there are common warning signs:

  • Talking about suicide
  • Always talking or thinking about death
  • Making comments about being hopeless, helpless, or worthless
  • Saying things like “It would be better if I wasn’t here” or “I want out”
  • Depression (deep sadness, loss of interest, trouble sleeping and eating) that gets worse
  • A sudden, unexpected switch from being very sad to being very calm or appearing to be happy
  • Having a “death wish,” tempting fate by taking risks that could lead to death, like driving fast or through red lights
  • Losing interest in things one used to care about
  • Visiting or calling people to say goodbye
  • Putting affairs in order, tying up loose ends, changing a will

The American Psychological Association lists these immediate warning signs that violence is a serious possibility:

  • Loss of temper on a daily basis
  • Frequent physical fighting
  • Significant vandalism or property damage
  • Increase in use of drugs or alcohol
  • Increase in risk-taking behavior
  • Detailed plans to commit acts of violence
  • Announcing threats or plans for hurting others
  • Enjoying hurting animals
  • Carrying a weapon

Crime Statistics

Campus crime statistics are available for the past three years and include information about crimes occurring on the College campus, at public areas immediately adjacent to the campus, and at certain non-campus locations. The current report is available online at www.mecc.edu/safety-security/. A printed copy is available upon request by contacting the Campus Police at 276.523.7473. A daily log of crimes reported to campus police is available to the public during normal business hours by contacting the department.

Emergency Notifications

The fire alarm system will be activated when emergency situations exist that require immediate evacuation of buildings. The alarms will be activated in the event of fire, bomb threats, and danger of explosion or other emergencies posing a potential threat to health or safety. Sirens will be activated when emergency situations exist that require the immediate lockdown of all or part of the campus. All emergency messages will be broadcast through telephones, will be displayed on the College website, and will be sent via text message and email.

Emergency Procedures Evacuation

In the event of an emergency requiring evacuation, students must assume a life-threatening situation exists and immediately evacuate the building according to the routes posted and proceed to the following designated areas:

  • Parking Lot B - employees and students in Godwin Hall, Robb Hall, Dalton-Cantrell Hall
  • Phillips-Taylor Field - employees and students on the first floor of Phillips-Taylor Hall
  • Parking Lot E - employees and students on the second floor of Phillips-Taylor Hall

Students are instructed to:

  • Take any belongings readily available but do not return to classrooms or lockers to retrieve personal belongings.
  • Remain in the designated areas until otherwise directed by the administrator in charge. Do not assume the College will be closed for the day or that classes will be canceled. Do not attempt to return to buildings or to vehicles in lots adjacent to buildings until so directed by the administrator in charge.

Lockdown/Shelter in Place

When a situation requires that building occupants take shelter inside classrooms and offices, notification will be provided by every appropriate and available method.

  • Emergency Siren
  • Text Message
  • Telephone
  • Email
  • In person

When notified that a lockdown has been ordered, students should stay in their classroom or take shelter in the closest classroom or office.

  • Direct students and others out of the hallways and public areas and into classrooms and/or offices
  • Lock the door and turn off the lights
  • Close and lock windows and close blinds. Desks can be used to barricade the door if necessary.
  • Keep everyone quiet and out of view. If possible, cover door window.
  • Keep telephone lines (including cellular) free for emergency communications. Answer incoming calls if you can get to the telephone safely, but keep lines free unless communicating with emergency officials.
  • Remain in the secured area until notified by emergency or College officials.

High Winds, Tornadoes, etc.

The following areas have been designated as emergency shelters:

  • Occupants of Godwin Hall and Holton Hall: bottom floor of Godwin - G104, G118, G119, G149
  • Occupants of Robb Hall: bottom floor - R116, R118, R120 • Occupants of Dalton-Cantrell Hall: DC102, DC132, & West end of hallway at vending machines
  • Occupants of Phillips-Taylor Hall: bottom floor - PT115, PT117, PT121, PT123

Building occupants will be directed to the emergency shelter areas by text and telephone messages and security and/or physical plant employees. Employees and students should remain in those areas away from exterior hallways, doors, walls and windows until otherwise directed.

Weapons on Campus

Possessing, brandishing, or using a weapon by students while on state premises is prohibited except where possession is a result of participation in an organized and scheduled instructional exercise for a course, or where the student is a law enforcement professional, or when the weapon is secured in the student’s vehicle. Students enrolled in and faculty teaching approved law enforcement related courses and approved firearms recertification training are exempt from this policy for the dates and times scheduled for those classes and/or training, and only in strict compliance with the requirements of those classes and/or training.