Security and You

Living on campus today presents students with the unique opportunity to live and learn among a wide variety of peers and have a variety of experiences in doing so. In an effort to make this experience a positive one for students, Housing takes steps to ensure that certain needs are met, among them the need for safety and security. These steps include keeping outside doors locked 24 hours a day and making sure that a Community Advisor is on duty in each building from 5pm to 8am the next day.

What Can You Do?

Even though Tech takes these precautionary steps, there is only so much that our staff can do on its own. In order to have more effective results when it comes to combating crime in the halls, it is important for residents to be empowered to take proactive steps to ensure their security. Developing simple security habits the moment students arrive on campus can head off big problems and headaches in the future. The easiest habit for students to develop is that of locking their doors and carrying their keys with them whenever they are away from their room. Students should do this even if they are only going next door. Remember that a thief doesn't need much time to ruin someone's day.

Another good habit to develop is that of not propping open any doors, or allowing them to be propped open. While propping a door open may be convenient for students or their guests, remember that it is also convenient for a thief.

When it comes to protecting items like televisions, computers, stereos, and the like, it is a good idea to keep a record of the serial numbers of these items. It is also helpful to keep pictures of these items as well. Students may also want to consider engraving these items with their initials. Engravers are available for use at the Georgia Tech Campus Police Station. Taking these steps can be of great help in identifying any valuables.

Protecting items such as credit cards and ATM cards is relatively simple. First of all, see to it that the Personal Information Number or PIN code is not written on either of these cards. Without this code, an ATM card is worthless to a thief. It is also advisable to sign the back of these cards for added protection. Because students will be sharing a laundry facility with several other people, the potential for having someone accidentally pick up clothes that don't belong to them is fairly high. In order to avoid this, you should make sure that you don't leave your clothes unattended in the laundry room for an extended period of time. It's also a good idea for you to mark the tags of your clothing with your initials. If by some unfortunate circumstance you should have some of your valuables stolen, you can still take action. The first thing you should do is tell your Community Advisor, who can then fill out an Incident Report on the situation, and the matter will be on record with Housing. Next, you should file a report with Campus Police. You can then give them the serial numbers and copies of the pictures that you took of your valuables.

Taking the steps listed above will greatly reduce the chances of you being victimized by a thief. While this is true, it is important to remember that these measures, which can be effective deterrents to crime, will only work if you take the initiative and responsibility to put them into practice.

You Are the Key to Security

Building security is a responsibility we share with each resident. Your personal choices can do as much (if not more) to jeopardize the safety of building occupants as our actions can while we attempt to do work. Follow simple common sense and don't let people you don't know into your building, and don't try to slip into other halls without a key since it's both against housing rules and sends the message that tail-gating (following behind people not known to you) is okay.

Here's what we'll do...! We've set in place five guidelines on residence hall security for our staff to know and support.

  • Only residents of a building, authorized university personnel, and agents of the university are permitted beyond the exterior entrance doors, locked interior doors and elevators. Employees shall take appropriate and reasonable actions to prevent access to residence halls by unauthorized individuals.
  • Employees who observe security breaches and policy violations should take appropriate action based on their specific observations, judgement and assessment of the situation or problem.
  • Access to resident living areas is permitted only by the resident(s) assigned to occupy an individual bedroom, suite or apartment, their invited guests and visitors, and authorized staff. Employees shall assure that their actions do not facilitate or provide access to any unauthorized individua1s.
  • When working in and around residence halls, each employee shall be clearly identified as "authorized" by displaying a photo-identification card GT name tag, or wearing a uniform. Housing contractors are usually issued a “Housing Contractor” tag without their name to wear on their uniform.
  • Each employee shall assure that the activities of guests, visitors and/or agents of the university for whom he or she is responsible are consistent with residence hall security policies and practices.

If you approach your hall and see people who appear to be our staff or other campus staff near the entrance door, don't hold the door open for them. Let them sign-out entrance keys and use them.

Similarly, you should expect we wouldn't hold exterior doors open for you since most of our staff won't be able to identify who lives where.

And finally, please call the campus police, 404-894-2500, to report any crime in the residence halls. Provide them with whatever details, facts and suspicions you have. Be as clear as you or your floormates can be in responsibly describing the person seen on the floor, including physical description, clothing, tools, and other distinguishing features. You should also notify your community staff as well.

As an additional security measure both the GT police and housing owns and periodically uses hidden close circuit TV cameras and other surveillance devices in and around our residence halls. We have neither the desire nor the capability to be the “big brother” that watches you, but periodically, surveillance is used to deter and sometimes catch possible thieves and other security threats. This paragraph fulfills the regulatory requirements that these premises are periodically monitored and will allow use of closed circuit TV and other device records to be used in courts as evidence.