Members of the community, other campus police and security agencies often ask the Department of Public Safety about its policies and regulations. Policies which receive the most inquiries are as follows.
Western Washington University Public Safety Department policy on admitting persons to secured areas:
University Police will not admit anyone to a secured space (office, classroom, lab, residence hall room or apartment) unless authorized to do so by a person known to have proper authority and responsibility for the space. Usually this means the person to whom the space is assigned. It may include department heads and secretaries for space that is used generally by a department. Admission into private offices can only be authorized by the person assigned to the office. Lawful possession of a key to an interior space is sufficient to authorize admission into a building.
In all cases, positive photo identification must be made and the complete name of the person admitted and the name of the person authorizing admission, along with the method of authorization (memo., verbal, computer verification) must be recorded on the event slip.
If you call for an admit and gain access prior to our arrival, please call back and inform the dispatcher, so public safety assistants (PSA) and officers can continue to assist others. When possible, admits will be performed by PSAs. University Police officers will perform this service when PSAs are not available or are busy such that an unnecessarily long delay would be experienced.
Admitting officers or PSAs should not enter the private space unless invited.
During the hours that Residence Hall staff are on duty (7:00p.m. to 7:00a.m.) the primary person responsible for admitting residents to their rooms will be the on-duty Resident Advisor. Residents calling University Police for admission to their rooms will first be directed to the on-duty Resident Advisor. If the Resident Advisor is unavailable or has no key, University Police will perform the admit.
During hours that Residence Hall staff are not on duty (7:00a.m. to 7:00p.m.) University Police will perform admits for residents without referring them to Residence Hall staff.
Documentation of Residence Hall admits will be forwarded to the Director of Residence Life.
Personal Safety Escort Policy
Escorts are provided for the purpose of ensuring personal safety of individuals walking on our campus. The service is not provided merely as a convenience to students and should not be abused.
Any reasonable request for an escort will not be refused. Generally, any escort requested by a woman who is walking alone during hours of darkness is considered reasonable.
Escorts may be made on foot when appropriate.
Generally any group of two or more can be considered reasonably safe and may be denied an escort.
We will not deny an escort based on the sex of a requester.
Escorts may be discouraged during hours of daylight, but will not be denied if an honest concern for personal safety is expressed.
Escorts will be provided from any point on campus to any other point on campus.
Upon receiving a request for an escort, the dispatcher will determine if the caller is in a location that is reasonably safe for the person to wait. If not, a Public Safety Assistant (PSA) or police officer will be immediately dispatched to conduct the escort. A PSA or officer will be dispatched once they are clear from other calls already in progress. Until their arrival, the caller should wait in the safest area possible, so they are able to see their escort arrive. If you no longer need the escort, please call back, so the dispatcher can re-route officers to other calls. Your escort may be delayed by incoming calls of higher priority (crimes in progress, medical aid calls). Please be patient.
Dispatchers may encourage callers to use the campus shuttle if it is available, but will not deny an escort even though the shuttle is in service
Door-to-door on-campus solicitation is prohibited. All Unsolicited sales contacts shall be restricted to the office of the division of purchases. Unauthorized solicitation or selling in the residence halls should be immediately reported to a member of the residence hall staff.
Control Of Dogs and Other Service Animals
- Dogs and/or other service animals are not permitted in university buildings except for assisting persons with physical, mental and/or sensory disabilities.
- Dogs and/or other service animals are not permitted on university property unless under immediate control of their handler.
Note: Bellingham city codes pertaining to leash laws and other animal control matters are enforced on the WWU campus. For the purposes of this regulation, "under immediate control" means leashed. Owners are not permitted to leave dogs leased to fixed objects on campus (signs, trees, ect.)
Firearms and Dangerous Weapons
- Only such persons who are authorized to carry firearms or other weapons as duly appointed and commissioned law enforcement officers in the state of Washington, commissioned by agencies of the United States government, or authorized by contract with the university, shall possess firearms or other weapons issued for their possession by their respective law enforcement agencies or employers while on the campus or other university-controlled property, including, but not limited to, residence halls. No one may possess explosives unless licensed to do so for the purpose of conducting university-authorized activities relating to building construction or demolition.
- Other than the law enforcement officers or other individuals referenced in subsection (1) of this section, members of the campus community and visitors who bring firearms or other weapons to campus must immediately place the firearms or weapons in the university-provided storage facility. The storage facility is located at the Public Safety Department and is accessible twenty-four hours per day.
- If any member of the campus community or visitor wishes to bring a weapon to the campus for display or demonstration purposes directly related to a class, seminar, or other educational activity, permission for such possession may be applied for at the university public safety department, which shall review any such proposal and establish the conditions of the possession on campus.
Lost and Found Property Policy
University Police encourages citizens to turn in all items of found property to the Viking Union (VU) Lost and Found, with the following exceptions: Firearms, Bicycles, Weapons and Contraband. These items will be accepted and processed by the University Police. Additionally, property which is likely to be evidence or the fruit of a crime will be accepted by University Police.
Smoking On Campus
Western Washington University is dedicated to providing a healthful and productive work environment for all employees, students, and the public visiting or conducting activities in university facilities. This policy is intended to provide a smoke-free environment for employees, students, and the public who do not wish to be affected by those who smoke.
Smoking shall not be permitted inside any Western Washington University administrative or academic buildings and in identified external areas that may affect those people inside the administrative and academic buildings. Smoking will be allowed in identified outdoor areas on campus.
Using University Resources
This interim policy applies to all Western Washington University faculty and staff including student employees.
- University Resources: University resources include University-owned equipment and facilities.
- Organizational effectiveness: Organizational effectiveness relates to the University's mission and encompasses activities that enhance or augment the agency's ability to perform its mission.
- Personal Use: Personal use may include use for personal benefit or for the benefit or gain of other individuals or outside organizations.
- University Resources Are Used To Support Academic and Administrative Functions
- Employees May Always University Resources To Conduct Official Duties
- Employees Are Responsible For Their Own Actions
Responsibility and accountability for the appropriate use of University resources ultimately rests with the individual University employee, or with the University employee who authorizes the use of the University resources.
- Employees Are Permitted To Make Occasional Limited Personal Use
Occasional limited use of University resources by faculty and staff, including e-mail and the Internet, is permitted for other than official state job purposes only if all of the following criteria are met:
- There is little or no cost to the state;
- The use is brief in duration, occurs infrequently, and is the most effective use of time and resources;
- The use does not interfere with the performance of the employee's official duties;
- The use does not disrupt or distract from the conduct of University business due to volume or frequency;
- The use does not disrupt other University or other state employees and does not obligate them to make a personal use of state resources;
- The use does not compromise the security or integrity of state property or software; and,
- The use is not a prohibited use as set forth below in Section 6: Employees Are Prohibited From Using University Resources For Certain Activities.
- Employees May Make Personal Use Of University Resources That Promote Organizational Effectiveness Or Enhance Job-Related Skills
- Employees must seek and obtain written approval from their immediate supervisor before using University resources.
- A supervisor may authorize a personal use of equipment or facilities that promotes organizational effectiveness or enhances the job-related skills of a state officer or state employee. Authorization can only be provided for one specific purpose. For example, a supervisor could approve the use of University word processors by an employee to type his or her own student thesis outside normal work hours, if the course of study is reasonably related to the employee's position.
- The appropriate supervisor must make a determination as to whether a proposed limited use of equipment is permitted, document the basis for the decision, and maintain records for the unit.
- Employees Are Prohibited From Using University Resources For Certain Activities
The state Constitution, state and federal laws, and the Ethics in Public Service Act strictly prohibit certain private activity and certain uses of state resources. Any use of state resources to support such activity clearly undermines public confidence in state government and reflects negatively on state employees generally. This rule explicitly prohibits at all times the following private uses of state resources:
- Outside business. Any use for the purpose of conducting an outside business or private employment.
- Soliciting. Any use for the purpose of supporting, promoting the interests of, or soliciting for an outside organization or group, including, but not limited to, a private business, a nonprofit organization, or a political party.
Exception: Supporting an outside group is allowed if provided for by law or authorized by the President of the University or President's designee. Examples include:
- Conducting the Combined Fund Drive as authorized by law and approved by the President or designee; or
- Organizing a campus blood drive for the Puget Sound Blood Center, when approved by the President or designee.
- Campaigning. Any use for the purpose of assisting a campaign for election of a person to an office or for the promotion of or opposition to a ballot proposition. Such use of state resources is specifically prohibited by RCW 42.52.180, subject to the exceptions in RCW 42.52.180(2).
- Lobbying. Any use for the purpose of participating in or assisting in an effort to lobby the state legislature, or a state agency head. Such a use of state resources is specifically prohibited by RCW 42.17.190, subject to the exceptions in RCW 42.17.190(3).
- Prohibited by law. Any use related to conduct that is prohibited by a federal or state law or rule or a state agency policy including, but not limited to:
- Illegal discrimination. Transmission of sexually or racially explicit messages sent to harass or intimidate.
- Illegal pornography. Transmission of illegally obscene materials.
- Copyright infringement. Transmission of copyrighted material without the necessary permissions or payment.
- Chain letters. Dissemination of chain letters or petitions.
- Conversion for private use. Any private use of any state property that has been removed from state facilities or other official duty stations, even if there is no cost to the state.
- Modification of University cell phones. A cell phone issued to an employee for official business purposes may not be modified to establish a personal line, or add calling plans or features for personal use, even if the additional expense will be paid for by the employee or if there is little or no cost to the University.
- Employees Shall Have No Expectation Of Privacy In Use Of University Resources
Electronic mail, facsimile transmissions, and voice mail are technologies that may create an electronic record. This is what separates these from other forms of communication such as a telephone conversation. An electronic record can be reproduced and, therefore, may be subject to disclosure under the public records disclosure law. Further, electronic records may be disclosed for audit or legitimate state operational or management purposes. Requests for disclosure of e-mail follow the same procedures as disclosure of printed records.
- Employees Who Receive Unsolicited Messages Are Not In Violation Of This Policy
This policy does not apply to unsolicited messages that may be received via the University's electronic messaging systems. Messages received that would violate Section 6 (Employees Are Prohibited From Using University Resources For Certain Activities) should be promptly deleted.
- Employees Shall Not Use University Resources In Outside Work
University facilities and equipment are not to be used in outside work.
Examples: Examples of where aspects of outside work might create a conflict with this policy:
- University offices or laboratories may not be used as a place of business for an employee's outside enterprise. University telephone numbers and addresses (including e-mail and/or Internet/World Wide Web addresses) may not be used or listed regarding an employee's outside business.
- University affiliations and titles may not be used in advertising related to an employee's outside business.
- University paper and other office supplies may not be used by an employee in the conduct of an outside business.
- University-owned computing resources and laboratory equipment may not be used by an employee for the conduct of an outside business.
- University Adopts The Executive Ethics Board Rules
It is the University's policy to permit minimal personal use in parallel with the rules adopted by the state Executive Ethics Board, as they exist now or may be amended. In the event those rules are more restrictive than the University's, the Executive Ethics Board rules apply.
WWU Inclement Weather/Suspended Operations
The President or his/her designee may determine that the university is open for business but that inclement weather, due to snow or similar condition, has affected the operation of the institution. Those who, due to inclement weather, find they cannot come to work, have the option of charging the absence to accrued compensatory time (where applicable), vacation leave, personal holiday, or leave without pay. The employee who takes leave without pay because of inclement weather will be eligible for holiday pay if the inclement weather date falls prior to a holiday, provided all other requirements for holiday pay are met. Employees providing "essential" service will be expected to work under inclement weather conditions, as determined by the university administration. Employees required to work shall receive "special pay" if the Personnel Officer, at the request of the President, receives approval from the Director of the State Personnel Board. These individuals expected to work will be contacted by their supervisors. Compensation for lost work time due to inclement weather is subject to the approval of the Chief Executive Officer of the institution. Those employees who, because of inclement weather, report to work less than four hours late will be granted pay time for that period without effect to accrued compensatory time (where applicable), vacation leave, or personal holiday.
Specifically for absences during suspended operations, employees have two additional options: (1) Use their personal holiday or, (2) Request to work additional hours during the 90-day period following the suspended operations. The department will make every effort to assist employees requesting this latter option. When prior notification has not been given, employees released until further notice, after reporting to work, shall receive a minimum of four hours pay for the first day.