Student Affairs Acting Vice Chancellor Jean Marie Scott details campus safety programs

To: UCSC students

From: Acting Vice Chancellor Jean Marie Scott

Dear Students of UC Santa Cruz:

To begin, I want to acknowledge the concerns, questions, and fears that you may have following the horrific events at Virginia Tech just a week ago. In the aftermath of the tragedy that unfolded, students across the nation are carrying many questions about campus safety. During this past week, I have heard from many parents and students. Each expressed their deep sadness, shared personal concerns, and asked about UCSC safety practices.

Immediately after the Virginia Tech incident, you received an update from Acting Chancellor Blumenthal and resource information from UCSC Counseling Services. I thought it would be helpful to offer some additional level of reassurance by providing a summary of several of the key safety and emergency response programs that we currently have in place at UCSC.

Please also share this message with parents and/or other family members who would be interested.

University Police and Fire:

The campus has a fully trained and professional police and fire department. University Police have the full powers of law enforcement and have access to mutual aid from the City, County, State and Federal law enforcement agencies if needed.

Kiosk Program:

At the two main entrances to the campus, guests coming onto the campus after 8 p.m. must be able to provide ID and either prove their UCSC membership and purpose for entering the campus (i.e., they live on campus, are a staff or faculty member, etc.) or they must have a campus host who will confirm their eligibility for visiting the campus. In emergency situations, the campus kiosk locations would allow the University to monitor or limit access to the campus if needed.


Like most universities, UCSC has the capacity to distribute announcement messages to all students via their email accounts or via the student portal page. We also have an informational update phone number for students and staff to call (459-INFO) for updates on emergency situations. Residence Hall students have phones in each room that they may use to contact 911 for emergencies or 459-2231 for university dispatch.

Emergency Response Management:

The campus also has an extensive set of protocols and standards in place for managing emergencies. The Emergency Operations Center is enacted in times of crisis -- this Center is the place for coordinated decision making, resource deployment, communications and other related activities that unfold in an emergency situation.

Student Housing Safety:

. Building Security and Safety. Residential Students have electronic key card or standard key access to their buildings and a separate key for room access. Student Housing also has emergency fire alarms and fire sprinklers both in the corridors and rooms/apartments.

. Residential Staff. UCSC has a very well trained, responsive and available Residential Staff. We have full-time professional staff that lives in the residences with the students. Many of these individuals have backgrounds in counseling and student development and solid experiences in crisis response/crisis management. Additionally, we have Resident Advisors (RAs) who live on each floor/building with residents. The RAs are student staff members who have also received extensive training in emergency preparedness and response.

. Community Safety Officer Program.  In addition to our University Police and Residential Staff, University Housing has a program that is known as the Community Safety Program. Professional Staff in this program are assigned to work security and safety assignments around and throughout our residential housing areas. Staff members are available to provide general student support and assistance, ensure door security, enforce university policies and be the eyes and ears at the local housing level to identify and address student safety related issues. Staff are available from 7 p.m. to 3 a.m. daily, 365 days of the year.

Counseling Services:

Support and assistance is available to any UCSC student who is experiencing stress as a result of this incident or other emotional challenges. Contact information is available at or you may call 459-2628.

I hope that the above gives you a sense of the UCSC support network for student safety and emergency response. In addition to the current programs and reporting structures that we have in place, the campus leadership is undertaking a comprehensive review of UCSC programs, protocols and practices for both prevention and response.

I invite your questions and would also be happy to speak with you directly if you feel that would be helpful.


Jean Marie Scott

Acting Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs