Due to the nature of a university setting in regards to residential life, student housing plays an integral part of Western Kentucky University's safety programs. The Department of Housing and Residence Life, in partnership with the student and the university community, will provide a premier living/ learning experience that ensures student success.
All residence halls are locked through a key entry system, in which residents of the respective building check out and check in keys. Key audits are performed to ensure keys are accounted for regularly.
All residence halls are staffed twenty-four hours with a courtesy desk. Desk staff request residents to verify their residency by displaying their Western Kentucky University Photo Identification. All guests, who are non-residents are required to check in with a resident leaving a photo identification card ensuring they are a WKU student or over the age of eighteen as a guest.
Monthly safety checks are performed by student and professional staff members checking for safety violations of residents in their respective rooms.
The Department of Housing and Residence Life provides professional live-in staff within each residence hall. Professional staff positions are designated on three levels of experience, from Master's degree leveled professional with previous residence hall experience to Bachelor's degree mid-level residence hall directors and Bachelor's degree entry level professional staff members.
Each floor houses one Resident Assistant (RA), which is a student staff member performing tasks including promoting a safe environment on the respective floor. Each residence hall has a professional staff member on call during the weekday to address any safety concerns. As part of the on call responsibility, one professional staff member conducts a set of rounds on every floor.
Professional staff members are trained on safety related issues and operations Safety concerns covered during training include: fire safety; sexual assault prevention and response; suicide prevention and response issues (QPR); alcohol poisoning determination and response; weather emergencies; blood-borne pathogen training; inclement weather action procedures; emergency radio operation training; accident and injury protocol within the residence hall; addressing and reporting violent campus crimes; and roommate conflict negotiation techniques. Professional staff members also participate in a spring training schedule to review many of the safety issues protocol and to re-evaluate issues, which have occurred in the fall semester.
Student staff members have an abbreviated training period covering many of the aforementioned safety concerns included in professional staff training period. In many cases, student staff members are instructed to defer to a professional staff member in regard to these issues. Student staff members also participate in a spring training process to review and retrain on campus safety concerns.
M.A.S.T.E.R. Plan is a week-long orientation program offered by the Department of Housing and Residence Life to assist students in the transition into college. The "M.A.S.T.E.R." is an acronym standing for Making Academic and Social Transitions Educationally Rewarding. Approximately 2,000 students participate in a practice week of college including attending seminars presented by professional staff members regarding safety issues.