UMass Amherst Issues Reminder of Emergency Campus Safety Programs

The University of Massachusetts Amherst reminds students, staff and faculty, along with family members of students, that the campus has a series of interlocking programs and law enforcement training programs to protect members of the campus community during emergencies and to assist individuals in distress.

The programs include training for first responders, intervention for individuals in crisis and multiple information channels to keep the community informed.

Enku Gelaye, vice chancellor for student affairs and campus life, said, “UMass Amherst is committed to maintaining a safe, caring community where our thousands of students, faculty and staff can flourish. In these challenging times, we have in place many ongoing health, safety and emergency response programs and the dedicated individuals who make them work. All community members should become familiar with these programs.”

To keep everyone informed about emergencies or conditions that could disrupt campus activities, the university has a comprehensive emergency communication system. 

  • The Office of Emergency Management offers emergency text messaging to subscribers’ cell phones to provide time-sensitive information. To sign up for UMass Amherst Emergency Text Messages, visit www.umass.edu/emergency
  • The Office of Emergency Management can send mass distribution e-mails to all students, faculty and staff members. Every active faculty, staff and student e-mail address is included in this system by default. To add a non-UMass e-mail account, log in to SPIRE and update your UMass Amherst Alerts account.
  • The campus is equipped with eight outdoor loudspeakers that cover the entire campus and can deliver voice and tone warnings. They also broadcast an “all clear” when a situation is resolved.
  • When appropriate, the UMass Amherst homepage, www.umass.edu, includes a color-coded “stripe” that provides information and updates.

The UMass Amherst Emergency Response Handbook and Emergency Procedures Posters are valuable resources that provide emergency guidelines to the campus community to prepare for and react safely in the event of an emergency. They can be downloaded at https://www.umass.edu/emergency/emergency-procedures

UMass Amherst also has a process for helping individual students in distress through its Assessment and Care Team (ACT).  The team focuses on early intervention with students who may pose a threat to themselves or others, taking action to help the individual and protect campus safety. Representatives from key student support offices meet weekly to support students in crisis. There is a parallel panel for faculty and staff. For more  information, visit http://www.umass.edu/studentlife/faculty-staff

The Maroon Folder is a guide for faculty and staff to help recognize, respond to, refer and report any student who appears to be in crisis. It also contains a lengthy list of resources to deal with emergencies, follow-up and support training. The folder also lists state, federal and university policies that guide campus events and behaviors.  Find it at http://www.umass.edu/umatter/sites/default/files/maroon_folder_2015.pdf

UMass Amherst Police offer active-threat training on request. This 90-minute program is free to students, staff and faculty and is mandatory training for many departments on campus. More than 5,000 employees of the Amherst campus have received this training. Find details at http://www.umass.edu/umpd/active-threat-program

For the past 10 years, UMass Amherst police have also conducted annual active-threat training during four weekends in the summer and this past spring ran an exercise that simulated an active threat situation on campus that involved more than 100 volunteers and emergency response partners.

Other campus resources include:

  • UMass Amherst Police: (413) 545-2121
  • Dean of Students Office: (413) 545-2684
  • Ombuds Office: (413) 545-0867
  • Faculty and Staff Assistance Program: (413) 545-0350
  • Center for Health Promotion: (413) 577-5181
  • Center for Counseling and Psychological Health (413) 545-2337 and After hours emgergencies (413) 577-5000
  • Disability Services: (413) 545-0892
  • Office of Emergency Management: (413) 545-7431