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Campus Preparedness

To Our Community:

After a tragedy such as the school shootings at Virginia Tech and Columbine, or the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001, our sensitivities to "suspicious activities" are normally heightened for a while. What is common to all of these attacks is that they were, to some degree, unexpected and unforeseen by the general public. These types of situations evolve quickly, so we desire to join other campuses in being prepared for such a crisis, to remind ourselves always to be vigilant without being paranoid, and to take steps to protect our personal safety as well as that of those around us. 

In that spirit, and while we are still "on alert," we share these guidelines for a hostile intruder situation with you.  Consistent with those being circulated on Campus Safety listserves, industry journals, and higher education tradepapers, they are general in nature and should be adapted to fit specifics of the situation, as well as to what your own common sense is telling you.

Keep in mind that Moravian has developed protocols for more than 30 emergency situations, that the senior staff takes part in a “tabletop exercise” at least once a year, and that our Campus Safety Office has an excellent relationship with the Bethlehem Police Department.  As always, if you have concerns or anxieties or simply want to discuss your feelings with someone, contact the Counseling Office at ext. 1510 or the Chaplains Office at ext. 1583.

In the Classroom

In general, staying inside the classroom may be your best option in order to avoid coming into the cross fires or contributing to the general confusion that can occur during a crisis.

  • Close and lock the classroom door if possible; block the door with a chair or table.
  • Close/lock the windows and close blinds or curtains (where applicable); cover any windows or openings that have a direct line of sight into the hallway;
  • If communication is available, dialing 911 or 610-861-1421 from a campus phone, will automatically dial Campus Safety & Police. Dialing 911 from your cell phone may connect you with the Bethlehem Police Department, Northampton County Emergency 911 Center or the Lehigh County Emergency Center. Report to the dispatcher what is taking place. Inform them of your location and the intruder’s location and if possible provide a description of the intruder, clothing description, race, gender and any type of weapons.
  • Place or keep cell phones on vibrate.
  • Do not sound the fire alarm.  A fire alarm would signal the occupants to evacuate the building and thus place them in potential harm as they attempted to exit.
  • Stay away from the windows.
  • Turn off lights and all audio equipment.
  • Seek protective cover (e.g., under a desk or in some other area of the classroom that might have an obstructed view from your door)
  • Stay together, preferably in an area of the room which is not in the direct line of sight from the main entrance to the classroom.
  • Keep classrooms secure until police arrive and give you directions. 
  • Do not respond to any voice commands unless you are certain that they are being given by a police officer.
  • If you are not in a classroom, try to get to a classroom or an office. If the room cannot be locked or secured, determine if there is another nearby location that can be reached safely and secured or if you can safely exit the building.
  • If you choose to exit the building during an active shooting situation, make certain you have an escape route and plan in mind. If you encounter any police officer, clearly display your hands and follow any instructions given to you.
  • Stay out of open areas and be as quiet as possible.

In an Office

In general, staying in your office may be your best option in order to avoid coming into the cross fires or contributing to the general confusion that can occur during a crisis.

  • Close and lock your door if possible; block the door with a chair or table.
  • Close/lock the windows and close blinds or curtains (where applicable); cover any windows or openings that have a direct line of sight into the hallway;
  • If communication is available, dialing 911 or 610-861-1421 from a campus phone, will automatically dial Campus Safety & Police. Dialing 911 from your cell phone may connect you with the Bethlehem Police Department, Northampton County Emergency 911 Center or the Lehigh County Emergency Center. Report to the dispatcher what is taking place. Inform them of your location and the intruder's location and if possible provide a description of the intruder, clothing description, race, gender and any type of weapons.
  • Place or keep cell phones on vibrate.
  • Do not sound the fire alarm.  A fire alarm would signal the occupants to evacuate the building and thus place them in potential harm as they attempted to exit.
  • Stay away from the windows.
  • Turn off lights and all audio equipment.
  • Seek protective cover (e.g., under a desk or in some other area of the office or workspace that might have an obstructed view from your door)
  • Stay where you are until police arrive and give you directions. 
  • Do not respond to any voice commands unless you are certain that they are being given by a police officer.
  • If you are not in your office, try to get to one and lock it. If the room cannot be locked or secured, determine if there is another nearby location that can be reached safely and secured or if you can safely exit the building.
  • If you choose to exit the building during an active shooting situation, make certain you have an escape route and plan in mind. If you encounter any police officer, clearly display your hands and follow any instructions given to you.
  • Stay out of the hallway and open areas and be as quiet as possible.

In a Residence Hall

In general, staying in your room may be your best option in order to avoid coming into the cross fires or contributing to the general confusion that can occur during a crisis.

  • Close and lock your door if possible; block the door with a chair or table.
  • Close/lock the windows and close blinds or curtains (where applicable); cover any windows or openings that have a direct line of sight into the hallway;
  • If communication is available, dialing 911 or 610-861-1421 from a campus phone, will automatically dial Campus Safety & Police. Dialing 911 from your cell phone may connect you with the Bethlehem Police Department, Northampton County Emergency 911 Center or the Lehigh County Emergency Center. Report to the dispatcher what is taking place. Inform them of your location and the intruder's location and if possible provide a description of the intruder, clothing description, race, gender and any type of weapons.
  • Place or keep cell phones on vibrate.
  • Do not sound the fire alarm.  A fire alarm would signal the occupants to evacuate the building and thus place them in potential harm as they attempted to exit.
  • Stay away from the windows.
  • Turn off lights and all audio equipment.
  • Seek protective cover (e.g., under a desk or in some other area of your room that might have an obstructed view from your door)
  • Stay where you are until police arrive and give you directions. 
  • Do not respond to any voice commands unless you are certain that they are being given by a police officer.
  • If you are not in your room, try to go to someone else's room and lock the door. If the room cannot be locked or secured, determine if there is another nearby location that can be reached safely and secured or if you can safely exit the building.
  • If you are not in your room, try to go to someone else's room and lock the door. If the room cannot be locked or secured, determine if there is another nearby location that can be reached safely and secured or if you can safely exit the building.
  • Stay out of the hallway and open areas and be as quiet as possible.

On the Grounds

  • Run away from the threat if you can, as fast as you can.
  • Do not run in a straight line. 
  • While you are running, use vehicles, bushes, trees, and the like to block the hostile person’s line of sight
  • If you can get away from the immediate area of danger, summon help and warn others.
  • If you decide to hide, take into consideration the area in which you are hiding (e.g., is this really a good spot to remain hidden?)
  • If the person(s) are causing death or serious physical injury to others and you are unable to run or hide, you may choose to play dead if other victims are around you. 
  • The last option you have if caught in an open area outside may be to fight back, which could be dangerous but your best option. If you choose to fight back, be as aggressive as possible, throw items and use improvised weapons.
  • If you are caught by the intruder and opt not to fight back, do not look the intruder in the eyes; obey all commands.
  • If you encounter any police officer, clearly display your hands and follow any instructions given to you.
  • Inform the police of the location of the intruder, number of intruders, description of the intruder(s), number and type of weapons and location of any known victims.

Other Thoughts and Reminders

As stated in the Code of Conduct (printed in the Student Handbook), with the exception of those carried by the Moravian College Campus Police, firearms are prohibited on campus.

Any member of the college community who notices suspicious activity or individuals on campus should immediately call Campus Safety & Police by dialing 911 or 610-861-1421 on the campus phone system. Dialing 911 from your cell phone may connect you with the Bethlehem Police Department, Northampton County Emergency 911 Center or the Lehigh County Emergency Center.