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Student Handbook 2019-2020

In emergency situations, University community members and guests will be given instructions. This may come in the form of a building alarm,  an ENS announcement, or a staff member giving instructions. 

Non-Evacuation: Emergency Storm and Shelter In-Place Procedures

Shelter In-Place: All Areas

When faced with severe weather conditions such as tornados, designated areas within campus buildings or residence halls provide protection from the effects of high winds and flying debris. Moving personnel to these protected interior areas is referred to “shelter in-place.” Generally, these areas are: away from windows, away from glass doors, interior rooms (or closets) without windows, and are at the lowest possible level within the structure. When notified by Residence Life staff or other authority to shelter in-place, seek shelter immediately within the nearest building and await further instruction regarding the pending danger. Do not venture out to determine if the tornado conditions have subsided—designated staff will alert you that conditions have improved or are all clear.

Procedures for Tornado Warnings

Students residing on campus should utilize the following designated storm shelters in the event a serious storm or tornado warning is issued for our immediate area:

  1. Agassiz Hall – Basement of Agassiz Hall
  2. Berg Hall – Basement of Agassiz Hall or inside hallways of Berg Hall
  3. Birkelo Hall – Basement of Agassiz Hall or stairwell of Birkelo Hall
  4. Married/Family Housing Units – Basement of Agassiz Hall

General Public and students in other locations:

Basement spaces are available in Old Main, the Science Building, the Library, and the Campus Center.


While not the only reason for a building evacuation, the most obvious and frequently occurring reason would be the sounding of the Fire Alarm. 

Students who become aware of a fire should activate the building fire alarm in buildings equipped with a manual fire alarm system; shout a warning and knock on doors to advise others, and evacuate the building. Call the Fire Department (911) from a safe location.

If you discover or suspect a fire:

  1. Stay calm. Think of what you need to do and then act.
  2. Sound the alarm for the building
  3. Evacuate the building
  4. Notify the fire department from a safe location by dialing 911 (don't hang up; you'll need to stay on the line to provide emergency personnel with location.)

When calling 911:

(1) When the emergency operator answers, ask for the fire department and give as much specific information as possible. State that you are calling from MSU and include the proper name of the building and room number, floor or other specific area.

(2) Do not hang up until released by the dispatcher.

A fire emergency exists whenever:

  1. A building fire evacuation alarm is sounding
  2. An uncontrolled fire or imminent fire hazard occurs in any building or area of the campus
  3. There is the presence of smoke or the odor of burning
  4. There is spontaneous or abnormal heating of any material, an uncontrolled release or combustible or toxic gas or other material or a flammable liquid spill

Evacuation Procedures: Campus buildings shall be evacuated whenever the building evacuation alarm is sounding.

The evacuation procedures shall be as follows:

  • It shall be the responsibility of every person to immediately leave a University building whenever the fire alarm is activated or a fire emergency exists. All students, faculty and staff are required to leave the building and remain outside until the emergency is over. No one shall restrict or impede the evacuation.
  • Mobility-impaired persons are directed to the nearest stairway and are to wait to receive assistance from a “good Samaritan” or emergency personnel. If hearing or visually impaired persons need assistance, occupants may choose to render aid. If individuals are unable to assist others, then they should exit the building and provide information to emergency responders about the location of others still in the building.
  • If you are in a room with the door closed, feel the door/doorknob prior to opening the door to determine if the fire is on the other side of the door. If there is heat, seek another exit or signal from a window. Use a towel, sheet, cloth, or anything that will signal that you are in the room.
  • If you are trapped in a room, use the phone to call for help.
  • If you can, leave the lights on in your room, close the windows and all door, open the curtain or blinds, wear shoes and a coat, and carry a towel.
  • Walk in single file to the outside of the building and get at least 50 feet away from the building.
  • Remain outside until a return signal is given. 
  • note that university personnel will disseminate fire safety instructions annually and conduct fire exit drills annually.

It is required by law that all persons exit the building during a fire alarm. Residents cannot re-enter a building until permitted to by hall staff. In the event of limited or poor evacuation, Resident Directors are authorized to direct hall staff to enter student rooms to ensure evacuation. Any violations of evacuation procedures by residents will be handled through student conduct proceedings.

Emergency Notification System

Mayville State University employs an emergency notification system (ENS). This system allows the campus to contact students and others rapidly during an emergency. The ENS draws contact information from Connect ND and that contact information is used by authorized campus administrators to announce to student, employees, (and/or) community members about the existence of a qualifying emergency. 

Students have the ability to add and update their information in the Connect ND portal. The portal will allow students to enter campus phone, cell phone, email, texting information, and home phone. The system will periodically remind students to review their information. In addition, students have the option to receive emergency notifications from other campuses depending on their class location. Students can "opt-out" of the emergency notification system in the Connect ND portal. 

Full policy: University Policy Manual M1902