Texas Wesleyan has an inclement weather policy in place to help keep students, faculty and staff safe during an emergency.
Chris Beckrich, director of campus safety and security, advises students to have the security number as one of their phone contacts, be aware of safe locations on campus in case of an emergency, have a basic plan and fill out the information on the Texas Wesleyan alerts webpage so that they receive alerts.
He said that parents can also receive these emergency alerts on their phones.
As part of a plan to keep students safe, Beckrich said that two weather policies exist: the winter weather policy and the crisis response plan. Within these policies, many staff on campus, such as security, marketing and student life, work together to keep students updated.
To help keep students better informed, Beckrich said that many classrooms and residence halls have booklets that contain emergency procedures. This includes the security website.
He said that if severe weather was to hit campus again, “students can expect proper notifications from security and that is something we strive for all the time through training, practice runs, and we generally try to send out practice warnings every semester to all students.”
Dr. Dennis Hall, vice president of student affairs/dean of student life, said his role during bad weather is to supervise campus security and residence life. After the event, his role is to help facilitate conversations about future changes in the policies and procedures.
“If you stay ready, you don’t have to get ready,” said Hall. In the event of a severe storm on campus, Hall takes part in the decision-making process in which he helps make decisions that are in the best interest of students regarding their security.
In response to this year’s winter storm, Hall said that the university is planning to have a list of names for faculty and staff who would be willing to host students in case of severe weather challenges in the future.
Hall said that in case of a severe storm, students should talk to their RA and that there are always available spaces for them to stay in case their room suffers physical damage.
He also noted that students can sent him feedback or questions through the student voice form.
“Overall, the feedback that has made it to me through various channels is that students have been appreciative of how we have tried to keep them safe, make their experiences as good as it can be,” Hall said.
Kaylia Brown, a RA in OC Hall, communicates with students who live on campus and provides the students with safety information, especially during storm warnings.
“We make sure that we prioritize our residents’ safety,” said Brown. Although she has been an RA for two years, the only storm incidents she encountered while working are the winter storm and a potential tornado.
She recommends students who live on campus to check important weather updates through Texas Wesleyan’s Instagram and the RA staff’s Microsoft Teams. Brown said that Microsoft Teams has become the central communication platform between RAs and student residents.