Living in the Halls

Safety And Security


Safety in the residence halls is everyone’s responsibility. 

There are a number of things the university does to promote safe environments. They include:

  • Locking of residence hall doors 24/7 with the exception of designated times for move-in and move-out.
  • Residence Life staff are on call in the evening during the academic year to respond to emergencies.
  • University Police are available 24/7 for emergencies and crisis response.

Students are also expected to assume responsibility for their safety. Students are asked to do the following:

  • Lock their room door even when they are in their room.
  • Be aware and cognizant of their surroundings.
  • Not allow other students or individuals to “tailgate” into the residence hall behind them.
  • Report any suspicious persons or behavior to the appropriate staff member of call University Police at 715-425-3133.

During the hours in which the Residence Life office is closed, students can reach a staff member by calling the RA Duty Phone. This phone number is posted on all outside doors of the residence halls.

In the event of an emergency, students should call 911.

How Does it Work?

Every ground level door of each residence hall has a black rectangular reader box next to the door. You need to pass your ID card in front of the reader to unlock the door and gain access to any residence hall door.


Between 3 p.m. and 10 p.m. daily on-campus residents can access any residence hall with their ID card.  Between 10 p.m. - 3 p.m. daily you can enter only the residence hall in which you live. Please make arrangements to meet your guests in the lobby of your building. Building staff cannot let your friends in for you and "tailgating" behind other residents is prohibited. 

I am Locked Out!

Using the phone located in the lobby of your building, please contact University Police by dialing 715-425-3133.  They will contact the hall staff on duty to arrange for you to get into your building.

My ID Card is Not Working

Please visit the Campus Carding Office in the DoTS Services Center at 160 Davee Library, 7:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. Monday-Friday.

ID Card Maintenance

  • Do not hole-punch your ID card to add it to a key chain!
  • ID cards that have been damaged in this or any other way will be confiscated by the Carding Office in the DoTS Service Center (160 Davee Library) and will have to be replaced at full cost by the cardholder.
  • Free ID pouches are available in the Carding Office.

The UWRF Police Department provides 24-hour-a-day security response for the university, assuring the safety of residents and the rest of the campus community.

Free on-campus public telephones are located in the lobbies or public areas of all campus buildings. The University Police Department may be reached by dialing 715-425-3133 or visiting the office in the RDI building.

Reporting an Incident

If you or someone you know have been a victim of a hate or bias incident, we encourage you to report it through the following web page:

To report a crime or if you need assistance, members of the campus community, including residents of campus halls, should call the University Police Department at 715-425-3133 or the River Falls Police Department at 715-425-0909.

In case of an emergency, dial 911.

Campus Crime Report

The annual campus crime report is published by the University Police and provided for your information.


Emergency Preparedness

Each resident is responsible for knowing what to do in the event of an emergency. For further university emergency procedures, please see the Emergency Response Guide at

Sign Up for Emergency Alerts

All UW-River Falls students are encouraged to sign-up
to receive text message emergency alerts on their cell phone
during an emergency. Please see the website for details:


Armed Assailant

Anyone who suspects an active armed assailant, must quickly determine the most reasonable way to protect your own life.


  • Have an escape route plan in mind.
  • Leave your belongings behind.
  • Keep your hands visible.


  • Hide in an area that is out of the assailant’s view; close and cover windows; turn of lights.
  • Block the entry to your hiding place and lock/barricade the doors.
  • Silence all electronic and audio/visual devices; stay silent.


  • As a last resort, fight, but only if your life is in imminent danger.
  • Attempt to incapacitate the assailant.
  • Act with physical aggression and throw items at the assailant.


A Blizzard Warning is an advisory issued by the National Weather Service where sustained winds or frequent gusts of 35 mph or greater with heavy snow is forecasted for a period of three hours or more. A Severe Blizzard Warning is where there are winds above 45 mph expected with temperatures below 10°F. In some cases, this will also activate the Emergency Alert System.

Check the UWRF website for more information related to delays and closings for this type of severe weather.

Bomb Threat

Anyone who receives a bomb threat via phone, email or note, should call 911 immediately. Do not erase any messages or texts that are related to the threat. If the threat was made by phone, immediately write down everything about the threat including time, date, exact wording of the threat, background noises and details of the caller’s voice. Follow further instructions from University Police.

Emergency Alert System (EAS)

The Emergency Alert System is a federal program ( that allows public safety to easily alert the public through radio, television and other modes of alerting. The university subscribes and participates in this system.

The university has integrated video from this system into the campus television distribution system and the university digital signs. Audio is also distributed to those sources through the centralized fire alarm public address system. Student, staff and faculty e-mails are automatically subscribed to the emergency alert notification system.

Fire Alarms/Evacuation

UW System policy requires that everyone evacuates the residence hall at the sound of a fire alarm. Failure to do so can result in a citation and/or Residence Life conduct charges. Students and employees should know where the nearest exits are to their location and always vacate the building at the nearest exit immediately.

Individuals should only return to the building once the all clear has been given by University Police, the City of River Falls Fire Department or Residence Life staff. No one should use elevators during a fire alarm. Students and employees with disabilities should have a personal evacuation plan in place in the event of an emergency.

Fire Extinguishers

The location of fire extinguishers and facility areas of rescue/refuge are detailed on the “Tornado and Fire Procedures” signs posted on every floor of university buildings.


Water damage can occur from many sources: broken pipes, clogged drains, damaged skylights or windows, construction errors, or weather-related events.

If students become aware of a water leak, they should:

  1. Contact University Police at 715-425-3133.
  2. Be ready to evacuate as directed by University Police.
  3. Follow the recommended primary or secondary evacuation routes.

Pandemic Preparedness/Influenza/H1N1

The best way to prevent the spread of influenza or other communicable disease is to practice good hygiene habits. If a student is sick, they should not go to class or outside activities. Students are expected to inform their instructors via e-mail that they are unable to attend class due to illness. It is the student’s responsibility to make up any work that is missed from class due to illness. Students can contact Student Health Services with any questions or concerns regarding personal health and wellness.

Power Outage

If a power outage occurs, students should remain cognizant of their surroundings and limit their activity to avoid injury. As Residence Life staff members receive information on the duration of the power outage, they will do their best to inform residents. It is recommended that all students have a small flashlight to keep in their room in the event there is an extended power outage.

If the power outage is limited to one or two rooms, students should contact their RA for assistance.

Smoke Detectors

In the event of a fire, the smoke detection systems will activate the alarm automatically. The alarm for a building-wide evacuation will be alarm tones followed by a voice message indicating that the fire alarm has been activated. All students and employees are required to evacuate the building when the alarm sounds. Building occupants should remain outside the building, at the assembly area, until the all clear has been given by University Police, the City of River Falls Fire Department or Residence Life staff.


Tornadoes can occur any time during the year with the right weather conditions. However, Wisconsin’s peak tornado season is May through August.

A tornado watch means that weather conditions are favorable for the formation of a tornado. A tornado warning is issued when a funnel cloud has been sighted in the surrounding area by a qualified spotter or has been detected on radar. Emergency warning sirens are activated in the city of River Falls when there is a tornado warning.

If a tornado warning is issued, students should immediately head to one of the designated tornado shelters in their residence hall. Tornado shelters are all marked in yellow signage throughout the residence halls. Tornado shelters vary from building to building. If a student is unable to get to a tornado shelter, they should take shelter under a sturdy piece of furniture and protect their head. Stay away from windows. Do not come out until the all clear has been given.

Contact Us

Department of Residence Life
M-F, 7:45 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
B3 East Hathorn Hall