In case of a bomb threat, a determination will be made by University officials whether to evacuate a building or not. If the decision is to NOT evacuate, students will be notified a bomb threat exists and can then decide whether they wish to evacuate or remain in a University building. Safe alternative sites are identified and available for students if they choose to evacuate.

BioTerrorism/Terrorism Threats

In the event of a specific bioterrorism or terrorism threat, additional safety precautions (such as exterior doors remaining locked twenty-four (24)-hours a day) may be implemented during a time of heightened alert. Hall staff will notify residents if additional precautions are implemented.


In case of fire, sound the alarm on the nearest fire alarm warning device and call 9-911 (Vermillion Emergency Services). Notify a residence hall staff member. You must leave the building when the fire alarm sounds even if it is just a drill or burnt popcorn; student staff will check rooms for violators. Failure to comply with emergency evacuation procedures will be documented and students will be subject to conduct action.


When a tornado is sighted in the Vermillion area, the city alarm will sound a solid tone for three (3) to five (5) minutes, alerting the public to the emergency. All room doors should be closed. Stay away from all windows, doors, and outside walls. Whenever the danger appears to have passed, an all-clear signal will be announced by hall staff. Failure to comply with emergency evacuation procedures will be documented and students will be subject to sanctions.

Tornado Shelter Procedures

All residents go to basement areas. You must leave your room when the tornado siren sounds. Staff will check rooms for violators. Students are discouraged from leaving the building area during a tornado warning. McFadden Hall residents seek shelter in the Warren M. Lee Center for Fine Arts. Coyote Village residents should go to the first floor.

Safety & Security

Although USD and the City of Vermillion are considered to be relatively safe places to live, it is important for students, as well as the members of any community, to take responsibility for their own safety and well being. Crime prevention is essentially being aware of your environment and avoiding those situations that could make you vulnerable to crime. Everyone should use common sense and take steps to ensure the safety and security of their belongings, themselves, and others. Some suggestions are:

  1. Lock your door and carry your keys. Do not leave your keys or other valuables in your mailbox.
  2. Do not sleep with your door open/unlocked.
  3. Do not open your door to strangers, or let strangers onto your floor or in the building.
  4. Do not prop security doors open.
  5. If you receive a prank phone call, hang up. Do not talk to the caller. Report the prank call to your Community Advisor. If the calls persist, keep a log of the date, time, and a description of what the caller said.
  6. When going out, let your roommate, a friend, or your Community Advisor know where you are going and when you expect to return.
  7. At night, travel in well-lit areas. Do not take shortcuts through dark or deserted areas. 
  8. Avoid walking alone at night; there is safety in numbers
  9. Public Safety (677-5342) is available to escort you across campus or to University affiliated Greek houses.
  10. Do not keep large sums of money or valuable jewelry in your room.
  11. Avoid advertising or speaking about your valuables.
  12. Keep a record of the serial numbers of your personal possessions.
  13. Do not carry large amounts of cash.
  14. Never lend your ID or keys to anyone.
  15. Follow all fire safety regulations and be careful when using appliances in your room.
  16. Do not attach your ID card to your keys. If someone steals or finds your keys with your ID attached, they will know whose keys they have, and will be able to track down your room or vehicle much easier.

Residence hall staff and USD Public Safety are concerned and interested in your safety and security. They can help if you have a problem with theft, harassing phone calls, etc. Each residence hall complex has staff available from 6 p.m. - 8 a.m. every day. The Resident Assistants on call are the individuals to contact if you need assistance when the RAs on your floor are not available. Check at your complex desk for the names and phone numbers of the RAs on duty.