Fire Prevention & Alcohol Awareness

During the month of October, The University of New Haven's Office of Residential Life is celebrating two major annual "awareness weeks" the first of which being Fire Prevention Week (October 5-11) and Alcohol Awareness Week (October 20-27). 

During the first week of October, each residence hall participated in a pulled fire alarm drill.  The purpose of these drills was to educate students where to go when the building is evacuated, and to familiarize them with the sound of the alarm.  Students learned that they should immediately evacuate the building each time they hear an alarm.  No alarm should be treated as a false alarm for their protection!

The Fire Science Club, an active undergraduate organization on campus, also conducted fire safety programs in each residence hall.  During these programs, students were educated through examples of real-life college and university fires active ways to prevent residence hall fires, as well as how to respond in case of a fire.  In addition, students were reminded of prohibited items such as strand lights, electric blankets, halogen lamps, open-coil cooking units, and space heaters that may cause a fire.  Students were also reminded that "octopus lamps," lamps with bendable arms and multiple light fixtures which often have colorful plastic covers, are NOT allowed in our residence halls.  Unfortunately, they have been turning up frequently this year; and while they may look nice, they have been known to cause fires in residence halls across the country due to the fact that they can easily overheat when in use.  If your student has one of these lamps in their room, please remind them to bring it home next time they visit.  Lastly, it is important to remind your student not to overload their electrical outlets and to instead use a surge-protected power strip.

On October 9th, students from the Fire Science Club held their annual "Burn Box" program during which a mock residence hall room was set up outside of Bethel Hall and set on fire allowing students to see how quickly a fire can spread in their room.  The event, which raises awareness on campus, was enjoyed by attendees and was also featured on local news.

During the next week, the University of New Haven will be participating in a national college campaign known as Collegiate Alcohol Awareness Week.  Each residence hall will have showcase an activity designed to be both fun and informative - from "mocktail" parties to trivia games.  Dining Services is also holding a "how-to" session on safely cooking with alcohol.  They will provide cooking safety tips, a recipe book, and delicious dining options.

On the University of New Haven campus, we have many policies and support systems in place to prevent alcohol abuse and encourage positive decision making.  Students who are of legal drinking age are permitted to possess and consume alcohol on campus.  Those who are under the age of 21 are not allowed to possess, consume, or be in the presence of alcohol. If they are found to be, they will be subject to Student Code of Conduct violation sanctions, as well as the legal repercussions of their actions.  Students who are of age should not serve alcohol to underage persons, and should avoid drinking in the presence of others who are under the age of 21.

The University of New Haven has determined that possession of kegs, grain alcohol, common source containers, use of funnels, and participation in or presence at contests involving the consumption of alcohol (otherwise known as "drinking games") is dangerous to the health and safety of those involved.  To prevent this, we have a strict policy against these activities and violation of this policy is termed a "Level IV Offense" which will result in a minimum sanction of one full year of disciplinary probation, parental notification, and a $300.00 fine. 

Students who are found responsible for violating alcohol policies will meet with either their Resident Director, the Assistant Dean of Students, or if requested, the Student Conduct Board for a conduct hearing.  Other policy violation sanctions are clearly outlined in the student handbook.

Students are sometimes referred to Alcohol & Drug Education classes to learn about dangers of alcohol and drug use, drinking responsibly, and risk reduction training.  Students with more than one offense or involved in a serious violation may be referred to Substance Abuse Group.  Both educational classes are run professionally by our Counseling Center, which provides free, confidential services to all students. 

In conclusion, keeping your students safe here at the University of New Haven is our number one priority, and this month we have focused on ways to educate students to keep themselves safe from both fires and alcohol abuse; two potentially major problems on college campuses that are completely preventable.  We need you to please continue those open-dialogues with your students.  Encourage them to share with you ways they are protecting themselves and their friends.  This is a collaborative venture that we hope will spark conversation and awareness. 

As always, thank you for your support and please free to contact us if you have any questions or concerns as or please call (203) 932-7076.

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Phone: (203) 932-7076

Fax: (203) 932-7178

Location: 1st Floor Bixler Hall