10 Common Dorm Security Challenges and Their Solutions

Training, policies, procedures and technology can all help.

Protecting on-campus residences is no easy task and requires the training of staff and students, appropriate policies and procedures, and the deployment of technology.

Here are some specific ways you can address your dorm security issues.

Challenge 1: Finding creative ways to effectively educate students to recognize and report other students of concern (for violent behavior or suicide) and crime prevention in general (mandatory floor meetings do not work anymore).

Possible Solutions:

  • Documented security educational program for students, faculty and staff
  • Multimedia, repetitive messaging
  • One-on-one interaction between resident assistants and students to develop a closer personal relationship

Challenge 2: Establishing a security program that is predicated on prevention versus police response after an incident.

Possible Solution:

  • Conducting a security assessment to identify the baseline threats associated with a college or university residence life program so that preventive measures can be implemented to reduce the risk.

Challenge 3: Assuring that appropriate protective and emergency planning services are provided by departments outside of residence life control.

Possible Solutions:

  • Establishing a design-basis threat for the residence halls and apartments
  • Regular meetings and liaison with campus public safety and emergency response resources to communicate needs of residence life

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Campus Safety magazine is another great resource for public safety, security and emergency management professionals. It covers all aspects of campus safety, including access control, video surveillance, mass notification and security staff practices. Whether you work in K-12, higher ed, a hospital or corporation, Campus Safety magazine is here to help you do your job better!

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