Campus Safety

Emergency Protocol and Communications Plan

Acts of violence on school campuses have increased in recent years. These events naturally cause varying levels of concern about safety and preparedness at our own College. Although these events are generally unpredictable, it is important that we do everything possible to prevent them and be as prepared as possible to respond effectively if an event does occur.

The College urges all students, faculty and staff to review this Emergency Protocol and Communications plan.

IMPORTANT: The following protocols pertain to all faculty, staff and students at Union College. In the event of an emergency dial 911 on a cellphone for outside assistance or (518) 388-6911 for Union College Campus Safety. 911 from a campus phone will reach Campus Safety. Either call will immediately dispatch Schenectady Emergency authorities and Union College Campus Safety. The 911 call on a cellphone will alert local law enforcement and in turn initiate a call to the Union College Campus Safety Department that an emergency is in progress. Moreover, because of our RAVE communication system, the call will also generate and provide Schenectady Emergency Response Agencies and Union College Campus Safety communications with a record of the location from where the call originated.

Emergency Communications

Emergencies range from inclement weather, building evacuations, College closures and many other situations. The College has a variety of tools to communicate with you in the event of an emergency. Depending on the type of emergency, some or all of the following tools may be used.

Text Alerts

The College automatically opts community members into our alert system but we also encourage you to register your cellphone number, or any change in information, with the text/email-alert system through this link. This will enable you to receive emergency text and email messages.

College Group Email

During emergencies, the same system that communicates with your cellphone via text/email, sends an “urgent” group message to everyone registered. The email will contain important details or direct individuals to additional information and instruction.

Local Press and Social Media Communications

Marketing staff use Facebook/Twitter and other social media platforms to communicate with members of the community.

Fire Panel Systems

Most College buildings are equipped with fire panel systems that have a public address capability.

Loudspeaker and Telephone Systems

There are loudspeakers throughout campus. Campus-wide alerts or notifications to specific buildings may be made via the interior or exterior loudspeaker system (over phones or speakers.)

Armed Intruder/Active Shooter Protocol

In the event of an armed intruder/active shooter at the College, you should do the following:

  • Immediately notify law enforcement by calling 911 from your cellphone or Campus phone 6911.
  • Give your location and, if possible, a physical description of the intruder or intruders, a description of the color and style of clothing and a description of any weapons observed.

Your choices in response to an armed intruder/active shooter are to RUN, HIDE or FIGHT!


If there is a way to safely escape, attempt to leave the area.

  • Do not let others impede your escape, however, help others if possible.
  • Leave your belongings behind.
  • Warn/prevent others from entering the area. o Call 911 when you are safe.


If it's not safe to run, find a place to hide.

  • Lock and/or block the door behind you.
  • Silence your cellphone.
  • Hide behind large objects.
  • Remain quiet and stay out of view.


This option should be chosen as a last resort and only if your life is in danger!

  • Attempt to incapacitate the intruder.
  • Act with physical aggression.
  • Improvise weapons.
  • Commit to your actions.

You should be aware that the primary goal of law enforcement is to eliminate the threat. Officers will not stop to help injured persons until the environment is safe.

  • Remain calm and follow instructions.
  • Keep your hands visible at all times.
  • Avoid pointing and yelling.
  • Know that help for the injured is on the way