The Adopt-A-Dorm program pairs University officers with freshmen dorms, offering incoming resident students access to officers on a more informal basis. Officers take responsibility for specific dorms, make regular patrols of the dorms and make themselves available for any questions new students may have.
The Adopt-A-Dorm program begins with an informational meeting held on the Gannon-Lavis-McCormick patio on move-in day. An officer meets with the students, explains the role of Public Safety and University officers and welcomes students to speak with officers about any questions they may have.
During the initial meeting, University policies are reviewed, general safety guidelines are discussed and the Adopt-A-Dorm program is explained. Residence Life Staff are introduced and students learn about the partnership between Residence Life and Public Safety that is designed to help students have a safe University experience.
Throughout the semesters, officers are available for floor programs and whenever students have questions. Officers who have participated in the Adopt-A-Dorm program report students they have worked with as freshmen keep in touch with them throughout their University career.
University officers are often used as resources for Residence Life Staff floor programs. Officers have given presentations on alcohol, date rape, dorm safety and have frequently been the guest speaker in "Ask an Officer" programs where students are given the opportunity to ask the officer any Public Safety-related question.
One of the more inventive programs was the "Root Beer Keg" party, where the officer explains the consequences of underage drinking. The officer was asked to "Bust" the party. Individuals were given the opportunity to take a PBT (Preliminary Breath Test -used to detect alcohol) and the officer explained what happens when a student is cited through the state of Pennsylvania for underage consumption.
Resident Assistants are encouraged to speak with officers about developing a program specifically for the needs of the students involved.
Each year, the University holds four orientation sessions for incoming freshmen and transfer students. University officers attend each session and share in a discussion group. This meeting gives new students the opportunity to speak with an officer about any questions they have about college life from the perspective of a University officer.
The sessions also offer the officer an opportunity to present information about college life that might otherwise be overlooked by new students, including the consequences of underage drinking, reminders to secure possessions and safety on and off campus.
The period from a high school senior's graduation until the new college student's first break home is often referred to as the "Red Zone," a time when the individual is exploring the new freedoms associated with graduation from high school and the new college experience. By providing guidance and resources, University officers offer new students a helping hand in beginning their college careers.
The period from a high school senior's graduation until the new college student's first break home is often referred to as the "Red Zone," a time when the individual is exploring the new freedoms associated with graduation from high school and the new college experience. This period can be dangerous for the student as newfound freedoms often lead to excesses as boundaries are overextended.
By providing guidance and resources and being accessible, University officers offer new students a helping hand in beginning their college careers and beyond.