Health & Safety
Occidental is committed to providing a safe, secure, and healthy environment for all members and guests of the campus community. While Occidental’s park-like setting is a peaceful one, we are ever mindful of our location in a major metropolitan area.
Over the past century, Occidental has safely weathered a wide range of emergencies: earthquakes, torrential rain, windstorms, and the like. (Our campus is some distance from areas where major brushfires have occurred, and we are built on sedimentary bedrock, which makes landslides unlikely.) If a major emergency should occur, Occidental will carry out its Emergency Operations Plan, which details response procedures to a variety of possible scenarios. In an earthquake, the most likely disaster scenario, our planning is based on the assumption we will need to be self-sufficient for at least three days. To prepare for all emergencies at Occidental:
- Residential Education and Housing Services staff members are trained in emergency response procedures.
- All Campus Safety officers meet state training requirements and have been specifically trained in disaster search and rescue.
- Disaster kits and water supplies are stored in each residence hall. (We strongly recommend that each student also have his or her own personal disaster preparedness kit.) Additional water supplies are stored elsewhere on campus. Dining Services has a three-day supply of food on hand.
- Key portions of campus are equipped with emergency generators should power fail.
- To keep telephones and computers up and running, specially dedicated generators also are in place. (We are currently investigating the purchase of satellite phones as well.)
- A campus-wide network of building and floor monitors is in place to respond when necessary.
- Fire and earthquake drills are carried out regularly.
- Should an evacuation of campus be necessary, Occidental can utilize its fleet of 80 trucks, vans and other vehicles. Our underground storage tank on campus ensures that a minimum of 4,500 gallons of gasoline are always available.
In the case of a power outage, a specially dedicated emergency generator is in place to keep College servers and the campus telephone system up and running. News bulletins also will be posted on the main campus number - 323-259-2500 - and on the front page of the College website. Should local phone circuits become jammed or otherwise unavailable, Occidental has an out-of-state emergency hotline -- 1-866-961-3300 -- on which news updates will be posted. (Please note this is a new hotline number as of July 2006.)
The International Programs Office continually monitors international safety conditions and maintains regular, direct contact with programs around the world and with the U.S. State Department. At the onset of the Gulf War in 1990, international educators and study abroad programs prepared extensive, detailed crisis management plans. These plans were activated and reevaluated in the days following the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, and again were evaluated at the outbreak of the Iraq war. If we are advised by the State Department or program sponsors that any of our students are at risk, we will advise them immediately to take appropriate action.
- Campus Safety: (323) 259-2599
- Public Information: (323) 259-2677 or (323) 259-2990
- International Programs: (323) 259-2533
The Emmons Health and Counseling Center, located in the center of campus, and its medical and nurse practitioner staff provide a variety of services to all regularly enrolled students at no charge (except for prescriptions, contraceptives, immunizations, and lab tests). Services include:
- outpatient diagnosis and treatment of minor illnesses and injury
- women's health: gynecological care, pregnancy tests, birth control, information and counseling
- confidential HIV testing
- over-the-counter and some prescription medications
- short-term individual, couple, or family counseling
- depression and eating disorder screening programs
- psychiatric referrals and a 24-hour psychiatric emergency line
A licensed health care professional is available at all times the Health Center is open. All entering students are required to have a completed health history and physical examination form on file prior to registration. Immunization requirements are strictly enforced to protect all students. Referral to community health facilities, including Huntington Memorial Hospital in Pasadena, is made for major illnesses and accidents.
Occidental’s Campus Safety Department provides security and emergency response services for the College 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, with 11 full-time, unarmed, uniformed officers who patrol the campus on foot, on bicycles, and in marked cars. All officers are certified in first aid and CPR. Their work is aided by the use of specialized security systems and audio, video, and motion detectors in various locations. Campus Safety has an excellent working relationship with the Los Angeles Police Department. Campus Safety also maintains federally mandated crime statistics.
All residence halls are locked 24 hours a day. Academic and business buildings are open during regular business hours. For safety reasons, two or more students are required to be present in any classroom, lab, or reading reference room after 10 p.m. A safety escort program is available for students who feel uncomfortable walking across campus after dark.