Occidental houses approximately 1,500 students in 13 residence halls, with a variety of safety and security measures in place.
All entrances to residence halls are locked 24 hours a day. To gain access, visitors must notify their hosts of their arrival from exterior telephones located at the entrance of each residence hall. Three professional staff community directors supervise six graduate assistants and resident advisors assigned to each residence hall. Professional residential education and housing staff are on duty 24 hours a day. Safety and security issues are included as part of resident advisor staff's thorough training each year.
All student rooms are equipped with smoke detectors that are inspected on a regular basis. All residence halls have local building fire alarm systems. Exception: Bell-Young, Erdman, Newcomb, Rangeview, and Wylie halls have installed fire alarm sprinkler systems which are monitored by an outside company that alerts both the local fire department and the Campus Safety department when activated. The Campus Safety department conducts "surprise" fire drills in all residence halls at least once each term. Evacuation results are evaluated after each drill.
The use of fire alarm systems and fire-fighting equipment without the existence of an actual fire is a violation of California Penal Code 148.4. Triggering a false fire alarm could result in misdemeanor charges, including a citation and severe disciplinary action.
Types of housing and the policies for room assignments, roommate selection, and roommate dispute resolution and guest access are described in the Student Handbook.
During the winter break, all residence halls rooms are secured. Students requiring housing at that time must make prior arrangements with the Office of Residential Education and Housing Services. Exterior locks to each building are temporarily changed during the winter and summer breaks to increase security of the facilities.