Fresno State University Courtyard Residential Life is a featured program.
A core value/outcome at University Courtyard is Safety. As a Residential Life staff, we can’t do our work if students don’t have Maslow’s basic needs met. Many Residential Life departments leave the Safety needs to other entities on campus (such as Public Safety, Campus police, etc.) but here at University Courtyard, our Residential Life staff takes an active role in addressing these needs.
Like most campuses we have features that enhance safety such as blue light phones, campus police escort service 24/7, public safety located on campus, a lock system that allows us to interrogate locks if people key in without permission, etc.
Public Safety Assistant (PSA) Position: As a PART of the Residential Life Team, we hire a staff of eight para-professional staff who actively support the safety of our residents. The PSAs are considered the “Eyes of the Night” by our staff. They are directly supervised by the Residential Life and Student Conduct Coordinator (SCC). The SCC is assisted by the Public Safety Student Coordinator (PSSC) who serves as an “Assistant Resident Director” type supervisor for the PSA team (who also has PSA duties).
BASIC COMPONENTS OF THE PSA JOB
Evening Patrols and Communication with the Campus Police Department:
- A team of two PSAs does rounds both inside and outside of the residential community. They generally start their walking shifts in the evening and go until 3am (or 5am on the weekends). They work in conjunction with and support our resident advisor staff by assisting in confronting policy violations, reporting facility issues, and building relationships with residents.
- Each PSA has a police radio where they communicate with police dispatch providing decreased response times for the police department
- The PSA also has the ability to hear calls when dispatch sends officers to housing for issues reported directly by residents.
- There is documented evidence these patrols have saved the lives of residents as they have found students passed out who would not normally be found.
- They do these patrols pretty much 365 days a year (with a week off in the summer when we don’t have residents).
Community development and relationship building:
- When not on patrol, PSAs will partner with the Resident Advisors on their floor to help develop the community. They will connect one on one with residents, communicate about events coming up, and provide support for the individual student and a sense of belonging as well.
Safety education and programming:
- PSAs as a team will plan one major event for the entire residential community each semester. These programs will tackle topics such as drug and alcohol abuse, fire safety, and water safety (pool)
- PSAs do passive educational programming each semester on drug and alcohol use
- The PSSC supervises the Drug and Alcohol Programming Committee. This committee is comprised of Resident Advisors (who are required to serve on one of our programmatic committees) and volunteer PSAs and residents. Examples of programs they have planned:
- Milk and Cookies: Our annual event in which cookies are donated from faculty and staff on campus, milk is donated from the Fresno State Dairy, and we have tables staffed by various groups on campus and University Courtyard. Residents need to visit tables in order to get their passports stamped. Once their passport is completed, they can turn it in for milk and cookies.
- Tower of Power: Residents will visit 5 different stations (3 on the first floor, 2 on the second floor, 1 on the third floor) in a residence hall. At each station they will take on challenges around drug and alcohol issues in order to advance to the next level (floor). Those who reach the top get gold beads and knowledge!
Other Residential Life Duties:
- includes working the front desks, package shifts, tour shifts and tour on-calls
Specialized training/qualifications for the PSAs:
- University Police Department training on radio usage, procedures, etc.
- California Law Enforcement Telecommunications System (CLETS) training
- Must pass a Live Scan – DOJ Level of Service background check
- Golf Cart Safety Training
- Defensive Driver Certification
NOTE: In addition we provide safety related training to all Residential Life staff on the following topics:
- Crisis management training
- Suicide prevention and intervention
- Sexual Assault crisis response
- Mental Health
- Drug and Alcohol issues (including alcohol poisoning response)
- Lifeslider use
- Evacuation and Emergency Response
- Fire Extinguisher use and fire prevention
- Campus Security Authority Training
- Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) training
- Injury and Illness Prevention Program training
- Family Education Rights and Privacy Act training