Weekly Safety Tips - Spring 2016 Semester

Spring 2016 Safety Tips


Week of April 25, 2016

The spring semester is quickly drawing to a close, and most of you are thinking about one thing. Finals. Below are links to tips on how to alleviate stress during exam time. Some important tips include:

·        Take a break every 45 minutes during study sessions
·        Exercise/go outside and get some fresh air
·        Get plenty of sleep
·        Eat well-balanced, healthy foods
·        Find ways to unwind and relax
·        Do not drink caffeine in excess and, of course, stay away from alcohol






If you have followed these tips and are still experiencing excessive stress and/or anxiety, please contact a counselor immediately.

Crisis counseling services are available from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m., Monday through Thursday, and from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Friday in the Admissions and Advising Office. No appointment is needed. Call 434.961.7777 or 434.961.6581 or come to the office and ask for the crisis counselor on duty. All crisis counseling sessions are free and confidential. You can also schedule an individual appointment with a counselor by calling 434.961.5264.

Veterans counseling services: If you are a veteran who is struggling with mental health or other emotional issues please contact PVCC's Military and Veterans Advisor, Jackie Fisher, at 434.961.5282.  She will meet with you to discuss both PVCC and outside resources as needed.

On-campus referrals: PVCC has a partnership with Region Ten Emergency Services that allows our students to be seen by a Region Ten counselor within 24 hours or as an emergency. In case of a mental health crisis, college counselors and the dean of student services will help set up this appointment at no cost to the student.

OFF CAMPUS: Should you experience a mental health crisis off campus outside of normal college business hours, please call Region Ten Emergency Services at 434.972.1800 or call 911.

Week of April 18, 2016

This week we continue to offer tips and information regarding distracted driving as part of Distracted Driver Awareness Month.

Distracted driving isn't just about cell phones.  "Any moment your eyes are off the road or your hands are off the wheel, you put yourself in a dangerous driving situation.  Even sending what you believe to be a quick text message takes your eyes off the road for an average of five seconds.  This is similar to driving 100 yards — or the length of a football field — at 40 mph with your eyes closed, which is something you certainly would never want to chance.  That’s why it is always necessary to avoid any and all distractions while driving, no matter how small or brief they may seem" (Lee, 2015). 

The links below offer valuable tips for your consideration. 



Week of April 11, 2016

April is Distracted Driver Awareness Month. Thousands have died in car crashes involving cell phone use. New technology allows us to make phone calls, dictate texts or emails and update social media while driving – all actions that are proven to increase crash risk. The National Safety Council observes April as Distracted Driving Awareness Month to draw attention to this epidemic. NSC wants to empower you to put safety first and Take Back Your Drive.

The most important thing you can do to prevent distracted driving is, of course, to put your cell phone away before you get behind the wheel. Additional tools include:

Week of April 4, 2016

This week's safety tip comes from the U.S. National Library of Medicine. The safety tip discusses what to do in the event of a choking emergency. The link provides various resources for your review, including the Heimlich maneuver and maneuvers if you are choking and are alone. Video demonstrations and tutorials are available. 

Week of March 28, 2016

Thank you for your participation and cooperation during the recent tornado drill. Please be sure to continue to familiarize yourself with shelter locations.

This week's safety tip is "Stop the Bleed", a nationwide campaign to empower individuals to act quickly and save lives.

No matter how rapid the arrival of professional emergency responders, bystanders will always be first on the scene.  A person who is bleeding can die from blood loss within five minutes, therefore it is important to quickly stop the blood loss.

Week of March 14, 2016

Tornado Preparedness

As a reminder, PVCC will participate in a statewide tornado drill on Tuesday, March 22 at 9:45 a.m. Please take a moment to read these important safety tips.

Be Prepared:
        Know the difference between a tornado watch and a tornado warning.

Tornado Watch means a tornado is possible in your area. You should monitor weather-alert radios and local radio/TV stations for information.

Tornado Warning means a tornado has been sighted in the area or has been indicated by National Weather Service Doppler Radar. When a warning is issued, take cover immediately.

Know IN ADVANCE where you will take cover in case of a tornado warning. Review PVCC’s Emergency Procedures.
The following interior locations are designated as Severe Weather Shelter Areas at PVCC:

Keats Science Building (490 College Drive):
Upper and Lower Level Hallways; Restrooms

Main Building (501 College Drive):
M155, M158, M159, M160, M174, M175, M248, M249, M251, M607, M701, M813, M822, M823, M832, M834, M849, M850

Stultz Center (600 College Drive):
S100, S101, S109, S111, S113, S119, S131

V. Earl Dickinson Building (400 College Drive):
D102, D106, D129, D130, D132, D222, D223, D226

Off Site Locations:

Giuseppe Center (Greene County):
In the event of a tornado or severe windstorm requiring shelter, all persons should move to an interior hallway, restroom or other interior room without windows.

Jefferson School (Charlottesville)
In the event of a tornado or severe windstorm requiring shelter, all persons should move to an interior hallway, restroom or other interior room without windows. PVCC’s designated “safe rooms” are on the first floor in the family bathroom across from J111, the family bathroom on the left past the JABA Mary Williams Community Senior Center and through the emergency back hallway to the right of J112.

More information on the statewide drill can be found at the Virginia Department of Emergency Management’s website.

Week of March 7, 2016

The Virginia Department of Criminal Justice Services (VDCJS) is offering open registration for individuals interested in active shooter response. The training, Civilian Response to Active Shooter Events (CRASE), will be held in multiple locations throughout Virginia. More information on the training can be found here: http://www.dcjs.virginia.gov/trainingevents/cple/ALERRT-CRASE/2016/

Week of February 29, 2016

PVCC will participate in the statewide tornado drill on Tuesday, March 22 at 9:45 a.m. Please take time before the drill to familiarize yourself with “PVCC Emergency Procedures”, which are posted in all classrooms and many hallways. Be sure to observe the “Severe Weather Shelter Areas” throughout the campus.

More information on the statewide drill, as well as precautionary steps, can be found at the Virginia Department of Emergency Management’s website.

Week of February 22, 2016

Driving and Pedestrian Safety


  • The speed limit on College Drive is 25 mph, then 15 mph in front of the main buildings.  Speed limit is 5 mph in the parking lots.
  • Be sure to observe all parking rules and regulations prior to coming to campus. The information is located on the PVCC website. Being familiar with the parking areas will allow you to be more aware of your surroundings when driving on campus.
  • Follow the directional arrows on the pavement in the parking lots.
  • Vehicles approaching the traffic circle must yield for vehicles already in the traffic circle.  Be wary of cars in the circle yielding for pedestrians.
  • Watch for pedestrians, not only in crosswalks, but in the parking lots as well. Per State Law, drivers must yield for pedestrians in the crosswalk.
  • Please do NOT pick up/drop off at the south entrance or in parking lot 2. Pick up and drop off is located at the west entrance.
  • If you are involved in an accident, witness a hit-and-run, or find damage when you return to your vehicle, please contact the Public Safety Office at 434.981.6362.


  • Look for cars backing up; look for white backup lights or signs the motor is running.
  • Expect others not to see you. Some drivers may be distracted. Do not step in to the roadway until the driver has stopped for you, or has acknowledged your intent to cross with eye contact, a wave or a nod.
  • Walk defensively.
  • Walk focused and alert. No texting, listening to music or anything that takes your eyes, ears, or your mind, off the road and traffic.
  • Anticipate what other road users might do—turns, pulling out of a parking space or driveway, backing up. The sooner you notice a potential conflict, the quicker you can act to avoid it.
  • Give drivers extra time to slow or stop, especially in poor weather (ice, snow, rain), and low visibility (dusk, dawn, fog, or night). Just because you can see others, does not mean they can see you.
  • Walk on sidewalks, when possible. If not, walk as far to the left, facing traffic.
  • Look left-right-left and behind for traffic before crossing a driveway or road.
  • Cross in marked crosswalks, at corners, or at intersections.

Credit: http://www.nhtsa.gov/Pedestrians

Week of February 8, 2016

This week’s safety tip offers information regarding a civilian training course. The course content is designed around the Run, Hide, Fight training and will give residents the skills and knowledge of how to respond and protect themselves in an active shooter scenario. The free two-hour course will be held on February 22 from 6 p.m. – 8 p.m. in Lane Auditorium. Registration is required by calling 434.970.1798 or click this link to register.

The course is offered by the Charlottesville-UVA-Albemarle Office of Emergency Management and the Albemarle County Police Department. Below are links to the new stories featuring this training.



Week of February 1, 2016

Piedmont Virginia Community College is committed to providing an environment that is free from harassment and discrimination.  We comply with Title IX of the Higher Education Amendments of 1972, 20 U.S.C. § 1681 et seq. (“Title IX”), which prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex in educational programs or activities, admission and employment.  Under certain circumstances, sexual misconduct, sexual harassment, and similar conduct constitute sexual discrimination prohibited by Title IX.   In compliance with Title IX, PVCC encourages the reporting of all incidents of sexual misconduct and the prompt and fair resolution of sexual misconduct complaints.  Inquiries concerning the application of Title IX may be referred to our designated Title IX Coordinator, Teresa Willis, Director of Human Resources (twillis@pvcc.edu).   Specific policy information about Title IX can be found at this link - http://www.pvcc.edu/about-us/human-resources/title-ix-contact-information

Purpose:  Title IX seeks to reduce or eliminate barriers to educational opportunities caused by sex discrimination.  The legislation requires colleges to create an equal experience to all students and to address any instances of sexual discrimination that may cause such barriers. 

Student Rights under Title IX:  Students have the right to learn in an environment that effectively addresses sexual discrimination.  Sexual discrimination may be in the form of sexual harassment or experiencing a hostile environment.  Students must have avenues to raise concerns about unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature and be protected from sexual harassment and a hostile environment. 

Sexual Discrimination is the act of treating someone unfavorably because of that person’s sex.  

Sexual Harassment is the unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature that can include unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal, nonverbal, or physical conduct of a sexual nature such as sexual assault or acts of sexual violence.

AHostile Environment is when a student is sexually harassed and the harassing conduct is sufficiently serious to deny or limit the student’s ability to participate or benefit in a program. 

Examples of what to report

·       Persistent and unwelcome remarks about someone’s body parts or appearance;
·       Stalking;
·       Requiring a sexual favor for something in return;
·       Act of sexual violence (such as rape, sexual assault, sexual abuse and/or coercion)

How to report:

Our goal is to first ensure your safety.  Please report concerns immediately to teaching faculty, dean, campus police, or the Title IX Coordinator.  Faculty or campus police will report any incident of concern to the Title IX Coordinator within 24 hours. Individuals should report incidents of sexual and domestic violence, dating violence and stalking to law enforcement authorities.  Our policy and procedures are not intended to substitute or supersede criminal or civil law remedies.

What to expect after reporting:

It is our responsibility to investigate the issue or behavior, stop any harassing behavior, provide support for a victim and the college community, and take reasonable action to prevent occurrence of harassing behaviors.  After reporting an incident, you will be contacted for a follow-up interview with the Title IX Coordinator or another PVCC member charged with investigating the incident. The entire investigation must be completed within 60 days.

You can find additional information on the PVCC website, specifically here:  (http://www.pvcc.edu/files/pvcc_title_ix_save_act_policy.pdf)

If you have questions or need clarification on what, when, or how to report, please ask! 

Title IX Contact information:  Teresa L. Willis, Director of Human Resources & Title IX Coordinator, twillis@pvcc.edu, office location Human Resources Department M810.

Week of January 11, 2016 & January 19, 2016

Lockdown Drill – Thursday, January 21 – mid morning and early evening

A mid-morning and early evening lockdown drill will be conducted in PVCC's main campus buildings on Thursday, January 21. The purpose of this drill will be to test campus alert communication systems, and to introduce faculty, staff and students to drill procedures. Reminders will be sent out periodically before the actual drill. 


  1. The drill will be announced via campus alert systems (e2Campus, PA system, Desktop Alertus, UHF radios, and social media).  The word “drill” will be emphasized in these notifications.
  2. Faculty and staff will begin to lock classrooms and offices, attempting to get as many students that are in the hallways or common areas inside in a timely manner. Try to use the same judgement in this matter as you would in an actual event. Not all of our doors lock from the outside, so pre-planning is important for real situations as well as this drill.
  3. Once the door is locked, faculty should move the students away from the sightline of the door, preferably to the rear of the class.
  4. Pull shades if applicable and turn off lights. Also, silence cell phones and have everyone remain quiet.
  5. Students, faculty, and staff in common areas such as the Bolick Center, hallways, North Mall meeting room, or Dickinson Theatre should attempt to find the nearest open classroom. The B&G shop beside the gym in the 100 wing, and the Main Building Auditorium (Room 229) are also shelter areas that can be utilized. The Keats building’s large bathrooms have deadbolt locks that can be secured from inside. Part of this drill is to get people in the mindset of knowing where shelter can be found if needed on their own without outside help.
  6. Once the “All Clear” is given by the same notifications methods as the beginning of the drill, normal activities may resume.

Note: Please do not move furniture during this drill exercise, and remember there is no need to run or be in a hurry.  We are just practicing the basic concepts. We will do different drills in the future, improving with each one.

The below link to a 58 second video will show a simple lockdown drill in a classroom environment.


During this drill, faculty and staff are not expected to be out in common areas marshalling or directing individuals to safety.  You should be making sure you can find a safe place to seek shelter first.  This is a contrast to a tornado or evacuation, where PVCC faculty and staff would be guiding students to a tornado shelter or our evacuation area of Lot 3. 

As in a real lockdown situation, not everyone will find themselves in an area where they can securely lockdown. In a real event, these individuals would have to seek cover in alcoves, bathrooms, or find an area in a common space where they can hide.

If this were an actual active shooter event, preparation is key to surviving the incident. The link below is to a video regarding safety and survival in an active shooter situation. Please note that some viewers may find the video disturbing. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zI3L83cp1R0&feature=youtu.be

If you have questions about any of the documents, or general questions regarding safety, please contact the Department of Public Safety & Campus Police at 434.961.5319.