Missouri State University - West Plains

Policies

Cell Phones and Electronic Devices in the Classroom

As a member of the learning community, each student has a responsibility to other students who are members of the community. When cell phones or pagers ring and students respond in class or leave class to respond, it disrupts the class. Therefore, the office of academic affairs asks that cell phones, pagers, or similar communication devices be turned off or put into silent mode during class. At the discretion of the instructor, exception to this policy is possible in special circumstances.

The University also acknowledges the usefulness of electronic devices to students in the learning process; however, the use of computers, PDAs, or other electronic devices in classrooms and instructional settings is at the discretion of the instructor. Students should review instructors' policy statements for information about whether or not they will be allowed to use such devices in the classroom and other instructional setting.

Firearms and Weapons Policy

Pursuant to R. S. Mo. Section 571.107 (10), firearms and weapons of any type are prohibited on the campus of Missouri State University-West Plains, except as described below:

Currently employed law enforcement personnel are excluded from this requirement provided they are trained and certified to carry duty/off-duty weapons and are in good standing with municipal, county, state or federal law enforcement organizations. Prior to carrying duty/off duty weapons on campus, however, law enforcement personnel must notify the office of the dean of student services, as well as faculty members of the classes they plan to attend.

Employees of the state are authorized, as per RSMO 571.030, paragraph 6, enacted August 28, 2013, to have a firearm in the employee's vehicle on property owned or leased by the state if the vehicle is locked and the firearm is not visible, for the duration of time that the employee is conducting activities within the scope of his or her employment.

Public Forum Policy

Missouri State University-West Plains is committed to providing an environment where issues can be openly discussed and explored. The freedom to exchange views is essential to the life of the University. In order to provide an atmosphere in which open communication can occur without disrupting the academic mission or daily University functions, a policy is in place to govern campus demonstrations and speakers. The Public Forum Policy may be found at the following Internet address: http://www.wp.missouristate.edu/studentlife/Public.htm

Rollerblading/Skateboarding Policy

Skateboarding is not allowed on campus. In-line skating, roller skating and cycling are allowed on campus; however, the following activities are prohibited: acrobatics (e.g., jumping on or over steps, benches, walls, rails, bike racks, etc.); excessive speed; blocking pedestrian paths (e.g., sidewalks, ramps, doors, etc.); entering buildings while wearing in-line skates or roller skates; and any activity which reasonably presents a risk of injury to persons or damage to property. Participants who do not comply with the policy will receive a warning for the first offense. Repeat offenders will be subject to University disciplinary action and/or prosecution under city/state law. Furthermore, any participant who is involved in an accident on University property may be held liable for causing physical injury or property damage.

Facilities Usage

In keeping with its mission to serve the community by providing formal and informal educational opportunities, Missouri State University-West Plains will make its facilities available to community groups for educational, cultural or other purposes consistent with the role of the University. Complete information may be found at the following Internet address: http://wp.missouristate.edu/PhysicalPlant/FacilityUsage.htm

Emergency Notifications and Timely Warnings

Policy Statement:

Emergency notifications will be issued in response to a significant emergency or a dangerous situation, either on campus or, in some cases, off campus that, in the judgment of the University, constitute an immediate, imminent, or impending threat to the health or safety of members of the University community.

Timely warnings will be issued in response to reported crimes committed either on campus or, in some cases, off campus that, in the judgment of the University, constitute a serious or continuing threat to members of the University community.

Reason or Purpose for Policy:

In compliance with the Higher Education Opportunity Act (HEOA) of 2008, and the Jeanne Clery Act, 20 U.S.C. 1092(f), the purpose of this policy is to set forth the procedures by which the University will provide emergency notification or timely warning to the University community in the event that a significant emergency or dangerous situation is reported that poses an immediate, imminent, or impending threat to members of the University community; or a crime or incident is reported that poses a threat to members of the University community.

Procedure for Issuing Emergency Notifications:

  1. Anyone with information believed to warrant an emergency notification should promptly report the circumstances to the dean of student services: 417-255-7225 (office); 417-256-2971 (home); 417-274-8119 (cell); or by electronic mail at HerbLunday@MissouriState.edu. (If the dean of student services is unavailable, the information should be reported to the chancellor: 417-255-7900 (office); 417-255-7902 (home); 417-293-7900 (cell); or DrewBennett@MissouriState.edu.) Emergency notifications are considered for the following types of incidents: severe weather, hazardous chemical or hazardous material spills, violent intruder, significant outbreak of illness, flood, fire, earthquake, gas leak, bomb threat, terrorist incident, explosion, or any other circumstance that may constitute an immediate threat to the University community.
  2. The dean of student services will confer with the chancellor and decide whether an emergency notification will be issued.
  3. The decision to issue an emergency notification will be made on a case-by-case basis after consideration of the available facts, including factors such as the nature of the emergency and the continuing danger or risk to the campus community.
  4. Every attempt will be made to issue the notification as soon as possible after the incident is reported to the dean of student services; however, the release is subject to the availability of accurate facts concerning the incident.
  5. If the determination is made that an emergency notification will be issued, the dean of student services will confer with the appropriate public and University officials and make a determination of who needs to be notified, and what the content of the notification should be.

    This determination will be made giving consideration to what members of the community may be endangered by the emergency, who else may be affected by it, and what information is appropriate to communicate to them.

  6. Once the message is prepared, the dean of student services, working cooperatively with other appropriate members of the campus community, will, without delay, initiate the notification system. The notification may be distributed in one or more of the following methods:
    • University webpages;
    • Electronic mail;
    • Missouri State Alert system;
    • Posting within the Grizzly House residence hall, Putnam Student Center, and other locations deemed appropriate;
    • Door–to-door notification in the Grizzly House residence hall;
    • Contacting the local media for immediate distribution; and/or
    • Other means appropriate under the circumstances.

    The content of an emergency notification should include the following information if appropriate:

    • A statement as to what the emergency or dangerous situation is, in specific terms;
    • A statement providing direction as to what actions the receiver of the message should take to ensure their own safety; and
    • A statement as to where or when additional information may be obtained.
  7. Testing of the Emergency Notification System should be done at least once annually. Different components will be tested on an individual basis to ensure the capability to use that specific communication method in an emergency. The tests should be planned and performed by the dean of student services, working cooperatively with other appropriate members of the campus community. These tests should be announced or unannounced. Each test should be documented to include a description of the exercise, the date of the test, the start and end times of the test, and whether the test was announced or unannounced.

Procedure for Issuing Timely Warnings:

  1. Anyone with information believed to warrant a timely warning should promptly report the circumstances to the dean of student services: 417-255-7225 (office); 417-256-2971 (home); 417-274-8119 (cell); or by electronic mail at HerbLunday@MissouriState.edu. (If the dean of student services is unavailable, the information should be reported to the chancellor: 417-255-7900 (office); 417-255-7902 (home); 417-293-7900 (cell); or DrewBennett@MissouriState.edu.)
  2. The dean of student services will confer with the chancellor and decide whether a timely warning will be issued.
  3. The decision to issue a timely warning will be made on a case-by-case basis after consideration of the available facts, including factors such as the nature of the crime, the continuing danger or risk to the campus community, and the possible risk of compromising law enforcement efforts. Timely warnings are considered for the following classifications of reported crimes: criminal homicide, sex offenses, robbery, aggravated assault, hate crimes, burglary, motor vehicle theft, and arson, as outlined in 34 CFR 668.46. Timely warnings may also be issued for other reported crimes as deemed appropriate under the circumstances. The decision will be made in compliance with the Clery Act and in an effort to prevent similar crimes from occurring.
  4. Every attempt will be made to issue the warning as soon as possible after the incident is reported to dean of student services; however, the release is subject to the availability of accurate facts concerning the incident.
  5. If the determination is made that a timely warning will be issued, the dean of student services will work with the department of University communications to inform the University community by one or more of the following means, depending on the circumstances of the situation:
    • University webpages;
    • Electronic mail;
    • Missouri State Alert system;
    • Posting within the Grizzly House residence hall, Putnam Student Center, and other locations deemed appropriate;
    • Door–to-door notification in the Grizzly House residence hall;
    • Contacting the local media for immediate distribution; and/or
    • Other means appropriate under the circumstances.
  6. The timely warning notice will not only contain the circumstances regarding the crime or incident, but it will also contain additional information to help promote safety and, where appropriate, the means to avoid similar crimes. Timely warning notices will typically include the following information, if known:
    • A succinct statement of the incident, including the nature and severity of the threat and locations or persons who might be affected;
    • Any connection to previous incidents;
    • Physical description of suspect and/or vehicle;
    • Date and time the warning was released;
    • Other relevant and important information, such as any bias, motive, the gender of the victim, and/or student/non-student status; and/or
    • Appropriate safety tips.
  7. In the event there is information sufficient to warrant a consultation with the above-referenced administrators, but a determination is made not to issue a timely warning notice, the dean of student services will document the reasons for not issuing the notice. This information will be maintained on file in accordance with the University’s record retention policy.

Entities affected by this policy: All entities and members of the University community.

Line of Authority:

Responsible administrator and office: dean of student services
Contact person in that office: Dr. Herbert L. Lunday
Contact Information: 417-255-7225 or HerbLunday@MissouriState.edu

Revision to existing policy/procedure

Original policy adopted by the Missouri State University-West Plains Administrative Council on October 11, 2010.

Revised policy adopted by the Missouri State University-West Plains Administrative Council on October 4, 2011.

Tobacco Use Policy

Smoking and the use of tobacco products (including cigarettes, smokeless tobacco, cigars, pipes and other tobacco products) by students, faculty, staff and visitors are prohibited on all Missouri State University-West Plains properties except as set forth in the Tobacco Use Policy located on the web at Tobacco Use Policy.

Weather Policy

The general policy for weather is that classes will not be canceled because of inclement weather. Students should use their own good judgment regarding travel when weather conditions are questionable. Students do not need to call the administrative offices or their instructors if they cannot attend classes because of weather conditions. Faculty members are encouraged to allow make-up work for classes missed because of weather conditions

However, in extreme conditions classes may be canceled. Faculty, staff and students should call the Missouri State-West Plains Weather Hotline at 417-255-8075 for information regarding the status of Missouri State-West Plains classes, Mountain Grove Extended Campus classes, and Missouri State-Springfield Missouri State Outreach classes.

An official announcement will be issued through the local radio stations and Springfield television stations ONLY if Missouri State-West Plains and Mountain Grove Extended Campus classes are canceled. In addition, a message will be posted on the Weather Hotline at 417-255-8075, the Missouri State-West Plains website and sent out through the Missouri State Alert system.

Unless and until an official “classes cancelled” announcement is issued, faculty members are expected to hold classes as usual, and employees should assume that activities will continue as normal.  

When University classes are canceled due to severe weather, a decision will be made as to whether offices will also be closed. If a decision is made to close the University or to cancel day classes, details will be posted on the weather hotline and the Missouri State-West Plains website, and sent out via Missouri State Alert by 7:00 a.m. Since the decision to cancel day classes due to inclement weather does not pertain to evening classes or second or third shift employees, a separate decision will be made by 3 p.m.