Frequently Asked Questions
Who do I contact if I or someone I know has been sexually assaulted on campus?
Call University Police at 756-2281, or 9-1-1 if you are calling from an on campus telephone, including cell phones. UPD investigates all crimes on campus. For additional resources and information regarding sexual assaults please refer to http://studentlife.calpoly.edu/safer/
What is the Campus Emergency Notification System?
The Cal Poly Emergency Notification System is a text messaging service that will distribute brief messages in situations posing imminent physical threats to the campus community. By using Short Messaging System (SMS) technology, the system can convey messages to registered mobile phones, Blackberries, wireless PDAs, smart phones and satellite phones.
You must have your cell phone registered to receive these emergency text message notifications. Either click on the logo below or go to your My Calpoly Portal http://my.calpoly.edu and click on the Personal Info tab to register.
What is the anonymous tipline on campus "TipNow"?
What can I do to increase my personal safety?
Historically, the Cal Poly campus and the City of San Luis Obispo have been safe environments for the campus community. However, incidents affecting personal safety do occur. The University Police Department recommends:
- Practice good use of your common sense - almost all victims of crime recognize the incident could have been prevented if they had exercised better judgment
- Be aware of your surroundings and trust your instincts - don't be so involved in a cell phone conversation or engrossed in your portable music that you are unaware of potential risks, and if something feels wrong, it almost always turns out to be true
- Don't walk alone at night - groups are best or use one of many available services, including the UPD Escort Van Shuttle service
- If you might consume alcohol or drugs, have a plan before you set out - don't assume you will be able to arrange a ride home later or have a safe place to crash
- If you plan to be away from campus, tell your roommate, your friends, and your parents where you are going and when you will be back. If your plans change, update them
- Learn to be willing to make a scene by speaking up or by responding in some way if you feel threatened, frightened or uncomfortable. Listen to and act upon your gut feelings and instincts
- Be aware of the impact of alcohol and other drugs on your judgment and that of your date/friends. These drugs frequently play a secondary role in sexual assault and other crimes of violence
- Talk about sexual expectations with your partner. Sex without mutual agreement is rape. "No" means "No."
- Use clear communication with a person who shows interest in you. Interpreting friendliness as an invitation or assuming your friend feels the same way you do can lead to unwanted sexual contact or harassment
- Notify the police immediately when you observe possible criminal activity or an emergency
What can I do to protect my property from theft?
While crimes against persons are rare, the frequency of property crime is more obvious. Most crimes of this nature are "opportunity crimes," often describable as the theft of expensive, unattended and/or unsecured personal property. The UPD recognizes the community feels safe and secure, especially within campus facilities. However, there will always be individuals who will fail when tempted by a ripe opportunity to take something pricey that can be turned into cash or used for themselves.
Contemporary students enjoy the benefits of various electronic devices (e.g., laptops, smart/cell phones, PDAs, digital music players, etc.). Most students find themselves investing in expensive textbooks each quarter. Others choose bicycles as an efficient, green alternative to motored vehicles. These items are often the target of "crimes of opportunity." In almost all cases of theft, these items were left unattended and/or unsecured (or poorly secured) by the owner. To safeguard your property:
- Don't leave items unattended - take them with you, if you must step away from where you are working
- Don't leave items unsecured - use available lockers or quality locking devices when items must be left unattended
- Keep personal records of all technology items, including a full description, serial number, and also a picture
- In textbooks, UPD recommends writing some identifying information on a specific page of the volume. For example, a student may write "LUE" in the margin on Page 42 of all their textbooks. For other items, engraving may be an option.
As a courtesy-service, the UPD maintains a personal property registration database (like bicycle licensing). If you wish to register any item of property, use the Property Registration form.
Fraud is on the increase, and students are falling victim. To protect yourself from becoming a victim, you should do the following:
- Get a copy of your own credit report every six months and check it carefully
- Never give your credit card number to someone who calls you or solicits it on the Internet
- Rip up or shred your old checks and bills before disposing them
- Don't use your SSN for anything other than employment
- Guard the Personal Identification Number (PIN) you use on your various credit cards. Don't write them down.
- Any email you receive that sounds like a great deal, isn't.
- If you sell anything online and you are paid by a cashier's check, cash it and wait at least 10 days for it to clear the bank before sending the item. Anyone who sends you too much money, then asks you to send back or forward the balance elsewhere is trying to rip you off. Their story is a lie.
Do you have any bike safety tips?
Ten Smart Routes to Bicycle Safety:
1. Protect Your Head. Wear a Helmet
Never ride a bicycle without a helmet. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHSTA) and the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) recommend that bicyclists wear a helmet that complies with the CPSC standard.
Bicycle helmets can reduce head injuries by 85 percent. Select a helmet that fits snugly and sits flat on the head.
For children, use extra padding that comes with the helmet to ensure a proper fit. This padding can be removed as the child's head grows.
Section 21212(a) of the California Vehicle Code requires any person under the age of 18 years to wear a properly fitted and fastened bicycle helmet that meets the standards of either the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) or CPSC when operating a bicycle or riding as a passenger upon a bicycle.
2. Assure Bicycle Readiness. Make Sure Your Bicycle is Adjusted Properly
Make sure you can stand over the top tube of your bicycle. Adjust your bicycle to fit you (see the Owner's Manual).
Before using your bicycle, check to make sure all parts are secure and working well. The handlebars should be firmly in place and turn easily. Your wheels must be straight and secure.
Add a carrier to the back of your bicycle if you need to carry things.
3. Stop It. Always Check Brakes Before Riding.
Always control your speed by using your brakes. If your bicycle has hand brakes, apply the rear brake slightly before the front brake. Always keep your brakes adjusted. If you cannot stop quickly, adjust your brakes.
Consult your Bicycle Owner's Manual or have a bicycle shop adjust the brakes. When your hand brake levers are fully applied, they should not touch the handlebars. Each brake shoe should wear evenly and never be separated more than one eighth inch from the rim.
Ride slowly in wet weather and apply your breaks earlier–it takes more distance to stop.
Section 21201 of the California Vehicle Code requires that a bicycle have a brake capable of making one wheel skid on dry, level, clean pavement.
4. See and Be Seen
Wear clothes that make you more visible. Always wear neon, fluorescent, or other bright colors when riding a bicycle.
5. Avoid Biking at Night.
It is far more dangerous to bicycle at night than during the day. Most bicycles are equipped for daylight use and need to be adapted for nighttime use.
If you must ride at night, you should do the following:
- Ride with reflectors that meet CPSC's requirements. These should be permanently installed on bicycles for daytime use also. If a carrier is added, make sure the rear reflector remains visible.
- Add the brightest lights you can find to the front and rear of your bicycle.
- Wear retro-reflective clothing or material – not just white or florescent – especially on your ankles, wrists, back, and helmet.
- Only ride in areas familiar to you. Brightly lit streets are best. Always assume you are not seen by a driver.
Young children should not ride at night.
Section 21201 of the California Vehicle Codes requires a bicycle or operator to have equipped a forward-facing white headlight that is visible from a distance of at least 300 feet. This section also requires a bicycle to have equipped a red reflector to the rear of the bicycle, and the bicycle or operator must have equipped white or yellow reflectors visible to the front and rear at the pedals, shoes, or ankles. Furthermore, this section requires the bicycle to have equipped reflectors forward and rear of the rider, visible from both left and right sides of the bicycle.
6. Stay Alert. Always Keep a Lookout for Obstacles in Your Path
Stay alert at all times. Watch out for potholes, cracks, expansion joins, railroad tracks, wet leaves, drainage grates, or anything that could make you fall.
Before going around any object, scan ahead, and behind you for a gap in traffic. Play your move, signal your intentions, and then do what you planned. If you are unsure, or lack the skill to handle an especially rough area, pull off to the right side of the road and walk your bicycle around the rough area.
Be especially careful in wet weather and when there could be ice or frost on your path.
- Cross all railroad tracks at a 90 degree angle and proceed slowly.
- Use special care on bridges.
7. Learn the Rules of the Road. Obey Traffic Laws
Bicycles are considered vehicles. Bicyclists must obey the same rules as motorists. Read your State drivers' handbook, and learn and follow all traffic signs, laws, and rules for operating a vehicle safely on the road.
- Always signal your moves. Be courteous to pedestrians and other vehicle operators.
- Never wear headphones while riding, as they impair your ability to hear traffic.
- Become familiar with the accommodations that are available for bicyclists in your area. These include bicycle lanes and routes as well as off road paths. Take advantage of these whenever possible.
California law (Section 21200 of the California Vehicle Code) states that every person riding a bicycle is subject to all the provisions applicable to the driver of a motored vehicle. As such, bicycles must be ridden on the proper side of the street, the operators must obey all traffic signs and signals, and all other rules of the road apply.
8. Go with the Flow. The Safe Way is the Right Way.
Ride on the right side of the roadway in a straight, predictable path. Always go single file in the same direction as other vehicles. Riding against traffic puts you where motorists don't expect you. They may not see you, and may pull across your path, or turn into you.
Young children, typically under the age of nine, are not able to identify and adjust to many dangerous traffic situations, and therefore, should not be allowed to ride in the street unsupervised. Children who are permitted to ride in the street without supervision should have the necessary skills to safely follow the "rules of the road."
9. Check for Traffic. Always be Aware of the Traffic Around You.
Over 70 percent of car vs. bicycle collisions occur at driveways or other intersections. Before you enter any street or intersection, check for traffic. Always look left-right-left, and walk your bicycle into the street to begin your ride.
If you are already in the street, always look behind you for a break in traffic, then signal before going left or right. Watch for left or right turning traffic.
10. Don't Flip Over Your Bicycle. Wheels Should be Securely Fastened.
If your bicycle has quick release wheels, be certain they are firmly closed at all times and to use the safety retainer if there is one.
Check your wheels before every ride, after any fall, or after transporting your bicycle. Read your Owner's Manual for instructions and follow them. If you are even slightly confused about what "firmly closed" means, talk to your bicycle dealer before you ride your bicycle.
What is the biggest crime in the residence halls?
Theft of property. Lock your doors!!
Who do I call with an emergency?
Call 9-1-1. If it is not an emergency dial (805) 756-2281, the University Police Department non-emergency phone number. If it is regarding a housing policy violation, contact your RA or CSD.
How do I make an appointment with the Chief of Police or anyone else in the department?
You may make an appointment with the Chief of Police by calling his assistant at (805) 756-6652. Our directory will give you contact information for other members of the department.
How do I request a police patch?
Thank you for your interest, however, at this time we do not donate or sell patches, badges, or other police paraphernalia. Best of luck with your collection!
How many students live on campus?
Approximately 6300 on-campus students.
What is Live Scan?
Live Scan is the electronic version of capturing your fingerprints directly into an inkless, digital format producing consistent, high quality fingerprint images. Your fingerprint images get electronically sent to the Department of Justice (DOJ) for a criminal background check.
Where can I get a "Request for Live Scan form"?
The requesting agency (entity that is requesting the background check) will provide the live scan form or ink card. These forms contain information that is unique to each agency and this information must be provided before arriving to have your prints taken.
Why do I have to be fingerprinted again if I've already been fingerprinted in the past?
- Per DOJ policy, sharing of criminal history is not permitted.
- For identification purposes.
- Each job/license/permit application can require a different level of service, i.e., some require DOJ, some require both DOJ and FBI, in addition to other checks.
How long does it take to get the results back from the Department of Justice and or the Federal Bureau of Investigations?
In most cases, the results from DOJ come back within 72 hours. However, due to various reasons, results can be delayed. Results are either emailed or sent to the requesting agency listed on the Request for Live Scan form. Once the Live Scan process has been completed at our facility, please direct all inquiries to the agency handling your employment or licensing. If the requesting agency has not received the results you may contact the Applicant Processing Program at 916-227-3823.