Safety and Security
In case of an emergency on campus, or in case trouble is suspected, students should dial the emergency telephone number: 030-2534444 (extension 4444 from campus telephones). This connects you immediately to the Utrecht University Security Meldkamer (emergency/incident room), which is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Inform them of the nature of the emergency, and of its exact location. They will take the appropriate steps.
All students are strongly advised to enter both the emergency security telephone number, 030 253 4444, and the number for non-emergency security calls, 030 253 1300, into their mobile phones for easy and quick access.
Important: Do not use 112 to report an emergency. The Utrecht University Security Meldkamer at 030 253 4444 will immediately call the appropriate emergency service and come to campus to meet them. Emergency personnel cannot enter campus at night due to locked gates and are not familiar with campus addresses. In most cases they must wait for campus security to come, so if 4444 is called, security will arrive here first to provide assistance.
Living on campus is a key characteristic of University College Utrecht. The set-up differs from regular rental arrangements where students directly rent rooms from a social housing corporation or a private landlord. Instead, the College functions as an intermediary between the housing corporation (Lekstedewonen) and the students. In this situation a number of responsibilities concerning the safety of these residences lie with University College Utrecht. As such, it is sometimes necessary for staff members to enter units, under the following guidelines made by student representatives in cooperation with the College administration.
Lekstedewonen Maintenance Staff
Lekstedewonen Maintenance Staff only visit student housing on appointment, at the request of students requiring maintenance of (items in) their unit. Students themselves give these maintenance staff access to their unit/room. Lekstedewonen staff can report hazardous unit conditions to University College Utrecht staff, who may then take action to resolve the situation. Lekstedewonen staff can also request to come and repair items if their condition could compromise safety (for example dismounted door springs). Only if the state of these items leads to immediate danger is the permission of the residents not necessary - the Lekstedewonen staff will then need to be accompanied by a College staff member.
University College Utrecht Staff Members
With the exception of safety inspections and incidental situations University College Utrecht staff members are only allowed access to units and rooms with permission from the residents.
Planned Fire Inspections
The Housemaster and Student Life Officer are allowed to enter the communal areas of the units for the purpose of fire safety inspections, on the condition residents are notified at least 3 days before the inspections take place. These checks should always be executed by two or more staff members and should take place on weekdays between 10:00 and 18:00.
Inspection of personal rooms will require permission of the individual student. An appointment must be made allowing the student to be present during the inspection.
The first inspection will focus on detecting unsafe situations and reporting this to residents. They will then have at least two weeks to change the situation according to the comments of the inspection team.
If, during the second inspection, it is found that unsafe situations remain, the inspection team has the right to remove dangerous objects and store them elsewhere on the campus for 4 weeks (otherwise they will be disposed of). Students can retrieve their belongings on the condition that these items will be removed from the campus.
University College Utrecht staff are allowed access to the communal area of the units and rooms when immediate threat to the safety of any resident is suspected. If access is required to the common area of the unit in order to resolve technical problems with the building, staff should first ring the doorbell and get permission from a resident to enter the unit. If access is required to private rooms, staff should obtain permission from a student to enter his/her room. In case of absence of a student, this can also been done through e-mail.
If a student is absent, and does not reply within two days to the mail sent by staff members, the latter obligation does not apply if the technical problem threatens to cause structural damage to the building. In case of urgent technical problems that can lead to damage of the building, two staff members are entitled to enter the unit, after they tried to get in contact with the students and after they rang the bell several times. Students need to be informed about this incident immediately after this has taken place.
The International Campus Utrecht, where University College Utrecht is based, is part of the broader community. In this respect it is an integral part of the city, and can experience the same kinds of security risks as anywhere else. However, with the right precautions and attitude there is no reason to feel unsafe. University College Utrecht also benefits from the added presence of the University Security Team, who regularly patrol the campus and are reachable 24 hours a day.
Despite being low in number, thefts from student bedrooms are still a present risk. As happens every year, a small number of personal items such as wallets and laptops are stolen from rooms on the ground floor. Thefts might occur more often during good weather, when there are more open windows and doors on the ground floors, but even in less good weather we must still remain vigilant.
Security on our campus is a shared responsibility, where you play an active part.
What the institution can do:
- University College Utrecht provides keys and fully lockable doors/windows to all units and bedrooms, and can arrange timely repairs to any unsecure doors/windows.
- Utrecht University operates a campus security patrol who can be called to respond to any student’s safety concerns.
What residents can do:
- Residents should make use of these provisions sensibly – always lock up.
- Further measures can include keeping valuable belongings out of sight when unattended.
It’s completely understandable to want to leave doors/windows open for long periods, but not advisable, especially if the room is left unattended. We do live on a campus but this is not separated from normal city life, and as such the movement of people on/off campus is not ‘controlled’. This fact might make it tricky for the Utrecht University Security Team to apprehend somebody who is simply walking around. University College Utrecht does not and cannot guarantee total insulation from outside visitors – a situation where the advantages outweigh the disadvantages. Leaving doors and windows open without being present is certainly not a wise decision (this includes leaving your door/window on the small metal ‘latch’ hook, which can be easily lifted/opened from the outside). As all reported thefts have occurred without any signs of forced entry, and can be considered as opportunist ‘walk-in’ thefts. Let’s remove that opportunity for thieves.
Please use the devices present in your room to deter theft:
- Downstairs rooms in the Wall have a metal door lock clamp, which should only be used when present in your unit.
- Rooms in blocks W, X and Y have a window behind an open brick system. Just remember to push in the lock of the clamp of the other window and then remove the key. If no key is present, then pick one up from the landlord.
- Always use both window claws in buildings G and K, and lock them when not present. You have a ventilation system using the ‘open grills’ (roosters).
- On the Kromhoutweg it is perhaps more difficult, but leaving doors wide open without anybody being present is never smart, as an intruder can then wander through the whole unit.
- Finally, if you see anything suspicious then immediately call security using phone number 030-253-1300. This is also the number one uses to reach security for all other reasons besides needing an ambulance, fire department or the real police (that is number 030-253-4444).
If you call the Utrecht University Security Team to report suspicious behavior, a car with one or two security guards will search the campus as soon as possible, based on the information given, and contact will be made with the person who called in the situation.