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Safety and Emergency Procedures

Residents are expected to keep safety in mind first when living on campus and utilize the available safety resources. Please lock your doors, don't allow strangers in the buildings after you and report any unsafe items or behaviors to the housing office, an RA or the UC Merced Police Department immediately.

After-Hour Duty

There are two levels of staff on duty when the Housing and Residence Education office is closed: RAs and Residential Education Coordinators (RECs).

The RAs on duty are trained for emergencies and serve as our first line of response. The RECs are full-time professional staff who will respond to more serious situations.

RA On call Schedule:

  • Weekdays: Monday-Friday: 6:00pm-8:00am
  • Weekends: 24 hours per day, starting Friday, 6:00pm and ending at Monday, 8:00am
  • University holidays: 24 hours, ending at 8:00am on the next business day

RA On Call phone number:

  • Cathedral and Tenaya: 209-769-8692
  • El Portal: 209-325-9114
  • Glacier Point: 209-769-8671
  • Granite Pass: 209-769-8685
  • Half Dome: 209-769-8690
  • Sentinel Rock: 209-325-9023
  • Sierra Terraces (Mariposa and Tuolumne): 209-769-8631
  • Valley Terraces: 209-769-8674

For emergencies, please contact campus police at 209-228-2677.

Updates to duty phone numbers may be made throughout the year. Please check our website for the latest information.

Assignments and Contracts

Housing Services will make a reasonable effort to accommodate your room type and roommate preferences. However, it’s important that Residence Education staff members know where all residents are living at all times. Residents may not move to another room without written approval from Housing Services or Residence Education staff. This includes “trading” rooms within a suite or community. Students might be asked to move back to the original assigned room. Questions about housing contracts, billing or meal plans should be directed to

Blue Emergency Phones

Emergency phones are placed strategically throughout the campus. In an emergency only, simply press the button on the phone, and it will connect you directly to the university police dispatch.

Community Service Officers (CSO)

Under the supervision of the UC Merced Department of Public Safety, student Community Service Officers (CSOs), serve as additional eyes and ears for the campus. At no charge to students, the CSOs will provide safety escorts to and from buildings or to parking lots on campus. Anyone who needs to request a safety escort should contact police dispatch at 209-228-2677 (CAT-COPS). Safety escorts are available daily from 5 p.m. until 2 a.m. The CSOs are in constant radio contact with the Department of Public Safety. For more information on the CSO program and safety escorts, visit their site:

Earthquake Preparedness

Know where to find the following:

  • First-aid kits and automated external defibrillators (AED)
  • Fire extinguishers
  • Exits from the building
  • Area unification points
  • Staff and emergency contact information, etc.

During an earthquake:

If you are indoors:

  • Stay inside until it is safe to leave the building.
  • Get under a desk or hard cover.
  • Avoid windows, and areas where things could fall.
  • Do not use elevators.

If you are outdoors:

  • Do not enter any buildings.
  • Stay clear of buildings.
  • Avoid being close to power poles and street lights.

If you are in a vehicle:

  • Move the car out of traffic safely.
  • Avoid parking under bridges, near poles, etc., which might fall.

Following an earthquake:

Call 911 if you see, smell, or hear any of the following:

  • Natural gas or propane
  • Waterline breaks
  • Broken electrical lines, plugs or sparking electric points

Please remember that after an earthquake, electricity, water, gas and telephones may not be working properly because of damage. These utilities may need to be checked before they are turned back on, and these inspections will be conducted by authorized service crews. Please do not access or attempt to repair these utilities yourself.

If you are on campus following an earthquake and have an urgent need, please call police dispatch at 209-228-2677, or call 9-1-1 for emergencies. If there are damages or emergencies resulting from the earthquake, police, fire and ambulances will be very busy responding to them, so your patience is appreciated. More information can also be found at the California Office of Emergency Services earthquake website.

Elective Room Change Requests

Elective room change requests take place in October and February and are communicated by email. Room changes must be approved by the Residence Education Coordinator before a move takes place. We recognize that having these conversations can sometimes be difficult, but they are extremely important to your success as a resident. Communication is the key to the success of roommates. Before a room change is considered, the following steps must occur:

  1. The residents should discuss their issues with their RA. RAs help residents prepare for successful conversations with their roommates and can evaluate if the issues are amendable to mediation.
  2. If the residents are not successful in later communication, their RA will attempt to help mediate between roommates.
  3. If RA mediation doesn’t work, the residents will work with the REC to review available options, including room changes.

The Residence Education Coordinator determines who in the conflict will need to relocate if no agreement can be reached. (Note: the elective room change process may be curtailed or prohibited by interim campus policies and procedures. Please talk to your RA or Residence Education Coordinator for more information.)

Fire Safety

Emergency procedures and evacuation maps are posted on the back of each bedroom door. Evacuation assistance locations are designated for individuals that may have difficulty evacuating. The locations are identified with signage and shown on the emergency evacuation map posted in each bedroom. Instructions on how to call assistance are posted in the evacuation assistance locations. The Higher Education Opportunity Act Annual Fire Safety Report can be accessed at

Glacier Point Fire Evacuation Maps

Cathedral & Tenaya Hall Evacuation Maps
Higher Education Opportunity Act Annual Fire Safety Report

Holiday Break Closings

Residents are required to leave and are not allowed to access their room during times the halls are closed. Residents are instructed to take special care to make sure they have everything they need, including medicines, passport, plane tickets and valuable electronics. Intersession housing may be available for students in need at an additional cost. Intersession housing applications will be communicated by email prior to end of the semester.

Thanksgiving and Spring Break are included in all resident contracts. Winter intersession and summer housing session D are included in the Year Round housing contract. Academic Year contract students must pay additional fees to remain in housing during winter intersession or any summer housing term.


For your safety, each resident is issued a metal key that operates both the bedroom door and suite door (if applicable). To protect you, your personal belongings and those of your room/suitemates, keys cannot be loaned or given to another person. Residents should take their keys with them whenever they leave and close and lock their doors behind them. Spare keys are available at the Valley Housing Office for residents to sign out (30-minute maximum) with a picture ID should they lock themselves out. Residents who have more than five lockouts during the year will be charged for the service. When the office is closed, please contact the RA on duty. Residents must report lost or stolen keys to the office immediately. A key replacement fee of $100 will be assessed.

Mass Notification

The Summits (Cathedral, Half Dome and Tenaya halls), Glacier Point, Granite Pass, El Portal and Sentinel Rock are equipped with a mass notification system. This system is used to notify the campus of an emergency that may require specific instructions and could be used during a severe weather event, natural disaster or other emergency event. Amber strobe lights will flash, and a pre-tone will sound pending an announcement.

Do not evacuate the building unless instructed to do so. Remain in your location and listen for further instruction. Strategically placed blue light emergency phones are capable of amplified announcements in conjunction with the mass notification system.

Requests for Contract Cancellation

The terms for contract cancellations can be found in section 13 of the “UC Merced Housing & Residence Education Contract and Conditions.” Request for contract cancellation forms can be submitted through the Housing Portal. They require the signature of the resident and a guardian if the resident is under the age of 18. Requests for contract cancellations and documentation will be reviewed and approved only in verifiable circumstances. Click here for more information.

Roommate and Suitemate Agreements

Immediately after moving in residents are expected to discuss and form an agreement regarding guidelines for living together as roommates and suitemates. Students should discuss topics such as noise, study and sleep times, general uses of the common areas, cleanliness, use of personal belongings, guests and overnight guests, etc. It is important for everyone to have a say and reach a compromise. By establishing these baseline agreements early on, many minor disputes will be avoided altogether. Your RA will facilitate these conversations. Residents are welcome to revise these agreements at any point and will revisit them whenever a new room/suitemate moves into the room or suite. Developing positive relations with your roommate and suitemates is one of the most rewarding on-campus living experiences. This relationship requires flexibility and the willingness to communicate in an honest, yet tactful, manner. Roommate and suitemate agreements encourage residents to dialogue around the topics over which conflicts most commonly arise.

Safety and Maintenance Inspections
Housing staff may enter your living spaces to conduct safety, maintenance and occupancy inspections. You will be informed via UC Merced email at least 24 hours in advance of these inspections. We will look for safety infractions, policy infractions, dangerous items and general cleanliness for health and safety reasons. Infractions will be communicated in writing, with any damage charges and/or instructions to remedy the situation. A reinspection may be conducted after a specified date. If you have questions or concerns about maintenance or custodial work, please contact Housing Services at or 209-228-2293 during business hours.
Security Cameras

Security cameras are placed in strategic locations in many of the public areas of Residence Education facilities.

UC Merced Police Department

The Residence Education staff works very closely with the UC Merced Police Department, which is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. As a resident, you will see police officers around our community. Feel free to stop any officer to chat or ask questions. For both emergency and non-emergency matters, contact the dispatcher at 209-228-2677. Use the blue phones for emergencies only. The campus has developed a website that contains important safety information and can be found at