VanCoug Alerts


Posted: Wednesday, October 1, 2014 - 10:30am

10:30 – 11 a.m. Wednesday, Oct. 1, 2014

The Lockdown Drill is designed to simulate the presence of a hostile intruder.

During a lockdown, you should:

  • Find a space with a lockable door and lock it
  • Turn off lights
  • Cover the windows as well as possible
  • Silence all audio devices such as cell phones
  • Quietly form a plan to attack an intruder who enters your space with hostile intent

During the lockdown drill, expect exterior doors to automatically lock, and for staff to be checking areas for drill compliance and mechanical systems operation. If you are outside a building when the locks engage, you may have to wait up to 15 minutes for staff members to do their jobs before the buildings reopen.

In an effort to minimize disruption, the drill will last no more than 30 minutes. Your participation is encouraged. This is an opportunity for the entire campus community to practice procedures and learn the expectations of a lockdown. An “all clear” message will signal the end of the drill just as it would in an actual incident.

Three Elevators Scheduled to be Out of Service this Fall

Posted: Wednesday, September 24, 2014 - 10:44am

Elevators in the following three buildings will be out of service as follows:

  • Dengerink Administration Building, Sept. 8 – Oct. 10
  • Library,  Oct. 20 – Nov. 26
  • Classroom Building, Dec. 1 – Jan. 16

If you have an accessibility issue, call 360-546-9000 and report your situation. Every effort will be made to offer a reasonable accommodation. Please plan ahead if possible.

What if I need access upstairs during an elevator outage?
Planning early is the best strategy. As soon as you identify an accessibility issue, call 360-546-9000 and report your situation. Every effort will be made to offer a reasonable accommodation. Here are some specific examples of things you can do and accommodations that can be arranged:

  • Writing Center: While the Library elevator is out of service, call the Writing Center at least half an hour before you plan to be there and a staff member will meet you downstairs. The Library will have a quiet room available for Writing Center use.
  • Study sessions, club meetings, events, meetings with faculty advisors and others: Contact the organizers to arrange for an accessible location.
  • Staff/faculty offices: Work with your supervisor to arrange an accessible work space or work remotely from home.

Will there be a way for individuals with access issues to get upstairs?
Sorry, no. There will not be a means for getting people upstairs. It would be unwise for the university to risk transporting individuals. And please don’t take it upon yourself to help in that manner. Lifting or carrying someone could be awkward or embarrassing, and downright dangerous for everyone involved. Arranging accommodations is the best way to go.

Why are the elevators going offline?
The elevators in the Dengerink Administration Building, Library and Classroom Building are the oldest on campus. Their mechanics are out of date and replacement parts are difficult or impossible to get. As a matter of safety, these three elevators will be modernized with new equipment to prevent a prolonged outage and even greater inconvenience should one of them develop a serious maintenance issue.

Why now? Why not wait until a break?
After identifying the problem, securing funding and scheduling maintenance, fall was the earliest this project could start. And it is too serious to wait for winter or summer break.

Frankly, these three older elevators have been acting up. We want to prevent staff, students and guests from becoming stuck in an elevator. And we don’t want to be surprised by a prolonged outage should one of these elevators develop a serious maintenance issue. Scheduling this maintenance gives people time to plan for alternative arrangements.

Why are you working on the elevators one at a time?
Taking one elevator offline at a time minimizes overall impact to campus. In addition, it would be very difficult for the contractor to work on more than one elevator at a time. We hope the learnings from the first elevator will make maintenance on the others quicker and easier.

What has been done to lessen the impact of the elevator outages?
We are encouraging early planning. Communications have gone out to faculty, staff and students and signs are placed on every elevator on every floor to give people an opportunity to be aware of the outage and plan ahead to make accommodations.

THANK YOU FOR YOUR PATIENCE during this very important maintenance project.

Clark County Red Flag Fire Warning

Posted: Friday, September 12, 2014 - 7:40am

The Red Flag Warning for all of Clark County has been extended until Tuesday, September 16, 5 am

The National Weather Service (NWS) Portland has extended the Red Flag Warning until Tuesday morning at 5 am.  Previously it was set to expire September 14 at 8 pm.  This includes both of our fire weather zones 604 and 660.  The combination of low relative humidity (12%-25%), mid-level instability (mid-level *haines 6 conditions) and critically dry fuels will maintain extreme fire weather conditions through Monday.  There is also a threat of dry thunderstorms through Monday night adding another element to the extreme fire weather.  

*Haines Index - This is a fire weather index based on the stability and moisture content of the lower atmosphere that measures the potential for existing fires to become large fires (although this is not a predictor of fire starts). Orange will indicate Haines index values of 4 (low), dark orange will show Haines index values of 5 (moderate), and red will depict Haines index values of 6 (high). Values of 4 and above are plotted on each map even though the overall Haines index is from 2 to 6, with six being the highest potential for large fires (see table below). It is calculated by determining the sum the atmospheric stability index (term A) and the lower atmospheric dryness index (term B). The stability index is determined from measurements of the temperature difference between two atmospheric levels and the dryness index is determined from measurements of the dew-point depression.

Due to large variations in elevation across the United States, the index is calculated for three different pressure ranges: low elevation is 950-850mb; mid elevation is 850-700mb; and high elevation is 700-500mb. It is named after its developer, Donald Haines, a Forest Service research meteorologist, who did the initial work and published the scale in 1988.