Business Policies and Procedures Manual
Chapter 50: Safety and Security

Access to University Facilities

BPPM 50.20

For more information contact:
   Public Safety


The University controls access to University facilities in order to promote and maintain the following:

  • Safety and security of University students, staff, faculty, and visitors.
  • Security of University property.
  • Security of University records.
  • Integrity of University research projects.
  • Continuity of official University business conducted in classrooms, laboratories, workplaces, and athletic/artistic performance facilities.

University Facilities

University facilities are identified as all buildings and grounds owned or controlled by the University and the streets, sidewalks, malls, parking lots, and roadways within the boundaries of property owned or controlled by the University. (WAC 504-35-020)

Residence Halls

University administrators or designees, officers, agents, or employees are to have access to residence halls at all times while in the performance of assigned duties that include:

  • Working with residence hall residents or programs;
  • Performing custodial, maintenance, or operations of residence halls; or
  • Performing safety, emergency, security, police, or fire protection services.

(WAC 504-24-025)


In an emergency, police, fire, and safety personnel may access any University location.

Restricted Areas

Restricted areas include locations where official University activities are carried out, e.g., offices, classrooms, laboratories, shops, workplaces, swimming pools, weight rooms, animal facilities, shooting ranges, and croplands.

Department Access

The department chair or equivalent administrator is responsible for controlling access to restricted departmental areas. The chair may develop access guidelines for specific departmental locations in order to minimize the possibility of exposure to safety and environmental hazards or disruption of official University business. Note: Access guidelines for all University locations must allow access to police, fire, and safety personnel in emergency situations.

Authorized Personnel

The following individuals may be authorized access to specified University facilities:


Employees may access locations for the purposes of conducting assigned University duties, e.g., research, custodial, departmental operations.


Students may access classrooms, laboratories, assigned offices, and other areas where instruction or other official student activities occur.

Official student activities include activities that are associated with:

  • Official University classes,
  • University research under the direction of a University staff or faculty member, or
  • Student groups that are registered in accordance with WAC 504-28-010.
Solicitors / Vendors

Solicitors may be provided access in accordance with procedures in BPPM 50.21 and 70.11.

Visitors and Volunteers

Visitors and volunteers may access restricted areas when supervised by authorized University faculty or staff. Minor visitors under 18 years of age must be directly supervised by authorized University faculty or staff.

Note: When not acting in their official capacities, staff, faculty, and students have only those rights of access accorded visitors and volunteers.

Hazardous Areas

Personnel accessing any hazardous area are to comply with safety requirements described in the University’s Safety Policies and Procedures Manual, including all requirements regarding the use of personal protective equipment.

Visitors to hazardous areas are to be directly supervised by authorized faculty or staff.

Mechanical/Service Areas

Only authorized personnel may access University mechanical/service areas. Authorized personnel include staff from University service departments; i.e., Facilities Services, Operations; Facilities Services, Capital; Environmental Health and Safety; Public Safety; Information Technology Services; Academic Media Services. Non-University service personnel and contractors may access such areas when authorized by the applicable University service department.

Mechanical/service areas include mechanical rooms, custodial rooms, pipe chases, steam tunnels, and rooms containing electrical, telephone, or computer control panels.

Public Areas

Certain University locations are considered public locations that are open to orderly unsupervised access by faculty, staff, students, and visitors during the locations’ building hours. Such locations include the following:

  • Unsecured outdoor locations, i.e., streets, sidewalks, lawn areas, malls. (Note: This does not include fenced construction yards or playfields/stadiums, e.g., the outdoor track or football stadium. These locations are restricted areas.)
  • Indoor hallways, entrances, reception areas, stairways, elevators, and public restrooms of University academic or administrative buildings during regular building hours.
  • Museums, lounges, libraries, and dining centers during open hours.
  • Certain locations used for recreation (e.g., ball courts, gymnasiums, indoor track) during open hours. The responsible department chair or equivalent administrator designates hours and locations.

The University reserves the right to change or restrict the business hours for any location without advance notice for safety or security considerations.

Appropriate University representatives may limit or restrict access to public areas for specific public health, safety, and security purposes consistent with the requirements of WAC 504-35 and WAC 504-33.

Building Hours

Current campus building hours:

Minor Visitors

In order to access public areas, children under 14 years of age must:

  • Be supervised by parents or guardians, or
  • Be participating in University-sponsored activities that include supervision by University personnel.

After-Hours Access

Refer to BPPM 50.24 for after-hours access procedures.


The department chair or equivalent administrator is responsible for administering the University’s access policy in locations under his or her control.

A breach of policy by a WSU student, staff or faculty member may subject the individual to standard applicable disciplinary procedures.

A breach of policy by a non-University visitor may subject the individual to arrest under provisions of criminal trespass or other applicable laws.

Revisions:  July 2018 (Rev. 517); Aug. 2009 (Rev. 346); Nov. 2007 (Rev. 309); July 1992 – new policy (Rev. 89).