Safety Tips

Severe Weather

The safest place to be during any storm is inside a secure structure. Most injuries occur as a result of broken glass and flying debris. RVC emergency warning sirens will be sounded after a tornado warning has been issued. RVC video monitors will automatically display a tornado warning screen and broadcast
the national Weather Service message.

  • A tornado warning means that a funnel cloud or tornado has been spotted.
  • All buildings at RVC have tornado signs posted that advise you where safe shelters are located on campus.
  • Follow room instructions and move to a safe place away from windows.
  • Seek hallways or rooms without windows. If time allows, move to a lower building level.
  • DO NOT use elevators.
  • You will not be dismissed from class during a tornado warning. Wait until the storm passes and the “All Clear” message is issued.

Controlling Behavior

College is a time of meeting new people, exploring relationships and learning how to set healthy boundaries.

Sometimes relationships can become controlling. There are signs/red flags that indicate an unhealthy relationship, and tips for protecting yourself.

Red Flags: jealousy, blaming, quick attachment, need to control, putting conditions on the relationship, humiliation, belittling, and intimidation.

Tips to getting out of a controlling relationship: set boundaries, be clear and decisive.

If your gut tells you something is wrong it probably is. Get help. Sometimes talking to someone else can help you recognize red flags. At RVC you can contact the Behavioral Intervention Team (BIT) at (815) 921-4270, an RVC counselor at (815) 921-4091, the college's Title IX Coordinator at (815) 921-4283, or the RVC Police Department at (815) 921-4350 to learn about your options and available resources.

Personal Safety

Did you know?

  • Most crimes committed at RVC are crimes of opportunity performed in less than 60 seconds—usually thefts. Protect your valuables!
  • Don’t leave your laptop unattended while you use the rest room. Keep track of your backpacks and text books and purses. A small percentage of people are just waiting for the opportunity to profit from your carelessness. Don’t let them!
  • Be aware of your surroundings. There are over 77 blue emergency phones on campus. Familiarize yourself with their locations. Program the RVC Police Department emergency number into your cell phone: (815) 654-4357. 

If for some reason you feel unsafe walking to and from your vehicle, call the RVC Police at the non-emergency number (815) 921-4350 and ask for an officer to accompany you.

Suspicious Activity

Help the Rock Valley College Police Department keep our campus safe by doing the following:

Immediately report suspicious activity to RVC police at (815) 654-4357.

How to report:

Describe what is going on:
  • Where is the activity happening?
  • What is happening or being said?
  • Describe the person acting suspicious or committing the crime. If the suspect is using a vehicle, give the car description and license number as well as direction of travel.

Stay on the phone with the dispatcher until the police arrive. If you believe your life is in danger, attempt to leave the area and find a safe place until help arrives. Do NOT approach or attempt to apprehend the person(s) involved.

Sexual Assault/Harassment 

If it feels like harassment it probably is, but how do you know for sure and what can you do about it?

At Rock Valley College we are committed to providing an environment free from sexual harassment, sexual violence, and discrimination. Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex in education programs or activities operated by recipients of federal financial assistance.

If you, or a peer, are a victim of sexual harassment, sexual violence, or discrimination you are encouraged to seek the assistance of RVC Title IX Coordinator, Dr. Amy Diaz. 

The Title IX coordinator will:

  • Discuss your options if you feel you or a friend have been a victim of sexual harassment, sexual violence, or discrimination.
  • Investigate reports and provide remedies, or administrative measures, to help stop the behavior.
  • Answer questions about RVC policies and procedures. 

Dr. Amy Diaz, Associate Vice President of Student Development and Dean of Students
(815) 921-4283
located Student Center, second floor

Behavioral Intervention Team (BIT)

  • Coordinates a response to concerning and distressed behavior with the intent to provide the appropriate assistance. Contact BIT online, in-person, or by phone.
  • Is designed to encourage a supportive, resourceful, and safe environment for the RVC community.
  • Will respond quickly to referrals, however, if an immediate response is needed contact RVC Police at (815) 654-4357.

What should I share/refer?

Any concerning or distressed behaviors that you feel should be brought to the attention of BIT or an RVC staff member.

Who can make a referral?

Anyone in the RVC community (students, faculty, staff, self-referral)

How and where do I make a referral?

Complete an online referral form or call the BIT at (815) 921-4270.

Armed Attacker

Have you ever asked yourself what you should do if there was an armed attacker on campus?

  • Surviving is the objective! Nothing is a 100% guarantee to keep you from being hurt.
  • Doing something will increase your chance of survival.
  • Doing nothing may increase your chances of being a victim.

1. Your best option is to evacuate or escape the area if it is safe to do so. Get as much room between you and the attacker as possible.

2. If the attacker is close or blocking the area of escape, the best option may be to lock the door of the room you are in, shut off the lights and pile furniture in front of the door. Move to an area of the room that cannot be seen from the door.

Now, while you are hiding in the room, alone or with others, make a plan. What will you do if the attacker forces their way into the room?

  • Throw whatever items are available at the attacker such as: books, book bags, etc.
  • Make noise, don’t stand still, and try to escape if you can.
  • Fight and attack if given the opportunity

3. Last resort, whether alone or with a group; if all else fails, fight and attack.

Alcohol and Other Drugs

Did you know?

  • Full-time college students age 18 to 22 are more likely than non-enrolled students to binge or drink heavily (2011). 
  • Among young women in college, binge drinking is a risk factor for sexual assault. 31 percent of college students met criteria for a diagnosis of alcohol abuse and 6 percent for a diagnosis of alcohol dependence in the past 12 months; self-report survey.
  • A law effective on January 1, 2012, made possession of any chemical like K2 illegal to sell, purchase, or use in Illinois. 

Alcohol: Depressant; Long-term effects—heart disease, cancer, liver, and brain damage, pancreatitis.

Bath Salts: A stimulant; one of the latest designer drugs, illegal in Illinois but legal in most states. Long-term effects— fairly new drug, no long-term effects recorded in humans.

Marijuana: Cannabis, is the most widely available and used illegal drug in the U.S.

K2 Herb: (synthetic cannabis). Long term-effects, still being studied, none recorded in humans.

Nicotine: Long-term effects— lung disease and other health concerns. In Illinois, tobacco use claims 16,600 lives and costs the state $4.1 billion in health care bills each year.

Did you know a drug conviction could impact your student financial aid?

Keep your mind and body clear of alcohol and other drugs so you can make more informed choices.

Emergency Numbers

Rock Valley College Police Emergency: (815) 654-4357

Call for a quick response to a dangerous or threatening situation.

Rock Valley College Police Non-emergency: (815) 921-4350

Call when your vehicle won't start, you're locked out of your vehicle, or you need a safe walk to and from your vehicle.

Rockford Police (off campus situations): (815) 987-5800

Behavior Intervention Team (BIT): (815) 921-4270

Call to share concern for someone's emotional, mental, or physical well-being.

Student Counseling: (815) 921-4091  

Call for personal and success counseling.