Safety on Campus: Displaying ID Cards

 To:  All Students, Faculty and Staff
 From:  Thomas M. Seamon, Vice President for Public Safety
 Re:  Displaying ID Cards After Hours--Phase II

In January of 1998, the University instituted a policy requiring the wearing of ID cards in buildings that are used 24 hours a day (Almanac, December 15, 1998). The first phase targeted specific buildings with high after-hours populations. The policy states that "building usersare required to prominently display their PENNCards between the hours of 10 p.m. and 7 a.m.-7 days a week." This initiative has been very successful in providing increased levels of safety and security for the University community.

Building on this success, Public Safety is expanding the policy to include all campus buildings used by students, staff and faculty after hours. There will be some obvious exceptions, such as students and faculty residents in residential buildings and those actively participating in activities in athletic buildings.

This next phase will take effect Monday, January 24, 2000. As with Phase I, there will be an informational period prior to implementation. This will include distribution of policy information and reminders by police and security officers. Full enforcement of the policy will begin on Tuesday, February 1, 2000.

Of course, all Penn community members are encouraged to wear their ID cards at all times while in campus buildings. The success of Phase I is evident in the increased safety and reported perception of safety on campus. We are committed to ongoing efforts and initiatives in order to provide the highest level of security and safety for all members of our community.

The Security Policy for After Hours Use of University Buildings appears below as well as the Security Policy for 24-Hour Academic Buildings.


Security Policy for After Hours Use of University Buildings

(10 p.m. through 7 a.m.-7 days a week)

  1. All building users (students, staff, faculty) are required to prominently display their PennCards between the hours of 10 p.m. and 7 a.m.-7 days a week.
  2. All building users should notify security officers or Penn Police officers immediately if they observe any individual inside the building acting suspiciously or without a PENNCard.
  3. If a Penn Police officer or security officer observes anyone in the building between 10 p.m. and 7 a.m. without their PENNCard, that person will be asked to leave the building and to return with the card. Officers will provide assistance with escort or shuttle services.
  4. No one is authorized to prop or otherwise cause any exterior building door to be held open. If this is observed, the door should be closed and/or the situation reported to a security officer or a Penn Police officer as soon as possible. Everyone should be alert for anyone who attempts to enter the building through an exit door as someone is leaving. Such observations should be reported to Penn Police or security immediately.
  5. All building users are asked to exit through non-emergency exit doors only. ("Emergency Exit Only" doors will be marked appropriately)
  6. If an emergency situation arises and no officers are in the immediate area, persons should immediately call 511 (the Penn Police emergency number) to report the incident.


The University recognizes that perpetrators of crimes are not always easily identifiable. Crimes can be committed by both University and non-University members. These policies are intended to enhanced security and security awareness for all students, staff and faculty in campus buildings used after normal University hours. Violations of these safety procedures will be documented by Penn police and/or security officers and can result in appropriate University disciplinary action.

"Remember--Safety is a Shared Responsibility"

The following policy is reprinted from Almanac, December 15, 1998

Security Policy for 24-Hour Academic Buildings

Building Usage. Limit the number of buildings being used for 24-hour academic activities. Spaces for after-hours activities within buildings should be limited to specific rooms and floors. Rooms and labs not designated for 24-hour use should be secured to prevent use after hours.

Building Access. Limit after-hours access to one door only; this door should be accessible only by card reader or security staff member who checks IDs or otherwise controls access (sign-in/out, or a card reader as in residential buildings).

Security Officers. Require the presence of an adequate number of security officers during after hours activities--the number and deployment of officers to be determined specifically for each facility.

ID Card Visibility. Require all after-hours building users to prominently display their PENNCards between 10 p.m. and 7 a.m.

Building Exit Control. Limit the number of non-emergency exit doors, and ensure they lead to well-lighted, non-secluded areas. All exit doors will be armed with intrusion- and prop-detection alarm devices monitored by Penn Police. Appropriate signage regarding door alarms will be displayed at these doors.

Security Technology & Maintenance. All security devices will report electronically to the Penn Police. High building-maintenance standards for doors, locks, lighting and other safety related equipment will be observed. All life-safety related maintenance requests will be processed as a high priority.

Awareness. All building users will be provided information describing after-hours policies to ensure awareness and compliance.

Almanac, Vol. 46, No. 17, January 18, 2000