Health & Safety

UBC Okanagan is safe place to live where students have convenient access to services and resources that support physical and mental well being. Student Housing and Communitty Services, along with UBC at large, has committed significant resources to providing a safe living and learning environment. But we can’t do it alone—your partnership and vigilance is critical. Stay safe, take care of yourself, and be prepared.

On this page


Health and Wellness in Residence

Stay healthy while living in residence. 

Health and Wellness provide all students with counselling, nursing and medical support. The clinic nurse will be able to help you with your wellness needs and can offer a range of resources and services, including consultation and home visits. UBC counsellors provide individual and group counselling to students experiencing a wide range of difficulties. The physician is located at University Centre and can help manage your medical needs. Most wellness activities and consultations are free, however, valid health insurance is required to visit the campus physician. 

Health and Wellness is located in the University Centre, third floor. 

Residence Wellness Hub

The Residence Wellness Hub is designed to be a low-barrier resource to access suite of wellness resources, and a convenient starting point to access the full range of Student Wellness resources at the UBC Okanagan campus. Located in the Nechako Commonsblock (NHC 251), students living on campus can access a variety of wellness resources without leaving the residence community. More info here.

UBCO's Health and Wellness Centre

Health and Wellness provide all students with counselling, nursing and medical support. The clinic nurse will be able to help you with your wellness needs and can offer a range of resources and services, including consultation and home visits. UBC counsellors provide individual and group counselling to students experiencing a wide range of difficulties. The physician is located at University Centre and can help manage your medical needs. Most wellness activities and consultations are free, however, valid health insurance is required to visit the campus physician.

Health and Wellness is located in the University Centre, third floor.

Moving Your Body

Hiking trails. More info here.

Yoga in residence. More info here.

Outdoor fields, basketball courts and hockey rinks. More info here.

Hangar gym. More info here.

Nutrition

For nutrition resources or to connect with with UBCO Food Service’s Registered Dietitian, visit here.

Flu kits & flu shots

Getting sick is part of life. When the flu strikes, you may not have the time or energy to pick up fever-reducing items from the store. It’s wise to keep a flu kit ready in your room. Things to include: 

  • Digital thermometer 
  • Tissues 
  • Over-the-counter medications 
  • Cough syrup and cough drops 
  • Packages of soup 
  • Gingerale and/or juice 

One of the best ways to avoid the flu is by getting an annual flu shot. Also consider updating other common vaccines before moving into residence, especially the vaccine for meningococcal menin­gitis. Check B.C.’s immunization website for information about which vaccines are advised and for whom. 

Crisis Supports

More info here.


Safety and Security in Residence

UBC works hard to support student and campus community safety. This effort is strengthened when everyone in the UBC Okanagan community participates. 

Let’s work together to build safe communities in residence. Use these strategies to help keep our residence communities safe—for you and your neighbours. 

Residence Advisors conduct nightly rounds of residence properties to ensure there are no safety hazards and all access doors are secure. UBCO Security is also available on campus 24/7 as a safety resource.  

Residence Safety Strategies
  • Lock it up. Each time you leave and when you are sleeping, lock your unit and room door, plus any accessible windows. 
  • Don’t hold the door for strangers. Please don’t let people follow you into a locked residence building. If they have permission to be there as a resident’s guest, they will have their own electronic key—or a host to let them in 
  • Stop before you prop. Never prop open a building door, even if you are stepping outside for just a moment. 
  • Theft can happen. Don’t leave valuables, like your phone, laptop or wallet unattended in a study room, lounge or classroom—or even your unlocked room. Learn more about protect your valuables 
  • Trust your instincts. If you feel like you or another resident is in danger, or if you witness suspicious activity, first call 911, then contact Campus Security (250.807.8111) and the Student Housing Front Desk (250.807.8050)   
  • Have a bike? Follow these bicycle security tips. 
Around Campus
  • Always walk with a friend after dark. 
  • Use Campus Security Safe Walk, available 24 hours a day. 
  • Be aware of your surroundings. Stay alert: using a cellphone or earphones can distract you. 
  • If you feel you may be in danger, call for help using a Campus Blue Light phone or dial 9-1-1 in an emergency. 
  • Help your friends be safe. Tell each other where you are going and when you will return. 
  • Avoid providing personal information such as email, full name, address or phone number to people you do not know well. 
  • Be aware that signals and messages may be conveyed and interpreted differently between people. Communicate your limits as clearly as possible. If someone is pressuring you into an unsafe situation—say no. Be direct and assertive. 
  • Don’t leave valuables in plain view in your room or car. 
Who to Call
  • In an emergency, dial 9-1-1. 
  • Campus Security will respond to emergency and non-emergency issues 24 hours a day. They also provide Safe Walk services. 
  • Blue Light Phones around campus also connect directly to UBC Security. 
  • Download the UBC Safe App and keep essential UBC Security phone numbers in your cellphone  250.807.8111 
Protect Valuables

Laptops, tablets, smartphones, wallets, purses and personal identification documents can be an easy target for thieves in residence. Keep them safe by securing your room/unit every time you leave, even if it is just for a minute. 

  • Single-connected rooms are equipped with personal safes to securely store your valuables 
  • Keep photocopies of all your identification, credit cards, serial numbers—anything that would have to be replaced if your belongings were taken. 
  • It is important that all residents hold tenant insurance to protect your belongings from theft or damage due an unforeseen cause like a fire or flood. UBC is not responsible for lost, stolen or damaged property. Some students may already be covered under their family’s plan. 
  • It is not recommended to keep large amounts of cash or expensive jewelry in your room. 
Bicycle Security

Cycling is a quick and healthy way to get around campus and see the sights. Consider these tips for keeping your bike safe from thieves: 

  • UBC Security recommends using a good quality steel U-lock and heavy cable lock for the front wheel. 
  • Don’t bring an expensive bike to campus. 
  • Consider storing your bike in your bedroom by using the bike hook provided or contact the Student Housing Front Desk to access the Monashee Place  bike storage facilities. 
Smoking
  • Smoking and vaping should only take place in designated smoking areas on campus. In the Residence community, there are smoking gazebos located near the Upper Cascades, Near Nicola and Kalamalka residences and on the South side of Nechako.  
  • To reduce wildfire risk, please ensure that your cigarette butts are disposed of safely in the receptable.  
  • Smoking in residence rooms is prohibited under the residence contract and poses a serious fire risk to the community. Please do not tamper with smoke detectors located in each residence room or remove window screens.  
Emergency Room Entry
  • Authorized personnel of the University may enter your accommodation, without prior notice, for reasons of health, safety or general community welfare, or to make repairs and deliveries to the room and room equipment, or to inspect the premises, or to investigate possible breaches of the Residence Contract.  
  • When possible, 24 hours notice will be given to an accommodation holder. Residence Life Staff will not access a resident room without permission from the Residence Life Manager. 

Additional safety services 

Campus Emergency Phones
  • Emergency phones are strategically located throughout campus and offer an immediate connection to Campus Security, if needed. 
Campus Security
EFRT
  • UBC Emergency First Response Team is a group of student volunteers aiming to support a safe and secure campus community by providing 24/7 medical and advanced first aid care on campus. 

Safewalk Services
  • The safety and comfort of everyone on campus is important – that’s why there is Safewalk! Traveling late at night? Afraid of going alone? Call Safewalk! Service is available to students, staff, and faculty 24 hours per day. 

Campus Security oversees the Safewalk program on campus. Trained student UBC Emergency First Response Team (UBCEFRT) volunteers provide the service every evening until midnight. They can be identified by their red Safewalk jackets. During off-hours, Campus Security personnel provides the service. 

Sexual Violence and Response Office (SVPRO)
  • SVPRO is a confidential place and single point of contact for UBC students, staff and faculty who have experienced, or been impacted by, any form of sexual or gender-based violence, harassment or harm, regardless of where or when it took place. 

AEDs and Emergency Nalozone Kits
  • Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs) are critical lifesaving devices that can provide a quick response in the event of a cardiac arrest. 
  • Naloxone is a nasal spray used for the emergency treatment of a known or suspected opioid overdose. 

How to access AEDs and emergency naloxone
  • In case of emergencies 24/7, call 911. 
  • During  Nechako commonsblock open hours, you can also access an AED and nasal naloxone kit mounted to the wall near your Residence Front Desk. 

Learn more about substance use health and harm reduction for fentanyl and accidental drug poisoning, plus how to prepare for and respond to accidental drug poisoning. 

Things to Know 


Emergency Preparedness

Although rare, emergencies can happen within residence and the surrounding community. . 

On-call Residence Advisors are trained to respond in the event of an emergency and are certified in First Aid and CPR. Other supports include the Residence Life Manager, Campus Security, and Kelowna RCMP. 

If a major emergency or disaster occurs, officials say you need be prepared to be self-sufficient for 72 hours, even in residence. That may sound extreme, but if you’re ready, you’ll be able to respond confidently and safely during an emergency situation. 

Leak or flood
  • Inform the Student Housing Front Desk in Nechako Residence immediately and let them know the source of the water leak: roof, window, pipe, washroom, etc. 
  • Do not walk through water. 
  • Avoid wet wires, electrical equipment and power out­lets. 
  • Do not attempt to use moisture-dam­aged equipment. 
Fire
  • Douse small fires with fire extinguishers, located in residence common areas. 
  • For a spreading blaze, pull the fire alarm, leave the building by the nearest exit and call 9-1-1. 
  • Avoid flames, smoke and fumes by staying low to the ground. 
  • Do not use elevators. 
  • Walk, don’t run, and use handrails as you descend stairs. 
  • If you cannot safely get downstairs, go to the nearest safe area and wait for a firefighter. 
Wildfire

Nearly one third of all wildfires in B.C. are detected and reported by the general public. Public wildfire reports have resulted in immeasurable savings in property damage, forest resources and fire suppression dollars. Report concerns regarding fire risk to Campus Security or 911. Learn how to report a wildfire and what to do if a wildfire is threatening the campus. 

While UBC Okanagan is a fire-smart campus, it is important to be prepared. During periods of wildfire activity, consider backing an emergency pack. For more information about emergency preparedness and a guide on how to prepare a grab-and-go bag visit PreparedBC.  In the event of an evacuation due to wildfire, UBC Okanagan would receive guidance from the  Regional District of the Central Okanagan(RDCO)  To keep up to date with emergency updates, please register for emergency notifications from the RDCO 

Severe Weather
  • Expect power outages and phone disruptions, even for your mobile phone. 
  • Avoid overhead hazards, such as tree branches and power lines. 
  • Avoid glass and debris on sidewalks and roads.
Power Outage
  • Keep flashlights and other emergency sup­plies nearby. 
  • Do not attempt to use computers, TVs, ste­reos or other electrical equipment. 
  • Avoid moving around in the dark unless you have a flashlight. 
  • Do not attempt to examine, repair or open electrical equipment. 
  • Keep the fridge closed in a blackout, to avoid having the contents get warm and spoil. 
Intruder
  • Don’t allow someone without a key to follow you into your building.
  • If an intruder appears angry or threatening, keep a safe distance away. Listen to what he or she says. Do not argue or raise your voice. Try to calm him or her down.
  • Call 9-1-1 and inform residence staff immediately. Avoid remaining alone with an intruder.
  • If an intruder leaves a parcel, envelope or suspicious item behind, do not touch it. Tell a staff member immediately.
Emergency Kits
  • Make it easy to carry and easy to grab quickly. A backpack or light gym bag are ideal.
  • Include two litres of water per person, per day, for 72 hours.
  • Pack food that won’t spoil, such as canned food, energy bars and dried foods. Remember to replace food and water once a year.
  • Pack a manual can opener, flashlight and batteries, battery-powered or wind-up radio, extra batteries, spare keys, and a first aid kit.
  • Include special-needs items, if necessary, such as prescription medications, toiletries, equipment for people with disabil­ities, glasses or contact lenses.
  • Don’t forget cash, especially smaller bills and coins, for use in pay phones or vending machines.
  • Make sure you have contact information handy for people you will need to get in touch with, like relatives in and out of town.
Emergency Evacuation Procedures for Students with Mobility Needs
  • Move to an area of the same floor that they are on that is away from the hazard, behind a closed door to keep smoke out, and take refuge there until the fire department can assist with their evacuation.  
  • This could be a floor lounge or common space that has windows so the fire department would more easily be able to locate them. 
  • The person taking refuge should have a cell phone with them to contact Campus Security at 250-807-8111 or even 9-1-1 if necessary. Should the student not have a cell phone, they should flag down a Residence Advisor or peer and ask that they call Campus Security on their behalf.  
  • The person taking refuge and calling security can expect security to ask them to confirm their location on campus, describe any hazards and communicate with security about their need to evacuate.  

Never use an elevator during a fire alarm. The elevator may seem to be functioning normally and open, however it could shut down before their trip is finished if the hazard affects the elevator’s operation.