Lockdown Procedures

The University may go into lockdown for two primary reasons; an active violent threat to the campus or potential for an active violent threat to occur. The potential to occur can include threat to others and/or threat to self.

The major aspects of a campus lockdown include the following:

Additional resources are listed below.

Individuals who observe a violent act or believe that a violent act is about to occur, should report it by calling 911. When contacting 911, the caller can be asked for any of the following information:

  • Location (can include street address, Rm#, or cardinal direction)
    • Note: For the majority of campus, the University’s water tower is on the north side of the campus. This can be a land mark to help determine your cardinal direction.
  • Type of emergency
  • For violent acts:
    • Description of subject (physical appearance, name if known, direction of travel, etc.)
    • Description of weapon (can include basic information such as knife, hand-gun, rifle, shotgun, etc.)
    • Other “qualifiers”
      • Hear gun shots or people yelling/screaming
      • See someone carrying a weapon or people running/evacuating

As the initial witness to a violent act, there are three things to remember:

  • Avoid normalization: It is common to observe elements of an active threat and to minimalize the severity of it. A typical example of this is hearing a gunshot and concluding that the sound heard is that of a car backfiring.
  • Respond quickly, using the Run Hide Fight model.
  • Report the threat as soon as safe to do so.

If you are unable to determine if an observed suspicious behavior poses an emergency or not, you can report it to 911 or Campus Safety.


The University will notify the campus of a lockdown through AU Alert. The initial AU Alert will contain the following verbiage:

AU ALERT: Campus LOCKDOWN in effect.

RUN: away from threat.
HIDE: find shelter, lock doors, reduce signs of life (silent cell phones, turn off lights, etc.).
FIGHT: defend.

WAIT for All Clear alert

AU ALERT: Campus LOCKDOWN in effect.

RUN away from threat.
HIDE: find shelter, lock doors, reduce signs of life.
FIGHT: defend.

WAIT for All Clear alert

Report emergencies to 911

Additional AU Alert messages may be sent to provide further details about the threat or to provide further direction to the campus.

Buildings equipped with mass notification may provide similar notifications as well.

The campus should note that some individuals will become aware of the threat prior to the AU Alert notification and should follow reporting guidelines.


When a lockdown is initiated two major tasks will occur simultaneously; the securing/locking of doors and the campus responding using the Run Hide Fight model.

The securing/locking of doors will occur via electronic/card access or manual means.

It should be noted that when card access doors are in lockdown, they will only grant access to emergency responders. Regular access for employees and students will be disabled during the lockdown. For example, a Resident Hall student will not be able to use their AUID card to enter the dorm.

While the campus is being secured, individuals will need to respond using the Run Hide Fight model. This model is a continuous self-assessment tool, and is designed to use any option in any order.

Assessment: Is it safe for me to leave the area?
Action: If yes, take the following steps:

  • Have an escape route and plan in mind
  • Leave your belongings behind
  • As you run, continue to assess the safety of your route/direction of travel
  • If you encounter emergency services, keep your hands visible, palm facing forward
  • Continue to run/leave until you are safe
  • Remain in the safe area until an “All Clear” has been issued

Assessment: If it is not safe for me to leave, is it safe for me to hide?
Action: If yes, take the following steps:

  • Hide in area out of the shooter’s view (avoid direct line of sight with windows or door vision panels)
  • Block entry to your hiding area by securing the door and possibly barricading it with tables/desks
  • Reduce signs of life:
    • Lights off
    • Silence phones
    • Turn off other electronics
  • Remain quiet
  • Remain hidden until no longer safe to do so or until an “All Clear” has been issued

Assessment: If it is not safe for me to leave or hide, then fight
Action: As a last resort, and when your life is in imminent danger, take the following steps:

  • Attempt to incapacitate the shooter
  • Act with physical aggression
  • If possible, coordinate with others to increase effectiveness.

Emergency services will be responding to the scene and individuals should be aware of how to interact with them. The primary objective is to stop the threat. This means that law enforcement will not stop to provide medical first-aid until the threat is stopped. Emergency medical services will also be on scene and will be ready to provide care once it is safe to do so.

When interacting with emergency services, remember to:

  • Follow their directions
  • Keep your hands visible, palm facing forward
  • Do not run towards them

The campus should note that Andrews Academy and the Ruth Murdoch Elementary School response procedures will follow Berrien County’s K-12 procedures, including differentiating response between an inside threat and outside threat.

Once law enforcement has confirmed that the threat no longer affects the campus, an “All Clear” message will be sent through AU Alert. While this message indicates that threat to the campus no longer exists, there will still be steps to be taken in the recovery process.

Emergency services steps can include:

  • Providing medical care
  • Escorting those hidden out of buildings
  • Collecting evidence
  • Conducting interviews

University steps can include:

  • Providing support services including Campus Ministries and the Counseling & Testing Center
  • Modifying University event schedules or locations in response to the emergency

These directions can be provided verbally by emergency services, through AU Alert, or through campus email or social media. As the recovery process continues, individuals are encouraged to monitor their communication methods to remain up-to-date on available resources and directives.

Another important part of recovery is to take care of yourself. Some emergencies can be traumatic and may have an effect on you. The University does have resources to help you resume your regular activities. If you or someone you know needs assistance, you can notify any of the following departments or submit a CARE report online.


Departments Phone#
Student Life Deans 269-471-3215
Lamson Hall Deans 269-471-3446
Meier Hall Deans 269-471-3390
University Towers Deans 269-471-3360
Office of Campus Safety 269-471-3321
Counseling & Testing Center (Confidential) 269-471-3470
Campus Chaplains (Confidential) 269-471-3211
Office of Human Resources 269-471-3570



Ready.gov - Active Shooter (Run. Hide. Fight.) 

Homeland Security - Active Shooter