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Sudden Examination Disruption Procedures

Senate received the following procedures for information on October 15, 2003.

Policy and Procedures Governing the Disruption of an Examination

Rationale

The President's Office has requested that an ad hoc committee be formed to study and draft policy and propose procedures governing the disruption of university examinations occasioned by 1) a bomb threat, 2) fire alarm, 3) inclement weather, natural disaster and a campus-wide power outage or 4) building specific power outage.

Purpose

To delineate responsibility for decisions concerning disruption of examinations in the event of a bomb threat, fire alarm, inclement weather, natural disaster or power outage(s) and to outline guidelines for communication.

Policy

The Associate Vice-President, Enrolment Services and Registrar is responsible for the schedule and coordination of university examinations. For the purposes of this policy, "examination" refers to those examinations scheduled by Enrolment Services during the December and April examination periods. The decision to curtail or cancel examination(s) or evacuate a building will be made by the Associate Vice-President, Enrolment Services and Registrar (or designate) in accordance with the procedures below.

I Bomb Threat - Initial Response

Procedures

A bomb threat that is received by a department on campus should be directed to the RCMP by calling 911.

The RCMP will contact Campus Security and the Associate Vice-President, Enrolment Services and Registrar to commence the Assessment Process.

Campus Security, the Associate Vice-President, Enrolment Services and Registrar and the RCMP will take steps to contact the appropriate building authority.

The RCMP with assistance from Campus Security will obtain information to determine if formal examinations are scheduled in the targeted building. If an examination is being held in a threatened building, the RCMP, Campus Security and the Associate Vice-President, Enrolment Services and Registrar or designate will decide on which course of action is appropriate with consideration given to an assessment of risk using RCMP standard operating procedures with regard to Bomb Threats.

The building authority will be informed of the decision whether or not to evacuate by the Associate Vice-President, Enrolment Services and Registrar or the RCMP. If the decision is to evacuate the fire alarm in the building will be activated by Campus Security or the RCMP who will be on site.

II Fire Alarm

Procedures

In the event a fire alarm rings due to a bomb threat or any other cause, the building will be evacuated.

If the occupants can return to the examination and complete the examination within 3 hours of the time the examination commenced, it is recommended that the examination be resumed. Invigilators are responsible for the examination papers left in the examination room.

The building authority will notify Campus Security every time the fire alarm is activated. During examinations, Campus Security will assess the situation and may attend to assist with examination security. Campus Security will file an incident report and provide a report to Scheduling Services and the building authority.

Invigilators are responsible for knowing the location of the designated meeting area for the building in which their examination is scheduled.

The invigilator will, prior to the commencement of the examination, inform students of the procedures to be followed in the event the fire alarm is activated. Students will be instructed to leave the examination papers face down on their desk, exit to the designated meeting area, remain as a group and neither disperse nor discuss the examination.

The invigilator will report to the muster station to gather information from the building authorities and the Fire Department.

The invigilator will make the decision whether or not to resume the examination. In making this decision, the invigilator shall take into account the class size, the length of the exam, the weather and any other pertinent circumstances. (Invigilators will be sensitive to the reality that students have different strategies for writing an examination; hence some students may be penalized more than others by the decision.)

Academic Departments are responsible for establishing and implementing internal procedures regarding examination disruption. These procedures should consider the various conditions for examinations such as a course with multiple sections located in more than one building.

Should an invigilator decide not to resume the examination and it is determined that the examination cannot be graded as complete, the course instructor shall contact Scheduling Services and request that the examination be rescheduled. Scheduling Services, in consultation with the Academic Department, will reschedule the examination with the possibility that the examination will be rescheduled for the forthcoming Sunday provided that the Sunday falls within the posted examination period.

III Inclement weather, natural disasters and campus wide power outages

Procedures

The Public Affairs Office will inform the media of the decision regarding examinations.

Information will be posted by Scheduling Services on the examination website and on http://www.ubc.ca/bulletins/  .

Scheduling Services will reschedule examinations on the following Sunday provided that this day falls within the examination period.

IV Building(s) Specific Power Outage

Procedures

Immediately, upon notice of power disruption, Plant Operations will contact the local power authority for an assessment of the projected duration of the power disruption. This information is to be forwarded to the Plant Operations Trouble Calls desk as soon as possible.

Scheduling Services will contact Trouble Calls (822-2173) for an assessment of the estimated length of time of the power disruption. Scheduling Services will record a message on the examination line with information for invigilators regarding the anticipated length of the disruption.

If examinations are to be cancelled, the Associate Vice-President, Enrolment Services and Registrar will make the decision in consultation with Land and Building Services.

In the event of a power outage, if the examination room has no windows and the only light is from emergency sources, the room should be evacuated. Examinations should be left face down on the desk and the students instructed to not discuss the examination nor disperse.

The invigilator should contact Scheduling Services who will provide information obtained through consultation with Trouble Calls. An updated voice message will be placed on the Scheduling Services Examination telephone to provide information to invigilators.

The same procedures should be followed as outlined in the section dealing with fire alarms.

Reporting

In the event of an examination disruption leading to the rescheduling of an examination, the head invigilator will, within 24 hours of the cancellation, submit a written report to their Department Head and Dean, with copy to Scheduling Services, outlining the cause of the disruption and the outcome.

In the event of an examination disruption NOT leading to the rescheduling of an examination, the invigilator will, within 5 days of the event, submit a written report to their Department Head and Dean, with copy to Scheduling Services, outlining the cause of the disruption and the outcome.

In the event the Associate Vice-President, Enrolment Services and Registrar is involved in an examination disruption, s/he will submit a report to the affected Department Head(s) and Dean(s) and Campus Security, with copy to Scheduling Services.

V Communication

Consistent information will be provided to five target groups: students, invigilators, academic and non-academic building administrators and, when warranted, the media.

Procedures

Students: In the event of an examination disruption, information regarding the re-scheduling of the examination will be posted by Scheduling Services on the examination web site and in Brock Hall. This information will be available as soon as possible with due consideration to all constituents.

In the event of inclement weather, natural disaster or campus wide power outages, information regarding the status of the examinations will be posted on the examination website and in Brock Hall. The Associate Vice-President Enrolment Services and Registrar or designate will forward this information to Public Affairs to communicate to the media.

Invigilators: Invigilators will follow procedures as outlined in this Policy. Invigilators will, prior to commencing an examination, instruct students of procedures in the event of a fire alarm. Such instructions will include examinations to be left face down on the desks, students not to discuss the examination, the location of the Designated Meeting Area, the requirement to remain as a group and await further instructions from the invigilator. In the event of a disruption, the invigilator will file a report to the Department Head and Dean, with copy to the course instructor and to the Director of Scheduling Services. In the event the invigilator determines an examination is to be postponed, the instructor of the course will request Schedling Services for the examination to be re-scheduled and have notices posted on the web and in Brock Hall.

In the event of a power outage, the invigilator should contact Scheduling Services who will solicit updates from Plant Operations Trouble Calls on a regular basis.

Invigilators will receive notice of this Policy and related procedures prior to each formal examination period.

Academic and non-academic building administrators: In the event of a bomb threat, Campus Security will contact academic and non-academic building administrators to help assess any unusual circumstances regarding the building situation at the time of the threat. Once the Associate Vice-President, Enrolment Services and Registrar reaches a decision whether to evacuate, the academic administrators and non-academic building users will be notified of the decision. All academic departments will be provided with the same information that is provided to invigilators.

Media

In the event of inclement weather, natural disaster or campus wide power outages, information from consultation with the Associate Vice-President, Enrolment Services and Registrar, Scheduling Services and the President's Office will be forwarded to Public Affairs to communicate to the media.

This information is for quick reference. For the full text of the Minutes of Senate, which include the motions and discussion, please see the Minutes Archive.

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