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Work Conditions

Internal Communications

SWOSU strives to provide a campus environment that is safe and ethical. To meet this goal, SWOSU offers numerous reporting options for suggestions, comments, and concerns to be brought forward by employees.

Open Door Policy: SWOSU uses an open-door policy to resolve issues that cause concern with work conditions, university policy, safety, and other matters. It is often the case that the supervisor closest to the matter is best suited to resolve the issue. Thus, individuals are encouraged to seek direction from their immediate supervisor to resolve concerns as they arise. However, should an employee’s supervisor not address the matter to an individual’s satisfaction, or should an individual prefer, they may contact an administrator in their supervisor’s chain-of-command, HR, and/or a senior administrator.

Suggestion Box: Suggestions may be submitted electronically through the SWOSU website. Individuals may also submit written suggestions via the drop box located in the hallway of the Hays Administration Building.


EthicsPoint: SWOSU provides a confidential tip line called EthicsPoint. This reporting option allows confidential reporting of unethical, illegal, or otherwise inappropriate behavior to a third-party company. Reports may be filed through the EthicsPoint website or by telephoning 1-866-898-8438.

Silent Witness Program: The Silent witness program is operated by the Campus Police Department and is designed to allow individuals to anonymously report crimes. To share information or report a crime, submit a Silent Witness Form on the SWOSU website.

SWOSU Staff Council (SSC)

A successful campus community is composed of dedicated faculty, administration, staff, and student members. Commitment comes from meaningful involvement and participation in the practices of SWOSU. SWOSU has organized and officially recognizes the SSC which includes  employees that are not faculty, administrative officers, or students.

The SSC may make recommendations to the administration concerning matters that are in the best interest of SWOSU. Such recommendations shall be made to or through the Vice President of Administration and Finance.

Employees interested in obtaining additional information concerning the SSC are encouraged to contact their council representative or the Vice President of Administration and Finance.


SWOSU endeavors to provide a safe environment in compliance with federal, state, and local safety regulations. Establishment and maintenance of a safe work environment is the shared responsibility of SWOSU employees. Employees are to obey safety rules and to exercise caution in their work activities. Individuals should immediately report any unsafe conditions to their supervisor and/or HR.

Firearms/Weapons: In accordance with state law, no one other than a commissioned law enforcement officer may carry firearms on campus. In addition to firearms, the possession of fireworks, explosives, or weapons including, but not limited to, bows, knives (excluding small pocketknives), or paint-ball guns is prohibited on university property. Contact the Campus Police Department for any questions related to this policy.

Work Related Injuries and Illnesses: Work-related accidents that result in injury are to be reported to their supervisor at the earliest opportunity, regardless of how minor the injury may appear at the time. In the event the employee is unable to locate their supervisor, they should contact the Campus Police Department to report the injury. By reporting work-related injuries and illnesses, the employee assists the University in ensuring the appropriate worker's compensation procedures may be initiated; thereby making SWOSU a safer place to work. (See Incident Report Form on SWOSU website)

Security of Facilities: Security is provided in the maintenance of SWOSU's facilities through a number of mechanisms, including limitations on hours of operation, policies on keys, provision of adequate lighting, security cameras, as well as, restricting access to those bearing appropriate identification. Additionally, the campus police perform building checks and lockups on campus buildings at scheduled times. 

Reporting Crimes and Emergencies on Campus: Reports of criminal actions or other emergencies occurring on the campus should be made to the Campus Police Department at 580.774.3111 or by calling 911. Victims of serious crimes may request support personnel such as ministers and counselors during and after reporting. The Clery Act, as well as the campus crime statistics, are available on the Campus Police webpage.

Related Security Procedures and Practices Programs: SWOSU encourages individuals to be responsible for their own security and the security of others. Presentations by the Campus Police Department are provided upon request to the campus community. Formats have included speakers, videos, demonstrations, and workshops. Routine public service announcements are made, and informational brochures are distributed.

Campus Alert System: SWOSU has an emergency notification system to offer a convenient way to receive urgent text messages from the University. The service is voluntary, but individuals are strongly urged to register. Once registered, participants may add an email address or an additional phone number so that a friend or family member also receives notifications. Only emergency or other urgent messages will be sent via SWOSU Alert.

Visit the Campus Police webpage to register for SWOSU Alert. Though the system is free, subscribers may have to pay fees associated with their text messaging service.

Inclement Weather/Closing of Campus: The decision to close the campus due to inclement weather or other events will be made by the President or their designee. Once a decision to close has been made, the appropriate media outlets will be notified and/or a notice on SWOSU Alert will be sent.

Open Flames: In keeping with SWOSU's intent to provide a safe work environment, the use of unauthorized open flames in SWOSU buildings or property is prohibited. The prohibition of open flames does not apply to authorized work personnel performing hot works construction, repair activities, or properly supervised educational activities.

Americans with Disabilities Act as Amended (ADA) Policy

SWOSU is committed to complying with applicable provisions of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and its amendments. It is the University’s policy not to discriminate against an otherwise qualified employee or applicant with regard to terms or conditions of employment because of such individual’s disability or perceived disability. SWOSU will provide reasonable accommodations to qualified individuals upon notice or when the University becomes aware of an individual’s disability, provided such accommodation does not constitute an undue hardship on the University. As part of the process, potential accommodations may be attempted on a trial or short-term basis.

ADA accommodations must be requested and approved through HR. 

Maintenance Procedures

As a safe work environment is a paramount concern for SWOSU, department heads and supervisors are to notify the Physical Plant of routine maintenance needs. The Physical Plant is dedicated to addressing work order requests in a timely manner. However, employees should recognize that work orders are prioritized by severity of need. (See Maintenance Work Request Form on SWOSU website.)

Emergency Procedures: SWOSU employees observing a potentially hazardous maintenance problem should contact the Physical Plant at Ext. 3788. In the event of an after-hours emergency, call these emergency numbers in the following order:

24-hour emergency number 580.774.9002
Campus Police 580 – 774 – 3111

Employee Identification

Photo Identification Cards: SWOSU provides a photo identification (ID) card to staff and retirees.  The ID card may be used for access to various facilities and activities that are available to SWOSU employees. The ID cards are provided at no cost to the employee. ID will expire upon termination of employment and are to be returned to the HR office. Physical Plant and Residence Life may have additional requirements regarding ID cards

Nametags: SWOSU provides a free nametag to regular-status employees. Wearing the nametag is encouraged but is not mandated.

Dress Code

SWOSU recognizes that due to the variety of job duties and responsibilities across campus, differences in what is deemed acceptable dress will exist. SWOSU will endeavor not to infringe on an individual's preferred dress habits. However, SWOSU will intervene when an employee's dress style or grooming habits interfere with assigned work duties, present a safety concern, or cause distraction to fellow employees or students.

Uniforms: As a general practice, SWOSU does not purchase or provide uniforms to individual employees. However, at the discretion of SWOSU, exceptions to this practice may be permitted. The two primary reasons such exceptions are made is in the event that an employee's position requires a style of uniform or clothing that is not deemed appropriate for street wear or because a heightened level of protection is necessitated. These exceptions are made either by the President or their designee. 

Note: Uniforms and clothing purchased by SWOSU are to be used in the performance of the employee's job functions. Such clothing is not intended for personal use and will be returned to SWOSU upon termination of employment.

Use of SWOSU Equipment

SWOSU provides a variety of equipment to assist individuals in accomplishing their job duties. Such equipment may include, but is not limited to, tools, computer equipment, machinery, and vehicles. When using such equipment, individuals are to exercise care and follow proper operating instructions, safety standards, and guidelines. Individuals are to notify their supervisor and/or HR if equipment appears to be damaged, defective, or in need of repair.

University equipment is not to be used for personal gain. The following provides limited information on selected areas.

Privacy: Individuals are afforded no expectation of privacy when using SWOSU equipment and/or resources. This is not modified by the issuance of keys, passwords, or other devices for securing areas (computers, desks, file cabinets, offices, etc.). Furthermore, use of SWOSU computing and e-mail systems grants consent to the review of messages to or from employees in the system in printed form or any other medium.

SWOSU utilizes numerous surveillance cameras to enhance the safety of the campus community. As such, employees may be videoed in the routine course of their workday.

Keys: Individuals are to assure the appropriate usage and safeguarding of university keys entrusted to them. Prior to the issuance of a key(s), the appropriate department head must sign an authorization. (See Key Request Form on SWOSU website)

Vehicles: Only authorized individuals shall drive a SWOSU vehicle. Such individuals are to possess a valid driver's license. They are to obey traffic laws and to wear their safety belts while operating the motor vehicle. State law prohibits the use of texting while operating a motor vehicle. In general, non-employees may not ride in SWOSU vehicles. However, an authorized individual operating a university vehicle may transport non-employees in cases such as:

  • Students riding as part of a university activity
  • The spouse of an employee attending a function in which the spouse is generally expected to attend
  • The non-employee is traveling as an invited participant
  • A city official is riding as part of a sponsored event

Refer to section 8 in the Safety Manual for further details on this policy.

SWOSU reserves the right to require a driver improvement course when deemed in the best interest of the University.

Mail System: The Mailroom receives and processes daily mail for all campus departments. Refer to the Mailroom Policy for full details and procedures. Once mail is received by the mailroom it becomes University property.

Computers and Computing Equipment: Computing services at SWOSU are designed to promote and enhance the educational, research, and administrative efforts of the University. Individuals utilizing these services are responsible to ensure computing resources are used in an ethical and lawful manner under the Computing Policy.

Individuals using computer and network systems owned by SWOSU are subject to applicable local, state, or federal laws and university policies. SWOSU cooperates with duly constituted law enforcement agencies in cases of violation of applicable law. SWOSU will provide proportional sanctions for policy violations, including, but not limited to, reprimand, dismissal from the University, and legal action.

Information Technology Services (ITS), in coordination with the President and/or their designee, may override an individual password; thus, employees are afforded no expectation of privacy in their e-mail or any other information stored or accessed on SWOSU computers.

Campus Parking

Individuals are permitted to park in campus parking locations, except those with designated restrictions. Certain SWOSU and service vehicles are exempt from some parking regulations.

Weatherford Campus: Employee vehicles parked on the Weatherford campus must display the appropriate parking decal, which can be obtained at the Campus Police Department. Additional decals may be requested.

Sayre Remote Location: Parking decals are not required for employees or students parking on the Sayre remote location. Individuals with questions concerning the Sayre remote location parking procedures should contact the Dean of the Sayre Remote Location.

Speed Limits: The speed limit for the Weatherford and Sayre remote locationes is 15 miles per hour.

Accidents: Individuals who are involved in traffic accidents, while in the scope of their employment, should take appropriate emergency steps then notify the Campus Police Department or, if on the Sayre remote location, the Dean's Office. Additionally, individuals involved in an at-fault traffic accident, while on SWOSU business, are required to take a defensive driving training course within six months of the event. SWOSU will pay for the first training; thereafter, training courses will be at the expense of the employee.

Security Inspections

SWOSU strives to maintain a work environment that is free of illegal drugs, alcohol, firearms, explosives, harassing material, and other improper materials. SWOSU prohibits the control, possession, transfer, sale, and/or use of such materials on university property, including, but not limited to, work areas, vehicles, lockers, toolboxes assigned to an employee, or items brought onto the premises by an employee.

To ensure compliance with this policy, SWOSU reserves the right to inspect these areas. The fact that an employee may be provided a key, password, or other device for securing an area does not entitle the employee to an expectation of privacy.

SWOSU works with local, state, and federal authorities in an effort to secure SWOSU property and work environment. Note: It is not within the scope or intent of this policy to limit or interfere with campus police officers in the execution of their duties.

Sales and Solicitations

Private vendors are not allowed to use SWOSU facilities for the purpose of sales or solicitations. Exceptions to this rule are as follows:

  • Vendor has approval from the President or their designee.
  • Vendor has approval from the appropriate SWOSU representative to use an auxiliary building, such as the Memorial Student Union, and solicitations are confined to the assigned area; established fees will be charged for the use of such auxiliary facilities.
  • Vendor uses proper US mail services.

Communicable Diseases

SWOSU has established a protocol to be followed when an employee is infected with a communicable disease. Such diseases include, but are not limited to, hepatitis, meningitis, mumps, HIV/AIDS, whooping cough, measles, diphtheria, chicken pox, and tuberculosis. The purpose and complete procedure of this protocol can be found within the Guidelines on Infectious Diseases.

Use of Tobacco

SWOSU is a tobacco free campus. This policy interprets campus in a broad and encompassing manner, which includes, but is not limited to, university owned buildings, facilities, sidewalks, roadways, parking lots, vehicles, and grounds.

For the purposes of this policy, the term “tobacco products” includes all forms of tobacco and not limited to cigarettes. This term also includes e-cigarettes and any form of vaping or tobacco-mimicking products.

SWOSU Center for Health and Well-being provides assistance to those employees seeking to quit tobacco use.

Drug Free School/Workplace

In compliance with the Drug-Free and Communities Act Amendments of 1989, SWOSU recognizes that drug and alcohol abuse diminishes the integrity of the institution and erodes the strength and vitality of the individuals. Employees are expected to be in suitable mental and physical condition and able to perform their assigned duties satisfactorily. It is the intent of SWOSU to educate students and employees about the dangers of drug and alcohol abuse and to discourage the illegal possession and distribution of drugs and alcohol. Accordingly, SWOSU adopts the following policy:

The unlawful possession, use or distribution of illicit drugs and alcohol by students and employees on SWOSU property, or as a part of any SWOSU student sponsored activity, is strictly prohibited. Students and employees must abide by this policy as a condition of enrollment or employment. Continuance of employment or enrollment following receipt of this policy constitutes acceptance of this policy by the employee or student. Sanctions will be imposed for violation of this policy. Employees and students are required to notify SWOSU Human Resources of any state or federal drug statute conviction for a violation occurring on SWOSU campus no later than five (5) days after conviction. Students are required to notify the Dean of Students within the same time frame.

University Sanctions: Under Federal Regulations, SWOSU must impose sanctions for violations of its Drug-Free Schools Policy. SWOSU sanctions include, but are not limited to, reprimand, restriction of activities, conduct probation, administrative leave, expulsion, and termination of employment. Administrative sanctions shall be imposed immediately or within 30 days of notification or awareness of the employee’s workplace related criminal drug statute conviction. SWOSU may also require the completion of an approved rehabilitation program at the employee's or student's expense. Disciplinary action will be taken in accordance with the applicable policies of SWOSU. 

It is also within the discretion of SWOSU to refer any violations to the appropriate authorities for criminal prosecution. Local, state, and federal laws provide for a variety of legal sanctions for the unlawful possession and distribution of illicit drugs and alcohol. Hence, sanctions include, but are not limited to, incarceration and monetary fines. Employees should note that they are also subject to SWOSU's Drug-Free Community policy and can refer to that policy for additional sanctions.

Health Risks: Alcohol and other drug use represent serious threats to health and the quality of life.  Alcohol and other drug use increase the risk of accidents, birth defects, HIV/AIDS, and other diseases. Health risks generally associated with alcohol and drug abuse can result in, but are not limited to, a lowered immune system, damage to critical nerve cells, lung damage, heart problems, liver disease, physical and mental depression, increased infection, irreversible memory loss, personality changes, and thought disorders. With most illicit drugs, it is possible that users will develop psychological and physical dependence. Further information concerning health risks may be found in Center for Health & Well-being. Individuals should also consult their personal physician about alcohol and drug-related health risks. Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) provides resources, DEA Website.

Counseling and Rehabilitation: SWOSU provides access to an Employee Assistance Program (EAP) and Counseling Services that is free to all students, faculty, and staff. EAP provides counseling and training programs that inform participants of the dangers of drug and alcohol abuse. Assistance in locating an in or out-patient rehabilitation site is available through EAP. Additionally, health insurance benefited employees may contact Blue Cross Blue Shield (toll free number on the back of their card) for preauthorization benefits to access in or out-patient treatment. Volunteer participation in or referrals to these services is confidential. 

Those needing help or advice may also use the following hotline numbers:

SWOSU Counseling Service 580.774.3776
(After hours) SWOSU Campus Police 580.774.3111
National Institute on Drug Abuse 1.800.662.HELP (4357)
Alcohol Addiction Hotline 1.855.504.6815
Reach-Out Hotline 1.800.522.9054

Any questions regarding the rules, regulations and policies concerning the Drug-Free Schools or the Drug-Free Community standards of SWOSU may be referred to the HR Office.