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Student Life


Bethel College strives to provide safe facilities and a secure environment for all members of our campus community.

However, we recognize that emergencies may occur and the college must be prepared to respond appropriately.

In the event of a crisis situation, students may be notified via:
  • Bethel e-mail
  • Bethel website
  • loudspeakers on campus
  • SMS (text) *
* Students can add family members to the SMS Alert System by filling out the SMS Alert System Form (ThresherConnect login required).

Because of Bethel’s strong commitment to being a community of people who trust and respect each other, you can feel safe on the campus. Read the report on campus crime and fire statistics. However, this does not mean that reasonable safeguards should not be taken. All members of the community are encouraged to observe the following:

  • Be aware of your surroundings.
  • If walking in less well lighted areas after dark, carry a flashlight or walk with a companion.
  • Lock your door when you leave your room.
  • Guard your keys; do not loan them to others.
  • If anyone makes comments to you that make you feel uncomfortable or threatened in any way, say so and/or walk away. If anyone continues this behavior after you have asked them to stop, report it to any member of the student life staff.
  • Inform your RA or RD immediately of any acts that threaten the safety or security of the residence hall, or of the presence of persons who should not be in the building.
  • Know the location of emergency telephones on campus. These are in red metal boxes and are set up to dial 911. There are seven:
    1. Warkentin Court on the east side of Mod 1A next to the parking lot
    2. Haury Hall on the west wall just north of the front sidewalk
    3. Schultz Student Center to the left of the front entrance
    4. Goering Hall on the west exterior wall
    5. Luyken Fine Arts Center at the west entrance from the parking lot.
    6. Haury Hall on the north end between the Will Academic Center
    7. Prairie Sky Stage on the north side of the Fine Arts Center
Emergency Numbers
Police, fire or ambulance: 911
Campus building security: 316-284-5254
or Adam Akers 316-650-0137
Student life: 316-284-5324
Newton Medical Center: 316-283-2700
Prairie View Mental Health Center: 316-283-2400


Severe Weather

Bethel College is a primarily residential campus and does not typically cancel classes. Commuter students should use their judgment regarding their safety when traveling conditions become precarious, and contact their professors about rescheduling exams if necessary.

If there are cancellations or closures, an e-mail will be sent to the campus community. If electronic communications are disabled, the following stations will be provided with the information:

  • TV:
    • KSNW, Channel 3
    • KAKE, Channel 10
    • KWCH, Channel 12
  • Radio:
    • KFDI-FM
    • KRBB-FM
    • KFTI-AM
    • KICT-FM
    • KFXJ-FM
    • KYQQ-FM

In Kansas, the high activity tornado months are April, May and June, but tornadoes may occur March through October. During the spring, summer and early fall months, the cities of North Newton and Newton test their tornado sirens every Monday at noon.

A tornado watch is issued when the atmosphere is favorable for the development of tornadoes.

A tornado warning means a tornado has actually been sighted or detected by radar within 10 miles of the city limits of Newton/North Newton and you should take cover!

What to do when a tornado siren sounds:
  • Stay calm. Your response will reassure other residents.
  • Take shelter in the center of the basement or, if necessary, inner halls, janitor closets, showers, or bathrooms on first floors.
  • Stay away from windows and large roof spans.
  • Sit on the floor, preferably with your head down to protect you from possible flying debris.
  • Stay inside until a member of the Residence Life staff tells you it’s all clear.
  • Report any damage and/or injuries to your resident director.

Fire Plan

If you discover a fire:
  • SOUND THE ALARM and leave the building by the nearest exit.
  • Call the fire department by dialing 911. Give as much information as you can to the dispatcher. Do not hang up until the dispatcher tells you that s/he has all the information needed.
Do not attempt to put out the fire or rescue others unless you can do so safely.
Where to go if there’s a possibility of fire:

If there is smoke in the room, drop to the floor and stay low. Smoke inhalation is often fatal. Feel the door before opening it. If the door is hot, DO NOT OPEN. If the door is cool, brace against the door and push open slowly. If heat or heavy smoke is present, close the door and remain in the room.

If you cannot leave the room or exit safely:
  • Remain calm. The room is designed to withstand fire for long periods of time. Seal up the cracks around and under the door using sheets, towels or clothing to prevent smoke from entering your room. These items should be wet if possible.
  • Hang an object out the window (sheet, jacket, shirt) to attract the attention of the fire department. Call 911 immediately.
  • Stay near a window and low to the ground. A wet cloth will aid in breathing if smoke is in the room.
If you can leave your room safely:
  • Take a wet cloth for your face to aid in breathing if you run into smoke.
  • Close the door behind you and take your keys.
  • Proceed to the nearest exit. Do not use an elevator, as you could become trapped. If the exit is blocked with smoke or fire, proceed to another exit. Keep low to the ground if smoke is present. Cover your face with a wet cloth and take short breaths of air.
  • Stand clear of the building after evacuating and follow the directions of fire, police and residence hall personnel.
Never re-enter a burning building!
Be Prepared:
  • Know the location of nearest escape route. This will reduce panic in case of emergency.
  • Take fire drills seriously. Drills will make you familiar with evacuation procedures.
  • Know emergency numbers: Fire Department: 911

Power Outage

Since Bethel College is primarily a residential campus, classes may continue if faculty members believe conditions permit. Do, however, turn off and unplug electrical appliances and computers.

Other Emergencies

Medical emergency: If you need or have questions about medical assistance, contact your RA or RD. In case of an emergency, call 911.

Criminal activities: Call 911 in case of an emergency. You can report suspicious or threatening behavior or concerns about another student to the Office of Student Life.

About Bethel

As the first Mennonite college founded in North America, Bethel College celebrates a tradition of progressive Christian liberal arts education, diversity within community, and lifelong learning.