SMHS Security and Access Policy and Procedures

The purpose of this policy is to establish organizational guidelines for protecting the property, privacy, and security of students, faculty, and employees at The George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences (SMHS) and Ross Hall. As such, this policy provides the procedures for individuals to gain access to the electronically secured building.

I. Definitions

a.) Building Access Coordinator: An employee of Ross Hall, generally the SMHS Operations Manager, assigned to coordinate Ross Hall access with the Department Access Coordinator.

b.) Department Access Coordinator: An employee within the School of Medicine and Health Sciences (SMHS) assigned by SMHS Department head or his/her designee selected to coordinate keycard access for the department’s student and employees to Ross Hall.

c.) Department: A section or division of the School of Medicine and Health Sciences dealing with a particular field of knowledge, functions or duties.

d.) Faculty: A member of the teaching body at The George Washington University.

e.) GW: The George Washington University

f.) GWID: The George Washington Identification Number assigned to an individual who is a student, faculty, staff or contractor.

g.) GWorld Keycard: An electronic key card (contains GWorld ID) provided by the GWorld Card Office that is programmed to provide entry into specific doors and/or buildings at specific times.

h.) Non-SMHS Student: A person attending The George Washington University for the limited purpose of taking a course(s). This student attends GWU, but is not a SMHS student or is a student visiting from another institution.

i.) Resident: A person formally enrolled at The George Washington University for the purpose of completing a residency program.

j.) SMHS: The George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences.

k.) Staff: An employee or contractor of The George Washington University, The George Washington University Hospital or Medical Faculty Associates.

l.) Student: A person formally enrolled at The George Washington University for the purpose of learning and obtaining a degree.

m.) Visitor: Any non-employee, including vendors, clients, friends and family members.

n.) Media: Any person with the intent of publishing publicly about research, faculty, or students who are within Ross Hall.

II. Departmental Responsibilities

All departments within the SMHS are responsible for educating their students, faculty and staff on the access and security policy and procedure for the SMHS and Ross Hall building. Department heads and selected officials are responsible for ensuring that students, faculty and staff comply with the policy and procedures contained herein.

All departments are responsible for collaborating with the SMHS Human Resources Department to ensure that each new hire (faculty or staff) attends the orientation offered once a month for new hires, which ensures that they understand and agree to the policies and procedures contained herein. Moreover, every department must ensure everyone within the department is aware of the following:

  • GWorld keycards are the exclusive property of The George Washington University. Duplicating a keycard is prohibited by anyone other than GWorld Card Office personnel. The George Washington University, including the School of Medicine and Health Sciences, reserves the right to deactivate GWorld keycard access to Ross Hall at any time without notice.
  • GW students, faculty and staff shall be issued a GWorld identification keycard, which they must keep with them at all times. Keycard holders shall immediately notify the GWorld Card Office, department access coordinator if a GWorld keycard is misplaced, lost or stolen. A lost or stolen keycard must be reported immediately. Failure to report a lost or stolen keycard may result in disciplinary action.
  • Individuals shall only use the GWorld keycard that is officially assigned to them. No person shall allow the use of a keycard to give access to a person who does not have clearance to be in Ross Hall. Keycards may not be loaned or re-assigned. Misuse of a keycard may result in disciplinary action.

All departments, including the SMHS Human Resources Department, must notify the Office of Resource Management and Operations immediately when access privileges for employees or students changes. Call 4-4281 and email holumilu@gwu.edu.

III. Building Security

The Security Team secures Ross Hall. The following are the duties and expectations for the Security Team while securing Ross Hall:

  • The Security Team must remain at the desk and not leave his/her post until properly relieved.
  • The Security Team will maintain all logs (Building Access Control Sheets) pertaining to visitor control.
  • The Security Team will keep the area in and around the desk clean and presentable at all times. Because this is not a reading post, there should be no books or newspapers in the area.
  • The Security Team will NOT eat or drink at the desk.
  • The Security Team will monitor the security video screens at the desk.
  • The Security Team will maintain surveillance of the Eye Street courtyard for any suspicious person(s) loitering or tampering with bicycles. These types of activities will be reported immediately to the George Washington University Police Department dispatcher to obtain back-up.
  • The Security Team will familiarize himself/herself with instructions pertaining to Bomb Threats and Fires.
  • The Security Team will ensure the lobby egress/exit is unobstructed.
  • The Security Team will conduct sweeps of the building every hour.
  • The Security Team will issue keys to and accept keys from authorized Himmelfarb Library personnel during the hours the library is closed to the public.
  • The Security Team will NOT accept packages for delivery to offices in the building at the security desk. Delivery persons (after identification verification from the department) should be directed to the department receiving the package during normal business hours. After normal business hours the delivery person MUST take the package back, and seek to deliver the package during normal business hours.
IV. Building Access

All access related inquiries shall be directed to the office of Resource Management and Operations at 4-2312 or 4-4281.

Ross Hall’s main lobby will be the only authorized point of entry to and departure from the building for students, faculty, researchers, and staff, with the exception of entry from the elevators for those who have a contract with The George Washington University to park in the garage on the lower level of the building. The loading dock is only for deliveries and GW Facilities and is not an authorized entrance/exit for students, faculty, researchers, or staff.

To access Ross Hall, tap a GWorld card on a GWorld iClass reader. The response should be two green lights and a beep. The first light is the reader encryption algorithm recognizing the card as a GW card. If someone tried using a non-GWorld card (like a metro card or US Government ID card) the reader would not respond at all. The second green light indicates an individual has authorized access to the building. After the second green light indicates an individual has authorized access to the building, the individual must also show the GWorld card to the security personnel so they can view the photo verify the GWorld card does in fact belong to that person. Visitors without current government approved picture identification are not allowed in the building.

Persons possessing a valid George Washington University Hospital ID or George Washington University identification card (GWorld card) may enter Ross Hall 24 hours a day upon activating the GWorld authentication reader at the front desk. Only members of the GW community who have received authorization from the School of Medicine and Health Sciences will be permitted access to Ross Hall unescorted.

Individuals whose GWorld card fails authentication at the badge reader will not be permitted to sign in without a School of Medicine and Health Sciences staff or faculty member signing them in and escorting them. The Security Team is trained to greet and ask appropriate questions about a visitor’s destination in a courteous and professional manner. The following questions must be asked of anyone who does not have a valid GWorld ID:

  • What is your name?
  • Do you have identification?
  • Whom are you visiting?
  • What is the purpose of your visit?

The Security Team will ask the visitor to be seated and contact the host employee to verify that the guest is expected at that time. The Security Team must ensure all visitors sign in. Before a visitor is permitted access to the building, they must also present government approved identification for verification and must sign-in to the logbook.

Only the following forms of identification are acceptable for access to Ross Hall in the absence of a GWorld ID:

  • United States Passport
  • State issued ID
  • State issued driver’s license
  • Student ID (if under 18 years of age)

Banned Individuals: For various reasons such as a terminated employee, dismissed student or declined clients, it may be necessary to deny access to Ross Hall to certain individuals. If a banned person shows up at the security desk, the GW Police Department will escort them off the premises and the Office of Resource Management and Operations, as well as the Senior Associate Dean of Administration and Operations shall be notified.

Contractor, Vendor or Service Personnel: All vendors must provide verification that their employees undergo background checks. The Office of Resource Management and Operations must be made aware of expected contractors coming into the building via email.

Faculty: All faculty members must present their GWorld card or present picture identification so their identity can be confirmed in the GW system.

Non-SMHS Students: Non-SMHS students who require regular keycard access to Ross Hall due to course registration will be issued GWorld keycard access during that current semester and will be granted semester-only access to Ross Hall in the semester for which they are registered for courses. Non-SMHS students who have access to Ross Hall may not sign in visitors.

Residents: Residents will be issued official GWorld keycard access during the GWorld keycard registration process. The Department Access Coordinator will review keycard access each academic year to ensure that all residents have the necessary accesses to Ross Hall and/or the 6th Floor Hospital. Residents may sign in visitors.

SMHS Alumni: Alumni of The George Washington University Schools of Medicine and Health Sciences (SMHS) must show a valid GWorld alumni card and photo ID at the Ross Hall security desk. For alumni visiting or requesting a tour of the facility please call the Development and Alumni Relations office at 202-994-7511. Alumni cannot sign in visitors.

Students: Students who need regular access to Ross Hall will be issued official GWorld keycard access during the GWorld keycard registration process. The Department Access Coordinator will review keycard access each academic year to ensure the appropriate students have the necessary accesses to Ross Hall. Students cannot sign in visitors.

Staff: All staff must present their GWorld card or present picture identification so their identity can be confirmed in the GW system. Employees of The George Washington University Hospital and/or Medical Faculty Associates can show their GW Hospital ID to gain access to Ross Hall and Himmelfarb Library.

Visitors: All non-GW personnel must be escorted at all times while in Ross Hall by their host. All visitors must present picture identification be signed in by a School of Medicine and Health Sciences Staff or Faculty member. The Security Team MUST provide daily visitors badges to all visitors to identify them as visitors. The employee the visitor is visiting should escort the visitor from and to the security desk.

The SMHS Department Access Coordinator is responsible for ensuring the following takes place at the beginning of each semester to ensure the safety and security of the building, students, faculty, and staff:

  • The SMHS Department Access Coordinator is required to provide a list of students who are registered for courses held in Ross Hall to the Building Access Coordinator prior to the first day of class.
  • The SMHS Department Access Coordinator is required to provide an updated list of students attending class in Ross Hall twice a week (on Monday and Wednesday by noon) during the first two weeks of each semester. This list will remain at the front desk and students will have to check in with the security officer to be granted access to Ross Hall.
  • The SMHS Department Access Coordinator will submit to the Ross Hall Building Access Coordinator a confirmed list of students who are registered for SMHS courses holding classes in Ross Hall at the beginning of the third week of classes each semester (the end of the add/drop period). The list will include the full name and GWID for each confirmed student. This list will be provided to the GWorld Card Office, which will grant keycard access to the confirmed students.
V. Access Binder

The primary use of the access binder located at the security desk is to assist the Security Team in authenticating Ross Hall access eligibility for SMHS students and faculty members who do not have their GWorld card with them. The access binder is not recommended for use to verify staff members due to frequency of staff turnover, therefore the Department Access Coordinator must be contacted to verify and escort staff members when the who do not have their GWorld card with them. The access binder also provides information on Administrative Offices within SMHS.

At the beginning of each semester, there will be a three-week grace period for all undergraduate students taking classes in Ross Hall/Himmelfarb Library to obtain access to Ross Hall. During this grace period, the security desk is provided a list of all the undergraduate students taking SMHS courses in Ross Hall and/or Himmelfarb Library. After the grace period, any undergraduate student who does not have proper access coded on their GWorld card will be refused access to Ross Hall.

VI. Access Requests

All Ross Hall access requests shall be directed to Office of Resource Management and Operations (Ross Hall – Room 430). The security desk must not take access request or visitor/guest lists from anyone except from the Office of Resource Management and Operations. The SMHS Office of Resource Management and Operations does not accept:

  • Expired GW Hospital ID
  • Expired GWorld cards
  • GWorld cards without a picture
  • Old GWorld cards or old GW hospital ID cards. Both forms of identification must be the current cards issued by GWorld or GW Hospital.

Access status may change quickly and without prior notification. The Security Team must adhere to the policy and procedures contained herein when validating student, faculty and staff access permissions. The Security Team must not assume an individual has access based on their familiarity with them and is required to check badges and identification.

VII. Access to Gross Anatomy Laboratory and Morgue Suite

Only current trainees and instructors are permitted in the Gross Anatomy Laboratory. The Director of Gross Anatomy Resource may grant special permission on a case-by-case basis for others to enter the Gross Anatomy Laboratory for legitimate purposes, including, but not limited to, specific educational sessions and research on anatomical materials. Requests must be made via email to the Director of Gross Anatomy Resource at least one week in advance. Individuals who violate this policy are subject to sanctions.

Select faculty and staff have key-code access to the Morgue Suite. One of the following individuals must escort and remain with all other individuals granted special permission to enter the Morgue Suite facility:

  • Dean, SMHS
  • Senior Associate Dean, SMHS Administration & Operations
  • Chair, Department of Anatomy
  • Director, Gross Anatomy Resources
  • Anatomical Curator
  • Assistant Anatomical Curator
  • Director, Facilities Management (Ross Hall)
  • Director, Chemical Safety Program
  • Gross Lab Technician

The Morgue Suite Cooler is locked at all times via a special padlock. The following individuals have a key to this padlock:

  • Dean, SMHS
  • Sr. Associate Dean, SMHS Administration & Operations
  • Director, Gross Anatomy Resources
  • Anatomical Curator
  • Director Facilities Management (Ross Hall)
  • Gross Lab Technician
VIII. No Exceptions

No exceptions will be made to this policy. SMHS does not accept the following GW Identification:

  • Expired GW Hospital ID
  • Expired GWorld cards
  • GWorld cards without a picture
  • Old GWorld cards or old GW hospital ID cards. Both forms of identification must be the current cards issued by GWorld or GW Hospital.

Should an unforeseen and/or emergency situation arise that is believed to require a one-time departure from the policies and procedures contained herein, authorization to do so must be obtained from the Senior Associate Dean of Administration and Operations.

IX. Training

The SMHS Department of Human Resources will collaborate with the SMHS Office of Resource Management and Operations to provide appropriate security, lab safety, access policy and procedure training as part of the orientation of ALL new hires on a monthly basis (generally the third Monday of each month).

Students, Fellows, Interns and Volunteers seeking to gain practical experience in a laboratory environment at the SMHS must attend GW Laboratory Safety training prior to obtaining access to Ross Hall. The following is also required:

  • All GW affiliates requesting Ross Hall access must have a GWid number – G+8 digit number.
  • Departments must send all access requests to holumilu@gwu.edu.
  • All non-GWU employees who will be in a laboratory environment must fill out a waiver form and complete the laboratory safety training prior to starting. Contact GW Health and Safety via email at satety@gwu.edu for training dates and times.
  • Collaborators and Consultants from other higher education institutions will receive access to Ross Hall through the end of the term of their contract. It is the department’s responsibility to notify the office of Resource Management and Operations at 4-2312 and via e-mail at holumilu@gwu.edu if a contractor or collaborator will end their term prior to the date initially reported to the office of Resource Management and Operations.
X. Employment of Minors

The District of Columbia (DC) imposes certain requirements on employers who hire minors. These requirements depend on the age of the minor, the type of employment involved and the term of the employment. DC requires individuals under the age of 18 to obtain a work permit. Departments must ensure this requirement is met prior to requesting Ross Hall access for a minor. Access to areas with higher security protection requires approval from the department that owns the space and may require special training of the minor.

XI. Media

Members of the media are not permitted access to Ross Hall without a staff member escort from the School of Medicine and Health Sciences’ Communications and Marketing Office, due to the confidential nature of work taking place in scientific labs in Ross Hall.

XII. Large Groups and Events

Any Ross Hall occupant expecting a group of guests (5 or more) must notify the Office of Resource Management and Operations (email: holumilu@gwu.edu ) and provide the required information for each guest at least 48 hours prior to their arrival.