Campus Safety and Security

The safety and security of our students, faculty, staff, and guests is our number one priority. Our goal is to provide a safe living and learning environment.

We provide and support general and emergency services and enforce campus rules and regulations 24 hours per day, 365 days per year. Our officers work with and assist area law enforcement agencies with violations of North Carolina and federal laws both on and off-campus.

How to report a crime or emergency

Call 911 and/or Campus Security (828.898.8756) if:

  • You see fire or smell smoke
  • You witness someone vandalizing property or stealing
  • You witness someone hurting another person
  • You see something suspicious
  • You have something stolen
  • Someone becomes injured or ill

Even if you aren’t sure security is needed, call anyway and let us assess the situation.

ALICE Active Shooter Training

As a continuation of ALICE (Alert, Lockdown, Inform, Counter, Evacuate) training, faculty and staff will participate in aggressive intruder and active shooter drills on campus. ALICE training option-based tactics have become the accepted response nationwide, versus the traditional “lockdown only” approach.

During the coming months, ALICE Trained Instructors from the Office of Campus Safety and Security will conduct these two-hour activities. The session begins with classroom instruction before moving to hands-on demonstrations and scenarios in a work setting.

The Office of Business Affairs will pilot the program on Wednesday, Dec. 18 beginning at 1 p.m. Faculty and staff from other areas of the college will receive notification about their scheduled training date and time from HD Stewart, director of safety and security.

The college will make use of the Rave Mobile Safety alert system at the beginning and end of each ALICE training session. All current students, faculty, and staff are automatically enrolled in the alert system using their college-issued email addresses. Users are encouraged to add mobile phone numbers to their profile in order to receive text alerts and updates.

Thank you for your support as we work to achieve a safer and more secure campus community. For questions or assistance, please contact HD Stewart at 828.898.8823.

Emergency Contacts

Director of Safety and Security 
HD Stewart

Campus Security Office

Banner Elk Police Department

Avery County Sheriff’s Office

Cannon Memorial Hospital

Emergency Alert System

The college makes use of a multi-layer notification system powered by Rave Mobile Safety to alert the campus community to inclement weather, school closings, and/or other serious threats.

All current students, faculty, and staff are automatically enrolled in the alert system using their college-issued email addresses. Users are encouraged to add mobile phone numbers to their profile in order to receive text alerts and updates.

Lees-McRae invites parents, vendors, or other community members to subscribe to the emergency notifications. Text LMCALERT to 67283 to register.

The system is tested every semester, but is never used for non-emergency purposes. Personal contact information is kept confidential and will not be shared with third-parties. Standard or other messaging charges may apply to text messages depending upon your wireless carrier.

Inclement Weather Policy


    Main Campus

    The practice of Lees-McRae College is to continue operations, both instructional and otherwise, even when facing snow, ice, or other harsh weather.

    When Operations Continue

    In the event that the Banner Elk area experiences inclement weather conditions, and that classes or other operations are not delayed or cancelled, students and employees should exercise all due care, caution, and prudent judgment in their determination of whether travel to campus is safe and warranted. The same applies to students and employees whose responsibilities lie at extended campus sites. (See Inclement Weather Policy for extended campus sites.)

    The College appreciates the efforts of both students and employees to meet their obligations when operations continue uninterrupted. However, unnecessary risk of life, limb, and property is to be avoided. If students decide not to attempt travel, they should make every effort to inform their instructors by email. If employees decide not to attempt travel, they should make every effort to inform the appropriate supervisor of that decision. If contact with the immediate supervisor is not possible, College employees should relay their decision through the office of the appropriate Cabinet member. Note that when the College is open and employees make the decision not to attempt travel, employees must claim their missed work time as a personal day or vacation time; however, sick leave may not be used.

    When Operations Are Delayed or Cancelled

    If extraordinarily severe conditions warrant, the President, in consultation with pertinent President’s Cabinet members and Campus Security, may delay classes, cancel classes, delay opening of the College, or close the College. These distinctions being important, the following definitions become significant:

    • Classes Will Begin At …: Classes begin at the stated time; other College operations begin as usual.
    • Classes Are Cancelled: Classes throughout the day are cancelled; other College operations continue as usual. (Administrators, administrative staff, professional staff, custodial staff, and other non-instructional staff are expected to continue operations within the parameters of the above remarks.)
    • The College Will Open At …: Both classes and administrative operations begin at the stated time.
    • The College Is Closed: Both classes and administrative operations are cancelled for the day. Only essential staff members (e.g., food services, physical plant, security, and Cabinet members) are expected to report to campus. Additional staff members may be required on campus at the discretion of the supervising Cabinet member.

    These decisions will be communicated through the following channels. Note that the official decision for delay or cancellation is the one broadcast through campus communications.

    • Lees-McRae College switchboard (828.898.5241)
    • Campus-wide email
    • Lees-McRae College website
    • Social media sites (@leesmcrae,
    • Campus-wide text message or email via the Rave Alert System
    • Various media outlets, including:
      • Boone: MTN – 24
      • Charlotte: WBTV – 3 (CBS)
      • Asheville: WLOS – 13 (ABC)
      • Johnson City: WJHL – 11 (CBS)
      • Bristol: WCYB – 5 (NBC)

    Please note: We will be alerting these stations in the event of a delay or full-day closure. We will not be alerting these stations in the event of an early closure.


    Distance Learning

    In the event of ice, snow, or other harsh weather it may be necessary to cancel extended campus classes. The first factor is to always consider the safety of faculty and students and you are asked to exercise all due care, caution and judgment to determine if travel to the extended campus site is safe. Beyond personal safety, the weather conditions at the extended campus sites will be the major factor determining whether or not Lees-McRae College’s classes are held. If the classes are on a community college campus, and that school has cancelled classes, Lees-McRae College’s classes will not be held until the community college resumes operations.

    Each faculty member will be responsible for checking with the extended campus program coordinator when making a determination about holding classes during inclement weather. Program coordinators should contact community colleges to determine the status of their operations. Students are responsible for checking their respective extended site to determine the status of operations.Students are also responsible for checking their Lees-McRae email and Brightspace site(s) for messages from their instructors indicating class cancellations. Faculty reserve the right to hold classes online, so please refer to Brightspace for updates and announcements.

    In the event of severe weather in the Banner Elk area that prevents Lees-McRae faculty from traveling, but does not affect extended campus sites, program coordinators and/or faculty can contact the switchboard operators at community college sites notifying them of cancellations. Community college contact personnel can also be notified to post signs on classroom doors. Faculty members should make every effort to contact students via email, telephone or Brightspace when cancellations are due to inclement weather in the Banner Elk area.

    Program coordinators, faculty, and students should be aware that community colleges may make separate announcements concerning the cancellations of day and evening classes. Therefore, it is best to call the college switchboards for the most detailed information since radio and television announcements may not differentiate between day and evening closings. Most community colleges will also post closings on their website. Listed below are contact numbers for the community colleges:

    • Mayland Community College | 828.765.7351
    • Surry Community College | 336.386.8121
    • Western Piedmont Community College | 828.438.6000

General Safety Tips

  • Avoid walking alone at night and always walk in groups
  • Keep your doors locked even when you are in your room
  • Always have your keys out and ready when you approach your vehicle or residence hall
  • Don’t let strangers follow you into your residence hall, and contact the security office if you have any safety concerns
  • Alert a friend or roommate of your whereabouts and your expected return whether you are leaving for a few hours or a few days
  • Keep an eye out for wildlife and never approach bears or other wild animals
  • Stay alert and be aware of your surroundings
  • Report any suspicious activity to Campus Security (828.898.8756)

Winter Safety Tips

Winter in Banner Elk is a beautiful time of the year, but it is also a time when winter storms and sub-zero temperatures pose a threat. We want to offer some winter safety tips to keep you safe during the winter season.

  • Wear proper footwear when walking on snow and ice. Boots or well-insulated shoes that are waterproof with non-slip tread are ideal.
  • Take small steps to keep your balance and avoid slipping.
  • Do not text or talk on your phone while walking on snow or ice.
  • Hold handrails when they are available for added support.
  • Avoid walking underneath icicles. As melting occurs, falling icicles are especially dangerous.
  • Walk on designated walkways as much as possible.
  • Avoid driving in snowy or icy conditions if at all possible. If it is necessary for you to travel, make sure that your tires are in good shape and that all essential features are working properly (lights, brakes, etc.).
  • Keep your gas tank as full as possible and your cell phone fully charged when traveling during inclement weather.
  • Keep a winter safety kit in your car that includes a flashlight, blanket, first aid kit, bottles of water and snacks.
If you need assistance, please don’t hesitate to contact Campus Security at 828.898.8756.