Skip to main content

What You Can Do

Four students walking through a skyway together

Working together, we can all foster a safer climate on and near campus. As individuals, please observe these tips to help ensure your personal safety and security.

Safety tips when walking or running

  • At night, walk with a friend whenever possible. If you have no one to walk with, use the safe walk service by calling (612) 624-WALK (9255) or visiting the Safe Walk website to request a walking escort with University Security.
  • Catch a ride on a campus shuttle bus. Several of the routes run during late night hours. Find out about all the routes.
  • Avoid shortcuts. Take well-traveled and well-lit walkways.
  • Be alert and aware of the people and environment around you. Don’t walk with earbuds in and music on. Avoid using your mobile phone while walking. These distractions make you an easier target.
  • Use good judgment if a stranger asks to borrow your mobile phone.
  • Ensure your mobile phone has location services activated. If it's stolen, this will help police attempt to recover it. iPhone users need to install the Find My iPhone app for this purpose. Similar apps for Android and other operating systems are also available.
  • Carry minimal amounts of valuables.
  • Trust your instincts. If someone makes you uncomfortable, even in daylight, do what is necessary to move away.
  • If you feel that someone is following you, go immediately to a nearby location where there are more people.

Safety tips when driving and parking

  • Keep your vehicle locked at all times when it is parked and when you are driving it. Keep the windows rolled up high enough so that an intruder cannot reach inside.
  • When you return to your vehicle, look around it and inside it before you get in.
  • Keep your vehicle well maintained. Make sure you have enough gasoline to reach your destination.
  • If you will be returning to your vehicle at night, park in a place that will be well lit when you return. Consider calling (612) 624-WALK (9255) if you are worried about returning to your car at night on or near campus.
  • If your vehicle breaks down, remain inside with the doors locked. If anyone stops to help, ask them to call a tow truck or the police for you.
  • Never pick up hitchhikers. This is extremely dangerous.
  • Keep valuables (laptops, purses, wallets, briefcases, etc.) out of sight. Lock bags and packages in the car's trunk. (Never leave valuables unattended anywhere.)

Safety tips when biking

  • Always lock your bike and use only a U-Style lock. Bike theft is one of the most common and preventable campus crimes.
  • Watch for turning cars.
  • Stay off sidewalks.
  • Don't run red lights.
  • Wear a helmet and use a light.
  • Learn about campus bike boxes.
  • Learn the rules of the road.

Safety tips for transit

Three METRO Green Line stations serve the campus and more than 225 light rail trains pass through campus each weekday. Buses run on Washington Avenue also, so follow these important safety tips:

  • Never walk on the tracks.
  • Obey all warning signs and signals.
  • Cross the tracks only at designated crossings and with the lights.
  • Listen for train bells and horns.
  • Always look both ways before crossing the tracks.
  • Wait for the bus a safe distance back from the road.
  • Do not step into the roadway until the bus has stopped and the door has opened.
  • Cross in front of a bus at least 10 feet ahead so the driver can see you.
  • Never stick your arms or legs in the doors to prevent them from closing.
  • Keep aisles clear of feet, books, bags, etc.
  • Never leave any personal belongings unattended. Carry your valuables inside your garment. Securely clasp your purse or bag.

Bus riders:

  • Wait for the bus a safe distance back from the road.
  • Do not step into the roadway until the bus has stopped and the door has opened.
  • Cross in front of a bus at least 10 feet ahead so the driver can see you.

Bicyclists:

  • Walk your bicycles on rail platforms, near the benches and tables and across pedestrian crossings.
  • Use the green bike boxes to turn left across traffic. (See informational video.)

Tips for securing your mobile devices

Simple steps you can take to protect your devices and to track them if they become lost or stolen.

U of M safety resources and information

Below are some additional resources to promote campus safety:

  • The Step Up campaign provides information about how you can help keep your friends and yourself safe.
  • The University's Aurora Center for Advocacy and Education provides crisis intervention and advocacy services to victims/survivors of sexual and relationship violence, harassment, and stalking. Its 24-hour help line is (612) 626-9111.
  • SAFE-U, the University of Minnesota emergency notification text messaging system.
  • Information on how to respond to an active shooter situation.
  • Wide-ranging safety and security measures in residence halls and apartments.
  • 21 Code Blue Phones located throughout the Minneapolis and St. Paul campuses for an immediate connection to a 911 operator at the University Police station.
  • 267 emergency intercom buttons are located in the stairways of most parking structures throughout the Minneapolis and St. Paul campuses. Callers are immediately connected to UMPD.
  • 200 yellow phones for emergency, medical, and safety-related calls.
  • More than 3000 security cameras monitored 24 hours a day.
  • Nearly 200 automated external defibrillators (AEDs) located in buildings across campus.
  • For non-emergency or general information, the University of Minnesota Police Department can be reached at (612) 624-COPS (2677).
  • Responding to alcohol medical emergencies: Alcohol overdose is a medical emergency. If you see someone passed out and unresponsive or you suspect someone has overdosed on alcohol, it is your responsibility to get help by calling 911 immediately. Read more about signs and symptoms, what to do, and learn about medical amnesty.
  • SAFE-U Emergency Notifications: Delivered in accordance with the federal Clery Act, SAFE-U Emergency Notifications issued by UMPD serve as an important tool for sharing information, increasing awareness and promoting safety among the University community. 
  • Because a vast majority of our student population lives in the neighborhoods around campus, the University of Minnesota has worked closely with police departments surrounding our campuses to highlight their public information strategies and social media channels when crimes occur in the adjacent Minneapolis neighborhoods. We encourage everyone to sign up for MPD Crime Alerts for the Second Precinct and Ramsey County Crime Alerts
  • Visit the UMPD website for more on crime prevention.