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Safety and Security

The NYU Department of Public Safety provides emergency help and information 24 hours a day. If you need assistance, call 212-998-2222 or ask a Public Safety officer on patrol around NYU. Public Safety has radio-equipped patrol vehicles that cruise the campus 24 hours a day. Look for the vehicles with the amber light on top and “New York University Public Safety” printed on the doors.

NYU Buildings with 24-Hour Security

If you need immediate assistance or can’t locate a telephone, you’ll find Public Safety officers at the University buildings listed on the next page 24 hours a day. These buildings can be quickly identified by the green light located at the main entrances. All green-light buildings are wheelchair accessible.

Lost and Found

The Department of Public Safety operates a University lost and found service. If you’ve lost something in an NYU facility, you may browse the lost and found page on the Public Safety Web site at www.nyu.edu/public.safety, or visit the Department of Public Safety at 14 Washington Place. If you find a lost item in an NYU facility, turn in the item to a uniformed NYU Public Safety officer or bring the item directly to the Department of Public Safety at 14 Washington Place.

Volunteer Student Protection Program (Safe Havens)

The NYU Department of Public Safety has arranged for a number of merchants in the area to post stickers in their windows identifying them as safe havens where students can seek assistance in case of an emergency. In addition, New York City Fire Department stations and New York City Police Department precincts are open 24 hours a day and are available to assist students in an emergency. A list of safe havens in the area is available on the Department of Public Safety Web site at www.nyu.edu/public.safety/safety.

Sexual Assault Prevention, Education, and Support

212-443-9999 • www.nyu.edu/999 wellness.exchange@nyu.edu

If you have been sexually assaulted, we strongly encourage you to obtain help from a professional counselor as soon as you are ready. Survivors of sexual assault may encounter a number of choices related to medical services, legal assistance, and counseling/support services. The staff at the Wellness Exchange is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, to discuss your options and feelings. You can also call if you want to help a friend who has been assaulted. If you prefer to remain anonymous, you don’t have to give your name. For more information on what to do if you or someone you know has been sexually assaulted, visit www.nyu.edu/health/sexual.assault.

Safety Statistics

The Advisory Committee on Campus Safety will provide upon request all campus crime statistics as reported to the United States Department of Education. Those statistics are available online at http://ope.ed.gov/security or may be obtained in hard copy form by contacting Thomas Grace, Director of Judicial Affairs, Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs, at 212-998-4403, or the Department of Public Safety, at 212-998-1300.

Safety on the Streets

  • Walk in an assertive manner and plan your route in advance.
  • Walk in well-lit and populated areas, especially at night. Avoid parks at night.
  • Be aware of your surroundings and of suspicious persons or circumstances.
  • Travel with a friend if possible.
  • Avoid wearing expensive jewelry and flashing money on the street and in the subways.
  • Always keep bags closed and backpacks zipped and buckled. Keep your purse on your lap in restaurants. Avoid hanging it on the back of your chair or leaving it on an empty chair.
  • If you suspect you are being followed, cross the street or go into a store. If you’re at NYU, go to the Department of Public Safety at 14 Washington Place or another safe place.
  • Be aware of safe haven locations. (See above.)
  • Always have enough money for cab fare home and quarters to make telephone calls.
  • Use cash machines only in the daylight.
  • Program your cell phone to call 911 and the Department of Public Safety at 212-998-2222 in an emergency.

Safety in University Buildings

NYU is very much a part of New York City. While officers from the NYU Department of Public Safety staff our buildings, people not affiliated with the University may occasionally gain access.

  • Be alert and avoid, if possible, isolated areas in the buildings.
  • Have a friend accompany you to remote areas, such as restrooms.
  • Notify security officers immediately of any unusual circumstances.
  • If you are alone in offices after business hours, notify the NYU Department of Public Safety and request attention.
  • Secure your office doors when working alone or if you must leave for a few minutes.
  • Never obviously label your keys.
  • Report the loss of keys, equipment, or valuables to the NYU Department of Public Safety. Have your locks changed immediately.
  • If you are attacked or confronted, try to attract the attention of others.
  • If you feel threatened in an elevator, hit the alarm button and then press as many buttons as possible. When riding alone, stay close to the control panel.
  • If you hear a scream or see a struggle on campus or in a University building, get help immediately. Call 212-998-2222 (8-2222 from a campus telephone) or 911. TTY 212-998-2220 is for the hearing impaired.

The most frequent crime committed at New York University is the theft of wallets, bags, purses, and other personal belongings that are left in unlocked lockers in the Silver Center for Arts and Science, Bobst Library, or Coles Sports and Recreation Center or left unattended in lounges, classrooms, or Bobst Library. Never leave personal belongings unattended.

Safety at Home and in Residence Halls

  • Always have your keys ready when approaching your door.
  • Be sure to secure all locks even if you are at home or if you leave for only a few minutes.
  • Use the peephole and ask who is at the door before opening it.
  • Do not admit strangers to your residence without proper identification and a call to verify their identity.
  • Never lend your keys to anyone.
  • Do not leave wallets, purses, jewelry, money, etc., exposed on desks or dressers. Keep small valuables in a drawer or somewhere out of sight.
  • Report lost or stolen keys and stolen property to the NYU Department of Public Safety. Have your locks changed immediately.
  • Record the serial number, model brand name, and description of all valuables for future reference. Keep a duplicate copy of this list in a separate location from the original. Remember that stolen property cannot be recovered by you unless it can be positively identified.
  • Do not let strangers in to make telephone calls. Take the number and make the call for them.
  • When entering your residence, if you suspect that someone is inside, do not enter. Go to the nearest telephone, call 911 (NYPD TTY 911 for the deaf or hard of hearing), and report a “burglary in progress.”
  • If you find suspicious individuals loitering in your building lobby, do not enter. Call 911 (NYPD TTY 911 for the deaf or hard of hearing) for help.
  • Keep a telephone near your bed. If you hear a burglar, don’t give any sign of being aware. If you can safely call for assistance, do so. At all costs, avoid alerting or interrupting the burglar.
  • Leave a light, radio, or television on while you are away. Use a timer.
  • If you plan to be away from home for an extended period, stop all newspaper deliveries and have the post office hold your mail or have a friend collect it for you.
  • Know which of your neighbors you can call in case of an emergency.
  • Be aware of your surroundings. If you encounter a suspicious person in your hallway, you might ring your own bell and then leave when there is no answer. Don’t lead a suspicious person to your apartment.
  • If you see a stranger or suspicious person in the hall, report it to the front desk attendant.
  • Show the security officer your ID and sign guests in and out as per guest policy.
  • Escort guests to and from your room.

Safety on Subways

  • The black-and-white striped signs that appear overhead near the center of the subway platform indicate the spot where the conductor’s car stops. This car is a safer place to ride late at night.
  • Avoid cars that are significantly less crowded.
  • Wait for the train near the station booth during nonrush hours. Many stations have established off-hour waiting areas.
  • Remain awake on the train.
  • Whenever possible, travel with a friend.
  • Stand away from the edge of the platform.
  • Keep money or jewelry hidden. Keep necklaces and rings out of sight.
  • Use main exits late at night.
  • Hold your handbag and other possessions securely.
  • Do not engage strangers in conversation. 
  • It is illegal for anyone to solicit for contributions on the subway. Some people may wear name tags with photos, but these are not authorized by the MTA.

You must use your own judgment as to what you wish to do. If you are being pressured or harassed, tell the nearest police officer or get off at the next stop. To contact the New York City Police Department, call 911.

Safety on Buses

For your late-night safety and convenience, Request-a-Stop bus service is available in all five boroughs from 10pm to 5am, seven days a week. (In Manhattan, Request-a-Stop service is not available between 14th and 86th Streets.) To be let off the bus at locations along the route that are not designated bus stops, simply inform the bus operator that you would like to get off at a particular location. As long as the operator considers the requested stop to be safe, you can be let off the bus. Otherwise, the bus operator will let you off at the closest safe corner. Of course, the bus will continue to make all regularly scheduled stops.

Safety on Bicycles, Skateboards, and In-line Roller Skates

  • Wear protective head and joint gear when traveling in the city.
  • Never assume people see you. Pay attention and scan ahead to avoid trouble.
  • Travel in the same direction as traffic, staying as far right as possible. Use bicycle lanes when available.
  • Yield to pedestrians.
  • Stay off sidewalks.
  • Equip your bicycle with an audible warning device, such as a bell or horn. (Whistles are illegal.)
  • Equip your bicycle with a headlight and taillight if it is to be ridden at night.
  • Wear a reflective vest or sash when traveling at night.
  • Purchase a good lock and secure your bicycle where passersby, security guards, and doormen can easily see it.
  • Register the bicycle with the local police precinct, which will stamp an identification number on the bike. It costs nothing and may help recover a stolen bicycle.
  • Bikers, boarders, and bladers are subject to all traffic laws in New York City. Observe them!

The NYU Bicycle Parking Facility behind Tisch Hall at 40 West Fourth Street is a secured bicycle parking facility. Anyone with an NYUCard is authorized to park at this facility. Your NYUCard will allow you access to the facility, and you must secure your bike to a bike rack with a high-quality lock. Make sure to place the chain or lock through at least one wheel and the frame. This facility is not a storage facility. Bicycles are not to be left here for more than 24 hours at a time. Violators will have their locks cut, and bicycles will be removed. To deter theft and facilitate recovery, you can register your bike with the NYPD 6th Precinct crime prevention officer. Call 212-741-4811 for more information.

Safety of Commuters Who Drive

  • Invest in an antitheft device for your steering wheel. It can act as a deterrent to car thieves. Always lock your car.Leave nothing exposed in the car. Place items in your trunk prior to parking or take them with you.
  • It is a good idea to check the front and back seats of your car before entering.
  • Drive with car doors locked and windows mostly closed.
  • Never park your car in a remote or dimly lighted area.

Transit Tips for Wheelchair Users and People with Mobility Impairments

The NYU Moses Center for Students with Disabilities provides information and support for students with mobility impairments, including bus and subway travel tips and advice. For information on wheelchair-accessible subway stations, call 718-596-8585 or 718-596-8273 (TTY), 24 hours a day, seven days a week. This information is also indicated on most subway maps. New York City has wheelchair lift buses operating on all local and express routes throughout the system. Call 718-330-1234 for a free copy of the MTA Guide to Accessible Transit. Information is also available on the MTA Web site at www.mta.info/mta/ada.

Washington Square Park Policies

Washington Square Park, one of the most visited parks in the world, sits at the center of our campus. This historic public commons is a great escape for some interesting people watching. Please be aware that New York City police and park rangers issue summonses and conduct arrests for violations in Washington Square Park, including riding bikes and skateboards, unreasonable noise making, vandalism, littering, unleashed dogs, climbing trees, possession of illegal drugs (including marijuana), and consumption of alcohol (including open containers in bags). NYPD surveillance cameras are located around the park.

How to Avoid Common Swindles and Con Games

Con artists are smooth-talking criminals who may be well-dressed men or women working in pairs or alone and may stop you on the street, call you on the telephone, or ring your doorbell. NYU students are not exempt from their games.

  • Stay away from something-for-nothing or get-rich-quick schemes.
  • If you are asked to turn over large sums of money in cash, be cautious. Ask yourself, “Why cash, why not a check?”
  • Be suspicious of persons asking you to “hold” money, claiming they can’t use or don’t trust banks.
  • Never sign a contract until you and your lawyer, banker, or other expert have carefully read it.
  • Don’t hesitate to check the credentials of a salesperson, a public official, a company, or a charity.

Tips for Identifying a Cult

Members of cults periodically recruit in the Greenwich Village area. They may approach you in your residence hall, in Washington Square Park, or on the streets outside of classroom buildings. In addition to sharing with you the answers they have found to life’s questions, they may seek to enlist your time, energy, and resources in endeavors they believe to be worthwhile. In short, they may ask you to join their group and make substantial contributions of time and money to their causes. Some of these groups may use recruiting tactics that are intrusive, deceitful, manipulative, and coercive. For information on identifying a cult or to seek assistance for you or someone you know who has been victimized, call the Center for Spiritual Life at 212-998-4956 or visit the Student Resource Center.

Fire Safety

  • If you suspect or discover a fire, activate the nearest fire alarm, call 911, and call the NYU Department of Public Safety from a safe location.
  • Evacuate if you hear an alarm. Continue to evacuate even if the alarm stops sounding; do not assume an alarm is not real.
  • Exit the building using the nearest exit stairways and doors. Do not use the elevators. Follow the evacuation chart posted in every elevator lobby.
  • If doors or metal door knobs are hot to the touch, do not open the door. Use a wet towel or shirt to cover the crack at the base of the door to prevent smoke penetration.
  • If you are trapped, call 911, then go to a window and open it a crack at the bottom for breathing and a crack at the top to release smoke.
  • If it is safe to leave your room, close all doors behind you as you exit.
  • Keep low to the floor to avoid smoke and toxic gases.
  • After evacuating, move away from the building, out of the way of firefighters and other emergency personnel.
  • Do not attempt to reenter the building for any reason until you are authorized to do so.
  • Once you are out of the building, report the location of a person with disabilities or other individuals needing assistance to emergency personnel.
  • Do not attempt to fight a fire—always call the fire department.
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