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Safe and Healthy Campus Community

NYU includes a complex network of global communities in which social and physical factors combine to influence health. Many health issues – such as violence and unintentional injury, transportation safety, and the risk of communicable disease – affect not only an individual but also the population at large. With its growing position as a global university, it is critical for NYU to focus on risk reduction strategies and proactive approaches for health and safety issues common to all students and staff studying and working at sites throughout the world.

Key Facts

Communicable Disease

  • 12.3% of college students reported negative impact on individual academic performance as a result of having a cold or the flu.10
  • Immunization can decrease the chances of getting influenza by 70-90% in healthy adults when there is an optimal match between the available vaccine and circulating influenza strains.11
  • An annual average of 41,400 deaths have been attributed to influenza using mortality data between 1979 and 2001.12
  • Nearly 100% of NYU students have received two MMR immunizations.
  • Many NYU students do not receive all of the CDC recommended vaccinations, including less than 40% receiving an annual influenza vaccination.9

Transportation Safety

  • Intentional and unintentional injuries are the two leading causes of death for 15-24 year olds in New York City.1
  • Between 1996 and 2003, a total of 3,462 NYC bicyclists were seriously injured in crashes with motor vehicles.2
  • 97% of the bicyclists who died in crashes in NYC from 1996 and 2005 were not wearing a helmet. Most fatal crashes (74%) involved a head injury.2
  • More than half of the NYU students who ride bicycles or in-line skate do not wear helmets.10
  • Pedestrian injury is one of the top ten leading causes of hospitalization due to injury for 15-24 year olds in New York City.3
  • Pedestrians accounted for 52% of traffic fatalities in NYC from 2005-2009.4
  • There are 4 times as many pedestrians killed or severely injured per mile of street in
    Manhattan as in the other four boroughs.4
  • Between 1990 and 2003, there were 315 accidental deaths on the New York City subway system.5


  • Nationally, more than 1 in 4 college-aged women report experiences that meet the legal definitions of rape or attempted rape.6
  • Between 1995 and 2002, U.S. college students ages 18–24 were victims of approximately 479,000 crimes of violence annually, including rape/sexual assault, robbery, aggravated assault, and simple assault.8
  • Approximately 90% of NYU students report feeling safe on campus during the daytime.9

Suggestions for Student Leaders

This page is intended to be a resource containing suggestions for what you can do to increase NYU students’ personal responsibility for actions that contribute to a safe and healthy campus community.

Communicable Disease

Get a flu vaccine. Influenza is highly contagious. Receiving a yearly influenza vaccination is the most effective way to reduce your risk and your peers’ risk of catching the flu. You can get a flu vaccine at the Student Health Center, local pharmacy, or other health care provider. Visit the Student Health Center Health's website for a listing of on-campus events for students to get a free flu vaccine.

Display Student Health Center posters and fact sheets about cold and flu prevention measures. Staff, faculty, and students are encouraged to download prevention materials for display in work and living spaces such as lounges, restrooms, computer labs, gyms, cafeterias, kitchens, and break areas, etc. Placing wellness prompts in high traffic areas can be a highly effective method for reinforcing prevention measures such as proper covering your cough techniques and hand washing.

Promote the “flu buddy” program to students. To help prevent the transmission of influenza or other contagious illnesses, flu buddies check in and support one another when they are sick.

Stay home when you are sick and encourage your peers to do the same. This will enable you, or your peers, to rest and recuperate, while preventing the spread of infectious illness to you and other students.



Integrate bystander training into student group activities. A bystander is someone who has information about a person in distress or a situation that has the potential to become dangerous. Bystander education can strengthen students’ confidence and intent to step in on behalf of a peer. For more information, visit the Health Promotion Office web page.

Encourage participation in and provide information about the NYU Bike Share program.  Free bike safety workshops are available through the NYU Bike Share program. After attending the workshop, students are eligible to rent bikes, with a helmet and safety-lock, for free from locations throughout campus. Request a workshop today!

Within your group, encourage members to travel home together after a late night of studying.  During finals, start a thread, or simply post a comment on the group’s wall asking everyone who is studying late to post a comment. As the leader, you can start this conversation so that more timid members can benefit from meeting up with someone to take the subway or safe-ride with.

Promote the Safe Ride program. Safe Ride is a van service that provides NYU students with free rides to or from NYU facilities and operates overnight.

If you are participating in Alternative Breaks, Scholars, or any other type of travel as part of a University program or activity, register yourself and encourage your peers to register with NYU Traveler.   The NYU Traveler is a tool to enhance the safety of students, faculty, administrators, and staff traveling on University-related business. When you book or register through NYU Traveler, your travel plans are routed through Worldcue, a traveler safety service with which NYU has contracted. Worldcue will automatically alert the individual traveler to dangerous conditions that may have emerged where he or she will be traveling, and will automatically alert the University to emergencies, allowing it to move more rapidly to assist members of the NYU community.

If you are responsible for providing tours or leading activities that require any type of travel, ensure that you are aware of basic tips for keeping your group safe. NYU Public Safety offers a variety of resources and trainings to help students learn to be safe in NYC and abroad. Consider hosting “Safety in the City”, an interactive, educational program provided by Public Safety that discusses current safety issues, furnishes valuable information for on and off-campus safety, and highlights good security practices to keep students out of harm’s way. Additionally, check out MTA New York City Transit’s comprehensive transit safety information about subway safety, evacuation procedures, bus safety, subway and bus security, sexual harassment, bicycle safety in the subway, and pedestrian safety.

Should an activity or program recommend or require the use of social media, remind students about cyberbullying, online stalking, and how to stay safe online. Be familiar with personal internet safety precautions, and promote safe, ethical, and responsible Internet use. Consider establishing “rules” for social media initiatives which will help students stay safer online. Basic tips include: check with your academic or program advisor to see if the office, program or department has a policy on using social media, and comply; use public pages for your activities to post events and other updates; use groups to control membership and facilitate discussion; and address inappropriate content, and if necessary, report any threatening behavior to the Office of Community Standards and Compliance, Public Safety, or the Wellness Exchange.

Host an awareness event on campus to prevent violence and abuse on campus.


o Self-Defense Training: Safety for Spierer - A self-defense workshop held in Coles to teach students about self-defense and street smarts. Donations were accepted to benefit the search efforts for Indiana University junior Lauren Spierer who went missing last spring. This workshop served as a learning and awareness event to share the Spierer family’s story but also teach NYU students how to be safe on their campus. Attend a free self-defense workshop with your club or friends .

o Host “Safety in the City” Presentation by NYU Public Safety

o The Clothesline Project: April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month. Sponsored by the Student Health Center’s Health Promotion Office, each year the Clothesline Project provides survivors of sexual violence and their allies with an outlet for expression, and also serves as a way to educate the community about the issue of sexual violence on campus. The Clothesline Project provides a source of support and inspiration to those who are trying to acknowledge their own abuse and begin a healing process. Creating a shirt is a step in the healing process. Each shirt is the courageous voice of a survivor or ally who is breaking the silence. T-shirts and art supplies will be provided free. To host a Clothesline workshop, please contact

Become knowledgeable about violence and sexual assault and prevention and keeping safe in NYC.

safe and healthy campus community indicators

a) Flu vaccination

  • Data Source: ACHA#40C
  • Survey Question: Have you received the following vaccinations (shots series of shots): influenza (the flu) in the last 12 months (shot or nasal mist)?
  • Definition: proportion responding “yes”

b) Received information on violence prevention

  • Data Source: ACHA #2B9
  • Survey Question: Have you received information on the following topics from your college or university: violence prevention?
  • Definition: Provide information to all who report interest in receiving information on violence prevention.

c) Helmet wearing when bicycling

  • Data Source: ACHA#4B
  • Survey Question: Within the last 12 months, how often did you wear a helmet when you rode a bicycle?
  • Definition: of those who rode bikes, proportion responding “always”

  1. New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. Injury Surveillance and Prevention Program. Bureau of Environmental Disease Prevention. 10 leading causes of injury death, New York City: 2007-2009. Retrieved from
  2. New York City Departments of Health and Mental Hygiene, Parks and Recreation, Transportation, & the New York City Police Department. Bicyclist fatalities and serious injuries in New York City 1996-2005. Retrieved from
  3. New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, Injury Surveillance and Prevention Program, Bureau of Environmental Disease Prevention. 10 Leading Causes of Injury Hospitalizations (Live Discharges), New York City: 2007-2009. Retrieved from
  4. New York City Department of Transportation. (2010, August). NYC pedestrian safety study & action plan. Retrieved from:
  5. Gershon, R. R. M., Pearson, J. M., Nandi, V., Vlahov, D., Bucciarelli-Prann, A., Tracy, … Galea, S. (2008). Epidemiology of subway-related fatalities in New York City, 1990-2003. Journal of Safety Research, 39(6), 583. Retrieved from
  6. Koss, M., Gidycz, C., & Wisniewski, N. (1987). The scope of rape: Incidence and prevalence of sexual aggression and victimization in a national sample of higher education students. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 55(2): 162–170.
  7. Fisher, B., Cullen, F., & Turner, M. (2000). The sexual victimization of college women: Findings from two national-level studies. Washington, DC: National Institute of Justice and Bureau of Justice Statistics.
  8. Baum, K., & Klaus, P. (2005, January). Violent victimization of college students, 1995-2002 (NCJ Publication No. 206836). Washington, DC:  U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, Bureau of Justice Statistics.
  9. American College Health Association. (2009). American College Health Association - National College Health Assessment 2009 NYU Data. Hanover, MD: Author.
  10. American College Health Association. (2011, Spring). American College Health Association - National College Health Assessment Spring 2011 Results. Hanover, MD: Author.
  11. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2011, March 9). Selecting the viruses in the seasonal influenza (flu) vaccine. Retrieved from
  12. Dushoff, J., Plotkin, J.B., Viboud, C., Earn, D.J.D, & Simonsen, L. (2006). Mortality due to influenza in the United States—An annualized regression approach using multiple-cause mortality data. American Journal of Epidemiology, 163(2), 181-187.
  13. Barker, J., Stevens, D., Bloomfield, S.F. (2001). Spread and prevention of some common viral infections in community facilities and domestic homes. Journal of Applied Microbiology, 91(1), 7-21.
  14. Nichol, K.L., D’Heilly, S., & Ehlinger, E.P. (2008). Influenza vaccination among college and university students: Impact on influenza like illness, health care use, and impaired school performance. Archives of Pediatric & Adolescent Medicine, 162(12), 1113-8.
  15. Nichol, K.L., D’Heilly, S., & Ehlinger, E.P. (2008). Influenza vaccination among college and university students: impact on influenzalike illness, health care use, and impaired school performance. Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med., 162(12):1113-8.
  16. Epstein, J. (2002). Breaking the code of silence: bystanders to campus violence and the law of college and university safety. Stetson Law Review, 32: 91-124.
  17. Banyard, V. L., Moynihan, M. M., & Crossman, M. T. (2009). Reducing sexual violence on campus: The role of student leaders as empowered bystanders. Journal of College Student Development, 50(4), 446-457.

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