UMass Amherst Police Department site header
UMPD takes a proactive and community-oriented approach to crime prevention.
About UMPD
Emergency Preparedness on Campus
Crime Prevention
Personal Safety
Crime Alerts and Statistics
Residence Hall Security
Campus and Community Resources
Reporting a Crime

Emergencies: Dial 9-1-1
Call (413) 545-2121

Tips for Staying Safe on Campus

The UMPD depends on the cooperation of the campus community in order to prevent crime and keep our campus safe. Keeping the following tips in mind will help us all maintain a safe place to learn, work, and live.

NOTE: Go to Emergency Preparedness to learn how to protect yourself if there is an active threat on campus.

Personal Safety

  • Always trust your instincts.
  • Report suspicious activity to the police.
  • Enter ICE – In Case of Emergency — contacts into your cell phone contacts and your address book. Attach ICE information to your photo ID as well.
  • Learn to protect yourself with a Rape Aggression Defense (R.A.D.) course.
  • Watch out for your friends and neighbors.

Residence Hall Safety

  • Do not share your key or your UCard. Report losses immediately.
  • Lock your doors, even if leaving the room for just a moment.
  • Always check to see who is at your door before opening it.
  • Use main entrances and exits, except during a fire alarm.
  • Do not prop exterior doors.
  • Prevent “tailgating,” i.e. do not let someone follow you into a residence hall when you enter.
  • Register all guests.
  • Follow residence hall guidelines and policies.
  • Notify staff of broken doors and security equipment.
  • Take fire drills seriously and always evacuate when a fire alarm sounds (remember to lock your door).

Visit the Housing and Residence Life Web site for more on residence hall safety and security.

Going Out

  • Use marked crosswalks, look both ways, and make sure traffic stops before you cross.
  • When you go out, let a friend or roommate know where you will be and when you will return.
  • Avoid walking alone at night. Use the Walking Escort Service or the free campus shuttle.
  • If you are out after dark, use only well-lit routes. Walk near the curb and avoid passing close to shrubs, dark doorways, and other hiding places.
  • Be alert and trust your instincts. If you feel uncomfortable about someone near you, head for a populated area.
  • Make note of the location of HELP phones.

Personal Belongings

  • Never leave your purse, wallet, backpack, laptop, or other property unattended even for a moment.
  • Carry insurance on your valuables. Check you homeowners’ insurance policy to see if valuables are covered on campus, or arrange for separate coverage.
  • Record serial numbers and keep photos or descriptions of your valuables.
  • Register your bicycle with the UMPD by calling 413-545-2121.
  • Take advantage of Operation Identification, the UMPD “etching” program, to identify lost or stolen items.
  • Use computer locking devices for extra protection.

Protecting Your Data, Privacy and Identity

  • Take advantage of the programs, information, and tips available from the Office of Information Technologies (OIT) to protect computers against viruses, worms, malware, and other security breaches and to keep user accounts secure.
  • Scan computers for security problems before connecting to the Internet.
  • Memorize all of your PIN numbers.
  • Never give any credit card, bank, or social security information to anyone over the telephone or in response to an unsolicited email.
  • Take great care when using social networking Internet sites like MySpace, Facebook, TagWorld and Bebo, or video sites like YouTube. Do not post risky, sensitive, or potentially embarrassing personal information or videos.
  • Use only legal file trading sites and methods to download and share music.
  • Do not lend computers and accounts to others. Protect Social Security and Student ID numbers and only give them out when it is essential.
  • If you are the victim of identity theft contact the police immediately.
  • Understand your legal rights and responsibilities as a UMass Amherst student. Visit the Dean of Students Office and Student Legal Service Office Web sites for more information.