UMass recognizes the importance of campus security, and does the absolute most they can to make sure each and every student feels safe while they’re here. Whether that be walking to your dorm late at night, or opening your building door for someone — the university stresses the importance of feeling comfortable and secure here on campus.
Getting Around UMass Safely
Like many college campuses, UMass installed the Blue Light System, a series of security alarms installed into big blue posts attached to countless buildings on campus. There should always be a Blue Light within walking distance of another one, to ensure the safest possible way if you’re walking around campus. If you push the button on the Blue Light, a UMass Police officer is immediately dispatched, and they have access to your exact location in the event that they need to get to you. So, if you’re ever feeling unsafe on campus, you have immediate access to a UMPD officer through the Blue Light System.
UMass also promotes a walking escort service provided by the UMPD. This is something often overlooked, but can be a great resource in order to avoid walking home alone at night. Essentially, you can call the number provided on the website between 7 p.m. and 3 a.m., and a volunteer from the UMass police department will meet you wherever you are and walk you home. This can be really helpful if you’re afraid to walk home at night, and it’s free!
Another free service for UMass students is the PVTA bus system, which goes to all neighboring Amherst towns and provides direct transportation to the four other schools that are a part of our consortium. These busses run from 7 a.m. to 2:30 a.m., so getting across campus or to a neighboring town never needs to be hard or nerve wrecking. This can be helpful to avoid being alone at night, or if you’re just not in the mood to walk!
UMass Dorm Safety
It wasn’t until I began working for the Office of Residential Life that I truly realized just how much our safety on campus stands as a priority to the administration. So much so that whenever a residential dorm main door is opened on campus, a monitoring system is alerted. If said door stays open (is being held), a silent alarm is automated until the door is closed. If the alarm stays on for more than 10 minutes, an employee is dispatched to the dorm to shut the door. The school does this to make sure that the only people entering dorms are the students that live there.
The only way to access a residential dorm is through your Ucard, which can only open the dorm you live in. So, if you want to visit a friend in a different dorm, they have to let you in. After 8 p.m. every night, a security guard sits in the entrance of every building, and you must sign yourself and any visitor you may have in. Feeling safe in your own dorm is a pivotal part of your college experience, and UMass does everything to make sure of it!
Safest Campus in the State
There’s a reason why UMass was ranked #1 in the state for being the safest college campus. The administration and UMPD go to great lengths in order to make us feel safe on campus. I can genuinely say that I’ve never felt unsafe in my time at UMass, but the school wants to help any student who might. There are countless resources on campus, whether that be a walking escort or a Blue Light security system, and so much more, to ensure to every student that they feel safe while on campus. This is something to be very thankful for, because not every campus has the same security. It’s reassuring to every student (and all the parents!) to know how much our safety is considered a priority at UMass.