Part of the student experience at UT Austin includes learning safe practices that can be used on campus and beyond. Through a variety of programs and communications, students learn how to take action for their personal safety and property and how they can encourage a culture of safety on campus. Campus safety is the university’s highest priority.
For a more extensive list of UT Austin campus safety and security resources, please visit utexas.edu/campus-life/safety-and-security.
What is being done to keep students safe?
The University of Texas at Austin Police Department (UTPD) is a state police agency that employs more than 100 sworn officers. It is a fully-functioning, accredited state police agency serving the UT community 24 hours a day. UTPD includes an investigative division, K-9 teams, bicycle teams and its own 911 dispatch center.
The department operates on a community-oriented policing philosophy, encouraging greater communication between police and the communities they serve. Members of the UT community are encouraged to use the District Representative interactive map to directly email an officer about any concerns.
- New for the 2020-21 year is the LiveSafe at UT Austin app. Now available for download, the app gives the UT community and guests to campus immediate access to police dispatch via the communication tool most frequently used—text. UTPD hopes the app will encourage users to engage and share important, potentially life-saving information, to prevent crime and enable better incident response.
- All incoming students are required to take risk prevention programs, AlcoholEdu and the Sexual Assault Prevention Program: healthyhorns.utexas.edu/AlcoholEdu/index.html
- Counseling and Mental Health Services – Provides counseling, psychiatric consultation, and prevention services: cmhc.utexas.edu
- All building major access points include first aid stations.
- The “Your ID is Your Key” initiative restricts building access during specific time to students, faculty, and staff with university ID cards or traditional keys.
- Main entrances on all campus facilities are clearly defined and enhanced with approach-way lighting, electronic access control and video interface.
- Main entrances of every academic and general-purpose classroom building are outfitted with a “safety hub” that includes an automated external defibrillator (AED), hemorrhage control kits, and an emergency call box connected to the UTPD Dispatch Center.
- Every classroom displays an emergency guide that provides instructions for certain emergency situations and includes the building address and room number for that location in case someone should need to call or text to 911.
- While UTPD and the university do a great deal to provide a safe environment, they require participation from the community to be fully effective (i.e. call 911, report theft, suspicious activity, offer suggestions, etc.).
How will students be notified of emergency situations on campus?
The university has multiple ways to communicate with students in the event of a campus emergency. All systems are tested monthly to provide familiarity to students:
- Text alerts
- Used to communicate a credible, immediate, ongoing threat to campus.
- Alerts provide immediate direction to students, faculty and staff with specific actions to take.
- Students must sign up to receive text alerts before they can register for classes at orientation.
- Used to communicate crimes and incidents on and immediately near campus.
- Emails provide details and updates that can aid in the prevention of similar incidents.
- Students automatically receive email notifications.
- Outdoor Warning Siren
- Activated in the event of certain emergencies, such as severe weather, that require people to seek shelter immediately.
- Social Media and Emergency Website
- Twitter: @UTAustinPolice, @UTAustin and @AustinPolice
- Facebook: UT Austin Police, The University of Texas at Austin
How can students create a safer campus environment?
You can play a key role in creating a safe campus community by:
- Becoming familiar with the UT Austin campus safety and security information: utexas.edu/campus-life/safety-and-security.
- Call 911 whenever you feel unsafe. 911 is the fastest way to get help during police, medical or fire emergencies.
- Walk in pairs or groups. You are safer together.
- Be aware of your surroundings at all times. Put your phone down and keep your eyes and ears on what is happening around you.
- Developing a peer and family emergency communication plan. Whether an emergency occurs on campus or in your hometown, establish a concrete two-way communication plan so you everyone knows what is happening.
- Use the university’s safety resources:
- SURE Walk provides students with a safe escort home via an accompanied walk, golf cart or vehicle every day from 8 p.m. to 2 a.m. during the fall and spring semesters. Students can call 512-232-9255.
- Students can request a ride from UTPD when SURE Walk is not operating, by calling 512-471-4441, selecting 9.
- UT Night Rides provides free Lyfts away from main campus to your home seven days a week from 11 p.m. to 4 a.m. Locations served mirror current UT Shuttle System routes. All rides must originate from main campus only.
- Behavior Concerns Advice Line (BCAL), 512-232-5050 is a 24/7 advice line anyone can call to discuss their concerns about a student, faculty or staff’s behavior with trained staff.
- Review the Active Shooter Response Guide which also includes a video.