Whether you are going for a quick jog around the block or strolling to the library, when it comes to nighttime off campus, safety should always be at the front of your mind. Though the potential for crime is escalated at night, you can easily minimize your risk by following a few simple guidelines.
(1) Choose roads that are brightly lit and surrounded by buildings. Try to stay in areas that you know to be densely populated and aim to avoid side streets. If you have to go down an unlit street, turn your phone flashlight on to help guide you.
(2) Remove your headphones. While it is tempting to pop in a pair of earbuds and tune out your surroundings, music can be a distraction that disables your sense of awareness, which can be especially dangerous at night.
(3) Message your roommates before you leave your house at night. If you are going to be walking solo, inform a trusted friend of your whereabouts before you depart. Keeping a friend in the loop allows them to be a resource for contacting UMPD on your behalf if an emergency arises.
(4) Trust your gut. If you get the feeling that someone is following you, don’t ignore it. Have your phone at the ready to call a friend. Inform them of your location, let them know that you will be home shortly, and speak loudly, so as to deter anyone who might be trailing you.
(5) When you return home, have your keys in hand as you approach your home and be aware of your surroundings both in front and behind you.
(6) Always use the buddy system. Be proactive and grab a friend or two before you make the evening trek up to campus. Traveling in a group means more sets of eyes, which increases alertness and overall safety.
Resources to remember:
(1) SafeRide by U-M (734) 647-8000
- Cost -- free.
- Option one -- 10 PM to 2 AM at any University building.
- Option two -- 2 AM to 7 AM at Shapiro Undergraduate Library, Duderstadt Center, or Cancer Center.
- The estimated wait time can be more than 30 minutes, so please make a call in advance and remember to bring your UM-ID card.
(2) Night Ride by TheRide (734)528-5432
- Cost -- $5.00.
- Available time -- Monday – Friday: Midnight - 6am/Saturday: 11pm - 7:30am/Sunday 8pm - 7:30am
- You can make an "advance reservation" by calling (734)528-5432 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. Remember to confirm your trip 1 hour before your requested pickup time.
- For more late night transportation options, visit https://deanofstudents.umich.edu/article/late-night-transportation.
(3) Blue light phones & red box emergency phones or buttons
- If you find yourself in danger, scan the area for the nearest on-campus emergency blue light. If you are in a campus parking structure or building elevator, look for a red box phone. The blue light and red box systems are both connected to the University of Michigan Division of Public Safety and Security (DPSS) dispatch, so if either system is used, DPSS will receive the location automatically and send an officer to help you.
(4) Emergency Phone Numbers
- Fire, Police, Medical Emergency -- 911
- University Divisionof Public Safety & Security -- (734) 763-1131
- Sexual Assault Prevention & Awareness Center --734-764-7771
- Counseling & Psychological Services (CAPS) After Hours Support (734) 764-8312 (press 0)
Staying safe should always be a priority. Especially with historically high risk weekends like the Notre Dame football game on October 26th and Halloween fast approaching, it is important to keep these nighttime safety tips at the front of your mind. Though we hope that you will never need to use these emergency resources, it doesn’t hurt to be knowledgeable about them. Do yourself a favor and plan ahead before leaving home after dark.
Contributed by –Neighborhood Ambassador