Campus Safety Tips

We have a safe campus, but no community is entirely crime free. By following a few safety tips and knowing the resources, you can reduce your risk of being affected by crime.

General safety tips

  • Trust your instincts. If you feel uncomfortable in a place or situation, leave right away and go immediately to an area with lights and people.
  • Lock your doors, even if you are in the room. Theft is the most common crime on college campuses, and ours is no exception. The best way to stop theft is by locking up your residence and vehicles. It also protects you from people who may have ill-intent.
  • Don’t let others “piggyback.” Especially around residence halls, holding doors for others may provide access to people who don’t belong there. Politely ask others to use their key or swipe card to gain entry.
  • Report suspicious activity. Even the smallest bit of information could prevent a crime and help protect yourself or others.
  • Use SafeWalks. Criminals target people walking alone at night. Walking in groups of three or more is the best way to prevent crime. Call 217-333-1216 to access SafeWalks, our free walking escort service.
  • Stay aware of your surroundings. Listening to music or using your phone can distract you from people or vehicles around you.
  • Keep an eye and an ear out for scams. Not everyone is who they say they are. Scammers target college students online and by phone with offers of jobs, or with threats of arrest. If it sounds sketchy, it probably is.

Emergency phones

Dozens of emergency phones are strategically located across campus. Use them when you need help.

Getting around campus

Campus traffic can get busy, especially when students are traveling to and from class. There are lots of ways to get around campus, but it’s important to observe a few safe practices.


You probably won’t be driving much to classes, but there is a lot of vehicular traffic on campus. All vehicles must follow the laws in the Illinois Vehicle Code. Remember to slow down in high-traffic areas, and do not drive distracted. Yield to bicyclists in the roadway — Bicycles are not required to use bike lanes, nor are they required to move to the side of the road for a vehicle. Treat them like you would any other vehicle. Yield to pedestrians in the crosswalk. Pedestrians who have safely established themselves in a crosswalk have the right of way.


Bicyclists in the roadway are subject to all laws which apply to vehicles. Bicyclists on the sidewalk are subject to all laws that apply to pedestrians. Whether you are in the roadway or on the sidewalk, you must abide by all traffic signs and signals, like stop signs. Failing to do so is dangerous to yourself and others. Yield to pedestrians when required. Bicycle-pedestrian accidents are common on campus and may result in injury. Slow down in high-traffic areas.


Pedestrians are subject to a number of laws to keep them safe. If there is a sidewalk, pedestrians must use it. Pedestrians must use crosswalks at intersections with traffic signals, and walk only when the walk signal is illuminated. Pedestrians do not automatically have the right of way before they enter a crosswalk. Vehicles do not have to stop for pedestrians who have not yet entered a crosswalk, and a pedestrian must allow enough space for a vehicle to stop safely before entering a crosswalk.

Campus bus routes

The Champaign-Urbana Mass Transit District is a great way to get around campus and the greater community. Check out their website at to get more information about bus routes and helpful tools you can use to plan your trips.

Emergency Preparedness

Emergencies can happen anywhere, anytime. It is important to take a moment to prepare in case we are ever in a situation where we need to act quickly to stay safe.


Illini-Alert is used for incidents that present an imminent threat to life, health or safety to the general campus population — like fires, severe weather and if someone is trying to harm others. These messages provide emergency information and instructions for personal protective actions. Illini-Alert sends email, text and Twitter messages.

Everyone with a campus email address automatically receives Illini-Alert email messages, but it’s a good idea to sign up for Illini-Alert text messages so you receive prompt notification of campus emergencies.

Run, Hide, Fight

When we’re faced with any kind of emergency – like fire, severe weather or if someone is trying to hurt you – we have three options: run, hide or fight.

  • Run means leaving the area quickly. It’s the best option if it’s safe to do so.
  • Hide when you can’t or don’t want to run. This means taking shelter indoors from a storm or concealing yourself from someone who wants to harm others.
  • Fight means to defend yourself if it comes to that.

Take a couple minutes to learn more about these options and look at the resources we’ve made available.


Sign up to receive emergency text notifications.

Preventing theft

Theft is one of the most common crimes on college campuses everywhere, and ours is no exception. Bicycles and packages are common targets for thieves, but there are a few ways you can avoid becoming a victim of theft.

Lock your bicycle up – the right way

The best way to prevent bike theft is by locking it up properly. We recommend at the very least using a U-bolt style lock and securing your bike to a rack designed for bicycle storage. The preferred method is to use a U-bolt and chain lock together to secure the bicycle frame and front wheel to a bike rack. Using a chain lock alone is not sufficient, as they can be easily cut or broken.

Register your bicycle

If you are riding a bike on campus, you are required to register it. Doing so is for your benefit — if it’s ever lost or stolen, having your registration information on file makes it easier to get it back to you.

Visit the Project 529 website to register your bicycle.

Protect your packages

We receive dozens of reports of stolen and missing packages each year. Despite making several arrests, package thefts persist on our campus. The best way to prevent package theft is to protect your packages once they are delivered.

  • Do not prop open doors, and do not hold secure doors open for strangers. Politely ask them to use their key instead.
  • When ordering from Amazon, consider the option of having it delivered to a secure Amazon hub instead of your doorstep, especially if it’s a particularly valuable item.
  • Do not have packages delivered to your residence hall, apartment or home while you are away for an extended period.
  • Sign up for the carrier’s text message notifications so you know when a package has been delivered. Retrieve it promptly.
  • Report suspicious activity to the police immediately. If you witness a package theft in progress, call 911 and be prepared to provide a description of the person involved.

Amazon, FedEx and UPS have locations on and around campus where students can ship their packages to be held for secure pickup.

Project 529

Project 529 is the university’s bicycle registration program and helps protect your property.

Medical amnesty

By state law, the police cannot cite you for minor alcohol offenses when you call 911 to get medical assistance for yourself or another person. Additionally, the university has implemented guidelines to protect you from discipline under certain circumstances.

The goal is to encourage students to get help whenever they need it without fear of disciplinary consequences.

Learn more about these protections at


Criminals are opportunistic and tend to target people who are walking alone late at night in secluded areas. You can reduce your risk of being targeted by walking in groups of three or more, and by using well-lit, high-traffic routes.

SafeWalks is a free safety escort service provided by trained Student Patrol officers who will walk with you when you are traveling on campus at night. Student Patrol officers are also trained in first aid and basic medical intervention, and they carry the same radios as police and other first responders, so they have a direct line of communication with emergency services. Student Patrol officers are only interested in getting you safely to your location, so it is especially important to use SafeWalks if you have consumed alcohol.

All you need to do is call 217-333-1216 to request a SafeWalks escort.

SafeWalks operates from 9:00 p.m. – 2:30 a.m. every day.

With SafeWalks, you never have to walk alone at night.


SafeWalks are free and available every night. Just call 217-333-1216 after 9 p.m.

Social media safety

Keep it simple

Never post personal information, like your Social Security number, birthdate, home address, bank information or phone number, not even in private messages.

Stay private

Monitor your privacy settings, and consider sharing information only with close friends. Limit access to third party apps.

Be cautious

People may contact you for professional or romantic reasons. Often the profiles are fake, and the people behind them are scammers. Never give money and never send private photos to people you don’t know.


Phone and internet scams are common no matter where you are. Be aware of how to identify scams and what to do if you encounter one. Here are the red flags to keep in mind when you receive a call from an unknown person:

  • No official will ever demand money. If a caller claims to be a police officer, immigration official, a tax agent, or any other government representative demanding money, the call is likely a scam.
  • Scammers try to intimidate victims. If a caller threatens to have you arrested or deported if you hang up, the call is likely a scam.
  • Scammers may demand gift cards. If a caller directs you to purchase gift cards or transfer payment in the form of virtual currency, the call is likely a scam.
  • Watch out for “spoofed” numbers. Number “spoofing” makes the victim’s caller ID display a legitimate phone number even though the call is originating from somewhere entirely different. If you have doubts about a caller’s identity, you should hang up and call the listed number for that agency to speak to a representative.

Sexual Extortion

Sexual extortion — commonly known as “sextortion” — is a form of sexual exploitation where an unknown individual will contact you (often on social media) and encourage you to send intimate photos or videos of yourself.

After the photo is sent, the unknown person will demand that you send them money under the threat of publicly posting the photo, or sending it to your social media contacts.

It is not recommended to pay a scammer. Offenders may return the next day for even more money.

Those who do become a target or victim of sextortion should make note of the user’s online profiles, usernames and contact information to report to police. Communication with the offender should stop immediately.

The best way to avoid falling victim to a sextortion scheme is to remain vigilant and skeptical of online acquaintances whom you have never met in person. Remember, they may not tell the truth and aim to lure victims into a false sense of security.

Scam log

We maintain a log of recently reported scams on campus so our community members can know what to look out for.

Sexual violence

Nationwide, it is estimated that 26.4 percent of undergraduate women and 6.8 percent of undergraduate men experience rape or sexual assault through physical force, violence, or incapacitation. About eight in 10 incidents of sexual violence are committed by an acquaintance or family member of the survivor.

The only person responsible for sexual violence is the offender. There are strategies to reducing your risk of being targeted — maintaining awareness of your surroundings, staying with friends, and trusting your instincts are the best ways to stay safe.

Students at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign complete awareness classes and training within their first few weeks on campus, and those educational opportunities continue throughout their college years.

At Illinois, We Care

There are resources and reporting options available for anyone who experiences sexual violence or knows someone who has.

Download the Campus Safety Guide

All of this information is available in a printable format. Access it below.