University provides resources to stay safe on campus

By Megan Jones

For some students, college might be the first time you are out on your own. There’s no dad to text you, asking if you’ll make curfew or someone readily available to hitch a ride from.

I once walked home at 3:30 a.m. because the buses stopped running, and it’s not something I’d suggest experiencing. While the buddy system is really important for being out late roaming around, other services provided by the University can help make the night even safer.

Crime Alerts

The University of Illinois Police Department is out monitoring campus everyday. When something arises, you’ll want to be notified through crime alerts, or notifications of activity on campus.

Students and parents can register at the University’s Department of Public Safety website for crime alerts to be sent via email and text.

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There are two categories for the alerts: public safety advisory, which warns the community, and a crime alert, which reports recent activity. The alerts will notify when the crime happened, where, who was involved, and sometimes give a tipline if the crime has gone unsolved.

These alerts can help you be more aware of possible threats and know the locations so you can avoid them.


You’ve heard the warning: you’re a target walking by yourself. To counter this, the University offers a service where students can call and be escorted home instead of walking alone. The Student Patrol staff is trained by the University of Illinois Police Department.

The service is offered from 9 p.m. to 2:30 a.m. Sunday through Wednesday, and until 3 a.m. on Friday through Saturday. SafeWalks can be contacted by downloading its new app or calling 217-333-1216.


If you don’t feel like walking, you can hitch a ride through SafeRides. The service is provided through the Champaign Urbana Mass Transit District and works similarly to a taxi service, with some conditions.

Only three people can be picked up at once, except for at the Illini Union, Illinois Resident Hall, and the Main Library. It only gives rides home, so don’t plan on hitching a ride to the bars or to a hospital. If a CUMTD bus can take you to your location, you shouldn’t use SafeRides. It’s only for locations off the typical charted path.

Expect to wait 15 minutes during the week and 30 minutes during the weekend for the ride to come. The service runs from 7 p.m. to 6 a.m. and can be reached at 217-265-7433. Don’t forget to show your student ID!

Megan is a junior in Media.

[email protected] and @MeganAsh_Jones