Safety on and around campus


As the new year begins, I want to highlight a number of issues about safety.


  1. Our office hosts the Harvard University Police Department (³HUPD²) in an annual safety presentation early in the school year.  This year, the session will take place on Wednesday, September 12 at noon in WCC 1019.
  2. Our office sponsors RAD (Rape Aggression Defense) classes.  This year, we will hold two sessions in the fall on September 14  12-2 and September 27 3:30-5:30.  Please email wellness@law to register for either session.  In the spring, we will host a complete 4 night training session.  HUPD has more information about RAD and other RAD programs on campus at their website.  We are always happy to host other safety programs on request or collaborate with students or student organizations in arranging programs of particular interest..
  3. Our office offers a Laptop and Bike Registration program with HUPD.  This year, the registration will take place from Tuesday September 11 through Thursday, September 13th from 11am-1pm in the WCC first floor.  According to HUPD, the vast majority of crime on campus is property crime (95%). Most of the property stolen is left unattended in public areas or in unlocked rooms.  Never leave your belongings unattended and please insure your laptop and other valuables. Renter¹s insurance is fairly inexpensive.  It may also be the case that these items are covered by your parent¹s or spouse/partner¹s insurance.
  4. The University and Law School offer a number of evening transportation options.  Our website has info about campus transportation options including a campus shuttle system and a University evening van service which serves most areas of Cambridge.  For students who live outside the limits of the evening van services, the Law School offers an evening taxi service.  Taxi vouchers are available from the library¹s circulation desk during library circulation hours.  Finally, The University has a campus escort program.
  5. MessageMe is the University’s primary tool for emergency notifications to the campus community. MessageMe streamlines community communications allowing crisis support leaders to immediately and simultaneously send messages to the University community via the community members’ preferred contact methods: phone, text messaging, email, RSS, Facebook, or Twitter.  Currently, there are more than 24,000 MessageMe subscribers at Harvard.
  6. HUPD has an extensive website – it is really worth your time to familiarize yourself with the site.  From safety tips to resources to crime statistics, it is quite helpful.
  7. The website includes a link to the Clery Act statistics on campus crime for Harvard¹s previous academic year
  8. HUPD sends occasional community advisories when they wish to alert the community of a particular security issue.  Check the link for archived advisories.


I want to draw your attention to the past two advisories as they involved two rapes that occurred this August.  The first occurred in Harvard Yard on August 10 at 3:15 a.m.  The second happened near the intersection of Kirkland and Oxford streets on August 14 after 11:00 p.m.  More information about each report is available at:


The Harvard University Police Department (HUPD) is investigating these incidents aggressively and has increased patrols in recent weeks.


Although the survivor is never at fault, prioritizing one’s personal safety is a good idea. In light of these incidents, we encourage all of you to take precautions, particularly after dark.  The following recommendations come from the HUPD and the Office of Sexual Assault Prevention and Response (OSAPR)


  • Be aware of your surroundings and look assertive
  • Trust your intuition — if a particular situation makes you feel uncomfortable or unsafe, choose an alternative
  • Store the HUPD urgent number (617-495-1212) in your cell phone and call it immediately if you feel uncomfortable or afraid, or if you observe suspicious behavior.
  • Try to travel in groups after dark, use only well-lit routes or designated pathways, and do not allow yourself to be distracted by phone calls or by using ear buds.
  • Make use of campus shuttle buses, and the evening van service
  • Make use of the campus escort program (617-348-8237).
  • Note the location of blue-light phones.
  • Do not permit people whom you don¹t know to piggyback into the dorms or your apartment buildings.
  • Keep rooms/apartments locked at all times
  • For more safety information, please read the HUPD publication Playing it Safe
  • For information on what to do if you have been sexually assaulted, please read OSAPR¹s website
  • Call the Office of Sexual Assault Prevention and Response for 24-hour confidential support and information at 617-495-9100.


If you ever have a personal concern about safety, please come to our office.  We can connect you to the appropriate resources.

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