Campus Safety

The University of Iowa is dedicated to providing a safe environment conducive to academic pursuits of all kinds. The rights of all individuals to participate in University functions, to use its facilities, to be assured of their physical safety, and to express themselves freely, are protected.

The University is a place that fosters intellectual growth, independent thinking, and open communication. However, the University is not a protected sanctuary. Campuses mirror our larger society; crimes do occur.

Studies show that college students are vulnerable to being victims of crime because they are in a new environment, away from familiar support systems and direct parental supervision.

The college years traditionally have been a time for experimenting and testing limits. Many students come to college with little or no experience living on their own or making their own decisions. You may face a certain amount of peer pressure as you seek to become part of a new environment. The newfound freedoms and responsibilities can be exciting and challenging, but they also can be confusing.

Safety Precautions

Personal safety begins with the individual. You must assume responsibility for yourself and exercise common sense in your daily life. Theft is the most common crime on campus and is enabled by carelessness. Most thefts on campus occur when rooms are left unlocked or personal property is left unattended.

Peer pressure exists with regard to alcohol, drugs, and sex. Be aware of potentially dangerous situations, especially the effects alcohol or other drugs can have on a person’s judgment. Many sexual assaults happen indoors and are committed by someone the victim knows.

Safety, more than anything else, is an attitude. It requires vigilance in recognizing potentially unsafe situations and discipline in taking preventive measures. Remember when crime does occur, it is not the victim’s fault. There are, however, precautions that can reduce your risk of being victimized:

  • Do not walk alone. Walk with a friend or take advantage of the free transportation systems. Use well-traveled and well-lit routes.
  • Protect yourself and be alert to your surroundings. Walk purposefully and look confident. Keep your doors locked. Report suspicious people or activities to the Department of Public Safety.
  • Protect your personal belongings. Lock your doors at all times. Do not leave valuables (purse, wallet, backpack, etc.) unattended. Write your name and phone number inside the front cover of your textbooks once you know you are not dropping the classes.
  • Be aware of your rights and be sensitive to the rights of others.
  • Familiarize yourself with campus and community resources.
  • Remember that you are responsible for your own behavior. Alcohol and other drugs severely impair your judgment and ability to communicate.
  • Trust your instincts. If a situation makes you uncomfortable, leave or ask the other person to leave. Be assertive. Use your common sense.

Department of Public Safety

The Department of Public Safety is the police department for the University. It is a 24-hour operation. The police department employs state-certified police officers. There are also security officers on foot patrol at night who cover the campus, including each of the residence halls. Visit the University of Iowa Police Department’s web site for information on the following services at Student services include:

  • Project ID—a program to discourage theft of valuables from student rooms in the residence halls. Students can register their belongings online. In the event of theft, the serial numbers can be run through the National Crime Information Center.
  • RAD (Rape Aggression Defense) Program—the largest women’s self-defense program in the country. Women learn how to defend themselves, in case of physical attack, through instruction by nationally certified teachers.
  • Nite Ride—this van service, operated by Department of Public Safety security officers, provides free rides home for women between 10 p.m. and 3 a.m. seven days a week.

Department of Public Safety
Charles Green, Director
808 University Capitol Centre

Campus Crime Statistics

The University believes that students should be aware of past incidents of crime on campus to better prepare them for living in the campus environment.

Comprehensive crime statistics for the University are maintained by the Department of Public Safety. Copies may be obtained from the department or its web site. For additional information on criminal activity in Johnson County, contact the Iowa City Police Department, Coralville Police Department, and Johnson County Sheriff’s Department.

Rape Victim Advocacy Program (RVAP)

RVAP provides support, advocacy, and information to sexual abuse victims/survivors and their family and friends immediately after an assault and throughout the healing process. RVAP provides counseling for current or past victims of sexual assault, sexual abuse, stalking, and sexual harassment. All services are available by calling the 24-hour crisis line. RVAP also provides the community with an extensive information bureau, a lending library, and a speaker’s bureau, which provides awareness programs on topics including acquaintance rape, dating violence, sexual harassment, and sexual assault risk reduction.

All services are free of charge, confidential, and available to everyone.

Rape Victim Advocacy Program
24-hour crisis line: 319-335-6000