Public Safety

Safety Tips

Residence Hall Safety Tips

  • Never leave a door propped open.
  • Always lock your door when you leave your room or go to sleep.
  • Identify visitors through the use of the door viewer (peephole) before you let them in.
  • Demand that uninvited/unwelcome guests leave your room. If they do not leave, then you must leave quickly and notify Public Safety.
  • Report any unusual telephone calls to Public Safety.
  • If you do receive a telephone call from someone you do not know, never give out any pertinent information (room number, telephone number, last name, Social security number, etc.) about yourself or someone you know.
  • Report to Public Safety any suspicious activity by calling 516-463-6606.
  • Report to Public Safety any emergency (police, fire, medical) by calling 516-463-6789.

Vehicle Safety Tips

  • Always lock your vehicle.
  • Do not leave valuables in your vehicle.
  • Park in well-lit areas.
  • Have car keys available before you approach your vehicle. 

Personal Safety Tips

  • Travel on streets where there is pedestrian traffic.
  • If possible, use the buddy system -- do not walk alone -- especially at night.
  • Be aware and alert to your surroundings.
  • Do not leave valuables unattended in the library, cafeteria, classrooms, etc.
  • Use campus transportation, including the night shuttle, and the campus escort service.
  • Be aware of the location of on-campus emergency telephones.

Social Situations

  • Before going on a date, know your date's name, address, and friends.
  • Meet new friends in public places.
  • Tell someone where you are going. If there is a change in plans or you will be getting back late, make a call and let that person know.
  • Consider bringing a friend along, if you do not know the person you are meeting.
  • Do not rely on someone you just met for your ride home.
  • If you begin to feel uncomfortable on a date, for any reason, remove yourself, contact friends for assistance or use the Hofstra Safe app for additional help.
  • Speak up! Communicate your wishes clearly. Do not let anyone assume your intentions.
  • Assert yourself. Insist on being treated with respect.
  • If you are assaulted, find a safe place and a friend -- and call (anytime) the Department of Public Safety at 516-463-6789, or 911.

Sexual Assault Awareness

There is no perfect or guaranteed way to protect yourself, but there are things you can do to minimize your risk.

  • Be aware of the increased risks associated with binge drinking, underage drinking, and mislabeled alcohol and drugs. If you drink, protect it; don't leave it unattended.
  • Be alert and aware of your surroundings.
  • Keep friends and/or family informed with your location if going out. Use the Hofstra SAFE app's share your location feature.
  • Avoid walking or jogging alone.
  • Use well-traveled and well-lit areas.
  • Use the campus SafeWalk service and the campus transportation service, such as the night shuttle.
  • For more tips, visit for campus safety tips and traveling tips

Relationship Violence

One out of every three women in this country will suffer domestic violence at the hands of their partner. One in every four men will be victims of domestic violence. Few of these victims will tell anyone about the violence. Relationship violence victims come from all walks of life. They do, however, share the same feelings of helplessness, isolation, guilt, fear, and shame. They all hope it will not happen again, but often it does.

Here is what you can do if you are the victim of relationship violence, dating violence, domestic violence, harassment, or stalking:

  • Talk to someone. Part of the abuser's power comes from secrecy. We urge you to talk to someone about the violence.
  • The following is a list of resources:
    • Department of Public Safety - 516-463-6789. We can assist you in getting medical attention, counseling (including contact with on-call counselors), referrals to support groups, emergency housing, and assistance in reporting the violence to the police.
    • Police Department - 911 (for off-campus locations).
    • Student Health Services - 516-463-6745. Can assist you with any medical needs/referrals
    • Student Counseling Services - 516-463-2273. Can assist you with counseling needs and/or referrals.
    • Safe Center Long Island - 516-542-0404. Can provide victims with support and advice.
    • Title IX Office for Student Issues, 516-463-5841. Can provide information on how to make a report or to discuss Hofstra's policies/resources.

Navigating the Social Scene: BEFORE YOU GO OUT TO A BAR OR CLUB:

  • Know where you are going and what to expect when you get there.
  • Know how to get there and more importantly, how you will get home safely.
  • Go out with friends you can trust. If something goes wrong, they will be there to assist you.
  • Let a friend or roommate who is not going with you know where you are going and when you expect to return. Call that friend or roommate if you are going to be late so that they will not worry about you.
  • Know what you will do in case of emergency (i.e., a friend gets drunk, sick, or appears to have a drink spiked). You can call the Department of Public Safety for assistance and/or advice in any emergency situation. For immediate response in an off-campus emergency, dial 911.
  • Keep your valuables such as money, ID, and keys with you at all times. Do not leave them in a coat pocket unattended. A small bag/wallet will allow you to keep your belongings with you even on the dance floor. Another option is to keep money, keys, and ID in a front pants pocket.
  • Make sure you have enough money for cab fare to get you home safely at the end of the evening, or have an Uber account set up on your phone so that you always have easy access to transportation; if using an Uber service, be sure to confirm the name of the driver before getting in the vehicle.
  • Do not accept drinks from strangers, as drinks can be spiked. Rohypnol, a strong sedative that also causes memory loss, and other substances can be added to your drink, without being detected, in order to incapacitate you.
  • Do not leave your drink unattended and if you do, dispose of it and get a new drink.
  • When you drink alcoholic beverages, drink responsibly. In addition, understand that your communication skills and decision-making skills are impaired and could increase your risk for becoming victimized and/or making poor decisions.
  • If someone is bothering you or harassing you after you express no interest, tell a bouncer or a friend.
  • Be forceful and assertive – do not get talked into doing something you do not want to do.
  • Do not leave with someone you do not know, even if it is just to go outside for some fresh air.
  • Be aware of your surroundings as you leave the bar/club. If you are harassed or followed, call 911 or the Department of Public Safety at 516-463-6789.

Traveling Safety Tips

  • Be sure to lock all doors and windows of your space prior to leaving.
  • Pack your car right before you leave. Items can be stolen overnight and tip people off that you will be leaving for a long period of time.
  • Remove any valuable items that may be visible from the outside.
  • Activate your home alarm system, if you have one.
  • Travel with the cash you will need and leave all other cash in a secure location. 
  • Utilize a rest area for a food break, to stretch your legs, go to the bathroom, get some coffee, and text or make a phone call.
  • Designate driving buddies to take turns behind the wheel!
  • Be Alert! This not only goes for the driver but everyone on the trip! 
  • If staying at a hotel or rental property use discretion when giving out your personal or identifying information. Only those staying with you should know your room number, full name, and whereabouts.
    • Make a mental note of the nearest fire exits and stairwells!
    • Keep your valuables safe by locking them away in the safe located in your room.
    • Close your door tightly when entering or leaving your room. 
  • If traveling abroad check travel advisories before you travel.
    • Keep US Embassy information on you at all times.
    • Share your location with trusted friends you are traveling with as well as friends/family back home.

Internet Safety

  • Do not believe everything you read when chatting online. People may misrepresent themselves.
  • Do not give out personal information online to strangers. Avoid giving out your home telephone number, address, or credit card numbers.
  • Do not rush. Meeting someone online and then arranging a date right away can be dangerous. Give it time. If you are being rushed, be suspicious.
  • Speak by phone before you meet. Play it safe. 
  • Tell your friends/family about any planned meeting. If you are asked to keep the date a secret, be suspicious.
  • Meet in a public place. Avoid going to the person's home until you know each other better.
  • Report attacks or threats to the police and/or Hofstra's Department of Public Safety at 516-463-6789.
  • Do not share your passwords for social media sites with anyone, even a partner.
  • Review your privacy settings on all social media sites.

Bicycle Safety

  • Always lock your bike, even if you are leaving it just for a few minutes.
  • Secure the lock through the bike frame, the wheel, AND the bicycle rack. Quick-release wheels can be secured with a cable lock.
  • U-shaped high-security locks are among the most theft-resistant locks available. Be aware, however, they are easily disabled by knowledgeable thieves. So use them with another type of security device, such as a heavy cable.
  • Always lock your bike to a campus bicycle rack. Please the lock mechanism face-down so it is not easily accessible. Do not lock your bike to an unsecured object, such as a stair rail. If a bicycle is locked to a building ramp, handrail, or fence, the lock will be cut and the bicycle will be removed by Public Safety.
  • Lock your bike in a highly visible, well-lit location; don't leave it for extended periods. The longer your bike is left unattended, the greater the danger of it or its components being stolen.
  • Report suspicious behavior by using one of the Public Safety emergency call boxes on campus or by calling Public Safety at 516-463-6789. If it occurs off campus, contact the appropriate policy agency.
  • You can register your bicycle with the National Bike Theft Registry
  • Please register your bicycle with the Department of Public Safety. This will include Public Safety engraving an ID number on your bicycle that will identify it as your property, as well as provide you with tips on to how to properly secure your bicycle.  

Detailed information on campus security is available to each student and staff member in the Annual Safety Report [PDF], the Guide to Pride [PDF], and The Living Factor [PDF].