As the crime reports come rolling into your inbox, it’s difficult to not become a bit anxious about the state of safety at UC. While the number of crime alerts seems to be increasing, UC Public Safety is actually reporting a decreasing crime rate. In the past few years, public safety has increased the number of officers on patrol; partnered with the Cincinnati Police Department; increased the effectiveness of street lights; and implemented new software to help with more accurate reporting of crimes.
Stay Safe at UC
However, as with any university, crime still occurs on and around campus. Know that both UC and Cincinnati take your safety very seriously. There are many resources available to help keep you safe, whether you’re on campus, off campus or at home.
There are many safety apps available for Android and iPhone out there, but the one that is recommended by UC Public Safety is called the Bearcat Guardian app. Available for free on the Apple App Store or Google Play as "Rave Guardian," you select UC as your university when you set up the app. If you need to report an incident around campus, use the Bearcat Guardian app to do so quickly and effectively. You can contact UC police with one touch by phone or through a message, anonymously if needed, with built-in GPS technology that lets emergency personnel know where you are.
Bearcat Guardian is a state-of-the-art safety app that allows you to turn your cell phone into a safety device. It works on any mobile phone running on any US-based mobile carrier network. The app also allows you to select "guardians" (such as friends and family members) to check in on you when you are alone or in an unfamiliar place; set-up a safety timer with a location and expected arrival time; and receive emergency notifications from UC Public Safety. Please keep in mind, though, that safety technology devices are not a substitute for services like NightRide and the UC shuttle.
- Emergency: 911
- Non-Emergency: 513-556-1111; 513-558-1111
- NightRide: 513-556-4927
- Off-Campus Housing Fire Inspection: 513-357-7585
- Safety Ambassadors: 513-446-2968
NightRide & Shuttle Services
During the day, the UC shuttle is available to students, faculty, staff and guests for transportation between campuses and throughout the surrounding areas. However, the shuttle doesn’t always come close to where you live. If you’re nervous about walking home at night, you can take advantage of the NightRide services available. Run by students, this nighttime shuttle service will take you from campus to your house (as long as you live within the service area) or vice versa.
What if the ride home isn’t the nerve-wracking part of your commute, but the dark walk across campus? If that’s the case, public safety ambassadors are at your service. While these volunteers are on campus to provide a visual presence of safety and discourage crime, they also will escort you across campus if you call—513-446-2968—between the hours of 6 p.m. and 2:30 a.m.
The ultimate resource for reporting crime, finding more information about crime statistics or finding out how to best stay safe during your time at UC is public safety. Through their website, you’ll find suggestions for staying safe, an incidence map and many other safety resources. Public safety is dedicated to keeping you as safe as possible while you’re here, and you should take full advantage of the services they have to offer.
Fire Safety in your Apartment
In 2013, the Cincinnati Safe Student Housing Program was created in the memory of four Cincinnati college students who lost their lives in off-campus house fires. This program offers a list of Cincinnati Fire Department approved houses and apartments. It also allows residents or landlords to get a free inspection of their residence through the fire department. If you’re concerned about the safety of your home, fill out this form to have your free inspection done. Landlords have 30 days to remedy any inconsistencies with the fire code in their residential buildings before they incur a fine.
The purpose of this article isn’t to make you more anxious about living in Cincinnati and walking around campus; we just want you to be aware of world you live and learn in so that you can make the best choices for your health and safety. The reality of the situation is that crimes, fires and other safety hazards happen. It is an unfortunate truth, but it is something that we all have to deal with. However, that doesn’t mean that you should have to live your life in fear for your safety. If you’re feeling unsafe while on campus or near it, please use one of the resources listed above. Your safety is of the utmost priority to the Graduate School and the university.