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Campus Safety and Security Guide


The University has taken specific measures to ensure that you enjoy the safest possible living and learning environment. We encourage you to take an active role in making your Osprey community safe.


Safety programs cannot be fully effective against crime without the cooperation of the citizens they are designed to protect. Alertness, common-sense precautions, and concern for fellow students, faculty, and employees are keys to preventing crime and helping us ensure that experiences at UNF are positive and enjoyable.

General Safety Tips

The University of North Florida is a public institution and, with the exception of residence halls and labs, is open to the public during the day and evening hours when classes are in session. During times when the University is officially closed, University buildings are generally locked. The Department of Police and Public Safety provides regular patrol of buildings and parking lots.

The Department of Residence Life provides information for an effective residence hall security system program. Students are encouraged to adhere to this security program in order to enhance their personal safety and the safety of others. An effective residence hall security program depends upon resident cooperation, staff supervision, and police assistance.

There are no guarantees against becoming a victim. Assailants select their victims based upon desire -- they seek an opportunity. The following suggestions can help you reduce the “opportunity” and make you less vulnerable.

Student Resident Living Areas

  •  Keep your doors and windows locked. Never leave hall or room doors propped open. 
  •  Do not admit strangers. Do not admit maintenance or repair persons without verifying their identity (I.D. Card). If you are suspicious, contact the police. 
  •  Lower the shades or close the drapes/curtains after dark. 
  •  Be wary of inviting casual acquaintances into your living space. In more than half of all reported sexual assaults, the women knew their attacker. 
  •  Leave lights on when you go out at night and have your keys out for quick entry when you return.

Apartment complexes, townhouses, condominium communities, and other multi-family dwellings pose unique security problems because of the temporary nature of many residents of lease/rental properties.


Here are a few tips:

  • Be sure the locks have been re-keyed when moving into a previously rented residence or after keys have been lost or stolen.
  • Deadbolt locks (single or double cylinder) should be installed on all exterior doors. Don’t forget the door from the garage into your residence.
  • Install locks or protective devices on windows (including 2nd floor dwellings).

In the Office

  • Lock your office whenever you leave. 
  • Keep purses, wallets, or other valuables in a locked desk or cabinet. 
  • Report any suspicious person(s) loitering in your area.

Personal Safety
Self-protection is the use of common sense actions. It means keeping alert to your environment; not taking chances; being safety conscious at all times; being alert for dangerous situations and suspicious persons; taking precautions in your residence, while walking/jogging, driving, or using public transportation; knowing what to do if you are being followed; and knowing what to do if you become a victim. Learn how to protect yourself.

If a Crime Does Occur
Call law enforcement immediately! A five-minute delay means that the chance of catching the criminal drops by two-thirds. Dial 911 from any telephone on campus or a cell phone.

Emergency Lockdown Procedures

In the event of an emergency notification, or if you become personally aware of an active shooter/hostile intruder event while in a University building, quickly determine the most reasonable way to protect your own life.
You are encouraged to take the actions listed below:


When an active shooter is in your vicinity:

  • If there is an escape path, and it is safe to do so, attempt to evacuate.
  • Evacuate whether others agree or not.
  • Leave your belongings behind.
  • Help others escape if possible.
  • Prevent others from entering the area.
  • Call 9-1-1 when you are safe.


If evacuation is not possible, find a place to hide.

Your hiding place should:
  • Be out of the shooters view.
  • Provide protection if shots are fired in your direction.
  • Not trap or restrict your options for movement.
  • Allow you to lock and/or blockade the door.
  • In classrooms where doors have glass panes, if available, use class furnishings to block glass openings.

Classroom Locks: The vast majority of campus spaces are equipped with mechanical thumb turns on the door that only require the thumb turn to be moved to a position in which the lock dead bolt is engaged with the strike of the door jamb. However in a number of larger classrooms and lecture halls on campus (Social Sciences Building, Brooks Brown Hall Addition, John E. Mathews Jr. Computer Science Building) a lock/unlock switch has been installed at the classroom near the entry/exit door or in the front of the classroom near the podium. If so equipped, an LED light indicating the lock status of the door will illuminate the switch. In order to secure such doors, flip or push the switch to a position so that the indicator light on the switch changes from green (open) to red (closed). The activation of the switch will engage an electromechanical locking device that will secure the door(s) until emergency personnel clear the emergency.

Once doors are locked and secured, only open doors for uniformed first responders.

When hiding:

  • Turn off the lights.
  • Silence your cell phone.
  • Spread out, do not bunch together.
  • Hide behind large objects.
  • Remain very quiet. 
If evacuation and hiding are not possible:
  • Remain calm
  • Dial 911, if possible, to alert police to the active shooter’s location
  • If you cannot speak, leave the line open and allow the dispatcher to listen


  • As a last resort, and ONLY if your life is in danger, attempt to incapacitate the shooter:
  • Act with physical aggression.
  • Improvise weapons.
  • Commit to your actions.

  • Remain calm and follow instructions.
  • Keep your hands visible at all times.
  • Avoid pointing or yelling.
  • Know that help for the injured is on the way.

When informed to evacuate by emergency personnel, leave all personal effects behind unless instructed otherwise by emergency personnel.

Upon exiting a campus space, promptly proceed to the location designated by or led to by emergency personnel.

Do not reenter campus space until directed or given an all clear by emergency personnel.