New York City and the NYU Campus are as safe as you make them. Take a moment to review the information and tips on keeping you safe provided below. Note that Residents may contact the front desks of Mercer Residence (212-998-6513) or D’Agostino Hall (212-998-6502) 24 hours a day for assistance.
The NYU Department of Public Safety also provides emergency help and information 24 hours a day. If you need assistance, call 212-998-2222.
Emergency Safety Locations in the Greenwich Village/Washington Square Park Area
The following is a list of the NYU Safe Havens in the Greenwich Village/Washington Square Park area. These merchants have stickers in their windows identifying them as safe havens where students can go to seek assistance in the event of an emergency.
Safety on the Streets
- Walk in an assertive manner and plan your route in advance.
- Walk in well-lit and populated areas, especially at night. Avoid parks at night.
- Be aware of your surroundings and of suspicious persons or circumstances.
- Travel with a friend if possible.
- Avoid wearing expensive jewelry and flashing money on the street and in the subways.
- Always keep bags closed and backpacks zipped and buckled. Keep your purse on your lap in restaurants. Avoid hanging it on the back of your chair or leaving it on an empty chair.
- If you suspect you are being followed, cross the street or go into a store. If you’re at NYU, go to the Department of Public Safety at 14 Washington Place or another safe place.
- Be aware of safe haven locations. (See above.)
- Always have enough money for cab fare home and quarters to make telephone calls.
- Use cash machines only in the daylight.
- Program your cell phone to call 911 and the Department of Public Safety at 212-998-2222 in an emergency.
Safety on Subways
- The black-and-white striped signs that appear overhead near the center of the subway platform indicate the spot where the conductor’s car stops. This car is a safer place to ride late at night.
- Avoid cars that are significantly less crowded.
- Wait for the train near the station booth during non-rush hours. Many stations have established off-hour waiting areas.
- Remain awake on the train.
- Whenever possible, travel with a friend.
- Stand away from the edge of the platform.
- Keep money or jewelry hidden. Keep necklaces and rings out of sight.
- Use main exits late at night.
- Hold your handbag and other possessions securely.
- Do not engage strangers in conversation.
- It is illegal for anyone to solicit for contributions on the subway. Some people may wear nametags with photos, but they are not authorized by the MTA.
You must use your own judgment as to what you wish to do. If you are being pressured or harassed, tell the nearest police officer or get off at the next stop. To contact the New York City Police Department, call 911.
Washington Square Park Policies
Washington Square Park, one of the most visited parks in the world, sits at the center of our campus. This historic public commons is a great escape for some interesting people watching. Please be aware that New York City police and park rangers issue summonses and conduct arrests for violations in Washington Square Park, including riding bikes and skateboards, unreasonable noise making, vandalism, littering, unleashed dogs, climbing trees, possession of illegal drugs (including marijuana), and consumption of alcohol (including open containers in bags). NYPD surveillance cameras are located around the park.
Common Swindles & Con Games
Con artists are smooth-talking criminals who may be well-dressed men or women working in pairs or alone and may stop you on the street, call you on the telephone, or ring your doorbell. NYU students are not exempt from their games.
- Stay away from something-for-nothing or get-rich-quick schemes.
- If you are asked to turn over large sums of money in cash, be cautious. Ask yourself, “Why cash, why not a check?”
- Be suspicious of persons asking you to “hold” money, claiming they can’t use or don’t trust banks.
- Never sign a contract until you and your lawyer, banker, or other expert have carefully read it.
- Don’t hesitate to check the credentials of a salesperson, a public official, a company, or a charity.
Identifying A Cult
Members of cults periodically recruit in the Greenwich Village area. They may approach you in your residence hall, in Washington Square Park, or on the streets outside of classroom buildings. In addition to sharing with you the answers they have found to life’s questions, they may seek to enlist your time, energy, and resources in endeavors they believe to be worthwhile. In short, they may ask you to join their group and make substantial contributions of time and money to their causes. Some of these groups may use recruiting tactics that are intrusive, deceitful, manipulative, and coercive. For information on identifying a cult or to seek assistance for you or someone you know who has been victimized, call the Center for Spiritual Life at 212-998-4956 or NYU Public Safety at 212-998-2222.