Nighttime Safety

The SAFE program specializes in nighttime safety. For a comprehensive resource on being safe on campus, day or night, please refer to www.safeu.wisc.edu.


    Nighttime Safety Tips
  • Plan ahead. Do not wait until the last minute to consider your personal safety and your nighttime travel plans.
  • Stay away from poorly lit areas and avoid taking shortcuts down dark alleyways or paths. Choose well-lit, heavily traveled sidewalks. A map of the Lightway and other Lightway information can be found here.
  • If you are in an emergency situation, call 911.
  • Whenever possible, do not walk alone at night.
  • Use SAFEwalk's services if you are by yourself. Convenient and free, all UW students, faculty, and staff can use SAFEwalk. Note, university guests are eligible for unlimited SAFEwalks.
  • Be aware of places along your path that could conceal a criminal (shrubbery, buildings, recesses, etc.). Avoid these areas.
  • Do not use headphones or talk on a cell phone while walking alone at night as this reduces your awareness of your surroundings.
  • Stay aware of your surroundings. If you see something suspicious in the direction you are heading, change your route.
  • Keep your head up. Do not look down or away and make brief eye contact with people you meet. If someone is following you, make your way to a populated area.
  • Carry yourself with confidence. If confronted, shout or use a whistle to attract attention.
  • Trust your instincts. If you feel something isn’t quite right, don’t take chances. Change your plans or call for help.
  • It is risky to travel under the influence of alcohol or other controlled substances. Drugs and alcohol can greatly alter your perceptions, reaction time, and judgments.
  • Make sure to tell someone your plans, your travel routes and when to expect your arrival.
  • Wear clothing that will allow you to run if necessary. If you need to run, drop your valuables (heavy books, packages, etc.) since these slow you down.

Lightway Walking Paths


    The UW Campus Lightway is a network of well-lighted sidewalks and paths for pedestrians.
  • At night, always walk with someone and if possible walk along Lightway paths.
  • Lightway routes are marked with reflective Lightway signs affixed to light poles.
  • Only use the Lightway in conjunction with other Safety Practices.

Emergency Telephones

Over 60 emergency telephones are located throughout the campus. Most emergency phones have a blue light above them and are labeled "911-Emergency."

    To use an emergency phone:
  • Remove handset from cradle
  • Push button
  • Wait for the police dispatcher to answer
  • If you are out at night and need to locate a safe place, you can walk into the foyers of one of the University Residence Halls.