As you prepare to leave for college, you need to feel confident that you will stay safe and healthy in your new home. Here's a brief introduction to the many ways we help the members of our community do just that.
Safety and security
When students are interested in MIT or any other urban school, they typically have questions about campus safety. At MIT, we believe in preventing problems before they start, so we take a direct, proactive approach to safety.
Because we take safety seriously, because we teach students how to avoid risk, and because our campus is a busy place at almost any hour, our safety record is strong. Of those crimes that do occur here, the vast majority are committed against property rather than against people (primarily the theft of unattended belongings). We work hard to teach students how to protect their possessions - and above all how to keep themselves safe.
Our own police force
Rather than relying on security guards alone, MIT has its own police force - 55 armed, academy-trained sworn officers, who have full arrest authority on campus. They're also trained as emergency medical technicians, to assist our licensed ambulance service. Most important, they're highly visible and very friendly. At any time, two cruisers are driving around campus, and half a dozen or more officers are patrolling by foot, bicycle or motorcycle. Because they encounter students on friendly terms every day, they can often prevent problems before they start, rather than having to step in as remote law enforcement officials who intervene only after the fact.
One of the most important services we offer is Safe Ride, our system for escorting students safely between their residences and various campus locations after hours. Safe Ride's four vans circulate continuously on regular routes on both the Cambridge and Boston sides of the river every night between 6:00 PM and 3:00 AM (until 4:00 AM on weekends). We also offer individual escorts in special circumstances, and between Safe Ride's hours and daylight, campus police will provide rides in their cruisers on request.
The MIT campus has its own emergency phone system. A student can pick up any phone on campus and dial 100 (our internal equivalent of "911") for assistance. In addition, at locations across the campus and on Memorial Drive, students can use blue-light emergency phones that connect directly to our campus police headquarters, so there's no need to remember a phone number to get help.
Teaching our community about safety
We believe in teaching the members of our community how to behave safely. Our full-time, specially trained crime prevention unit has the sole mission of developing and implementing safety education programs and services on campus. We give students lots to read, and we offer programs throughout the academic year.