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  • Categories: Bison SAFE, Campus and Public Safety

As we continue the celebration of yet another unforgettable Howard University Homecoming, the safety and well-being of our students, faculty, staff, alumni, and guests remain our top priority.
This year’s Homecoming theme is ‘Revival,’ and it promises to be a remarkable celebration of our Bison pride and the continued improvements to ensure the safety of our institution and its constituents.­

In these uncertain times, we cannot stress enough the paramount importance of campus safety. Recent incidents at local HBCUs have amplified the pressing need for heightened awareness and ensuring everyone’s well-being. 
Safety is Non-Negotiable
Safety is not just a priority, but it is also a shared commitment! Every student, employee and guest must follow safety guidelines. Your safety is our top concern. It is imperative that we all remain proactive in our approach.       
A Network of Support
We have forged partnerships with several law enforcement and local civilian support agencies dedicated to enhancing safety measures at our events. These collaborations demonstrate our continued dedication to working to strengthen these relationships, ensuring the highest level of safety possible.
Your Responsibility Matters
Ensuring our collective safety requires your active participation. We urge you to prioritize and adhere to the safety guidelines not just for your own sake, but for the sake of our entire Howard University community.
Observe all Alert Notices 
Please be sure to download and follow all notifications from the University alert devices and systems. 
These include:

1. HU Peace of Mind (POM) Devices:

  • If you haven't already secured your HU Peace of Mind device, Howard students can do so today, Thursday, October 19 from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. at the Information Desk in the Amour J. Blackburn Center

2. Bison S.A.F.E. App:

  • We strongly recommend that you download the Bison S.A.F.E. public safety and emergency notification app. This app will provide real-time alerts, event updates, and a direct line to campus security in case of emergencies.

3. Safety Training:

  • With training as a top priority, the Howard University Department of Public Safety (HUDPS) maintains proficiency and skills in an ever-changing environment to build and facilitate training programs that cater to the Howard community. Please contact HUDPS  to request a safety training.

Additional Safety Tips:

  • Be responsible: Fun is a priority during Homecoming, but safety should remain your number one priority.
  • Have a plan: Designated drivers, locations and activities should all be planned before leaving your house or residence hall. Share your plans with someone you trust. Let them know where you'll be and when you expect to return. Develop a safe word you can use with a friend or family member that alerts them to any unsafe circumstances you encounter quickly. 
  • Stick together: Travel in groups with friends or request a police escort. Take care of the people in your group and aim to return with the people with whom you leave.
  • Be aware of strangers: Meeting new people is nice, but everyone doesn’t have good intentions. A conscious person makes for a safe person.
  • See Something, Say Something! If you see a patron engaged in volatile or dangerous behavior or, in possession of something that looks to be on our prohibited items list, please contact the nearest public safety official with full details about that person and the concerning behavior or item. Walking away or doing nothing may cause you and others harm. 
  • Protect the things you value: Lock your car and room, safeguard your valuables, and be aware of what’s going on around you. Protect your belongings and pay close attention to your surroundings.
  • Be careful with alcohol consumption: If you are 21 or older avoid binge drinking or just stay sober. If you choose to consume alcohol, please do so responsibly. Don't drink and drive. Arrange for designated drivers or use rideshare services.
  • Remember to be Bison Safe: Bison S.A.F.E. is Howard University’s official safety app. Please use the platform to report incidents to keep the campus and yourself safe. 
  • Stay Informed: Keep an eye on your email, the Howard University websites, and official social media channels for updates on any event changes or important announcements.
  • Campus Safety: Familiarize yourself with the campus layout and emergency exits and exit routes. Stay in well-lit areas and use the buddy system, especially during nighttime events. Report any suspicious activity to campus security immediately.
  • Hydration and Health: Stay hydrated and be mindful of your physical well-being. Homecoming can be physically demanding, so take breaks, eat healthily, and get plenty of rest.
  • Emergency Contacts: Save important contact numbers, including campus security and local emergency services in your phone.
  • Social Media Caution:  Be cautious about sharing personal information or your location on social media platforms.

Visit the Howard Homecoming Public Safety webpage for more safety tips and resources. 

We are committed to providing a safe and enjoyable Homecoming experience for all Bison. We ask for your cooperation in following these guidelines and being responsible stewards of our University's legacy.

Let's celebrate Homecoming 2023 with enthusiasm, unity, and the Bison pride that makes our community strong. Together, we can create lasting memories while keeping safety at the forefront.

On behalf of the Department of Public Safety, we thank you for your partnership in keeping our campus safe and secure. 
In Truth and Service,

Cynthia Evers, Ed.D.
Vice President for Student Affairs

Marcus Lyles
Executive Director for Safety and Security, Chief of Police
Department of Public Safety