Skip to main content

Community Safety Through Inauguration, Commencement and End-of-the-Year Events

Dear members of the Northwestern community,

Northwestern’s campuses will be buzzing with activity over the next couple of weeks. Not only are many students preparing for finals, Commencement and end-of-the-year celebrations, but we will inaugurate Michael Schill as the University’s 17th president on Friday.

The end of the academic year will be a busy time for our community, with students, staff, faculty, alumni, parents and visitors gathering in Evanston and Chicago to commemorate these milestones. Our highest priority is the safety and well-being of all Northwestern community members. We write today to remind you of our campus safety procedures and available resources.

Make sure Northwestern can reach you

To ensure Northwestern can quickly and effectively warn students, staff and faculty about a threat on campus, the University urges everyone to verify your emergency messaging contact information in myHR or CAESAR and make relevant updates as needed. Emergency communications sent by text message often are issued the fastest. The University has prepared guides to assist you with verifying or updating your mobile number for emergency notifications via text.

In addition, Northwestern recommends that parents, contractors, visitors, vendors, Evanston residents, hospital partners in Chicago and others opt into our emergency messaging system. All can enroll in AlertNU by texting “AlertNU” to 226787. For more information, visit the About Emergency Notifications web page, which includes answers to frequently asked questions.

App and other resources to help look after each other

As another part of Northwestern’s commitment to campus safety, the University has many resources that can be used 24 hours a day. 

NUGuardian is a free, peer-to-peer mobile app that turns a smartphone into a personal safety device. The app enables users to designate their phone contacts as “guardians” who walk (virtually) with them wherever they go — on or off campus — to help them arrive safely at their destination.

Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) is the university’s primary mental health service for Northwestern students. Staff in the Dean of Students office and Religious and Spiritual Life are also available to provide support. In addition, TimelyCare is a virtual mental health app that is free to all Northwestern students, regardless of full- or part-time status. TimelyCare can be accessed from the desktop site or the app anytime from anywhere in the U.S. – including while they are home or traveling over summer. For more information, visit the TimelyCare website.

Faculty and staff can find support through the Employee Assistance Program, and through Religious and Spiritual Life.

In addition, students, faculty, staff and visitors can contact University Police to report crimes, suspicious activity, medical emergencies or other concerns through “blue light” telephones, which are situated in locations on both the Evanston and Chicago campuses.

Safety is a shared responsibility. We ask our community members to be mindful of themselves, those around them and their surroundings.