Welcome Back & Safety Resources for You

September 14, 2023

Dear Columbia Community Members,

Welcome to the start of a new academic year! As you begin to establish your schedules and routines for the new semester, I would like to share important safety information and available University resources.

The City’s vibrant neighborhoods, institutions, and communities offer countless opportunities to learn, enjoy ourselves and make new connections. Although New York is the greatest city in the world, we still need to be aware of our surroundings and practice good safety habits.

I encourage you to use the following University Public Safety resources offered to Columbia affiliates.

Recent Crime Information and Trends

New York City overall and Columbia’s neighborhoods in Morningside Heights, Manhattanville, and Washington Heights are relatively safe, though recent data has shown an increase in some categories of crime. Take precautions to keep yourselves and others protected. I remind everyone to remain vigilant, be aware of your surroundings, and take advantage of the available safety resources provided by the University.

In particular, be aware of online and in-person scams that have targeted students and the recent incidences of cell phone snatchings committed by people riding scooters or bicycles. Follow these tips to protect your cell phone from theft and consult Public Safety’s extensive library of crime prevention tips. Follow the latest crime information and trends in Columbia’s neighborhoods from resources provided by the NYPD.

Getting Around Safely

For additional transportation options, visit Columbia’s Transportation website.

Download Lion Safe, Columbia’s Public Safety App

The Lion Safe app, free and available to all Columbia affiliates and members of neighboring communities, allows you to quickly request emergency services, access maps, shuttle schedules, crime alerts, emergency protocols, and campus safety notifications. The Friend Walk feature also allows you to share your location with a friend in real-time. Be on the lookout for enhancements to the Lion Safe app coming later this year.
Emergency Phone Numbers
Columbia’s Public Safety is available at any time of day, every day. Please store these critical numbers in your phone:

  • Morningside Campus Emergency Line: 212-854-5555
  • Manhattanville Campus Emergency Line: 212-853-3333
  • Medical Center Campus Emergency Line: 212-305-7979

Upcoming Safety Awareness Events

  • Security Awareness Days (In-person) Keep yourself and your property safe during your time at Columbia, with resources including free electronic tattoos for devices so they are easier to identify if lost or stolen, bike tune-ups and registration, one-on-one consultations with safety specialists, and more. Today, Sept. 14 at CUIMC, and Sept. 21 at Manhattanville.
  • Situational Awareness Training (Virtual). Learn to be alert to potential threats to your health and safety and be cognizant of emergency exits and other paths to safety. Friday, September 29, 10:00 - 11:00 AM ET. Learn more and register

A full calendar of events is available on the Public Safety website.

Stay Informed
Public Safety sends text updates about emergency events on or near campus. Check to ensure you are registered to receive and manage your notifications. For information on emergency protocols by campus, visit the Public Safety website.

Public Safety is here to support you 24/7/365 and strives to continually improve our service to the Columbia community, and your feedback is welcome. You can also always email Public Safety with feedback and questions.

Subscribe to the Public Safety monthly newsletter and follow Public Safety on Facebook (@cupublicsafety) and Instagram (@columbiapublicsafety) to keep up to date with the latest information.

I wish you all a safe, productive, and enjoyable year.

Gerald Lewis Jr. (he/him/his)
Vice President, Public Safety