Welcome Back and Safety Resources for You

September 15, 2021

Dear Columbia Community Members,

As our University community fully returns to learning and living together, we write today to share important information and University resources for your safety. One of Columbia’s greatest strengths is its location in New York City, which affords us the opportunity to learn from and engage with the City’s vibrant neighborhoods, institutions and communities. And yet, we must be mindful of the increase in crime throughout New York City’s  neighborhoods. We encourage you to move about with increased awareness, and use these University resources available to you. 

Getting Around Safely:

Columbia Transportation and Public Safety have partnered with VIA Rideshare Point to Point Service to provide free and safe alternatives to walking alone at night. Learn more about how this service works,  the calendar of service hours that adjust with seasonal daylight, and how to download the app and get a unique promo code (UNI login required) to get started.  Additionally, the Intercampus Shuttle runs Monday to Saturday, excluding University holidays. For additional transportation information, visit Columbia’s Transportation website.

Columbia’s App for Public Safety - LionSafe:

Please download the LionSafe app. This app not only connects users with quick access to Public Safety emergency services, it helps keep you updated with crime alerts, emergency protocols and critical campus safety protocols. The app also includes maps, shuttle schedules, and Friend Walk, which allows you to send your location to a friend in real-time, so they can track you virtually as you walk to your destination.

Safety Awareness Opportunities this Fall (Virtual and In Person):

Being mindful of what is present and happening around you is critically important, and will help keep you safe. Please consider joining a situational awareness skills training to learn actionable tips to protect your personal safety in threatening situations. Register here.

Throughout September, Public Safety is also hosting Security Awareness Days at each campus for students, faculty, and staff. In addition to learning about crime prevention resources, including the Operation ID Program (free engraving for your electronic devices), you can receive a free bike tune-up, and get discounts on bike locks and other crime prevention accessories. 

Emergency Text Messaging:

Please sign up for emergency text updates to receive real-time notifications of emergency events on or near campus. 

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

You can always email both University Life and Public Safety with feedback and questions, and follow us both on our Facebook and Instagram channels: @cusafety and @ColumbiaULife to keep up to date with the latest information.

We wish you all a safe, happy and healthy year ahead.


Dennis A. Mitchell, DDS, MPH (he/him/his)
Executive Vice President for University Life
Senior Vice Provost for Faculty Advancement
Professor of Dental Medicine at CUMC

James F. McShane
Vice President for Public Safety