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Frequently Asked Questions

Students on campus at dusk

Here are answers to common questions we receive from students and parents about the steps we take to manage campus safety. If you still have questions, call the NIU Police non-emergency number at 815-753-1212.

Crime statistics—which we are required to track and publish in the Annual Safety and Security Report—demonstrate that crime on our campus is comparable to other campuses across the state and among similarly-sized, four-year public institutions. NIU is a safe campus, but no community or college campus is completely immune to crime.

Rising from the cornfields in rural DeKalb County, the City of DeKalb balances small-town feel with city and suburban living. It's home to many responsible families, several thousand NIU employees and students who rent apartments. Like other communities that border a college campus, DeKalb is not immune to crime, but it is a safe community, and crime is on a decline, according to statistics.

The safety of our students is vitally important to our community. Like any other college campus in this country or any other community, you are free to move about on your own and explore your independence. We have put many safety measures in place on campus to provide an attentive, nurturing and supportive environment:

  • During your orientation visit, you are taught how to improve your own safety. You’ll hear these safety tips again when you move in to the residence halls. You’ll also receive safety briefings throughout the year and have access to safety instructions online.
  • We have a highly trained police force of over 50 sworn officers.
  • Each NIU residence hall has a 24-hour community safety center, with a campus police officer assigned to it.
  • Residence halls have security personnel, designated entrance areas, night check-in procedures and (for high-rises) 24-hour key access for floors and elevators.
  • Approximately 250 cameras monitor key areas and entry points to residence halls.
  • The campus is well-lit, including sidewalks, roadways and parking lots.
  • Emergency Assistance Call Boxes cover the campus should an emergency arise.
  • The Huskie Patrol, a group of student employees, patrols campus weeknights from 8 p.m. to 4 a.m. and provides a "Walk Safe" service when you do not wish to walk alone.
  • The Huskie Safe Line provides free shuttle rides along a fixed route to NIU students from 11 pm – 5:30 am.
  • Students and employees who provide their mobile phone number through MyNIU will receive emergency alerts via text message.

All of these investments in safety help build and maintain a safe campus community.

The NIU Police Department uses Community Policing to proactively prevent crime. NIU officers interact with the NIU and DeKalb community through educational programs, foot patrols, vehicle patrols and bicycle patrols.

The NIU Police Department and DeKalb Police Department assist one another as necessary for cases on and off campus, sharing information, manpower and resources. For example, both departments actively patrol the Greek Row areas where many students live. By working together, they are able to reduce response times to calls, provide more resources, have more positive interactions with community members and provide better services to the NIU and DeKalb communities.

The NIU Police Department also works cooperatively with the DeKalb County Sheriff's Department and the Illinois State Police.

No. The state's concealed carry legislation allows Northern Illinois University to continue its practice of prohibiting guns on campus. THE POSSESSION AND CARRYING OF WEAPONS ON NIU PROPERTY REMAINS ILLEGAL AND PROHIBITED. This extends to all property owned or controlled by the university including, but not limited to, places outside of the DeKalb campus where university classes, programs and activities are held.

NIU Police patrol the campus 24 hours a day, seven days a week on foot, on bicycle and in patrol vehicles. Like municipal officers, they are in uniform but also are often present in “plain clothes” throughout campus and at special events.

Campus safety is not singularly the responsibility of the NIU Police. Over 4,500 faculty and staff spend long hours each day in buildings and facilities spread across our 800 acre campus teaching, serving, assisting and interacting with our students. Consistent with our mission, student welfare is the responsibility of every employee.

We have established comprehensive and extensive personal safety precautions. During 2013, the NIU Police presented 171 courses about crime prevention and safety to groups throughout the university.

Campus safety tips are posted online and safety is messaged throughout the university community at the start of the year as well as during routine tests. In the event of an actual emergency, communication is emailed and/or texted to students and faculty.

We cannot stress enough that you must take responsibility for your security and your personal property. Steps to prevent the loss of property include carrying only small amounts of cash, never leaving valuables unattended, not lending keys to anyone, locking doors and windows to your home or vehicles, not leaving valuables in plain view in vehicles or dorm rooms and reporting any suspicious activity to the NIU Police immediately.

While there is a low incidence of crimes against persons at NIU, you can assist in preventing crime by minimizing opportunities to become a victim, using good judgment and safety practices and by being responsible for your own and others’ security. Be aware of your surroundings and leave social functions that get too loud, too crowded or that have too many people drinking excessively.

By providing your mobile phone number in MyNIU, you are automatically registered with our emergency notification system to receive text messages about emergency situations and criminal activity on or near campus. All students and employees also receive emergency information at their email address.

We also notify the community of emergency situations using sirens and weather radios, broadcast voice mail messages, in-building public address announcements, Novell broadcast messages and via internet protocol television (IPTV).

Emergencies 911
University Police Non-Emergency Number (815) 753-1212
Interpersonal Violence Response Team (815) 753-6102
Health Services (815) 753-1311
Counseling & Student Development (815) 753-1206
Employee Assistance Program (815) 753-9191
Human Resource Services (815) 753-6000
Huskie Student Patrol (815) 753-9658
Huskie Safe Line (815) 753-2222
Building Services for utility outages (815) 753-1147 from 7 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
(815) 753-1151 at other times

As part of our commitment to providing information to the community to help keep our campus safe, and in compliance with the federal Clery Act, NIU publishes two reports annually: the Safety and Security Report and the Fire Safety Report.