University of Wisconsin–Madison

Health, Wellness, and Safety

Campus Safety

UW–Madison views student safety as a partnership between the university and students. As partners in staying safe, students should take personal responsibility for their safety. Parents can reinforce the university’s safety messages to their student by encouraging them in the following ways:

  • Utilize the campus safety programs and services
  • Sign-up for WiscAlerts
  • Travel together and stay together
  • Walk in well-lit places
  • Always carry a cell phone
  • If choosing to drink alcohol, do so in moderation
  • Discuss a family emergency contact plan
  • Talk to your student about his/her alcohol consumption

Students who are involved in an alcohol-related violation of university policy may be required to attend BASICS as a condition of their formal misconduct sanction. BASICS stands for Brief Alcohol Screening and Intervention for College Students.

University Police Department

The University Police Department is devoted to providing for the safety and security of all people who come in contact with UW–Madison and supports the university’s academic and research mission. 
Emergency: 911
 Non-Emergency: 608-264-COPS (2677)


SAFE Nighttime services

SAFE (Safe Arrival For Everyone) Nighttime Services, the university’s comprehensive late night transportation system, is available free to students, faculty, staff and university guests. SAFE offers walks and bus service, and educates the UW community about nighttime safety. Phone: 608-262-5000.

Emergency Telephones can be found in more than 60 areas on campus. They are usually red, blue, or silver totem-style poles. By pushing the button, students are connected directly to the UW Police Department.

Lightway Walking Paths is a network of well-lit sidewalks and paths for pedestrians. Students and staff are encouraged to use the Campus Lightway, which is marked by stickers displaying light bulbs.

Chimera Self Defense Courses teach verbal assertiveness skills and physical techniques to reduce the risk of harassment and assault. Classes are for females only. Contact the Dane County Rape Crisis Center at 608-251-5126 for registration information.

View City of Madison safety information, or contact the City of Madison Police Department Central District office at 608-266-4945 for information about safety resources and crime statistics in Madison.

Moped safety

Information about how to safely operate a moped on campus and in Madison, as well as details about parking, registration, and licensing, can be found on the Transportation Services website.

University Recreation & Wellbeing

University Recreation & Wellbeing offers programs in four different indoor facilities and 63 acres of outdoor field space. In addition to group/team activities, there are opportunities to participate in sports and exercise on an individual basis, personal training available, and access to most facilities is free to students with a valid UW–Madison ID.  All facilities are accessible to individuals with disabilities.

Online privacy

More students are communicating through social networking websites, which provide both great opportunities and risks. Find out the importance of smart social networking and talk with your student about responsible usage.