SafeWalk escorting a student at night

Health & Safety

Security System

Your safety is protected by many measures that we have put in place, including some systems that require your attention (for example, locking your room door whenever you leave). All residence hall exterior doors are safeguarded by an electronic locking system that allows 24-hour monitoring of door locks to make sure doors are locked at the proper times. Security cameras with recording devices are located throughout the first floor and building entrance areas of all University Residence Halls, as well as some elevators and resident floors.

University Police

A great benefit to living on campus is the comfort of knowing you are in a place where University Police Liaisons make frequent visits, day and night, to the University Residence Halls, and they are a friendly and welcoming presence.

Fire Safety

A smoke detector is located in each resident’s room, hallway, and common area. It is PROHIBITED to remove smoke detectors for any reason. If fire alarms go off, please proceed to the nearest exit in an orderly fashion.

UW–Madison SAFE Nighttime Services

SAFEwalk Escorts are two-person escort teams trained by University Police.

WiscAlerts

We strongly recommend that all residents sign up for UW–Madison’s WiscAlerts emergency notification system, which sends out text message alerts to your mobile phone in the event of an emergency.

Housing Alerts

University Housing uses an email and text message system very similar to WiscAlerts to notify residents of situations that represent a threat to safety or an unplanned change in service. All University Housing residents are automatically enrolled in this service during their time living in the residence halls. For more information, visit our Housing Alerts page.

Voice It

A community has strength when members stand up against bias and hurtful behavior. Suppose you experience or witness behavior motivated by prejudice or insensitivity around race, ethnicity, national origin, immigrant status, religious beliefs, gender, sexual orientation, age, gender expression, ability, political affiliation, or any other physical or cultural characteristics. In that case, we urge you to contact our University Residence Halls staff or report the bias.

Protect Yourself and Your Belongings:

Steps you can take as residents play a critical role in creating and maintaining a safe community for everyone.

  • You should lock your room door whenever you and your roommate are not in the room, even when you are close by, and also whenever you are sleeping.
  • You should not leave your room door unlocked for convenience—virtually all thefts from residence hall rooms occur when residents leave their rooms unlocked.
  • A desk or dresser drawer with a locking hasp is provided in each room. You can secure small valuables (such as credit cards, money, jewelry, etc.) with a padlock that you provide.
  • We strongly recommend that you obtain insurance coverage for all of your personal items and that you have adequate insurance coverage for fire and water damage, theft, and vandalism.

Other Campus Safety Tips

The UW–Madison Police Department and the Division of Student Life share these common sense tips for campus safety:

  • If you are ever confronted by an individual with a weapon, give up your property immediately.
  • Always keep your doors and windows locked – even if you’re home.
  • Don’t hold the door open or allow people you don’t know into the building.
  • Please look out for your friends and encourage them to stay safe.
  • Sign up for WiscAlerts.
  • If you have specific safety questions or concerns, please email the UW–Madison Police Department at police@uwpd.wisc.edu.

Physical Health

Leading a healthy lifestyle can help you resist minor illnesses, promote your productivity and boost your academic success. The first step involves understanding your dietary and nutritional needs and including exercise in your daily routine. To assist you in your pursuit of a well-balanced lifestyle, the University of Wisconsin–Madison offers fitness programs, nutrition support, and counseling. If more careful attention is needed, University Health Services also provides support around topics ranging from a general cold or minor injury to emergency health services and substance abuse.

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Emotional and Mental Wellness

We understand that mental, intellectual, and emotional health is crucial for a balanced college experience. The UW–Madison offers a variety of group and individual counseling sessions, positive psychology programs, stress and sleep management programs and more to ensure every student’s positive experience on campus.

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Sexual Health

You may find more specialized healthcare services on campus related to a number of medical-related topics. UHS Sexual Health Clinic provides screening, diagnosis, and treatment of most Sexually Transmitted Diseases. You may also find counseling on STI spread prevention, HIV infection, emergency contraception and sexual assault.

Visit University Health Services to schedule an appointment with a healthcare professional and find out more about health services on campus.

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Preventing and Managing Illness

Close living settings, like residence halls, can be places where viruses and bacteria spread easily from person-to-person. There are steps you can take to protect yourself and the people around you while reducing the spread of illness. Vaccination is an easy and often no-cost way for students to keep feeling healthy while protecting others. UHS offers vaccines for flu, mpox, meningitis B, and many others. For more information on staying well, and when to seek care at UHS, check out the tips below.

Keep your stuff clean

  1. Wash your hands and use hand sanitizer frequently. Especially after using the bathroom, before and after eating or preparing food for yourself or someone else, and when you are feeling sick.
  2. Wipe down high-contact surfaces regularly. Use cleaning wipes or sprays like Clorox or Lysol to wipe down doorknobs, light switches, refrigerator handles, and shared counter space.
  3. Wash or replace your bedding if you’ve been sick or had a new sexual encounter. Bodily fluids can spread illness, so it’s important to keep your sheets clean.

Avoid sharing personal items

  1. Keep your drinks to yourself and avoid taking sips from other people’s cups. Illness can spread easily through saliva.
  2. Wash your plates, silverware, and cups after use. Keeping these items clean and for personal use may help prevent illnesses through saliva.
  3. Keep your toothbrush, makeup, and other personal hygiene items to yourself. Illness can spread through contact with items used by someone who is sick.
  4. Avoid kissing, cuddling, or having sex with people who are sick. Activities that include a lot of close contacts can promote the spread of illness.
    1. If you choose to engage in sexual activities, do so more safely by limiting your number of sex partners, using condoms (which may offer some protection for contact with mpox rashes), or by having virtual sex without in-person contact. More tips are available on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Safer Sex, Social Gatherings, and Monkeypox website.

For information about sexually transmitted infections (STIs) visit the UHS STI webpage.

Take steps if you feel sick

If you’re not feeling well, stay home and seek medical care through UHS (most services are no-cost to students). Please note that some of the illnesses listed below, including COVID-19, mpox, influenza-like illness (ILI), and meningitis B, must be reported to public health officials to prevent the spread of disease. Some illnesses may also require an isolation period. If this is the case, you will be provided with specific instructions for isolation.

Experiencing a cough, sore throat, or stuffy nose?

You might have a respiratory virus like COVID-19, the flu, or another common cold virus. These viruses can spread easily through the air, so if you feel ill it’s important to avoid contact with others, stay home, and rest while you recover. If you suspect you have a respiratory virus, stay home, wear a mask around others, and consider taking an at-home COVID-19 antigen test. If you test positive for COVID-19, isolate yourself from other members of your residence. Follow CDC guidance on isolation duration and testing.

If you have questions about recovering from home or when to seek care for symptoms, call University Health Services at 608-265-5600 to speak with a nurse. You should seek emergency care if you are experiencing any of the following serious symptoms:

  • Trouble breathing
  • Persistent pain or pressure in the chest
  • New confusion
  • Inability to wake or stay awake
  • Pale, gray, or blue-colored skin, lips, or nail beds, depending on skin tone

Experiencing a new rash that looks like blisters, pimples, or lesions?

You might have mpox. Mpox spreads through direct skin-to-skin contact with rashes or bodily secretions, as well as prolonged face-to-face contact and touching fabrics or objects used by a person with mpox that has not been cleaned. If you suspect you have mpox, follow these next steps:

  1. Request an appointment through UHS for mpox testing.
  2. While waiting for test results, stay home and isolate yourself from others. Follow guidance from your healthcare provider.
  3. If the test result is positive, follow guidance from your healthcare provider.

Experiencing extreme fatigue?

You might have mononucleosis (mono). Mono spreads through bodily fluids, especially saliva. If you suspect you may have mono, follow these next steps:

  1. Schedule an appointment through UHS in primary care.
  2. If your health provider believes you have mono, follow their guidance for rest and recovery.

Experiencing a high fever, stiff neck, confusion, and/or light sensitivity?

You might have meningitis B. Meningitis B bacteria spreads through bodily fluids, especially saliva. If you suspect you may have meningitis B, act quickly and follow these next steps:

  1. Immediately schedule an appointment through UHS in primary care.
  2. If you test positive for meningitis B, follow guidance from your healthcare provider.

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AEDs and Nalox-ZONE Boxes

AEDs (automated external defibrillators) are an easy-to-use portable device that can analyze the heart’s rhythm and, if necessary, deliver an electrical shock to help revive the heart during sudden cardiac arrest.

Nalox-ZONE boxes include nasal spray naloxone, a lifesaving medicine that rapidly reverses an opioid overdose.

University Housing offers several locations where AEDs and Nalox-ZONE boxes are paired together so that students have quick access to these potentially lifesaving resources in centralized spaces.

In addition to University Housing, Nalox-ZONE boxes are available in several other locations on campus. View a full list of Nalox-ZONE locations.

AED device installed in a UW-Madison building Nalox-Zone box installed in a UW-Madison residence hall

Building Location Access
Carson Gulley Center Carson’s Market entrance (AED), desk entrance (Nalox-ZONE) During desk hours for public
Chadbourne Hall Rheta’s Market entrance 24/7 for Chadbourne/ Barnard residents, during dining service hours for public
Dejope Hall Outside of Flamingo Run 24/7 for Dejope residents, during dining service hours for public
Gordon Dining Wall outside of west stairwell During dining service hours for public
Holt Center Across from Holt desk During desk hours for public
Kronshage Hall Gilman House basement 24/7 for Kronshage residents
Leopold Hall Main lobby 24/7 for Leopold residents
Lowell Center Across from Lowell desk 24/7 for Lowell residents, during desk hours for public
Ogg Hall Next to Ogg desk 24/7 for Ogg residents, during desk hours for public
Sellery Hall Main entrance 24/7 for Sellery residents, during desk hours for public
Smith Hall Across from Smith desk 24/7 for Smith residents, during desk hours for public
Waters Hall Next to Waters desk 24/7 for Waters residents, during dining service hours for public
Witte Hall Next to Witte desk 24/7 for Witte residents, during desk hours for public

Additionally, UW–Madison has AEDs located across campus, which are mapped and integrated into the PulsePoint AED app. By downloading the app, individuals who are near a reported cardiac event will receive a notification and could retrieve the AED to bring to the reported site. The UW‒Madison Police Department (UWPD) also offers Heartsaver CPR AED training once a month.

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