Current Size: 100%

4. Safety and Security


As for safety in and around campus, the Campus Police holds seminars and advises the student body on various precautions to take while on campus and in the city.

Statements regarding security are not intended to cause undue alarm. It is known that criminal activity in our society is prevalent. Large cities are especially vulnerable. The suggestions made are only those for which the student would need to exercise as a member of any community. As such is the case, please refrain from propping open Emergency Exit Doors, doors to stairwells, etc. This is a safety and security risk for all residents in the building.

Any resident who feels that his/her rights have been violated, can register a complaint against the violator(s) by reporting infractions to the staff of the Residence Hall, for the purpose of submitting an Incident Report to the Residence Hall Manager.

Residence Halls are equipped with the necessary safety and security hardware – all front doors are kept locked and each student is issued a Howard University Capstone Card activated for respective halls. Room keys are issued to each resident. All residents must present a valid Howard University Capstone Card upon entry to the hall at all times or when asked by a University official.

In the final analysis, each student must give concern to his/her own safety and protection and refrain from careless actions that could jeopardize his/her safety and that of their fellow residents and staff. In this regard, each student is cautioned to keep their room keys with them at all times and must not lend or duplicate room keys or give their Identification Card for use by anyone.

Reporting of Incidents

Reporting of any unusual/disruptive incidents should be reported immediately to the front desk. Assistance cannot be provided unless you notify the front desk. The only way problems are solved is that you provide the necessary facts surrounding the incident. Additionally, you will be called upon by staff to complete a written statement describing the incident. This involves the who, what, where, when, time, and general description of the incident.

Access Control

The Access Control System is installed at Residence Hall door entrances to control traffic flow. The access cards are not transferable and may not be duplicated. Students who lose access cards are liable for replacement charges. Any misuse of the access card could lead to dismissal from the Residence Hall.

Capstone Identification System (CIDS)

The CIDS identification system monitors and confirms the residency of students living in University campus housing. The CIDS serves to reinforce existing security structures. Students must cooperate by presenting their Capstone Cards for proper verification.

Personal Property

One’s belongings must be the “number one priority” of each individual resident.

Remember the following guidelines:

  • The University is NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR LOSS of personal property in any building or on any part of the campus, whether the loss occurs by theft, fire or otherwise.
  • Lock room/suite door each time you leave your room- even for a few minutes and also while you sleep at night.
  • Secure insurance on your personal belongings. Check with your parents to ascertain that your belongings are covered under your family’s insurance policy. If not, insurance applications for supplemental insurance are available in the Central Office of Residence Life.
  • Do not bring valuables, such as expensive jewelry, furs, stereos, televisions, photographic equipment etc., to the Residence Hall. Please remember that, should you insist upon bringing such items, you will be doing so AT YOUR OWN RISK. Costly items must be kept out of plain view at all times. Guests including guests of roommates/suite mates should not be privy to the location of expensive items.
  • Protecting your personal belongings is your responsibility. The front desk is prohibited from holding or storing personal property.
  • Follow visitation guidelines and encourage roommates/suite mates to do the same.

Safety Inspection and Meetings

The Office of Residence Life requires regularly scheduled safety inspections and meetings in each Residence Hall. The inspections are designed to examine the general condition of student rooms and public areas to insure that safety guidelines are met. The safety inspection team will specifically look for hot plates, electrical fryers, large sized refrigerators, small ovens, and other cooking appliances that are strictly prohibited in student rooms.

Bison Watch

Bison Watch is a peer group of students who serve to reinforce safety rules in the various Residence Halls. These students wear distinctive uniforms and patrol the building to check emergency doors and other potentially vulnerable points of the building.

Campus Police / Campus Blue Light System (Monitoring of Residence Hall)

The Howard University Campus Police makes regular visits to the Residence Halls continually throughout a 24-hour period. Campus police respond to emergency calls made by Residence Hall staff.

The campus is equipped with a blue light safety system to make accessible a call box located at various points on the campus.

Drugs and Weapons

The Office of Residence Life has a zero tolerance policy concerning students found to be in the possession of, or using, weapons and/or illegal drugs. The presence of drugs of any sort, or weapons, in a student’s room constitutes possession for these purposes. Students found to be in possession of or using, weapons or illegal drugs will be required to vacate University housing immediately without the possibility for housing privileges in University housing ever again. Additionally, such students will face other sanctions including disciplinary actions and possible police action. In such cases, no adjustments or refunds will be allowed against room charges.

Fire Drills

Fire drills are held routinely in the Residence Halls. Howard University must comply with the fire and safety code of the District of Columbia. Therefore, it is very important that all students comply with scheduled fire drills so that in the event of an emergency the response will be effective and appropriate. Participation in all fire drills in your Residence Hall is MANDATORY. Students failing to participate in a fire drill will be dismissed from the Residence Hall and possibly fined per the ordinance or regulation of the District of Columbia.

Emergency Equipment

Emergency Equipment is used for safety purposes only. Any tampering with emergency apparatuses such as fire extinguishers, fire alarms and systems, and disconnecting smoke detectors is a crime, punishable by law and grounds for immediate eviction from all Residence Halls and/or Howard University. 

Hours of Operations
8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. 
Mon., Wed., Fri.
(Office Hours by Appointment: 3 to 5 p.m.)

8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Tues. and Thurs.

Residence Life & University Housing
2205 4th Street, NW 
Washington, D.C. 20059