Skip to main content

Student Safety Awareness


Welcome to American University. If you are arriving early to participate in orientation activities on the AU campus, touring sites in and around the nation’s capital, or a returning student, we want you to be aware the U.S. Department of Homeland Security issued a Code Yellow “elevated risk” alert. It is important to note no current or past threat has been reported which mentions colleges and universities. Nevertheless, we encourage all members of the AU community to continue to act with awareness and prudence.


  • Carry your AU ID with you;
  • Take your cell phone and quarters in case cell service is interrupted and you need to use a public pay phone;
  • Note the phone numbers for the AU information line (202-885-1100); Public Safety non-emergency line (202-885-2527) Public Safety emergency line (202-885-3636); your residence hall front desk and other important phone numbers;
  • Carry a city map and become familiar with the general layout of Washington, D.C., the Metro system and alternative routes back to campus;
  • Wear walking shoes in case Metro service is interrupted and you have to walk back to campus;
  • Carry bottled water and other essentials if you plan to be away from campus for an extended period of time;
  • Let your roommate or friends know of your schedule.


Following the events of September 2001, the University developed an extensive emergency communications and operations plan that is constantly updated. To review some of these procedures, refer to the Emergency Management and Continuity of Operations Plan link on the Emergency Preparedness Website. AU Public Safety coordinates closely with the other law enforcement agencies and other colleges and universities in Washington, D.C. In case of an emergency, American University will report news and updates as we receive them, via memo, e-mail, voice mail, web-posting and other appropriate means.

Be Alert. The AU Department of Public Safety and the Department of Homeland Security continue to advise members of the AU community to be vigilant, take notice of your surroundings, and report suspicious items or activities to local authorities.