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What Safety and Security Mean at American University

The safety and well-being of all members of the American University community are top priorities at AU. Security, however, means different things to different people. For some, it means physical security; for others, it means feeling emotionally secure. For many, it means both.

American University Police (AUPD) work around the clock, gathering feedback continually, to help keep the people of AU safe.

Sometimes, feedback from regular interaction with members of the AU community results in actions that enhance the physical and emotional safety of AU as a whole. For example:

  • After listening to feedback from members of the community, in 2018, AUPD began a pilot program, locking the Mary Graydon Center from 12:00 a.m. to 6:00 a.m., making it accessible only with an AU keycard. This pilot proved successful and will continue.
  • American University Police takes a proactive approach to physical security. AUPD has stepped up its use of video cameras, sometimes as a tool to gather evidence for investigations, but also to identify people who may be violating AU rules, policies or the law.
  • AUPD carries out "community policing." This means interacting with the American University community and communicating often and effectively with students, staff, faculty, and visitors.
  • AUPD carries out training both for police officers and for students, faculty, and staff, and continually meets and interacts with members of the AU community to help increase their knowledge of how to stay safe on and off campus.
  • American University Police staff recognize that our campus is part of a national trend. There is an increasing trend of incidents of bias or hate on college campuses, including at AU. For example, the Anti-Defamation League issued a report showing a 57% increase in reported anti-Semitic incidents in the US.

The emotional safety of our community is also important. For some, it means a sense of belonging or feeling part of the larger AU family. Ongoing commitments and actions at AU include: