Safety And Security

Am I Safe In America?

Safety and Security

When entering a new culture, it is extremely important to be informed about the laws and rules governing the society and the campus community.  Crime occurs to a certain degree in every culture.  Crime prevention, or being aware of the risks and taking precautions, is important.  What is "common sense" in regards to safety is somewhat universal, but may also vary from culture to culture.  The following is a basic list of laws and regulations that you should be aware of.


  • The American Bill of Rights mandates that all residents of the U.S. are equal under the law; racism and sexism are not acceptable.
  • Drinking:
    1. Persons under the age of 21 who are drunk could be arrested.
    2. Open containers of alcohol are not permitted in public areas
    3. It is a serious crime to drive while intoxicated. In Nevada, you could be fined and/or placed in jail.
  • It is illegal for someone under 21 years of age to gamble (this includes slot machines!)
  • It is against the law to be in possession of controlled substances/drugs.  If you are found to have, for example, cocaine or crack, you could be convicted of a felony and it could result in a jail term.
  • It is the law that seatbelts must be worn by the driver and all passengers at all times when in a car.  Speed limits are there for your safety and are the law.  Do not exceed the posted speed for a designated area.
  • Bicycle riders must follow the same traffic laws as automobile drivers.
  • Pedestrians have the right of way when crossing the street.  If you are driving and someone has stepped into a crosswalk, you must stop whether the light is green or not.
  • Sexual Harassment, whether in the form of verbal comments or jokes or conduct that creates an intimidating, hostile, or offensive working or learning environment is not acceptable and can be addressed through the university system.


  • Keep yourself safe from theft by keeping your doors locked when you are away from your room and/or car.
  • Signatures are legally binding.  Read everything completely before signing anything.
  • You will need identification for a variety of reasons.  You should carry a form of identification with you at all times.  Also, be sure to know your address, telephone number, social security number(if applicable), and your mother's maiden name by memory so you can get assistance when you need it.
  • When walking outside at night, take a friend.  Take special precautions when traveling to downtown Reno, and be aware that the campus is located near an area that has a lot of visitors and transients.  For your safety, you can use the campus Escort Service if you are walking across campus at night by calling 742-6808 ahead of time.
  • The University has 26 specific regulations for students to follow, which are all listed in the UNR Student Handbook and UNR General Catalog.  Please become knowledgeable about all of them.
  • In an emergency, dial 911 from any phone.  This will connect you to the police, and they will be able to respond whether it is a medical emergency, crime situation, or fire.

Police Services

The university police enforce all federal, state, and local laws and ordinances on university property and a portion of adjacent streets. They investigate traffic accidents, conduct criminal investigations, and maintain 24-hour patrol. The university police can also provide an escort service, help students who have locked keys in their car, and take crime reports. Police Department numbers are as follows:

Regular Hours (Monday-Friday, 8am-4pm): 784-4013
Non-Emergency (Crime report, escort service): 334-2121
Emergencies: 911