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Being Safe in New Orleans

Police Man riding bike

Finding a place to live while you attend Tulane University can be a daunting experience, especially if you have never had to find housing or have never lived on your own.  Students are responsible for finding their own housing, but we have provided some resources to help you with the process.  You can refer to the on-campus and off-campus sites for more information.  No matter where you live, it is important for students to know some basic safety tips and procedures when moving into New Orleans.

Make a copy of the following important documents and keep originals in a safe place at home.

  • Passport
  • I-20 or DS-2019
  • I-94

Also, make sure you have copies of your credit card account numbers filed in a safe place at home, so canceling and replacing them will be much easier if they are lost or stolen.

Crime is an unfortunate aspect of city life. However, there are many things you can do to feel and be safer. Read "Keeping Tulane Secure" for safety information, which is available at the Public Safety office located in the Diboll Complex.

The following "common sense" tips are a few examples:

While Walking

  • Always be alert while walking. Look up and down the street for suspicious people walking, on bikes, or in cars. Keep an eye on bushes and stay in lighted areas. On campus, try to walk near campus emergency phones (those with blue lights on top).
  • Be aware of your surroundings while walking. Don't wear headphones, read, talk on the phone or do anything else that might distract you. If you observe anyone or anything suspicious, walk to where there are other people and call the police.
  • Do not carry valuables or important documents (i.e. passport) with you. Only have enough cash with you for your immediate needs, including some change for phone calls and a dollar bill for bus/street car.
  • Try to walk with someone else. Always travel in groups, preferably with four or more people.
  • Use the Campus Shuttle. If you live at The Papillion Apartments or Deming Pavilion, take advantage of the free Tulane Uptown/Downtown shuttle (schedule on the following page).

Escort Safety Services

The Police Department offers an on-campus (Uptown) safety escort service. With this service, students can request a Safety Escort 7 days a week, 24/7. To request a Safety Escort, call (504) 865-5381.

Downtown Campus Students & Scholars may request safety escort service as you exit any Tulane building or building that is considered to be in the Medical Center perimeter by calling 85531 (or 504-988-5531 if not in a campus building). An officer will be dispatched to satisfy your request or needs. If the situation warrants, stay on the line until all information required to meet your needs is obtained.

Students can take advantage of the Gold Zone, an on-demand, point-to-point van service available 7 nights a week from 6 p.m. to 3 a.m. With this service, students can travel to and from designated pick-up and drop-off locations within a 1-mile radius of the uptown campus. To request this service, use the TapRide smart phone app or call (504) 314-7233.

RAVE Guardian is a virtual safety escort application for your cell phone which will monitor your travels within the Tulane campus and anywhere Tulane patrols by inputting the amount of time you believe it will take for you to arrive at your destination.

The UPTOWN/DOWNTOWN SHUTTLE SERVICE is also available to take you from one campus to the other and makes stops at Tulane buildings along its route. The schedule for the shuttle can be found at this site: http://tulane.edu/studentaffairs/tom/transportation/shuttles.cfm

Always carry your Tulane ID and a copy of your I-94 and your I-20 or DS-2019.

In Your Apartment

Lock the door of your apartment or room on- or off-campus, whether you are there or not. If someone knocks at your door, make sure you know who it is before opening. Check IDs for service calls (e.g. plumbers, electricians, etc.) Remember that no service people can come inside your apartment without you or your landlord having called them first.

In Your Car

Keep doors locked whether you are in the car, or out of it, and keep personal items out of sight. A thief who sees your backpack on the seat of your car may think you have something valuable inside, and might break the car window to steal it.

You are most vulnerable during the time between turning off your ignition and putting the key in your door. Have your house and/or apartment key ready. Park as closely as possible to where you are going. If someone is dropping you off, be sure they wait until you are safely in your house/apartment.

Around Town

We encourage you to take advantage of the numerous bars, restaurants, clubs and cultural events New Orleans offers. Although Tulane University is located in uptown New Orleans, Tulane University offers free shuttle service that can take you to different areas of the city. However, when you do go out please remember to:

Plan Ahead: Figure out where you are going before you go. Locate the street on the map, find out the address and telephone number. ASK questions of other students, teachers, and OISS staff. Leave your jewelry and expensive handbags at home. Take only as much cash as you think you will need. Leave your original passport and immigration papers in your apartment. Take copies and your Tulane student ID as identification.

Go in Groups: If you are going out, go with friends. A group of people will be less likely to attract attention than a single person. Go out in groups, and return in groups. When something unfortunate happens, it generally occurs when someone stays behind after the group has left. So, do not leave anyone behind and get back with the same amount of people you had at the beginning of the night.

Be very careful when using outdoor ATM's at night or in unfamiliar locations

Ride-sharing Services: Uber and Lyft are both available in New Orleans. You can download the apps on your phone, or if you have already been using these services in your home country you can use your same account. When using these services always make sure that you get in the right car (check the driver's photo, name, car plate and model).  For more safety tips you can click here.

Taxis: We recommend taking taxis after dark. The streetcar and bus are fine during the day, but the safest and surest way of going and returning at night is by taxi. Most bars and restaurants will have phone numbers for taxi services, but you may want to take some taxi company phone numbers with you when you go out. Make sure you get a business card and receipt from the driver. Students have left belongings in taxis and if you do not have a receipt, you will have a harder time recovering your possessions because you are not likely to remember the company name and cab number.

Taxi Cabs

Cost generally between $10.50 and $15.00 from the French Quarter to the Uptown Campus. Tips are 15% of the fare. Telephone one of the cab companies or hail a cab from the curb. The following are numbers of local cab companies: 

United Cab
(504) 522-9772

Checker Cab
(504) 207-7777

White Fleet Cabs 
(504) 822-3800 

This is a partial listing of the Taxi Companies in the city. To find more information go on-line or check the Yellow Pages of the phonebook under "Taxi Companies."

Fire, Police, and EMS On Campus
Uptown Campus
Tulane University Police Department
Tulane Emergency Medical Service
Tulane University Office of Public Service
(emergency) (504) 865-5200
(non-emergency) (504) 865-5381

Downtown Campus
(emergency) (504) 988-5555
(emergency) 55555 from an internal THS Tulane phone
(non emergency) (504) 988-5531
(non-emergency) 55531 from an internal THS

Fire, Police and EMS Off Campus
(emergency)
Police Department and Fire Department
911

If Something Does Happen

DO NOT RESIST. Don't speak in a hostile or aggressive manner; don't speak to scare them off and don't make any sudden body moves. Speak slowly and clearly and as calmly as you can. Tell them what you are going to do and how you are going to do it. For example:

"My money is in my wallet and I will move my right hand to my back pocket and give it to you."

Most likely, the individual will want your money. But if he/she wants your shoes, shirt, pants, give it to him/her. We can replace those things. Call for help as soon as possible.

IF YOU ARE A VICTIM OF A CRIME ON OR OFF-CAMPUS, THE TULANE UNIVERSITY VICTIM RESOURCES OFFICE PROVIDES SUPPORT SERVICES AND REFERRALS. SERVICES INCLUDE REFERRALS FOR MEDICAL, COUNSELING AND LEGAL ASSISTANCE, AND EMERGENCY HOUSING.

Tulane Office of Crime Prevention and Victim Resources
Diboll Complex
(504) 865-5381
http://tulane.edu/police/uptown/victim_resources.cfm|

Tulane University Police Department

Uptown Emergency Line:  (504) 865-5911

Downtown Emergency Line:  (504) 988-5555

Victim Resources Line:  (504) 865-5381

Uptown Safety Escort Line:  (504) 865-5381

Downtown Safety Escort Line:  (504) 988-5531

Gold Zone Line:  (504) 314-7233