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For Safety's Sake

Living at Pitt

The University of Pittsburgh Police Department, Office of Residence Life, Panther Central, Housing Services, and Department of Property Management work cooperatively to provide resident students with a safe and secure environment. It is important that students and staff work together to enhance the quality of life and safety in the residence halls.

To accommodate undergraduate students during the academic year, the University maintains nearly 8,000 residential beds in 14 residence halls, nine fraternity houses, and 14 apartment-style buildings. Types of accommodations include singles, doubles, triples, quads, suites, and apartments.

Most campus buildings—including housing facilities—contain card access systems; systems can be monitored by Pitt police personnel.

University police officers are responsible for security within all resident living areas on their respective beats, and they patrol on foot inside all residence halls, fraternity houses, and apartment-style buildings on campus.


When you check into a residence hall, you receive information about campus safety and residence hall security, such as:

  • whom to call in case of an emergency;

  • what procedures to follow in case of a fire evacuation;

  • what to do if you are locked out of your room;

  • how to mark valuables;

  • visitation, alcohol, and drug policies; and

  • general campus safety, among other topics.

At your first floor meeting, which is mandatory and held by the resident assistant, you can acquaint yourself with unique aspects of your residence hall community and the security practices you can follow to make your University environment safer.

Entrances to all residence halls have security desks staffed by attendants controlling access 24 hours a day and seven days a week while school is in session. Each year, Pitt trains desk attendants in University security and fire safety procedures.

All residence hall entrances have security doors that are monitored by both an electronic access system and a desk attendant.


  • Area coordinators (ACs), resident directors (RDs), assistant hall directors (AHDs), and more than 160 resident assistants (RAs) staff the living areas of the residence halls. RDs supervise the RAs.

  • RDs, AHDs, and RAs undergo comprehensive training before and during each school year. This training includes how to handle various emergencies—psychological and medical, fire evacuation, reports of sexual misconduct, disorderly conduct, vandalism, etc.

  • Residence life staff members are available 24 hours a day and seven days a week in the residence halls. RDs also maintain scheduled office hours during the day and in the evening. RAs and RDs are on duty every evening, including weekends and holidays, during all three terms and/or sessions to assist students in any manner. RD schedules are posted throughout the residence halls.

  • Panther Central, located in the main Litchfield Towers lobby, 412-648-1100, is available 24 hours a day to assist you in contacting the residence life staff. RAs also provide security assistance within the building by touring their areas during the week and on weekends.


Every accommodation within the residence hall has its own lock and key or key card/ID. When using a key card, it is the student's University ID and it is encoded for the student's room only. The card and a pin number are required to open the door. If using a key, the keys are coded with core numbers rather than room numbers so that a lost key cannot be identified with a particular room. Therefore, the University strongly advises that students do not attach their IDs to their keys. Residents should also lock their doors and windows at all times and carry their keys with them.

Campus telephones are also provided in each residence hall corridor.


Q How can I sign in a guest to my residence hall?

A To enter a residence hall, residents must show their Pitt ID, which is electronically validated for their residence hall, and all guests must have a photo ID. Visitor IDs must be scanned upon entering and exiting the residence hall, and visitors must be escorted by the resident they are visiting at all times while they are in the building.

Q When may guests visit me?

A Students must establish and regulate room visitation hours with their roommates. Roommate approval is required for visitors at any time. Students may refer to the Student Code of Conduct for guest and visitation rules.

Q What happens if my guest commits a violation?

A Residents are accountable for violations of all guests, including those signed in by the resident and those accompanied by the resident, as well as all visitors within a resident's accommodation.


Guests, other than visitors of residents, occupy residence halls when space is available during the summer, approximately May 15 through July 31. These guests include participants attending Pitt-sponsored academic or social programs and groups that have an educational or academic purpose.


The Housing/Dining Services contract is valid for both the fall and spring terms. Students should be prepared to meet successive deposit due dates in future years to maintain any housing guarantee.

Upper-class students participate in a process each March to determine eligibility and the order in which they will select housing for the next year. Freshman students who respond to Pitt's offer of admission by the May 1 due date and meet all required deadlines and deposits are guaranteed housing. The University assigns resident students based upon the information provided in their contracts and the availability of the requested accommodations.

Panther Central and Office of Residence Life staff process and approve room change requests, contingent upon available space.

If roommates are having difficulty sharing a room, they should first try to communicate with each other to resolve any issues, as well as complete the Roommate Agreement. If those attempts are unsuccessful, the residents meet with the resident assistant to discuss the issue and resolve any roommate situations.


In keeping with federal law, 20 U.S.C. § 1092j, the Office of Residence Life will initiate the following missing student notification policy. Each student living on campus has the opportunity to list a missing persons contact by completing an emergency contact form available at the Office of Residence Life. When a student is reported missing, residence life staff will immediately contact the Pitt police. The Pitt police will attempt to notify the emergency contact within 24 hours to verify if the person is missing or has voluntarily left his or her residence.

To report a suspicion that a student is missing, contact should be made with the student's resident director, the Office of Residence Life, or the University of Pittsburgh Police Department. If you know a student is missing, contact the Pitt police immediately.

  1. Each student living on campus has the opportunity to list a missing persons contact by completing an emergency contact form available at the Office of Residence Life or updating their emergency contact information within their housing application. Pitt will treat the named emergency contact as the missing persons contact unless otherwise specified by the student. The student should notify the missing persons contact and, if different, the emergency contact, that he or she has been so designated.
    In the event of a determination that a student is missing, the Pitt police will attempt to notify the listed contact within 24 hours. Even if a contact is not registered, the Pitt police should be notified immediately if the student is missing.

  2. At any point during a student's enrollment, he or she may choose to register or change missing person contact or emergency contact information with the University by notifying the Office of Residence Life. This information will be maintained in Office of Residence Life records that will be immediately accessible by University staff who will implement this policy. Only authorized campus officials and law enforcement officers in furtherance of a missing person investigation may have access to the missing person contact information.

  3. Residence life staff, or other employees having knowledge of a missing student, whether or not that student lives on or off campus, will immediately contact the Pitt police when a student is reported missing.

  4. The Pitt police will be responsible for filing all related missing person reports with other agencies as may be required and conduct an investigation.

  5. No later than 24 hours after a student is reported missing, the Pitt police or its designee will be responsible for contacting the appropriate contact.

  6. The Pitt police will notify a parent or legal guardian no later than 24 hours after a student is determined to be missing if a student is under the age of 18.

  7. Residence Life staff will serve as support personnel when a student is determined missing and make appropriate contacts within the University (University Counseling Center, dean of students, academic dean of student's school, and Pitt police).


Residence halls are closed during the winter recess with the exception of Tower A and Tower C, which accommodate 12-month housing students. Apartment-style on-campus housing also remains open during winter recess. Pitt police continue to patrol resident living areas, and RAs and RDs also are on duty. Students should attend to security needs during these periods, particularly the storage of any valuable items.


The University operates 324 apartment units in north and central Oakland and Shadyside. University-owned apartment housing is occupied almost exclusively by Pitt students, primarily by graduate and professional school students and their families. All multiunit buildings have a paging system for visitors, and most front doors lock electronically. University police and/or city police patrol University-owned apartment housing areas.

University police and city of Pittsburgh police regularly share crime information as it relates to University-owned apartment housing.


The Pitt police and city of Pittsburgh police share information regarding criminal activity at facilities maintained by Pitt's noncampus student organizations.


The health and safety of students studying and traveling abroad has consistently been a primary concern for those who lead Pitt's overseas programs. All students earning study abroad credits participate in at least one mandatory orientation program with staff from the Study Abroad Office at the University Center for International Studies. This program covers issues such as personal safety, health, insurance, alcohol, drugs, emergencies abroad, crime, and security. All faculty leading study abroad programs participate in the Safe Practices Workshop for Faculty On-site Directors led by the study abroad director. More information is available at abroad.pitt.edu/SAFETY.


University of Pittsburgh Police
or Noncampus Phone

General Assistance 4-4040
or 412-624-4040

Office of Sexual Harassment and Assault Response and Education (SHARE)

Student Health Service

University Counseling Center
(Phones answered 24 hours a day/seven days a week)

Student Conduct

Environmental Health and Safety

412-648-CALL (2255)

Panther Central


City of Pittsburgh
Police, Fire, Ambulance

Pittsburgh Action Against Rape
24-hour hotline


Center for Victims
24-hour hotline

Pennsylvania Department
of Public Welfare
ChildLine for abuse reporting


Re:solve Crisis Network
Mental Health Crisis Intervention

1-866-7-YOU CAN or 1-888-796-8226

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