Class of 2023 Parent and Family Message on Safety

Author name
John Dailey & Kyle Cavanaugh

Dear Duke Class of 2023 Parent,

We are excited to welcome you and your student to Duke. While you may feel both excited and anxious, we want to share some information that may help put your mind at ease. 

  • The safety of students involves many people working together: parents, students, the campus police, Student Affairs, Office of Institutional Equity, Transportation, faculty and staff, etc.  We all have a role.
  • Duke has a low level of crime and serious crime is rare.  Theft of unattended items is the most common crime on campus.         

Messages to share with your student:

  • Lock residence hall rooms and don’t leave laptops or phones unattended.   
  • Use tracking apps in case they misplace their phones, tablet or computer.
  • They should seek assistance if they see or experience any suspicious behavior such as harassment or threats.  Options to report are numerous - Resident Assistants, DukeReach (online), the Women’s Center, the Office of Institutional Equity, the Campus Police.
  • Use common sense and take everyday precautions to stay safe, especially late at night.  They will learn about transportation options during orientation.
  • The legal drinking age is 21.
  • Understand personal responsibility, respectful relationships and good decision-making to reduce risk of injury and adhere to community expectations, whose terms are outlined in: Duke Community Standard in Practice: A Guide for Undergraduates.

Security Resources:   

  • We encourage all students to download the Duke LiveSafe Mobile app. The free app allows students to submit tips to Duke University Police, which monitors messages 24/7. With the peer-to-peer “SafeWalk” feature, the app uses GPS technology that enables students to invite peers to “virtually escort” them on a real-time map. The app is available through Apple and Android app stores. Download at
  • Duke maintains its own internationally accredited police department and supplemental security staff. It operates 24 hours a day, 365 days a year and can be reached by phone at 919-684-2444, through the Duke LiveSafe app or by dialing 9-1-1 from a campus phone.  There are numerous Blue Light help phones around campus.
  • There are several communication systems to notify students in an emergency, including mass email, text messaging and an outdoor siren system. Your student will be automatically enrolled this summer to receive the emergency text messages. 
  • For more information, including crime prevention videos, safety tips and statistics, please visit our website at

As part of First-Year Orientation, members of the Duke University Police Department will be available to speak with parents and families. Information will be included in the orientation materials.

Consider short safety reminders to your students throughout the year and before weekends. Studies indicate your messages help.

We look forward to working with you and your student in maintaining a safe campus community.

Kyle Cavanaugh                                                                                                         
Vice President for Administration  

John Dailey
Chief of Police