Housing & Residence Life

Living Together Safely

This section contains policies and information aimed at fostering a safe environment for all who live within our residential communities.

Each year, as mandated in the Higher Education Opportunity Act (HEOA) and the Clery Act, Duke University publishes an Annual Security Report and Annual Fire Safety Report. As part of compliance with federal regulations, Duke is also required to notify employees and students annually of its substance abuse policy and available resources.

Annual Security Report

The 2019 report includes statistics for the previous three years concerning reported crimes that occurred on campus, in certain off-campus buildings or property owned or controlled by Duke University, and on public property within or immediately adjacent to and accessible from the campus.

The report also includes institutional policies concerning campus security, including alcohol and drug use, crime prevention, the reporting of crimes, sexual assault, and other matters.

You can obtain a print copy of this report by contacting the Duke Police Department at 919-684-4602 (502 Oregon Street, Durham, NC 27708) or by accessing the following website: https://police.duke.edu/news-stats/clery

Annual Fire Safety Report

The HEOA also requires any institution that maintains an on-campus student housing facility to collect fire statistics, publish an Annual Fire Safety Report, and keep a "fire log." To access this information, go to the following website: http://www.safety.duke.edu/fire-life-safety/campus-fire-safety-right-know-act

Bathroom Safety 

All residence hall bathrooms are secured with key- access to residents. Bathrooms may be unlocked based on a voting process, which is administered by HRL. If a community votes to have its bathroom unlocked, it may be billed for any damages that occur in the bathroom area. Only residents and guests of the gender designated by that bathroom are permitted to enter, with the exception of the designated gender-neutral bathrooms.

Safety Tips
No university can guarantee the safety of its students. It is therefore recommended that students exercise caution at all times. It is recommended that students avoid isolated areas. Duke Van Services 919-684-2020 may be called to request Duke escort services from dusk to dawn. Some important safety tips:

  • Do not walk, jog, or bike alone unless in well-populated areas.
  • Keep your room and apartment door locked at all times, whether or not you are present.
  • All exterior doors should be kept locked.
  • Do not allow others to "tailgate" into a secured building behind you.
  • Contact Duke University Police Department immediately, 911 or 684-2444, in the event of any incident that threatens safety or appears suspicious.
  • Become familiar with the locations of campus "Help" phones and use them if you need assistance of any kind.


All residence halls are locked 24 hours. The residence halls are equipped with:

  • DukeCard readers that allow the residents to use their DukeCards to gain access.
  • Electromagnetic locks on certain exterior doors that limit usage to emergency egress only.
  • Exterior telephone with Telekey at main entry doors.
  • All bedroom doors are equipped with door viewers.
  • Residence hall windows that can be used to enter the building are equipped with window pins, security screens, or other devices intended to prevent entry.
  • Lighting on the exterior of the residence halls is controlled by timers or photocells which automatically turn the lights on or off based on the natural light levels or day/ night hours. HRL monitors the exterior lighting on and around the residence halls.

Please contact your HRL Campus Office and Hall Staff to report problems or to offer suggestions for residence hall safety and security features.  It is essential that you actively participate in  making your house a safe  and  secure place for yourself and your fellow residents to live:

  • Do not prop outside doors open. Close them if you find them propped.
  • Do not allow people you do not know to follow you into your house. If they have a legitimate reason to be in your house, their DukeCard will let them in or they can use the phone equipped with Telekey.
  • Do keep your bedroom door locked at all times - when you are there and when you are not.
  • Do keep security screens latched at all times.
  • Do immediately report a lost key to your HRL Campus Office.
  • Do immediately report a lost DukeCard to the DukeCard Office (684-5800).
  • Do immediately report doors that do not close and lock, lights that do not work, or any other security problem.
  • Do report to Duke University Police the presence of strangers in your house.  Please contact your HRL Campus Office for more information, to report problems, to offer suggestions, or to discuss any security concerns you may have.

Thefts and Break-ins
Report any thefts or break-ins to Duke University Police by calling 684-2444. Lock your room even if you are only going down the hall. Theft is most often a crime of opportunity. It only takes a few seconds for a thief to take thousands of dollars worth of personal property. The University is not liable for damage or loss of personal property, including property left in commons rooms. Because the University does not provide insurance, occupants are encouraged to provide their own personal property insurance.