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Safety & Civic Responsibility

Health & Safety

Your health and safety at Old Dominion is our highest priority. Find out about services that can help keep all Monarch's at the top of their game!

Keep Yourself Safe


SAFERIDE provides a safe and secure alternative to walking around campus at night.

ODU Alerts

In case of emergencies, students, faculty, and staff can sign up to be immediately notified by text message, instant message, or phone call.

Door and window alarms can provide a sense of comfort and alert you of unwanted entry into your home. Wireless alarms beep when the door or window is opened.

ODU provides free window and door alarms to students. Simply, bring your student ID to the Office of Student Engagement and Enrollment Services (2008 Webb Center) and pick up your alarms today!

As a reminder, it's important to check with your landlord before installing alarms.

Have you considered having and ODU Community Policing Officer or a Norfolk City Police Officer conduct a free security survey of your apartment?

Security surveys are designed to help residents protect their property. By participating, you can learn what measures you can take to deter burglars from entering your property. While no plan is foolproof, a security survey can identify areas to improve security that may make it more difficult for a crime to occur.

The purpose of the survey is to determine existing design, electronic, and environmental weaknesses and to recommend such devices, procedures, and/or methods of application that will reduce or eliminate exposure to criminal opportunity. Security recommendations presented in this report take into account consideration of reasonable cost effective risk management.

These recommendations are based upon Crime Prevention through Environmental Design, (C.P.T.E.D) principles. The following risks, discussions, recommendations, and information presented are made in the interest of reducing criminal opportunity. If implemented, they should reduce the opportunity for crime to be committed on the property. These recommendations should not be taken as a guarantee that crime will not occur on the premises.

Primary Crime Concerns:

  • Lighting - Lighting is one of the most cost effective deterrents to burglary. Indoor lighting gives the impression that a home or business is occupied. If you are going to be away from your home or business, consider using automatic timers to switch interior lights on and off at preset times. Outdoor lighting can eliminate hiding places. Install exterior lighting near porches, rear and side doorways, garage doors, and all other points of entry around your home or business. Entryways to your home or business always should be well lit. Place lights out of reach from the ground so the bulbs cannot be removed or broken. Aim some lights away from the house or business so you can see if anyone is approaching, or install motion sensor lighting, which turn on automatically as someone approaches.
  • Exterior Doors - For added security, use strong door hinges on the inside of the door, with non-removable or hidden pins. Every entry door should be well lit and have a wide-angle door viewer so you can see who is outside without opening the door.
  • Locks - Strong reliable locks are essential to effective home and business security. Always keep doors and windows locked. Even a short trip to the store or a few moments away from your business is enough time for a burglar to enter your property.
  • Windows - Most standard double hung windows have thumb turn locks between the two window panels. Don't rely on these. They can be pried open or easily reached through a broken pane.
  • Shrubs and Landscaping - Your home walkways and landscaping should direct visitors to the main entrance and away from private areas. The landscaping should provide maximum visibility to and from your home or business.
Police officer helps student during Welcome Week.

To schedule a security survey contact:

ODU Police Department, Community Policing (757-683-4000) or Norfolk Police Department, Crime Prevention Section (757-664-6901)

The information presented above was obtained nearly verbatim from http://www.livingeov.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/07/Norfolk-Police-Department-Free-Residential-and-Business-Survey.pdf.

Know Your Responsibilties

A core tenant of Old Dominion University's mission is active civic engagement. Members of the University community living off-campus have responsibilities to both the Old Dominion community and their neighborhood community.

The City of Norfolk collects household trash, recycling, bulk waste, yard waste and tires. For details related to trash and recycling, please refer to the City of Norfolk website. Please note:

  • Items may be taken to the curb beginning at 5:00pm the day before collection and no later than 7:00am the day of collection.
  • Garbage cans must be removed from the curb before 11:30pm on your scheduled collection date.
  • Items that don't fit in your trash container are considered bulk waste. Bulk waste collection requires a request to the City of Norfolk at or before 3:00pm on the day before your scheduled collection (757-441-5813; bulkwaste@norfolk.gov; iPhone App: Citizen Request Tracker).
  • Get rewards for recycling!
  • Recycling collection occurs every other week on the same day as trash collection (Recycling Schedule).
  • Request a second recycling receptacle at no additional cost (757-441-5813).
  • Read the trash collection and storage law here.

The City of Norfolk regulates parking on city streets. For details about residential parking and parking passes in the Norfolk community, please refer to the City of Norfolk website. Please note:

  • Parking on unapproved surfaces (i.e., lawn) is not permitted.
  • Some Norfolk streets and neighborhoods have zoned parking only. Failure to abide by posted signs and residential parking ordinances can result is costly fines.
  • Street sweeping occurs on a regular schedule. Check the calendar to know when your neighborhood is swept.
  • Information regarding parking on campus is available through the Office of Transportation and Parking.

Hosting a party is a major responsibility! ODU encourages hosts to make every effort to encourage a safe setting for the event, where all attendees are abiding by the Code of Student Conduct as well as local and state laws.

Male Student Laughing

Potential party dangers:

  • Death
  • Alcohol poisoning
  • Brain damage
  • Fighting
  • Sexual assault
  • Risky sexual behavior
  • Theft and property damage
  • Traffic crashes
  • Criminal and civil law consequences
  • Code of Student Conduct violations

Have you considered these laws?

Maybe you should.

The consequences for violating them can include significant fines, jail time, and forefiture of property.

Tips for a safe party!

  • Use a guest list
  • Serve water
  • Offer alternatives to drinking (i.e., food, activities)
  • Consider hiring professional security staff to assist with:
    • Checking ID's of invited guests
    • Managing uninvited guests
    • Collecting car keys or calling taxis
  • Avoid serving alcohol from large, open containers (i.e., punch-bowls)
  • Never promote or sponsor a function where you or your organization may be interpreted as selling alcohol
    • Selling drink tickets
    • Charging for "all you can drink"
    • Hosting an event in conjunction with a local bar or alcohol distributor
  • Student organizations - involve your advisor in the planning of the event and invite them to it
  • Provide guests the number to Safe Ride (757-683-3477)
  • Lock all bedroom doors, pantries, and closets
  • Talk to your neighbors about the party before you plan it

(Adapted from the University of California, Davis)

Landlord Relations

Your relationship with your landlord is one of the most important relationships you can have when living off campus. A strong relationship can make your time off campus nice and enjoyable.

1. Get to know your neighbors! Say hello!

2. Watch out for the safety of your community and report suspicious behavior.

3. Understand and follow the community, city, and landlord rules.

4. Keep your noise and belongings within your own space.

5. Treat your neighbors' children with respect.

6. Take pride in your environment by keeping visible areas neat and tidy.

7. Understand that not everyone loves your pet like you do.

8. Don't let your right to party overshadow your responsibility to your neighbors.