Homecoming is a spirited time for the University to welcome back its alumni and celebrate its current student body. While thousands of Howard alumni will return to Alma Mater to reconnect with old friends and relive the past, the current campus community.

Whether this is your first big college event to cross off your bucket list, or your last hurrah, the Department of Public Safety (DPS) wants to make it a safe and healthy atmosphere to enjoy all of the special experiences the Mecca has to offer. Undoubtedly, Homecoming week is a time for fun and excitement, but it’s also a time of increased risk for crime.

Unfortunately, on many college campuses, physical violence, sexual assaults and armed robberies are just as much a part of Homecoming week as the celebrations. Some people use Homecoming not as a time to celebrate but as an opportunity to commit crimes. Don’t let the festive atmosphere catch you off-guard or your fun put you into harm’s way. Here are just a few things to consider to help you minimize risk and stay safe during Homecoming week.

Be responsible
Fun is a priority during Homecoming, but safety should be number one.

Have a plan
Designated driver, location and activities should all be planned before leaving your house or dorm.

Stick together
Don’t go out without your friends, especially at night. Take care of the people in your group, and aim to return with the people with whom you leave.

Be aware of stranger danger
Meeting new people is nice, but everyone doesn’t have the same intentions. A conscious person makes for a safe person.

Protect the things you value
Lock your car and dorm room, watch your valuables, and be aware of what is going on around you. Protect your belongings and pay close attention to your surroundings.

Don’t be a bystander
If you see someone who doesn’t look well, check on them, talk to their friends or call for help.

Be careful with alcohol consumption
Be sure that you are of age to partake in alcoholic drinks. If so, avoid binge drinking.

I hope that you enjoy the Homecoming festivities, but do so safely and with healthy respect for yourself and your fellow Bison. And remember, if you need law enforcement assistance or witness a crime on or near campus, please contact DPS at 202-806-1100 or call 911 for the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD).


Excellence in Truth and Service,

Marcus Lyles
Executive Director and Chief of Police
Department of Public Safety (DPS)