Health & Safety

At UWM, we all share a deep sense of community about keeping safe and healthy. From peace-of-mind to personal well-being, we’ll be here for you.

Quick info

Health & Wellbeing

Health is a lifetime process and you are the primary player. We’ll be your partner in that process, providing treatment if you are ill or injured, but more important, assisting you in understanding your health needs and in learning to make healthy choices on a daily basis.

  • Low-cost pharmacy services
  • A medical clinic providing a variety of general and some specialty health care services.
  • Access to dental care resources
  • Counseling
  • Health promotion and wellness
  • Sports medicine, including injury evaluation, therapy and treatments, post-surgery/post-injury rehabilitation, and orthopedic supports
  • Travel clinic to help students with travel plans abroad abroad

Learn more about student health services available on campus

Tips for coping with stress

  • Enroll in a course or program at UWM, such as yoga
  • Try deep breathing, meditation, or take a walk
  • Develop a plan to deal with stress with a UWM health educator
  • Get free, short-term individual counseling at (414) 229-4716
  • Stop in for brief emergency screening at the Norris Health Center from 8AM – 4PM

Depression and Suicide
The warning signs for depression and suicide are many and varied. If you or someone you know is suicidal, here are some tips to follow

  • Express your concerns openly and clearly
  • Encourage the student/friend to discuss how he/she is feeling
  • Call the Milwaukee County Crisis Line at (414) 257-7260
  • Encourage the person to seek help, suggesting Norris Health Center or other resources

Learn more about Mental Health Resources for Students, Faculty and Staff

Fitness and Nutrition
Biking to campus is an affordable alternative to get to campus that is great for your health and also for the environment. Whether you are looking for the best route, need air for your tires, or would just like to understand more about bicycle planning at UWM, you will find many answers to your bicycling needs at Bicycling at UWM.

UWM provides educational experiences and opportunities to develop healthy lifestyles, lifelong learning, student leadership and personal success by offering comprehensive recreational, health and wellness programs and quality facilities.

Alcohol and Drug Awareness

The Make Good Decisions project is a program by UW-Milwaukee students for UW-Milwaukee students. This project is the outgrowth of a Wisconsin Department of Transportation grant for a program that would help prevent problems associated with the misuse of alcohol. UWM students involved in the planning phase of this project believed that the most effective way to prevent alcohol problems is for students to reach out to and educate their peers.

  • Don’t drink on an empty stomach
  • Don’t take drinks from strangers
  • Know your limits
  • Don’t drink and drive
  • Know the symptoms of alcohol poisoning

Safety Tips

  • Use the S.A.F.E. phone systems around campus if you feel threatened (yellow boxes with blue lights)
  • If biking or driving, watch out for pedestrians: campus can be quite busy at times!
  • Take a self-defense class
  • If confronted, surrender property rather than risk your life
  • At home, keep your windows and doors locked
  • When moving, unpack quickly and always have someone on guard
  • Secure laptops with a lock if leaving them unattended
  • Avoid propping open doors for long durations
  • Watch out for bicyclists as well as cars
  • Cross streets only at marked crosswalks
  • Do not give money to unlicensed solicitors
  • If you own a bicycle, register it with the police
  • Keep your car locked and remove any valuables
  • If biking, follow the rules of the road (ie. wear a helmet, ride with traffic, avoid sidewalks, etc)
  • Secure your bicycle with a Cycle-Safe bike locker or a secure lock of your own
  • Avoid walking alone, especially at night: use B.O.S.S. anytime from 6PM – 2AM
  • Stay sharp! Walk with a purpose and pay attention to your surroundings
  • Stay within well-lit areas
  • If you’ve been drinking, try to find someone to drive or walk you home
  • Don’t invite random people into your house
  • Don’t drink anything that could have been tampered with
  • Be careful what you post online
  • Don’t verify any personal information over the phone
  • Protect the privacy of your Social Security Number

S.A.F.E. Alert

Safety Awareness for Everyone (S.A.F.E.) Alert allows UWM students, faculty, and staff to receive notifications in the event of campus emergencies. S.A.F.E. Alerts may be used in situations that are dangerous or life threatening, including criminal activity, weather warnings and environmental safety concerns. S.A.F.E. Alert notifications are sent via email and text messages. S.A.F.E. Alert email messages are sent automatically to all email addresses. Receiving S.A.F.E. Alerts via text message is optional, and any UWM student, faculty, or staff member may sign up to receive this service.

Sign up for S.A.F.E Alert text messages

Learn more about S.A.F.E Alert

Class / Event Cancellation

Harsh weather can occasionally force the cancellation of classes and public events. The university community can learn about cancellations by calling the S.A.F.E. Line (formerly the ‘Sno Joke line), 414-229-4444, as well as tuning in to local radio and TV broadcasts. Cancellations also will be reported on the UWM home page.

Note that the university remains open to faculty and staff even when classes are canceled. If you are unable to make it to work because of bad weather conditions, check with your supervisor to learn about the policy for making up your time.

In addition to cancellations due to weather, the S.A.F.E. Line is one more place you can turn to for announcements in the event of any emergency on campus.

Fire Safety

The campus residence halls are equipped with a fire alarm system. In the Sandburg complex, for example, the fire alarm system sounds in the commons and each tower independently. Each suite has an alarm and strobe located in the hallway. Each room has a smoke detector. Sandburg Hall and Kenilworth Square Apartments are equipped with automatic sprinkler systems.

In off campus student housing, operating smoke detectors are required by city ordinance and state code. Make sure your house or apartment has a working smoke detector. If you don’t have a smoke alarm, get one (landlords are required to provide smoke alarms for renters).

All UWM buildings have audible fire alarms and most have strobe flashers. The residence halls and most campus classroom building also have public address systems. If a fire alarm sounds, evacuate immediately through the nearest safe exit. Close doors behind you. Do not use elevators. Do not return to the building until an all-clear is given by the University Police or Milwaukee Fire Department.. If you are in a building with a public address system, follow any directions given.

Fire Drills and Tests

The fire alarms in each building are tested weekly. In addition, the Department of University Safety and Assurances conducts annual fire drills in campus buildings. Campus classroom have posted emergency evacuation procedures. These instructions also give the specific building addresses and room numbers to help anyone calling for assistance. Residence Halls also regularly test the fire alarm systems.

Fire Prevention

Be aware of and report any violations of fire safety rules such as blocked exits, damaged smoke detectors or missing electrical panel covers. In general, storing items in hallways and stairwells is prohibited in campus buildings and not a good idea off campus either. Make sure exits are unobstructed. Report vandalized or improperly maintained smoke alarms and fire alarm systems.

If you’re off campus, change batteries in fire and smoke alarm detectors twice a year. In residence halls, follow regulations on the use of extension cords and cooking appliances. Off campus, avoid overloading extension cords or electrical circuits. Be aware of the evacuation plan in your campus building or residence hall, and have a plan for your off-campus house or apartment.

Dispose of smoking materials properly in off campus residences. Careless smoking is one of the leading causes of fires. Smoking is prohibited in all campus buildings. Be aware that in cases of fire fatalities on or near college campuses, alcohol is often a factor. Off campus, make sure candles, incense burners and other open flames are properly put out. Use of candles is prohibited in campus buildings.

What to Do If an Alarm Occurs

When an alarm sounds, vacate the building. Leave the building immediately via the closest stairwell and remain outside until an all clear is given. Stay away from the entrance areas to allow quick entry of fire fighting personnel. Never try to use the elevators during a fire emergency. Depending on what activates the fire alarm, the elevators may go to the first floor and remain there when the fire alarm is sounded. In addition, fires often cause power outages. In this case, elevators can get stuck between floors. Do not use elevators during a fire emergency unless accompanied by a firefighter.

The Sandburg complex is equipped with an updated fire alarm system that sounds in the commons and each tower independently. Each suite has an alarm and strobe located in the hallway. Each room has a smoke detector. All of the Sandburg towers are equipped with automatic sprinklers.

University Housing is required to test the alarm system every week. Staff members will sound the alarm in each tower between 12:30 and 12:45 p.m. every Wednesday. The elevators may go to the first floor during this procedure.

Each semester, a full evacuation fire drill will be conducted. Failure to evacuate the building when requested (both during a drill or an actual fire) may result in contract action and/or fines issued by the UWM Police.

Purin rooms have smoke detectors and building hallways are equipped with an alarm system. The Resident Assistant (RA) will advise the residents as to the time each week the alarm system will be tested. Any time a resident hears the alarm other than during the weekly test time, they should immediately vacate the building via the nearest exit.

When Crisis Happens

To report incidents on campus, call 9-911 (Just 911 when off-campus) or use any campus S.A.F.E. phone (on a pole with blue light on top). Examples:

  • Accidents, thefts, vandalism
  • Unusual noises or screams
  • A broken window or door
  • Tense situations that appear to be escalating
  • A person appearing to be forced into a car
  • Potentially hazardous situations, such as stuck elevators
  • Door-to-door solicitors without proper licenses

If you see something suspicious, try to be a good witness. Do not attempt to detain a suspicious person or intervene in a situation. Call the police. Do your best to keep track of the following

  • The nature of the problem
  • Time and location
  • A detailed description of the individual(s) involved: age, race, sex, height, weight, build, hair color and style
  • If the suspects leave, note the direction they go

Even if you think you overreacted or dialed University or Milwaukee Police by mistake, wait until an officer arrives and explain the situation.

Best Practices in the Event of an Active Shooter

  1. Exit the building immediately when you become aware of an incident
  2. Notify anyone you may encounter to exit the building immediately.
  3. Evacuate to a safe area away from the danger, and take protective cover. Stay there until assistance arrives.
  4. Call 9-911 if on-campus (229-9-911 off-campus) with the following
    • Your name
    • Location of the incident(be as specific as possible)
    • Your exact location
    • Number of shooters (if known)
    • Identification or description of shooter(s)
    • Number of persons who may be involved
    • Injuries to anyone (if known)
    • Advise of number and type of weapons (if known)
  5. Take protective cover if you are not immediately impacted by the situation. Stay away from windows and doors until notified otherwise.
  6. When Exiting a Building is NOT Possible: SHELTER IN PLACE
    1. Go to the nearest room or office.
    2. Close and lock or barricade the door with a desk or heavy object
    3. Turn off the lights
    4. Seek protective cover
    5. Keep quiet and act as if no one is in the room.
    6. Do not answer the door
    7. Call 9911 from a UWM land-line phone or 229-9911 from a cell phone to reach the University Police if it is safe to do so.
    8. Provide the dispatcher with the same information as above
    9. Wait for police or security to assist you out of the building

Annual Reports

The Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act (“Clery Act”) is a federal law that requires colleges and universities to report and publish crime statistics along with policies and procedures regarding campus security. The Higher Education Opportunity Act requires institutions that maintain on-campus student housing facilities to publish an annual fire safety report that contains information about campus fire safety practices and standards of the institution.

Each fall, UWM compiles and distributes this information in the Annual Security Report and Annual Fire Safety Report (available below in PDF) which also contain personal safety guidelines and crime reporting information for students, faculty and staff. Additionally, the Annual Security Report contains detailed information about the health effects and legal consequences that can result from alcohol and drug use.

Annual Security and Fire Safety Report

Printed copies of the reports are available in the Office of Student Life (Mellencamp 118).

Additional information about the Clery Act is available at

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