Off Campus Safety

Off-Campus Alerts 

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There are no current alerts at this time.

As part of a long-standing commitment to the safety of it's community members, the University Police Department works closely with our neighboring police departments through regular information-exchange meetings and coordinated response in emergency situations. This page will outline important safety information and offers easy-to-follow guidelines to help you increase your security and safety while living off campus.

Many SUNY Cortland students live off campus, and the security of those residences is generally not the responsibility of the college. Lighting, locks and other safety measures are dependent on the landlord, and vary widely by place and neighborhood. Living off campus is a very different experience than living in a campus residence hall, so it is important for our students to be informed about safety when selecting off campus housing.

Things you might consider before and after choosing an apartment. This list is not exhaustive, but is intended as a guide to assist with finding a safe living environment.

  • Exterior lighting around the apartment building is important. Notify the building manager or superintendent when exterior lights are not working.

  • Shrubbery and trees close to the apartment building, parking lot(s) and walkways should be well trimmed so they do not block out light or serve as a hiding place.

  • For your apartment door, a solid core wood or steel door is preferable with a deadbolt lock.

  • It is advisable to have a peephole viewer on your apartment door.

  • If the lobby exterior door is suppose to be locked, help keep it locked. Never prop this door open. If the door is propped open, unprop it.

  • If there are sliding glass doors, install a horizontal locking bar. A broom handle in the track at the bottom of the door can serve the same purpose.

  • Be sure all first floor windows can be secured and secure those windows when you leave or when you are sleeping.

  • When leaving your apartment, even for a short time, be sure to lock up. Lock both windows and doors and turn off all heat producing appliances.

  • In a small college town like Cortland, just about everyone knows that students leave the city between academic terms and on College breaks (i.e. Thanksgiving or Spring Break). Thieves are likely to know the dates and times of year of these breaks and may take advantage of empty student homes. You should take extra precautions in protecting your house or apartment against burglary to reduce your risk. You should take expensive belongings home during the breaks.

  • Do not allow anyone that you do not know into your apartment or your house.

  • One of the best deterrents of crime can be your neighbors. Get to know other tenants and report suspicious people and activity to the police immediately.

  • Watch for safety alerts (emails) from the College when the Cortland City Police identify crime trends in the off campus student housing areas.

Important Information

City of Cortland Police Department

City of Cortland Fire Department

Off Campus Housing Information

City of Cortland Code Enforcement

Interpersonal Violence Awareness

Silent Witness Reporting

Personal Safety

  • Use marked crosswalks, look both ways, and make sure traffic stops before you cross.

  • When you go out, let a friend or roommate know where you will be and when you will return.

  • Avoid walking alone at night, walk with friends or take a cab or Uber.

  • If you are out after dark, use only well-lit routes. Walk on the sidewalks and avoid passing close to shrubs, dark doorways and other hiding places.

  • Be alert and trust your instincts. If you feel uncomfortable about someone near you, head for a populated area or call 911.