Campus Emergency Response and Immediate Notification

Should an emergency or dangerous situation pose an immediate threat to the campus community, members shall be notified without unreasonable delay unless Public Safety determines that immediate notification would place the USF community at a greater risk or would compromise efforts to contain, respond to, or mitigate the emergency. The University of San Francisco Emergency Operations Plan addresses the university’s response to emergencies by taking an all-hazards approach to both natural and man-made events.

The Department of Public Safety, through Public Safety Dispatch, monitors events on and around campus, as well as events occurring in San Francisco and the greater Bay Area. If Public Safety confirms that there is an emergency or event that poses an immediate threat to the USF community, Public Safety has the ability to activate emergency notification procedures through Public Safety Dispatch. Due to the nature of the campus and the constant movement of students, faculty, and staff, notifications will be sent to all members of the community regardless if the threat is confined to a particular building on campus or population on campus. The university will, without delay, and taking into account the safety of the community, determine the content of a notification and initiate the notification system, unless issuing a notification will, in the professional judgment of responsible authorities, compromise efforts to assist a victim or to contain, respond to, or otherwise mitigate the emergency.

It is the responsibility of the Department of Public Safety, with the assistance of other departments or units (as necessary) to:

  • Determine the content of any notification
  • Determine the appropriate campus segments to notify
  • Initiate the appropriate notification system
  • Continue to update the USF community while the emergency exists

Immediate notifications are usually distributed for the following Uniform Crime Reporting Program (UCR)/National Incident Based Reporting Systems (NIBRS) classifications: arson, criminal homicide, and robbery. Incidents of aggravated assault and sex offense are considered on a case-by-case basis, depending on the facts of the case and whether there is a continuing threat to the campus community. Immediate notifications may be issued for other crime classifications, as deemed necessary.

Emergency response and evacuation procedures are tested biannually by the university. USF uses a combination of methods to communicate a campus emergency:

  1. MyUSF announcements and USF email
  2. Simultaneous broadcast of emergency information by Public Safety Dispatch to the university community via email, voice, and SMS message
  3. Building Marshals

In order to add/modify an email address or phone number, all faculty and staff must log into USFWorks and click “Personal Information” under Applications, click “Home Contact Information” under Change, enter/update mobile phone number under “Phone,” and then click “Submit.” Students must log into myUSF at and click “Banner Self-Service (Student)” under Top Apps, click the “Personal Information” tab, select the “Addresses and Phones” link, click on “Primary” under Phones, and then enter or update the 10-digit primary phone number.

In emergency situations, alerts may also appear at the top of the main university website at These alerts will direct individuals to where updated bulletins and important instructions would be made available.

All members of the USF community are encouraged to notify Public Safety of any situation or incident on campus that may involve a significant emergency or dangerous situation with the potential for any immediate or ongoing threat to the health and safety of students, faculty, staff, and visitors on campus. The USF Patrol Division has the responsibility to respond to these incidents and request any additional resources necessary for the mitigation, investigation, and documentation of any situation that may arise. Additionally, Public Safety has the responsibility to respond to incidents on campus to determine if the situation does pose a threat to the community.

Emergency Blue Light Phones

Emergency blue light phones are located on the Hilltop Campus. Once activated, a large blue strobe light flashes from the top of the phone tower and the Public Safety Dispatcher is notified immediately. There are a number of non-blue light emergency phones on campus that are clearly marked as emergency call boxes.

If you need assistance, see something that is suspicious, or see someone else who needs assistance, you could activate a blue light phone and speak directly with the Public Safety Dispatcher or call (415) 422-2911 from your mobile phone.