Safety is a top priority at George Mason University. The Department of Police and Public Safety and the Environmental Health and Safety Office (EHS) are committed to creating an environment where everyone in our community can thrive. It is important to remember that everyone can play a role in sustaining a safe and secure campus.
If you suspect that a person is capable of causing harm to themselves or others, or observe a suspicious incident or person, report your observation to Mason Police immediately by dialing 911 or 703-993-2810. Remember, if you see something, say something.
Below you will find guidance on how to respond to a dangerous person or persons with a weapon or active threat. Please carefully review these topics, and contact the Department of Police and Public Safety or EHS with any questions.
Active Threats: Awareness & Prevention
George Mason University’s Active Threats: Awareness & Prevention Video provides:
- information on behaviors that typically precede violence,
- instructions on who to contact if you are concerned about an individual causing harm to themselves or others,
- and what do if violence does occur on campus.
This video is approximately 15 minutes long and provides closed captions (optional). To view the video, press play below. If the media does not appear, please click here. If you would like to receive in-person Active Threat Response training, please click here. To request in-person Emergency Preparedness training, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Violence on Campus Response Procedures
In the event that you are notified of or encounter a person with a weapon who is determined to cause harm:
If safety permits, exit the area/building immediately and move as far away from the scene of violence as possible.
- Notify others to exit the building and seek protection elsewhere.
- Call 911 and relay as much information as possible (e.g., location, description of the individual(s), and type of weapon used).
If you can’t safely exit the building or the attacker is nearby, proceed to the nearest room or a room in the nearest building and lock the door. If you cannot lock the door, block the door with furniture or equipment.
- Take cover behind equipment or furnishings.
- Turn off the lights.
- Cover door windows.
- Remain quiet and act as if the room is empty.
- Place cell phones and other electronic devices on silent or vibrate mode.
- If you are with a group of people, try to hide in multiple locations in the room. It is best not to hide as one large group.
- When law enforcement arrives follow their instructions, keep your hands visible and raised, and avoid pointing or gestures that may be mistaken for holding or firing a weapon.
If you are confronted by an individual with a weapon in a life-or-death situation, defend yourself and others by whatever means are necessary. This should be reserved for situations where your life or the life of others is at risk and you feel there are no other options. In these cases, do not relent until the aggressor is restrained or law enforcement arrives.
The following resources are free and available to all university students and employees:
Mason Alert Emergency Notifications
Mason Alert is the university’s official emergency notification system. Mason Alert is used to issue emergency notifications and other important announcements that may affect your safety. Please visit alert.gmu.edu to register your cell phone.
Active Threat Training
The Department of Police and Public Safety and EHS offer Active Threat Training on a routine basis or upon request to provide instruction and discuss how to respond to violence that may occur on or off campus. To register for a scheduled training course click here. To request more information or schedule a course for your classroom, office, or department contact email@example.com.
Emergency Preparedness App
Rave Guardian is a campus safety mobile application that enhances preparedness and safety on-campus using interactive features and allowing students to create a virtual network of friends, family and campus safety personnel. The application also includes anonymous, two-way crime reporting through text and picture messaging. The application is available to anyone with a university email address for free through the iTunes store and the Google Play store. Click here for more information.
If you have any questions or concerns about Mason’s readiness for potential emergencies on campus, please contact:
Department of Police and Public Safety
Environmental Health & Safety Office
In case of an emergency on campus, call 911 or 703-993-2810.