Staying Safe

General Safety Tips for Home, School, and around Town

  • Be aware when travelling alone, especially at night. If you are walking, stay in areas which are well-lit and public.
  • Get to know your classmates and stay in contact with family and friends.
  • Trust your instincts, and if you feel uncomfortable or unsafe in a situation, leave immediately.
  • Do not carry large amounts of cash on your person. Do not carry your passport or SIN card with you when you go out. If your wallet is lost or stolen, notify your bank immediately, cancel all credit cards, and make a report with your local police.
  • Take time to become familiar with the neighbourhoods where you live, work, or attend school. Make note of where the police and fire stations are.
  • To avoid becoming lost, make sure you know exactly where you are going and plan how to get there in advance.
  • Be cautious of strangers. Do not get into a car with a stranger or accept a ride from someone you don’t know; call a taxi or take public transit instead.
  • Never leave personal belongings such as phones, wallets, keys, purses or backpacks unattended.
  • Always log out from your email and social media accounts after using a public computer.
  • Keep your doors and windows locked and make sure your valuables are not left in plain sight.
  • 911 is the phone number for all emergencies (fire, police, and ambulance).

Campus security exists to keep University students, staff, and resources safe. The security office is located in the library building (L911) and security staff are available around the clock. In order to ensure your safety and comfort, they offer services such as:

Safe Walk

A member of the security staff will escort you anywhere on campus. This service is available to all students, faculty, staff, and visitors 24/7. To request this service, call 403-380-1888 or stop by the security office.

Working Alone

The Working Alone program is intended to increase security and safety for faculty, staff, and students when they are working alone on campus, especially during the evening or outside of normal working hours. You are encouraged to notify security services when you are working alone on campus.

Help Phones

Emergency telephones are available in parking lot locations throughout campus. The call button will immediately connect you with security personnel. All elevators are also equipped with emergency telephones.

Additionally, if you are looking for a lost item or would like to turn in a found item, the security office (L911) deals with Lost and Found Property.


In Canada, smoking is banned in most indoor and public spaces. If you smoke, you are expected to adhere to the Provincial Tobacco Reduction Act and the City of Lethbridge smoking bylaws. Please be respectful and smoke only in appropriate, designated areas. Make sure that cigarette ash and butts are disposed of appropriately; do not litter. Littering is illegal and punishable by a fine.

The legal smoking age in Alberta is 18. It is illegal to sell or distribute tobacco products to minors.


When consuming alcohol, please drink responsibly. Keep the following in mind:

  • The legal drinking age in Alberta is 18. It is illegal to sell or distribute alcohol to minors.
  • Alcohol is a depressant drug; it can slow down the nervous system, cause drowsiness, or induce sleep. It can impair judgement and affect behaviour.
  • It is dangerous to mix alcohol with certain drugs and medications.
  • Be wary of accepting drinks from strangers. Never leave your drink out of sight or unattended.
  • Plan ahead and arrange for transportation home if you are going out to drink. In Canada, driving with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08 or higher is illegal.
  • Consuming liquor in most public places is against the law, as is public intoxication.


Cannabis is legal in Canada. However, we recommend you inform yourself of the laws of your own country.  Here are a few things to keep in mind:

  • You must be 18 or older to use cannabis. It is illegal to sell or distribute cannabis to minors.
  • You can only purchase cannabis from licensed retailers.
  • Smoking cannabis is banned in most indoor and public places.  Know the local laws and refer to the campus Cannabis Policy to see designated use areas.
  • Driving high is illegal.

Impaired Driving Laws and Immigration

As of 2018, new impaired driving and marijuana-related penalties could result in serious consequences for immigration status of temporary residents such as international students.  You can learn more about the consequences here.

Illicit Substances

Partaking of certain drugs such as mushrooms, methamphetamines, ecstasy, cocaine, and heroin, is not only illegal, but potentially extremely dangerous. It is also illegal to be found possessing or distributing these drugs. Visit this page for more information about controlled and illegal drugs, their uses, effects, and mental and physical health risks.

The University of Lethbridge annually hosts Operation Red Nose, which is a program aimed at preventing impaired driving. The program pairs volunteer designated drivers (Pronghorn athletes, university students, and community members) with individuals looking for a safe ride home during the holiday season. The service is free to use, although donations in support of Pronghorn Athletics are accepted. The precise start and end dates will vary from year to year; check here around the start of November for campaign dates.

We encourage you to register your presence in Canada with your country’s embassy or consulate. Your embassy or consulate is there to provide you with advice and assistance in case of emergencies while you are in Canada. They may help you replace lost or stolen travel documents (such as your passport) or support you in case of an accident or serious illness. You can find the office of your nearest representative here. You may wish to record their phone number and keep it in a safe, easily-accessible place. Most embassy or consulate offices will be located in Calgary, Edmonton, or other major Canadian cities.