DECEMBER 16th, 2022

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ISSS Holiday Greetings
ISSS Operation and Reminders during Winter Break

ISSS will be closed for winter break from 2pm on December 23, 2022 to January 2, 2023. 

Please reach out to us during our business hours from 9:00AM-12:30PM and 1:30-5:00PM ET, Monday through Friday before or after the winter break.

ISSS Contact Number: : (215) 898-4661

For emergencies related to travel or immigration* after normal business hours, or in the event of a serious illness or injury requiring assistance, please contact Penn Division of Public Safety (DPS) at 215-573-3333 or 511 from any campus phone.

Travel Related Emergencies are:

  • refused or denied boarding
  • refused entry to the United States
  • detained by immigration authorities at the port of entry

*Forgetting to have your I-20 or DS-2019 signed for travel does not constitute an emergency.

For additional information on the necessary travel documents, please see our Travel Information page at

If you would like to know more about campus service availability during the winter break, please click on

Winter Safety Resources
Wishing you a happy holiday season and a restful and restorative winter break!

The Division of Public Safety is committed to the safety and wellbeing of the Penn and West Philadelphia communities which we serve. Know that DPS maintains the same staffing level of Police and Security officers throughout the Winter Break. If you should have any concerns or see someone exhibiting suspicious behavior, call the PennComm Emergency Communications Center at 215-573-3333.

We are here for you 24-hours a day, 7 days a week, call anytime.

Special Property Checks: We offer our Special Property Checks for residents in our patrol zone during the Winter Break. Under the special checks program, DPS officers check the exterior of registered properties for signs of safety or security breaches. This free program is available to all residents in the Penn patrol zone, the area from 30th Street to 43rd Street and from Baltimore Avenue to Market Street.

Walking Escort Program: An excellent resource for Penn and the local community. Uniformed Allied Universal Public Safety Officers provide free walking escorts, available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
Escort services also extend west to 50th Street and north/south from Spring Garden to Woodland Avenue between 10 am and 3 am via the University’s partnership with the University District Ambassador Program. Again, anyone in the community regardless of whether they have a PennCard, can use these services.

Request a Walking Escort:
  • Ask any Public Safety Officer on patrol or inside a building.
  • Call 215-898-WALK (9255) or 511 from any campus phone.
  • Use building and blue-light emergency phones located on and off Penn’s campus.
Also, we offer special Walk Backs during Reading Days and Finals at Van Pelt Library. A Public Safety Officer will be posted at the “Split Button” on Locust Walk from 10:00pm until 3:00am from December 13-December 22, 2022. Approximately every half hour, the officer will enter Van Pelt-Dietrich Library to offer walking escorts to anyone in the building. The officer will then perform the escort and return to repeat the process.

Package Theft: Avoid Package Theft – Have a Plan! Arrange to be home for delivery or have your packages delivered to a secure location.

Theft of Occupied Vehicle: Also known as carjacking, these thefts are often crimes of opportunity. Be mindful in situations including when entering and exiting your vehicle, parking (look for well-lit areas), double-parked vehicles or faked car accidents ("fender-benders").

Phone and Email Fraud: Fraud attempts may spike during the holiday season. As you filter your email and phone calls, remember that legitimate businesses and government agencies would never solicit/initiate account administration activities or ask you to provide confidential information or money via phone or e-mail. As a reminder, malicious and misleading emails, also called “phishing" emails, are the number one way that cyber-criminals begin their attacks. Even if unsure, please call us immediately at 215-573-3333 if you think you may have experienced such an encounter.

While it is never the fault of the victim/survivor of a crime, there are specific patterns of criminal activity that we are mindful of during the winter holiday season. Consider these steps you can take to empower and protect yourself as you travel near and far:
  • Awareness
    • Stay alert and be aware of individuals who may be shadowing you as you travel.
    • Stay off your cell phone when shopping and keep it out of view.
    • Familiarize yourself with your surroundings (location, garages, parking lots, etc.) 
    • If you encounter someone aggressively asking for money, do not engage with them; walk away – go into a business or other safe place.
    • If you feel that you are being followed walk towards a well-lit, populated area.
  • Shopping
    • Limit the amount of cash you carry during your shopping.
    • Carry purses close to your body and place wallets in an inside pocket.
    • Take a family member or friend with you as you conduct your holiday shopping.
  • Vehicles
    • Have keys ready as you approach your vehicle.
    • Place all packages out of view and secure them in the trunk.
    • Lock the doors as soon as you get into your vehicle.

Have a wonderful Winter Break, stay safe, and be well!

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