FAQ

ABOUT FOOT PATROL

Foot Patrol is open to the entire University of Ottawa community – students, professors, staff, and community members. We don’t ask for any sort of identification or ask for your status at the University.

Nope! We offer safe walks to the entire University of Ottawa community. We will never ask for a student or staff ID number.

Our office is located in the Jock Turcot University Centre (UCU) in room 08A, near the Campus Bookstore. The building’s address is 85 University Private.

Our office hours are Monday to Friday, 10am to 4pm. During this time, one (or more) of our staff members will be working in our office (UCU 08A). Safe walks from Foot Patrol are not available during these hours. Please note, our office is closed during reading week and the holiday break.

Our hours of operation are the hours when we offer safe walks to the University community. We understand that our clients request safe walks more often when it is dark outside. Therefore, our hours change a couple of times a semester, based on daylight savings time.

We offer safe walks Monday to Friday!

These are our hours during the Fall 2015 semester

  • September 7th to October 30th: 8pm to 2am
  • November 2nd to December 21st: 5pm to 2am
  • December 22nd: 5pm to 11pm

These are our hours during the Winter 2016 semester

  • January 11th to March 11th: 5pm to 2am
  • March 14th to April 26th: 8pm to 2am
  • April 27th: 8pm to 11pm

Foot Patrol will be closed on the following dates:

  • October 12th: Thanksgiving
  • October 26th to 30th: Study Week
  • December 23rd to January 10th: Winter Holidays
  • February 15th to 19th: Study Week
  • March 25th to 28th: Easter Break
  • April 28th: Closed for the summer

Unfortunately, Foot Patrol does not offer safe walks during the weekends or summer months (May to August). Because we are a volunteer-based service, it is difficult to get volunteers to commit to hours during those times. Although we are not available, Protection Services is able to provide assistance on campus 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. You can reach them at 613-562-5800 x 5411 (Emergency Line) or 613-562-5800 x 5499 (non-emergency line).

Foot Patrol volunteers can walk with you from anywhere to anywhere within a 45 minute walking radius around main and RGN campuses. Our volunteers can also ride with you on several bus routes and walk within a 15 minute radius around any of the bus stops. Check out a map of our boundaries. If you have any questions or concerns about our boundaries, please email or call us and we’d be happy to clarify.

You can request a walk from Foot Patrol in a number of ways:

  1. If you see one of our team of volunteers patrolling campus in their yellow jackets, feel free to approach them and request a walk.
  2. Call our office during our operating hours.
  3. Visit our office during our office hours or our operating hours.
  4. Call us or send us an email during our office hours and we can create a pre-registered walk for you. Please note that our volunteers who work during our operational hours in the evening do not have access to our email account, so any emails sent after 4pm will not be seen until the next business day.

Please let the dispatcher know where you are going so that we can ensure your destination is in our boundaries.

Our volunteer patrollers are University of Ottawa students. When you call and request a safe walk, our dispatcher will send a team to meet you, usually one male and one female.

Foot Patrol promotes a safe and accessible campus for everyone, through our service of accompanying you on your travels as well as patrolling campus as additional eyes and ears for Protection Services. While a Foot Patrol team does not have a client, they patrol main campus, inside and outside. It also allows potential clients to approach the team to inquire about our service or request a safe walk.

Our office phone is not equipped with Call Waiting, so it’s possible that our dispatcher was on the phone with another client. Feel free to leave a message or call us right back. If ever you can’t get a hold of us and need a safe walk, please call Protection Services at 613-562-5411.

We rely on our volunteers to sign up for shifts and to show up – sometimes things happen and we don’t have as many volunteers available at one time. This can be due to many people requesting our services at one time, our volunteers being on a lengthy walk or a lack of volunteers on a specific shift. Our service is on a first come first serve basis, but we do our best to respond to all our client requests to the best of our abilities.

Foot Patrol is free to use! Thanks to a successful student referendum, students at the University of Ottawa pay $1.00 (per full-time student) and $0.50 (per part-time student) every semester so our service can be available for those who need it.

We have a fairly simple and easy to use service, but here are some tips to help things go smoothly:

  • Please have your pickup location and destination known before calling.
  • Be respectful of our patrollers and dispatchers – they’re there to help you.
  • Plan ahead: if you book your walk ahead of time, there’s far less chance that we won’t have an available team versus if you want a walk immediately.
  • Be accessible: Many buildings are locked at night and it is easiest if you can meet our team at the doors of the building. As well, if there is a problem such as your team not being able to find you or they will be late, our dispatcher will call you.

We can absolutely provide you with a safe walk. Please let the team of volunteers accompanying you, or the dispatcher when you first request your walk, know of any accommodations you may need so we can best meet your needs

As much as we love our bright yellow uniforms, we know that some of you prefer walking home unnoticed, so we created the ‘Casual Walk’ program. When our team of volunteers come to meet you, they won’t be wearing their bright yellow jackets or vests, but they can be identified by their black drawstring bags (with our logo on it) and their name badge. You can request a casual walk when you speak with the dispatcher, or let your team of patrollers know when you meet with them.

Many of you rely on public transportation to get around in Ottawa, so our volunteers are happy to accompany you on the bus to get to your destination. When you request your walk, just let our dispatcher know what your destination is and that you plan to take the bus. Please note that we will not pay for your bus ticket.

We can go on OCTranspo routes 1, 2, 4, 5, 7, 8, 9, 12, 14, 16, 18, 85, 86, 87, and 106 and STO routes 21, 31, 33, 35, 37, 39, 59, 67, and 77 within our regular walking boundaries and in expanded boundaries for OCTranspo routes 91, 92, 94, 95, and 96 (between Westboro and Blair) and 97, 98 and 99 (between Westboro and South Keys). Volunteers can also walk within a 15 minute radius around any of the bus stops between the aforementioned stations.

We take all complaints and feedback seriously.

  • You can fill out our survey anonymously
  • You can choose to speak with a staff member
    • Visit our office Monday to Friday, 10am to 4pm, in UCU 08A
    • Call us on Monday to Friday, 10am to 4pm at 613-562-5800 x 7433
    • Email us at foot.patrol@sfuo.ca
  • You can speak with the SFUO VP Services and Communications, as they are the supervisor of this service. They can be reached via email at vp.communications@sfuo.ca

VOLUNTEERS

If you would like to volunteer with our service, please fill out a volunteer application here. Once we’ve received your application, one of our staff members will be in contact with you. All of our volunteers must attend a 15 minute interview and successfully complete a 3-4 hour training session before beginning volunteer shifts.

We are always accepting applications for new volunteers! However, because we are not opened during the summer months, new volunteers can only begin with our service between September and March.

We are always looking for volunteers who are reliable, dedicated and excited to give back to their university community. We ask that our volunteers complete one 3 hour shift per week, for a total of 9 hours per month (as volunteers are allowed to book off one week per month). We also require that our volunteers visit the Ottawa Police station to have a police background check. Finally, our volunteers are also required to sign a volunteer contract that stipulates that they will respect all rules and regulations of our service.

Volunteering with our service is very rewarding –you get to meet great people, get exercise, explore our campus and Ottawa, and help people get to their destinations safely! We also host monthly volunteer appreciation events, give out monthly prizes, offer scholarships, attend galas and give out free swag.

If you have any questions/concerns that are not addressed in this FAQ, please contact us at foot.patrol@sfuo.ca or by phone 613-562-5800 x 7433.