Frequently Asked Questions
Who are the West Campus Ambassadors?
The West Campus Ambassadors are a specialized safety, cleaning, and hospitality team dedicated to the revitalization of Austin’s West Campus neighborhood.
What are the boundaries included in the West Campus neighborhood?
The West Campus neighborhood of central Austin—bounded by Guadalupe (“The Drag”) to the east, Lamar to the west, West 29th to the north, and MLK to the south—is a lively hub, home to a flourishing student and young adult population, former faculty members and retired Austinites, and a vibrant restaurant and retail scene.
What is the purpose of the West Campus Ambassadors program and why launch this program now?
The West Campus neighborhood bolsters the vitality of The University of Texas at Austin (UT Austin) campus. Yet, as West Campus has grown over the past several years, safety and beautification efforts have not kept up. Recognizing this disparity and acknowledging that improvements to the area will enrich the living and learning experiences of the university’s students, faculty, staff, and every visitor to the area, UT Austin, in collaboration with business and community leaders, established this program to begin to revitalize the area.
What will the West Campus Ambassadors do?
There are two teams of Ambassadors: Safety Ambassadors and Cleaning Ambassadors.
Between 3:30 pm and 3:00 am, the Safety Ambassadors will be an onsite presence on foot and bicycle, and by truck, sharing safety resources and tips, escorting residents to their destinations in the late evening, monitoring the region for unwanted activity, discouraging panhandling, working with local law enforcement to address other problematic situations, and serving as another set of eyes in the area.
From 7:00 am to 3:30 pm, the Cleaning Ambassadors will provide daily cleaning services, including litter and trash collection, weed abatement, graffiti and sticker removal, pressure washing, and cleaning of street fixtures (benches, trash cans, etc.). In addition, the Cleaning Ambassadors will provide hospitality functions such as greeting visitors and providing directions, as well as outreach and de-escalation with those experiencing homelessness.
Will the Ambassadors be onsite across the West Campus neighborhood?
The West Campus neighborhood comprises two zones—east and west of Nueces.
In Zone 1, the Safety and Cleaning Ambassadors will operate daily on foot and bike, and by truck.
In Zone 2, the Safety Ambassadors will operate daily on foot and bike, and by truck, The Cleaning Ambassadors will operate as needed.
What is the duration of the program?
This is a pilot program, which launched on Monday, August 7.
Who is funding this program?
The University of Texas at Austin has committed to fund this pilot program.
Who operates and manages the program?
The pilot program will be managed by Block by Block, a national leader in urban renewal and
business district restoration. Block by Block has been at work in Austin for over seven years, providing
similar services to the Downtown Austin Alliance and the South Congress Improvement
Do the West Campus Ambassadors receive any training in order to effectively do their jobs?
The West Campus Ambassadors receive extensive, specialized onboarding and annual training in the following areas: safety, cleaning, and mental health awareness.
Does Block by Block conduct any background and/or screenings on candidates prior to hire?
All Ambassadors must pass a criminal background check and drug test to be employed by Block by Block.
If I need a safety escort, what do I do?
Coordinating a Safety Ambassador escort can be done by calling or texting the West Campus Ambassadors hotline at 512.429.3278. In the late evening hours, the Safety Ambassadors escorts travel in pairs.
UT Austin also sponsors the Sure Walk program, which offers walks or rides from an on-campus location to the West Campus neighborhood and walks or rides from any on-campus location to any on-campus location.
Sure Walk is available from 8:00 pm to 2:00 am, 7 days a week.
To coordinate a Sure Walk:
UT Austin also offers UT Night Rides from the Lyft Rideshare Service. UT Night Rides provides a Lyft away from Main Campus, Pickle Research Center (PRC), or Dell Pediatric Research Institute (DPRI) to your home from 11:00 pm. to 4:00 am, 7 days a week.
For more information on this program:
If I see an area in West Campus that needs to be cleaned, what do I do?
Please call or text the West Campus Ambassadors hotline at 512-429-3278 to share the location of the area that needs to be cleaned. For those who choose to text, you can also send photos of the area.
How will members of the public learn about the progress of the West Campus Ambassadors?
Please following the West Campus Ambassadors on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram for regular updates and news related to safety and cleaning efforts. In addition, if you would like to be added to the West Campus Ambassadors newsletter, please email your name and email address to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Do the West Campus Ambassadors have any local partners or supporters?
The West Campus Ambassadors are supported by over two dozen businesses and community
groups in the area—and the list is growing. See a full list of supporters.
If I am a West Campus business owner or a member of a community group not yet associated with the program, how can I join the list of supporters?
Please email email@example.com to join the effort.