College students should always be smart and safe, from the moment they first walk on campus to the graduation day. Student life can pose some dangers and we’ll discuss here some safety tips while in college. Follow them while on campus or anywhere you are and you’ll keep safe and sound:
When you first get accustomed with the campus and neighborhood study the routes between your class and activities schedule and your residence. It is recommended to familiarize yourself with the indoor and outdoor location of emergency phones. You’ll recognize them easily because these boxes all have a blue button near the bottom of the face-plate. Just with a press of a button you can auto dial to University Police and the Dispatch will promptly answer and send an Officer to the scene, if needed.
It is also advisable to share your class/activities schedule with a network of close friends and with your parents. This way you’ll effectively create a “buddy” system. You can use your buddy system if you head to a local bar or walk on campus and take a friend with you. Make sure that you both make it safety back to your rooms and always watch out for each other.
- Survey the campus, residence halls, academic buildings, and other facilities to ensure that walkways, buildings, and parking lots are adequately lit, patrolled, and secured.
- Always stick to busy and well-lighted areas and avoid darkest alleys and doorways, and the part of the sidewalk that is farthest away from shrubs.
- Travel in groups of two or more when traveling about the campus, and always travel in well lit, heavily traveled areas. After dark you can use the campus’ escort service.
- If you have a strange feeling that something is wrong while you are walking on campus, then always follow what your instincts tell you. Something may be truly wrong. In this kind of situations just change directions to a well-lit, well-traveled area.
- In case that you are ever confronted by a “flasher,” get away and leave the area. Contact University Police immediately and report the incident together with a description of location and the suspect.
- Know well your campus and your neighborhood. Find out where you can go to summon help if needed and which buildings are open late.
- It is recommended that while on campus you choose an ATM located inside a building and never count cash in public or at the machine.
- You may ask for a whistle from the Department of Campus Safety & Security and carry it with you at all times in order to use it to draw attention when in danger.
- Always lock your room and your car and do not loan out your keys. Thefts may occur even when you are away from your room for just a few minutes.
- If you live in a campus dormitory at the first or second floor, always lock your windows at night.
- Never give your student id to anyone. Anyone can use your student id to use your meal plans as they please and enter your residential building anytime they want.
- Do not leave in open view your checkbooks, jewelry, wallets, identification, cameras, and other valuables. Avoid displaying expensive clothing, jewelry or large amounts of cash.
- Program your phone’s speed dial with emergency numbers that include friends and family as well as 911.
- Always stay alert to the circumstances and people around you and be aware that you and any student are a potential victim of a crime. Also be realistic about your ability to protect yourself and don’t try to fight back if you are attacked. Screaming or yelling may be more helpful. Your possessions and money can be replaced but you are worth more than them.