How Can Students Stay Safe on Campuses?
College is an exciting time for students – a time to learn and grow into adults. Many students across the nation live on college campuses during their course of study, while other students come and go to class as necessary and live at home. Regardless of your situation, here are some tips on how to stay safe on college campuses.
Be aware of your surroundings at all times. Whether walking to class, hanging out at a friend’s house, or entering your own dormitory, make yourself aware of your surroundings. Keep an eye out for suspicious activity, and report anything that seems dangerous to the school’s authorities. Become accustomed to the routes you take around campus to get to your classes, and take note of where the campus security office is located, as well as campus emergency phone systems.
Use the buddy system. Avoid traveling on campus alone, especially at night. Instead, walk around campus with a friend or roommate. Many schools offer their security staff as a resource for students to utilize if a friend is not available. It also helps to share your schedule with friends and family. This allows more than one person to know your whereabouts throughout the day. Keep your roommate or close friends informed of your emergency contact information. Should an emergency occur, they can reach out to your loved ones.
Keep your dorm room locked at all times. This is especially important when you leave your dorm for extended periods of time. Do not share any access codes or keys with anyone else. Always check to see who it is before opening your door and allowing anyone to enter your dorm room. Avoid inviting people you do not know well back to your apartment. Instead, hang out with them in public places until you get to know them better.
Try to schedule classes during daytime hours. This way, campus will be more populated while you are on it, and there will be less of a chance of an attack. If you must take a night class or need to get around campus during the evening, travel in well-lit areas, and try not to walk around alone.
If you have a vehicle on campus, lock it. Your car should stay locked at all times, even while you are traveling in it. Do not leave your license, registration, wallet, or other valuables in your car. This will make your car less appealing to a potential thief and may deter them from attempting to steal your car. If you use a bicycle, ensure that it is securely locked to a bike rack with a u-lock when you are not using it. For added security, bring the bicycle inside your apartment or dorm.
Be prepared for an attack. Carry mace with you, especially if you are out during the evening. When walking to your car or place of residence, place your keys between your fingers, with the ends pointing out in a claw-like fashion. If someone tries to attack you, this can act as a first line of defense. Have local authority’s phone numbers programmed into your phone’s speed dial so you can reach them quickly in case of an emergency.
If you have been attacked, contact the authorities immediately as well as talk to the Campus Discipline department or even potentially a Title IX Attorney.