College Campus Safety Tips for Students
When walking through campus:
- If you can call an escort, do it. Every time. Is there a student-run volunteer group that provides walks to and from campus for students, faculty and staff? Every university offers services such as this one. Make sure you’re aware of it and use it.
- Never walk alone on a college campus in the evening. Remember, even if the campus is in the heart of a vibrant city where crime is not an issue you never know who will make their way on campus and if you will cross their path.
- If forced to walk alone, walk in well-lit areas where other students or vehicles will pass. Call friends before you leave, let them know you are on your way and the path you plan to take.
- Have a tool and plan of action if you are ever approached or assaulted. Ask the questions: What will I do if I’m attacked? What do I have on me that could be used as a weapon? Where is the nearest police station or friend? Where could I run? Is that thought scary or morbid? No, it’s smart. If this type of thinking is engrained in you then you are 10 steps ahead if attacked. You are ready to fight and know what they will do.
- When walking through campus, preferably at any time but especially during the evening, night and early morning, do not walk distracted. This means – phone in hand and ready to push “send” in case of an emergency but no music in your ears. Know where you are going, who is behind you and who is in front of you.
- Critically important – make sure you are familiar with the campus, where classes are, dorms / apartments are and what the campus offers students in terms of added safety.
While in your apartments or dorms:
- Keep doors and windows locked at all times, even when down the hall visiting friends or taking a shower.
- Don’t let anyone (especially strangers) into your residence hall.
- Monitor your room key and don’t let others borrow them. If you lose your keys, report it and get locks changed immediately.
- Always have a working cell phone.
- Save emergency numbers, including school law enforcement, in your cell phone. Also important is to make sure all your credit card company phone numbers are also loaded in case your wallet gets stolen.
- Trust your Instincts and do not care about being rude. If you think you are being followed, don’t ignore it. Get yourself to a safe environment. Walk up to a group of people you don’t know and make conversation or share your concerns. Make a scene if you have to. Predators look for easy targets, daydreamers or distracted students.
- Notify school-based law enforcement when you see suspicious characters on your campus.