10 Ways to Stay Safe on Campus
Millions of students, both new and returning, are heading to college this Fall in the U.S. As always, the boom in campus populations, whether they are rural or urban, can create challenges as people come together to expand their horizons. Adapting to new experiences and environments raises natural campus safety concerns, so Positive Promotions has compiled this useful list of ideas you can follow to protect yourself and others. Read on to learn about college crimes, including sexual violence, and how you can increase your safety.
1. Pause the tunes. When walking or running alone, do not wear headphones. They block out approaching noise and distract you from your surroundings. If you absolutely need your jam, restrict it to one ear and keep your eyes up, looking around.
2. Don’t post in real time. Social media wants you to check in. Think about whether you want everyone to know where you are or where you aren’t. Disable that feature and add in your event details after the fact.
3. Batten the hatches. Lock your doors and windows when you are asleep and every time you leave your dorm room, apartment, house, etc. If you use a shared entrance door that others leave open, close the door then talk to your RA or manager so they can remind the residents of the building security rules.
4. Know your Campus Safety Resources. Every campus has security and/or a campus safety office. Know where it is and find out what safety programs they offer, such as campus escort services after dark or safety maps with designated well-lit, monitored routes. Then pay attention to where campus safety features like blue light emergency phone stations are located.
5. If you learned one thing from the scary movies you used to watch… Never walk alone at night. Sexual assaults and crimes do occur more often after dark. Use the buddy system, call campus security, or download and use a personal safety app.
6. Brush up on your jiu-jitsu. Or simply learn a few self-defense techniques. Many campuses or gyms will offer occasional single session defense seminars. Sign up and bring a friend.
7. Channel the Scouts. Be prepared. Keep a compact (and loud) whistle, or other self-defense product, on your keychain and easily accessible.
8. Even famous explorers can get lost. Know where you are going, especially at night, and try to take paths that are well-lit and well-traveled. GPS on your iPhone® is awesome but keep your eyes up and off your device while walking alone.
9. Re-think the keg stand. In other words, don’t have “just one more” drink. Inebriation can slow your reflexes, cloud your memory, and affect your decisions. Also, if you walk away from an open container at a bar or party, get a different drink when you return. You may want to avoid that extra effort, but it’s simply not worth the risk of ingesting a drink that has been tampered with.
10. Exit strategy. Before an event, choose a friend you will not leave the event without, then stick to the plan. If plans change, make sure all parties are cognizant and approve of the new plan. It’s also a good idea to decide on a phrase that can be used in case you or your friend need to get out of a situation immediately.
Increasing campus safety is a group activity. All students and faculty can take part by keeping their eyes open, alerting security to potential hazards, and taking extra steps to take care of one another. If you need help, reach out and ask. And use Positive Promotions campus safety suggestions. They will help college be the amazing opportunity it is meant to be to sample adulthood, discover new freedoms and responsibility, and prepare for the future.