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 Tips to Help Keep You Safe on College Campus

Although college campuses are usually relatively safe places you should never let your guard down.  It is important to always be aware of your surroundings and to take precautions at all times.  Here are a few tips to help keep you safe.

Remember: Safety First

Campus Safety Tips

School Orientation

  • The first step is to attend orientation at your new school.  You will learn a wealth of information about keeping safe on campus.  Many schools will have presentations by the university security team.  In addition, be sure you understand the layout of the campus and the surrounding areas.  
     

Theft Prevention

  • Theft is always an issue on campus so be sure to always close and lock your door and windows even if you are leaving for a short amount of time.
     

  • Never leave your belongings unattended even for a short period of time in the library or cafeteria.  An unattended laptop is a quick and easy target.  In addition, leave valuables especially expensive jewelry at home. 
     

  • Write down the serial numbers for items such as bikes, laptops, TVs, stereos and iPods.  Also, include a list of credit card numbers and bank accounts.  Be sure to put this information in a very safe place or leave it at home with your parents. This way if they are ever stolen you will at least have some chance of recovering them and bank accounts and credit cards can be shut down immediately.

 

Preventing Physical Assault
 

  • To prevent any type of physical assault always be aware of your surroundings.   Phone conversations, and loud music can hinder your ability to hear someone approaching you.  Keep your head up, and donít be caught by surprise. Stay away from bushes, dark doorways or alleys.  Walk in the direction of oncoming traffic so if you need to get away from a car you can run in the opposite direction of the way they are going.
     

  • Do not let anyone in to your building, apartment or dorm room that you do not know personally.
     

  • Carry a whistle or some other type of alarm that can be used to get attention quickly in case of an emergency.  Yell "FIRE" instead of help it will get attention quicker.
     

  • Always avoid walking alone if possible.  Remember that here is always safety in numbers.  Many campuses have volunteer escorts who are screened in advance so if you need to walk alone consider using a campus escort.
     

  • Avoid dark, deserted paths.  Stay in well-lit areas and paths most traveled by others.
     

  • Always know what buildings are open and/or staffed 24 hours a day in case you need assistance.   Know the emergency number for campus police and the location of emergency phones.

Take Precautions

  • You must be careful of alcohol consumption and/or drug use.   You become very vulnerable in many ways when under the influence of a substance of some kind. 
     

  • If you are going somewhere make sure someone knows where you are at all times.
     

  • Keep your hands free whenever possible and have your keys out and available for both your car and room/apartment.
     

  • Be very careful about giving out personal information  (phone number, address, or dorm room) especially on Facebook, Twittter or MySpace.
     

  • Work out your schedule to visit your ATM in the daylight.  Avoid night visits if possible.   If you need to go at night be sure to take someone with you and keep you ATM card in your pocket for quick access.
     

  • Put emergency numbers in your cell phone.  This should include contacts for credit card companies and your bank in case your wallet/handbag is stolen.
     

  • Keep your car door locked.  Park in well-lit areas and check the inside of your vehicle before entering.  Routinely check on your car if you are not using it on a daily basis.
     

  • If your key is lost or stolen ask to have the lock replaced ASAP.  Never loan out your key to anyone or make copies for a friend.  If your ID card is lost or stolen, report it immediately.
     

  • There are wireless alarm systems that are perfect for an apartment or dorm.  It is easy to set up and you can take it with you when you move.  They come with remote controls, panic button, sensors, and a siren. 

Be Prepared