From exams and papers to jobs and friends, university students have enough to worry about without having to be concerned about staying safe on campus. But no matter whether they live on campus or off, safety is an issue for every student.
Because campus crimes often mirror the crime in the surrounding area, it’s possible to get an idea about a university’s crime rate based on its size and location. But problems exist on every campus, whether it’s in an urban location, a rural one, or anywhere in between. Federal law requires all colleges and universities to report their crime statistics. To get an idea of how your institution rates, check out its Web site for this information.
Every institution takes some safety measures, and many campuses have their own security or police force. But ultimately, your personal safety is up to you. Students should take precautions and be educated on how to prevent crime.
Follow these tips to ensure your safety whenever you’re coming, going, or staying on campus:
- Know the emergency and non-emergency numbers for the campus security office and/or police department.
- Take advantage of any seminars on crime prevention and education that your institution offers.
- Use campus patrol or evening escort programs, which accompany students from one campus location to another.
- Know where emergency phones are located on campus.
- Share your schedule with your parents or friends so they know where you are and when.
- Stay in well-lit areas at night and avoid short cuts through alleys or vacant lots.
- Use the buddy system and walk with a friend.
- Carry a whistle or personal protectionâ€”such as pepper sprayâ€”with you.
- If you walk or jog for exercise, do so during the day.
- To stay aware of your surroundings, do not wear headphones while walking.
- Always walk quickly and confidently.
- Never open a locked door on campus for someone you don’t know.
- Always keep your doors lockedâ€”in the car and at home.
- If you live in a dormitory, make sure it is secure with doors and windows that lock.
- In your car, place valuables under a seat or in the trunk.
- Check your backseat before entering your car.
- If you take the bus at night, arrive at the stop just before the bus is scheduled to arrive.
- Report a crime if you see it (or even suspicious behavior or activity).