Should Guns be Allowed On Campus?

Hey Tumblr world, we’d like to know your opinion on this!

This is a great article talking about gun rights on campus. Meanwhile though, we’d love to get your guys’ opinions on the matter: should people be allowed to carry guns on campus? We’ve got a few pros:

Pros:

– In a situation like Virginia Tech or the movie theater shooting in Aurora, people innocent, sane people would also have a weapon to turn to in order to protect themselves and take down the crazy person with a gun.

– As the article mentions, there’s a difference between feeling safe and being safe. Many feel that if people were allowed to carry guns the environment would be safer overall.

Cons:

– College freshmen are the same age as high school seniors. Would you feel comfortable giving someone with the maturity level of a high school senior access to their own gun?

– There is a lot of drinking and drug use that typically happens on college campuses. We’re not saying everyone does it, but we’re definitely saying it happens more than it should. We don’t know about you but we don’t quite feel comfortable with a dorm party going on across the hall where alcohol and guns are both in the same room.

– Suicides are rampant during college years. Many students feel completely lost during this time in their life. Combine that with the feeling of failing a class and breaking up with your high school sweetheart, then throw a gun in the mix; would the suicide rate increase with better access to more lethal tools?

Of course these are just a few things we thought of off the top of our heads, so we’re looking for input! What do you guys think? Comment with your opinion!

So go for it: do you think concealed guns should be allowed on campus?

Questions Parents Should Ask Campus Police

When a student is trying to choose a university or college for the next four years, the efficiency of the campus security is probably the last thing on their mind. Other factors, like the academic and athletic program, price and distance from family and friends will probably be closer to the front of their mind. So here’s where the parents can come in. Wait until your son or daughter has narrowed down their top choice in schools to two or three and then ask each school these 5 questions:

1.) What qualifications to your campus security officers have? Many campus security officers have to go through similar training to that of an actual policeman, but other schools simply make them go through an 8-hour course, hand them a Taser and call it a day. You’ll want to make sure the people responding to possible threats actually know what they’re doing, compared to just a scared kid on a work-study program.

2.) Are background checks performed before security members are hired? You would think, in this day and age, that everyone would undergo a background check before they were hired, but it’s not the case. Background checks do cost money (not a lot of money) and do require some time, so a financially strapped college that needs to fill a job ASAP might skimp on something like this. Plus, the hiring process for campus security could be very different than the hiring process of the school’s professors and other staff. Don’t assume that just because one staff member has undergone a background check that all staff members have undergone a background check.

3.) How is the campus security funded and is it adequate? The national norm for the amount of an institutional budget that is spent on campus security is about 2.5-3 percent. How does this school use their funds? They can brag and brag and brag and brag about the level of personnel they have working for them, but if it’s only people because that’s all they can afford, it really doesn’t matter how outstanding they are. There is only so much so few people can handle. A financially strapped institution probably won’t be able to offer campus security escorts during sticky situations, for example.

4.) Where can I see the crime statistics for this school? One great way to know the effectiveness of campus security is checking to see how many crimes are actually reported. A safe campus doesn’t necessarily mean nothing is reported, it means that of the crimes that are reported, a healthy percentage of them are pursued and solved. Schools with little to no crime reports often mean that students aren’t reporting crimes because nothing ever happens to the perpetrators anyway.

5.) How often does the school conduct a comprehensive risk and threat analysis? The old, “If it ain’t broke don’t fix it” mantra doesn’t work here. Every few years a whole new slew of problems arise, and if the campus security hasn’t been doing its research they won’t be able to do anything about them before it’s too late. Think about it; Facebook stalking has only been around fairly recently. Your school better have a plan set in place for dealing with something like that.

And don’t forget; for dorm safety items (like pepper spraysafes and personal alarms), check out our store at www.secureoncampus.com, and for dorm decorations (like dorm lightingfun drinking games, and wall decals) check out our store at www.thegoodlifeoncampus.com!

A Stranger is in My Dorm, What Do I Do?

This is technically called a home invasion, but let’s be honest, no one ever calls it that in college. I can actually remember quite a few stories from friends of mine where they were awakened in the middle of the night to find a stranger in their dorm. And to tell you the truth, it really is an honest mistake most of the time. Think about it; you pull 4 all-nighters in a row, arrive at your dorm, walk up to the 3rd floor and find your dorm room is already open so no need to use the key. You walk in and fall asleep on your bed. Except in a few minutes someone wakes you up to tell you you’re in the wrong room. You’re not on the 3rd floor you’re on the 4th floor…see how easy that is?

And let’s not forget the countless times a group of friends drops their drunk buddy off at the main floor. Hey, as long as he’s in the building he’s not their problem anymore (or so they say). A drunk college kid trying to find the accurate dorm room in a sea of hundreds is going to yield some misses.

So I’m going to say something that may seem a bit strange: you need to almost expect a few interesting visitors throughout your semester, and the steps for scoping one out are a bit different than if you live off-campus.

1.) Don’t investigate. I’ll admit, in my home off campus if I heard something go bump in the night there’s no way I’d take it lightly, but in my dorm room I’ll investigate close to any random sound. I always figure it’s a roommate in the kitchen making a midnight snack or something. But if you have it on good authority that there’s a stranger in your dorm (your roommates are all gone for the weekend), don’t go wandering out to confront anyone.

2.) Get out. If you have a clear shot at the door, get the hell out. If you can alert your roomies then great, but you don’t have to go through your whole place right now. Step 3 is coming up.

3.) Call the front desk. Not campus security and not 9-1-1…not yet, anyway. The front desk guy only has to walk up a couple flights of stairs to get to your room, so the effect is immediate. Plus, if you do have someone that is in the wrong room by accident, the front desk clerk can take care of everything right away. If things are iffy, they will decide to call campus police. Of course if you call the front desk and no one answers, call campus police. If it’s a serious emergency, like you know the intruders have a gun, call 9-1-1.

4.) Use your wits. If you don’t have a personal alarm near you (which you really should in college), use your keychain. Most car alarms can reach a lot farther than you think, and pressing the panic button on your keychain will signal your car alarm. Besides just scaring the intruders away, someone is going to investigate who’s car it is and someone will be knocking on your door shortly to tell you to turn it the hell off.

And don’t forget; for dorm safety items (like pepper spraysafes and personal alarms), check out our store at www.secureoncampus.com, and for dorm decorations (like dorm lightingfun drinking games, and wall decals) check out our store at www.thegoodlifeoncampus.com!

Bullying: It’s Not Just for Grade School Anymore

Now you may be laughing to yourself right now, after all I am doing an entire post on bullying…in college. But it’s more of an issue than you might think. Actually, it might be right up your alley. Turns out bullying in college (or the workplace, or the home, or anywhere, as a matter of fact) is just as common as bullying in grade school or high school. Where there is something somebody wants, there is usually a bully lurking in the corner.

So what exactly does a bully look like in college? Well, the same as it looks anywhere else. Some are outgoing and aggressive, and may even use force to get what they want. Others are smooth-talking and manipulating (Sound familiar? Like your ex-roommate, perhaps?) and relish the simple joys of making you do things you don’t want to do. So how do you get the monkey off your back? Read on.

1.) Walk away. Yes, I know that it sounds simple, and at times it may seem that walking away would only instigate things and make them worse, but it’s quite the contrary. Bullies aren’t angry at you to begin with, they simply want a reaction. Take away their reaction and they’ll quickly lose interest.

2.) Tell someone. Just as the same is true for a child in 2nd grade, the same is true of a 21 year old college student and a 35 year old office employee. Bullies operate in secret. Bringing their behavior to the forefront makes it clear to them that they are not, in fact, invisible and what they are doing is not acceptable.

3.) Have a support system. It’s very common for someone not to be able to stand up to their bully, but it’s much easier to do when they’re with a large group of friends. First of all, your friends usually recognize when you’re uncomfortable with something and will often stick up for you if you can’t find the words. Second of all, a bully doesn’t want to take on a group of people, they’d rather deal with you one-on-one.

4.) Protect yourself. When worst comes to worst, you need to be able to protect yourself. That means having the campus security on speed dial as well as having an array of personal safety items on you at all times. These could range from pepper spray to a personal alarm to the iWitness iPhone app. All of these are great ways to make a bully stand down before anything gets out of control. And if you ever feel you might need to use one of these items, you sure as hell had better be reporting the issue to campus security ASAP.

And don’t forget to check out our store (www.secureoncampus.com) for even more personal safety items, like dorm safes, laptop locks and even personal emergency kits. You can never be too careful!

When You DO Need to Get Involved

There are times and situations when you just need to keep to yourself and not get involved. However, there are also other circumstances that make it necessary for you to stop whatever you’re doing and help out. These are some of these times:

1.) When someone is in danger. Now let me be very clear here, this does not mean that it’s appropriate to put yourself in danger, it just means that something needs to be done. If your friend is in a violent and dangerous relationship, for example, it’s not recommended that you march over to their house and give their significant other a taste of their own medicine (as much as we all would probably love to do that). Instead, you need to have a serious talk with your friend about what is happening behind closed doors. Naturally, this can be an incredibly difficult thing to talk about, so don’t pressure them for information. Simply let them know that you are there for them and then keep an eye out for suspicious behavior.

2.) Someone can’t take care of themselves. Let’s say you’re walking down the street and you see someone so drunk they’re stumbling in and out of traffic. Now of course it’s not your job to go get them, prop them up, take them home and nurse them back to health, but it is your job (as it is everyone’s job) to do something. Simply calling the cops and explaining the situation (you can even do it anonymously) is enough.

3.) When you’re unsure. This one can be debated, but I’d rather fall back on the “it’s better to be safe than sorry” mantra. For example, a few years ago there was an older woman who lived a few houses up from me. I knew her because my cat often went missing, and I always ended up knocking on her door asking if she’d seen him. One day, while out for a run, I noticed a man in his mid-40’s forcing himself into the house. I went and knocked on the door and no one answered, but I heard someone moving around inside. I called the cops and soon they were there talking to the man. Apparently she was out of town and this was her son, and she had forgotten to leave a key so he could get into her house. When she came back into town (and her son had left) she came over and thanked me for checking on her. Moral of the story: she was perfectly fine, but under different circumstances her life could’ve been in serious danger, and she truly appreciated that at least someone was looking out for her.

4.) When you’re the only one that knows anything. Many bad deeds happen in secret and behind closed doors and if no one knows what is going on things will continue the way they are. If you witness something that is wrong (a professor being inappropriate, a roommate blackmailing another roommate, etc.) speak up! Failing to do so does not keep you on the side of neutrality, it puts you on the side of the offender.

And once again, it’s better to be safe than sorry! Check out our store at www.secureoncampus.com for plenty of personal safety equipment like pepper spray, personal alarms, dorm room safes and more!

3 New Safety Concerns for College Students in Winter

Well folks, November has finally come around, which means the snow and cold won’t be far behind (if it hasn’t hit some spots already), and with plenty of snow and cold comes a whole new batch of safety concerns. So read on, take notes, and be safe this winter!

1.) Cold related sicknesses. Sure, it seems like no big deal (after all, what’s a little cold every now and then?), but we’re talking more about something like hypothermia. Every year, I hear about some college student getting drunk at a holiday party, trying to walk home (or just walk to across the street) and then never quite making it and freezing to death in the bushes outside their house. It’s colder than you think out there, and you need to be smart. Not that walking around town drunk was ever a good idea, but keep a little closer eye on your friends this year.

And if you do lose your friend, find their phone. I recently just installed a “lost phone” app (called Find iPhone) on mine and my boyfriend’s phone. If he can’t find his phone, I use the app on mine and it makes his phone beep while showing me exactly where it is on a GPS map. So see, it’s convenient if you can’t find your phone, or if you can’t find the person that is probably with the phone.

2.) Car dawdling. This time of the year is a jackpot for predators looking to jump an innocent victim on their way to their car. Not only do people generally take longer to get into their car (clearing the snow off of the door handle, scraping ice off the windshield), but it also takes people longer to leave. They sit in the car until it warms up a bit. They text while their windshield thaws. Don’t do that! Your best idea would be to install an electric starter that you can use from inside. Your vehicle remains locked, but it’s warming up without you inside it. That way you unlock it, put the key in the ignition and leave.

And if you can’t install an automatic starter (I know, my car is too old for this kind of luxury), please be smarter about how you prepare yourself. Have someone out there with you to help you clear off the snow or ice. Do their car at the same time while you’re out there. Start your car, go back inside and watch from a window inside, and carry some pepper spray or a personal alarm on your keychain just in case anything does happen.

3.) Less awareness. Walking somewhere in the winter time gives a whole new set of challenges. Very often you don’t have the best footing (walking on partially frozen sidewalks), you can’t hear much between the hat covering your ears and the wind whipping by, and you probably aren’t focused on your surroundings; you’re focused on staying warm. Personally, I’m guilty of this all the time; I put my hands in my pockets, look straight down and walk as fast as I can in the general direction of my destination.

This is stupid: very, very stupid. Predators know how to spot an easy target from a mile away, and someone with their hands in their pockets that isn’t even looking 10 feet in front of them is definitely an easy target. Plus, it’s cold out. A predator might wait all night for the perfect victim on a warm summer’s eve, but in 10 degree weather in the middle of winter? They’re going to take the first bait that comes along. So don’t be an easy target. Better yet, get a ride.  

And don’t forget to check out our store full of college safety equipment at www.secureoncampus.com!

Do you have any additional winter safety tips?

Does Your School Need an Update?

I’m sure you have all heard the phrase, “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” at one point or another. And while this phrase is certainly useful in certain occasions, there are situations when this way of thinking is downright dangerous. Your school’s role in the level of your safety, unfortunately, happens to be one of them.

Folks, let’s get completely honest for a second here: the world is changing and it’s changing fast. If your school isn’t continually updating their safety procedures, you are in danger. In fact, you’re probably in more danger than you even realize.

An example you say? Why certainly!

Just this month, a student was raped, in her dorm, by four unknown students that did not reside in that dorm. Just how did they get in? They were signed in, by a student that didn’t know them. Now even though this is a blatant violation on both the part of the student signing in people they didn’t know as well as the individual that let them go (they required only 3 out of the 4 students to sign in), there’s an even larger problem at stake. All it took was for a few people to convince someone to sign them in and the entire dorm was at their mercy. Now I don’t know about you, but I’m the kind of person that jumps at the chance to help someone out. Of course I tell myself I would never sign in someone I don’t know, but change the circumstances a little bit and I easily could’ve been in the same situation.

What if it was snowing outside and they just wanted to sit in the lobby? I’d sign them in so they could sit where it was nice and warm. Sure it meant they could go upstairs, but I’d trust them not to. Bad idea? Definitely.

The problem here lies mostly with the school. A policy that requires you to be signed in by someone you may or may not know means it just takes one little white lie to get you in the door. In this case, the school is revisiting their security policy as well as conducting regular floor meetings to reiterate the school’s safety policies.

So what do you think should happen? Should the student that signed the individuals in be punished? What if the student did know them and they ended up raping someone without the student’s knowledge, should they still be punished?

Do you have any ideas for a possible policy change that might prevent this sort of thing from occurring in the future? What kind of dorm security policy to you have at your school? Do you think it’s adequate or that it needs to be updated?

Let us know, we’d love to hear your opinions on this matter!

In the meantime, don’t forget to check out our store (www.secureoncampus.com) to pick up some personal safety equipment of your own like various personal alarms and pepper spray.