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?

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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!

Stupid Dorm Rules You Really Do Need to Follow

I know, I’ve been there; it’s 8:00 at night and your RA comes knocking on the door because whatever video game battle you’ve got going on with your roommate has gotten a bit heated and God forbid anyone on your floor has ever heard the word “crap” shouted at an above average level. Yes, this is a stupid rule, and I have no qualms with you arguing with your RA about it. Just keep in mind that they probably don’t have a problem with it, they’ve just got some jackass knocking on their door every 20 minutes to complain about it so now they have to do something.

However, there are some rules that no matter how stupid, silly or completely ridiculous they are you really, really do need to follow, for your own safety and the safety of everyone else in your dorm.

1.) No candles. Ugh, I know! How tough is it to blow out a candle, right? Well actually…think about the collective unit of possibly high, drunk or hungover and definitely sleep-deprived college students that make up the dorms. Someone’s bound to miss a candle once in a while, and then combine that with the fact that many students completely ignore fire-drills (maybe if they didn’t run them constantly and always at 2:00 in the morning more people would participate in them), and you’ve got yourself a dangerous situation. Plus, there are now a million other things you could bring that don’t have an open flame (here’s one example), so stop complaining and just follow the no candle rule.

2.) No propping doors open. Personally, this was one of my biggest vices. The act of swiping my student ID badge to get into my dorm every single freakin’ time I left the building was beyond annoying, especially when those ID badges start to wear out halfway through the semester and begin failing to let you in. But you can’t prop the door open, folks. All those creepy people your parents warned you about? Screw the dimly lit campus paths at 3:00 in the morning, if they can get into a dorm of sleeping students they’ll have the time of their life. Not to mention all the potential for stuff getting stolen.

3.) No heavy duty speakers or amps. First of all, why the hell do you need something that can be heard from three miles away? The fact is you don’t, because as soon as it’s loud enough for that guy across the hall to hear (which is not difficult with the seemingly paper thin walls of dormitories) it’s too loud. Everyone wants to escape to some good tunes every now and then but c’mon, wear some headphones. Don’t be a jackass.

And second of all, equipment like that uses up some serious electricity, and these rooms aren’t meant to withstand that kind of demand. You could end up short circuiting something, which if it doesn’t cause a fire or a blackout, it will at least waste up some of the school’s budget having to fix everything. Think you won’t see a bump in your tuition prices next year? You’re wrong. Invest in a pair of good quality headphones instead.

Don’t forget to check out our stores for more dorm safety essentials (www.secureoncampus.com) and dorm room decorations (www.thegoodlifeoncampus.com)!

College Crime You Need to Look Out For

Regardless of how much you see in the news, college campuses are decently safe places. That doesn’t mean crime doesn’t happen though, and in order to be prepared you need to know what you’re up against.

What’s more, you need to know the more popular offenses that are on the rise. So we’ve made it easy for you!

1.) Property Damage. Most recent data suggests that over 80% of campus crimes involve property of some kind (that includes theft). And as expensive as typical college costs are (tuition, books, dorm room, food, etc.) having to replace a laptop (which also has 36 completed pages of your senior thesis) can really hurt. That’s why it’s important to protect your property. A laptop safe, for example, will ensure that your laptop stays exactly where you left it. Various locks and dorm safes are also great ways to make sure your valuables don’t end up damaged or stolen.

2.) Identity Theft. While theft tends to be most common campus crime, identity theft has been on the rise. And it’s no surprise; after all, colleges typically require quite a bit of personal information for a number of things. Requesting transcripts, signing up for internships, changing your class schedule and signing up for a dorm room often require multiple forms of identification. So while it’s perfectly understandable to have things like your driver’s license, birth certificate and social security card in your dorm room, it would be stupid to leave all those things out in the open! A dorm safe is a perfect tool for storing these items. In addition, various computer securities will keep crooks from looking up all of your information on your computer, like login information and passwords.

3.) Violent crimes. Even though severe violent crimes make up an exceptionally low percentage of overall university crime (usually around 2% of the total crime), the occurrences are on the upswing, which means you should prepare yourself for the worst. A small bottle of pepper spray, for example, is always a great tool to carry. Plus, with advances in technology other forms of protection are coming out on the market. The most recent is the iWitness smartphone service that allows you to take a video of anyone making you nervous. Essentially, it gives you what criminals fear most: a witness.

Another way to protect yourself from violent crimes is to be aware of the situation and know the warning signs. If you’re at a party and someone is drunk and gradually getting more and more escalated, leave the party! If your date is getting pushy about wanting to come inside with you, slam the door in their face! You know what something feels “off”, and trusting that instinct is always your best bet!

Introducing the iWitness Self Protection Smartphone Service!

What’s the problem with carrying a weapon, anyone? Let’s go through the pros and cons:

Pros:

– You can use it to protect yourself

Cons:

– You often need a permit to carry one

– If it’s taken from you in a struggle the attacker can use it against you

– It isn’t safe for small children to carry

– You can’t carry it in certain public places, such as on an airplane or in a classroom

– If you panic while in control of it, someone may be hurt unintentionally (such as a bystander)

– You may be seen as a threat (someone shoots you because they notice you’re carrying a knife)

Plus, believe it or not, a weapon is nowhere near the greatest deterrent of crime. Just because you have a gun doesn’t mean you won’t be attacked.

In fact, according to a 2010 study by Valerie Wright, Ph.D. titled Deterrence in Criminal Justice; Evaluating Certainty vs Severity of Punishment, it’s not the severity of punishment that criminals fear, it’s the certainty of punishment. Meaning it doesn’t matter what the punishment is if you get away with it.

So what’s the #1 deterrent? Witnesses. It’s the reason no one is nervous about going to the park in broad daylight and why it’s always recommended to meet a first date in a public place. Not only are people there to see an incident should one take place, but there are cameras as well. But you’re not always able to be in a public place, surrounded by people, in broad daylight. Sometimes you need to get to the library at 10:00 at night to pull an all-nighter. Sometimes you get home late and have to walk the distance from your car to your dorm alone, in the dark. What do you do then?

That’s where the iWitness smartphone service comes in. Plus, it literally solves all of the issues listed above for a method of self-defense. It’s safe to carry in public places, it’s safe for children to use, a criminal can’t turn it against you, no one else will get hurt accidently while you use it and you don’t need a permit to carry your cellphone. So what is it, exactly?

Basically, it’s a smartphone app that sends video and audio recordings of the event to a secured server (meaning if they break your phone the evidence is still safe), while automatically dialing 9-1-1, tracking your location and emitting flashing lights and an audio alarm.

With just a push of a button, you’ve got criminals’ worst fear staring them in the face; the fear that they’ll get caught. Even if they have a weapon, using it will be their downfall, whereas if they have a gun and you have a gun, all they have to do is know how to use theirs better. Arm the app at the first sign of danger and you’ll never be alone again.

And what does this service cost? Only $2.50 a month (or $29.99 a year), which is hardly anything compared to the peace of mind it provides.

http://www.secureoncampus.com

Here’s a video to help explain things:

Would any of you get some use out of this service?

What to Do If Someone Starts Following You

Every once in a while you’ve got to walk somewhere alone through generally considered “unsafe” territory. Maybe it’s on your way home late from a library cram session and the shuttles have stopped running, you can’t get ahold of your roommate and you have no vehicle of your own. Yup, you’re probably going to make the sketchy walk from the library to your dorm. We get it; we’ve been there.

So what happens if you’re being followed? Well hopefully you have the new iWitness phone app, for one, but if you don’t here are some basic tips to keeping yourself safe with a stranger on your trail:

1.) Stay calm. Panicking is only going to cloud your thoughts. Besides, how do you know they just don’t happen to be walking to a similar area as you are? Slow your breathing and try to clear your head.

2.) Find other people. Do you see any businesses nearby with people in them (a bar, a coffee shop, or even a warehouse with night shift workers)? Do you know of a friend that lives nearby or a party that might be going on just a block down the street? If so, you might want to take a quick detour, at least for a few minutes.

3.) Don’t stop. If you think you’re being followed, the worst thing you can do is stop and let them catch up. Keep walking at a brisk pace until you get more details about the situation.

4.) Have your cell phone ready. Arm your iWitness app, call a cab or anyone that can come help you. Just be sure you keep moving.

5.) Run. Just have an idea of where you are running to. Running straight into a dark, dead end alley isn’t going to help your cause at all. On the other hand, if you see a spot a block away with people, run there, don’t walk. Your follower may see the people too and understand the time they have to make a move are limited.

6.) Yell. No criminal prefers to attack a screaming victim; it draws more attention to the scene. And don’t let the fear of embarrassment stop you; would you rather be an idiot or a dead idiot?

7.) Get as many details as possible. Don’t stop to turn around and see your follower, but if it’s possible to get some details make a mental note of it. Is it a male or female? How tall do they seem to be? Are they following you on foot or in a car? If it’s in a car, can you get a license plate number?

8.) Look for a weapon. This is listed last for a reason; weapons are only useful if you know how to use them and if they won’t be taken away from you and used against you. A metal pipe might only be handy for a second, so you’d better be ready to get your blows in. Just make sure you’re not stopping to look around for something. Just grab it and go.

For safety devices, like pepper spray, alarms, or the iWitness Smartphone Service, don’t forget to check out www.secureoncampus.com