How to Stay Safe on College Campus
Whether you live on or off-campus, it’s really important to stay safe. Throughout my college career, my school has witnessed countless robberies, sexual assaults, stabbings, indecent acts, gunshots and even a homicide. This information is not meant to scare readers into staying at home and never going to class. On the contrary, this is to show everyone the harsh reality we live in. Also, it's to help students, especially the newcomers to prepare and stay cautious. Below are tips on how to stay safe on your college campus:
Utilize Your School’s Safety Tools
In the first week of school, familiarize yourself with your campus. Make sure you know where your classes are held, where the food court is and where the medical services are. And most importantly, know where and what are the safety services at your school. Some of those include night shuttles, safety phone apps, campus emergency phones or even services for personnel to accompany you at night.
Avoid Doing Certain Things at Night
Most colleges offer night classes. The campus is almost empty around the evening time. You have to take extra caution. A policeman once told me that the most targeted people are the ones who are walking around with a smartphone or listening to music at night. In addition, he said people who wear expensive clothes when it's dark out, put themselves at risk.
Go with a Trustworthy Person If You Plan to Drink
You can have fun and be safe at the same time. One advice is, make sure to take someone you trust if you plan on drinking. Their duties are to keep you safe from creeps and make sure you get home unharmed. You can also return the favor when they want to go out and drink.
Never Walk Alone At Night
Robbers don’t care if you’re a boy or a girl. There were more males robbed on my campus at night than female. Make sure you’re walking with someone at night.
Install an Alarm/Camera
This is for students living near campus. If you’re not expecting anyone - don’t open the door. Ask the landlord to install an alarm and/or a security camera.
Keep Emergency Numbers on Speed Dial
Obtain all emergency numbers from police, campus security to 911. This can get you or someone else out of harm's way.
Report Incidents Right Away
If something were to happen to you or someone else near you, report it immediately. This will not only increase the possibility of catching the criminal, but it could also prevent the crime from happening to someone else. If you’re afraid of reporting sexual assault, talk to your medical center or counseling services and they’ll be able to provide the necessary help you need.
Keep Your Belongings With You
Don’t let a stranger watch your stuff while you use the restroom. It’s better to take ALL your belongings with you at all times. Robberies are one of the most common offenses committed on college campuses.
Don’t Carry All Electronics at Once
This had happened to multiple people at my school. Somone robbed their tablet, phone, and laptop at the same time. You really don’t need to carry all your devices at once. At night, use an old, cheap phone that you don’t care about.
Don’t Carry (Lots Of Cash)
Use a debit-card, a credit card, and/or your own student card to make purchases. You shouldn't carry more than 20 dollars with you. Trust me, I lost my wallet and it had 100 dollars in cash - a lesson that I learned the hard way. 100 dollars for a college student is a lot of money. To conclude, if for any reason, you don’t feel safe on-campus, talk to the right department at your school so they can provide you with assistance. Remember, they are there to help you and there’s no shame in asking for help. If you have been a victim on a college campus, I am sorry that it happened to you. Please reach-out to counseling services at your school. There's help, you just need to reach for it. If for any reason, your school is not taking your problem seriously, talk to the authorities in your city - they'll be happy to help.