Safety on Campus is a reoccurring topic. In the days of school shootings, sexual assaults, and viral fighting videos school safety has never been more of a concern. When things go wrong and incidents occur, fingers are pointed and everyone wants to know who is responsible. The truth is campus safety begins with each student. Each student should be aware of their own safety and well as the safety of others. One of the first things you should take note of is safety practices on campus. Campuses across the country have emergency alert systems. The system allows you to be contacted via text message and email in the event of an emergency. You should also add campus security/police as a contact in your phone. Having this information readily available allows quick access in the time of emergency. Another helpful resource campus’ are implementing is the anonymous texting system. The system allows you to anonymously send message to campus safety officials about possible incidents. This allows you to report issues, possible threats, or bring things to their attention to further investigate.
As you are navigating around campus, you should always travel with caution. While on campus you become comfortable and assume everyone is your friend. Campuses are targeted every day, lurkers standing by observing, someone trying to find their next target. That is why it is extremely important to pay close attention to your surroundings, only share personal information with those you trust, and report suspicious activity. After hours, when travelling on campus, be sure to travel in groups and never walk alone. Campuses offer escort services; providing an officer to assist you in getting from one place to another.
While out you should be very careful when mingling and partying with others. You should never accept a drink from someone that you do not know. You should also not leave your drink unattended. Any time away from your drink or accepting a drink from someone you do not know could place you in danger. The same rule applies to taking any other food, candy, or medicine from someone you do not know. You may not be aware but drugs come in all shapes, sizes and flavors. Drugs can be placed in food, look like candy, or appear to be medicine. Consuming such items can cause you harm and ultimately death. Additionally, if physical safety becomes a concern be sure to find the closest exit to safety. Grabbing your phone to take video should not be your first concern. You should grab your phone to contact campus safety or to report the incident. Your actions could help determine how the situation ends. Be sure to create a buddy system and always know where your buddy is located and what they are doing at all times. When it is time to leave be sure you leave together and that you both arrive home safely. Leaving a friend could result in tragedy; arriving together, staying together, and departing together should be your primary goals throughout the evening.
Campuses are relatively safe places to be. However, there are people the target college students for their lack of caution, maturity, and street knowledge. Be sure you are aware of your surroundings and know which resources are available to you. Having the knowledge before a situation occurs will help you when a situation actually unfolds. Throughout your college experience you want to be open, have fun, and have new experiences, but you also want to be safe and you are ultimately responsible for your safety.