While we hope for better safety measures on our school campuses, there is no way to avoid any danger. In the meantime, here are some useful things to know & make a habit of to improve your safety!
Know Your Campus & Surrounding Area
Especially when walking around at night with lower visibility, knowing your path makes the journey much quicker and safer. You won’t have to spend extra time finding your destination or figuring out your location. Also, you can avoid dimly lit or concealed spaces that could become hiding spots.
Be Aware of Your Circumstances
Try your best to stay alert, keeping an eye out for strange people or behavior nearby. If you are very tired or under the influence, it may be better to call a ride or have a friend assist you since your judgement & reaction time may be impaired.
Research Your Institution’s Services
Many large institutions have safety services for students, both on and off campus. For example, there are walking “buddy” services to avoid being alone. Many campuses also have blue light systems, which you can easily locate to call security/police to notify them of any suspicious behavior nearby.
Use Your Phone Wisely
Rather than becoming a distraction, you can take advantage of some helpful features on your phone. Share your location with friends & family to make sure someone can keep an eye on you, even from a distance. Let people know that you will be walking and make sure they know approximately how long it should take to arrive. This way, in case of an emergency, your loved ones can act quickly to get you to safety
Use the Buddy System
Whenever possible, try to walk in larger groups, or at least have one other person with you. You are much less likely to be approached or caught in a dangerous situation if there are multiple people!
Carry a Safety Device
Despite all the precautionary measures, it’s a good idea to always have a backup plan. A device like the defendme® will sound an alarm when activated to scare away potential threats and alert others that you are in danger. Even if you are not in grave danger, the large range of the alarm can help capture people’s attention. You can debate the effectiveness of screaming “HELP”, but the 120-decibel siren is sure grab the attention of bystanders!
Now you can use these tips to stay safe around campus, and remember to always be prepared!