Campus Safety Tips: Things You Should Know
Your college or university campus might feel like a second home, but it is important to remember to keep safe, both during the day and at night. With a bit of consideration, you can ensure your student experience remains a positive and safe one.
Know Your Campus Safety Resources
Every college and university wants their students to feel safe and secure while on campus, and usually offer a comprehensive list of safety services and resources available to students. One of your first tasks should be to look up these resources in the student handbook or online, and familiarize yourself with what programs your institution offers, so that you know where to go and who to contact in case of any emergency. Depending on the school, services can include campus police services, safe escort teams to walk with you between campus destinations, first aid and first responder services, and emergency phones or kiosk stations installed across campus. All schools also offer prevention and counselling services for sexual harassment and other forms of harassment. Get to know where these services are located on campus, what their phone and other contact details are, and their hours of operation if applicable, so that you know your options if you ever feel uncomfortable or unsafe on campus. These services, and the volunteers who run them, are there to help you, and their goal is your safety and the safety of the campus overall.
Plan Ahead and Be Prepared
Other ways to help ensure your safety on campus can include planning ahead when you know you will be on campus for class or studying, especially late at night when there are fewer people out and about. When you make your plans, know exactly where you are going, and how you will get there. Learn the location of your parking or public transit stops, and the best path to reach your destination, ideally through a brightly lit, busy street or building. Avoid any shortcuts, shadowed pathways, and unpopulated areas, and be aware of your surroundings. If possible, plan to walk with a friend, or arrange for your campus walking escort service to accompany you. It is also a good idea to carry a cell phone with the campus emergency services’ phone numbers saved in your contacts, and enough cash for a cab ride in case of emergency. Lastly, notify friends or roommates of your plans, including destination and what time you plan to return, and ensure you lock all the doors and windows of your residence room, house or car when you leave.
Trust Your Instincts
If you do ever feel unsafe on campus, trust your instincts and take preventative measures. For example, should you be harassed by someone, or feel that you are being followed, act immediately to get to a well lit and busy place, and call your campus security or police service, or 911. Nothing is more important than your safety, and these services are always available and ready to help.
Campus safety doesn’t just mean safety outdoors. If you or you know someone who is being bullied or otherwise, on a daily basis, let your campus authorities know. The same goes for the online world; many students in university or college can be victims of digital harassment online while at school. Be aware or your surroundings, how much you reveal about yourself and to who.
Western University – Campus Life: Safety and Police
University of Toronto – Safety