Throughout the country, parents have recently dropped off their kids to college for another new, exciting fall semester. And a lot goes through a parent’s mind when having to watch their child take another step towards adulthood. None of the constant worrying will effectively prepare a student for campus life. And while universities do all in their power to protect their students and enhance student life (many universities provide safety awareness programs that predominately focus on assaults only), there are a number of things students can do themselves to ensure their safety. Whether it’s in the dorm room or throughout campus, these are the best ways to stay safe.
For those living on campus, the dorms present the first step in personal independence. It’s not an apartment by any means, since there is a resident advisor on every floor, but incidents still occur– especially theft. Students should do the following:
1. Remember to keep dorm rooms locked when the room is unoccupied and at night. This will help deter possible theft. Personal property must be protected. You’d be surprised by the degree of theft in the dorms.
One of the most recent statistic reports about college crime comes from a 2011 report by the FBI. That year, colleges and universities experienced over 2 million burglaries– which accounted to 25 percent of all property crime in the U.S.
During this time period, the top 5 schools that had the most crime included:
- University of California, Los Angeles
- Ohio State University
- Benedict College
- Arizona State University
- Florida State University
2. Follow the dorm guest policy. Many dorms require an electronic passkey to enter. Oftentimes, people will wait by the dorm building waiting to be let inside. But reality is this: if you don’t know the person, you don’t know what their business is there. They should never be let inside. Instead, the student should ask that person is looking for and then alert the person that is being sought out.
3. Keep your student ID safe. A student ID normally holds student cash credit and meals. If a card is lost, the appropriate campus personnel needs to be contacted. Not contacting someone about a lost card puts the card in jeopardy of being used.
4. Never walk alone at night. Campuses are equipped with emergency alert stations, which let’s students either place an emergency call or press an emergency alert button (which then notifies campus police). These are great safety tools; however, it’s essential to prevent instances that place a person in that type of jeopardy. Start by never walking throughout campus alone at night. And if that’s unavoidable, the student should be aware of his or her surroundings (not on the phone and distracted).
If you have a student in college, or you attend a university yourself, please share this information. It could make a world a difference and keep a number of people better protected. For more security tips, check out the rest of our ADT monitoring blog for a range of topics.