College can be a great time of personal growth and independence. Often, students are making all of their own decisions for the first time, meeting many new people, and enjoying many new experiences. While you want to enjoy the college experience, it is important to be vigilant to protect your personal safety throughout your college years. Below are some tips to help you stay safe.
In your residence hall or apartment
- Lock your door when you leave your room, even if you are just going down the hall.
- Always ask who is on the other side of the door before opening it.
- Never leave your door propped open.
- Do not share your key with anyone else.
- Do not leave notes outside your door indicating no one is home.
- Keep your valuables out-of-sight and locked up when possible.
- Do not leave the main building door open and do not let anyone in who is not your guest. Be aware of people following you in through the locked door.
- Never walk alone.
- Walk in well-lit and heavily-traveled areas.
- If you must walk alone, do not listen to your iPod or other device. It is important that you be aware of your surroundings.
- Be aware of where the emergency call boxes are located on campus.
- Call campus police for an escort 24 hours a day/7 days a week to take you anywhere on campus. 274-SAFE can also be called if you have a flat tire, run out of gas, or have a dead battery while on campus.
- If you feel like someone is following you, cross the street, change direction, or go into an occupied building.
- Walk with your head up and with purpose.
- Always have your keys in-hand and ready when approaching your car or home.
- Always lock your car doors.
- Peek in the backseat and under your car before opening the door to get in.
- While it sounds obvious, look both ways before crossing the street and cross only at crosswalks or stoplights. Drivers going through campus rarely stop at crosswalks, so make sure they have stopped or there is no one coming before you cross. Also, watch for traffic going both ways on the one-way streets—drivers frequently travel the wrong way down Michigan, New York, and Blackford Streets.
- Share your class/activities/work schedule with your parents, your roommate, or a friend. It is wise to let someone know where you should be.
- Always carry with you identification, emergency contact number, medical insurance card, a list of the medications you are taking, and a list of any allergies you have. These can easily be stored in your wallet. It is a good idea to carry these in case you ever have a medical emergency on campus or elsewhere.
- Never leave items unattended on campus or in a public place. Besides purses and electronics, textbooks have a way of disappearing because of their resale/return value. Never leave a receipt in your books and avoid paying with cash so that someone else cannot try to return your book.