College Campus Safety
Let’s Talk About Campus Safety
With students heading back to campus, college life is in full swing! That is why this month, we’ve been focusing on campus safety. Check out our Instagram page to see posts and videos with tips and resources that can keep you safe. There are so many things to consider when going back to school. University life can feel like a bubble where nothing bad can happen because peers surround you. However, according to the National Center for Education Statistics, 28,900 criminal incidents against persons and property on ccollege campuses were reported to police and security agencies in 2017, representing a 2 percent increase from 2016. Here are some tips to help you stay informed and stay safe on campus.
Stay Informed About Campus Safety
Ignorance is not always bliss. Head to campus knowing the safety risks. By staying informed, you can remain vigilant to common crimes on campus. The Clery Act, passed in 1990, states that college campuses must transparently report crimes and criminal activity annually and take steps to ensure campus safety. Due to the Clery Act, any US postsecondary institutions receiving federal funds through Title IV funding must publish an annual security report. Failure to report these crimes results in fines and loss of funding. You can visit the US Department of Education here to see the data for your school or compare the safety data for multiple schools.
Do you know where your campus security is located? Do you know what kind of services they offer? Many campuses provide safety rides where students can call campus security for a ride. We all know walking alone at night is a bad idea, so the option to call campus security for a safe ride is such a benefit. Save the campus security phone number in your phone, or add the number to your Safety Scope App.
Think Before You Post
While you want to keep your friends and family in the loop about your whereabouts, posting to social media is not the way to do that. Even if your social media is private, constantly meeting new people on campus and adding them to your following can result in strangers having more information than they need. Be sure to turn off your location when sharing. Consider posting after an event instead of when it’s happening.
It’s OK to party! As long as you’re smart about it. According to Safe Supportive Learning, the first six weeks of campus life is when the highest amount of high-risk alcohol consumption, drug use, hazing, and behaviors contrary to successful assimilation into college life, occurs. The National Institute of Justice also reports that the first few months of the school year are the highest risk for sexual assault. Keep your drink in sight, never accept drinks from strangers, and be cautious of your alcohol consumption. If you feel unsure or unsafe at a party, trust your gut and leave.
Charge Your Phone
This is an excellent tip from Safety.com; don’t leave home until your phone is fully charged. Your phone can become a lifeline if you’re in danger. Make sure to download Safety Scope to your phone and update your five trusted contacts. Load emergency numbers into your contacts like campus police. You can share your location to let your trusted friends and family know where you are throughout the evening.
Final Thoughts and Resources for Campus Safety
Staying in the know and having awareness about your college campus is vital to staying safe. For more safety tips, check out our other blog posts. This post about Walking Alone Safely can be helpful for campus safety and campus life. Also, this post about the prevention of Break-ins and Burglaries applies to on-campus living. From all of us at Safety Scope, stay safe and have a great school year!