College and university campuses, like any busy neighborhood, are not exempt from crime. But students, faculty, and staff can make this special community a safe place to live, learn, and work by taking common sense precautions, being alert, and looking out for others.
Home and Residence Hall Safety
- Don't leave valuables, like your wallet, checkbook, or jewelry, in open view. Mark easily stolen items like TVs and stereos, and keep a list of serial numbers, model numbers, and descriptions.
- Don't keep large sums of money in your office or dorm room.
- Report any broken windows or lights to maintenance and security staff.
- In over half the reported rapes, women know their attackers. Be wary of bringing casual acquaintances to your room.
- If you see unusual activity or an actual crime like burglary, vandalism, or assault, report it to the campus or local police. Their major responsibility is to protect you!
- Take care of your keys. Don't give anyone the chance to duplicate them.
- Ask campus police about special security procedures during holidays and vacations.
- List only first initials and last name in telephone directories.
- Be suspicious of surveys or wrong number calls, and do not divulge your name and address.
- Never reveal that you are at home alone.
- Hang up immediately on obscene phone calls.
Street Smarts on Campus
- Walk purposefully and look confident. Watch where you are going, and be alert to your surroundings.
- Use well lighted, well-traveled routes and try to walk with friends.
- Avoid shortcuts through isolated or wooded areas.
- Never hitchhike.
- Accept rides only from persons you trust. If harassed from a car, walk swiftly or run in the opposite direction to safety. If you're really frightened, scream for help.
- Avoid isolated areas like library stacks late at night and laboratories after class hours. If you must be in these places, work with a friend, let someone know where you are, and be extra alert.
- Go out with a friend - not alone - especially if you're headed for a late night snack or study break.
Safety While Driving
- Lock all doors and close all windows when leaving your car, whether it's for a few minutes or several hours.
- Park in well-lighted areas and try not to walk alone in parking areas at night.
- Have keys ready when you approach your car. Check car for intruders before entering and lock door immediately after getting in your car.
- Always keep your gas tank at least half full.
- Store valuables out of sight and lock them in the trunk when the car is parked.
- Never attach a name to your key ring and keep car keys separate from other keys.
- If your car breaks down in an isolated area, raise the hood. Stay in the locked car. If someone stops to help, ask them to call the police. Sound the horn if threatened.
- Never pick up hitchhikers.
Bikes and Cycles
- Park in well-lighted and well-traveled areas. Use a cover if you have one.
- Always lock your bike or motorcycle when leaving it unattended, even if it's only for a few minutes.
If Someone Tries to Assault You
- Stay as calm as possible. Think rationally and evaluate your resources and options - escape, self- defense, negotiating, screaming to attract attention, and being disgusting or crazy - are possible options that may or may not be effective for you. If one strategy does not work, try another.
- It may be more advisable to submit than to resist and risk injury or death. You will have to make this decision based on the circumstances. But don't resist if the attacker has a weapon.
- Try to get an accurate description of the assailant's appearance, what was said, and a license number to assist the police.
- If you are robbed, threatened, or raped, call campus or local police immediately. You may save someone else from becoming a victim.
- Call a victim assistance service or rape crisis hotline to help you deal with the trauma that any assault causes.
Take Action Today
- Ask campus police to start a course in victim survival to teach men and women strategies for reacting to an assault.
- Role play potentially dangerous situations with your friend and discuss responses. What would you do if you found a stranger in your room or were threatened - verbally or physically - at a bus stop?
- Whether you live in a residence hall or off-campus, get to know your neighbors and watch out for each others safety.
- If someone you know has been victimized, talk about it with them. Give support. Help with things like getting to court and contacting victim services and counselors at (972) 721-6550.
- Look for situations on your campus that might unconsciously encourage crime, like poor lighting in parking lots, inadequate locks in residence halls, and too few emergency phones. Lobby for change.