Much of the following is from an article written by New York attorney Gary E Rosenberg is right on point…
College brings a sense of independence for most students. With so much anticipation and excitement, personal security for college students can be easily overlooked. In many urban cities like St. Louis, Mo, urban college crime such as student muggings, robberies, burglaries and sexual assaults are a sad reality of living in a large urban community. Students may believe they are protected because they are surrounded by their peers and feel relatively insulated in their own “community” — the college campus. Unfortunately, urban college crime is just as high, sometimes higher, on campus as it is off campus. With that said, safety awareness on urban college campuses has never been more important. Using common sense in most cases will prevent your daughter from being a victim of urban college crime.
For the first time, your children will be totally responsible for being aware of urban college crime and their own personal safety. Are they prepared in case an emergency occurs? Is your son or daughter safe from being victimized by urban college crime?
Here are several personal security for college students tips that will help keep your daughter safe while away at school. Practicing these personal security for college students tips will safeguard your daughter from being victimized by urban college crime. The following tips should bring peace of mind to many parents sending kids off to college…
1)Be aware of your surroundings. This is the single most important tip to ensure your personal safety. Know all of the routes around campus. Be confident. Walk with your head up, look around and notice everything. Look into a stranger’s face and take note of distinguishing features. Notice when a vehicle slows down suspiciously and pay attention to the license plate. Be aware of anyone loitering or hanging around campus, your dorm, vehicle, etc.
2)Lock all doors and windows. When leaving your dorm or apartment, make sure that all doors and windows are locked – including the main building entry and exits. Never prop doors open. Never compromise your safety for a roommate who asks you to leave the door unlocked.
3)Do not loan your keys to anyone. Re-key locks when a key is lost or stolen.
4)Plan ahead. Be safe when going out alone. Whether your plans are a social event or studying at the campus library, map out a safety plan in advance. Mention your plans to a friend and let someone know if your plans change. Avoid going out alone at night. Try to stay in a group. Let at least one person know where you are going and who you will be with. If you do go out alone, avoid potentially unsafe shortcuts. Travel on well-lit and well-traveled streets. Carry emergency cab fare.
5)Learn what help campus security can offer to increase your safety. If their services are only available in certain areas or if they do not patrol some portions of the campus at regular intervals, then this is valuable information to you.
6)Equip your cell phone. Program important phone numbers (campus security, police, etc.) in your cell for emergencies. Put the word “ICE” in your cell phone with a parent or guardian number programmed. The authorities know to look for this code in case an emergency occurs and they need to get in touch with a relative. Make sure your cell phone is fully charged before going out.
7)Always trust your instincts. If something seems “off,” it probably is. Trust your intuition. Call the police or campus security if something doesn’t seem “right.”
8)Always enlist the company of at least one other person when jogging or exercising outside. Do not wear headphones as they can seriously impair your ability to predict and avoid a confrontation. Do not leave your identification, wallets, checkbooks, jewelry, cameras, and other valuables in open view. Do not go to the ATM at night.
9)Watch your drink. Do not accept drinks (alcoholic or otherwise) from others. Remember that alcohol is the #1 date rape drug. When dating, meet at a populated location. Choose a restaurant or other public location. Never meet in a dorm room or apartment. Check around your vehicle as you approach it. If there is a van parked on one side of your car, get in on the other side. Check under your vehicle and others around you.
10)Practice Internet safety. Use caution when posting personal information on social networking sites such as Facebook. Avoid “friending” people you don’t know.
11)Don’t allow your photo or personal information published for the campus community. It is not uncommon for upperclassmen and fraternities to use this information to “target” naive freshmen on campus.
12)Colleges are generally safe places for our children. Because of this, students tend to let their guard down. Being armed with basic safety awareness can significantly reduce their vulnerability. Bottom line – help prepare your college-bound children to be responsible for their own safety while away at college. They will go confidently and ready for one of the most exciting ventures of their lives.
12)Remember – book smart is something you can learn anytime; street smart is something you have to know and practice every day of your life.
Crime Is Real, Don’t Be a Victim!