General Safety Tips
– Always be aware of your surroundings. This includes realizing that you live in a “360 degree environment.” You should be constantly looking around. Be especially aware of your surroundings at times when you may be more vulnerable to an attack, such as when walking alone, when you have your headphones on, or if you’ve been drinking.
– Use discretion when taking “shortcuts” through isolated parts of the campus. “Shorter” doesn’t mean “safer!”
– Know the location of campus emergency (blue light) phones on routes to and from various campus destinations.
– Keep your personal belongings in view while studying on campus. Never leave your personal belongings unsecured and unattended, not even for “just a few minutes.”
– Use the campus transportation services.
When “Going Out” or Walking Alone
– Walk “with a purpose.” Walk assertively, with a confident posture, and directly to your destination.
– Wear practical footwear. Flip flops, boots, high heels, tight skirts, and baggy pants are hard to run or defend yourself in, while scarves, long necklaces, and chains are easy to grab.
– If possible, modify your fashion style or wear practical, unrestricted clothing that allows for mobility when walking alone. You can always change into dress-up clothes later.
– Make eye contact with people that are approaching or passing you. We all have an instinct to “look away” from other people, but looking at the face of potential attackers is a better option as it may scare them off for fear you will be able to identify them.
– If you see people loitering, avoid walking across their path.
– Take off your headphones and put away your cell phone. By keeping your ears open and your hands free you will be more alert to what is going on around you, rather than with just what’s in front of you. This also prevents you from displaying your personal property. This will not only make you safer, but makes you a more aware bystander if someone else needs help.