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Your safety is a serious matter. In many ways college campuses are very safe, but they have their own dangers. Learn how to stay safe, so you will live long and prosper.

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College campuses each have their own campus security service or police force, depending on the school's size and location. They usually provide a full range of public safety services including escort services; apprehension and arrest of suspects; enforcement of all federal, state and local laws as well as college policies and regulations; parking and traffic enforcement; and response to medical emergencies and traffic accidents.

Some schools also offer special emergency alert systems. One that is gaining popularity involves placing small towers (similar to short, fat telephone poles) around the campus. If someone is in trouble, they can push a button on the tower, and the people in the security office know where the emergency is and can communicate with the person through an interecom system in the tower.

Whether or not your school has this or another type of security device around your campus, you should find out how to contact security in an emergency and learn what kinds of other services they offer. Though they may seem annoying when they come around to loud parties, they can be your best friends when you need to get to your car late at night.

General Safety Tips

  • Avoid walking alone at night.
  • Stay in well-lit areas and walk mid-point between curbs and buildings and away from alleys and bushes, when possible.
  • Be aware of your surroundings and any signs that something appears to be wrong or out of place.
  • At night, work or study only in occupied and well-lit buildings. Call campus security or escort services on your campus for an escort when you leave.
  • Don't carry extra credit cards or large sums of money.
  • Lock your valuables securely, even in your room.
  • Don't risk personal injury if someone attempts to take your wallet, purse, or property. You money isn't worth the risk.
  • Carry a whistle or personal alarm and use it when you feel threatened. No one will be hurt if it turns out that there wasn't a real threat.
  • Keep an inventory of personal property and mark items with your driver's license number and the state.
  • Acquaintance rape happens. Learn the danger signs (your school's health center or counseling services can teach you how to spot these).
  • Don't attach your ID to your key chain or mark your keys with your name and address.
  • Don't open your door at night without identifying who it is first.
  • Always lock your door, even when you are at home.
  • Always lock your car.
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