If you are a recent high school graduate – or the parent of one – congratulations on your achievements! And if you plan to attend college, this is the time of year that freshmen are attending orientation, getting matched with a roommate, receiving class schedules, buying books, and preparing packing lists for the dorm. As a future college student, you’re in good company: as of 2018, there were 19.9 million students attending American colleges and universities (NCES Fast Facts, “Back to School Statistics”). But it’s not just freshmen who are preparing to return to the college classroom, either. Sophomores, juniors, seniors, and even graduate students are gearing up for fall classes at their chosen college or university.
However, amidst the excitement of these preparations, it’s easy to overlook another very important aspect of college life safety. It is sad to say, but crime and assault are present on every campus. No matter if you’re attending a small college in a rural location or a huge university in a vibrant city. Crime happens everywhere. No one is immune.
So, as you pack your luggage (or help your child pack), keep in mind these important school college safety tips for students:
The first and foremost school college safety tips is to purchase a personal safety device. Silent Beacon will meet every college student’s needs. If you find yourself in an emergency situation, all you need to do is press the button on the device. This will trigger an alert that sends phone calls, texts, and emails to your emergency contact list. This list can hold up to seven contacts, including emergency personnel.
The device then pairs with the free Silent Beacon app, enabling emergency personnel to find you in real time via GPS technology. You can also activate the two-way communication feature on the device. This feature will allow you to talk to friends and family as you wait for help to arrive.
This small, lightweight device is easy to carry with you, wherever you go. You can use the keyring to clip it on your backpack, or you can drop it into your pocket or purse. Or, if you carry a lanyard for keys and/or ID, simply clip it on to keep it with you at all times.
Most colleges in America utilize the blue light system.The premise is simple: there are poles with blue lights strategically placed around the college campus. These tall lights are easy to spot, and there is a call box at each station.Should you feel unsafe or find yourself in an emergency situation? You can pick up the phone and instantly connect with campus security. They can identify which blue light you are calling from and immediately deploy assistance to your location.
In addition to the blue light system, most colleges today have Twitter and other social media accounts.Those accounts linked to the college itself, as well as its campus security department. Many times, colleges will share this information with you at an orientation session. So be sure to follow your college’s directions for signing up or following them on Twitter, Facebook, etc. In the event of a crime or other emergency, you’ll receive emergency alerts immediately. It will let you know what to do, which areas of campus to avoid. Or if you need to shelter in place.
Many campuses also provide safety apps and services to keep you safe. For example, several colleges have apps that offer free rides around campus at night. Some even extend this service to the surrounding area of the college. Knowing that many of its students visit the town or nearby apartments to spend time with friends and go out at night.Campus security on many campuses also offers walking services as you walk from one building to another at any time. You have to simply call the number and someone will meet you to accompany you on your walk.
Whenever you are walking around your college campus, it’s best to do so in groups – especially at night. It doesn’t matter if the campus is small, or if you know the lay of the land well. It’s simply common sense that if you travel with a group, the chances of someone targeting you as a victim is less. You will not be targeted for a robbery, kidnapping, or assault is much less likely. When you’re alone, you may unwittingly be setting yourself up to become a victim.
If you’re a new college student and don’t yet know many people, start with those in your residence hall. Most likely, you can find someone with a schedule similar to yours. So that neither one of you needs to walk to class or the dining hall solo.
Talk to other students who have lived on and off campus and know it well. These are the people who can tell you which paths to travel in the event that you’re alone – and which places to avoid. No matter how big or small the town is, there are sure to be some places that could be considered unsafe. For example, there may be an unlit pathway with woods on either side. Or there could be a classroom with an exit that is hidden from others’ view. In other words, be aware of places that would make it easy for someone to act on his or her malicious intentions.
On the other hand, a well-lit walkway that is well-traveled by cars and people at all hours of the day or night is a safe bet. You’re increasing the odds that someone with sinister intentions would not choose this location for their misdeeds. And although it’s especially important to keep these safety tips in mind when walking by yourself. It doesn’t hurt to keep it in mind even when traveling with others.
Don’t let fear of the unknown ruin your back-to-school excitement. Just remain aware of your surroundings, be prepared and carry the Silent Beacon personal safety device wherever you go. By following these school college safety tips, you’re sure to have a successful – and safe – start to the school year!