Know where your valuables are, take paths most-traveled
By Kelsey Nevius
Though we almost never hear of crimes on campus, Oct. 30 was a rare instance where a scary situation did happen. That night, around 9:45 p.m., sophomore Brandon Morin was approached by a man carrying a knife who demanded money. Since the mugging was on campus, happening between Brandon’s car and Morey Hall, it is crucial to be aware of what’s going on around you at all times, whether during the day or at night. It never hurts to make sure you know what you’re doing and how to stay safe when you’re out and about, and sometimes the most obvious safety reasons are the ones we overlook the most. To keep you and your friends safe on campus and off, be sure to keep these few tips in mind.
When walking to and from classes, stay alert and be sure to take notice of what’s going on around you. Also stay aware of who is around you, and don’t walk around at night with headphones in. Keep your eyes peeled for suspicious behavior and know when your instincts tell you that something is wrong. According to RAINN (Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network), you can increase your on-campus safety by staying alert, being careful about posting your location, knowing where campus health centers and police stations are, and having a plan ‘B’ when trouble occurs. While walking in a group is always best, sometimes walking alone at night is unavoidable. If this happens, know that there is the option of calling campus security to escort you or drive you to your destination.
While being aware of what’s going on around you, be sure to stick to paths that are traveled frequently and that are well-lit. For example, if you’re heading from the main campus to the Village, take the path up Frazer, because chances are people will be on it and it is the most well-lit. If you run into a situation where no
one is around and the lighting is poor, your phone is a great thing to use. Call someone or pretend to call someone saying that you’ll be there soon, which will dissuade people from targeting you. Your phone is also becoming a more useful tool because of new safety apps. One app called Guardian lets you set an estimated time that it will take you to get from point ‘A’ to point ‘B,’ and then sounds an alarm unless the timer is deactivated. Since our phones are our constant companions, it’s something to fall back on if you have nothing else.
Being on and off campus is not only about keeping yourself safe, but also about keeping your possessions safe as well. According to victimsofcrime.org, “In 2010, 92,695 crimes were reported to college and university campus police. Of these reported crimes, 97 percent were property crimes, and 3 percent were violent crimes.” It is just as important to make sure your things are as safe as you are, because the majority of campus crimes are property crimes. If you have a car on campus, always keep it locked. Check on it during the week to make sure it’s in the same condition as you left it in. When you head out to your car, keep your keys in your hand, and don’t take rides from acquaintances. If you see a car you don’t recognize approaching you, run in the opposite direction, because they will have to turn around to pursue you. Your room or house is just as important as your car, so keep it locked up at all times as well.
Who knows when a scary situation could confront you, and it’s best to know or at least have a general idea what to do during that situation. We all think that these things would never happen to us, when in reality, they sometimes do. It is always a good thing when we are all informed about these situations and it’s even better when we can use the information we learn to help others combat similar situations. Keep yourself and others safe by just being aware of your surroundings and recognizing when to call for help.