On and Off-Campus Safety Tips
Being on your own at college is exciting. But, with more freedom comes more responsibility, and part of that responsibility is staying safe. Even on the most secure college campus, some form of crime does occur. While many colleges and off-campus student apartments make safety for their students a priority, there are several ways students can keep their belongings, and themselves, more protected.
Know Where Your School’s Safety Office Is Located
Every college will have a security office on campus. Make sure you know where it is on the property, and have their phone number handy. Many schools, including Clemson, will have additional resources on their website, have safety initiatives, or may even host classes.
Keep an Eye out at Night
Crime is more likely to happen at night, so avoid taking risks like walking home alone. Walk with a friend or call campus security for an escort. If you can’t avoid being alone, use an app like SafeTrek, which was designed to alert to local police if you do not make it to your location unharmed. Other than using an app like SafeTrek, stay off your phone. Texting or Snapchatting may distract you and not give you time to act fast enough if someone is intending to cause harm to you.
Lock It Up
It may seem obvious to use your door locks, but with friends coming in and out of your apartment it is easy to forget. Don’t leave, be alone, or fall asleep in your home without locking your door. Make sure windows are closed and don’t leave out valuables. This goes for your car too.
Find an Apartment or Dorm with Extra Safety Features
When picking a place to live, you will want to feel safe in your new home and the surrounding neighborhood. All of the University Cottages locations are equipped with Bluetooth locks that record history and well-lit common areas, entrances, and walkways. Every resident receives a background check, and there is direct access to the CAT Bus. Safety features like these will give you a little more peace of mind
Be Prepared for Emergencies
We never know when we might be placed in a dangerous situation, but just simply having a few things on hand could make the difference between getting home safely or falling victim to a crime. For example, carry emergency cash in case you lose your credit card. Have emergency numbers programmed into your phone, and make sure your phone is charged when you go out.
Yes, you are in college and chances are you are going to have a social life. That doesn’t mean you have to make bad decisions. Always take a friend with you if you are going to an unfamiliar part of town or over to someone’s home that you don’t know very well. If your friend leaves the party, you should probably go with them. And, avoid drinking too much and losing control of your actions, and never accept drinks from people you don’t know.
While not all crime can be avoided, there are easy ways to help protect yourself from becoming a target. While you shouldn’t be looking around every corner, fearful someone is going to jump out of the shadows, you should be prepared and make smart decisions.