Six Simple Steps to Campus Safety
Being safe on campus can be a matter of common sense and knowing your surroundings. Beyond that, safety concerns vary based on the location and situations of your particular school and schedule. If you’re looking for some convenient ways to secure yourself and your friends in any situation, try the following.
bSafe is a free app available for Android, iPhone and Blackberry. It allows you to set up one primary and unlimited secondary contacts, whom it will contact and notify of your location at the press of a button (which will also start audio and video recording, and can be set up to trigger a siren). bSafe also has features that let you ask a friend to watch your GPS location as you walk home, check in with GPS, receive a fake call on a timer, or notify your contacts if you don’t check in by a certain time.
2. Learn Self-Defense
Most campus fitness centers offer free self-defense classes, which are great ways to get a workout in while training yourself in a valuable skill.
3. Campus Escort Services
Campus security (and regular police off-campus) will walk with you or give you a ride home if you find yourself in an unsafe situation. Calling and asking someone you don’t know to accompany you can seem uncomfortable at first, but it’s good to have recourse to help should something happen.
Guardly is another smartphone app and security system used by many universities and corporations. Downloading Guardly (or using any similar service offered by your school or workplace) will allow you to report incidents requiring security or maintenance attention, access emergency services and let someone know where you are (even inside!) if you need help.
5. Carry a Whistle
…or small foghorn, alarm or other device that makes a lot of noise. It’s not always legal (or a good idea) to carry pepper spray, but a noisemaking device can have the comparable effects of startling your attacker and drawing the attention of others.
This can be as simple as letting someone know where you’re going and when you’ll be back or as complex as turning on Find My iPhone or locations in Facebook Messaging when you think you might be in danger. Communicating puts those who care about you in a position to be able to help should you need it.
There is no way to guarantee safety on campus, but using common sense, being aware of your surroundings and being proactive in taking care of yourself and your friends can go a long way.