5 College Campus Safety Tips

I was shopping the other day and noticed the department stores already switched over their clothes to fall attire and it hit me… it’s back to school time! Instantly I was reminded to write something on college campus safety. When I got back to my office, I spotted an overlooked note, penned on my calendar back in May, as a reminder to write a post on this very topic. I remembered adding that note right after reading an article about the Virginia lacrosse player murder.

My initial thought for this post was to gather as much information as I could get my hands on without overwhelming everyone at the same time. Then I found SOC and hit the jackpot.

Today, Security On Campus, Inc. (SOC) remains the first and only nonprofit organization dedicated to the prevention of criminal violence at colleges and universities nationwide through educational, awareness, and policy initiatives. SOC’s website provides access to a comprehensive database of campus crime statistics and other pertinent information. SOC has many major legislative accomplishments, one in particular called the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act, a federal law that requires institutions of higher education to release campus crime statistics and security policies to their current and prospective students and employees.

Check out the following five safety tips to consider when moving onto campus. Feel free to pass them around.

1. Always be aware of your surroundings. We can’t say that enough! Be aware of strangers in your dorm. During the day, walk the campus to learn a couple different ways to get to and from class. Plus make a mental note of vulnerable areas and steer clear of them especially at night.

2. Contact your campus security officer and request a report on campus crime history and talk to them about the vulnerable areas you spotted.

3. Contact the local community safety officer assigned to the neighborhood(s) around the campus. Anyone can do this to learn more about their neighborhood. Your local community safety officer should know every criminal or future criminal in the area, that’s their job. Pick their brain, I did before purchasing my home and learned what neighborhoods to stay clear of.

4. Make sure your dorm room or apartment has adequate locks on the doors and windows. You can have your parents install more locks before they head back home, if needed. Also make sure your door has a peephole and if it doesn’t ask to have one installed.

5. Run a background check on your roommate and surrounding roommates by gathering information nonchalantly. Act like you’re getting to know everyone and just want to jot down their full name and date of birth. It should seem harmless to them. If not, just explain you like to pass out cupcakes on birthdays and what college kid doesn’t like cupcakes.

I recommend all students and parents of students bookmark www.securityoncampus.org for easy future reference.

My college years were a blast. I would go back in a heartbeat. So have fun, be crazy, party, eat lots of pizza and cupcakes, while your metabolism allows it, but always remember to never, ever get too comfortable and let your guard down! Oh and I forgot to mention the most important thing, try to learn something while you’re at it. And I don’t mean how to become a master at chandeliers. My favorite drinking game!