College Safety Guide - Best Value Schools

    College Safety Guide

    December 5, 2020 | Staff Writers

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    Attending college is a fun and unforgettable experience for all students. For just 4 years, students have the opportunity to be away from home, make friends, and be free from the responsibilities of having a full-time career.

    While college is an exceptional experience, it is important for students to understand that there is always a risk of danger, including while at college. College presents new, dangerous situations that students may not be familiar with. They need to know how to recognize and avoid those situations and how to be prepared for when something does happen.

    College Safety Tips

    Here is a list that we have compiled of safety tips that every college student should know and apply to stay safe:

    1. Don’t Let Electronics Distract You From Your Surroundings

    The sonic envelope is a real thing. When someone plugs in their earphones, it’s easy for them to disappear into their own sonic envelope and tune out the rest of the world. As a student walking back and forth from campus, this can be dangerous. It is important to be as alert as possible to identify any potentially dangerous situation. This applies to walking with a cell phone, as well. Texting requires a lot of attention and can leave a student completely vulnerable to lurking situations.

    2. Let Your Friends, Roommates, and Family Know Your Plans

    Going on adventures and socializing is an important part of college. Students often make friends and memories that will last the rest of their lives while in college. However, as a general rule, students should always let someone know where they are going and when they will be back.

    If students are traveling, or going on an outdoor adventure, they should let someone know where they plan on staying just in case they get lost. Then, someone can easily send out help when needed. The same thing applies even when staying in town or going to a party.

    3. Know Where the Campus Emergency Blue Light Phones are Located

    Emergencies of all types can happen on campus. Each campus is required to have several emergency blue light phones that can call campus security. Students should take the time to notice these phones and make note of their locations, just in case they are involved in or witness an emergency.

    4. Leave a Party When Your Friend Leaves

    Students should always make sure that they are in trusted company. One way to do this is by going out with friends or by practicing the buddy system. Don’t stay at parties where there aren’t people you know. It is not worth the risk of staying, even if the people at the party seem like they are nice and trustworthy.

    5. Report All Incidents To The Authorities

    If someone is raped or harassed in any way, it is likely that the perpetrator will act again. Students can prevent these horrible experiences happening to anyone else by reporting the incidents to an R.A. or a friend, who should then contact the police. If a student notices another student who looks like they may be in trouble or if they pick up on signs that something may have happened to someone, they should report that to someone who can help such as an R.A.

    6. Lock the Doors

    Even when surrounded by trustworthy neighbors, it is always safer for students to lock their doors at night, any time they are alone in the house, or when they leave their house. Criminals will often travel to apartments or homes and scope out opportunities to steal. Students can protect themselves and their belongings by taking the time to lock their doors.

    7. Keep Emergency Cash On Hand

    Cash is an important thing to have in case of an emergency. Cash can help if a credit or debit card is lost and a student needs a taxi or Uber driver in order to get out of a nervous situation.

    8. Don’t Leave Personal Belongings Unattended

    Even if the people around are trustworthy, others passing by may not be. Leaving a backpack, purse, or laptop behind while you take a phone call or run to the bathroom could be the last time a student sees their possessions. They are also putting themselves at risk for someone to tamper with or plant illegal substances in their backpack. It is just not worth the risk of leaving possessions unattended when these items can usually be picked up in a hurry.

    9. Call Campus Security For An Escort When Walking Home At Night

    Walking home from campus at night alone can be a risky situation. A lot of incidents happen to students who are walking alone at night. While in college, it is likely that most students will find themselves in this situation more than once. Whenever this occurs, students are able to call campus security and request an escort from campus back to their home

    10. Learn Self-Defense or Use a Safety App

    Being abducted is rare; however, it never hurts for a student to make themselves harder to abduct. Most colleges offer free self-defense classes and seminars for students to learn how to defend themselves from dangers and threats they may face on campus. Students should also consider wielding non-lethal defense weapons such as pepper spray. For those who are uncomfortable using weapons, there are also safety apps which can automatically alert police in case of an emergency.

    Safety Apps

    Safety apps are designed to notify police and others whenever a user is in distress, as quickly and simply as possible. Here are some great safety apps for students.

    1. MyForce

    MyForce safety smartphone app logo

    MyForce allows students to contact a real person who can listen, record, and track them in the case of an emergency just by tapping an “alert” button. When an “alert” button is activated, MyForce connects that phone with an on-call technician who can notify the police and get help to that student out of danger as soon as possible.

    2. SafeTrek

    SafeTrek smartphone app Logo

    SafeTrek is a good app to have if a student is attacked and unable to use their hands. Whenever students feels that they are in an unsafe environment, all they have to do is launch the app and keep their finger on the screen. When they feel safe again, they just remove their finger from the screen and enter a code. If this code is not entered, the phone app sends the student’s location and automatically connects them to the police.

    3. Kitestring

    Kitestring safety app logo

    For students who do not have a smartphone, there is Kitestring. Kitestring is a free SMS service that uses text messaging instead of an application to keep students safe. To use Kitestring, users set up a list of emergency contacts, then text Kitestring when they are leaving and how long they will be gone. If a user does not check into Kitestring with a secret passcode, the service will automatically notify their emergency contacts.

    Make sure to apply these safety tips while in college. And check out more articles from Best Value Schools to have the best college experience.

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