By the Staff
Whether you are studying with classmates, eating lunch with friends, or leaving campus to go home or work, it important that one takes measures to stay safe on and off campus. Even if you are safe in the moment, students at any college or university should learn multiple ways to protect themselves, especially at Augusta University. In addition, as holidays are approaching such as Thanksgiving and Christmas Day, students and faculty should enjoy their holiday breaks as well as find ways to remain safe.
Here are ten tips on being safe on and off campus from the Augusta University Police Department:
- Make the call. Program the number of your college or university’s police or public safety department into your cell phone so you have it at your fingertips in the event of an emergency on campus. If you see a crime in progress or even something suspicious, don’t hesitate, make the call.
- Empower yourself. Enroll in a self-defense course. If your college or university offers a sexual assault defense program such as R.A.D., sign up with a friend and empower yourself. These courses are designed to give you the tools that may help save your life.
- Don’t walk alone. Take advantage of your college or university’s safety escort services or walk with friends or classmates.
- Protect your property. Never leave items like your backpack, laptop or cell phone unattended-even if it’s just for a minute. Make it a habit to take these valuables with you.
- Report solicitors. Magazine subscriptions, donation requests, spa packages and “earn money now” schemes are some of the common methods criminals use to take your money. Avoid solicitors’ scams by politely saying no and immediately notifying university police. Never provide a solicitor with your personal information.
- On the bus. Stay awake and keep your personal belongings close to you. Sit near the door or the driver and stay awake. If someone’s harassing you, don’t hesitate; ask the driver to let you off at a populated bus stop or a well-lit area like a gas station.
- Grab it. Close it. Lock it. College and university parking lots and structures are common targets for thieves. Never leave valuables in your car or items in plain view. Take items like GPS devices, removable stereo faceplates, and electronics with you. Make sure your windows are up and the doors are locked. Apply a security device or set the alarm.
- Keep personal information private. Avoid becoming a victim of identity theft by carrying only the necessary items in your wallet or purse. Don’t give personal information to solicitors.
- Keep your dorm locked. Even if you’re going next door to a friend’s room, always grab your keys and lock the door. A propped open door is a perfect target for would-be thieves and allows them quick and easy access to your belongings. If your room has additional doors and windows, always be sure they are closed and locked as well.
- Protect your wheels. If you ride a bike, find out if your university offers free registration. Registering your bike helps improve the likelihood of recovery if stolen. Invest in a high-quality, hardened steel “U” lock. For optimum security, lock both the front and frame to the bike rack.
Taking these tips to heart will go a long way toward providing for a safe semester for our nation’s college and university students.