Many students don’t pay attention to safety rules or take precautions when they’re on a college campus. For some, it’s the first time living in a dorm or an apartment near or on campus.
According to Huffington Post, the most common crimes that are most prevalent on college campuses are sexual assault, burglary and motor vehicle theft.
Whether you feel safe on campus or not, it’s important to be informed on the safety measures that could help improve your own safety and security. Although you can’t avoid campus crime, there’s tips that can help you stay safe.
Be aware & stay alert
You might love having your headphones in while walking on campus, but it’s best to keep one ear piece in, instead of both. Everyone knows the second you have your music in, you zone yourself out. So be aware on what’s going around you. There might be something happening around campus, but you won’t be able to hear it with headphones in.
Also, this relates to being on your phone all the time when walking. Many students are focused on replying to a text, Snapchatting their friend or scrolling through their Instagram feed that they don’t notice things around them. Put the phone away and look what you’re walking into. Just stay alert to everything instead of being enthralled in your technology. It’ll make a difference.
Always lock your doors
If it has a lock, lock it. Your car, your residence hall room, apartment or house. This is the same as leaving your parent’s house and locking it right after. It’s the best way to protect your things and yourself.
It’s easy to forget to lock your doors, but don’t make it easy for the burglars. That’s one of the easiest crimes on campus. People see valuable things in the car or know you have something and they will try to check your doors. If you have valuable things somewhere make sure it’s hidden.
Connect to campus alerts
MTSU has an Alert 4 U where a text or email with voice alert will be sent to all students, faculty and staff. A lot of students don’t use email, but sometimes MTSU sends out crime-related things that happen on campus faster through email.
Rave Guardian has many key features such as a safety timer, connecting with your guardians and easy emergency communication. Find a way to connect and stay safe. For more information about campus alerts, go here.
Have safety and security supplies accessible
You may or may not use a defensive spray, whistle or flashlight but it’s good to have these safety items just in case something happens. Attaching one to your backpack can make you feel more protected. They’re small and easy to obtain while being on campus.
Those who have a Northface backpack might not know there’s a built-in whistle on the clip that goes around your chest. You could use that for safety too by blowing into it and alerting others.
For more safety, the University Police provides the safety escort program, “Raider Escort,” to students, staff, and campus visitors 24 hours a day, year round at no cost.
Be smart with social media
Being smart on social media means keep things private instead of always sending tweets where you’re at publicly or sharing personal information. It’s common for college students to post your whereabouts and updates. It’s okay to share those information, but be mindful if your account is private or not. You don’t know who could be viewing your profile or account.
Anyone could take that information and track you down by a small information on your location. One of the smart things to do is post the things after you have left that location so people can’t find you there. Don’t geotag images your photos on social media because anyone can find it. Yes, strangers can use that information.
Parents always say, don’t tell anyone you’re home alone or leaving your house. Someone could break in or hurt you. It’s okay to be anonymous on social media. As they say, it’s better to be safe than sorry.
The University offers students many opportunities for everyone. Students may sign up for a self defense class (PHED 1250) or take a free class called the R.A.D Self Defense.
To contact the University Police Department call 615-898-2424 to report any suspicious behavior in the campus community.