Concern for the safety of college students has grown in light of numerous incidents and tragedies on college campuses. Ideally, a three-way partnership will do a great deal of good in ensuring the safety of college students: parents need to talk to their student about safety, students need to exercise awareness and behave responsibly, and colleges need to take precautions to keep students safe.
Here are a few safety tips for students transitioning into college:
- Be aware of lighting on the campus at night and take a well lit path even if it results in a longer route.
- Do not let an unknown individual into the residence hall.
- Always lock dorm rooms and car doors when you are gone, even if you are only leaving for a few minutes.
- Know where you are going. When navigating a new location, walk with confidence and avoid looking confused.
- Be aware of emergency phones or "blue light" locations on campus and do not hesitate to use them.
- Have the Campus Security phone number saved in your phone.
- Share your schedule with a roommate or friend. Let them know where you will be and when you expect to return.
- If you are leaving campus for a run, walk or bike ride, consider finding a friend to share these activities with. If need be, utilize a safety app such as Find Friends or React Mobile so that someone can track you when you're by yourself.
- Learn how to physically defend yourself in a self-defense class and purchase safety supplies like pepper spray and/or personal alarms.
Students and parents should not be overly concerned about safety, but they should be aware and use common sense. An open conversation with your student about campus policies, your concerns, and his or her actions will help them think about safety and help you feel more secure about your student's well-being.