Staying safe on college campus should always be regarded as one of your highest priorities during your time as a student and beyond. It can be very easy to neglect personal safety issues especially if you are tired and stressed.
When you become stressed, it is more likely you will make a simple mistake which could have the effect of compromising your safety on campus if you do not take specific precautions. With a little extra care and attention, the most common mistakes can be avoided if appropriate care is taken. Everyone has a responsibility to look after their own safety and the safety of others while on campus.
It therefore becomes an imperative to acknowledge the following considerations:
*Let people know where you are and where you are going:
It is vital to inform people of your whereabouts on campus. People need to know where you are and be able to contact you if necessary. If you change your plans, it is important to let a friend know where you are going to be and who you are going to be with. Communication of these details is very important especially if you are going somewhere on your own. Don’t allow yourself to become isolated without any means of making contact as this could endanger your personal safety.
*Make sure you do not drink too much:
Consuming too much alcohol can seriously impair your reasoning abilities and judgement. If you are heading for a night out, make sure you do not drink too much. It is important that you remain in control and if you feel you have had enough to drink, stop! Know what your alcohol consumption limit is and do not exceed it. You can only look after your personal safety if you are completely aware of what is going on around you. Remember – you can still have a fun night out with friends without drinking to excess.
*Look after the welfare of your friends on campus:
You should always try to look out for the safety of your friends on campus. If you are not sure a friend has made any plans for getting home safely, ask them and make sure they have made arrangements.
Never presume an outcome when it comes to your personal safety and that of other people. If you know one of your friends may find difficulty getting home, take steps to ensure they are not left by themselves after a night out. Walk home together or offer to give your friend a lift to their destination.
*Report any suspicious or unusual behaviour:
If you see someone you do not recognise loitering around campus (especially if it is late in the evening), make sure you inform an authority figure on campus as soon as possible. If you are not sure, do not ignore it. It is better to be safe than sorry and it is always better to check. It is important to think about the welfare of other people when it comes to safety on campus.
Your own awareness and observation can help yourself and others to stay safe. If you do not recognise someone, ask for proof of identification. If you are unsure about whether someone is supposed to be on campus or not, ask to see their student ID card. If they do not provide proof of who they are and what they are doing on campus, this needs to be reported. If in doubt, always ask!