Most colleges and universities have a variety of safety measures in place in order to keep students and faculty safe. However, the reality is that we live in a broken world, and unfortunately, college campuses are among a variety of locations where crime and abuse can occur.
The Bible certainly doesn’t encourage us to live in fear, but it does advise that we be wise in how we handle life and what it hands us. Don’t give into the temptation that you’re being over the top if you desire to take extra precautions on campus—in fact, if you can be a leader in that area, others will follow. There are a myriad of things you can do to make smart choices when it comes to navigating your college campus. Take a look at the tips below, and stay safe!
- 1. Stay in well-lit areas
This may seem like a no brainer, but it can be easy practice to forget about. Dark parking lots or parks that have a lack of sidewalk and street lamps are probably not the best places to be hanging out by yourself at 11:00 p.m. College campuses can seem like magical places in the evening, but if you have a night class or you’re just making your way down to the campus burger joint, do yourself a favor and snag a ride from someone or take a buddy with you.
2. Stay in groups
Chances are much more likely that a perpetrator will attack if you’re alone. Even in the day time, it’s wise that you don’t wander off to isolated areas by yourself. If you’re a runner and enjoy the park, take a friend with you. If no one’s available, it’s smart idea to make sure you’re running in a public place where lots of people are around. The same goes for parties, outings to clubs, or any other massive celebration. Even when surrounded by people, it can be easy for a situation to escalate and for you to disappear without anyone noticing. Try your best to attend outings with your roommate or a group of friends instead of going it alone.
3. Learn about your school’s safety protocols
Does your college have a shuttle service available for those who have night classes or need to run evening errands? What does campus security look like? Where would you go if you needed to report suspicious behavior? Most universities and colleges will go over this information during your freshman orientation, as they are required by law to have security measures in place. However, there’s nothing wrong with asking for more information, and you might find out some convenient tips to make things easier for yourself. (That campus shuttle might also come in handy when you’re running late to class).
4. Report suspicious behavior
If you see something weird, tell someone. Many, many dangerous cases go unreported because students were simply afraid they’d seem too skittish or they were afraid to tell someone. Even if the report ends up in a dead end, campus security and those in charge on campus will be incredibly grateful for your willingness and bravery to report suspicious behavior. The same goes for assault cases that you hear about from friends. If someone confides in you that they were raped or assaulted in some way, encourage them to report it or report it yourself. “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.” – Edmund Burke
5. Be aware
One of the best things you can do to protect both yourself and others is to simply be aware. While walking from class to class with your nose in your phone probably feels natural, consider looking up now and then. Especially if you’re traveling somewhere alone. If you’re at a party, don’t leave your food or drink unattended, and don’t head off by yourself with a stranger. The same goes for dates with people you’ve never met. Consider having a friend come and sit in the corner of the coffee shop you’re meeting at, just in case. Or make your first date a group date. There are plenty of romantic situations that can seem like a good idea but can quickly take a spiraling turn.