WEST HARTFORD, CT (August 2012) Millions of students will arrive on college and university campuses in the coming weeks and the International Association of Campus Law Enforcement Administrators (IACLEA) wants to make sure they stay safe.
IACLEA is offering 10 safety tips to students as they begin classes for the fall semester. College and university campuses are generally safe places, but students must take sensible precautions to ensure they do not put themselves in a position to be a crime victim, said Anne Glavin, IACLEA President and Chief of Police/Director of Police Services at California State University, Northridge.
Scott VanScoy, who is Chair of IACLEAs Campus Crime Prevention Committee, said the committee compiled the list from crime prevention tips offered by colleges and universities during student orientations and on university websites.
Most of these are common-sense measures, he said. For example, dont walk alone. Students should take advantage of a universitys safety escort services or walk with friends to class and especially at night, he said.
Never leave your backpack, laptop or cell phone unattended, even for a minute, he said. Take your valuables with you.
Here is the complete list of top ten tips:
1. Make the call. Program the number of your college or universitys 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, dont hesitate, make the call.
2. 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.
3. Dont walk alone. Take advantage of your college or universitys safety escort services or walk with friends or classmates.
4. Protect your property. Never leave items like your backpack, laptop or cell phone unattended-even if its just for a minute. Make it a habit to take these valuables with you.
5. 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.
6. On the bus. Stay awake and keep your personal belongings close to you. Sit near the door or the driver and stay awake. If someones harassing you, dont hesitate; ask the driver to let you off at a populated bus stop or a well-lit area like a gas station.
7. 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.
8. Keep personal information private. Avoid becoming a victim of identity theft by carrying only the necessary items in your wallet or purse. Dont give personal information to solicitors.
9. Keep your dorm locked. Even if youre going next door to a friends 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.
10. 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 nations college and university students.
IACLEA: The Leading Authority For Campus Public Safety
IACLEA is an association that advances campus public safety for its more than 1,200 educational institution members and 2,000 individual members by providing educational resources, advocacy, and professional development services. IACLEA is led by a Board of Directors and managed by professional staff in Washington D.C. and West Hartford, CT.