Many college students choose to live in the dorms provided by the schools that they are attending. Living on campus allows you to be closer to classes, surrounded by fellow students and enveloped in the world of higher education. While there are clearly lots of advantages for those who live in a dorm, you should keep in mind all of the potential hazards and dangers that might accompany campus life.
Be Aware Of Your Own SafetyAs you know, you can become a victim of crime anywhere, even on school grounds. It is up to you to do what you can to stay safe and protect yourself. It is helpful to remember that a potential perpetrator usually seek out easy targets – like those who look to be timid, scared or confused. When you are out, especially at night, you should appear confident and in control. Be aware of your surroundings and familiar with the campus you are walking through. Walk quickly and purposefully – this alone can be reason enough for someone to think you are not a person who can easily be victimized.
Crime Prevention Tips In The Dorms
Get to know your neighbors and support each other by forming your own crime watch group. Watch out for suspicious behavior or people who do not live in your dorm lingering in the building. When you and your fellow students work together, you can help ensure a safe environment for everyone.
Create a list of important phone numbers such as security, emergency services or nearby friends and relatives, and keep the list close to the phone. These numbers should always be easily accessible in case of emergency Keep your dorm room locked at all times. Some people may be used to leaving their front door unlocked, or even open, but to protect against theft all doors should remain locked. When someone knocks, use your peephole or ask who it is before answering.
Always be wary of opening the door to your private room for a stranger. Again, this is more common sense that you would likely be using at home. Enjoy being on campus but the same rules should apply.
Make sure the primary doors leading into the dormitory are also locked at all times. Have campus security help to check that the doors are never left open.
Personal Safety On Campus
Familiarize yourself with the campus. Know where each dorm and each school building is located, and the best route to get there. Be aware of the locations of all emergency phones, and find out where campus security is stationed and when they go on patrol.
Whenever possible, walk with friends and avoid being alone. Predators tend to look for people who are alone and they are far less likely to approach a group than an individual. Find friends and neighbors who have classes in the same building as you and arrange to travel together.
Do not carry a lot of money or valuables on you when walking to your class, dorm or school related event. Never hold cash or jewelry so that it can be seen by strangers. Keep expensive items hidden on your person until you need them, and avoid giving someone a reason to come after you.
Being vigilant and aware of your situation at all times will help protect you from those looking for an easy target. However, when an attack is inevitable, you must do what it takes to defend yourself. We will go into in part 2 of this series.