Fundamentals of Campus Safety

Know how to protect yourself on campus

Fundamentals of Staying Safe on Campus
Even though a college campus may seem like a safe haven for students, practicing the following campus safety fundamentals is important in protecting yourself against potential threats.

One fundamental of campus safety is to "respectfully decline" any request to have your photo and personal information published for distribution throughout the campus community. It is not uncommon for upperclassman and fraternities to use this information to “target” naïve freshmen on campus.

When arriving at college, it is important to study the routes and neighborhoods you will be encountering during trips to classes and activities. An essential fundamental of campus safety is also knowing the location of emergency phones.

Once you have studied routes to and from your classes and activities, another fundamental of campus safety is to share your class/activity schedule with close friends and family. This will let others know of your location as well as when your classes and activities are finished, effectively creating a type of “buddy” system.  It is also a good idea to provide parents, advisors, and friends with local telephone numbers.

When traveling through campus, practice safety by always traveling in groups. You should never walk alone at night, and it is a good idea to use a shuttle service after dark and avoid potentially unsafe “shortcuts”.

While classes are in session, as well as after dark, you should examine the campus for safety elements. Survey residence halls, academic buildings, facilities, walkways, parking lots and quad-rangles to ensure the areas are adequately secured, lit and patrolled.  Also examine which areas have emergency phones, and if escorts and shuttle services are sufficient.

On nights and weekends, drive through student hangouts and fraternity locations to get a feel for the level of safety.  Do these areas appear unsafe, and are people behaving recklessly?  Alcohol and/or drug abuse is involved in nearly 90% of campus crime, so help ensure safety, it is important to gauge the social scene as well as student apartments if you plan on living off-campus.


While students are off campus, safety should still be practiced by being in control at school functions, parties, restaurants and bars. Practicing campus safety fundamentals is essential as the number of violent crimes is staggering. Prior to sexual assaults, the date rape drugs (GHB and Rohypnol) are often being used to spike women’s drinks.


This article was written by Hannah Purnell

Hannah Purnell is a staff writer for Hannah writes extensively on the topic of undergraduate studies and the college search process.

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