Staying safe at college

Published 11:32 am Friday, August 8, 2014

Sheriff’s Corner

By Sheriff Donald Hill

With area young people preparing to return to college and universities, here are some tips to ensure safety:

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Have a safety buddy, someone you can call for a ride or for help, and create a code word or phrases that mean, “come help me out of this,” or “I’m in trouble.”

If you are walking to your vehicle alone (day or night), make sure you have your keys ready when you get to your car. This will prevent a long delay in getting into the car and locking the doors for safety.

Before going to a party, tell a friend where you are going and when you’ll be back. Let them know if your plans change.

Safety tips at parties:

  • Take turns being the designated driver or sober companion. You could save someone’s life.
  • If a party gets out of hand, leave.
  • Never, ever leave your drink alone, or with someone you don’t know. Date rape drugs are easy to use. And men are just as vulnerable as women.
  • Don’t take drinks or anything else from strangers, even food.
  • Don’t ride with any driver under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
  • Don’t offer rides to people you don’t know.
  • Trust your instincts.


Dater’s bill of rights:

  • I have the right to refuse a date without feeling guilty.
  • I can ask for a date without feeling rejected or inadequate if the answer is no.
  • I do not have to act macho.
  • I may choose not to act seductively.
  •  If I don’t want physical closeness, I have the right to say so.
  • I have the right to start a relationship slowly, to say, “I want to know you better before I become involved.”
  • I have the right to be myself without changing to suit others.
  • I have the right to change a relationship when my feelings change. I can say, “we used to be close, but I want something else now.”
  • If I am told a relationship is changing, I have the right not to blame or change myself to keep it going.
  • I have the right to an equal relationship with my partner.I have the right not to dominate or to be dominated.
  • I have the right to act one way with one person and a different way with someone else.
  • I have the right to change my goals whenever I want to.

And here’s what parents can do:

  •  Ask the college administrators about campus alcohol policies.
  • Talk to your kids about the legal penalties of underage drinking.
  • Discuss the possible consequences of drinking, including date rape, violence and school interference.
  • Know your child’s roommate and living arrangements.
  • Call your son or daughter frequently.