Safety tips to remember when heading off to college

Published 4:14 pm Friday, August 11, 2017

This fall thousands of students will leave their families and friends to attend college. For many, it will be their first time away from home and also their first experience with total independence.  It’s an exciting time and a dangerous one.  Concerned with this safety issue, Sheriff Donald J. Hill urges college students to exercise caution when living on campus.

“College campuses are extremely vulnerable to crime because of their openness,” said Sheriff Hill.  “It’s difficult to keep buildings and dorm rooms locked because people are constantly coming and going.  Another contributing factor is that students tend to develop a false sense of security because of the seemingly peaceful surroundings.”

Campus crimes can take many forms – theft, date rape, and drugs to name just a few.  It’s impossible to avoid all dangers. However, Sheriff Hill has some suggestions on how college students can better protect and educate themselves through campus safety education.

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• Never post information as to your whereabouts on your dorm room door, or on social media.  If an intruder knows that you are away – it’s an open invitation for them to break in.

• Even if leaving your room for only a few minutes, lock your door.

• When studying in out-of-the way places, inform campus security as to your whereabouts.

• When meeting a study partner for the first time, make arrangements to meet in a public place.

• Encourage campus security to establish a photo identification program to deter outsiders from entering school buildings.

• Work with your local law enforcement to organize a safety education program to teach incoming students the do’s and don’ts of campus safety.

• Familiarize yourself with emergency call box locations.

• Learn to trust your instincts.  If you feel uncomfortable in a situation, get out of it.  Don’t allow anyone to violate your comfort zone.

– article submitted by Kim Pack