staying safe on campus

Posted : August 4, 2003
Last Updated : May 21, 2018

staying safe on campus

Throughout your college career, you will have plenty of stressors in your life, such as exams, papers, presentations, jobs, friends, and even family. If you are like the average college student, you have or will have enough on your mind without having to worry about school safety, but unfortunately, in this day and age, staying safe on campus is an issue that students must think about. Because crime on college campuses has been on the rise within the past few years, it is crucial for students to follow certain safety tips. Consider the following tips so you stay protected during your time on campus.

Residential Safety

  • Only admit your own visitors to the residence halls.
  • Make sure outside doors of residence halls shut securely behind you.
  • Insist that your resident assistant or security guard check for doors left ajar during the day and at night.
  • Do not loan your room key to anyone.
  • Make sure your apartment or dorm room has secure locks on doors and windows.
  • Always lock your apartment or dorm room even if you are going to be gone for just a few minutes. Be sure to lock your doors at night as well.
  • Have the locks changed if you ever lose the keys to your residence.
  • Utilize safes and laptop locks in your dorm room or apartment.
  • Leave lights or a radio on at your apartment so it looks like someone is always home.
  • Never open the door for someone you do not know.
  • Ask anyone who gives you a ride home to wait around until you have safely entered your apartment or dorm building.

Parking Lot Safety

  • Always lock your car.
  • Place valuables in the trunk or under the seats.
  • Have your keys in hand before you leave to go to your car.
  • Have someone walk you to your car, especially at night (if possible).
  • Utilize your campus's escort service if you feel you might be in danger.
  • Check your backseat before entering your car.

Personal Safety

  • Never walk alone, especially at night.
  • Be alert to your surroundings and walk with confidence.
  • Walk where the sidewalks are well lit and well traveled.
  • Trust your gut. If you feel like someone is following you, go to a populated place where people can help you and then call campus security.
  • Do not wear earbuds when you are walking on campus.
  • Know where campus emergency phones are located.

ATM Safety

  • Be alert to your surroundings.
  • Take a friend with you (if possible).
  • Have your ATM card in your pocket for easy access.
  • Do not give anyone your personal identification number.
  • Stand directly in front of the teller machine so no one will see your information.
  • Make eye contact with anyone standing in line. If anyone seems suspicious, cancel your transaction and return later.
  • Store your cash in a safe place as soon as you receive it. You can always count it later.
  • Report any lost ATM cards to your bank.

Active Shooter Emergency

If an active shooter situation is occuring on campus, the following actions are suggested:


  • Decide if you can evacuate safely.
  • Run in a zigzag pattern as fast as you can.
  • Do not stop running until you are far away from the area.
  • Assist others to evacuate if you can do so safely.

Seek Cover

  • Seek cover in a room or office if escape is not possible.
  • Lock the door.
  • Cover any windows in the door if possible.
  • Barricade the door with anything available (desks, chairs, etc.).
  • Turn off the lights.
  • Move away from the doorway.
  • Silence or place cell phones on vibrate.
  • Protect yourself by hiding behind heavy furniture, concrete, or other substantial objects.
  • Call 911 if possible.
  • Do not open the door for anyone until police arrive.


  • Consider escaping or playing dead if confronted by an active shooter.
  • Throw things at the shooter to disrupt his aim.
  • Attack in a group (swarm).
  • Fight dirty by biting, kicking, scratching.
  • Run around the room and create chaos.

Following the tips listed above will make you a more safety-oriented person and could possibly help save your life one day. If you are ever a victim or a witness of campus crime, try to retain information that will help catch the assailant. Obtain a description of the attacker, such as approximate age, weight, and height; eye, hair, and skin color; gender; and distinctive scars. Report any crime that you are aware of to your local police department and inform your school of the crime so administrators may take more campus safety precautions.

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