By Sara Schabe
Campus safety is a top concern for all students. With reports of assaults and harassment circulating, no one wants to go to school in fear of being attacked. There are Public Safety officers to keep students on campus safe. Public Safety provides an escort system and the campus is equipped with blue light towers which can be used to quickly contact them. None the less, there are some steps students may take to ensure their safety in the absence of Public Safety.
Some students have already started to carry items on them such as pocket knives and pepper spray. However, that isn’t the extent of defense tactics. There are other tips for students to follow in order to feel completely safe on campus.
- Buddy System. One of the easiest and most effective ways to avoid danger is to have a friend walk with you to and from your car, especially at night. This way the two of you will be a stronger resistance to any threats. If anything does happen, there is an extra person to call for help. Also, a buddy system discourages attacks due to the high chance of there being a witness
- Don’t Hang Out. Far too often, at the end of night classes, students linger in their cars either texting or deciding on music. This is a bad idea, especially when it is dark out because now you have provided an extra opportunity for attackers to catch you off guard. Don’t sit around
- Panic. No, don’t start panicking frantically if you find yourself in a dangerous situation. Panic as in the panic button on your car key. These have recently been found to be useful in attack situations due to the attention they attract. If you feel as if someone may be following you or about to attack, hit the panic button, causing your car alarm to go off and for anyone in the proximity to look toward the noise. An attacker will take notice of this and (most likely) be deterred because now they will have an audience. Once you hit this button, walk swiftly toward your car and get in immediately.
- Stay in the Light. When walking on campus at night, be sure to stay in well lit pathways. This allows you to be able to see and attackers often stray away from lit paths because they don’t want to be seen. Do not stray away onto dark walkways.
- Be Alert. Expecting an attack at all times is rather drastic but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t keep an eye out. Lamia Choudhury, a student at Suffolk explains that, “When I walk on campus, especially at night, I always have by phone ready, key in between my knuckles and I make sure I am in a well lit area.” Being prepared helps you get away from a dangerous scenario and also minimizes your chances of finding yourself in one. Attackers aim more toward unsuspecting victims so they can get away easier.
Aside from these main safety tips, Public Safety also encourages students to always look up when they walk, not overload yourself with bags and to keep any valuables close to your body. Public Safety also provides security resources throughout campus. You may request an escort by calling 631.452.4242 and each building is equipped with a help button to instantly connect you with Public Safety.