Avoid crime and stay safe on a US college campus.

Crime occurs everywhere – even on college campuses.

Even so, safety on campus is possible by taking a few easy steps and knowing what resources are available. That way you can stay safe at all times of the day and decrease your risk of theft or another crime.

Calling for Help on Campus

Many colleges and universities have emergency phones or emergency lights to ensure students’ safety on campus. Know where these are located on your most frequently-traveled paths. When you are walking in an unfamiliar part of campus, watch for these lights along your route so you know the location of the nearest one in case you need it.

Also know how to contact campus police or city officers. Their phone numbers should be posted near your phone in your college dorm or off-campus apartment, and it’s a good idea to have the numbers programmed into your cell phone as well.

Safety on Campus at All Times

Some precautions are wise day and night, no matter how safe you feel on your campus.

  • First and foremost, always be alert. Keep your head up, know your surroundings and don’t be caught by surprise.
  • Stay in areas with a lot of people. A crime is less likely to occur if there are many witnesses. If an area is deserted, you probably shouldn’t be there either.
  • Try to let at least one person know where you are going and when you are expected to return.
  • Carry a whistle or other type of alarm so you can quickly – and loudly – grab someone’s attention in case of an emergency.
  • At home, keep your doors and windows locked and don’t let someone in until you know who it is.

Safety on Campus at Night

Special safety measures should be taken at night.

  • Use well-lit paths on- and off-campus. Avoid dark streets, where criminals can more easily hide.
  • Walk in pairs or in a group. The more eyes, the better.
  • Check if your campus provides special services to keep students safe late at night. Volunteers may escort you to your destination so you won’t be alone.
  • Know your limit. Off-campus parties may provide plenty of alcohol, but you’ll let your guard down if you’re drunk.

Follow your instincts. If you question the safety of a campus area, leave. Be aware of your surroundings at all times and take extra steps at night to stay safe on campus. Chances are that you’ll be fine, but if you are the victim of a crime, be sure to call the police right away.