Safety Tips

The Campus Safety and Security Department now provides safety tips for a variety of scenarios and locations. Be sure to familiarize yourself with all of them.


  • "Respectfully decline" requests for assistance from strangers. Mischief-makers often use this approach to "target" naive freshmen and foreign students. Do not allow yourself to be approached, tell the person making the request, you will inform others of their need.
  • Study the campus and neighborhood with respect to routes between your commute path and class/activities schedule. Know where emergency phones are located.
  • Share your class/activities schedule with family members and a network of close friends, effectively creating a type of "buddy" system. Give network telephone numbers to your parents, advisors, and friends.
  • Always travel in groups. Use our shuttle service. Never walk alone at night or in isolated areas. Avoid "shortcuts".
  • Survey the campus, academic buildings, and other facilities while classes are in session and after dark to see that buildings, walkways, quadrangles, and parking lots are adequately secured, lit and patrolled.
  • Avoid people who are not behaving responsibly, and/or situations that seem reckless and potentially dangerous.
  • Always lock your vehicle when leaving it. Do not loan out your key. Never compromise your safety for a friend who asks you to leave the door unlocked.
  • Do not leave your identification, wallets, checkbooks, jewelry, cameras, and other valuables in open view.
  • Program your phone's speed dial memory with emergency numbers that include family and friends.
  • Don't be reluctant to report illegal activities and suspicious loitering.

Campus Safety

  • Study or work with a friend in buildings at night.
  • Use stairs in well-lit and populated sections of a building.
  • Keep personal belongings in view while in class, the library, or lab.
  • When in an elevator, position yourself next to the controls.

Apartment Safety

  • Lock your doors at all times.
  • List only your first initial with your phone number in the phone book.
  • List only your initials and last name on the mailbox.
  • Open doors only for people you know.
  • Install safeguards in every room.
  • Keep shrubbery trimmed so as not to provide a cover for a burglar.
  • Get a dog! Dogs are great alarms, and scare off potential criminals.
  • Have a phone in each room so that help is always within reach.
  • Turn lights on in several rooms when you're home alone.
  • Get to know your neighbors.
  • Keep spare keys with neighbors because burglars know hiding places, like under mats, in the mailbox, etc.
  • Keep cash and jewelry in a locked drawer, cabinet or closet.
  • Keep all doors, especially fire doors, closed at all times.
  • Keep your blinds closed to avoid advertising your life.
  • Leave an answering machine message that does not include your name or address.
  • Make sure key chains do not have personal identification on them.

Protecting your apartment while away

  • Make sure all doors and windows are locked.
  • Tell only good friends you will be out of town.
  • Make sure your answering machine message doesn't say you are out of town and/or when you will be back.
  • Leave a radio set to a talk show station.
  • Set interior lights on a timer.
  • Have neighbors collect mail and stop newspaper delivery.

ATM Safety

  • Use indoor ATM machines whenever possible.
  • Bring a friend when using the ATM, especially at night.
  • Be alert and cautious of anyone loitering around the ATM/night deposit.
  • Complete your transaction quickly and leave immediately.
  • Protect the Personal Identification Number for your ATM by covering the screen while you enter the numbers.

Exercise Safety

  • Always exercise with a friend when outdoors at night.
  • Stay in well-lit and populated areas at all times
  • Reserve public park use for daylight hours.
  • Carry a personal safety device, such as a sound siren, mace or red pepper gas.

Stalking Safety

  • If you think you are being stalked, document the times and dates and contact the police.

On the street

  • Accept rides only from people you know.
  • Take a friend with you for late night excursions.
  • Walk on the part of the sidewalk closest to the street, as far away as possible from shrubs, trees, and doorways.
  • Stay near people. Whenever possible, appear to be with a group of people.
  • Stay in well lit areas.
  • Avoid short cuts through unpopulated areas.
  • Walk at a steady pace: appear confident and purposeful.
  • Be alert! Listen for footsteps and voices nearby.

Contact the Safety and Security Department for additional information on personal safety awareness and defense classes.