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Safety Tips for Students Living on/off Res

by Janine Basel

There’s nothing that can ruin your university experience like a bad experience with crime. Here are some safety tips to keep you crime-free on campus.

Safety is a notion that gets thrown out the window the second students walk onto campus. Maybe it’s because we’re excited to be free and do as we please, or the thrill of a new experience. Whatever the case, muggings still happen at varsity, theft is commonplace and violent crimes don’t suddenly stop because perpetrators see you’re young… I know, what a shock huh?

Anyways, here’s some safety tips you should pay more attention to that may never cross your mind:

  1. Make sure the door to your residence/student house/apartment is locked at all times.  What would your mother say if you leave the front door to your house open?
  2. Don’t let anyone into your residence/student house/apartment that you don’t know.  Not letting someone in doesn’t make you look like a jerk.  It makes you look like a good neighbour and, if the person is supposed to be in your residence/student house/apartment, they’ll be grateful for it.
  3. Make sure your room door is locked at all times.  Yes, this even means when you run down the passage to borrow a book or hop in the shower. 
  4. Be careful with your room keys.  If you lose them, don’t depend on your roommate to keep letting you in, thinking that your keys will just “pop up.”  Rather pay the fine and get a new set.
  5. Remember to insure all your valuables.  It might cost you some money on a monthly basis, but in the long run it might save you a lot of trouble.
  6. Don’t think your room key is safe on top of the door frame, in your post box, or underneath the doormat.  Carry it on you; it’s not that heavy.
  7. Get a locking device for your laptop.  This may be a physical lock or some kind of electronic tracking or locking device.  It also could be very helpful put it out of sight (like in your cupboard) when you leave your room for an extended period of time.
  8. Watch your stuff in the library or computer lab.  You may need to take a quick run somewhere to clear your mind . . . just as someone happens to walk by and see your iPod and laptop unattended.
  9. Keep your windows locked.  Don’t be so focused on locking your door that you forget to check the windows, too.
  10. Put emergency numbers in your cell phone.  If your wallet is stolen, will you know what phone number to call to cancel your bank cards?  Put important phone numbers in your cell so that you can call the moment you notice something is missing.  The last thing you want is someone cashing in on the money you’ve been budgeting for the rest of the semester.
  11. Make use of Protection Services on campus to accompany you when you walk at night.
  12. Always go somewhere at night with a friend.  Male or female, big or small, safe neighbourhood or not, this is always a good idea.
  13. Make sure someone knows where you are at all times.  Heading to a club?  Going out on a date?  There’s no need to spill all the details, but do let someone (a friend, a roommate, etc.) know where you’re going and what time you expect to get back.
  14. If you live off-campus, call someone when you get home.  You’re studying for finals with a friend late one night at the library.  Make a quick agreement that you’ll call him when you get to your student house/apartment/home later that evening.
  15. Know the phone number for Emergency Services (see About). You never know: you may need it for yourself or for something you see from far away.  Knowing the number off the top of your head (or at least having it in your cell phone) may be the most important thing to remember during an emergency.

Stay safe and finish your degrees!

EduConnect 2cents

Some of these tips may seem lame and paranoid, especially if you’ve never had a run in with crime. Whether you have or haven’t been faced with crime, you definitely don’t want to on campus. It can ruin your experience slightly and could make you extremely paranoid for life. Rather be safe and be that little bit more careful than usual. Your parents will sleep better at night too, knowing that you’re doing things the safe way.

-Information from UFS Website

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