Campus safety is something we here at The Sorority Secrets take very seriously. As women, we are often more vulnerable when it comes to being attacked, so it is so important to equip yourself physically and mentally as you walk around campus, being mindful of predators who may attack you at any given moment. We were so happy when Rose from Security Gem shared with us her secrets on staying safe on campus. Below are her 5 tips we would like to share with you on how to keep yourself safe.
CAMPUS SECURITY 101: 5 TIPS TO KEEP YOU SAFE by Rose, Security Gem
College is the land of freedom, experimentation, and friendships and though it may seem a bit like Shangri-La you still need to protect yourself and your friends. Maybe your mother has beat you over the head with stories of campus crime or perhaps you get reminded via PSAs to use the “buddy system” but that doesn’t mean that everyone in your crew has had the same experience so let’s take a step back and talk about 5 easy steps.
- Program the following numbers into your phone right now: campus security, campus escort, and finally ICE. ICE is an acronym that stands for in case of emergency. This is the first place a rescue service will try to call in case of emergency. If you live off campus you may want to look into services like Smart 911. Smart 911 is a free service that allows you to keep your medical records and security information in a secure place online that emergency responders can access if you call 911. You can upload pictures of yourself, your roomies, and even pets. You can also add any medications you are taking or health concerns.
- Use technology. There is an app for that. There are a lot of apps for that actually. BSafe is one personal safety application. They focus on turning your phone into a GPS based panic button. Using the app, you can program your phone to automatically notify your family, 911, or your friends of your exact location with the push of a button. It can also be setup to “fake call you” which could be rather handy during a bad first date. BSafe offers a free basic version of their service or you can pay $20 a year for premium service. Another popular app is called Watch Over Me. Watch Over Me allows you to create your own safety rule tied to a specific amount of time. For example, you might set it before you walk home alone from class at night to call your emergency contact if you don’t check-in within 15 minutes. Finally, you might want to take a look at OnWatch. Like the other apps OnWatch allows you to preset emergency contacts for a one button dial. You can connect it to your local 911, campus security, or even a safe list of friends.
- Demand that your residence hall is safe! If your school is not using an electronic lock system ask them when your lock was last changed. I don’t mean a recycled lockset either. You deserve a brand new lock set that is yours and yours alone. Check out the facility and look for individual deadbolts and peepholes. See if there is a place to lock your valuables or invest in a small safe to keep things that are valuable to you. It is every individual’s right to feel safe in their home!
- I’m here to remind you to lock the door. Going to the bathroom? Lock your door. Going to your neighbor’s room? Lock your door. The #1 way a burglar is going to get into your space is by walking through an unlocked door after they piggy back into a building. God bless you for being so kind and holding the door for strangers but when it comes to your dorm it has to stop. It is always better to be safe than polite. If you feel bad slamming the door on someone you need to put your big girl pants and just do it. You can’t always be polite in life because when you let a stranger in your home you are not only putting yourself in danger but everyone else too. Yes I know he is hot but so was one famous killer who doesn’t deserve to be named. The people breaking into on-campus homes are not obvious criminals. The people that are breaking into dorms are RAs, football players, basketball players, cross country team members, and indy musicians.
- Trust your gut. As women we are so programmed to be nice to others but you also have to be nice to yourself. If you are in an elevator and a stranger joins you it is okay to step off the elevator. If someone asks you for help it’s okay to reciprocate by finding a security officer or calling for help. If someone knocks on your door it’s okay to let them know you are there but not accepting visitors. If your girlfriend wants to stay at a club to hang out with strangers, it’s okay to force her to leave with you. All of these situations are uncomfortable but when you push through the discomfort you will be stronger and fierce. You will become the kind of woman we need in this world. It’s better to be safe than polite.