The likely hood of getting assaulted while on campus has increased over the last few years, especially areas around the University of Minnesota. Every other week the news broadcasts a incident of violence, including robberies, stabbings and sometimes shootings.
Unsuspecting college students walking between classes in late evening or at night are in the most danger of being assaulting. Many students have also been robbed early in the morning hours when few people are stirring around campus.
A study conducted in 2016 by National Education Statistics revealed that over 28,000 campus related crimes occurred across America’s educational institutions, including burglaries, robberies, sexual assaults, theft, and vandalism. Such incidents are set to increase if preventive measures are not improved.
As a campus enthusiast , I often spend hours at universities just walking the grounds and shooting photography or hanging in the library reading some of the best practices in my teaching profession. Sometimes I am observant of individuals hanging around buildings or wondering in the hallways with no perceivable intention.
Being watchful of such suspicious activity is the key to staying safe on campus. However, many college students are so engulfed in getting to classes or completing assignments, projects or reports before deadlines that the pay not attention to what is going on around them. This is a big mistake.
The consequences of Indifference
The reality is that campus violence is increasing. To ignore this fact is to put yourself in constant danger, resulting in the likelihood of being unsuspectingly harmed. Attackers do what they do for several reasons.
For example, I have witnessed many homeless people as well as people who were mentally challenged walking around in the unions and secluded places on campuses. To many attackers, college students are easy prey.
Taking Campus Violence Seriously
Being safe begins with being aware of your surroundings at all times. You must discipline yourself to do this. If you are careless when it comes to being aware, you will have to make efforts to develop this critical habit.
The question you should ask yourself is if you desire to be safe. What is more important? Is it getting to your classes without considering who may be watching you? Are your assignments, regardless of how important the completion of them may be, more important than your well being. The civilized answer is NO.
Get one thing clear. You want to be safe at all time and you are the only one responsible for your ultimate safety. You want to get to one place on campus to the next one, safe and sound. Such mindset will enable you to take charge of your personal security.
Have a plan for an emergency. You should know exactly what you would do in an event your find yourself being followed or if, God Forbid, you become a victim of assault.
First, you should have some type of defensive weapon. Pepper Spray or a maze are too powerful deterrence to an assault. You can temporarily blind your attacker to escape. Otherwise, take lessons in which you will learn to disable an individual by applying pressure to sensitive areas of the body.
Individual who assault others, if they sense resistance or awareness, will most likely avoid you and disappear to someplace else.
First you need a phone. Make sure that you have an accessible list of names and numbers of important people, including the security around campus. A set of emergency numbers you should have includes:
- Campus Security
- A Reliable Friend or Family Member
- Location numbers
If you are under any type of threat that may you decision-making ability must be quick and without confusion. Courage over panic is the key to being safe and alert.
The Bottom Line
The bottom line is that you do not want to become another statistic. Simple awareness and acknowledgment that you can be in harm’s way, regardless of how safe you think your campus environment may be, is the key to staying safe and secure.
The attitude that it cannot happen to you is a big mistake. Crime has no respect of persons. Anyone can become a victim. Caution and Awareness are the habits of the wise and mature.