Campus safety tips

Kent Stater files

Night safety

Whether you’re walking back from a late-night study session or coming home from a hard night of partying, campus can be a completely different place when the sun sets. Students can decrease their chances of being victims of crime at night by following these tips.

• Get to know your campus and the services available. The Office of Safety & Security offers an escort service. To request an escort, call 330-672-7004. 

• There are 40 blue-light emergency phones around campus in parking lots and on sidewalks. Familiarize yourself with where they’re located. Keep your cellphone in your hand in case you need to use it quickly.

• Keep your keys in your hand so you don’t waste time digging in your purse or pockets to find them. They also can make a good weapon if necessary.

• Travel in groups when you can — there’s safety in numbers.

• Pay attention to areas that could be safe havens. Look for areas or buildings with lots of people if you need to duck in somewhere quickly.

At a party

It’s a common college experience — students are going to go out, drink and have a good time. If you’re a student new to the party scene, follow this advice to keep safe when you’re out and about. 

• Go out in groups, especially if you’re a female. Go to the party and make sure you leave the party with all the members of your group.

• Watch out for your friends at the party. If it looks like they’ve had too much to drink, make sure they don’t accept any other drinks people may offer them.

• Make sure you know where your drink came from. Don’t drink it if you didn’t pour it yourself.

• Have a game plan before you leave. Set a fixed number of drinks (whether it be zero or three) for yourself and stick to it. Before you leave for the party, plan what you will say if you are offered more drinks than you want.

Campus emergency

Should there be an emergency situation on campus, here are some rules to follow:

• First, make sure campus authorities can notify you of any potential problems. Kent State offers an emergency text notification system called Flash ALERTS. You must be subscribed to receive texts on critical news and information. Sign up for Flash ALERTS here.

• If you’re in a building with a shooter, lock and/or barricade the door and call 911.

• Have emergency numbers programmed into your cellphone. To contact Kent State’s Police Services Communications Center, call 330-672-2212.

• If you’re in an open space and have to run from a shooter, stagger your directions. You’ll be harder to hit than something moving in a straight line.

• Follow the advice the university is giving. It may need you to stay in your dorm room, or it may need to evacuate the entire building.

Theft protection

With our cellphones, we’ve become a society in love with its handheld devices. They’re small, portable and carry all the information we need. But their size makes them easy targets for theft. On a campus with tons of new people, leaving your backpack on your seat while you make a bathroom run could be a costly mistake. 

• Keep your dorm room door locked at all times. No matter how long you’re going to be gone — even if you are just going to the bathroom — shut and lock the door. Don’t leave your property unattended in libraries or lecture halls either. Thieves are opportunists; if they see something sitting unprotected, they will be more likely to snatch it.

• Secure your laptop with a lock and inscribe an identification number on your other small devices. These ID numbers make items hard to resell.