Staying safe at Kent State

Matt Rauch

The best advice for student safety is to use common sense.

John Peach, chief of the Kent State University police, said students should use the lessons their parents taught them to stay safe.

“It means don’t be overly trusting of people, which means lock your stuff up,” Peach said.

Watch out for your belongings

Peach said students should lock their bikes and never leave their book bags unattended.

Michquel Penn, community relations officer for KSU police, said students don’t realize how easy it is for a person to steal items from an unattended room. Penn said it’s important for students to keep their dorm rooms locked when they aren’t in the rooms. She said students should be careful whom they let in their rooms when they first get to campus.

“You really don’t know ‘know’ someone in a short amount of time,” she said.

Brian Hellwig, coordinator of residential security and safety, said Residence Services allow students to use an engraver to put their names on items as part of Operation I.D. He said this would help campus officials identify stolen items.

He said students could register their bikes through Residential Services, too.

Be cautious at night

Another common sense tip is to walk with a buddy after dark. All the safety officials interviewed said the old adage of safety in numbers is true.

Penn said Residence Services has a security aide program to help students get across campus safely after dark. She said the security aides are available for students from 8 p.m. to 4 a.m. to walk students anywhere on campus.

Residence Services employs 45 security aides who have who have over 100 hours of extensive training. Peach said security aides are in constant radio contact with KSU police.

According to the security aide website, all students have to do is call 2-7004 to get a security escort.

Stay smart about alcohol consumption

It’s OK for college students to have fun, but drinking excessively can put a person at risk when they are having a good time. Peach said excessive alcohol consumption impairs judgment and leads to unhealthy behavior.

He said many students have been rushed to the hospital because of alcohol poisoning and that it is important to for students to drink responsibly when they reach the legal age.

“If you’re able to drink, be moderate,” he said.

Peach added young women who are going to a party should always go with friends who will stick with them. They need to watch out for each other and keep track of how much they and their friends drink so they can avoid a dangerous situation.

Whatever the gender, Peach said it is important to know that police are there to help students. If a student is ever in an emergency, call 9-1-1.

“We would rather be called for a situation that is misinterpreted than not be called at all,” Peach said.