Be safe at night

Shannen Von Alt

Know your campus and the security services it offers

Being in a new area can be difficult, especially late at night. The campus can look different – even scary – in the dark, so being safe is important.

When walking around campus at night, it is important to be aware of the different safety services available to students.

“It’s really important for students to orient themselves to the campus and all available services,” said Chris Jenkins, Kent State Police Department lieutenant. “Freshmen should put 911 on their speed dial and use common sense when out at night.”

Safety services available to students at night include the Kent State Police, the Office of Safety and Security and emergency phones posted all over campus.

Police officers are out at night to assist students, and the Office of Safety and Security operates from 8 p.m. to 4 a.m.

The Office of Safety and Security runs the Campus Escort Service, a night service that has trained security officers escort students from one place on campus to another.

“The Escort Service is a great program to help students get around at night,” Jenkins said. “Anyone can use it, and it’s a great way for students to be safe.”

Security officers will escort students to the dorms, to or from a late class, to cars and to or from any building or corner of campus.

Aside from providing safety, using the service can be a way to help students get to know the best paths to take at night.

“Students can just call whenever they need an escort,” Security Manager Brian Hellwig said. “We’ll be there as soon as we can and take you wherever you need to go. We’re here to make sure you’re safe.”

For students who choose not to use the Escort Service, taking precautions is vital to ensure safety. Students should get to know the campus, try not to walk alone and know who to call for help.

“At night, students should stick to the campus walkways and well-lit areas,” Jenkins said. “Taking shortcuts or going through the bushes can be dangerous, and you could get lost or hurt that way.”

The campus is made for foot traffic, and pathways lead to every building. Other students and officers also use the pathways, so help is easier to find.

“Officers are out at night on foot to help students be safe,” Jenkins said. “If anyone needs help or directions, we’re out and you can stop us.”

To find out more about campus safety, contact the Kent State University Police Department at (330) 672-3070.ÿ To use the Escort Service, call (330) 672-7004.

How to be safe on campus

&bull Be aware of your surroundings.

&bull If possible, don’t walk alone.

&bull Avoid shortcuts through the woods, especially ones you don’t know.

&bull If someone appears to be following you or seems suspicious, cross the street or change directions and do not go home right away.

&bull If the person keeps following you, call the police right away. If you choose to run, run fast and scream.

&bull Keep 911 and all emergency

numbers in your phone and on speed dial.

Contact police and courts reporter Shannen Von Alt at [email protected].