Students think ‘safety’ after sun sets

Morgan Day

Campus courtesy phones, like this one in the parking lot of Music and Speech, are available for students to use if they feel unsafe. LESLIE CUSANO | DAILY KENT STATER

Credit: Adam Griffiths

It’s not fear, but caution for their own safety, that has Kent State students looking over their shoulders at night and making cell phone calls on the walk home to hear the reassurance of someone else’s voice.

Officer Alice Ickes said although aggravated assaults have been nonexistent and related incidents very rare the past few years, students should still take special precautions against them.

“The biggest thing is to have peace of mind,” she said. “When you have concerns for your safety, it affects your quality of life.”

Ickes suggested students do whatever it takes to make themselves feel safe, whether it’s walking with a friend or staying in well-lighted areas. Students should start thinking about their safety now so they will be better prepared if they find themselves in a dangerous situation in the future.

Although the campus is not notorious for danger, some proactive students are prepared for dangerous confrontations with predators.


• If you feel you are being followed, do not go home. Head to a police station or any well-populated area.

• Keep your home doors locked at all times, even when you’re home. If you lose your keys or move into a new residence, have the locks changed.

• Park your car in well-lighted areas and have your keys ready when you approach your vehicle.

• Most importantly, follow your instincts. If you feel unsafe, get yourself out of the situation immediately.

Source: The Kent State University

Department of Public Safety

Freshman exploratory major Karen Hozjan said she is confident in the amount of security officials found around campus, but she still rushed back to her residence hall after her evening classes last semester.

“I don’t always feel safe being alone (on campus), and there’s not always going to be security everywhere you go,” she said.

Anyone feeling unsafe may request a security aide to escort them to or from any on-campus destination. Kent State’s Security Aide program, provided by the Department of Residence Services, is available seven days a week from 8 p.m. to 4 a.m.

Campus security manager Brian Hellwig said individuals request an average of one or two escorts per night.

“Mainly, I think people feel pretty safe on campus, which is a very good thing,” he said, adding that this might be the reason they don’t take full advantage of the service.

To request an escort from a campus phone, dial 2-7004, or dial (330) 672-7004 from any other phone.

“Blue light phones” are located in parking lots and along sidewalks throughout campus, while “campus courtesy phones” are located outside residence halls. Both are 911 accessible. Students walking through campus should be able to see a blue light phone at all times.

Sophomore architecture major Bob Bumbarger said the precautions students take here compared to the University of Akron are different. Here, students walking through campus at night tend to walk in groups of two or three; at Akron, groups of women make sure to bring a male with them.

Bumbarger said he never feels uneasy walking alone through campus and sees Kent State as a generally safe environment.

“I’m sure you get your regular shady characters here, but nothing that would prevent you from walking wherever you would want to go,” he said.

Contact safety reporter Morgan Day at [email protected].