Did you know that students can find information about campus safety before deciding on a U.S. school? Federal law requires American colleges and universities to release crime statistics every year. This information may be included on a school’s website or can be found through the U.S. Department of Education’s Campus Safety and Data Analysis Cutting Tool: ope.ed.gov/security/.
Robin Hattersley Gray, executive editor of Campus Safety magazine, recommends taking that research a couple of steps further. In a Campus Safety article, she listed several safety points to consider, including:
WAYS TO PROTECT YOURSELF ON (AND OFF) CAMPUS
In safety tips and suggestions posted online, many universities and campus police departments emphasize vigilance and basic safeguards such as traveling in groups and familiarizing yourself with your environment.
Personal-safety expert David Nance says the most important thing students can do is to be attentive –- which means not being distracted by smartphones or other devices. He also recommends learning self-defense techniques, knowing common distractions ploys used by attackers and keeping a safe distance from strangers. By keeping 12 feet between yourself and others, “an attacker would need to take two steps to get to you,” Nance said, giving you time to react and respond.
PEACE OUTside Campus, an organization formed in response to the 2005 murder of a female University of Delaware student in her off-campus apartment, encourages students to take responsibility for their own safety. The group’s website lists precautions students can take to lessen the likelihood of becoming a victim on or off campus: