Whether it’s walking to your car after work or walking through the parking lot after a night class, sometimes we don’t always feel safe.
Many students are put in a situation where they are alone at night on a frequent basis. Going over a few safety tips may help you become more aware of what you need to do to keep yourself safe.
Tammy Castor, COC’s director of campus safety, encourages students to utilize resources on campus. The COC escort service is available from 6-10 p.m. Other students use the buddy system and drive each other to their cars.
However, often times student do use the escort service. “A lot of people figure that they can just make it to their car real quick and they’ll be okay,” says Castor.
For the students that do choose to walk to their car alone at night, there are a few things to think about.
Be aware of your surroundings. “Don’t be texting and walking,” explains Castor. ” I see a lot of people not paying attention to what’s going on around them and that’s what the bad guys look for. You look like a victim, they know you’re not aware.”
Walking with a purpose and a confident stride helps as well. Walking with your keys in hand and at the ready is something that Castor suggests, and in a dangerous situation, a single key could also be used in self-defense since pepper sprays, tazers, and other weapons are not allowed on campus.
Other precautions students can take would be checking around their cars before they approach them and walking in the center of the aisles.
Often, students will call a friend and walk to their car while talking on the phone. Castor recommends against this. She suggests that without the call, you will be more aware of your environment and have your hands free in case if something happens.
If you are alone and someone does try to approach you, do not let them get near you. “It’s okay to be rude, put your hand up and say stop,” says Castor. “We’re raised to be polite. That can be a bad thing, for women especially.” Making eye contact with anyone that appears suspicious is also recommended.
The most important thing to remember is to be aware of your surroundings, or avoid dangerous situations in general.
To report anything suspicious on campus, be sure to contact campus safety an on-duty officer’s cell phone at 661 510 3882.