Careers & Education

How to avoid campus crimes

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College campus security detail
Campus security: use them.
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Know how to avoid campus crimes

While not something most parents and students would like to think about, the incidence of crime on college campuses is borderline rampant.

Most of the criminal activity that takes place is relatively harmless; backpacks and books being stolen. However, there are more serious offenses such as assault, destruction of property and identity theft that warrant taking some precautions.

With that said, here are some simple steps for how to avoid campus crimes to minimize the chances of becoming a victim. Many of these suggestions are sound advice for all of us, on or off campus.

First and foremost, be aware. Idly ambling along while seeming to be in a world of our own may help pass the time, but it can also result in unwanted consequences. Staying alert to the people and conditions around you provides you time to avoid potentially dangerous situations.

Understand the processes for reporting suspicious or criminal activity. Most every college in America and most large business complexes, have procedures for just such a scenario. Knowing what these are, and how to utilize them before theyíre needed can put an end to a situation before it has a chance to escalate.

Find a buddy and use him or her. This is especially important at night; coming back from working out or a late class alone should be avoided whenever and however possible. Contact your campus police or security department when you first move in to inquire about assistance when your buddyís not available. Campus security will meet you and walk you to your dorm or study area at anytime; donít be embarrassed to use them, itís what they are there for.

Kids being kids at college, or adults being kids for that matter, may find themselves in a situation of having had too much alcohol to drink. Loss of awareness and recognition of surroundings often disappears when a person has had one too many. If you must, make certain to name a designated friend as purveyor of not only car keys, but of the safe return to campus or the dorms.

Always keep the dorm room shut and locked; whether itís occupied or not. Most theft on campus occurs by way of opportunity; someone happens by and sees an open door and books lying on the bed or floor. Keeping your door locked at all times is the easiest means of dissuading all but the most earnest of thieves. Also, if the dorms are co-ed, donít include Ms., Mrs., or Miss on the door. A first initial and last name will suffice.

In these days of social networking, it seems all to easy to learn of every move, inclination, likes and dislikes of millions of people; let alone fellow students. Clean up the Facebook or MySpace page of all the particulars such as posting your class schedule and your plans to be out of your room at the off-campus party this evening. An enterprising criminal can use this information for all the wrong reasons.

College should be a safe place for kids to mature and take what for many are the final steps toward adulthood. Taking a few simple precautions can help ensure it remains that way.

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