It is natural to worry about the safety of your students when they are on campus and especially if they live in the residence halls rather than commuting from home.
Rest assured that colleges and universities make student safety a top priority. The campus police department works closely with the town/city police department — security officers are available 24 hours a day to respond to student concerns. The entrances to residence halls can only be opened by the students who live there, using their ID cards as a key. Pathways and public spaces are well lit.
It is a good idea to talk to your student about things they can do to protect their personal safety as well as their belongings.
Register laptops and bikes with the campus police department.
If driving to campus, never leave valuables in the car and lock it at all times; in general, leave expensive items at home.
Lock dorm room at all times.
Sign up to receive emergency “campus alert” text messages from the college in case of a weather or other emergency (this may be an option for parents, too).
Attend campus trainings on sexual assault prevention and bystander intervention — use the buddy system when going out at night and keep track of friends at parties.
Take a self-defense class if one is offered on campus and consider buying a keychain alarm or pepper spray. (Note: Pepper spray is not legal in some states, so check the law.)
Use campus police department late-night escorts and safe-ride programs.
Ask your student to share their roommate’s contact information (phone, email) so you have it in case there is ever an emergency.
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