The University campus and neighboring areas are not immune to crime. Property crime is the most common, but serious crimes against persons do occur. Individuals can take steps to reduce their vulnerability:
Maintain situational awareness
Pay attention to the behavior and actions of people and the circumstances around you.
Be alert for danger signals (for example, someone luring you from a public area to a location out of public view).
If something seems bad, it probably is! Take action to avoid the threat and immediately report your observations to 9-1-1.
Isolated persons are more likely to be victimized.
Walk in groups, especially after dark. There is safety in numbers.
Utilize SHU transportation services (SHUFLY, CASE van, on-campus escorts) or taxi services to avoid walking alone at night.
Avoid isolated areas (locations in which there are no other persons nearby to see or hear if you are victimized and come to your assistance by intervening or alerting the police).
Avoid isolation indoors (being alone in a laundry room, study area, workspace, etc.).
Do not go into an isolated location with someone that has not yet earned your trust (for example, going into an isolated room at a party).
Control access to residence and workspace
Keep exterior doors and accessible windows closed and locked.
Do not leave apartment or residence hall doors unlocked or propped/ bolted open.
Don’t allow strangers into your residence (or allow them to “piggyback” behind you).
Don’t open campus gates for strangers (let them use their SHU ID to enter).
Verify the ID of any maintenance workers that want to enter your residence.
Notify your landlord if locks and other security devices are missing or broken.
Follow safe party practices: attendance by invitation (only people you know) and prevent access to other rooms beyond the occupied party area.
Don’t leave property unattended or unprotected
Don’t leave your valuables (handbags, wallets, laptops, etc.) unattended.
Keep your car doors locked and don’t leave valuables exposed to view.
Lock your bicycle to a bike rack with a high quality locking device or store in a locked indoor location.
Avoid use of alcohol and drugs
Intoxication is a factor in many serious crimes involving college students.
Alcohol and drugs degrade your situational awareness!
Persons under the influence are less likely to see danger coming or to effectively deal with it.
Persons under the influence are much more likely to be aggressive and involved in criminal activity.
Follow safe party practices: have parties without alcohol, if alcohol is served, strictly limit consumption (and do not serve to underage persons), have non-alcoholic drinks and food available, do not allow intoxicated persons to drive.
Take precautions on the Internet
Avoid divulging personal information and your daily movements online.
Utilize the privacy features of the social networking sites you use.
Be alert for phishing scams.
Report suspicious and criminal activity
Understand the importance of reporting: a crime cannot be prevented or solved if it isn’t reported!
Report suspicious and criminal activities immediately!
When reporting include: location of the incident, time of occurrence, description of the activity observed, description of persons involved, location and direction of travel of suspects, presence of weapons, etc.
Call 9-1-1 for emergencies on or off campus or use the campus emergency telephone (red button).
Non-emergencies on campus, call PS&S at 761-9300 or use the campus emergency phone (black button).
Non-emergencies off campus, call SOPD at 763-3000.
What to do if you are directly confronted by criminal activity
If the assailant wants your valuables, give them up (nothing you own is worth your life)!
If you are being assaulted there are options based on your capabilities and the circumstances:
- Submission – submitting to a crime may be necessary if there are no other viable options
- Passive resistance – talking your way out of the situation
- Seeking assistance – calling loudly for help and fleeing towards other persons or occupied locations
- Active physical resistance – If you do physically resist, the goal is to break away and get to help.