How To Stay Safe At College – A Student & Parent’s Guide
How to stay safe at college is a subject both parents and students worry about from the moment the 18 year old leaves homes. With college football be back on in a matter of weeks, and slew of university horror stories as we move into the 2017-2018 school year for college students, university and campus safety is a top priority for students and staff alike. Thus, AEGIS wants to remind you how to stay safe this school year.
According to the Safe and Sound Report from collegestats.org, theft, sexual assault and nearby criminal activity are at the top of the list for safety concerns at universities across the nation. Students should be aware of preventative measures to ensure their personal safety.
Foremost, know where your campus security entity is located. Is there an on-campus police department? What services do they offer? Is there a night patrol? Who can you call in case of an emergency? Who can you call to walk you back to your dorm or car after a night class? Education about your university is key to ensuring personal safety. Many schools offer escort services, self defense classes, and emergency response right on campus.
There are also personal defense items you should consider having on your person. Note that you need to also learn how to use them and make sure you’re complying with local laws!
LED Keychain Flashlights
Though it may not seems like a mechanism for defense, having a bright keychain flashlight on your keychain is a big deterrent. Many campuses continue to struggle with poorly lit walkways from the main campus building to parking structures and dorm sites. Having a bright light on and lighting your path at night makes you a visible presence for witnesses. Attackers don’t like the potential of people catching them in the act, so having a bright light to get you home after class can help in preventing an incident. Our CEO carrys and recommend this light:
Pepper spray can be carried in California by adults. Because use of it is not life threatening, it is a legally acceptable form of self-defense. Having a small canister on your keychain acts as visual deterrent and physical deterrent. Just make sure to carry it your hand ready to go if you need it. Digging in your pockets or purse never helped anybody in the midst of an attack. Anyone who has accidentally snorted any kind of pepper knows the pain that comes with the spice; seeing a clearly labeled pepper spray canister helps to notify potential assaultants that you are not going to be taken on without a fight. Furthermore, if you are attacked, spraying the perp in the face can quickly end the assault as they reach to rub the stinging liquid from their eyes.
Here’s a brand we like:
Stun guns or personal tasers
Also legal for the purpose of self defense in the state of California, stun guns can be carried to stop assault in its tracks. You just need to 1) know how to use it, 2) be prepared to use it, and 3) have it readily accessible when you need it. The electric shock of such an item will temporarily, but swiftly, immobilize an attacker without inflicting permanent damage. Check out this one:
And here’s a stun gun with a flash light (twice the safety gear in one!):
Other things you should do to ensure your safety are relatively simple but incredibly useful.
- Carry your phone in your hand so it is visible. This lets others know you have 911 at the tip of your fingers.
- Do not be playing on your phone or texting. Being on a call is a good idea, but only if you are still aware of your surroundings.
- Keep the earbuds out of your ears. Look, listen and pay attention in dark settings.
- Keep your keys visible and in a strong grip if you are approaching your car. You do not want to hold them loosely (they could be stolen that way), but putting a key between two of your fingers in an “attack position” shows you are willing to defend yourself.
- Take lighted paths whenever possible. If a path is not well-lit, avoid it.
- Walk with friends.
If your campus doesn’t have a security team, consider reaching out to an AEGIS security consultant to design and implement the best plan for your university or college. Additionally, AEGIS Security & Investigations offers security training programs designed for people at all levels within any organization. These trainings are the first step in understanding you and your organization’s capabilities and responses to an incident. Taking the steps to become better prepared in hostile situations cannot only save your life but help save the lives of those around you.
Our most popular education facility training is the civilian active shooter training that is intended to build on “run, hide, fight,” the long-standing method of saving yourself in these events. Workshops run from an hour to several hours dependent on the needs of the organization and individuals. Our most highly sought after workplace violence training program is our one-hour plus add-on Run, Hide, Fight Live Fire Demo; participants begin with a lecture and basic training on how to handle the situation and are then exposed to sample scenarios in which they practice those same skills. The effectiveness of this scenario can be viewed when on CBS here.
AEGIS Security & Investigations is a Los Angeles region company that is licensed and insured in the State of California to provide high-end armed and unarmed regular and temporary off-duty police officers, bodyguards, security officers, loss prevention agents, and event staff. Additionally, we offer services for private investigation, consultation, people locates, and background investigations. Our trainings and workshops in the field of security licensure and counter-terrorism have been featured in news media and are renowned for their efficacy. For more information or to contact us, visit www.aegis.com
By: Chelsea Turner & Jeff Zisner