Whether you're touring college campuses for admission in the upcoming semester or you're simply starting to think more about services available on campus, you may have heard quite a bit about campus security. However, like many college students, you're questioning whether or not having this information on you is actually important. The answer is that you should absolutely keep the number of campus security on speed dial for a host of reasons.
1. Late-Night Classes
When you've been used to attending classes during daylight hours for your entire life, the thought of walking home or to your car with books in hand and a laptop in your bag in the darkness might seem unusual. However, many college classes extend into the evening and night hours, and the skies are dark, especially when the sun sets earlier in the day. Walking alone at night is often unadvisable, particularly if the college is located in an area with high crime rates. In the event that you feel unsafe walking back to your dorm or car, you could call a representative from public-safety to escort you. Some colleges may even have specific numbers set up for this purpose so that you can obtain a more immediate response.
2. Late-Night Events, Tutoring and Library Visits
Perhaps you have entirely ruled out the possibility of ever taking a class that cuts into your dinner hours. Still though, the college experience is about more than just classes. Some classes have required events that occur during the evening, or you may participate in clubs that meet after the majority of classes have ended for the night. Furthermore, college campuses are often home to both tutoring and writing centers. Tutors are often available for evening hours to help students with their assignments. In other words, you may want to call for assistance walking home or to your car from public safety after participating in one of these activities.
3. Suspicious Persons
College campuses are typically open. While individuals may need to swipe identification cards to get into residential areas or to use computers in the library, people can usually just walk right onto a college campuses from the neighboring communities and elsewhere. In certain cases, this open-campus vibe can allow residents of nearby neighborhoods to take in college displays that are open to the public. In other cases, the open-campus feel can invite in trouble. You might notice someone lurking around near the dorms, or you may see a person testing out doors in an academic building to see if they are open. Approaching such a person by yourself is absolutely not advisable. Instead, you can call public safety to let them know what is going on.
4. Second-Hand Report
Sometimes, other students may share information with you, and you may realize that they are in need of help. For example, a student might tell you that they were stalked or that they saw a suspicious person trying to get into the dorms. As a college student, you are grappling with many new experiences and issues, and you may not know where to turn. Calling a public safety official can help provide you with the guidance necessary to move forward. Also, by making them aware of the situation, you can help to lead a better community on the college campus overall. Do keep in mind that you will likely need to provide details of where you got your information from.
5. Reports of Threats
You may also overhear a conversation happening that alarms you. For example, you might hear two students say that they are planning to injure one of their friends, or you might read a note from students who say they are planning to attack the university. In these situations, you will likely feel a great deal of fear. In fact, you may even feel as though you want to avoid handling the situation at all. Keep in mind that you absolutely must act. Calling public safety is the right step.
6. Imminent Danger
Having public safety's number on speed dial is useful in the event of a wide range of scenarios. You might feel that you would like someone to walk you to your car when it is dark out after class, or you may overhear a conversation about something dangerous that is slated to happen tomorrow. However, you could also find yourself in a situation where imminent danger is present. Someone may be yelling at you aggressively, or you might find out that someone is following you. Calling the police and public safety is advisable.
7. Off-Campus Activities
When students are picking out a college, they often take a good look at the surrounding area. Many students want to attend school in a neighborhood that provides them with a wealth of opportunities. As thus, you are likely to venture off campus. When doing so, you might find yourself in a dangerous situation or where troubles are lurking. You may also hear someone make threats about your campus. Do not feel as though you should avoid contacting public safety. Public safety can even help to arrange a safe ride home for you. Of course, make sure you call the police if necessary too.
8. Past Incidents
Calling public safety is important when you are trying to prevent an incident from happening, but you can also contact this department in the event that you want to report a past incident. For example, frightening situations can occur, and someone might have harassed or attacked you in the past. You can speak with a public safety official to find out the policies in place at your school for properly reporting these types of incidents.
9. Locked Out
During your college career, you may find that you are locked out of a building or a room that you need to get into. Perhaps you will find yourself having a job at the university's tutoring or writing center. Sometimes, these facilities are open on the weekends, and they may be housed in academic buildings. In certain cases, a miscommunication may cause the building to be locked when you arrive for your shift. While public safety officials cannot just let anyone into any building they desire and will most certainly need to verify your identity, you can call public safety to help you out.
10. Injured or Stray Animals
While you should keep the numbers for local vets, rescue groups and shelters handy, you may not yet have researched this information. In the event that you see a stray or injured animal on campus, you can call public safety to gain guidance on what step to take next.
Public safety, also called campus security, is an extremely useful entity on your college campus. These officials can help in so many capacities; therefore, you should have the number on speed dial.