Ways to Stay Safe this Semester

While I believe Oklahoma State University to be a relatively safe campus, I would be naive to think that no safety issues ever happen at here (or on any college campus for that matter).

Luckily for OSU students, the university's Campus Safety office has been increasing efforts over the past few years to create a safer environment for its students. 

 

One recent development is the Orange Shield app, which OSU debuted this semester.

  • You can download the app FOR FREE on Apple and Android phones.
  • The app uses GPS technology to send your exact location to local police if you press the distress button within the app. Law enforcement officers will arrive to your location as quickly as possible. One of my friends who accidentally sent a distress signal (oops!) said the OSU police arrived to her classroom within just a few minutes of her sending the signal. 
  • Another useful feature: the Friend Watch setting lets you set a timer for when you're walking home alone. If you don't check in at your destination within the amount of time you set, it will send an alert for family or friends to try to contact you or the police if they can't reach you. Click here for more features.

    Speaking of walking home by yourself, if you don't have a group of friends, or even if you're with a group but want to feel more safe, OSU has a Safe Walk program. 

     
    • By requesting a Safe Walk, a trained Public Service Officer will meet you and walk you to your destination (on campus or on Greek row) between the hours of 7 a.m. to 3 a.m.
    • You can call 405-744-6523 to request a Safe Walk PSO
    • Safe Walk can also be accessed through the Orange Shield app

    OSU has also set into motion the Cowboy Alert System, which sends text/email alerts to let students know if there is a potential safety issue or incident on campus. 

    • If you're not sure if you're signed up, you can check or sign up here.
    • Just this last week, the OSU community was alerted to a man who had been riding around shirtless on a bike on campus. He was harassing women, particularly minority women. Within a short period of time, the OSU community was alerted to his presence and even updated on information about the man, including a photo, so they could alert OSU police if they saw him on campus again. I got the text message and followed up with the description of the man later. 

     

    Finally, OSU is setting up a system of preventative training programs that will hopefully reduce the likelihood safety incidents will occur on campus.

    • 1 is 2 Many: OSU has issued a mandatory online training program to help educate students to raise awareness about what constitutes sexual assault and to be armed with prevention and intervention tactics if a student recognizes a potential or occuring incident of sexual assault
    • SMART alcohol use training provides safety information and advice for students who choose to drink
    • The Lock It or Lose It program helps remind the OSU community of preventative measures to reduce the risk of break ins and burglaries

     

    **In accordance with the Jeanne Clery Act, you can access OSU's annual safety reports online.