5 Ways to Stay Safe on Campus

As we return from fall break and all begin to return to or to adopt new daily routines, it is important that we all take a moment to analyze how we stay safe when studying and possibly living on such a large campus. At the University of Utah, our campus community has unfortunately suffered tragic events that have been shocking and horrific. In light of these events, I know that some of us may be concerned about our safety. Personally, I have found that simply researching and beginning to implement a few personal safety measures have helped me to feel much more comfortable on campus again. 

  1. 1. Know local police numbers

    If you find yourself in an emergency or need assistance from the police, it is much easier to receive the help you need if you have already pre-saved certain phone numbers. To contact the University of Utah Police, call 801-585-2677. If you call this number, you can also request a safety escort to walk with you to another location on campus. For the general Salt Lake City Police Department line, call 801-799-3000. Simply having these numbers programmed into your phone can drastically help your peace of mind and hasten the process of receiving assistance if you are ever in an unsafe environment.  

  2. 2. Share your location with friends/family 

    Although it’s tough to think about possible worst-case scenarios, the first question that is typically asked when someone has gone missing is, “What was their last known location?” Being able to check in on friends and family members is one thing, but there is an additional and incredible sense of security that comes with knowing exactly where someone is at a given time. Check out this site to see various options that allow you to share your location with loved ones. 

  3. 3. Be mindful when walking alone

    If you have no choice but to walk alone at night, you might feel safer if you stick to well-lit paths and stay aware of your surroundings. While I love blasting some music in my earbuds while I’m walking from place to place, if I’m somewhere that I’m not as familiar with, I’ll turn down the volume, look up from my phone, and stay close to street lamps in order to feel safer as I make my way to my destination. 

  4. 4. Take a self-defense class

    The situations that self-defense classes portray may be incredibly rare, but there is something remarkably empowering about learning the steps and methods to protect yourself from a possible attack. Additionally, the University of Utah offers a self-defense class called RAD (rape, aggression, defense) that spans 12 hours and teaches the basics of self-defense. For only $25, and with the ability to retake the class for free a second time, this class is an incredible investment with the great payoff of feeling safe and confident. 

  5. 5. Have external methods of protecting yourself

    Perhaps on a more extreme level, you can also buy products and tools that aid in creating a feeling of safety and can help you defend yourself in the case of an emergency. Many of my friends have purchased small keychain pepper sprays, alarms, whistles, and tasers. Before buying any of these items, however, it’s important to do your research to find which (if any) item best suits your needs and wants in the pursuit of self-defense. 

There are countless other ways to increase your general knowledge about self-defense and staying safe on campus, but hopefully these few tips will help to inspire more awareness around safety within college spaces. 


Image: 1