College Safety Tips: 5 Critical Ways to Protect Yourself When on Campus

Tuesday, August 07, 2012

Boy approaches girl at a bar.  Girl appears to be uncomfortable, but does not know how to extract herself from the situation.  Boy misses the obvious clues that she is not interested.  Girl’s friend steps in to save the day.  Boy leaves with head down, but his rejection provides excellent humor for his friends. 


We’ve all seen this situation played out dozens of times.  It’s easy to step in when things appear obvious that something isn’t right (girl has had too much to drink, guy has had too much to drink, guy is over persistent). 


Who has your back when the situation is not so in-your-face obvious?  As a student, here are several questions to ask yourself:

  1. Do you share your schedule with a friend?
  2. Do you walk around at night with a companion?
  3. Do your friends allow you to leave a party alone with a stranger or even someone who is merely an acquaintance and hasn’t earned your trust yet?  Or, do they question your decision, try to persuade you otherwise and, only if you persist, do they make sure they know exactly where you will be going and when you’ll be back?
  4. Do you do the same for your friends?


For safety’s sake, you want to be able to answer yes to the above questions.  In my SABRE College Safety Program, we call this person your Partner in Crime Prevention (PICP). You should have at least one PICP, but you can have many for different occasions.  Have night classes?  Get a study buddy PICP.  Have an active social life?  Partner up with a Let’s Have Fun PICP.  Do you like to go for runs to prevent the freshman 15?  Find a fitness PICP.  Make a pact with your friends to look out for one another.  If you find a new crush at a party, you can always make a date with him for the following day and let him earn your trust. Tell him you promised to walk your friend home at the end of the night. The good ones are always willing to wait.


As another College year is upon us, our goal is to help students stay safe and reduce the number of students affected by college campus crime in 2012/2013.  10,000 students fall victim to theft or violent crime each year.  Watch this video to enhance your safety during the upcoming school year.



My video discusses these 5 ways to enhance your personal safety while at college:

  1. Have several PICP’s and watch each other’s backs.
  2. Keep distance from the many natural landscapes when walking across campus.  As you become more and more comfortable with your campus you’ll need to continue to pay attention to these landscapes.  Always walk with your PICP after dark and always keep a distance from these landscapes where an attacker could hide behind.
  3. Decline the distraction techniques – Like “Where are the good bars around here?” Answer: “I can’t help you.  I’m in a hurry.”
  4. Trust your instincts and immediately leave a situation that doesn’t feel right.
  5. Protect yourself.  I recommend Personal Safety Sprays for students, which provide protection at a safe distance.  Why go hands on when you can diffuse the situation from 10 feet away?


Keep your guard up and your friends close. A few smart moves will make for a great college experience. A great first move would be for you to check out this program -