Safety starts as soon as you step on campus 

By Amrita Bhattacharyya, Staff Writer

Moving in is undoubtedly an exciting time, but in the midst of all the chaos, it’s easy to forget about important safety tips. Safety isn’t a “one and done” thing; rather, it’s important to stay vigilant and take preemptive measures so you can stay safe in the long run. Here are some easy things you can do to keep yourself safe!

Lock your door 

Get in the habit of locking your door every single time you leave, even if it’s just for a quick shower down the hall. Some of the older dorm buildings don’t have security cameras in hallways, making it difficult to track down thieves after an item has been stolen. Being consistent with locking your door can save unwanted heartbreak and stress from a stolen laptop in the future. 

Don’t open the door for random strangers

If you’ll be living in a dorm, you’ll notice a pretty steady stream of people going in and out. If you see someone waiting outside and you don’t know them, don’t feel pressured to let them in. Not opening the door doesn’t make you a bad person. If they’re supposed to be there, their friend will eventually let them in. 

Be familiar with campus safety programs beforehand

When you find yourself in a sketchy situation, it can be hard to know what to do on the spot. Familiarizing yourself with options beforehand can help you come up with a quick solution. The University offers a host of programs to help make students feel safe on campus. SafeWalks and SafeRides are especially helpful. A service provided by Student Patrol, SafeWalks is great for when you find yourself walking alone at night and don’t feel safe. Add these numbers to your contacts so you have them on hand!

SafeWalks: 217-333-1216

MTD SafeRides: 217-265-7433

Illini-Alert is another program by the University which sends out emergency messages for situations which may be a threat to campus safety. Students can sign up to receive emails and text messages, and it’s a great way to stay informed in real-time about important updates.

A full list of campus safety resources is provided by the Office of the Dean of Students.

Walking at night 

If you’re walking alone at night, it’s good to take preemptive measures such as walking in well-lit areas where there is heavy foot traffic. It’s also important to be aware of your surroundings. Having your music turned up so loud that you can’t hear what’s going on around you isn’t a good idea. Take note of emergency blue call buttons placed around campus, which automatically connect you to the police department. 

Learn how the MTD bus system works 

My first semester at the University was filled with lots of walking because I couldn’t figure out the Illini Bus app. However, the faster you learn the routes and familiarize yourself with common stops, the more prepared you’ll be later on. Not only will you get to destinations quicker, but  hopping on a bus is safer than walking around alone in the dark. 

[email protected]