Tips, resources for staying safe in C-U

An+emergency+telephone+stands+by+Talbot+Laboratory.+The+phones+are+located+all+over+campus+and+are+one+way+the+University+provides+safety+for+students.++

Willie Cui

An emergency telephone stands by Talbot Laboratory. The phones are located all over campus and are one way the University provides safety for students.

By Willie Cui, News Editor

Situated between the cities of Champaign and Urbana, the campus is primarily patrolled by the University Police Department and the separate police departments in Champaign and Urbana.

However, the police can’t be everywhere all the time, so here are some other measures you can take to stay safe on campus.

SafeWalks and SafeRides

When it comes to staying safe at night, there is more you can do than following the usual advice of staying in well-lit public areas and traveling with a group of friends.

Printed on the back of every i-card are the phone numbers for requesting SafeWalks and SafeRides.

SafeWalks is a free service run by the UIPD that provides student patrol escorts for students, faculty and staff who are walking around campus at night.

A SafeWalks escort can be requested by calling 217-333-1216 or by using one of the blue emergency phones located  around campus.

SafeRides is a similar service run by the Champaign-Urbana Mass Transit District that provides rides on request for people traveling alone with no other safe mode of transportation.

SafeRides requests can be made by calling 217-265-7433 or via the SafeRides mobile app.

Preventing theft, the most common crime on campus

With 114 thefts reported last school year, theft is the most common crime on campus, and according to the UIPD, will likely remain that way.

However, it’s also preventable with the right precautions. Many campus thefts are thefts of convenience — items are stolen when left unattended or unsecured.

Keeping valuables locked away, out of sight and never leaving personal belongings unattended helps prevent theft.

Another thing to keep in mind is the prevalence of bicycle theft on campus, which accounted for nearly half of all reported campus thefts last school year.

Pay attention to Illini-Alerts

As an institution that participates in federal aid programs, the University is required by the Clery Act to notify the campus community about crimes that pose a danger to University students, employees and community members.

To notify the campus community, the University send out “Illini-Alerts.” Illini-Alerts are sent out in real-time and usually consist of a series of messages sent via text, email and social media that provide instructions and updates for the campus community. The alerts usually end with a final “all clear” message once the situation is resolved.

For instance, on the evening of July 4, the University sent out Illini-Alerts when gunfire was reported, close to campus near the intersection of Green and Locust Street. The public was advised to avoid the area until the situation was resolved.

Accordingly, Illini-Alerts should not be taken lightly, especially if you’re out and about, and you should keep the situation in mind until the “all clear” message is sent.

 

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