By: EMILY TRENT
Whether students and faculty are on campus after dark for classes, club meetings, events or to study, their safety is something Indiana University Police Department (IUPD) aims to maintain.
IUPD is encouraging students to use a new app, RAVE Guardian Safety. The app has different safety features students may use to keep themselves safe while on campus.
When logged onto the app, students may use a safe walk time to tell someone they trust where they are going and approximately how long it will take them to arrive. They may also call 911 or IU police through the app at any point they may feel unsafe or need assistance.
The app also has features so students and faculty may receive safety tip text messages, notification of crime on campus or surrounding areas and access to links of important web pages and phone numbers.
One of the most important safety tips given by Chief of University Police, Kurt Matz was to always try to walk with someone after dark. Always being alert and aware of your surroundings is another important tip.
Matz says that when students are alone after dark on campus be sure to make eye contact with anyone that they may pass by or encounter. Limiting screen time on devices may help them stay aware and alert.
RAINN, (Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network) is the nation’s largest anti-sexual violence organization. They offer safety tips to students and faculty to help prevent any dangerous encounters on campus.
Some of the advice provided by RAINN includes:
- Trust your gut, if something does not feel right it probably isn’t.
- Making up an excuse to get out of an uncomfortable situation is okay.
- Be prepared.
- Let someone you trust know where you are at all times.
- Speak up if you see something that is not right. Prevention is key.
Fort Hays State University has also put together a guide for students everywhere to help with knowing what to do if a crime occurs and how to prevent them.
Campus isn’t the only place where schools see crime, student housing is also subjectable to crimes.
Fort Hays State guide to staying safe in and around housing is to:
- Never leave a note on your door stating when you will return.
- Always keep your keys with you, they can also act as protection if something were to happen.
- Always tell a friend or roommate where you are going and when you should return.
- Carry your state identification card or school ID.
There are steps that every student and faculty member should know if they are attacked or assaulted. Knowing the campus police department number is important because they may already be on or near campus.
Trusting your instincts will help determine if you are able to run, scream or fight off an attacker.
Every situation is different and only the victim will be able to determine what he or she feels is appropriate course of action when in the moment.
The emotional well-being of students and staff after an attack is important as well. Reaching out to friends, family and professionals is a good way to work though the emotions of the incident.
The IU South Bend counseling center offers a safe and confidential space for students to go to and can be reached at 574-520-4125. You may also visit their office in the Administration building, room 175A.
All information above can be accessed at rainn.org and http://www.fhsu.edu.