Safety on all college campuses goes hand in hand with the phrase, “Don’t walk anywhere alone at night.” However, for many students this warning is not feasible.
Whether it be an 8-10 p.m. class or a late night at the library, students are put in situations where they must walk home alone at night.
“All of first quarter, I had to walk home from my friends apartment in Cerro Vista,” said Jennifer Maxin. “I had to be on high alert, honestly I always had to scan the area and be aware of my surroundings.”
After talking to a few students, there are things each person does to make them feel more safe when walking home alone. Here are some of their suggestions:
1) Call People
Talking on the phone to a friend or family member can help put your worries at ease. Chelsea Sacramento always calls someone when she is walking back home at night because she it gives her a greater sense of security.
“I know that even if that person I’m talking to isn’t right there with me, it’s sort of a safety bubble,”Sacramento said.
2) Use the on Campus Resources
Cal Poly San Luis Obispo’s University Police Department offers an escort van service that runs Sunday through Thursday, from 7 pm to midnight. The pick up locations for the safety shuttle are on main points on campus and can be found on their website.
The University Police Department also offers a walking escort service on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights, from 8pm to 2am. For more information on how to contact them visit their website.
3) Avoid Shortcuts Through Dimly Lit Areas
If you do chose to walk, follow a well lit path. These paths tend to be safer and allow you to have a better grasp on your surroundings. Many students also try to avoid shrubbery to make them feel more safe.
4) Use the Tapshield App
This app connects students with local police authorities to enhance safety. The app can be set to notify roommates or friends where you are in route. Tapshield will send alerts if you push the emergency button on the app and it will notify authorities right away and give them your location.
Tapshield has a feature that asks the student if they are okay when headphones have been removed from the phone while they are in route. If there is no reply, the police are notified.
5) Know Your Surroundings
The best thing to do would be turn your music off completely or turn the volume down low. Putting the technology down will allow you to focus on your surroundings and being more vigilant.
Kara Samaniego, the assistant coordinator at Safer, stressed the importance of being aware of your surroundings and listening to your gut if a person makes you feel unsafe.
“If a person around you is making you feel unsafe, call authorities and get to a well lit and populated place,” Samaniego said.