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Protect Yourself: 10 Steps for Staying Safe Walking Around a College Campus

According to data gathered by the National Center for Education Statistics, approximately 28,400 crimes happen on college campuses around the country every year.

12,000 of these crimes are burglaries, nearly 9,000 of them are sexual assaults, and 3,500 are car thefts. Other common college campus crimes include aggravated assaults, hate crimes, stalking, and threats.

You’re incredibly excited for the new year of college to begin, but you also want to make sure you’re aware of how to stay safe on campus.

This post is here to help.

In it, we’ll give you some of our top UC Davis college campus safety tips. We’ll also fill you in on how you can find safe off-campus housing that gives you a strong sense of security, privacy, and independence — while making sure you’re still fully connected to on-campus life.

1. Go with Your Gut

Trusting your instincts is the first tip on our list of how to stay safe on your college campus for good reason.

Far too often, people ignore or try to downplay it when they feel like something isn’t quite right. Call them the creep-crawlies, a bad feeling, or even just a heightened sense of awareness — these are your survival instincts kicking in, and usually, they’re right on the money.

If you feel like a party has suddenly changed in tone, if you get a sense that the empty parking lot in front of you looks a little ominous, or even if you get bad vibes about a person your friend is with or who has joined your group, listen to yourself.

Then, you can decide whether it’s best to leave the situation, ask the other person to go, or ask someone to help you (like walking you to your car.)

2. Get to Know Campus Safety and Security

The good news is that your college campus is often just as invested in your safety as you are.

Especially thanks to the recent headlines surrounding the increase in sexual assaults and hate crimes on campuses, they know that students are also more aware of what can happen on college campuses than ever before.

Today’s colleges are committed to providing their students with as many safety resources as possible — and you should certainly take advantage of them (after all, your tuition money is funding these efforts.)

You should know the location of the campus safety office, its hours, and ensure that its contact numbers(530-754-COPS) are stored in your phone. Get to know the security guards on campus and where they are usually stationed.

Additionally, many college security offices offer safety workshops in addition to preventative workshops. Attend them with a group of your friends and make an evening out of it.

Now is also the time to familiarize yourself with any kinds of safety maps that include the locations of college safe zones and extra security. These maps may also note where blue light emergency phones are located, so you can make an emergency call if you’ve been robbed or if your cellphone has died.

Finally, one of the best things about a UC Davis college security office is that it offers safe ride services and you can download the new TapRide app Here

If you need to take a train to work, park your car in a larger lot or garage, or even get from one building to another, University of California, Davis has an app for that!

3. Have a Codeword with Friends

In some cases, you may be in a situation on your college campus where you can’t extract yourself from a situation.

Maybe someone just won’t leave you alone at a party, maybe you’re on a date and start to feel like something is off, or perhaps you’ve just had a bit too much to drink and don’t think you’re in the right frame of mind.

You don’t want to draw attention to yourself more by saying you need to leave — and it

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