I don't mean to scare anyone while writing this post. Bloomington and Indiana University are wonderful places to live and aren't that scary at all. But like any school or town, there are crazies and I want to help you stay safe here. IU wants you to enjoy your time here, not be afraid. Today, I will be giving you 10 tips on how to stay safe on campus!
1) DON'T WALK ALONE AT NIGHT!!!!!!
This is my #1 for a reason. At night, there are fewer people out and about. At night, it is harder for people to see you. This is a prime time for bad things to happen. ALWAYS have a buddy or a group if you can when you go out after dark. It is soooo easy to ask a neighbor or someone on your floor to walk to get food or walk to your car with you. BE SMART!
2) Be Careful With Ubers.
I never really thought of this one until recently. A few of my friends warned me about an Uber in the area who had tarp in her backseat and a knife in the front seat. My friend almost got into the car but saw this and ran away. The car has been reported and shouldn't be a worry to students anymore. But like I said, you literally never know who's around.
3) Have safety supplies accessible.
In my opinion, everyone (female AND male) should have something on hand at all times in case they need to protect themselves. This can be a sharper object on your key chain, pepper spray, etc. It needs to be easy to reach and function. Even if nothing happens or you don't think anything can happen, it may ease your mind knowing if something did happen, you would be ready. I am not advising to bring a gun to campus. Just something that can cause enough discomfort to help you get away from a dangerous situation.
4) Make sure your phone is charged.
This seems like such a common knowledge point, but you don't realize how fast your phone battery can go if you've been watching Netflix or just browsing on your phone in class to pass time (not that any of you don't pay attention in class hehe). When it comes to the end of the night and you need to get home, you do not want to be waiting at a bus stop alone with a dead phone. It's just not safe.
5) Be aware of the campus safety options.
There are several ways to remain safe on campus and to get help for others if they need it. For example, there are poles around campus that have a blue light you can press if someone is chasing you or you see something happen. Just hit one of those buttons and police will come find you. IU also offers two late night forms of transportation: The Night Owl is a bus service that picks up students and will take them home Friday and Saturday nights. The Safety Escort is a student-run service that allows all IU students and employees to call from any location within Bloomington city limits for a free ride home as an alternative to walking alone at night.
6) If you do go out alone, tell a friend where you're going and when you get there.
This is a great way to make sure your friends and you are staying safe. If you and a friend are at the IMU after a late night showing of Incredibles 2, and you live on opposite sides of campus, text each other when you get home to make sure both of you got home safely.
7) Don't go home with someone you don't know.
I know how great it feels to be at a party and to meet a cute guy that says all the right things and he's so dreamy, but DO NOT GO HOME WITH HIM. If either of you are drunk or under another influence, it is just not safe to go home with someone you barely know. Wait until the next day when both of you are sober, and then see where it goes.
8) Don't go to a party alone.
Maybe you have a roommate who doesn't enjoy partying (that is TOTALLY okay), but you want to go to a party that night. Instead of going alone, ask a few people on your floor if they want to come with you. This will give you people to walk home with, watch your drinks, and make sure you all have a safe fun time that night.
9) Be aware of drinks and other substances.
Just watch your drink. If you put it down for a few minutes and weren't watching it, just go get a new one. I wouldn't take drinks from people you don't know unless you watched them pour it.
10) Use your brain and HAVE FUN!
I don't want any of you to be scared; I just want everyone to be prepared in case something would ever happen to you. IU is an amazing place filled with so many different opportunities. Enjoy your time here and be safe. GO HOOSIERS!!