When it comes to safety on any college campus, there are a lot of concerns that should be addressed. In order to have the best possible experience here at IU, there are some issues you might want to keep in mind. IU has a great initiative called the Street Smart Party Animals, but I've also come up with at least a few dos and don'ts that serve as general guidelines to stay safe while enjoying college life.
DO: Use Common Sense
Look both ways before crossing the street, watch out for bikers if you're walking, watch out for pedestrians if you are driving or biking. Try not to text and walk because you never know what you might run into. Bloomington is a busy area and streets close to campus can get a lot of traffic! Within campus there is also a lot of pedestrian traffic during the day so if you plan to stop and enjoy some of our gorgeous trees on your way to class, make sure you aren't blocking the sidewalk.
DO: Know Where You're Going and Be Aware of Your Surroundings
I didn't have my car on campus last year so I kept close to the area in and around campus. But over the summer I stayed of campus and learned that there are a lot of one-way streets and if you don't know where you want to go or how you plan to get there you can get lost really quickly! Also make sure you pay attention because some regular streets become one-way streets without much warning and with construction all over Bloomington there can be a lot of other accident-inducing obstacles...and DON'T TEXT AND DRIVE! Just don't. It's a really, really bad idea.
DO: Be Prepared
If you have a late class, student organization meeting, or want to workout at the end of the day, make sure you have a safe way to get home after dark. Walk with at least one other friend, stick to lighted pathways near other people, get a friend to pick you up, use the Night Owl, or call the Campus Safety Escort. If you feel really uncomfortable and you have no other option but to walk alone, a little bottle of pepper spray might be a good investment to make. In my experience, I've never felt threatened or endangered when walking around campus at night. There are plenty of emergency call stations around campus that connect directly to the IU Police Department and I'm told that they respond within a couple of minutes (I wouldn't know from experience, I've never had to call them!!!).
DON'T: Be Careless
My goal in writing this post isn't to scare you into imagining the worst case scenario, but you do need to be aware that sometimes people get into dangerous situations, especially in and around a college campus. We're a bunch of excited young people who are still learning how to take care of ourselves and if we don't take the time to think about problems we might have to face then we could end up in a lot of trouble down the road. Being in college is a lot of fun, but there's a humungous difference between letting loose with some friends and being wreckless.
Remember: You are an adult. Your friends might be nice and look out for you when you need help, but not everyone is going to want to hold your hand and pull you out of a situation that you got yourself into. You don't want to ruin your future career, or the rest of your life, because of some stupid trick you tried to pull when you were [insert crazy party behavior here].
"Play it safe, party animal. Take care, not risks." --Protect IU