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Sources: Heather Reed, 785-532-6432, hreed@k-state.edu
Web site: http://www.k-state.edu/studentlife/campussafety/safetytips.htm
News release prepared by: Beth Bohn, 785-532-6415, bbohn@k-state.edu

Wednesday, Aug. 26, 2009

KEEPING SAFETY IN MIND IMPORTANT FOR ALL STUDENTS AS K-STATE'S FALL SEMESTER BEGINS

MANHATTAN -- Whether new to campus or returning, living on campus or off, students should always make their safety a priority, said Heather Reed, director of student life at Kansas State University.

"We want all of our students to be successful in their studies and campus activities, and part of that includes putting safety first," Reed said. "With a new semester under way, now is a good time for all students to review campus safety resources."

Tips on keeping safe on campus, a safety video, how to sign up for emergency text messaging and other safety resources are available at http://www.k-state.edu/studentlife/campussafety/

Reed said some basic tips all students should remember include:

* Always walking with at least one friend you know well, especially at night. If a friend isn't available, or if students prefer, they can call 785-395-7233 or 785-395-SAFE to have an escort walk with them anywhere on campus or up to two blocks off campus through K-State's free Wildcat Walk program.

* Learning the location of the safety phones on campus. "K-State's emergency phones are located beneath blue lights in parking and walking areas all across campus," Reed said. "You also can use these boxes to ask for directions or to report a crime or accident."

* Staying alert. "Don't listen to your iPod or talk on your cell phone when walking by yourself -- but do take your phone with you in case of emergency," Reed said. "Stick to well-lighted and well-traveled sidewalks, and avoid shortcuts through parking lots, alleys or wooded areas."

* If walking to your car at night, hold your keys in your fist. Before getting in your vehicle, check to see that nobody is in the back seat. Reed also reminds students to never leave their car unlocked, even for the few minutes it may take you to return a DVD, buy milk, pick up take-out food and so forth. Attackers may lie in wait for such an opportunity to act, she said. Also, never leave valuables, especially laptops and other electronics, in your car and in easy sight.

* In case of emergency on campus, contact the K-State police department at 785-532-6412 or call 911. Students also can contact the office of student life at 785-532-6432. "This is the primary office where students can report suspicious or threatening behavior, or concerns about fellow students," Reed said. "The student life Web site also has a 'student of concern' reporting page. This allows faculty, staff and students to make a report about a student who his having problems. The staff at student life will follow up with the students who have been identified and make sure they have the help and support they may need."

In addition, K-State offers SafeZone allies -- nearly 300 faculty, staff and student who are trained to help refer and find resources for any individual who has concerns about threats, violence, hateful acts, harassment or discrimination. They also can help students who need information about depression, suicide, assault or relational difficulties. Participating SafeZone allies display the SafeZone symbol in their offices. More information about SafeZone and location of SafeZone allies is available at the K-State safety Web site.

Along with the safety Web site, Reed said students should also acquaint themselves with the services and resources provided by the K-State police department, office of student life, counseling services, Lafene Health Center, Women's Center and the Parents and Family Association.