Thursday, Aug. 12, 2010
SPECIAL SERVICES HELP KEEP K-STATE CAMPUS SAFE
MANHATTAN -- Paying attention to your surroundings and your belongings are good ways for college students to avoid being a victim of crime, according to two Kansas State University experts.
Property crime is the most reported crime on campus, said Capt. Don Stubbings of the Kansas State University Police Department. Computers, MP3 players and smart phones are all examples of high-value items that are frequently stolen.
The easiest way to stop property theft is to lock up your valuables, Stubbings said. Always lock your residence hall room even if you leave for lunch or to take a shower, and communicate with your roommates about the importance of locking the room. Also, never leave your laptop unattended, and don't leave it in plain sight -- especially in your vehicle, he said.
Recording your credit/debit card numbers, taking pictures of your valuables and recording the serial numbers on expensive property also helps if you are the victim of a theft, he said.
In terms of person crimes, K-State has one of the safest campuses in the Big 12, Stubbings said.
To stay safe, he recommends the following:
* Travel in pairs or groups, and take paths designed for pedestrians while avoiding shortcuts and poorly lit areas.
* Be aware of your surroundings; listening to music or using a cell phone while walking alone can cause unneeded distractions. When people can see that you are not aware of your surroundings you become more vulnerable.
* The most dangerous times for person crimes is between midnight and 3 a.m. To avoid such crimes, limit your alcohol intake and get out of bad situations with strangers. "It's smart to leave a party if you feel unsafe," Stubbings said. "Use K-State's SafeRide -- don't say that you can't find a ride. Call police if there's a bad situation at a party for you or your friends."
SafeRide provides a safe ride home for K-State students and guests who live within the designated city limits of Manhattan. The service runs from 11 p.m. to 3 a.m. Thursday through Saturday.
Another way to stay safe when walking on campus at night is to use Wildcat Walk, said Heather Reed, associate dean of student life.
"A student can be escorted by a security officer or police officer anywhere on campus and up to two blocks off campus with Wildcat Walk," Reed said. Any time a student feels insecure or unsafe they can call Wildcat Walk at 395-SAFE or 395-7233. Wildcat Walk is a free service available to all K-State students.
Emergency phones are located across campus, Stubbings said. They can be used at any time and ring directly to the campus police department as a 911 emergency call. The phone cannot be hung up after the button is pushed, which will help in the event of a struggle.
"K-State is a safe campus, and everyone is encouraged to do their part and use our safety programs to help maintain the campus environment that makes K-State special," Reed said.
The K-State police department gives free safety presentations to any group upon request. K-State also offers a text messaging and an e-mail alert system to let students, faculty and staff know about emergency situations.
The student life website, http://www.k-state.edu/studentlife/campussafety, has a campus safety video, safety reports, safety tips and resources to stay safe at K-State. The K-State police website also has safety information and resources available at http://www.k-state.edu/police.