10 Common Sense Rules for a Safer Campus
Sometimes we just need a refresher on the basics. Here are 10 everyday things your school should be doing to keep your campus safe.
As campus safety professionals, we are always looking for new and innovative ways to ensure a safe and secure environment for our students, staff and faculty. As important as it is to research and implement new safety techniques, it is often just as important to review the proven methods that are simple, inexpensive and most notably successful.
Therefore, some of the ways that we can make our students, particularly our new students, feel safer on campus, is to review the following list of common sense rules for a safer campus:
- Make sure campus security-police and university staff members are visible, approachable and helpful with students and visitors. This open communication will invite more individuals to report crimes, suspicious activity, or other potential problems.
- Require that all vehicles on campus be registered with security-police and display a university decal.
- Require all visitors to check in at security-police and be given a visitors pass and temporary vehicle pass.
- Some schools require students, staff and faculty to wear their school IDs at all times while on campus. If this is a requirement at your school, enforce it.
- Encourage students to arrive to class on time, park close to campus buildings in well-lit, well-traveled areas of the parking lot, and enter and leave class together.
- Remind students and staff to secure all valuable items (purses, laptops, cell phones, etc.) while on campus property. Remember, anything of value can and probably will be stolen if left unattended! Do NOT leave anything of value inside vehicles.
- Remind faculty and staff to review emergency procedures and discuss emergency response protocols (lock-downs, shelter-in-place, intruder alert, evacuations, etc.) with students at the beginning of each semester.
- Campus housing: make sure campus housing rules are “safety-minded,” strictly enforced and that a close relationship is maintained between housing administration, security-police and campus administration.
- Drugs and alcohol: partner with Student Services in developing or continuing a strong Drug and Alcohol awareness campaign. The awareness program should show the relationship between drugs and alcohol and campus sexual assaults, DUI arrests, and accidental deaths or injuries.
- Remember: an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Any time you see a potential problem, conflict, or issue developing, confront it immediately and solve it before it explodes into a crisis.
This list is certainly not exhaustive nor is it a “one size fits all” for every college or university. However, these common sense principles are a good start for maintaining a safe and secure campus.
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Campus Safety magazine is another great resource for public safety, security and emergency management professionals. It covers all aspects of campus safety, including access control, video surveillance, mass notification and security staff practices. Whether you work in K-12, higher ed, a hospital or corporation, Campus Safety magazine is here to help you do your job better!