Tertiary campuses are bright and bustling places most of the time, but you should always be cautious of your safety, especially if you are staying on campus after hours or attending an event. The good news is that it’s easy to stay safe if you follow a few basic tips.
Investigate on-campus security services
Most institutions have security on campus to ensure the safety of students and staff. It’s important to familiarise yourself with the services available. These may include security escorts to accompany you around the campus after hours, access to well-lit safety paths, patrolled late-night study areas, security points with emergency telephones and shuttle bus services to drop you off at public transport stations and on-campus accommodation. Some may even offer campus safety seminars and self-defence classes.
Save the security number to your phone
At the very least, we recommend saving the campus security number to your phone so that you have it on-hand at all times. Some institutions even have mobile apps that provide a direct line for students to contact security. Do not hesitate to call the security office if you feel unsafe or witness an incident.
Never leave your belongings unattended
To avoid being the victim of theft, keep an eye on your belongings at all times. You should treat your campus like any other public place, which means that your laptop, phone and bag should never be left unattended. When you are studying in the library, it helps to have a friend with you who can look after your belongings if you need to grab a coffee or go to the bathroom. Remember that your institution cannot accept liability for any loss of property.
Secure your car or bike
For students who drive, there are a few things that can be done to avoid theft or damage, including securely locking your car, installing a car alarm or immobiliser and never leaving anything valuable in your car, especially in plain view. If you ride a bike to class, you should ensure that it is locked to a bike rack — even if you’re just running into the admin office to submit an assignment.
Investigate access to study areas
There may be rules about access to classrooms and study areas, particularly if you want to be on campus after hours, over the weekend or during semester breaks. In this case, you may need to apply for an access card. Students in certain disciplines, as well as postgraduate research students, may be eligible for 24-hour access.
Act responsibly on campus or at campus events
Many campuses and on-campus residences organise fun student events such as camps, pub crawls and all manner of parties. As with any social event where alcohol is present, you should ensure that you act responsibly and put your safety and that of your friends first, as situations can sometimes get out of hand. If you are ever concerned about your safety or wish to report any of the events taking place, be sure to contact the relevant authorities or the emergency services if necessary.