University of British Columbia spokesperson Paul Wong says that while campuses are generally safe places, people still need to take sensible precautions and make appropriate choices.
“Because campuses tend to be safe it’s easy to let your guard down, but the safety measures that you would take at home still apply when you get to university or college,” Wong said.
Be aware of how to reach campus security in an emergency and keep a list of contact numbers handy to dial up if needed, Wong says.
While serious assaults are relatively rare on campus, thefts are definitely not, so consider taking your laptop with you when you hop out of the library for a bathroom break.
“Students fall asleep and they’ll leave things sitting out all the time. You wouldn’t go into downtown Vancouver and leave your laptop sitting there so why do it inside a student lounge?” Wong said.
Imre Juurlink, a crime analysis supervisor at Ryerson University in Toronto, says safety comes in numbers so always travel with friends, especially when you head off-campus for some evening fun.
“You’re always better off with a second person around. If you go out, make sure you have enough money for a cab and if you do go drinking, have at least one person in the group who is fairly sober,” Juurlink said.
Social media like Facebook can be a great way to meet people but be careful not to divulge too much information.
“Stalking used to be mostly physical, now I find a large part of that happens online. Assume that anyone can access anything you post on Facebook,” Juurlink said.