Campus Safety Tips for your College StudentBy Pauline Hammerbeck September 06, 2012 | 10:00 AMPosted in: Personal Safety, Family
You may be just a packed-minivan ride away from sending your
college student off into virtual freedom. While he’s dreaming of new friends,
fall football games and late-night pizza runs, you’re probably worrying more
about campus safety.
Fortunately, we have a few easy-to-remember campus safety tips
that you can give to your student, leaving him with plenty of brain power to
get through his first semester of classes.
Dorm Room Security
Dorm life has likely changed since you were in college. Between
laptops, TVs and video game systems, today’s dorm rooms are chock-full of
high-tech gadgetry. Advising your student to lock the room every time he leaves
and keeping valuables out of sight may seem like obvious tips, but they’re
Resident advisors and dorm security might make the residence hall
feel like it’s a protective bubble, but with so many people going in and out of
the building at all hours, it’s better to be safe than sorry.
[Tip: If your student is living in a dorm, his personal property
is likely covered under your existing homeowners
insurance policy. But that might not be the case for off-campus housing.
Call for confirmation on both counts. Otherwise, you might consider renters
insurance or security
Of course, the reason you got your kid all those great gadgets was
to help him study, right? Chances are laptops, MP3 players, purses and wallets
are going to be travelling all over campus. Students should always keep their
property within view, whether they’re in class, at the library or on the quad.
You’ll also want to consider getting your student’s laptop or iPod
engraved with their name or some other form of identification. Take pictures of
their valuables, and note any serial numbers. This will all make items easier
to identify and locate in case they get stolen.
Out and about
College is also a time to meet new people and have some great new
experiences. When heading out to any event, your student should always remember
to use the buddy system: never walk across campus alone at night. (Don’t fret!
Many campuses offer a service that will meet a student at any location and
escort them back to their dorm.) Check with the dorm’s resident advisor or the
school’s website to see what security options are available; and either
bookmark the links or add the contact information to phones or laptops for easy
Another great security tip for college students is to always have
an eye on their drinks. Whether at a party, out tailgating or hanging out in
the dorm, a student should never leave any drink unattended. Even if left for a
short time, a drink can be compromised. Students should get a new drink instead
of going back to the old one. RAINN.org even recommends
that students put their hands over the top of their drink cups, or their thumb
over the top of a bottle, to make it more difficult for someone to drop
something into the beverage they’re holding.
These are just a few campus security tips and tricks to pass along
to students, to keep them safe and to keep their stuff
safe on campus. Many campuses will have more information available for you and
your student once you arrive—so listen closely and take notes. Of course, don’t
forget to tell him to have a little fun while he’s there too.
Have you had a talk about campus
safety with your child?
blogger Pauline Hammerbeck is an editor for The Allstate Blog,
which helps people prepare for the unpredictability of life
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