Tools and Information

Safety Guidelines and Recommendations

On the street

  • Don't walk alone after dark. Use the buddy system.
  • Be alert! Look around you; be aware of who is on the street and in the area. Make it difficult for anyone to take you by surprise.
  • Stay on populated, well lighted streets.
  • If you think someone is following you, turn around and check; the surprise of a hostile look or aggressive word might change a potential attacker's mind. You can also head for people, lights, traffic, or run and scream. Yelling "fire" may get more results than yelling "help".
  • Whenever possible, it's a good idea to "dress for safety." This means wearing loose-fitting clothing and comfortable shoes that making walking and running easier.
  • On frequently traveled routes, note the location of emergency telephones or call boxes in public garages and parking lots before you ever need them.
  • If you are near a public hone, call 911 whenever you feel that you're in danger.
  • If a car follows you or stops, change directions; walk or run toward people, stores, or a house if necessary.
  • Carry noise making devices (i.e. whistles, body alarms).

Outdoors after dark

  • Tell someone where you are going and when you expect to return.
  • Always follow well-lighted paths. Stay out of shadows.
  • Walk with a group whenever possible.
  • Avoid isolated places, both day and night. If you must work or study alone on weekends or holidays in offices, labs, or out-of-the-way places, lock the doors and tell a friend and the Campus Police where you are.
  • Park your car in a well-lighted area and as close as possible to your destination.
  • Call the Campus Police and request an escort.

At home

  • Ask local police to conduct a safety check of your home. This service is free.
  • Install good locks in doors and windows. Door chains are unsafe, so use deadbolts for grater security.
  • Be aware of hiding places such as tall bushes.
  • Put away burglary tools, like ladders.
  • Never advertise that you are not at home. Answering machine messages should never include statements like "I'm not at home now..."
  • Likewise, never advertise that you are home alone.
  • Never put personal identification tags on your key ring. Your lost key ring will be of no value to a criminal unless she/he can find the locks that your keys fit.
  • Pull shades or curtains after dark.
  • List last name and initials only on mailbox, doors, in the phone book, etc.
  • If you let someone in and then have second thoughts, pretend that you are not alone.
  • Don't give out information about yourself or make appointments with strangers over the phone.
  • Get together with a first-time date, study partner, etc., in a public place.
  • Make sure that hallways, entrances, garages, and grounds are well-lighted. Use timers or photosensitive devices.
  • Never open the door without first checking to see who is there. Repair persons, salespeople, police, and survey takers carry identification - ask to see it before letting them in. If someone wants to use your phone, offer to make the call while he/she waits outside.
  • Leave your spare house key with a friend, not under the doormat.
  • When away from home at night, or if you expect to return home after dark, leave an interior light on in a room or two with the shades drawn.
  • Avoid using laundry rooms alone. Learn to time the wash and dry cycle. Return when the load is finished.

On a date

  • Acquaintance and date rape occurs more frequently on college campuses than does rape by strangers. A recent survey found that 25% of all female college students surveyed were victims of rape or attempted rape, and that 84% of those raped knew their attackers. In another survey, more than 30% of the male college students admitted to using force of emotional pressure to obtain sex.
  • Dates must communicate clearly with each other. Explicit consent should be obtained/granted before sexual activity begins. If an acquaintance or date initiates sexual activity, clearly indicate whether or not you wish this activity to continue. Give or deny consent.

A friendly stranger

  • Many attacks start with casual conversation. The attacker is sizing up the situation to see how easily intimidation can be applied. If you are polite and friendly, the attacker may proceed to intimidate you.
  • Although most people would recognize something strange about an encounter long before intimidation would begin, many ignore their intuition because they don't want to be unfriendly or suspicious.
  • Trust your instincts! if your gut reaction to a person makes you uneasy, get out of the situation as quickly as possible, even if it means being rude.

At work

  • Keep your purse or wallet close to you.
  • You are most vulnerable before or after hours.
  • Avoid using elevators with strangers. If someone enters and you feel uncomfortable - get off!
  • Stand next to the button panel. If attacked, press all of the floor buttons. This will allow the elevator to open at all floors allowing you to escape.
  • Leave personal belongings at home.
  • Record all equipment serial numbers
  • If staying late, relocate your car closer to the building while coworkers are still present.
  • Keep your office door locked during non-business hours

In the car

  • Walk to your car with your keys ready.
  • Park in well-lighted areas at night. Consider paying for parking.
  • Check beneath the car and in the back seat before you get in to make sure that no one is hiding there.
  • While driving, keep the doors locked at all times so that a person can't jump in at a red light.
  • Keep enough gas for emergencies.
  • Note the location of telephones so you are familiar with them.
  • If you are followed by another car, drive to a police or fire station, hospital emergency entrance, or any open business or gas station. Do not go home or to a friend's house. If necessary, call attention to yourself. If your car breaks down far away from help, stay in your car with the doors locked and the drivers side window open 1/2 inch. Ask people who stop to call the local police, your automobile club, or a friend or family member. Do not ride with strangers.
  • Police officers and tow truck drivers carry identification. Do not unlock your car door or exit your vehicle until they show you their identification through the window.
  • Don't keep mail or other items with your name on it in the car.
  • When using a walk up ATM machine, drive around the building first to make sure no one is hiding nearby.
  • Be aware of bus stops. Car-jackings and smash and grabs often occur there.
  • If your car breaks down on campus or you lock your keys inside your car, call the Campus Police for motorist assistance.
  • Leave a distance between your car and the car in front of you. Use this space if you need an escape route.

Study Skills and Tips

Good study habits are learned. One is not born a "good student." It is essential to form efficient patterns of study and concentration in order to be successful in school and to use your potential to the fullest. Many students can increase their grades substantially by following the basic principles described below. An efficient plan for using time and energy then provides time for other activities, and allows one not to have to worry continually about "wasting time" or not studying.

  1. In the Classroom: Having good habits in class cuts down on study time required outside class.
    • Come to class prepared to learn. Make sure you have all materials and completed assignments ready. Think of the questions you want to ask the professor.
    • Take notes in outline form. Listen for the main points that the professor is trying to make, jotting down related material underneath. If you miss a point, leave a blank space and fill in later. If your notes are disorganized, it might be helpful to reorganize your notes as soon after the lecture as possible. Write down all assignments and any suggestions the teacher may have.
    • Participate in class discussions and ask questions. Learning comes from active involvement and thought. Participation also helps keep you from being bored and makes the class more worthwhile for others.
  2. Homework/Tests:
    • Reading Assignments: Rather than simply reading the assignment, you will gain much more if you:
      1. Skim over assigned pages, reading the introduction, topic headings, summary and any review questions, in order to have a general picture of what you are to look for in the material, and what it is all about. Organize the material in your head. Read for a purpose.
      2. Read and make an outline of the main points, and/or highlight the main points in the book. Grasp the principles that underlie the details. Relate what you read to previous learning, and to your own life and culture. At test time you can relearn in 5 or 10 minutes the main points that it took you 1 or 2 hours to read originally.
      3. Review from memory, without the outline, restating in your own words the main ideas and key facts, then learn those you missed.
      4. Utilize the study aids at the end of the assignment. Answer the review questions and solve any problems. Study with a dictionary, learning any new words. Prepare to take part in the next class's discussion. Jot down any questions you may have, and clarify them by bringing them up in class.
    • Writing Papers: Organize and outline what you want to say before beginning to write. State the purpose of your paper, expand and explain your theme, and finally conclude, restating your main points. Write ahead of the due date so that you have ample time to check and correct it before handing it in.
    • Taking Tests: Review the material frequently throughout the course, and less work will be required at exam time. Always review at least the main points of the lecture and reading notes before a test. Recite the main points and key facts aloud without looking at your notes. Check on your memorization after about 30 minutes to determine if you have really retained it. Ask yourself what the professor thinks is important or might ask. Pretend you are the professor and have to explain the essential ideas to the class. To be assured of knowing the material at the exam, over learn beyond the point to which you think you have mastered the material.
  3. Concentration: If you have difficulty concentrating, try to determine the cause, and then work out a solution.
    • Perhaps you have trouble studying because of distracting thoughts such as an e-mail you should write, an errand to run, an upcoming event, or an embarrassing incident that happened to you earlier. Write each thought or problem down. This clears your mind for present study but will still remind you to do or think about those things later.
    • Or, maybe there are distracting external noises (TV, others talking, etc.). Ideally, you should study alone or with others who are quietly working. Try to pick one place and only work there (rather than eating, talking or socializing in that spot).
    • Perhaps your interest or motivation is low. Make a list of reasons for learning, getting good grades, and being a success, as well as a list of the undesirable consequences for not studying.
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