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Safety on Campus

We all screamed along with Jennifer Love Hewitt as her high school horror turned into a college catastrophe in I Still Know What You Did Last Summer...

What's really scary, however, is the real-deal harm that can be inflicted upon you when, as a college student, you don't play the safety game wisely. When you get to campus and are out on your own for the first time, it's important to watch out, be careful, and act sensibly.

Remember, simple common sense is your greatest asset. If you're pulling a late-night library cram session, don't walk home by yourself! Take a buddy, or have your roommate pick you up. When you leave a party, go with someone. Hey guys, this applies to you, too! More campus crimes are committed against males, because they're far more likely to walk home by themselves, exposing them to risk. Plus, always guard your stuff. In the library, keep an eye on that bookbag. In your dorm or residence hall, do your part for dorm safety-keep closed doors locked, and report any suspicious characters.

Remember, safety is a state of mind. The vast majority of college students escape unscathed during their four years away from home. By keeping your eyes open and exercising simple common sense, you will almost certainly be one of them. Here are some tips from college students to get you prepped:

"I never thought much about safety until a friend of mine was mugged. Now I do what they say: If you stay away from dangerous situations, nothing dangerous is going to happen."
- Brett, UCLA (Los Angeles, CA)

"A lot of universities have a service where an escort will walk you home; others provide a free tram service. Use it. There's no need to put yourself in any danger."
Scott, University of Pennsylvania (Philadelphia, PA)

"When I first came to college, I thought the local community was the threat, but it turns out most crime is students against other students. You're far more likely to get in trouble at a party than walking home from it."
- Liz, University of British Columbia (Vancouver, BC)

"Prevention is it. 'Big-city caution' someone called it. Even if you're not going to school in a big city, act like it's New York, and you'll be fine."
- Sandra, Vassar College (Poughkeepsie, NY)

"Everyone I know who was the victim of a crime got stuff stolen. Bikes, too. If you have a bike, get a U-lock."
- Aya, University of Arizona (Phoenix, AZ)

"Moving to a big city worried me a little at first. But I got the hang of it quickly. Don't walk by yourself, don't go out alone at night, keep yourself away from potentially harmful situations. It's easy and becomes habit in no time."
- April, University of Southern California (Los Angeles, CA)

"Women have to be careful. I stick with my friends-if we go to a party together, we all leave together. We watch out for each other. You have to, it's just too risky these days."
- Amy, University of Pennsylvania (Philadelphia, PA)

"If you drink irresponsibly, you're asking for trouble. Don't drink before a party to 'warm-up.' Know your limits. Stop drinking when you need to. No one will know you have water in that cup."
- Sean, Princeton University (Princeton, NJ)

"Report everything, no matter how small-crank calls, harassment, everything! Leaving a paper trail protects you. That's what the campus police are there for."
- Rachel, University of Texas (Austin, TX)