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How to Stay Safe on Campus This Semester

As a leading Hayward security guard company, our priority at ADS Guards is protecting clients against trespassing, theft, violence, and assault. On college campuses, the cooperation of street-smart students ensures the tightest security. Here are a few ways to remain safe while pursuing your education.

Download Personal Safety Apps to Your Smartphone

You already know you must be extra cautious while on campus at night. Ideally, you should walk or drive with at least one other person. However, when this safeguard isn’t feasible, phone apps are reliable stand-ins. Here are two user-friendly apps to consider:

Companion

Some apps require you to keep your finger on a “safe button,” releasing it upon arrival, at which point you enter a PIN. However, the Companion app is hands-free. Additionally, your “companions” don’t need to have the app installed to assist you. Input your destination and mode of transportation, then add family, friends, fellow students, or the campus security service from your contacts list. Send an alert to your companions, telling them you’re departing. Your phone’s GPS will track your route, asking you to confirm you’re okay along the way. If you don’t answer within 15 seconds, the app will call your chosen contact. If at any point you feel uneasy, tap the app to connect with your companion. Upon arrival at your destination, the app tells your contact person.

Circle of 6

Akin to Companion, this app offers more options for summoning help. Up to 6 contacts comprise your “circle.” En route to your destination, tap the PIN icon, and the app texts the people in your circle, asking them to escort you from your GPS coordinates. The phone icon sends a message to your circle, requesting them to call you to stage an interruption. This feature gives you a plausible reason to leave an undesirable social situation. The chat icon alerts your circle of your need to talk. The app also provides direct access to national hotlines and safety information. 

Take Advantage of Campus Security Services

All college campuses have a Security Department. At your school’s website, you can look up the office phone number and open hours. Then, either call or visit to learn if the following services are offered:

  • Campus escorts
  • Blue light emergency phone stations
  • Maps showing the safest routes
  • Crime logs and incident reports

You should also inquire about institutional safety apps like the following:

CampusSafe

CampusSafe is specifically designed for schools. The app enables immediate access to important facility phone numbers. This design spares you the time and anxiety of having to scroll through contacts and wait for a dial-up connection. For hearing-impaired students, the app interfaces with Google Voice. Using CampusSafe, colleges can link to additional facility resources, such as lost item reporting and crime prevention tips. Schools can opt to accept student alerts and requests to the security department. For example, you may be able to ask for a battery jump start, lockout service, campus escort, or response to a noise complaint. An integrated GPS system enables security staff to determine your exact whereabouts. Alternatively, by pressing a blue light on the app, the safety department receives your contact information, location, and pertinent details.

QuikTip App

College campuses, security firms, police departments, and 911 dispatch centers favor this app. Users can send anonymous messages directly to the hosting agency. If your school provides this app, you can report suspicious actions, such as bullying, underage drinking, and drug usage. The college then forwards your tip to local law enforcement agencies. You can speak directly with the hosting agency while keeping your identity private. Some colleges offer students the option of registering for emergency notices, such as weather alerts, school closings, and roadblocks.

Carry an Acoustic Deterrent Device

Sound Grenade

The newest safety gadget to hit college campuses is the Sound Grenade. The size of a keychain, the handheld device emits a loud siren to deter a would-be assailant. To activate the alarm, pull out its pin. To reload the alarm, just replace it. Designed by ROBOCOPP, a San Francisco-based company, Sound Grenade’s warning screams like an ambulance siren. Researchers have found “acoustic deterrence” to be an effective weapon against violent crimes. The 130-decibel blitz is loud enough to draw the attention of campus police. It’s also persistent, lasting 30 minutes, its volume steadily increasing unless you re-attach the pin. The alarm is reportedly as loud as an EMT vehicle siren.

Scream Whistle

If you prefer a no-frills, low-tech device, carry a Survival Frog scream whistle. The whistle is marketed as one of the lightest, loudest emergency whistles sold. The manufacturer states the ear-splitting sound is audible at a distance of one mile. Lacking an internal pea, the whistle won’t fail during wet weather. The orange whistle screams at a level of 100 decibels. Activating it requires one firm puff on the mouthpiece. The lightweight device clocks in at only 0.2 ounces. Crafted of high-impact plastic, the whistle won’t rust or break.

Party Smart

Follow the drinking advice of RAINN, the Rape, Abuse, and Incest National Network. The largest anti-sexual violence nonprofit in the nation, RAINN warns students to guard their drinks at parties. Never accept a beverage from someone you don’t know or trust. Should you happen to walk away from your drink, abandon it altogether. Otherwise, you run the risk of downing tampered alcohol. Monitor your intake so you remain in control. Women should especially heed this caution. RAINN reports female college students aged 18 to 24 are 3 times more likely to be victims of sexual violence. Among undergrad students, 23 percent of women are subject to sexual assault by physical force or being incapacitated. 

Wear Drug-Detecting Nail Polish and Carry Lipstick Pepper Spray

Undercover Colors 

On college campuses, women are sometimes sexually assaulted by men they trust. Frequently, these women are incapacitated due to drinking beverages tainted with drugs. Common date rape drugs are GHB, rohypnol, and Xanax. Lacking any taste or odor, ladies unknowingly imbibe them, becoming unconscious within minutes. Now, a revolutionary nail polish can alert women to drinks laced with incapacitating agents. The engineers will be marketing the product under the company name “Undercover Colors.” A woman wearing the nail polish can dip her finger into a suspect beverage. The presence of a date rape drug will immediately become evident by the drink changing color.

Lipstick Pepper Spray

Unlike some states, California permits civilians to carry pepper spray. Female students can camouflage theirs discreetly as a lipstick sprayer. If you’re being stalked, give a false impression of touching up your lips before firing a blast of capsicum. Rather than dangling a sprayer from your keychain in plain view, surprise a would-be attacker.

For additional tips on how to stay safe on a college campus, get in touch with ADS Guards, a trusted provider of security services in Hayward, CA, for nearly two decades. We also provide armed and unarmed guards for residential and commercial spaces. Call 1-800-794-1550 today for a free quote.