The seasons are changing and it is getting noticeably darker earlier in the evening. Being safe on and off campus is always a top priority, so we at The Hornet present you a few tips for being to keep in mind when navigating the campus after dark.
1. Get off the phone. Sometimes we are so wrapped up in our mobile devices that we don’t take notice of our surroundings. Be aware of what and who is around you.
2. Form a parking lot pack. Less crimes occur when there are more people around. Walk to the one parked the farthest and that person can drive you back to your car.
3. Keep calm and move on. Or move your car during break while the sun is still shining. If the only spot you found when you first arrived on campus is the upper tier of the parking structure in the northwest corner, you know the spot, try and move your car down to a lower tier where more people will be later. Or if you were stuck parking on Berkeley Avenue, move your car to where your last class is so you don’t have to walk the dark sidewalk later.
4. Call Campus Safety at (714) 992-7777. They provide escort services to make sure you arrive safely to your car or designated pick up area. Keep their number in your cell phone as they also can jump start your car or provide first aid services when the Health Center is closed.
5. Check in with someone. The moment you get out of class, call or text someone. Let them know where you are, where you might be going and how long you expect to take. Don’t forget to call them once you reach your destination. There is nothing like a panicked phone call from your mom because you didn’t call to say you were home.
6. Walk tall. Walk with purpose and look up. Stay in lighted areas or carry a flashlight with you.
7. Get in and get out. Once you get to your car, don’t sit there with the door open scrolling on your phone or rummaging through your purse. Get in the car, shut the door, lock it, buckle up and turn it on. It may be silly to rush into the car like a zombie from The Walking Dead is following you, but every second you linger could be an opportunity for someone to attack.
8. Never not be afraid. Forgive the double negative but yes, it’s from the movie The Croods, but it couldn’t be more of a true statement. Be vigilant. If a situation or person looks suspicious, it usually is, turn back and call for an escort or find a group to walk with.
9. Confidence is key. So you walked into the scary situation anyway, take comfort in knowing that the light on your phone or a water bottle can be used as distraction tools. Flash the light in the possible assailant’s face or throw the water bottle and while he or she is distracted – run!
10. Be aggressive, B-E aggressive. If attacked from behind, make like Sandra Bullock in Miss Congeniality and S-I-N-G! Elbow jab to the Solar plexus (gut), step hard on the Instep of the foot, turn and thrust your first up the Nose, and kick as hard as you can at the Groin area. This gives you a chance to get away.