Keep Yourself Safe

Keep Yourself Safe

The Department of Campus Safety is committed to creating a safe environment for people to live, work, and learn. However, the safety and security of our campus is a shared responsibility. By taking a few simple precautions, you can reduce the risk to yourself and also discourage those who commit crimes.

  • Wear a helmet at all times when riding a bicycle.
  • Obey all traffic laws. You must stop at intersections. Pedestrians have the right of way.
  • Pay attention to your surroundings; warn pedestrians when you are passing them.
  • Give proper hand signals when turning or stopping.
  • Before leaving a lane, give a hand signal.  Leave the lane only when it is safe to do so.
  • Use a bike light on the front and back of your bicycle when riding at night.
  • Use a bike rack. Do not park your bicycle in a doorway, on stairs, on handrails, or blocking any access points. 
  • Engrave or permanently mark your bicycle with an identifying number, and register your bicycle with the Department of Campus Safety.
  • Secure your bicycle with a heavy duty U-lock or a cable or chain at least 3/8" in diameter.  Use a key lock with a 3/8" hardened shackle with heel and toe locking.  When possible lock at least your front wheel and frame to a bike rack or other stationary object. 
  • Keep your car well maintained and in good running condition.  Make sure there is enough gas to get where you’re going and back. 
  • Drive on well-traveled streets and keep your car in gear while it is stopped.  Allow at least one car length space between your car and the car in front of you so that you can escape should someone try to get into your car.
  • Turn the ignition off and take your car keys with you, even if you "just have to run inside for one minute".
  • Always carry an emergency kit in your vehicle with first aid supplies, flashlight, jumper cables, blanket, etc.
  • If your car breaks down, open the hood and stay inside.  If someone stops to help, crack the window and ask them to call the police.
  • Keep your vehicle’s doors locked while driving and keep valuables out of sight either covered or in the trunk.
  • If you think you are being followed, drive to the nearest gas station, open business, or other well-lit area and call the police.  Don’t head home.
  • Use your cellular phone, if you have one, to call the police if you are being followed, have witnessed an accident, or to aid another motorist.  Otherwise, you should stay off your cellular phone while you are driving.
  • Never pick up hitchhikers.
  • If someone suspicious approaches your car, keep your windows up and honk your car’s horn.  It’s one of the loudest and fastest ways to scare someone off and let others know that you may need help.
  • Obey all traffic laws which guide the use of a motor vehicle.
  • Be alert to your surroundings and the people around you – especially if you are alone or it is dark.
  • Learn the best routes between your residence hall or apartment and your classes and activities.  Take the safest route, not the fastest route.
  • Avoid appearing distracted by wearing headphones or talking on your cell phone.
  • Walk confidently at a steady pace.
  • Make eye contact with people when walking.
  • Stay in well-lit and well-traveled areas as much as possible.  Avoid shortcuts through wooded areas, parking lots, or alleys.
  • Share your class schedule with friends and family, effectively creating a buddy system.  It is always a good idea to use the buddy system or travel in groups of two or more.
  • When you go out, let someone know where you are going and when you plan to be back.
  • Trust your instincts.  If something or someone makes you uneasy, avoid the person or the situation and leave as soon as possible.
  • Use the College’s safety escort service. Call the Department of Campus Safety at 641- 269-4600 if you would like an escort.
  • Gather as much information as possible about the country to which you will be traveling.
  • Make two copies of all your travel information (passport, airline tickets, etc.). Leave one set at home with a relative or close friend and take a copy with you.
  • Know your credit card limits and if you need a PIN.
  • Check your medical health insurance coverage.
  • Pack any medical prescriptions in their original containers.
  • Make certain that a family member or close friend is aware of the location of all your legal papers, legal will, insurance documents, mortgage, internet and cell phone passwords, etc.
  • Leave valuable or expensive jewelry at home.
  • Do not bring large amounts of cash; use traveler’s checks or credit cards.
  • Take a list of all important telephone numbers (e.g. family, U.S. Embassy and Consulate, campus emergency numbers, etc.).
  • When you arrive, store a copy of your important information in a safe and secure location.

Visit the following website for additional information:  International Travel Overview, Inoculation Requirements, Country Information, and Consular Safety and Security Messaging

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