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The school newspaper of Oakville High School

myOHSonline

The school newspaper of Oakville High School

myOHSonline

    Staying safe while continuing studies

    College and dorm safety tips
    Photo+credits+to+Canva
    Photo credits to Canva

    When newly admitted college students arrive on campus, they’re thrust into a new world of independence; however, it is an unfortunate fact of life that with new independence comes the possibility of new danger. Our parents aren’t there to form a force-field around us anymore; but fortunately, the most effective way to protect yourself and ease your mind when living on campus is simple: be informed.

    Most crimes that occur on college campuses are property crimes; however, according to the National Center for Education Statistics, incidents of robbery have been steadily decreasing since 2001.

    This is great news, but higher alert and precaution should continue to be taken with your belongings, especially the valuable ones. Don’t leave your laundry unattended, don’t leave your backpack or any other bags unattended, don’t leave valuables out in the open on your desk or dresser, and always lock your door. While we can all agree that our things are important to us, what’s even more important is ourselves. Things can always be easily replaced, but your health and well-being cannot. 

    According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, 1,519 college students die each year due to alcohol-related unintentional injuries including car crashes.

    Because you’re most likely to partake in some kind of drinking while in college—of age or not—it is extremely important to be aware of how to do so safely. Never drive after drinking or get in a car with someone who has been drinking, always keep an open drink in sight to avoid it being spiked or roofied and stay with trusted friends while drinking and/or at parties. And although it is incredibly unfortunate, we must always be conscious of the relationship between alcohol and sexual assault.

    According to National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism: 1 in 5 college women experience sexual assault during their time in college and a majority of sexual assault involve alcohol or other substances.

    Of course, women do not have a responsibility to prevent their own assault. However, I think we can all agree that we should do everything in our power to prevent it. This includes practicing the alcohol safety tips mentioned above, but additionally, walk in pairs, especially at night, inform yourself on where to report crimes at your university and, according to current college student and OHS alum, Jasmine Quach, share your location with your friends and family.

    Quach is a sophomore at DePaul University in Chicago, where she lives off-campus in an apartment with three roommates and primarily walks and uses public transportation. 

    “Walking on campus, I feel very safe even in the evenings because it’s Chicago and everyone is always out. Public transportation is not always the safest in Chicago, but if you’re aware of your surroundings, you should be fine,” Quach said.

    Being aware is a major part of staying safe both on and off campus, but another huge part is sticking with your people and taking advantage of any safety resources your university provides. For example, DePaul University provides a late-night escort service that exists solely to transport students to their dorm or apartment if they feel unsafe.

    “If I can, I will always try to go out with a group of people and make sure someone has my location. If I am on campus late at night, sometimes I use the safety escort system that runs from 6pm to 6am everyday,” Quach said.

    All of these tips are especially important to women, even though they’re applicable to all.

    “As a girl, I do often feel unsafe because of my sex. Even though the DePaul/Lincoln Park area is generally a safe neighborhood, anything can happen. I also feel this way every time I take the L. I have an alarm attached to my keychain that makes a loud noise if I feel unsafe, but I also know a lot of girls at my school have pepper spray,” Quach said.

    “Trust your instincts,” Tara Hurless, detective from the University of Illinois Police Department, said in an article by U.S. News. If something doesn’t feel right, it probably isn’t right. And you may not be able to put your finger on what exactly it is.”

     

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    About the Contributor
    Ava Chancellor
    Ava Chancellor, Editor-in-Chief
    I'm Ava, and I am a senior at OHS and the Managing Editor-in-Chief of The Prowl. In my free time, I like to read (especially historical fiction), go shopping, watch Charmed and work out. I love to travel, go to concerts and try new restaurants with my friends and family. I am planning to go to a university on the East or West Coast and study political science, music and Spanish.

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