Staff Editorial: Be vigilant, keep safe around campus

According to a Public Safety Alert, there has recently been a series of robberies around campus, particularly between 13th and 15th streets. At the same time, there has been an increase in student muggings. Now that everyone is settled back into campus life, we thought it would be a good idea to remind students to stay safe while at college.

The Poly is well aware that sometimes you may find yourself working until 4 am in the Union on a project and have to walk home late as a result. Everyone should try to buddy up when walking home late at night; the more people you are with, the lower your chance of being a target. When you absolutely cannot walk with someone else, make sure you are particularly careful. Don’t walk with your headphones in; not being able to hear makes you a much easier target. Being aware of your surroundings when walking alone is vital. Also, consider calling Public Safety for an escort.

Break-ins are slightly more difficult to prevent. Yes, you can lock your windows and doors, but that isn’t going to stop a determined robber. If you have a lot of valuables, perhaps consider purchasing a safe; it can still be stolen, but it’s one extra thing a burglar has to worry about. Keep important items like laptops well hidden when you’re out. If you’re in a friendly neighborhood, consider networking with your neighbors to keep tabs on each other’s house when one is away. Run a periodic maintenance check; locking windows are useless if they cannot be shut. Make sure that your doors have secure locks that can’t be easily forced open.

The city can be an intimidating place, but there are a few simple steps that can be taken to stay safe. The goal is to be active, not reactive. Don’t wait until you or someone you know gets mugged or has their home broken into to take security seriously. It only requires a little extra planning to make sure you aren’t walking home alone, and that you’ll never have to worry about being featured in the Incident Blotter.