Campus Safety Tips
As students, faculty and staff return back to Samuel Merritt University campuses, here is some safety advice that everyone should consider:
Outside the Building
Inside the Building
San Francisco Campus
San Mateo Campus
When on Campus:
- Be especially aware of your surroundings at all times.
- Use discretion and caution when taking shortcuts through isolated parts of campus.
- Know the location of emergency phones on routes to and from class.
- Keep personal belongings in view while in class, the library or lab.
- Program your cell phone with Security at (510) 763-4001 for faster assistance with on campus incidents or escort service.
- Ride the campus 'Garage Van' shuttle from 5:30 A.M. to 10:30 P.M. Monday through Friday. The shuttle takes employees and students from garage to building on the Oakland Campus.
On the Street...While Walking
- Act confident. Look and be alert about the people around you.
- Be aware of your surroundings. Cross the street or change direction if you think you are being followed.
- Be careful when people ask you for directions. Reply from a distance rather than getting too close to a car.
- Travel with a friend whenever possible to reduce the chances of being attacked. This includes going to public restrooms.
- Vary your route if possible.
- Notice cars that pull up beside you or pass you more than once.
- Keep one hand free when walking.
- Do not hesitate to get attention however you can if you are in trouble. Do not be afraid to make a scene.
- If you travel a regular route at night, become familiar with stores that stay open, gas stations, and other places where there will be people.
- If you use a wheelchair, try to check your destinations ahead of time for accessible entrances.
- For an emergency, use a public phone to dial 911 (no coin is necessary).
Driving a Car
- Have your keys in your hand as you approach your car.
- Lock your doors when driving and after parking.
- Check the back seat and floor.
- Always keep at least a half tank of gas in your car.
- Maintain the car in good running condition.
- Keep your valuables out of sight, under the seat, in the glove compartment or trunk.
- Park in well-lighted areas.
- Avoid parking next to vans, as you can be pulled in through the sliding door.
- Should another motorist offer to help, roll down window only an inch and ask him or her to call the police or auto club.
- Keep an emergency kit containing a flashlight, flares, telephone change, distress signs and other essentials in your car.
On an Elevator
- Check the inside of an elevator before entering. Wait for the next elevator if you are unsure of the people inside.
- When riding an elevator, stand by the control board. If you feel in danger, press all the buttons and get off the elevator as soon as possible.
On Public Transportation
- Check the bus schedule to avoid long waits at the bus stop. Become familiar with routes and timetables in your area.
- Wait for buses at well-lighted stops.
- If possible, join other people at a nearby stop.
- If someone bothers you on the bus, say loudly, "Leave me alone" or "No". Get up and find another seat. Tell the driver.
- Stay awake on public transportation if you are alone.
- Notice who else gets off at your stop. If you feel someone is following you, walk towards a populated area. Avoid walking directly home.
- Use reflectors, reflective tape, or other similar devises on cycling shoes, fenders, belts, frames, pedals and handlebars.
- Keep to the right. Ride with traffic, not against it.
- Use hand signals to indicate turning or stopping.
- Ride defensively.
- Use bicycle paths whenever possible.
- Walk your bicycle across busy intersections.
- Perform regular maintenance checks.
- Wear appropriate clothing.
- Park your bike in an open, well lighted, frequently traveled area.
- Secure it properly. The "U" bolt locks provide the best protection.
- Report any suspicious person you may see loitering around bicycle racks.
- Always use a bike light and rear tail lamp when riding at night.
- If someone tries to grab your purse, let it go. Most injuries from robberies occur when people resist and refuse to comply with the robber's demands.
- If you are attacked, whether you resist and how you resist will depend on your personal resources and your personal values. Give some thought right now to what you would do in various situations that could arise. The more you have thought ahead, the more likely you will be to act in the way you've planned.
- Have you taken a self-defense class? Do you think you could hit or kick someone who is attacking you? Do you know how to get away from someone grabbing you? What objects could you use to defend yourself?
- In considering your reactions to different situations, keep these three basic rules in mind:
- Trust your instincts.
- Don't be afraid to be impolite or make a scene; this is especially important, even if it is someone you know.
- Try to remain calm--use your imagination and good judgment give yourself time to think.
If You Are Sexually Assaulted
- Go to a safe place that has a phone.
- Call the police, rape crisis hotline, a friend or family member. Tell someone.
- DO NOT wash hands, bathe, shower, douche, change clothes or straighten up the area. This destroys evidence.
- Reporting is your choice. If you do not report, try to write down the details of the assault and save them in case you change your mind.
- Whether you report or not, get medical attention for treatment of external and/or internal injuries and test for sexually transmitted diseases and pregnancy.
- Take time to recover. Get counseling.
San Francisco Campus
Samuel Merritt University is dedicated to providing a safe, protected, and orderly environment for students, faculty, and staff. And in doing so, the University is looking for volunteers to join the Safety Committee. For more information please contact Lillian Harvin, Director of Facilities at firstname.lastname@example.org or 510-869-8785.
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