The Advance-Titan

Campus safety an issue

Ethan Uslabar | The Advance-Titan

College students should feel safe walking around their campus no matter what time of day it is. And in an ideal world, this would be reality.

However, between Sept. 15 and 19, there have been six reported incidents in and around the UW Oshkosh campus, including exposure of genitalia, attempted sexual assault and attempted robbery.

An emphasis on the importance of safety needs to be made.

When incidents that threaten the safety of students occur on this campus, the first thing to remember is the victims are never at fault.

Additionally, it is a good time to remind ourselves of the importance of being safe and thinking about the actions we as a campus can take to prevent these events from occurring.

In a campuswide email sent through the Titan Alert system, the University recommended a handful of tips to students on ways of staying safe.

It is better to err on the side of caution when going out at night, especially if you’re going off campus. When possible, bring a friend with you. In fact, have multiple friends with you—there is safety in numbers.

Sometimes it is impossible to get a friend to walk with you back to your residence hall or house. In those instances, use the UW Oshkosh Safewalk. Its entire purpose is to help students get home safely, so it’s a waste not to take advantage of it.

It may feel ridiculous to call them to take you home, but your safety is more important than “looking cool.” The number for UW Oshkosh Safewalk is 920-424-1212.

Throughout campus there are blue buttons that are to be used if you feel you are being followed or in danger. They are not to be used as a joke or prank. They are for emergencies only.

Planning the path you’re going to take to get home was one of the points made in the Titan Alert. Administration encourages students to choose open, well-lit and well-traveled areas, being aware of surroundings at all times, making eye contact with passers-by and glancing occasionally behind you.

Letting friends know when you are leaving and telling them when you arrive home is another option. Although it may feel like an invasion of privacy or uncomfortable at first, utilizing the Find My Friends app that can be found on iPhones works too.

Additionally, the updated version of the UWO Mobile app now includes a mobile Blue Light for emergencies and multiple other on-the-go safety resources.

Talking to a friend, family member or significant other while traveling from one destination to another is a good way of feeling safer while walking at night.

If you sense that you are being followed, UW Oshkosh also recommends to change directions or cross the street. If the person or vehicle persists, run to the nearest public place and call for help.

Locking your door—whether it’s your dorm room, house or apartment—is often an overlooked habit. Locking your doors not only helps protect your personal items, it can also help protect you in the case of a break-in when you’re home.

If you see something suspicious, report it to the police—either campus or city police—immediately. If someone is in danger, don’t stand around and watch events unfold—do something about it.

These recommendations and tips all have two things in common: thinking things through ahead of time and taking action.

Prior to going out for a night of drinking, confirm your friends will be there and let roommates know where you are going to be and when you’ll be back. Or download the Uber app before you’re three drinks in so you know a ride will be ready for you.

Planning beforehand leads to safety later. And, more than anything, do not hesitate to ask for help if you ever feel any hint of danger.

It’s better to be safe than sorry.

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Independent Student Newspaper of the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh
Campus safety an issue