Staying safe on campus

Video by Kaitlyn Bowers

Catherine Cavallo, Reporter

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College can be stressful when it comes to managing classes, studying for exams, and having a job all while still trying to maintain a social life. College students have one more thing they have to worry about and that is their safety.

Whether it is walking alone at night, going out with friends, or having someone walk a little too close for comfort behind you, we always have to think of our well-being.

Deputy Chief Adam Brown explained how the UNF Police Department’s highest priority is not only the safety of students but the faculty and staff as well: “We strive to ensure that everyone who attends classes here, works here, visits our campus for special events, or just passes through, has a safe and enjoyable experience at our university.”

Here are some tips from UNFPD on how to stay safe on campus:

  • Familiarize yourself with the location of your campus police building. UPD is located in building 41 in the Martin Garris building on Eco Road.
  • Preprogram the UPD’s non-emergency telephone number (904-620-2800) into your cell phone in case you need to call for assistance. 
  • Get acclimated with campus buildings and know where you are going on campus.
  • At night, walk with a friend.  If you don’t feel comfortable with the route you are taking, take a different one. 
  • If you do not feel safe walking anywhere on campus, call the UPD at 904-620-2800 and request an escort. The UPD will respond 24/7.
  • When approaching your parked car, scan the area, inside and out.  Have your car keys in your hand already, so you aren’t wasting any time getting inside your vehicle.
  • Limit how much information you divulge on social media. Turn off your location services and avoid geotagging.
  • Understand Jacksonville’s crime data and UNF’s crime data by visiting http://www.city-data.com/ and https://ope.ed.gov/campussafety.
  • Walk with confidence. Be aware of your surroundings and avoid distractions such as your cell phone. 
  • Download and use UNF’s Safe Ospreys App. It offers great safety features and can keep you connected with UNF Police if necessary. UNF also has over 200 Emergency Blue Phones throughout campus to offer emergency help to anyone who needs it. 
  • Take a self-defense class. UNF offers a free Rape Aggression Defense (RAD) class for all students, faculty and staff, but it is mainly geared toward female participants. The course will give you the knowledge and skills to avoid an attack and will also give you techniques to physically defend yourself if needed. Information on RAD Training may be found on the UPD’s web page https://www.unf.edu/upd/  or you may email [email protected] for more information.

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