Now that school is in session and Ottawa area students are settled on campus, let’s talk about campus safety. Students are busy with their studies and engaging in all of the fun and excitement of college life: club and pubs, sports and socializing. With so many new routines, new surroundings and new friends, student safety is always a concern for students and staff alike.
Every year, accidents and injuries do occur on our college campuses even with an abundance of safety measures in place. All three Ottawa post-secondary institutions maintain strong campus safety policies and programs as well as strong communication campaigns. All three also employ security staff to ensure student welfare.
Any student’s best defense is always to make safety a top priority and prepare to reduce the risk.
Campus Safety Tips for Ottawa Area Students
Use the Buddy System
As often as possible, when walking at night, bring a buddy. There’s power in numbers, and you are less likely to become a target when walking pairs or a group. Walking with someone will also reduce the chances of being involved in a pedestrian accident. Need a buddy? Visit the website of your school and learn about the foot patrol program. Here are a few important numbers you may need:
University of Ottawa: Non-emergency: 613-562-5499 or Emergency: 613-562-5411 (or Emergency button on your Mitel telephone)
Carleton University : On-Campus Medical 613-520-4444
Algonquin College: Dial 5000 from any campus phone or Security Services 613-727-4723 X 5000 emergencies
Be Aware of Your Surroundings
The best way to avoid accident or injury is to remain alert and aware. Distracted people make easy targets. Easy targets walk while on their phones and don’t pay attention to their surroundings. When walking on campus, look around for suspicious people and activities at all times. Remain alert.
Take A Safe Route
Avoid walking at night if possible. If you have to walk at night, take a well-lit path. Look for street lamps and other lit paths and stay where there are a lot of people. Be aware of the new pedestrian crosswalk rules.
Don’t Give Out Personal Information
Never give out your room number or exact address to strangers, people you have just met, or friends you have met online. Have them meet you somewhere neutral first to see if they are trustworthy before inviting them to your home or your room. Also, be mindful of what you share on social media.
Let Your Close Friends Know Where You Are Going
While it is risky to reveal your whereabouts or plans on social media, sharing this information with your roommates or close friends is a good safety measure. Let someone know where you are going, who you are going to meet and when you are likely to be back.
Prevent Crime While Driving
When driving on or near campus, stay on well-traveled roadways and always keep your doors locked. Before entering your vehicle, make sure no one is lying in the backseat or on the floor. If someone is following your car, drive to the nearest police station.
Report Suspicious Activity
If you see someone acting suspiciously, report it to campus police immediately. If you ever feel unsafe or threatened, find a safe well-lit place and call the police.
Watch Your Food and Drink
Never accept food or drink from people that you don’t know. Always keep your eyes on your food or drink during a party or date. Never leave your drink unattended at a bar or at a party.
Always Carry Your Cell Phone
Your phone is an asset to your safety. Use it to keep emergency contact numbers and install an alarm app.
We hope that all students enjoy a rewarding school year. Stay safe, be aware and make safety a priority.