Staying Safe At College

April 23, 2014

Vehicle Safety

Always lock your car doors and take your keys when you leave.  Don’t leave valuables in plain view in your car.

Sexual Assault / Date Rape

  1. Do not bathe or change clothes after the assault, because this can wash away evidence.
  2. Get to a hospital immediately.
  3. Ask medical personnel to use a rape kit.  The rape kit is very important because it offers biological and as well as physical evidence of sexual assault.
  4. Ask for a urine and drug test.  If there is a date rape drug that was ingested or consumed somehow, there’s a small 12 –to-24-hour period when it can be detected.
  5. Notify local police from the hospital to file a report if it occurred off campus; Notify campus police from the hospital if it occurred on campus.

Reference From: Thomas Kane, Author of the Book “Protect Yourself at College.”

April 16, 2014

Trust your gut and be true to yourself.

If something doesn’t feel right, it probably isn’t. If you feel uncomfortable in a situation, trust your instincts and leave. If someone is pressuring you, it’s better to make up an excuse to leave than to stay and be uncomfortable, scared or worse. Your safety is more important than other people's feelings or their opinion of you.

Take control of your online life.

Be mysterious online. Think twice before you share personal information. Constantly posting social media updates about your whereabouts, activities or even class schedules may allow someone to track your every move. Use your best judgment when “checking-in” on Facebook and geo-tagging images you post to Instagram. Remember this motto: If you would not share the information with a stranger, then you shouldn’t share it online.

Party smart.

Guard your drink at parties. Don’t accept one from people you don’t trust or know well. Stick to drinks that you got or prepared yourself. If you happen to walk away from your drink for a moment, don't take a chance; get a new drink instead. Keep track of what you’ve consumed so that you can stay in control. If you feel that you are getting sick or are too intoxicated, ask someone you trust to help you get to a safe place or a hospital.

April 9, 2014

Lock Your Doors

Make sure your dorm room or apartment is safe and secure by keeping your doors locked at all times, especially if you are sleeping or out. If you are moving into an off-campus apartment, check the exterior doors and windows to make sure they have good locks. If the locks do not appear sturdy, ask your landlord or building manager to replace them. For those in campus housing, do not prop open residence hall doors. They are locked to keep you safe.

Know Where the Blue Light Phones Are

Rhode Island College has more than 45 blue light phones all over campus that will immediately connect you with RIC Campus Police. Know where they are and don’t be afraid to use one if you feel unsafe. A link to the map of campus blue light phones can be found at

Sign Up for RICAlert to Receive Timely and Accurate Information

Good communication is key to safety. The Campus Police Department urges you to sign up for the RICAlert text message notification system, so that the college is able to send urgent and emergency text messages to your mobile device. The system will be used only in the event of urgent and emergency situations, such as a weather-related college delay/closure or an on-campus event that requires emergency instructions.

April 2, 2014

Never Walk Alone

There is safety in numbers. Try to get in the habit of walking with someone wherever you go. Never walk alone at night! Before you go out for the evening, make arrangements to have someone walk with you to your event and walk you home. By walking with someone else, you significantly reduce the chances of being hurt.

Limit Alcohol

If you drink alcohol, it is imperative that you drink in moderation. Before you leave for the evening, plan how you intend to return home. Limit the number of drinks you consume. Ask someone to keep an eye on you for the night and vice versa.

Avoid Activities at Night That Make You Vulnerable

When you use your iPod, you lose one of your most important senses — your hearing. Since your eyesight is limited during evening hours, you make yourself more vulnerable if you use your iPod. If you must use it, only put in one ear bud so that you can still hear what is happening around you. You should also get in the habit of using an ATM during daylight hours only. Make sure any ATM you do use at night is in a well-lit area. Never use an ATM located at the rear of a bank, and never count your money while you are standing near the ATM, as both these choices put you in a vulnerable position. Be alert to the people and activities around you at all times.

Page last updated: April 23, 2014