When moving out and being in a new setting, learning how to stay safe is a crucial part to ensure your safety while living on campus.
For some, this might be the first time you’re living on your own. While there are benefits to getting a taste of what it is like to be independent, with this newfound freedom there is a slight price to pay: Keeping yourself safe.
Blair Barfuss, chief of police and director of public safety, said Dixie State University On-campus Housing has multiple policies as well as procedures employees and resident assistants have to abide by to guarantee a safe living environment for students.
Barfuss said DSU greatly encourages students to download the DSU Safe app on their smartphones. The reason for such a push on this app is because students are able to call police dispatch or even make a report in the app and remain anonymous if they wish to do so.
The DSU Police Department has an average time of three to five minutes when responding to a call, but they could possibly respond at an even quicker time depending on how close an officer is to the scene and if the call was placed to police dispatch or 911, Barfuss said.
To ensure students are receiving the care they need at all hours of the day, it is best to call the general campus security phone number only Monday-Friday, 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m., but at any time not listed, be sure to use other resources, Barfuss stated.
“DSU works tirelessly to keep students aware of any possible safety and security issues,” Barfuss said. “We live in a very safe and statistically low crime area [and] significant crimes against people are rare on-campus. As a community, our DSU students, staff and faculty do a really good job of being aware and reporting anything concerning for police to investigate.”
Because of the diligent work the DSUPD puts into keeping this campus safe as well as the help from fellow students, faculty and staff, those who live on campus have multiple resources in case of an emergency.
Although campus police are readily available, Haylie Jacobson, a sophomore English major from Riverton, said she personally doesn’t feel safe at her on-campus housing.
Jacobson said: “Honestly, I don’t feel that safe. I live at [the] Abby Apartments, and there have been sexual assaults here this year, and last year my friend’s car was broken into. The parking lot here is dark, and I am a little scared at night.”
Jacobson said she has also noticed other on-campus housing units being given far more attention than others. For example, the Campus View Suites buildings receive more recognition for its safety while buildings such as the Abby Apartments receive far less.
Regardless of where a student may currently live on campus, everyone should follow specific procedures to ensure safety in and outside of the home.
“My roommates and I keep the door locked pretty much all of the time and we fully lock it at night,” Jacobson said. “I almost never go out at night by myself, and I always have pepper spray with me.”
Angie Groneman, a junior English major from Las Vegas, has also shared some tips for students to feel far more safe in their place of residence at DSU’s on-campus housing.
Students should find a group of individuals whom they feel comfortable with so each student can always have someone looking out for them and vice versa, Groneman said. When leaving your apartment building, it is best to inform your close group of friends of your whereabouts to further enhance your safety.
“Something I recommend to other students living on campus in order to stay safe is to just have a group of people to talk to and keeping an eye on each other,” Groneman said. “My friends and I did this through meeting each other and making group chats.”
While there are events that may happen out of your control, you can still take precautions in order to greatly enhance your chances of staying safe, especially during your time at DSU.