Sometimes you end up having to walk yourself home. If you can prevent it, by all means stroll home with a buddy or a group of friends. However, if you have no other option than to crawl the streets of Corvallis at night all by your lonesome, you should probably know a few things before you venture out into the darkness.
Safety tips have been written a thousand times over at this point, but with the recent report made by an 18-year-old woman that she was sexually assaulted on the OSU campus early Wednesday morning— and with the start of the new school year — here’s another friendly reminder to get educated and be prepared as much as possible.
OSU officials are advising students and community members to walk in pairs and be aware of their personal safety.
“This is the same message that we do give at any time. It just seems to be heightened now that we had a [sexual] assault reported. We’re giving this message out to all students, faculty, and staff here at OSU throughout the year, even at new student orientation and new parent orientation,” said Oregon State Police Sergeant Eric Judah of the University Patrol Office. “Safety is everybody’s responsibility.”
Several new technological innovations have recently entered the playing field of personal safety and protection: Welcome Companion and the Cuff.
Companion, a free personal safety app that you can download to your smartphone, was created by five University of Michigan students.
The app allows you to inform your parents, friends, or even a public safety department where you are and what route you are taking home. The safety catch? Those individuals can monitor your route as you head home and receive alerts if you run into trouble.
The Cuff (https://cuff.io) is a piece of “safety jewelry” that looks all shiny and sophisticated on your wrist, but it also enables you to send out an alert in the event of an emergency with the press of a built-in button.
Judah urges people at OSU to use SafeRide, to call a friend or a taxi, or to contact the OSU Department of Public Safety or OSP troopers assigned to campus if SafeRide isn’t available.
“I also urge people to sign up for the timely warnings and emergency alerts [that the university sends out],” he said. “Students can actually add their parents’ email addresses into that system. There is a very definite need for people to sign up.”
Judah added, “I think anything that anybody can do, within the law, to enhance their personal safety, they need to do it.”
For an extensive list of OSU’s campus safety information, including a sexual assault resource guide and how to navigate the campus at night, visit http://fa.oregonstate.edu/
By Abbie Tumbleson