STAYING SAFE AROUND CAMPUS
Attending school in the city is exciting, but staying safe around campus should be every student’s priority.
It’s easy to get caught up in the fun and excitement of Toronto, so here are some tips to keep in mind while being safe around campus.
Don’t text and walk
We all multitask in order to keep up with the business of day-to-day life. More than most people, students are required to multitask the most to meet the demands of heavy course loads and part-time jobs. Still, your safety and wellbeing deserve your full attention.
When walking to and from campus, try not to use your phone. When you’re distracted by your screen, it’s hard to be aware of what’s going on around you. It also becomes easier to have your phone stolen if you’re holding it and not paying attention, rather than keeping it in your bag.
Avoid wearing headphones at night
There’s something so magical about a midnight stroll through the streets of Toronto, with your headphones in and your favourite soundtrack playing in the background. Despite the innocent nature of this simple pleasure, wearing headphones while walking alone at night puts you in a dangerous situation.
If you can’t hear what’s going on around you because you’re drowning out your thoughts with Drake’s new album, then you become at risk to a variety of dangers. It becomes easier for strangers to sneak up behind you, walk into oncoming traffic, miss your bus stop and more. Staying safe around campus means staying alert – don’t get caught in the music.
Share your location with someone you trust
It seems our smartphones keep becoming smarter as Technology continues to advance in 2022. Our phones make it easier than ever to not only stay connected with others, but to make sure to make sure those people stay safe, too. While we don’t advise staying glued to your phone when you walk around campus, it’s a good idea to share your location with someone you trust.
If you’re meeting up with a friend, share your location with them before you leave. This way, they know exactly when to expect your arrival and know exactly where you’re located if something goes wrong. Additionally, you can share your location with a parent, partner or someone you trust continuously so that the people who care about you know exactly how to find you.
There different options for mobile applications that are designed for safety, too. These apps include Watch Over Me which allows you to “check-in” with your family and friends once you’ve arrived to a destination, and and Noonlight which works in tandem with Tinder.
Take advantage of security escorts and walk-safe programs
Most university and college campus’ offer late night security escorts and walk-safe programs to ensure students get home safely. If you’re someone who stays late on campus to study or if you attend night classes, have a security escort you to the nearest bus stop or parking lot is a good idea. The University of Toronto offers security escorts to students that you can call 24/7/365 . This service is also offered by Toronto Metropolitan University, OCADU and George Brown.
Consider self-defence methods
You can take all of the safety precautions in the world, but sometimes, you may find yourself in a dangerous situation that was out of your control. Staying safe around campus also includes being prepared for unexpected encounters. Consider how you would defend yourself in a potentially dangerous situation on campus.
If you’re not confident in your ability to physically defend yourself, consider taking a self-defence course. Many universities and colleges offer these courses to students for free. The University of Toronto is hosting a Wen-Do workshop this month, you can register for it here. Alternatively, tools such as whistles or bear mace are options you can have on hand if you can use them from a safe distance. You can purchase one on Amazon, or a pack of 5 to share with your friends.
Keep in mind, these items should be used only when you are left with no other option, out of defence. The goal is to use the tips above to avoid dangerous situations that require self-defence.