Students have begun their yearly pilgrimage to London with the intention of attending the Fall/Winter college or university session. Some students are new to London, and some students are experiencing life away from home for the first time. In order to help our new community members stay safe as they navigate this exciting time, we decided to compile some tips for staying safe and introduce them to some helpful resources!

Post-secondary school students experience difficulty in balancing the “university experience” while still maintaining an appropriate level of safety. It’s definitely possible to have fun with new friends while maintaining your safety. The secret is to be prepared. That could mean telling friends, roommates, or family where you’re going and when you’ll be back, or just planning out your route as you navigate through a new city.

What tools and resources are available?

Fanshawe College and Western University both offer similar tools and resources for helping students to safely get through the year. Fanshawe has a Safety App that could even be helpful for Western students. A lot of the security services on it are specific to Fanshawe, but the app offers tools like a personal alarm. If you find yourself in a potentially threatening situation you could activate the alarm to scare off the threat. Here are some photos of what the app offers:

App Screen shot
App Screen shot
App Screen shot
App Screen shot

The app is also available to Google users and those with Blackberry devices.

Both Fanshawe and Western have security personnel that will respond to emergencies and offer a service where they will accompany you home if you do not feel comfortable walking alone. At Fanshawe, there is a service called Work Alone that you can call and let them know that you are working at the school alone and late and they will call you every hour to make sure you’re safe (note: you need to call them when you leave).

General tips to keep in mind

Some general tips for being safe on and off of campus:

  • Personal safety alarms and whistle – the sound will deter threats.
  • Walk with confidence – Head up and shoulders back! You’re less likely to be attacked if you look like you know where you’re going.
  • Be aware of your surroundings – this makes it harder for someone to catch you off guard, making you less likely to be a target.
  • Familiarize self with campus and where security tools are – know where to find help when you need it.
  • Buddy system – either walk around campus with a friend or roommate, or at least let them know where you are going and when you’re expected back.
  • Don’t carry weapons – these can be taken from you and used against you.
  • Avoid short cuts – if a short cut sacrifices your safety it’s just not worth the extra time.
  • Trust your intuition – if you have a gut feeling that something isn’t right then trust it and get out of the situation!

By following these tips and educating yourself about the resources available to you, you should be able to have a FUN and safe school year!