Stay Safe On- and Off- Campus
By Paula Wesson, Managing Editor
On July 13, 2013, Chief Mark Vitalos emailed the Cedar Crest College community alerting them to an alleged sexual assault. According to Campus Police reports, one sexual assault occurs on campus each year. The campus is generally a safe campus with no reports of murder, arson, car theft, or hate crimes. Each year there are several reports of stolen items. Here’s how to protect yourself and your belongings…
Rape and Kidnapping
- Campus Police teaches a four-part Rape Aggression Defense (R.A.D.) class each semester. The classes do not count for college credit, but they are a good idea for any student. During these classes, students practice self-defense using only their bodies, no weapons. (R.A.D. Weapons Defense classes are available off campus.) Look out for an email about upcoming classes. Class space is limited.
- When walking alone at night, ask a friend or Campus Police officer to walk with you. You can call Campus Police by pressing 0 on any campus phone, through a police call box, or by dialing 610-437-4471. (Put this number in your cell phone.)
- Don’t text and walk. Pay attention to your surroundings. Stay in lighted areas or bring a flashlight.
- If someone does grab you, make noise.
- Say “no.” Often the rapist is someone the victim knows. The situation may occur because of a misunderstanding. Make it clear that you are not giving consent.
- The simplest way to prevent theft is to lock your doors. If you have a bike, put a lock on that, too.
- Don’t leave your belongings in a lounge or other public area, even if you’re coming back.
- Put your name on your things. You’ll be able to prove it’s yours if it’s lost or stolen.
- Password protect your electronics. If someone steals them, a password will make it harder for someone to use your phone as her own. It will also protect your information and files.
- Don’t leave the kitchen when food is cooking. You are not allowed to cook in your room with a toaster, toaster oven, hot plate, or indoor grill.
- On campus, you are not allowed to burn candles or incense. In your own home, these should not be left burning unattended. Keep them away from curtains, children, and pets.
- Do not use an electric blanket or space heater in the dorms. At home, do not leave these items plugged in when you are asleep or when you are not home.
- Do not smoke inside. Discard your cigarette butt in an ash tray instead of throwing it on the ground. Make sure that the cigarette butt is fully extinguished before leaving.
- In the dorm, you are not allowed to cover up lights or hang your own lights. For more information on dorm décor, see the Student Handbook.
- Do not provide alcohol to students under 21. This is illegal and unsafe.
- Drinking alcohol in public is against campus policy except at special events attended by Campus Police.
- Don’t forget to drink water. Alcohol dehydrates you. Avoid coffee and other caffeinated beverages which may make dehydration worse.
- Keep an eye on your drink. Many date rape drugs do not affect the look, taste, or smell of your drink.
- Have a sober friend with you even if you don’t plan on driving. Look out for your friends. Signs of alcohol poisoning include fainting, blacking out, slow or shallow breathing, and pale skin.
- In Pennsylvania, driving under the influence has a blood alcohol level of .08. Blood alcohol level depends on many factors: weight, time, amount and type of alcoholic drinks. If you’ve had anything to drink, don’t take the risk.