September is National Campus Safety Awareness Month. In celebration, the Augusta University Police Department is offering two training opportunities for Augusta faculty, staff and students.
On Thursday, September 21, the police department is hosting active shooter training at 2 p.m. in the JSAC Coffee House. The training will focus on actions the university community can take should the campus experience an active shooter incident or intruder.
The second training opportunity, on Wednesday, September 27, at 10 a.m. in the JSAC coffeehouse, will focus on Campus Carry. Attendees can expect to learn about House Bill 280, including its allowances and limitations.
Although college and university campuses are generally safe places, campus safety is a shared responsibility. Public safety urges faculty, staff and students to stay alert and report all suspicious persons and activity to the Augusta University Police Department by calling 706-721-2911.
Below are some ways students, faculty, and staff can keep themselves and their belongings safe:
- Make the call. Program the number of Augusta University’s police department (706-721-2911) into your cell phone so you have it at your fingertips in the event of an emergency on campus. If you see a crime in progress or even something suspicious, don’t hesitate, make the call.
- Empower yourself. Enroll in a self-defense course. Augusta University offers a sexual assault defense program such as R.A.D., sign up with a friend and empower yourself. These courses are designed to give you the tools that may help save your life.
- Don’t walk alone. Take advantage of Augusta University’s safety escort services or walk with friends or classmates.
- Protect your property. Never leave items like your backpack, laptop or cell phone unattended, even if it’s just for a minute. Make it a habit to take these valuables with you.
- Report solicitors. Magazine subscriptions, donation requests, spa packages and “earn money now” schemes are some of the common methods criminals use to take your money. Avoid solicitors’ scams by politely saying no and immediately notifying university police. Never provide a solicitor with your personal information.
- On the bus. Stay awake and keep your personal belongings close to you. Sit near the door or the driver and stay awake. If someone’s harassing you, don’t hesitate; ask the driver to let you off at a populated bus stop or well-lit area like a gas station.
- Grab it. Close it. Lock it. College and university parking lots and structures are common targets for thieves. Never leave valuables in your car or items in plain view. Take items like GPS devices, removable stereo faceplates, and electronics with you. Make sure your windows are up and the doors are locked. Apply a security device or set the alarm. Have a list of serial numbers for all electronic equipment.
- Keep personal information private. Avoid becoming a victim of identity theft by carrying only the necessary items in your wallet or purse. Don’t give personal information to solicitors.
- Keep your room/apartment locked. Even if you’re going next door to a friend’s room, always grab your keys and lock the door. A propped open door is a perfect target for would-be thieves and allows them quick and easy access to your belongings. If your room has additional doors and windows, always be sure they are closed and locked as well.
- Protect your wheels. If you a ride a bike, Augusta University offers free registration (make, model, serial number, value, owner’s information, and photo required). Registering your bike helps improve the likelihood of recovery if stolen. Invest in a high-quality, hardened steel “U” lock. For optimum security, lock both the front and frame to the bike rack. Taking these tips to heart will go a long way toward providing for a safe semester for our nation’s college and university students.