Personal Safety for Students

Here are a number of crime prevention tactics students can employ to protect themselves.

In Your Residence Hall

  • Lock your door, even if you are only going to the bathroom or to the room next door. Many residence hall thefts due to unlocked rooms are conducted while the residents of the room are on the same floor, but planned to just step out for "one minute." It takes approximately 8 seconds for someone to walk into an unattended room and remove something such as a purse or jewelry.
  • Lock your door when you are in your room, especially when you are asleep.
  • Try to take showers only when there are other residents on your floor.
  • Never leave handbags, billfolds, jewelry, or other valuables unattended in dorm rooms, showers, or lounges. Put them in a safe place in your room (under lock and key, if possible). Most thieves know to look in the top dresser drawer.
  • Report to Campus Police any strangers loitering in or around the residence hall. They are a source of many thefts in your building.
  • Try not to leave small items of value in your room during vacation periods and long holidays.
  • If you receive annoying or obscene telephone calls, notify Campus Police (extension 5433) at once. It may be a prank, but you never know.
  • Do not let strangers into your room.
  • Do not advertise or write on your door where you will be or when you will return

In Your House or Apartment

  • Never use your first name in telephone directories or mail boxes and avoid the prefixes Mrs., Miss, or Ms. List your first initial only.
  • After moving into a new home or apartment, it is a good idea to change door and window locks.
  • Never open your door to strangers! Repair persons and sales persons carry proper identification. It is in your best interest to request that they show it to you before you admit them. Also, most repair persons and sales persons make appointments beforehand. During non-working hours, if repair persons are making "emergency" repairs or checks, confirm the necessity of the work by phone before admittance. Have a friend with you while a repair is taking place, if someone asks to use the phone, offer to make the call, but do not open the door.
  • Always keep windows secured and covered at night. Never reveal, either in person or to a telephone caller, that you are alone. Have two lights on in different locations of the house. This gives the impression of more than one person at home. To secure sliding doors, place a strong wooden broom handle or dowel in the lower track of the door.
  • In apartment buildings, be wary of deserted laundry rooms.

On Campus

  • When walking at night, use the best lighted route and try not to walk alone.
  • Escorts are available by calling Campus Police at 831-5433.
  • If you are the victim of a crime, notify Campus Police immediately. It is their only chance to help you.
  • Report any encounters with voyeurs or exhibitionists to Campus Police

In Your Car

  • When you walk to your vehicle, have your keys ready in your hand so you will not have to stand outside your car looking for them in your handbag or pocket.
  • Always check the rear seat and floor before you get into your car.
  • Lock the doors as soon as you get into your vehicle and keep them locked.
  • Do not pick up hitchhikers.
  • If you believe you are being followed by another car, do not lead them to your driveway or parking lot. Attempt to locate open businesses, or drive to the Campus Police office or the Worcester Police Department. Use your horn and lights to attract attention. Try to obtain the license number of the other vehicle to pass on to the police.
  • If you have car trouble, raise the hood and sit inside your car with the doors locked until assistance arrives. Ask the person who approaches to call a service truck for you. Keep an ample supply of gasoline.
  • Do not stop to offer help to a stranded motorist, male or female. Stop at the next telephone booth and call the police or a service station.
  • If you park your car and the attendant asks you to leave your keys, leave only the car keys.

While Walking

  • Walk near the curb and use the safest, lighted routes to your destination. Avoid alleys, parks, vacant lots, and dark parking areas.
  • Never hitchhike.
  • If you think someone is following you, cross the street, walk faster, or even walk down the middle of the street. Try to go to a lighted area, a store, or a group of people. Do not go to your home or your apartment.
  • Do not accept rides from strangers. If a car approaches and you are threatened, walk in the opposite direction of the vehicle.
  • Do not overload yourself with packages, books, or other things.
  • If your purse is snatched, don't fight. Give it up rather than risk injury. It won't be a great loss if you:
    • carry no more cash than is absolutely necessary;
    • keep a list at home of all credit cards, licenses, etc.

Psychological Preparation

Be alert to the fact that you can become a victim. Consider in advance what you would do if confronted by a criminal.

Educate yourself concerning crime prevention tactics

  • Condition yourself to observe surroundings.
  • Notice on the routes you travel those areas where you can seek help quickly, i.e., 24 hour store.
  • Notice where pay or emergency phones are located. Currently campus / emergency phones are located outside the following buildings:

          

  • 10 Faraday Elevator 1
  • 10 Faraday Elevator 2
  • 10 Faraday Loading Dock
  • 10 Faraday Main Entrance
  • 10 Faraday NE Corner
  • 10 Faraday Quad Entrance
  • 10 Faraday SW Gate
  • 22 Schussler
  • 29 Garden Street (Elevator)
  • 29 Garden Street Center Entrance Gate (Gateway Garage)
  • 29 Garden Street Center Exit Gate (Gateway Garage)
  • 29 Garden Street North Entrance Gate (Gateway Garage)
  • 29 Garden Street North Exit Gate (Gateway Garage)
  • 29 Garden Street Parking G (Gateway Garage)
  • 29 Garden Street Parking L1 (Gateway Garage)
  • 29 Garden Street Parking L2 (Gateway Garage)
  • 29 Garden Street Parking L3 (Gateway Garage)
  • 29 Garden Street Parking L4 (Gateway Garage)
  • 29 Garden Street Parking L5 (Gateway Garage)
  • 29 Garden Street South Entrance Gate (Gateway Garage)
  • 29 Garden Street South Garage Entrance Gate (Gateway Garage)
  • 29 Garden Street South Garage Exit Gate (Gateway Garage)
  • 29 Garden Street  South Exit Gate (Gateway Garage)
  • 30 Boynton Street Courtyard (East Hall)
  • 30 Boynton Street Loading Dock (East Hall)
  •  30 Boynton Street North Exterior (East Hall)
  • 30 Boynton Street South Exterior (East Hall)
  • 30 Boynton Street West Entrance (East Hall)
  • 37 Dean Street Gate-In (East Hall Garage)
  • 37 Dean Street Gate-Out (East Hall Garage)
  • 37 Dean Street Parking L1 (East Hall Garage)
  • 37 Dean Street Parking L1A (East Hall Garage)
  • 37 Dean Street Parking L2 (East Hall Garage)
  • 37 Dean Street Parking L2A (East Hall Garage)
  • 37 Dean Street Parking L3 (East Hall Garage)
  • 37 Dean Street Parking LL (East Hall Garage)
  • 37 Lee St. Front
  • 37 Lee St. Rear
  • 60 Prescott Street Back Door (West) (Gateway)
  • 60 Prescott Street Front Door (East) (Gateway)
  • 60 Prescott Street Loading Dock (Gateway)
  • 85 Prescott St. Mass Academy Entrance
  • 85 Prescott St. Mass Academy Entrance (Interior) 
  • Athletic Field
  • Atwater Kent
  • Campus Center Entrance
  • Campus Center Rear
  • Daniels Hall (Interior Entrance)
  • Daniels Hall (Quad)
  • Drury Ln. Tennis Courts
  • Ellsworth Apartments (EA 16)
  • Ellsworth Apartments Courtyard
  • Founders Hall (Boynton St)
  • Founders Hall (Interior Entrance)
  • Founders Hall (Parking Lot)
  • Founders Hall Basement Exterior
  • Fuller Apartments (Lower)
  • Fuller Apartments (Upper)
  • Fuller Labs 2nd Floor (Inside)
  • Fuller Labs Loading Dock
  • Fuller Labs Main Entrance
  • Fuller Labs Salisbury St.
  • Goddard Hall (South)
  • Goddard Hall North Entrance
  • Gordon Library Entrance
  • Gordon Library Loading Dock
  • Gordon Library Stairs
  • Harrington Auditorium Balcony
  • Harrington Auditorium Court
  • Harrington Auditorium ROTC Entrance
  • Higgins House Parking Lot
  • Higgins House Rear Door
  • Higgins Labs (West St.)
  • Institute Hall
  • Kaven Hall (Boynton St./Salisbury St.)
  • Kaven Hall (Parking Lot)
  • Kaven Hall Courtyard
  • Morgan Hall (Institute Rd)
  • Morgan Hall (Interior)
  • Olin Hall (West St.)
  • Park Ave Garage NE Field
  • Park Ave Garage NW Field
  • Park Ave Garage SE Exterior
  • Park Ave Garage SW Field
  • Park Ave Garage West
  • Park Ave NE Garage
  • Park Ave NW Garage
  • Park Ave SE Field/Elevator
  • Park Ave SE Garage
  • Park Ave SW Garage
  • Power House
  • Press Box (Elevator)
  • Project Center Rec Center (Field Entrance)
  • Rec Center (Loading Dock)
  • Rec Center (Main Entrance)
  • Riley Hall Riley Hall (Quad)
  • SAE/Institute Park
  • Steam Tunnel

 

  • When traveling alone and heading for a particular destination, let someone know the route or alternate route you may take and the approximate time you should arrive. If an emergency does occur or your car breaks down, this will assist police and/or friends in knowing where to search first.

If You are Sexually Assaulted

  • Don't wash, douche, shower, or change clothes. You may destroy valuable evidence.
  • Call the police immediately and report the assault and the location. If possible, give the police a description of the attacker and any other information that may be helpful. Reporting an assault to the police does not mean that you have to prosecute.
  • Seek and accept immediate medical attention. You may have sustained injuries during the attack that you may not be aware of. Ask a friend or relative to accompany you to the hospital.
  • At the hospital, you will receive first aid and have a pelvic exam. You will be tested for infections disease and possible pregnancy. An acid phosphate test may be done to establish if the attacker has had a vasectomy. Be sure to ask for all of these tests to insure they are done.
  • During the exam, be sure to show the doctor any cuts, bruises, or scratches on your body.
  • All hospitals within Massachusetts are required to obtain and preserve evidence during a sexual assault examination, which is then given to the police. This is done so that if and/or when you decide to prosecute, physical evidence will have been retained. It is your choice whether or not to prosecute.
  • You may request that police not release your name to the media.
  • Remember, reporting all sexual assaults to the police
    • aids police in pinpointing crime areas.
    • helps identify the offenders.
    • may aid in clearing other pending cases.
    • can prevent the attacker from repeating the crime with the victim or from victimizing another.

General Precautions

  • Be prepared to defend yourself by
    • running.
    • screaming.
    • fighting.
  • Report any suspicious activity to the police immediately.
  • Report all sexual assaults to the police immediately.
  • Always seek medical attention if you are assaulted.
  • Know your physical and emotional limitations. Use your intuition!
  • Never hitchhike.
  • Do not accept rides from strangers.
  • Do not resist an attacker who displays or threatens to have a gun, knife, or other weapon.