September is National Campus Safety Awareness Month
Thursday, September 27th, 2018
Written by: María Cristina Pacheco-Alcalá, Project Manager, Casa de Esperanza: National Latin@ Network
In 2008, Congress approved a measure designating September as National Campus Safety Awareness Month to encourage a public conversation on important topics about violence prevention in colleges and universities.
When we think about safety, many things come to mind, but safety, by definition, is the condition of being safe from undergoing or causing hurt, injury or loss. Take a moment to think about what safety means to you: What makes you feel safe in a place? What are some things that could make you feel safer?
In terms of colleges and universities, the Clery Act provides transparency around campus crimes policy and statistics. The Clery Act which applies only to colleges and universities participating in federal financial aid programs, require campuses to understand their responsibilities and encourages ongoing efforts to actively foster campus safety. When a crime covered by the Clery Act occurs, campus authorities need to evaluate the seriousness or ongoing threat to the campus community to determine action steps.
- Encouraging a culture of nonviolence
- Your campus’s message around prevention
- Essentials on the Clery Act
- Frequently asked questions on the Clery Act
- Timely warnings
- Hate crimes
- Hazing prevention
- Campus safety partners
- Rights and options for victims of crime on campus
Safety is an effort for which anyone can be involved. Even if you are not in a campus location, think about which campuses are close to you or near your community. What is the relationship you/the community/your organization have with that campus? How could this relationship be enhanced? What are some things that you could do together that can’t be done individually?
As bystanders, staff, faculty and students, we can learn ways and strategies to prevent crimes like dating violence, domestic violence, sexual assault and stalking from happening. Nothing guarantees safety for everyone, so it’s important to remember that even if you establish safety protocol and something dangerous or hurtful occurs, you should not blame yourself. To increase safety on campus, here are some thoughts:
- Learn about your on and off campus resources – where should you go in the event of a safety threat or danger? Who should be contacted? Identify and locate resources such as law enforcement/police, health centers, counseling centers, shelters, community service providers and/or your local Title IX coordinator.
- Be aware of your surroundings and stay alert.
- Take into consideration safety and privacy when using social media and applications, especially when posting about your location. For more information and resources visit the Safety Net
- Be secure; lock your door and windows when you leave your dorm, apartment or house.
For more information and resources on this topic, you may contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you feel your safety is being threatened and would like to speak with an advocate, you can call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233 or visit thehotline.org. They are available 24/7 and in English or Spanish.