Stay Safe When You’re Staying Late At Campus

As you may have found since moving on from high school to university or TAFE, you’re expected to pull some ungodly hours on campus.

Though this is where you’ll form a bunch of your favourite tertiary memories – like ordering late-night pizza to get your group through an all-nighter – it also means you’ll sometimes leave after regular staffed hours.

Those who drive might need to cross empty parking lots to their car; others might have to wait for nearly-empty trains and busses to get home. You definitely need not panic (your parents are probably already gnawing at their nails) but it’s essential you stay smart in these circumstances.

Here are eight tips to ensure you stay safe at all times.

1. Keep your family and friends updated.

Since you’re keeping such unusual hours these days, it can be difficult for family, friends, roommates and partners to keep track of your whereabouts. Give them peace of mind by letting them know when you’re leaving and when you expect to get home. Not only does this keep them from being whipped into a panicked frenzy and summoning the AFP to raid the library where you’ve simply nodded off, it means someone else is accountable for your whereabouts.

2. Never walk alone.

“You’ll never walk alone” isn’t just Liverpool’s anthem; it’s also a handy guide to help you avoid danger on campus at night. If you need to get to your car, or the train station, be sure to partner up. Also, if someone else is planning on walking by themselves, be courteous and offer to escort them. Everyone can use a buddy.

3. Carpool!

In fact, why simply walk in pairs when you can drive in trios, or even quintets? (More than that is probably a road hazard.) The company and conversation will also help you remain alert if driving late at night.

4. Avoid dimly lit areas and short cuts.

When making your way across the university or college grounds, try to stick near street lamps and paved pathways. If you spot an area with broken lights, be sure to report it to authorities. Also, try to avoid short cuts; more often than not, these are precisely the parts of the campus with little lighting (and are also rarely populated by other late-staying students). The risk is not worth the extra five minutes you might save.

5. Hear us out: maybe don’t wear headphones!

We know, we know. Sometimes there’s nothing better at the end of a long day than popping in your earphones, blotting out the world and finally cranking the Apple Music, or catching up with your favourite comedy podcast. However, you really should be aware of what’s going on around you as you begin your exit. If you absolutely have to listen to something, keep the volume low and try not to drown out your surroundings – not just for your own safety, either. This way, you might even hear someone else’s call for assistance.

6. Find out the number for campus security and keep it handy.

Whether it’s for your own protection, or others, make sure you have campus security’s number stored on your mobile and at the ready. Usually, security moves pretty quickly to assist those in need once they’ve been alerted to a situation, so be sure you have the right number.

7. Park close (or catch a shuttle).

Parking on campus can be a nightmare, and sometimes you can’t guarantee a spot close to your building. Still, most cars clear out around 5pm. If you know you’re going to be hanging around for a while yet, maybe move your car closer to the building where you’ll be spending the rest of the night. If that’s not a possibility, find out if your campus has a shuttle service, and sync up your movements with its timetable.

8. Download the Safe Haven app.

Of course, you could always download the new Safe Haven app, which turns your smartphone into a personal security device. The app not only maps your location but also offers a panic button that can be held down to alert the Safe Haven team – on notice 365 days a year, 24/7 in a secure control room – who will immediately get in touch and dispatch security if needed (an advancement on the previous generation of security apps). Though the above common-sense rules are integral guidelines for those staying late, there’s no harm in letting technology (with a personal touch) lend a hand in your protection.

All of these tips will get you home safely, where you can relax and put work behind you… at least, for a few hours.