Student safety tips for the new varsity year

Students across the country are gearing up for another year at university. For first time and returning parents, it is an exciting time. But also a time of concern. How do you ensure that your children make the most of this opportunity while staying safe?

BE SMART:  Common sense on campus will go a long way to keeping you and your possessions safe.

  • Safety in numbers. Try not to travel around campus alone. Stick to groups of two or more and take the well used routes.
  • Trust your gut. If have strange feeling that something may be wrong, you’re probably right. Change your route to a better travelled, well-lit one and head towards a public space or campus security.
  • Plan ahead. Make sure you are familiar with the routes between your residence, classes and activities.
  • Follow the lights. Stick to well-lit and busy areas. Stay on the part of the sidewalk farthest away from shrubs, dark doorways and alleys where people can hide.
  • Tell somebody. Share your schedule with parents and close friends and create a buddy system. Share friends’ phone numbers with your parents and your wider buddy group.
  • Keep personal details safe. Don’t be vulnerable to identity theft or be casual with your personal details. Make sure your drivers licence, banking passwords and passport details are kept safe.
  • Protect your property. Theft is the largest crime on campus. Frequent targets are bicycles and personal property that are left unlocked or unattended.


BE SMARTER-ER: Not everyone drinks, but if you do…

  • Play it safe. If you are going to drink, plan your night out with safety in mind and be wary of drinking games, particularly those which encourage binge drinking.
  • Eat up. Don’t skip meals and an easier and quicker way to feel the effects of alcohol.
  • Designate a driver. Don’t get into a car with a driver who has been drinking alcohol or one who texts while at the wheel.
  • Trust your senses. Don’t drink anything that you haven’t seen come out of the original bottle, or that tastes or smells strange. Take a small first sip and rather stop than take the chance.
  • Date right. Check out a first or a blind date with friends and arrange to meet in public places. Take money for a taxi or arrange your own transport in case you need to cut the date short.


BE THE SMARTEST: Make sure you have the tools and cover for when things do go wrong.

  • Insure. If something happens, you don’t want to be without the necessities when university pressure hits. Dialdirect has Specified Portable Possessions Insurance which covers valuable items, like smartphones, tablets, laptops, sunglasses, etc.
  • There’s an app for that. Download and test the free Namola safety app, an innovative communication tool the will ensure you GET HELP FAST.
  • Request help. When in an emergency situation, immediately use Namola to request assistance. The Response Centre will call you back and coordinate emergency assistance. A delay in reporting an incident decreases the chances of apprehending the suspects.
  • Add friends and family. Namola lets you add 5 Emergency Contacts to the app. When you request help, your Emergency Contacts will be alerted. Your family, friends, and even local emergency services like campus security, will be notified of your situation, kept up to date of progress, and will have the ability to respond to the emergency.
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