V.P. for Student Affairs offers safety warning

By Brian Hemphill

Dear Students,

I am very concerned. If you are reading this editorial, you have most likely read various headlines in the Northern Star during this past week and are aware of the rash of robberies that have occurred in the DeKalb community. This reported increase in community violence is of great concern and has the potential to negatively impact our campus.

I want each of you to hear my message of caution. These incidents beg us to reconsider our daily habits and reinforce our role as members of the campus community. With that in mind, I encourage you to follow these safety tips:

1. Be mindful of your surroundings and always walk with friends.

2. Stick to familiar walkways and avoid dark or isolated areas.

3. Keep your house or car keys in hand. Do not carry them in your pocket, book bag or purse.

4. Walk with a purpose and know where you are going. If you are unsure, call the campus escort service at 753-9658 to get you to your destination safely.

5. Program the NIU Department of Public Safety into your cell phone (753-1212) and look for the emergency call boxes on campus.

6. Avoid walking with an iPod or other electronic device in your ears. These devices make you less aware of your surroundings and they are attractive to thieves.

7. Take full advantage of the Huskie Bus Line and call the Late Night Ride Service at 753-2222.

8. Be sure your friends and family know where you are and when you plan to return.

This is your campus, and it is your responsibility to report any unusual activity to the NIU Department of Public Safety or DeKalb Police. A healthy community is one whose members look out for each other. When a citizen of our campus community is harmed, all of us suffer. When the actions of a few cause fear among many, a united community responds far more effectively than a divided one. Your partnership with the police will make an enormous impact on the safety of our campus. Do not hesitate to call 911 if you witness a crime or feel threatened in any way.

In the coming weeks, members of the Student Association, in partnership with NIU staff, will distribute a flier about campus safety tips. This is one of a number of steps the university will take to heighten awareness about campus and personal safety. Please accept this flier and share it with your friends. We need to take these recent incidents seriously, and that requires all of us to be vigilant. If you have any questions or concerns, please call my office at 753-1573.


Brian O. Hemphill, Ph.D.

Vice President for Student Affairs