How to stay safe on campus


Zulfiqar Ahmed

An aerial view of Stevenson Towers, 420 Stadium Drive W., and Grant Hall, 1250 Grant Drive N., on a clear fall night.

By Quade Evans, Opinion Columnist

DeKALB –  Safety on campus is a big issue, it’s important to remember how to stay safe.

Get to know your campus safety office

Getting familiar with your Campus Safety Office by either calling or asking for more information is a great start. NIU’s Campus Safety Office is located The safety office is located on 395 Wirtz Dr. Meanwhile, our campus has apps like the NIU safe app that can track your location if you’re in trouble. These are very useful tools that are unfortunately underutilized, according to a Northern Star editorial. 

The NIU safe app is one example of this. NIU launched the safe app to create a suitable alternative to the call boxes that were posted on the campus, but in the first 10 days of it’s launch, only 4,837 people downloaded it compared to the 16,234 students that are currently enrolled.

Stay vigilant after dark 

After dark is where most robberies, assaults and thefts happen according to studies by the Department of Justice. For this reason, you should take more precautions to stay safe. Things like escape plans and carrying defensive items on you could come in handy

For example, If you have to go out at night, make sure you are certain where you’re going so you don’t end up wandering around. Another tip is to bring a friend or a group of friends with you as this prevents you from possibly being ganged up on. 

It’s been well known by the National Sexual Violence Resource Center that being in groups can help ward off assault.

“Having a group could be the difference between life and death,” said Darren Mitchell, NIU interim Police chief.

Be careful of your belongings

Even though we often feel comfortable in public spaces, it’s important to understand that people are more attentive than they look. You could step away from your laptop in the library for what seemed like a second, and your laptop could be gone, nobody around to see it. You should make sure that all valuables are put away and that you take your belongings with you. 

“Make sure that everything you have is accounted for,” said Jason John, Police Operations chief. 

Have a plan

Even if you don’t find yourself in the worst case scenario, it’s still nice to have a plan of action to protect yourself. If you’re going to a party, make sure you have a solid plan for how you’re going to get back home, or if you are going home by yourself, stay on busy streets so you stay visible to people.

If you need any assistance,  you can always contact the campus safety building at (815) 753-1212.