Starting college is a very exciting time. It can be easy to get swept up in all the chaos of moving in, finding classes and making friends, which can sometimes cause students to neglect safety procedures.
Texas State is a large campus with a total enrollment of over 35,000 students, and because of this, the university has implemented multiple safety features on campus that are available around the clock for students.
One of the most accessible safety features on campus is the blue 911 call boxes located all around the grounds. Especially helpful at night in the case of an emergency, the button can be pushed on the box and it will immediately dispatch a call to 911. In addition, the pushing of the button will cause a blue light to become exposed and swivel on the top of the box making it easier to find someone’s location in the dark.
Another very useful safety option available to students is a service called Bobcat Bobbies. Bobcat Bobbies is a transportation method for students. Students can call (512) 245-7233 and request a pickup from anywhere on campus. Within about ten minutes, up to three people at a time can receive a lift on a golf cart to their next destination. Bobcat Bobbies is particularly useful at night after long nights studying at the library or a work out at the gym when walking across campus in the dark to a dorm may not be the safest option.
UPD officer Sue Taylor, who has been with the University Police for 13 years, said there are always three police officers on duty during the night on campus, and more on command during the day. The police department also receives additional help from security officers around campus who become an extra set of eyes and ears for them.
She encouraged students to always remain aware of their surroundings. Students who see an emergency should know their location when they call 911 and try to get as accurate a description of everything as possible including vehicle license plate numbers, names, physical descriptions and the essentials of what’s happening around them.
Taylor said students, particularly freshman moving into the dorms, can often have a false sense of security when it comes to their new living space.
“Always lock everything, especially your bedroom door, even if you’re just going down the hall,” Taylor said. “Students feel safe leaving their residence hall doors open, but the truth is they’re living with as many as 300 new people that they’ve never met before.”
Taylor said paying attention to who’s coming into residence halls and remaining cautious from the very beginning helps to create a safer environment overall for everyone in the hall.
Lastly, for anyone who wants to take the extra step in ensuring their safety on campus, Texas State offers a variety of self-defense classes including karate, kick-boxing, Krav Maga and others.
Taylor said it’s a good idea to take anything and everything that can help someone learn to defend themselves.
“It doesn’t matter what you take, all of it is good and helpful,” she said.