Warm weather, increased daylight, lots to do and enjoy. This is a busy, stressful and fun time of year. With the end of second semester in sight, I am writing to ask that you take a moment to think about your personal safety as you go about your daily routine.
We often tell you that Charlottesville and the surrounding community are relatively safe. That remains true, but it is also true that a serial rapist may continue to live within our midst. Robberies and other crimes of opportunity do occur. Prior to Spring Break, a student reported being robbed near 14th Street.
A big part of staying safe is being aware of your surroundings. Not only crimes, but also accidents can occur if you are distracted or not paying attention to people, vehicles or other aspects of what is around you. Cellphones and MP3 players are wonderful, but they can present a dangerous distraction if, for example, you are crossing the street and forget to check for oncoming traffic.
The virtual world poses new safety risks. Please remember that what you post on the Web in social networking communities potentially can be seen by large numbers of people – those with legitimate interests, such as prospective employers, as well as those who might be seeking to do harm. Never share through these sites your address or other unique information, such as your birth date, that could put you in physical danger or at risk of identity theft.
Alcohol abuse is another area of concern. Drinking to excess is often the basis of a host of other problems – illness, accidents, altercations and arrests, and unwanted sexual activity. Please think of these potential consequences, and most of all, please watch out for one another. Never leave an intoxicated friend alone “to sleep it off.” If you or a friend needs medical attention, you will not face reprisal for going to the emergency room.
You have seen the following safety reminders before, but I hope you will read them now with a fresh awareness of the need to take responsibility for your personal safety. We care about you and want you to enjoy a safe, happy conclusion to this academic year.
* Call 911 from any phone, including your cellphone. You will be connected to a regional dispatcher who will send help based on your location.
* If on Grounds, just pick up one of the blue light telephones. You automatically will be connected to University Police.
* Be aware of your surroundings.
* Avoid isolated areas.
* Avoid walking alone at night. Use Safe Ride, walk with friends, or take a late-night weekend bus.
-- Safe Ride provides service between midnight and 6 a.m. from Sunday night through Friday morning. On Saturdays and Sundays, SafeRide operates from 3 a.m. to 6 a.m. The telephone number is 242-1122.
-- Late-night buses operate from midnight to 3 a.m. every Saturday and Sunday when school is in session. Buses run every 15 minutes on the blue/orange lines. Complete details are at www.virginia.edu/parking.
* Use the lighted pathway system.
* Tell a friend where you are going and when you will return.
* Trust your instincts about a person or situation. If you feel uncomfortable, immediately report your concerns to police by calling 911.
RESIDENCE HALL SAFETY
* Never allow strangers to follow you into the building.
* Call 911 if you see someone in the building who seems suspicious.
* Never prop open card reader doors or leave room doors open.
* Secure doors and windows prior to leaving.
* Keep doors and windows locked.
* Use outdoor lighting.
* Trim shrubs and trees to prevent the possibility of prowlers hiding in dense, darkened areas.
* Do not hesitate to contact police, by calling 911, about a person or situation that does not seem right. You will not have to give your name to police.
* If you see any of the following, immediately call the police at 911: a prowler, someone peeping into a residence, an individual watching, photographing or filming an area, or any other suspicious behavior.
* Work with your neighbors and fellow community members to ensure a safe environment.
IF YOU WITNESS A CRIME
Call 911 or anonymously provide information by going to the Crime Tips Web site: http://www.virginia.edu/uvapolice//report_crime.htm
REPORTING A BIAS INCIDENT
If you or someone you know witnesses a bias incident, help is available. The following Web site provides complete details on how to report the incident, what constitutes bias, and what you can expect in response from the University:
E-mail comments to:
Last Modified: Monday, 02-Jul-2007 11:57:55 EDT
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