How to Maximize your Safety
Trust your instincts. You know that feeling that you get in the pit of your stomach when you think something is wrong? Pay attention to it, and act appropriately.
Display an aware, confident attitude. Attackers case out their victims. Walk with your head up, and stay alert.
Don’t get caught alone. Go with someone-there’s strength in numbers! Or call Campus Safety from a regular classroom phone at extension 5050 or phone at 507-280-5050 to request an escort. Avoid isolated or dark areas and report any unsafe conditions to Campus Safety immediately!
Be alert to your surroundings and other people. If you hear the same footsteps behind you, don’t be afraid to take a quick glance over your shoulder, and change your direction of travel. Walk into a nearby business or building that is occupied by many people to divert a possible criminal. Criminals do not like to victimize individuals in witness-rich environments. If at all possible, avoid putting yourself in isolated areas.
Have direct eye contact with strangers approaching you.This eye contact does not need to be prolonged, just long enough to send the message, “I see you and I can report your description.” Eliminate the possible element of surprise.
When on campus, familiarize yourself with the locations of our blue light Emergency phones. These phones are located on most College buildings, walkways, and all residential halls. Call us if you are feeling uneasy, or if you feel you are being followed.
When in doubt, bring attention to yourself and a potential criminal, YELL. You may also yell “FIRE”, or “HELP”. If you feel a little embarrassed afterwards, that is ok. You make the choice, embarrassment or victimization? Criminals do not want to be made.
Protect your valuables.Do not leave book bags, textbooks or purses unattended. Take your belongings with you everywhere you go. Engrave/write your name or student ID number on your personal property (i.e. calculators, textbooks, laptops, book bags, etc.).
Dress Sensibly. Dress in attire that you can easily move in. Tight clothing and high heel shoes or clogs may make movement difficult.
In the parking lot. Walk to your car with a purpose, car keys in hand, ready to put in the lock. Check underneath your car and in the back seat before you enter. Make every attempt to park in well-lit areas. Once inside, keep your car doors locked.
Protecting your car. Always lock your car doors, roll up your windows and close your sunroof. Always lock valuables in your trunk or in your glove compartment. Never leave any valuables in plain sight in your vehicle. Always scour your vehicle upon returning from class to assure you are not the victim of a hit-and-run accident.
CALL Campus Safety
If you see something dangerous or someone suspicious, make note of it and call Campus Safety immediately (507-280-5050) from a cellular phone) or extension 5050 from a classroom phone. Furnish all pertinent information to Campus Safety and try to be as detailed and accurate as possible (e.g. nature of the emergency, location, suspect(s) description(s), type of vehicle, license plate numbers, time of day). Always be vigilant and make every attempt to be aware of your surroundings. When in doubt, call Campus Safety.
What is Stalking?
Stalking is a pattern of repeated, unwanted attention, harassment and contact. It is a pattern of conduct that can include:
- Following the victim
- Appearing at the victim’s home, place of employment, classroom, motor vehicle, etc.
- Making unwanted and frightening contact with the victim through phone, text messaging, mail and/or email
- Harassing the victim through the Internet or posting messages on web pages
- Making threats to harm the victim, the victim’s children, relatives, friends, or pets
- Intimidating the victim
- Vandalizing the victim’s personal property
- Securing personal information about the victim by accessing public records, hiring private investigators, using Internet search services, contacting friends, family, work or neighbors or going through the victim’s garbage
Stalking is a Crime
Menacing by stalking is the act of a person who knowingly engages in a pattern of conduct that causes you to believe that the offender (stalker) will cause you physical harm or mental distress.
- Pattern of conduct means two or more actions or incidents occur in a short period of time
- Mental distress means any mental illness or condition that would normally require counseling
If a person follows, exhibits undesired affection/attention, pursues or harasses you to the point where you feel uncomfortable while on campus, please contact Campus Safety from any campus phone by dialing extension 5050 or by dialing 507-280-5050
Planning for Your Safety While on Campus
- Be aware of your surroundings at all times!
- Never contact your stalker or try to reason with this person.
- Document all stalking incidents or actions in a journal (notes, letters, voicemails, text messages, etc.).
- Always walk with a friend or call Campus Safety to walk you to your destination if you feel unsafe. Place Campus Safety contact number on speed dial if you cannot remember it.
- Vary your daily on-campus routine; use a different parking lot and route of travel each day.
- Never give out personal information to anyone who does not have a need for it.
- Protect yourself; consider purchasing mace or taking a personal self-defense course.
- If problems persist off-campus, contact your local law enforcement agency.