“My life was in danger one night after leaving a party,” said Alphonso Martinez, a psychology major from Buena Vista, Georgia, who was a freshman in the spring.
He and some of his friends attended a house party one night where a man who seemed intoxicated was making doughnuts with a sports car in an apartment complex parking lot. Martinez was almost hit.
“As I was crossing the street, all I could hear was a loud engine in the background and hearing him come closer and closer,” he said.
From that night on, he and his friends were mindful of the parties they attended and who was hosting them and where.
Such practices can help you stay safe while in college.
Martinez added that attending college with people you’ve known previously could be an advantage. Three of his high school friends went to Troy University.
“We hung out back then in high school and looked out for one another,” he said. “Now we are in college doing the same.”
But your friends can also put you in danger.
One of Martinez’s friends got drunk one night and tried driving, but Martinez and his other friends made sure he didn’t. They drove him to his dorm and walked him to his room.
“He got home safe that night with the help of me and my friends,” Martinez said.
He said he knew that his friend should not have drunk that much and considers that night as a learning experience to never give in to peer pressure.
Troy University’s campus police want to keep the campus secure and the students safe, said Detective James Taylor.
He said the police officers are married to the university, and the city police are their sisters when it comes to the protection of students.
Annual crime statistics for
2014 showed that housing facilities burglaries, as well as drug abuse violations and liquor law violations, were the top crimes to happen on campus.
“Students are our first priority, and securing campus is our second,” Taylor said.
He said any student who makes a 911 call from anywhere within the city of Troy will have response from a campus or city police officer who is nearby.
Taylor said one of the top issues incoming freshmen struggle with is assuming that they can trust everyone.
“Theft of property and harassment are the top crimes that happen to students on campus,” he said.
He said that the greatest tool of safety is self-awareness and that danger lurks everywhere.
Zoya Johnson, a computer science major from Alexander City, Alabama, who was a freshman in the spring, recommended being aware of your surroundings and never walking alone.
“If I ever do walk alone, I notify my roommates so they will know where to find me or have a sense of knowing where I was last seen,” Johnson said.
She said she feels the safest in her dorm room.
“I know I can lock myself in and out, and the key fob makes me feel as though intruders as well as strangers do not find it easy to get in.”
A key fob is a device that gives only a dorm resident access to the building she lives in.
Keep your keys in your hand and your phone charged at all times, Johnson advised.
Students can subscribe to SOS, a university service, in order to receive alerts through text and email about crime or dangerous situations.
This system can instantly send notification to any subscriber’s device.
Unexpected events that students can get notified of include emergency broadcasts, alerts, weather advisories, school closings and class cancellations.
To obtain more information or to sign up, students and parents can visit sos.troy.edu/subscribe.html.