Crime Prevention & Safety
- Be aware of your surroundings. Avoid unpopulated and poorly or unlit areas after dark. Look for potential hiding spots.
- If you must be in an isolated area (e.g., working or studying alone in labs or offices) lock the doors and tell a friend or the MUW Police Department where you are and when you plan to leave.
- Walk and act with confidence. LOOK alert! BE alert!
- Know the location of campus emergency telephones on routes to and from campus destinations.
- Keep personal belongings in view while eating, meeting, or shopping on campus.
- Whenever you are on campus or off, and see or hear someone who might be in trouble, your options include running, yelling, confronting, and calling 911 or the MUW Police Department at 662-241-7777.
RESIDENCE HALL SAFETY
- Think of your residence hall as your home. Remember that by taking a share of the responsibility to keep your residence safe, you can make a difference. Contact housing and residence life staff regarding your security/ safety concerns at 662-329-7127.
- Keep doors locked — even if you are going to be gone only a few minutes.
- Door-to-door solicitation is prohibited on campus. Please report the presence of solicitors to the MUW Police Department.
- Notify the MUW Police Department or housing and residence life staff of suspicious individuals who appear to be "hanging around."
- Take security regulations seriously for your own protection.
- If you leave for an extended vacation, take high-value personal property with you.
- Walk Facing Traffic: If there is no sidewalk and you must walk on the side of the road, choose the side where you are facing oncoming traffic. In North America, this is the left side of the road. This gives you the best chance to see traffic approaching closest to you.
- Cross Safely: Look both ways before crossing any street. At controlled intersections, it is wise to cross only when you have the pedestrian crossing light, but even then, drivers and bikers may have a green light to turn and won't be expecting you to be in the crosswalk. Make eye contact with any drivers who may be turning. Give them a wave. Make sure they see you.
- Walk Single File: Unless you are on a sidewalk separated from the road or a wide bike lane, you should walk in single file. This is especially important on a road with lots curves, where traffic has only a split second chance of seeing you before hitting you.
- Stay Aware of Bikes and Runners: Share the road and path with bikes and runners. Bike riders should alert you when approaching from behind with a bike bell or a "passing on the left/right." Listen for them, and move to walk single file, allowing them to pass safely. Runners should also call out for passing.
- Be Visible: Wear bright colors when walking in daytime. When walking at night, wear light-colored clothing and reflective clothing or a reflective vest to be visible. Drivers are often not expecting walkers to be out after dark, and you need to give them every chance to see you, even at street crossings that have crossing signals. Be just as cautious at dawn or twilight, as drivers still have limited visibility or may even have the setting or rising sun directly in their eyes.
- Be Predictable: Make a practice of staying on one side of the path while walking rather than weaving randomly from side to side.
- Keep the Volume Down: Don't drown out your environment with your iPod. Keep the volume at a level where you can still hear bike bells and warnings from other walkers and runners.
- Hang Up and Eyes Up: Chatting or texting on a mobile device while you walk is as dangerous as doing those things while driving. You are distracted and not as aware of your environment. You are less likely to recognize traffic danger, passing joggers and bikers or tripping hazards. Potential criminals see you as a distracted easy target.
- Know When to Stop Walking: Heat sickness, dehydration, heart attack or stroke can strike walkers of any age. Learn the symptoms of medical emergencies and carry a cell phone to dial 911.
- Be Aware of Stranger Danger: Choose your walking route for paths frequented by other walkers, joggers, and bikers. If you see someone suspicious, be prepared to alter your course or go into a store or public building to avoid them.
Driving Safety Tips
- Have your keys in your hand as you approach your car.
- Lock your doors when driving and after parking.
- Check the backseat and floor before entering your car.
- Keep your valuables out of sight, under the seat, or in the glove compartment or trunk.
- Park in well-lighted areas.
- If you have car trouble, signal for help by raising the hood or tying a handkerchief to the door handle. Remain in your car with doors locked until identifiable help arrives. Should another motorist offer to help, roll down the window slightly and ask them to call the police.
- Keep an emergency kit in your car containing a flashlight, flares, telephone charger, change, distress signs, and other essentials.
- To protect your car, use a lock bar that prohibits the use of the steering wheel.
Telephone Safety Tips
- Be aware of telephone surveys.
- List only your first initial and last name in the telephone directory.
- If you receive a threatening or obscene telephone call, hang up. Contact the MUW Police Department and make a report.
- Answering machines are useful in screening calls. Your outgoing message should not say that you are away from home.
Elevator Safety Tips
- Check the inside of an elevator before entering. Wait for the next elevator if you are unsure of the people inside.
- When riding an elevator, stand by the control board. If you feel in danger, press all the buttons and get off the elevator as soon as possible.
- Utilize the emergency telephone in the elevator, if applicable.
Self Defense Safety Tips
- If someone tries to snatch your purse, let it go. Most injuries from robberies occur when people resist during purse snatches.
- If you are attacked, whether you resist and how you resist will depend on your personal resources and your personal values. Give some thought right now to what you would do in various situations that could arise. The more you have thought ahead, the more likely you will be to act in the way you have planned.
- In considering your reactions to different situations, keep these three basic rules in mind: Trust your instincts. Don't be afraid to be impolite or make a scene; this is especially important if someone you know threatens or attacks you. Try to remain calm and use your imagination and good judgment; give yourself time to think.