Student Taz shares her tips on keeping safe whilst at university…
During your first few weeks as a fresher, exploring the town and campus, making new friends, and getting to grips with your new home will be at the top of your to-do-list. But it’s also important to know what steps you can take to ensure that you and your friends are safe, so that you can enjoy your university experience as much as possible.
A scenario when you might not feel as safe as hoped, is during a night out: it’s dark, you’re in a new place and there may be alcohol involved. However, there are several steps you can take to ensure that worries about safety aren’t at the forefront of your mind the entire evening. Here’s a handy list of things you can do in advance to ensure that you stay safe:
- Take enough cash to fund your journey home
- Know your taxi numbers (Yellow Cars, for example) and bus stops
- Stay in a group
- Know your JCRs
- Purchase a ‘safe taxi’ card from RUSU. More info at https://www.rusu.co.uk/campaigns/2018-19/safe-taxi-scheme/
Staying in groups
The easiest way to stay safe on a night out is to stay in or near to a group of friends. Staying in a group will make you less vulnerable to anyone dangerous whilst also ensuring that there are more hands, brains and phones if you do find yourself in danger.
Alternatively, there may be other times when you might have to walk alone in the dark, for example on the way home from work or a late society event. In this case, try getting either a reliable taxi home, ringing the university security line and asking them to monitor you on campus with the 24-hour campus CCTV and chaperone service, or phoning someone and talking to them during your walk home. It’s also important to stay alert at all times. If possible, walk in well lit, busy areas and try not to listen to music via earphones as this may make you less alert of any potential danger.
Know your numbers
It’s a good idea to ensure that your phone is fully charged before a night out. You’ll also want to have essential numbers like your flat mates’, accommodation warden’s and the University’s security in your phone (0118 378 7799, or 0118 378 6300 in emergencies).
Protect your funds
One of the biggest new responsibilities of being a student is the independence of managing your own spending and ensuring that bills, such as accommodation costs, are paid for on time. To help you with this, it’s a great idea to set up internet banking to regularly monitor your funds. Similarly, sketching out a weekly budget for yourself by taking your student loan and any additional earnings into account will help to avoid any financial shocks. Additionally, the University’s Student Financial Support team are available to contact at firstname.lastname@example.org or +44 (0) 118 378 5555 to give you financial advice whenever you need it.