Shawnee State University is concerned about the safety and welfare of all campus members and guests, and is committed to providing a safe and secure environment. Security measures are employed to ensure that all persons on campus enjoy their time at Shawnee State University as free as possible from any threats to their safety or well being. We have provided several crime prevention tips which should help make your stay on campus more enjoyable.
Personal safety begins with personal responsibility
Take an active role in your own safety and the safety of the campus community. Whether you are a student or an employee, learn to be observant and aware of your surroundings. Report suspicious activity or behavior to Campus Security (351-3232). If you witness a crime, do not hesitate to call Campus Security (351-3232) or dial 911 for emergency services. If you can safety do so, make notes of the incident, descriptions of individuals or vehicles involved. Do not assume someone else has reported the incident.
Know how to contact Campus Security or Police
- Know the emergency number for campus police and security (351-3232 emergency, 351-3243 non-emergency) or the Portsmouth Police Department (911 emergency, 353-4101 non-emergency).
- Keep emergency numbers near your home phone and program emergency phone numbers into your personal cell phone.
- Learn where the campus emergency telephones (Blue Light Telephones) are located on campus and learn how to use them.
- Learn where other emergency telephones are located through out campus buildings. See Blue Light locations on Campus Map (PDF).
- Register for SSU Alerts for notifications of campus emergencies or crime alerts to your cell phone or e-mail. (See MySSU).
- Participate in campus emergency or safety programs being offered, (Operation Identification, ICE, Bicycle Registration, Safety Escort) and other training programs offered through various University offices for personal safety and awareness.
Walking around campus
- Familiarize yourself of the layout of the campus. Survey the campus while classes are in session and after dark to see that academic buildings, walkways, facilities, and parking lots are adequately secured and well-lighted.
- Plan the safest route to your destination; choose well-lighted, busy walkways and streets.
- Share your class schedule with parents and trusted friends and give them your telephone numbers.
- At night, stick to well-lighted areas whenever possible and avoid alley ways or "short cuts" through isolated areas.
- Travel in groups and avoid going out alone at night.
- Use the Department of Public Safety's - Safety Escort service at night.
- Know where the emergency call boxes (blue light phones) are located on campus and learn how to use them.
- If you are being followed, change direction and go to the nearest business or home; knock on the door, and request someone call campus security or police. Note the description of the person following you.
- Walk near the curb and avoid shrubbery or other places of potential concealment.
- Tell a friend or roommate where you are going and what time you expect to return.
- Stay alert to your surroundings and the people around you.
- Carry your purse close to your body and keep a firm grip on it; carry your wallet in an inside coat pocket or your front pant pocket.
- Keep your keys separate from your purse or backpack.
- Don't overload yourself with bags or packages
- Walk with a confident stride; keep your head up and look around.
- If a motorist stops and asks for directions, keep your distance from the car.
In the residence halls
- Always lock your door; even when you are sleeping, or just going next door or across the hall.
- Do not allow strangers to enter your room or your complex. Do not open your door for persons you do not know.
- Do not let unknown individuals "tailgate;" ask who they are visiting and offer to call campus security.
- Do not prop any exterior doors open to allow unescorted visitors into the residence hall (pizza delivery, friends, etc.).
- Report lost or stolen residence hall keys immediately to your residence hall staff.
- Report any malfunctioning locks, doors or windows to residence hall staff.
- Do not leave your keys lying around in your room when you are not in the room.
- Do not leave messages on your door about when you will be returning to your room.
- Tell a roommate or friend if you are planning to be away overnight or for a few days.
- Report any suspicious persons or activities (including solicitors) in or near your residence hall to your residence hall staff, campus security or police.
- Secure your valuables and engrave your property with identifying information. (Participate in Operation Identification).
- Always lock your doors and windows at night, especially if you reside on the first or second floor.
- Do not leave your identification, keys, wallets, checkbooks, or other valuables in open view.
- Get to know your RA, residence life staff, and neighbors.
Safe walking, jogging or running
- Plan your route in advance and walk/jog/run in familiar areas.
- Go with a known companion if possible.
- Carry identification.
- Don't wear jewelry or carry cash.
- Avoid secluded or dimly lighted areas.
- Avoid going after dark.
- Always face the traffic.
- If you're being followed, cross the street or change directions; keep looking back and get a good description of the person.
- If you're still being followed, go to the nearest house or business and call the police.
- Wear bright colors in improve visibility.
- Change your route and schedule.
- Avoid bushes where a person could hide.
- Take a key with you; do not leave your house or room unlocked; someone could be watching to see when you are not home.
- Carry your cell phone, a whistle or shrill alarm to summon help. Enter emergency contact numbers under ICE on your phone.
- Do not wear headphones/earphones for an IPod, walkman, etc.
Automatic teller machines (ATM)
- Try to use ATM's during daylight hours. If you must go at night, do not go alone.
- Avoid ATM's that are not well lit or clearly visible from the street.
- Be aware of people loitering or sitting in cars around ATM's.
- Prepare your transactions ahead of time. Do not spend much time at the machine.
- Do not give out Personal Identification Numbers (PIN) to anyone! Many thieves will attempt to steal your PIN number by calling you on the phone and claiming they are the police, security officers or bank officers. Memorize it and do not keep a written copy of it in your wallet.
- Either keep your ATM receipt of tear it up and throw it away.
Obscene and annoying phone calls
- Hang up as soon as you realize the nature of the call. Do not try to find out who the caller is, even if you think it is a friend playing a joke.
- Use your answering machine or voice mail to screen or record the calls.
- If the calls occur frequently,keep a log of exactly when the call was received and what was said. Describe the type of voice and note any background noises.
- Consider changing your phone number and depersonalizing your answering machine message.
- Place ads with caution. When placing an ad in a newspaper, use a newspaper or post office box number if possible. If you must use your phone number, do not list your address. Crank callers are avid readers of the classified ads.
- Never volunteer your number to an unknown caller. This is an invitation to call again. If your number is the wrong number, the caller does not need to know your number.
Considering moving off-campus?
- How safe will your commute be to campus?
- Do security or police patrol the grounds or buildings?
- Is an intercom system used or are peek holes installed in doors?
- Are there emergency phones?
- Are adjacent properties maintained?
- How secure are the locks and doors?
- How often are the locks changed?
- Are there dead bolts on the exterior door?
- Is parking adequate and safe?
- Are there secluded or dark areas near the buildings?
- Is there a Neighborhood Watch program?
- Is there adequate fire safety detection and an evacuation system in place?
If you live off campus and are leaving for the weekend/vacation
- Lock doors and windows securely.
- Turn your telephone ringers down low so a burglar won't be alerted to your absence by its ringing.
- Make your house/apartment look occupied; have a friend or neighbor pick up your mail and newspaper, set television and lights on a timer, leave blinds, shades, and curtains in their normal position.
- Leave your weekend/vacation phone number, address, and itinerary with a trusted friend so you can be reached in case of an emergency.