Develop Your Own Personal Safety Guidelines and Plans
Personal safety and property security is the responsibility of each individual person. This is true at North Greenville University and everywhere any person goes. Make the decision to assume responsibility for your personal safety and security of your property. The NGU Department of Campus Security urges all members of the university community to participate in making our campus as safe as possible. If you develop good security habits, you can assist us in safeguarding you, your property, other people, and university property.
Although the North Greenville University campus and the surrounding area are relatively safe, we are still vulnerable to criminal activity. Educate yourself about the resources available to you and the ways you can help protect yourself. Learn how to apply these tips and instructions.
Important General Safety Tips
- Rule # 1 is lock it. Lock your car. Lock your dorm room door when you leave. Lock your dorm room door and windows when you are sleeping. Lock up your valuables. Lock It!!! Get in the habit.
- Be aware of your surroundings. Do not wear headphones while walking or jogging. They distract you. Be alert, be aware, do not be a victim.
- Have a plan for the different situations. Awareness + common sense + early planning = best protection.
- Do not make yourself a target for robbery or attack. Do not carry large amounts of cash. Refrain from pulling out large amounts of cash or sitting or standing and counting your cash. Do not flaunt jewelry, cameras, and/or other items of value.
- Report any suspicious activity through the LiveSafe app. Report any crime to Campus Security. Do not enter a crime scene or potentially dangerous situation without Campus Security with you. Do not touch anything in a crime scene area.
- If your cell phone has GPS, make sure it is always “on.”
- Always tell someone, or better yet, several people where you will be and what time you are going to return.
- Do not hitchhike and do not talk to strangers.
- Dial 911 for emergencies or the use the LiveSafe mobile app for non-emergencies.
- Make sure Student Life has your correct and current contact information on file.
Additional Guidelines for Staying Safe
Identity Theft Including Credit Card and ATM/Debit Cards
- Be cautious of telephone surveys, telemarketers and other phone solicitations. NEVER…EVER give out any personal information over the phone or the internet.
- Do not give out your PIN to anyone, including cashiers and bank tellers.
- Do not lend out your Credit, ATM, Debit Cards or Campus ID card to anyone.
- Report any credit and debit card thefts immediately to the proper bank and to the police or NGU Campus Security.
- Memorize your Social Security number and passwords. Do not write this information down for someone to steal and abuse. Leave your Social Security Card at home. Do not use your birthday or other simple numbers such as 1,1,1,1 as a password.
- Do not leave your pocketbook or other items alone at a restaurant or other public places or in the open in your Residence Hall or office.
- Do a monthly check on your credit card and bank statements for unusual activity.
- Shred pre-approved credit card applications, other financial information and documents, and carbon copies of credit card purchases before discarding them.
- Important: to let someone use your Student Identification Card is a form of identity theft. Someone can misuse your card and do something wrong in your name or you might be letting them use your meal pass. This is stealing.
Note: The University has placed more lights on campus to facilitate the movement of students, faculty, staff, and visitors in a safer and more enjoyable way.
- Report suspicious persons or criminal activity immediately to NGU Campus Security.
- Avoid studying or working late alone in a building. If you must study or work late, lock the door to your room or office. Notify Campus Security that you are studying or working alone in the building. Notify Campus Security when you are leaving.
- Walk in a group (with friends or classmates whenever possible); or, if you are alone and it is late when you are going to your Residence Hall, call Campus Security for a safety escort.
- Walk in well-lit areas.
- Never get into a stranger’s vehicle or into a vehicle with a stranger.
- Never go running alone, especially at night or early in the morning.
- Do not leave personal items such as purses, wallets and other valuables unattended in public places like pools, laundry rooms, lunch rooms, fitness centers, etc. Do not depend on others to watch your belongings.
Residence Hall and Apartment Safety
- Always lock your door; even when you are only going to be gone for “a moment” or “just down the hall.”
- Do not leave your door unlocked for a friend to pick up something later, and do not leave notes on your door concerning your location and/or contact information.
- Lock your doors and windows when you are asleep.
- Do not leave money lying around in your room or in a convenient place. Have several hiding places. This will make it more difficult to find all your money since it is not all in the same place. Open a checking or savings account to keep your money.
- Do not leave small personal items such as cash, jewelry, wallets, MP-3 players, etc. lying out in the room. Hide or store these items where they are not easily seen and grabbed.
- Keep serial numbers and descriptions of your valuables in a separate place. Take pictures of your valuable items, including those with serial numbers, and write down item, date picture taken and estimated value of property. Engrave or write your name on items that are valuable, including your text books. In text books, chose a page (such as page 24, and always mark the same page in every book) and write your name in the crease of the book.
- Do not leave friends, especially people who are not part of the North Greenville University Community, alone in your room.
- Do not prop open exterior doors to resident dorms. This compromises the safety of everyone in the Residence Hall.
- Do not hide the key to your dorm residence outside or give your key to anyone.
- Do not enter your room if the door is opened or a window is broken or if the dorm has been burglarized. Call 911 for emergencies or the use the LiveSafe app for non-emergencies.
There are computer companies that will “lojack” your computer. See Campus Security for more information.
Safety In Your Vehicle
- Keep your doors and windows locked when the vehicle is parked.
- Have your keys in your hand before you get to your vehicle. Do not start searching your purse or book bag for your keys while you are walking to your vehicle or after you arrive at your vehicle.
- Look into the front and back seats and floors of your vehicle before you unlock the door and enter the car. If someone is in your car, run toward a well-lit area where you see the most people and traffic.
- Lock your vehicle doors once you get into it and leave the doors locked while driving.
- Store all valuables in your trunk or remove them when you leave your vehicle. This would include purses, books, electronic equipment, GPS (Global Positioning System) and other valuables.
- Never pick up any hitch hikers or offer any strangers rides to their home or any other place. This includes those people you have recently met and “are very nice.” If someone asks for a ride, politely decline.
- Park in well-lighted areas that have more people and traffic.
- If someone attempts to enter your vehicle, blow the horn and, if possible, drive away.
- If you feel you are being followed, drive to Campus Security, police station, fire department or some other open place of business that is open and has good lighting.
- Obey all traffic laws and signs. This includes wearing your safety belt; it is the law.
Harassment and Stalking
Harassment can happen in many different ways and either gender can harass or be harassed. A person can be harassed by receiving letters and packages, by messages being left on answering machines and other voice mail systems, through e-mail and telephone calls. In South Carolina, § 16-3-1700s and § 16-3-1730 concern harassment and stalking. Harassment or stalking is a pattern of events, designed to make the targeted person feel frightened and controlled. The actions may escalate and become more dangerous and persist over time. If you ever feel that you are in immediate danger, dial 911. If you feel that you are being harassed or stalked, report this immediately to NGU Campus Security. Report it even if you are not sure you are being harassed.
- Document and save. Document each encounter with the alleged suspect. This includes mail, phone calls, and being personally approached. Record the date, exact time, and what occurred during the encounter. Save this information. For telephone calls, document each phone call separately, including exact date and time. Keep a running log including what was and was not said. (see Harassment #3)
- Save all letters, e-mails, voicemails and packages, including any envelopes and boxes, for evidentiary purposes.
- If you receive unwanted telephone calls, you have the right to hang-up at any time. Do not hold even short conservations with the person. Do not try to reason with the person. Do not yell, shout, use obscenities or make threats to the person you are talking to. Hang up if you hear an obscenity, inappropriate remarks or questions, or there is no response to your answering the phone with a “hello.” Do not continue to answer their questions. Keep the conservation to a minimum, i.e. short. Tell the person politely, “I have to go, please do not call me back.” Then hang-up. Do not say “goodbye.”
- If you are being followed onto or around campus, call Campus Security and meet them where they instruct you to meet them. Do not unlock your doors or turn off your engine. If you are off campus, call 911 and go to a business that is open and is well populated, such as a 24 hour gas station, drug store or grocery store. Park close to the building and go inside to wait for police. Or, you can go to the fire station or police station, sit outside and blow your horn.
This section does not apply to words or conduct protected by the Constitution of this State or the United States, a law enforcement officer or a process server performing official duties, or a licensed private investigator performing services or an investigation as described in detail in a contract signed by the client and the private investigator pursuant to Section 40-18-70.
Your safety and security is always the foremost importance for NGU Campus Security and North Greenville University. Your life is precious and these instructions are provided to maximize your safety and the safety of others should a hostile situation occur. These instructions cannot and do not cover every possible situation, but the implementation of these instructions can reduce the number of injuries or deaths if implemented as soon as the situation arises. Time is the most important factor in the optimal management of these types of situations.
- Do not panic; remain as calm and quiet as you possibly can. You must act in a rational manner for your safety and the safety of others. You cannot do this if you are panicking or paralyzed with fear.
- Get to a safe place.
- OUTSIDE: If you are outside, run away from the person(s) as fast as you can. Do not run in a straight line. Keep low and keep cars, bushes, trees and other things that can block the view of the intruder(s) between you and the intruder(s). Keep the assailant from seeing you. Get away from danger and hide.
- INSIDE: Lock and barricade the door(s), turn off the lights, close and lock the windows and close blinds and/or curtains. Do not go into hallways or open foyers. Stay away from windows. Find a hiding place that has good cover where you are not in the view of any one and is not in the normal path people walk.
- Dial 911. Do not call friends and other acquaintances. Call Campus Security and notify them as to the circumstances, exact location and any descriptions you can give. Stay on the phone until Campus Security instructs you to hang up. After contacting Campus Security, your efforts need to focus on staying safe.
- Three do not’s:
- Do not be curious. Do not come out of hiding. Do not leave your secure room, unlock your door, or peak out of the window in order to find out what is happening. Stay put and stay out of sight.
- Do not confront the assailant(s). Do not go looking for the assailant(s). This can cause confusion for Campus Security/law enforcement as they try to determine who the assailant is. You can hide, you can play dead or if safe, you can run away. If you are discovered, you might make the decision not to fight. Do not look at the intruder in the eyes. Do not appear to pose a threat. Be submissive. The last option is to fight back and is to be used only if there is no other option. Do whatever it takes to survive.
- Do not sound the fire alarm or any other alarm. Alarms, like fire alarms, instruct people to evacuate a building. This action could send people into hallways and out of buildings to the hostile intruders.
- If you have to move. The spot you have chosen to hide needs to be a good hiding place. A good hiding place will allow you to remain covered to others, especially the intruder. If you believe you must run out of your hiding place, do it. When you move, move quickly and decisively. Know where you are running. Do not run in a straight line and keep trees, cars, bushes, and other items between you and the intruder.
- Once Campus Security/law enforcement arrives on the scene, obey all their commands. This may include your being handcuffed or made to keep your hands in the air for an extended time. This is done for safety purposes. Once the situation is evaluated by Campus Security/law enforcement and it is determined to be safe for you to move they will give you further instructions. Follow their directions.