Western Courier

Staying safe on a college campus

Emma Johnson, Courier Staff

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The school year is now officially in full swing, and this also means thousands of students are moving to the Macomb area. The excitement of being back with your friends and getting a fresh start with a new school year can be overwhelming. One thing many of us can become blind to is the importance of keeping yourself safe throughout the year.

Many of us have heard about the Mollie Tibbetts case in Iowa. According to an article released Tuesday morning, on Fox News, Tribbetts’ body was found in Poweshiek County, Iowa. Tribbetts vanished in mid-July and after that her case went viral. The family offered a reward all the way up to $400,000 to anyone who could provide information that lead to finding her. Law enforcement and the community began extensive searches to find Tribbett and unfortunately, it was too late once they found her.

Due to the publicity of this case, many have said that it may be tied to sex trafficking. According to KIMT 3 News, 48 people went missing in Iowa within a 10-day period. Many of these may be juvenile runaway cases, but the scare of heavy sex trafficking happening only a state away is still an eye opener. I know for me personally, this has made me take a few extra safety precautions when getting ready to come back to school this year.

Western alone offers many safety tools that you can take advantage of while here at school. OPS, The Office of Public Safety, is a phenomenal tool. They offer an escort system where you can call and have someone meet you if you are ever in a situation where you have to walk alone at night, or even in an area where you don’t feel safe.

The blue light callboxes you see along the walking paths and parking lots on campus are also a great tool. If you feel unsafe or suspicious that you are in a situation where you need law enforcement personnel, you can hit the button and they will be in route to your location. These are both great services to be aware of if you are ever in a situation where you need it.

Taking safety precautions off campus is also important. If you live off campus, locking your house is vital. Breakins can be common in Macomb and the last thing you want is to easily be giving someone access to you or your belongings against your will. Also remember to lock your vehicles and try to avoid walking or being alone at night too much.

It is everyone’s responsibility to be as safe as they can, and with the school year starting up, awareness can be key. Keep your eyes open, be smart, and have a wonderful 2018-2019 school year.

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The independent student newspaper of Western Illinois University. Serving Macomb since 1905.
Staying safe on a college campus