A lot of college students aren’t going back to campus this year – many are taking classes from home thanks to the pandemic.

However, this week, the Guilford County Sheriff’s Department offered a host of safety tips for those college students who do stay on campus to remain safe from crime.

College kids probably worry these days more about COVID-19 than about campus crime, but the Sheriff’s Department is trying to make students aware that crime is as much a threat as ever.

The press release from the department stated: “For many, it will be their first time away from home and also their first experience with total independence. It’s an exciting time and a dangerous one.”

The range of worries at colleges run the gamut from robbers to rapists to school shooters.

The release points out that college campuses in the US are increasing security measures by doing things like installing emergency call box systems and offering services that provide an escort to a student that otherwise might be walking through campus alone at night.

Much of the department’s advice to students is well known:

  • Never post information as to your whereabouts on your dorm room door, or on social media. If an intruder knows you’re away, it’s an open invitation for them to break in.
  • Even if leaving your room for only a few minutes – lock your door.
  • When studying in out-of-the way places, inform campus security as to your whereabouts.
  • When meeting a study partner for the first time, make arrangements to meet in a public place.
  • Encourage campus security to establish a photo identification program to deter outsiders from entering school buildings.
  • Work with local law enforcement to organize a safety education program to teach incoming students the do’s and don’ts of campus safety.
  • Familiarize yourself with emergency call box locations and save the telephone number of campus police in your cellphone for easy access.
  • Be aware of your surroundings. Don’t let cellphones become a distraction by walking while texting or looking down at your cellphone.
  • Learn to trust your instincts. If you feel uncomfortable in a situation, get out of it. Don’t allow anyone to violate your comfort zone.