General security tips following safety incident at Hastings College

Incidents of students being followed have been reported in the news and around Hastings, making students concerned about their safety. An email from Campus Safety’s head, Dennis Leonard, was sent to all of campus on August 27, concerning an unknown male driving around campus. The driver had approached a student while she was walking and asked her if she needed a ride. The student was alone when she declined the offer. He watched her walk into a campus building before driving off. Leonard gave a description of the male as well as the vehicle he was driving.

There are several things that you can do to feel safer while you are out and about. If you are planning on going to the store or even to a building on campus, avoid going at night or get someone to go with you if possible. If not, let someone know where you are going, and carry pepper spray or something to defend yourself with. You should also vary your routine by taking  different routes at various times and know where safe places or locations are in case you ever feel unsafe. Stay in well-lit areas, and avoid parked cars or bushes. One last helpful tip is having emergency contacts saved and the Emergency SOS option set up on your phone.

It’s simple to set up the Emergency SOS on your cell phone, and it could be a lifesaver.

IPhone users can go into Settings, scroll down to Emergency SOS and turn on Auto Call. Emergency contacts must be set up through the Health App. To use the SOS feature, press the power button five times to send a call.

For Android users with a Samsung, go to Personal, select your Privacy and Emergency tab and click Send SOS Messages. You will agree to a disclaimer before being able to set up the SOS Messages. You can select a few emergency contacts that will receive your location and a picture or audio recording from your phone. If you don’t have a Samsung, certain apps for emergencies can be downloaded.

Taking precautions like the ones listed above are easy things you can do to protect yourself while out and about. Remember, if you see something strange, tell someone. Call Campus Safety at 402-984-8064 if the incident happens in or around campus.