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A Regent campus police dispatcher: Learn how to stay safe on a college campus.

Heading to School? Check Out These 7 Tips for How to Stay Safe on a College Campus

Wondering how to stay safe on a college campus? Fortunately, Regent University is ranked the #1 Safest College Campus in Virginia by YourLocalSecurity/Safe Streets, an ADT-authorized provider. Regent is also recognized as #13 in that organization’s “Top 25 Safest Colleges in the US!”

Whether you’re a parent, family member, or college student, we have plenty of helpful campus safety tips for you. So you can experience peace of mind as you or your loved one navigates an exciting new academic and social community.

7 Tips for how to stay safe on a college campus

These tips will not only help you on a college campus, but many apply to personal safety anywhere you go.

Travel with a friend or in a group

We casually toss the phrase “use the buddy system” into everyday conversation. But it’s actually the best way to stay safe when traveling around a new location, especially at night. If you don’t know anyone yet, ask a roommate or trusted classmate to walk with you. Even exploring off-campus in a “safe” college town, the best way to travel is in a group. So the buddy system is an excellent safety measure. Bonus: It’s also a great way to get to know someone new while engaging in casual conversation!

Learn self-defense

Self-defense is one of the most valuable life skills a person, especially a female, can have. Yes, it can help bring peace of mind while in college. But it’s also a skill to carry with you beyond college as you tackle the wide world. In Virginia Beach, you can find plenty of self-defense classes designed to build strength, confidence, and security. You may even make some new friends!

Stay in well-lit areas at night

Anytime you travel at night, you should use extra precautions. Be aware of your surroundings, both near and far. If you must move across campus alone at night, stay near well-lit paths, lamp posts, and streetlights. For extra security, carry safety measures like pepper spray, a key ring alarm, or other (legal) portable safety resources. Always be alert and avoid distractions, like walking and texting, that make you an easy target. You can even use a personal safety app like bSafe for extra peace of mind.

Many colleges have local police specifically employed to protect students and ensure campus safety. Regent University takes campus security seriously. Services include 24/7 police patrols, 18 police officers sworn in by the Commonwealth of Virginia, and 8 emergency call boxes on campus.

Many college campuses have emergency call boxes. Before you begin living on or traveling around a campus, locate them on a campus map. That way you’ll know where to find them in an emergency. When you hit the button to activate a call box, a police officer will come to assist you.

Keep your cell phone readily available

When possible, keep your cell phone with you when traveling across campus or with new people. Cell phones are the best way to receive immediate assistance in any emergency regarding personal or public safety. It’s okay to disconnect from your phone in a group of trusted friends. Until then, keep it handy.

If you’re in danger traveling across campus and cannot access your phone immediately, use the emergency phone boxes. If you need to keep moving to stay safe, hit all emergency buttons as you travel to find help. Campus police can track your path until help arrives.

Avoid drinking alcohol

It may seem tempting to take advantage of your new freedom as a college freshman, but with that comes responsibility. You’re now in charge of how and with whom you spend your time. Regent University is an alcohol-free community. That includes campus housing, facilities, and entire premises. This not only helps enforce federal laws regarding underage drinking but helps ensure that students stay safe. This regulation also serves to create a community where students spiritually grow and glorify God in all of their actions.

The consequences of harmful and underage college drinking are critical. Estimating the number of alcohol-related sexual assaults is challenging, as they are typically underreported. However, researchers have confirmed that the majority of sexual assaults in college involve alcohol or other substances.1 Even outside of the school environment, it’s still important to understand the potential dangers of alcohol consumption. Don’t drink while underage, don’t leave drinks unattended, never drink and drive, and always have a trusted friend with you.

Adhere to all Title IX policies and know reporting protocols

It’s everyone’s responsibility to keep college campuses and communities safe, no matter who you are. Title IX of the Educational Amendments Act of 1972 requires gender equality for males and females in every educational institution receiving federal funding. Fundamental to this goal is the prevention of sexual harassment and assault.

Regent University is committed to supporting a Christ-centered community that provides a safe and secure academic and work environment. As such, we are obligated to help try to prevent and address complaints of sexual harassment and assault in accordance with Title IX.

Follow guidelines set forth in the Residence Life Handbook and Student Life Handbook

These handbooks have a wealth of information regarding how to navigate student life. They also provide valuable guidelines, rules, and regulations that help keep students safe on campus and in dorms. Here, you can also find information about fire safety and what to do in case of an active shooter, natural disaster, and other emergencies. Before attending college at Regent, be sure to read the Student Handbook and Residence Life handbook. Then you can maximize your experience on campus and in Regent’s residential community.

Stay safe on your college campus and beyond

With widespread commitment to campus safety, Regent creates an environment that promotes Christ-centered learning, accountability, and community. But even with our exceptionally low campus crime statistics, there’s no such thing as being “too safe.” And that’s true any time, anywhere. Heeding these tips, you can experience peace of mind through all the learning, adventure, and excitement that Regent University and life have to offer.


1. National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism