Ask Anna: Titan safety

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Anna Lowenthal, Editor-in-Chief

Q: Dear Anna, I’ve been feeling very unsafe as a result of the campus robberies, but I still have to be on campus at night. What can I do to be safer when walking alone on campus?

A: The emails and text messages we’ve received over the last couple of weeks have shaken all of us – everybody knows someone who has directly been affected by the home invasions and campus robberies. What once used to feel like a safe and protected campus where one could walk alone at night now feels like a dangerous place after dark.

We all need to be much more careful and aware of our surroundings, and it’s good to be prepared for any potential problem you might face on campus.

Stock up on supplies. Though it might seem over the top to carry a can of pepper spray with you, it won’t seem over the top if the time comes that you have to use it. Pepper spraying someone is a sure way to make sure you get a clean escape from any potential danger.

Pepper spray is easy to find and cheap to obtain. For under $10, you could lessen the stress of walking on campus and effectively provide the protection you need if the time comes, giving you enough time to call campus security or the Bloomington Police while the attacker deals with the painful, blinding effects of being pepper sprayed.

A useful tool to stay by your buddy’s side when you can’t physically be there is by downloading the app called Companion, which allows users to virtually walk home their friends. It maps out a route home and notifying the other party if his or her friend is in danger. The Companion app can detect if its user is going off course, drops the phone or falls down or starts running and will ask the user if they are “ok.”

Companion will send an emergency notification to the user’s buddy if the user has not said they’re “ok” within 15 seconds, allowing for immediate help. Users also have the option of silently pressing a button that warns their friend that they feel in danger, allowing the police to be alerted abruptly and quietly. The app is free and is available for both Android and iPhone. You do not have to have the Companion app in order to ‘follow’ your friend to their destination.

Call Titan Transport. In response to recent events, students created a petition to extend transportation hours and collected over 350 signatures, which has prompted the university to extend Titan Transport hours. Now available from 8:00 p.m. to 2:00 a.m. on school nights, Titan Transport will allow students the opportunity to have a safe ride home.

Save campus security’s number into your phone for a quick, easy dial any time from anywhere.

If you’re ever feeling spooked or think you need assistance, don’t hesitate to dial (309) 556-1111 and keep yourself safe. Nothing is more important than your safety.

While it isn’t always possible to walk across campus with a buddy by your side, there are many ways to make sure you stay safe even when alone. Protect yourself, have your friends keep tabs on you and don’t be afraid to call for a ride.