Students have moved in, classes have started, and the 2012-2013 academic year at Capital University is alive with an endless supply of opportunities that promise to make your Capital experience everything you imagined it would be.
Settling into new routines, meeting new people and acclimating to unfamiliar living and learning environments are all part of what makes college life one of the most exciting times of your life. But sometimes it can all be a little overwhelming. So, it’s important to remember that Capital has many resources in place to help you keep safe, and be healthy and successful. Below, we’ve highlighted some important things to keep in mind.
Capital University enjoys a safe campus. We have a fully commissioned police force whose officers bring many years of experience and uncompromising commitment to keeping the campus community safe and secure. Still, even in the safest communities, crime sometimes happens.
“College campuses are open by their very nature. Crime can happen anywhere — even on a safe campus like Capital’s,” said Dr. Tanya Poteet, university counsel and chief safety officer. “It’s important that we build awareness about our safety environment so that people can make informed decisions about personal safety.”
Sgt. Frank Fernandez, director of Capital’s Public Safety Department, said there are simple things each of us can do to help keep ourselves safe.
"Pay attention to what is going on around you; always be aware of other people around you; lock your home, residence hall and car doors and windows; and avoid strangers,” Fernandez said. “Don’t be afraid to report people who look out of place or who behave oddly. We’re able to handle those reports discretely and at the same time check out suspicious behavior.”
A comprehensive set of guidelines for keeping yourself safe is available on Capital’s campus safety web page. We thought these tips were especially relevant:
- If you are traveling at night, use the buddy system.
- A free safety escort service is available. On the Bexley campus, call Public Safety at 614-236-6666 to arrange for an escort. For an escort on the Law School campus call Law School security at 614-236-6161. An officer or security guard will provide an escort.
- Walk with confidence and assurance.
- Don’t fumble for your keys; have them ready and out when you get to your car or door so that you can enter quickly.
- Pay attention to what is going on around you. Be aware of other people in your area.
- Report suspicious people to Public Safety as soon as possible; include as much information about the person, location, and/or type of car involved.
- Call Public Safety if a stranger is asking for money or for a ride. This is a violation of a Bexley City Ordinance.
- If someone demands your property, give it to them and immediately contact the police.
- Don’t give personal information to someone you don’t know.
For assistance you can also use the 13 emergency call boxes throughout campus. Their locations are listed at www.capital.edu/call-boxes.
It’s to be expected that at some point during your college career, you’ll end up at a party where there is alcohol. If you’re 21 and you choose to drink alcohol, there are some basic, but very important steps you should follow to drink responsibly and keep yourself healthy and safe:
- Set a “Party Safe” limit for how many drinks you are going to have. Tell a friend the limit, count your drinks and don’t go over your limit.
- Remember the acronym HALT. Don't drink if you are Hungry, Angry, Lonely or Tired. HALT drinking if any of those apply.
- Before you celebrate, designate — a driver. Take turns with friends so everyone gets to be it.
- Think before you drink. Alcohol may not always affect you in the same way. If you are upset, stressed out, tired or angry, alcohol may have a stronger impact than it might normally have.
- Remember, you are responsible for your decisions about when to drink and how much to drink. You are equally responsible for all of the consequences that may result from making poor decisions when it comes to drinking alcohol.
- To avoid the risk of ingesting drugs that increase the risk of sexual assault when slipped into a drink, such as Rohypnol, Ketamine, and GHB, only drink from containers you open or drinks you’ve seen poured; never leave your drink unattended; and avoid group drinks like punch bowls.
- Remember, hosting a party where people under 21 possess or consume alcohol is a criminal violation. Ohio law states: “No person who is the owner or occupant of any public or private place shall knowingly allow any underage person to remain in or on the place while possessing or consuming beer or intoxicating liquor.”
Safety and Awareness Training
The month of September is National Campus Safety Awareness Month. Because we place a high priority on keeping the campus safe for students, employees and visitors, we will kick off the month with a Keep it Safe and Sound (K.I.S.S.) program, which will take place on Wednesday, September 12, at 7 pm. This program will be held on the Cru Club patio and will address a number of safety factors. Join us for K.I.S.S., and enjoy a sundae topped with a Hershey’s Kiss.
A host of other programs are planned throughout the semester, each designed to provide you with information to help keep you safe. Look for the dates, times and location of all events on the university calendar and Capital's news and events web page at www.capital.edu/news.
Safety Communication Tools
CapAlert: Capital has multiple communication tools to inform the campus community about potential safety threats, including CapAlert — Capital's emergency notification system. CapAlert will notify you of an emergency on campus by sending an email message to your Capital email account. You can also receive CapAlert messages by text to your Short Message Service device (Ex: cell phone, pager, Blackberry, etc.) and/or to an alternative email account.
To receive emergency messages to a text device or alternative email account, you must update your CapAlert profile on WebAdvisor. You can add up to four additional email addresses or communication devices to be notified in case of an emergency. You can even add your parent's our spouse's cell phone or email in addition to yours.
The CapAlert system is only effective if it has accurate contact information, which is why it is very important that you provide the appropriate information and update it regularly.
Safety Bulletin: The University maintains a Campus Safety Bulletin at www.capital.edu/Safety-Bulletin. Anytime something happens on or near campus that we think is cause for concern, we'll post it there. We also post that information on our news and events page at www.capital.edu/news.
News Alerts: You can sign up to receive web alerts, or receive email notifications, when new information is posted to the news page. After CapAlert messages, the web is the first place new information will be posted. Just log in at the top of www.capital.edu with your Capital University username and password. (Parents, alumni, friends and members of the public can create an account by selecting Register and creating a username and password.) Select Edit My Profile, then select the Custom tab, and simply check the subscriptions you are interested in.
Center for Health and Wellness
Capital University takes a holistic approach to safety, health and wellness. Our Center for Health and Wellness provides a comprehensive array of mental health, medical, and disability related services that will help assess, treat, and prevent medical or emotional barriers to healthy living and learning, and to promote health and wellness on campus.
Services are available by appointment and in emergency situations. For more information, including a list of services, staff information and hours of operation, please visit the center’s webpage at www.capital.edu/health.
For more information about these and other resources available to you, please contact:
- Student Affairs at 614-236-6611
- Residential and Commuter Life at 614-236-6811
- Student and Community Engagement at 614-236-6901
- Public Safety at 614-236-6666
- Center for Health and Wellness at 614-236-6114