Whether you’re an incoming freshman or seasoned senior, hopefully you’ve learned some of the basic rules of campus safety: don’t walk by yourself at night; there’s safety in numbers; never leave your friends alone at a party; don’t drink from a cup you left unattended for any amount of time. Safety on campus is an important topic we revisit often because Kappa Delta wants to ensure our members are happy, healthy and safe. In fact, it’s our top priority.
While we hope it never happens to one of our members, you may find yourself in a situation that makes you feel uneasy. In cases like that, you have an excellent tool in the palm of your hand to assist you: your phone. We’ve rounded up five ways that technology may help you feel safer on campus and potentially help you navigate a dangerous situation.
- Share your location with your friends and ask that they do the same. Ask your sisters to add you on the tracking feature on their phones. You can do so by “sharing your location,” adding them on Find My Friends, using the Circle of 6 app or using the Snapchat maps feature. If a member of your group goes missing or is no longer answering her phone, you may be able to track the location of her phone. However, it’s important to remember not to allow your location to be public to everyone and not to share it with people who you don’t trust and know very well.
- Download the SafeTrek app for riding in a cab, Uber or Lyft. While it is recommended to always travel in pairs or groups, if you do find yourself in the back of a cab, Uber or Lyft alone, stay on high alert. We recommend the SafeTrek app, which uses GPS to track your location in the vehicle. Open the app and hold down the safety button until you reach your destination. The app will prompt you to enter your pin number, and if you do not, it will act as a 911 call and alert the authorities that you are at risk of a dangerous situation.
- Use the Kitestring app if you find yourself alone for an extended period of time. This app is perfect for those times you may be walking to a class across campus in the evening, the last one closing up shop at your place of work or simply would like peace of mind as you journey from A to B. We recommend you always stick with a buddy, use a campus police escort or the campus shuttle system whenever possible, but if you do find yourself alone, use the Kitestring app. Kitestring sends an SMS text message to check up on you at set intervals to ensure your safety. If you don’t respond to the SMS, it will send your emergency contacts a personalized alert message.
- Update your contact list! Keep the university police department on speed dial just in case you ever need to call them quickly.
- Forget politeness and scream. Download the One Scream app, which can pick up the sound of a legitimate panicked scream and will immediately send an automated call or text message with your location to your emergency contact. If you ever find yourself in an uncomfortable situation and you cannot reach for your phone, scream at the top of your lungs. One Scream will alert your loved ones and the authorities that you need help.
While these tips can certainly help keep you safe, technology is completely useless if your phone isn’t charged. The best tip we can offer you is to never leave your home, dorm or the Kappa Delta house without a fully charged phone. Stay alert, watch out for your sisters and always call the police if you ever feel unsafe.