Campus Safety

By Sarah Bransley

Dodge Charger (LX) UIUC Police car

As the days grow shorter and the nights get colder, many students are finding it difficult to traverse campus. As with any large campus, safety is a concern when getting from point A to B. Luckily, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign has many safety measures intact to ensure public safety.

First, make sure you sign up for Illini Alerts! You can get this by text or email and they automatically show up on every University computer. They inform the public about incidents occurring on campus that require unique safety measures. Typically they inform students and staff what area of the campus to avoid while emergency services do their job.

You’ll also get Crime Alerts which the University Police departs sends in accordance with the federal Jeanne Clery Act. The Act requires college campuses to disclose information about crimes that occur on campus or near campus. These will arrive to your student email and are great at informing us of safety measures to take while out and about on campus. Things as simple as staying alert, trusting your instincts, avoiding walking alone at night, not using headphones, and drinking moderately seem pretty obvious, but you would be surprised at how often students don’t follow these tips.

Speaking of walking alone at night, the university tries their best to ensure that no one (male OR female) should be stuck with this option. Two programs help everyone get back home safely: SafeRides and SafeWalks. I’ve used both and can honestly say that they are a great option if you are headed one way and your friends are going another. It’s important to call them at least 30 minutes before you expect to leave, because they have to finish the route they are on currently before picking you up.

The Student Patrol are the escorts for SafeWalks. The patrol is made up of students who are employed and trained by members of the University of Illinois Police. Their non-winter hours are 9 p.m. to 2:30 a.m., Sunday through Wednesday, calls taken until 2:15 a.m. and 9 p.m. to 3 a.m., Thursday, Friday or Saturday, calls taken until 2:45 a.m. During the late fall/winter, they start at 7 p.m.

SafeRides is run by the CUMTD to provide safe transportation for people traveling alone with no other means of safe transport. They won’t pick up more than 3 people at a location (unless it’s the Union, Main Library, or Illinois Street Residence (ISR) Hall) and run from Dusk (7 p.m./5 p.m.) until 6 a.m. They have regular pick-ups at the Main Library, ISR, and the Union.

All of these measures make for a very safe campus. If you’d like to know more about campus safety, you can follow either of the links below.

http://admissions.illinois.edu/campuslife/safety.html

http://www.police.illinois.edu/index.html

Use Fall Break Wisely!

By Sarah Bransley

turkeyfinish

Hopefully everyone got to eat some delicious food and has many things to be thankful for today, because school will be back in session before you know it! This means a week or two left of classes before…FINALS! Our best advice to transfer students is to catch up on your studies (or even work ahead!) because these last few weeks go by quickly. Our upcoming blogs will cover the dreaded finals week, useful phone apps, and how we travel on campus during the cold weather. Check back soon to get the know-how from fellow transfer students! In the meantime, enjoy your break and have a happy Thanksgiving!

Support Available for Disabled Students

By Sarah Bransley

 

Transferring to a university is a big decision but it’s even harder if you are one of the millions of people who fit under the term “disabled.” I’m not particularly fond of this term, but it is the term we use for people who have to tackle life’s challenges in a way that is different from the mainstream.

I am one of those people who fits under the term disabled, but you wouldn’t know it by looking at me. I have what is termed an “invisible illness” because I don’t have any obvious physical or mental differences from your average Jane. Deciding to attend a university was a huge decision for me. I chose the University of Illinois because I felt, along with other factors, that they had the best support system in place to help me succeed. They boast a 91% graduation rate for students registered in their disability program!

The program itself is the Division of Disability Resources and Educational Services (DRES) and has been around for more than 20 years. Their story, however, goes back to 1948 and includes many firsts, such as first accessible university residence halls and first collegiate adapted sports and recreation program for students with disabilities.

There are so many different accommodations, supporting programs, and services at DRES I’m sure I can’t list them all, but a few include transportation services, a fully equipped gym with a full-time physical therapist, special living quarters & services for students who need personal care assistance with activities of daily living, and two full-time clinical psychologists who work with a variety of students via coaching, individual therapy, and support groups.

DRES splits their services into two main categories: physical and mental. Students typically submit documentation after they are admitted and then meet with their access specialist to find out what accommodations the university can offer them. An access specialist is the point of contact for that student for any disability related concern during their interim at U of I.

The biggest hurdle is getting the help you need and getting those accommodations on paper. If you think you fit this criteria, contact DRES and talk to one of their counselors. One of their programs is to identify and support students who are having trouble due to having an unaccommodated or undiagnosed cognitive or psychological disability. They want students to succeed and graduate! They seem to do an amazing job at it to, so I highly recommend checking them out at the link below.

 
DRES: Thinking About Illinois