By Sarah Bransley
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.