Improving Personal Safety
Historically, the Cal Poly campus and the City of San Luis Obispo have been safe environments for the campus community. However, incidents affecting personal safety do occur. The University Police Department recommends:
General Safety Tips
- Be especially aware of your surroundings at all times and do not be so involved in a cell phone conversation or other devices that you are not aware of the environment around you.
- Do not walk alone, especially at night. Plan your travels through, to and from campus, walk with friends and utilize services such as the free city transit system, taxis, and SLO Safe Ride.
- Stay on designated paths and refrain from taking shortcuts through isolated parts of the campus.
- If you must be in an isolated area (e.g., working or studying alone in labs or offices) lock the doors when you can and tell a friend where you are and when you plan to leave.
- Keep your cell phone close and 911 or UPD contact numbers programmed into your phone. Know the location of campus emergency telephones on routes to and from campus destinations.
- Keep personal belongings in view while eating, meeting, or studying on campus.
- Whenever you are on campus or off, and see or hear someone who might be in trouble, never hesitate to call 911 and ask for assistance.
- Use the campus escort van or walking escort patrol for on campus safety escorts.
- Talk about sexual expectations with your partner. Sex without mutual agreement is rape. If you or someone you know has become a victim of sexual violence, contact University Police at 805-756-2281, or 9-1-1. For additional resources and information regarding sexual violence please refer to: http://deanofstudents.calpoly.edu/content/safer/index
- Download and utilize the free TapShield personal safety mobile application at: police.calpoly.edu/safety/tapshield
- Think of your residence hall as your home. Remember that by taking a share of the responsibility to keep your residence safe, you can make a difference. Contact residential life staff regarding your security/safety concerns.
- Keep doors locked — even if you are going to be gone only a few minutes.
- Door-to-door solicitation is prohibited on campus. Please report the presence of solicitors to the Police Department.
- Notify the Police Department or residential life staff of suspicious individuals who appear to be "hanging around."
- Take security regulations seriously for your own protection.
- Do not prop open and report unsecure exterior doors. These are locked for your protection.
Apartment or Home
- Install and use locks on your doors and windows.
- Keep doors locked day and night whether you are home or not.
- Know who is at the door before opening it. Insist on seeing an ID from anyone you do not know.
- If someone comes to your door and asks to use your telephone to call for help, offer instead to make the call or contact the police.
- Give your home a "someone is home" look. Put radio and lights on a timer.
- Maintain good lighting around entrances.
- Leave spare keys with a friend, not in accessible places.
- Keep emergency numbers near the telephone.
Driving a Car
- Have your keys in your hand as you approach your car.
- Lock your doors when driving and after parking.
- Check the backseat and floor before entering your car.
- Keep your valuables out of sight, under the seat, or in the glove compartment or trunk.
- If you have car trouble, signal for help by raising the hood. Remain in your car with doors locked until identifiable help arrives. Should another motorist offer to help, roll down the window slightly and ask them to call the police or an auto club.
- Keep an emergency kit containing a flashlight, flares, telephone charger, distress signs, and other essentials in your car.
- To protect your car, use a lock bar that prohibits the use of the steering wheel.
- Consider also the installation of an alarm system.
- There are many things you can do to stay safe and help others stay safe, however nothing can prevent an assault besides the perpetrator. It is always their choice to hurt and never the victim’s/survivor's fault.
- If you are attacked, do whatever it takes to survive. Remember, you are not at fault. You have nothing to feel guilty or ashamed about. Give some thought right now to what you would do in various situations that could arise. The more you have thought ahead, the more likely you will be to act in the way you have planned.
- In considering your reactions to different situations, keep these three basic rules in mind:
- Trust your instincts.
- Don't be afraid to be impolite or make a scene; this is especially important if someone you know threatens or attacks you.
- Try to remain calm and use your imagination and good judgment; give yourself time to think.