As students at The Ohio State University prepare to leave their homes in the University District for spring break, they are getting a door-to-door safety message.
This week, the university’s Office of Student Life Willie J. Young, Sr. Off-Campus and Commuter Student Engagement department led a neighborhood safety walk in the University District. The team included Student Life staff members, Ohio State University Police Division officers, Columbus Police and others, who went block by block to provide residents with helpful safety tips and information to help secure their homes while they’re away on spring break.
The safety walks are part of Ohio State’s ongoing commitment to help keep students safe and their property secure.
“It is important for students to always be aware of things impacting safety in their neighborhood,” said Rachel DeMooy, off-campus residential experience manager. “With fewer people in the community during breaks, people often take advantage of students not being at their residences, and there is an increased risk for residential burglaries.”
The safety team provided students with information about free safety tools, including window and door alarms, light timers and personal safety devices, offered by Off-Campus and Commuter Student Engagement.
Since installing the free safety devices in her home, Elyssa Dorman, a fourth-year student and community ambassador for the university, said she feels an extra sense of security.
“This event is a step in the right direction and provides a sense of security, which is really nice for students,” she said. “It builds trust between the university and the student body.”
There are steps students and other residents can take to help protect their homes. Safety walk information included a number of tips:
- Lock doors and windows.
- Leave external lights on or consider using light timers.
- Remove valuables from the property.
- Report suspicious activity and missing items to police.
- Never publicly advertise that no one is home.
“For students living off campus, make sure to lock doors and windows and do everything you can to prevent and deter crime,” said OSUPD Chief Kimberly Spears-McNatt. “We work closely with CPD, and it is important to report crime or stolen items to the appropriate law enforcement agency so that police can investigate and potentially recover stolen items or prevent another person from becoming a victim.”
Students should report off-campus crime to CPD at 614-645-4545 and on-campus incidents to OSUPD at 614-292-2121. Always dial 9-1-1 in emergencies.
The Office of Student Life will host another safety walk in the University District on Wednesday, April 5, from 5 to 8 p.m. This walk will provide move-out and bulk trash information, as well as offer party smart tips in advance of the Buckeyes’ April 15 Spring Football Game.