September 10, 2013

Crime Prevention and Safety Forum Sept. 16

There are 136 blue-light emergency call boxes located across VSU's campus.

VALDOSTA –Valdosta State University Police and the Department of Environmental and Occupational Safety will host a forum from 7-9 p.m., Monday, Sept. 16, in the Student Union Theatre.

The forum will focus on basic crime prevention, personal safety, fire and life safety, and emergency response.

“Our greatest focus is the personal safety of the campus community,” said VSU Police Chief Scott Doner. “We want students, as well as faculty and staff, to be aware of their surrounding when they are on campus and in the community.”

VSU Police provides crime prevention services free of charge to students, including Bicycle Anti-Theft (B.A.T) identification to help prevent bicycle theft, and Inivisimark Pen Identification that uses ultraviolet invisible ink to mark person items (computers, etc.). VSU Police also provides training and workshops throughout the year, including sexual assault training and combating theft on campus.

For increased safety and security, the university has blue-light emergency phones and surveillance cameras located throughout campus, and a 24-hour campus security escort service.

“The security escort service is available to all students, faculty and staff members who feel uncomfortable about their safety walking across campus, especially in the late evening hours,” said Doner. “A member of the campus community should call VSU Police or use one of the emergency call boxes to request a security escort to their car or another building”

During the forum, Director of Environmental and Occupational Safety Bob DeLong will provide instruction on emergency response and fire and life safety.

 “We encourage the campus community to take responsibility for knowing what to do in an emergency,” said DeLong, who also serves as the university’s emergency coordinator.

An Emergency Quick Reference Guide is available on the Environmental and Occupational Safety website at

For more information, contact VSU Police at 229-333-7816 or Environmental and Occupational Safety at 229-293-6171.

10 Tips for College and University Students to Stay Safe

Provided by the International Association of Campus Law Enforcement Administrators (IACELA)

  1. Make the call: Program the number of your university’s police department into your cellphone. [VSU Police 229-259-5555]
  2. Empower yourself: Take a self-defense course. [VSU offers R.A.D. self-defense courses]
  3.  Don’t walk alone: Take advantage of university’s safety escort service or walk with friends or classmates. [VSU offers safety escort service, call 229-333-7816 or use one of the blue light emergency call boxes]
  4. Protect your property: Never leave items in your backpack, laptop or cellphone unattended—even it is just for a minute. Make it a habit to take these valuables with you. [VSU offers Inivisimark Pen Identification, contact VSU Police for information 229-333-7816].
  5. Report solicitors: Magazine subscriptions, donation requests, spa packages and “earn money now” schemes are some of the most common methods for criminals to take your money.
  6. On the bus: Stay awake and keep your personal belongings close to you. Sit near the door or the driver and stay awake. If someone’s harassing you, don’t hesitate; ask the driver to let you off at a populated bus stop or well-lit area.
  7. Grab it. Close it. Lock it: University parking lots and structures are common targets for thieves. Never leave valuables in your car or items in plain view. Take items like GPS devices, removable stereo faceplates and electronics with you. Make sure your windows are up and the doors are locked. Apply a security device or set the alarm.
  8. Keep personal information private: Avoid becoming a victim of identity theft by carrying only the necessary items in your wallet or purse. Don’t give personal information to solicitors.
  9. Keep your residence hall door locked: Even if you are going next door to a friend’s room, always grab your keys and lock the door. A propped open door is a perfect target for would-be thieves and allows them quick and easy access to your belongings. If your room has additional doors and windows, always be sure they are closed and locked as well.
  10. Protect your wheels: If you ride a bike, find out if your university offers free registration. Registering your bike helps improve the likelihood of recovery if stolen. Invest in high-quality, hardened steel U-lock. For optimum security, lock both the front and frame to the bike rack.  [VSU Police offers free bicycle registration, bring bicycle to VSU Police located on second floor of Oak Street Parking Deck].

Valdosta State University’s 2013-2019 Strategic Plan represents a renewal of energy and commitment to the foundational principles for comprehensive institutions.

Implementation of the plan’s five goals, along with their accompanying objectives and strategies, supports VSU’s institutional mission and the University System of Georgia’s mission for comprehensive universities.

The story above demonstrates VSU's commitment to meeting the following goals:

Goal 1: Recruit, retain, and graduate a quality, diverse student population and prepare students for roles as leaders in a global society.

Goal 3: Promote student, employee, alumni, retiree, and community engagement in our mission.

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