October 7, 2014

VSU Holds Safety and Tobacco and Smoke-Free Policy Summit Oct. 9

VALDOSTA-- Valdosta State University's Campus Safety Committee and Student Government Association are hosting a Safety and Tobacco and Smoke-free Campus Policy Summit at 6:30 p.m., Thursday, Oct. 9, in Jennett Hall Lecture room 1111.

The summit is open to all VSU students, faculty, and staff and will focus on basic crime prevention, personal safety, fire and life safety, and emergency response. The panel will include representatives from University Police, Environmental and Occupational Safety, Counseling Center, Housing and Residence Life, Information Technology, and Alcohol and Other Drug Education.

The second part of the summit will focus on information and provide a question and answer session on the University System of Georgia’s Tobacco and Smoke-free Campus Policy that went into effect Oct. 1, at all USG institutions.

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

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 college or university police or public safety department into your cell phone so you have it at your fingertips in the event of an emergency on campus. If you see a crime in progress or even something suspicious, don’t hesitate and make the call.

2. Empower yourself. Enroll in a self-defense course. If your college or university offers a sexual assault defense program such as R.A.D., sign up with a friend and empower yourself. These courses are designed to give you the tools that may help save your life. Note: VSU offers R.A.D. classes through the Counseling Center.

3. Don't walk alone. Take advantage of your college or university’s safety escort services or walk with friends or classmates. Note: Contact VSU Police at 229-333-5555 to request a police escort on campus.

4. Protect your property. Never leave items like your backpack, laptop or cell phone unattended--even if it's just for a minute. Make it a habit to take these valuables with you.

5. Report solicitors. Magazine subscriptions, donation requests, spa packages and earn money now schemes are some of the common methods criminals use to take your money. Avoid solicitor scams by politely saying no and immediately notifying university police. Never provide a solicitor with your personal information.

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 is harassing you, don’t hesitate; ask the driver to let you off at a populated bus stop or a well-lit area like a gas station.

7. Grab it. Close it. Lock it. College and 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 dorm locked. Even if you're 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 a high-quality, hardened steel lock. For optimum security, lock both the front and frame to the bike rack. Note: VSU Police provides bike identification, for more information call 229-333-7816.