I’ve been struggling to think of a next blog post because of how boring I am, but luckily there are other people in my program who are not which sparked a good topic that I do not think has been covered. SAFETY.
Since this is rounding out my fifth year at Ohio State, I have always noticed that students tend to put safety on the back burner when it becomes warmer outside–being outdoors more often from their previous winter hibernation. My senior year last year, there were a few issues that happened due to students not being smart. Student safety is always a topic of the Undergraduate Student Government elections. These elections obviously have nothing to do with grad students, but I just like to mention it if you ever leave the Fisher part of campus and see obnoxious amounts of chalk drawings on the sidewalk (chalk drawings are a common electioneering ploy – fortunately Fisher does not allow our beautiful campus to become tacky during those 2 weeks).
Now, this may not be an issue for people in the program who do not live near campus, but for those of us that do (and those of us who will next year), you should know about the important resources Ohio State provides to students concerning safety. Most Fisher grad students take classes that are not done until it is dark outside, may be down on campus during the weekend, and (though unfortunate) bad things are not restricted to when it’s dark outside. I don’t have any real data to back me up on this but I would guess 90% of the crime that happens on campus is due to students not using common sense. Ohio State is in the heart of Columbus, so that will naturally attract a few bad apples. Normally, these things happen to irresponsible undergrads, but a graduate student unfamiliar with the university or Columbus may still want to be knowledgeable about these things when out and about late on campus.
This is something good for students to sign up for (even outside of safety precautions). You can register your email and cell phone number with the university, so that you receive important text messages and emails from the university. If there is a school emergency, a school cancellation, or anything OSU feels that they need to inform all of their students the university will send a quick, immediate blast to all of those registered with the program. Though normally just a concern for students, parents can also register their information as well to receive these messages.
If you’re going to be living on campus next year, this is also something you should sign up for. The university will send you an email letting you know when a crime has happened on campus or in the nearby residential off-campus area too. There has only been 2 things posted for this year alone, so they are not frequent (thank goodness). It’s better to be an informed resident then a naive one, and it’s good to know if something happens nearby where you live so that you can keep your eye open when you’re coming and going from home. This is also good for those who don’t live nearby campus, because they will also send reports if anything happens near a campus building.
This is another good service to use. They will escort students on foot or by vehicle within certain boundaries around the university. More information can be listed on their site here:
I used to know this particular number when I was a tour guide, but OSU has at least 120 something safety posts stationed all around its campus. They are brown with a blue light at the top and are connected to the university police. They basically serve as an automatic 911 dial. If you press the button (at any time of the day or night), the university police should be there to assist you with any kind of emergency (accident, health issue, etc.) in less than 2 minutes. Now I forget the actual time span, because fortunately I have never had to use them. I think it is supposed to be within 30 seconds and a minute actually, but I am sure you could contact the university police yourself if you wanted to know. I would highly recommend to not conduct your own experiment with this if you do not have an emergency.
These are just some of the things that the university does to help protect its students. The best way to protect yourself would be to use common sense and the basics that you learn about in kindergarten (be aware of your surroundings, etc.). I for the most part think Ohio State is a safe campus, but I also think students need to be aware that it is a CITY. If you treat it like that then you will be fine.
As I said before, caution tends to go to the wind when spring arrives so make sure you are careful out there!