UPD gives tips on how to stay safe

Chance Swaim

From the Nightlife Guide —

There’s something about nightlife that coincides with crime.

A lot of fun happens at night, but it’s also when people are most afraid and their senses most heightened or impaired.

In a recent survey by Chapman University, 1,500 people of all ages from across the country were asked about what they feared most.

People’s biggest fear, according to the survey, is walking alone at night.   

To combat those fears, Wichita State University Police Capt. Guy Schroeder suggested students spend the least amount of time alone as possible when they’re in a perceived threatening situation, such as walking to their cars at night.

“Walk in groups,” Schroeder said. “Let people know where you are and when you’re expected somewhere. Let them know you got there safely. Use your cell phone.”

When students go out at night, and any other time, Schroeder said students should be aware of their surroundings and avoid bad situations.

“The best way to stay out of a bad situation is to see it coming and avoid it,” he said.

Preventative measures students can take include walking tall, projecting confidence, staying in well-lit areas, observing surroundings and trusting instincts.

If students feel uncomfortable, Schroeder urged them to call for help.  

Schroeder said students should not let self-defense training or pepper spray give them a false sense of security.

“You have to be of the mindset that if you are going to pull out something to defend yourself —like pepper spray or mace or something — you have to complete that action, or you’ll further aggravate the attacker,” he said.

If all else fails, and you feel you cannot defend yourself or you get caught in a bad situation where you are being robbed, surrender what the robber wants and run, he said.

“Every thing can be replaced, people can’t,” University Police Capt. Corey Herl said. “Your life is your No. 1 concern when these things happen.”