Top 10 Campus Safety Tips for the Start of Fall Term (Students)
Drexel University’s Department of Public Safety (DPS) wishes all new and returning Dragons a fun, productive and safe start to the 2022–2023 academic year! It can be an overwhelming time with lots of new information to process, so DPS wants to make it as easy as possible for you to know all the best practices for protecting yourself, your community and your belongings. Read on for 10 safety tips and some upcoming events where you can learn more!
1. Get to know Drexel Public Safety: We are here to help!
The DPS website is drexel.edu/publicsafety; email is firstname.lastname@example.org; phone number is 215.895.2222; and Twitter handle is @DrexelDPS. Watch the video below for an informative introduction to Drexel Public Safety!
2. Save this emergency number in your phone: 215.895.2222
Label this number “Drexel Public Safety” and add it to your favorites. It will connect you to the 24/7 Drexel Public Safety Communications Center, where a dispatcher will answer and send help your way (you may also call 911 during any emergency). You can also call this number to request a walking escort.
3. Make sure you’re getting DrexelALERTs
DrexelALERT is an emergency notification system that sends timely crime and safety alerts to Drexel students, faculty and professional staff via text messaging and email. Its effectiveness depends on Drexel having your correct contact information. At the start of each term, you will be asked to confirm and update your contact information when you log in to DrexelOne. Don’t skip this step!
4. Always carry your DragonCard.
Carry your DragonCard with you at all times while on campus, as it is the only way to access campus buildings and use the Drexel shuttles.
5. Use Drexel shuttles and walking escorts.
Drexel Real Estate and Facilities offers weekday shuttle bus service between the University City Campus and Center City Campus, between Center City and Queen Lane Campus, and through the University City Campus to the Vidas Athletic Complex (Powelton/Spring Garden route also runs on weekends). To ride, just present your DragonCard. If you’re traveling on foot, Public Safety offers walking escorts within its patrol boundaries in University City upon request, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. To request an escort, use the Drexel Guardian app (see below for details), call 215.895.2222, use a blue-light emergency phone or ask any security or police officer on patrol.
6. Download the Drexel Guardian app.
Drexel Guardian is another way to connect directly to the Public Safety Communications Center. You can call for help through one-touch dialing, send tips about suspicious activities via text, set safety timers, activate a GPS locator during an emergency, and more. Search “Rave Guardian” in the Apple App Store for iPhones or Google Play Store for Android phones and register using your Drexel email address.
7. Protect your belongings.
Most crimes on campus are unattended thefts. Safeguard your valuables and use DPS’ free service to register your property (bikes, laptops, skateboards, cell phones, larger headphones) by bringing them to Drexel Police Headquarters at 3219 Arch Street to be logged. Always lock your bike securely (let Sergeant Santiago show you how!). And if you’re buying, selling, or exchanging items with someone you met online, you can use Drexel Police Headquarters as a safe transaction space.
8. Stay aware of your surroundings.
Sounds simple, right? But it’s easy to get distracted, especially at the start of a new school year. When commuting around campus, it’s important to keep your eyes off your phone, take your earbuds out, and stay aware of your surroundings. Always cross at crosswalks, obey posted traffic signals, and make eye contact with approaching drivers before stepping out. If you have any safety concerns, don’t hesitate to call DPS using your phone, the Guardian app or a blue-light emergency phone for help or to request a walking escort. For more situational preparedness tips, consider attending a “Your Safety Is Our Goal” or “Self-Awareness for Everyone” workshop (details can be found in the Community Commitments section of this newsletter).
9. Be a good neighbor and citizen.
Everyone plays a role in fostering public safety and developing a positive relationship between the University and the larger community. If you’re living off campus, be sure to introduce yourself to your neighbors — get to know and be respectful of their lifestyles, which may differ from yours. Maintain your property’s appearance, follow the rules for proper trash disposal, and participate in neighborhood cleanups when you can. Be mindful of things like shared walls and the availability of on-street parking. It’s the little things that go a long way toward building safe and healthy communities.
10. Take care of yourself.
The beginning of a new academic year always brings new challenges and stresses. Talk to friends, colleagues and family members, or contact Drexel’s Counseling Center at email@example.com or by calling 215.895.1415. During off-hours or emergencies, call the on-call counselor at 215.416.3337. (Graduate students may also access services provided through SupportLinc.) Please know that Drexel’s Responsible Dragon Amnesty Policy ensures that students can seek medical attention or assistance any time without fear of disciplinary action. No matter the issue, the University is here to ensure you get the help you need.
11. Bonus tip: Pass it on!
If you found these tips useful, be sure to share them with your friends, roommates, classmates and/or colleagues.
Cookies with Cops: Sept. 21 from 3:30–5:30 PM
Meet Drexel Police officers while enjoying some refreshments and conversation to break up your day. The next event will be held Sept. 21 from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. on the southwest corner of 33rd and Arch streets (next to volleyball courts).
DPS Educational Programs: Learn How to Protect Yourself
You can request any of the following presentations and trainings by completing the Request a Presentation Form.
- Your Safety Is Our Goal, Sept. 26 at noon or 6 p.m.: Whether you’re new to Philadelphia or want to brush up on your situational preparedness skills, this monthly virtual workshop is a great way to learn how to stay aware of your surroundings and always be prepared, not scared, when moving through the city. You may register for either of the Sept. 26 presentations via Qualtrics, or if neither of these times work for your schedule, you can request a session by completing the Request a Presentation Form.
- Self-Awareness for Everyone (SAFE): Public Safety’s self-protection program, SAFE, aims to give Drexel students, faculty and staff the practical skills, resources and knowledge to increase their personal safety and protect themselves in unsafe situations. The program focuses on mindset, self-awareness, techniques that could assist in the event of a physical assault, and information on how and to whom you should report incidents and safety concerns. This hands-on class lasts approximately 4.5 hours. The scheduled fall sessions are on Sept. 27 from 5–9:30 p.m., Oct. 15 from 9 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. and Nov. 3 from 5–9:30 p.m. You can sign up via Qualtrics for one of these sessions, but they’re also available by request.
- Fire & Emergency Services, Emergency Preparedness: The Office of Fire and Emergency Services offers tailored awareness and training programs, by request, to help the Drexel community reduce the risks of fire. The team offers data-driven information that will give the participant the tools to react to an emergent event. Other topics covered are medical emergencies, elevator entrapments, power outages, gas leaks, and other common challenges.
We Are Here for You When You Need Us
Please call 215.895.2222 immediately if you experience or witness a crime. Drexel’s Public Safety Communications Center is staffed 24/7 to serve you, whether you choose to remain anonymous when making a report. It is vital that crimes are reported promptly to Drexel Police so that they can be investigated, and so that Public Safety can connect the victim(s) with proper resources. You can also contact DPS through the Drexel Guardian app. Drexel Guardian will not track you nor share your information unless you initiate an emergency. To download the app, search for “Rave Guardian” in the app store or Google Play store.
215.895.2222 or 911
To learn more about Drexel Public Safety, visit drexel.edu/publicsafety