Before the school year starts, IU students will kick off their first week in Bloomington and hold onto their last week of summer during Welcome Week.
It's important to know how to stay safe in a new environment, but being smart to stay safe doesn't stop after Welcome Week and isn't just important for freshmen.
IU Police Department Capt. Craig Munroe offered some advice on how to stay safe during this first week back in Bloomington as well as the rest of the year.
Download the Rave Guardian app.
Rave Guardian is a safety app IU recently implemented for its students and employees this year. The free app brings together a variety of safety tools at the touch of a fingertip.
The app features IU-Notify alerts, important emergency phone numbers, the ability to send tips and even a safe walk timer that notifies friends and family if the user has not reached his or her destination when expected.
“This is something that we’re really pushing this year,” Munroe said. “We want everybody to have it.”
Remember the Lifeline Law.
Munroe said students should keep in mind the Indiana Lifeline Law. The law provides immunity for alcohol-related charges to someone who seeks medical assistance for a person suffering from an alcohol-related emergency.
“Don’t ever hesitate,” Munroe said. “I don’t know why anyone would. I think somebody’s health is more important than you getting a ticket.”
Munroe said the person making the call will not face charges if they are cooperative in taking care of the person and with law enforcement.
Travel in groups
When going out at night, Munroe said people should not travel by themselves. He said it is important to always go with others you can trust and stay with them throughout the night.
“It’s once those groups start to fragment,” Munroe said. “Things can get out of hand, and you lose control of what’s going on around you rather quickly.”
He said people should have a plan and ensure everyone is aware of it. He said members of a group need to stay together and be responsible for each other.
Use safe rides.
Munroe said students can use IU Safety Escort, a free safe-ride service that provides transportation for people who feel unsafe during their walk home.
“Just because you’re walking doesn’t mean you’re safe,” Munroe said.
The service operates from 8 p.m. to 1:45 a.m. seven days a week. A Safety Escort ride can be requested through the TapRide app or their website.
Munroe said Uber is also a good option for transportation at night. He said to use caution before getting into the car by making sure it’s the correct driver and vehicle that was requested.
He said an easy way to ensure it is the correct ride is to ask the driver who they are picking up. Munroe also said to check the license plate, car model and driver.
Keep your phone charged.
Munroe said people should charge their phone before heading out for the night. A charged phone ensures the ability to communicate with friends, contact emergency numbers and order a ride home.
“Make sure your phone is fully charged before you go out,” Munroe said. “That’s a lifeline.”
See Something, Say something.
Munroe said students should always report something if it doesn’t seem normal.
“If you see something, say something,” Munroe said.
He said people shouldn’t ignore something that seems suspicious. He said they can always have an officer go check the situation out.
“Call us,” Munroe said. “You don’t have to give us your name if you don’t want to, but just call us.”
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