Students stay safe at night
Published: Tuesday, February 12, 2013
Updated: Tuesday, February 12, 2013 12:02
In a city well known for safety, not all students expect to have to have reasons to seek protection when walking home on a dark night. Despite this, USU Police encourages students to take safety measures, and campus offers resources to protect students as well.
“I haven’t really heard of anyone that’s been hurt on campus. I come up here sometimes to study at night and I’ve never had any problems,” said Junior Alex Torgeson, a biological engineering major. “I don’t know why it’s safe, it just seems safe. It feels like home to me.”
Many students and faculty call Logan home, and enjoy a safe environment.
“We had one rape reported to us last year and two sexual assaults reported to us,” said Sgt. Travis Dunn of the USU Police Department.
Dunn said Logan is one of the safest cities in the country.
“Over the last six years the city of Logan has been in the safest metropolitan cities in the nation,” Dunn said. “The biggest issue is where people think it is safe, they don’t take the measures to secure their own property and protect themselves.”
Some of Logan’s safety issues deal more with the victimization of women.
“Any kind of sexual assault is any girl’s biggest fear,” said freshman Kaelee Stewart, a nursing student studying online at BYU-Idaho, but living in Logan. “To be alone and cornered, that is just so frightening to me.”
Many students are not aware of the systems available on campus to protect students.
“I don’t know if anyone really takes the time to find out about it,” Torgeson said. “I guess it just seems like it’s so safe. Why take the time to do so?”
In reality, there are many different systems available to promote and protect student safety.
“We have 28 emergency phones scattered throughout campus,” Dunn said. “You press the button and are immediately connected with 911.”
In addition, an option is also available for students who feel unsafe to contact campus police and request an escort.
“We can’t take them all across the city, but if someone is feeling unsafe, we can get them to that secure spot,” Dunn said.
There are classes that teach self-defense. One of these is designed specifically for women — the Rape Aggression Defense or RAD class teaches self-defense techniques to women that can be used in real-life situations. The classes are taught by RAD-certified instructors and USU campus police officers.
Self-defense classes are not the only way students can protect themselves. There are multiple precautions that can be taken to prevent the possibilities of dangerous circumstances arising.
“I try not to walk at night, and if I do, I’m usually with my husband,” Stewart said. “I am a runner, and when I do run outside on campus, I always have pepper spray.”
There are precautions that can be taken before even leaving the house.
“My friends always know where I am and they know relatively when I’m supposed to get home, so I guess that’s a precaution,” Torgeson said. “I also park pretty close to where I’m going. I always carry my cell phone with me if I ever need to call anybody.”
Dunn advised students to be aware of their surroundings while traveling at night.
“Know where you’re going to be, who you’re going to be with,” Dunn said. “You’ve got to take some responsibility for yourself, try to be safe. You need to be with friends. You need to be with groups of individuals. Know where you’re going before you start.”
Additional information regarding self-defense classes or precautionary advice can be found on the USU Police Department webpage.