The Student News Site of St. Joseph's University

The Hawk News

The Student News Site of St. Joseph's University

The Hawk News

The Student News Site of St. Joseph's University

The Hawk News

Vigilance on Hawk Hill

How to maintain personal safety and stay aware 

Written by Corinne Sinesi ’19

National news headlines seem to worsen every time I read them, to me, and it is terrifying. We deserve to feel safe in our country, but it’s hard to make such a huge difference in the world as just one individual.

On Oct. 5, a Saint Joseph’s University student experienced a serious break-in at 56th and Woodbine Avenue. This home invasion is a clear indicator that safety starts on our very campus at Saint Joseph’s University. When the Pope visited a year ago,  for example, our school became an attraction  to some and, to unwelcome others, a target.

It’s difficult to imagine that something could happen that will alter our lives forever. For this reason, we need to recognize the importance of being vigilant both on and around campus. Although the danger around our school isn’t ground-breaking, it is still serious.

Of course you shouldn’t constantly be afraid while walking around campus. We live in a beautiful community with kind, gracious people in the surrounding neighborhoods. However, you should be cautious.

The blue lights and Public Safety on hand do genuinely make me feel safe, but that doesn’t stop all bad things in the world. Here are a few simple ways and starting points that will help you be more aware of the sticky situations around you.

Vigilance is key. Keep your head up when walking to and from campus. Keep your nose out of your phone, and if you must listen to music, listen with only one headphone. It’s very important to pay attention to your surroundings.

I’ve personally experienced a nervousness while walking on campus. I’ve been catcalled a few times while walking to class on City Ave. The situation made me rather uncomfortable; however, it obviously won’t stop me from going to class. I was afraid for obvious reasons: What if they stop the car? What if they come over here to talk to me? But then I realized that the individual could not stop his or her car in city traffic in order to approach me. If, for some strange reason, someone did approach me, there’s always another St. Joe’s student or Philly neighbor in sight who I could faithfully rely on to help me out. Use your resources—they are useful.

You can also call Public Safety (610-660-1111) for a personal escort. This resource comes in handy if you take the train and don’t want to walk back alone in the dark. You could also take the shuttle to and from places if that makes you more comfortable. Download “Ride Systems,” the app, and type in “St. Joseph’s” for the regular schedules.

Another large aspect of safety around campus revolves around college nightlife. This goes for any school and any person. We’re only human, and naiveté is among us. You may be exposed to new experiences in college, and when that time comes, you have to have your wits about you. Make sure not to overdo it with drinks; it’s important for both health and safety. On Fridays and Saturdays, walking to and from campus parties can get sketchy, so walk with at least one other person. This goes for Ubers, too. A total stranger is about to pick you up, so split the fare and ride with a friend.

Everyone will warn you to keep an eye on your drink, and it is imperative that you do so. If you’re at a bar, watch the bartender from the time he or she makes your drink until it’s in your hands. If you’re at a party, stay away from jungle juice. I’ve heard nightmare stories about jungle juice being riddled with date rape drugs or simply dangerously large quantities of alcohol. If you can’t stand the taste of beer, you could always bring your own alcohol or even a bottle of water. Don’t rush things if you aren’t 21 yet. You’ll have plenty of time to dance wildly and embarrass yourself in the future.

My point is that it is important to watch out for yourself and others around you in college. If you see something suspicious or wrong, take the time to stop and report it. We would be nothing without the support from each other.

From the very first day of orientation, I have felt the strong sense of togetherness that St. Joe’s believes in. It became instantly clear to me that our mentors and faculty want us to live comfortably in our community. Make the most out of what our amazing school has to offer, but just keep your safety in mind at all times.

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