By Erin Valois
You’ve probably heard all the horror stories about downtown Toronto. Whether they are urban legends or regular occurences, is for you to find out. Here’s how you can protect yourself.
Don’t turn off the lights
Avoid venturing in unlit areas at night and never leave your items unattended. Security recommends writing your name on all your belongings, making notes of serial numbers on electronic items and not carrying large amounts of cash. Igor may be off the streets, but you should still make sure your bicycle is registered.
Safety in numbers
Report any suspicious people to security. There are seven emergency poles on campus. In a serious situation, press the red button and help will arrive in two to three minutes. Take advantage of the WALKSAFE program. Security is available 24 hours a day to walk you from one location to another within the radius of the campus. They can take you to your car even if you have parked as far away as the parking lot under the Business Building.
Security also requires you to ask your program department if you need to be in a building on campus after 10p.m. They will activate your OneCard so you can use it to access the building at night.
If you are studying in a classroom late at night, make sure all the doors are locked. Be alert in isolated areas and don’t give out any personal information to strangers (like your class schedule or the residence you are staying in). Whenever possible ask a friend to accompany you.
Everybody was kung-fu fighting
Self-defense classes are available from security. There is a two-day women’s course for $20 where participants learn techniques in physical self-defense, personal awareness and the opportunity to take part in a realistic simulation. Don’t worry guys, security offers classes for men too.
Embrace your inner packrat
Your roommates are probably great people, but you don’t know who is going to end up in your room throughout the year. If you throw a big party or leave your door open when you go to meet a friend, you never know what could happen. Always be cautious about where you keep valuables.
One way to protect your belongings is to put them in plastic bags. Bury the bags in a potted plant. No one would think to look there, unless they want to steal your plant. In that case — you are out of luck.