Be Smart. Be Safe.
Although we try to make your campus as safe as possible, you are, ultimately, responsible for your own personal safety.
Criminals often look for opportunities to take advantage of careless and inattentive people. We’ve put together some recommendations oh how to become better aware of potentially dangerous situations.
Read these safety measures and crime prevention tips carefully, and take the appropriate action to avoid becoming a victim:
Never leave a door unlocked, not even for a minute. It invites theft of your personal property from residence hall rooms, vehicles and apartments. Laptops are a particularly hot item to steal, as are cash, credit cards, electronics and other personal items. A thief can enter your room, steal an item and be gone in under 30 seconds. That’s less time than it takes you to visit the bathroom down the hall.
Socialize in groups. If six friends go out, then the same number should return home together. It is unwise to go off with someone you don’t know, and it is unsafe to leave a member of the group behind with a stranger.
Walk in well lighted, highly traveled areas at night, both on and off campus. That dark shortcut may be tempting, but leaves you vulnerable to being assaulted or robbed.
Do not leave personal items unattended anywhere. Students often put down a backpack or pocketbook in the cafeteria or the library, leave to get food or find a book, and come back to find the bag gone. Chances are your personal information, credit cards, MackCard or other valuable items are in the bag and the ramifications are far-reaching.
Textbooks are very expensive, which makes them a target for thieves. Pick a page and write something you would recognize on it, like your date of birth. If your book is stolen, it is easily identified as your property if someone attempts to return it for money at the bookstore.
Be cautious about sharing personal information with anyone. You are not obliged to give out your Social Security Number or other private information to store clerks. If they refuse to finalize the transaction without it, leave.
Never open your door when someone knocks until you find out who is there.
If you have a bicycle, lock it or lose it.
If you see a person behaving suspiciously in a building, call the Merrimack College Police Department immediately.
Never prop open exterior doors. It invites strangers to enter and perpetrate crimes of theft and violence.
If someone in your social group begins to behave in a manner that is out of character or inconsistent with the way she usually acts, consider the possibility that her drink may have been tainted with a date rape drug like Rohypnol or GHB.
Symptoms to Look For
Fast onset (within 10-20 minutes) of:
Appearing intoxicated (even when no alcohol has been consumed)
Fading in and out of consciousness
Loss of control of your decision making processes
Loss of memory
There is a strong possibility of death from such drugs, especially if they react negatively with any other medication the victim may be taking. Victims of these drugs can often sleep for many hours after consumption and may not even be aware that an assault occurred.
Dos and Don’ts
Watch your drink. Don’t trust anyone else to keep and eye on it for you.
Don’t drink from punch bowls.
Don’t accept free drinks from strangers.
Look out for friends at social events.
If you feel suddenly unwell, tell a friend and seek medical attention immediately.
Report the incident to the Merrimack College Police Department if you suspect you were victimized.
Don’t Look Like a Victim
- Rapists and other criminals can spot a potential victim from afar. Our appearance and demeanor express attitudes and personality types to those around us, whether we realize it or not.
Project the following attitudes to discourage anyone from targeting you as a victim:
Hold your head up and look around you. Know what’s going on in your immediate surroundings. This gives an appearance of confidence.
Stride out and walk with self-assurance to project that you have the power to resist attack. This will discourage criminals from picking you as a target.
Make eye contact with those around you. Let them know that you’re aware of their presence. However, don’t stare, because this can be intimidating or misconstrued as a challenge.
Take a self-defense course like R.A.D.
If you become the victim of identity theft, contact one of the three major credit bureaus (listed below) and place a fraud alert on your credit report. The credit bureaus are required to share information with each other about identity theft, so there is no need for you to contact more than one of the three. You may also request a copy of your credit report.
The three credit bureaus are:
Equifax Credit Information Services
P.O. Box 740241
Atlanta, GA 30374-0241
Experian Information Solutions
P.O. Box 9530
Allen, TX 75013
Fraud Victims Assistance Division
P.O. Box 6790
Fullerton, CA 92634-6790
Dial 5555 or 978-837-5555.
In an EMERGENCY
Dial 5911 or 781-837-5911.