Posted August 27, 2012

Safety month programs to help students prepare for on- and off-campus living

Joseph V. Labolito
Temple Police officers talk with students outside Mitten Hall on North Broad Street. As part of National Campus Safety Awareness Month, a team of Campus Safety Services representatives will visit students residing in the neighborhoods surrounding campus to offer information on safety, recycling and the responsibility of being a good neighbor.

After the last box is unpacked and the final purchases from the bookstore have been made, officials on campus want to remind students to keep safety in mind as they settle into their new apartments and residence halls.

Over the last few months, officials in Campus Safety Services have been hard at work planning National Campus Safety Awareness Month (NCSAM) events. The events, which are planned in coordination with officials from Community Affairs, University Housing and Residential Life, the Office of Sustainability and Student Affairs, are part of a national initiative to promote safety awareness as students plan for a new academic year.

National Campus Safety Awareness Month kicks off on Monday, Sept. 3 with a neighborhood barbecue. Community members, students and administrators will meet at 15th and Page streets to enjoy food and fun while making connections that will last throughout the year.

“The events and barbeque are a fun way for students to really get acclimated with their new neighbors,” said Temple Police Capt. Eileen Bradley. “We care about our neighbors and our students. We want students to take this time to think about how they can become positive members of local neighborhoods.”

Living and attending school in a major city such as Philadelphia takes preparation, said Bradley. Just as students take time to prepare for classes, being aware of the responsibility of living in residence halls or off-campus is just as important.

For the last 10 years, Bradley and a team of students have hosted a door-to-door Welcome Wagon, visiting students who reside in the neighborhoods surrounding campus with important information on safety, recycling and the responsibility of being a good neighbor.

The event, which was first organized in 2002 as a joint effort of Temple’s Campus Safety Services, Student Affairs and Community Relations, will be a part of NCSAM event schedule.

“The number of students residing on campus and in local neighborhoods has increased,” said Bradley. “During the Welcome Wagon we try to educate students about the importance of developing good relationships with their neighbors; this is just the first step.”

In addition to the Welcome Wagon, NCSAM will host Opportunity Knocks, a safety workshop for students residing in residence halls. As part of the program, representatives from Campus Safety and Residential Life staff will tour residence halls, knock on students' doors and have informal discussions about safety strategies.

Discussions touch on several topics, including how to maintain personal safety on campus and in the community, the importance of locking doors and following campus guest policies.

“We run programs related to safety throughout the year,” said Donna Gray, special services coordinator for Campus Safety Services. “National Campus Safety Awareness Month helps us make students aware of the resources on campus to help them have a safe and productive school year.”