This archived article was written by: McKenzie Hosenfield
This Christmas, I received an unusual gift: pepper spray. At first, I was confused why my parents felt the need to give me this weapon of self-defense while I was going to school in Price. I had always felt comfortable in this small town and never questioned my safety while living here. Three weeks later, there was another shooting- this time at a Texas community college. I now understand my parents’ reasoning more fully: no school is immune from violence, no matter how perfect everything appears to be.
Price is a safe community with lower crime rates than the national or state average. Despite this information, students should be actively engaged in staying safe during their college years. Many precautionary measures for college students should be taken to remain safe while on campus.
Director of Safety, Officer James Prettyman, says the easiest and most effective way is to “use common sense.” He says to keep yourself out of situations where you could get hurt. He suggests listening and following your gut feeling: “If something feels suspicious and wrong, it probably is.” It is much better to play it safe than to regret anything later.
Prettyman stresses the importance of reporting suspicious activities and crimes to the police. “If you are aware of a problem on campus, alert the authorities immediately.” Some more useful ideas to keep safe are using the buddy system during the dark hours of the night, turning your music down while walking around campus and keeping campus police on speed dial.
Although Utah State University Eastern is a safe learning environment, play it smart. Be aware of your surroundings. Lock your door at night. Keep your cell phone on you at all times. In the end, it will be the small decisions that will make the biggest difference.