College Campus Safety: Staying Safe On Campus

One evening, Zach Peterson went out on the town with his friends Jeff and Alex near his university’s campus. While they were enjoying some drinks at a local downtown bar, Zach received a text message from his friend Liz who wanted to hang out. Zach invited Liz over to his apartment. After hanging out for a bit, Liz needed to go pick some friends up, and she asked if it was okay that they all hang out at Zach’s, to which he said “yes.”

In order to pick up her friends, Liz needed her car. However, her car was parked downtown where Zach originally was, about nine blocks away from his apartment. Zach and Liz were about a block away from being downtown when they saw Jeff and Alex from afar who happened to be walking back home to the same apartment that they shared with Zach.

Nearby, two guys were attempting to make passes on some girls. The girls were very disgusted by their behavior and turned them down. Jeff and Alex overheard their attempts and found them rather amusing. They started laughing and making jokes towards the men about the situation. The two males weren’t too happy that Jeff and Alex were mocking them and began to approach them.

“Give me your wallet!” one of the guys demanded at Jeff.

“No!” replied Jeff. The guy punched Jeff in the forehead.

Jeff took one look at the guy, and using the “flight” defense mechanism, he immediately made a run for it. One of the guys chased after Jeff, but luckily, Jeff was able to make an escape when he saw a taxi cab and jumped in it. Alex was left alone with the other guy as Zach and Liz were making their way closer to where they were. From a distance, Zach and Liz saw Jeff suddenly run away, but they didn’t know exactly why he did.

“Hey, bud. What’s up?” greeted Zach as he met up with Alex.

Alex glanced up. Once he realized that Zach was talking to him, he said, “Oh, hey. How’s it going?”

“Dude, give me your wallet!” yelled the other guy to Zach.

“Dude, get out of here!” replied Zach. Both Zach and Alex didn’t take the guy seriously and refused to give in to his demands. The guy continued to linger as Zach, Alex, and Liz talked to each other for a bit.

“Alright, I’ll just see you back at the apartment,” replied Alex as he started to make his way back home.

“Do you want a ride, or do you want me to come with?” asked Zach. With no response, Alex started walking away. Zach was really confused by how Alex was acting. Suddenly, the guy who chased after Jeff reappeared, and he and the other guy who threatened Alex and Zach began kicking Alex in the face. Zach ran over and started yelling at the guys. They both looked up and instantly parted ways. Zach helped pull Alex up from the ground, who at this point, was covered in blood.

“Dude, are you okay?” asked Zach. Alex looked at Zach with a confused and terrified look brimming upon his face and suddenly ran away. Zach shook his head in confusion and wondered what was going on with Alex.

“You want some too?” a voice boomed. Zach looked over to his left.

“What?!” he responded as a fist pounded into his jaw. “You’ve gotta be kidding me!”

The guy was already about five to ten feet away from Zach as he started to evacuate the area. Zach began spitting up blood. He noticed that the molars on the ride side of his mouth were moving back and forth. Zach had a hunch that his jaw was broken. Liz said that she saw the guy pick up a large rock or brick up from the ground and clutch it in his hand right before he decked Zach.

“We need to go get Alex,” Zach said to Liz. When Zach got a hold of Alex on the phone, he had no recollection of how he got back to his apartment. In this moment, Zach realized that Alex was probably suffering from a concussion and needed to be sent to the hospital immediately.

The doctors confirmed that Zach’s jaw was broken, and it was discovered that Alex’s lower eye socket, side eye socket, and cheek bone were all broken on the ride side of his body. Several weeks later, both injuries healed. Zach and Alex went back to their normal lives.

For six months, Zach had various nightmares as a result of the incident. He also spent a lot of time contemplating different ways he could have prevented the accident from happening. Zach says that if there’s anything he wishes he would have done differently, it’s that he wouldn’t have taken his eyes off of the guy that kept threatening Alex.

For college students who find themselves in unsafe situations, Zach suggests keeping eye contact on the persons involved. He says that paying more attention to people in general on campus and avoiding any sort of association with people who seem like they might be harmful can help prevent unsafe situations from happening as well.

Although most campus-related incidents involve female victims, don’t be fooled into thinking that just because you’re a male, it can’t happen to you. Zach, Alex, and Jeff are all prime examples of how being in dangerous situations in college doesn’t just happen to women. Don’t forget to put the number of your college’s campus safety office in your cell phone. Especially if you’re alone, try to walk in well-lit areas at night, and avoid less traveled routes. Some colleges even have safety kiosks sprinkled throughout campus that allow you to receive assistance from campus safety officers in times of need. When in doubt, call 911.

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Britni Roberts

Britni Roberts

Britni Roberts is a senior at North Central College in Naperville, Illinois pursuing a degree in English Writing. She has been an Editor for the North Central Kindling humor magazine, Assistant News and Arts Editor for the North Central Chronicle newspaper, as well as a DJ and Rock News Reporter for WONC-FM 89.1, her college’s radio station. She enjoys listening to music and spending time with her friends, boyfriend, and his cat Willow.
Britni Roberts

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