This past week, I attended a short self-defense seminar with the Boston University Police Department that was organized by my sorority. About 20 of my sisters and I met with five members of the department and learned a few basic moves to use in an attack situation. While I’ve never actually been in a scenario when I would have needed these skills, I’m glad I now know them and how to use them in a scary situation.
In light of the recent events that have happened in Boston, I just wanted to touch on safety in Boston and specifically at Boston University. I remember my family had a nervous reaction to my declaration that I wanted to go to a school in an urban setting. At the time I was only 16 and had little experience alone in any big city. On each college tour I went on, my father would leave the group for a moment, find a random security guard that wasn’t “featured” on the tour and ask the tough “dad” questions about safety. One thing that really stuck out to him about BU was that we have the Boston Police and BU Police Departments working the two-mile stretch of Comm Ave. that is our beloved campus. We also talked about the blue-light system and I can promise that everyone time I’ve tested the “you can always see one blue light anywhere on campus” rule, it’s worked.
Now that I’ve been on campus for almost three years, I’ve learned about a ton of other fantastic security measures BU takes. We have an Escort Service that will send a boy and a girl to where ever you are on campus and walk you home, within a reasonable distance, through the only person I know who has ever used it, did because it was raining and the escorts bring an umbrella. In addition to that, BU has set up a tip line that you can text if you see something suspicious happening somewhere on campus. And the most recent thing I’ve learned about are the RAD self-defense classes. Like we did, organizations can schedule times with the officers to do short classes but they also offer five-week long courses where you learn how to defend yourself in a variety of scenarios and even get to put on safety suits and ward off an attacker in a mock fight. Its sounds pretty cool and I’ve already looked into the schedule for next fall’s course. Finally, anytime BU has information they need to get to students quickly like the attacks that happened at the Marathon, they send out mass texts to every student with the information they need.
While all of these resources are great, my biggest piece of advice is to always be smart. Walking around with your iPhone in your hand and ear buds in listening to music makes you an easy target. Being aware of your surroundings, staying on well lit streets, and never walking alone will always make you feel safer on campus and in Boston. I can honestly say I’ve never felt unsafe on campus and it makes me feel even safer knowing there are so many different resources to help me out.