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Gee whiz! Not enough cash to make it farther south than Bedford for Spring Break? Well, staying in Bloomington can be pretty sweet when the masses participate in the annual exodus. Those of us who don't fly ATA out of here on vacation, get a preview of the freedom summertime offers. It's great! Freedom, however, has its responsibilities and risks have their consequences. In order to more thoroughly enjoy your Spring Break, whether you're staying in town or just visiting with the folks, consider the following ideas to better protect yourself and your property:
1. YOUR RESIDENCE
- Whenever you leave, LOCK YOUR DOORS AND WINDOWS and don't give your key to anybody.
- Close your curtains.
- If you're staying in your dorm, know who else is also staying so you can distinguish who should be there from who should not.
- If you see someone suspicious or someone behaving suspiciously in your dorm, call I.U.P.D., 855-4111, and give a description.
- Don't prop open the exterior doors!!!
- Before answering your door, visually and verbally check the person's identification. If you're unsure of their identity or purpose, call I.U.P.D., 855-4111.
- Place a wooden dowel rod completely in the track of your apartment sliding glass door and check with the building manager about installing pins in the overhead frame so the door cannot be lifted or pried out.
2. YOUR PROPERTY
- LOCK YOUR ROOM DOOR EVERY TIME YOU LEAVE!
- Record the brand names and serial numbers of your bicycle, television, stereo, computer and keep those numbers in a safe place. Photograph these items, if possible.
- Lock your bicycle with a U-lock and cable lock and seat leash.
- If you have a car parked on campus, remove all valuables from the interior and secure them in the trunk or inside your room. Make sure the doors are locked and the windows are all the way up. If possible, park it under a good light source and check on it daily.
- Always be alert to the people around you and your surroundings.
- Know where you are (street address) and who you're with.
- Try to stay in well lit areas.
- Walk confidently. Keep your eyes up and look around and keep your hands free.
- Generally, look people in the eyes; don't be the first to avert the gaze!
- Wear clothes and shoes that allow freedom of movement.
- Carry a cell phone - make sure it's charged and turned on.
- Trust your instincts. If you feel uncomfortable in a situation, leave!
Being informed and aware will increase your ability to make better decisions regarding your personal safety. However, should a criminal incident happen to you, notify the police as soon as you can. If the incident happens on campus, call the Indiana University Police Department at 855-4111, or if urgent, call 9-1-1. If it happens off campus, call the Bloomington Police Department at 339-4477, or if urgent, call 9-1-1. Don't hesitate! Make the call! Remember, each of us takes risks every day. Stack the deck and get the odds in your favor and ask yourself this question: Is the risk worth it? Think about it.