Prevention Safety Tips

Prevention efforts can be effective in reducing opportunities for criminal activity. Following are safety tips and general crime prevention information:

Walking Safety Tips

  • Be aware of your surroundings. Avoid using cell phones or other electronic devices while walking as they can distract you from your environment and nearby activities.
  • Try to walk with a friend at night.
  • Get familiar with the geography of places you frequent. Explore the campus or your venue in daylight to become aware of surroundings. This will provide orientation when walking at night
  • When walking after sundown, walk in areas that are well lighted.
  • Keep a phone in hand and have 911 (or the Campus Safety number, (573) 875-7315 if on the Main Campus) programmed in your phone and on "speed dial" for unexpected emergency situations.
  • Become familiar with the Emergency Call Boxes on campus.
  • Wear a backpack for books or carry them in a bag that can be dropped or thrown if necessary.
  • If walking to a vehicle, have your keys in your hand and ready to use when entering the parking lot or street.
  • If you suspect you are being followed, walk or run into an occupied building or to an area where people are present. Be prepared to call 911 or Campus Safety if on the Main Campus and to yell or scream if necessary.
  • If you observe something that looks suspicious, contact 911 or Campus Safety if on the Main Campus and explain the situation. If something doesn't "feel right", it is probably suspicious. Trust your instincts.

Residence Hall Rooms for Main Campus Students

  • Keep your doors locked at all times.  Never loan keys to others.
  • Use caution when admitting strangers.
  • Contact Residential Life staff and/or Campus Safety if you see anything that appears "suspicious."
  • Do not leave valuables unsecured in rooms. Lock valuable items in a secure cabinet, desk or other area within the room.
  • Don't allow piggybacking into the residence halls.


  • Secure all valuables. Keep personal valuables locked in your desk and/or work area. Lock office doors (if applicable) when leaving a work space even if for only a few minutes.
  • Remind yourself frequently of important locations such as the location of fire extinguishers, emergency exits and severe weather shelter areas.
  • Be prepared to contact Campus Safety if on the Main Campus, or 911 directly if an a customer becomes angry or violent and poses a threat to your life or that of another person. Have the Campus Safety number programmed and on "speed dial" on your desk phone or cell phone.

General Safety

  • Always keep a list of important phone numbers with you in case you are in an accident and emergency personnel need to contact someone. Examples might be phone numbers for a parent's or spouse's work, doctor's office number, child's school, or Campus Safety if on the Main Campus.
  • If you suffer from a medical problem that causes medical issues on a frequent basis, carry or wear an item that identifies that medical problem. For example if you suffer from diabetes, wear a bracelet or medallion that explains your problem and provides emergency information.
  • When off campus, try to stay with a group of people, preferably friends or acquaintances. Avoid "risky areas" such as dark places or deserted areas and have your phone ready in case you need to quickly call for assistance. Have emergency numbers in your contacts.
  • Never take drinks from other people, and don't leave your drink unattended. Be alert for "date rape drugs." Those drugs can cause drowsiness, loss of coordination, dizziness and memory loss. Have a friend with you and watch out for each other. Follow your instincts.

Campus Facility Access for Main Campus Students

Columbia College buildings are commonly open only when classes are in session or during regular business hours. Residence halls are always locked, and residents must have their card access key to enter. Guests may enter only when accompanied by a resident.

Employees who have a key to a campus building and desire to work after hours are encouraged to contact Campus Safety and advise officers of his or her presence. Individuals who do not have a key and need access must have authorization from the department head or director as well as their student or employee ID card.

An authorized individual entering or leaving a locked building may not allow any unauthorized individual to enter the building.  Authorized personnel may enter facilities with a guest as long as the guest is with the authorized person at all times. The authorized individual assumes full responsibility for the guest.  An individual entering or leaving a secured building shall be responsible for checking the door to ensure the door is secured.

The theft or loss of assigned keys should be reported immediately to the person who issued the keys. Keys may not be loaned to anyone. The person to whom the keys are assigned is solely responsible for those keys.

Your role

A high percentage of crimes are incidents of opportunity. Prevention efforts effectively reduce these opportunities. All campus community members play an essential role in crime prevention efforts. Be cautious, careful, and alert. Protect possessions and college property.

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