How to be safe on and off campus

Marjan Hussein
Staff Writer

Director of University Security, Sandi Schnorenberg believes that informing students about numerous security issues is highly vital during their college stay as it may come in handy later in life. 

“It has always been a hope of mine to do a feature in the Reporter, a well-read publication on a safety topic each month of the academic year,” Schnorenberg says, “this will take away the monotony of always sending out safety emails and posting on bulletin boards around campus.”

University Security hopes to enrich students with a guideline on safety issues throughout the coming months as a good number of students are on their own for the first time, thus may prove more vulnerable in given situations.

Schnorenberg aspires to instill knowledge on prevalent safety issues therefore preventing students from becoming victims of a crime.

Staying in control, being Aware of your surroundings, Following rules & Exhibiting caution in all situations (S.A.F.E) are important aspects in understanding what it truly means to be in a safe environment.

Schnorenberg states that although this entails locking your doors, ensuring your belonging are secured and several other safety concerns, safety trickles down to individual responsibility. The personnel that choose to serve and protect may not always be there to ensure every situation is 100 percent safety guaranteed, thus safety begins with you as an individual.

Creating a safe environment is also heavily reliant on situational awareness. Situational awareness is essentially comprehending your environment and having the ability to survive if an emergency tends to unfold at any given time.

Schnorenberg states that even Mankato being a safe community still has crime, thus students should be situationally aware of the environments in every instance be it walking alone at night, going to class or being glued to one’s cellphone.

Practicing simple safety habits such as informing your roommates where your going, having something to draw attention to yourself such as a whistle, using well-travelled routes or walking with a friend is an assured way to keep out of trouble.

Schnorenberg states that everyone has some sort of gut feeling that tells them a scenario may be off thus acting on that feeling and not ignoring it is important. 

“If it’s predictable it’s preventable, being aware of your surroundings is typically about adjusting your awareness, knowing instances when it should be high and low,” Schnorenberg said.

The example she gives is that of being downtown and on campus, where downtown is usually not always as safeguarded as campus grounds, thus students should be able to tweak their awareness in different situations.

Bystander intervention is also another way to employ situational awareness, if you see something suspicious intervene and act according to the situation at hand. 

University Security is additionally available to students 24 hours a day, seven days a week with staff patrolling both in cars and on foot, a dispatch center consistently keeping an eye out with the help of over 100 cameras on campus along several other means to guarantee a safe environment on the campus of MNSU.

Overall if you do find yourself in a dangerous situation, the most important thing is to leave it unharmed. Schnorenberg states that that when faced with detrimental circumstances, no object or material item is worth your wellbeing. 

Safety should be the top priority of every student at MNSU as when one is safe it is an assurance that they can excel in whatever activity they are engaged in be it academics, sport or anything else.

Safety is also imperative as it offers a sense of comfort to those who care about you to know that you are always safe. Safety begins with you, consequently a safe environment can only be made possible through partnership between the community and safety personnel. 

Feature photo courtesy of MNSU website.

2 thoughts on “How to be safe on and off campus

  • I suppose that a particular attention should be devoted to actions taken when some suspicious individual is detected, moreover when it is likely to posses weapons and no matter if it is cold weaponry or firearms.

    • Marjan Hussein

      True. Though as a bystander your best bet would be to call the authorities as you have little knowledge of the situation at hand.


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