As we approach the winter break, we want to communicate with you regarding some recent robberies and assaults within the WPI area. While all of these incidents have occurred off campus, they have had direct impact on some members of our community, and so they concern us all.
First, it is important to note that no students have been injured in these incidents. Upon their occurrence, WPI Campus Police immediately notified the WPI community about the incidents, provided safety tips, and increased our campus shuttle bus service with an additional van. They also urged participation in our Street Smarts Safety Awareness Programs and asked the Worcester Police Department to provide WPI with additional officers to patrol around the campus area.
As we continue to provide education to our students on personal safety, we need your help to influence your son and daughter’s behavior.
- Please encourage your sons and daughters to use WPI’s SNAP shuttle bus escort system. Shuttles run daily from 4:00 pm – 4:00 am when classes are in session. Students can call for an escort and wait for the shuttle in an indoor location such as an academic building, library or apartment.
- Although we have not seen an increase in thefts, this behavior does occur on-campus, as well as in the local area. Please encourage your son or daughter to engage in preventative measures – such as closing and locking their doors, monitoring and securing their laptop and other possessions, and not leaving valuables lying around.
The Student Affairs staff is here to help your son or daughter be successful in all aspects of their life at WPI. We will continue to make every effort to keep WPI students informed of safety related issues on campus, and we will continue to provide messages to our students to keep them alert about their own responsibility to personal safety. We hope you will join us in this important endeavor.
On behalf of the Student Affairs staff, thank you.
PROACTIVE SAFETY MEASURES
- Pre-program the WPI Police Emergency number in your cell phones – 508-831-5555.
- Know where the emergency call boxes are located on campus and learn how to use them.
- Familiarize yourself with the layout of the campus. Survey the campus while classes are in session and after dark to so that you are well acquainted with academic buildings, walkways, facilities, and parking lots. This will help you in planning your path of travel in areas that are safer and well-lighted.
- Look for the WPI SAFE HAVEN EMBLEM in area businesses so that you know where to go in case of an emergency off campus.
- Share your class schedule with your parents and trusted friends and give them your telephone numbers.
- Record all credit card ATM information/numbers and keep them in a safe place in case you lose your purse/wallet.
WHEN WALKING AROUND CAMPUS OR IN THE COMMUNITY
- Plan the safest route to your destination; choose well-lighted, busy pathways and streets.
- At night, stick to well-lighted areas whenever possible and avoid alleyways or “short cuts” through isolated areas.
- Walk near the curb and avoid shrubbery or other places of potential concealment.
- Avoid going out alone at night. Travel in groups if possible, but understand that while this may reduce your vulnerability, it may not prevent you from being victimized.
- Tell a friend or roommate where you are going and what time you expect to return.
- Use the campus escort or shuttle services at night. SNAP 508-831- 6111.
SAFEGUARD YOUR POSSESSIONS
- Keep your keys separate from your purse or backpack.
- Carry your purse close to your body and keep a firm grip on it.
- Carry your wallet in an inside coat pocket or your front pant pocket.
- Don’t overload yourself with bags or packages and avoid wearing shoes that restrict your movements.
- Stay alert to your surroundings and the people around you.
- Walk with a confident stride; keep your head up and look around.
- Minimize the use of distractions like headphones and cellphones which could reduce your awareness of your surroundings.
- If a motorist stops and asks for directions, keep your distance from the car
- If you are being followed, change direction and go to the nearest business or home; knock on the door, and request that someone call the Police. Note the description of the person following you.
IF YOU ARE APPROACHED, KNOW WHEN TO BACK DOWN
- Sometimes it is necessary to back down and do what the criminal is telling you.
- They may have a gun, knife or other dangerous weapon. If so, the best thing you can do is cooperate. Give a mugger your wallet or other valuables, or let a thief take your purse if they are armed.
- It is better to lose your possessions than to risk great harm or even death.
- Even if you are uncertain if an assailant has a weapon, if there is a possibility, then your best bet is to play it safe and cooperate.
REMEMBER—CRIME PREVENTION AND SAFETY AWARENESS IS EVERYONE’S RESPONSIBILITY! Thank you for your assistance in helping to keep our campus community safe.