In an effort to make this experience a positive one for students, the Department of Housing and Residence Life takes steps to ensure that certain needs are met, among them the need for safety and security. These steps include keeping exterior doors locked 24-hours a day and making sure that a Resident Assistants is on duty in each area when the community offices are closed. Even though Georgia Tech takes these precautionary steps, there are additional steps residents can take to remain safe on campus. In order to have more effective results when it comes to combating crime in the halls, residents must take proactive steps to ensure their security. Developing safety habits from the moment a resident arrives on campus can help alleviate problems and lower the risk of being a victim. Below are some suggested steps the Department of Housing and Residence Life recommends residents take:
- Lock doors and carry keys at all times. Residents should do this when leaving the hall, visiting a neighbor on the floor, or going to the study lounge.
- Loaner keys may be checked out at the community office out for no more than three days, up to three times per semester. Students who do not return their loaner key or check out a loaner key more than three times a semester will be charged a lock change fee and the locks for their room will be changed.
- Do not prop open exterior doors or allow them to be propped open. When residents anticipate a guest/visitor coming over, they should wait inside the lobby or at an entrance door for the guest/visitor to arrive. The guest/visitor should always be escorted by the resident who granted access to the building. Those who can do harm in the residence halls may look like or even be a student, so do not let someone inside who is not a resident of the building.
- Know emergency exits for buildings. Some buildings have emergency exit only doors and gates within the stairwells. These doors and gates are to be used only in the case of a true emergency. These doors are alarmed and most are under video surveillance. Any student or guest/visitor caught using these doors improperly may be referred to the student conduct process and/or removed from Housing.
- Protect your property. Items such as laptops, smart phones, and tablet devices are the most commonly stolen items on campus. Theft only takes a moment while your back is turned, and is completely avoidable. Never leave your valuables unattended or unsecured.
- Keep a record and register Your bicycle, laptop, and other electronics. Engraving services are available free of charge from the Georgia Tech Police Department. Taking these steps can be helpful in identifying valuables if stolen and recovered anywhere in the USA. More information can be found here.
- Be aware of your surrounds, particularly while walking at night. Utilize the Stingerette escort service operated by Georgia Tech Parking and Transportation. Call for a safe ride and spend a few minutes waiting.
- Download LiveSafe to your mobile phone. The Georgia Tech Police Department strongly recommends downloading the LiveSafe app from the Apple Store or Google Play. It is a free safety tool that provides a quick and convenient way to communicate with GTPD through text, photo and video to GTPD. It also provides access to emergency phone numbers, permits you to use location sharing with friends and family and offers security alerts and access to important resources.
- Register for free crime prevention classes. The Georgia Tech Police Department offers a variety of free classes to help reduce crime and create a safer environment. Classes include Citizens Response to Active Shooter events, Self Defense, Personal Safety 101, and more.
- Protect items such as credit and ATM cards. Residents should not write personal pin number on any credit or debit card. It helps to keep credit cards, cash, and checks in a safe place out of sight in rooms/apartments.
- Report thefts. If a resident has a valuable stolen, the first thing s/he should do is file a report with the Georgia Tech Police Department. Contact GTPD by phone (404-894-2500) as soon as the theft is discovered. The victim should give them the serial numbers and copies of pictures taken of your valuables, or let them know that the items are registered with them. We also recommend that the victim contact their Resident Assistant who can then fill out an incident report which will be kept on file with the Department of Housing and Residence Life.
- Do not leave clothes unattended in the laundry room for an extended period of time. Because students will be sharing a laundry facility with others, the potential for having someone accidentally pick up clothes that do not belong to them is fairly high. Use the online system to check laundry’s progress online.
Taking the aforementioned steps may reduce the chances of crime occurring in the residence halls. Deterrents to crime work when all residents take the initiative and responsibility to put them into practice. For up-to-date information, check out our safety website here.