Because most students will be home eating turkey and enjoying their vacation for the next four days, safety will remain a high priority at the University. As a precaution, Residential Living has sent a letter to all students living on campus encouraging them to secure their valuables and lock up sufficiently before leaving for the break. This includes locking all windows, closing all shades, drapes and blinds, and locking and bolting all doors to rooms or apartments. The letter also warns students who will be remaining on campus to take necessary safety precautions. Some suggested safety measures include not travelling alone, utilizing Penn Escort Service and being suspicious of strangers. "You have to take it seriously and beware of your surroundings," said Gordon Rickards, Residential Living assistant director for safety, security and facilities. There are also security measures being taken off campus. As part of their annual Special Checks program, University Police officers will be periodically checking the exterior property of participating faculty, staff and students. They will be looking for signs of criminal activity or security breaches. Those interested in including their residence in the program are encouraged to fill out an application at the University Police Station in Superblock or the Victim Support/Crime Prevention Office on Walnut Street prior to leaving campus. Victim Support and Special Services Director Maureen Rush said students should have nothing to worry about as long as they take the proper precautions. "[Students] certainly will be able to enjoy their Thanksgiving meal in peace, knowing that their residence has been secured to the best of their ability," she said. For students remaining on campus for the break, University Police suggests that they use one of the ten ATMs located inside University buildings, and that they carry only necessary credit cards and money. The police also recommend that students know the locations of the blue-light emergency phones and that they report suspicious activities. University Police can be reached in an emergency by dialing 511 from an on-campus extension, or 573-3333 from an off-campus phone. For a non-emergency, the number is 898-7297. Victim Support and Special Services can be reached at 898-6600 or 898-4481, and University Police Detectives can be reached at 898-4485.Comments powered by Disqus
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