I’ve lived in the YorkU Village for a long time, and I often walk home late at night from the library, frequently between 12am and 2am. Sometimes I go out, only to return well after dark on the 196 or 106 TTC bus. These habits of mine always inspire questions from both new and veteran students about safety. When I tell them I live just beyond the official boundaries of the Keele campus, they want to know what it’s like, and I can honestly say that I’ve always felt safe. I’m not suggesting that there are no real issues about safety on university campuses, but I think that danger can potentially lurk anywhere. So one way we can help ourselves is by being extra alert and taking full advantage of the safety resources provided by the University. One of them is the York U Safety App, which has been around for a number of years now and is available to students and staff.
In my opinion, you should download the app even if you think you’ll never need it, because you never know. Most of us carry around the latest iPhones, iPads and Samsung Galaxies anyway, so it’s an easy step. The app’s features include campus maps, an emergency alarm, a safety toolbox and lists of emergency numbers and emails.
Further pro tips: In addition to carrying the app with you, I recommend that when walking at night you keep a brisk pace and a straight face. Stay alert to your surroundings and don’t plug your ears with music. I also generally use walkways that are well lit by street lamps. If you can, walk with someone you know and trust. If you have to walk alone but would rather not, call goSafe from your York U Safety App. They will send two people from their team to walk you to your car or residence, and they will wait with you for your bus to arrive. And speaking of buses, there is also a shuttle bus service that runs from Vari Hall to stops around campus and the YorkU Village.
Note: This is an updated and revised version of a post originally published on March 27, 2014.