As a parent of a student at the University of Texas at Austin, your child’s safety is likely at the forefront of your mind. And rightly so. The importance of college safety cannot be overstated. With a campus that spans over 430 acres with over 50,000 students, it’s essential to take steps to ensure the safety of our Texas Longhorns – on and off-campus.
The Texas Longhorns are a proud and storied institution, but they are not immune to the dangers that can exist on any college campus. We aim to encourage you to be proactive in making sure your Longhorn stays safe while pursuing their education. Here we go over the importance of college safety for you and your Longhorn.
First and foremost, it’s important to be aware of the safety resources that are available to your child. The University of Texas at Austin has a comprehensive safety program that includes emergency preparedness training, campus security, and crime prevention education. You can encourage your Longhorn to take advantage of these resources and to familiarize themselves with the safety policies and procedures on campus.
Discussing personal safety with your child is crucial, and it’s important to teach them strategies to avoid dangerous situations such as walking alone at night or accepting drinks from strangers. Campus Security & Life Safety reports that 97% of college students consider their own personal safety on a daily basis (“New Research from ADT and Clery Center Demonstrates the Growing Need for Personal Safety Solutions”). To protect themselves, students often travel in groups or pairs (43%), familiarize themselves with their environment (58%), and always carry their phone (75%). Common elements of campus life that make students feel unsafe include leaving a bar or party alone (65%), walking home in the dark (74%), interacting with strangers (78%), and being in an unfamiliar area (82%). Encourage your child to trust their instincts and always err on the side of caution. (Campus Security & Life Safety, 2021).
In addition to personal safety, it’s important to be aware of the safety of the physical environment on campus. This includes things like building security, lighting, and emergency response systems. As a parent, you can ask questions about these topics during campus visits or when speaking with university officials. You can also encourage your child to report any safety concerns they may have, such as broken locks or unlit walkways.
One area of college safety that is often overlooked is mental health. The stress and pressures of college life can take a toll on students, and it’s important to make sure that they have access to resources and support for their mental well-being. The University of Texas at Austin offers a range of mental health services, including counseling and psychiatric care. As a parent, you can encourage your child to take advantage of these resources and to prioritize their mental health as much as their physical safety.
Another important aspect of college safety is alcohol and drug abuse prevention. The use of alcohol and drugs can impair judgment and increase the likelihood of dangerous situations. As a parent, you can talk to your child about responsible drinking and drug use and encourage them to seek help if they are struggling with addiction.
Finally, it’s important to stay informed about safety issues on campus and in the surrounding community. The University of Texas at Austin has a range of resources available for staying informed about safety alerts and emergencies, including text message alerts and social media updates. As a parent, you can also stay informed by following local news outlets and social media accounts.
In conclusion, the importance of college safety cannot be overstated. As a parent of a student at the University of Texas at Austin, it’s important to be proactive in ensuring that your child stays safe while pursuing their education. Encourage them to take advantage of the safety resources available on campus, and talk to them about personal safety, mental health, and alcohol and drug abuse prevention. Stay informed about safety issues on campus and in the surrounding community, and encourage your child to do the same. By working together, we can help ensure that the Texas Longhorns remain safe and secure.