Staying safe at PSU

With more than 26,000 enrolled students, Portland StateUniversity is easily the largest university in Oregon. It is alsoan “open” university, meaning PSU and downtown Portland mergefreely without any tangible barriers between them.

According Campus Safety Lieutenant Craig Whitten, therate of on-campus crime is surprisingly low, with violent crimealmost non-existent outside your average alcohol-induced skirmishor domestic feud. Theft, on the other hand, is the most common formof crime on university grounds. According to the Campus PublicSafety Office (CPSO), theft accounts for 90 percent of reportedon-campus crimes. All in all, it is always wise to hope for thebest and prepare for the worst. Following are some practical tipsfrom CPSO that may help in preventing yourself from being a victimof crime while at PSU:

* First and foremost, be aware of your surroundings.

* In addition to being available 24 hours a day, seven days aweek, to ensure the safety of students and alumni on campus, CPSOalso offers special services such as door unlocks with the rightverification, evening escorts after regular business hours and lostand found.

* There are a number of emergency telephones on campus (withblue lights on top). Keep your eyes open and take note of wherethese phones are located. In case of an emergency, dial (503)725-4404 for Public Safety, or dial 911. Remember, there is nocharge for dialing 911.

* Most thieves are highly opportunistic. Keep track of yourpersonal belongings and don’t leave them lying around. You shouldtry, if possible, to engrave your name into your belongings. Reportstolen property immediately.

* When walking at night try to stay in well-lit and populatedareas. Don’t go out alone. Once again, be aware of yoursurroundings.

* Bicyclists: bike thefts are relatively common on campus. CPSOrecommends the purchase of a sturdy lock from your local bicyclesupply store (U-locks are highly recommended). Try to make the taskof stealing your bike as difficult as possible. This may includeremoving your front and rear wheels, as well as your seat, andlocking them to the frame.

These tips were provided by the PSU Campus Public Safety Office.Additional information is available on CPSO’s website or you can reach them by telephone at theirnon-emergency number (503) 725-4407.