In our last newsletter we talked about WHAM, a great method for discerning scams often directed towards international students. This week, we want to address general issues of safety and security.
A large percentage of international students live off campus in areas that are not policed by WUPD. Keep these tips in mind when traveling around the city for your own safety and security.
- Know your options. For those without cars, public transportation, walking, or biking are common. Whether you are going home from campus or traveling anywhere else in the city, it is a good idea to know what transportation options are available. Look up bus schedules, download rideshare apps, and schedule and plan your transportation routes, before you leave. Saint Louis Metro recently announced big changes to their bus routes. Consider researching how your route has changed or any new available routes by visiting Metro Reimagined. Chancellor Martin has also introduced increased services to students living off campus. You can call WUPD at 314-935-5555 to request a walking or biking escort between 6PM and 2AM, if you live in one of the WUPD patrol-zones, and the Campus2Home Shuttle has extended its hours.
- Know how to respond. Beyond going from campus to home, everyday living in a city will have its challenges such as, strangers approaching you. A panhandler is when someone asks you for money or another commodity unsolicited. Being approached by a panhandler, can be a confusing experience, if you don’t know how to respond. WashU’s Protective Services, active on the medical campus, recommends that you not give anyone money, but politely acknowledge them and move on. You should call the police if you are followed or harassed.
- Know your precinct. It is a good idea to familiarize yourself with your local police precinct. Your local precinct will be able to help you deal with issues directly in your neighborhood or district, so considering learning where it is and how to get there. WUPD is also a great resource; located on the South 40, its lobby is open 24/7 and is available for you to use to conduct transactions with online sellers.
An important part of safety is knowing your surroundings, options, and local protective services. Staying aware increases your sense of security and safety and gives you the knowledge you need to act accordingly.
Written by: Ezinne Arizor, International Student Advisor