Last Updated on July 11, 2019 by Diane Hoffmaster
This post about college student safety tips is sponsored by SipChip. All opinions are my own.
Last year, my son went off to college and in one year, my daughter will head there, too. This fleeing of the nest is both exciting and terrifying at the same time. In my eyes, they are babies, however, in reality they are almost adults.
We had a LOT of conversations about how to succeed in college academically and how to stay safe on campus as well. From protecting personal possessions in your dorm to protecting yourself against date rape, there are a LOT of campus safety issues to address. I will share a few tips below about protecting yourself against campus crime. In addition, I am sharing some information about SipChip to detect date rate drugs in your drink. Because this is one college student safety tip you should definitely teach your teens!
Are college campuses safe?
How safe are college campuses? Well, that definitely depends on the college your child chooses to go to. Obviously, large universities in major metropolitan areas will have a higher crime rate than small schools in tiny towns. However, ALL college campuses have some sort of crime.
According to the National Center for Education Statistics, the number of on-campus crimes reported has decreased over the last 20 years, however, it is still a serious concern. Campus crimes include everything from bullying and theft to rape and murder. RAINN (Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network) is the nation's largest anti-sexual violence organization. And according to them, over 11% of students experience rape or sexual assault every year. And that means men AND women.
As you can see, college campus safety needs to be address with your teen before they head off to school. This is a conversation I have had with both of my teens to hopefully keep them safe at college in the coming years.
Campus Sexual Assault Facts
According to a study by the U.S. Department of Justice drug-facilitated sexual assault (DFSA) and sexual assault while incapacitated and unable to provide consent, is a widespread problem affecting nearly 1 in 10 women. A 2016 study in the Psychology of Violence Journal found that more than 1 in 13 students reported being drugged and 1.4 percent reported incidents of drugging someone.
Men are not safeguarded against risk either, with a separate study conducted by PLOS indicating that 12.5 percent of men have reported an incidence of sexual assault. While protecting yourself from date rape drugs doesn't guarantee a person won't be raped, it is a start. But, how do you protect yourself from date rape drugs?
Fighting Back With Undercover Colors and the SipChip
One of the most important college student safety tips I have read is to NEVER leave your drink unattended. However, that doesn't help if the bartender or a member of your personal group has ill intentions towards you. Detecting date rape drugs in your drink is one way to minimize your risk of sexual assault at college. Sure, it would be great if we could just get rid of the problem. However, that problem is bigger than any one person. Untill then, protect YOURSELF.
Undercover Colors has created the SipChip as a way to detect certain chemical compounds in your drink. It is a discreet, quick, and effective test and works in over 100 liquids, including both non-alcoholic and alcoholic beverages such as juice, mixed drinks, beer, wine and liquors.
How Does SipChip Work to Protect Safety?
The SipChip is a one-inch diameter medallion that can be discreetly carried in your pocket, wallet or purse. When you are ready to test your drink, peel back the foil cover to reveal the small test ‘window.’ Use your finger to place a drop of your drink onto the indicated liquid area.
Processing time varies a bit based on the liquid you are testing but results can start to be visible in as little as 30 seconds. Two pink lines means your drink is safe. One pink line means a drug has been detected. There is a ‘key’ on the face of the UC test medallion that helps you determine if the drink is “bad” or “good.”
This is seriously a handy little campus safety gadget that I encourage you to get for your college students. Head over to the SipChip website to purchase them for your college student. Use the discount code - SIPCHIP10OFF - for 10% off a SipChip 5-pack.
More College Student Tips To Read
- How to Get Your Kid Ready for College Without Losing Your Mind
- Things College Kids Need to Stay Organized
- College Tour Tips and our UGA Tour Experience
More College Student Safety Tips to Share with Teens
Staying safe on college campuses is a very broad topic. This is a conversation you should have multiple times with your teenager before they leave for university. Protecting against campus crime means everything from using a computer lock in your dorm room to never walking alone at night on campus. Here are a few college safety tips that you should mention as you prepare your teenager for college.
- Familiarize yourself with your school's Campus Safety office. Yes, campus safety has it's own office on just about every single college campus.
- Take extra precaution at night. That means trying to never walk alone and carrying mace or a rape whistle. Stay alert to stay safe!
- Always lock up. In your dorm room, use a computer lock to protect against theft. Buy a lockable case for small electronics. Make sure you use a bike lock on your bicycle.
- Maintain privacy on social media. Don't announce where you will be at any given time. This just makes it easy for stalkers to find you. Online safety is one of the most important college student safety tips to share with your teen!
- Be careful when getting into your car. Have your keys ready before you head to the parking lot and always stay alert for danger. Try not to have your hands so full you can't handle keys without struggling.
- Know where you're going. And act like it. Walk with confidence, even if you don't have a clue what you are doing.
- Understand your campus's and city's crime. Stay alert and know if the police are concerned about an escalating issue on your campus.
Have the College Safety Conversation with Your Teen!
Staying safe at college requires forethought and planning. It is a topic you HAVE to have with your teen before they leave for school. College life means parties, whether those have alcohol or not. And parents of college students shouldn't bury their heads in the sand and just assume that their kid would never drink at college. Using a SipChip to make sure your drink has not been tampered with is one way for your college kid to stay safer at school.
Diane is a professional blogger and nationally certified pharmacy technician at Good Pill Pharmacy. She has two college aged kids, one husband and more pets than she will admit to. She earned her BS in Microbiology at the University of New Hampshire but left her career in science to become a stay at home mom. Years of playing with LEGO and coloring with crayons had her craving a more grown up purpose to her life and she began blogging and freelance writing full time. You can learn more about her HERE.