The University encourages students and employees to be responsible for their own safety and the security of their property. The high visibility of the SPD is an effective deterrent to criminal activity. Additionally, within each constituency the University offers periodic information, training, or reminders about crime prevention and alerts to elevate awareness. Faculty receive specific guidance on responding to concerns and receive information about specific resources available for victims—legal, safety, or security in addition to confidential resources for counseling and medical treatment. Residence life and student leaders also receive specific training on crime prevention and alert systems. These efforts are coordinated by student life staff and the Sewanee police.
Crime prevention is defined as the anticipation, recognition, and appraisal of a crime risk and the initiation of some action to remove or reduce that risk. Below are recommendations that can reduce the risk of being victimized:
- Lock your door whenever you leave your room for any length of time.
- Always lock your vehicle doors.
- Never prop open a residence hall door or a fence gate.
- Do not leave valuables or cash in plain view.
- Do not loan your room key or ID card.
- Take all valuables with you when you leave school for extended periods, such as breaks.
- Itemize your possessions on file, recording the description and serial number. Keep a copy of the file in a safe place.
- Never let unauthorized persons into your room, residence hall, or secure areas. Always ask for
- identification and report any suspicious activity to Campus Police.
- Avoid working or studying alone in a campus building. If working late, contact the Sewanee police for an
- Travel with purpose and confidence. Make eye contact with passersby and keep a firm hold on your property.
- Travel in groups whenever possible, especially after dark.
- Do not wear earphones (at least not in both ears) while walking or jogging.
- Stay alert. Take note of all vehicles and people in your vicinity.
- Avoid isolated or dark areas.
- Know the location of emergency phones.
- Know the phone number to the Sewanee Police Department: (931) 598-1111.
- Use the Safe Walk option on the Live Safe application.
Residential/ Workplace Safety
- Do not prop open exterior doors.
- Always lock your door when you leave, even if leaving for only a few minutes. Most campus theft is reported from unlocked dorm rooms.
- Always lock your door when you sleep.
- When accessing a building using an electronic keycard or code, do not allow strangers to enter with you under your card or code. Any authorized person should have their own card or code.
- Know your neighbors or coworkers. It will allow you to determine if someone is "out of place."
- Get involved in campus safety. If you see someone or something that you consider suspicious, Immediately contact the Sewanee Police Department at 931-598-1111.
Protecting Personal Property
- Keep your vehicle locked. Store all valuable items in the trunk out of sight.
- Coats, backpacks, purses, laptops, and books should remain with you or be locked up. It's also a good idea to discreetly personalize popular items with your name or initials to prevent mix-ups.
- Register your bicycle! Many bicycles are "borrowed" and then left some place other than where they started out; the Police Department can return found bicycles to their owner if they have been registered.
- Use a steel cable when locking your bike to bike racks
- Keep a log of all high end items and their serial numbers. (ie: laptops and cameras)
What Do Thieves Do With Your Information?
Once identity thieves have your personal information, they can drain your bank account, run up charges on your credit cards, open new utility accounts, or get medical treatment on your health insurance. An identity thief can file a tax refund in your name and get your refund. In some extreme cases, a thief might even give your name to the police during an arrest.
Clues That Someone Has Stolen Your Information
- You see withdrawals from your bank account that you can’t explain.
- You don’t get your bills or other mail.
- Merchants refuse your checks.
- Debt collectors call you about debts that aren’t yours.
- You find unfamiliar accounts or charges on your credit report.
- Medical providers bill you for services you didn’t use.
- Your health plan rejects your legitimate medical claim because the records show you’ve reached your benefits limit.
- A health plan won’t cover you because your medical records show a condition you don’t have.
- The IRS notifies you that more than one tax return was filed in your name, or that you have income from an employer you don’t work for.
- You get notice that your information was compromised by a data breach at a company where you do business or have an account.
If your wallet, Social Security number, or other personal information is lost or stolen, there are steps you can take to help protect yourself from identity theft.