Staff editorial: An ounce of prevention to beat the odds

It seems that every semester there is an outcry about campus crime.

In the first week of summer classes, there has been a shooting at a convenience store less than 10 minutes away from campus by car and an assault in an on-campus residence.

UH is located in an urban area of a major city. Our campus police force is active and vigilant, but even a small percentage of crime translates to devastating impact on lives in our community.

Ultimately, the people who have the greatest control over campus crime are the people who populate the campus. The key to personal safety is not aggression or armament, but prevention of an incident.

There are many tools on campus to educate faculty, staff and students on safety and self-defense. One of the most powerful is the campus escort service at 713-743-3333.

Simply call the number when you are ready to walk to your destination and someone will arrive to escort you safely to where you need to go, whether to your car, dorm or building.

Simpler tips include not walking alone after dark, a caution that applies to the entire city, not just UH.

Know where the emergency call boxes are along your routes, and choose paths that are well lit.

Women can attend the Rape Aggression Defense class offered by UH Department of Public Safety to help combat sexual assault. Interested UH community members can register for the class online at http://www.uh.edu/hr/training/PASStraining.htm

There are additional tips and resources online at http://www.uh.edu/police/staying_safe.html, which is a comprehensive guide to basic safety tips on campus.

As often as we hear about campus crime or nearby incidents in the area, UH has a relatively low crime rate for an institution of its size.

Still, low crime rates are small comfort in a crisis. Ultimately, preventing an incident is the most important issue.

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