Safety and You at ISU
Brought to you by ISU Public Safety and the ISU Safety Committee September, 2005
Back To School Safety
On The Way To School
With the beginning of the new school year, faculty/staff & students, whether they be pedestrians, bicyclists or motorists, should take the time to review some key rules and guidelines to make the new year a safe and enjoyable experience.
- If you are riding the bus wait for the bus in a safe place away from traffic and the street.
- Make eye contact with drivers before crossing.
- Cross in the crosswalks provided in and around campus.
- Follow the pedestrian signal, not the overhead traffic signal.
- Do not begin to cross the street once the red hand flashes on the pedestrian signal.
- Observe all traffic laws and signals, just as automobiles must do.
- Ride near the curb in the same direction as traffic or use the bike lanes.
- Walk — don’t ride — your bicycle across busy intersections and left turn corners.
- Be alert and courteous to pedestrians on sidewalks, including the Quad. Give them ample warning when approaching from the rear.
- Always wear a helmet!
- Obey all traffic laws. Don’t speed or run red lights.
- Be alert for people walking on the sidewalks, in the road, etc.
- Yield to pedestrians in crosswalks and at intersections.
- Come to a complete stop, at the minimum distance required by the state, for stopped buses and allow everyone to cross the street.
- Obey the specially marked speed limits around schools and the University area, including University parking lots.
Visit our website at for other safety tips including our Human Powered Vehicle Policy.
Preventing Auto Burglaries
Many vehicle burglaries are committed on vehicles with unlocked doors or open windows. Many criminals simply walk through the University parking lots looking for unlocked cars or for valuables left in plain sight. To keep from being a victim:
- Lock your car!
- Roll up windows tight.
- Remove keys from ignition and vehicle.
- Do not leave valuables in sight. Take them with you or lock them in your trunk.
- Never leave your car running when it is unattended.
- Don’t hide an extra key on the vehicle. Park in well lighted areas.
- At home—If you have a garage, use it. Keep your garage door opener with you or out of view, and lock your garage door.
What is Intrusive Contact?
Intrusive contact occurs when someone intentionally contacts or tries to contact you when you have asked that there be no contact. The contact can be personal, such as phoning or visiting, or can involve leaving messages or sending e-mails. Sometimes intrusive contact is just annoying (as when a person phones and then hangs up repeatedly), but sometimes it can be frightening (as when a person appears at a bedroom window) or dangerous (as when a person physically hurts or threatens to hurt someone).
Intrusive contact also includes:
- Insisting on talking with you when you do not want to talk.
- Making a scene outside your home or dorm room.
- Phoning or e-mailing repeatedly.
- Phoning at inappropriate times.
- Following you around.
- Waiting to meet you outside school, work, or other activities.
Who is Targeted?
Research has been done that has been unable to discover any characteristics of a person that makes them more likely to be the target of intrusive contact. For example, people who are shy or smart or very attractive or who had few friends were no more likely to be targeted with intrusive contact than people who were not shy or not so smart or moderately attractive or who had many friends. Some research also shows that females and males are equally likely to initiate intrusive contact.
The Intrusive Contact is Not Your Fault
It is true that you can take actions that can reduce the frequency or intensity of the intrusive contact. However, this does not mean that you are responsible for the intrusive contact– it just means that you can take action to stop it.
Setting Clear and Reasonable Limits
You need to know that, despite your best efforts, the intrusive contact you are experiencing may continue or even get worse. So, act in ways that will help to end the intrusive contact, but do not feel like a failure if your efforts do not work right away.
You have the right to set reasonable limits on the contact that your ex-boyfriend/girlfriend has with you. Although you cannot expect your ex to change classes, friends, or where they hang out to avoid being near you, you can set limits on direct contact such as phone calls, talking face to face, or visiting. Deciding how much contact to allow can be hard.
Reasonable limits are those that do not inappropriately restrict what your ex can do. However, it is always reasonable to put limits on your ex’s attempts to contact you directly. It is recommended that you make this decision thoughtfully. Talking with family, friends or others may help.
Clear limits are those that refer to specific behaviors that your ex can and cannot engage in. Clear limits are specific and tell your ex exactly what type of contact you are willing to have (for example “It is OK if we talk at school, but you cannot come by my house or call me at my house.”).
Once you have set limits, you cannot respond if your ex breaks them. You cannot control your ex’s behavior, but your can control yours. If your ex breaks a limit, you should not respond in a way that encourages your ex to break it again. You must follow the limits also. If you say “no phone calls,” then you cannot talk with your ex if he or she calls-not even once.
Minimizing Contact & Keeping Safe
Sometimes an ex refuses to abide by the limits that you feel comfortable with. It is also possible that you may feel threatened by your ex and worried about your safety even if he/she seems to be following the limits. There are several strategies you can use to minimize contact with your ex and feel safe.
One goal of these strategies is to reduce all contact with your ex to a minimum. The other goal is to increase your safety. These strategies are more effective if you have the support of family and friends, so it is often wise to talk to them about how they can help you.
- Screen Phone Calls. The best thing to do is cut off phone contact by having someone else or a machine answer your phone every time it rings.
- Be With Friends. Have friends with you as much as possible. Friends can help you avoid unwanted contact and sends the message that you are not sitting at home thinking about your ex.
- Leave With Friends. Be sure to stay around your friends or be with one or two other people—do not go off by yourself.
- Arrange Rides. When you go out, have family or friends pick you up or drive you to social events.
- Travel Safely. If you have to go somewhere by yourself, try to go during the day. If you are walking, walk along busy streets.
- Vary Your Patterns. Vary your times and routes for going places.
- Lock Doors & Windows. Always keep doors and windows in your home and car locked.
- Know Your Neighborhood. Be Aware of businesses where the owners are friendly and will help if you ask.
- Drive to Safety. If you are being followed do not drive home. Go to the nearest police/fire station or other safe location.
- Buy a Cell Phone. Keep a cell phone with you at all times to call family/friends or police.
- Call the Police. If you have reason to believe your ex is around your home or elsewhere call the police.
- Trust Your Inner Alarm. If you suddenly feel unsafe, go to family, friends or others you trust.